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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 6)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(6) by Samantha Young
  • He smiled gently in answer, seeming to understand.

    4 - Wants and Fears

    The smell of coffee, eggs and crackling bacon rushed up her nose to taunt her olfactory senses, causing her stomach to roll in uneasy waves. She followed Lucien, who was being led by a waitress to a booth at the back of the roadside diner.

    “Here you go, hon,” the young woman purred, handing a grease covered menu to Lucien, the look in her eyes indicating that if he wanted he could order her off the menu. Caia slid into the booth, ripped edges of maroon leather catching on her jeans. Of course the waitress didn’t even glance her way, let alone give her a menu. Good thing she wasn’t hungry, huh.

    “What are you having?” Lucien asked, as he managed to fold his huge frame into the too-small-for-him booth.

    “I’m OK.”

    “Caia, you have to eat.”

    “I’m not hungry.”

    “At least have some coffee and a sandwich.”

    “I don’t think I could keep it down.”

    “I’m ordering you a sandwich.”

    “Fair enough. Hope you can afford new upholstery in the truck.”

    He grimaced. “Maybe just the coffee then.”

    As his eyes wandered over the menu his expression changed, a big wolfy grin spreading across his face. “I, on the other hand, am going to have a burger. A huge, juicy, meaty burger with a hunk of melting cheese, maybe some thick mayo and-”

    Caia felt herself turn green. “Stop, I beg of you.”

    The portal to the Center was just over a five hours drive away. They’d left at sunrise and would be there in a few hours’ time. The thought of actually meeting Marita and Vanne, of actually taking a real part in the war, was causing not only the sickening butterflies in the pit of her stomach, but trembling, cold shakes that ran through the top of her skin, sending the hairs up on her arms and her teeth into chattering madness.

    The drive so far with Lucien had been fraught with tension. The cab in his truck seemed smaller somehow. She could hear and feel every move he made, her eyes wandering to his strong hands and sinewy forearms every time he reached for something. Tingles shot through her each time she caught a glimpse of his strong profile (or when he turned to smile at her, his hard silver eyes softening to smoke the way they only seemed to do around the people he really cared about), and momentarily her nerves over the Center were obliterated and replaced with new nerves, sad achy nerves over Lucien, over the stupid mistakes she had made when she learned he had been keeping things from her. In the end it had turned out there were more important things in life than petty grievances. And as it turned out her grievances had been petty in comparison to what happened to Jaeden and to Sebastian.

    Hindsight sucked.

    In fact hindsight should be assassinated.

    Lucien was frowning over having being stopped in his meat salivation. “You sure you’re OK?”

    She nodded mutely.

    His eyes narrowed perceptively. “Last time I’m asking. I’m a guy after all.”

    Caia laughed. Olympus forbade anyone considered him sensitive or considerate. “Some coffee will be fine. I’m just a little nervous, that’s all.”

    The waitress returned and Lucien gave her their order. When he was done she gave him a huge come-get-me smile and then turned unexpectedly to Caia. “He your boyfriend?” she asked loudly.

    Her mouth fell open at the woman’s brazenness, and she looked back at Lucien to find him grinning smugly, enjoying the interlude, and waiting in amusement for Caia’s answer. He quirked an eyebrow at her as if to say, ‘See... I’m hot.’

    She glared at him and turned back to the expectant waitress. She smiled sweetly at her, checking her nametag. “Oh no. He’s all yours... Melissa, is it?”

    Melissa grinned. “You’re not dating?”

    “No. Never. Not gonna happen.” She turned that sweet smile back on Lucien, whose smirk had been replaced with a glower. “I would have to be paid-”

    “OK, she gets the picture,” he snapped and turned to Melissa. “Can we just get our order please?”

    Melissa nodded absentmindedly. “What are you doing later?”

    “Going to France.”

    She giggled. “Yeah, right. Seriously, you want to, like, do something?”

    “I’ll be in France.”

    The waitress lost the grin, straightened up from the table and sent him a dirty look. “If you don’t want to go out with me just say so.”

    As the girl flounced off, Caia chuckled. “You’re so getting a loogie in your coffee.”

    “I don’t get it, I was telling the truth.” He shrugged, looking confused and irritated, clearly annoyed that she had gotten the better of him in a situation he thought would annoy the crap out of her. The thing was... Caia was pretty used to people ogling Lucien. She had since learned to turn the whole jealousy thing off.

    “Well she’s human. She doesn’t understand there are portals to Europe in gymnasiums. I didn’t realize there were portals to anywhere - let alone Europe - until last week and I’m a half-breed half-breed.”

