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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 8)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(8) by Samantha Young
  • “Don’t play games with me, Lucien.”

    “I’m not!” he growled, springing to his feet. “Do you or do you not have her?!”

    Marita sighed. “No. I don’t. I thought you might know something. Now I see you don’t.”

    His mind whirled with the possibilities. Who had Caia? What did they want with her?

    Ryder had seemed to sense his slow unraveling and had answered for him, “She was taken a few hours before your guard arrived. We thought you’d kidnapped her.”

    “Well clearly you were wrong.” Marita huffed and turned to the guard behind her. “I want her found. Go back to Lucien’s home and look for any evidence of her kidnapping. I will have a look at the trace, see what I can find.”

    She had left without another word.

    As he lay there, his mind tripped over and over again his last moments with Caia, and he began traveling into dark conclusions. His heart picked up speed and his only outlet was to let rip a garble of snarling growls that built into a howl. It did nothing to ease his fear over Caia. He felt impotent and lost. Desperate. But he knew those feelings weren’t going to get him any closer to finding her. He knew he needed to maintain control of himself if he was going to escape in time to find her before…

    At his sudden silence he heard Ryder sigh from behind him. “Well after that, at least the Council members know they’re not alone down here.”

    Ryder’s words sunk in. Crap. Lucien growled. Crap, of course.

    “What? What did I say?” Ryder asked wide-eyed as Lucien spun on him.

    “If the Council can’t get out of here, how the hell are we going to? No wonder she stuck us in here together.”

    “Come on, man, we just need to think of a plan.”

    What if Caia was already gone? What if one of the Midnights had gotten wind of her existence and had snuck up on her before Caia knew what was happening? What if she was lying somewhere…

    Feeling his chest constrict, Lucien braced himself against the wall of the cell, fighting to catch a breath.

    “Lucien, you have to calm down. Jeez, I never took you for the claustrophobic kind.”

    “It’s not that,” he breathed, scoring his nails down the brickwork, ignoring each pop of broken skin and the prickles of blood.

    He felt the moment when his friend understood. His stillness caught hold of Lucien and pressed even harder on his chest.

    “We’ll find her.”

    “And if it’s too late when we do?” at the words he felt the prick of tears, the painful grip of grief clogging up his throat.

    “She’s not dead,” Ryder promised him. “You would feel if she was gone. And this is Caia Ribeiro we’re talking about here. She’s a frickin’ nuclear warhead. Have a little faith.”

    The pressure began to ease a little. “You think?”

    “I know.”

    Slowly, his breathing grew less labored and he turned to Ryder. “Sorry.”

    “No need. If I thought for a second something had happened to Jae I would be ripping this place a part.”

    “Well we’re lucky Jaeden’s quick. They couldn’t touch her once she was in wolf form. And it looks like Caia was right about Marita wanting her specifically. She was more than a little pissed off she couldn’t get to Jae.”

    Ryder grinned proudly. “Yup, plus she got a few slices in while they grabbed us.”

    “Sorry you didn’t get your wedding night.”

    His friend shrugged lazily. “We’ll be out of here soon enough.”

    “You really are an optimistic son-of-a-bitch, aren’t you?”

    “Have to be.” Ryder frowned. “She’s got the kids. And I’m guessing she’s got them in that lab Caia told us about. We have to get out of here and get those kids back to the pack.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    Lucien spun around at the voice that had caused Ryder’s eyes to narrow in disgust.

    “Marion,” Lucien snarled. “How nice of you to show up.”

    Her presence was like a punch to his gut. All these years she had been a close friend of the pack, one of Magnus’ best friends in fact. Now she had betrayed them just as her sister had betrayed the Coven. He was about to spit and vent his fear over Caia and his fury over his predicament in her face, when he suddenly took in her appearance. The witch had flinched at his tone, her pale features wan and drawn. Her mouth was pinched with strain and her eyes dark with distress.

    “I… I don’t know what’s going on here, Lucien,” she whispered, drawing slowly closer to the Plexiglas. “I can’t stay. She doesn’t know I’m here.”

    As the truth of the situation hit him, he deflated, his anger just as suddenly replaced with reluctant sympathy for her. “She’s threatened you?”

    Marion nodded. “With imprisonment.”

    “You know the Council didn’t do anything wrong.”

    She threw her hands up. “Lucien, I don’t know anything. I thought I believed her about the Council… maybe… I don’t know. But taking you and Ryder? Telling me Caia betrayed the Coven…”

    Lucien growled, rushing forward. He almost blasted into the Plexiglas without thought but Ryder was fast, grabbing a hold of his shirt and tugging him back. “Caia didn’t betray the Coven. She found out your sister was playing with the dark side.”

