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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 36)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(36) by Samantha Young
  • Caia shrugged. Yeah, she did know that.

    “Stay back.” Caia pointed towards the hallway and the lykan grudgingly padded away. She stared at the trap door, thoughts of the marble one in Gaia’s altar determinedly pushing their way to the forefront of her mind. How could Marita justify what she was doing? Marita hated Midnights and everything they were about... and yet wasn’t what Pierre had done exactly the same as her own crime? At the impatient sounds Phoebe was making from the hallway Caia shook the thoughts off. The trap door lifted easily and a set of very unstable looking stairs descended into darkness. The smell flooded her nostrils immediately and she gagged, pressing her shirt to her nose to block its entry. Phoebe whined from the doorway. That smell was enough to make every small move after that one filled with trepidation. There was no mistaking the stench of death – mixed with an obvious array of chemicals. Taking off the backpack Marion had given her, Caia found the flashlight and dipped its light down into the basement, leaning over to get a better look at what she was going to be walking into. It seemed safe enough.

    Safe perhaps physically, but emotionally...?

    Swinging the torch from lab post to lab post, her shirt still covering her nose and mouth, Caia willed away the emotional reaction her body was so ready to give into. There were five morgue slabs in the room, each with a decaying lykan sliced open in varying manners upon it. The vile stench was emanating from their exposed innards. Metal chains were still wrapped around their limbs from when they had been alive and chained down. She didn’t even want to think of a lykan being awake and aware during such experiments, such torture. Moving away from them she swung the beam of the torch towards the end of the room where a row of cages sat, some empty, some housing more dead lykans.

    Memories of another basement and other cages threatened to overwhelm her.

    “I have to find the liquid,” Caia reminded herself softly and made to move back towards the end of the basement behind the stairs. Sure enough, a glass cabinet was placed against the wall, rows upon rows of vials of liquid gold inside.

    Now all she needed to do was destroy it.

    Silently, making her way back out of the basement, Caia pulled another gift from Marion out of her backpack. To her it appeared to be a large crystal with a gold stopper plugged into the top. She wasn’t quite sure of its mechanics but apparently it was an expensive member of Daylight arsenal.

    “Just pull the stopper out and drop the crystal into the basement. The device will go off within five seconds of landing. You’ll hear a soft pop.”

    “What does it do?”

    “Don’t worry, it can’t hurt living things. It merely cleans up the mess around us.”

    Caia did as Marion had instructed, closing the door after it.

    “Wait, I wanted to see!” Phoebe hissed as she marched into the storeroom in human form.

    As Caia stared into the lykan’s angry face a sound like an ear popping at high altitude could be heard from the other side.

    “Sorry, it’s too late.”

    “Well, what was down there?”

    She could tell her the truth, about the atrocities those two Midnights had committed with the help of humans. She could describe that reprehensible scene and wave goodbye to a potential ally. If Phoebe had seen it with her own eyes there would have been no way to convince her that not all Midnights were bad. Describing it would just be another nail in the coffin of Caia’s plan.

    “But this is a war Caia, and we have to sacrifice a part of our soul to win it.”

    “It was just a lab. Chemicals, test tubes... that sort thing.”

    I am so going to Hades.

    “What about that goddess-awful smell?”

    “Sewage,” she lied, “Guessing from the daemon.”

    “Ugh, charming.”

    Confident that she had convinced the hunter, Caia pulled at the trap door. Together she and Phoebe leaned in as she opened it, their torches illuminating the darkness. There was nothing there.

    “What...?”

    Eyes wide, she trembled her way down the stairs and swung her light around.

    “What do you see?” Phoebe called down to her.

    “Nothing.”

    It was like none of it had ever happened. Just an empty basement, clean of any activities. Four walls, a ceiling and a floor.

    “It’s all gone. No mess,” Caia told her as she climbed back up the stairs. “I have no idea what that thing was that Marion gave me.” She glanced down at her watch. “Come on we better go. Marion is opening the portal in ten minutes.”

    They made their way back out of the club, Caia replacing the boards and the padlock while Phoebe stood guard. Just as silently as they arrived, they returned to the spot they had come out at, at Notre Dame. She sidled towards the entrance of the cathedral, gazing up at its two towers, wishing she could step inside and disappear behind its arched doorway, to curl up in what promised to be a mystical haven. Could she hide in there, in the arms of another god?

    Phoebe tapped her on the shoulder and she half-turned to see the portal begin to open on the dark street.

    No. The war would still be out there, taking innocent lives and perpetuating into eternity. There was no hiding for her. She had a job to do.

    There were a few humans strolling together, and a cafe was still open with people outside at the little tables drinking coffee and eating dessert.

    “I’m going to cloak us so they won’t see us disappear,” Caia warned Phoebe and shielded them both as Mordecai had taught her in glamour class. And just like that, they stepped back into the Center, leaving behind a loathsome sight that only Caia would ever carry in her memories.

    19 - Sweet Midnight

    “Argh, I knew this was coming,” Dimitri groaned, his face crumpled in defeat.

    Ryder raised an eyebrow expectantly, his heart hammering in his chest. “Is that a yes?” He glanced between Dimitri and Julia, knowing his hope was out in plain view, so easy to shatter with one little word.

    The thought of never having Jaeden in his life was excruciating now. Despite their attempts to not see each other over the last few days, they seemed to be connected inextricably. She had explained that there had been no more nightmares since the night he had suggested they might be mates. She had demonstrated how much control she was gaining on her telekinesis, arriving at his apartment exuberant and pleased with her progress over at Lucien’s. Since Vil and Laila’s arrival he hadn’t been able to leave the apartment, so Jae had come over at the end of the day bringing food for everyone, and catching him up on her activities. They had only grown closer, but he hadn’t been able to relieve her of her fears over Laila. The food she brought for Vil and his girlfriend was handed over quickly before she departed for his bedroom, the room furthest away from the room he had given to his guests. He, on the other hand, had gotten to know them as much as he could over the last 48 hours. Vil was a quiet, staid, young warlock who was extremely protective of the fragile creature who never left his side. He had told Ryder bits and pieces of his life growing up in a household where his elder brothers were respected soldiers in the Center’s First Unit. Fighting wasn’t really in his blood, in fact he couldn’t quite wrap his head around this inane war, as he called it, and while home for his break he had come across Laila. She had escaped from a Midnight army base under Ethan’s control. She wouldn’t discuss what had happened to her there but it was enough to cement a loathing in her blood for the Midnights. Vil had found her starving to death and had hidden her and coaxed her back to health. During which, they had fallen in love, and she had convinced him he should take her back to the Center so she could learn to fight for the Daylights. Marita had her thrown in the containment center almost immediately. Marita had dismissed him, sure that his had not been an act of disloyalty but naivety, and in the end he had helped her apprehend a Midnight. Vil had been trying to find a way to break her out of the prison ever since, but he didn’t have the power a magik needed to do it and he didn’t trust anyone enough at the Center to help him. And then Caia had come to him, ‘like an angel’ he had described softly, making Ryder smile. The little witch had that effect on people. Caia had said she could feel Laila’s goodness, was adamant the girl posed no threat to the Daylights. She wouldn’t stand back and let the girl suffer. Vil had believed her since he had nowhere else in which to place his faith. And the rest Ryder knew. It was hard to imagine the gentle creature that gazed so adoringly at Vil could cause anyone any harm but he knew how deceptive they could be.

    Atia and Adriana Vang had proven that. But Caia believed, and strangely he did too.

    Jaeden on the other hand was not so quick to trust.

    “Why isn’t Jaeden with you?” Julia asked, seeming amused by his proposal.

    He locked eyes with her so she wouldn’t suspect him of lying. “I felt this was something that I ought to do alone, man to... parents.” In truth she was reluctantly watching over his guests at his apartment while he moved their potential mating along a little faster.

    Julia swallowed a chuckle, her eyes dancing with delight. “Well I’m all for it.”

    Dimitri glared at his wife. “We just got her back.”

    “And you think denying her the right to a mating ritual with the man she loves will entice her to stay?” His mate grunted at him.

    He pinned Ryder to the wall with his gaze, his nostrils seeming to huff with steam like a bull getting ready to charge. And then, just like that, the air appeared to deflate out of him and he threw his hands up in surrender. “Fine!” he snapped. “You have my blessing to mate with my only daughter... you bastard.”

    Ryder whooped jubilantly and grabbed the big guy in a hug. Dimitri huffed and slapped him, hard, on the back, sending him over to Julia who was the next target for his joy.

    “Now you have to wait for Lucien,” his soon to be father-in-law reminded him slyly.

    Ryder shrugged, his grin refusing to desist. “His return shouldn’t be long now. Then we can get straight to the mating... err... ritual.”

    Dimitri glowered red.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire