“No, I don’t need another minute. I’m fine,” she answered. “I’m almost done.”

“Okay then. When you’re ready to proceed.”

She nodded her head, crumpled up the paper into a small ball, and tossed it in the trash can. A smile crept up her face and she raised an eyebrow in challenge. The smirk dropped from his haughty face and he moved away from the wall.

“An interesting fact that is not well known is that the Grimm Brothers were inter-dimensional travelers who captured and sent evil Fae back to their world, which exists on another plane.” The words were clear and crisp, and she didn’t stutter. “Although tasked with an impossible quest, they never gave up in their mission. And to this day their descendants carry on the same assignment. I once said that Joseph and Wilhelm were cursed, because it seemed like the odds were stacked against them. But I was wrong. They’re not the ones cursed. They’re the ones who live free. It’s the Fae that are cursed, and all the ones who must live in fear of tyranny. It is those on the Fae plane I pity, for their time here is short. The Grimm grace period is over. I will not fail to end the tyranny where others have. So run. Run while you can,” she threatened.

Silence filled the room as the tension tried to find a way out. Mina knew what her classmates were probably thinking, although no one said a word. It was uncomfortable and awkward.

Teague looked angry enough to spit acid. “I warned you, Grimm. I warned you, but you didn’t listen,” he spoke out.

Not a single head turned his direction. They were all focused on her. She could see the odd shoulder shrug, the pairs of rolled eyes as some tried to process what she’d said. Only Nix heard Teague, and when Teague’s threat reached his ears, he started to tremble and slid lower in his chair. Any lower and he would be sitting on the floor.

Mina didn’t back down from Teague. She knew never to back down from a rabid dog, and this was the same. This was an intimidation game, and she could not show any sign of weakness.

She managed to cross the short distance without her legs crumbling under her. Now for the icing on the cake. When she reached her desk, she turned her back on Teague, sat in her chair, and pretended to inspect the non-existent nail polish on her fingers.

She could feel the crackle of energy building behind her. It was almost impossible to ignore. The room dropped in temperature, and goose bumps ran up and down her arms. Without looking, she knew Teague was doing what he could to draw her attention, but she turned to Brody and gave him her most dazzling smile.

Or what she hoped was a dazzling smile. It probably looked a bit pained and constipated. “How’d I do?” she asked.


“That was intense,” he answered. His brows furrowed and he looked around. “Does it seem like it got really cold all of a sudden?” When Brody exhaled, his breath turned white.

“No, I don’t find it cold at all,” she lied. Her heart was racing so fast that it sounded like a bass drum leading a marching band in her ears. The temperature dropped again.

Just go away. Please just go away. She looked over her shoulder to see frost creeping up the nearest window and spreading out in impossible swirling fractals. Mina picked up the pencil on her desk and tapped it on her notebook. She visibly shivered from the chill in the air and watched as Mr. Morris went over to thermostat. He rapped the square white box a few times and waited before flicking it off then on.

By now a few of the students were pulling their arms inside of their sleeves and rubbing them to create friction. To have this kind of chill in the middle of a seventy-degree day was nuts.

An idea came to Mina, and she flipped open her notebook and scribbled the words GO AWAY, TEAGUE in bold capital letters and waited.

Only moments later, his answer appeared in a beautiful cursive script on the paper before her.

Not until I get what I want.

What do you want? You’ve won, okay?

I want the dagger.

Mina had no idea what Teague was referring too, so she answered, ???

You know what I mean. Bring it to me and I’ll let your friends live. If you don’t, I’ll destroy them. One by one.

Mina couldn’t ignore the threat anymore. She dropped her pencil and turned around to look at Teague, but the back of the room was empty. She felt a sense of loss and desperation and turned to face the front again.

There he was. She came face to face with fierce blue eyes. Teague was leaning across her desk, his face inches from hers. She could feel his breath on her face when he exhaled, and she was very careful to not move or alert the rest of the room to the invisible person she was having an intense conversation with. From the corner of her eye, she saw Nix’s eyes transfixed on her, waiting to jump in and help if needed. But she could tell he was terrified.

Oddly, Mina didn’t feel the same. It wasn’t fear that caused the single tear to cascade down her cheek, but sadness—at the loss of Jared. Looking into Jared’s face and seeing someone else’s hate-filled gaze was almost her undoing.

One corner of Teague’s lip curled up in a smile when he saw her tear. He leaned even closer across the desk and whispered into her ear. “That’s right, little Grimm. You should be afraid, be very afraid, of what I’m about to do to your friends.”

Her breath caught in her throat and a little gasp escaped, but it was not for the same reasons he probably thought. Teague’s voice sounded so much like his other half.

“Jared.” Mina let the name slide across her lips in an almost inaudible whisper.

Except that Teague was close enough to hear the name. He pulled back from her with such force that Mina’s desk moved. His face turned red with rage, and his eyes glowed and crackled with power.

Loose papers began to flutter and fly about the room. Pencils rolled off desks and skittered across the floor. Students’ startled cries filled the air as many jumped up out of their seats. The desks moved outward, seemingly all on their own, from the epicenter that was Teague.

She knew better than to show that this had anything to do with her, so she sat frozen in her desk, staring at the display of power that Teague emanated almost unconsciously. Was this why he wanted his other half back? What if this was only a small taste of the power he gained when he became one with Jared?

Mina’s hands slowly moved to the edge of her desk and gripped the sides until her knuckles turned white. What had she done? They were doomed.

Her desk started to move backward from Teague’s fury storm of power, but she wrapped her ankles around the legs of the desk and held on. Pinching her lips together, she locked eyes with Teague in angry challenge and nodded her head—signifying that yes, she would give him his whatchamacallit.

Within half a second, he was gone. The wind had stopped, the desks had quit moving across the floor, and Mina looked around in surprise. Brody, Nan, Nix, and the rest of the classroom were pinned against all four classroom walls by desks.

Mina was the only student still in her seat. And her desk, in the exact center of the room, was the only one not disturbed. So much for being inconspicuous.

“Mina?” Nan’s shaking voice called out as she began to try and push a desk out of the way and make it over to her.

Mina’s fingers still gripped the edges of her desk, and she quickly released them and unlaced her legs as well. It looked odd, and frankly she had no explanation for what had happened. She glanced up to see an air conditioning vent in the ceiling that was right above her desk.

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