a cursed bloodline-Page 32

“So we can all die in one shot?”

Danny chuckled. I wasn’t trying to be funny. “I mean someplace safe where Anara’s magic could be blocked—like here at Misha’s. The problem is, the presence of so many weres will diminish the amount of vampiric power and provide multiple links for Anara to reach you. Aric’s presence especially will tip the scales toward Anara’s advantage. But, if we can manage to recruit extra vampires—including multiple masters—I think it will be enough to override Anara’s power.”

“Danny, this all sounds great in theory, but how are we possibly going to get all these beings together at one time?”

“Simple: invite them to your wedding to Misha.”

Chapter Fourteen

“Are you crazy? I’m not marrying Misha!”

“Celia, think about it. Your sisters will come to support you whether they like what you’re doing or not. And the elite of the vampire community will also be in attendance.” Danny’s excitement grew the more he contemplated his idea. “There are only five master vampires in the entire world who match Misha’s and Uri’s power. They’d all be dying—well, you know what I mean—to attend. But even if only two of them came, it would diminish Anara’s magic.”

“He’ll still have access to Aric.”

“Not if Aric is here, too.”

“Oh. You’re right. I’m sure Aric will just be thrilled to death to get an invitation. Maybe we could ask him to be the ring bearer—or better yet, the best man. Do you think he’ll give me away if I ask nicely?”

Danny watched me pace the room. “Celia, your bond with Aric is severed, but his love for you remains. He won’t let you marry Misha. He’ll crash the wedding and his Warriors will try to stop him. As soon as everyone arrives, we reveal Anara’s actions. This way no one gets hurt.”

“No one, except Misha.” I stopped pacing. “He’s my friend, Danny. I won’t hurt or humiliate him to save my own ass.”

Danny crossed his arms. “I know it’s a lousy thing to do to someone, but I don’t see another option. Anara must be stopped. His actions aren’t those of a sane were.”

Logically, everything Danny said made sense. Regardless, I knew I was incapable of such a ruse. Yes, my loved ones would be spared. But Misha would be disgraced before his peers and inferiors. I could never use anyone like that. Especially Misha. “I won’t do it, Danny. There has to be another way.”

Emme rapped on the door before opening it slowly. She’d changed into a long ivory sweater dress and brown boots. Her other clothes must have had blood on them. “Are you all right?” I asked her.

She nodded as Shayna and Taran slipped in behind her. They seemed surprised to see Danny alive. I’m sure they’d expected to find him partially eaten and me flossing. I tried to push away my hurt and adjusted Bren’s position.

Shayna angled her way around the couch to see Bren, likely to make sure I wouldn’t hurt him. She fixed the sheet to cover his bare arms and cleared her throat. “Koda and the others say you knocked Emme out. Is it true?”

My heart clenched just having her ask. “No. I would never hurt Emme.”

Emme fidgeted with her hands. “The last thing I remember was answering the door before I blacked out—and I remember you screaming. What happened?”

I shrugged. “I couldn’t tell you.”

Taran pursed her lips and scowled. “Damn, Ceel. What if Liam’s right and evil things are following you around? Do you think you might be possessed or something?”

I shrugged again, unsure how to answer. She was trying to come up with a plausible solution instead of simply assuming I’d lost my mind.

Danny hooked his thumbs through the belt loops of his jeans. “She’s been herself around me.”

My sisters exchanged glances. They took that little bit of hope Danny gave them and ran with it. Shayna grinned. “Awesome! I bet this whole thing is just temporary.”

My other sisters nodded, excited by the possibility I might not need shock therapy. Emme approached me slowly. “Can we see your hair, sweetie? Taran and I think we can fix it if we work together.”

I carefully unwrapped the towel. “Okay. But I have to warn you, it’s not pretty.”

“How bad can it—son of a bitch!” Taran screamed once, twice, and yeah, a third time. And just like that, they were back to thinking I was screwy again.

Shayna jumped up and down, pointing at my head. “Ceel! You have like, three hairs left.”

“Son of a bitch!”

Emme circled me. “Y-you’re missing pieces of your scalp!”

“Son of a bitch!”

“Um, I put antiseptic on it,” Danny offered.

Emme stumbled forward, urging me to sit. She closed her eyes and touched my face. Almost instantly, the throbbing around my scalp diminished.

Taran took a small bottle from her designer purse. “It’s Tahoe water.” She unscrewed the cap with shaky fingers. “I’m going to try to manipulate the magic to grow back your hair.” She sighed and took in my condition. “I’m not sure it’s going to work.”

It took a long while before anything happened. Taran wasn’t a witch and she’d only dabbled with Tahoe’s magic. After several long minutes and many a swearword on Taran’s part, my scalp buzzed. “Whoa,” Shayna whispered.

Long, loose spirals blossomed from my scalp until they once again hung past my shoulder blades. I ran my fingers through my curls as I walked to the bathroom to take a peek. The texture had thinned slightly. When I ran my fingers through my waves, they stayed out of my eyes instead of falling forward from the weight. I thought of Aric and wondered if he’d still like it. I quickly dismissed the thought. Aric probably didn’t like anything about me anymore.

Shayna rested her head on my shoulder as I continued to take in my reflection. My hair, although somewhat thinner, was still bulky enough to hide me. I didn’t want anyone to see me. It was silly. I knew covering my face wouldn’t make me disappear, but I longed to be invisible. More than anything, I wanted to fade away from the likes of Anara, the Tribe, and the scary shape-shifters.

Since first learning about my baby, my maternal instincts to protect had radically kicked in. I was strong. I had powers. But I knew I wasn’t enough to keep my child safe forever. If only Aric and I were still together. Although only two against thousands, there was something sacred about a pair of beings protecting what they’d created together. We would love our baby like no one else could and give each other strength to survive.