Torn (A Wicked Trilogy Book 2)

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Chapter One

My blood, red as a freshly picked rose, bubbled up from the center of my palm like my hand was some kind of volcano of freaking doom.

I was the halfling.

It had been me—it had always been me. And Ren—oh my God—Ren was here to find and kill me, because the prince of the mother freaking Otherworld was free in the mortal realm. The Prince was here to knock up a halfling, to make an apocalypse baby . . . with me.


I was going to vomit.

Like all over the hardwood floors of my bedroom.

I was having trouble breathing as I lifted my gaze. “Why? Why didn’t you tell me?”

Tink’s gossamer wings fluttered silently as he drifted closer. The damn brownie. The damn brownie I’d found in Saint Louis Cemetery. The brownie I’d made a Popsicle leg brace for and whose torn wing I had carefully wrapped gauze around. The damn brownie I let live in my apartment for the last two and a half years and hadn’t killed yet for spending a fortune of my money on Amazon like he belonged on an episode of Hoarders. The damn brownie was about to get punt kicked into another dimension.

He clasped his hands together in front of his shirt, which was covered with powdered sugar. Sprinkles of white covered his face like he’d face-planted into a pile of coke.

“I didn’t think it would ever come to this,” he said.

I lifted my hand, feeling wet warmth cascade down my arm. “Well, it did come to this, like right now.”

Tink floated to the left. “I thought we’d closed all the gates, Ivy. We had no idea there was a second gate here. We believed that there was no chance of any of the royal court or the prince or princess coming through. It was a non-issue.”

Lowering my hand, I shook my head. “Guess what, Tink. It’s not a non-issue. It’s a huge, Godzilla-sized issue!”

“I can see that now.” He flew over to the bed and landed on my comforter. “I never meant to lie to you.”

I frowned as I turned around. “I hate to break it to you, Tink, but if you don’t mean to lie to someone, you simply don’t lie to them.”

“I knooow.” He drew the word out as he walked to the edge of the bed, his bare feet digging into the purple, chenille bedspread and most likely spreading powdered sugar everywhere. “But you wouldn’t have believed me if I had told you, would you? Not like I had a thorn stake lying around.”

Okay. He had a point there. “But when I first brought it up to you, you could’ve said something.”

Tink lowered his chin.

I took a deep breath. “Did you know what I was when you saw me?”

“Yes,” he said, and continued in a rush, “but it wasn’t on purpose. You finding me was a fluke. A coincidence. Or it was fate. I like to think it was our destiny.”

“You can stop there.” It hurt, knowing that he hadn’t been upfront with me this entire time, and it burned deep in my gut and chest. I didn’t know who he was.

I didn’t know who I was anymore.

“I didn’t know until you got near and I sensed the weak fae blood in you. But you’re right. I should’ve told you, Ivy-divy. You’re right, but I was afraid . . . I was afraid of what you’d do.” Tink suddenly threw himself backward onto the bedspread, little arms and legs spread out. “I didn’t want to upset you, because you helped me out, and I didn’t want you to do something rash if I did tell you.”

“What could I have done?” A ball of emotion knotted in my throat. “What can I do?”

He raised limp noodle arms. “You could’ve, I don’t know, hurt yourself.”

My mouth dropped open, causing me to wince as the bruised and swollen skin along the left side of my face pulled taut. Hurt myself? I looked down at the thorn stake lying on the floor. “No,” I whispered, bending down and picking up the stake. Using my shirt, I wiped the blood off the tip. “I don’t want to die.”

“That’s good to hear.” Tink was sitting up, arms still at his sides.

I placed the stake on the dresser, next to my iron ones and the daggers. “I wouldn’t hurt myself, Tink.”

“But you would try to leave.” Tink was closer, in the air behind me.