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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 4)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(4) by Samantha Young
  • The hair on the back of Caia’s neck rose in warning. “Yes?”

    But it was Lucien Marion was looking at.

    “My sister has become aware that Jaeden Rodriguez is breaking Coven law.”

    A snarl erupted from Lucien’s throat, his entire body tense with shock and anger. “I doubt that very much.”

    The witch looked saddened. “Jaeden has been killing rogue vampyres.” She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to Lucien, who snatched it from her. “She’s been living with a group of vampyres and hunting with them.”

    Caia felt herself shaking. “What does this mean?”

    “Usually imprisonment. But considering the circumstances, Marita has agreed to let Ryder collect her, and bring her back to the pack.”

    “She’s getting off on a warning?” Caia breathed in relief.

    Marion nodded, and Caia literally felt the tension drain out of Lucien. He grunted and tucked the paper in the back pocket of his jeans.

    “I’ll call Ryder immediately.”

    3 - Find and Retrieve

    Ryder cuffed the hands-free around his ear and pressed speed dial one.

    Three rings rang out before... “Lucien.”

    “So you and Caia ready to hit the road?” he asked without preamble.

    Lucien sighed down the other end of the phone. “Bored already, Ryder?”

    Ryder grinned, his eyes darting to the rear view mirror at the sounds of sirens. The flash of light could be seen weaving between cars in the distance, and he pulled over in order to get out of the way. “Hey, do not get me started.”

    “I thought-[ne naw ne naw ne naw] already.”

    “You’ll have to repeat that man, police sirens just drowned out what I’m guessing is an irritating observation on my progress in this ‘rescue Jaeden from herself’ project you got me heading up.”

    Lucien snorted. “I was just wondering what was taking so long.”

    “I left three days ago.”

    “And?”

    “It’s a three day drive, not including rest br... you know what, never mind, I’m nearly there.”

    “Yeah, well, Magnus has agreed to oversee the pack, so Caia and I are nearly ready to hit the road as well.”

    Ryder smirked. “Nice.”

    “Shut up.”

    “I didn’t say anything.”

    “You were thinking it.”

    “Thinking what?” he laughed.

    “Shut up.”

    “Well does this journey include a motel break, because in the interest of all romance, don’t. Last night I slept in a motel room where the carpet literally moved beneath my feet, there were so many fleas in it.”

    “Beautiful.”

    “Yeah well, I might just have to make a pit stop on the way back so Jae can enjoy the delights of the place.”

    “You’ll go easy on her.”

    Ryder groaned, as he glided into the next lane. “Yeah, yeah.”

    “I gotta go.”

    “Yeah. I’ll let you know when I retrieve our wayward pup.”

    “Do that. Take care, man.”

    “You too.”

    Ryder sighed heavily as he thought about Jaeden. He was making pretty good time so he should hit the city by nightfall. He wondered whether she would be an adult about this and come in peace, or if he was going to have to physically haul her ass into the truck. He groaned and rubbed the tension out of his forehead.

    “It’s pretty cool that you’ve started going hunting with us again.” Styx smiled sweetly as she stood up from kneeling, her machete bloodied by the dead vampyre’s neck juice. Jaeden felt a twinge of guilt at the mixture of hurt and hope in the young vamp’s eyes. Out of all of her new found comrades, Styx was the most sensitive and had clung to Jaeden from the get go. She was a baby for a vampyre, only sixteen, and Jae had felt sort of protective towards her. Styx was built like a child, fragile and small at a tiny five foot nothing. Her size was deceptive and the reason the big vampyre on the ground was dead. None of the bad teeth (as Reuben’s gang of misfits liked to refer to the rogue vamps) were expecting the sly strength of Styx.

    Jaeden looked away from the dead guy and shrugged. “Yeah well, it gets Reuben off my back.” She winced as Styx’s face fell in disappointment. “And of course I missed hanging out with you guys,” she added quickly. The young girl smiled, but Jae could tell it was too late.

    “Aren’t you happy with us, Jaeden?”

    Oh boy, how to answer that question?

    She shrugged again, and gestured for her to walk with her out of the alleyway. They were supposed to be back at the basement loft half an hour ago. Lily, Adam and Josh would already be there hitting the Wii. She doubted Reuben would be there. He had gone on one of his disappearing acts yesterday and probably wouldn’t be back for a few days. “I guess I’m just ready to move on from here.” She indicated their surroundings. “I mean it’s quiet now that the bad teeth know we’re here hunting them. That vamp you killed back there is the first one in days.”

    Her answer seemed to cheer Styx up, who was grinning from cheek to cheek, her little fangs visible. “Well, that’s OK. We’ll just move. Reuben will be totally cool with that. Ooh yay.” She bounced from one foot to the other, clapping her hands like a perky cheerleader. “Maybe we can convince Reuben to buy an actual loft apartment... you know… one with windows!”

    Jae laughed and shook her head. “I don’t know. I sometimes think Reuben forgets you guys can actually stand the sunlight. Too many episodes of The Vampire Diaries, I think.”

    “He does think that Elena girl is hot.”

    Jae smirked. “So does Lily.”

    Styx sighed longingly. “Ian Somerhalder all the way.”

    “Uh-uh.” Jae scrunched up her face. “Too pretty. I prefer my men a little rough around the edges.”

    “Like Reuben?” The vamp giggled.

    Jaeden laughed and punched her arm playfully. Despite Styx’s matchmaking attempts, she enjoyed the young vamp’s prattle as they wandered back to the apartment. Her chatter about anything and nothing was soothing to her, allowing her thoughts to settle nowhere and be at peace for the moment.

    “Ah, home sweet home.” Styx chuckled as she pulled the building’s main door open. “But not for long.” Her blue-yellow eyes twinkled happily at the exciting thought of moving up and on.

    Jaeden snorted. “One can only hope.”

    “You know I’m thinking we should go abroad. Like Rome, or Egypt or something. I’m betting there a lot of bad teeth over there,” she continued as they headed down the hallway to the loft, her small hand clasping the door handle, “I mean, all that culture and beauty. The bad teeth would want to rip that sh-”

    Styx suddenly stopped as the door slid open, her doll eyes wide, rose-bud mouth parted in shock. Jaeden felt her heart thump loudly in her ears as she dared to step by the vamp and look inside the basement. The blood rushing to her ears as her heart escalated drowned out any sound.

    How had he found her?

    Ryder felt like smirking at the shocked look on Jaeden’s face. All along he hadn’t wanted to believe the information on the little bit of paper Marion had handed to Lucien and then Lucien to him. He knew the girl had been through a lot, a Hades lot. But she knew the rules inside out.

    You did not hunt other supernatural races.

    If he hadn’t witnessed the horrific situation Jae had been in with Caia’s Uncle Ethan, he would have been yelling at her by now. But he had seen only a fragment of the damage committed to a girl who had once been the most spunky, vivacious kid in the pack. He wasn’t going to condemn her for this stupidity. He was going to put her in the truck and leave this mess in the past where it belonged. That was if she ever made a move into the apartment towards him. He frowned as her blue eyes flicked past him to the vamp kids who sat on a dilapidated old sofa looking terrified.

    “They’re fine. No harm done.” He smiled cheekily, holding his hands up in a surrender gesture. And he wasn’t lying. After they had come home to find him there, they had attacked, but quickly saw reason after he blocked and outmaneuvered all three of them. And that tall chick had game, he winced inwardly recalling her near blow to his groin.

    He waited patiently. Jaeden didn’t respond.

    Finally, she took a tentative step inside the apartment, her slender hands gripping the tiny female vampyre behind her, pulling her inside before she calmly slid the door closed. Ryder waited as she turned back towards him, her face expressionless.

    She was different, he suddenly realized.

    It wasn’t just that her manner had changed. She used to be a bundle of energy, always in motion, her sentences forever flowing into one another. Now she was cool and aloof, a reserve in her gorgeous blue eyes that had never been there before. Ryder shrugged off an uncomfortable, unwelcoming feeling as his eyes drank her in. Jaeden had grown up... and the effect was well...

    She was hot.

    Crap.

    “What are you doing here?” she finally asked, softly, warily.

    Ryder decided now wasn’t the time to mess around. “I’ve been sent to return you to the pack.”

    Her eyes narrowed instantly, her body shifted into defense mode. “I don’t want to go back.”

    For the hundredth time, Ryder wondered why Jaeden couldn’t stand to be around her pack. When anything got to him that badly, all he wanted to do was be with the pack. The bubble of irritation under his skin threatened to vocalize itself, but he checked it at the last minute. “I’m afraid you don’t have a choice,” he replied evenly. “It’s either the pack or imprisonment.”

    Her mouth fell open.

    Finally. A response.

    “What?” she growled, her lykan distorting her voice.

    Ryder chuckled, crossing his arms over his chest. “What, you didn’t think you could break a major Coven law and not have to deal with it?”

    The look of panic shot through her eyes but only briefly. Ryder watched in amazement as the look was literally shrugged out of existence as she walked towards him, her shoulders drawn back defiantly. The girl really had become something, he mused, enjoying the panther-like way she moved.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire