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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 21)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(21) by Samantha Young
  • That annoying possessiveness surged up inside of him. “Yeah, well I know, too. I get it. But I also know something neither of you seem to grasp. The pack - your family - will accept you, no matter what.”

    Jae snorted. “Like they accepted Caia?”

    Ryder sighed. It was true that some of the pack was still unsure of the half-lykan, but for the majority she was a welcome addition to their pack.

    “That’s different and you know it. Caia was a near stranger to us, but you’ve always been here.” He chuckled. “And let’s not forget you were quite the favorite little brat of your generation.”

    “Huh, that’s not true. I was never a brat.”

    Ryder started to slow his truck as he turned down on to Dimitri’s street. He felt, more than heard, Jaeden’s intake of breath.

    He glanced briefly in his rear view mirror, a sneer curling his top lip. “Vamp boy is right behind us. What, is he intending on being there for this family reunion?”

    “Actually, yes.”

    His heart slammed in his chest. “Why?”

    “Because he’s my friend, and I’m sure my parents would like to meet the person who has been there for me these last few months.”

    “Well, I’m sure Dimitri’s gonna want to tear the face off the vamp that nearly got you thrown into a Daylight detention center for breaking Coven laws.”

    They pulled to a stop outside the two story house that belonged to Jaeden and her parents, parking right behind her brother, Christian’s, Volvo. Ryder glanced from the clear view he had of Reuben in his wing mirror, taking a parking space a little further up the street, to Jaeden, who had gone as pale as a white moon.

    “I never thought of that.” Her eyes widened in panic. “Oh goddess, what if he kills Reuben?”

    “Would that really be so bad?”

    That earned him a wince-inducing punch to his upper arm. “Ryder!”

    He huffed, unclipping his seat belt. “Fine, if it’s that important to you that the vamp lives I will intervene in the instance of attempted murder.”

    “Uh, you will intervene in the instance of attempted assault or I will break the news quite bluntly to my father about our little situation.”

    Not many people on this planet had the ability to intimidate or frighten him.

    Dimitri?

    Definitely one of the few.

    Little, ruthless, blackmailing wench.

    He clenched his teeth in irritation. “Fine.”

    At her grateful smile, he rolled his eyes, ignoring the little flip his stomach gave when she looked at him like that. Instead he got out of the truck and made his way around to the passenger door, all of his senses alerting him to Reuben’s cautious approach. She made a face at him as he took her hand, believing he was making a point to Reuben, but in truth he just wanted to comfort her.

    He could actually smell the fear oozing from her pores.

    He squeezed her hand and managed to give Reuben a nonchalant nod in greeting.

    “Ready?” Reuben rubbed her shoulder affectionately, setting Ryder’s teeth on edge.

    The nod she gave them wasn’t exactly confident but Ryder tugged her forward anyway. She had nothing to worry about. He just wished she’d realize that.

    They hadn’t even stepped up on to the path that led off Dimitri’s driveway to the house, when the front door blasted open, and Julia came running out to throw herself into her daughter’s arms, snapping Ryder’s hand out of hers. He felt an unexpected pain in his chest at the way the fear melted from Jae’s face, replaced by silent tears as her mother held her fast and sobbed in her ear.

    A click sounded in his head as everything fell into its natural place.

    Jaeden was home.

    Her heart was banging loudly against her chest, and she knew that not only could everyone around her hear it, but her mother must feel it slamming against her own as she hugged her close. Jae inhaled Julia’s damp earth and peaches scent that flooded her brain with warm memories.

    It hurt to remember how loved she was.

    How could she have ever thought it was for the best to leave them?

    “Mom,” she whimpered, nuzzling her nose into her mother’s shoulder.

    “Sweetheart, sweetheart,” Julia gurgled happily between sobs.

    And then another scent flooded her senses as solid arms came around both her and her mother.

    “Daddy,” she gasped, and peered up at him from her crushed position.

    His dark eyes shone down at her from his rugged face as he pulled her close, and that ache in her chest sharpened as she saw how much those eyes and that face had aged since she had gone.

    She had done that to him.

    Julia sidled out from their embrace to allow Dimitri to envelope her, and she held on to his huge frame like a little girl.

    “I’m sorry dad,” she whispered, choking on all the emotion inside of her.

    “It’s OK,” he promised, brushing her hair back from her face, his eyes drinking in every feature, assessing her to make sure she was all in one piece.

    Finally he tore himself from her to gaze over her head at someone.

    “Thank you.”

    Ryder.

    She winced at the reminder. She had no idea how her dad was going to react to that little piece of news.

    “No thanks necessary.”

    “Well, let’s all go inside where your brother, Lucia, and your niece are all waiting for you. Maybe once inside you can explain the vampyre… and that guilty look in Ryder’s eyes.”

    Uuuggggh, she groaned inwardly. Her dad had always seen too much.

    Everyone was just staring at her. No questions, no prodding... just... staring.

    It was extremely disconcerting.

    It was good to see her brother and Lucia again. Good to hold Jaela’s warm little body to her own and inhale damp earth and baby lotion. Christian had frowned at her even as he hugged her tight, but Lucia and Jaela had welcomed her home with broad grins and lots of bubbling happiness. She had always gotten along well with her sister-in-law who had been born to a different pack. When she married Christian, Lucia’s sister Cera and her husband Michel had decided to move into Pack Errante with her. Dimitri had requested the inclusion from Lucien, who of course said yes, respecting Dimitri’s judgment and wishes. After losing Michel to a gun-toting mugger, Cera and her children had become a huge part of their family and a protected member of the pack. Julia, Jae, Lucia and Cera were especially close.

    Somehow she had forgotten that.

    “Where’s Cera?” Jae asked, lowering a now wriggling Jaela to the ground.

    Lucia picked her daughter up and strode over to place her in her playpen. “She wanted to be here, but she has the kids and well...”

    “We thought there might be a discussion that wasn’t... well... suitable for young ears,” Christian finished, still staring at her with his eyebrows pulled together. She might have known he would be the one to not let any of this go.

    Not that she had been expecting to get off easy.

    “I’ll visit Cera in the morning.”

    Julia smiled softly. “She would like that.”

    All of them stood on the opposite side of the room, except for Reuben, who stood close by her shoulder. Ryder wasn’t exactly opposite, but more in the middle, watching her cautiously, worriedly. Never in a million years would she have ever thought he would look at her like that. Heaving a sigh, Jae swung around to gaze at her family, and they all stared back anxiously.

    “You’re staring.”

    “We’re waiting,” her brother snapped.

    “Christian,” Julia clucked.

    “Well-”

    “Christian,” her dad warned, “Give your sister time.”

    Aw jeez. They were waiting for the answers. Why had she run off? Why hadn’t she gotten in contact? Why had she broken Coven law?

    Craning her neck around, she sought Reuben, sought his comfort and his go-ahead that she could explain. After all he was an implicated villain in this story.

    His dark eyes caught onto her blue ones, and for some reason she felt... relaxed, filled with a sudden desire to tell them everything.

    “Dad.” She turned back around with her shoulders braced.

    Just say it. It’s no big deal. Ryder is right.

    “Yes, sweetheart?”

    The relaxation started to tighten back into anxiety until she felt Reuben’s comforting hand on her shoulder and turned back to look at him. Swimming in his gaze, the mellowness returned, and Jaeden suddenly knew she had to tell them everything. The words began to tumble from her mouth. She didn’t pause once to catch her breath. “I was tortured by Ethan. You know that, and I won’t go into the details because that’s not something you need to hear but whatever happened to me I think part of his powers transferred to my blood because when I got home I was able to move things with my mind and I couldn’t control it and I was scared and I was ashamed so I ran away. I met Reuben who is a rogue vampyre hunter and I joined his gang and helped him but it really helped me deal with a lot of anger and I’ve managed to bring my telekinesis under a kind of control and please don’t blame Reuben for any of this because he has been a very good friend to me.”

    Silence.

    “Jae! Oh pen! Oh pen!” Jaela slapped her ineffectual hands against her playpen walls.

    Lucia blushed at her daughter’s bad timing and rushed over to her. “She wants you to open the pen. Sorry.”

    “Well.” Christian sighed, looking back from his mate and child, to his father and then to Jaeden. “Looks like you had a reason to run off, then. A crap reason, but one none the less.”

    “It wasn’t a crap reason.” Jae bristled.

    Her brother snarled and made a move towards her. “Do you know what this family has been through?! Do you know what you did to us? Or are you really so selfish you can’t process what these last few months have been like for us, not knowing if you were alive or dead!”

    A growl ripped through the room, and before she knew it Ryder had her brother by the shirt front, his teeth bared. “Do you have any idea what she’s been through? No! So back off before I make you.” He pushed Christian away with a disgusted snort.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire