Cursed By Destiny Page 2

My mouth went dry. This was a problem. When it came to fighting, I’d take on anyone, anytime, anywhere. When it came to males, I changed into the superhero of dorks—a big ol’ “D” blazed across my chest and an army of pocket protector–worshipping fiends bowed at my feet. Any able-bodied female in my situation would have taken control and made Misha beg for pleasure. Where were these able-bodied females when I needed one?

I inched my way back, laughing a little too hysterically for my tastes. “You don’t really want to kiss my butt, do you? What will people think?”

A wicked smile spread slowly across his strong masculine face. As if on cue, a gust appeared despite the closed windows and fanned Misha’s long blond mane in perfect supermodel fashion. “Do I strike you as someone who cares what others think?”

I darted around, searching for the source of the breeze. My brows knitted tight. “Did you just do that on purpose?” The gleam in his “come hither and do naughty things to me” expression confirmed my suspicions. My gulp dissolved my frown. I’d already backed into the bamboo walls.

Misha continued to stalk toward me. His smoldering gray eyes accelerated my pulse, my forlorn female parts screamed to give in, and my hands itched to take my clothes off. Thank God, my mind still functioned reasonably. “Misha, under no circumstances will your tongue or lips touch my backside.”

He placed his palms on either side of my head and regarded me with growing desire. “As you wish.”

My shoulders slumped with relief . . . until I realized I hadn’t been specific enough. Misha grabbed the two fingers of my right hand and placed them in his hot mouth, instantly spiking my body temperature ten degrees. I was so distracted that I didn’t notice him yank my yoga pants down to my ankles. By some lingerie miracle, my thong remained in place. He pulled my delighted fingers out of his mouth and smoothed them over my remaining marks. I swallowed hard while he held my gaze. My body was literally shaking with need. No man had touched me like that since Aric . . .

Aric.

I jumped out of Misha’s grasp, only to land on my face and scramble away like a damn epileptic inchworm.

Misha sighed when I managed to stand and yank up my pants. “Kitten, why must you make things so difficult?”

“Misha, I don’t want this. I told you that before I moved in.”

Misha leaned against the wall and quirked an eyebrow. “It didn’t appear that way a moment ago.”

My hands dropped to my sides in frustration. “I know, and I’m sorry. But I can’t stay here if this is what you’ll expect of me. You promised you’d keep your hands to yourself.”

Misha pushed himself off the wall and, in a blink, faced me. “I promised to make you the perfect weapon, one that could help us defeat the Tribe.” He licked his lips and focused on mine. “I also promised not to do more than you would allow between us.”

“There is no us, Misha. I can’t allow our relationship to go further.”

Misha flashed me another wicked grin before he gave me his usual line. “We’ll see.”

He offered me his arm. I knew then he was backing off, so I let him lead me out of the dojang. “Come. Our reservations are for seven.”

Snow crunched beneath my sneakers. Normally the slate walkway to the main house was kept meticulously clean, but a light dusting of snow had blanketed the stone during our time in the scrimmage. The clouds cleared and the trees parted, revealing the sparkle of a thousand stars in the beautiful Tahoe sky.

We moved quickly, passing through the main garden. Come late spring, Misha’s caretaker would painstakingly tend to the flowers and the stone waterfalls that emptied into a beautiful carp-filled lagoon. For now, the garden was mostly quiet, only the faint trickle of running water whispering from the melting ice.

The night was lovely, but carried a “your boobies are going to snap off” kind of cold. My inner golden tigress usually kept me warm yet even she couldn’t compete with the chill in the air, especially in my skimpy workout clothes.

Misha slipped an arm around my shoulders when I shuddered. Whoever said vampires were ice-cold had it all wrong. Misha was the supernatural equivalent of the Snuggie. “I better snag my coat from the guesthouse.”

Misha tightened his hold, preventing me from veering toward my quarters. “Your coat awaits you in my limo.” His hands rubbed against my toned arms. “It would please me if you ate more than your fill this evening. You have grown too thin.”

Which was the reason he’d consented to taking me to the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in South Tahoe. “My weight remains the same, Misha. It’s just shifted a little.”

“Your tone is too defined. You’ve lost too much body fat and your br**sts are considerably smaller.”

I crossed my arms over my chest. “What the hell are you doing looking at my br**sts?” I grimaced when Misha chuckled. “Never mind.”

Misha was right. My muscles were more pronounced than when I’d merely exercised for fun. But then, sculpting my body to fight for the newly formed Alliance was now my career. I shuddered again, this time not from the cold. I’d never relished destroying anything or anyone . . . until I discovered the monsters that feasted on innocents and basked in cruelty.

The Tribe had emerged without warning, pimp-slapping the supernatural world and demanding we fall at its proverbial and claw-hoofed feet. Led by demon lords, they recruited ostracized weres, witches, and vampires—freaks like me, who never quite belonged anywhere.

I could have called the Tribe a group of crazies and wouldn’t have been completely off the mark. The problem was, they were an effective group of wack-jobs seeking to give the demons a new world to overtake and loads of unsuspecting females to impregnate.

“What is it?” Misha asked.

My hatred for the Tribe had momentarily distracted me. I pushed away my anger and refocused on my favorite vampire. “Misha, I don’t want you to punish Edith and Agnes for biting me.”

The corners of Misha’s lips curved. He knew very well my thoughts hadn’t been on the good Catholics. Still, he didn’t push me. “Celia, they bit you after I specifically forbade it. I do not tolerate disobedience.”

I shrugged. “They just got carried away. I was pretty rough on them.”

“Why do you defend them?”

“They’re my friends.”

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