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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 33)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(33) by Samantha Young
  • “Today, if you are well enough.”

    “Sounds good.”

    Lucien was scowling. “I don’t know about that, you’ve just woken up.”

    Caia sighed, a wave of sadness washing over her. “I’m fine. Unlike Mordecai and Anders.” She looked to them questioningly as they acknowledged the loss. “When will their funerals be held?”

    Marion shook her head. “There won’t be a funeral for either of them. We hold a ceremony here at the Center annually to commemorate the dead. We’ll honor the two of them then.”

    “The Second Unit...?” she whispered, thinking of Anders loyal men and women.

    “Grieving, of course. But they’re soldiers first and foremost. Lyla has been promoted to Unit Leader.”

    “And you? Marion, you took a few hits.”

    She shrugged like it was no big deal. “It’s Michael and Rose who were wounded.”

    Rose.

    She blinked up at Lucien’s pinched face. “Is she OK?”

    He nodded. “She’s healing up pretty good. So is Michael.”

    She thought of the Council, of her plans. How he didn’t know about any of it. “You should go to her,” Caia told him, her voice flat and emotionless.

    She knew right away that her tone had sent him into lockdown - he jerked away from her, his face frozen, his eyes hard. “Yeah. Glad you’re OK.”

    And then he was gone.

    She stared at her suite door, wishing she didn’t have any pride, that she could yell out after him and tell him she didn’t care if he loved Rose, he was her mate so he had to stay with her.

    Marion clucked, “He sat by your bedside for the last few hours you know.”

    “Was he with Rose before that?”

    The witch’s silence confirmed the affirmative.

    After a shower and something to eat she felt a lot more human again, enough to take a little tour around the Center with Marion as her companion. She talked to the students and candidates and answered as many questions as she was allowed to. She even signed some autographs. It was totally weird and not something she was prepared for, but at the moment she couldn’t care less because it went a long way in helping her with her plan. While she was listening to Desi and Ophelia chatter away about how jealous everyone was that they were friends with her, Marion tapped her on the shoulder and she turned in the doorway of the classroom to see Phoebe MacLachlan standing waiting with a lykan she didn’t recognize. He was a tall, well-built Elder whose soft eyes reminded her of Magnus. A pang of home sickness echoed in her chest. Extricating herself from the young Travellers, Caia made her way cautiously over to the Rogue Hunter and her companion. Phoebe was a little intimidating to say the least.

    As soon as she reached them, Phoebe thrust her hand out to Caia, her face serious, yet her eyes filled with what could almost pass for warmth. Gingerly, she shook the other female’s hand, refusing to wince when Phoebe gripped too hard.

    “Caia Ribeiro, I would like to introduce you to my father and pack Alpha, Alistair MacLachlan.”

    She had expected to be subjected to the same death-grip handshake, but instead she found herself crushed in his mammoth embrace. Caia returned his hug shyly and swallowed her sigh of relief when he let her go.

    “My daughter tells me you are the one who discovered the attack on my pack. That you’re also the one who destroyed the Midnights responsible.”

    Feeling heat blooming under her cheeks, Caia shrugged helplessly. “I had a lot of help from Phoebe and a few others.”

    Phoebe shook her head, as serious as ever. “She’s being modest, father,” she tutted. “I’ve never understood that trait.”

    Alistair chuckled. “Yes, we know.”

    Caia didn’t know whether to laugh or admonish him. Didn’t he know Phoebe had no sense of humor? Phoebe merely frowned at him and turned back to her. “We wanted to thank you, personally.”

    “Yes.” The Alpha grinned. He shook his head, disbelieving, as his eyes washed over her. “Such a little thing, and yet from what Phoebe has told me I would have imagined you to be a giant. As you may have already guessed, Phoebe isn’t really a people person-”

    “Father!”

    “-and so when she admires someone, we all know they must really be worthy of her respect.”

    “That’s true.” The Rogue Hunter nodded militantly.

    “We’re very grateful to you, Miss Ribeiro, and if there is anything my pack can do for yours, you must not hesitate to call on us.”

    OK, so perhaps she might have done something truly good despite the remorse she felt over the deaths of those Midnights. She had saved this kind Elder and his valuable daughter, not to mention the rest of their pack.

    Caia, wake up. Be strong. And think... they’re not just offering you a thank you, their offering themselves...

    Allies.

    Smiling warmly, she shook both their hands again. “That’s very gracious of you. Thank you.”

    The two lykans left her then to recount their encounter to Marion, who grinned proudly at her like a mother hen.

    “Compliments from Phoebe MacLachlan, now that should go on your résumé.”

    Marion left her to her fans, a decision that Caia teasingly told her she would later regret, a look of dismay falling across her features as the witch disappeared out of the hall. No matter how many times she told herself that networking was good, it still left her feeling as if she were stuck in coach between a snorer and a crying baby on a long haul flight. It was with a huge sigh of relief after ‘doing the rounds’ that Caia managed somehow to sneak away from the inquisitive looks and prying questions, and make her way out towards the reception to be taken up on the elevator to Marita and Vanne’s suite. The Center’s layout still confused her, and she found herself taking a wrong turn and rounding the corner to the altars. She stopped abruptly at the scene before her and darted back out of sight, peering around the corner to watch Marita standing unaccompanied outside of Gaia’s altar. The magik sent darting glances in every direction as if checking to make sure she was alone, before stealthily creeping into the altar.

    What the...

    Her behavior was so weird. What the Hades was she up to? Caia’s heart began to pound as she remembered the conversation she had overheard between Mordecai and Marita. Was this another one of their secrets... or was this the Secret? The thudding of her heart grew louder in her ears and she felt her legs tremble as she took a tentative step towards to door.

    Maybe Marita was just praying. Maybe I’m being a paranoid idiot.

    Maybe you should hurry up and follow her in and find out what the hell she’s up to!

    Grunting at her own idiocy, Caia pushed the door open as quietly as possible, her eyes sweeping what appeared to be an empty altar. A flicker of movement from the far right of the room caught her attention, and she gazed in confusion at the sight of auburn hair disappearing in front of her very eyes. She blinked rapidly. What the...

    The front row pew obstructed much of the view of that area but Caia rushed forward, sure she had seen what looked to be the top of Marita’s head disappearing into the ground. She searched the area in front of the pews to the right of the statue of Gaia, her eyes devouring the floor. And there, a glitter of metal caught her eye and she hurried closer, dropping to her knees in her fear and excitement. The tiniest stud of gold metal was stuck to the floor, sitting on the edge of one large slab of marble. Tentatively she reached forward and touched it.

    Whoosh!

    Caia strangled a startled cry as the slab peeled open in one fluid movement, revealing a secret entrance. She forgot to breathe as she peered down inside what she was sure very few people knew even existed. A ladder was attached to the opposite wall, leading down into a brightly lit hallway that was clinical in appearance.

    Goddess Caia, what are you getting yourself into now?

    With a bolstering gulp of air, Caia grabbed a hold of the first rung and began to descend into an underground hallway, her footsteps light and her breathing restrained as she made her way down. It was hard to ignore the rushing blood in her ears as her adrenaline took control but as her eyes washed over the thankfully empty corridor she strained to do so in order to hear the approach of the enemy.

    Listen to yourself, she snorted.

    There wasn’t a sound, only what appeared to be a silent endless white tiled corridor with fluorescent lighting. What was this place? And why didn’t anyone know about it? Or did they? Well, she was down here now so she might as well get on with it. Caia crept forward in quick little steps, her brain yelling idiot! Idiot! idiot! with each one.

    And that’s when she heard it. She stopped, wincing at the squeak her Converses made on the tiled floor. Her ears perked up and a chill burst down her spine.

    Cries! Children’s cries! Snarling. Hissing. She could make out at least five different voices in the mix. Oh dear goddess! She pelted forward in a greater hurry and stupidly spilled around the corridor as it veered into a left. A figure disappeared into a door up ahead without noticing her (thank goddess - Idiot!) and with a sigh of relief she continued forward at a quieter but still quickened pace. The door, which had laboratory 1: lykanthrope printed across it, sat adjacent to a long window, and cautiously Caia strained over trying to look inside without anyone noticing her.

    What she saw...

    “Oh my go-”

    Her breath cut off as she watched Marita talking to a tall man dressed in a navy lab coat, their eyes going over whatever information he had on the clipboard in his hands. In front of them were five children, their faces contorted with all manner of misery.

    Caia felt bile rise in her throat at such a familiar sight.

    She had seen this before. With Jaeden.

    Each child was locked in a cage surrounded by magik, magik that was keeping them from changing. There was no evidence of physical abuse on their bodies but rows of test tubes sat on trays attached to each cage, a variety of liquids in each. Caia felt a rush of anger as her eyes found the face of a small girl. She couldn’t have been more than ten years old, and her huge eyes had a haunted look no person, much less a child, should ever have cause to feel. White heat shot through Caia’s body and she gasped spinning back, her body pressed against the door as she tried to gain control over herself. As she shuddered into some kind of normalcy she saw another door further up, another window. More children. Perhaps another race. Vampyre maybe?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire