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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 15)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(15) by Samantha Young
  • “Why, it’s not your fault?”

    “I just don’t.”

    Please, please, please, please.

    He took a hold of her shoulders and shook her gently, his expression darkening. “You better not be ashamed, Jaeden Rodriguez, because you have nothing to feel ashamed of. You are the strongest person I know. I’m proud to know you.”

    Oh goddess. She felt tears choke her throat again. Why did he have to be so perfect?

    “Please don’t tell,” she persisted.

    Ryder sighed, shaking his head. “I won’t. But it’s not something you can hide easily, Jaeden. And no one will care. The pack is just happy to be getting you back.”

    “Still...”

    He held a hand up in surrender, smiling gently. “I promise, I won’t tell.” Relief flooded her, and then immediately dissipated when his expression sobered, and he said, “But Caia already knows everything. She could see your... torture... through Ethan’s eyes.”

    The blood drained from her face.

    9 - Darker Side

    She felt awful.

    Sleeping had been an issue after Marita and her ‘operatives’ had worked out a plan of defense against Du Bois and his gang of rebels. And it wasn’t because her body had still been pumping with the adrenaline of doing so well in classes at the Center; it wasn’t because she was juiced with excitement over how efficient and determined the team had been when discussing the MacLachlan attack; it wasn’t because she was nervous about her next day of classes ahead.

    It was because of the beautiful redhead who had disappeared into Lucien’s room with him last night so ‘they could talk’.

    All night she had tossed and turned, straining to hear any sounds from next door, and fearing what she would do if she did. Finally, she had used the telecom system by her bed to contact Noble and ask him if it was possible for her to have private use of the woodland simulator so she could go for a run.

    Of course it wasn’t a problem.

    As she stood there alone, breathing in what she knew to be fake, fresh, woody air and yet exhilarating in it anyway, Caia willed her body just this once to change like it used to. She remembered how afraid she had been of telling Lucien and the others that her body slipped into wolf like magik. Remembering the day they were scheduled for their first pack run together since it had happened, Caia felt her anger build irrationally. Lucien had been so kind as she explained the situation, and she had been so scared he would look on her as less of a lykan because of it. No one in the pack had sneered at her, or condemned her, and she knew it was all because of him. So, why did he have to be big jerk now - taking some, six foot-nothing bombshell back to his room? A bombshell he most obviously had a sexual past with, she rippled with fury, her eyes glaring at a large tree in front of her.

    Rose had clung to his arm like a burr the entire evening.

    A growl ripped out of Caia’s chest, and she felt white heat building from her toes upwards.

    No, no, no, no, no! she cried. But too late, she was stumbling back blinded. Afraid of what she would see her eyes peeled open slowly, and she grimaced at the large pile of ash in front of her. She had destroyed the tree. She was really going to have to work on that.

    Although most of her pent up frustration had expelled from her, she still shook with the agony that Lucien had been in love with someone; and that he loved another woman and couldn’t be with her because of her. Did he resent her? Please, Artemis, she pleaded silently, let the change be slow. Let my bones crack and my muscles ache, and my eyes tear.

    She stripped na**d, folding her clothes at her feet. And then she pushed the change. All too quickly she was a wolf, her hard paws sinking into the dirt. No cracking, no aching, no tearing.

    Caia pelted straight into the heart of the woodland, the added feeling of impotence peddling her speed. She hated that she felt this way, hated the rage that gripped a hold of her heart until she was almost blind with the pain. This was what it meant to be his mate. To hurt with a jealous longing so intense it was as supernatural as the world she lived in. Jealousy, she was beginning to realize, was like a cancer. It ate at your very being.

    She ran around the arena until her anger subsided to a thrumming beneath her skin, until it was somewhat manageable. Once she had changed back, and had her jeans and t-shirt on, she turned around to squint at the pile of ash. With a flick of her wrist the tree re-materialized.

    “Good as new,” she whispered.

    If only she could do that for herself.

    Glamour was easy for her, and Caia could tell Mordecai was becoming worried that she was bored.

    “There really is no challenge in it for you is there?” He sighed, watching as she glamoured an apple to look like a banana.

    She shook her head. “Nope.”

    Usually, she would have been apologetic, but in truth she was bored, and that meant her mind was too easily on other things. Like Lucien... and his lover.

    Mordecai rubbed his bristly cheek in thought. “Weeeeelllll... we could try the martial arts class. Or we could go back to natural materialization... damn. I just wasn’t expecting you to pick things up so quickly. Marion did warn-”

    “Martial arts sound good. Do I get to kick someone’s ass?”

    He laughed. “Yeah. Mine.”

    She chuckled, not really seeing Mordecai as the Jackie Chan type. This should be funny, she mused.

    This was so not funny. Caia groaned as her back grumbled in complaint, her eyes glazed upwards at the ceiling as she lay prone on a mat.

    Mordecai’s head popped into her vision, smiling gently down at her. “Looks like we found something that doesn’t come so easily, huh?”

    “If I were a wolf right now, your jugular would be mine.”

    He chuckled and grabbed her wrist, pulling her to her feet. “Well, that would be unsportsmanlike.”

    She grunted. “What, in comparison to flipping me over your shoulder and grounding me into the floor?”

    “It’s called Judo.”

    “It’s called whaling on a ninety pound, eighteen year old girl and being smug about it.”

    He laughed and shrugged. “What can I say? It’s nice to feel good at something around you.”

    She snapped back, frowning. What did that mean? That she made people feel inadequate? Did Lucien feel that way?

    “Did I say something wrong?” Mordecai asked worriedly. “I was just joking.”

    She sighed and turned away, pulling her ponytail back into place. “No, I guess I just didn’t realize how annoying it is to be around a freak like me.”

    “Hey.” He whirled her around, his eyes wide with concern. “Caia, I was kidding. Your abilities are exhilarating to be around, I promise.” He chuckled. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t funny that someone as graceful as you is as hopeless as you seem to be at Judo, Taekwondo and Aikido.”

    “Don’t forget Jujitsu.”

    Mordecai let out a guffaw of laughter. “I didn’t, I was being kind.”

    She smiled and shoved at him playfully, although her mind still buzzed with insecurity.

    He seemed to sense it. “Is this about Lucien?”

    “No,” she said too quickly, and then had to laugh at herself when she saw the disbelief in his eyes. “Maybe.”

    “Is it about Rose?”

    Caia shook her head frantically. No, no one could know about her hopeless unrequited infatuation. It was too, too sad. “No. It’s just...” she heaved a sigh and flopped down on to the mat, “…Lucien is my best friend, you know. Sometimes when Marion or I talk about my magikal abilities he goes all weird and quiet. What you said... I mean... I don’t know. Do you think he might... resent me?”

    “Resent you how?”

    “He’s the Alpha of our pack. And he’s been through a lot and deserves that position. He’s the most powerful lykan among us, except-”

    “That he’s not. You are.”

    She nodded reluctantly. “Yes.”

    “You think it bothers him?”

    “I don’t want to lose him.”

    Mordecai smiled kindly down at her. “I don’t think you need to worry about that, Caia. The way he looks at you... he cares a great deal about you, I’m sure of it. I think you are as much his friend, as he is yours.”

    His friend. Wonderful.

    “Now, if you are done having your ass kicked, might I suggest you shower and then join me for the afternoon lecture on the element of water?”

    “Sure. Whatever floats your boat.”

    “Was that a joke?”

    “A poor one, but yes.”

    He laughed and pulled her to her feet. “You’ll learn a lot. It’s a beginner’s lecture, but it’s useful, I promise.”

    Caia would never know if her first beginner’s lecture in the practice of water magik was useful. After Mordecai had led her to an area of lecture halls that seemed to be situated in the basement level of the back of the building, an increasing sense of unease had begun to trickle down her spine. An unease that was accompanied by a familiar icy, tingling sensation. The feeling only grew stronger as she followed him into lecture hall A and took a seat in the back row of a semi-circular theatre room. She blankly took in the younger magiks who sat talking and laughing, notepads to the ready in front of them. She was numbly aware of a short magik taking up position down in the center of the room, where he had a laptop connected to the projection screen behind him. The magiks quieted as he began to speak, but Caia was no more aware of his words than of Mordecai’s concerned stare.

    There was a Midnight at the Center.

    Caia honed in on the trace and found the female. Because the girl was young, un-practiced, and afraid, her connection to her was strong. She was somewhere dark and cold. Trapped and bitter. Feeling stupid.

    For what? Caia snapped internally. She pushed harder with the trace until she made a connection to the girl that was the strongest she had felt since her horrific invasion of Ethan’s conscience. The young girl had fled from somewhere where there were many Midnights. She had hated them. She had found a Daylight.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire