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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 2)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(2) by Samantha Young
  • “Who was that?”

    “That… was Darius.”

    “Darius? Who's-” Eden's mouth formed a little ‘o'. “Darius. As in the oldest of the Ankh, Darius?”

    “Yes.”

    “Is everything OK?”

    Cyrus smiled a little. “Yes. My old friend just likes to surprise me. I told him where we were going and he has decided to drop in for a visit.”

    “He's going to be in Edinburgh when we get there?”

    Her guardian's eyes darkened. “Darius prefers a solitary existence. If other warriors were to know of his location he would be swamped with visitors. No. He is meeting us in a travel motel.” Cyrus leaned forward now and began punching in new coordinates on the annoying sat nav. “It will be a brief visit. He just wants to meet you.”

    This Darius sounded like the ultimate enigma. He'd been through this situation with one of the Unforeseen before. Twice in fact. He was actually older than Cyrus. If Cyrus was intimidating she couldn't imagine what this guy was like! Her heart began to thump a little harder and faster in her chest. “Why?”

    “I should think that obvious.”

    “Not really.”

    “You are one of the Unforeseen and very important to me.” The warmth in his eyes felt like a cosy blanket tucking her in tight, safe and content. She fought the feeling, still doubting despite everything, the trustworthiness of the Ankh. “Whatever else he might be, Darius is a friend. He just wants to…”

    Eden curled a lip as sudden realisation dawned. “Inspect me.”

    “Well-”

    “Yeah, yeah. He wants to check I'm not going to turn on you or whatever. I get it. What I don't get is how he could possibly know better than you.”

    Cyrus sighed. “Eden, some may say my judgement is impaired by my connection to you. I do not agree, but Darius would like to see for himself. He understands. He is very close to Valeria.

    Moreover, Darius is old. Very old.”

    “What exactly does that mean?”

    He gave her no reply, just smiled a frustratingly mysterious smile and flipped open his cell again.

    He pressed a speed dial button and the other person picked up immediately. “Valeria, change of plans. Put these coordinates into the Tom Tom.” He rhymed off the destination. “We are meeting Darius.”

    They pulled into the travel inn about thirty minutes later. Eden already had this nervous riot going on in her stomach and her right leg seemed to be bouncing up and down of its own accord. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had cold sweats.

    Valeria and Noah pulled up beside them, Val coming to her side as soon as she got out of the car.

    “Everything will be fine, Eden. No need to look so worried.” Eden barely registered the bright excitement in Val's eyes as she nodded at her mentor before turning to Noah. He locked Eden in with his calm violet gaze and his reassurance made her feel a little better. It was only as they turned to follow Cyrus, Eden realised what she'd done. These past few weeks she'd been pretty good at hating Noah, but clearly turning to him in time of need was an old, subconscious habit she'd have to break.

    Cyrus drew them to the reception and over to the elevator. Inside, the four of them stood in a tense silence, only really made tense by Eden's obvious uneasiness. She felt Cyrus squeeze her shoulder as they sidled out of the elevator. Calling herself all kinds of wuss, Eden threw her shoulders back and followed the Ankh determinedly down the hall. Feeling Noah's knowing smile on her, she slowly turned to glare at him, which only made his grin grow wider. Huffing at him, Eden almost missed the charge of electricity that shot through her body. The further down the corridor they travelled, however, the hotter and deeper the vibration became, thrumming through her whole system. She knew it wasn't normal.

    “What's going on?” She drew to an abrupt halt, staring at the three of them, trying to mask her sudden fear.

    Cyrus nodded. “That would be Darius you are feeling.”

    What the…?

    With no more explanation (not that that had really been one) Cyrus finally came to a stop outside one of the rooms. He knocked on the door, two slow raps and then three short raps. The latch on the door popped but the door itself didn't swing open. It was kind of creepy. And Eden knew a lot about creepy. Bracing herself against the abnormal amount of energy radiating from the room, Eden followed her companions into it. Cyrus shut the door behind him and Eden watched as he then crossed the room to shake hands with its sole occupant. He wasn't what Eden had been expecting. He wasn't as tall as Cyrus, nor Noah. At about 5“10 he should have appeared short next to them. But he didn't. He was a compact man, muscular and powerful looking. What was most striking was the way he moved; his gestures were animalistic and controlled. He was the epitome of strength and grace, and the sheer force of the energy that emanated from him was un-freaking-believable.

    As the man shook hands with Noah and then hugged Valeria close, Eden's pulse pounded harder and harder as the monster within whined in irritation. From Darius there was no sense of soul.

    Well… not exactly. There was something. Something molten and formidable… not pure… but sparkling with such crystal clarity it was hypnotising. And yet… she did not hunger for whatever it was, which made her question its very property as a soul.

    “This must be Eden.”

    Eyes narrowed, Eden watched as the man approached slowly.

    “Eden.” Cyrus strolled over to them as they eyed one another. “This is Darius.” Minding her manners, Eden stuck out a hand. “Pleased to meet you, sir.” Darius' full mouth quirked up at the corner and his black eyes sought Cyrus. Those eyes gave nothing away, almost as blank as that of a soul eater. He took her hand and Eden was almost blown off her feet by his power.

    “What the-”

    “Eden,” Cyrus interjected before she could say anything that would be construed as rude. “Darius wanted to meet with you before the change.”

    “I see.” I really don't.

    “Come,” Darius commanded in his deep voice, gesturing to the dining table at the window that overlooked the freeway - or motorway, as the Brits called it. “Let's sit.” As Eden took a seat, ignoring the heat of Noah's body so close to hers as he sat in the chair beside her, she studied Darius. Like Cyrus he only appeared to be in his early thirties but Eden didn't think he was as handsome as Cyrus. There was something too austere about his hawk-like features to label him handsome… but his dark skin and eyes were just as exotic. And Eden had to admit Darius' was a face you felt compelled to stare at.

    “I hear you have had a difficult time, Eden,” he began.

    She shrugged but cleared her throat when Noah elbowed her, reminding her who she was speaking to. “Uh, yeah, I guess.”

    “You lost your family. Your brother.”

    At the mere mention of Stellan Eden went cold inside. “Yes,” she managed through clenched teeth, narrowing her eyes. Suddenly she didn't care who this guy was.

    Darius' expression didn't change. He shifted forward, leaning over the table towards her. Eden's eyes flickered down at the movement and caught on the tattoo on the inside of his wrist. The design was a stylised eye that seemed familiar to her. She sifted through her memories trying to place the design. A recollection from when she was little, of Stellan sitting next to her on her bed flicking through pages of a book on Egyptian mythology, flashed across her mind. The eye throbbed black in the memory. That tattoo was definitely Egyptian.

    “Stellan.”

    Eden flinched at the name and looked back up into Darius' face.

    “That was your brother's name, was it not?”

    “Yes.”

    “Do you miss him?”

    Heart pounding like crazy now, Eden's rage fought the effects of the drug Cyrus had given her, waking up her hunger. Noah's soul, the one that had always tormented her most, reached out to her with warm fingers.

    Take it, Eden. Take it. Take it for Stellan.

    No,  she shook her head, curling her toes inside her boots. She shoved back from the table, away from Noah and the others and glared at this man who seemed to be deliberately baiting her. “What kind of question is that?” she snapped.

    “Eden,” Cyrus warned.

    She glared at him, her eyes saying, ‘I knew it. I knew you weren't to be trusted.' “What is this?” She eyed them all suspiciously.

    “Eden.” Noah reached for her, as if to calm her, and she slapped his arm away, jerking to her feet.

    “Just answer the question,” Darius' voice rumbled through her. Just as she imagined compulsion must work, Eden knew she'd answer.

    “Yes,” she hissed. “I miss him.”

    “How much?”

    “What-”

    “Answer.”

    Trembling now, feeling ambushed, Eden felt angry tears prick her eyes.

    Want their souls.  The Hunger purred. Want. Take. It roared now in fury. TAKE!

    Shuddering at the need inside her, a need that hadn't been so strong since she'd begun taking the drug, Eden dropped her eyes and bit her hands into the edge of the table. She could feel their gazes burning into her. She knew her eyes had bled white; they knew her hunger was trying to take control of her.

    “It's like someone has cut off my arm,” she snarled in a voice that was barely recognisable. “I keep expecting him to bound through the door, or send me a funny text. I dream he's still alive. And when I wake up, the agony is... The days when I feel numb are better. Hard. And numb. I can live with that.”

    They were all quiet. That hushed kind of quiet. It was the first time she'd ever vocalised the depth of her despair over losing Stellan. She knew they didn't understand. How could she possibly love a soul eater? Was this Darius' test? Had he decided her love for her brother made her unworthy?”

    “Do you want vengeance for his death?”

    “Yes!” she snapped, her eyes burning now. She glanced down at Noah who refused to look away.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire