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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 10)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(10) by Samantha Young
  • Doing as requested, Ryder didn’t direct any conversation at her until they were seated and had ordered. He waited until she finally took the sunglasses off before deciding to hit her with the question that had been bugging him for a while.

    “So tell me... why did you leave the pack in the first place?”

    Her dark blue eyes narrowed, and her full lips thinned in discomfort at his directness. She glared.

    He shrugged. “Hey, I’m just asking the question that everyone will be asking when we get home.”

    More glaring. Wait, was she snarling?

    Ryder snorted and sat up, leaning across the table towards her. “Look, Jae, you are going to have to talk about this at some point. Dimitri was going nuts while you were gone. He probably would have had a search party out scouring the country if Lucien hadn’t given him a direct order to leave you alone.”

    He watched the surprise flit across her face, her mouth dropping open in astonishment. It was fascinating, watching the way she wiped the expression clean, putting her cool facade back in place. And just when he thought he wasn’t going to get a reaction...

    “Why would Lucien do that?”

    Ryder smirked, smug (and a little relieved) that he still knew her enough to know she couldn’t resist that little bit of information. “Caia asked him to.”

    Jae frowned. “Wait... why?”

    Suddenly the memory of her broken, of her young skin lashed and burned, her bright eyes blank and numb with torture, flooded his thoughts, sobering him immediately. “Because after what happened to you she thought you deserved the time you needed to yourself.”

    She looked down, shielding her eyes and thoughts from him. “That was... kind.”

    “The girl you met for those, what two weeks, you liked her, right?”

    Still not looking at him, Jae nodded. “She was cool.”

    “Caia cares about you a great deal.”

    She was frowning again, and suddenly he was caught in her curious gaze. “You respect her a lot, don’t you?”

    Ryder chuckled. “Yeah. She’s my friend... actually she’s more like a sister.”

    “So you don’t...”

    What was she trying to ask?

    Laughter bubbled up inside of him as realization dawned, but he managed to contain it as he replied in a strangled voice, “Nah, I’ll leave that particular privilege to her mate.”

    Sitting back in her seat, seeming more relaxed, she smiled wryly at him, and he tried to ignore the sudden speed in his pulse.

    “Yeah, what’s up with that? Lucien doing what Caia tells him to do?”

    The whole Lucien and Caia thing was mind boggling to him. It was obvious they were crazy about each other, but neither one could see it, and neither one wanted to talk about it. He’d had his head bitten off enough times for him to shut up on the matter. Hopefully, they’d work it out before it really was too late, and someone did something they would regret.

    “Cy’s got Lucien wrapped around her little pinky and vice versa.”

    “Before I left I got the impression they were going to ignore their mating.”

    “You got right. Nothing’s changed. They’re still idiots.”

    Jaeden chuckled and sipped at her coke. “I’ve missed the pack and all the drama.”

    “I would have thought breaking Coven laws and hunting vampyres would have been enough drama.”

    “That was bad drama. The pack is good drama.”

    “So why did you leave?”

    She groaned and went back to glaring at him. He merely enjoyed annoying her further by grinning cheekily at her.

    She glared. “You never give up, do you?”

    “I’m tenacious. Persistent. Determined. Dogged-”

    “You’re like a rash that won’t go away.”

    His smile widened but he didn’t have a chance to retort because their food arrived. The first few minutes of silence descended on their table while they dug in. Ryder decided to choose his moment carefully, waiting until a sigh of pleasure escaped from Jaeden. Now that she had fed, she might be more amenable to answering the damn question.

    “So why did you leave?”

    This time she just watched him as she chewed carefully, swallowed, and took a sip of her drink. She was deliberately tormenting him, fully aware of his lack of patience.

    “You really want to know?”

    Finally.

    He nodded, afraid he would say the wrong thing and frighten her off.

    At first as she spoke, Jae held his gaze, strong, steady. “After what happened, I was in too much pain to be comforted, and I knew my coldness would only hurt my family.” She stopped and her gaze dropped. “I didn’t know how to tell them all that had happened to me. I didn’t want to hurt them any more with that knowledge. And I was just... a mess... I didn’t want them to see me like that.”

    She refused to meet his eyes.

    You’re lying.

    Oh, he was sure what she’d just revealed was partly the truth, but there was more. He could feel it. What was she hiding from him, from them all?

