Cursed By Destiny Page 27

“Uh-oh,” Emme whimpered. “Liam looks angry.”

No. Liam looked ready to devour a T. rex.

My shoulders drooped. I wished my pissed-off werewolf was waiting for me. Especially after learning of his potential to go beast for life, I was eager to make sure he was safe.

Bren and Danny ambled next to the wolves and waited. Bren rubbed his scruffy beard, the way he often did when he was worried. Danny fidgeted back and forth, eyeing the other wolves while they continued to prowl. Behind them idled the Hummer limo with the familiar BYTEME plates. Either Misha hadn’t stepped out yet or he was still mad at me and hadn’t bothered coming.

“Shit, Ceel. Gem’s super pissed. Do you think you can carry me off the plane so I can appeal to his sympathetic side?” Taran asked.

Shayna glanced nervously toward Koda. “Yeah, dude. Carry us, too, while you’re at it.”

What made things worse was that the recovering vamps were hauled out on stretchers first. By the time it was our turn to exit, the wolves were out of their minds. I carried Taran just as she had requested and her little plan worked. Gemini rushed to us. The anger vanished from his face and he immediately lifted her from my arms. “Taran, honey, are you okay?”

“She’s just tired,” I answered, calmly. “There were several women at the nest. She had to gather sunlight born of magic to free them.”

Gemini shook his head and stepped away from me. “You shouldn’t have gone without me,” he said quietly.

Taran wrapped her arms around his neck. “I’m sorry, love.”

One down, two to go.

Emme poked her head out of the plane. Liam scowled, but his ferocity was no match for her cuteness. She gave him one of the sweetest smiles in her arsenal and threw in a blush for good measure. If that wasn’t bad enough, she wrinkled her nose at him in that way that drove him wild. Liam watched her as she timidly made her way down the steps until the wait became too much for him. He raced up to meet her when she was halfway down and greeted her with a kiss. “Angel, I was so worried about you. Don’t ever do that to me again!”

Liam slipped his arm around her and escorted her down the steps. “I’m so sorry I scared you, Lee. I hope you can forgive me.”

It was pretty damn obvious she was already forgiven and I tried not to smile. Koda wouldn’t be so easily swayed. Shayna moved down the steps slowly. When she stood before him, he was red with fury.

“Puppy, I—”

“Don’t you ‘puppy’ me! Do you have any idea what you’ve put me through? What you put all of us through?” Shayna didn’t say anything. Anyone with half a brain could tell Koda hated yelling at her, but his fear had turned to fury. He then turned to me and growled. “And where were you? You’re the responsible one. Why the hell did you let them tag along? It’s bad enough you’re involved in all this shit—now we have to worry about the rest of them, too?”

Gemini and Liam both turned on me and glowered, completely taking Koda’s side. What the hell? I shoved my hands on my hips and glared back at them. “Do you guys honestly think I didn’t try to talk them out of it? I even tried calling you, but your girlfriend snatched the phone out of my hands and froze me in place, Liam.” I pointed at Gemini. “And your girlfriend gagged me with some kind of spell, used my voice as her own, and then knocked me out.”

I paced back and forth where the wolves had lined up. Their scowls had softened. That didn’t mean I’d forgiven them. In fact, I let them have it. “All I know is you guys better grow a few pairs and take back some control before I revoke your man cards. What kind of lupines are you anyway? You let these tiny girls walk all over you.” Okay, maybe that was a little much. But it was kind of hilarious to see their reactions. Their faces flushed slightly and they failed to meet my gaze. Take that, Guardians of the Earth.

Bren laughed out loud. “Celia’s got a point. Damn. You poor, dumb pricks are whipped!”

My stupid rant eased some of the tension, but not enough. Koda remained upset. He pulled away when Shayna tried to touch his arm.

“Puppy, don’t—don’t push me away like that,” she said.

Koda relented at the sight of her glistening tears. “Shayna, you are my mate. Running off like that is not okay. I almost lost you once. I can’t go through that again.”

“Koda, I go through the same thing every time you and the others leave to hunt the Tribe. I want to help, too.” She glanced back at me. “And I wanted to help my sister. The Tribe’s after her. A witch and a newly born demon child knew her by name.”

I suddenly had more attention than I could handle. Danny turned to Gemini. “If a newborn knows Celia by name, that means hell’s familiar with her, too.”

Gemini didn’t blink. “I’m not surprised. The Tribemasters themselves are linked to damnation.” He nodded slowly as he thought matters through. “Which further verifies they’re the ones who seek to kill her.”

Emme clasped Liam’s wrist. “Could someone also be sending them her way? That’s what Celia thinks.”

Liam’s boyish features darkened with a pinch of fear and a cupful of pissed-off. “Hell itself could be commanding the Tribe to annihilate her, Emme.”

My tigress poked at me irritably, to make sure I was listening. Yup. No worries. Heard that one loud and clear.

Koda’s jaw crunched. His tumultuous brown eyes met mine briefly before returning to Shayna. “The Alliance knows Celia’s been under fire. As Aric’s mate, we owe it to him to keep her safe, and we will. No matter what seeks to harm her.”

Koda’s reference to me as Aric’s mate hurt like a punch to my chest. I still refused to believe. After all, weres didn’t abandon their mates. The bond was supposedly too strong. I stared hard at the ground when the wolves collectively murmured their vows to protect me. The next moment or two of silence seemed like a lifetime as I worked through my drove of emotions—pain at Aric’s mention, worry for my future, fury at those who sought me. I was grateful when Koda shifted his attention back to Shayna.

He lifted her chin with his fingertip. “As for you, you know I leave you only because I have to. I have abilities you don’t. I’ve been trained to kill. You haven’t. I can risk more and still be okay. You can’t.” His thick brows furrowed upon catching the grin spreading across her pixie face. “Why are you smiling?”

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