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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 23)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(23) by Samantha Young
  • He smiled gratefully back at her. “Yeah, Magnus. You take Caia’s place in Ella’s car.”

    “If you’re sure.” He didn’t waste time arguing. Ella’s car was way more comfortable. He nodded and made his way over to it.

    “Thanks.” Lucien gazed lovingly down at her.

    “Hey, Lucien.” Rose suddenly appeared around the corner of the house and Caia’s stomach flipped. It was such an inappropriate time to be jealous but she hated that Rose was here with them. Apparently it was thought she’d be safer with the pack for now, since Marita probably knew she had betrayed her. It was really nice having her mate’s ex-lover living with them. Really nice.

    “Caia.” She nodded at her but turned her bright smile back on Lucien. “I thought maybe I could save Magnus a numb butt and offer to ride with you instead.”

    I hate her.

    Lucien patted her on the shoulder. “That’s nice but Caia’s already offered.”

    “Oh you don’t have to, Caia,” Rose tried to insist.

    Caia glared at her. “No, I do.”

    Rose had the graciousness to look abashed at least. “Of course. I’ll just ride in one of the cars.”

    As soon as she was out of ear shot Lucien sighed. “You know you don’t have to be jealous. You can be nice to her.”

    His tone was prickly. Actually prickly.

    “I’m not jealous,” she snapped. “And don’t talk to me like that.”

    “I’m just saying, there’s nothing between us anymore.”

    “Yeah, maybe for you but not for her, Lucien. Come on… the way she looks at you-”

    “Is her problem. Not ours. So can you please get in the van? This isn’t the time for this, Caia,” he admonished and she immediately felt guilty.

    She bit her lip and slumped. “You’re right, I’m sorry.” She shuffled around to the other side of the van like a scolded child. She frowned as she caught Jaeden and Ryder out of the corner of her eye.

    “I don’t want to!” Jae snapped and pulled out of Ryder’s grip before loping over to the car Alexa and Mal were going to be riding in. Ryder growled, staring after her with a look of pure frustration. He shook his head angrily and turned, jumping up into the rented moving van he would be driving. Caia didn’t know why Jaeden was pushing Ryder away but if it didn’t stop soon she just knew Ryder was going to blow a gasket. Caia sighed again and looked around. There were only twenty three members of the pack left and they were all organizing themselves into the cars. With them were Vil, Laila, Reuben and Rose. Jason and two other magiks Alfred had sent stood off to the side and Caia held up her hand to them in a grateful wave. They nodded back in acknowledgment but stood stiff and vigilant as the pack geared themselves up to leave their home.

    15 – The Ultimatum

    Jaeden always assumed grief would feel the same no matter who the person was you lost. With Sebastian’s death had come a heart breaking ache, a bitterness for how short his life had been, and an everlasting gratefulness that someone had loved her enough to face death in order to save her.

    Losing her dad was completely different. She just felt… so alone.

    She could barely breathe for the twenty stone of crushing weight she carried on her chest every minute of the day. Her stomach churned constantly, and it was like this thick fog she couldn’t make her way through had descended over her. Her dad had been everything to her. They were more alike than anyone else in the family, and they had understood one another better than anyone else could because of it. His presence in her life, no matter where she had been, had offered a kind of comfort and protection she couldn’t get anywhere else. Everything was always alright because, no matter what, she had her dad to run to… and somehow he always made it better. And now he was gone… she was just so alone… and terrified because without him there was a part of her that no longer made sense.

    She shifted uncomfortably in the backseat, her throat burning with the agony of repressed tears. Her head already ached like a bitch from her crying jags. Her gaze slid toward Alexa who sat in the passenger seat next to their designated driver, Reuben. Mal and Finlay shared the back seat with her. It was weird the person she felt closest to at the moment was Alexa, but out of everyone in the pack she knew Alexa had been as close to her dad as she had been to Dimitri. And at least Jae still had her mom. Alexa had lost both her parents. So if anyone could understand the magnitude of her wrath it was Alexa. She glanced at Mal. He was so changed. He used to tease and flirt constantly like life was one big joke. But he’d lost his parents, his best friend and his on-again-off-again girlfriend all in one fell swoop.

    Now he was quiet and intensely protective of his sister and little brother, hovering over them constantly these last few days. But despite his grief he was just like Lucien and Ryder. They were determined to fix the pack, given them a fresh start. Where was the talk of vengeance? Of justice? Apparently there was to be none; in fact Lucien had demanded it so! The pack had seen too much loss, he said, it was time to move on. How could they move on?! Their family had been destroyed, targeted like deer on a hunt! And was he forgetting that his own mate was a part of the war? Caia wasn’t getting out of it any time soon… was he just intending to abandon her?!

    Thank the gods for Caia.

    Jaeden refused to feel guilty for manipulating her into doing what Reuben wanted. And funnily enough she was no longer mad at the vampyre. She was glad he had blackmailed Caia. Together they had gotten her to do something she would never have willingly done otherwise.

    And if it changes Caia beyond repair? If it destroys her?

    Jaeden shook her head. She couldn’t think about that. She couldn’t. Caia was a good person and asking her to do this was going to have its consequences… but hadn’t they all sacrificed something for this war? And it wasn’t like she was intending to leave her on her own to do it. She and Alexa had every intention of coming with her and giving her moral support.

    Moral support for killing innocents.

    Stop it. It has to be done. It’s the only way to stop Marita.

    Keep telling yourself that.

    Arrggh! Jaeden shoved the thought out of her head and turned to stare back out at the passing scenery. She felt her pocket vibrate and shifted up so she could slip her cell phone out of it. It was a text message from Ryder. He was a couple of cars back from them on the road.

    Stupid idiot, fiddling with his cell while driving.

    We gotta talk when we get to the hotel.

    There were no xxx’s at the end like there would usually be. He was pissed. Yeah, well so was she! She didn’t want him near her, comforting her, loving her. She didn’t want to fall into that. If she felt this bad losing her dad, she couldn’t imagine how bad it would feel to lose Ryder. Not to mention she might not make it out of this war and she didn’t want him to hurt any worse than he had to. Making him hate her would make it easier on him if she did die.

    She sighed. She wouldn’t text back. It would only distract him from the road. But if she could have she would have said…

    There’s nothing left to talk about.

    No xxx’s.

    The drive so far had been silent. Lucien hadn’t expected it to be fun-filled of course, but Caia had been extremely quiet. He couldn’t work out if it was just the magnitude of everything that had happened or if she was mad at him for rebuking her about Rose. He glanced quickly at her. She looked tired and as sad as he felt. But he was actually proud of himself for putting aside his instincts for revenge and making a deal with Reuben to protect the pack. He was paying rent and protection costs to the vampyre in order to keep the pack off of Marita’s radar. That burned a little, considering he wanted to rip the creep apart for taking Caia and scaring the crap out of him, but the pack needed Reuben. They had lost too many and they were lucky to have the kids back. And if anything happened to the kids? Gods, he couldn’t bear to think about it. This was the right decision. It stuck in his craw a little to retreat, but it was the right decision. As for Caia… he would cross that bridge when they got to it. He knew the Council would come back to her, but for now he was glad they were allowing her to stay protected until Marita was found.

    “You OK?” He couldn’t help asking. He feared a discussion about Rose. There was nothing going on between them and it annoyed him a little that Caia could even think about being jealous at a time like this.

    “I don’t know,” she whispered.

    He braced himself.

    “Something’s happening.”

    He stilled, alert. “What do you mean?”

    “With the Midnights.” She straightened up in her seat. “I’ve been feeling stirrings all morning but… the Council… I think I need to warn Reuben and Nikolai.”

    It was weird to think of Caia and Reuben working with this Nikolai guy. But Vanne had attested to his trustworthiness so Lucien guessed he could let it go.

    “Warn them about what?”

    She shook her head. “Where’s my cell,” she hissed as she rummaged through her bag. She made a sound of triumph at finding it and Lucien grew steadily more irritated at being on the outside of whatever was going on.

    “Caia-”

    She held up her hand cutting him off and pressed a button on her cell. “Reuben.”

    She had the vampyre on speed dial?

    Lucien leaned closer to her to pick up the vamp’s end of the conversation.

    “What?” The guy really needed to work on his telephone skills.

    “We need to get word to Nikolai.”

    “What’s going on?”

    “He’s in trouble.”

    “He stopped that faerie from telling the Council about the mess at the Daylight Center. It’s all fine.”

    Caia huffed. “No, it’s not,” she protested and rolled her eyes, clearly aggravated. “Between the two of us, who’s the one with the trace? Jeez, arrogant ass-”

    “Get on with it.”

    She exhaled in what Lucien sensed was growing exasperation. “The Council are going to have Nikolai deposed. They want to start sending out task force against Daylights again. And if they do that-”

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