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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 9)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(9) by Samantha Young
  • “Have some black pudding.” Mhairi nudged her with her elbow, pointing at the weird black patty thing. “It's awfae good.”

    Eden wrinkled her nose. “What is it?”

    “It's-”

    “Och don't tell her, Nana.” October grimaced. “You should have waited for her to eat it before you told her.”

    Glowering at the girl, Eden sat back in her chair. “I'm guessing it's gross then.” Taking a bite of it, Noah shook his head. He swallowed. “Actually it's quite nice.”

    “Yeah but what is it?”

    “Pork blood, fats, oats, barley, some spices….”

    Her gag reflex immediately kicked in and she shook her head. “I've had enough blood for this week thank you very much.”

    Mhairi nudged her again. “Good one.”

    Eden eyed her in amusement. It was hard to believe the Neith was in her eighties. She seemed more a mischievous teenager than someone on social security.

    “It's not as disgusting as it sounds,” October assured her and as soon as she caught Eden's gaze her fork clattered to her plate. “Your eyes are a totally different colour… what the hell?”

    “The transition,” Valeria explained succinctly, taking a sip of coffee.

    Eden eyed the beverage. “Can I have some?”

    “Of course.” Alison stood up to lean over the table for the pot of coffee. “Milk or sugar? Both?”

    “Black, no sugar, thank you.”

    “There's a surprise.” October smirked.

    Eden narrowed her eyes on her. “What does that mean?”

    She flicked her fork over Eden's attire. “Have you heard of colour?”

    “So sue me, I like black.”

    “It's a little cliché don't you think? I mean when you had the creepy, staring soul eater eyes, the whole thing worked for you. But now you're actually a person you might consider introducing some colour into your wardrobe.”

    “And I would take advice from an R-Patz fan because…?”

    “Hey, don't knock the Rob.” October flicked the fork at her again, her tip-tilted eyes narrowing in teenage outrage. “He's a good actor, completely underappreciated for his talent because of Twi-Haters.”

    “Oh yeah, I'm sure that's why there are a dozen posters of him on your wall… ‘cause he's a good actor. Riiight.”

    At Alison's muffled laugh, October flashed her mother a venomous look before turning back on Eden. “That's the thanks I get for letting you sleep in my room? I've had to share with Nana for the past two nights, and she's a cover-hogger, and if you hadn't noticed it's still bloody freezing at night h-”

    “Tobe,” her father interrupted, shaking his head. “Watch your language.” Eden watched October roll her eyes and slump back in her chair. She found herself smiling. For some reason she decided she liked this girl. She didn't know if it was bluntness, the accent or the eye-rolling, but October charmed her somehow. “You're right,” she offered apologetically. “Sorry. I really appreciate you letting me crash in your room. I appreciate all of your hospitality.”

    “You're very welcome.” Christopher nodded congenially.

    A comfortable silence descended upon the room as they dug into their breakfast. Eden studied them all as she chowed down on Alison's delicious food, reaching for a pancake and some syrup once she'd eaten her eggs and bacon. Wow, she was hungry. And food tasted so much better now. It was like all her senses were at full awareness since the soul eater inside her had disappeared, taking with it the overwhelming ‘hunger'.

    This was nice.

    Eden frowned. Too nice.

    The Douglas' were way too comfortable with her. Maybe it was her good old-fashioned paranoia (that was supposed to be gone) but shouldn't they be at least a little freaked out by her?? Councilman McLeish certainly had been. The longer they ate in this weird, peaceful silence, the more it started to bug her. She paused when Noah caught her eye from across the table. His features were smooth but his eyes seemed to be laughing at her, like he knew exactly what she was thinking.

    God damn it, I'm beginning to think the son-of-a-bitch is a mind reader.

    “OK.” She exhaled heavily, her fork clattering to her plate as she sat back in the dining room chair. Everyone stopped eating and she felt Cyrus tense beside her.

    “Is everything alright?” her guardian asked quietly.

    “No.” Eden shook her head, eyeing the Douglas' one by one. “You guys are acting way too cool about me being here, about the fact that I exist. I'm not stupid. I know the other Neith from the other day were weirded out by me… well… except Councilman McLeish's sister and nephew. But everyone else is not OK with me being here. So… what's with you guys?” October snorted. “And I thought I was blunt.”

    “It's good to see some things haven't changed,” Noah added.

    Bite me, Eden sniped back at him with her eyes.

