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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 24)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(24) by Samantha Young
  • “You want me to head up an elite combat force?”

    No, no, no, no, no, no! His mind screamed and he knew Marita must be feeling everything he was. He couldn’t seem to block or conceal his panic at the thought.

    Marita nodded. “You would be instrumental in bringing this war to a close.”

    “I have to think about this.”

    He hadn’t heard her right, right?

    Wrong.

    “WHAT!” he blew up.

    She gazed up at him, her eyes wide but her shoulders set. He was shuddering with the need to change, to either run as fast as his wolf legs could take him, or turn around and rip apart anyone who dared to take her from him.

    “Lucien, calm down,” she pleaded quietly. “This is my decision.”

    His wolf rumbled through his clenched teeth, “I can’t believe you would even consider it.”

    “It’s important.”

    “Maybe you can take a few days. Stay a few days more, think about it. Both of you.” Marita nodded at him, her eyes demanding that he fall in line.

    Fall in line my ass!

    Caia seemed to brighten at the suggestion. “That’s a good idea.”

    His gut suddenly flipped with a nervous, sick feeling at that smile. He realized the truth; the truth he hadn’t wanted to face. Caia liked it at the Center because she was useful here, worthy, important. She was probably one of the most powerful beings in the Daylight Coven. Did he really think the pack would be enough for her?

    Shutting her out in anguish, Lucien turned and marched out of the room, and away from Caia and her master puppeteers.

    14 - Cryptic Much?

    The three trees directly in front of Jaeden were severely injured, their middles pierced with knives, thick branches and her own little axe. She stood satisfied, her hands braced on her hips, looking over her handiwork. Then her eyes drifted downwards and swept her surroundings.

    “Oops.”

    “You know, when I let Caia practice out here she had the luxury of being able to clean it up in seconds.”

    Jaeden turned towards the speaker to find Ella leaning against her back porch, her eyes drinking in the mess Jae had made with her telekinesis.

    She threw her a sheepish look. “Caia will be home soon right? She can fix it?”

    Ella sighed but gave her a smile so she knew she wasn’t really that upset. “Yeah, she can fix it.”

    “Thanks for letting me practice out here.”

    “You’re welcome, hon.” She was suddenly distracted by the stabbed trees at the edge of the yard. “Wow, you did that?”

    Nervously, Jae followed her direction and walked towards the trees, pulling each implement out one by one. When she got to her axe, she placed the small weapon into the belt on her dark jeans. She spun back around, knowing she would find Ella right behind her. Holding out a bucket, she gestured for Jae to dump the knives into it for now. Her eyes drifted down to the axe snuggled against her hip.

    “You’ve certainly grown up since...” her voice trailed off at the sensitive subject she had almost broached.

    Jae grunted and brushed passed her towards Lucien’s house. It was nearly five and Ryder was supposed to be picking her up.

    “Jaeden.”

    Sighing, she reluctantly turned around, waiting for the admonition that had yet to come from anyone in the pack, and yet she knew was bound to soon. Ella, however, merely strolled slowly towards her, her eyes warm with a motherly affection. She brushed her hand down Jaeden’s face lovingly and smiled into her eyes. “I can only imagine how proud your mother is of you. I know because I am so proud of you. You’ve taken all the horrors you’ve been through and become fierce, strong, someone to be reckoned with. I think... that you are very brave.”

    Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.

    Jaeden laughed at herself, her throat closing with emotion as she turned away and forced her tears back inside. “I’m not brave. I’m scared all the freaking time.”

    Silence fell between them.

    Ella sighed. “When Lucien was a boy - after everything that happened with Rafe and Griffin - he was so confused and scared. He knew something was terribly wrong. Anyway, for a while he used to check the house over before he went to bed - every closet, every nook, every window, every door. And then he’d get angry because he thought he was being a coward. Albus took him aside one day and told him that courage was not the absence of fear, but the ability to walk into unknown territory despite it.”

    “Didn’t Mandela say that?”

    Ella pursed her lips at the interruption. “An abridged version, but that’s not the point. The point is Lucien checked over the house each night, prepared to take on whatever bad thing he thought was waiting for him even though he was scared. That was what made him brave. And you’re the same, Jaeden. You of all people have every reason to want to curl up and hide under your bed... but you don’t. You get up and you ready yourself for whatever might come your way. As I said... you are very, very brave.”

    “Or just crazy.”

    Ella laughed and chucked her under the chin. “Or just crazy. Anyway, is that a car I hear?”

    Jae heard the gravel spinning under a wheel from the front of the house and her heart picked up speed. She grinned and nodded. “Ryder.”

    Ella grinned back at her. “It’s a good match. And when you mate we really will be family. Have you seen Irini and Aidan yet?”

    Jae smiled at the memory. She had caught up with Ryder’s brother and his mate the day before. The entire encounter had consisted of Aidan ribbing Ryder for falling prey to the mating when all along he’d bragged about his bachelor lifestyle. The meeting with Yvana, however, hadn’t gone too smoothly. Apparently the relationship between sons and mother was not nearly as good as everyone had believed. It seemed Ryder and Aidan had taken more of Lucien’s side over the whole Caia thing than anyone realized. Thus, the dinner Yvana had hosted was stilted and cold. She was no longer the woman she had once been, and what little had been left of that woman had disappeared when Caia had arrived, bringing with her the remembrance of what had happened to Yvana’s mate.

    Throwing another quick thank you Ella’s way, Jae jogged around the house to the driveway where Ryder was parked, listening to Nirvana. She shook her head smiling; from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Nirvana, and Top Gun to The Godfather, he really was a mass of amusing contradictions. Unsurprisingly, when she jumped into the truck, Ryder pulled her over to the driver’s side for a long, breath stealing kiss. She should be used to his casual public affection by now, but every time he touched her she still had to shake herself to remind her that, yeah, he was really kissing her.

    “How was practice?” He grinned, as they drove away from the house.

    “Good. My aim is getting better.”

    “That’s great! Guess who I bumped into at the diner today.”

    “Hmm... a member of Pack Errante?”

    “Well take the fun out of it, why don’t you.”

    She smiled teasingly. “Sorry. Who did you bump into today?”

    “I don’t feel like telling you now.”

    Feeling playful, as he somehow always managed to make her feel, Jae reached out and slid her hand slowly up his thigh. “Please tell me.”

    He jumped at her touch and was now throwing her a beseeching look. “I’ll tell you if you remove your hand from my person.”

    Grinning devilishly, her hand moved closer to the spot that would make him sweat and suddenly the truck swerved on the road. “Jaeden!”

    She laughed and pulled her hand back. “Sorry.”

    He huffed. “Oh, I’m sure you are.”

    “Goddess, Ryder, you should be trussed up in a white chemise and a padlock covering your virtue for all the fuss you’re making.”

    He spluttered in indignation, which only made her laugh harder. “I’m trying to be honorable here.” He gesticulated wildly. “Having your hands roaming freely over my particulars sort of makes the task Herculean!”

    A bead of sweat rolled down the side of his forehead and abruptly she felt bad. “Sorry. I mean it. I’m sorry.”

    Somewhat mollified, he nodded and turned back to the road, keeping his eyes fixed straight ahead. “So, do you want to know who I was speaking with?”

    “Of course.” She was determined to be good now.

    “Alexa.”

    “Oh. How is she?”

    “Working for my mother while she goes to community college...”

    “And?” If she knew Alexa, there was definitely an ‘and’.

    He coughed, looking uncomfortable all of a sudden. “And... a little pissed off.”

    Jaeden grimaced. “What now?”

    “Me. You. Mating.”

    “What?” Jae growled. “Alexa was after Lucien.”

    “Apparently I forgot to mention that she was a little... interested in me... when you left.”

    An inexplicable jealousy ripped through her. “Did you sleep with her?”

    “What, are you nuts?!”

    No! Alexa was the most predatory lykan out there, it would not have surprised in her in the least. “No, I’m not. Alexa is attractive and easy. A lethal combination.”

    Ryder actually looked angry at the insinuation. “You know I don’t mess around with our pack women. The reason I told you is because I wanted to give you a heads up in case you see her. She’s pissed and she’s always been vindictive when she’s pissed off.”

    “Oh really, I hadn’t noticed.”

    “What are you so mad about?”

    “You! You didn’t tell me to give me ‘a head’s up’. You told me to make me jealous.”

    He snorted, his mouth twisted with as much sarcasm as his tone. “That’s crazy. Why would I want to make you jealous? Look how much fun it is.”

    Jaeden wasn’t stupid. This was deliberate. And she knew why. “Reuben. You’re jealous of Reuben, and you want to inflict a little of that on me. Well, job accomplished.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire