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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 21)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(21) by Samantha Young
  • He felt Caia squeeze his hand.

    Someone gave them their condolences. Doukas probably. And told them they would find Marita and make her pay for her crimes. Sure. Doukas was sending a couple of magiks with them for protection. They’d stay as long as they wished. Why? Wasn’t the damage already done? He was barely even aware of Reuben at his back or the fact that Saffron and Rose were with him. They were coming too? Then the portal was open and they were walking through. He was barely even cognizant of the sickening mode of transportation.

    The next thing he knew they were on the other side of the bottom of the wooden steps that led up to his front porch. Lucien’s heart tore at the sight before him. Laila and Vil stood off to the side, their faces pinched with sorrow. But it was Mal sitting on the stairs that brought reality crashing in; his legs wide so Finlay could sit on the stair below him, snuggled protectively into his big brother’s leg. His large hand sat on top of Finlay’s head and the two boys looked up at the same time, their faces streaked with tears, their eyes puffy and red from crying. Mal’s eyes met Lucien’s and he felt that look all the way to the bottom of his soul.

    “They’re gone,” Mal choked out, fresh tears scoring his cheeks. “They’re gone.”

    “No!” Alexa screamed and rushed up the stairs to her brothers. They caught a hold of her jacket, tried to pull her back from the door, but she broke free and into the house. A heart breaking howl hit them like a blast of sleet rain and Mal and Finlay were on their feet, rushing inside to their sister. That shook him.

    He made a choked sound at the back of his throat and pushed past them all. He heard heavy footsteps behind him and knew Magnus was at his back. The smell of blood hit his nose on the first step and was overwhelming once they were inside the house. Morgan’s body was the first they came across, his face and lips blue. Asphyxiation. There were cuts, large bloody gashes and burns, on his skin that hadn’t healed because of his death. He’d been tortured before they killed him. In the living room he found Alexa wrapped in both her brother’s arms and they sobbed loudly into one another’s shoulders. Lucien placed a comforting hand on Mal’s arm, more sorry than he could ever tell them. Their mother lay at their feet. She had been suffocated with air magik by the looks of it, but no signs of torture, which meant someone had gotten to the attackers before they could. Since Mal and Finlay were OK, Lucien could only assume the boys had heard the commotion and had changed into lykan and fought off Marita and the magiks. Finding Dana and Daniel in the kitchen furthered that belief. They too showed no signs of torture. Daniel’s body lay curled over his sister protectively and Lucien felt the prick of tears as he imagined the young wolf trying to comfort his sister while they could do nothing against death. His gaze stuck on their lifeless eyes. They were barely seventeen. His hands gripped the back of a kitchen chair and the wood crumbled under them. The sharp little irritating pain of splinters set fire to his hands. Good. He deserved that and more. How could he have left his pack here, unprotected? How could he have left them to die? His family.

    Dimitri, he flinched, feeling as if he had been punched in the gut. The Elder had joined forces with Magnus to be a father to him since the death of his own. And now he was gone. Where was he?

    “Finn and I were outside.”

    Lucien whirled at the dead voice and found Mal staring at him numbly, his face red and splotched. “You were running?”

    Mal nodded. “I took him out. He was worried about Lex, so I took him out for a run to take his mind off it. We heard shouts and stuff crashing, so we rushed back.” He shrugged, obviously trying not to cry, but no one would have mocked him for doing so. Lucien wanted to tell him to let it out but he found he couldn’t talk. “It was too late. D-Dana and Dan were already dying.” He gestured weakly. “I chased off the magiks just as they started burning them. I chased them into the living room and scared… Marita… she looked a lot like Marion so I guess it was her right? Well, she was killing-” he choked on a sob. “Killing mom. I think she was going to make it slow but she had to finish it quick 'cause of me. She killed her. I could have stopped her-”

    “No.” Lucien strode towards him, gripping his shoulder and giving him a shake. “No. You couldn’t have.” Marita had obviously filled his mom’s lungs with smoke and ash in order to suffocate her.

    Mal shook his head. “Dad was already gone. They tore him apart.”

    Lucien felt him shudder and then Mal turned slightly, bending over to vomit all over the kitchen floor. “I-I’m s-s-sorry,” he choked out but Lucien shushed him, patting him gently on the back until he was done.

    After a few minutes of unbearable silence, Lucien asked hoarsely, “Where are Dimitri and Yvana?”

    The young wolf’s head dropped as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Out front, to the side. You must have past them when you came into the house. They were outside when Marita arrived. They’re… they’re pretty messed up.”

    Lucien ushered him out of the kitchen and guided him back outside, taking care to shield him from the view of his father’s body. He vaguely took in Lucia off to the side with Irini and Cera, who was holding her three kids as close as possible. With them stood Reuben, Saffron and Rose, and altogether they hid the kids from the gruesome sight to Lucien’s right. He walked slowly towards the pack. Christian stood with arms around Julia as she sobbed uncontrollably into his shoulder. Jaeden knelt on the ground, the knee of her jeans soaking in the blood of her father. Dimitri lay in front of her, his body mutilated, his face and lips blue. Just behind them was Yvana, her prone body in much the same condition as Dimitri’s. Aidan and Ryder knelt beside her, quiet tears rolling down their cheeks. And his own mother (and Lucien thanked the gods she was alright) stood with her arm around Caia, the two of them standing between their dead pack members and their grieving families. Magnus hovered over Dimitri, his friend, his brother, his own silent tears rolling down his ruddy cheeks.

    When Caia was taken from Lucien he had felt rage unlike anything he had ever known. At the massacre left in his home, the massacre of his people, his pack – the lykans he was supposed to protect – by that evil bitch… brought the rage back in full force.

    14 – Emotional Blackmail and… Just Plain Ol’ Blackmail

    There was no noise. It was as if the world had shushed… or had she gone deaf? There were no smells. She could see the rain as it pelted the ground and plastered their clothes to their bodies; she could see the mud as it squelched under foot; she could see the leaves rustle against one another as the wind rushed through Lucien’s land in furious sympathy for their loss. But she couldn’t smell the earth or hear the tears. She felt numb. Paralyzed. Sure that one gentle nudge would knock her over. It wasn’t possible to feel this much pain, this much loss. And the anger, the rage, simmered beneath the surface like oil ready for the first strike of the match.

    Six of the pack were gone. For the others who had survived it had been a matter of chance really. Julia had persuaded Imogen and Isaac to come back with her to her house in order to get some much needed sleep. Ella was out shopping and checking Lucien’s store was OK. Cera had gone with her. As for Draven and Kade they had taken the twins home as well, leaving Lucien’s under the protection of Dimitri, Yvana, Mal, Finlay and their parents. Dana and Daniel would never have been there if they hadn’t snuck out and back over to Lucien’s house, excited and desperate to welcome everyone back from the Center.

    It should never have happened. She should have known Marita would target the pack. And now they were cremating innocent lykans in the woods at the back of the house. One of the magiks that had been sent by Alfred to protect them – Jason – was taking care of the mess their deaths had made in the human world. Memories were being tampered with, school files stolen and meddled with, Lucien’s store, Yvana’s café, all of their jobs were being erased as if they had never been there. The house was emptied, all evidence of their existence wiped. Jason had tampered with the memory of a realtor. For now the house was part of some guy’s inheritance. ‘He lived in Cincinnati and wanted the house put up for sale.’ The money from the sale would make its way back into the Pack’s accounts but their lives here were over.

    And Caia had had to sell her soul to the devil himself in order to keep them safe.

    24 hours earlier

    “Ryder’s looking for you,” Caia said softly as she made her way into her old bedroom. Jae lay curled up on her old comforter, a teddy-bear Ella had given her when she’d first arrived squished tightly in her friend’s hands. Her face was stretched taut with grief, her usually lively blue eyes deadened as they turned upon Caia.

    “I don’t want to speak to him.”

    Caia nodded. It had only been 36 hours since they’d arrived back to the house to find their whole world ripped apart. Everyone was in unimaginable pain. Caia felt like she was sleep-walking. The sense of unreality was tormenting. And the guilt…

    Everyone was angry, everyone felt guilty. However, Lucien was keeping them altogether. He didn’t want vengeance; he wanted them all to take the time to grieve, to accept their new lives. For the most part the pack seemed to have heard. It was a quiet and stoic grieving. But not for Jaeden and Alexa, who weren’t handling it at all well. There was more rage than sadness there, and Caia was hovering on a tightrope that threatened to throw her in with them. It had never occurred to her before she would be the one battling the overwhelming need to punish; she’d always thought, with his volatile temper, she would be the one soothing Lucien. But after destroying as many items in the house he could get his hands on, Lucien had cooled and put his efforts into helping the pack rather than taking vengeance; he was the one calming her. And he was almost succeeding. It was just that every time she took one look at Jaeden or Alexa’s face and thought about Dimitri’s death, she wanted revenge. Torturous and painful revenge.

    She took in a deep breath, trying to deal with her emotions. “Maybe you should talk to him. He lost his mom too. You should be comforting each other.”

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