    “A half-breed half-breed?”

    “Still working on a name for what I am.”

    “How about a Mykan?”

    “Or a Lykik?”

    Lucien screwed up his face. “Stick with half-breed half-breed for now.”

    She smiled, and for that moment they were comfortable in each other’s company. She bit her lip, remembering the first time they had taken a walk in the woods behind their house together, and Lucien had told her about Pack Errante’s origins. It had been comfortable then, too. If only it could be like that always. Abruptly, the moment between them changed as Lucien’s eyes fell to her mouth. It was the same look he had given her when he’d kissed her for the first time, and when he had initiated the night they slept together.

    Oh boy.

    Her cheeks suddenly felt very flushed.

    And then Lucien seemed to come back to himself and he coughed shifting in his seat. “Where is that coffee?” he grumbled, his eyes not meeting hers.

    Caia tried to hide her smile. Maybe Lucien wasn’t quite as unaffected by her as she’d thought he was. She felt like laughing. Maybe there was hope after all. Maybe-

    What is that?

    An icy tingling shot through her and she stiffened in response. She was fully in control of her trace magik now. She tapped into it whenever she wanted to, but if a Midnight magik was nearby the trace alerted her to it. Glancing around, Caia tried not to show her panic. It didn’t mean the Midnight was here in the diner. The magik could be a few miles away. Allowing herself to relax, she let the magik’s essence pour through her. A man. A young man. He was happy about something. It felt like love. He felt like he was in love. She stiffened again.

    “Caia, what’s wrong?” Lucien reached across for her hand.

    “Nothing,” she whispered.

    And that was the problem. The young Midnight’s essence was untainted. There was no malice or hate in his soul. No bloodlust for war. And he wasn’t the first Midnight’s trace that she had felt this from. Why were there Midnights who didn’t seem to care about the war? There was no evidence of that black syrupy pool of hate Ethan had reveled in; that Pierre du Bois and his followers swam in. She wasn’t stupid. Caia knew that there was no black and white in war, or in most situations for that matter, but the centuries of beliefs and warfare had taken on its own soul, its own being. Daylights were supposed to want equality and peace. Midnights the extinction of ‘lesser’ supernatural beings they considered a threat to mankind. So why the Hades were there Midnights who cared more about the kind of puppy their fiancée might like, than whether their Head of Coven had gone missing?

    “Caia?” Lucien reiterated.

    She shook the trace out of her at the sound of Lucien’s panic.

    “I’m OK,” she reassured him. “I’m OK.”

    Should she tell Lucien what she suspected?

    “You look upset.”

    Her eyes drank in his concern, her whole body warming over his distress for her. Lucien was a big believer in ‘Midnights bad, Daylights good’. He would think she was crazy, or reading the trace incorrectly. No. For now she’d keep quiet, and Lucien would keep smiling at her.

    “Just nerves again.”

    He snorted and shook his head. “I don’t know what you’re nervous for. You’re like a god to these people. I, on the other hand, am the Alpha whose pack you chose over the Center.”

    Caia laughed. “Yeah, I forgot about that. Hey, maybe you should be nervous.”

    “Nice. Thanks.”

    “Ooh look, your loogie coffee is coming.”

    “You’re cute you know that. I think if you continue to be this cute I’m going to leave you here to go out on a date with Melissa, the waitress, yourself tonight. I’ll send a postcard from the Center.”

    “You can’t go through the portal without me.” She smiled sweetly.

    His answering look would have frozen water. “How much do muzzles cost these days?”

    He couldn’t have been more relieved than when they finally pulled into the parking lot of Magic Fitness. The day, in close quarters with Caia, had been harder than he had imagined. Lucien glanced at her as he put the car into neutral and pulled up the break, switching the engine off. She was smiling nervously back at him, her long pale hair pulled back off her face making her cat green eyes seem larger and more vulnerable.

    She should have been his.

    Sighing, he shook off the aggravating thought that created this heavy rock on top of his heart. He was acting like a chick.

    “Ready?” he managed.

    “Sure.” Caia nodded at him and climbed out of his truck.

    They walked in silence into the gym, and he had to stop himself from taking a hold of her hand. Her anxiety was oozing out of her pores, and he had a feeling there was more to it than just the Center. Sometimes, he thought it might be because of him, but she had gotten good at hiding her feelings, and as far as he was aware she didn’t see him as anything more than a friend and her Pack Leader. So what in Hades was up with her? He was the one that should be nervous, he thought, as Caia led them through the gym to studio number three. No one approached them, despite how inconspicuous a huge dark haired guy and his tiny gorgeous blonde companion were.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire