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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 40)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(40) by Samantha Young
  • Disgruntled, he yelled, “Come in!” towards the door and hoped his visitor wasn’t looking for pleasant conversation.

    “Lucien.” Marion marched inside, slamming the door.

    His eyebrows hit his hairline, surprised by his visitor and even more so by the glare she was using to staple him to the window.

    “Marion. What’s going on?”

    She spluttered at him, “What’s going on?” Throwing her hands up in the air, she spun away from him and began pacing. “This is why I stay away from relationships. The male species of any race are a dim-witted bunch, testing the patience of saints.”

    Lucien tried to cover his snort and failed.

    “It’s not funny, Lucien. You’ll be laughing on the other side of your face when I impart this next piece of news.”

    Just like that his heart stopped, his body went rigid. “What news?”

    The magik strode towards him, her head craned back in order to look up at him, her eyes narrow slits. “What on earth are you playing at, young man? Kissing another lykan in front of Caia, avoiding her completely? She’s been alone the entire time she’s been here.”

    He only heard the first part of that statement. “What do you mean kissing another lykan in front of Caia?”

    Marion curled her lip in distaste. “Rose Bronson. You kissed her in the reception.”

    “Caia saw?”

    “Caia saw.”

    Damn, guilt flooded him. Rose had kissed him good luck and he hadn’t exactly thrown her off. What must Caia think? He was such an id-

    “Wait!” he snapped, pushing passed her belligerently. “I have nothing to feel guilty about. I’m not the one that’s been avoiding Caia, it’s the other way around. She’s been keeping secrets, giving me attitude. She made it perfectly clear that she didn’t need me.”

    He expected an apology from Marion, for her to graciously admit she had blundered and tell him how sorry she was for him.

    He really was an idiot.

    The witch gazed at him as if he was the most stupid person she had ever met. “And when did this behavior start? Before or after Rose’s arrival?”

    “Well...” Lucien shrugged, not sure he liked where this was going.

    She threw off his dithering with an impatient swat of her hand and stormed towards him again. “Just tell me this... are you with Rose now?”

    “That’s not really your business, Marion.”

    “Lucien,” she warned.

    He huffed, affronted at having to discuss his personal business with this woman. “I would be better off, wouldn’t I?”

    “That’s not an answer.”

    “No. I’m not with Rose.”

    At that, Marion heaved a huge sigh of relief while still managing to stare at him in disgust. “Men.”

    “I don’t really understand the male bashing, Marion. What exactly are you doing here?”

    “Believe it or not, I’ve come to help you stop Caia making a terrible mistake that will affect you both.”

    An immediate panic set in. “What? What’s going on?”

    “Caia is staying at the Center.”

    “WHAT!”

    “Shut up,” she hissed, smoothing her hair back down after Lucien’s ferocious bellow had blown it back. “It’s your fault.”

    “My fault! I’ve been here! I’ve been trying to find out what the hell she’s been keeping from me.”

    “No. You’ve been with Rose.”

    “For the last time-”

    “Lucien Líder, do not interrupt me again,” Marion warned, her stern eyes gluing his mouth shut. “Good. As I was saying, I am tired of the complete idiocy you and Caia seem to share when it comes to the matter of your relationship. Caia has not been divulging any information to you, Lucien, because she was hurt and jealous by Rose’s presence in your life.”

    Well, that doesn’t sound right.

    “Are we talking about the same Caia Ribeiro?”

    “Oh dear Gaia, I’m surrounded by fools.” Marion threw her hands up in dismay and flopped down on to his sofa. “Lucien, when you arrived at the Center was Caia talking to you? Yes. When Rose arrived did Caia stop confiding in you? Yes.”

    “What, no-” he stopped, a nagging feeling telling him to halt and take a moment. Now that she mentioned it, there had been a few times Caia had seemed to want to talk to him about something, but there had always been an interruption. And true, lately, that interruption had been Rose.

    Marion must have seen the comprehension dawn on his face because she made a clucking, gloating sound. “And everything starts to make sense.”

    Lucien shook his head, trying to remain cool. “Are you telling me that Caia thinks I’ve abandoned her?”

    “I’m telling you that you let my sister’s plot to separate you and Caia so that she would be more inclined to stay at the Center with her work. I’m telling you that for the last seven months you haven’t been with your mate because you didn’t say the one thing that she needed to hear. I’m telling you what I tried to tell you the night Caia was attacked by that daemon.”

    “What?” he asked hoarsely.

    “Lucien.” Marion tut-tutted and got up off of the sofa. “What do you think? Caia has never really had a family until you. And right now she is the most valuable magik in our world and she doesn’t know who to trust. If she knew how you really felt about her, if she was secure in that, she would turn to you.” Her eyes filled up and she coughed, embarrassed, looking away from him. “I care about her a great deal, Lucien, but I worry for her all the time. This war is going to swallow her whole if she’s not careful. She needs you. So choke on that stubborn pride of yours and tell her those three little words she’s been waiting to hear.”

    He clenched his jaw, fear breaking out across every inch of his body. “And if she doesn’t say it back?”

    Marion smiled slowly, softly. “She will.”

    He searched her eyes, astounded by her utmost certainty in Caia’s love. Did she know something he didn’t? That certainty eased the ache that had been pressing on his chest for the last few months. He nodded, feeling an elated sense of hope. “I need to speak to Rose first.”

    Pressing her hand against the glass, Caia wished the rain in Paris could hit against the Center’s window. She loved the sound of rain battering against the house when you were tucked inside, safe and sound, with cozy flames roaring in a fireplace.

    A loud rap sounded on her door.

    “Come in!” she called, keeping her back to her visitor, her eyes glued hypnotically to the blurry world outside.

    She heard the door open slowly, heavy footsteps drew across the room towards her. She inhaled the scent of damp earth and electric air, and wasn’t surprised when Lucien came to a stop by her side, his own eyes staring straight ahead out of the window.

    “I’ve been looking for you,” he told her in a quiet, deep voice.

    Well at least he doesn’t sound angry.

    She had been waiting for the explosion to come ever since she had gotten back from the lab with Phoebe. So far, she hadn’t seen him.

    There’s a surprise.

    “I like the rain.”

    “Me too.”

    After a moment of silence Caia sighed. “Did you hear the news?”

    She wasn’t looking forward to telling the truth, of explaining about Laila and Vilhelm, or her plans to create a coup after her discovery of what lay beneath the Center.

    “Yes.” His tone didn’t give anything away, and Caia snuck a glance at him out of the corner of her eye. His entire body was rigid with emotion. He was angry. Time for the truth.

    She pushed out with her magik and wound a shield around the two of them. Lucien frowned, glancing around at it, but she refused to meet his gaze, her own eyes staring adamantly ahead.

    “For privacy,” she muttered in explanation. “We need to talk.”

    “Yes, we do,” he agreed and she felt him heave a huge sigh. To her it almost sounded like he was nervous... but what did he have to be nervous about?

    Rose.

    Caia gripped the ache that name created in a stranglehold and attempted to suffocate it from her body.

    “Rose isn’t coming back with us.”

    What?

    “What?” she forgot she was trying not to look at him and directed the question into his eyes.

    He shrugged uncomfortably, and she thought she saw pain flitter across his features. “I just spoke with her. Everything was explained. She’s not coming. We were never really together, you know.”

    “I’m sorry,” she managed tightly. What? Did he expect sympathy for being dumped?

    She flinched at his growl and returned to looking out of the window.

    “Caia,” he sounded exasperated, “Look at me.”

    “What for?”

    “You’re being a child.”

    “I told you, I like the rain.”

    He let go of his growl and stared stormily ahead. “I never wanted to be with Rose,” he revealed through a clenched jaw. “That kiss you saw was her, not me. I told her she couldn’t come back to the pack with us. Caia, I thought you were pulling away, I thought you didn’t want...” he sighed. “I’m not good at... the word... thing. I just... I’m not with Rose.”

    Caia tried so hard to stamp down the little butterflies of hope that were fluttering in her stomach to no avail. She tried to seem uninterested, she really did. She failed. “Why?”

    At first Caia didn’t think he was going to answer but then she felt his gaze on her face as he began, “Do you remember that night you found me in the woods? The night we ran together alone?”

    She nodded numbly, wishing she didn’t.

    At the touch of his hand sliding around her waist, Caia jerked in surprise, tensed as he slid behind her, wrapping his strong arms around her middle and pulling her body in close. The heat and strength of him, the feel of him, the scent of him, exploded over her in a riot of butterflies and stunning shivers. She held her breath, wide-eyed, as he inhaled her, before tucking her head under his chin.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire