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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 6)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(6) by Samantha Young
  • “Yes.”

    The door shut quietly and Cyrus slid down it to sit on the floor, his eyes on Mhairi and Eden as he relaxed against the door.

    “Well, is someone going to stick that needle in me before my arse falls asleep?” Mhairi grunted.

    Cyrus sighed. “Definitely Merrit's family.”

    Eden grinned at that, suddenly feeling a sharp pang of longing for the mother she had never known. If she were anything like Mhairi she must have been quite the character.

    It took a few minutes for Valeria to draw the pint of blood from the older woman. Once she was done, she wiped at the needle puncture gently and helped Mhairi rest against the bath, handing her some sweet lemonade.

    Eden eyed the bag of blood and her stomach turned.

    Oh god, I can't do this. I can't do this.

    Don't!  The hunger growled . Don't. Just smell that soul. So much better than the blood. Take.

    Want. Need.

    One of Mhairi's eyes popped open. “I can get up and leave if you don't want me watching your transition.”

    Mhairi was looking a little pale and shaky. It would be selfish to ask her to leave. “No, it's fine.

    It's not so much you watching, it's the actual… transition.” The four of them were silent as Eden's eyes bored into the bag. Her legs began to grow numb, so she shifted, her palm taking her weight on the tiles. She slanted her gaze, staring at Cyrus out of the corner of her eye. “How does this work again?”

    “Valeria will give you the transfusion. You will convulse. You will pass out. You will awaken in approximately twenty four hours completely free of the soul eater.” That, she liked the sound of. The transfusion and convulsing part, not so much. Eden looked to Valeria now for answers. She couldn't ask her outright if it would hurt or not because Mhairi couldn't know what Valeria was. Damn it, why didn't I ask her this sooner??  She cleared her throat. “I wonder if it'll hurt.”

    The Ankh immediately understood and nodded. “I imagine it will.” Valeria exhaled and leaned back against the bath beside Mhairi, her eyes pleading with Eden not to be afraid. “I imagine that changing the mechanics of your body will be painful. Perhaps a burning sensation. Muscle pain.

    Sharp, needle-like qualities in your bones. I imagine also your heart will feel as if it is going to burst out of your chest as it pumps the new blood into your system.”

    “Good imagination,” Mhairi mumbled. “Are you trying to frighten the girl?”

    “I am trying to prepare her.”

    Everything Val had described sounded awful. But hadn't she been through much worse? Was the physical pain really as bad as the emotional crap she had been through? As bad as the hunger??

    Somehow, I don't think so.

    “OK.” Eden shrugged back her shoulders and stuck out an arm. “Let's do this.”

    *

    The prick of the needle had been nothing. A sting. The sitting, waiting for the convulsions had been somewhat excruciating.

    But this…

    The actual convulsions…

    Eden wasn't even aware of where she was anymore. She didn't know what she was doing, how she'd gotten there, who the murmuring voices around her belonged to. All she saw was pure blinding white. All she felt was pure, burning pain. A white heat. Ice cold in its intensity. It ripped and clawed and gripped her muscles, twisting this way and that. It gnawed, scratched and stuck needles into her bones. It taunted her heart, which raced faster and harder, galloping against her chest as if desperate to be anywhere but inside her.

    I'm desperate to be anywhere but inside me.

    Pain thudded, thud thud thud, against the back of her head and her teeth rattled in her mouth. She couldn't even scream. She could only exist as her body took over and…

    … died…

    Chapter Four

    The Dead Look

    Noah stared at Eden in disbelief. There was a sick churning in his stomach and tightness in his chest that he refused to believe was panic. Trying not to tremble, Noah dropped Eden's limp wrist.

    Her pulseless limp wrist.

    Staggering back from the bed he attempted to drag his eyes from the sight of her deathly pale face.

    It no longer looked human. There was no expression in her features. No life.

    Feeling an overwhelming rush of anger Noah whirled around to glare at Valeria, even though Cyrus stood right next to her. They were alone in October's bedroom. The walls were painted a ridiculous lemon yellow, the mass of it broken up with delicate paintings of flowers that had been stencilled to simulate a border along the walls. Plastering the walls were posters of rock bands and vampires, and (Noah had barely refrained from rolling his eyes when he first saw them) fan pics of Robert Pattinson, the poster child for vampire romanticism. When Noah had first seen the room he'd thought it funny that the owner, with all her attitude and warrior blood, was a fan of supernatural lore.

    You'd think living it would be enough to cure you of any fascination or need for paranormal escapism.

    But right now his unease wasn't over the nauseatingly girly bedroom. It was brought on by the truth that had been withheld from him.

    Eden was dead.

    “Why the hell didn't you tell me she was going to die?!” he seethed, careful to keep his anger directed at Valeria and not his Princeps.

    Cyrus answered anyway and in that infuriatingly calm way of his. “We did not want to upset Eden and frighten her. We know she is coming back from this but she might not have trusted us. And you… you are too close. You would have fought us on this and made the situation worse.” Noah's blood boiled, his lungs working overtime to unknot the tension in his chest. “Of course I would have. If she doesn't come back from this…” he trailed off, unable to even think of a world without Eden in it. Even when she was being pissy and angry at him, it was OK. As long as he knew she was alright, he could handle the pissy, furious Eden. Because as long as she was alright there was always hope that one day she'd forgive him and they would be able to start over again. “What if she doesn't come back from this?”

    Cyrus looked somewhat sympathetic. Valeria, on the other hand, showed her age. She had no patience for being questioned, especially by someone much younger. In fact, most of The Circle were impatient when questioned. They had amazing patience when it came to everything else but every single one of them was a know-it-all. Mix that up with centuries of dealing with people and emotions, they were somewhat… desensitized. Yeah, that was it. The Circle definitely weren't the most sensitive Ankh. Cyrus was different, as was Noah's own parents. Noah's dad said Cyrus changed centuries ago when he met Merrit. She softened him, made him remember how to be human again.

    They'd loved one another for almost an entire millennium. It was rare for Ankh to find an immortal beloved as Noah's parents had and he couldn't even comprehend how devastating it was for Cyrus to lose Merrit. That's why he understood Cyrus' tight hold on what was left of her.

    Eden.

    He understood that all too well. Eden had a way of crawling inside; even demolishing the defences of a young Ankh who swore he had no time for friends or a relationship other than the one he had with his parents.

    Noah dropped his head, drawing in a deep breath, hating the sense of emptiness he felt from behind him on the queen-sized bed.

    “I think I would know if this will work or not, Noah Valois,” Valeria snapped, crossing her arms over her chest. “I was Unforeseen. I did die. I did come back Ankh. Trust me. And if not me, then your Princeps.”

    “The process is a rebirth, Noah,” Cyrus tried to explain. “She has to die in order to kill the soul eater inside. The Neith blood keeps the Ankh on the precipice between life and death, until it works its way into her entire system, and finally into her heart. She will be in a lot of pain when her heart starts again. We must watch over her vigilantly until she awakens.” At that precise moment Noah's cell buzzed in his pocket. Sighing, he reached in and flipped it open.

    You haven't called. Did you get there safely? Call me immediately. Mom x If he called his mother she'd have him on the phone for ages and he didn't have the time right now. His fingers flew over the buttons.

    We got here safely. Can't talk right now. Eden needs me. N

    After pressing send he shut the cell off. His parents would have to wait. They were the most important people in his life… but Eden had joined those ranks. And right now, even if she didn't want him there, he was putting her first.

    Noah dragged October's computer chair over to the bedside and pressed his fingers to Eden's cold, dead hand. A shudder of fear ran through him and he refused to look up at his superiors in case they saw the emotion the Ankh tried desperately to hide from one another.

    “Noah, I will sit with her,” Valeria said, taking a few steps towards him.

    He shook his head. “No, it's fine.”

    “I am not asking-” she was cut off as Cyrus wrapped a hand around her upper arm, drawing her back.

    “Leave him,” he instructed softly.

    Chancing discovery, Noah met his Princeps eyes.

    Cyrus knew.

    A deep sigh opened up inside him and he felt his cheeks flush even though he knew they remained the exact same colour on the outside. There may be no visible sign of embarrassment on his face but he was  embarrassed. He felt like an eighteen year old boy who'd just been caught declaring mushy love to a girl in front of his hero, the coolest guy at school.

    Cyrus didn't look disapproving, however. He was calm. Understanding. He drew Valeria away and out of the room, closing the door softly behind them, leaving Noah and Eden alone.

    Noah's eyes wandered over her face. He cursed under his breath. He couldn't wait for the change to happen. Seeing her like this…

    That pang sliced through his chest again.

    It occurred to him as he sat there watching and waiting for signs of life, that Cyrus had left Noah alone with the one thing the Princeps held most precious. And he knew how Noah felt about her.

    He gave a huff of morbid laughter and sat back.

    Cyrus of Persepolis liked and respected him.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire