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The Winter Prince’s entire body jolted as what appeared to be a thousand fireflies surrounded him, encasing his entire body in a shimmering golden glow. Only a second or two passed and then the shimmering, dazzling lights receded.

The Winter Prince stood there, his luminous blue eyes wide and unseeing. It was like a layer of darkness seeped off and slid away. Black hair gave way to golden. Shadows peeled away from the hollows of his cheeks. His features were the same, but he was not of the Winter Court. He was . . .

What in the holy fu—?

“Ivy!” Ren was once again at my side.

“Look,” I whispered. “Look at him.”

Ren followed my gaze. “What the hell?”

The Prince fell back a step, his wide gaze darting over Fabian and us. His stare met mine, and his entire face contorted as if he were in pain.

I bumped into Ren as the Prince whipped around and let out a sound that was as terrifying as it was inhuman and primitive. The smell of burnt ozone filled the air as a blast of potent energy rolled across the floor. It hit the Knights first.

They burst into nothing, disintegrating on the spot.

Skin peeled off the Order members that had betrayed us. Their bones were crushed into dust. The impact was so intense that it burnt their shadows into the floor.

Still flinging off the troll dolls, the Queen spun toward the Prince. Her eyes widened with shock, and then the energy slammed into her. She and the dolls flew off their feet and backward. The Queen hit the wall . . . and crashed through it.

“I think we need to go.” Ren grabbed my arm and started backing up. “Like for real.”

Pulling my gaze away from the bizarre scene, I turned and ran down the hall, catching up with the rest of the group.

“What about Fabian?” Tink demanded as the patio doors came into view.

“Forget him,” Ren responded.

“What?” Tink launched himself off Ren’s shoulder.

“Oh, hell no.” I snatched Tink out of mid-air, wrapping my hands around his waist. “You are not going back there.”


“No.” I held tight to Tink as we burst out onto the patio. “And don’t you dare bite me or change forms.”

Tink’s face fell, and I ignored it as I ran across the parking lot. Kalen already had the keys out as he ran to the driver’s door. Faye climbed into the front seat as Miles climbed in, heading for the second row. Ren got in and twisted toward me, reaching out a hand. His gaze flicked over my head.

“What the hell?” he demanded, starting to make his way back out.

I turned and my mouth dropped open.

Fabian stormed through the doors, and with him was Drake, his face still bloody. “What the hell are you doing?” I reached for my dagger, but realized I had none left. “What are you doing with Drake?”

“This isn’t Drake.” Fabian held on to the Prince’s arm.

“Bullshit! I know who he is even with the lighter hair.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Fabian, that is the Winter Prince.” Faye had rolled down the window. “I saw him every day. That is Drake.”

The Winter Prince squinted, shielding his eyes as he swayed unsteadily on his feet. “I am . . .” He trailed off, flinching as if something or someone had gotten near his face.

“That is not the Winter Prince.” Tink beat at my fist. “I’ve seen him before, Ivy. I know what Drake looks like. I saw him in the Otherworld, remember?”

Confused, I shook my head.

“We need to go,” Kalen warned. “We need to get the hell out of here.”

“Let us in,” Fabian demanded.

“No fucking way.” Ren pushed me into the seat. “I’m going to kill that son of a bitch. I don’t care if he looks like Beach Prince right now.”

Ren was out of the SUV before I knew what he was doing. In a heartbeat, his fist slammed into the Prince’s jaw, snapping his head back. I shot forward, fear a bitter taste in the back of my throat. The Prince would—

The Prince slowly turned his head back to Ren. His lip was split. He didn’t raise his hands or anything as Ren’s fist snaked out again, catching him under the chin, knocking his head back.

“Stop!” shouted Tink. “You need to stop, Ren!”

Ren cocked his arm back again, but Fabian caught his fist. “Hit him again, and I will make sure there is nothing left of you.”

I snatched the back of Ren’s shirt with my free hand and tugged him back. He didn’t budge, not until I wrapped my arm around his waist. “That’s enough.”

“No.” Ren shook his head. “That is not nearly enough.”

“He’s not Drake! Look at him. He’s different,” Tink shouted, and then the little bastard sunk his teeth into my hand.

“Ouch!” I let go, drawing my hand back and shaking the sting out. Tink flew out of the car, toward the Prince’s shoulder. “We don’t have time for this, Tink. Get away from—”

“If you don’t let both of them into this car, I’m not coming!”

I gaped at the damn brownie. “Are you out of your mind?”

“Are you?” Tink shot back.

“This is not Drake,” Fabian said, his voice sounding broken. “This is my brother.”

Chapter 31

The ride back to Del Mar was . . . awkward and tense.

It probably had to do with the fact that the Prince who kidnapped Ren and me, who had tried to seduce me to bring about a fae apocalypse, and was all-around murderous and psychotic, was sitting in the back seat of the SUV, silent and staring out the window.

Between that, the armies of troll dolls, the betrayal of Daniel, and the appearance of the Queen, it was officially the worst Monday ever.

Ren practically sat facing the back seat the entire ride to the house. So did Miles, and I did the same.

There was something wrong with the Prince.

He didn’t speak. He didn’t look at any of us. He didn’t even respond to any of the terse comments about him. He just sat there, and I couldn’t believe I was in a car with him and not trying to murder him.

“He was under an enchantment,” Fabian explained, staring at Drake. It was clear they were brothers. I’d seen the similarity before and now, with the change in the hair color, it was obvious. “We believed that he died in the Great War with the Winter Court. I saw him go down, and I couldn’t get to him. Queen Morgana took his body. We thought she did so to refuse us our burial tradition. Now I know. She placed him under her spell.”

And now we knew what Queen we were dealing with. Of course, it had to be the one who was the boogeyman of all the fae. Great. Just our freaking luck.

“So, are you saying he’s not responsible for any of his actions because he was under a spell?” Ren demanded.

“Yes.” Fabian looked at Ren. “That is exactly what I’m saying.”

“Bullshit,” he growled. “That bastard—”

“Was under her spell,” Fabian cut in. “Just like a human would be under a glamour. It is a powerful enchantment that only a King or Queen can do. One that is forbidden.”

Ren leaned toward the back of the seat. “I. Don’t. Care.”

“I know it’s hard to accept. I’m having a hard time accepting it, too. Trust me,” Faye said, having twisted around in her seat. “But when one of our kind is under an enchantment, we cannot control what we do. It would be the same for a mortal.”

Miles stiffened. “He killed scores of our members, either by his own hands or on his order.”

“And the man you answered to betrayed all of us and his own men,” Faye reminded him.

I squeezed my eyes shut against the truth of those words. I couldn’t even think about what Daniel had done or that I had ended him.

Miles didn’t respond to that, because what could he say? I opened my eyes. “It’s not the same thing, though. We didn’t know what Daniel was doing or how long he was doing it. We know what he was doing.”

“But it’s not him.” Tink landed on the back of our seat. “It wasn’t who he really is. You saw what he did when he came out of the enchantment. He put Queen Bitch through a wall.”