Fairest (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #2) - Chapter 48
Jared smiled more, as if a giant weight had been lifted from his shoulders, or more likely secrets. He seemed happy, content that the Grimoire was back with Mina, but what that really entailed, she wasn’t sure. She had been reluctant to question his duties as the servant of the Grimoire.
He took a bite out of his burger and smiled at Mina. She felt her heart speed up a little bit and her cheeks reddened when she remembered how he had held her hand and comforted her. Ever saw the interlude and interrupted the moment by telling a joke. Mina looked over and saw Brody watching her again, and she felt her stomach drop. She couldn’t do this anymore. She picked up her tray, disposed of the food in the garbage, and left the school cafeteria, leaving Jared behind. She reached into her jacket pocket and touched the leather-bound Grimoire and felt it grow warm at her touch. Mina knew that she was never fully alone.
It wasn’t until later that night, when she sat alone atop her roof on her lawn chair that she was finally able to rest and think about last week’s events. She had found another small gnome statue at the thrift store and had decided to add it to her growing collection. She thought Sir Nomer needed company, especially of the female variety. She set the girl gnome statue that she had named Princess Nomita next to Sir Nomer. She couldn’t help but laugh at their jovial positions.
“What a trivial pastime,” a male voice taunted her.
Mina’s lips turned up slyly as she spun around with a quick comeback, ready to assault Jared with a nasty remark. Except that it wasn’t Jared who walked around studying her retreat.
He was remarkably handsome like Jared and similar in many ways. He was tall, slender, and his hair had a slightly lighter tone and he wore all black. But his clothes looked like they were centuries out of date. When he turned to look Mina square in the face, she knew it couldn’t be Jared.
The person standing in front of her wearing a self-righteous smirk had dark blue eyes while Jared’s were a stormy grey. Immediately, Mina knew who she was dealing with, and her temper began to rise in barely-controlled hatred.
“What, no hello?” He smiled smugly, raising his hands in a welcoming manner.
“You are not welcome here,” Mina threatened.
“Ah, so I take it you know who I am.” His blue eyes became darker, and his smile fell from his lips.
“Yes, you must be Teague,” Mina’s words were clipped and controlled. “You are the one to blame for everything.” She slowly reached toward her pocket of her jacket and the Grimoire. Teague saw her deliberate movement and grabbed her wrist painfully.
“Ah! Let’s leave my little brother out of this for the moment. What I have to say is between you and me.” She glared at him in defiance when she refused to flinch from the pain. He smiled at her strength and then released his grip on her wrist. “So you overheard my mother call me Teague, but do you know I am also called by a different name?” he taunted.
Her lips curled up in a knowing smile. “I know. I looked it up at the library. Teague has many meanings, but the most common is Storyteller or, in your case, Story.” She watched as Teague’s eyebrows rose in surprise. She had caught him off guard.
“Very good. I’m impressed; it seems I may have underestimated you. You are the very first Grimm ever to figure out our secret.” He raised his hand slowly and brushed his knuckles down the side of Mina’s cheek. Her skin crawled from the contact.
He chuckled. “So do you like my parting gift? I thought it would be nice to give you what you wanted for once. You had been so miserable the last few weeks when I erased your friends’ memories. I was tired of watching you mope around all pathetic. I thought you would like this ending better. Your best friend and boyfriend get to live happily ever after.” He was extremely pleased with himself and smiled widely.
Bile rose up in Mina’s throat at Teague’s obvious machinations to try and break her and to use her friends for his games.
“It’s fine,” Mina taunted back. Stepping forward, she pushed into Teague’s chest. He moved back a few steps. “I, too know how to play this game, and I am getting better at it.” She began to chuckle, and the smile dropped from Teague’s handsome face.
“What?” he asked worriedly. “What is so funny?”
“Nothing,” she answered back coyly. “It’s just so much easier knowing that it is you that I have to overcome not some magical book that exists in the Fae world. Because if your situation is as similar to Jared’s, and I believe it is, then your existence is bound to a book as well. So, in other words, if you die, I kill the Story, which means, bye-bye quests, and bye-bye curse.” Mina walked over to the rooftop and grabbed a spade she used to transfer her potted plant.
All of the color drained from Teague’s face as Mina spelled out his secret. She kept adjusting the handle of the spade in her hand testing its weight.
“You wouldn’t dare!” he joked nervously. “The Fates would send more Reapers after you. In fact, all of the Fae would try and kill you.” He backed up and tripped backward over Mina’s lawn chair, breaking it. Teague fumbled with the plastic furniture and finally freed himself from it.
“Tell me something new. They’ve been manipulating our original bargain and hunting my family down for hundreds of years. But nobody has ever tried to bring the fight to them. That is all going to change, starting now.” She had advanced upon Teague and swiped at his midriff with the spade. He jumped back and fled to the other side of the roof. “This Grimm will no longer follow the rules.”
“You don’t know what you would be doing. You would be declaring war!” He looked scared, but not because of Mina’s spade. He was scared at what she was proposing.
“Then prepare for war, Story.” Mina took the spade and began to drag it across the roof, scratching out a very definite line in the cement. “The lines of battle have been drawn. Tell your King and Queen to send their best because this tale is about to be rewritten.”