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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 29)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(29) by Samantha Young
  • “You...You’re OK because of me?” he asked incredulously.

    Jeez, the whole country can probably feel my heart spluttering in abject horror!

    “Well, not just you,” she groused, still pinned under him. “The fact that I might be useful to Caia in the war is also keeping me quite sane.”

    “You plan on fighting?” He frowned.

    “Well, what did you think I’ve been practicing for?”

    “Huh.” He looked off into the trees considering the notion, and then his eyes narrowed back on her. “I don’t know if I like that too much.”

    “Well, you can just take a flying-”

    “Now, now, I said I didn’t like it, but I get it.” He nodded and pulled back, allowing her to scramble up and regain some equilibrium. “It makes sense that it would help.”

    Great, he’s not going to say anything. He’s just going to completely ignore that little announcement.

    I thought he had to love me back if we had any chance of being mates?

    She felt like killing him.

    Matters weren’t helped by the way he just stared at her for a long moment, his expression quizzical.

    “It’s more than you,” she reiterated, trying to regain some ground, “When I was in that... cage... I gave up on life,” her voice cracked a little. “And when Sebastian died I felt ashamed of myself for feeling that way. I’ve promised myself that I will live... because he can’t.”

    For a moment they sat in a heavy-hearted silence.

    “Maybe you should take me home,” she whispered, looking away, her heart quite literally hurting in her chest.


    “What?” She refused to look at him.

    Gently, he took her chin in his hand and forced her to look at him, his eyes searching. “I’m not ignoring what you said-”

    “Ryder, don’t-”

    “Shut up for a second OK. Jaeden, I wouldn’t have suggested we might be mates if I hadn’t been falling in love with you. I love you.” He grinned ruefully. “Despite the fact that you make me crazy. I’m just... awed that I could do that for you, that I could help you be OK.”

    Relief flooded her and she let him draw her in for a long, comforting kiss that heated up too quickly. He withdrew from her laughing shakily. “I’m going to kill Lucien for extending this trip of theirs.”

    Jaeden laughed at his belligerence, relief melting her doubts into the shadows of the forest around them. “Yeah, cos’ I’m sure Lucien is enjoying being away from the pack.”

    “Point taken.” He sighed and looked around them. “I suppose I better get you back.”

    “Can’t we stay... just for a little longer?”

    He smiled softly. “Sure.”

    They settled back down, lying side by side, listening to the sounds of the insects in the nearby woods, the chirping of birds that should have been asleep.

    “So, you really want to fight, huh?”

    Jaeden laughed at his pretend innocent question. “Yes. I’ll be OK. You’ll be there.”

    He chuckled and put his arm around her, drawing her in. “Nice try.”

    “Ryder?” she asked after a few moments of delicious silence.


    “Why did you decide to be a Rogue Hunter?”

    It took him a moment to answer and then he squeezed her closer once more. “Because of my dad.”

    Her heart thudded a little with the sad remembrance that he had lost his father when he was only a young boy. “Your dad?”

    “Yeah. Because of what happened to him. What he couldn’t prevent from happening. He was strong, don’t get me wrong, but he was always just a family man. However, he loved Caia’s father, respected him a great deal. Rafe was a Rogue Hunter and a great one at that. But for the most part I remember Rafe being the guy that everyone turned to, you know. He was a good guy. A truly good guy. My dad defended him when he let Adriana into the pack. A lot of people back then were already sore from Mikhail’s stupidity and betrayal. When Rafe fell for Adriana’s lies only a few stuck by him. People left. Of course Magnus and your dad were two who stuck by him, so was Lucien’s. And my dad. Jeez my mom would rag on Rafe so badly, which would just end in an explosive argument between my parents. My dad would take me and Aidan aside and tell us quietly that mom was just upset, but not to listen to the pack’s tales about Rafe. Or Caia. My dad was really fond of that kid.”

    Jaeden quietly placed her hand on his chest, feeling it thud quickly into her palm.

    “That’s why he was there when Adriana came back for Caia. He was at their house. He told Rafe to take Caia and run, he would hold her off.” He cleared his throat, and she hurt for the way it still hurt him now. “My dad was a brave guy and strong, and he did a heroic thing. But he wasn’t trained to fight. And he especially wasn’t quick enough to fight a magik.”

    “So you became a Rogue Hunter.”

    “So I became a Rogue Hunter. So I could fight and give myself a better chance of staying alive in order to keep protecting the people I cared about.”

    “That’s why you’re so protective of Caia.”

    He nodded, clasping her hand tighter to his chest. “My dad didn’t die for nothing, Jaeden. He died to keep her alive. She’s here for a reason and I trust that. I’ve come to trust her.”

    “So you’ll fight for her?”

    “Yeah, I will.”

    Jaeden felt an overwhelming amount of respect for him in that moment, a feeling so strong it actually took an unyielding grip on her chest. “I said I would fight with her. But I trust you. So I guess I’ll fight for her as well.”

    She felt his smile without looking for it.

    “Why don’t you just give him the tools tomorrow?” Jaeden asked in a ‘guys have no logic’ kind of tone.

    Ryder shrugged. “I’m trying to stay on his good side.”

    “Getting me home at a decent hour would accomplish that.”

    He rolled his eyes and jumped out of his truck. “Come on, I’ll just be one second.”

    With that Jaeden hopped out of the passenger side and came around to meet him as he walked towards the main door of his apartment building. Having just remembered the tool box Dimitri had asked to borrow as he was driving Jae home from their unbelievable night together, he thought it prudent to do everything he could to be a dutiful son-in-law to her father. Jaeden was still teasing him as he put the key in his door and pushed it open. Immediately he felt something unfamiliar in the air, and his arm flew out without thinking, pushing Jae behind him, shushing her with a quietly placed finger to his lips.

    She nodded, telling him she understood.

    Slowly, they crept down his hallway and turned to gaze into his sitting room. In the dark, they could make out clearly with their wolf eyes, the two figures standing huddled together by the window. Their body language didn’t suggest menace. Curious and furious at the same time, Ryder hit the light switch on the wall and flooded the place in light, eliciting a high pitched squeal from the girl. The boy blinked at them in fright, holding the girl closer.

    “Who the hell are you?” Ryder growled, hoping to scare the truth out of them. Jaeden seemed to sense what he had – they weren’t a threat - and pressed a halting hand on his arm.

    The tall boy edged a little closer, seeming to draw some strength from somewhere as he straightened his shoulders back, bracing himself. “We’re from the Center. Caia sent us.”

    Well, that he hadn’t been expecting.

    “What?” Jaeden asked for him.

    “I’m Vilhelm, this is Laila.”

    They were Scandinavian or something by the look of them, and by the accent the boy spoke with. Ryder glowered, completely bewildered by their appearance here tonight.

    “Sit down,” he ordered, ignoring Jaeden’s continued attempt to make him be nicer to their ‘guests’. Obediently, the two fell on to his sofa, and he felt a twinge of regret at his tone when the girl physically cowered from him as he strode towards them.

    “Why would Caia send you here?”

    The boy looked quickly between the two. “You are Ryder?”


    “Caia said to come here. That she trusted you.”

    “That doesn’t answer why you are here.”

    “She’s a Midnight.”

    They all swiveled around at the voice and Ryder narrowed his eyes suspiciously.


    “What the Hades are you doing here?” he snapped.

    Even Jaeden gazed at him warily. “Reuben?”

    The vampyre moved fluidly from the hallway to stand by her. “I came to speak with Ryder.”

    “Maybe we should leave.” The boy stood up abruptly, his eyes now wild with fear, his grip on the girl white with intensity.

    “No.” Ryder gestured them back and then glared at Reuben. “What do you mean she’s a Midnight?”

    “Please,” the girl whimpered.

    Ryder’s heart was thudding like crazy, his mind whirring. “Reuben?”

    “I can feel it.”

    “I thought only the Head of a coven could feel trace?” Jae interjected.

    The vamp shook his head. “I don’t have trace. I can’t find supernaturals. But I can feel whether one is a Daylight or a Midnight when I’m in the room with them.”

    “How freaking old are you?” Ryder snapped, not for the first time.

    Reuben shrugged, his gaze fixed on the young couple. “I don’t think she means any harm.”

    Jae turned to him in as much bewilderment as him. “Why would Caia send a Midnight to you?”

    The boy shook. “She told us not to tell you Laila was a Midnight... but now that you know,” he threw a skeptical gaze at Reuben, “I will explain.”

    What followed was a tale Ryder couldn’t believe he was hearing. Caia rescued this girl from a Daylight prison because she believed the Midnight was good? Were they kidding?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire