Nathan Grier returns from the Veil a changed man. The consequences of his time with Malak, the dark sidhe king, and the deal made to free him may be more than he can bear.
The weakening of the Veil and new enemies foretell of a greater battle still ahead. With Nathan’s brother Jim now an Awakened changeling, and Nathan’s role in Malak’s plans finally revealed, Nathan’s love for fae hunter and incubus Sasha Kelly may not be enough to save him after all.
“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha tried to say calmly, inching closer with hands held up in seeming surrender. Jim did the same.
Nathan knew he had to be a pitiable sight with that weakly held knife, but he’d use it, damn it, he would. Somehow he’d use it.
His back hit the corner of the room.
“Playing that game?” Nathan scoffed. “I know better. You haven’t been them in ... in so long, I ... I don’t even remember. I don’t remember ...”
“Nathan,” Jim pleaded, moving closer with one hand outstretched. He looked so strange to Nathan, almost believable with those dark blue eyes so caring, so concerned. “I can’t imagine what it must have been like, but it’s over. You’re not in the Veil anymore. We got you out. You’re safe. With us.”
“Please believe us, Nathan,” Sasha said. “Just look at us.” He gestured to himself; to Jim. Sasha too looked so normal, so honest and how Nathan remembered him. “It’s really us. You’re safe, Nathan. Please recognize us ...”
He recognized them. But it had to be a trick. Another damn trick like all the others.
“I gave you what you wanted,” Nathan said again. He was so cold. Nothing looked right. Nothing felt right. He couldn’t understand why this was happening when he had finally given in.
“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha said more firmly, like maybe Nathan just couldn’t hear them.
“Malak took you and we’re so sorry,” Jim said. “We wish we could have gotten you out sooner, but you have to know us. Please tell me you still know us ...”
“Malak ...?” Nathan glared at the false images before him, knife still held firm, warning them not to get closer. “It had nothing to do with that, you know that, you know. I didn’t ... I didn’t go to the Veil.”
Jim and Sasha stopped their progression toward him, their eyes wide and disbelieving. They shared a pained look, not knowing what to say until finally Jim spoke, slow and gentle.
“Nathan, don’t you remember? Malak said killing the spriggan instead of banishing it broke the deal. That’s why we couldn’t win, why we couldn’t save you. You went to the Veil, Nathan. You’ve been in the Veil. But you’re out now. I don’t know what Malak did to you there, but we got you out.”
It almost made sense, as if a second reality were trying to push into Nathan’s mind: memories of what Jim was saying, memories he knew weren’t fabrications, and yet ... how could he remember things happening two different ways?
The Veil? Had that been the Veil? To him it had felt like life.