    Marion shook her head, her wide eyes filled with fear and confusion. “No. No. She couldn’t be… we… our family are the ones who put the Coven to right.”

    “Then why did she take the pack kids?”

    Marion frowned. “What do you mean?”

    Lucien snorted. “You’re telling me you didn’t see us come to the Center with all the pack kids in tow?”

    “I missed your arrival.”

    “That’s a nice way to put it. Almost as if we came here by choice.”

    “Lucien, I’m so sorry. Maybe if I could speak to Caia-”

    “CAIA’S GONE!” he roared, causing her to stumble back in shock.

    “Lucien,” Ryder cajoled, pulling him behind him. Ryder turned more gently to Marion. “Caia was kidnapped before we were. Not by your sister. We don’t know who has her.”

    The witch stiffened. “How is that possible? Are you sure it was kidnap?”

    Ryder snarled this time, “Her blood was at the scene of the kidnap.”

    “Oh goddess,” Marion gasped, running her trembling hands through her wild hair as she digested the news. Finally she looked up, her face taut with determination. “I’ll find her.”

    “So your sister can have her killed?” Lucien spat.

    Marion appeared appalled by the idea. “No… she would never…”

    “Before you go making any statements of assurance on your sister’s high moral standing, why don’t you go into the altar of Gaia. To the right of the statue you’ll find a small metal stud imbedded in the marble flooring. The slab opens up revealing an entrance to an underground lab, where your sister is running illegal experiments on lykan children. Possibly even vampyres.”

    A little bit of her usual fire suddenly flared in her eyes. “I don’t believe you.”

    “Would you believe Caia? She’s the one who found it. That’s the reason she went to the Council. They were investigating her claims. I guess they found out it was true, otherwise, why would Marita have them imprisoned.”

    She shook her head, dazed… “No,” she whispered.

    Lucien sighed and stepped slowly towards her. “Marion, please. We need your help. Please just check it out. If we’re right you have to get us out of here, we have to free the Council and those children.”

    At her continued silence, Lucien pushed, “Please, Marion…”

    “I have to go,” she blurted out, and just as suddenly as she had appeared she was gone.

    Ryder looked over at him. “Do you think she’ll check it out?”

    Marita was still Head of the Coven, and despite the controversy over her imprisonment of the Council, a good majority of the Daylight’s at the Center still seemed to trust her. It didn’t help matters that she had won them a number of great victories over the last few months (all of which were Caia’s doing but most Daylights didn’t know that). She was a powerful being, and one with a hell of a lot of support. It would be foolish to go against her. Especially a Daylight. She could see the treachery coming in the trace if she thought to look. And he was guessing Marita was keeping a close eye on the major players, including her very own sister.

    Lucien dropped to the floor, pressing his back up against the wall. “I don’t know. Marion is a brave woman, but sometimes going into battle is easier than facing the awful truth.”

    Life as a lykan was growing increasingly dull. For instance, there were very few ways to express yourself – there really was only so much growling and snapping you could do. Jaeden huffed and once more circled her mother’s legs. She felt the stroke of her mom’s fingers through her fur and relaxed a little. Yes. She needed to relax so she could come up with a plan. Her wolf eyes took in the pack, excluding all six of the pack children who had been taken. She growled again, worrying over the fate of her beautiful, innocent niece, Jaela, and Jaela’s three cousins.

    Sebastian’s parents sat in the corner clinging to one another, the remainder of their family – Seana and Sunday – also taken, leaving them momentarily completely childless. A sort of numbness seemed to have descended over them and Jaeden let out a small howl in sympathy. Her mother’s hand swept through her coat again and she trembled, trying to rein in her anxiety. She had to think. Think. The pack were all stuck inside Lucien’s house, with a spell around it keeping them trapped inside. She could smell five magiks surrounding the house. There had been more when they came. Marita utilized her opportunity well, descending on her and Ryder’s mating celebrations as soon she realized Caia wasn’t going to come so easily. Caia, she whined. She could still smell her blood on the car outside. What had happened to her friend? And it was bad enough being parted from Ryder, their night stolen from them, but for the pack to lose their Alpha… on top of having the children taken from them and not knowing why (although she had the unsettling feeling it had something to do with the lab Caia said she’d found). The pack were shaken. Frightened. Desolate, without the guidance of their young leader, and in no frame of mind to take on the Head of the Coven. They all feared the worst, but Jae would know if something had happened to Ryder. He was going to be OK. He and Lucien were together, looking out for one another. Still… she would feel a lot better if she had some kind of plan to get him back.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire