A Curse Unbroken Page 1

Author: Cecy Robson

Series: Weird Girls #5

Genres: Fantasy

Chapter 1

Aric’s hand skimmed over the small of my back as we strolled along the shore of Lake Tahoe. “We missed Thanksgiving together last year. We never celebrated your birthday and Christmas downright sucked without you.”

The September sun warmed my face as I leaned closer against him. “We’ll make up for it this year, wolf,” I promised.

Aric bent to meet my lips with a smoldering kiss. I moaned softly as I curled my free arm around his neck. We’d spent so much time in bed since moving back in together. This kiss reminded me why.

He pulled back, his light brown eyes smoky as he spoke. “Celia, I think it’s time we start.”

I thought my werewolf lover would guide us back in the direction of the house. Instead he led me around the bend and removed a folded quilt tucked between two boulders. “What’s this?” I asked when he spread it along the sand.

Instead of answering, Aric pulled out a picnic basket from behind another large rock and placed it on the edge of the quilt. His dark Irish skin brightened to red and perspiration built along his crown. He hauled me to the quilt, causing me to trip over my feet. He barely caught me before I fell and lowered me to the center. “Sorry—sorry,” he said, stumbling over his words. “There’s some…stuff in there.” He pointed to the basket. “Help yourself—I’ll be right back.”

I didn’t understand what was happening and blinked back at him as he darted away. I tucked my knees against myself and waited, then waited and waited some more. The breeze from the lake pushed back my hair and stirred Tahoe’s magic around me, enlivening my inner tigress and inviting her to frolic.

I paused from trying to lull her back to sleep and collect my long curls when I realized where Aric had brought me. This was the section of beach where I first saw him…and where his wolf side had recognized me as his mate. I let my hair slip through my fingers.

Oh my God.

I rose slowly, realizing what might be happening and wondering where Aric could be, when the sound of clanging metal had me whirling in the direction he’d disappeared.

Shrill screams followed swearing. Lots and lots of swearing. My claws shot out when I recognized my sisters’ distressed voices…only to withdraw when a snow-white wolf bolted past me wearing a dress.

That’s right, a wolf in a dress. Welcome to my eff’d up reality. Have a seat, I’ll pour you a cup of crazy.

The wolf tore down the beach, kicking back sand with her large paws in her haste to escape…my sisters? I watched Taran, Shayna, and Emme race after her, the skirts of their medieval dresses hiked up to their waists and the rose petals from their baskets fluttering in the wind.

“Son of a bitch!” Taran ditched the floral wreath on her head and her basket of petals. “Run, Celia, goddamnit, run!” she screamed.

She jetted past me in full foulmouthed glory with Shayna and Emme at her heels. The banging sound grew louder. Danny stumbled after them, the knight’s armor he wore making it hard for him to maneuver his limbs. “Get back to the road!” he urged.

Four more knights charged behind him on horses…wild, bucking horses. I only recognized Koda because his midnight hair hung from his helmet.

Horses clearly weren’t taken by werewolf charm. And it seemed my wolves would never become accomplished equestrians. One by one, the horses flung them from their backs like sock monkeys. They landed against the sand in a loud clash of noise, half groaning, half laughing…and failing to see the one horse thundering toward Emme. I dashed toward her as the large animal continued to kick.

The speed and agility that made me so formidable were hindered by spasms of pain that continued to claim me. While I ducked away from the horse’s legs, and managed to yank Emme from its reach, I couldn’t avoid the smack of its tail.

The horse’s essence hit me like a thunderbolt and I fell into a violent seizure. The world spiraled around me, and what felt like slivers of glass raked against my skin. I clenched my jaw, trying to hold back my cries and work through the misery of my unplanned change.

The banging of tin signaled my knight’s approach. “Celia, it’s okay,” Aric said. “I’m here. Just breathe, sweetness. Breathe.”

It took several long minutes for my convulsions to recede and my torment to end. I rose on four very long and wobbly legs to stare down at my mate. Aric tugged off his helmet and threw it aside, reaching to stroke my face. Fear darkened his features. “Are you all right?” he asked.

I whinnied to assure him I was fine and nudged him with my nose.

He swiped at his face. “This is a disaster.”

Gemini took a step forward. “Aric, just ask her,” he said quietly.

My sisters and friends gathered around us. Aric let his hand fall to his side and slowly fell to his knee. For a moment, he simply stared. But when he spoke, I could sense his devotion in every word. “Celia, you have been my princess since the first time I saw you. Now, I’d like you to be my queen for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?”

My vision blurred as giant tears leaked from my eyes and rolled down my long fuzzy face.

“Scratch once for yes, twice for no!” Bren yelled.

I thought I’d always be ready to hear those words. And there I was, a damn horse. So instead of allowing this moment to be robbed from me, I closed my eyes and took in everything that was Aric—his scent, warmth, love, and all that had brought us together. Someone threw the quilt around me as I felt my body shrink and my bare feet slide along the sandy beach.

For the first time, I managed to reclaim my human form following an accidental change, and I welcomed it for everything it allowed. Aric tucked the quilt around my naked skin and drew me to him, waiting patiently for me to answer. The lump in my throat tightened. After all the times I’d thought I’d lost him, was this really happening?

It took the soft graze of his knuckles against my cheek to assure me this was more than a dream. My body trembled and so did my voice. “Yes,” I managed.

Everyone assembled cheered when Aric kissed me, including Heidi who changed from her white wolf form to stand beside her mate, Danny. Unlike me and being were, Heidi didn’t mind being unclothed. In fact she preferred it.

Three white doves landed a few feet to our left, their loud fluttering wings demanding attention and stirring my inner beast. I broke our kiss, smiling as the little birds closed in. Aric had gone all out!