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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Past (Page 29)     
  • Blood Past(Warriors of Ankh #2)(29) by Samantha Young
  • Chapter Twenty-Three

    The Right Card

    If it was possible, Eden felt as if the city was worrying with her. There was a hush in the night air and traffic was quieter than usual. No barks of laughter from outside pubs sliced the air, only people clutching together in the chilly spring night and murmuring quietly to each other as they passed the intimidating group that tried not to march towards Tollcross. And Eden didn't know if it was her imagination or not but she could have sworn she could smell the nauseating stench of copper all around them… like wet pennies. Like… blood. She tugged the black mac Val had picked out for her tighter around her and then remembered it was supposed to be hiding the katana she had strapped to her hip under it and loosened her grip a little. Stomach churning, Eden tried to focus, but so much had happened in the past hour her head felt like it had been invaded by hundreds of buzzing bees.

    This was how her life would be from now on. One minute making out with Noah and the next heading off to rescue someone. People. People that she cared about. She chewed her lip as Mary fell away from her. Cameron's mom had been treating her with chilly disdain since the moment she'd entered the sitting room. She blamed her. Good. Eden was to blame. It was her sick cousin playing cat and mouse with them. Eden was so ready to take him down. It wasn't just about him taking Tobe and Cameron; it was about what she knew he was capable of. They couldn't have a soul eater like him roaming around. He was pure evil and he was incredibly powerful.

    He'd better not have touched Tobe. She felt a flush of anger score across her skin. Warily she shot a look at Christopher and Alison as they walked next to her, their skin pale and their features pulled tight with fear. They'd been so kind to her. There was no way in hell she was letting them down. As they passed a pub called The Auld Toll Eden's muscles tensed, her heart began to accelerate. She was so glad Noah was back at the house. Cyrus had been right. Their feelings for each other were too new. Something like this was too big for them to handle together, especially as Eden wasn't even sure they were in control of their own fricking relationship, never mind hunting. What had nearly happened between them on Tobe's bed shocked her. Noah was experienced, she knew that; the whole fricking Warrior society knew that. But she wasn't. And despite how he made her feel, how carried away she'd gotten, in a sick twisted way she was glad of the interruption. She wasn't ready to sleep with Noah. Or anyone. They needed to slow things down.

    That was a conversation she was so not looking forward to.

    Tobe would tell her she was crazy.

    “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.”

    At the thought of her friend Eden's chest seemed to rip itself open.

    “Stop,” Cyrus said from behind her and she turned around to see him cut down an empty side street. They gathered around them and Eden glanced warily back out onto the main street. If anyone saw them they'd know they were up to no good. “The club is around the corner. Red door, Eden.” They all looked at her expectantly. Eden exhaled, trying to meet all their gazes, trying to tell them silently that she could do this.

    You can do this.

    She'd totally given Teagan a couple of beatdowns before.

    Cyrus placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Remember the plan. And we are right here.” Nodding militantly Eden blurred away from them, using her preternatural speed to confuse any witnesses who might see her. A few seconds later she stood on an isolated back street before a red door covered in graffiti. Taking one more deep breath, Eden stood back and thrust her leg out, her foot connecting with the door and blasting it off its hinges.

    She winced, glancing around. That had been loud.

    Ducking inside, hurriedly, Eden's eyes sought through the darkness and she stumbled up a couple of stairs.

    “Way to go, stealth girl,” she whispered, catching the wall to keep her balance. Her heart pounded in her chest as she pricked her ears, trying to make out any sound of Tobe or Cameron… or God forbid Teagan. There was nothing. Once she could make out shadows, Eden followed the narrow corridor and rounded a corner, light suddenly flooding out before her as she took in the huge open dance hall.

    It was eerily quiet.

    Too quiet.

    As her footsteps echoed off the walls, Eden's heartbeat began to echo the sound. A terrifying thought was beginning to crawl its way to the forefront of her mind, despite her fear trying to kick it back to where it had come from.

    There was no one here.

    She spun around, furious tears pricking her eyes. “Noah,” she whispered.

    ***

    Noah froze at the clatter that came from the kitchen. Mhairi and the McLeish boys were sitting in tense silence and they turned to Noah with narrowed eyes. Before they could say a word he put a finger to his lips to shush them.

    Heartbeat steady, muscles relaxed and ready for anything, Noah grabbed his Kaskara, a broadsword, and new weapon of choice. Christopher favoured it and when Noah had trained with him he'd come to see why. When he saw how easily it strapped horizontally across the back and could be hidden under his jacket, Noah had decided to trade in the Lakonian he'd been using. It had taken him three hours to learn the nuance of using it and by the end of their first training session he had bested Christopher with it. The weight of the sword in his hand was as always a comfort to Noah as he moved on silent feet towards the kitchen, checking the hallway right and left before he moved out into it. The light was on in the kitchen and Noah couldn't remember whether the family had left it on or not, but the closer he grew to the room the more Noah sensed something in the air.

    They weren't alone.

    The kitchen was empty but Noah strode to the opposite end of the room to stare out of the glass double doors that led into the yard. In the dim light cast across the lawn Noah saw Teagan standing facing him triumphantly, two soul eater bodyguards on either side of him.

    October and Cameron were on their knees before him, tape across their mouths, their wrists and ankles bound tight. Fury poured over Noah as he stepped quietly out into the cool night air and smelled the coppery scent of blood from Tobe and Cameron's wounds. They had been beaten badly.

    Trying to curtail his fury, Noah glanced out and around them, his sharp eyes making sure there were no neighbours peering out of their windows at them. And then he looked back at them and winced at the open gash across Tobe's face. Teagan must have had her beaten recently; Neith didn't heal as quickly as Ankh but they still healed faster than humans. The Scots' wounds were too fresh.

    “You son-of-a-bitch,” Noah snarled at Teagan, dragging the point of his sword across the grass, his eyes blazing with promised retribution. He lifted the Kaskara and pointed it straight at Eden's disgusting cousin. Noah shuddered inwardly, disbelieving that he had left her to live in a house with this mongrel for so long. “What's the game, Winslow?”

    Teagan grinned, a smarmy smile of malice and insanity. “You guys got my note. By now my sweet little betrothed will have realised that I played a tiny little trick on her. The fact that you're here also is just… such a bonus.”

    Noah tried to calm himself. Had it been any other soul eater he'd have been able to play it cool, to focus. But this guy… this guy was obsessed with taking Eden, of abusing her in the worst ways possible. “So what's this?” he asked in such a bland voice he was almost proud of himself.

    “I'm not stupid, you little jerk,” Teagan sneered at him. “I knew if I tried to take Eden here, in this city, I'd be in over my head. Plus, now that I think about it I'm not sure she'd be willing to sacrifice Cyrus for just these two.” He kicked Tobe and Cameron growled at him around his gag.

    Noah squeezed the hilt of his sword. “You touch her again and I'll kill you.” Teagan nodded at the two soul eaters beside him who instantly took two steps forward. “You, however, Noah Valois, yeah unfortunately I get the feeling my slutty little betrothed is messing around with you behind my back. So if I take you back to the States, I know Eden will come running to rescue you.” He winked at him and Noah suddenly felt sick as he understood what Teagan meant to do. “Cyrus won't be able to stop her if you're involved. So Eden comes running, I use you as leverage to get what I want, you go free, I get Eden as Eden once was and Cyrus gets what's coming to him. We all win.”

    Noah snorted and gripped his sword, ready to fight. “Go screw yourself, Winslow.”

    “See, I thought you might say something incredibly rude like that,” Teagan tutted, shaking his head. “That's why I brought incentives.”

    To Noah's horror the soul eaters didn't rush to attack him, they both pulled out knives and turned on October and Cameron. Eyes scanning the two huge guys, Noah's brain raced to calculate how he could take them out and then get to Teagan. As the one standing over Tobe began to swipe the knife towards her, Noah reached into his pocket and pulled out his pen knife. In a shimmer of movement he flicked it open and launched it at the soul eater's hand. The lug cried out and dropped his weapon, turning on Noah just as Noah reached him. He sliced the Katsara in an upwards stroke across the soul eater's torso, blood spreading rapidly across the monster's shirt. Before the soul eater could even comprehend the wound, Noah brought the sword back down and across from its upward swing and took the piece of crap's head clean off. Feeling the other soul eater launch towards him, Noah struck his sword out behind him, feeling the impact and vibration of it plunge into the guy's stomach.

    Triumphant, he was just about to pull it out and spin around to finish the job, when he felt a familiar prick in his upper arm. Horrified, he jerked around to catch Teagan pull out the needle and smile at him.

    “Don't worry. I'm a man of honour. These two go free. But you and I have a plane to catch.”

    “You son-”

    Noah forgot the rest of the words, any words, as Teagan's face blurred before him. And just as he fell into the darkness only a lethal toxin could immerse him in, he heard Teagan say, “Now let's get what we came for, let's grab Grandma and go.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire