Cursed By Destiny Page 86

I lurched toward the back and wrenched open the door. “I need to get off now!”

Tye maneuvered the helicopter toward Misha. I leapt out the moment we passed above him. My body dove straight at him with my hands outstretched. The moment my fingertips felt the tease of his leather jacket, I shifted us through the hill and up to the top.

Misha sputtered out dirt when we surfaced. He stared at me, momentarily stunned until his arms locked me in a tight embrace. “You came back to me,” he whispered. The ground rumbled beneath us and knocked us on our sides. We scrambled to the edge. Below us, Ihuaivulu tore his head free from the hill where Misha had lain unmoving.

He pulled me to my feet. “We must leave—now,” he urged.

My jaw clenched tight. “Not yet.”

Tye maneuvered the helicopter for a second pass. The fire-breathing mouths followed, snapping their omnivorous jaws in search of more prey. Tye dodged and veered his way around the flames, but his jerking motions worked against us. Emme fell out of the front, where she had prepared to launch the stone from. It plummeted from her grasp when she grabbed onto the skids. Bren climbed out to help her, but she couldn’t hold on. With lightning speed Ying-Ying dove after her. She contorted herself around Emme and bounced away from Ihuaivulu like a rubber ball.

They were safe, but the others were not. Ihuaivulu slammed one of his heads into the helicopter and catapulted it out of control. Bren, who was hanging to the skids, changed and leapt to the ground after the fallen stone.

The helicopter crashed away from us yet didn’t explode. The main rotor continued to spin as Tye and Danny emerged as beasts with Shayna and Chang on their backs. They zigzagged to avoid Ihuaivulu’s flames, but they’d landed too close to him and needed help. I was about to charge toward them when a stream of blue and white fire shot at Ihuaivulu with the fury of hell.

Taran emerged on a hilltop opposite us, hovering above the ground with her crystal eyes fixed on Ihuaivulu. She screamed as meteors of fire tore from her core and at her target. The demon caught the balls of fire and swallowed them whole. Taran was in trouble.

And Emme was there to save her.

My youngest sister raised the large hunk of twisted metal that was once that copter with the full gamut of her force. She grunted and screamed with her hands above her head. Blood trickled down her nose and tears streaked her deep purple face as she levitated the aircraft above the ground. Ying-Ying jumped wildly and fired out words of encouragement as Emme’s burden shook from her strained efforts. With one last primal scream, Emme thrust the helicopter at Ihuaivulu. The spinning rotors took off three of Ihuaivulu’s heads moments before the rest exploded on top of him in a giant burst of light.

The excited hollers and howls of Alliance members were short-lived. The remaining heads ignited the entire area into a raging inferno. “Retreat!” a vampire screamed just before flames engulfed him.

Misha grabbed my hand and we raced back toward the camp. We swept in about the same time Gemini and Liam charged in. The others hadn’t returned.

Gemini’s two wolves became one. He and Liam changed and rushed to us. “Celia, where is everyone?” Liam asked.

“I don’t know. We got separated.”

Gemini’s dark gaze whipped back toward the smoking forest. “I’m going back.”

Misha intercepted him. “Don’t be a fool. The entire area is on fire. If they survived they will return in time.”

Misha’s words, although true, did nothing to calm me. My eyes darted around frantically. I didn’t see anyone I recognized. Just when I thought I would lose it, Taran appeared. The blue and white flames protecting her form withdrew back into her core, allowing Gemini to gather her in his arms. She wept openly while Gemini led her to me.

Taran threw her arms around me. “Oh, my God, Celia. I thought I’d never see you again!”

My voice shook. “Taran, did you see anyone else?”

She glanced over her shoulder at Gemini. “No one else came back?”

He placed his arm on her shoulder. “No, but we need to give them time.”

I pushed my hair back and paced, trying to avoid staring at the weres around me. Horrid scars covered the vast majority. Some had limbs completely burned off while others were swathed with heavy dressings to protect their fresh wounds. The few vampires that remained appeared unharmed. They must have dodged Ihuaivulu’s deadly fire. Had the creature’s flames even grazed them, they would have joined the heaps of ash surrounding the mountainside.

The injured watched me, fear and pain claiming their distorted features. None of them seemed familiar. None were who I longed to see. A horrible sense of dread claimed the pit of my stomach and twisted my gut. “Are Aric and Koda . . . ?”

“They’re alive, Celia,” Gemini answered me quietly. “The ones with the greatest trauma have been moved into the tents.”

My knees buckled when I once again took in the weres with the missing limbs. They waited out in the open, not in tents . . . which meant they were the ones in better shape.

Taran draped her arm around my shoulders. “I’ll take you to them. But Aric especially is not . . . well.” She led me to the rows of tents, pausing outside one of the larger ones.

The flaps of the tent opened as the Elders exited. Anara regarded me with his usual distaste, while the others met me with a mixture of sadness and compassion. I took a deep breath before stepping inside and tried to imagine the absolute worst.

Nothing could have prepared me for this. I gasped in horror. It was all I could do not to scream.

Half of Koda’s body blazed with angry red blisters ready to burst, but the rest of his body was in far worse condition. His right side resembled thick charred leather, patterned much like the scales of a snake. His right eye had swelled shut and he’d lost an ear. And his hair, once long, thick, and silky, now lay singed or was missing from the sections of his burnt scalp. He hunched over in agony.

And still he’d fared better than Aric.

The top and sides of Aric’s hair had vanished, devoured by the seared indentations speckled across his scalp. His face, neck, chest, and arms were brutally damaged. He’d lost the first two layers of skin in some parts, and all three in others. His ears—my God—were nothing more than shrunken pieces of deformed flesh. And where his right eye had been, only a patch of burnt skin remained. His left eye moved to where I stood, shrouded beneath an alarmingly swollen slit.

Prev Next
Free Novels Read Online | Read Wuxia Novel | Read Xianxia Novel