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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 12)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(12) by Samantha Young
  • “Excuse me.” She stopped the group and they turned to her expectantly. “Could you guys tell me how to get to The Filling Station on The Royal Mile?”

    “Oh thank God!” A familiar Scottish accent made Eden's shoulders sag with relief. She turned to see October running towards her. She smacked Eden across the arm before tugging her rudely away from the students. “Where the bloody hell did you go? I've been preparing myself for the Hara Kiri.

    The Princeps would expect nothing less from the idiot who managed to lose his bloody daughter!”

    “Jeez, chill Tobe.” Eden grunted, feeling much better now that she had her guide back. “You're going to give yourself a heart attack.”

    “If it wouldn't end in my death I would kill you for walking away. Where were you?!”

    “Can you please stop screeching? I'm guessing having full use of my hearing is kind of crucial to my training to be a warrior.”

    October continued to glare at her, not taking her eyes off her, bumping into people who threw comments over their shoulder at her rudeness.

    Eden shrugged. “I was in Forbidden Planet. Do you know they don't even stock Shonen Jump? I thought this place was supposed to be metropolitan.”

    “I'm going to metropolitan your arse next time you pull a stunt like that.”

    “What does that even mean?”

    “It means… it means… och, I don't know. Just don't do that again. I'm too young and pretty to die from heart failure.”

    “OK, sorry. I was bored. What were you and that guy doing anyway? Making out in the English lit section?”

    Tobe grimaced at the comment, her cerulean eyes narrowing. “Nooo. Colin is human. We don't do humans?”

    “What? Never? What if they're hot?”

    “Ugh, I didn't mean do as in do. God, get your head out of the gutter, Cuz.” At that Eden's footsteps picked up a little more cheerfully. Cuz.  That was kind of nice. “So, are you dating one of the Neith then?”

    October shook her head. “I used to date Cameron but we ended it about six months ago.”

    “Cameron as in McLeish's nephew?”

    “Yup, the very one.”

    “He's cute.”

    “Yeah, but we grew up together. We thought we'd give the whole dating thing a try but in the end it was like kissing a cousin or something you know.”

    An image of Teagan popped into Eden's head and her fists clenched. The s.o.b was still out there, roaming free. “Oh yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”

    “OK, that sounds faintly ominous.”

    Surprisingly, Eden found herself telling Tobe all about Teagan. Tobe was sufficiently disgusted and very vehement on her behalf. She noticed the angrier she got, the thicker her accent grew. It amused Eden, despite their subject matter.

    They talked about a lot of different things and Eden was grateful to the girl for diplomatically sidestepping any mention of Stellan. Instead she moved on to discussing the training centre and how the Neith were intimidated by Cyrus, Val and Noah. They'd never had Ankh around in years so they were pretty much the hot topic at the moment. In between October's gossiping, she pointed out different stores on The Royal Mile that she liked. Eden took it all in with appreciative eyes. She still couldn't get over how surreal it was to be here. As they walked up The Mile, Eden's sharp eyes caught sight of Val a few yards up ahead, waiting for them outside of the restaurant.

    “So it's pretty darn cool that Valeria of Corsica and Cyrus of Persepolis are your guardians.

    They're total legends around here,” October said with a wistful sigh. There was more than a little hero-worshipping in her eyes whenever she discussed Val.

    “Yeah.” Eden nodded stoically. “They've been good to me so far.” Tobe frowned. “So far?”

    “Well.” Eden shrugged. “I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.” The Neith shook her head at her. “I thought turning Ankh would make you trust them. They're your kin now, Eden.”

    “Oh I do trust them. I just don't know if I trust myself yet. I'm probably going to do something stupid that will disappoint them.”

    “Hey.” Tobe stopped her, her young eyes suddenly very serious and mature. “Look, my dad told me everything Cyrus told him. You didn't kill anyone, Eden. You had some seriously creepy stuff inside you and you fought it. You've done well. I even heard you refused to kill Valois at your Awakening Ceremony.”

    Eden curled her lip at the thought of her ex-best friend. “Yeah I'm a little disappointed in myself for that.”

    October snorted. “What is going on between you two?”

    She shook her head. “Nothing. He just won't accept that yet.” Tobe grunted, looking at her like she was a crazy person. Eden smirked. “What?”

    “Oh nothing. You just must have some serious willpower.”

    “Meaning?”

    “Meaning every time Noah smiles at me I feel like grabbing his hand and finding the nearest bed.” For some reason Eden found herself flushing inwardly at the image Tobe had created, making the Neith laugh out loud.

