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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 5)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(5) by Samantha Young
  • Her mouth fell open in astonishment as Teagan’s wide eyes met hers from his spot, slumped on the floor. Teagan was all the way one of the Blessed. He fed on souls a lot… he killed and took entire souls into him. Like Ryan, his strength was unparalleled among their kind. So how could Eden, who had never tasted a soul in her life, propel him across the room like that?

    “What the…”

    “Eden!”

    She whirled around as Stellan came rushing into the room, Ryan and Celine at his back. Her brother took one look at her torn collar and flew at Teagan. He got in a few brutal punches before Ryan hauled him off. Stellan staggered back, his knuckles slick with Teagan’s blood. Her cousin got to his feet unsteadily, his broken nose already snapping back into place. He wiped at the blood on his face and glared at Stellan.

    “What the hell happened?” Stellan strode over to her, taking a hold of her chin gently and tilting her face up to examine it. His concern washed over her in comforting waves, and she fought the urge to hug him right there and then. At six-four, with the build of a linebacker, Stellan was intimidating. But then he’d smile that goofy smile of his and all your fears just melted away. He was able to feed no problem. People instinctively trusted him. And if you were anyone but a human, you could trust him.

    “Teagan just doesn’t understand the word no, that’s all.” Eden shrugged, trying to not make it into a big deal when it was.

    “Son of-”

    “You,” Ryan interrupted Stellan, his eyes boring into his nephew. “I told you to keep your distance until her eighteenth birthday.”

    “I was just-”

    “Shut up,” Ryan snapped, his handsome face contorting into the face of a monster as he gripped his nephew’s shirt to pull him towards him menacingly. “You touch her again before it’s time and I’ll castrate you myself.”

    Teagan gulped and nodded, his olive skin paling. They all knew Ryan wasn’t kidding.

    “Well,” Celine’s clear-glass voice cut through the room. Eden glared in distaste at her mother as she narrowed her eyes on Ryan and Teagan. “I told you this is what comes with spoiling the little shit.” Celine wasn’t exactly a fan of Teagan either.

    Eden barely listened as Celine and Ryan argued back and forth for a moment. She leaned against Stellan, feeling absolutely drained. To the outside, they probably looked like a handsome, wealthy family just having a regular old dispute. But no. Her parents weren’t arguing over Teagan’s wilfulness. They were arguing over the fact that Teagan wasn’t as careful as Ryan when he kidnapped, tortured, raped and killed young men and women. Ryan was a wealthy businessman, with a lot of contacts, and a powerful ability to compel people to believe anything. The disappearances never trailed back to him. But Teagan was getting lazy.

    “I’ve told you to do something about it! He never listens to anybody!” Celine screamed, her face growing red with her anger, her pale blonde hair shining like a halo around her face. Eden felt Stellan squeeze her arm and she looked up at him gratefully. She seriously didn’t think she could make it without him. Or Noah now for that matter. Her brother grinned at her and she noticed his own pale blonde hair was brushed for once. He was wearing a nice shirt and pants too.

    “Got a date?” she whispered.

    He nodded. “But I can cancel.”

    “What are you two whispering about?” Ryan snapped, shoving Teagan towards to the exit as he glared at his son and daughter, brushing his burnished gold hair back off his forehead. “Teagan not listening?” he guffawed at his wife. “What about her?!” He pointed at Eden now, his face a cruel mask. “It’s time for her goddamn Awakening Ceremony! It’s happening with or without your approval, Eden.” Now Ryan was walking towards her, aggression bristling in every movement.

    Stellan shoved Eden behind him and faced his father. “Look, I’ll help Eden. Just give me a little time and I’ll have her ready for the Ceremony.”

    Ryan stopped, his face still twisted with disapproval. “And how are you going to accomplish that?”

    “I have an idea. I’ll let you know if it works.”

    Seeming to relax at his son’s gall, Ryan nodded, threw one last glare at Eden and then shoved his wife and nephew out of the door.

