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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > River Cast (Page 41)     
  • River Cast(The Tale of Lunarmorte #2)(41) by Samantha Young
  • A moment of tense silence.

    And then…

    “That’s when I first knew,” his voice had gone hoarse. “Caia,” he breathed reverently, “I love you.”

    Her heart rate picked up as a sharp ache shot out of it and across her chest.

    Love me? He loves me?

    A sense of unreality descended over her and she felt incredibly lightheaded. It couldn’t be true.

    Lucien seemed to sense her disbelief and he squeezed her even closer, his lips sending goosebumps down her spine as he pressed them against her ear. “Caia, I love you. Look at me.” He sighed when she made no move, and then whipped her around to face him, gripping the top of her arms and glaring sternly into her face as he shook her. “Do you hear me? Say something.”

    As she gazed, stunned, up into his eyes she saw his fear. It was etched in every one of his features and she could feel it in his painful grip. He loves me. Like a much need thaw, those words melted her defenses, and tears streamed down her face of their own accord. Caia sank into him, her arms wrapping around his waist and gripping him to her. Relief poured through her. Lucien would never lie about this, she was sure. He loves me. He has always loved me. Pain receded.

    “I love you, too,” she whispered against his chest.

    Lucien trembled beneath her touch and exhaled a sigh of relief, before bending his head, pressing his lips to hers, tugging her feet from the floor so he could devour her more comfortably. Caia sighed happily into his mouth, relishing the taste of him, the burning heat he managed to elicit from her in seconds. It wasn’t a soft kiss. It was hard and deep and asked everything of her. His grip on her hair tightened and he pulled back from the kiss to nip at her swollen lips, his eyes narrowed slits, his face drawn and tight. “I thought you’d never be mine,” he growled, and for once Caia gloried at his possessiveness, excited by how out of control he seemed as his mouth found hers again, his tongue forcing her lips apart to stroke her own in deep, drugging kisses. Her whole body felt like it was on fire and she shivered uncontrollably. At that, Lucien finally seemed to calm, and he stopped kissing her mouth, reluctantly.

    “Caia,” he groaned, trailing hot kisses across her face and neck, his arms still crushing her almost painfully, “Never leave me.”

    She grinned so ecstatic, feeling as if a war was finally over. “Never,” she promised, curling her fingers in his thick hair.

    They held each other for what seemed forever, murmuring love words and promises in one another’s ears, their relief palpable in the little bubble they shared.

    Lucien was hers. Finally hers. And she wasn’t alone anymore.

    “Lucien.” Caia pulled back reluctantly from his hug, his hard warm body the safest place she had ever known. “I have a lot to tell you. To explain. Some things you might not want to hear.”

    As if sensing her fear, he cupped her cheek in his hand. “You can trust me.”

    “I’m more worried about you trusting me.”

    “Caia, I trust you completely. I thought you knew that.”

    She shrugged helplessly. “I guess we’ve both been a little blind.”

    “Oh, just a little,” he muttered sardonically.

    “OK.” She took a deep breath, preparing herself. “I’m going to tell you everything. No interruptions until I’m done.”

    He grinned at her authoritative tone. “Yes, sir.”

    “Lucien.”

    “I’m kidding. Please, continue.”

    “OK. OK. OK-”

    “Caia.”

    “OK. Here goes. The girl that escaped, the Midnight... I felt her trace when we got here and didn’t like what I found. She was, is, one of the purest souls I’ve ever encountered.”

    He frowned. “What do you mean?”

    “No interruptions.”

    “Sorry.”

    “I mean, she’s good. I mean that for the last few months I have been feeling traces, Midnights, who aren’t bad people. A lot of them even feel indifferent towards the war. And Laila, the girl, she... I won’t tell you exactly what happened to her, that’s her business, but I can tell you that the Midnights did a lot of bad things to her, experiments, torture. She honestly sought refuge here, with Daylights, with Vilhelm, the boy who brought her here.”

    “The guy that broke her out?”

    “Yes. Only... he had a lot of help. From me.”

    Lucien jerked away from her in shock. “You broke that girl out of prison?!”

    Caia felt her heart begin to thump uncertainly. “Oh man, if you think that’s a problem you might not want to hear the rest.”

    Although he looked incredibly worried, he shook it off, pressing her to go on.

    “OK, so Vil, the guy, he’s a Traveller and I sent them to Ryder.”

    “What?!”

    “He’s the only one I could trust. He doesn’t know that Laila’s a Midnight. He just thinks I’m helping them. And he’s strong enough to take care of them. Anyway.” She smiled tremulously. “There’s that. And also I found out that Marita and Mordecai bugged my room. They were trying to discover secrets. Something about Jaeden.”

    His brow cleared with dawning realization. “That’s why you asked that question about her abilities in the library.”

    “Yeah.” She nodded, taking his hand in hers unconsciously. “They were talking about Jaeden’s abilities, if I knew anything about them. I don’t. I have no idea what they were talking about. Anyway, after that I was suspicious about them both. Marita was definitely up to something.”

    “You don’t know what that is?”

    Caia braced herself for the worst part of her news. “The other day, the morning I woke up after our battle with Du Bois, I saw Marita outside the Altar of Gaia. She was acting... strange. I was already suspicious of her so I followed her inside. She disappeared under the floor.”

    Lucien looked at her as if she was speaking Chinese. “Huh?”

    “There’s a trap door in the altar. One of the marble slabs is a door. There are ladders that lead down into a basement.”

    Dread settled over his features and she knew he felt that something irrevocable was coming. “What kind of basement?”

    “The kind with laboratories.”

    Emotion she hadn’t been allowing herself to feel swept over her like an avalanche and she found herself stumbling to find a seat as her eyes clouded with tears. “I saw Marita inside one with a guy in a lab coat. There were five lykan children in cages.”

    “Oh hell,” she heard Lucien say gruffly and she felt the sofa dip as he settled down beside her, his hand rubbing her back soothingly.

    “I don’t know what she’s doing.” She shook her head and turned to face him, his skin ashen from the news. “Do you remember she asked me to stay and help train an elite lykan unit?”

    He nodded and slowly his eyes widened. “You don’t think...?”

    “There’s a possibility that she’s trying to create a super army by experimenting on other supernaturals. There was another lab further up the corridor but I couldn’t get to it. I had to leave before Marita saw me.”

    “What the hell are we going to do, Caia?”

    She turned towards him now, never so grateful for the use of ‘we’ in that question, her hand gripping his knee as she spoke intently, “I had to lie and tell her I would stay at the Center. That I was going back to the pack with you to say goodbye and then returning to her. I had to lie, Lucien, because I think she would have done anything to keep me here.”

    His face darkened. “As in threaten you? That’s against the law.”

    “I think we can assume she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the law.”

    “Right.”

    “Lucien...”

    He squeezed her hand. “Say it.”

    “The war is a lie.”

    A cold, uneasy silence rippled out of him, before…“What?”

    “The war... it doesn’t make sense. I can’t knowingly help kill magiks who are innocent or just misguided. And I can’t help someone who professes to hate a race of people for doing things that she’s so intent on doing herself. This war is so twisted... the reasons for it don’t even exist anymore.”

    His grip tightened. “So what are you saying?”

    She searched his eyes and took hold of the trust she found there. “I’m saying that I need more power in order to begin peace negotiations with the Midnight Coven.”

    “Caia... peace negotiations? Are you sure that’s not a little naive?”

    Her gaze dropped to her feet uncertainly and she shrugged, feeling like a little girl in her mother’s high heels. “Maybe. But... if they knew that I’m the Head of the Coven, that I can find them anywhere... a little fear might go a long way to negotiating.”

    Lucien nodded slowly. “OK, true. But they might also just try to kill you.”

    She frowned in annoyance. “It’s all I’ve got. I won’t fight for a lie.”

    His shoulders slumped when he saw how determined she was. “So what’s the plan?”

    “Vil... the Traveller.”

    “Yeah?”

    “When I was in the library-”

    “I was wondering what you were up to in there.” He tugged her close.

    “Well, I was researching a spell. But also the library has schedules for everything as a public reference. Classes, ceremonies, holidays and... the days on which the Council convene.”

    “The Council?”

    “Yes. Did you know that they have the authority to permit a challenger for the position of Head of the Coven if they have evidence that the current Head is not the best magik for the job?”

    “What are you saying?”

    She gulped. “I’m saying that I’m the most powerful weapon they have, and Gaia put me here for a reason. I’m saying that if they knew what Marita was up to... Vil can to take me to the Council, and I’m going to challenge Marita to the post. If they agree, a political campaign will begin and the Coven will vote for their choice of candidate.”

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