    Ryder concealed his frowning interest by pretending to cough on his burger. When he looked back up at her, she was eating away at the rest of her food, seeming more relaxed, believing he had bought it.

    Well, let her relax, he mused, while I find out what the Hades she’s been up to.

    Jae was feeling lighter. She hadn’t had any nightmares last night, no telekinesis kicking in. Ryder seemed to have bought her story and was no longer asking annoying and prying questions. In fact, the rest of breakfast had been fun. They had talked and laughed, and he had filled her in on what had been happening with the pack while she was gone. If the rest of the pack were this easy, perhaps her return would go far more smoothly that she’d thought.

    Ah she couldn’t wait to go on a run. Her body was screaming for the change.

    “We’ll be home soon enough and you can run as much as you like.” Ryder smiled, walking closely by her side as they crossed the lot back to her motel room.

    Goddess, she hadn’t realized she had said that out loud.

    “My stuff’s already in the truck. You got your bag together?”

    “It’s already packed.” She sighed, unlocking the door, and wrinkling her nose as she stepped inside the rank room. “I can’t believe you made me sleep here.”

    Stepping further in, a slight coppery smell tickled her nostrils and she stopped abruptly.

    “Oof.” Ryder banged into the back of her, sending her stumbling forward.

    She whirled to face him, her eyes narrowed in concentration. “Do you smell that?”

    He puckered his brow, shrugging and twirling his keys impatiently. “Don’t smell a thing except urine, beer and sex. Can we please go?”

    She shook her head unconvinced, her eyes searching the room. “I smell... I dunno... something familiar.”

    “What’s not familiar about urine, beer and-”

    She smirked at him as he flushed. “And?” she prompted, enjoying his discomfort.

    “Just get your bag,” Ryder muttered, turning away from her.

    Jaeden laughed softly, turning toward her things, only to stop again. “Hey!”

    “What, what?” Suddenly he was right at her back in defense mode.

    Her t-shirt and jeans lay strewn across the ancient chair in the corner of the room, crumpled beside her now open backpack.

    “I could have sworn I packed this before we went for breakfast.”

    “Is that all,” he whined, “Goddess, Jae, I thought there was an actual problem... not some hormonal imbalance causing female memory loss.”

    “Hey!” she snapped at him, glaring at him all the while she stuffed her things back into her bag. “I know you’re more of a gentleman than that to talk chauvinistic crap to a lady, so stop trying to irritate the life out of me, Ryder, before I go crazy and end yours!”

    Abruptly he grinned, his golden brown eyes glittering with humor. “Why would I stop when it’s this much fun? Truly...” he placed a hand on his heart. “You bring such joy to my life.”

    She was not going to laugh at him.

    Or think about how light-hearted he made her feel.

    How good.

    No. Down that road there be complications.

    Instead she threw her back pack at him and strode past his laughing face. “You’re funny,” she said sarcastically. “The fact that you’ve been designated the pack golden retriever really doesn’t seem to have dampened your spirits at all.”

    “Uh, hello,” he called to her back, and she heard his pounding steps catching up to her as she neared the truck, “Retrieving you, and saving you from imprisonment, was a very important job.”

    She turned back to him, smiling sweetly. “But hardly the job of a Rogue Hunter.”

    “I’m not a golden retriever.”

    “No? Well, what’s that bell around your neck?” She pointed innocently to his throat.

    He grimaced glancing down, which sent her into hysterics.

    “You looked! You actually looked... I can’t believe that-”

    “Get in the truck,” he growled at her immaturity and stomped around to the driver’s side.

    She sighed happily, jumping into the cab, wisting around to face him as she buckled herself up. “What’s the matter Ryder? Can’t take a little teasing?”

    He snorted and glanced up at her from under his enviously long lashes. “Oh baby, I can take a little teasing. But you just made this war.”

    Well, she chuckled, this was going to be a looong drive home.

    But at least he would be too distracted to ask any uncomfortable questions along the way.

    Well, well, well, Marcus thought, watching as the lykan climbed into the truck with her mate. This was turning out better than he had thought. Marcus had tailed the tall female wolf from the city, following the scent he had found at his dead girlfriend’s body before the sun destroyed any evidence of Cora’s existence.

    He had thought to capture the lykan, torture her - perhaps even show her how a man of his species showed a female a good time.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire