a cursed bloodline-Page 33

My heart had broken a million times when it came to Aric, but as I continued to stare at my reflection, it broke once more. Shayna’s voice shook. “What’s wrong with you, Ceel?”

I wiped my eyes. Without my knowing, I’d begun to cry. The last few weeks had left me so emotionally battered, my impulse to cry had become as automatic as breathing.

Emme squeezed her way into the hall bathroom with us. She broke down the moment she saw me. She wrapped her arms around my waist and buried her face in my chest while Shayna wept against my shoulder.

“Oh shit.” Taran clasped her hand over her mouth and let loose.

We were pathetic, clutching each other and sobbing like the girly girls we were. Poor Danny didn’t stand a chance. He handed Taran a box of tissues, but not before taking one for himself.

Taran blew her nose and swore. “Ssspa day.”

“What?” the rest of us asked.

“Spa day. That’s what we all need, a spa day.”

It wasn’t a suggestion. She dragged me out of the bathroom with my sisters and Danny trailing behind us.

Aric hated me. Bren lay in a coma. And a twisted asshole prick Elder basked in the blood of my suffering. My first thought with regard to spa day was no. My second, hell no. I’d never felt so alone and helpless. I didn’t need my nails done. I needed a damn battle-axe to tuck under my pillow at night. And still I agreed, if only to escape my troubles and spend one last moment with my sisters. I was leaving Tahoe and my family. The way things stood, I couldn’t be sure I’d ever see them again.

Danny’s face reddened the minute we entered the day spa in South Tahoe. He probably thought a day of pampering was unbecoming to a werewolf, but still wouldn’t risk leaving me.

Taran led me to the counter and slapped down her credit card. “Five Spa Adventures, please, three Tranquilities, one Gentleman’s Favorite.” She put her arm around me and smiled. “And for this little lady, the Beauty and Bliss package.”

Taran must have been spending a small fortune. The women attendants couldn’t move fast enough. They escorted us down a hallway decorated in beautiful shades of green and blue and a floor resembling a lovely pier set over sand. The mural before us was so realistic, it was as if we were about to dive into paradise.

One by one we were ushered into rooms with massage tables. The smells of tropical flowers and sounds of trickling falls suggested nothing but peace and deep relaxation. My startled nerves and tense muscles began to relax even before reaching my destination. Good idea, Taran.

My room was the largest. A multitiered fountain of glass dribbled lazily in the corner while the delicate scent of jasmine tickled my nose and a sweet bird whistled above the soft sounds of the rain forest. Peach candles lit the dark room. This wasn’t a spa. It was heaven.

The attendant escorting me handed me a pink cotton gown. She stood a few inches taller than me. Her dark hair was pinned in a chignon, revealing her perfectly fair skin and flawless makeup. “Hello. I’m Mindy. Please undress and lie on the bed so we may begin your journey into serenity.”

Mindy’s voice dripped of soothing comfort and harmony—an angel welcoming me through the pearly gates.

I quickly discovered she was the devil himself.

She positioned me onto my side and had me hug my knees. “What are you doing?” I asked, wondering what she could possibly massage in this position.

Mindy spoke sweetly. “Beginning the cleansing part of your ‘Beauty and Bliss’ experience.”

I should have read the damn brochure. Then I could have stopped her before she lubed my ass.

As it was, I jumped in the nick of time. If it wasn’t for my horror upon seeing that nutcase holding a hose in one hand and a giant tube of KY in the other, I might have cracked her spine in half. “What the hell is wrong with you, Mindy?”

I had to give it to “Little Miss Stepford.” She continued to smile in that delicate way of hers before politely requesting I release my viselike grip on her wrists. She then snapped off her thick rubber gloves and excused herself. I was trying to wipe the lube off with a towel when Mindy returned with a rather irate Taran.

Taran adjusted the belt on her robe. “What’s the problem?”

“She tried to stick a hose in my bat cave!” I answered, pointing.


“What do you mean, ‘so’? Mine’s an exit only!”

“Celia, it’s a cleansing. No different than getting a facial. Your body will thank you for it, trust me.”

For a minute, I just scowled and wondered how to tactfully dispose of Taran’s and Mindy’s bodies. Then guilt rushed in to haunt me. Taran had spent a lot of money and I knew she meant well. And maybe she was right. Maybe it would benefit my health, and therefore my baby’s. So against my better judgment, I turned myself over to Mindy.

Damn, was I an idiot.

The experience was many things: humiliating, creepy, and downright uncomfortable. Yet as unpleasant as the experience was for me, Mindy earned my deepest condolences. I’d been a labor nurse. I’d seen the most intimate parts of a woman as I focused on helping her through one of life’s most incredible journeys and, in the end, the woman was able to hold a precious baby in her arms. All Mindy got to hold were my butt cheeks.

When she finally finished, I was ready to haul what remained of my ass. Mindy insisted it was time to start the “bliss” part of my day. I supposed the facial and the hot stone massage would have been relaxing if my intestines weren’t screaming that something had gone horribly wrong.

An hour later, I found my sisters and Danny lounging on velour couches enjoying champagne, cheese, and fruit. Danny leapt up the moment he saw me and raced out the door. “I’ll wait for you outside.”

He must have heard the deets about my jolly good time with Mindy. I was mortified yet grateful Bren wasn’t waiting in his place. Bren would have taken a pic and mailed it out as his Christmas card.

My sisters’ nails and toes were freshly manicured. They were in banner moods, laughing and smiling, having enjoyed their spa adventures.

Another no doubt crazed colonic expert approached me smiling and started working on my hands and feet. I squirmed, unable to sit still and convinced Mindy had forgotten to remove the hose.

Taran admired her French manicure. “What’s with you?”

I grimaced. “I’m in pain.”