Cursed By Destiny Page 73

It was only because Aric’s growls ceased that I allowed Misha to lead me outside. He released me once we reached the wide walkway at the bottom of the stone steps. “Anara only behaves this way as he is threatened by you. Do not give him the satisfaction of knowing his words affect you so.”

“I don’t care what that idiot thinks of me. But I do care about how he treats Shayna and Koda. It’s as if their relationship doesn’t matter. He’s a bully and an elitist, and I can’t stand him.”

“You do not have to hold him in your favor.” He smiled then. “But I fear your anger blinds you from seeing you have found the weapon to eliminate the very enemy who seeks your destruction.”

I straightened at his words, unsure of what he meant. Then I remembered how desperate the Tribemasters were getting, and how the strongest among them had sought to raise Ihuaivulu. “The stone. The one I’m supposed to go after?” I grabbed Misha. “If I get it, I can take out the Tribe once and for all.”

“Or at the very least cripple them beyond repair. Either way, you can see to the Tribe’s destruction and those who follow it.” Misha’s humor dissolved and his stare turned forceful. “This corroborates that they were the ones who sought to kill you. If they’d schemed to raise Ihuaivulu, then they’d know we’d send you to retrieve the element that could stop him.”

Especially since Virginia portrayed me as the vampires’ linchpin. Knowing I could finally end this war fired up my desire to find that damn stone. “I can do this,” I said aloud.

He pushed my hair off my shoulders. “I know you can.”

Misha’s smirk and his show of affection made me uncomfortable. I caught Shayna’s and Koda’s scents and used that as an excuse to turn from Misha. They sat near one of the outdoor fireplaces on the massive porch holding each other. Koda stroked Shayna’s ponytail so that the long strands slipped between his fingers. From the gentle way he showed her affection, no one would suspect how easily he could kill. “I don’t want you to go with Celia,” he said. “We don’t know what you’ll find and I can’t focus if I’m worried about you.”

Shayna smiled, but her grin lacked its usual brightness. “Puppy, I can’t sit by while you and Celia are away, any more than you could. I promise we’ll be careful.”

“It’s more than that, baby. I want to be with you.”

Shayna continued to smile despite the tear that slid down her cheek. “I would love to fight alongside you. If it wasn’t for that loser—”

Koda cut her off with a kiss. His original intent was likely to keep her from insulting Anara within hearing distance. The kiss, however, turned into something more . . . a lot more. My own temperature rose considerably when Koda swept Shayna into his arms and disappeared to say a proper good-bye.

Misha placed his lips near my ear. “I see passions run deep in the Wird family.”

I took a few steps away from him. “Stop it, Misha.”

The aroma of angry lupine had me glancing toward the top of the steps where Aric stood. He stalked down and handed me a stack of documents without meeting my face. “These are your passports and medical records. I understand the vampires already provided you with the necessary immunizations.” He spoke as if discussing business with a complete stranger. I searched his features for a hint of the man I loved, yet he continued to avert his gaze.

I cleared my throat. “I was vaccinated months ago in preparation for my foreign missions.” Aric nodded, refusing to look at me directly. “Which Warrior do you suggest I take with me?” I asked in an attempt to get his attention.

“Liam volunteered to go. Based on what’s happening between him and Emme, I advised against it. It’s best that they spend some time away from each other. Out of everyone I’d want Gemini to assist you, but it’s not fair to oblige him since Taran will be with us.”

“What about Bren?”

Aric leaned back on his heels. “Bren isn’t respected by the Elders due to his lack of education in our pack and because of his former lone status. I had to fight to include him in the meeting today. But despite his weaknesses, I know he’s loyal and a fierce fighter.” He ran his hand through his hair. “The problem I face is trying to convince the Elders.”

“Kitten, is Brendan who you desire by your side?” Aric glared at Misha. He hated when he called me “kitten.”

I not so casually stepped between them. “Only if he wants to go.”

He flashed Aric a little fang. “Then you shall have him. I will inform Uri and he will make it so.”

I pinched the bridge of my nose. And let the pissing contest begin.

Tye strode down the steps as if he owned them. “You must be quite the little hellcat to captivate a wolf and a vampire.” The corners of his mouth curved. “I’m looking forward to getting to know that side of you. That kiss alone wasn’t enough.”

Aric’s unholy growl only slightly overpowered Misha’s deadly hiss. I narrowed my eyes at Tye. “Look, moron. The only reason you even got that kiss was because I mistook you for Aric. Keep your head out of your ass and focus on the mission. And if you dare make a move on me I’ll knock the living shit out of you!”

My predator eyes still flashed when Aric and Misha faced me. They both smiled and Aric even chuckled. Tye’s expression went from slightly surprised back to alluring. “You’re a feisty one, aren’t you?”

Aric switched back to Big Bad Wolf mode. “You’ll never know just how much.”

Makawee swept down to us, her lovely white hair trailing like a bridal veil behind her. “That is enough out of all of you,” she said calmly. “It’s time to ready yourselves. You leave in a few hours. Tye, come with me, please.”

Misha lowered his head. “Pardon me, great Omega of the Elders. Celia wishes for Brendan to accompany her on her mission. I ask respectfully that you grant her this request.”

Makawee clasped her hands in front of her and considered his appeal. “Very well, Sir Aleksandr. Inform your grandmaster. If he agrees to allow it, then so will we.”

Misha winked my way as Makawee disappeared with Tye. “I will see you back at our home, kitten.” Aric didn’t react. I thought for sure the “our home” combined with his pet name for me would set him off. It didn’t, and in a way disappointed me. Aric didn’t seem to care about anything, me included. Misha hurried into the main building, passing Taran, Emme, and our remaining friends on his way to speak to Uri.

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