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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 3)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(3) by Samantha Young
  • His girlfriend, a Warrior of Neith called Romany, had killed Stellan. She knew now that Romany and Noah had split up. Valeria had cracked a joke about it on the plane just before they landed. An awkward ten minutes had followed as she realised mentioning Romany in any capacity was a bad idea. “I want vengeance.”

    “Will you take that vengeance?”

    Somehow, she knew this ancient warrior would know if she lied. Holding his gaze determinedly, the hunger mistook her meaning, roaring in triumph as she replied, “If I ever see her again, I will kill her.”

    Darius nodded. His complete lack of expression was frustrating as all hell. Still trembling, Eden waited, aware of some kind of deliberation going on inside his head.

    “Noah.” Darius didn't break eye contact with her. “Please take Eden out to the car. Cyrus and Valeria will join you soon.”

    “Of course. It was a pleasure seeing you again, Darius.”

    “And you as well.”

    Completely dazed by her abrupt dismissal, Eden numbly followed Noah out of the motel room and down the corridor. She was so out of it, the proprietary touch of his hand on her back, leading her into the elevator, barely made a blip on her radar.

    It wasn't until they were outside at the cars, drawing in the cool fresh air, that Noah stopped them.

    He pressed her back against the car, holding her gaze, trying to nudge her out of her mind melt.

    “Eden.”

    She shook her head. “Go away.”

    “Look, I know you don't want me to talk to you ever again, blah de blah blah blah,” he snapped,

    “but let me at least put you at ease.” She found it highly doubtful he could ever do that and she made sure her expression said so. “The questions about Stellan…” he trailed off as she stiffened. He exhaled and turned, leaning against the car, the side of his body pressed against hers. “It wasn't about judging you. It was about determining the depth of your human emotions even with your soul eater half intact.”

    Noah's words relaxed her a little. “You mean it was a good thing?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Oh.”

    He nudged her again and she felt him grin. “But you know what? It wouldn't have mattered anyway what he thought. Cyrus is doing this with or without Darius' approval.”

    “I find that hard to believe.”

    “Don't.”

    “But I thought Darius was Cyrus' superior?”

    “He's older than him. And he's stronger. A lot stronger. But they're friends, not master and subordinate.”

    “Oh.”

    They were quiet a moment as a car pulled in next to them and a couple got out. Eden's ears rang with their musical accents, some words she totally understood, others well… But it wasn't the accent that got her. It was the strength of her need for their souls. The further they drew away from them, the hunger lessened. Eden swore under her breath.

    “What?” Noah frowned, worry creasing his brows.

    She scowled at his concern. “Darius woke up the beast. Do you think it's safe to take another dose?”

    Noah shrugged. “I suppose not.”

    “What the hell is he anyway?” she griped. “I mean that energy… Jesus Christ, I've never felt anything like that in my life before.” When he smirked, she exhaled wearily. “OK, just tell me, ‘cause I'm sick of the whole cloak and dagger crap.”

    “Fine.” Noah grabbed her arm and opened the passenger side door of Cyrus' car. “Get in.”

    “Why?”

    “Privacy.”

    Not really wanting anything that amounted to privacy with Noah but too damn curious for her own good, Eden did as she was told. She waited impatiently for Noah to get into the car and then turned to him in exasperation. “Well?”

    “Well,” he began, “Darius is kind of different from us.”

    “Like how?”

    He smirked again. That smirk was really starting to drive her crazy. “There are some people who believe what I'm about to tell you is a legend. Others even believe Darius is dead because he's like a ghost among us...”

    “And the truth?”

    “What they believe is legend is actually true.”

    “And what is that exactly, Mr ‘Don't I know how to drag out a conversation with an unwilling participant'?”

    Ignoring her, Noah looked out of the window and up at the travel inn as if searching out the window of the room Darius occupied. “No one knows just how old Darius is exactly. What we do know is that he was the first of us and because of it very, very favoured among the gods.” His words quite literally carried weight, crushing in on the car and eating up oxygen. That strange and abrupt change in atmosphere convinced Eden that what Noah was telling her was the truth. “Did you see the tattoo on Darius' wrist?”

    “Yeah.”

    “That's a wedjat. The Eye of Horus. Horus thinks of Darius as a brother in arms-”

    “Wait, who is Horus again?” She tried not blush at her total lack of Egyptian mythology (or not so mythological) knowledge.

    Noah frowned at her. “Horus is the god of the sky. He's also the god of war and the son of Isis and Osiris.”

    “Oh, Osiris is the god of the dead right?”

    He didn't look nearly as impressed with her knowledge as she felt. “Right. And Isis is the goddess of life, protector of the dead... She's… like Mother Nature.”

    “OK.”

    “All three of them favour Darius.”

    Eden's eyes widened. “All three of them?”

    “Yes.” Noah looked just as awed as she was feeling. “I don't know exactly what that means but I've heard things.”

    “What kind of things?”

    He shrugged. “Words such as ‘god-like' have been thrown about.” Her jaw dropped. “Darius is a god?!”

    “I said god-like. God-like. Not a god. But let's just say I wouldn't want to piss him off.” Shimmying in her seat, Eden followed Noah's gaze out of the window and upwards. “Why, if he's so totally powerful - and believe me, after what I experienced in there, I am not questioning that – is he not Princeps?”

    Noah grabbed the door handle, his eyes going to the entrance of the travel inn. “He's kind of a recluse. Doesn't like the politics. He just wants to kill soul eaters.” Eden turned around and saw Cyrus and Valeria walking towards them. Noah slid out of the driver's seat but before he shut the door Eden called out to him.

    “What?” He ducked his head back in.

    Keeping her expression blank and her tone cold, she said, “This conversation doesn't constitute friendship, Noah. I still hate you.”

    His own pale eyes flashed. “Yeah, like I ever believed otherwise.” He slammed the door hard and she heard Valeria admonishing him. Cyrus, as per usual, calmly told Valeria to back off.

    He was always taking Noah's side!

    Cyrus got into the car just in time to hear her grumbling under her breath like a six year old. “Why are you sullen? That went well.”

    “It did? Gee, how did I ever interpret it differently?”

    Her guardian rolled his eyes and drew on his seatbelt. “Sarcasm is unattractive.”

    “So are ambush tactics on unsuspecting victims,” she argued.

    “You were not ambushed. You were assessed.”

    Eden snorted. “Well did I meet his highness' exacting standards?”

    “Eden,” Cyrus warned, stretching his arm across the back of her seat as he twisted his neck around to see out the back window as he reversed out of the parking space. The move also served to make her feel crowded and intimidated. “I will only put up with so much. Darius is a friend and someone to be respected and yes… feared. Do not speak of him in such a disrespectful manner.” Feeling somewhat cowed by his rational and calm tone Eden glanced away from him. “Sorry.”

    “Apology accepted. And yes. You met Darius' approval. Not that you needed it.” She looked back up at him, trying to keep the hopeful look out of her eyes and failing. He smiled softly at her and for the first time ever she felt the presence of a father figure who might actually really care.

    The hunger growled in her chest. You can't trust him, Eden. He's one of them.

    She winced and drew in a shuddering breath. “I think I need another dose of the drug.” Cyrus leaned over her and flipped open the compartment in the dashboard in front of her. Inside was the familiar syringe and vial. “I thought you might.” Somehow… that made her feel a little better.

    Chapter Two

    Cousin Fortieth Removed

    Edinburgh was a hustle and bustle city. But, Eden decided, it was definitely one of a kind. Beyond the constant flow of traffic and a road system she couldn't get her head around, and beyond the colourful people and bohemian chic students, was a fairytale world from ancient times, smacked down in the centre of everything. It was kind of epic.

    Cyrus, who had been to Edinburgh more times than he could count, pointed everything out like a seasoned tour guide and Eden drank it all in, excited and amazed. They drove onto Princes Street, which Cyrus told her was really famous for its stores. The castle was at the other end on the west side. Eden was desperate to see it. But because of the road system, Cyrus turned left at the famous Balmoral hotel, an exquisite Victorian building with a gothic clock tower.

    “The Balmoral Hotel was once called The North British Hotel built for North British Railway.

    Traditionally, the clock is set two minutes fast, so that travellers make their train on time at the Waverley train station below us.”

    “Cool.” Eden smiled, as they drove over a long bridge. “Whoa.” Her eyes widened as she gazed to her left. “Do the Greeks know Scotland stole stuff?”

    Cyrus smiled. “Calton Hill. That is the National Monument, built as a memorial to those who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. It is modelled on the Parthenon but they ran out of money when they started building back in the late nineteenth century, and still it remains incomplete.”

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