Page 56

“I. Don’t. Care.”

“This is bullshit,” Ren muttered.

“Let me guess. He has no memory of all the horrible shit he’s done?” I demanded.

The Prince’s head slowly turned, and his eyes met mine. “I remember everything I’ve done. Everything.”

I sucked in a sharp breath as a shiver danced over my skin. He didn’t . . . he sounded like the Prince I knew, but at the same time, he didn’t. He returned to staring out the window.

“It changes nothing,” Ren said.

“It changes everything,” Fabian replied. “You’ll see. Give him time. You’ll understand.”

Ren’s laugh was harsh. “This is unbelievable.”

It really was. All of it, but here we were, and I needed a distraction, because I wanted to whip that thorn stake out of Ren’s hand and slam it into the chest of that bastard, enchantment or not.

My gaze shifted to Tink. “You going to explain about the troll dolls?”

He sighed as he walked across the back of our seat, kicking at something none of us could see. “I hate leaving them there. They’re my babies.”

Babies? They were the stuff of nightmares. “How did you make them move?” I thought about the times I’d find them around the apartment. “Were they always capable of that?”

“Well, I take a drop of my blood and mix it in their hair, so I can reanimate them.”

My eyes widened.

“And I tried it out a few times back home.” Tink shrugged as he peered up at me. “Sometimes they got out.”

Oh my God.

Those damn dolls had been alive!

“Man, I don’t know what about today is more fucked up,” Ren muttered.

“The Queen,” Faye answered. “That is the most fucked up thing.”

“What are we going to do now?” Miles asked.

No one answered.

Because no one had any answers. We spent this entire time believing we were dealing with a psychotic prince, but now we had a Queen to deal with and none of us were prepared for that.

Ren caught my hand, holding me back on the steps as everyone else made their way into the sprawling home.

“Come here,” he said.

I wasn’t given much of a choice. Not that I needed one. Holding on to my hand, he pulled me against his chest and folded his arms around me.

Letting out a ragged breath, I closed my eyes and soaked up his closeness and warmth. A long moment passed before he spoke.

“I’m so sorry.” Ren kissed my forehead and then each of my eyelids. “I know how you felt about Daniel.”

I shuddered. “That was why he was so accepting of me, of what I’ve changed into. Shit. I thought it was . . .” I couldn’t finish that thought. Not right now. “I just can’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have ever thought he would turn on us.”

“I know.” He dragged his hand up the center of my back, threading his fingers through my hair.

“When did this happen? Was he always working with the Queen? Did he know she was here or did she get to him somehow?”

“We’re never going to know.” The arm at my waist tightened. “But you did the right thing back there.”

I had.

That didn’t make it any easier.

I swallowed again. “When she grabbed you by the throat, I’ve never been more afraid in my life.”

“Got to admit, I wasn’t exactly happy myself.” He paused. “But you didn’t seem afraid. You were actually pretty badass in your response.”

“I would’ve done it. I swear to—”

“I know,” he whispered. “And that scares me.”

“You were pretty badass, yourself. Punching the Prince and all.”

“I want to rip his throat out, Ivy.”

I shivered. “He didn’t . . . he didn’t even try to stop you.” Slowly, I lifted my gaze to his. “He didn’t retaliate. The Prince I knew would’ve, Ren. You know that.”

Ren looked away, a muscle thumping along his jaw.

“What are we going to do?” I whispered hoarsely. “We have him in that house and a crazy, really powerful Queen about to do God knows what. We don’t even know how many Order members are left—” My voice cracked. “This is . . . this is terrifying.”

He rested his chin on top of my head. “We’re going to figure this out,” he said after a moment. “We have to.”

I didn’t see how we could. If we didn’t know how to defeat a prince, how in the hell would we defeat the Queen?

The hand in my hair slid to my cheek. Ren tilted my head back, and my eyes drifted shut. He kissed me, and it was gentle and sweet, and somehow it reminded me that there was still good surrounding me. That there was still us in this mess.

Opening my eyes, I pulled back and cupped his cheek, wiping away a smudge of blood. “We better head in there.”

“Yeah. We better.”

We walked into the house, and both of us stiffened at the sight of the Prince. Fabian placed a hand on his shoulder, steering the silent man away.

“I don’t like this.” Ren crossed his arms as Fabian led his brother toward the kitchen. “At all.”

“Me neither.” I watched Tink buzz after them. I couldn’t believe that the Prince had been in the car with us and now was in this house with us. There was so much to worry about. Too much. “Are we even safe here?”

“I don’t believe Daniel knew where you guys were staying, but that doesn’t mean they won’t find out.” Miles dragged a hand over his head. “Shit. What am I going to tell his wife?”

“Do you think she knew of his actions?” Faye asked.

“I want to say no, but hell, I never saw it coming with Daniel. She could be in on it too.” Shoulders tensed, he looked away. “I need to get in contact with someone at the New Orleans branch. I need to . . .”

He needed to make sure they were alive.


I couldn’t let myself think of those I knew—those I cared about possibly being dead. If I went down that hellish hole, I would probably never resurface.

Miles turned to me, and for the second time that night, I could see emotion in his expression. It was sorrow this time, deep sorrow. “What you did back there? With Daniel? You had to.”

I blinked and swallowed against the sudden burn.

“I just want you to know that.” Miles shuddered with a sigh as he looked at Faye and Kalen. “It’s just us now.”

Kalen lifted his chin. “We can’t stay here long. The Prince might’ve put her through the wall, but it wouldn’t have killed her. Wouldn’t have even taken her out of commission for that long.”

“The Queen.” Faye let out a ragged breath. “I can’t believe it. This whole time it was Breena.”

“If I didn’t need any more reason to hate her.” I rubbed at my hip with my palm. “What I don’t get is if Breena was always the Queen, then how was I able to overpower her that one time?”

“I think you caught her off-guard.” A weak smile graced Faye’s lips, but it faded quickly. “I don’t think she ever expected you to attack. I thought it was just Breena’s arrogance. In reality, it was the Queen’s arrogance.”

I still couldn’t fathom how we didn’t know that she was the Queen, but then again, as an Order member, Ren and I were raised and trained to believe that there were no courts, no princes, no queens. We’d been led to believe that they were nothing but dust.

I started to pace.

“We need to address something far more important at the moment,” Ren said. “What in the hell are we going to do with him? Are we seriously just going to let him roam around? He—”

“I know, Ren. But I am telling you that man in there is not Drake—not anymore.” Faye sat down on one of the thickly cushioned chairs. “That is the older brother of Fabian. The heir to the Summer Court. In all reality, he should be the King.”

I gave a curt shake of my head. I didn’t even know what to say to all of that. “And where is the real Drake? I’m assuming he was real, wasn’t he? Tink saw him once in the Otherworld.”