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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 18)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(18) by Samantha Young
  • Hey, he didn’t need the vamp sticking up for him. He was about to say so when Jaeden clamped a knowing hand across his mouth. Her eyes smiled at him, and he relaxed wanting nothing more than to kiss her good morning.

    “Can you stay quiet long enough to get dressed so we can meet Reuben at the diner?”

    He nodded reluctantly and waited, secretly amused, as she turned back to the vamp to direct him to the motel’s diner, her hand still tight across his mouth.

    The door closed behind the vamp and she released him.

    Before she said a word, he had her backed up against the door as he devoured her mouth with a hot kiss. Finally, he pulled back, enjoying the way her chest heaved from his attentions.

    “Morning.”

    “Morning,” she croaked. “What was that for?”

    “Just a reminder.”

    “A reminder?”

    “Yeah, a reminder of what we talked about last night. Of how you belong to me.”

    Her eyes flashed, and he waited expectantly for their fight to begin. Really, was there anything better than sparring with this woman?

    “Of how I belong to you?” her voice went up an octave.

    “Yeah.”

    “Well, forget about the verbal arm wrestling! Why don’t you just pee on me and everything I own?!”

    He smirked and turned away to saunter into the bathroom. “I will if it comes to that.”

    “Arrghhh!”

    Ryder laughed, ducking the shoe that flew at his head as he closed the door on her.

    11 - Misunderstood

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t meet with you last night, Caia.” Marita breezed into her suite without knocking. “I had urgent business to attend to.”

    Caia nodded wearily, standing up from the window seat that looked out over Paris. “I understand.”

    She didn’t actually, but she was trying to. The last two sleepless nights hadn’t exactly improved her mood, but Marita was the top gun and to be respected. Caia was going crazy wondering about the Midnight imprisoned in the Center. Her refusal to join Mordecai for training until she had met with Marita was actually an attempt at exerting self-control over her anger.

    Marita threw her a surprisingly warm smile and took a seat on a nearby sofa, smoothing her conservative skirt over her legs as she did so. Instead of sitting spine straight and stiff, however, she relaxed against the back of the seat and tilted her head casually. “Mordecai seems concerned for you. He has me worried.”

    The witches’ tone was gentler than Caia had ever heard it - that mixed with Marita’s relaxed body language completely threw her off kilter. She realized this was the first time they had ever been alone in a room together - no Vanne, no servants, no guards. Maybe that’s why Marita was so tense all the time. Here with Caia, on her lonesome, she could be a little freer; and not have to play the role of ‘in control Queen of the Castle’ so much.

    Caia shook her head with a polite smile and took the armchair opposite her. “No, I’m fine. Just... a little anxious.”

    “Anxious?” Marita frowned.

    She nodded and leaned forward confidentially. “Yesterday, when Mordecai took me to the lecture, I felt a Midnight. Here at the Center.”

    Marita froze, her expression blank.

    “A girl. Imprisoned... I’m guessing somewhere in the basement near Lecture Hall A.”

    A silence fell over the room, increasing Caia’s anxiety. Marita’s eyes seared through her. “You really are the Head of the Midnight Coven.”

    It was Caia’s turn to look bewildered and concerned. “Uh yeeeess. But you knew that...”

    “Of course.” Marita’s hand fluttered by her face, as if at a loss. Caia could not reconcile this magik with the woman she had met previously. “But I have actual hard evidence for myself now. I’ve been reading your reports passed on by my sister but... well, it’s a little strange this situation, as I’m sure you already know. I’ve been Head of the Daylights for twenty five years, and I was groomed by my father for twenty years before that. That’s forty five years of working against the Head of the Midnight Coven. To now be working with her is... weird.”

    Caia laughed at her unexpected adjective. “Yeah, I guess it would be.”

    Marita smiled, a smile that never reached her eyes, and then settled back into her seat. “Before I explain about the Midnight, can I ask you a question?”

    “Of course.”

    “Your trace... it seems different from my own.”

    Caia wriggled in her seat at the ‘question’ and the uncomfortably pinched expression on Marita’s face as she asked, “Different how?”

    Did she really want to know?

    Marita shrugged, but Caia could tell it was a deliberate attempt to look casual about something she obviously didn’t feel casual about. “I can only follow a trace if I am specifically looking for someone. I’ve heard that you can do more?”

    Wow, every second at this place was just making her feel more and more like a super freak.

    “Yeah, the trace sort of finds me. I mean, I do that, what you do, as well... specifically locate someone, I mean.”

    “What do you mean the trace sort of finds you?”

    She cleared her throat, shifting again in her seat. “Well, it’s hard to describe. Um... let’s see... OK, for instance Nikolai - I have a tap on him… yeah, I suppose you could call it that.”

    “A tap?”

    “Yeah. His trace will alert me if he seems intense about something, whether it be a negative or a positive feeling. And then I go in and check to see what’s up. Nikolai is actually a tough cookie. He’s good at hiding a lot of his emotions.”

    Marita was gazing at her blankly, no emotion to disclose exactly how she felt about this information. Finally, she smiled tightly. “Well, I think what’s important is you’re using your quite considerable gifts to help us.”

    “So about the girl?” Caia did not intend to be side-tracked.

    “The girl, the Midnight, is a spy sent in to infiltrate our Coven. She is very good, very convincing. Three months ago she turned up with a young male magik she met, had convinced him that she was from a group of Midnights from Scandinavia who ran a small army base for the Head of the Coven – Ethan. She said they were extremists and that with Ethan’s disappearance they had become even more vicious, killing anything that got in their way of the war. She said she was a disbeliever, a Midnight who actually agreed with Daylight.” She stopped to scoff at the thought and Caia’s heart sped up. “Vilhelm – the boy she met – fell for her lies and he brought her to me. I knew right away she was lying. A Midnight apathetic to the war? Maybe - although I doubt it. But a Midnight switching sides? Never.”

    Wow, Caia felt a wave of panic. She had better tread carefully here, or she could find herself locked up, too.

    “Well,” she began slowly, throwing the witch a trembling smile. “It can’t be impossible right? I mean, I’m part Midnight and I don’t want to maim any Daylights. I want to end the war.”

    Marita seemed to look right through her, reminding Caia that she was still the phlegmatic woman she had met upstairs. “Your Daylight blood obviously overpowers the bad blood. Not to mention that you were raised Daylight.”

    “I understand.” Caia gave her a tight smile, mentally squishing the rush of anger that exploded through her at the ‘bad blood’ comment. “But I just didn’t get a malevolent feeling from her.”

    “Perhaps you were too far away.” Marita shrugged.

    “Could you take me to her then?”

    She was again surprised by the smile bestowed upon her, her eyes trying for kind and concerned. “Will that help? Will it stop whatever anxious thoughts you’ve got buzzing around in your head and get you back out of this room and back into training? You’re missing important things. Lucien is with Rose and the others, training in the simulator.”

    Caia tried not to feel as if she had been slapped in the face by the mention of Rose and Lucien, together.

    “It would help.”

    Marita nodded regally and stood up, walking gracefully to the telephone by Caia’s bed. “Noble, can you please alert the Containment Center that I’m on my way down with Caia.”

    She’d been right. The Containment Center – in other words the prison - was situated one level below Lecture Hall A. Bars rolled down from the ceiling as she passed through the ‘reception’, and rows of individual cells, where what looked like plexi-glass (the magikal kind), contained the prisoner rather than bars. Caia wondered at the other occupants who gave off no Midnight trace. They were obviously rogues. She didn’t have time to wonder too long because the trace was electrifying and sizzled through her even more intensely as Marita drew her to a halt outside a door at the very end of the corridor. It was a huge iron monstrosity with a small rectangle at the top that slid open so you could peer inside.

    “She’s in here.” Marita sneered and placed her hand against the door. She muttered an incantation under her breath, obviously forgetting that Caia had supreme hearing.

    Occultus atrum unus. Caia repeated the words over in her brain only to have her heart stop at the thought of why. You really do want to play with fire, don’t you?

    The door swung slowly open with a forbidding creak, and Marita seemed to prepare herself before entering. Caia followed, only to feel the trace grow even stronger. The sound of the door had frightened the girl.

    The door was the only source of light, but Caia could see well with her wolf eyes the hideous conditions of this prisoner’s cell in comparison to the others. She sat huddled in the corner of a bare square stone room, thick iron bars that crackled with electricity (more magik) separating her from any visitors. Her long bedraggled hair covered most of her face and knees as she pulled herself tighter into a ball. The sight of Marita terrified the girl.

    A rush of pain hit Caia so fast she cried out and stumbled back.

    “Are you alright?” Marita was by her side in an instant.

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