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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 13)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(13) by Samantha Young
  • “Training tomorrow?” Cyrus raised an eyebrow questioningly.

    Valeria cleared her throat. “I may have promised her…”

    The look he gave Val would have frightened a grown man but Eden guessed Val was used to it because she just stared back at him, expressionless. Eden wondered if she'd teach her how to do that.

    “I do not think you are ready.” Cyrus shook his head, turning back to Eden.

    “No, I'm totally ready. I barely broke a sweat climbing up to that castle. And have you seen the stairs inside that damn thing. Didn't even wind me.”

    “That's true,” October added. “The steward guide guy was unnerved by her and Valeria. I at least pretended to be out of breath.”

    Eden snorted. “Pretended. Riiight.”

    Tobe glowered at her. “Hey, some of us have learned the art of blending.”

    “Yeah, Eden's never been too good at that,” Noah spoke up, an annoying little amused quirk tilting his lips up at the corner. She glared at him as he smirked at Tobe, who smiled back appreciatively.

    “What does that mean?”

    He flicked a look at her. “Oh come on. What about that time you ‘shoved' Rick Caine?” He turned back to Tobe. “Caine was on the school's wrestling team. He was standing flirting with some girl whose locker was next to Eden's and when she asked him to move, he wouldn't. So she shoved him and he skidded along the school hallway like a bowling ball.” Tobe burst out laughing, shaking her head at the imagery. Her smile turned coy as her bright eyes washed over Noah, and Eden found herself wanting to wring her new friend's neck. “I can't imagine you in high school, Noah. You must have been popular.”

    “Nah.” He shook his head. “I had to be friends with Eden so popularity was out of the question.” It was like he had shot her. Bitter hurt and anger gripped her as she stood up abruptly, knocking the stool over. Everyone turned to her, an uncomfortable hush falling over the room. Glaring at him, Eden watched as he blanched, his eyes turning apologetic. “Eden…” The tension grew thicker and heavier by the second as her eyes pinned him to the couch with wounded disdain. Finally, with one last disgusted look, Eden grabbed her shopping bags. “I've got stuff to put away.”

    As she exited the room she head Cyrus sigh. “You can hardly expect me to smooth things over between you two when you insist on acting like a jackass.” Eden's hands shook as she took out her new clothes and hung them up in the side of the closet that October had given her. Tobe had followed her out of the room and upstairs. She hadn't said anything but Eden could tell she was worried she might have upset her new friend. To ease her concerns Eden began quietly talking to her and Tobe had set about making room for Eden's stuff in her bedroom.

    “You coming down for dinner?” Tobe asked quietly from her place on the bed.

    “Of course,” Eden muttered. “I'm hungry.”

    She wasn't going to let Noah ruin what had been one of the best days of her life. At that thought she winced immediately thinking about Stellan. How could she possibly say that, only weeks after his death? Angry with herself she slammed the closet door shut and ran a trembling hand through her hair.

    “Eden, you OK?”

    The concern in October's voice surprised her, her head jerking up to catch the girl's anxious expression. The Neith's eyes, always so honest, were sincere and sympathetic. It was such a soft, unexpected countenance from Tobe, one that Eden guessed not many people were privy too.

    Suddenly Eden felt grateful. She'd never had a girl friend before. It was kind of nice. “Fine. Just…

    memories, you know.”

    Tobe nodded silently.

    A knock on the door had them turning in sync. Noah's head popped inside, his eyes flicking between Tobe and her. “Hey, Tobe. Can I have a word with Eden in private?”

    “Sure-”

    “You don't have to leave, it's your room,” Eden cut off her acquiescence.

    “Nah, it's cool.” She dashed out of there faster than Eden had yet to see her move.

    Noah stood aside, letting her go and then he stepped into the room, closing the door behind him.

    “Here.” He held a gift bag out to her.

    Frowning Eden reached for it without thinking. “What is it?” she asked warily.

    “I bought it earlier just as a… ‘hope you're OK' kind of thing. Now it's a ‘please forgive me for being a complete ass' kind of thing. It's been a long day.” Right then, Eden knew something bigger was bothering Noah than what had occurred downstairs.

    He hadn't looked at her when she'd arrived home. He'd seemed snarky and irritable before she'd even opened her mouth. Suddenly she recalled Val's phone call. She'd gotten so caught up in her time with Tobe that she hadn't remembered to ask.

    “What happened today?” She sank onto the bed, bracing herself for bad news.

    With a deep exhalation, Noah crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the door.

    “Chris and Alison came over to the training centre with Cyrus today. I'd already been there for a while and… well… Ankh are a big draw. We don't visit Scotland a lot because the Neith here are some of the best… they usually take care of any bigger problems that come up. I think the last time an Ankh was here was when McLeish made Councilman fifteen years ago.”

    “Yeah, Tobe mentioned the Ankh are big news when they're in town.”

    “Mmmhmm. Well I drew a crowd. As soon as the Neith discovered I was training with them the phone calls started and the centre got pretty busy, fast. When Cyrus showed up I thought the walls would cave in with all the excitement.”

    “I thought we were supposed to be keeping a low profile?”

    “Don't worry. Cyrus has it covered with McLeish. The Neith not in the immediate family just think you're a regular old Ankh. A newbie. So expect lots of staring.” Yay, Eden thought miserably, just what I need. “That's not what's got you so worried.”

    “No,” Noah agreed, raking a hand through his hair. “You know how Chris senses things?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Well in among the crowd he sensed something… he sensed betrayal.” Her heart began thudding in her chest as a wave of dread flooded over her. “About me?”

    “He doesn't know, but it's got Cyrus and Val and I pretty paranoid.” An annoying prickle of impotence gnawed at her. “So what? Christopher can't tell us who? Or what?”

    “Nope. He's going to keep alert though, keep digging.”

    “Great,” Eden sighed. “I knew this couldn't possibly go smoothly.” Noah smiled kindly. “Smooth isn't exactly the Ankh way of life.” They grew silent, that comfortable, comforting silence they shared when they were friends. Eden glanced up at him from her place on the bed and their eyes met and held. She missed him. Part of her wished she had never found out who he really was just so she could go on living in ignorant bliss as his friend. Or more. A flush of heat took hold of her body at the thought and she pulled her gaze away. She still wasn't used to being able to desire Noah for Noah and not just for his soul.

    And she had to keep reminding herself that she was mad at him and had no right to want him.

    “So what is this?” she grumbled, lifting the bag onto her lap.

    “Uh, just some… stuff.”

    Eden ripped open the top and reached in to the gift bag. What she pulled out made her heart triple beat. The latest copy of Shonen Jump and a Keri Arthur novel. She couldn't look at him. “Where did you get Shonen?”

    “They had it at this bookstore on Princes Street. I went down there after training.” All these stupid, stupid emotions got caught in her throat, burning and choking her and making her want to cry. She couldn't look at him. She was afraid he'd see how he made her feel and jump on it as the weakness it was. “Thanks,” she replied gruffly. “Appreciate it.” Noah didn't say anything for a moment and then he heaved a sigh. “Sure,” he said in a somewhat defeated tone. “No problem.” At the sound of him opening the door Eden finally drew up the courage to look at him. He smirked back at her unhappily. “I'm glad you didn't cut your hair.” And with that he left; leaving Eden to feel as if he had cut a gaping hole out of her chest and taken it out the door with him.

    Chapter Ten

    Merrit MacDouglas

    Despite her inner turmoil, and the ironic fact that Tobe, like her ‘Nana' , was a ‘cover-hogger', Eden fell into a deep sleep, exhausted by the full day she'd experienced. So it was with a groan and a scowl she had obeyed Cyrus' whispers to get up, sliding out of the bed quietly so she didn't wake October up. It was light outside but one glance at the alarm clock on Tobe's bedside cabinet told Eden it was early. Bemoaning the early wake up call, Eden silently grabbed some clothes and headed off to the bathroom for a shower. She tied her wet hair up into a messy bun, with no worry that she'd catch a cold in the chill morning air. Without a word she followed her guardian out of the house and into the most crisp air she'd ever breathed in. It flooded her lungs, and widened her eyes, enveloping her in energy and newness. The sun hung low in the sky, not hot enough to bank the shivers, but warm enough to cast a glittering glow over everything, present enough to fill Eden with an unexpected feeling of contentment.

    A spring morning in Scotland had just made its way up the ranks as one of her favourite things ever.

    “What are we doing?” she asked, pulling on a thin sweater over her t-shirt.

    Cyrus smiled at her. “Going for breakfast before training.”

    “Just the two of us?”

    “Just the two of us.”

    She liked that. Trying not to grin like a little kid heading off to the ice cream parlour, Eden found stride with Cyrus. As they made their way out onto the main street, she enjoyed the quieter flow of traffic, the smell of fresh bread and coffee in the air. She enjoyed the comfortable silence between her and her guardian. Cyrus had long legs and Eden quickened her step to match up with him again.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire