“Nix, this isn’t really the time to be debating this,” Mina hissed under her breath as Brody just leaned against the wall and watched the whole exchange with a bemused expression.

“And you,” she turned on Brody. “Were you going to let him just walk into my house?”

Brody shrugged his shoulders and started to chuckle. His hair was slightly damp, and his shirt clung to his shoulders. He seemed wetter than he would have been from walking a few feet in the rain from the car to the house. They must have driven here straight from water polo practice. Over the last few weeks, Brody and Nix had bonded over their love of water sports. “When he gets his mind set on doing something there’s hardly a way to stop him,” he answered and motioned to Nix. “It’s way more fun to sit back and watch.”

Mina rolled her eyes and picked up the poker from the floor, stashing it in a corner of the room.

“Yay, the weapon of decapitation has been dispensed with. Now we move onto business,” Nix said happily.

Mina put her hands on her hips and tilted her head. “What are you talking about?”

Nix started toward the open doors that led into the library. When he saw all the books on the floor, he looked surprised and entered. He began to pick up random books and flip through them, ignoring her question.

Brody followed Nix into the library and looked at the mess. “Got something against reading?”

“No, I’m just alphabetizing,” Mina answered quickly, knocking a pile of books over. The pile fell sideways, and the top one slid across the floor into Brody’s foot.

They both reached for the book at the exact same time, and their hands touched. She inhaled deeply and held it as a whiff of his shampoo washed over her. He smelled so clean. Her heart pounded in her chest. She had almost forgotten what Brody smelled like.

“I’ll help you.” He pulled gently on the book, and she let him have it. He walked over to a semi-empty bookshelf and placed the book upright.


Nix flipped his book closed with a loud thud, looked between Brody and Mina, and announced loudly, “I’m hungry. Anyone want any food? No?” He answered for them before they could respond. “Good, ’cause I wasn’t going to make you anything anyway. So if you’ve got something to say Brody, you should say it now. Before I finish eating whatever sandwich I can make out of their leftovers.”

Brody’s cheeks flushed. Was Brody here to see her? Was this his idea? For some reason, she’d believed Nix was the one behind their sudden arrival on her doorstep.

Brody looked even more handsome when he blushed. Was that because of her? “Uh yeah, so about the real reason I asked him to come here with me.” Brody scratched the top of his blond head, messing up his sun-kissed locks.

“Why did you need Nix to come here with you?”

“To be the first through the door, if you decided to attack us when we broke in, of course.”

“Of course.”

“No, I only asked him because you two seem to have grown close. And he swore up and down that you two weren’t an item. When he heard my plan, he said he would come with me just in case you turned me down.”

“Your plan?”

“Yeah. There’s this thing at my parents’ country club.”

“I like things.” Mina rushed the words out, anticipating where the conversation was headed, then inwardly groaned at her childish answer.

Brody laughed. “I’m glad you like things. I like these things well enough, if someone I like is willing to go too.”

“And you think this person that you like would like going to this thing?” Mina asked coyly. She chuckled at their verbal game. Flirting with Brody Carmichael was thrilling.

“Yeah,” he breathed out softly, stepping closer. “That’s why I’m here. To ask this person that I like to go to this thing.”

“Oh, well, in that case, Nick is in the kitchen,” Mina teased, jumping back as Brody made a playful punch at her arm.

“That’s not funny,” Brody challenged.

“Yes, it was,” Mina laughed, “and you know it.”

Brody grinned and stepped closer. “Yeah, you’re right it was funny.”

When their laughter died down, she had a moment to contemplate. “But why?” Mina immediately hated herself for doubting his motives. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe him, but more that she wanted to make sure he wasn’t under any Fae influence.

It was the wrong thing to say. His face fell, and he looked irritated. “If you don’t want to go, you can just say so.” He turned and left the library without another word. She wondered where he went until she heard the screen door slam.

“Crud.” Mina and rushed out after Brody into the rain. He was only a few feet off of the porch and had stopped in front of his black car. He looked forlorn and lost as the rain ran off of him. When he heard the door shut he turned to look at her. His face was a mirage of emotions—confusion, want, need. She rushed off the steps and went to him. Stopped within arms’ reach and watched him silently.

“It’s raining,” Brody said as if he just noticed it.

“Yeah, it is,” she answered. “I’m sorry for doubting your reasons. If the offer is still good, I would like to go with you.” She smiled, blinking through the rain.

Brody stepped closer, and she closed the distance. She almost leaned into him but caught herself at the last moment. He was standing closer than was appropriate as well, and they were both staring at each other. Neither one said anything, but her thoughts hung heavy in the air.

What are you thinking? Do you remember me…us?

Brody opened his mouth to say something, but closed it at the last second and shoved his hands in his pockets. She could see them balled into fists through the denim of his jeans. His smile dropped from his face and he looked irritated at himself.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, promptly forgetting to breathe.

“Nothing.” He shook his head.

“Okay then.” She turned and walked in the pouring rain back toward her dry porch. The storm seemed to have passed, but a strong, steady rain continued.

“No, that’s not true.” Brody ran after her.

Mina stopped and turned to look up at him.

The rain was pelting them, but he didn’t seem to care. “Do you ever feel like you’re losing your mind? I have these dreams, recollections of events that I know deep down couldn’t have possibly happened. But then whenever I go to sleep, I remember everything—clear as day. I tell myself when I wake up, I’ll recall every detail—only I don’t.”

Mina stood there holding her breath, refusing to believe what she was hearing. “Yes, unfortunately that’s how dreams work. But they’re only dreams,” she said.

“Are they?” Brody looked at her sadly. He stared at her as if waiting for her to lay his worries to rest or give him answers he desperately needed.

She shivered at how close they were coming to the truth, and she so wanted to believe he remembered everything they’d shared.

But then she remembered Teague’s warning. He could hurt her friends. Was it really better if Brody didn’t know?

It couldn’t be. How many times could the Story mess with her friends’ memories without leaving permanent damage? “Why are you asking me about this?” She had to know.

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