He kept blinking his eyes. Mina realized that there was something in the air still clouding her thoughts. Was it affecting Teague too? She moved to the window and pushed it open. A rush of cold air flowed in, making it easier to breathe.

“But it was all an act, wasn’t it? You’ve been lying to me from the beginning. Haven’t you? We’ve asked and no one has heard of you. Who are you? Is Elle Cinder even your name?”

A shadow sprang from darkened stairwell and Ferah emerged, running up to Teague from behind. He turned to her in surprise, but his reaction was slowed by the drugged mist she had released into the room.

Mina cried out as Ferah stabbed Teague in the heart with a knife.

“Noooo!” Mina wailed, rushing at Ferah. “What are you doing?” She gripped Ferah by the shoulders and yanked her off of the prince. It was happening all over again. Just as she was helpless to save Jared, she was helpless to save Teague.

His face was filled with pain and he looked between the two girls. “Betrayed. From the beginning.” He reached forward and pulled the knife out of his chest, letting it clatter to the floor. Seconds later, he fell to the ground.

What was she supposed to do? Mina pressed her hands into his wounds and tried to stop the blood. Her hands were shaking, but she continued to apply pressure until she felt heat penetrating through her hands. A bright light formed from the center of his chest and grew brighter and brighter until the whole room was a ball of intense light, and it shot out of the tower into the night.

In the distance, trumpets sounded, as the Fae mistook the light and celebrated the choosing of their new princess. Explosive balls of light she assumed to be fireworks exploded in the sky, casting a sadly beautiful array of colors over the dying Teague.

Except whatever she was doing was working.

The bleeding stopped, and the wound slowly reknitted itself, leaving only a small pink scar dangerously close to his heart. But it beat beneath her hands.

“Teague?” She cupped the side of his face. His deep blue eyes flickered open in pain, and he started to scream.


Chapter 29

It was a soul-shattering scream that wouldn’t end.

“What did you do?” Snatching the knife from the floor, Mina cast an accusing glare at Ferah. She brandished the knife, threatening at the elf.

The blade wasn’t whole. A piece was missing from the tip.

Ferah’s blue eyes widened when she saw the piece missing. She fearfully turned to watch Teague as his screams subsided. He grasped his stomach in pain.

“What? What have you done? You’d better explain quick.” Mina snarled, moving closer to the girl.

Ferah shrugged. “I was sent here to kill him because of the prophecy. He will be the destruction of the Fae. But the Royals are so strong that only a weapon made from dark magic would work. Or so we thought.”

Mina glanced at the knife in her hand.

“It didn’t work.” Ferah stared at Mina with awe. “You healed him somehow, though the tip of Erjad blade is still in him.”

“What’s happening to him?”

“This is bad. This is very bad. The blade is made of pure hate. I can only assume it nicked his heart and a piece is still there. It’s changing him.”

“Stop it.” Mina screamed at her.

Ferah shook her head. “I can’t. I don’t know how.” She pulled another blade from her belt. “Accept that now I have to finish the job. Otherwise he will kill us all.”

Mina pulled the Grimoire from her skirt and stood in front of Teague. “I will not let that happen.”

Ferah smiled ruefully. “Have it your way, human.”

Mina was only slightly taken aback. “You know who I am?”

“Of course I know. I told you there’s a prophecy, and I’m here to stop it from ever taking root.”

“And I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen the future. I’m a Grimm, and the dark prince, Teague—he is my problem now,” Mina snapped. She held the book in front of her as it changed into a long bow. The knife in her hand shifted into a deadly golden arrow. Mina pulled back the string with the arrow nocked and ready to release. “I dare you. Dodge this if you can.”

Ferah backed away. “Okay. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She nodded toward Teague, who had rolled over and was gripping his stomach and moaning uncontrollably. “We will be expecting you to handle the dark prince. If you do need help, you can call on us.” Ferah continued to move away from Mina.

“Who are you?” Mina kept her sight set on the girl.

“We are a collection of Fae, dedicated to the preservat—”

“Stop!” Mina cut her off, her mind seriously spinning. “I know who you are. You’re the Godmothers.”

Ferah smiled wryly. “So you’ve heard of us? As a farewell gift, and to show you I bear you no ill will, I’ll see to your friend the pixie.”

“You’ll get no thanks from me.”

“I wouldn’t expect it. Not when you are the one who will suffer more than any for your choice you made today.” She turned and disappeared down the stairwell.

Mina waited and watched. When Ferah didn’t return, she released the bow. It shifted back into the Grimoire. She picked up the knife and ran over to Teague to try to figure out what to do. Maybe she could use the knife to cut the wound back open and extract the tip. She looked at the tip that was missing. There couldn’t be more than a quarter inch still inside of him.

Could she use Fae magic to wish it out? She closed her eyes. With everything in her, she focused on the words. “Please. Come out of Teague.”

Nothing. Her own heart clenched in pain.

She tried to hold Teague still as he continued to thrash and scream. Desperate, she lifted the knife above his chest and prepared to re-open the scar. Teague chose that moment to open his eyes.

What she saw in them terrified her to her very core.

His eyes flashed from blue to gray to blue again. Dark veins ran across his face and chest. Hate radiated out from him. His hand shot up and gripped her wrist, squeezing hard. He pushed her away, and she fell backwards onto the floor.

Teague pushed himself up from the floor and stood over her. He exuded power from every pore. She could feel it flowing from him, and it made her shake in her glass slippers. She tried to crawl backwards, away from him, but he stretched out one hand toward her. By magic, she was lifted into the air. She panicked as he moved her in front of the glass windows.

“You are a liar and a deceiver. Every last one of your kind will be punished for trying to kill me.”

“No, I didn’t. I saved you!” Mina explained, but Teague was having none of it.

“You saved the elf. I saw you in the forest. You did it so she could come and kill me. You were the bait. Very effective and pretty bait, I do have to admit.”

The tower lit up as another crackle of fireworks lit the sky, creating a mirror ball effect of colors in the room.

“Teague, listen to me. You’ve been poisoned. Ferah stabbed you with an enchanted knife and a piece is still inside you. Its dark magic is turning you evil.”

“Evil? I’ve never felt better or more powerful! Watch!” Still holding her suspended in the air, Teague blinked. Every window in the towers shattered, blasting outward and raining shards of glass on the maze below.

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