Malice in Wonderland Online - H. P. Mallory

ONE

There have been only a handful of moments in my life where I've been struck speechless.

And this was one of those moments. Why? Because Christina Sabbiondo, a woman who was involved in the illegal potions trade, had also just informed me that she was also the head of The Resistance. As you can probably deduce from the group's title, The Resistance existed to do just that—resist potion trafficking from The Netherworld and, more pointedly, resist the tyranny of the Head of the Netherworld.

Coincidentally, the Head of the Netherworld also happens to be my father. Lucky me.

"What?" I managed to blurt out, shaking my head as I wondered if maybe I'd just hallucinated the last three hours of my life. I mean, in the past one hundred eighty minutes, I'd managed to foil my father's attempts to introduce an incredibly addictive and even more easily spread narcotic into my neighborhood, I'd nearly been raped by a Titan, only to watch my very recently ex-boyfriend put a bullet through said Titan's forehead. As romantic as that might sound, my ex-boyfriend then arrested me because I was working for my father; (I'm really not a bad person—I was forced into it); and after an exhaustive conversation where I tried to prove my innocence, and he tried to prove my guilt, I found myself behind bars. Then, just like that, Ms. Sabbiondo walked back into my life, professing my innocence, and now here I was.

Christina smiled broadly, her doe-like, brown eyes dancing with merriment—as if she'd been dying to tell me all along that she never really was one of the baddies—that she and I were playing on the same team. And I had to admit that somewhere inside myself, I was rejoicing. Why? Because I always liked Christina. Not only was she a fellow Jeep owner, but she was also one of a select number of fairies (just like me), so how could I not like her?

"Dulcie, I'm on your side," she said, the smile dropping from her lips as she took my hand and faced me earnestly.

"But," I started, still not understanding how that could be, my brain not functioning on all eight cylinders. "But how did you ... You worked for my father for six years!"

She nodded. "Yes I did, but that isn't to say that I was happy working for him. The Resistance has been a long time coming, Dulcie. It just took a while for people to realize we couldn't continue living under your father's iron rule. It took us five years to develop The Resistance, to organize ourselves and devise a way out of everything your father envisioned, as well as everything he stands for." She paused to take a deep breath and I was suddenly overcome with feelings of admiration for her. It couldn't have been easy to form The Resistance, and its success spoke of her own personal strength. "It's been a long and difficult five years, Dulcie, but we are stronger than ever before and fully ready to fight."

I gulped, wondering how long it was going to take me to process all of this. "And my father has no idea that you've been involved in The Resistance all along," I continued, amazed that she'd been able to keep her double life from my father, Melchior O'Neil, while working in such close proximity with him. If nothing else, my father was a shrewd businessman and careful, well, as far as I could tell anyway. Apparently he wasn't careful enough.

"I imagine he's got a pretty good idea about where my loyalty lies now," she said and that pretty smile returned to her lips. Yep, right about now Daddy Dearest had to be waking up to the fact that not only did his daughter thwart his nefarious plans to introduce the illegal potion Draoidheil onto the streets of Splendor, Moon, Haven, and Estuary, but was helped by his pet, Christina. Right about now my father had to be suffering a very rude awakening.

I heard the sound of someone clearing his throat and remembered that Knight was standing beside (well, more like towering over) Christina, a witness to everything that had just passed between us. Knightley Vander, aka very recently ex-boyfriend, was also part of The Resistance and as far as I could tell, he was now doing a damned good job of resisting the idea that I was anything but guilty of potions smuggling. His eyes were burning with ire, and the normally beautiful blue of his irises was