Cursed By Destiny Page 39

“Put Emme on now!” I rubbed my eyes. “Please,” I added a little less psychotically. Dear Lord, sometimes I wished Liam came with an off switch.

“Liam, sweetheart, please stop. You’re upsetting Celia,” Emme said on the other end of the line. “Sorry about that, Celia. Liam sometimes gets carried away.”

“I’ve noticed. Look, I’m late for my workout. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be at the gala tomorrow night.”

“That’s wonderful, Celia. It’ll be great to see you. What changed your mind?”

“I want to see Aric.” Although I didn’t want to see him with another female, knowing I wouldn’t react . . . diplomatically, shall we say. And disemboweling some were hoochie on the weres’ sacred turf struck me as a big no-no. I disconnected with Emme, then took a moment to rub my shoulders. I’d spent the last few weeks getting the snot knocked, twisted, and cajoled out of me by Ying-Ying and Kuan Jang Nim Chang. Although I was lying low for a while, I couldn’t do so for long. I would soon come face-to-face with the Tribe or whoever the hell was behind the attacks. When the time came, one of us would have to die. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be me.

I placed my cell phone on a small table near the entrance to the dojang and slipped off my shoes. Instead of finding Ying-Ying standing with one leg behind her neck over a bed of cacti, I found Misha with a mystified bald eagle perched on his arm.

“What’s this, Misha?”

“I thought it would be best if I worked with you this afternoon, instead of Ying-Ying.”

I glanced at the eagle and then back at the exit. “I don’t know . . . I wouldn’t want to disappoint Ying-Ying.”

My yogi appeared behind one of the woven bamboo doors that led to a back storage room. She glided across the light wood floor with a little extra twitch to her step, smiling alluringly as she passed us.

Misha’s grin matched hers. “Do not worry for Ying-Ying. I assure you she is quite satisfied.”

“Slut,” I muttered under my breath.

Misha quirked an eyebrow. “I’m surprised to find you think so little of her.”

I gave him a hard stare. “I was referring to you, Misha.”

My comment earned me a wicked smile and a deep chuckle. “Touch my bird.”

“Excuse me?”

“The eagle, kitten. Come touch the eagle.”

I threw out a hand. “Misha, did you learn nothing from the dog incident?”

“Actually, kitten, I believe I did. My theory is since your other self is a predator, you would do better controlling the form of another beast of prey.”

“Dogs are predators—they’re related to wolves. And you saw how well that went.”

“Kitten, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel is so far removed from a wolf you insult the lupines by even making such a suggestion. I initially believed if we started out with a small creature, we would have better results. But perhaps we need to be more aggressive. Now, if you don’t mind, let us begin.”

“Actually, I do mind very much. Did you have fun watching me drool all over your bed when I had the seizure?”

“No, I would simply enjoy you naked on my bed.” He thought about it. “And screaming with ecstasy as opposed to drooling.”

My face flushed with color. “Are you done?”

His grin told me no. “I also enjoy watching your areolas tighten whenever I stare at your br**sts.” He glanced down. “Just as they are now.”

Tears actually leaked from my eyes from the heat building around me. I covered my telltale girlfriends and stormed toward the door. It seemed master vampires also came equipped with magical nipple-stiffening power.

“Kitten, wait—it was all merely in jest.”

I turned to face him. The eagle shook from Misha’s pathetic attempts to hold in his laughter. “Yeah, you’re just hilarious, aren’t you?”

I almost rammed into Hank on the way out. He greeted me with—yup, that’s right, an arrogant smirk. “See, it’s just like I said. You want the master. Now go back inside and get the job done. My money is at stake here, Celia.”

“For the last time, I don’t want Misha!”

“Oh, yeah?” He elongated his incisors. “Let’s have a look at those ni**les.”

Hank was refastening his jaw when I screamed at him, “Fine. I’ll go back in just to prove I don’t want him. Kiss your fifty grand good-bye, Batman!”

Misha had calmed when I went back in, but his amused grin remained in place. I stomped to his side, pointy boobies and all. “Let’s do it, then.” He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I mean your damn science experiment, Misha!”

Misha, although seemingly disappointed that his eagle wouldn’t witness our fornicating on the floor, commenced his twisted exercise. “Take a breath and raise the shields that surround your spirit.”

My eyes closed and I breathed deeply, allowing my protective aura to fall like a velvet curtain.

“Very good, Celia. Now, allow my bird to enter you.”

I cracked open one eye just to be sure he was still clothed. He smirked. Against my better judgment I laughed. “Does everything have to be about sex with your kind?”

“Forgive me.”

“I always do, Misha.”

We began. I focused on blocking the eagle’s spirit before reaching out to the entranced bird. The feathers of the majestic beast were unbelievably soft, but beneath his plumes strong muscles waited to propel him into the sky. I breathed deeply, trying to take him in without seizing.

“Step back,” Misha said quietly. My soles slid across the smooth floor. “Now change into the eagle.”

I searched within me for any trace of the bird. I couldn’t perceive so much as a quill. “Misha, I can’t.”

“I disagree. Try harder.”

I focused on the eagle’s white head, his satin brown feathers, and how tight he gripped Misha’s arm. I concentrated on his scent and the details of his form. Nothing happened. Misha had me repeat the steps over and over. Each time I tried to withdraw my shields a little more. I startled about an hour later when I landed hard on my butt. At first I thought it was the beginning of a seizure, but when I looked at my toes, instead of feet, I bore talons. When I tried to wiggle my new appendages, they changed back to human.

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