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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 27)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(27) by Samantha Young
  • At that, she spread open the piece of paper and began investigating the trace. To her absolute relief the first two were Midnights, one of which was a member of the Council who had propagated the idea of a witch hunt against Nikolai. The other Midnight wasn’t nearly as prominent within the Coven; however, he was equally a racist and believed in the rightness of the war. She let loose a long stream of relieved air. This was good. This was really good. No guilt for killing the bad guys, huh? She straightened up in her seat and touched the third name. Eliza Emerett. With a whoosh Caia was pulled into the girl’s trace, her essence dowsing her in floods just as Laila’s had.

    She felt sick to the stomach when she realized why.

    Eliza Emerett was an eleven year old Midnight. An eleven year old innocent girl with no real understanding of the war. The only world she knew was that of her parents, the farm they owned in England, her horses Star and Pooka; the cat, Lightning, and the two dogs, Bob and Fred. And let's not forget her imaginary friend, Nicky, that hung out by the old oak tree down by the stream.

    The trace devoured her, refusing to let go, and Caia struggled, pulling and twisting to be released, the nausea of her find overwhelming.

    Finally she jerked back and felt her head slam against the wall behind the armchair. Reuben shot up from his half-sleep and stared at her in concern. Saffron was slower to wake, but Caia waited for her to do so.

    And then she pinned them both with a look that would fry their asses to the bed.

    “You bastard,” she whispered.

    He groaned, scrubbing his face before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He leaned towards her, studying her face quietly. Finally, just when she thought she might change into a lykan and attack him, he nodded at the paper. “What happened? What did you find?”

    She glared at him. “You really don’t know?”

    “I really don’t know.”

    “Eliza Emerett.” She stabbed the name on the paper with her finger.

    “What about her?”

    Was he deliberately being a jackass or did he honestly not have a clue what she was talking about?

    She stood up and he watched her warily as she approached him. Yeah, he better be wary. “She’s eleven, Reuben.” She threw the paper at him. “She’s an eleven year old Midnight. Her biggest fear is when her old dog, Fred, is going to bite the bullet!”

    Saffron groaned and buried her head in her knees. Reuben swore and snapped up off the bed, crumpling the paper in his hand. “Nikolai,” he hissed.

    Caia stopped, watching the tension ripple through the vampyre’s body. “You really didn’t know?”

    “No!” he whirled on her.

    “Wow.” She relaxed a little, seeing how upset the news made him. “You’re not so evil after all.”

    He chortled but the sound was anything but happy. “Don’t kid yourself, Caia.” He sneered at her and held up the crumpled paper. “This wouldn’t stop me. Nikolai knows that. He seems to have forgotten, however, that we aren’t dealing with me. We’re dealing with you. And I know even threatening the pack couldn’t get you to kill a little girl.” He slammed a fist into the wall with a rare show of loss of control. “We are so effed!” he spat, ignoring the crumbling plaster work.

    Caia ignored him and looked at Saffron, whose face was blank of expression. “Well… at least he knows when he’s hitting a brick wall. I mean, metaphorically speaking. You know… I’m the brick wall. I won’t budge on the killing of a little girl and he gets that. You get what I-”

    Saffron threw her a look of disdain. “You’re prattling. Shut up.”

    “I’m nervous, OK!” She stepped back against the wall and let herself slide to the floor. “I mean, where do we go from here?”

    “Hades?” the faerie suggested dryly.

    Caia made a face. “Not helpful.”

    They stayed in tense silence for a while, avoiding eye contact. Finally, Reuben cursed again under his breath. “Why is this going wrong? This isn’t the way it should be going. That damn Prophet…”

    Something niggled at Caia.

    Reuben? The Prophet? The Prophet?! Yes!

    The Prophet! That was it! Caia’s head jerked up. “The Prophet!” She leapt to her feet in one fluid movement. “That’s it.”

    Reuben frowned. “What’s it?”

    She smiled slowly. “We need to talk to the Prophet.”

    When they weren’t getting all giddy with excitement like she was, Caia almost slammed their heads together. Then she realized she hadn’t actually explained to them what she was so excited about. It had been a long week.

    “OK,” she began hurriedly. “So my original plan was to get the Council to take away Marita as Head of the Coven and have the gods replace me. That way I’d be in control of the trace and begin peace negotiations – I know, I know, how terribly naïve. Anyway, what if we find the Prophet and ask him if he thinks the gods will take away the trace if I do become Head of both Covens.”

    They stared at her blankly for a moment before Reuben asked, “And why would the gods take away the trace?”

    She threw her hands up in half-assed exasperation. “Because! The trace exists for one reason only… a weapon for each leader of each Coven. If I’m the Head of both Covens then the purpose of its existence no longer… well… exists! Surely the two traces would, like, I dunno, cancel each other out. The gods wouldn’t see any reason for us to have it anymore.”

    The vamp and faerie stared at her for what seemed forever and then they looked to one another, and slowly, but surely, a mirror-image grin began to spread on their faces. Reuben turned back to Caia, his eyes glittering with respect. “That’s brilliant, Caia.”

    “You think so?” she whispered, feeling the first glimpse of relief and warmth shimmer to life within her chest since the loss of their pack.

    “I more than think so.” He turned and started shrugging into his coat. “Right, we have the Prophet to find.”

    18 – The Prophet

    The last few weeks had been excruciating to say the least. Patience, she discovered, was not one of her virtues. But at least she didn’t have to stay in that horrible place with Dee and her band of merry bloodsuckers anymore. Caia never would have thought she would be so grateful to be invited by Nikolai to stay at his safe house. His safe house wasn’t a basement apartment full of blood and empty kitchen cabinets. So, OK, the fridge in his safe house was filled with bags of animal blood belonging to Reuben (courtesy of a butcher – she wasn’t even going to ask when he had time to visit a butcher, as she was beginning to realize there just wasn’t any point interrogating the most mysterious person she had ever met) but the safe house was a modest-sized beach house with no neighbors for miles around. It was plush and luxurious inside and Caia could lose herself in the sound of the surf, while they anxiously waited for the Prophet to get back to them.

    After leaving Dee’s lair, Caia had tracked the Prophet down in the trace. The old guy was in Greece, putting his feet up while the Midnights figured out just who was in charge now Nikolai was A.W.O.L. Tracking him was the easy part; it was getting a hold of him that was proving to be problematic. Caia wasn’t confident enough in her communication spell to travel to somewhere she had never been before and she didn’t have Vil because, well, he was with the pack. Saffron could transform into a bird and fly there but that would take days they didn’t have. In the end it was Nikolai who came to the rescue. Reuben called him and asked him if he had ever been to the Prophet’s place in Greece and surprise, surprise the Midnight had. Nikolai told Reuben to bring Caia and Saffron to his beach house and he’d get the Prophet to come back with him to speak with Caia. And that was exactly what he did.

    Now, Caia hadn’t known what she’d been expecting. OK. So she did know. She had been expecting some withered old man with a long white beard, wearing ancient Greek dress and banging around the place with a staff. Pretty much Gandalf in ancient Greek clothing. The Prophet hadn’t been anything like that. He had been old… like seventy old, but with a full head of pepper grey hair and a trim physique. He walked like a man years younger than he looked. He was all handsome older man in white linen trousers and shirt. The dude was less Gandalf more… Sean Connery. He’d been a charmer alright. He had approached Caia with a careful smile, his light eyes drinking her in from head to foot. Almost tentatively the Prophet had taken her hand between the palms of both of his and shook it gently.

    “So this is Caia Ribeiro.” He’d smiled, shaking his head in wonderment. “You’re just what I imagined.”

    That had amused her. “Well, you’re the only one who pictured me like me. I think people were imagining… taller and well… just taller.”

    He chuckled warmly and nodded. “I’ve waited a long time to meet you.”

    “So I’ve heard.”

    “And now you wish to speak with me?”

    Caia had gestured to Nikolai’s sofas and the Prophet had followed her to the seating area. He had laughed a little at the way Reuben, Saffron and Nikolai had trailed them, barely giving them room to breathe.

    “Nice to see you, Kirios.” The Prophet grinned at Reuben.

    The vampyre narrowed his eyes on him. “Your last bout of information regarding the Septum turned into crap. That’s why you’re here.”

    “Jeez, Reuben, are you always so rude?” Caia had admonished him and turned politely back to the Prophet. “Ignore him.”

    “Ignore him?” Reuben spluttered. “Old man you sent us on a twenty year goose chase.”

    The old man shrugged lazily but his eyes turned serious. “And yet here I am speaking with Caia. And she has something very important to ask me. Something that will matter. So… maybe the goose chase wasn’t really a goose chase after all.”

    Saffron had taken that moment to roll her eyes. “Oh please, don’t give us that everything happens for a reason bullcrap.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire