Fable Page 30


“NO…not like this.” One by one his fingers uncurled to reveal the shiny silver tube. “You are breaking our trust.”

“Jared, you never fully trusted me to begin with, and right now I have to save Charlie. When this is over, I can only hope you’ll forgive me. But right now, I’m not asking for your permission or forgiveness.”

Jared let out a painful grunt, and with a final act of free will he threw the seam ripper to the ground and crushed it under his boot. Pieces of it flew across the ground, scattering into the darkness.

Shock. Anger. Hurt. It all rushed over her and took control of her body. Her hand slapped Jared so fast across the face, she surprised herself.

Jared’s cheek turned an angry red, and the muscle in his jaw twitched in anger, but he refused to look at her. Instead, his angry glare was directed at the darkness behind her.

“You could have chosen to go with me to help me,” she hissed.

“I can’t.” He looked into her eyes to show her how serious he was. “If you go there, Mina, you’ll be going there alone.” Jared glared at her.

Chapter 17

School was a torture. Nothing could make her happy. Jared was refusing to talk to her, and Ever was avoiding sitting at their lunch table. Mina kept staring at the clock on the wall in first period, always wondering how many minutes would pass before Stiltskin came for her. Could it be weeks? Months? Days? The Godmothers made it very clear that the magic of a deal in blood could very well be stronger than the power of her Grimoire, so she needed a Plan B. Another way to beat him if he came for her, ’cause she obviously had no way to cross over.

Someone called her name, and she came out of her daydream to stare into Brody’s worried eyes.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Hey, I’m sorry about our triple date and—”

She held up a hand to stop him. “Please…don’t mention it...really.”

“We could try again, maybe this next Friday,” he said hopefully.

“Uh, no, thanks. I think the trio has dissolved,” she said, referring to their very empty lunch table the day before. Jared and Ever had been absent, and Mina didn’t think she could sit by Nan and Brody for one more day without them.

The bell rang, and she darted from her chair and out into the hall, then headed to the music room, deciding it was better to get a detention for skipping a class so she could talk to Constance, er, Mrs. Colbert, in between classes. She followed a bunch of girls she didn’t know into the choir room and decided to stick close to a tall brunette with hair down her back and a smattering of freckles across her pert nose. She wore a light blue shirt with a pink elephant on it.

She was listening to music on her iPod and was quietly humming to herself. Mina watched her stretch to her tiptoes multiple times while waiting in line, the sign of a dedicated dancer practicing at every opportune moment. She popped out an earbud, and Mina could hear the faint sounds of country music playing before the girl turned off her iPod and put it away. The line had moved, and it was their time to get music. The brunette picked up a music binder, and turned and handed one to Mina as well. She knew she had picked the right girl to shadow.

“Hi,” the girl said softly. “First time in choir?”

“Yes, and after Mrs. Colbert hears me sing, it will probably be my last,” Mina joked.

The girl laughed. It was soft and melodic. “I’m Melissa.”

“Mina.”

“Are you an alto or soprano?”

“Uh…what are you?” Mina asked.

“Soprano.”

“Me, too,” Mina lied.

“Then you can come sit by me and Bekah. We’ll help you blend, and we’ll poke you if you go off key,” Melissa teased.

Mina followed Melissa to the second row and hesitated. She didn’t want to sit this close to the front of the class. She would have rather have sat in the back, but someone filed in behind her, and Mina was forced to keep moving.

Melissa pointed to the girls on either side of them. “That’s Julianne, Makaylee, and, of course, Bekah.” Each girl waved when she heard her name mentioned and smiled.

“Are you going to audition for the musical?” Makaylee asked.

“Musical?”

“Mrs. Colbert always picks a fairy tale. Last year it was Princess and the Pea, the year before, Rapunzel. I wonder what it will be this year?” Bekah wondered.

“I hope it’s not Red Riding Hood,” Julianne answered.

“Uh, definitely not.”

“I’m sure there’s a kissing scene.” Melissa shuddered. “You never know who would get cast as the prince, and that could be very awkward.”

All the girls nodded in unison, but there was a wishful look behind their eyes.

Mrs. Colbert walked into class and took her place behind the piano. She called out to the class and began to do warm-ups. Mina was altogether shocked by the voice that came out of the Fae teacher. Constance wasn’t kidding when she said she was a muse. She could really sing, and it was obvious that the Fae loved singing. Her face lit up with joy, and she didn’t notice the extra student sitting in on her class.

Music binders opened, and Mina watched Melissa’s carefully to see what page they turned to and tried her best to hide behind the music. They were working on a piece from Phantom of the Opera, and Mina stopped singing to stare at Melissa. The teen girl had closed her eyes and was hitting every one of the notes with ease. Mina was slightly envious and tried to follow along, but her voice cracked, betraying that she was indeed an alto. Melissa opened her eyes and made a poking motion with her finger. Then she smiled widely and winked.

Mina found herself smiling back and thinking how she could see Melissa and Nan being great friends. Halfway into the second song, Mrs. Colbert finally noticed the new addition to her class. She froze for a second and then recovered beautifully. She raised an eyebrow in question at Mina but continued with the rest of class. She ended early and gave the final instructions about the auditions.

“You’ve heard that our musical has been announced. This year we are doing Cinderella. Auditions will be in three weeks after school in the main auditorium. Please come prepared with a solo piece to perform. That is all.”

Since the class ended early, Mina had hoped the students would all disappear from the room, but that wasn’t the case. With the excitement of the announcement of the musical, everyone wanted to stay and talk.

Mina excused herself and squeezed out of the row, and left the girls talking excitedly about the play.

“What are you doing here?” Mrs. Colbert asked, a forced smile on her face. “Is something wrong?”

“No, not really. It’s just that a lot has happened since the other night. Jared destroyed the seam ripper, he’s not talking to me anymore, and I haven’t jumped or whatever in my sleep. I don’t know what to do.”

Mrs. Colbert took off her blue wing-tipped glasses and her glamour faded a little, making her look like the muse Constance more than ever. “Mina, listen to your heart. When the time is right, you’ll know what to do.”

“No, I don’t. I’m too close. I can’t find my way, and Jared’s not helping me.”

The students continued talking amongst themselves, and Mrs. Colbert sat on her piano bench and motioned to the music in front of her.

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