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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 9)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(9) by Samantha Young
  • Hmm.

    Jaeden padded away from her mother and wandered into the kitchen. A magik was standing on the porch, but he was a few meters from the kitchen doors.

    She was fast. Perhaps not as fast as Caia and Lucien, but fast enough to get past the magik.

    Plus, it wasn’t like he could do anything to her while she was in lykan form. Her head swiveled back, gazing towards the hallway. She wished she could tell her parents where she was going. There was nothing for it, though…

    Bracing herself mentally, she hopped up on to the kitchen table, backing towards the near edge.

    One. Two. Three.

    She sped along the long wooden table top and as she neared the end of its length she leapt, pushing her wolf body with enough force to smash through the glass of the kitchen door. Ignoring the fragments of glass that sliced through her skin and clung to her pelt, Jaeden shot down the porch and into the woods, delighting in the outraged shouts of the magik behind her. Five minutes into the forest she began to feel guilty leaving the pack when she was their only defense, but she needed to get to Vil and Laila. Three heads were better than her lousy one, especially when it was clouded with fury and fear.

    She followed the woods along the highway. Then there was the difficult task of keeping out of sight as she made her way through the town. Garbage cans and cars came in handy, but when she turned up a back alleyway a few blocks from Ryder’s apartment building she surprised a drunk who mistook her for a dog. He kept scrambling at her and even managed to grab her tail. With a huff of unease, Jaeden swiped at his trouser leg, creating shallow scratches across his skin. He howled as though he had been shredded and Jae used the moment to bounce off the wall and soar behind him, dropping to the ground with ease before running out of the other end of the alley.

    Making it to the apartment led to another problem. She had to wait forever for someone to come out of the building to get in, and sneaking past them as if invisible was impossible. The woman who opened the door shrieked in terror, clearly not mistaking her for anything other than what she was. Jaeden raced up the staircase and slammed into Ryder’s door, hoping Vil would be suspicious enough to check the peephole. That woman would be calling animal control and she really needed to be back in human form before they got there.

    Her racing heart almost stopped when the door peeled away from the jamb slowly and cautiously. She didn’t give him a second to hesitate. She threw herself into the gap and past him with her lykan strength, and gave a wolfy laugh at Vil’s shocked, “Hey!”

    She shot past a startled Laila, who dived out of her way, and loped into Ryder’s room, his scent enveloping her and bringing her anger back to the surface.

    She missed him.

    He had only been gone a little over 24 hours but she missed him with every molecule of her being. She wished he was here. Helping her through this. She whacked the door shut for privacy and began to change, reveling in the burn and crack of the transformation. Finally, she lay in human form, her body drenched in sweat. That was the fastest she had ever gone through the change. At the sounds of Vil and Laila’s anxious whispering Jae struggled to her feet and began rummaging through Ryder’s clothes. She found a large Death Cab t-shirt and a pair of shorts, the waist of which was held up with one of his belts. She opened the bedroom door only to be confronted by Vil, who in his nervousness shot out a stream of energy. She felt a wave of nausea overcome her.

    “Jaeden!” he yelped and suddenly the overwhelming feeling disappeared. “I’m so sorry… we just… I was…”

    “It’s OK,” she assured him, brushing off his apology. “I get it. It’s OK.”

    “Are you alright?” Laila approached her cautiously. “Something… is wrong… yes?”

    “You bet.”

    After ushering them into the sitting room, Jaeden explained the full scope of the situation.

    Vil paled considerably. “What are we going to do?”

    Jaeden looked at them wide-eyed. “I don’t suppose you guys would consider helping me take those guards out?”

    “Of course.”

    “What? Are you crazy?”

    Both replies were said in unison. Jaeden laughed. She wasn’t surprised. For all her gentleness and appearance of fragility, Laila was brave and strong from her experiences. Vil… well, he just didn’t want anything bad to happen to Laila.

    A new voice entered the fray, “Yes. She is crazy. But that’s why I’ve always liked her.”

    She gasped along with her companions and turned to find Reuben standing in the doorway. Oh Reuben, thank the gods! He would help. He could get the gang. Just as these thoughts rushed through her, and just as she was about to throw her arms around him in delight, another figure stepped into the doorway. Smaller. More feminine. But just as familiar.

    Jaeden lurched to a stop. Oh thank goddess.

    A slow grin spread across her face. “Caia?”

