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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 13)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(13) by Samantha Young
  • Caia blanched. “He must be thinking the worst.”

    “Caia, he’s been taken,” Aidan announced, causing the riot in the hallway to dissipate. “So have Ryder and the children-”

    “I know.” She nodded, turning to look at them all.

    She didn’t have a chance to say anything more before she was crushed in Ella’s arms. “Caia, I am so sorry,” the words tumbled out of Lucien’s mother’s mouth in an incredible rush of remorse. “You were right about Marita and everything and we-”

    “Yeah, we’re so sorry-”

    “Can you-”

    A gamut of feelings and apologies engulfed her as the pack urged her to forgive them for not believing her about Marita. She tried shushing them, but it was to no avail. They were determined to have their say and they were far louder than her.

    “Quiet.” The vampyre didn’t raise his voice but the word had the same effect on the pack as it had had on the others earlier. They puttered to a stop and then stared sullenly at him.

    “You remember Reuben?” she asked wryly.

    He nodded ‘hello’.

    “I know about the kidnapping.” Caia turned to the pack. “I know about everything.”

    8 – Alpha

    As Magnus excused himself hoarsely, Caia’s eyes followed his tall figure as it lurched out of the kitchen and onto the porch, disappearing down into the garden and into the woods. Ella and the pack stared after him solemnly while Caia fought the Marion-shaped lump of grief at the back of her throat. At the sound of Magnus’ harsh howl in the distance she stumbled back from the gathering and turned to hurry upstairs and into the room she shared with Lucien.

    Spotting Lucien’s shirt strewn across the sofa in the corner Caia rushed for it, pressing the fabric to her face so that his scent flooded her nostrils. She promptly burst into harrowing sobs and collapsed on the sofa. As she struggled with the effort to breathe through the burning agony clutching her throat, she wished more than anything that Lucien was here with her, to help her get through this. There had always been the chance that once her war with Marita had begun Caia would have lost Marion anyway. But at least she would have been alive and thriving, helping to keep the Coven tempered with her goodness. Now to exist in a world where there was no Marion was to exist in a world without light. And more than ever Caia needed that light.

    A cool hand clasped her shoulder eliciting a sharp thump from her heart. She looked up to see Reuben staring down at her kindly. There wasn’t even enough time to be surprised by the concern in his eyes before she was pulled out of her seat and enfolded in his arms. Shocked at his display of sympathy, of solicitude, she tensed against him. He merely tightened his hold and pressed her head against his chest, soothing her with quiet words.

    “You’re allowed to cry, Caia. She meant a great deal to you, to everyone. In this war you will see a lot of death, and feel much grief, but you have to let yourself feel it. If you stop allowing yourself to, you will start to stop caring about why you are fighting this war in the first place.” He placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “I know I seem ruthless… and I can be sometimes… but I still care. I need to.”

    Tears had begun rolling quietly down her cheeks as he spoke, and as his voice faded to silence she could no longer stop, burrowing her head deeper into his chest and soaking his shirt with her salty, uncontrolled sorrow. When at last she had quieted and stopped shuddering with the force of her emotions, reality intruded and Caia pulled back from him, instantly uncomfortable with her outburst. And as her gaze locked onto his dark, unfathomable eyes wariness sprang between them. Caia was frightened by her need to trust him and he seemed unnerved by the idea that he might just trust her.

    “I’m sorry,” she apologized shakily.

    Reuben sighed and she felt him brush her hair back from her face. “It’s OK. You needed to do that in order to get on with the rest of today.”

    She nodded, her eyes glued to the floor. “We should go to Alfred Doukas’ home,” she referred to the Council member she was acquainted with. “Enlist his family and get them to organize the others.”

    “Vil can take you to them. Meanwhile, I think we should hurry this along.”

    She looked up at him now, her eyebrows raised in surprise. “What did you have in mind?”

    “I’m going to call on Vanne. He and I are going to the MacLachlans while you deal with the Council. With Vanne’s help I’ll be able to convince Alistair MacLachlan and his daughter to join us. We should arrange a time for us all to meet at the portal.”

    Caia frowned. “Can Vanne get away from Marita without raising suspicions?”

    The vampyre chuckled. “Of course. When I whistle he comes running. End of story.”

    She guffawed, “You really are sure of yourself, aren’t you?”

    “I’ve had over two thousand years to perfect arrogance and acquire a solid arsenal of diverse weaponry to support that arrogance.”

    Before she could mock his cockiness, the door to the room blasted open and Jaeden strode in, now in human form and fully clothed. She curled her lip at the sight of Reuben and turned her attention and respect to Caia.

    “Saffron’s arrived with the children. Two of them are Joaquin and Seana. Cera and the Trey’s are in hysterics.” She paused so they could hear the commotion rumbling up through the floors from the kitchen. “The other three kids aren’t ours.” Her lip trembled. “Jaela and the others must still be at the Center. Anyway, Vil’s going to take the kids home one by one.”

    Caia glanced at Reuben who was frowning. He seemed ready to dispute that decision when Caia subtly shook her head at him. She looked to Jae who seemed to be watching them both with narrowed eyes, a quizzical furrow in between her eyebrows.

    “That’s fine. But tell him to hand the children over and just leave. We don’t have time for explanations and I need Vil to take me to the Doukas’.”

    “OK.” Jae grimaced. “But isn’t that a little mean? These people deserve to know what happened to their kids.”

    Reuben rolled his eyes. “Then pin a note on them.”

    Caia winced at his insensitivity and the volcanic look on Jaeden’s face. Before Jae could erupt, Caia stepped in between them. “Ignoring his charming delivery, Reuben has a point.” She sighed wearily. “I don’t like it very much but maybe we could just return them with a note explaining everything.”

    For a moment she wasn’t sure Jae was going to respond. And then she snorted in disgust. “Don’t spend too much time with him, Cy. You’re starting to think like him. And remember, if he can mesmerize me with his little voodoo crap then who’s to say he won’t do it to you?” With that she spun on her heel and left the room.

    Hmm… she hadn’t thought about that. Was that what Reuben was doing? Wafting his little powers over her so she felt like she could trust him? She slanted her gaze at him and noticed with some annoyance he was smirking at her as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.

    “I haven’t manipulated you. I swear.”

    “And I’ve just to trust your word on that?”

    He shrugged. “I don’t care one way or the other.”

    As he walked away in Jaeden’s wake Caia squeezed her eyes shut. She needed Lucien back. Everything would be OK once she had Lucien back.

    “It’s a good thing you called me out of there when you did,” Vanne stated in a deeply chilling tone, his powerful energy crackling, sparking in the air around the house. The pack was scattered in a number of different rooms, but the Elders were sitting in the living room watching a distraught Vanne pace back and forth in front of the main window. Alexa stood next to a grief-stricken Magnus pretending to give comfort, when in fact it was clear she was merely fascinated with not only Reuben, but the Head of the Daylight Coven’s husband.

    “I nearly killed her,” Vanne choked, coming to a stop to stare numbly at the floorboards. “When she told me about Marion…” he shuddered, shaking his head. Intimidating though Vanne may be Caia couldn’t help but reach out to him in comfort. She squeezed his shoulder lightly and he glanced down at her, his eyes terrifying and glassy with unshed tears. “I’ve always loved her best you know,” he whispered. “I courted her first before…”

    “Before I asked him to join me, and break it off with Marion. To win Marita over instead so we could spy on her,” Reuben answered for him, his voice dead. Caia glanced sharply at him, marveling at the hint of guilt and regret she saw in his eyes.

    An ache spread in her chest for Vanne. For him to have loved Marion while he slept with her sister? To be so close to the day when he would no longer have to pretend… and now the one person he wanted to share that day with was gone. Like a watering pot tears splashed over her lids and she sighed in frustration, turning her back to the room and swiping at them angrily. She couldn’t act like a silly little girl. She had to be strong for them all. She sucked in a deep breath and turned to face them. “Can you do what we asked? Can you go with Reuben to the MacLachlans?”

    Vanne nodded. “I’m friends with Alistair. However… it may take longer than just a few minutes to convince them. Phoebe is well-educated on magik. She’ll suspect I’m another magik utilizing glamour to look like me. Such an incident in fact happened at the Center only a few weeks ago,” he reminded them, throwing Caia a look that managed to be utterly sardonic despite his pain-filled eyes. He was referring to the fact that Caia had glamoured Vil to look like Vanne in order to rescue Laila from the containment center. “Glamour lasts roughly 30 minutes, Phoebe knows that. So we’re going to have to sit that time out until they’re convinced I am who I say I am.”

    “That’s fine.” Caia shrugged. “I imagine it will take longer to gather the family members of the Council who are willing to fight.”

    “That reminds me,” Vanne said, tugging at something in the back pocket of his suit trousers. A flash of white paper appeared in his hand and he automatically handed it to Reuben. “A list of the family members who tried to get in and were fought off by our guards.” He sneered suddenly. “Marita told them not to use deadly force… the idiots buy it… that holier than thou crap,” his tone vibrated through her like an apprehensive shiver.

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