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Page 47

“She did terrible things to Jace and Clary—”

“Maybe they just didn’t know how to deal with her properly.” His blue-green eyes glittered. “The Queen only cares about the Queen. She isn’t interested in causing pain for the sake of causing it. She just wants what she wants. If you remember that, you can deal with her.”

“But why did we ever have to—”

“Look, it was obvious we couldn’t trust Dearborn from the beginning. This isn’t just a secret mission like Clary and Jace’s. He brought us to Brocelind alone. He sent us through the door to Faerie without anyone else there. Horace Dearborn is not on our side,” Julian said. “He thinks we’re enemies. Downworlder-lovers. Sure, he thinks we can get the Black Volume back for him—but he planned for us to die doing it. What do you think happens, Emma, when we go home if we don’t have it? In fact, how do you think we even get back—do you really feel like we can trust some guy standing at Bram’s Crossroads on Horace’s orders?”

She’d been so caught up in anger at Julian she hadn’t stopped to think about how they might get home from Faerie. “Dane said it wasn’t just him,” she said. “Do you think he meant there’ll be someone waiting at Bram’s Crossroads to kill us?”

“There could be someone waiting around every corner to kill us,” Julian said. “Dane was an idiot—he came for us too fast, before we had the real book. But they may not all be. Our lives are in danger here every second. If we have a deal with the Queen, we’re under her protection.”

“We need an ally,” Emma said. “And she’s weird and opportunistic and terrible but better than nothing. That’s what you’re saying?”

“Every plan involves risk,” Julian said. “Not going to the Queen was a risk. Strategy is choosing between the risks—there is no safe way, Emma, not for us. Not since the minute Horace called us into his office.”

“And if we return with the real Black Volume, he’ll just kill us and take it,” said Emma. “That was his plan anyway.”

“No,” Julian said. “That was his plan when he thought he was controlling how we returned. If we decide how and where we return, we can walk into any Council meeting and present the Black Volume, bravely rescued from our faerie foes. Horace thought he could get rid of us easily because we were in disgrace. It’ll be much harder to do if we return in triumph.”

“Fine,” she said. “I get what you think we’re doing. I don’t know if I agree about working with the Queen, but at least I understand. But you know what would have been better? If you’d included me in the part where you chose what risk we were going to take.”

“I didn’t see the point,” he said. “You would have worried, and for what?”

Emma felt tears burn behind her eyes. “This isn’t you. You’d never say that.”

Julian’s eyes flashed. “You know I’ve always done whatever needed to be done to keep us safe. I thought you understood that about me.”

“This is different. Remember—Julian, remember what Dane said, that you were the kind of guy who would have a girl for a parabatai?” She knelt up on the bed, raising her chin to look him directly in the eye. “That’s what I always loved about you, even before I was in love with you. You never thought for a second about it diminishing you to have a girl as your warrior partner, you never acted as if I was anything less than your complete equal. You never for a moment made me feel like I had to be weak for you to be strong.”

He looked away. Emma pressed on:

“You knew we were always stronger together. You’ve always treated me as though my opinion matters. You’ve always respected my ability to make decisions for myself. But you’re not acting like that now. It’s not some small thing that you lied to me, Julian, it’s a betrayal of everything we swore in our parabatai ceremony. It’s one thing for you to not want to treat me like your girlfriend, but it’s entirely another for you to not treat me like your parabatai.”

Julian crawled onto the bed beside her. “This isn’t what I planned,” he said. “I was concerned that you’d refuse to go to the Seelie Court, and I was just trying to move fast.” The shimmer of the waterfall altered, and Julian’s hair was dark again, his lashes making shadows against his cheeks. “I had no idea you’d be so upset about—everything.”

“Of course you had no idea.” Having Julian this close made her nerves feel like they were jumping inside her skin. They were both kneeling, facing each other; he was so close she could have reached out and put her arms around him without even needing to lean forward. “You have no idea because you have no feelings. Because you turned off all your emotions, not just about me, but about everything”—about Livvy, even about Livvy—“and that’s going to come back and bite you in the end.”

“I don’t,” he said.

“You don’t what?”

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