Fable Page 15

“Are you sure? I mean, how can you know that he’s telling the truth? And what happened to your hand?”

“Because I know. I heard a strange sound the day of the fire. I heard it again today. It’s his weird golden bird.” She held up the back of her hand, showing Jared the scratches. “I know it’s them. They took Charlie to the Fae plane. I have to get him back. You have to help me cross over so I can save my brother.”

Jared’s face paled, and he whispered his brother’s name. “Mina, I can’t let you do that.”

“No! You have to help me, help my brother.” Her words rushed out and slurred together in panic.

“Whoa, back up there, Mina. You can’t go to the Fae plane.” He carefully helped her stand up and took two steps away from her. The distance he was physically creating between them felt as if it was miles.

“You have to,” she whispered, confused by his behavior.

“No, you can’t. You don’t know what’s over there. It’s not like your plane. It’s not safe,” Jared replied, and began walking away down the hall.

Mina shook herself out of her reverie and chased after him, trying to keep her voice down. “So, what? Are you saying that I should just abandon Charlie?

“No…yes…I don’t know. I’m saying, think things through before you try to jump into something you know nothing about. Into a country where you don’t know the rules or the lay of the land. You can’t go. I won’t allow it.” He barely turned to answer, his hands waving in finality.

She was losing him, and they both knew it. “Just help me get over there. I can save Charlie and come back.”

Jared opened his mouth to answer, but the second bell rang, announcing their tardiness. “Jeez, Mina. Let him go—he’s just a human. There’s a million more just like him. ” He turned and walked toward his next class.


Jared avoided her for two days, refusing to come when she used the Grimoire. She had tried begging, calling, and even faked being attacked by a Fae wolf, but nothing. Jared didn’t budge or show his face. Finally, on the third day, he reappeared at their cafeteria table, purposely trying to make lunch conversation awkward. Mina kept staring at Jared, who pretended to be extremely interested in his spaghetti, spinning the noodles on his fork at least a hundred times before taking a bite. She couldn’t help herself—she was a bundle of excited energy and couldn’t help but fumble with her straw, drop her fork on the floor twice, and even accidentally step on Brody’s foot under the table. Ever giggled at Mina’s obvious lack of grace and kept elbowing Jared to watch her, but he refused to budge or look.

Mina sighed and watched the clock, waiting for school to be over so she could go back to cornering Jared into helping her. Maybe she could blackmail him? Hmm, the idea had merit. Maybe even Ever would help her do it?

Nan Taylor’s voice cut through their table’s quiet melancholy. “Okay, someone’s gonna have to scoot, ’cause you’re both in my seat.”

Mina jumped up from the table, her chair making a loud screech as she hugged her friend and almost knocked over Nan’s tray. Brody stood up, too, and moved down so his girlfriend could sit between him and Mina.

“You’re back!”

Nan turned to face Mina and completely ignored Brody. “Yeah, I’m so glad to be back and not grounded. But I don’t regret it for one minute. I have to tell you that my mom was furious and wanted to write a letter to the school, but I told her that the time fits the crime and to let it drop. Savannah might have started the fight verbally, but I took it physically where it didn’t need to go. My mom still grumbles about writing a letter to the school board, though.”

Nan sat down between Brody and Mina, and began to move the food items around on her plate. “I was completely bored out of my mind at home this whole week. I can’t tell you all the things I concocted to keep myself busy. I had a Glee marathon, a Hello Kitty party for one, and I even attempted a Project Runway dress out of the things in our kitchen.” Nan switched to a Tim Gunn impression. “I looked fabulous…and believe it or not, I made it work.”

Mina started laughing…hard. Even Brody and Ever were chuckling. Jared continued to swirl his spaghetti.

Nan looked great in her jean skirt, white leggings, blue tank top, and sparkly pink nail polish, right down to her expertly fishtailed braid. Mina couldn’t help but feel slightly disheveled in her discount jeans and cute rainbow tank top, blue hoodie, and Converse shoes. At least today she’d attempted to wear blush and a light pink lip gloss. She never used to compare her appearance to Nan, but now that Brody was so near both of them again, she couldn’t help but let the comparisons ride out. She was definitely the ugly duckling.

“Mina,” Nan interrupted her thoughts, “you look so cute today. Tell me, is it because of a guy? It is, isn’t it? Who is it?”

Brody’s head snapped in Mina’s direction; he was obviously interested in hearing her answer, but he carefully pretended indifference as he took a swig of cola.

“NO, there’s no guy. There’s no one.”

“Well, there should be a guy. There should be a hundred boys lined up to date my best friend. Right, Brody?” Nan cornered him with a look.

Brody almost choked on his drink, and after wiping his mouth on his jacket, he gave Nan a sheepish look. “Um, yeah, hundreds.” He swallowed and stared directly into Mina’s eyes.

“Well, you should set her up on a date with one of your friends, then,” Nan said.

“NO!” Mina and Brody cried out in unison, while Ever pumped her fist and yelled, “YES!”

Nan started laughing, and picked up her water bottle and twisted the lid. “It’s official, Bro. Tonight…double date.”

“Make that a triple,” Ever interrupted, looking at Jared across the table hopefully.

Jared’s head snapped up, and he stared at the four of them in horror…once he realized what they were saying.

Brody groaned. Mina turned beet red, Nan laughed, and Ever glared at Jared, who finally quit playing with his food and buried his head in his hands.

Chapter 10

“Mina, I don’t think I can go through with this,” Nan cried out, pacing back and forth in Mina’s bedroom, her long skirt swishing back and forth, her gold-toned sandals flopping on the hardwood floor.

“Go through with what—the date?” Mina asked. She looked at herself in the mirror and sighed. This was the best she was going to look. She had pulled her long wavy brown hair into a side ponytail and let it trail down her left shoulder. She wore shorts, a sapphire-blue tank top, sandals, and a short tan jacket with an inside pocket, into which she’d tucked the smallest version of the Grimoire. She was no Nan or Savannah; she could never compete with them. But she thought she looked pretty good.

“I’m scared to go on a date with Brody,” Nan admitted before crashing onto Mina’s bed and staring around the room as if she was seeing it for the first time. Well, she was, but opulence or poverty never mattered to Nan. Even when Mina lived in a run- down flat above a Chinese restaurant, Nan never cared.

“But you two have been dating for four months. How could you be nervous?” Mina answered.

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