Cursed By Destiny Page 64

“But I was thinking about Aric the whole time,” I answered like a dumbass.

“It should fade soon.” Danny cleared his throat again. “I hope.”

“You hope?”

Liz continued to file her nails, unaffected. “It’s also because of your engagement.”

I righted myself, certain I misheard. “Aric and I aren’t engaged.”

Liz dropped her arms and shot me another one of her “boy, are you dumb” scowls. “I’m talking about you and the master. In allowing him to almost drain you, you and he triggered the engagement bond. You’ll be married by the next full moon.”

“What?”

I exploded in a stream of feathers. Everyone jumped and gasped. No one said anything until Bren finally spoke. “Your ni**les are huge,” he said in awe.

“Screeech?”

I looked in the glass reflection of the fireplace and realized I’d changed into a bald eagle. I literally was bald. I had no feathers. Just a bird body . . . and large br**sts with protruding ni**les.

Emme gasped and covered her mouth. “Oh, my . . . goodness.”

My humiliation and anger surged. Around us, anything that wasn’t pinned down levitated and exploded with blue-and-white fire. Taran ducked and just missed getting hit with pieces from a ceramic pot. “Shit!” she screamed.

Danny’s head jerked from side to side. “Celia, Taran’s and Emme’s blood is affecting you. You have to calm down. You have to—” A flying breakfast quiche nailed him in the face.

It was chaotic. Aric lunged at Misha, swearing and threatening him as he pummeled the invisible force field. Shayna batted the flaming objects with a fire poker, sending them to explode inside the fireplace. Emme and Taran tried to help me. Emme found a blanket and threw it on me, blocking the objects flying around the room with her force. Taran did a lousy job. She ripped into me, demanding I calm the hell down. Bren—well, he just sat on the couch watching the commotion like it was the greatest movie ever made.

When things finally stopped exploding, Shayna, Emme, and Danny busied themselves with picking up my feathers and the broken objects off the floor.

I fired a stream of obscenities at Misha, but they all came out in bird. The egotistical son of a bitch had the nerve to chuckle. “Now, poopsie, don’t upset yourself so. None of this was intentional.”

I changed again, this time into the Cavalier King Charles spaniel—with br**sts. Poopsie? Did you just call me poopsie? Do you think this is funny? You bastard! That’s the last time I save your pathetic bloodsucking ass. I can’t believe we’re engaged!

“Growl, bark, yip, yip, growl, woof, bark!”

You’d better wipe that damn smile off your face before I tear your throat out. You’re going to wish the Tribemaster finished you after I’m done with you.

“Bark, bark, growl, yap, growl, yip, woof!”

Liz rolled her eyes. “I’ll go get the friggin’ biscuits.” She left, but not before giving me one last annoyed look, as if everything was my fault.

Aric’s growls bordered two steps from murder. Danny approached him with his hands out. He whipped them back when Aric appeared ready to chew them off. “Aric, calm down. I’m sure there’s a way to fix this. I don’t think it’s official until they . . . ah . . .”

Aric paused from trying to kill Misha. His deep timbre fell several octaves. “Until they what!”

“Consummate their union,” Danny mumbled.

An icy menace chilled the air. Aric met Misha’s eyes. “Over my dead body.”

Knowing Aric felt threatened by Misha bothered the hell out of me. If I was engaged, it should have been to him. I whined to get his attention and wagged my tail when he lifted me wrapped in the blanket. My fuzzy head nuzzled his neck as I took in his scent and that wonderful heat that surged between us. I hadn’t recognized it for what it was, our connection as mates. Slowly my body changed into my human self once more. “Take me to the suite,” I whispered.

Aric carried me to the room, setting me down after he shut the door. I let the blanket drop to my feet. “Now take me to bed.”

• • •

Aric and I lay facing each other a long while later soaked with sweat. I continued to writhe from the effects of our lovemaking. “That was unbelievable.”

He smiled and played with my hair. “Yes, it was. I like that thing you do with your legs.”

“I could tell.” I huddled close to him and squirmed at the sound of his racing heart. “Aric, you were even louder than usual. Was that because you really enjoyed it or was that all for Misha’s sake?”

Aric answered with a sly smile.

“Aric!”

He climbed on top of me. “It was both, baby.” His grin faded. “I’m not sure whether I should leave you here.”

I pushed his dark hair away from his sweet baby browns. “Aric, I’m not marrying Misha.”

Aric shook his head. “It’s not only that. It’s about this whole shit with Virginia. I’m not buying she was the mastermind behind all of it. She sounds too unstable.”

A strange chill wiggled its way along my back despite how warm I felt with Aric against me. “Yeah. Neither am I. If she believed I was stealing Misha from her, I could see how she’d perceive that as the key to her destruction, especially because she lived and died for him. But the second part of that—the one that says I’ll also destroy all those it leads—doesn’t fit. Virginia didn’t lead anything. She was a one-woman psycho ward. The vampires had little to do with her.”

Aric growled. “So we’re back to square one. You not being safe.”

My fingers stretched down the strong muscles of his back. “Not necessarily. She’s no longer around to let the bad guys in or make me out to be the ultimate weapon.”

“Doesn’t matter, Celia. She fed the dark ones enough shit about you. Shit that became truth when you destroyed yet another Tribemaster.” He quieted while he thought things through. “This may still be the safest place for you. Regardless of that damn engagement the vampires think you’re a part of.”

“You know that’s not true, don’t you?”

Aric’s thumb passed over my bottom lip. “I do. But only because if you’re going to be engaged . . . it’s going to be to me. I want to marry you, Celia.”

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