Cursed By Destiny Page 57

Misha caught up to me easily and we entered the dining room together.

“Merde,” Chef hissed upon seeing me. I took my seat, well aware of his death glare. It was just loads of fun at Camp Fang and Bang. How could I have even considered walking away from all this? He raised his arms, signaling his band of waiters to unveil the silver platters in unison. Apparently my absence had stalled his big reveal.

My sisters glanced at their pretty salads briefly before digging in. I sniffed and grimaced at the sour stench of vinegar. My stomach churned. Misha paused in the middle of lifting his fork. “Something wrong, my darling?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t think I can eat the salad.”

“Merde,” Chef hissed again before disappearing with my food in a huff. Virginia strode in a few minutes later and placed a bowl of seafood bisque in front of me. Chef must have been severely irate I’d passed on one of his creations.

Misha entertained us with stories of his youth. We’d almost finished eating when Shayna’s phone buzzed. She smiled. “The wolves are back.” Her smile faded as she scrolled down the screen. “The Elders want us to return.” She looked at me then and swallowed hard. “They’re requesting your presence.”

• • •

Emme was nervous the entire drive up. She hadn’t expected Liam to return so soon. Not to mention she and my other sisters were panicked over what awaited me at the Den. I tried to calm them, but, considering my nerves were shot to hell, I failed miserably. The Elders must have discovered Aric had disobeyed their orders by seeing me. Would he be punished? If so, they’d likely choose to do so in front of me. Well, screw that. No way would I let him endure anything alone. Whatever he faced, we’d do it together.

The wolves and the Elders met us in the foyer of the main building along with Tye. Makawee rushed toward me, only to stop and c**k her head when I fell into a fighting stance with my claws out. “Something wrong, my dear?”

Aric’s eyes bulged. I’d never seen him so alarmed. I retracted my claws and fixed my posture. “Um. No.”

Tye winked at me, complete with another flash of that dimple of his. The dimple may have worked on other females, but my narrowed eyes made it clear it didn’t work on me. My reaction seemed to simultaneously surprise and offend him. He straightened. What did you expect, jerk?

Martin moved forward. He and Makawee engaged in polite conversation with my family and me and even discussed the details of the successful Tribe raid they’d returned from. It was only then that the rest of us relaxed. My tigress, though, continued to pace. The Elders had obviously not summoned me to say hello, so then what was up?

Liam approached Emme and gathered her in his arms. He stilled upon seeing her eyes shimmering with tears. He growled, “What’s wrong? Did one of those leeches hurt you?”

“No, Lee.” She looked to me. Her poignant expression told me she was going to break up with him. I wanted to stop her and talk her out of it. But it wasn’t my decision or my heart at stake. “Can we go somewhere?” she asked him. “I need to speak to you alone.”

Liam exchanged glances with Koda and then reluctantly led Emme through the large glass front doors. There was a brief moment of tension among our group until Makawee approached me smiling. The long strands of her white hair drifted like a sheet around her dark skin. “Celia, I would like to thank you for coming. Based on the occurrences of the night of the gala, the Elders and I wanted to extend an open invitation to you at our Den.”


“We realize this might come as a shock,” Martin said when I stood there with my mouth open. “After all, we have not been as hospitable to you as we could have been.” He and Makawee both glanced at Anara.

I blinked back at the others, my face reddening when I thought of “the occurrences” between Aric and me in the garden. Aric beamed as if he’d spray painted our exploits on the damn garden wall we’d made love against. Tye—oddly enough—appeared as confused as I was.

Anara addressed me then with a stiff nod. It was strange not to have him scowl at me. Hell, I’d almost gotten used to it. “We realize we shouldn’t interfere with destiny,” he said.


The Elders laughed. I failed to get the joke.

“Yes, dear,” Makawee said. “You both are meant to be together. The very least we can do is facilitate the union by allowing you to visit.”

“You want me to visit him here,” I repeated slowly.

Makawee started to regard me the same way the Catholic schoolgirls did. “Yes, child. He’ll stay here while he continues to help train our young wolves. Eventually, though, we hope you will reside together and begin your family.”

My sisters and friends stood motionless, their eyes widening. “Son of a bitch,” Taran muttered. Still, it was more polite than what spewed from Bren’s lips.

I took in the Elders one by one. “Is this some kind of trick?”

“Celia, I assure you, this is not a trick. We don’t wish to toy with you or your emotions,” Martin added patiently.

“So you’re saying we—he and I”—I motioned to Aric—“should be together, and have babies?”

Anara threw what little patience he’d managed right out the window. “Who else would we be talking about?”

For some reason Tye blew up. “Now wait just a goddamn minute!”

“Silence,” Anara snapped.

Tye growled deeper. Aric ignored him to encase me in his arms. “So, dovie, what do you say?”

Tye lunged at us. The aroma of were magic sizzled against my skin as Anara threw out an arm, leaving Tye suspended above the wood floors, barely able to move. By calling upon the power of the pack, Anara had stopped him midair.

Tye struggled, his muscles twitching. In the distance a pack of wolves erupted in howls.

I returned my focus to Aric when he caressed my back, encouraged by Makawee and Martin’s smiles. I continued to stand there like an idiot while my brain whirled with confusion.

Aric grinned from ear to ear. “Well? Do you want me or not?”

My chest erupted with pure joy. I grabbed Aric and kissed him—something I never would have dreamed of doing before in the presence of the Elders. He paused before responding with one hell of a deep kiss. My tigress rose inside me, but it wasn’t to meet Aric’s wolf. She insisted something was wrong; I ignored her. What could be wrong? Aric had found a way for us to be together.

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