Books by Jennifer L. Armentroutde Vincent SeriesMoonlight Sins: A de Vincent Novel (January 30, 2018)Wicked TrilogyWickedTornBraveThe Prince: A Wicked Novella (August 14, 2018)The Titan Series(New Adult Paranormal)The PowerThe ReturnThe StruggleCovenant Series(Full series completed—Young Adult SentinelLux Series(Full series completed—Young Adult Oblivion (Daemon’s POV of Obsidian)The Dark Elements(Full series completed—Young Adult Paranormal)Bitter Sweet LoveWhite Hot KissStone Cold TouchEvery Last BreathStandalone Titles:The Problem with Forever(Young Adult contemporary)
Don't Look Back(Young Adult romantic suspense)Cursed(Young Adult paranormal)Obsession(Adult spin-off the Lux Series)Frigid(New Adult Contemporary Romance)Scorched(New Adult Contemporary Romance)Unchained(Adult Paranormal Romance)The Dead List(Young Adult contemporary)Till Death(Adult Contemporary Romance)If There’s No Tomorrow(Young Adult contemporary)Wait for You Series(Read in any order, as standalones. Contemporary New Adult)Wait for YouTrust In Me (Cam's POV of Wait for You)Be With MeBelieve in Me (short story in the anthology Fifty Firsts)Stay With MeFall With MeForever With YouFire In YouThe Gamble Brothers Series(Full series complete- Adult Contemporary Romance)Tempting the Best ManTempting the PlayerTempting the BodyguardFor details about current and upcoming titles fromJennifer L. Armentrout,please visit www.jenniferlarmentrout.com
BravePublished by Jennifer L. ArmentroutCopyright 2017 by Jennifer L. ArmentroutAll rights reservedLicense NotesThis ebook is an original work of fiction, licensed for your personal enjoyment only. Except aspermitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the priorwritten permission of the publisher. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living ordead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataBrave/Jennifer L. Armentrout—First editionISBN 978-1-947591-71-4 (E-book)Cover Design by Regina Wamba, Mae I Design All rights reserved.Formatting by Christine Borgford, Type A Formatting
ContentsBooks by Jennifer L. ArmentroutBRAVEChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30Chapter 31Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34
Chapter 35The Prince A Wicked NovellaAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout
Chapter 1The room was so dark I couldn’t make out anything beyond the faint, silverymoonlight seeping between the crack in the thick curtains. The air was still andstale.But I knew I wasn’t alone.I was never alone here.Straining forward, I peered into the darkness. The cool metal of the collar bitinto my neck as I willed my heart to slow down, but the pounding against myribs increased until pressure clamped down on my chest.I can’t breathe.I can’t breathe in this—Something moved closer to the bed.I didn’t see anything, but I felt the slight stirring of air. My heart lurched intomy throat as every muscle in my body tensed. There. A shadow blotted out thethin strip of moonlight.He was here.Oh God, he was here and there was no way out of this. There was nothing Icould do. This was my future, my fate.My swollen stomach ached as I shifted, pressing my back against theheadboard. The chain jerked suddenly, throwing me to the side. My hands flewout. I grabbed onto the bed, but it was no use. A scream erupted, quickly lost inthe shadows of the room. Yanked forward, I was dragged across the bed, towardhim. Toward the—My eyes flew open as I jackknifed upward and over, nearly tumbling off thebed. I caught myself at the last moment, dragging in mouthfuls of air—fresh airthat was slightly scented and reminded me of autumns in the north.Immediately, I pushed the mess of curls out of my face and scanned theroom, stopping at the window. The curtains were pulled back, just as I’d leftthem before I’d gone to sleep. Moonlight streamed in, flowing over the smallcouch and sitting area. The surroundings and the smell were familiar. Sweetrelief pounded through my veins at the sight of them.But I had to be sure that what I’d just experienced had been a nightmare andnot my reality. That I wasn’t still held captive by the Prince, who was hell-benton impregnating me to fulfill some unbelievable prophecy that would throwopen all the doorways to the Otherworld.
Slowly, I placed my hand on my stomach.Definitely not swollen.Definitely not pregnant.So that meant I was definitely not in that house with the Prince.I lifted a shaky hand, dragging it through my hair. It was just a nightmare—astupid nightmare. At some point I had to get used to them. I would eventuallystop waking up in a panic.I had to.My stomach churned, gnawing at me as I took a deep, even breath. Hungry. Iwas hungry, but I could ignore the hunger, because ignoring the burningemptiness in my gut had worked so far.Exhaling roughly, I dropped my hands to the bed and swallowed hard. I waswide awake now. Just like the night before . . . and the night before that.Behind me, the bed shifted and then a deep, sleepy voice rasped out, “Ivy?”Muscles in my back locked up. I didn’t look behind me as I wrestled my legsfree from the blanket. Heat crept into my cheeks. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean towake you.”“Don’t apologize.” The sleep cleared from his voice and the bed moved oncemore, and I knew without looking that Ren was sitting up. “Is everything okay?”“Yeah.” I cleared my throat. He’d asked me that a million times. Iseverything okay? And the second most popular question—are you okay? “Yes. Ijust . . . woke up.”A moment passed. “I thought I heard you scream.”Dammit.The warmth creeping along my face intensified. “I . . . I don’t think that wasme.”He didn’t immediately respond. “Were you having a nightmare?”I was sure he already knew the answer to that, which meant it should’ve beeneasy to admit. Plus, a nightmare was no big deal. Hell, Ren of all people wouldunderstand if I was experiencing a side order of PTSD to go along with the maindish of Things Were Kind of Screwed Up Right Now. Especially since he’d alsospent some R&R time with the Prince and his merry band of psychotic fae.But for some reason I couldn’t admit to him that I was having nightmares,that sometimes when I woke up I thought I was still in that house, chained to abed.Ren thought I was brave, and I was brave, but in moments like these, I . . . Ididn’t feel very brave at all.“I was just sleeping,” I whispered, letting out a shallow breath. “You shouldgo back to sleep. You have stuff to do tomorrow.”
Ren was leaving what I was now calling Hotel Good Fae to see if he couldhelp locate the super special Crystal. Originally, this Crystal belonged to theGood Fae—the Summer fae. The Order had taken it from them and then Val hadstolen it from the Order, and now the Prince had it. Without the Crystal, wecouldn’t lock the Prince back up in the Otherworld.“Ivy. Sweetness.” Ren’s voice softened as he placed a hand on my arm. Thecontact shook me. “Talk to me.”“I’m talking to you.” I pulled away, slipping off the bed. The minute my feethit the floor, I started moving. The gnawing emptiness in my stomach grew. “Ithink I’m going to go work out.”“At three in the morning?” He sounded incredulous, and I couldn’t blamehim for that. Working out in the middle of the night did seem odd.“Yeah. Feeling restless.” Laying back down next to Ren right now, when mystomach felt the way that it did and with my head where it was, wasn’t an option.Faye’s words from the night she helped me escape the Prince took theopportune moment to cycle through my thoughts. And if you keep feeding you’regoing to get addicted. You probably already are.Ren knew about the feedings, about the fact that I might’ve killed someone,but he didn’t blame me. He even believed that I wouldn’t hurt him. That Iwouldn’t cave to the part of me that had awakened while being held captive—thepart of me that was fae and now knew how to feed and how it could make mefeel.And how easy it was.Ren trusted in me, but I didn’t.I couldn’t afford belief right now, because I would never, ever forgive myselfif I hurt Ren like I knew I’d hurt others. My mouth dried up as my hands openedand closed uselessly.“Ivy?”Realizing I’d got lost in my head, I blinked rapidly and refocused. “Have youseen the gym they have in the basement? It’s motivating even me to get on atreadmill.”Of course he’d seen the gym.Ren didn’t have the body he had without getting all up, close and personalwith the inside of a gym.“Instead of going to the gym at three in the morning, why don’t you comeback to bed?” he asked. “We can watch some shows. Pretty sure you’ve missedsome episodes of The Walking Dead.”I had missed a lot of episodes of my favorite zombie show, which sucked,because every time I saw Tink, he was seconds away from spoiling everything.
The same with Supernatural.A sweet, almost bitter wave of yearning sucker punched me in the stomach,temporarily overriding the shadows lingering in the back of my mind. I wantedto dive-bomb back into that bed, cuddle up with Ren, and fall asleep in his arms,listening to Rick Grimes turn back into the Rick-tator we all know and love.That would be the normal thing to do, and God knows I wanted normal so badly,for so long.It was why I had enrolled in college even though I already had a career. Well,did have a career in the Order. Who knew now? But I longed to know what itwas like to wake up and go to school or work without worrying about dying onthe job or discovering that my coworkers had been killed. Normal meant goingout to restaurants and the movies. Staying in and marathoning shows withoutworrying at the possible, impending end of the world. Normal meant that mybest friend hadn’t ended up being a traitorous bitch and dying because of heractions and choices.Normal was so underrated.The bedside lamp flipped on without warning. Light flooded the room,reaching to where I stood. Some bizarre instinct roared to life. I didn’t knowwhy, but I didn’t want to be seen right now. I backed away from the light, but themoment my gaze met those leaf-green eyes, I froze.Ren Owens was . . . goodness, he was beautiful in a wild sort of way. Hereminded me of autumns in northern Virginia, all golden and copper. His hairwas a tumbling russet mess, falling over his forehead and begging to be brushedback. Thick, heavy lashes I was admittedly envious of framed his stunning eyes.His cheekbones were broad and they were matched by a hard, chiseled jaw.Ren’s nose was crooked, and somehow that added to the beauty of his face. Hehad a lush pair of lips that were usually tilted in a grin, and when he smiled,there were matching, deep dimples.Those corners were straight now, forming a somber line, and there weredefinitely no dimples.Before everything with the Prince happened, Ren had slept shirtless or nudeand we hadn’t been able to keep our hands off each other. Seriously. Even whenwe were injured with our bodies aching, we couldn’t ignore the chemistrysparking between us. But since I came back—since we were reunited—he worea shirt to bed, along with boxers or sleep pants.All we’d done was kiss.Three times to be exact, and they were chaste, sweet kisses that tasted of adeeper, restrained need.I think the nightmares were why Ren was sleeping in clothes, because those
nightmares started the first night and had occurred every night after that.And those nightmares felt like premonitions. A warning of what was tocome, and I couldn’t shake that feeling, not even when the sun rose and I wassurrounded by people who hadn’t given up on me—who cared enough to goback into hell and drag me out.I suppressed a shudder.“Please.” He extended a hand toward me. My eyes tracked up the vibrantvines tattooed onto his arm that disappeared under the white shirt he wore.“Come back to me and stay with me.”My breath caught around the expanding knot in my throat. I wanted to bethere with him. Desperately. But I . . . I needed space and I needed . . . I don’tknow what I needed. I just couldn’t be here.“Maybe later,” I said, finally moving. I made my way to the small dresserwhere some of my clothes had been stashed away. Guilt crawled up my throatlike bile. “If you’re still awake when I get back, we can watch something.”“You didn’t come back last night.”I pulled out a pair of leggings. “I wasn’t able to fall back asleep, so I didn’twant to bother you.”“You know you’re never a bother to me. Ever.” There was a pause. “And Ididn’t go back to sleep. I waited for you.” The kind of patience I didn’t have kepthis voice level. “I can go with you to the gym. Just give me—”Whipping around, I saw that he already had his legs off the bed. “No!”Ren froze, his eyes widening slightly. “No?”I clenched the pants in my hands. “I mean, I don’t want you to get up andfeel like you have to keep me company. I’ve already woke you. You should goback to sleep.”His shoulders rose on a deep breath. “It’s not a big deal. I can go with you.”He stood, lifting his arms above his head and stretching. “We can have a race onthe treadmills.” He dropped his arms. “Whoever loses has to go to the kitchenand steal the box of beignets they have shipped in every morning.”My heart was pounding as he took a step toward me and then another. Theroom wasn’t very large, so it took no time for him to be right in front of me.“I just need to get changed. Or I could go like this? What do you think?” heteased with a small grin. “Might not be