“Marion.” Lucien blew air out between his lips in an attempt to ease the tension gripping his entire body. “Isn’t there something we can do? We have to know what his next step is going to be.”

Marion sighed. “Well, usually I would send Saffron in to spy on the Coven but since they don’t know anything about it that would be pointless.”

“But Ethan obviously has someone working for him.”

“Yes. I imagine just a few that he trusts.” She stood up with a shake of her head, her mouth set in determination. “No. I think our best course of action right now is to get Caia trained.”

“Speaking of which.” Ella smiled nervously. “The school called about an incident between Caia and Alexa in a classroom, and Caia leaving the school grounds.”

Caia groaned. “What did you say?”

“Well, Alexa was smart enough to lie and say she had tripped and well... the teacher didn’t seem to be buying it, but what else can she say?” Her smile was sheepish. “I lied and told them there had been a death in the family and that Caia was just very upset, and that she would be out of school for a few days.”

Lucien nodded, glad he didn’t have to deal with inquisitive humans. Before he could say anything on the matter Ella asked, “Caia, why did you... magikally puff Alexa across the room? She wouldn’t say.”

Did Caia blanch? He frowned watching as she flicked a nervous look at him. “Uh-”

Well this is interesting.


“-I Uh...” she shook her head as she struggled to explain, and finally snapped her head back defiantly. “You know what? I’d rather not say, and given your own little penchant for secrets, I’m sure you don’t mind if I keep my own.”

Damn, that was annoying.

Caia received a phone call from Jaeden shortly after, begging Caia to forgive her for her own part in the deception. But it wasn’t Jaeden she was mad at, neither was it Sebastian or Magnus. Her anger was directed solely at Lucien and the other Elders. As everyone else in the pack had to do what they and Lucien advised, she realized how difficult it must have been for her friends. As she remembered past conversations with them she realized they had even hinted at the truth. Sebastian had almost said it to her on Saturday evening when he had been drunk, but Lucien had intervened at the moment of truth, and then kissed her. Which brought her to the question of why he would do that, but then sleep with Alexa? She concluded that he was trying to a) distract her from Sebastian’s faux pas and b) butter her up and keep her on their side so that she wouldn’t fight against them with the Midnight Coven in the war.

“Do really believe Alexa?” Jaeden asked her softly.

Caia glanced once more at her door. She was paranoid that the pack would be keeping an ever careful eye on her now, to even go so far as to spy on her. An annoying thought suddenly occurred to her. “Saffron?” she asked, her gaze scouring the room. She heard nothing, and felt no one else’s energy.

“What?” Jaeden asked in confusion.

“Oh sorry, not you. And to answer your question, no, I’m not positive that Alexa was telling the truth. But if so, she’s a helluva liar and well... you know how cozy the two of them were in his store and she’s been there every day of the week since.”

“Yeah but, Cy, Alexa is the mistress of lies and manipulation. She could cover the lie easily... I just don’t see Lucien sleeping with her.”

Caia heaved a massive sigh. “I don’t want to believe it either but I’m not exactly going to ask him about it. I’m not really in a talkative mood with the master of lies and manipulation. See, they’re perfect for each other.”

“I don’t believe her.”

Caia groaned and slumped back on her bed. “Well, it doesn’t matter at the moment. Right now I have uncontrolled powers and a prophecy to deal with. The part where my mother murdered my father is getting tucked to the back of my brain for now.”

“You’re compartmentalizing the situation.”

“Is that what you call it?”

“Sure,” Jaeden said with a smile in her voice. “It’s what Sydney does in Alias all the time. Talk about dysfunctional families. Woof.”

“I thought you didn’t watch that much TV?”

“I don’t, but Alias isn’t just any old TV program. It’s Alias.”

“OK. Well, never mind that it’s fictional, Jae, my reality is that my mother killed my dad.”

“Sydney inadvertently killed her mother.”

“I’m a lykan and have to hide within a human world.”

“She’s a spy and has to hide her identity from everyone she loves.”

“I’m prophecy girl.”

“So was she.”

Caia sighed. “OK, again … I actually exist, Jae... I think I win.”

“I guess you do. I was...” Jaeden exhaled noisily, and Caia could feel that she felt helpless for her. “I was just trying to make you feel better in a situation where that can’t possibly happen.”

“The fact that you tried means a lot.”

“I’m here for you, always.”

The sound of the floorboards squeaking outside her room brought her bolt upright. She narrowed her eyes as she felt waves of curiosity, mixed with guilt, filtering through the walls. “I’m going to have to go, Jaeden.”


“What?” She really didn’t want whoever was outside listening to hear something they shouldn’t. She sniffed and Lucien’s scent hit her. He really wanted to piss her off didn’t he?

“I was just wondering what happens now?”

“Training with Marion. You’ll cover for me at school?”

“Of course.”

“OK. I gotta go, Jae. Talk later.”


Caia hung up the phone and tip-toed over to the door. He was still standing outside, she could feel him. With perverse satisfaction she pulled the door open with lightning quick motion. Lucien stood looking at her aghast, his ear turned towards the door. If she hadn’t been so angry at him, the sheepish look on his face would have been comical. “I can feel you, remember,” she snapped.

“Oh. Right.” He straightened to his full six-six and shrugged the sheepishness from his face and demeanor. “I was just making sure you were OK.”

“That’s not really your problem anymore.”

He growled, his face flushing with irritation. “I’m still your Pack Leader, Caia.”

“Do you lie to every member of your pack or am I just special?”

He sighed, running his hand through his thick dark hair. “Caia, I am very sorry. I made an error in judgment but... can’t you understand? After everything this pack has been through, I was just trying to protect them.”

She did understand. It didn’t change the fact that he had hurt her like no one else had before. “I do understand that, Lucien.”

His body seemed to relax, the tension easing from his muscles. “So we’re going to be OK?”

“You and I?”

He moved towards her, taking her by surprise as he cupped her cheek gently with his large callused hand. “Yes. You and I. We can get through this together.”

A silence stretched thinly between them as their gazes locked, and for that moment Caia forgot her anger and could only remember the feel of his lips on hers at the party. As the moment continued to build, Lucien growled from the back of his throat and lowered his head towards her, his silver gaze caught intently on her mouth. She began to tremble with the desire to give into him, her heart beating erratically at his overwhelming closeness. But as his lips were about to touch hers, his warm breath fanning her face, sending shivers over her already confused body, an alarm bell rang inside her head, jerking her back from him.

Lucien frowned, trying to urge her closer, only for her to push his hand off and step back into the safety of her bedroom. “There is no you and I, Lucien.” She gripped the door and began to close it on his face. “Just Pack Leader and Prophecy Girl.”

Caia turned around and braced her back against her closed door, listening as his footsteps slowly moved away. The feelings emanating from him were so raw, her rejection genuinely hurting him deeply. Maybe Jaeden was right. Maybe Alexa had lied to her, and just maybe Lucien wasn’t trying to butter her up. His emotions told her that his caring feelings were real. It didn’t matter. She and Lucien couldn’t be anything, now that she was some freak of nature who could bring total destruction to the pack and to him. No. She was going to train with Marion and then take on her uncle so that the pack would be safe from him. Once she was certain of their safety, she would leave the pack and Lucien. Her heart thundered in her chest at the thought, and she felt sick, a feeling likened to grief wrapping itself around her body.

Caia cursed, hearing the water in her bathroom rush on. “Let’s just work on controlling the freakish powers first, huh, Cy,” she muttered, and made to turn the water off.

“We have a slight problem.”

When did they not? Ethan thought in agitation as he zapped the mutt in its cage, its shriek of pain easing his headache. “Spit it out.”

“They’re training her,” his spy murmured, obviously not wanting him to hear correctly. He could feel his muscles tensing, a warm heat of angry power flushing across his skin from his feet up. A bolt of white heat flew out of him, and an even louder, agonized howl deafened him.

“Damn.” He sighed, and crouched down to peer into the cage. He hoped he hadn’t killed the thing; it was important leverage.

“My lord?”

“Shut up,” Ethan snapped, turning his ear to the cage. He sighed in relief when a whimper escaped the creature. “Oh thank, Gaia.”

“My lord?”

“Stop ‘my lording’ me. We’ll need to take her sooner than we thought, that’s all.”

His assistant hissed, “There’s more.”

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