But they could arrest a human, and there was nothing the guys could do to stop it.

The only question now was whether the charges would include first- or second-degree murder.

I slumped in the uncomfortable metal chair, staring blankly at my damp, haggard reflection in the mirrored window across from me. The interrogation room looked just like those in movies, except the table was smaller. They’d even chained my handcuffs to the bars on the tabletop.

Justin sat on the second chair, massaging my shoulder with one hand. I’d almost burst into tears when he walked in. And by “almost,” I mean I’d wept like a baby for a solid five minutes.

Crumpling a tissue in my hand, I sniffed back the last of my meltdown and drew in a shaky breath. Squeezing my shoulder, Justin glowered at the mirrored window, then leaned close to my ear.

“Tori,” he whispered. “What happened?”

I dabbed my tear-streaked cheeks with the tissue, handcuffs clinking. “It’s all a mess.”

He flattened his lips into a severe line. “Did you really push a man off—no, don’t answer that. Wait for your lawyer.”

Did I have a lawyer? I hadn’t called one. Wasn’t I supposed to get a phone call? Maybe this wasn’t like the movies after all.

“This is bad, Tori,” Justin went on. “Four officers and two civilians swear they saw you chase a man to the lookout point and shove him over the railing. That’s a lot of witnesses with the exact same story.”

My hands clenched into painful fists. I said nothing.

He rubbed his forehead, and when he looked up again, anguished concern wasn’t the only emotion in his eyes. “The others found at the scene—there were three men, including an ‘Aaron Sinclair.’ That’s your boyfriend, isn’t it?”

Again, I said nothing. He didn’t need my confirmation.

Justin leaned even closer, voice dropping to the barest whisper. “He had a mythic ID.”

My gaze snapped up to his. He studied my expression, his mouth twisting.

“So you know.” He brooded for a long moment. “As soon as I heard your boyfriend is a mythic, I realized that attack in Chinatown was no coincidence. You knew what those people were.”

I bit my lip. “I didn’t know what to tell you. I didn’t know how much you knew.”

“I only know what my training has covered.” His eyes narrowed. “Seeing as you’re dating one of them, I expect you know more than I do. What were you thinking, Tori? Getting involved with them?”

He said “them” like he was talking about the mafia. I opened my mouth to protest, but he went on in a low growl.

“I thought you were smarter than this. Of all the things to get involved in—”

“Stop,” I hissed. “Just stop it, Justin. You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He glared at me. “I would … if you’d ever mentioned it. Why didn’t you tell me?”

As the hurt in his eyes overshadowed the anger, my shoulders hunched. I’d told so many lies recently that it had started to feel normal, but I hadn’t needed to lie to Justin. I could have shared my recent crazy experiences with him. He already knew magic and mythics existed. I’d had no good reason to deceive him.

“I … I didn’t think you’d understand.”

He looked away, his jaw tight. As the silence stretched, I questioned every decision I’d made in the last few weeks.

“You should have told me,” he muttered. “Maybe I could have prevented this … but now it’s too late.”

I sagged forward, too exhausted and emotionally spent to respond. This time, he didn’t speak. One hour dragged into two, then three. Justin shifted in his seat, as uncomfortable as I was. He could’ve left, but he didn’t. Even angry and betrayed, he stuck by my side.

Fighting through my shame, I took his hand in both of mine. He squeezed my fingers, holding tight, and grateful tears pricked my eyes. I blinked them back. All week, I’d been freaking out over MagiPol’s investigation as though getting kicked out of the mythic community was the worst thing that could happen to me. Instead, I’d ruined my life. What would prison be like? Not fun, I knew that much.

After what felt like fifty years, the door opened and an older cop stepped inside. “Officer Dawson.”

Justin released my hands and crossed to the older cop. They put their heads together, whispering.

“What?” Justin jerked back. “But they have no jurisdiction over—”

The older cop hissed something, then took Justin’s arm. My brother shot me a panicked look as the man drew him out of the room. The door snapped shut.

I stared at the mirrored window, too weary to panic. Llyrlethiad’s magic had done a number on me. I’d never felt this tired and worn out in my life. My head was too heavy to hold up. Breathing took conscious effort.

As I was contemplating taking a nap on the table, the door opened again. A female officer walked in, a set of keys in her hand, while a male officer lingered in the doorway.

The woman detached my handcuffs from the table. “Come with us, Miss Dawson.”

I dragged myself out of the chair, every muscle throbbing. “Where’re we going?”

“This way.”

I followed the pair into a sterile hallway. We didn’t go far—only a few doors down. The lady officer indicated I should go first, so I stepped into the room.

It was another interrogation room, smaller and without the one-way glass. And unlike the last one, two people were already seated behind the table, waiting for me. I blinked at the vaguely familiar man, trying to place him. The officers didn’t follow me in, and instead closed the door behind me.

“Take a seat, Miss Dawson,” the man said.

His voice was even more familiar than his face. I minced forward and sank into one of the two chairs facing the duo, cuffed hands resting awkwardly on my lap. His brown hair was buzzed short and hers was slicked back in a boring ponytail. They both wore black suits, like Hollywood FBI agents.

The man pulled a pair of dark-rimmed glasses from his pocket, unfolded them, and placed them precisely on his nose. He flipped open the brown folder in front of him.

“Victoria Dawson, goes by the name Tori. Twenty-one years old. Five-foot-seven, red hair, hazel eyes. Born in Peterborough, Ontario, to Michael and Carol Dawson.” He flipped the top page over. “You’ve fallen into unfortunate company, Miss Dawson.”

“Who are you?” I asked hoarsely.

He slid a finger down the page. “Tell me, Miss Dawson. When did you first learn about the Crow and Hammer guild?”

At the word “guild,” my tired brain put it together. All the air vanished from my lungs. Not FBI agents.

MPD agents.

These were the same two agents who’d gatecrashed the guild’s monthly meeting, tried to arrest Ezra, questioned half the guild, searched the premises, and stalked the guys in an attempt to unravel the mystery of who had helped them apprehend the River couple four weeks ago.

While I sat in stunned silence, the man—Agent Harris—adjusted his glasses. “It is in your best interest to speak, Miss Dawson.”

“Remaining silent will gain you nothing,” the woman added with all the emotion of a fax machine.

My mouth hung open. I closed it, silently panicking. “I want a lawyer.”

Agent Harris tsked softly. “You seem to be under the impression that we function like the human justice system. We most certainly do not. Lawyers have no role in our system, and the MPD is both prosecutor and judge. It is your responsibility to prove your innocence.”

He flipped to a new page in his folder, also full of typed notes. “Let me help you out, Miss Dawson. We already know you’ve been associating with the Crow and Hammer for at least three months. You’ve been present on the premises and involved with several of its members on a daily basis. You’ve inserted yourself into mythic investigations. You’ve obtained and used illegal artifacts—on your fellow humans, no less.”

“We’re also in the process of proving your association with the wanted rogue known as The Ghost,” the woman said, tacking it on like an afterthought.

“Tonight, you killed a man in front of four police officers. The fact he was a rogue mythic will mean nothing to the human courts.” Agent Harris leaned back in his seat. “However, if you cooperate, we’ll certainly put in a good word for you. Perhaps they’ll even believe you acted in self-defense.”

He wanted me to betray the Crow and Hammer for the slim chance I could avoid a murder charge. He wanted me to throw them all to the MagiPol wolves.

I bared my teeth. “Go to hell.”

Agent Harris snorted. “You fit in well with the Crow and Hammer mythics, I see. In that case—”

The door handle clacked and a breeze hit my back as the door was swung open with enthusiasm. I didn’t look, too busy glaring at the agents to see which cop was butting in on our—

The chair beside me pulled away from the table. “My apologies for being late.”

I knew that voice. Unable to believe my ears, I jerked toward the man settling into the seat beside me.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Darius, guild master of the Crow and Hammer, snuck me a wink as he dropped a thick folder on the tabletop. I gawked witlessly. Despite it being the middle of the damn night, his salt-and-pepper hair was neatly combed, his short beard was groomed, and his casual dress shirt and slacks were crisply ironed.