Page 59

That last part brought a wry grin to my lips.

“I still don’t like him, but if we’re going to stop the Queen, we need him, and we need Fabian.” He squeezed my knees. “But we do have a choice.”

“How? How do we have any other option?”

Those stunning emerald eyes met and held mine. “We leave.”

At first, I didn’t think I heard him right. “What?”

“We leave, Sweetness. We get the hell out of here, don’t tell anyone what we’re doing, and we get as far away as we can. We can even bring Tink, if he wants to go.” One side of his lips kicked up. “We could travel, see the world before it inevitably goes to shit. We could live. We’ve given years of our lives to the Order, to our duties. We don’t have to give them a second more.”

My breath caught in my throat as a wild yearning sprung to life deep inside me. Could we do that? We’d be wanted by the Order, but what was left of the Order anyway? So many were dead, and the rest we didn’t even know if we could trust. Would they even come looking for us while the shit hit the fan and splattered everywhere? Probably not. We could live—live normal lives until we had to face what was happening to the world.

“We have a choice, Ivy.” His gaze didn’t waver. “Whatever you want to do, I am with you. A hundred percent.”

Air lodged in my throat. It was almost too easy to say yes, because saying yes would be better. I wouldn’t have to worry about Ren getting hurt or dying, because there was no way we were going to face off with the Queen and not lose someone. It was statistically impossible. I could make Tink leave with us. We’d be safe and happy, at least for a little while.

If I closed my eyes, I could almost see us—the three us traveling the world, visiting places we’d never get the chance to. We wouldn’t worry about stopping the Queen or if we could trust the Prince. Like Ren had said, we would live as long as we could.

But I . . . I couldn’t say yes.

The word wouldn’t even form on the tip of my tongue. It wasn’t about duty. It wasn’t even about living normal lives. I didn’t have it in me to walk away when I knew what was happening—what was going to happen, and I knew Ren would only do that for me, if I chose to walk away.

“I can’t,” I whispered. “I can’t walk away. I’m sorry.”

“I didn’t think you would.” Rising halfway, he cupped my cheeks. “You’re too brave to run and hide, but we have that choice and we’re making the choice to stay and fight and kick ass.”

“Yeah, we are.”

Chapter 33

We arrived in New Orleans early Wednesday morning, having drove straight through, only stopping for gas and to grab a quick bite to eat. I didn’t know how I fell asleep in that car, sitting between Miles and Ren, but I had with half my upper body in Ren’s lap. He’d fallen asleep too, with his head against the window and his hand on my hip. When I woke up, I found Tink twisted around in his seat, staring at me.

“Hi,” he whispered.

“Hey.” I sat up, waking Ren as I rubbed a hand over my face. “Were you watching me sleep?”


Ren lifted his arm away from me as he stretched out his neck. “You’re such a freak.”

“I am.” Tink grinned. “We’re here, by the way. Just pulling up now.”

I glanced over at Miles and saw that he was staring at what appeared to be an abandoned building.

“They told me this was a powerful glamour,” he said, his voice hoarse. “I can’t believe this has been here this whole time and I had no idea.”

“Kind of how I felt.” I yawned. “Just wait until you see the inside.”

The SUV stopped and the doors swung open. Fabian turned toward Miles before he climbed out. “You’re being trusted with something very few people have. You betray the fae here, and I will personally make it so that you wish you were dead.”

Miles held Fabian’s gaze. “I have no desire to betray these fae if they are what you say they are.”

“You will see that I have not lied.”

I resisted the urge to point out that he may not be lying about this place, but the fae here were still liar-mc-liar-faces.

Fabian studied Miles for a moment and then stepped out of the SUV. Getting out of the car and sitting after so many hours was painful as all get out as I walked the cramps in my muscles off.

The glamour of the building was still intact as the rusted-over door opened. We hurried inside, out of the dark night. Miles had the same expression on his face that I did the first time I saw the power of the glamour fade away, revealing the luxurious hotel inside.

“Jesus,” he muttered, rubbing a hand on his face as he took in the grand lobby.

“It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it?” I turned to him. “And you had no idea that the fae worked with the Order at one time?”

“I’d heard the stories, but I thought they were rumors. I didn’t believe there were fae that didn’t feed. Just didn’t think it . . .” He trailed off as he watched Tanner approach us.

And I knew why he had been struck silent. Tanner was living and walking proof of a fae who didn’t feed. Behind him was Brighton and her mother.

“Merle?” Miles lowered his hand as he stared at the woman.

“You look like a ghost done walked over your grave.” Merle lifted her brows, and her daughter seemed to take a deep breath. Brighton’s hair was down, and it was probably the first time I’d seen her wear it like that. It fell in soft waves and loose curls, reaching the middle of her back. She gave Ren and I a little smile.

Miles gaped at her. “You knew about this?”

“She has known for some time.” Tanner stopped in front of Miles, extending a hand. “I am Tanner.”

“Miles.” A moment passed and then he shook Tanner’s hand. “Uh, nice to meet you.”

Tanner started to respond, but his gaze flicked behind us. He dropped Miles’ hand and stepped back. “Fabian? Is this . . . ?”

“Yes.” Fabian stood beside Tink. “This is my brother.”

Tanner paled as he stepped around Kalen and Faye, his eyes wide and full of wonder. “Our King.”

“King?” Ren looked down at me, and I shrugged.

The Prince showed no response as Tanner bowed in front of him. “It is an honor,” Tanner said. I was waiting for him to kiss the Prince’s hand.

“This is weird,” I whispered to Ren.

“Everything is weird.”

The Prince glanced at us and then spoke. “We should begin to plan.”

“Of course.” Tanner straightened. “Please come this way. We have refreshments set up.”

I arched a brow as Tanner spun on his heel.

Merle eyed the Prince with distaste and a hefty dose of distrust. “An enchantment,” she muttered. “How cliché.”

The Prince’s cool gaze flickered over her. “Agreed.”

Merle frowned as she eyed him.

Following Tanner, the Prince passed Brighton. I only knew he’d looked in her direction based on how wide her eyes grew and how she stepped back, bumping into the wall.

Poor Brighton.

We all ended up in one of the large meeting rooms, and there were refreshments. Coffee. Juice. Bagels. Fruit. An entire damn buffet of cold cuts.

I didn’t get that treatment when I showed up.


Plopping down on the couch, I stretched my legs out and leaned into the thick cushion. “So, you know what’s going on?” I asked as Tink sat down on the arm beside me.

Tanner nodded as he sat in the chair across from us. “I am most sorry to hear about the betrayal of your leader.”

Biting down on my lip, I breathed through that sting. “So were we.”

Ren sat next to me, his leg pressing against mine. “And we were also sorry to hear that you knew that Ivy would be trapped in the Otherworld if she completed the ritual.”

Tanner’s cheekbones deepened in color. “As I am sure Faye explained, we hoped to find a way around that.”

“Sure,” I muttered. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them. I just didn’t believe there was a way, and they probably knew that deep down. I was the living embodiment of sacrifice the few to the save the many. I could understand that. Didn’t mean I was okay with it.