At 6am he heard the sound of a car approaching, heavy feet on the porch steps, and the front door swinging open. Lucien trudged out to investigate.

There before him was Ryder, his face tight with anxiety, and next to him Marion. She was a small woman with flaming red hair that reached her buttocks. She had the largest pair of violet eyes Lucien had ever seen, and pixie features that gave away her heritage as a magik.

“That was fast,” he said in appreciation.

“It sounded urgent.” Ryder grimaced.

“It’s time.”

“Apparently so,” Marion’s voice was like a wind chime, a tinkling, musical sound so in contrast to a husky lykan’s. Lucien watched in bemusement as she looked around the home, wandering from room to room, and eventually falling into an armchair in the main sitting room. “I can feel her.”

Lucien was unsurprised by her comment, having expected that kind of power from her and from the little he knew of magiks. He turned back to Ryder. “Why were you already on your way back? Seb said you had some news.”

“That would be because of Saffron,” Marion replied instead.

“Saffron?” His face was scrunched in confusion. When no answer was forthcoming he turned to Ryder with a growl curling his lip. He wasn’t in the mood for a mystery. Sleep deprivation and his worry for Caia didn’t exactly bring out his sunny side.

Ryder sighed. “Saffron. She’s Marion’s faerie.”



“She was the one who came for me to tell me about the rogue. Well, she waited until we got back to Marion to tell us she had felt energy in our town.” Ryder’s eyes snapped to Marion in irritation. Lucien could feel an argument brewing between them and managed to refrain from yelling at them to explain to him what was going on. Instead he said it slowly and quietly, with a growl coiled around the last few words, “Would someone please explain to me, in full detail, what the hell is going on?”

Marion’s eyes flashed. “There’s no need to be rude, Lucien.”

He growled again.

“Oh, alright.” She sighed. “Saffron, my faerie,” she now spoke slowly as if to a moron, “She came to get Ryder for me because we’d encountered another pesky rogue lykan, and when she came back with him – after some ill-treatment from your lykan there by the way -” she gestured to his friend with a look of reproof, “she told me that she had sensed the energy of another faerie in town.”

“Another faerie?” The blood drained from Lucien’s face. “As in an enemy faerie?”

Her face was grave now. “Well, the Daylight Coven would know if we had a faerie in town with you.”

“You’re sure this Saffron is right about this?”

“Of course I’m right!” A voice squeaked from behind him. He whirled around but could see no one. He looked at Ryder in confusion, but his friend merely rolled his eyes and shrugged.

“Where are you?” Lucien snarled.

“I’m right here,” the voice answered just as testily. His lykan ears strained, swearing the voice was coming from the window, but he couldn’t see anything.

“Marion,” he growled, warningly.

She sighed again. “Saffron, stop playing games. I’m afraid our young friend is in no mood for it.”

“The window!” The voice cried.

Lucien took tentative steps towards the large window in the sitting room, his eyes straining to see anything.


That time he caught a flicker on the pane and his eyes narrowed on the small face smirking at him. He should have known. The faeries’ face was in fact a spot of sun dapple filtering onto the window through the branches of the surrounding woods. “Goddess,” he muttered, amazed by their abilities and how treacherous they could really be as spies. Turning back to Marion he glared. “Make her appear.”

“They do like to show off, don’t they?” Marion chuckled and then turned to the window. “You heard him, Saffron.”

He heard a weary sigh, and in the matter of a few blinks a tall, willowy blonde stood before him, her hands on her hips, her ice-blue eyes glaring between him and Ryder. “Your kind needs to learn patience.”

Lucien let a warning rumble sound from the back of his throat. “Patience? I think I’ve shown quite a lot of patience considering I’ve just been told there is an enemy in my town and no one will get to the point and tell me exactly what is going on.”

Saffron shrugged gracefully and walked over to stand beside Marion’s chair. “Faeries have an energy like all of us beings-”

“Trace.” Lucien nodded. Everybody knew about trace, it was a part of their energy, their existence.

“Yes. Trace. Only a very, very old faerie can mask their trace. I’m talking half a millennia old, and there are only a few of those old spies kicking around, not to mention that every single one of them works for Daylight.”

Lucien nodded, crossing his arms over his chest. “So this Midnight faerie... it can’t mask its trace, so you sense it here?”


“Yeah,” Ryder growled, slapping at Lucien’s shoulder to get his attention. “The dumb tree sensed it, and didn’t say anything until we were at the Coven with Marion!”

“Am I the tree in that sentence?” Saffron hissed, her eyes narrowing on Ryder dangerously.

“Children, please.” Marion sighed, rubbing her temples at their exchange.

“Yes. Children,” Lucien agreed, smirking at Ryder and turning back to Saffron. “So, can you follow this trace?”

