“You are the one doing that. You’re endangering your friends, not me.”

“That’s an outright lie and you know it. You have been controlling me from the very beginning with your games.”

“Mina, if you don’t want to play my games, I’m okay with ending this here and now and moving on to the next Grimm. Your brother.” He turned to face her, and his eyes looked almost black in the shadows. Something invisible tightened around her neck.

“N-n-no,” she stuttered, struggling against the magic. Fear raced through her. Never before had Teague been so violent with her. Threatened her?—yeah. Tried to kill her through quests?—plenty. But before, she’d thought she was his equal.

She used to be able to play the games and win, but this was someone new. This was the Teague who threatened to tear the Fae kingdom apart. The one who frightened the Fates and forced their hand. This wasn’t the Jared she knew or the Story. It was true: divided Teague was manageable.

This wasn’t a case of Jekyll and Hyde.

This was Hyde on steroids. The person who stood before her was terrifying, and he was going to kill her.

She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t inhale, and she felt herself starting to black out. “Puh-please,” Mina choked out.

“You’re the only one who stands in my way.”

“Mina?” Nan’s voice echoed faintly from above her. “Mina, where are you?”

Teague clearly savored watching her writhe under his power. At the sound of Nan’s voice, he turned to listen and released some of the pressure on her throat.


It was enough that Mina could gasp for air. Which then set off a round of coughing.

Teague looked irritated and moved away from her. Mina fell to her knees as she gathered her strength. “Pathetic,” Teague taunted, staring up at the trickles of light that came from above. Police sirens increased in volume, coming to the scene.

“Why don’t you just kill me?” Mina stood up straight to challenge him, her hands splayed at her sides.

“I keep wondering that myself.” He turned to square off against her, his hands clasped behind his back as if waiting for her to make the first move. “What can you accomplish with no Grimoire to do all of your dirty work for you? You have nothing in your arsenal but a pretty face—and a lying one at that.”

“Mina, are you down there?” This time it was Ever, who had either heard something or figured out that she’d gone down the manhole into the sewer. Ever’s hand squeezed through the opening the light shone through.

“I have enough to fight the likes of you,” Mina challenged.

Teague sighed, “You’re all talk, and I’m becoming bored. I’m done with you and your pretty little threats to stop me.” He started toward her with his hands aimed at her throat.

Mina had no clue to what Teague was referring, but she was scared she was about to die. Desperate to save herself, she tried to use the power she had so little control over. Harnessing what she could, she thrust it all toward him.

Teague flew across the room and cracked his skull into the wall, going limp. Mina used her chance to climb up the rungs toward Ever’s voice.

“Don’t go up there,” he growled from below.

“I’m here!” Mina thrust her hand through a small opening between the chassis of the truck and the wheel. She waved her hand in the air and almost started crying when Ever’s hand took hold of it.

“I’ve got you, Mina. I’ll get you out. I promise.” Ever called. Mina believed her.

Something grasped her ankle and started pulling her back down. Mina cried out when Teague’s hands began to pull on her legs. He was trying to make her fall.

“Ever! Don’t let go!” Mina yelled, wrapping her left arm around the rung. It was useless, she knew. She couldn’t squeeze out of the opening, and she was trapped underground. Her mind had a sudden moment of clarity. This was so much like her underwater dream. Had she seen the future?

“Mina!” Ever cried, when Mina’s hand started to slip through her grasp. Teague had crawled up to the rung behind her and was yanking on her other arm. She knew how this would end.

In her dream she didn’t make it to the surface, so she doubted she would now.

“It’s okay, just take care of Nan. Take care of Nan,” Mina called.

Teague reached up and yanked her arm from around the rung, pulling her backwards. They both lost their footing.

She was falling and Teague was falling with her. The last thing Mina saw was Ever trying to look through the wreckage into the hole. She knew the moment Ever must’ve seen Teague, because she screamed. “Nooo!”

Chapter 11

She was lying on something soft that smelled faintly of cat urine. “Gross,” Mina grumbled. She rolled over to see that she was resting on a yellowed mattress in an old abandoned runoff tunnel. It took a moment for her eyes to focus on the blob of movement by her foot. She’d thought at first it was an old towel—until it moved toward her. She screamed and kicked at the rat sniffing at her shoes, making it scurry away.

Mina sat up and ran her hands across her body for injuries. Had she blacked out? Had she hit her head? Something disturbed a can, and it rolled over by her foot. She jumped to her feet and prepared to run, but Teague stepped out of another tunnel. A light that came from behind her faintly illuminated him. This time he kept his distance from her.

He seemed to be in an odd mood, simply studying her face silently. His eyes softened as he cleared his throat and looked away from her. “That runaway garbage truck wasn’t me.”

“What? You didn’t try to run me over? That wasn’t part of your quest?”

He shook his head no.

“So why warn me? Why save me?” she said irritably.

“Because you haven’t finished the next quest that I’ve set up for you. And this one is the most important of all stories. I am especially partial to the ending.”

“Yeah, me too. Because one day her prince will come and they’ll live happily ever after.” She tested the waters to see what he had up his sleeve.

He laughed. “Come on, Mina, you know there’s no such thing. The day your prince comes will be your worst nightmare. For I will make you bow down and beg for your life.”

“You’re wrong. One day I will have a happy ending. It will be the day that you’re dead.”

“I know, Mina. I know. You’ve tried your best. But I’m not done with you yet.”

“I’m done playing along.”

“No, you’re not. Soon you’ll bow to me and beg for your life.”

“You are not ruler of the human plane, Teague.”

“And I don’t plan on ruling the human plane. I plan on destroying this one.”

“Why?” Mina asked, shivering at the chill that crept into her veins at his merciless tone. “What do you have against humans?”

“You ask why?” Clearly, he believed his reason to be obvious. “Humans are shallow liars and thieves. They are emotionally fickle, which is fun for the Fae to feed on, but they leave a sour feeling in my stomach.”

“Teague, don’t do this. You don’t have to be evil.” Mina moved toward his dark figure and paused within a few feet of him. She could see that she made him nervous. His eyes kept flickering to her neck, probably remembering the pain he’d inflicted on her with his hand. As if he couldn’t trust himself with her. If he felt guilt, then maybe there was a way to reason with him. “You can be good.”

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