Page 57

“He must’ve died in the war,” Kalen answered. “And Queen Morgana instilled Fabian’s brother in his place.”

“And none of you knew this?” Ren demanded.

“We did not grow up in the Otherworld,” Faye said, shaking her head. “We never saw Drake or Fabian’s brother. We wouldn’t have known. We saw what the Queen wanted us to see. Someone who could pass as Drake. That is how powerful her enchantment is.”

If Tink had seen him in the Otherworld before the Great War, then how old was Tink really? Geez. But that wasn’t important. “What if this is a trick?”

“Do you not see him?” Faye scooted to the edge of her seat. “He is not the same man I loathed and feared. He didn’t strike back when Ren attacked. That alone should be enough evidence.”

I met her gaze. “I don’t care if he’s Team Good Fae now and forever, he’s still the man I loathe and fear.”

Faye pressed her lips together. “I can understand why. I really do. But he attacked the Knights and the Queen. You have to trust me when I say—”

“Trust you?” I laughed as I stopped pacing, standing in front of her. “You all have lied to me since the beginning. You knew that I’d be trapped in the Otherworld and you failed to tell me that.”

“That is messed up,” Miles chimed in.

I shot him a look.

“I’m glad we’ve circled back to that little piece of fuckery.” Ren’s voice hardened to stone. “There is no way in hell Ivy is completing that ritual. No way.”

Faye tensed.

“I just want to point out that I didn’t know about that.” Kalen lifted his hand. “Not at all.”

I looked at him.

Kalen shrugged. “Just saying.”

“We hoped to have found a way to ensure that you were not trapped,” Faye begun. “We—”

“You hoped that you’d find a way to make sure I wasn’t trapped? Are you kidding me? What do you think would’ve happened to me if we completed the ritual and I was trapped with the evil version of the Prince?”

“We didn’t have a choice!” Faye shot to her feet, her eyes fierce. “You are the only halfling we know, the only one strong enough to complete the ritual. What other option did we have? Opening the doors would destroy this world. I’m not being dramatic by saying that. It would destroy everything.”

“Sacrifice one to save many?” I laughed harshly.

“We hoped it wouldn’t come to that.”

Ren stepped forward. “Do you know how badly I want to end all of your lives right now?”

“I’m sure you do, Ren, but how is that going to help?” Miles raised his brows. “We’re it. And if you don’t trust them, I get that. But the last damn thing I ever expected to do was find myself standing with fae and agreeing with them.”

“You agree with them about the Prince?” I whirled on Miles. “Seriously?”

“We’re going to need him, aren’t we?” Miles met my gaze and then Ren’s. “If he really isn’t Drake and he’s that other big blond dude’s brother, then we’re going to need both of them to defeat her, because what I saw in there—what I saw that she was capable of was nothing like I’d ever seen.”

I stepped back, surprised.

“Then what are we going to do?” Faye sat back down. “The Queen is here. Do you have any idea what that means for mortals and fae alike?”

“Oh, I’m guessing the usual bloodbath is in store for everyone,” I snapped.

“I know what we need to do.”

We all turned at the sound of the voice. It was him. The Prince. Formally known as Drake, currently still the guy who holds the number one spot on my to-kill list.

The blood had been washed off his face and his now blond hair was damp and pushed back from his face. “We need to stop the Queen.”

Chapter 32

My heart started thumping heavily as I stared at the Prince. I could feel the anger and tension rolling off of Ren, but it was nothing compared to the riot of emotions currently battling inside of me.

Behind him was Fabian and Tink, who was no longer in tiny Tink form. He was full-grown and thankfully dressed.

“You want to know what we need to do,” he said, his voice now more like I remembered. Deep. Oddly accented. I wanted to vomit. “We must stop her.”

“No shit,” I snapped, and his left brow lifted slightly. “There is no ‘we’ in any of this.”

Fabian exhaled roughly. “He’s—”

The Prince raised his hand, silencing his brother. “She has every right to be angry. To hate me. As does he.”

“Glad we’re on the same page,” Ren bit out, his jaw tense. “It’s literally taking every ounce of my self-control not to take this stake and shove it through your fucking eye.”

I sucked in a sharp breath as my gaze darted from Ren to the Prince. The latter’s face was impassive, so much so that Miles had to have been impressed by the utter lack of emotion.

“And I would not stop you.”

Surprise shot through me. The Prince couldn’t be real. There was no way he’d stand there and let Ren kill him.

“Really?” Ren stepped forward. “Let’s give that a try.”

Fabian stiffened, but it was Tink who spoke up. “Guys, I get that you want to get stabby-stabby, kill-kill with him, but you really need to let that go.”

I glared at him. “Easy for you to say.”

“It really isn’t that easy.” Tink met my glare. “I know what he did to you, but who he is now is not the Prince you knew.”

My breath caught. “There is no way I could trust anything he has to say. Enchantment or not, he is the Prince. He held me—”

“I know what I’ve done to you. From the moment I saw you in that hallway, after the enchantment was broken, I remembered. I close my eyes and I see it. When it is silent, I hear your—”

“That’s enough.” Ren’s voice was low with warning.

His gaze slipped from me to Ren. “I recall what I did to you, how I became you—”

“Seriously. Do you have a death wish?” My hands were shaking, so I clasped them together.

“Perhaps,” he murmured, and I blinked. “What the Queen wanted is not what I wanted. It never has been. I have no intention of following through with her plan.”

“So you don’t want to knock me up now?”

His jaw tightened. “No offense, but no.”

I lifted my brows. “Relieved.”

“I know there is next to nothing that will make you believe me—”

“Actually, there is.” An idea occurred to me just then. “How would we weaken a prince enough to be able to kill them?”

“You have—”

“Brother.” Fabian gripped his brother’s shoulder. “If you tell them, they will use it against you—against us.”

“It’s a risk we must bear then,” the Prince replied, shaking off his brother’s hand. “There are two ways to weaken us. If our magic is turned back on us, it can severely wound us, taking us months to heal. And there is something that is quite poisonous to us if it touches our skin. Worse if it invades our bloodstream. The three of you carry it on your person.”

“What?” Miles stepped forward.

“A four-leaf clover,” the Prince answered, and Fabian closed his eyes. “It is poisonous not only to us, but to our Knights and other Ancients.”

My mouth dropped open as my hand went to the chain around my neck. The encased clover was like a body part, such a part of me that I didn’t even think about it. “Are you serious?”

He nodded. “Most of you already carry our greatest weakness. Use that and a thorn stake, and we are not so hard to kill.”

Clasping the back of his neck, Fabian looked away.

“And a Queen?” Kalen asked, speaking up for the first time since the Prince had walked out. “Would it weaken a Queen?”

“It would. Normally. Queen Morgana has built up a tolerance to it over the years. It will not affect her.”