• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 44)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(44) by Samantha Young
  • The door to Alfred’s suite blew open and Reuben marched inside with Lucien and Marion at his back. “We have visitors.” He grinned.

    Caia shook her head still dazed from the spell. “Visitors?” To steady herself she grabbed a hold of Lucien’s arms as soon as he reached her.

    Marion was smiling triumphantly. “Daylights who want to fight.”

    Alfred scowled. “Why are they here now? We gave them the battle date, which isn’t for another two weeks.”

    Reuben was grinning from cheek to cheek, rubbing his hands excitedly. “Some of them want to train with the best.”

    Caia couldn’t help but smile back at him. The vampyre had been waiting an especially long time for this moment. Last night he had presented her with a gift.

    “What is it?” She had eyed the black box suspiciously.

    Reuben shrugged. “A token of my gratitude.”

    Tentatively she had taken the box and opened it to reveal a tiny, ancient coin. “Reuben?”

    “It belonged to my mother. It was one of the two coins that should have been placed upon her eyes when she died to pay for her passage into the underworld. When Hades made her a vampyre she took revenge upon her father who had thought so little of her to leave her unprotected in the afterlife. She became a monster because of him. She took these coins from him after she had drained him and she carried them with her always as a reminder of why she was the way that she was. I think it offered her forgiveness when no one and nothing else could. When I was ten she gave me this one and told me to always remember who I was and to never be ashamed of it.”

    Caia shook her head slowly. “Reuben, I can’t take this from you.”

    “Please, Caia,” he had insisted. “They say that hope dies last and I think that is true. I thought I had given up hope a long time ago, but I hadn’t. And because of you that hope was not in vein. When we fight the Midnights, when we meet them on that battlefield, it will be because you have reminded us of who we are and why we shouldn’t be so unsure of ourselves that we would let a race of people keep us down for centuries under the decree that we should be ashamed of ourselves. Take the coin, Caia. I hope it will always remind you of what you have done for an old creature like me and all the young creatures who deserve a chance to live without persecution.”

    Caia had placed the coin under her pillow, keeping it safe until she left the Center and could find a more secure place for the keepsake.

    “There is one visitor I’d like you all to meet,” Reuben spoke to the Council, and everyone turned towards the door. Caia gasped as the tall, elegant warlock strode into the room, dressed as dapper as ever in an expensive three piece suit and greatcoat.

    “Nikolai,” she breathed and hurried to shake his hand. He smiled kindly at her and then gazed warily over her shoulder. Uh oh. The Council.

    As she feared, when she spun back around the Council had all lined up, prepared to defend or attack, Caia wasn’t sure.

    “He’s not an enemy,” Reuben snapped at them. “I’ve already explained Nikolai’s position.”

    “Well forgive us for being a little unsure,” Alfred snapped back. “You’ve just allowed the Regent of the Midnight Coven into our midst.”

    “Ex-Regent,” Nikolai corrected and spread his hands in a surrender gesture. “I’m not here to harm anyone. I’m here to fight with you.”

    The Council seemed to sneer collectively at them and Caia felt a rush of annoyance. OK, so she understood they were nervous about having a Midnight among them but they didn’t treat Laila and Eliza with suspicion.

    “I can vouch for him,” she intoned, suffusing authority into her words. “He’s on our side. The Petrovsky’s have been on our side for three centuries.”

    “We have only Reuben’s word on that,” Benedict huffed.

    Caia exhaled in exasperation. They needed someone to soothe the situation. She looked around and met Marion’s gaze. Laila, she mouthed.

    Marion nodded and hurried away.

    “There’s someone I want you to meet, Nikolai.” Caia smiled brightly at him, trying to show the Council she wasn’t afraid of the man. “She’s a Midnight as well.”

    Nikolai raised his eyebrows. “Little Eliza? Reuben told me her tragic story.”

    At the thought of the poor girl, Caia’s smile dimmed. Eliza wasn’t having such a good time of it. She wouldn’t speak to anyone and she refused to join them in any social sense. The only person she was unafraid of was Penelope who appeared to have grown quite attached to the little girl. The Council had thought to place Eliza in a home where she would be safe and free from abuse because of her blood, but Penelope had requested that she be allowed to take care of the girl and no one could think of a better situation for her. Penelope was trying her hardest to see Eliza through her grief.

    “No, not Eliza.” She shook her head. “Another special young lady.”

    Laila drew forward and shook Nikolai’s hand as they were introduced. Caia could see Nikolai was intrigued by her, not only because of her unusual energy, but because such a tiny person of Midnight blood had managed to gain the trust of the most important people in the Daylight Coven.

