Fable Page 46

The Fae book was definitely filled with the same stories as hers, but this one was filled with picture after picture of Jared. She couldn’t help but flip backward a few pages and see magical images come to life: of Jared defending her in an alley. Sitting in art class with Mina, spinning on the pottery wheel. There was another one of Jared by the lake, teaching her to fight. Jared and her in the storage room, laughing, before their tickling fight. She flipped forward and saw the last page filled with a motion-captured image of Jared and her sharing a kiss.

“What is this?” There was something terribly wrong, a feeling deep in the pit of her stomach that this wasn’t right. It wasn’t the same as the pictures in her Grimoire.

“Use the Fae book and finish the quest, Mina. Or I’ll kill Jared.”

“Mina, don’t do it. Just take your brother and run,” Jared hissed as his brother squeezed more tightly around his throat.

“I can’t get back, Jared. I never figured out how to get back on my own.”

Jared’s gaze flickered down to his pocket, and one hand slowly reached down to pull something out of it. It was small and silver, and it fit in the palm of his hand. “I had to go to the old biddies and have them fix it, but it’s yours. It should have always been yours.” He flung the seam ripper as hard as he could toward Mina, and he screamed as Teague pulled the knife out at the same time. Jared collapsed on the ground, holding his side, and slowly his fingers turned red with blood.

The seam ripper came to rest by her boot. Charlie picked it up in his hands and stood protectively by Mina’s side.

“Now you have no choice, Mina. Use the Fae book, or Jared will die…here…right now.”

“Okay!” She spun around in anger and lifted the book high into the air above her. She flipped open a black page, and turned it toward the golden body of Temple and the snake. Nothing happened. “Why aren’t you working?”

Teague turned to her, his arms opening wide; he dropped the knife onto the floor and smiled widely. “Because that is not the quest I’ve set up for you. You need to use it on me—on us.” He started to spin widely in a circle. “I’ve waited hundreds of years, brother, for this moment. To finally have you and a Grimm in the same place, and now I’ve done it. The other Grimms didn’t entice you enough to come back to our world. But you never expected me to pick a girl, did you? And one that you would fall in love with.”

Mina stared at them and felt numb. Teague wanted Jared. It was always about Jared. He manipulated Temple to steal her brother, knowing Mina would come here, and eventually Jared would follow. It was a trap, and she was the bait, and now Jared was going to die because of her.

“Miiinna, Miiinna. You’re wasting valuable time. He’s dying, Mina, and it’s all your fault. Just complete this final tale, and you can save him.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, he’s my brother, my other half, and I want what is best for him. I’ve always wanted what is best for him. But what kind of hero are you if you can’t even save the one you love? You do love him, Mina, don’t you? I’m sure in that small, confused, easily swayed human heart, there beats some love for this Fae.”

“But the book, it could…what if it..?”

“The books have been a part of us for so long, it won’t hurt us. I promise. It’s the only thing that can heal us.” Teague held his hand out to her. “We’ve been torn apart for so long, you are the only one who can truly heal us.”

Her heart started to race, and she gripped the pages of the book so hard she could feel them wrinkle in her fingers. She was angry, angry at being tricked, angry at being used. But she wouldn’t let her own feelings get in the way of saving Jared’s life. She at least owed that to him.

Mina pulled all of the magic in the room toward her and let it flood her. She was furious and she wanted Teague to pay, but she wanted Jared to live more. She felt a guttural scream rip forth, and she forced all of the power through her and into the book. She flipped open the book to a blank page and turned it on Teague.

He was so sure it was the only way to save Jared, and she didn’t have any other choice. Jared had stopped moving on the floor.

A bright light burst forth from the book and shot straight into Teague’s heart, while another beam of light poured into Jared’s dying form on the ground. They both began to glow brighter and brighter. Teague began to laugh maniacally, his body slowly raised off the floor until he was floating in the air. Jared’s unconscious body lifted into the air and floated next to Teague’s. Mina could see the wound on Jared’s abdomen slowly start to heal itself. Teague was right. The book was healing them and not entrapping them within its pages.

She began to have hope and kept pouring every ounce of power she could into directing the book. She didn’t know what she was supposed to be doing, but obviously the Fae book did.

Jared groaned and opened his eyes. When he saw himself floating in the air and the beam of light going into his heart, he began to struggle and yell. “NOOOO, noo!”

It was only then that she questioned her choice. Teague had lied.

“Mina!” Jared cried out, and reached for her.

She dropped the book, but it never hit the floor. It continued to float and send vivid beams of light and power into the two brothers. But then something began to happen. The brothers began to be drawn closer together, and the light grew brighter and brighter. Threads of power wrapped around them, binding them, and then both Jared and Teague converged into one.

A retinue of guards rushed into the ballroom, followed by the Fates, the royal King and Queen. Queen Maeve screamed out No before falling to the ground in a faint.

A loud noise filled the room, and threads of magic lashed out in every direction, knocking anyone who was standing to the ground. It took Mina a few seconds to gather her thoughts, for she was blinded and couldn’t hear. She looked to the middle of the blast area where Jared and Teague were last. She could only see one body, and it was lying prone on the floor. The body moved and groaned, and Mina knew it was Jared.

Chapter 27

Mina ran to the body on the floor and flipped Jared over, and wrapped her arms around him.

“You’re okay. You’re alive,” she whispered, and ran her hands over his face. Jared’s eyes fluttered open, and she sat back on her heels in shock. The young man before her was Jared. It had Jared’s hair, face, body, but the eyes were wrong. They weren’t gray, they were blue—like Teague’s.

“What, no kiss?” he sneered, and pushed her hand away in disgust. He sat up and looked around the room, and began to laugh.

Queen Maeve, her dark raven hair stunning against her white dress, looked even paler from the distress of what she had just witnessed. Even King Lucian appeared shocked at what had transpired. He held onto his beautiful wife and spoke quietly to the royal guards behind him.

Teague turned to the Queen and said, “Well, hello, Mother,” and laughed when she took a step back from him in fright.

What had she done? Mina felt a hand pull against her arm and looked at a stricken Charlie. He kept pointing and dragging her away. She followed her brother to the other side of the room and couldn’t help but feel that she had just done the worst thing imaginable. She had destroyed Jared. Yes, he was now alive, but that person, that thing across the room was not her Jared.

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