    “OK, if the Ankh could blush you'd be beetroot right now. Look at those eyes. I take it you haven't traded in your v-card then?”

    Having only known October for a few days, and really only had a proper conversation with her in the past few hours, Eden had naively assumed she was immune to her bluntness. But wow. She was BLUNT. Eden eyed Val, who started walking towards them impatiently. “Uh, can we not talk about this? Ancient warrior mother-figure heading towards us.”

    “Sure. But if I can give you a bit of advice…”

    “Just be quick about it.”

    “My first time was with a guy from school who thinks Iraq is a brand of Mp3 player. If you've got someone like Noah Valois sniffing around your heels then I say kick them up and let him have his wicked way with you.”

    Eden grunted. “What about trust and affection or God forbid love?”

    “Blah, Eden, it's sex not marriage.”

    “If you take her advice Eden MacDouglas I will personally beat you over the head with it.” Val was suddenly before them, her eyes narrowed on October disapprovingly.

    October gave a deferential nod but a cheeky tilt at the corner of her mouth suggested she was dying to laugh. “Just sharing my opinion, Valeria, that's all.”

    “Your opinion… what is that term you kids use today… ah yes… your opinion sucks.  Eden has more important things to worry about than casual sex. She has learning, training and hunting to do.

    And right now, a great big bloody castle to see and some colour to inject into her wardrobe.” Eden grinned at Val and began to follow October, who swerved around them to take the lead. She had a skip in her step that screamed ‘ you don't scare me, Valeria of Corsica! '

    Val made a noise from the back of her throat and her hand shot out to cuff October around the back of the head.

    “Ow, what was that for?!”

    “That was on behalf of your parents. You're too young to be dallying in casual sex. Children who play grown up games always get hurt.”

    “Yeah well smacking me across the head wasn't exactly painless.”

    “See. My point exactly.”

    Muffling her laughter, Eden followed her ‘cousin' as she huffily led the way.

    ***

    It was still light out as they wandered up the stone steps to the Douglas' house. There were lights on inside so Eden guessed everyone was home. When Christopher wasn't out hunting soul eaters, he was an investment banker for some big Scottish financial company, and Alison was an elementary school teacher - or a primary school teacher as they called it in Scotland. Since it was Saturday they had both decided to accompany Cyrus to the training centre. Eden couldn't imagine how the Neith balanced both lives. With the Ankh it was a full time thing and Eden didn't know where they got all their money from but she did know Cyrus had plenty of cash and shared it out to the fifty eight – oh wait, she made it fifty-nine now – members of the Ankh that were out all over the world, taking on the worst predators among the soul eaters.

    Val and October were discussing the training centre as they stepped inside the house, making Eden even more impatient to get a look at the place. They wandered into the sitting room, discussing swords with foreign names that made Eden's head spin, and found the Douglas', Cyrus and Noah sitting around drinking coffee.

    Cyrus nodded at her, his eyes smiling. “You had a nice time?” She lifted the bags in her hand and smiled wryly. “I injected colour into my wardrobe.”

    “No pink?”

    She shuddered. “God, no.”

    “Did you take Eden to the castle, Tobe?” Mhairi asked as Alison got up off the sofa, excusing herself as she followed the smell of cooking into the kitchen.

    “Yup.”

    “Well.” Mhairi turned to Eden. “What did you think?”

    What she thought was that she had never seen anything so amazing in her life. “Edinburgh Castle rocks. No pun intended.” She snorted, thinking about the alien-like volcanic rock the castle was perched on. It was almost as if some ancient warlock had swept back in time, ripped the castle from its medieval seams, and planted it down in the modern city. As she'd walked down Princes Street towards it, she had felt as if she had wandered into some weird, surreal dream. It was a majestic, hypnotising sight and she'd bumped into a number of people because she was too busy staring up at it. Since she wasn't much of a history buff being inside the castle was cool but not nearly as cool as the impression it made from the outside.

    “Edinbur-uh,” October admonished for, like, the fiftieth time. “What is it with you Americans and your ‘Edinboro's'? “Edinbur-uh. Not Edinboro. Edinbur-uh.”

    “Say Edinbur-uh one more time and I'm gonna smack you upside the head in training tomorrow,” Eden warned, flopping down onto a stool beside Cyrus who sat with Noah on the sofa. She noticed Noah had barely looked at her at all. Like she cared.

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