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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 21)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(21) by Samantha Young
  • But that wasn't Noah's fault. Not really. It was  Romany's though. Eden just had to keep separating Noah from Romany and they'd be fine. It was just… taking some time.

    Eden had sighed and finally looked him in the eye. “I'm getting there.” He'd nodded, his expression so careful Eden hadn't been able to tell if he was pleased or dis pleased. “So, not to shoot myself in the foot here but why did you decide to try?”

    “Because… I know how the whole Ankh thing works now. I know that that feeling of duty and responsibility to your job is compelling.” She had snorted. “I also know how hard it is to say no to Cyrus, and how deep the connection to him is. I guess I'm just realising what a difficult position you were in. And I'm getting there.”

    A silence had fallen between them and for once it hadn't been their usual easy kind.

    Irritated by it, Eden had sought to dispel it. “So… swimming, huh?”

    “Yeah. It's a great way to stay in shape and it's relaxing too.”

    “Yeah, I guess.” Not when the boy you're swimming with looks like yo u, she'd thought. “I used to swim in our pool a lot.”

    At the mention of her family the horrible silence had fallen again.

    “You wanna grab something to eat?” Noah had asked suddenly, seeming as desperate to get away from the silence.

    At her enthusiastic yes they had gotten out of the pool and changed, heading off to find somewhere to stuff their mouths so there was a legitimate reason for the taciturnity. They had found a quiet little pub that served big platefuls of comfort food. Noah had tried to talk her into having the national meal – haggis, ‘neeps and tatties – but Tobe had already told her what Haggis was ( gag! ), and she didn't like turnips, so all she'd be left with was a plate of mash. Eden had opted for a burger and fries instead and took notice that Noah had followed suit, avoiding the haggis too.

    Despite the silence that had befallen them at the swim centre, Eden had desperately pushed past it.

    Relaxing, she had asked Noah about his life. As the meal had worn on she'd found herself moving closer to him until they were huddled together in the corner of the pub as Noah told her about life during the fifties and sixties, how the 70s had been such a great era for music and film, the cities he'd been to – Paris, London, Budapest, Sydney… - about all the amazing things she had yet to see and learn.

    “What about my mom?” Eden had finally asked, now that they were so comfortable again.

    Noah had smiled at her, his expression warm and caring. “Merrit was amazing. I met her a few times when I was younger because Dad and Cyrus have always been such good friends, but in the early eighties my parents made a couple of bad investments and we lost everything. We moved in with Cyrus and Merrit so my dad could get back on his feet and after your mom… well Mom didn't want to leave Cyrus all alone in that big house… and we haven't left since. I could have gotten my own place, I guess, but I like being around them all.”

    “So you lived with my mom for a while?”

    He had nodded. “She was amazing, Eden. You could talk to Merrit about anything and she always had your back. Kicked my ass a few times for…” Noah had suddenly trailed off, seeming embarrassed.

    Eden had been able to guess why. “For being a player.”

    He'd thrown her a sheepish look that had been so adorable she'd foolishly wanted to curl into him.

    “Yeah. Merrit was a good person and a great warrior. But she also didn't beat around the bush. She just said it how it was which was kind of a shock for my mom sometimes. They had a few heated discussions over what was proper language for a lady.”

    That had made Eden laugh.

    Noah had stopped her with a penetrating look. “She was beautiful too. You look like her a lot. I can't imagine what it means to Cyrus to have you in his life.” Having felt her throat begin to close with grief, Eden had glanced away quickly, willing her tears to recede.

    “Eden.” Noah had placed a warm hand over hers and she'd felt his rough touch like a shiver of pleasure down her spine. “I am so sorry for not telling you who I was. For blindly following orders. I am so sorry I did that to you.”

    After a tense moment Eden had glanced up at him. She'd given him a watery smile and had whispered, “I forgive you.”

    “Eden,” Cyrus snapped bringing her back to the present. “I have a sword pointed at you. Will you please focus.”

    Chapter Sixteen

    The first Cut is the Deepest

    It didn't matter how distracted a person was, when Cyrus used that tone of voice you snapped to attention. Eden shook off the weekend and began listening as Cyrus and Noah demonstrated fighting with the Kopis. It was a frantic, close quarter fight and for a moment Eden was lost in the grace of their movements. Cyrus instructed as they fought, swinging the Kopis in a semi-loop around his head so that it came down towards Noah with the full force of his upper body strength. Noah countered the move, and soon began a hissing of metal on metal as they fought one another off in a flash of figure of eight movements. After each demonstration, Eden took a turn, starting off tentative until she felt comfortable in her own skin with the sword. Cyrus said many of the Neith began their sword training with wooden swords but he didn't believe that was necessary for her. It put the pressure on but Eden was determined, and like all things that involved fighting and self-defence, she picked it up like she had been doing it for years. Soon, they moved from the weightier Kopis to the Lakonian and Persian short swords, from those to the Katana (Samurai), from the Katana to the Broadsword, from the Broadsword to the Longsword.

    Despite the whole powerful, immortal thing, four hours in and Eden's shoulder was on fire. With a grunt she dropped the hefty Longsword that had been clasped in her sweaty palms. Great, she winced. Now her other shoulder was killing her because of that damn thing. She looked at it in disgust.

    “You might want to be careful with that, it wasn't cheap,” Noah said as he picked it up. He threw Cyrus a look as he placed his sword and hers back up on the wall mounts. “I think someone needs a break.”

    She curled her lip at him, noticing he had barely broken a sweat. “I'm fine.”

    “You are using muscles you have never used before,” Cyrus assured her. “And we have been going strong for a few hours.”

    “Did I miss anything?” Val sauntered into the room, shutting the door quietly behind her. She had been on patrol that morning.

    “Any news?” Cyrus asked quietly.

    She shook her head and turned to Eden with a smirk. “You look a little worn out.” Jeez, it wasn't like she was panting on the floor dying or anything, Eden rolled her eyes. “I'm fine.

    I just hate the damn Longsword.”

    “Well, you don't have to fight with the Longsword. I don't know any who do; it's just useful to know that you can if you ever have to.”

    “Yeah, real useful.” Eden grimaced, rolling her left shoulder.

    Val grinned at her and strolled over to the weapons. Reaching up, she pulled down one of the Persian short swords; it was more like a long dagger with a sharp curved tip than an actual sword.

    “The Acinaces.” Val grinned, slicing it through the air with expertise. “My favourite.”

    “Darius' also.” Cyrus nodded, studying her movements. “He taught you well, Valeria.” The Ankh shared a quick knowing look with Eden and Eden felt that pang in her chest again for her mentor. She cleared her throat, “Uh, well I have to go with the Katana.” Noah smiled cheekily at Cyrus. “I think you owe me twenty bucks, Princeps.” Eden watched, brow furrowed as Cyrus wearily handed over the cash. “Did I miss something?”

    “Noah bet you would like the Samurai sword best.”

    “Oh and how did Noah know that?” Eden made a face, totally fed up of being so transparent to this guy.

    He shrugged. “The Katana has a nice weight and balance, not to mention it's got a lethal cut.

    Female warriors tend to like the Katana best.”

    “Not all,” Val murmured, striking the air with the Acinaces before pulling it back and launching it with perfect aim into one of the training dummies that lined the room. Eden gazed at Val's handiwork, afraid to look at Noah while her mind wandered into a dark, unforgiving place…

    …A warrior with a swishing blonde ponytail, a girl perhaps a year older than she, took advantage of Stellan's distraction.

    “Eden!” He yelled, turning away from the warrior, to fight his way through the miniature war.

    “Eden, no!” Noah tried to pull her back.

    “Stellan!” She reached out for him, her eyes widening as the sword came towards the back of his head. “Stellan, noooo!” She screamed.

    But it was too late.

    The sword cut through him, a sweep of his blood swiping through the air along with the top half of his head…

    …Romany carried a Katana.

    Eden's heart pounded as she imagined finding her, the two of them facing off with their Katanas, Eden's slicing through the skin and muscle of her brother's murderer. She felt sick and shaky at the thought.

    “Eden?”

    She blinked at the touch of Cyrus' hand on her shoulder. He gazed down at her in concern. “What is wrong?”

    “Memories,” she whispered, unable to lie.

    He nodded. “I understand.”

    Did he?

    “Why don't we let Eden have a shot at decapitating this guy?” Val said from over Cyrus'

    shoulder. Bemused, they turned to see her wheeling a dummy over. The dummies were creepy. They were just this weird fleshy material, shaped like a head and torso, with no face. “This,” Val smacked her hand across it, “is Guido.”

    Eden laughed. “Guido?”

    “Yes. Guido the soul sucking worm is here to die today at your hands. Guido is made from special materials that simulate the skin, muscle and bone tissue that you'll have to cut through.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire