Cursed By Destiny Page 6

Misha smiled. “Do you truly desire to know the specifics of my entrée?”

I grimaced a little. “No. Not really.”

Chef interrupted by placing a beet salad with mandarin oranges in front of me. The wine-colored liquid from the beets pooled at the bottom, smearing the elegant white china and robbing it of its purity. It reminded me of blood. My blood.

I moved the slices around, wondering if I’d be able to stomach it now that I’d made the comparison. “Misha, why would anyone try kill me? My assignments have been carefully concealed and the vamps and I haven’t left any witnesses following our battles.”

Misha placed his fork down and leaned back in his chair. His gray eyes flickered with something I couldn’t quite interpret and his voice lowered to an ominous tone that sent goose bumps racing across my flesh. “I’ve told you, the lake whispers to me the secrets carried in the wind. The dark ones see you as a threat. But one in particular perceives you as the key to its destruction. I caution you, Celia: it won’t stop until your death.”

CHAPTER 3

Virginia stood in the hall, watching as Misha and I ate our red velvet cake. She was possibly the most striking redhead I’d ever met. Her skin was flawless and milky white. Her eyes were a beautiful blue and always lustful when fixed on Misha. She was human, but she made me strangely uncomfortable.

At one point in her life, she’d been an extremely successful attorney. She’d originally met Misha at a charity ball, where they had snuck off together and had a moment. According to what Hank told me, Virginia had been obsessed with Misha ever since. She was now a “regular,” allowing Misha to frequently feed and have sex with her.

Every now and then, a master of vampires chose to let a human become aware of the vampire society. This was allowed only because humans could be hypnotized into keeping their secrets. In this case, Misha chose Virginia. She no longer practiced law; pleasing and seducing Misha became her full-time job.

I leaned forward and spoke softly. “Virginia is standing in the hall.”

Misha didn’t bother to glance up from his plate. “I am aware of her presence.”

“Would you like her to join us?”

“No.”

I dipped my fork into the thick cream cheese icing and dabbed Misha’s nose with it. “Why?”

Misha paused and attempted to glare at me, but he couldn’t hide the sparkle in his gray eyes or his wicked grin. He wiped his nose with his white silk napkin before placing it back on his lap. “My darling, this is our time together and she will only prove distracting.”

Virginia slid her outrageously long tongue across her collagen-injected lips. I felt sorry for her in a way. She didn’t have friends. Misha was her universe. “Um. Maybe she’ll tone it down some if you ask her nicely.”

Misha let out a frustrated breath before turning to address Virginia. “Virginia, come in here, please, and do try to restrain yourself.”

Virginia glided in, panting in anticipation. By the time she straddled Misha, her blouse was completely undone and she’d forgone wearing a bra. She licked Misha’s ear and gyrated on his lap. I sat there gawking at them, a fork still poised in my hand. Misha rolled his eyes and gave me an “I told you so” glare.

I pushed back my chair. “All righty. I think I’ll head back to my place.”

“That’s not necessary, kitten. Virginia was just leaving. Weren’t you, Virginia?”

Virginia stuck out her bottom lip and pouted. She stamped her foot, then made a dramatic and riveting exit. I continued to watch the doorway even after she’d left.

“I thought for sure she’d obey you when you told her to behave herself.”

“She did behave, kitten. Did you fail to notice I’m still wearing my trousers?”

I glanced under the table just to make sure. Virginia struck me as the kind of gal who could remove pants with her toes. “Has she always been this . . . obvious?”

“She has become worse as of late, since insisting I turn her vampire.”

I straightened a little, surprised by the news. “Do you think you will?”

“I very much doubt it. Should I succeed, I will never rid myself of her. Moreover, I could never completely trust her.”

“I thought your vampires are under your control and must follow your orders . . . or else.”

“They are. However, once in a while some are able to resist, especially if they are reborn as masters. I believe Virginia would be among those if turned.”

“I can see why you’d be apprehensive about it.” I waited, debating whether I should ask what I’d wondered about for so long.

Misha quirked a brow. “Is there something you would like to know, my darling?”

“Hmph,” Virginia moped from the doorway. She’d accepted Misha’s command to leave the kitchen, but refused to go far. She scowled, angered by his dismissal, and clearly ticked he’d called me his “darling.”

“Virginia, if you wish to receive any pleasure from me this evening, you will cease your childish behavior.” Misha didn’t bother to turn toward her; instead he swept my long waves behind my shoulder. “Now, if you will excuse us, Celia and I would like to be alone.”

Virginia smiled at me before she left. It wasn’t a friendly smile. It was more like a crazy “one day I’ll eat your liver with fava beans” kind of grin. Like I said, she gave me the willies.

“You were saying?” Misha asked.

I shrugged. “I was just wondering how a master creates a vampire.”

Misha leaned forward. “Why? Are you interested in becoming one?”

I rested my chin on my hand. He didn’t intimidate me in the least. “No, I’m just curious. It’s okay if you don’t want to tell me.”

Misha walked around the table and knelt in front of me. He took my hands, placing my fingertips over his crown line and rubbing them gently. I felt two indentations. He then slid them down a little to his forehead and I traced two more grooves. At first, I didn’t understand, but then it hit me. “You pierce the brain . . . with your fangs?”

He nodded and smiled, but his grin lacked any trace of genuine humor.

“But wouldn’t that kill a human?”

“Yes, usually, but that is why it proves difficult to make a vampire.”

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