Cursed By Destiny Page 34

We told Taran and Emme what happened and they began to question Shayna on other new abilities she might have noticed. Shayna jumped in her seat, her pixie face beaming. “I am a lot hungrier now. And Koda did say I’m more aggressive . . . um, in certain situations.”

Bren danced his eyebrows. “Do you mean in bed, Shayna?”

Shayna laughed despite her pink cheeks. “Yeah, but he doesn’t seem to mind.”

“You were also aggressive in how you responded to that werehyena,” Danny said. “It’s not like you to snap at someone—you’re usually the one who keeps the peace.”

Worry erased her building excitement. “You don’t think I’ll get all—” She raised her hands, pretending to have claws, and bared her teeth. “Grrrr!”

The wolves and I laughed. She was about as vicious as a newborn chinchilla. Danny covered her hand. “Your werewolf tendencies and your human ones are probably just trying to adjust to each other. You may have a shorter fuse—similar to younger wolves—but I don’t expect you’ll become volatile.”

The waitress brought over a bucket of Coronas. Bren handed me one and grabbed one for himself. “And you’re probably more hot-headed considering the were equivalent of Cujo passed you his essence.”

Shayna giggled. “Oh, my puppy’s just a big love.”

Bren stopped in the middle of dividing up the remaining beers. “Your puppy scares people shitless.”

The rest of us agreed in a collective shudder. Shayna laughed and squirmed excitedly in her seat. “Do you think I’ll change soon?”

Bren wiped his scruffy beer after chugging his beer. “Nah. If you were going to, you would have following the first full moon.”

Shayna pouted—she would have loved a tail and some fur. Emme leaned forward. “But, Shayna, what you have is so incredible. Your sense of hearing is heightened. You can heal. You can scent—”

“You’re a freak,” the werehyena chimed in.

Her comment caused the group of weres at her table to erupt with laughter. My tigress stretched inside me in anticipation of a fight. Taran cracked her knuckles and flashed them an evil smile. We waited for their next move. Bren wasn’t so patient. He was probably one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. He was funny, loyal, and affectionate—he also didn’t take any shit. He stood, towering above us, and trained his eyes at the werehyena. “You know what? You’re really starting to piss me off.”

A wereox who had also laughed stood and moseyed over to Bren. “Oh, yeah?” Like a moron, he poked Bren in the chest. “What are you going to do about it?”

Bren smashed our beer bucket right in the guy’s face. “The same thing I did to your mother.”

The werehyena launched herself at Shayna. I caught her in midair and used her momentum to slam her against the wall. She broke a beer sign into about a thousand pieces with her back and landed with a loud thump on our table. Taran loomed over her. “Not laughing now, are you, bitch?”

Weres brawled. A lot. As a result, a law had been established years ago for such behavior. So long as no one died and humans didn’t become aware, the North American Were Council was fine with the occasional smackdown.

Shayna merged the utensils at our table and transformed them into two long ninja staffs. She let out probably the saddest excuse for a wolf howl I’d ever heard and attacked. Bren broke out laughing for some reason and just missed getting hit with a barstool. Taran scrambled out of the booth and jolted anyone she could with lightning. I took on a werekangaroo. His blows came fast and he kicked with both feet simultaneously. I missed most of his shots. He wasn’t as lucky.

The wereox gained consciousness and charged toward Emme. She held out her small hand. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will if you take another step . . .”

The wereox stopped midstampede and smiled. “You’re cute. How ’bout some head?”

Like the rapid fire from a machine gun, Emme slammed about a dozen beer mugs into the ox’s groin. She frowned at him. “Jerk.”

There was some high-pitched screaming near the bathrooms where a woman dragged poor Danny away by his hair. I knocked out the kangaroo with a kick to the face and chased after them. I raced down the hall to the restrooms only to be intercepted by a wereyak barreling out of the men’s room.

We grappled. Stupid move on my part—his human form was stronger than mine. I fell through the ladies’ room door with him and shifted through the floor before his weight could squash me. I surfaced with an uppercut to his jaw. His head snapped back and he staggered into the sink. When his face met mine, he froze. Slowly, he peered over my shoulder. The anger twisting his face melted into horror and his olive skin paled to green.

My body shivered liked I’d been dumped naked on an icy tundra. Something wicked had appeared. Behind me. All the hair on the back of my neck shriveled into my skin. A sharp pungent smell burned my nose and made my stomach pang with the urge to vomit. I’d smelled that baneful odor once before.


Not demon children. Demon children were a hybrid of demon and human blood. This . . . this was the straight-from-hell kind that didn’t belong on earth. I turned slowly toward the scent, even though every part of me screamed to run. My tigress surprised me with a roar that vibrated in my throat; my human side very much wanted to cry and hide under the nearest bed.

On the windowsill sat something resembling a toad, only sickly white with gray spots and a fat humanoid head. Bright pink eyes blinked back at me. Its body was only about the size of a loaf of bread, but it didn’t need to be bigger to scare me.

The wereyak backed away, crossing himself, the aroma of his fear mixing with mine. “Holy shit,” he whispered. He slammed into the doorjamb in his haste to scramble away, leaving me alone with this thing.

The brawl continued in the dining area, but the bathroom turned hauntingly quiet. The demon opened his mouth and extended his thick gray tongue, tasting the air and possibly me.

I ripped the condom dispenser off the wall and smashed him with it. The first few blows felt as if I’d hit a wet balloon filled with water. I pounded him with more force until I heard a splat. The room filled with more of that horrible scent, propelling me to strike harder and harder.

My hands slicked with my blood against the warping metal. Die, die, just die! I jumped when Danny placed his hand on my shoulder. Still, I continued to pulverize what remained.

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