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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 32)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(32) by Samantha Young
  • “I have to tell you something,” she whispered hoarsely and Ryder immediately stilled. The sound of guilt gilded every one of her words.

    “What did you do?” he groaned, peering down at her.

    Of all the things in the world, he had not been expecting her admission of helping blackmail Caia into killing the Septum.

    “For Gaia’s sakes, Jaeden!” he snapped, pulling out of their embrace and shoving himself back into his jeans. “I can’t believe this!”

    She started dressing herself, her body shaking, her lips trembling. He tried not to feel bad but he couldn’t believe she had been keeping this to herself for weeks.

    “That little bloodsucking fiend blackmailed Caia into killing the Septum and Lucien thinks she just left! He kicked her out of the pack, Jaeden!”

    “I know!” she cried. “I wasn’t thinking. It was just another one of the many selfish things I did this last month, OK!”

    “Lucien is going to kill you!” He swore shoving his hand through his hair. “I’m going to have to fight my best friend because he’s going to want to kill you.”

    “Ryder.” She stamped her foot, a bit of the old Jae creeping back into her voice. “I feel terrible about this, you don’t have to make me feel any worse.”

    Holy mother of… Lucien was going to go ballistic. Ryder sighed and grabbed a hold of her hand, tugging her toward the house. “Let’s get this over with.”

    21 – Faith

    The dining hall looked good, Lucien mused, gazing around as he ate the roast chicken dinner Lucia and Cera had prepared. Ella roped him and some of the others into appropriating dressing screens from the bedrooms and placing them across the dining hall as a temporary wall. Shortening the length of the room had instantly made it a little more cozy, and they had arranged the tables into one massive table they could all fit around. Then they had taken fabrics – throws, curtains, bits of muslin – and dressed the windows. With some candles to soften the lighting, Lucien had to admit, despite himself, that Ella had been right. The place was starting to feel more homely.

    It would be even more homely if his mate was at his side instead of Rose. His gaze dropped to the redhead and then lifted almost instantly. Rose and he had had a difficult conversation today. She had found him in his suite with a photo of Caia and himself from Irini and Aidan’s mating ceremony. Magnus had made a big deal of Lucien putting his arm around Caia and she had blushed like an idiot as he had drawn her into his side for the photo to be taken. Only hours later he had kissed her for the first time on the back porch and had been relieved when she’d kissed him back. He had kept the photo in his wallet ever since and had shown Caia it once they had gotten together, teasing her about the way she looked at him in it. She was gazing up at him shyly and he had been thrilled to see a look akin to love in her eyes as she stared at him. Since he had kicked Caia out of the pack Lucien had gazed at that picture every day, trying to make sense of what had happened.

    “Whatcha looking at?” Rose had grinned as she strode into his bedroom without knocking. He really should reprimand her for that but she was smiling so endearingly at him, he just couldn’t. When Lucien hadn’t answered her question, her gaze had fallen to the photos as she rounded the sofa he sat on, and her smile had instantly dropped.

    “Lucien, what are you doing?” she had moaned.

    Frowning at her, he had tucked the photo back in his wallet. “What do you mean?”

    “You.” She gestured to his wallet. “Mooning over her when she’s betrayed you.”

    His jaw clenched. “You don’t know that.”

    “I know she left to do something you had specifically told her not to. That’s not how a pack works.”

    “It’s complicated.”

    “That’s the problem.” She smiled sadly, coming around to sit down beside him. “It’s too complicated.”

    He had shrugged.

    After a minute or so of silence, he had felt Rose tense before she cleared her throat. “It’s been a while now. Weeks actually.”

    Yeah, he was painfully aware of that.

    “Lucien, I wanted to give you time. But I can’t wait anymore. Love doesn’t have to be complicated.”

    Uh oh.

    He glanced up at her and suddenly she was pressed right up against him, her hand running up his thigh. “Love can be easy and good. Like with us.” And then she had kissed him. Not just a sweet peck on the lips. Rose had grabbed his head hard to her and kissed him, tongue and all, with as much passion as she could summon. Like an idiot, he now thought, he had been totally surprised by her attack and it had taken him a minute to pry her off him. He did though and stood up from the sofa to put some distance between them.

    “What?” she had whispered.

    “That can’t happen ever again.” He gestured stupidly at the spot where he had just been sitting.

    Rose had gazed up at him in hurt. “Why not? You kissed me back.”

    “No!” He argued vehemently, fearing what such a sentence would do to his relationship with Caia if it ever got back to her. “No I didn’t. I was surprised.”

    “Surprised?” She snapped up off the seat. “Lucien, how can you be surprised? It’s obvious I’m in love with you. Everyone knows it.”

    Oh crap.

    “Rose. I care about you, I do. But I love Caia. She is my mate.”

    “She has a funny way of showing it.”

    “Our problems are between us,” he warned. “I don’t want anyone bad mouthing her, OK.”

    “I’m not bad mouthing her, I just don’t get it. I don’t get your relationship with her.”

    “You don’t have to get it.” He had ran a hand through his hair, trying to brace himself for her reaction to his next suggestion, “Maybe we should try and contact the Center and see if it’s safe for you to go home. Or maybe see if you can stay at the Center.”

    Rose had shaken her head, looking frightened now. “I don’t want to. I feel a part of a family here. I’m sorry I’ve made you uncomfortable, Lucien, I really am. I promise I won’t cross the line again. I just had to tell you how I felt-”

    “Yeah, but it could be a problem-”

    “It won’t. Jeez, Lucien, the female members of the pack who aren’t related to you are all half in love with you anyway. I’ll get over this… but not if I lose your friendship.”

    He sighed. “You never have to worry about that.”

    So here they were having dinner together with the pack and he was hoping he wasn’t delusional about their circumstances. Rose believed they could make it work as just friends and he really didn’t want to kick out one more female he cared about. As he mused over this, Lucien felt a change in the air, and was taken aback to see Jaeden and Ryder walk into the dining hall smelling of one another and holding hands. Lucien had known Ryder was heading out to find Jae and try and talk some sense into her, but Jae had been so adamant of late he hadn’t really thought his friend would succeed. His fault for not trusting the strength of a mating… probably because his own was going so well. Lucien smiled at Ryder as they crossed the room towards the pack.

    “You guys OK?” He grinned cheekily.

    It was good to see Ryder smile back at him. His friend was generally a light-hearted person. It was tough seeing what the last few weeks had wrought on him. On them all.

    Although he had to admit that their time together as a pack at the hotel had really helped them get through it. Draven and Kade’s suffering was different, having lost their only children, but Draven’s brother, Isaac, and his wife, Imogen, were proving inseparable companions, having lost Sebastian last year, and subsequently understanding the hell they were going through. Lucien especially thought their nieces, Seana and Sunday, had helped Draven and Kade. Nothing could ever ease the pain of losing those people closest to them, but Lucien reckoned it would have been harder for them all if they hadn’t had this time together. The only exceptions to that rule had been Alexa and Jaeden. Alexa wasn’t budging on it, but Lucien noticed the difference in Jae immediately as she stood with her mate.

    Ryder nudged Jaeden towards him. “Jaeden has something to tell you.” He looked at her sternly. Lucien watched in bemusement as Jae glowered at her mate.

    “You don’t have to shove me forward like an errant child,” she huffed.

    “Jaeden,” Ryder warned.

    The look in his eyes abruptly caused Lucien to tense. Ryder was serious. Which meant this was serious. He scowled. “What’s going on?”

    The trembling of Jae’s lip sent his heart into overdrive. OK, if Jae was afraid to tell him then this was really serious. “Lucien.” And then she looked up at all the pack gathered around the table. “Everybody. I did something. Reuben-”

    “NO!” Alexa cried shrilly, leaping to her feet, knocking her chair to the floor with a loud clatter. “Don’t you dare!”

    What the Hades was going on here?

    Lucien stood slowly to his feet, emitting mega Alpha vibes. Alexa faltered. “I want to know exactly what you’ve done and why Alexa doesn’t want me to know about it.”

    Jaeden nodded quickly and leaned back into Ryder for support. “Caia didn’t leave by choice.”

    Her words turned to a panic that instantly gripped his chest and he grabbed a hold of the back of his chair, curling his fingers around it. He had a very, very bad feeling about this.

    Alexa was yelling again, her face mottled with fury. “NO! Jaeden! You st-”

    “YOU!” Lucien roared, interrupting her. “Shut up!”

    The tension in the room went up a hundred notches, seizing the entire pack. Only Magnus had the courage to speak up, “Jaeden, get to the point,” he bit out.

    “Reuben blackmailed Caia into killing the Septum.”

    The air rushed out of his lungs as emotion took hold of him – that burrowed under the skin, buzzed in your brain, wouldn’t let go of your body kind of rage. “Explain,” his vocal cords were completely overpowered by his lykan. The hush continued among his pack.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire