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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 3)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(3) by Samantha Young
  • “It’s not crap,” she’d snapped.

    Noah had chuckled. “Sorry. No need to be so defensive.”

    Eden had harrumphed and returned to the magazine. She’d tried to ignore Noah as he leaned forward in his chair to yank a curled paperback out of the butt pocket of his jeans. He’d slumped back in the chair and began reading. Eden had snuck a peek.

    In Cold Blood.

    “Capote?” she hadn’t been able to stop herself from asking.

    Noah had smirked at her, a wicked angel smile. “Yeah. You read it?”

    Eden had held up the manga. “Do I look like I’ve read In Cold Blood?”

    Laughing, Noah had leaned over, his startling violet eyes glittering. “Tell you what… we’ll swap.”

    “You wanna swap me Capote for Shonen Jump?”

    He’d shrugged. “You said it wasn’t crap. And In Cold Blood is definitely not crap.”

    Eden had looked at the book doubtfully. She wasn’t really into classic American literature…

    “It’s good. Tragic and twisted but good,” he’d tried to persuade her. When she didn’t say anything, Noah had reached across and pried the manga from her hands, his fingers brushing hers. Immediately her stomach had clenched and this fierce ache rippled across her chest and up into her throat. It felt like a rush of lights exploding behind her eyes, and her nerves began jumping like crazy, her muscles twitching and twanging with the sensation. For a minute she thought she was going to pass out from the unbelievable rush. She hadn’t known what it was, but she knew she didn’t want Noah to move away from her. To stop talking to her. Instead, she’d agreed to the swap. They’d sat in silence for an hour reading, peeking out from the corner of their eyes at each other and then smirking when they were caught. Finally, Eden had had to leave for home.

    “So… what do you think so far?” Noah had asked quietly as she stood up to leave.

    Eden had shrugged. His eyebrow quirked up expectantly. She had smiled back despite herself. “It’s good.”

    His own smile had widened into a huge grin. “Told you.”

    “You?” She’d nodded at the copy of Shonen Jump in his hand.

    “Yeah, actually.” He’d nodded, seeming surprised. “I like this Naruto kid. We have some things in common.”

    For some reason she’d felt this warmth rush through her. She smiled wryly just as she’d turned to leave. “Me too.”

    That night Eden had told Stellan about the feeling she’d gotten that day, without going into specifics or mentioning Noah. Her suspicions proved correct as Stellan told her excitedly that her hunger had finally awoken.

    But, Eden thought, as Noah chattered to her about the latest Arcade Fire album, she would never hurt Noah. For the last six months, Noah had become this really important person to her. For once, someone other than a family member wanted to hang out with her. And with Noah it was easy. She didn’t have to pretend so much to be someone else. He seemed to like her sullen charm just fine. He was her best friend.

    “So what do you think?”

    OK, she had totally blanked him. “Huh?”

    Noah snorted. “Earth to Eden. Come in Eden.”

    “Yeah sorry, just kind of dazed.” Just kind of hungry more like it, she thought, her lip curling as she caught sight of Maria Roth across the cafeteria. Ever since her parents found out she had awoken, they had been on her case day and night to have the Ceremony. The Ceremony where she would take her first soul. And the first soul had to be a complete soul. It was the only time one of the Blessed was ‘allowed’ to kill someone. Eden didn’t think she’d be able to live with herself once it was over.

    Maria slapped her supposed best friend, Cassie Williams, across the head. Even from here, Eden could see the girl’s eyes water with the impact. OK. Maybe South Salton would be a better place without Roth in it.

    “So what’s up?” Noah asked. “You know, you being so dazed you completely blanked on my articulate and epic review of The Suburbs?”

    Eden sighed. “I got detention from Travis.”

    Noah frowned. “What for?”

    “Sticking up for Andie Lee.”

    His eyebrow nearly hit his hairline.

    “What?!” She kicked him under the table. “You don’t have to look so shocked. I hate Roth. She preys on the weak.” She growled and glared back over at Maria.

    Noah knew that look. He hated that look. He dreaded that look. Eden’s eyes were narrowed on Maria Roth, the junior with no conscience. Her jaw was clenched and her fingers were trembling as she self-consciously tried to find something to do with them. Finally, Eden just lifted her sandwich, her fingers crushing the bread beneath the strength of the hunger. It was getting worse, he thought anxiously. Sometimes Noah caught that look directed at him, but just as quickly as it appeared Eden would pull away and make an excuse to get away from him. It gave him hope. It gave Cyrus hope. Still, her eyes were glued to Maria. Eden didn’t like Maria the way she liked him. In fact, Noah was pretty sure Eden hated Maria. Would the need to eat Maria’s soul overpower whatever it was that made Eden different? That made her semi-human?

    “Dude, you went all pensive.” Eden suddenly looked back at him, her brow creased with concern. “Everything OK?”

    Noah grunted, deliberately relaxing his body. “Yeah, except that I keep telling you not to call me dude… and yet you keep calling me dude.”

    Eden chuckled, a throaty sound that warmed him. She had the alien pale grey eyes of a soul eater, but when she laughed like that the dimple in her right cheek flashed in and out and her eyes would warm just a little; he’d forget to be freaked out by the fact that he was pretending to be a soul eater’s friend. “Aw come on, you know you look like a ‘dude’.”

    “I’ve been surfing once and I sucked. Big time. I am not a dude. Repeat, not a dude.”

    She flashed him a wicked smile. “You have a choice here, Noah. I either call you dude, ‘cause I like it, or I call you dick-”

    “Why di-”

    “Ah ah. It’s rude to interrupt. Your choices are simple. I can shout ‘hey, dude’ down the school halls or ‘hey, dick’.” She grinned unrepentantly. “What will it be?”

    He snorted and shook his head. “You are the weirdest girl I’ve ever met.”

    Eden rolled her eyes. “Established. So…?”

    He heaved a sigh. “Dude it is then.”

    “I knew you’d choose wisely.”

    “You need to stop watching Bill & Ted.” He pointed his apple at her, knowing full well why she’d started calling him dude. Stellan had watched the ‘90’s comedy at college and had given her the DVD and now this had happened.

    She frowned. “No way, dude.

    Noah swallowed his laughter in his Coke, a strange niggling sensation gnawing at his ribs near his heart. Maybe his friendship with Eden wasn’t pretend. She had a way of climbing under your skin and making you forget all the serious stuff. He now knew it was her way of trying to forget her own problems. Noah felt his heart thump a little harder. He wanted to move things along. With her hunger growing more obvious, maybe it was time. But he had to be certain. His heart told him Eden was everything Cyrus hoped she would be. But then she’d pull stunts like she did with the freshman. Not letting the milk and cookie drop was her way of apologizing for acting like a bitch in the first place. But that instinct was there. Noah sighed.

    When he first got the assignment he’d been furious at the thought of cozying up to a soul eater. Now he just wanted it to be over. But not for him.

    For Eden. For Cyrus.

    Seven Months Ago…

    …“A decision has been made about the child.” Cyrus gazed at him, his strong face expressionless. Noah blinked at the surprising news and glanced between the Ankh’s Princeps and his own father, Alain. All day he had wondered as to why The Circle demanded an audience with him. This had been the last thing from his mind.

    The Circle, the ten eldest and strongest of the Warriors of Ankh, stared back at him stonily; each face and body no older in appearance than their late twenties, early thirties. This decision, whatever it was, had not been an easy one. According to his mother, his father and the rest of The Circle had been agonizing over it for years. Technically, his mother shouldn’t have known anything about what was spoken of in The Circle. Alain may be one of them, although the youngest of the eldest (a mere thirteen hundred years or so old), but Emma was only hitting her three hundreds. As there were only fifty eight of the Warriors of Ankh left, The Circle was put in place to rule and organize not only themselves, but their brethren - the vastly more populated mortal Warriors of Neith; without whom the Ankh would not exist. A Warrior of Ankh could only be borne by the Neith, identified by the Ankh-shaped birthmark all Ankh’s were born with on their body. The Ankh child was promptly handed over to The Circle and given to a member of the Ankh to be raised as their own. It was the way it had been for Alain and Emma, and for Noah. His Neith parents were both dead now as far as he was aware. But they had never really been his mom and dad.

    There were thousands and thousands of Neith, run by their own councils, but The Circle was the highest authority.

    Cyrus, their Princeps, was the highest authority. Their Princeps should have been Darius of Mesopotamia, he was the oldest of them all, but Darius just wanted to fight; he had no heart for politics and so he had walked away from The Circle handing his reign over to Cyrus. In accordance with old law, The Circle met and discussed situations, strategy, politics, law… and they voted.

    But Cyrus’ word was final.

    Looking around the familiar faces of The Circle, Noah knew in this case, Cyrus’ final word had not gone over well with some of them. The Circle consisted of six ancient warriors: Ulric, Alexander, Cassandra, Valeria, Leonidas and Cyrus. The other four were the eldest of the warriors of the dark ages; Hadrian, Bronwyn, Óengus and Alain. And standing in the middle before them as they sat preternaturally still in Cyrus’s dining room, Noah the baby. At seventy years old he was the youngest of the Ankh.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire