Cursed By Destiny Page 28

“I killed a Tribemaster.”

Okay, so not the way to calm a raging wolf.

Except for Shayna, we all took a few collective steps back. Way back. Growls belted out from Koda’s throat—loud enough to smack against my face. I didn’t know what he said, but I had a keen sense of swearwords in any language. And still Shayna grinned. Hands down the perfect example of beauty taking on the rabid, psycho, severely homicidal beast.

She clasped his arm. “It’s taking the nightmares away.” Koda froze, his eyes widening. Her slender fingers slipped from his bulging arms. “For the first time, I’m starting to deal with . . . what happened to me. I’m not completely over it, but I feel like I could get there.”

Koda’s large hands cupped her face carefully, his dark eyes filling with sorrow. “I just wish it hadn’t come at the expense of your safety. I wish I could’ve helped.”

“You did, Koda,” Shayna said softly. “I can heal now. By giving me some of your wolf’s essence, I’m able to mend my injuries . . . And now that I’m gaining my confidence back, I think it will also help my trauma.” Her grin widened. “Cool, huh?” Koda swept her into his arms and held her close. She nuzzled his neck. “Thank you . . . for loving me, and for saving me.”

I almost bumped into Bren’s wide chest when I stepped farther away from Shayna and Koda. He picked me up and planted a smooch on my cheek. “Did you get hurt, kid?”

I shrugged. “Crushed ankle—and I lost a few nails trying to gut the Tribemaster.”

Bren chuckled and scratched his scruffy beard. “Hey, that’s not so bad. It’s better than last time.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” I flashed him a small smirk. “We eliminated the nest and killed one of the Tribemasters.”

Danny squeezed my shoulder. “There were two?”

I nodded.

“Whoa. Congratulations. You did an incredible job.”

“I disagree. Celia allowed the other Tribemaster to escape, thereby ensuring he will continue to breed and carry on with his onslaught.” His Royal Prince of All Things Batty aka the Deflowerer of Prom Queens finally decided to emerge from the limo. His gray eyes flickered with annoyance.

Oh. Hell no.

The look on my face must have been classic—everyone gave us ample space. “Well, maybe if you’d gotten off your lazy, bloodsucking, womanizing ass and helped, he wouldn’t have gotten away!”

Misha’s vampires all gasped, right before they scattered like flies. No one had probably ever spoken to him that way. “What did you say?”

Bren and Danny stepped in front of me. I moved around them and stormed up to Misha. “You heard me, you Hugh Hefner wannabe. I’m in no mood for your crap. So unless you have something good to say, keep your fangs shut!” I turned back to my shell-shocked sisters and their laughing wolves. “I’ll call you later.”

I stomped toward his limo, making a hell of a lot of noise considering I wore UGGs. “There better be food in there!”

I wrenched the door opened. The sound of familiar laughter stopped me before I slipped inside. Aric waited near the road leading to the highway, leaning against his black Escalade. I hadn’t noticed his car in the darkness of the miserable morning. Yet I couldn’t help but notice how his tight washed-out jeans hugged his strong legs or how his black leather jacket broadened his wide chest. He’d been there the whole time. The misting rain had likely dulled his scent. He stopped laughing when he caught me staring. I smiled and gave him a small wave. If his wolf was struggling for dominance, I couldn’t sense any trace of it. He was still Aric, at least in my presence . . .

His wink instantly made my heart race. All it had taken was that minute gesture to make me want to melt against him and distract me from all the problems between us. “I love you,” I squeaked out in a whisper. Shit. I wanted to punch myself for being so weak and foolish. Barbara was a gold-digging wench who didn’t give a damn about Aric. I knew it. He knew it. But, bottom line, she was still his fiancée. I had no right to say that to him. “I—I’m sorry—”

Aric’s light brown eyes fixed on mine with such intensity, I almost stumbled back. “I love you, too, Celia,” he answered, loud and clear. He took a step toward me, only to freeze. All at once, his expression hardened. So instead of moving closer, he turned back to his SUV and placed his palms on the hood. His back rose and fell with each hard intake of breath. What I saw wasn’t his wolf taking over. It was a were struggling to commit to the obligations his pack had thrust upon him, a man fighting to do what was right. No wonder his beast felt the need to protect him.

I watched and waited as the strain of his burden continued to divide him. For just a moment, I thought he would rush to me as I so needed him to. Instead he climbed into his car and sped aggressively away.

I lurched forward. My tigress insisted we chase after him. I dug in my heels, denying her. Chase after the speeding SUV? No, that wouldn’t seem desperate or anything.

I ran my fingers through my hair, damp from the drizzling rain, and resolved to return to my new life, where superbaddies couldn’t wait to sink their claws into me. I couldn’t be with Aric, and that’s all there was to it. Problem was, my heart would never completely abandon him.

Stupid heart.

I stepped into the limo and was greeted with glares from the four bimbos who’d fondled Misha the other morning. This was so not the moment to piss me off. I yanked them by their smut-wear and threw them out on their asses. One by one they landed on the asphalt screaming and launching into tremendous fits, but none of them dared to climb back in.

Lucky for Misha, there were two large milk shakes and a tremendous bag full of burgers waiting for me. It was the only thing that saved his hide. He climbed in a moment later, leaving his hostile mistresses behind. If he was trying to pretend he was mad at me, he did a shitty job. A satisfied smirk played across his face. “Why did you toss the girls out?”

I spoke through a mouthful of food. “Because they’re nasty, spoiled, sleazy hoochies.” My eyes narrowed further. “And where the hell are the fries?”


“Oral sex.”

I gawked at Maria. “Ah, no, thanks.”

She rolled her eyes. “I was not offering.”

I held out my open palm. “Then . . . ?”

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