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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 28)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(28) by Samantha Young
  • With that, they spun away from each other and headed in opposite directions. At the elevators, Caia picked up the intercom system.

    “Center Reception, Chloe speaking.”

    “Chloe, it’s Caia Ribeiro. Can you put me through to Marita?”

    “One second, please.”

    The line was silent for only a moment or two.

    “Caia?” Marita’s imperious voice rang down the phone line. She felt her face grimacing in anger and scolded herself for being obvious even if the witch couldn’t see her.

    “Could you please gather the tactical team for the MacLachlan’s together?”

    “What’s going on?”

    “I have some important news.”

    16 - You

    “I thought we were going to spend more time apart until Lucien gets back?” Jaeden stood slouched and languid against her doorframe, her mouth twisted in mockery, her tone suggesting irritation. But Ryder was not deterred. He grinned cockily into her dark blue eyes and found in them attraction, happiness that he was on her doorstep.

    Shrugging, he mirrored Jaeden’s pretended indifference. “I’m bored. Thought you might be bored. Maybe desperate to get some air?” He nodded behind her shoulder, his eyebrows raised pointedly. He watched, amused, as she struggled to hide her smile of relief.

    Yeah, she could definitely do with getting away from her parents for a while.

    “Come on, Jae,” he taunted at her hesitation, “You know you want to.”

    She huffed in response, “You are such a tease.”

    Grinning wolfishly, he gestured with a sweep of his hand to his truck. “Not tonight.”

    Her eyes lit up and he had to stifle his groan of frustration. He had no intention of doing what she thought he intended on doing. The truth was he couldn’t seem to last a few hours without her, despite the restrictions he put on the activities allowed during their time together. But he’d rather she was alone with him than with Reuben, who was constantly in her kitchen.

    “Fine,” she pretend grumbled, and then shouted back inside as she shut the door, “I’m going out with Ryder for a while!”

    Grabbing his sleeve, Jae began tugging him at full speed towards the truck. “Hey, where’s the fire?”

    She rolled her eyes at him. “We need to get out of here in the next ten seconds or the-”


    “Oh, great.”

    They both turned at the sound of Dimitri’s voice. He stood, glaring at them from the doorway, his arms crossed over his chest, his feet spread apart.

    “Where are you going?” The question was directed threateningly at Ryder.

    Great. He scowled at Jaeden as if to say ‘nice going’. He really hoped her dad would back off once they were actually mated.

    “With it being such a nice night and all I asked Jaeden if she would like to go for a run.”

    “We’re going for a run?” He was relieved to hear that her surprise was tinged with pleasure.

    “What about asking me?” the Elder grumbled.

    Ryder straightened his shoulders. “Well, sir, I never thought. Would you like to come for a run?”

    “Not me going with you, you idiot.” He shook his head in disgust. “How on earth did you make it to Rogue Hunter status with that brain in that head?”

    “Dad,” Jae warned.

    He shrugged and gestured towards him. “He’s the one asking the stupid questions. I meant... why did you not ask permission from me to escort my daughter on a run?”

    “Dad, I’m eighteen.”

    Dimitri merely snorted, “Yeah, and that makes you mature.”

    Ryder stiffened, feeling Jae’s bristling between them. And Dimitri thought he was the dumb one.

    “No,” she snapped, stepping menacingly towards her father, “But weeks in a cage at the hands of a psychopath, and then months living by myself hunting kind of does.”

    Dimitri blanched. “Sweetheart, you know I didn’t mean-”

    “Dad, I don’t want to argue.” She sighed, and then threw a meaningful glance at Ryder, one that he couldn’t help but enjoy. “I just want to spend some time with Ryder.”

    The Elder stared at them for some moments and then nodded stiffly. “OK.” His hand shot out towards Ryder, his finger pointed in warning. “No funny business though, or I’ll kill you.”

    “Daddy,” Jae groaned, “Ryder is a perfect gentleman.” She lowered her eyes, blushing and murmuring, “... so embarrassing... kill... ’rents...”

    Ryder struggled not to laugh as he grabbed a hold of Jaeden’s hand. “I’ll take good care of her.”

    “You do that.”

    They lay side by side on top of the hood of Ryder’s truck, their limbs torpid and warm from their run in Lucien and her father’s woods. Jaeden smiled softly, comforted by the heat of him next to her, by their recent playfulness in their wolf form. Ryder was a big gentle beast. No matter how hard she came at him he would just shrug her off placidly and tickle her with his snout. It wasn’t like Lucien with Caia. She had watched them play together and Lucien was a rougher kind of guy; nudging Cy as hard as she nudged him, nipping, biting, tumbling. Ryder just seemed happy to be there with her, despite the bruises she inflicted.

    She giggled.

    “What was that for?” Ryder asked in an amused, sleepy voice.

    She shook her head and watched him from the corner of her eye. His eyes were in fact closed, his arms locked behind his head.

    “You’re not what I was expecting.”

    “Hmm, no? I guess I wasn’t expecting you, at all.”

    She chuckled at that and gazed back at the stars, far above lights in the dark ceiling over their heads. “Fair enough.”

    “You glad to be home?”

    It was weird how glad she was to be home. Having been so set against coming back, having been so determined to leave in the first place, she still couldn’t quite work out her own sudden feelings.


    “Told you.”

    “Yeah, there’s no need to be smug.” She sighed and edged a little closer to his body heat. “It’s still weird, though.”

    Jaeden almost laughed at the way one of his eyes snapped open in alert. “What is?”

    “Like I said before, I was so set against coming home and then... just as suddenly I couldn’t believe I had ever thought leaving was the answer.”

    It was his turn to sigh as he rolled over on to his side, his arm bent at the elbow as his hand propped his head up. “You went through a lot, Jaeden. You keep saying you’re OK, but maybe that sudden switch in feelings is just part of what you’re dealing with.”

    No, she thought inwardly, no I really am OK.

    As if he could hear her thoughts he reached out to stroke her cheek affectionately. She curled contentedly into his touch.

    “How can you be OK, Jae? I don’t understand how you can be OK.”

    With that she withdrew from him, her eyes fixed back on the sky. She didn’t want to pull away from him, but she didn’t want him thinking she was some kind of head case who needed help, when she knew within herself that she didn’t.

    “I thought we had been over this, already. You’re starting to sound like a broken record.”

    “We’ve not been over it to my satisfaction.”

    Somehow she managed to contain the snort of annoyance that comment elicited. It bothered her that he wanted to talk about all the bad stuff when all she wanted was to forget it. And she could… she could do that now that she had him, now that she had something to look forward to, something to work towards.

    At her silence, she could feel his tension build, his frustration pulling tighter and tighter until-

    “For Artemis’ sake, Jae, talk to me.”

    With a huff, she drew herself up on the truck, tucking her legs in close to her body. Finally she allowed her gaze to drift over him. As his eyes blazed at her with a mixture of emotions, she was reminded of how lucky she was that someone like him cared enough to keep asking - despite the wall = head-hitting that occurred each time he did.

    “What is it you want to know, Ryder?”

    He sat up, his huge body taking up most of the room on the hood, drawing her closer in towards him despite her wish to remain aloof – at least with this part of herself.

    “I want to know if you really are coping with what happened with Ethan. Are you still having nightmares?”

    She clenched her teeth together, grinding them back and forth as she squeezed out, “You really are trying to embarrass me to death.”

    “Why is this embarrassing?”

    She deliberately dodged the question. “I thought we talked about this that night in the motel room. I told you I was fine.”

    “Yeah and I... I don’t get how you can be.”

    Goddess, he was a frustrating pain in the ass. No wonder he was a Rogue Hunter, he was completely relentless.

    “I told you I don’t understand my change in feelings.”

    “I told you that’s not what I’m asking about.”

    “Ryder... ” She threw him a pleading glance. “This is what I’m afraid of. You’re doing what my parents are doing.”


    “Trying to decide if I’m a mental patient.”

    “Well, are you?”


    “Jaeden, I just need to know you’re OK.”

    “Yes, I’m OK!” she yelled at him, her heart pounding as she got ready to say it. “I’m OK because of you. Because I love you! You big ass!” Face pulsing with heat from the blood rushing underneath her skin, Jae made to throw herself off the hood of the truck, only to struggle against a steel hold that wrapped around her waist. She yelped as it dragged her back and slammed her none too gently on her back. Ryder held her down, his eyes bright as they roved over her, red face and all. He looked... surprised.

    This is it. It’s true. You can die of embarrassment. He thinks I’m insane.

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