Torn (A Wicked Trilogy Book 2)(3)

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

“You said the prince tasted your blood, right?” Tink asked. “After you two fought?”

My nose wrinkled. “Yeah. I mean, I’m pretty sure he did after he . . . smelled me.”

“Then there is nowhere you can go that he cannot find you.”

I opened my mouth, closed it, and then tried again. “Come again?”

Tink zipped down to the bedspread. “He will be able to sense you anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you went to Zimbabwe, and I’m not even sure where Zimbabwe is, but I just like saying Zimbabwe, but he’d find you eventually, because you’re now a part of him.”

I couldn’t even think for a moment, couldn’t even form a coherent thought that did not involve what in the actual fuck. “Are you for real?”

Tink nodded and plopped down cross-legged beside my arm. He lowered his voice as if he’d be overheard. “When an ancient, like the prince, takes a part of someone into them, he is forever connected to that person. You’re bonded, in a way.”

“Oh my God.” Unable to deal, I placed my hands over my face. A new horror surfaced. “Then he knows where I am right now?”

“Most definitely.”

“And he’ll know everywhere I go.” Holy crap, I couldn’t even process the implications. My mere presence would be putting everyone in danger. But what I didn’t understand was, if the prince could sniff me out like some kind of halfling bloodhound, then why hadn’t he showed yet? It had been a week since we fought. What was he waiting for?

“It’s really creepy, isn’t it?” Tink said.

Creepy wasn’t even the word for it. I couldn’t think of an appropriate word for all of that. “Do you know how to kill him?”

“You kill him like you would kill any ancient. You cut off his head, but that’s not going to be easy.”

No shit. Taking out normal fae wasn’t particularly easy. Stabbing them with an iron stake only sent them back to the Otherworld. Chopping off their heads killed them.

“But that’s not the most important thing.” Tink grabbed my right hand. My wrist had stopped throbbing, another sure sign that the prince had truly patched up some of the damage he’d inflicted upon me. I eyed the brownie. “You cannot let anyone know what you are.”

“Gee. Really? I was thinking about updating my Facebook to halfling status.”

He cocked his blondish-white head to the side. “You don’t have a Facebook, Ivy.”

I sighed.

Tink continued, because of course. “I looked for you. Wanted to add you as my friend so I could poke you, and I know people don’t poke anymore, but I think poking is a great way to express how one—”

“I know I can’t tell anyone, but what’s stopping the fae from outing me?” I asked.

“The fae will know if you’re outed, because the Order would kill you.” He said this like we were talking about Harry Potter, and not about me, you know, being put down like a rabid dog. “The prince won’t want to risk that, even if there are other female halflings out there. He won’t want to risk the time it would take to find another one.”

“Well, I guess that’s one good thing,” I said dryly.

He let go of my hand. “You can’t even tell Ren. Especially not him.”

My gaze shifted to Tink.

“I know what he is. I overheard you two talking the morning you left to guard the gate. He’s an Elite, and while I think that is as lame of a name as the Order, I’ve heard of them.”

“How have you heard of them?”

He buzzed down until he was standing next to my head. He bent over, whispering in my ear, “I’m omnipresent.”

“What?” I frowned at him. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

He straightened. “It makes perfect sense.”

“I think you mean omniscient.”

He glanced up at the ceiling. “Huh.”

“You’re not omniscient,” I told him, and then said, “Are you?”

Tink grinned devilishly. “No.”

Annoyance flared. “I need you to be up front with me. No more lies. No more bullshit, Tink. I’m serious. I need to be able to trust you, and I’m not sure I do right now.”