Cursed By Destiny Page 78

Shayna threw her pack over her shoulder and peered at Misha’s jet. “Why don’t we just refuel and keep going?”

“The jet’s too big and too damn obvious. The Alliance greased a lot of palms to avoid stopping at Kilimanjaro International, but we still need to be smart and lie low.”

Emme ran next to me in order to keep up. I placed my arm around her lower back to help her along. We stopped in front of a small white plane, large enough to seat about ten passengers. My eyes scanned the desolate hangar. “Where’s our pilot?”

Once more Tye’s dimple made an appearance. “You’re looking at him, dovie. Like Makawee said, I’m a were of many talents.”

My sisters and I exchanged glances before following him onto the small aircraft. It wasn’t a new plane, nor was it fancy or sleek like the jet. But it seemed in working order and thankfully rust-free.

Tye asked me to ride shotgun. I obliged in an effort to be civil, but didn’t plan on socializing much. I relaxed when I saw how he flipped the switches with ease and adjusted the controls as if he’d done it a thousand times. My anxiety returned as the small aircraft sped down the runway and ascended into the pitch-black sky, leaving the bright lights of the runway behind. I had no clue how he knew where to go. Despite my tigress eyes I couldn’t detect anything in the horizon.

Tye laughed. “You didn’t strike me as the nervous sort until now.”

I disregarded his comment and tried hard to find a landmark. “How do you know which direction to fly?”

“My grandmother used to fly all over the world. She started teaching me around the time I was six. I know my way around the air, sometimes even better than on land.” His fingers fiddled with a knob before turning the control and tilting the plane slightly toward the right. “Africa and I are old pals. I’ve flown here at least a dozen times.”

I watched his motions closely, knowing if it was up to me to fly the small aircraft we would all just have to die. “Why?”

“Because I enjoy it.”

“No, I mean, why Africa specifically?”

“I’m a lion, dovie. I wanted to trace my animalistic roots. Haven’t you ever thought about returning to the motherland?”

“My motherland is Jersey.”

That earned me another laugh. “So there’s a personality deep beneath that tough exterior.”

“I’ll have you know I’m pretty hilarious once you get to know me.”

“So are you saying we’ll get to know each other after all?” He waggled his eyebrows.

“Not in the way Destiny intends.”

“You don’t believe in Destiny?”

“It’s hard to believe in someone who wears a dead weasel around her neck and zebra cowgirl boots.”

Tye grinned. “She’s not so bad. She’s actually a nice girl, just a little quirky.”

“You know her?”

“Yeah, we grew up together.”

It was hard for me to picture Destiny as a child, although she seemed very infantile in her own way. “So in addition to Africa you’re also old pals with Destiny?”

“Yeah, we are.” He smiled fondly as if remembering, but then his smile vanished as he spoke. “My parents are pures and have always rubbed elbows with the elite. Destiny’s parents are famous witches. When she was born, they knew right away she was a Destiny.”

My head angled toward him. “You mean they knew Destiny should be her name?”

Tye regarded me like I’d missed something important. The creases in his brow softened when he realized I was genuinely awaiting his response. “Destiny is not her name,” he said slowly. “It’s what she is. About once every century an especially gifted baby girl is born from a union of two witches—a sort of soothsayer. The extra talents she’ll possess vary from each individual, but the common trait is her aptitude to predict the future. It’s tradition to name her after the original soothsayer, but she’s always referred to as Destiny.”

I adjusted my position as much as the small area would allow, but the so-called cockpit was too cramped to permit much movement. “That’s kind of strange. If she has a given name, why don’t people use it?”

“Because it’s Trudhilde Radinka.” He shrugged. “If it were me, I’d sure as hell go by Destiny.”

I blinked back at him. “No kidding.”

“Give her a chance, Celia. She’s a good girl with a heavy burden on her shoulders. Since her birth, her parents have always thrown her power in people’s faces. It’s been hard for her to make friends.”

I never thought I could relate to Destiny, but I did then. Friends weren’t a gift that came easy for me. I hadn’t stopped to think how someone like her would fare. “She seems so peculiar. Between her style of dress and my experience with her in vamp court, she’s not someone I’ve longed to approach. But . . . if you consider her a good person, I’ll make an effort to be nice if I see her again.”

“I’d appreciate that,” he said quietly. The fondness in his tone returned and his expression softened, but it didn’t take long for an underlying hint of mischief to brighten his features. “So, dovie, now that you know more about Destiny, are you more apt to believe what she says?”

“Not when she’s talking about us.”

He smiled at me with curiosity. “Why are you so certain?”

I smiled back and crossed my arms. “Why are you?”

“For one, Destiny’s predictions are never wrong.” His voice dropped an octave and his playful demeanor vanished. “For another, I’ve been attracted to you from the first moment I caught your scent.”

I inched away from him. “I think it’s just a cat thing. I don’t find there are many of us around.”

“You’re . . . blushing.” He sounded surprised.

I shifted nervously, except there was no place to go but down.

“How can someone who’s mated to a wolf and living with one of the earth’s deadliest masters be so shy?”

My body heat rose the more Tye continued to watch me. “Don’t look at me that way.”

The timbre in Tye’s voice lowered to a bedroom whisper. “Why shouldn’t I?”

I focused on the control panel. It was better than the alternative. “Tye, I’m not used to this kind of attention. It makes me uncomfortable. You have to understand, Aric and Misha are among the rare few who have given me more than a passing glance.”

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