♥ Excerpt ♥
Fable And Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 3
Mina stopped and parted the long weeping willow’s branches, and could see the rose resting against Jared’s black boot. Wait…not
Teague reached down to pick up the rose and brought it to his nose to breathe in its scent. His hair was a lighter shade of brown than Jared’s, and his eyes were a deep blue, while Jared’s were a haunting gray. They both had similar angular jaws and drop-deadgorgeous looks. Teague once again was dressed in black, and Mina had a mind to joke about whether he was going to a funeral, but he was, so the words died on her lips before she even spoke them. Instead, she glared at him and held out her hand, demanding the rose without saying a word.
Teague’s eyes widened and looked her over, never once dropping his Cheshire Cat smile. “I only came to pay my respects.”
“What respect? You don’t respect me or my family. Otherwise, your kind never would have cursed us.”
“You’re wrong—it’s always wise to respect your enemies.”
“Well, I don’t respect you.”
“You should, Mina. Do you see what happens when you ignore your duty—when you ignore me?” He pointed to Charlie’s grave, and his voice became threatening. “I don’t like to be ignored, and now you have one less distraction in your life, so you can focus more of your time on me.”
Teague’s words confirmed her worst fears. Her actions had led Teague to strike out against her family and kill her brother. Her stomach dropped, bile rose in her throat, and every inch of her was sick with the guilt his words layered on her. It was her fault, and she knew it. But she couldn’t show him how weak she was, and how much his words had affected her. She had one more person to protect: her mother, and she would not be negligent again.
“You’re not welcome here. So please leave.” Mina snatched the rose out of Teague’s hand and felt a sting in her palm. She winced in pain but refused to acknowledge it.
Teague reached for her hand, and Mina let him open up her palm to inspect her wound from the thorn. She was still reeling, and her whole body shook with anger. Teague leaned forward and blew on the small cut in her palm, and it healed itself. She ripped her hand from his grasp and took two steps away from him, almost falling on the ground. She needed to keep better control of herself.
She needed Jared.
“How is my dear brother?” he asked, as if reading her mind.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
His eyes darkened. “We are not exactly on speaking terms.”
“It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you keep trying to kill me, would it?”
“Now, sweet Mina, our fight goes back long before you were born. But you can’t hold it against me that I’m only doing my job. I’m supposed to throw quests your way, and you are supposed to try to stop me. It’s as simple as that. I can’t help it if we have a casualty or so in the process. That’s what makes the stories so good.” He smirked. “That’s what makes them popular. That’s what makes me powerful.” He was so close to her now that he ran the back of his finger across her cheek, and she flinched and smacked it away.
“I see that you are as disgusting as ever.”
“I see that you’re getting your fight back. You know, Mina, out of all the Grimms over the years who died at the hands of my fables, you are by far my favorite to toy with. I wonder why that is?” he asked, appearing to ponder the question.
“Maybe because you picked the wrong girl to mess with.”
“I don’t think so. I’ve finally found the perfect Grimm. I think you will be the most challenging. Which means your ending, the tale that finishes you off, will make us both famous.”
Mina’s lip trembled, and she steeled herself to not show fear. She stood her ground and looked Teague right in the eye. “A thousand sweet words can never disguise the rattle of a viper about to strike. I will not drop my guard ever again. And I will end this curse…by doing whatever…or killing whoever…I have to.”
Teague’s face turned furious, and his lips pressed into an angry thin line. “Then be prepared, my dear Mina, for you won’t be able to ignore this next tale. I’ve made sure of that.” He stepped away from her. A crack of thunder rattled the earth and she jumped, turning in surprise. A second later, pouring rain followed, soaking everyone within minutes. Mina turned back toward Teague, but he was gone.
2013 © Chanda Hahn