A Court of Mist and Fury Page 142

But I managed to say to my cousin, “Weren’t you listening to what Feyre said to him? She promised to destroy him—from within.”

Mor’s face paled, her magic flaring on Azriel’s chest. “She’s going into that house to take him down. To take them all down.”

I nodded. “She is now a spy—with a direct line to me. What the King of Hybern does, where he goes, what his plans are, she will know. And report back.”

For between us, faint and soft, hidden so none might find it … between us lay a whisper of color, and joy, of light and shadow—a whisper of her. Our bond.

“She’s your mate,” Amren bit at me. “Not your spy. Go get her.”

“She is my mate. And my spy,” I said too quietly. “And she is the High Lady of the Night Court.”

“What?” Mor whispered.

I caressed a mental finger down that bond now hidden deep, deep within us, and said, “If they had removed her other glove, they would have seen a second tattoo on her right arm. The twin to the other. Inked last night, when we crept out, found a priestess, and I swore her in as my High Lady.”

“Not—not consort,” Amren blurted, blinking. I hadn’t seen her surprised in … centuries.

“Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.” My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child-rearing. My queen.

As if in answer, a glimmer of love shuddered down the bond. I clamped down on the relief that threatened to shatter any calm I feigned having.

“You mean to tell me,” Mor breathed, “that my High Lady is now surrounded by enemies?” A lethal sort of calm crept over her tear-stained face.

“I mean to tell you,” I said, watching the blood clot on Cassian’s wings with Amren’s tending. Beneath Mor’s own hands, Azriel’s bleeding at last eased. Enough to keep them alive until the healer got here. “I mean to tell you,” I said again, my power building and rubbing itself against my skin, my bones, desperate to be unleashed upon the world, “that your High Lady made a sacrifice for her court—and we will move when the time is right.”

Perhaps Lucien being Elain’s mate would help—somehow. I’d find a way.

And then I’d assist my mate in ripping the Spring Court, Ianthe, those mortal queens, and the King of Hybern to shreds. Slowly.

“Until then?” Amren demanded. “What of the Cauldron—of the Book?”

“Until then,” I said, staring toward the door as if I might see her walk through it, laughing and vibrant and beautiful, “we go to war.”

CHAPTER

69

Feyre

Tamlin landed us in the gravel of the front drive.

I had forgotten how quiet it was here.

How small. Empty.

Spring bloomed—the air gentle and scented with roses.

Still lovely. But there were the front doors he’d sealed me behind. There was the window I’d banged on, trying to get out. A pretty, rose-covered prison.

But I smiled, head throbbing, and said through my tears, “I thought I’d never see it again.”

Tamlin was just staring at me, as if not quite believing it. “I thought you would never, either.”

And you sold us out—sold out every innocent in this land for that. All so you could have me back.

Love—love was a balm as much as it was a poison.

But it was love that burned in my chest. Right alongside the bond that the King of Hybern hadn’t so much as touched, because he hadn’t known how deep and far he’d have to delve to cleave it. To cleave me and Rhysand apart.

It had hurt—hurt like hell to have the bargain between us ended—and Rhys had done his job perfectly, his horror flawless. We had always been so good at playing together.

I had not doubted him, had not said anything but Yes when he’d taken me down to the temple the night before, and I’d sworn my vows. To him, to Velaris, to the Night Court.

And now … a gentle, loving stroke down that bond, concealed beneath that wasteland where the bargain had been. I sent a glimmer of feeling back down the line, wishing I could touch him, hold him, laugh with him.

But I kept those thoughts clear from my face. Kept anything but quiet relief from it as I leaned into Tamlin, sighing. “It feels—feels as if some of it was a dream, or a nightmare. But … But I remembered you. And when I saw you there today, I started clawing at it, fighting, because I knew it might be my only chance, and—”

“How did you break free of his control,” Lucien said flatly from behind us.

Tamlin gave him a warning growl.

I’d forgotten he was there. My sister’s mate. The Mother, I decided, did have a sense of humor. “I wanted it—I don’t know how. I just wanted to break free of him, so I did.”

We stared each other down, but Tamlin brushed a thumb over my shoulder. “Are—are you hurt?”

I tried not to bristle. I knew what he meant. That he thought Rhysand would do anything like that to anyone— “I—I don’t know,” I stammered. “I don’t … I don’t remember those things.”

Lucien’s metal eye narrowed, as if he could sense the lie.

But I looked up at Tamlin, and brushed my hand over his mouth. My bare, empty skin. “You’re real,” I said. “You freed me.”

It was an effort not to turn my hands into claws and rip out his eyes. Traitor—liar. Murderer.

“You freed yourself,” Tamlin breathed. He gestured to the house. “Rest—and then we’ll talk. I … need to find Ianthe. And make some things very, very clear.”

“I—I want to be a part of it this time,” I said, halting when he tried to herd me back into that beautiful prison. “No more … No more shutting me out. No more guards. Please. I have so much to tell you about them—bit and pieces, but … I can help. We can get my sisters back. Let me help.”

Help lead you in the wrong direction. Help bring you and your court to your knees, and take down Jurian and those conniving, traitorous queens. And then tear Ianthe into tiny, tiny pieces and bury them in a pit no one can find.

Tamlin scanned my face, and finally nodded. “We’ll start over. Do things differently. When you were gone, I realized … I’d been wrong. So wrong, Feyre. And I’m sorry.”

Too late. Too damned late. But I rested my head on his arm as he slipped it around me and led me toward the house. “It doesn’t matter. I’m home now.”

“Forever,” he promised.

“Forever,” I parroted, glancing behind—to where Lucien stood in the gravel drive.

His gaze on me. Face hard. As if he’d seen through every lie.

As if he knew of the second tattoo beneath my glove, and the glamour I now kept on it.

As if he knew that they had let a fox into a chicken coop—and he could do nothing.

Not unless he never wanted to see his mate—Elain—again.

I gave Lucien a sweet, sleepy smile. So our game began.

We hit the sweeping marble stairs to the front doors of the manor.

And so Tamlin unwittingly led the High Lady of the Night Court into the heart of his territory.

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