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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 8)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(8) by Samantha Young
  • OK, so how did her detailing the MacLachlan’s plans suddenly detour into a sales pitch? She wanted to laugh. They had jumped on her surprise and delight at there being a female Rogue Hunter because they thought she was being oppressed by Lucien? And suddenly their sales pitch had turned into some feminist bull? She managed to keep the smirk off her face as she leaned closer to Lucien to reassure him.

    “Yes, well, as I was saying,” she managed diplomatically, “Pierre will ambush the pack in Remnant Forest with ten magiks, guard the place with four, and he’ll have five spies watching the MacLachlans. Together they live on five streets in the city. So we’re looking at nineteen magiks.”

    Marita frowned. “That’s a lot of arsenal.”

    “I’d say overkill.” Caia nodded.

    “It also means that Pierre has the beginnings of quite a rebellion,” Lucien added, his voice husky from concealed anger.

    Marita nodded in agreement, and then snapped her fingers so abruptly Caia flinched. A magik appeared almost instantly beside the Head, a tall hulking figure of a man whose face held no expression, whatsoever.

    “Noble, I assume Miss Ribeiro and Mr. Líder’s rooms are in order.”

    “Yes, madam.”

    She turned back to them. “Noble will show you to your rooms. Get some sleep. Tomorrow, after Mordecai and Marion have shown Caia around some of the Center’s facilities, I want the two of you to reconvene here at five o’clock to discuss our plan of action. Lucien, I thought you might be interested in our Second Unit.”

    His brows creased in confusion, as did Caia’s. What an earth was their Second Unit?

    “Lykans.” Vanne grinned.

    “Yes, quite. Our Second Unit are our infantry of lykans. I’ll have a representative sent around to your room tomorrow morning.”

    Lucien nodded politely.

    “One more thing before you retire for the evening, Caia.”

    It was said pleasantly, yet an unexpected chill shot through her.

    “Yes?”

    Marita’s frozen smile melted into a grimace. “You should be aware that despite my sister’s championing of you, and her utmost belief in your sincerity and trustworthiness, not all of Daylight is inclined to believe her.”

    “What does that mean?” Lucien growled.

    She cast him a withering look. “It means, Mr. Líder, that some of my people are uneasy around someone of Midnight blood.”

    “Daylight blood as well,” he reminded her through clenched teeth.

    Caia felt those nervous butterflies returning as Marita shrugged. “Well, perhaps if she had come to the Center as a permanent resident everyone would have been able to look past the fact that her mother was a treacherous Midnight whore who killed many Daylights, including your father and her own.”

    “Marita...” Marion stood from her chair, her expression pained.

    Her sister merely raised her hand, the polite mask falling back into place upon her marble face. “I don’t mean to be cruel.” Her eyes turned to Caia, whose own were bleak with uncertainty. She felt Lucien’s tension beside her, and was reminded once again of all the differences that stood between them, of how much he had been there for her despite that.

    “If I can get past it so can they,” Lucien’s voice rumbled around the room. He moved closer to her, his arm brushing against hers. The butterflies began to abate, and she snuck a grateful glance at him.

    “One can only hope they will.” Marita drew her gaze back to her. “However, I would encourage you, Caia, to think about staying longer than this business with the MacLachlans. It would go a long way in securing you the right allies.”

    “Well,” she plastered an equally painfully polite smile on as her hostess, “I thank you for the advice, Marita, but I hope my very temporary visit at the Center will be enough to show the people here whose side I’m on. I’d have hoped killing my own uncle would have incurred some kind of faith, but ultimately rescuing a pack of strangers will just have to do the trick.”

    Lucien didn’t even disguise his amusement and in fact neither did Vanne. Marion was the only one who tried to hold on to a straight face as Marita narrowed her eyes at first her husband, and then Caia.

    “You might do well here after all.”

    Caia raised an eyebrow in surprise at the grudging respect she found in the magik’s eyes.

    “We’ll see, though.”

    “These people that might take issue to me being here, does that include the Council?” Caia asked quietly, watching warily for a reaction.

    Marita smiled smugly. “The Council does not reside here on a permanent basis. They only convene on their schedule, or for emergencies.”

    It wasn’t exactly an answer. Marion had taught her a lot over the last few months, including some pretty in-depth history lessons. Like the Midnights, the Daylights had an appointed council that included members of the more influential families within the Coven. Their existence was a precaution; an acting body of control that disavowed the idea of an autocracy, even though Marita had complete autonomy as long as her methods were morally correct, as well as providing the Coven with adequate protection and defense. Caia had learned from Marion that three hundred years ago, Marion and Marita’s great-grandmother had taken a stand against the Head - a tyrannical warlock, whom she discovered was plotting to overthrow the Council and take complete power for himself. She went to the Council with this information, a difficult task to have done, considering she had had to hide her intentions from him in her trace, and asked to be put forward as a candidate for Head of the Coven. Usually, this would have led to a political campaign where the Daylights would be allowed to vote for whomever they wanted to lead. The loser was killed so that they could ask Gaia to imbue the winner with trace power. In Marion’s great-grandmother’s case, the Council had been so horrified by her discoveries they’d had the Head killed immediately, and placed her in power. Their family had been ruling ever since.

    So far, the Council was very happy with Marita.

    “But do they take issue with Caia?” Lucien persisted.

    Reluctantly, Marita shook her head. “They are merely impressed by your service to the Coven, and interested to see what you are capable of in the future.”

    Satisfaction washed through Caia and she shared a relieved smile with Lucien.

    Marita ‘harrumphed’ again, and with that, they were ushered out of the room behind an impassive Noble.

    They followed Noble back to the elevator that then led them down to floor five, where they were deposited on another elevator that took them back up to floor twenty-three.

    It was like something out of a sci-fi movie. Everything was white. White tiled floors, white walls, white doors, and florescent lighting that made all the white blinding.

    “Have we been abducted by the third kind?” Lucien cracked.

    Caia chuckled and then choked on her laughter at Noble’s severe glare. “These are the candidate floors. We prefer to keep everything clean, simple, and equal among the candidates.”

    Caia frowned in confusion. “I’m sorry, what are the candidates?”

    Noble sighed heavily as if he were speaking to a dumbass and growing rapidly impatient with it. “The candidates are those Daylights in training.”

    Lucien twisted his mouth sarcastically. “Recruits.”

    “No.” Noble looked as if he’d eaten something rotten. “We prefer the term candidate. Recruit just sounds so aggressive.”

    Caia smirked at Lucien. “Let me guess, that was Marita’s idea?”

    “Yes. Humph.”

    They grinned at each other behind the pompous factotum’s back as he led them past door after door. Finally, he stopped at one with the number 48 on it and handed a swipe card to Lucien.

    “Your room, sir. Marita has taken the liberty of securing a spell within the key cards of non-magiks so that their fellow magik students can’t invade their privacy with a spell of their own.”

    Lucien took the tiny piece of card in his hand, puzzling over it. “Gee, thanks.”

    “Am I next door?” Caia wondered, curious as to what the rooms looked like on the other side.

    “No. We will be taking that elevator.” He pointed to a white elevator a few meters down the hallway.

    “Another elevator?”

    “Why?” Lucien was frowning again, his body automatically tensing.

    “I’ve been instructed to put the young lady in one of the guest suites.”

    “But Lucien’s a guest.”

    “Caia, don’t-”

    “No! You’re not a candidate...” She turned to glare at Noble. “And by the way it sounds like he’s entering into an asylum for the disturbed.”

    Noble sneered. “I’ll be sure to pass along your compliments to Madam.”

    No. Caia’s heart thumped angrily. They were not going to treat Lucien like some C-list recruit, while they pandered to her, just because they wanted something from her. And she needed Lucien close by. This was all so weird, so fast. She needed his strength beside her.

    “Yeah, well, while you’re at it, ask Madam to arrange a guest suite for Lucien in close location to mine.”

    He frowned. “Together you mean?”

    Caia flushed. “No, not together. Next to one another.”

    Lucien was beginning to look seriously, uncomfortably, pissed off. “Caia, you don’t-”

    “It’s not for you, it’s for me, so swallow it or choke on it.”

    His eyes twinkled back at her as he gave an obedient nod.

    “One moment.” Noble turned from them, pressing something behind his ear lobe. “Get me Marita,” he grumbled at someone, and it was then she realized he had a small flesh-colored ear piece inside his ear. He was wearing a security headset of some ultra-mod-tech kind.

    Expensive.

    Her eyes flashed to Lucien and he seemed to understand, his own eyebrows rose in speculation. It was certainly some operation they had running here.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire