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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 27)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(27) by Samantha Young
  • “Eden.” Val reached for her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder, her exotic eyes full of more understanding than anyone else would ever be able to give her. “Leaving here won't change who you've become. Look at me… it's thousands of years later and I like to think I'm still a decent person.”

    That warmth she got in her chest when Cyrus made some fatherly comment lit up inside her as Val tried to comfort her. “Val, you're a great person. I could never have gotten through this without you.”

    “Yes you could have. But I'm glad I could help.”

    Although it was true Eden was more content than she'd ever been, and true that she had gotten good at pushing her grief over Stellan into the background (although she could never escape him in her dreams), Eden was still holding onto him. She felt guilty for feeling happy with Noah and guilty for still feeling Stellan's loss even though he had been a soul eater. Sometimes she felt like Val would be the only one who understood that… so she took a chance. “I miss him, Val.” Hearing the quiet heartbreak in Eden's voice, Val froze. “Your brother?”

    “I keep trying to tell myself that I shouldn't. That he was hurting people. But all I can remember is that he never hurt me; that he loved me.”

    Val nodded. “You don't have to hate him, Eden. Grieve for him. That's nobody's business but yours.”

    “You don't think it's wrong?”

    “From all that you've told me, I think Stellan was a rare soul eater. He loved you even more than the hunger; he loved you enough to try to be something better. And he did protect you.” A huge sigh rushed through her body and Eden relaxed back against the counter, taking another comforting sip of her coffee. It was incredible how much better she felt knowing that Val knew she was still grieving for Stellan. As if admitting it out loud somehow let him know that she hadn't forgotten. God… she didn't know what she'd do without Val in her life.

    A horrible thought struck her. She'd never questioned where Val lived or what would happen to her when they got back to the States. “You're coming back with us right? To Weston?” The Ankh's eyes lit up before she could bank the spark and conceal her feelings. “I could do that if you wanted me to.” She shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant.

    Eden's heart thudded unhappily. “Why… where do you normally live?”

    “Maui. But I've been taking a lot of assignments recently… so all over really.” Eden looked at her feet. Weston couldn't really compete with Maui. “I wouldn't want to… you know… make you feel… obligated.”

    Val huffed, “Eden, I'd be happy to come live in Weston. Cyrus' house is certainly big enough for one more Ankh.”

    The choking lump she'd felt rising in her throat began to dislodge. “So you don't think Cyrus would mind another Ankh in the house? It wouldn't make us targets or anything?” Val snorted. “It would take one of the gods to find a way past Cyrus' security, Eden. Don't worry about the Princeps. If you want me in Weston, in Weston I shall be.”

    “You're sure? I'm not like taking you away from anything or…?” She snorted again and dumped her mug in the sink. “Only boredom.” She turned and they shared a warm look that drew the tension out of Eden. She wouldn't be alone.

    And then an unsettling thought occurred to her. “Uh oh.”


    Eden grimaced, throwing Val a beseeching look. “Are you up for being the buffer between me and Noah's dad?”

    “Ahh.” Val's eyes lit with comprehension. “Alain has some way to go when it comes to you and Noah.”

    “Yeah and that was just when we were friends.”

    “Wow,” Val chuckled. “Usually it's the girl's father that has a problem with the boy, not the other way around. And for it to be Noah Valois' father worrying considering how many…” Eden glowered at her. “Oh yeah, chuck up it. My automatic failure with my in-laws and my boyfriend's whorish past is just a hoot and a half.”

    Val laughed. “Going home is sounding fun all of sudden isn't it?”


    Even though she could chuckle about it with Val, Eden really was worried about facing Alain when they got back to Massachusetts. It was clear Alain didn't trust her – which was so effed up considering he trusted Val – and that Noah really looked up to his father. She didn't even want to know how that would affect things when they got back. Plus… their two families living under the same, albeit massive, roof was going to be… interesting.

    After getting Valeria to spill some beans on some of her past romances – one of which involved a very famous emperor and the other an Old Hollywood actor!!! – Eden was in an especially good mood when they set off for the training centre. Her eyes lit up as they walked into the training room and she caught sight of Noah up at the weight machines. When she took in the scene before her this weird, ugly little pang echoed across her chest. He was standing talking to Mark and Natalie, and Natalie was pressed against Noah's side, her hand on his arm. That alone made her want to rip the Neith off him and give her a beatdown, but as her eyes narrowed on the woman, she watched as Natalie slid her a hand down Noah's back, the piece of paper in it disappearing into Noah's back pocket. Natalie patted his ass. And Eden saw red. She felt her feet take off beneath her before her mind had even processed what she was doing. All she could think about was reaching the Neith and letting her know what was what. A strong hand clamped around her wrist, whirling her around to a stop. Val held her still, her beautiful face for once tight and serious; her voice authoritative and ancient as she commanded her in a low voice, “Stop. Noah is not interested in the silly Neith, so do not make a scene, Eden. Things are going well for you. You attack a Neith and that will undo everything we have done here.”

    “You should listen to her,” Shona said, seeming to appear out of nowhere. Her mocking eyes roamed over Eden insolently. “It's not like Noah is worth it. He's famous for screwing around with the Neith, Edie. He's taken loads of phone numbers since he's been here. He's never had a proper girlfriend, and after all these years, I doubt he's going to start now with a fledgling, virgin Ankh.” Pain. Hurt. It rippled over Eden, stunning her momentarily. The reminder of Noah's past glued her mouth shut and she felt awash in humiliation that she had a let a guy kill her savvy. Rescue came in the form of the ancient warrior at her side. Val stepped toe to toe with the Neith, her eyes narrowed dangerously. Eden watched with satisfaction as Shona blanched. “I do not know who you are little girl but I'll remind you that you're not talking to one of your peers; you are insulting Cyrus of Persepolis' child, and in the presence of one of your elders. You ever talk to the Princep's daughter with such disrespect again and I will hand you your ass. Are we clear?” Shona nodded shakily, the fear and realisation of what she'd just done colliding in her gaze. “I didn't mean to insult you, Valeria.”

    “Insult Eden, you insult me.”

    “I apologise.” Her mouth twisted as if she had swallowed something bitter. “To both of you.” Eden almost laughed at how fast Shona skittered away but she was still reeling from her reaction to Shona's putdown.

    “What a repugnant child,” Valeria sighed.

    “You're pretty scary when you want to be.”

    “Eden.” Her mentor turned her to face her. “Don't listen to a word she said. Noah loves you.” Eden glanced over her shoulder and saw him staring at them, a crease of concern between his brows. He lifted his hand in a wave and she returned it before glancing away. Did he? Love her that is?

    He hadn't actually said those words yet.


    “Hey, you're awful quiet.” Noah nudged her, that spark of worry that had been gnawing at him since this afternoon suddenly growing a little bigger. Eden had been acting weird for hours. “Do you not like it?” He picked up the CD he'd bought her. After borrowing Tobe's copy of The Airborne Toxic Event's new album, Eden hadn't stopped going on about it, so he'd bought her, her own copy and put a little note inside the jacket of the CD cover, telling her which songs reminded him of her. It was pretty romantic of him considering he didn't do spontaneous gift giving, but he guessed this wasn't the first time he'd surprised Eden with a gift, which should have clued him into how he felt about her a long time ago.

    “No, I love it.” She smiled up at him, but the cute dimple in her right cheek didn't flash at him teasingly, and he was sure he saw something dark in the depths of her gorgeous eyes.

    Growing more concerned by the minute, Noah slid closer to her on Tobe's bed, brushing her hair off her face so she couldn't hide behind it. “So what's wrong?” He let his fingers linger against her cheek, drawing them down across her soft skin. At the feel of her shiver, Noah felt his blood heat. It was weird. He couldn't stop touching her. And he wanted to be around her all the time, talk to her, touch her, kiss her. As his blood quickened, Noah drew a breath, trying to tamp down the mass of emotions that threatened to overwhelm him whenever he was with her. The last week things had changed all over again for him. Now that Eden was his, he wanted to make her his in every way possible. He wanted to lay her back on the bed and take everything she was willing to give.

    Strangely, the thought that he would be the only guy she'd ever been with, filled that possessive streak he'd never even known he had until he met her, with this euphoric caveman feeling that he would never admit to owning.

    So, Eden being distant with him… was causing him a little panic.

    “Nothing.” She shook her head, looking back down at the CD.

    “Come on.” He frowned, trying to work out what could have happened between now and yesterday to put her in a mood. It was difficult to tell with Eden because she could start worrying about something that happened six months ago if she let it get under her skin. “Is it the first kill comedown?”

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