• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 18)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(18) by Samantha Young
  • Val's knuckles brushed her cheek in a punch and the Ankh stepped back impatiently. Noah clipped at Eden to focus, his business-like tone icing over some of the earlier warmth. She threw him a dirty look and kicked Val's legs out from underneath her.

    Chapter Thirteen

    Breathless Clarity

    Despite Cyrus' optimism that her training would progress quickly Eden still hadn't gotten around to sword training yet. Instead she had been training nonstop in hand to hand combat all week. Things between her and Noah were a little strained. They had come to a truce of sorts and she was probably politer towards him than she'd ever been, which made her awkward, and she had the feeling it was making Noah uncomfortable. She just didn't want to ignite the spark between them again, and teasing and grouching at him as if he were a friend would certainly do that. As for Noah, Eden wasn't sure what his deal was. On the one hand he'd diligently avoided physical contact with her since their ‘mat'

    moment but on the other she got the feeling her politeness was driving him nuts. She didn't mean to drive him nuts. She just… jeez, thinking about Noah would give her a headache if Ankh were capable of the affliction.

    So focusing on her training not only felt great, but it took her mind off things. Eden had mastered combat and was eager to go on her first hunt. Cyrus and McLeish were positive that there was a group of soul eaters in the city. There had been two murder cases in the last few days and in each case the family members had stated that the accused had been acting very uncharacteristically for days before the attack. They spoke of two women who had been easy going, run-of-the-mill nice, and how they had suddenly undergone some extreme behavioural changes. That and an apparent sighting by one of the Neith was enough for them to go on. However, the den, if there was one, wasn't above the club in New Town. Cyrus and Val had been out with the Neith hunting and investigating, scouring the entire city for any new leads on where the soul eaters could possibly be holing themselves up. The fact that there had been no word made them suspect the den had moved to a private residence. With Val and Cyrus out hunting that left Noah back at the house to babysit her.

    She'd tried to say she was perfectly OK with Mhairi and the rest of the Douglas' but Cyrus was adamant Eden remain in the company of an Ankh at all times. She could tell being left out of the hunt was chafing Noah. She could tell because it was beginning to chafe her. Ten days she had been in Edinburgh. Ten days that might as well have been ten years she felt so different. She was changed.

    She was strong. Powerful. Capable. She was ready to be redeemed. Pity Cyrus was erring on the side of caution with her. She was so ready to pick up a sword and learn how to use one of those bad boys.

    Despite her impatience, Eden wouldn't take back one day of training. Sparring with Cameron and Tobe with Noah coaching had been a lot of fun. They got her sense of humour and it helped that Tobe's was as equally as biting as her own. Sometimes other Neith had joined them. Two in particular had shown up a few times, a couple of college kids called Mark and Shona. Eden couldn't stand the girl. Shona reminded her so much of the girls she'd left behind at South Salton High. Snide and superior. What Eden found particularly irritating was Shona's attitude towards Tobe. She was constantly sniping at the younger Neith and although Tobe was pretty good at handling herself, it was driving Eden nuts. Whatever the girl had against October, Eden was getting plenty fed up of her and had to keep reminding herself that Cyrus wanted her to make as best an impression as possible on the Scots so that her heritage wasn't drawn into question by an already wary McLeish. It helped that Shona's boyfriend Mark was an actually pretty OK guy. Eden wondered what in hell he saw in the blonde though. Unfortunately, despite the other Neith quite happily taking turns to spar with Eden, Shona hadn't volunteered, disappointing her greatly. She was pretty sure a hefty smackdown would have eased her irritation somewhat.

    Friday night had come around all too quickly and Eden hadn't been looking forward to being cooped up again. So it was a pleasant surprise when Noah said he'd gotten permission to escort Eden, October and Cameron out for the night. They were going out for dinner and then onto a movie. It was all so normal.

    Eden loved Edinburgh at night. There was so much light despite the darkness, so much energy and life. They jumped on a bus that dropped them off on Princes Street, and Eden soaked up the sight of the castle looming in the distance. Her breath still caught every time she looked up at it. October nudged her forward and she followed her companions, watching lots of men in sharp shirts and cologne, women all dressed up in their high heels and dresses, clack back and forth as they sought the next greatest restaurant and bar. Noah smiled at her as he caught her glancing back at the castle again and she shrugged him off with a sheepish smile.

    As they passed the gardens and the Scott Monument, Tobe turned so she was facing Eden and began walking backwards. “You have to come back to Edinburgh at Christmas time. The both of you.

    This place is beautiful. They put white lights on all the trees and there's a German market that smells amazing and a small fun fair with this huge ferris wheel all lit up. Princes Street at night on a cold Winter's day is the prettiest thing I've ever seen. Even if I do say so myself.” Tobe grinned.

    “She's right,” Cameron agreed. “It's really Christmassy. There's even ice skating down in the gardens.”

    Christmas had never been a big deal in the Winslow Mansion. Since it was a religious holiday and not a soul eater's religion, they pretended on the outside with everyone else, but on the inside there was no decorations, no tree, no presents. Unlike birthdays, Christmas was blown past with Ryan handing them a wad of cash and telling her and Stel to buy whatever they wanted.

    “I wouldn't have thought you guys celebrated Christmas.” Eden frowned.

    Tobe shrugged still walking backwards, impressing Eden with how she managed not to trip or knock into anyone. “Well of course we don't go to church or anything like that but many people who celebrate Christmas don't go to church.”

    “You go to the service,” Cameron murmured at her.

    Eden could swear she saw Tobe's face flush red as made a face at him. “Service?” Tobe huffed, “What? It's cool OK.”

    Noah snorted. “The defensiveness would make some sense if you told us what you were talking about?”

    “There's a Christmas service at McEwan Hall at Edinburgh Uni every year. The Hall is huge and stunning and it has an old organ. They hold a proper Christmas service with these amazing choirs.

    It's kind of beautiful.”

    Eden thought it sounded wonderful. “And you're embarrassed by this why?”

    “Because I'm not religious. It's weird for me to go.”

    “No it's not.”

    Tobe smiled at her and turned back around.

    Cameron grimaced and threw her a look. “I've been telling you it's not weird for five years and you still sneak off to it with a furry hat pulled down over your head so no one recognises you. Eden tells you it's not weird and suddenly it's not.”

    Eden and Noah shared an amused smile.

    Tobe shrugged. “Well she is the authority on weird.”

    Eden's smirk slipped and Noah smothered a laugh with a cough.

    “Thanks, Tobe, real nice.”

    Her ‘cousin' shrugged without looking back. “Don't mention it.” They made their way to their destination in relative quiet, letting Eden soak up the atmosphere of the city. Less than ten minutes later and Tobe and Cameron were leading them into a glass front building with two giant metal giraffes outside. The centre had a cinema and a bunch of restaurants and clubs inside it, and they stood for a while trying to agree on where to eat. Eventually they decided on an Asian fusion restaurant and settled around the table in a comfortable silence as they perused the menu. Cameron asked Noah a couple of questions and Eden relaxed as Noah answered them amiably. She'd noticed that Noah had been a little cagey around the cute Neith over the last week. Cameron was a naturally flirty person and she had kind of got the impression that his flirtatiousness with her was bothering Noah.

    That made her stupidly happy.

    Eden, however, didn't put any stock in Cameron's flirting. She had been watching him and Tobe over the last few days and was beginning to think there was something going on there. Yeah Tobe had said that they had tried dating and quit because it was too much like kissing her cousin but the way they acted around each other had Eden questioning that story. Tobe excused herself to go to the bathroom and Eden watched with amusement as Cameron followed the girl with wistful eyes. She looked at Noah and was surprised to see he had noticed too. They shared a knowing smile that made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Flushing, Eden quickly picked up her glass of water and waited for Tobe to come back to the table. Sure enough, Tobe kept glancing at Cameron surreptitiously, just as she had been doing all week. For the first time ever Eden wanted to meddle. She chuckled inwardly at the thought. She'd never had a group of friends before, people that she cared enough about to want to stick her nose in where it didn't belong if it meant bringing two people she liked together in happiness. Her eyes widened. Jeez, when had she become such a cheesy dork? She found herself looking at Noah again. Maybe she had always been a cheesy dork underneath it all. Back in her life in Salton her friendship with Noah had meant the world to her. She would have done anything for him then, even with the soul eater inside of her battling for her conscience. The memory of her depth of feeling for Noah was so sharp, and suddenly not so clouded by his duplicity now that she was Ankh and fully understood what that all meant. When Noah looked up at her, his violet eyes smiled at her and she lost her breath for a moment as she drowned in that familiar look. It was a look that said he cared. And he had looked at her like that for nearly the entire time they had been friends in Salton. For the first time, Eden began to see how difficult it must have been for him to lie to her.

    The smile in Noah's eyes dimmed until he was gazing at her with the most intense expression –

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire