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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 45)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(45) by Samantha Young
  • “It’s not that cool, Ryder.” Jae had pulled him away as Lucien and Caia walked on.

    “It is unique. The golden arches can be found anywhere on earth… here it’s white. It’s one of a kind. You know how I feel about one of a kinds’.”

    “I do?” She’d asked dubiously as they caught up with Caia and Lucien.

    Ryder had grinned at her. “I’m with you aren’t I.”

    “Dude.” Lucien smirked at him. “Smooth.”

    Caia laughed. It may have been cheesy but Jaeden had loved it, pulling Ryder down for an amused kiss.

    After that they had made their way to the River Seine and had been perusing the markets and the city’s architecture ever since. At present they were at Pont Neuf not far from where they had come out of the Center at Notre Dame. The Louvre sat across the river.

    “Louvre then?” Lucien asked, following her gaze.

    “Actually.” Jae appeared beside them entangled in her mate. “I heard Musee d’Orsay is better.”

    “Well, it’s certainly smaller.” Ryder raised his eyebrows pointedly. “Got my vote.”

    “Caia?” Lucien queried and she chuckled as Jae and Ryder frowned at being ignored.

    “Musee d’Orsay sounds good.”

    “And then lunch,” Ryder begged.

    Caia huffed, “We just ate a little while ago and you had the most to eat.”

    “Hey, that little chocolate cupcake thing was tiny.”

    “The three pan du chocolates and two croissants that followed it were not.”

    He puffed up his chest. “Me man, me need more food than tiny waif female.”

    The Musee d’Orsay was wonderful but Caia decided it was time to leave when a bored Ryder thought it was a great idea to clamber up on a priceless sculpture of the archangel Gabriel to get his photograph taken. She masked the incident with magik and hurried them all out of there with one last look at the stunning clock that graced the high wall above the exit.

    “Now the Louvre?” Jaeden queried as the cold air nipped at their skin.

    “No.” Caia blanched thinking of the damage Ryder could still do. “I don’t think we should take the risk.”

    “I wanted to see the pyramid from the Da Vinci Code.” Ryder took hold of Jaeden’s hand and begun leading them towards the museum.

    “OK.” Lucien gave in. “But we’re not going inside the actual museum.”

    “OK, dad.”

    The rest of the afternoon fell away in laughter and ease. They tucked into a great lunch at a café on the corner of Rue d’Arcole beside Notre Dame Cathedral, and, despite the weather, Caia insisted on sitting outside at the wicker tables. During lunch her gaze continually went to the cathedral as tourists lined up in droves to get in.

    “It’s beautiful, isn’t,” Lucien mused, following her gaze.

    She nodded. “I wish we could go in.”

    “Well, why don’t we?” Jae asked munching on her crepes with gusto.

    Caia laughed humorlessly. “We have a battle tomorrow… I don’t think we should be pissing off the gods the night before a fight by entering the home of the god who stole their fan base.”

    “Ah, true.”

    After lunch they jumped on the metro to Montmartre, where they got lost before eventually finding the steps that led up to the Sacré-Couer. Ryder raced past them like a big kid, using his lykan grace to sweep up the stairs past tourists without knocking them over.

    Caia grinned at him as he bounced on his feet at the top, punching the air before raising his hands in triumph.

    “What the Hades is he doing?” Lucien muttered in amusement.

    Caia laughed. “Rocky!”

    He raised an eyebrow in ignorance.

    “Sylvester Stallone!”

    He shrugged. “Some actor, right?”

    Caia rolled her eyes. “I have no idea how you and Ryder became best friends.”

    The Basilique was beautiful, but as the light started to fade they shuffled back down the steps to find the nearest metro station. The pack were having a special dinner tonight and had invited Marion, Vanne, Reuben, Nikolai and Saffron to join them. Of course Laila and Vil would be there, but they were part of the pack now, they weren’t guests.

    There were only two seats available on the metro and, like the gentlemen they were, Lucien and Ryder made sure Caia and Jae got them, before wandering a little away to stand in the middle of the aisle. Everyone else held onto the poles and hand rails. With their balance, Lucien and Ryder didn’t need to.

    “I hope Alexa likes her gift.” Jae bit her lip, worry creasing her brow.

    “Let me see it again.” Caia held out her hand.

    Jae pulled out the jewelry box and Caia took it from her, opening it up to look over the necklace that lay nestled on velvet. They had been passing the window of one of the many antique stores in the city when a silver necklace had caught Jae’s eyes. The pendant was stunning. Lounging on the silver crest of a half-moon was a sleeping wolf carved in jet.

