Chapter no 48

Once Upon a Broken Heart

It was dusk when the potion was done. Jacks was still sprawled across the sofa as if he hadn’t slept in years.

“Jacks.” She rocked his shoulder, but when he moved his golden head, it was only to burrow deeper into his pillow. She jostled him one more time. She thought he’d be awake by now. But maybe he needed the rest—she didn’t think he’d slept at all the night that she’d been poisoned. He must have been exhausted even before the mausoleum.

And perhaps it was better for her that he took his rest. Evangeline doubted he would be enthusiastic about her plan.

She already knew he wouldn’t want her to go back to Wolf Hall, and he probably wouldn’t trust her potion either. Although she was quite proud of her work. For the earth, she’d scraped the dirt from her boots. For the water, she’d taken snow from outside and let it melt. The crushed bones of the dead had been a tricky. She hadn’t discovered any skeletons inside Jacks’s office, but she had found a dead spider. For the blood, she’d contemplated borrowing a few drops from Jacks, as he was clearly more magical. But Jacks was so far from honest Evangeline wondered if his magic blood might do more harm than good. She’d decided her blood would have to suffice. It worked well enough to undo locks; hopefully, it would help undo spells.

After that, she’d poured her concoction into one of the remaining bottles of Fortuna’s Fantastically Flavored Water, hoping the drink would be as

enticing to Tiberius as it had been to her. Then she wrapped the bottle up in paper.

Dear Jacks,

If you wake up and I’m not here, do not fret. Unless it’s well past dawn, then I may be in trouble. I think I know who the killer is! I fear it’s Marisol after all. (For motive, look at the scandal sheet, which you’ve been using as a poor substitute for a blanket .) I’ve gone to Wolf Hall to save Tiberius from marrying her and to hopefully clear my own name.

—Little Fox


All she needed to do now was write Jacks a note.

Evangeline didn’t know why she signed her name that way. She felt a little silly as soon as it was done. But she didn’t want to waste time rewriting it.

Maybe if she were very lucky, Jacks would never see the note. If everything went her way, she’d get in and out of Wolf Hall before Jacks even woke up. Evangeline almost laughed at the idea of everything going her way. But there was a chance that it would happen.

She kept her plan simple.

She would enter Wolf Hall via the same hidden passages she’d snuck out through to meet Jacks. Then she’d leave her love potion antidote in Tiberius’s chambers, where he would be sure to find it and with any luck be compelled to drink.

If the antidote worked, Tiberius would be cured, and Marisol’s duplicity would be revealed to him as it had been to Luc.

If the antidote didn’t work, it would prove Marisol was innocent, but the killer would still be out there.

And if Evangeline got caught delivering the antidote, then the killer would never be found—because she’d be blamed for the murder.

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