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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 13)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(13) by Samantha Young
  • He had met Rose four years after he’d left the pack. She was a Rogue Hunter he’d met and he’d stayed with her pack for three months. Three months in which they had engaged in a passionate affair before he had to break her heart by telling her he couldn’t mate with her. He had never been able to explain the reason, and she had told him she would never forgive him. Her hatred over his betrayal had made it easier to walk away... but it had taken him a long time to get over her.

    “Lucien,” she breathed, holding his face between her hands tenderly, “I understand now,” she whispered.

    She knew about Caia then.


    Lucien glanced down beside him to see how she was reacting, but her gaze was on the floor, her long hair hiding her expression from him.

    He managed to put Rose at a physical distance without hurting her feelings and she just kept smiling at him and holding on to his arm.

    “You two are acquainted?” Marita asked softly.

    His head snapped up at her tone and he knew… he knew just looking at her eyes, slightly round with innocence, that she had done this deliberately.

    Phoebe MacLachlan didn’t know Rose Bronson; their packs were on different sides of the country. Marita had brought Rose here as a distraction.

    He stilled the growl in his chest.

    Whatever was going on here, he was going to get to the bottom of it.

    8 - Consequences

    He couldn’t remember when he’d had this much fun.

    The daytime drive hadn’t seemed so long with her beside him, cracking jokes, teasing him. Sparring with Jaeden had him strung out... but in a good way.

    Almost like foreplay.

    Ryder clenched his hand around the steering wheel at the thought, but there was no getting around the fact that he was extremely attracted to the now senior Jae with her gorgeous smile and caustic wit. The truth was, he wasn’t known for sticking with one female, and he had a pretty colorful past as a player. Thoughts of having a respectable young female like Jaeden in his bed were enough to have him strung up. But the scary truth was... he had never been this comfortable, and yet this attracted, to a female in his life...

    Could Jae be his mate?

    His heart stopped.

    Dimitri was going to kill him.

    Ryder sighed heavily.

    “You OK?” she asked quietly, and he could feel her curiosity. That much hadn’t changed about her anyway: as curious as a cat.

    He nodded, throwing her a weak smile. Yeah, he was cool. Just getting a little ahead of himself, that was all. For Gaia’s sakes, they hadn’t even kissed yet. Hey, not to mention the fact that he still didn’t know what the Hades she was hiding; and that brought him back to another dilemma. They were having such a good time together, and he didn’t want to spoil it but if he was going to consider ‘courting’ Jaeden then he needed to know everything there was to know about her.

    He cleared his throat. “Soooo... question.”

    Not unexpectedly, Jaeden groaned. “Why, Ryder, why? We were having such a pleasant journey together.”

    He chuckled and glanced at her, enjoying the cute way her nose wrinkled at him in distaste. “I’m curious, that’s all.”

    “And you know what they say about curiosity.”

    “Good thing I’m a wolf and not a cat then, huh.”

    She blew out a dramatic breath, asking in a beleaguered tone, “What’s the question?”

    “How on Gaia’s green earth did you end up with a bunch of vampyres?”


    Ryder grunted, turning his head away from the road to catch her expression. She looked caught off guard and... embarrassed?

    “Well, there’s definitely a story there.”

    She shrugged at him, and then frowned. “Watch the road.”

    “Are you going to answer the question?”

    “Yeah, but dying won’t get it out of me any faster.”

    “OK, I’m watching the road!” he exclaimed, determinedly staring straight ahead.



    “OK, OK. I ended up with vampyres because I met one on the bus who told me he ran with a group of hunters, and it would be a good way to work out all my aggression.”

    “He?” Ryder did not like the sound of that.

    “Reuben. He was cute and funny, and I think he’s older than he lets on because he’s very intuitive. He seemed to know there was something wrong with me before I even opened my mouth. He started telling me that maybe doing something as worthwhile as hunting down killers, and saving a few people, would help.”

    “This random guy approaches you and you just, what… move in with him? I’m confused… I thought schools started teaching ‘stranger danger’ from kindergarten?”

    “Reuben is a good guy,” she replied defensively. “He has amazing intuition. I didn’t tell him all that much until we knew each other better, and even then I didn’t really explain the full scope of my ‘issues’,” her voice lowered. “He was a good friend to me. I feel bad about leaving without saying goodbye.”

    “Was that all he was? A friend?”

    Oh Artemis that’s all he better have been.

    “Yeah. He wanted more but... to be honest I wasn’t even a very good friend to him, never mind anything else. It’s weird...”


    When she didn’t say anything he pinned an unrelenting narrow-eyed gaze on her.

    “The road!” She pointed at the windshield, unimpressed.

    “Say what you were going to say.”

    “You know, Lucien and my dad are going to be so interested to know that you threatened my life numerously on this little retrieval of yours.”

    Ryder shrugged, even though he knew Dimitri would tear him a new one if he found out about Ryder’s interrogation techniques with his only daughter.

    “Fine,” she snapped, and he reluctantly pulled his gaze away from her and back to the road. “When I was staying with the gang I didn’t feel anything. I mean, I didn’t allow myself to feel close to them, just as much as I didn’t allow myself to feel anything about the pack. But...”


    “But... as soon as we left the city, give or take a few hours of your incessant and terrible singing, I had all these... emotions... guilt for not being a better friend to Styx, Reuben, all of them. And relief. To be going home.”

    He could tease her about how that meant he’d somehow opened her up again, melted some of that ice she had been building as a defense around her after everything that had happened, but he knew this was an important moment for her. She would hate him for teasing and seeming to belittle something that in fact made him more convinced that they might be mates.

    He was the truth she couldn’t hide from.

    It was kind of overwhelming… but kind of nice.

    “That sounds stupid doesn’t it?” she sounded so young and unsure.

    Reaching out, he clasped her small hand in one of his own, and watched with pleasure as she blushed at the intimate contact. “Not at all. It sounds just right.”

    She smiled shyly at him and got caught in his heated gaze. Abruptly, her eyes dropped and she pulled away mumbling, “Watch the road.”

    Ryder laughed and indicated left, pulling into a motel parking lot. It was dark and he was hungry and she was probably fed up of being cooped up in the truck all day.

    “We’re stopping?”

    “Yeah, let’s get a couple of rooms and some food out of the vendors.”

    “Oh goody, Ho Hos and chips. You certainly know how to show a wolf a good time.”

    “Shut it, and get out.”

    They walked across the barely lit lot to the motel reception, and all the while he surreptitiously watched her. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her. How had this happened?

    “Evening folks,” the young guy at the counter said without even looking up. “How can I help?”

    “Two singles,” Jaeden replied curtly.

    At the sound of her throaty voice the guy looked up, and his eyes widened along with his smile while he drunk her in. “Uh...”

    “Two singles,” Ryder echoed, and watched with satisfaction as the kid took in the size of him and from that point determinedly kept his eyes off of Jae.

    “Uh... we have a slight plumbing issue at the moment. I have one room with two twins.”

    “That’ll do.”

    “But-” Jaeden’s mouth dropped open in protest.

    Ryder sneered, “I’ll try not to give you cooties.”

    She huffed at his side while he paid and grabbed the keys. He had to physically usher her across the lot to their motel room. It wasn’t so bad. Yeah, it would suck being stuck in the same room with the object of his misguided desire, but he was a Rogue Hunter for goddess sakes. He had taken down a pack of three rogues by himself. One little slip of a female couldn’t be that bad.

    She threw her bag on the bed nearest the bathroom. “This place is disgusting. You would think with the amount of money the pack have they could have financed the journey home.”

    “They did.”

    “And this was all it paid for?”

    “What part of ‘you broke a major Coven law’ translates into five star hotels and room service?”

    “So, this is punishment? This room... with you?”

    He grabbed his chest. “Baby, you gotta stop with the love, it’s embarrassing.”


    “I try. Now, move your ass back out of here... the vendors are over the lot.”

    She grumbled a little bit, but he had her back to laughing at his inane jokes while they collected a small picnic from the vending machines and walked back to the room. Later, he was going to blame his new found infatuation with her on the reason why he didn’t pick up the disturbance in the air, and the thick coppery smell that clung to the door of their motel. Instead he stalked inside, looking back at Jaeden, laughing. The door crashed, closing them in, and he felt the cold press of metal against his temple. Jaeden gasped, seeing the presence he felt beside him in the dark with her wolf eyes.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire