Cursed By Destiny Page 51

It was a long drive back to the mansion. Misha continued to stare at me and not speak while I continued to avoid his eyes. The moment we arrived, I jumped out of the Hummer and left for the guesthouse. I removed my dress and shoes and placed them on the bed. I washed off my makeup and then slipped into a tank top and some underwear. I didn’t want to shower, hoping to keep Aric’s scent on me as long as possible.

When I came out of the bathroom, Edith was sitting on my bed, trembling with her hands clamped tight. “The master wishes to see you,” she mumbled.

It wasn’t a request. I threw on a robe and a pair of slippers and followed her back to the house. Edith’s swagger was long gone. Her shoulders hunched the entire way to the house. She led me to the library and quickly disappeared. I paused before entering. Misha’s growing anger bubbled around him and stirred my beast. She believed it was best to come out. I kept her in place.

Misha leaned against the huge mantel, staring at the massive flames. A strange smell wafted from the fireplace and encompassed the room. I walked to him, realizing the scent was that of burning silk. My dress and shoes had been thrown into the fire. “Sit down,” he said in a low voice.

I didn’t argue and chose one of the armchairs closest to him. The chessboard rested on the table next to me. I fiddled with the pawn as I waited for him to make his next move. He was angry. I had caused him pain. But I didn’t belong to him and nothing he could say would make me regret my actions. By the time he addressed me the marble chess piece had grown warm in my hand.

“Were you with the wolf tonight?”

My voice was quiet yet strong. “Yes.”

His voice turned deadly. “Why?”

I didn’t blink. “Because I love him, Misha.”

Misha swatted the chessboard across the room, embedding the pieces into the wall. His hands gripped the sides of my chair and his nose was inches from mine. “Am I not worthy of your love?”

I was so shocked words initially failed me. But my surprise quickly morphed to fury. Did he think he could scare me so easily? Did he think I was one of his servants and would just cower at his feet? Oh, hell no.

“How can anyone love you when you’re not capable of loving in return?”

Misha hissed. “What do you know of what I am capable of?”

“More than you think—I see it every day. You sleep with anyone you want and indulge yourself in any way that suits you. Have you ever committed to anyone—or given someone every part of you?” Misha continued to glare, but wouldn’t answer. “I didn’t think so. So until you know what I’m going through, don’t pretend what you offer is enough for me or anyone else.” I pushed him away and stood to leave. “If you wish, I’ll still fight for you, but I refuse to live here. I’ll take my chances with what hunts me. At least it doesn’t pretend to be a friend.” With those final words, I stormed out of the room.

Three voice mail messages from my sisters waited for me when I returned to the guesthouse. The first one was from Shayna. “Ceel, you and Aric like totally did it! Call us back and tell us what happened.”

The next one was from Emme. “Oh, Celia, why aren’t you calling us back? We want to know what happened. We’re so happy that you and Aric reconnected . . . Well, you know what I mean.” I didn’t need to see her to know she’d blushed when she said this.

Taran, who was not known for her patience, left the last message. “What the hell, Celia? Are you still having sex? Oh, shit! That’s it, isn’t it? You’re getting nasty. Call back when you’re done. Damn it—details, I want details!”

I yanked off my robe and kicked off my slippers, pacing as I fiddled with the phone in my hand. My thoughts urged me to call them back, but the rest of me remained shaken from my encounter with Misha. I jumped when the phone buzzed in my hand and Gemini’s face appeared on the screen. He never called me. “Gem, what’s wrong?”

“It’s me, sweetness.” My heart leapt into my throat. It was Aric. He must have borrowed Gem’s phone.

“Hey, wolf,” I answered, almost crying.

“You’re upset. What happened?”

“Nothing. I just really miss you.” I also just had a bad fight with Misha.

“I miss you, too. Celia, I’m sorry things ended tonight the way they did.”

“It’s okay—”

“No, baby. It’s not right that I’m not with you now.”

I wiped a trailing tear. “There’s not a lot we can do about it, love.”

“You’re wrong. Come to your bedroom window.”

I stared at the screen briefly before racing from the kitchen to the bedroom. I tossed my phone on my armchair and yanked open the blinds. Aric perched on the long sill. He’d already removed the screen and opened the window. He tucked the phone in his jeans and grinned.

“Hey. I know I shouldn’t be here, but—”

I grabbed him by his shoulders and hauled him inside, using a little too much force. Aric landed on top of me, making me purr.

“Hello, beautiful,” he murmured.

Aric stroked me gently with his tongue and nibbled lightly on my lips. Every bit of Aric was delicious, but his taste made my body ache with need. He lifted me into his arms and carried me to the bed, lying next to me. He stopped our kiss and swept his hand through my hair. I melted against him. Aric represented home, security, and love—my answer to my loneliness.

I took in his face with my eyes and his body with my hand. All I felt was hard stone beneath the softness of his skin. He had always been muscular like a boxer, but now Aric’s physique resembled more of a wrestler’s.

His chest rose and fell slowly and his face flushed. “I’ve missed your touch.”

I continued my slow caress. “You’ve really bulked up.”

He took my hand and kissed it. “I spend most of my time hunting the Tribe, training, and fighting—working out my frustrations so I can better manage my wolf.” He smiled when I continued to play. “Do you like it?”

I shrugged, to me he’d always looked good. “So long as it’s what you want. I just like you.”

Aric’s hand slipped beneath my tank top and slid over my side and tummy, frowning when his fingertips skimmed along my waist. “You, on the other hand, are even smaller. Hasn’t Misha been feeding you?”

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