A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) - Sarah J. Maas
I vomited into the toilet, hugging the cool sides, trying to contain the sounds of my retching.
Moonlight leaked into the massive marble bathing room, providing the only illumination as I was quietly, thoroughly sick.
Tamlin hadn’t stirred as I’d jolted awake. And when I hadn’t been able to tell the darkness of my chamber from the endless night of Amarantha’s dungeons, when the cold sweat coating me felt like the blood of those faeries, I’d hurtled for the bathing room.
I’d been here for fifteen minutes now, waiting for the retching to subside, for the lingering tremors to spread apart and fade, like ripples in a pool.
Panting, I braced myself over the bowl, counting each breath.
Only a nightmare. One of many, asleep and waking, that haunted me these days.
It had been three months since Under the Mountain. Three months of adjusting to my immortal body, to a world struggling to piece itself together after Amarantha had fractured it apart.
I focused on my breathing—in through my nose, out through my mouth. Over and over.
When it seemed like I was done heaving, I eased from the toilet—but didn’t go far. Just to the adjacent wall, near the cracked window, where I could see the night sky, where the breeze could caress my sticky face. I leaned my head against the wall, flattening my hands against the chill marble floor. Real.
This was real. I had survived; I’d made it out.
Unless it was a dream—just a fever-dream in Amarantha’s dungeons, and I’d awaken back in that cell, and—
I curled my knees to my chest. Real. Real.
I mouthed the words.
I kept mouthing them until I could loosen my grip on my legs and lift my head. Pain splintered through my hands—
I’d somehow curled them into fists so tight my nails were close to puncturing my skin.
Immortal strength—more a curse than a gift. I’d dented and folded every piece of silverware I’d touched for three days upon returning here, had tripped over my longer, faster legs so often that Alis had removed any irreplaceable valuables from my rooms (she’d been particularly grumpy about me knocking over a table with an eight-hundred-year-old vase), and had shattered not one, not two, but five glass doors merely by accidentally closing them too hard.
Sighing through my nose, I unfolded my fingers.
My right hand was plain, smooth. Perfectly Fae.
I tilted my left hand over, the whorls of dark ink coating my fingers, my wrist, my forearm all the way to the elbow, soaking up the darkness of the room. The eye etched into the center of my palm seemed to watch me, calm and cunning as a cat, its slitted pupil wider than it’d been earlier that day. As if it adjusted to the light, as any ordinary eye would.
I scowled at it.
At whoever might be watching through that tattoo.
I hadn’t heard from Rhys in the three months I’d been here. Not a whisper. I hadn’t dared ask Tamlin, or Lucien, or anyone—lest it’d somehow summon the High Lord of the Night Court, somehow remind him of the fool’s bargain I’d struck Under the Mountain: one week with him every month in exchange for his saving me from the brink of death.
But even if Rhys had miraculously forgotten, I never could. Nor could Tamlin, Lucien, or anyone else. Not with the tattoo.
Even if Rhys, at the end … even if he hadn’t been exactly an enemy.
To Tamlin, yes. To every other court out there, yes. So few went over the borders of the Night Court and lived to tell. No one really knew what existed in the northernmost part of Prythian.
Mountains and darkness and stars and death.
But I hadn’t felt like Rhysand’s enemy the last time I’d spoken to him, in the hours after Amarantha’s defeat. I’d told no one about that meeting, what he’d said to me, what I’d confessed to him.
Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.
I squeezed my fingers into a fist, blocking out that eye, the tattoo. I uncoiled to my feet, and flushed the toilet before padding to the sink to rinse out my mouth, then wash my face.
I wished I felt nothing.
I wished my human heart had been changed with the rest of me, made into immortal marble. Instead of the shredded bit of blackness that it now was, leaking its ichor into me.
Tamlin remained asleep as I crept back into my darkened bedroom, his naked body sprawled across the mattress. For a moment, I just admired the powerful muscles