Cursed By Destiny Page 38

I heard Shayna howling in that pitiful way of hers and the wolves’ uproarious laughter the moment I pulled into the neighborhood. Taran greeted me with tears glistening in her blue eyes. “What did she say that time?” she asked the wolves behind her.

Liam roared and held his sides. Even the more sympathetic Danny and Gemini couldn’t control their hysterics. Bren had turned purple from lack of oxygen and Koda shoved a pillow over his face in an attempt to muffle his laughter.

“She said, ‘The hog in my kitchen ate my steering wheel,’” Liam sputtered.

Emme covered her mouth to hide her grin. “Shayna, what were you trying to say?”

Shayna pouted. “There’s a demon child in my house.”

Taran snorted. “Damn, Shayna. That wasn’t even close, girl.”

Bren tried to compose himself. “You should have seen her at the steakhouse. She howled, ‘There’s a pig wearing my panties!’ and then charged.”

Shayna’s face turned a color of red usually found only on Emme’s face. “Dude! You promised you wouldn’t tell them!”

“The wolves are trying to teach Shayna how to call for help,” Emme explained at the same time Taran asked what the hell was up with Shayna and pork. Everyone else exploded with laughter.

“Maybe you should just teach her the word ‘help,’” I offered.

Bren stopped laughing when he caught sight of my face. I hadn’t laughed or even managed a smile. “What’s wrong, kid?”

I leaned against the door to affect a more relaxed pose. “Have you guys ever heard of a shape-shifter named Drago?”

Shayna slumped on Koda’s lap. “What do you think I’m doing wrong, puppy?”

Koda, like the rest of the wolves, had lost his amusement. His voice dropped deeper than usual. “We’ll work on your calls later, baby.” To me he said, “Tell us.”

I relayed the morning’s events, including Misha’s chat with the lake. Danny paced, as he often did when he thought about things. “He left without attacking you or the vampires. That in itself is encouraging. But, like you, I don’t think a shape-shifter is what’s after you.”

“If it was, you sure as hell wouldn’t be standing here,” Bren ground out. He crossed and uncrossed his arms several times. His beast wanted to come out and gnaw on something. I hadn’t seen him so worked up in a long time. “Shit, Celia. Fighting those prick Tribesmen is bad enough, but those shape-shifters carry hell within them.”

Emme’s face blanched. “Th-they’re more powerful than Tribemasters?”

Gemini nodded. “In providing the blood sacrifices, they’re gifted with the might of their dark deity. Shape-shifters are the hardest of all evil beings to destroy.”

I pushed off from the door. “If they’re so badass, why would they care about me?”

Bren looked at me square in the eye. “Because you’re not supposed to have what they have.” He swore again when he caught my surprise. “Ceel, these mofos go through a lot of shit to gain the ability to assume any form. All you have to do is rub up against the nearest critter.”

“But I can’t control it!”

“They may not know that. But even if they did, it wouldn’t matter to them. You’re a threat!”

Gemini walked toward me in the heavy silence that followed. “Bren has a point. But I don’t believe the shape-shifters are the immediate enemy. Typically, these dark forces don’t align unless there’s something in it for them. Something is influencing them toward your direction.”

My gaze returned to Bren, his face strained with the effort to hold back his wolf. Good thing Danny was naturally calmer, and the others had my sisters to soothe them. A pack of agitated werewolves was the last thing I needed to deal with. “That’s what the vamps are saying, too.”

Shayna played with her fingers nervously while she continued sitting on Koda’s lap. “Do they have any idea who would send these creatures your way?”

I shook my head. “The Tribe still remains suspect number one.”

Bren walked over to hook an arm around me. I let out a small breath, thankful he’d finally managed to reel in his beast. I smiled warmly at him. He was a great friend to care so much. “Misha’s postponing my assignments for a while. I’ve wondered, though—if I lie low, will Drago target someone else?”

“With any luck, hell yeah,” Bren muttered.

I swallowed hard. “Not necessarily.”

Gemini watched me with interest, suspecting, I imagined, where my thought process was headed. “You’re worried about your sisters.” I nodded. “And Aric.” I didn’t have to answer him. He knew he was right. He sighed. “Aric is regarded as one of the most powerful weres in history. He remains the only one among our kind to have achieved his first change at less than two months of age. However, the level of his supremacy is yet to be recognized. When it is, then, yes, he will be stalked by the dark ones as well.” He returned to Taran and drew her into his arms. “And so will your family.”

“But in addition to his own strength, Aric has us to protect him,” Koda said. “Just as we’ll protect our mates and you as his.”

I squirmed uncomfortably. Like I said, until Aric called me his mate directly, I wouldn’t accept it. I gained some composure and met their worried stares with a small smile. “Don’t worry about me. I have the Catholic schoolgirls on my side.” They failed to consider my humor. I couldn’t blame them. Until we knew who or what sought me, none of us was safe.


“Anara has given up on trying to marry off Aric.”


“Now he just wants him to breed,” Liam continued on the phone. “He’s throwing every hot were he can find at him. Wolf or not, pureblood or not, he doesn’t care. All Anara wants is for our kind to multiply. And you should see some of these girls, the way they act and how they dress. There was this one—just today, as a matter of fact—who walked up to him completely naked trying to seduce him. She’d written Aric’s name across her belly with an arrow pointing to her—”

“Thanks for the info, Liam.” Now I’ll have nightmares. “Please put Emme on.”

“But, Celia, there’s more. Turns out she’s a wereminx and, damn, is she flexible. She went up to Aric when he was lying on the bench press and—

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