    “Well…” Christopher shifted uncomfortably and looked at Cyrus. “I don't mind, Princeps.” Cyrus nodded. “Alright.” He turned to Eden now, twisting in his chair to face her. “There is a reason for the Douglas' attitude, Eden.”

    Eden felt totally confused, wondering why October had suddenly grown quiet and was looking at her plate unsurely. Eden had only known the girl a couple of days but that didn't look like an expression that applied to her very much. “OK… you know if me knowing is making anyone uncomfortable you can just forget I mentioned anything.”

    She caught Noah looking at her sharply from the corner of her eye. She shrugged inwardly. So her attitude was uncharacteristic… she was just feeling a little less selfish these days.

    “Nah, it's cool.” October shook her head. “You can tell her, Princeps.” Eden raised an eyebrow at October's weary sigh and turned expectantly to her guardian. “Tell me what?”

    “There are many things about the world you have been born to that you are unaware of, Eden.

    Things that I will teach you over the coming months. One of them is that there are Neith born with extra abilities. It is rare but it does happen.”

    “Abilities?”

    “Abilities that vary. For instance, Christopher was born with a heightened sense of intuition.” Whoa, OK. That sounded a little X-Men… heightened sense of intuition… Her jaw dropped. “You mean he's psychic?”

    Christopher cleared his throat. “Not exactly. Well… yes… but not in the way you imagine. I sense things about people.”

    “Well that's nice and vague, now I really believe you're a psychic.” Mhairi choked on her tea and wiped at her chin with a napkin. “Oh I like this girl, can we keep her?”

    Eden grinned at her and they shared a look that warmed Eden down to her very toes.

    October wasn't laughing. She was glaring at Eden defiantly. “Hey, my dad's the real deal. OK. He sensed you weren't an evil soul-sucking fiend the minute he met you. I sensed you were a pain in the arse but you don't need to be a psychic to work that one out.” Eden laughed at that, cutting off Alison's reprimand. At the sound of Eden's laughter the tension seemed to melt from October and her shoulders relaxed. She eyed Eden with a wary half smile.

    “What Tobe meant was that I sensed the sincerity of your situation and I sense you are indeed one of the Ankh,” Christopher explained. “I've confirmed this with Councilman McLeish. However, my abilities are not something we broadcast. The Councilman knows of it and so do Cyrus and Valeria and now you. But my abilities could make my family and I targets so I appreciate if you keep this to yourself.”

    Eden knew all about being a target. “Of course. Your secret is safe with me.” Christopher nodded gratefully. “And as I say, I've advised Councilman McLeish. You should find your next meeting with him a bit pleasanter, I imagine.”

    Eden wasn't so sure about that. There was something about McLeish. He had that look in his eye the Neith that had attacked her in Salton and Detroit had. They were horrified by her existence.

    McLeish was horrified by her existence. Pushing the unsettling thought to the back of her mind, Eden took a sip of coffee as she tried to project an aura of calm. “OK. So you're psychic. So what else?

    Are there Neith who can read minds and set fire to stuff?” She had been joking but when they all glanced at one another silently, her lips parted in surprise. “You're kidding right?” Cyrus shrugged. “I told you there are Neith out there with particular abilities. However, they are extremely rare.”

    Holy moly. She slumped back against her chair thinking about it. What if Neith with those kinds of abilities came after her? Would she be able to handle them? As she worried about it, her gaze got caught in Noah's again and she glowered at him. “Did you know about this?” He covered his surprise at her attack by shrugging carelessly. It was as if he was deliberately trying to annoy her! “Chris? No. Neith. Yes.”

    “And you didn't tell me?”

    He rolled his eyes. “When could I have told you? The day you weren't speaking to me, or the day after when you still weren't speaking to me?”

    Ugh he was such a pain in the-

    Just a complete and utter ass with-

    Infuriating, irritating, treacherous-

    “OK.” October watched her wide-eyed. “I was wrong. That eye colour is working for you… if you could drown and suffocate him with that look I think you would.”

    “Eden.” Cyrus sighed. “This is not Noah's fault. I told you we would discuss everything you needed to know after your transition.”

    As always his voice relaxed her and she turned to look up at him. “Well, when can we start? I want to know everything. I want to train. I want to start being an Ankh.” He smiled at her enthusiasm but shook his head. “You've just come through a traumatic experience. We will take a few days. Relax and enjoy the city.” Her mouth twisted in a moue at the announcement that her training was postponed.

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