She quirked her lip, shaking her head softly. “Unfortunately, only the Head of either Coven is blessed with that ability.”

His gaze snapped to Marion who was already shaking her head. “Nope, no, Lucien. My sister and brother-in-law are in the middle of their own little mess at the moment. Marita does not have time to come down here, I’m sorry. At times like these you’re lucky to have gotten me and Saffron.”

“Lucky isn’t the word I’d use,” he heard Ryder mumble under his breath.

“Lykans aren’t the only ones with good hearing,” the faerie snapped at him. He smiled innocently, which seemed to annoy her more.

Usually their childish banter would have amused Lucien, but now he was too nervous. Spinning around to face Ryder he let his emotions play on his face, as he only could with his closest friend. “This is about Caia.”

“I tend to agree with you there,” he could hear Marion whisper, and so turned back to her carefully.

“I need your help with Caia, she’s showing the signs.”

“Have you told her the truth yet?”


“Well, I can’t help until you do so.”

He was irritated by the demand in her voice, not used to having his decisions made for him, especially when he’d already decided on that course of action. “I’m going to,” he growled lightly. “But only about The Hunter and her heritage. The other... well... she needn’t know about that just yet.”

“You’re sure?”

He felt his shoulders tense, his teeth clenched. “Yes,” he managed.

“OK then.”

Her eyelids felt as if a pile of lead had been piled on top of them, refusing to let them open. Come to think of it, her face felt pretty heavy, too. Slowly, Caia managed to open her eyes, the sleep easing from them until she had focused on the ceiling. Ugh, what a weird, deep sleep she’d had. She felt her right arm lying across her stomach, but her left one, she couldn’t. Groaning, Caia turned and used her right arm to pull it out from under her pillow. Numb. She used her right hand to shake her left into waking, until gradually she was moving each finger. Flexing it, she sighed as the sharp burning tingles brought it back to life. Flopping back onto her pillow, Caia’s gaze found its way back to the ceiling, her mind assailed with images. Her fingers unconsciously brushed her lips as she remembered Lucien’s kiss. It had been a great kiss. Her first kiss. At the mere memory, an eruption of butterflies exploded in her stomach, their little wings flapping rapidly against her heart, and kicking it into an erratic speed. And then memories of the day before intruded, obliterating each and every one of those butterflies with the force of a shotgun.

Alexa taunting her about having slept with Lucien.

Caia cursed them both, groaning at having stupidly fallen for Lucien’s easy charm. And that hadn’t been the worst of it. Her heart sped up again, remembering how she’d had no control over her change at school, at Sebastian having saved her ass and the pack’s, from exposure. She felt a wave of sickness. Climbing out of bed, she dozily made it into her bathroom and breathed with relief when the nausea passed. She braced herself against the sink and stared deeply into the mirror above it, hoping to find answers to the questions she saw in her eyes. But none were forthcoming. Instead she ran the cold water and, cupping a handful of it, threw it up and into her face, enjoying the icy rivulets running down her skin. And then an invisible hammer hit her head as she glanced back at the mirror, the conversation she heard between Sebastian and Lucien yesterday when she’d been changing in his car, rang in her ears.

Her eyes flashed and she growled, wanting to rip the sink off the wall.

They knew!

She tore out of the bathroom, hurriedly pulling on a pair of jeans, and then tore down the stairs as if the hounds of Hades were nipping at her ankles. Her bluster, however, slowly died at the sound of voices coming from the living room, bringing her to an abrupt halt. She sniffed the air and found the familiar scents of her housemates, plus Magnus, Dimitri and Ryder. Among the scents were two unfamiliar ones – of the non-lykan variety. She grumbled, realizing she couldn’t exactly rip Lucien’s head off in company. Oh, but he had it coming.

Sighing heavily, she finished her journey to the doorway of the living room, only to be taken aback by the sight of all them. They were all turned towards her, as if waiting for her. Her eyes immediately went to Lucien and she was angered by the tenderness she saw in his face. She flushed as she remembered the hot kisses they had shared, and how Alexa’s taunt had sent Caia into a blazing rage, enough of one to have been able to what... throw Alexa telekinetically across the room? Frowning at him, and at her own anxious thoughts, she took in the rest of the group. Ryder stood beside Lucien, and on his other side were two unfamiliar women. The first was a small woman with long red hair and wide violet eyes. She was attractive and very delicate, like a doll, and Caia guessed, by the way she held herself, older than she looked. The scent Caia picked up from her, surprisingly, was a strong vanilla, so strong she could almost taste it. And next to this woman was the most stunning creature Caia had ever seen. The woman was tall, only a few inches shorter than Ryder, with a slender figure and graceful limbs. Her perfect face was framed by short, sharp blonde hair that followed her jaw line in strands of thick silk. Her ice blue eyes were watching Caia curiously.

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