Cursed By Destiny Page 59

My eyelids closed tight and my head throbbed over Tye’s loud bellows. “Let me through—I need to see her!”

“No, Aric,” Makawee answered. “Celia is too vulnerable. We can’t risk her trying to hurt herself again.”

Tye swore in frustration. Martin’s deep baritone voice boomed in the foyer. “Aric, you are keeping Makawee from helping your mate. Move out of the way.” He growled. “You will also do well to watch your tongue when speaking to your Omega.”

My ears picked up on the sound of shuffling feet outside the door before Makawee’s soft voice spoke once more. “Young Daniel, come with me, please.”

I drifted between sleep and wakefulness. The tub closed around me like a snail shell. Warm water lapped at my skin as my body floated around the spirals. Growls echoed in the distance, both lion and wolf, together as one. Aric’s and Tye’s voices had united. I wanted to sleep, but I feared drowning. Will the snail let me drown, Aric?

“I’m not looking, Aric. I swear I’m not looking,” Danny kept saying.

Makawee stopped her chanting. I couldn’t even recall when she’d come back. My thoughts were muddled, and I struggled to make sense of what was happening. “Young Daniel, I would like you to watch what I’m doing. As a blue merle werewolf, you may be gifted with the ability to heal others. Kindly open your eyes.” Her chanting resumed.

A pop followed a sizzle. “Ow! What the heck, Taran?” Danny said. “Makawee made me look.”

“She said ‘watch’ not ‘gawk,’” Taran snapped. “Reel in your damn hormones before I zap you again.”

More growls erupted.

“Aric, calm down,” Bren said. “It’s not like he’s never seen her naked before.”

There was a sudden upsurge of breaking, smashing, and more snarling. Once again, Makawee stopped her chanting. “Aric,” she said calmly, “please allow your Warriors to escort you outside and away from the building.” Her soothing essence floated above my skin. The silence on the other side of the door was immediate. “Now, young Daniel, take the black cohosh and sprinkle it over Celia while I finish the ritual.”

“What will that do?” Emme asked meekly.

“It’s the final herb to destroy the poison.”

The scents of licorice and rose water tickled my nose before the aroma of sage clouded the room. My mind flooded with visions of Native Americans dancing to the beat of a soft pounding drum. I coughed, through my mouth and through my cuts.

“Oh, shit,” Taran whispered.

“Do not fear. The dark magic is leaving her body.”

I coughed several more times. My skin felt like a sponge being squeezed, but with each cough it became easier to breathe.

I left the Native Americans and slipped back through the snail shell. I blinked my eyes open during my last few coughs to find my sisters staring back at me. Shayna lifted me from the water and helped me to sit. Danny hurried to the corner, giving his back to me.

Makawee nodded. “It is done.”

Emme healed my wounds following Makawee’s cleansing ritual. They burned my clothes along with the remaining herbs, forcing me to borrow a tunic and jeans from Shayna. I tried to apologize to Taran for hurting her, but she wouldn’t hear it. When I emerged from the bathroom, I couldn’t look anyone in the face. Even though I knew magic had influenced my behavior, humiliation heated my body. It had bothered me to be vulnerable. I could handle most things, but being defenseless wasn’t one of them.

Makawee explained I had ingested a poison that caused me to switch Tye’s and Aric’s entities. The magic was so strong Tye and Aric took on each other’s looks, scents, and apparently their tastes as well. The way his lips and tongue had swept against mine should have warned me something was different, but in retrospect my thoughts seemed so jumbled, focused only on taking in Aric. She also told me the poison had amplified my feelings for Aric, turning me dangerously obsessive and suicidal. I couldn’t argue with that. Shit. I’d almost killed myself.

Shayna slung an arm around me. “It’s okay, Ceel. Don’t be embarrassed.”

Taran rubbed at her face. “I’m sorry I knocked you out, Makawee. And please extend my apologies to Martin. I was trying to put Celia to sleep, but I was so scared for her I didn’t aim my magic in the right direction.”

Makawee smiled gently. “Not to worry, Taran. These things happen.”

I kept my eyes on the floor. Oh, yeah. I’m sure they happen all the time.

Makawee turned to leave, but I stopped her. “Thank you for helping me, Makawee. I don’t know what would have happened to me if you hadn’t been here.”

She patted my shoulder. “You’re welcome, Celia. Try to rest tonight.”

Gemini, Koda, and Bren regarded me with their arms crossed over their powerful chests. Aric was nowhere to be found and neither was Liam or the remaining Elders. I could barely catch a trace of their aromas.

My hands squeezed Bren’s and Danny’s arms. Dried blood caked their faces and hair from the injuries I’d inflicted. My shame made it hard to meet their gazes. “I’m so sorry I hurt you.”

“We know, honey,” Danny said quietly. “It’s okay.”

No, it really wasn’t.

“Who did this to you, Celia?” Gemini asked. His voice wasn’t so quiet.

“I don’t know.”

Koda’s upper lip curled into a snarl. “Didn’t you just have dinner with the bloodsuckers?”

“Misha wouldn’t do this,” Danny answered. He was the only wolf not scowling. “He wouldn’t want Celia to be with Tye any more than Aric.”

Bren narrowed his eyes. “Maybe not Misha, but how ’bout one of his other leeches?”

Shayna encircled Koda’s waist to calm his increasing growls. “Misha’s vampires are terrified of him, puppy. I don’t see any one of them risking their hides to harm her.”

Emme clutched my hand with hers. “Misha’s vamps adore Celia.” My head slowly turned toward her. She blushed. “Well, I mean, in their own special way.”

“We’re going to figure this out, Celia,” Gemini said. “In the meantime, I’d like to speak with Makawee about allowing you to stay here tonight.”

I shook my head. “The Elders brought me here with the purpose of hooking me up with Tye. I don’t want him. I want Aric. My inebriation proved as much. They’re not going to want me around now. Hell, you might get in trouble for even suggesting I stay.”

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