    “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Laila,” he said gravely.

    Laila smiled sweetly at him, her eyes shining with honesty. “You too, sir. I much admire what you have done for Reuben and Caia.”

    As Caia had hoped, the tension eased out of the Council like a deflating balloon. Laila’s calming presence melted their distrust as they watched her with the Midnight. In her short time at the Center people had grown to like Laila as much as Caia did and to trust that, for some reason, she had a greater sense of intuition than others. If she approved of Nikolai, could he really be that bad?

    Glad her plan worked, Caia turned to Penelope. “Perhaps the Council would like to sit with Mr. Petrovsky to discuss his time with the Midnights.” She glanced at Nikolai. “Would that be alright? You do know who the major players are and we really don’t know much about Orina Beketov.”

    “Of course.” He nodded.

    Penelope shrugged away from the Council, taking charge. “Mr. Petrovksy.” She took a hold of his hand a little tentatively. “I am Penelope Argyros.”

    “A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Argyros.”

    “Please, call me Penelope.”

    “Then you must call me, Nikolai.” He grinned at her, his eyes twinkling.

    Caia almost laughed when Penelope blushed under his regard, a little girlish giggle escaping her. “Would you care to sit down, Nikolai? Some refreshments, perhaps?”

    “Please.” He followed her to the table as she gestured for the rest of the Council to take their seats, Benedict scowling all the way. “Coffee would be wonderful.”

    Caia grinned, satisfied, and squeezed Laila’s shoulder. “I don’t know what we would do without you.”

    Laila smiled back at her in bemusement.

    31 – City of Light

    Paris smelled wonderful. It was a perfect day, crisp and clear. Caia perused cool postcards and trinkets displayed on the shelves of the stalls that lined the sidewalk at the River Seine, snuggled warm in her duffle coat and the purple scarf Lucien had just bought for her that morning.

    “Caia, what do you think?” Jae grinned, holding up a postcard with four haggard old women in black witches’ hats and robes, sitting around a table drinking tea. “It’s you, Marion, Laila and Penelope in one hundred and fifty years’ time.”

    Caia snorted and reached for it. It was pretty cool. “If we buy four postcards we get them for two euros.”

    Her friend’s eyes lit up and she immediately turned back to hunt for three more funny cards. A sparkle caught Caia’s eye and she turned to look at the cluster of different Eiffel Tower souvenirs. There were little ones, big ones, medium ones, tiny ones on key rings. Some were made of plastic, others of metal, but the one that caught her eyes was a very kitsch little one on a key ring, the entire thing sparkling with diamantes to resemble how the Tower appeared during the lightshow. Apparently a lot of Parisians hated the lightshow, but Caia loved it. She and Lucien had taken to sitting on the window seat in their room at the Center every night to watch the Tower flash in and out of existence, a million brilliant diamond lights bringing it to life in the dark.

    “Do you want it?” Lucien whispered in her ear, heating up skin that had grown cold without a hat. She leaned back into him.

    “Yeah, but I’ll get it.”

    “No need.” He reached past her before she could do anything, lifting the key ring from the display he turned to pay the market seller for it.

    At the sound of a giggle, Caia glanced over to see Jaeden had abandoned the postcards and was wrapped around Ryder in a passionate kiss. Caia immediately knew the tourists from the French. The tourists were the only ones that paid attention to the couple as they passed them.

    “Hmm, that looks nice,” Lucien murmured as he came around in front of her to hand her the key ring.

    Caia smiled and took it from him, putting the gift deep into her pocket for safekeeping. “Thank you.”

    Lucien frowned. “That’s all?”

    She made a face and reached for him, pressing a sweet kiss to his lips. She wasn’t really into the kind of PDA that Jae and Ryder were.

    Knowing it, Lucien threw her an amused look, and then put an arm around her drawing her into his side. “Where to next?”

    Tomorrow was the day of the battle and Caia had wanted to escape from it all for just one day, just one glorious day of normality and fun. She was only eighteen after all. And she was in love and in the city of Paris no less. It hadn’t taken much to convince Lucien, Ryder and Jae to join her on a day out in the city where they could just be young and have a great time.

    That morning they had a sweet breakfast of cakes and pastries from this amazing chocolaterie and patisserie on the Avenue des Friedland. Afterwards, they had strolled up to gaze at the Arc de Triomphe and then wandered down the Champs-Elysées, where Jae ogled the clothing stores and Ryder marveled over the McDonalds restaurant which sported the only white ‘M’ in the world.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire