Chapter no 47

Once Upon a Broken Heart

Evangeline knew Jacks would be unhappy with her going through his mail, but he was asleep and she couldn’t stop. It was like drinking from the bottles of flavored water, except the only magic at play was her curiosity about Jacks.

The letters, sadly, did not give her any indication as to what Jacks wanted from the Valory Arch, but they did confirm that this was Jacks’s place of business. Most of the correspondents asked him for favors or meetings. So many people were far too eager to become indebted to him, just as she had once been.

She’d never really thought of Jacks as someone who worked, exactly. His office appeared that way as well, with its disorganized bookshelves and mismatched chairs. But after spending time with him, Evangeline knew Jacks was not as reckless or careless as he led people to believe. He was a calculated collector. She’d seen him cash in favors from two different Fates

—Chaos and Poison—and the letters on this desk held promises of even more. It would have been easy to get derailed from her search for a book containing a love potion cure to see what sorts of things Jacks took from people. And she may have briefly paused to rifle through his desk a little more—he would have undoubtedly had no compunction about looking through her things. But all she found were some ugly coins, a blue silk ribbon, some recent scandal sheets about her wedding, and, of course, apples. Then she was back to the bookshelves, hunting for a tome with a love spell antidote.

Most of Jacks’s books were crookedly stacked and next to volumes without any apparent reason, except for a small collection of the last book she’d have expected to find here: The Ballad of the Archer and the Fox.

Something warmed inside of her at the sight of so many copies of her favorite storybook.

Jacks owned seven volumes, ranging from old to very old. Positioned more precisely than anything else in his den, they sat side by side, on the tip-top of the shelf, the sort of place where a person stored books they didn’t want anyone else touching.

What was all this about?

She wished Jacks were awake so that she could ask him, but he hadn’t moved from his position on the sofa, where his limbs were recklessly sprawled, making him look unmanageable even in his sleep.

Evangeline reached for the first volume—she knew she was being distracted. But all she wanted was to look at the last page and see what sort of ending the story had. She wanted to know if it had a happy ending—if the Archer kissed his Fox girl or if he killed her. And maybe seeing all these books felt like a sign. She was starting to think that sometimes she imagined things were signs when they weren’t. But that didn’t mean there were not actual signs.

She opened the first book, but the pages in the back were all ripped out. And unfortunately, she did not have better luck with any of the other volumes. Every copy fought her. One book kept falling from her hands every time she tried to open it. Another book only had blank pages at the end.

Finally, she reached the seventh copy. Her fingers tingled as she lifted the cover.

This book opened easily, and it was the perfect example of a person finding what they needed instead of what they wanted.

The Ballad of the Archer and the Fox was printed on the spine, but when Evangeline opened the book, the title page said: Recipes of the Ancient North: Translated for the First Time in Five Hundred Years.

It was the same title as Marisol’s illicit spell book.

The table of contents only listed recipes. And the first few entries were all made with innocuous ingredients like turnips, potatoes, and celery. But about a dozen pages later, the recipes turned to spells and potions and magic, and some of it did sound just as horrible as LaLa and Jacks had claimed.

Evangeline furiously flipped past spells to summon hellfire and to drain a person’s soul until she found one section on love.

For Finding Love For Ending Love

For Turning Someone into Your One True Love


The first two spells weren’t any help, but the third spell looked as if it might be useful.

For Turning Someone into Your One True Love

Warning: Love spells and potions are among the most volatile and unpredictable. If you choose to proceed, please note all cautions below.

You will need:

A vial of malefic oil*

Hair, tears, sweat, or blood—your own and that of the person you desire most† A candle dyed the color of the love that you wish for

Spoonful of sugared rose Pinch of cardamom

Sprinkle of orris root powder Pure glass bowl

* The substitution of other oils is not recommended. Although difficult to procure, malefic oil is the best way to ensure that your love potion will work only on the person you desire most. However, be very careful. In its raw form, malefic oil is extremely toxic.

† Hair is the easiest to obtain and therefore will produce the mildest results. For the

most potent outcome, blood is recommended. However, when it comes to spells involving love, this book would encourage the use of milder ingredients. Extremely potent love potions can result in dangerous and highly volatile emotions.

‡ The purest red will result in a feeling closest to love. Pink will produce something more akin to mild affection. Dark purple will result in obsession and is not recommended.

Combine all ingredients in bowl, set above candle aflame, say the name of the object of your desire seven times, then let the flame burn through the night.

To use: Once the solution is complete, use your fingers to brush the mixture against the skin of the object of your desire. Just a touch is needed.

Warning! There is a cost to every spell. The intensity of the love will determine the intensity of the cost, which may range from rain on your wedding day to a deeply marred happily ever after.

To undo spell: Love spells and potions rarely reverse on their own, though the people who cast powerful ones often come to regret their choices. If you wish to undo a love spell, this book recommends Serum for Truths (recipe on page 186).


Evangeline could not flip to page 186 fast enough. Not only had the love potion mentioned malefic oil, it said one side effect was ruined wedding days. More evidence of Marisol’s guilt.

Evangeline might have been to blame for Marisol’s first failed wedding, but Jacks had sworn repeatedly the wolf attack that had prevented the second attempt had never been his doing, and Evangeline was finally inclined to believe him. Luc’s attack must have been the cost of Marisol’s love spell.

Evangeline looked once again at Jacks, negligently draped across the sofa as he slept, and she wondered if there were other things she’d been wrong about as well.

But there’d be time to ask him later. Right now, the only thing she needed to do was brew the cure mentioned in her book.

Serum for Truths

Truth is often bitter, particularly when a person has been tasting more enjoyable lies. To remedy, you will need to erase the sweet taste of falsehood.


Recommended ingredients:

Crushed bones of the dead or charred dragon skin An honest pinch of earth

A handful of pure water

Seven drops of blood from a magical vein

Mix all ingredients over a fire made of young kindling for best results.

Warning! There is a cost to every spell. More truths than people want are often revealed. Additional effects of Serum for Truths are usually temporary, and they may include fatigue, impaired decision-making and judgment, dizziness, the inability to tell a lie, and the urge to reveal any unspoken truths.

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