    5 – Sacrifice

    It was strange to find herself at this age so lost and afraid. It was strange to find that she was so unsure at any age, as she had always found confidence in who she was and the powerful family she belonged to. Marion trembled, drawing in a deep breath as she sank into a wooden pew in the front of the statue of Gaia. Having spotted the metal stud in the marble flooring that Lucien had spoken of, Marion was now taking a moment to decide what to do. If in fact there was anything she could do.

    That morning Marita had held a meeting in the largest of the training rooms, requesting the presence of everyone who lived, worked and trained or served at the Center. There had been much upset when Marita had imprisoned the Council, some fighting broke out but they had managed to deal with the people responsible and had put them out of the Center. All portals known to outsiders were shut off after Daylights (the families of Council members to be exact) had gotten into the Center with the sole purpose of rescuing the prisoners. There would be more rescue attempts, they were sure, as the news took its time to reach other Daylight supernaturals around the world. Marita had to act fast to prove the Council’s treachery… or a war within the coven would begin. So far, luckily for Marita, none of the Daylights had taken the time to be organized and their attempts were shut down immediately by Marita’s soldiers. But unrest within the Center itself was growing anew. Marion had wanted it to, had wanted some sense shaken into her sister. How could Marita hold Pack Errante against their will? How could she hunt Caia? It was… insane.

    The meeting, however, had done nothing to soothe Marion’s fears. Although there was discontent, primarily among Caia’s friends within the Travellers and lykans, Marita had managed to contain the threat of rioting by announcing her plans to create a new Council – assuring everyone she had no intention of turning the Daylight Coven into an autocracy. Moreover, some seemed willing to accept her claims that Caia was working for the Midnights and that she had convinced the Council, with her supreme powers, to work against the Daylights. Why wouldn’t they believe her? Marita was part of a noble family, had been their faithful leader for years. And more importantly, it was becoming apparent there was still a great many Daylights who were just as ruthless in their belief as she was. They would do anything to win the war, to destroy Midnights, and it was only now Marion was realizing that meant sacrificing their own. How could Marion possibly stand against her sister and such odds?

    But this… if Lucien was speaking the truth about the children? Oh Goddess. Who was she to trust? Her sister was clearly maniacal at this point and Caia had been lying to her for weeks.

    You have to look. You have to know for yourself.

    Heaving the weightiest of sighs, Marion stood. Her legs trembled so badly she had to grasp the pew behind her. She took a moment to bolster her courage, to remind herself of whom she was, how strong she had always been. She couldn’t let her strength desert her now… now when she needed it the most.

    With tentative steps she stood above the marble slab. Very slowly and gently she pressed her finger on the near invisible stud.

    Whoosh!

    She watched, silently horrified, as it opened, a blast of cool air whipping across her skin. Peering down into the sub-basement, dread settled in her stomach. Quietly she made her way down the ladders attached to the wall and found herself standing in what looked like a hospital corridor. Like a surreal nightmare it felt as if she wandered forever through white hallways, garishly lit with fluorescent lighting, her heeled boots echoing ominously as she approached what was sure to be an unwanted reality. The next corridor she turned down into was different than the others, wider. A door sat adjacent to a large viewing window.

    Another door further up the corridor on the opposite side, another window.

    Her chest reverberated with the pounding of her heart and she clutched her stomach at the welling of nausea and fear. Her heart began to race out of all control and then stopped as the words on the door shot through her with the impact of a shotgun blast.

    Laboratory 1: lykanthrope

    Oh Gaia, no. No. She squeezed her eyes shut. No, her sister couldn’t be capable of this.

    Anger, unlike anything she had felt for it was mixed with the cruelest of disappointment, surged through her, and she took the door knob in hand and thrust it open.

    “Hey! You can’t be-” a magik in a lab coat rushed at her, only to be cut off as she blasted him against the far wall with enough force to render him unconscious. He slumped helplessly to the ground, papers flying up and then fluttering slowly to the floor all around him. Tears filled her eyes at the sight before her. Seven frightened children stared back at her from within cages, wide-eyed and pale.

    “Marion?” a child whispered and she stumbled back in recognition. It was Seana Trey, and in the cage next to her was Joaquin Barton. They were Pack Errante kids. Oh Gaia. Oh Hades…

    “I didn’t want you to find out like this.”

    Marion whirled around to face her sister whose eyes seemed to plead with her.

    “This isn’t what it looks like.”

    “Where are the others?” Marion asked numbly. “Where are the other pack children?”

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