    “She’ll love it,” Caia whispered.

    These last days had not been easy for Alexa. Not only was she still mad she hadn’t been able to take revenge against Marita personally, but she had felt betrayed by Jaeden who she had thought had become a good friend. Jae was trying her best to make it up to her. Last night, when Lucien had given Alexa permission to fight in the battle her mood had improved somewhat. Jae was hoping the necklace would finish the job.

    When they reached Notre Dame Cathedral Caia cloaked them with magik and took a hold of them all as they entered the portal that Penelope had promised to leave open and guarded for the day. They stepped back into the Center, old pros now at using portals.

    It was a little bit of a hurry to get back to their rooms and wash up in time for dinner, but they got to Ella and Magnus’ suite, where the dinner was being set up, with time to spare.

    When they got there, however, everyone was already there anyway. It was the anxiety and fear over the next day that had brought them together early. Even the kids knew something was up, sticking close to one another and eyeing the adults with perceptive eyes that made Caia feel guilty for not telling them what was going to happen in the morning.

    Neither Isaac, Imogen, Christian, Lucia, Julia, Mal or Cera would take part in the fight tomorrow. They had children that needed them. As for Draven and Kade they wanted to fight, feeling they had nothing else to lose but each other. That meant Vil, Laila, Lucien, Ryder, Jaeden, Irini, Alexa, Aidan, Ella, Magnus, Draven, Kade and Caia were the members of the pack that would be on that battlefield in the morning. They would be joined by Marion, Vanne, Reuben, Saffron, the Council, Phoebe MacLachlan, her Alpha and fifteen members of their pack. That was only the beginning. The entire Center would be there along with thousands of Daylights. It was going to be the most awe-inspiring thing Caia had ever witnessed.

    Laila fluttered from person to person with Vil trying to ease the tension and fear. It worked somewhat, but Caia thought perhaps there was just too much emotion between them all to soothe. Lucien tried to keep it all light as everyone took their seats at the table. Caia watched carefully as Vanne and Marion sat next to one another, their shoulders brushing, their eyes meeting often. She smiled, hoping they were friends again… and maybe more someday, she mused.

    “This looks amazing.” Lucien gazed over the dishes upon dishes that littered the table.

    Vanne shrugged. “I had the kitchens put in a little extra time. Thank you for inviting me.”

    “And me.”

    “And me.”

    The grateful murmurs of Marion, Saffron, Nikolai and Reuben filtered down the table.

    “I’m glad you all came.” Lucien smiled back and squeezed Caia’s hand. “For tonight, why don’t we forget about tomorrow and just enjoy each other’s company.”

    And that’s what they did. Friendly teasing and banter accompanied the meal. Reuben was battered with questions about how old he was and was he there when Marie Antoinette lost her head and did he meet William Wallace and was Julius Caesar really such a dick…?

    He laughed it all off, answering the questions gamely, looking to Saffron for help when he could. As for the pack, they looked happier than they had in a long time. They laughed with one another and were able to speak of those they had lost with a sad humor and sweet remembrance. Alexa laughed at something Jaeden had said, twiddling the pendant of the wolf necklace that hung around her neck. For a moment, Caia was debilitated by a sharp feeling of utter terror. Would all this be gone tomorrow? Would the pack be destroyed once more just as they were regaining themselves? And would it all be her fault?

    Caia, don’t, she pleaded with herself.

    Fear was for everyone else. They needed her to be confident and assured of what they were doing, of what she was taking them into. This had been her idea. She had no right to fear or doubt.

    “You OK?” Lucien whispered, leaning into her.

    She sipped a little of her wine and threw him a smile. “Of course.”

    “I don’t believe you.”

    Sometimes Caia wished her mate didn’t understand her so well. “Really, I’m OK.”

    He didn’t say anything more, but as they lay together that night, trying to catch their breath after having lost themselves in each other, Lucien propped himself up on his side and gazed down at her, his eyes narrowed and serious. “You’re allowed to be afraid, Caia.”

    Warmth sprung to life in her chest at the knowledge he understood her so perfectly, but she shook her head with a sharp jerk. “No, I’m not.”

    He scowled at her. “Of course you are.”

    “Lucien, I started this. This was all my idea. I can’t be afraid when everyone else is or they’ll think that I’m not sure we’re going to win this thing.”

    “Caia, they know there is a risk we won’t win this thing. They’re not stupid. They’re not blindly following you into battle because they think you’ve given them a 100% guarantee of survival. They’re following you into battle because they believe in this… not because they think your lack of fear is a promise of victory.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire