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       River Cast, p.1

         Part #2 of The Tale of Lunarmorte series by Samantha Young
River Cast
Page 1

  The State of Things

  Existing in the shadows of our world are supernatural races; children blessed by the ancient Greek gods with unimaginable gifts, and at present they are fighting a two-thousand-year old war with one another. The Midnight Coven, an alliance of dark magiks, faeries, and daemons born of black magik, believe that the vampyres and lykans are lesser supernaturals and a threat to mankind. They are at war with the Daylight Coven, a confederate of light magiks, faeries, vampyres and lykans who believe in the equality of the races.

  Into this war eighteen-year old Caia Ribeiro is born…a lykan with a heritage unlike any other. A consequence of the manipulation of the gods and fate, Caia is unique – a half-lykan, half-water magik. And to make it even more complicated, her mother was the daughter of the Head of the Midnight Coven: Caia is half-Daylight, half-Midnight. No one is quite sure of the extent of Caia’s abilities, not even her mentor Marion, the sister to Marita, the Head of the Daylight Coven. All they know is that after her explosive killing of her Uncle Ethan, Caia is the heir apparent, and with it has trace magik - the ability to sense the emotions and whereabouts of every member of the Midnight Coven. The pack, Marita, and all their allies, believe Caia is the key to bringing down the Midnights. But Caia is not so sure. Not only is she an eighteen year old girl trying to come to grips with adulthood, she’s a girl still reeling from the death of her friend, Sebastian; confused by her feelings for the pack’s Alpha, Lucien; excited but terrified by her magikal powers, and frightened by the contradiction of the trace magik.

  You see… Caia is beginning to realize that the war isn’t all black and white. There are members of the Midnight Coven who are good people, magiks who have long forgotten why the war began, magiks who don’t view other supernaturals as a threat. Midnights who would just as happily see the war to an end. Is the trace wrong? Is she going insane or just falling to the other side? Because everyone close to her would believe her to be a traitor if she shared her concerns… wouldn’t they?

  And if all that wasn’t enough her best friend, Jaeden, is still missing from the pack, having run off after being rescued from the malevolent clutches of Caia’s Uncle Ethan. Caia had seen through Ethan’s eyes the atrocities he committed against Jaeden’s young body and mind, and only she understands Jaeden’s need to be separate from the pack for a while.

  However… perhaps it’s best Caia isn’t fully aware of Jaeden’s true situation. It would be just one more major worry to add to her never-ending pile of responsibilities. For not only is Jae out hunting rogue vampyres - a crime against the Coven, as the law constitutes that only a vampyre can hunt a rogue vampyre, and only a lykan can hunt a rogue lykan - she has even bigger problems.

  When Ethan had Jae locked in a cage, messing with her body and mind, utilizing an enormous amount of fire magik to torture her, something… happened. It had to have… right?

  Otherwise, where did her damn telekinesis come from?

  1 – Lone Ranger

  “Son of a-” Jaeden launched into a somersault to avoid the bullet whizzing towards her head, and whipped around from her position on the muddy grass in time to propel a blade at the vampyre’s wrist. The vamp girl screamed as it made perfect aim, the gun falling to the ground as she clutched her bleeding artery.

  “You bitch!” Blondie screeched, glaring at her as Jaeden stood up and began sauntering towards her with an intimidating lack of fear. The wound caused the vampyre’s eyes to glow with deadly intent.

  “Ouch. ” Jaeden winced wryly. “Your oh so original comeback is like a veritable stake to the heart. ” She smirked, pausing as her fingers brushed the line of steel blades she had strapped to her belt.

  Blondie hissed, her incisors lengthening slowly. “My boyfriend is not going to like me coming home wounded. ”

  Jae chuckled. “Oh honey, you’ve been such a bad little girl, chewing on humans and breaking the Coven laws. . . your boyfriend is going to be a little bit more concerned with the fact that you won’t be coming home at all. ”

  The husky laugh that comment provoked was a little eerie. “I’m breaking Coven laws? What about you wolf girl?”

  That didn’t even deserve a response. She was breaking Coven laws for the common good. Teeth here was a skanky ho who got off on killing human boys after they gave her a little ‘somethin? somethin?’. Yeah, she wondered how the bf felt about that.

  Sighing, Jaeden opened her leather jacket and pulled out the small axe she kept hidden there. The vampyre’s eyes widened marginally, and then shuttered when she realized Jaeden was watching for her reaction.

  “So, Vampyra. ” Jae grimaced, hitting the blunt edge of the axe off of the heel of her palm. “You ready to meet your ma-”

  The vampyre launched at the gun on the ground cutting off Jaeden’s unoriginal parting quip. With a flick of her wrist, Jaeden pushed with her mind and the gun jumped up from the grass inches from the vamp’s fingers, flying into Jae’s outstretched and waiting hand. Nonchalantly she tucked the gun into the other side of her belt and smirked at the look of amazement on the girl’s face.

  “I thought you were just a lykan,” she breathed, real panic now swirling in her gaze.

  Jae shrugged. “I am. ”

  “Was that magik?”

  Her question received another shrug. Truthfully, Jaeden didn’t know what her telekinetic abilities were. Her greatest fear in fact were those abilities. . . and whether it meant, as she suspected it did, that some of Ethan’s malevolent energy had transferred to her during her captivity and torture.

  “Look. ” The vamp giggled a little hysterically. “Why don’t we just forget about this? I’ll go home, you go home, and I’ll never come back to your turf again, OK?”

  No. Not OK.

  “See that guy. ” Jae pointed to the dead teenager that lay slumped against a grave stone. His neck had been ripped open so badly it was a wonder his head was still attached to his body. She concealed a shudder, turning away from the gruesome and tragic sight. “Did he suggest the same thing to you when he first felt the bite of your teeth? Did you listen? Apparently not. ”

  Blondie spluttered, “He’s just a human!”

  Jaeden snorted in response. “Yeah, well, weren’t we all once. ”

  “I have money. ” The vamp began to back up as Jaeden drew closer with the axe. “Whatever you want. ”

  Jeez, when were these chicks ever going to learn?

  “This isn’t a negotiation. You kill humans… you pay the price. ”

  The axe was spinning through the air on its side before she’d even finished her sentence. It sliced through wind and then straight into the vampyre’s jugular. Blondie’s eyes popped wide, and she made a horrific choking, gurgling sound. Her legs gave out beneath her and the choking grew worse as blood poured out of her mouth.

  Jae didn’t even flinch.

  She strode towards the vamp, knelt down beside her and put pressure on either ends of the axe until it cut right through, crunching and squishing until it hit the muddy ground beneath her, her head completely detached from her undead body.


  Jae pulled at her axe and then wiped the axe blade clean on the girl’s cashmere jumper, using her own scarf to wipe the blood splatter off her face.

  A quick glance at her watch. 5. 20am.

  The sun would rise in fifteen minutes burning the body to nothing. No one would ever know she had been there. It was funny that, she mused, standing up straight, turning away from the consequences of her soldiering, a vampyre could walk around in the day no problem. But once their undead bodies were really. . . well. . . dead. . . the sun did a clean-up job. Legend had it this began after Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, had a child, Asclepius, wh
o pissed off Hades by bringing the dead back to life with his healing powers. Since the dead were Hades charge, he went to his brother, Zeus, who had Apollo’s kid killed. In revenge, Apollo killed the Cyclops, enraging Zeus, who caught up with him and threatened to send him to Tartarus. With a little sweet talking from Leto, Apollo’s mama, Zeus lessened his punishment, with the proviso that Apollo help him keep the deadly creatures a secret from humankind by cleaning up their bodies when they died. Apollo gave the job to the sun, and the rest is ancient history.

  Jaeden sighed, her eyes settling back on the boy. She hated to leave him like that but she couldn’t be involved in any way. He would just have to be found by a human in the morning. It was a large, central cemetery. It wouldn’t be long. Not that, that made her feel any less like a monster for walking away.

  Before she had begun this new life with Reuben she hadn’t known that much about other supernaturals. Pack Errante, being so small, was protective of their kids, and only a few of them really knew much about the world outside of the pack. Learning that for the past few centuries vampyre bodies had evolved because of the goddess Demeter’s little curse of fertility, and had begun to die by the time they reached three, four hundred years old, made her feel somewhat better that they weren’t overpopulating the world, and thus making the job of tracking down rogues even harder. But there were still the few out there whose bodies hadn’t been affected by evolution, and if the legends were true, a rare number who were second generation vampyres: the first to be born after Hades stole Persephone (Demeter’s daughter) and made her Queen of the Underworld, thus enraging Demeter enough to curse Hades’ vampyres with fertility. The ability to have children gradually changed their natures over time. They became less aggressive, more human. Well… in general. Jaeden shuddered at the thought. If there was still a vamp out there from that time, it was probably a feral killer with the survival skills of a god. She pushed the folklore meant to scare small vamps at a campfire out of her mind, and she wandered back to the basement loft she was living in with her head lowered, bumping into some late night revelers once in a while. The closer she grew to the apartment, however, the quieter the city streets became. The sun had risen, and soon those quiet streets would be buzzing with city slickers who had no idea they shared their world, their jobs, and sometimes even their homes, with supernatural beasties such as her. More importantly they had no idea a war was raging, and that if a certain young woman didn’t live up to her prophecy, that war might spill over into their lives.

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