“Let’s get inside.” He turned and put his hand on Mina’s lower back, ushering her up the porch steps in front of him.

“You don’t need to tell me twice.” Nix scampered up the steps and into the house before either of them reached the top step.

“We should call animal control,” Brody said as soon as the door closed. They latched the lock.

“And tell them what exactly?” Mina did not want to be the one to call attention to her family.

“That I think a large rabid dog is on the loose.”

“A dog? You think that was a large black dog?” She asked in disbelief.

“I don’t know. I could have sworn it was a wolf, but then when it attacked me, I saw its eyes. Wolves don’t have blue eyes.”

“How do you know they were blue? It was dark. You could have been mistaken.”

“I’ll never forget those eyes. They were so blue they looked human.”

Mina’s stomach dropped. She’d thought the same thing. She would never forget that shade of blue either, because it haunted her every night in her dreams.

Chapter 7


Never in her wildest dreams would Mina have thought Brody Carmichael would be sitting shirtless on her bathroom counter. Of course, as dreamy as this was, his bare muscled chest was the last thing on her mind. Okay, maybe it was the second to last thing on her mind.

The first was applying hydrogen peroxide to the long cuts on his chest. Nix was taking care of the more serious injuries on Brody’s arm. He’d already cleaned up most of the blood with a clean towel, being careful of the torn skin surrounding the bites.

“I think I can make a salve for this,” Nix said after evaluating Brody’s arm. “I’ll be back in a jiffy.” He may have actually skipped on his way to the kitchen.

“What’s with him?” Brody hissed in pain as Mina used a cotton ball to dab at one of the scratches. The clear liquid immediately started to bubble as it cleansed the wound. After a few seconds, Brody released the breath he was holding.

“He’s obsessed with Leave it to Beaver lately.” Mina placed the cotton on a larger cut. Brody inhaled quickly. “Oh, Brody. I’m sorry.”

“It’s no big deal. It’s just cold and it tickles.”

Mina put the swab over the lid of the brown bottle and turned it upside down, trying to stay focused on the white fuzzy cotton ball instead of how near he was. “No, not about the antiseptic. About what happened in the yard. With the wolf. It’s all my fault.”

Brody gently grabbed her hand with the swab in it. “Mina, that had nothing to do with you.”

She couldn’t look him in the eye. “No, I think it does. I think everything weird that has ever happened to you, and so much more that you don’t remember, all happened because of me.”

“I don’t understand.” Brody dropped her hand and pulled back to look at her.

It was the moment of truth. “Falling from a catwalk, waking up on the floor of an abandoned building, fighting a man in a dark alley.”

Brody visibly paled and his brows furrowed in anger. “How do you know all of that? You can’t possibly know those things. I’ve never told anyone—”

She held up her hand, interrupting him. “No, let me finish.”

Mina’s bottom lip started to tremble. The seriousness of what she was about to reveal weighed upon her. He may hate her for it. She lowered her voice and whispered, “For killing Nan.”

The blood rushed from Brody’s face, and he actually started to keel forward.

Mina instinctively reached up and braced him as Brody dropped his forehead onto her shoulder in an awkward hug.

“In a car accident?” he mumbled.

“Yes, at the lake house. It was raining and you were racing her to see your cousin before he left on tour. You took the turn too fast and flipped your SUV, killing Nan.”

Something warm spread over her shoulder, and Brody’s body started to shake. Mina wrapped her arms around him and let him cry.

The Fae were stupid to think that altering humans’ memories wouldn’t harm them. Here was proof that they were doing more damage than good. Obviously her friends did retain bits of their memories, or the memories surfaced when they dreamed. Truth was the only medicine for the internal hurts they’d been hiding, for goodness knew how long.

A few minutes later, Brody leaned back and placed his hands around her face, brushing a thumb across her lips. “So how much more is true? Were we? Are we…?” he trailed off.

Mina nodded her head. “Yes, once. A long time ago.” She tried to remember what month it was when she’d found out about being a Grimm. “It’s been over a year.”

He nodded and sighed loudly. “I don’t know if I’ll ever understand, but just knowing that you know is comforting.”

“Brody what happened—what has been happening—it may continue to happen to you, to me, to others.” She swallowed nervously.

He stiffened and sat up on the counter and pulled away from her. “No. Nobody should have to live not knowing if what they experience is real or not. I know I can’t.”

“Then you have to stay away from me. Stay as far from me as you possibly can, and maybe you won’t be sucked into my curse.”

Brody’s eyes flashed and he looked at her possessively. “Never, now that I know we really had something. I’m going to continue to pursue that. I won’t let anything come between us.”

Mina’s heart soared before it came crashing down to earth, shattering in a million pieces. “Can you fight your shadow? Something that you can’t see or understand? What I’m in the middle of—this fight—is something that’s been going on for hundreds of years. People get hurt, become pawns, and get tossed aside. Especially those closest to a Grimm.”

“Grimm? You mean like the two brothers?”

Mina nodded her head. “The very same. They were my ancestors.”

“I seem to remember you studying a bunch of books by the Grimm Brothers…at a library…right?” He looked at her expectantly.

Mina smiled. “Yes.”

“Go on…” he waited.

Mina’s eyes drifted to his chest and then to his injured arm that was turning an ugly purple. “Not now. First we need to worry about this.” She stepped away from him, which was harder to do than she thought. She opened the bathroom door and pointed with her head for him to precede her.

Brody slid from the countertop, picked up his bloody and ruined shirt, and walked into the hall. Mina brushed all of the cotton balls into the garbage and screwed the lid back on the disinfectant before walking him to their kitchen.

He probably could have found the kitchen without her based on the horrid smells wafting down the hallway. Mina found Nix wearing her mother’s flowered apron as he hummed and stirred a cast iron pot full of boiling green liquid.

The kitchen was an epic disaster. It looked like Nix had raided the cabinets and left all the cupboard doors open. He was currently going through the spice cabinet, taking the lid off every available jar of natural herbs to smell them. Most he discarded quickly, making a face and shoving them to the right. He did set two or three in a different group. But then he reached farther back, and slid out a few glass jars sealed with wax.

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