    Eden felt her whole body deflate with the tension. “Thanks Stel,” she whispered, dropping onto her bed.

    “Sorry I didn’t get here sooner,” his voice sounded tight with anger. “He didn’t… do anything?”

    “Nah.” She shook her head reassuringly. Then she looked up at him, remembering; confusion drawing her brows together. “Something weird did happen though.”

    “What?” Stellan frowned.

    “I totally threw Teagan across the room. Effortless. You see the wall.” She gestured to the cracks and peeling paint.

    Stellan laughed and sat down beside her, picking up the discarded panda bear with no name. “Maybe it just means you’ll be kick-ass after you’ve fed and are one of us.”

    Eden wasn’t so convinced. In all the stories, in all the times she’d met other people like them - some already full blown creatures of the Blessed and others still awaiting the awakening - she’d never heard of someone who hadn’t even fed on their first soul yet taking down one of the Blessed. Eden groaned and flopped back on her mattress. “I’m not ready, Stellan. I don’t care what you promised Ryan and Ceecee.”

    Stellan snorted. “I told you not to let her hear you call her that.”

    “Whatever.”

    “Come on, Paradise.” He nudged her, his dopey smile making her grin back up at him. “Do this for me. Just let me try to change your mind, OK? Who knows… if you become one of the Blessed you’ll probably be strong enough to kick Teagan’s ass and change Ryan’s mind about the betrothal.”

    Eden froze. “You think?”

    Stellan’s grin widened. “Totally.”

    She mused over this for a moment. That was tempting. Really tempting.

    Stellan nudged her leg. “Well? Will you let me try?”

    As his warm grey eyes washed over her face, she thought about how cool and kind her brother was to her. He always had been. And he didn’t kill people… he just did what his nature compelled him to. He wasn’t a bad guy right? And maybe if she did this, if she did the Awakening Ceremony, all her anxieties and worries and guilt would just… melt away.

    “OK.”

    That night someone opened the iron door, leaving it open a moment too long. The scream that wrenched through the mansion made Eden stiffen in her bed. She heard the horrified plea just as the iron door slammed shut, a frightening hush descending over the house. Try as she might, Eden couldn’t get the picture of the red-headed woman out of her head.

    Worse. She wasn’t a little girl anymore. She had the power to do something. To help whatever poor soul was trapped down there at the mercy of Ryan and Teagan’s perversions.

    But she was so scared.

    Burrowing deeper into her duvet, Eden began to cry softly into her pillow to muffle the sound.

    No matter what she promised Stellan, she didn’t know if she could do it.

    I can’t do it.

    Chapter Four

    BFF

    Eden shrugged off the prickling sensation on the back of her neck that told her she was being followed by one of her dad’s goons. She picked up her pace, letting her long hair fall in a dark curtain around her face. Not that that would do anything. Bozo behind her would just pick up his pace and… well… her hair was what pretty much gave her away since she was the only one in the family with hair as black as midnight.

    “Hey, Winslow!”

    Eden glanced up and smirked at Noah. He stood by one of the bench seats at the lake, ignoring the Saltonians who had decided to take a Saturday morning stroll too. A sense of peace flooded Eden’s chest even as the hunger snapped from somewhere deep inside her. She reached him with a wry smile on her face. “S’up dude.” She nudged him with her shoulder, and then gave a little jerk of her head. “Just a warning, we have a Code Goon a few yards behind us.”

    Noah frowned and checked out the goon with barely a flicker of his eyes. She had no idea how he did that. He was so cool and surreptitious. “Clocked him.” He nodded grimly and started walking in the opposite direction. Eden dug her hands into her jacket pockets and followed. “I thought you were going to talk to your dad about that?”

    Eden sighed. “Ryan and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms these days.”

    They were silent a while as they walked the path along the lake. Subconsciously they moved closer together when they recognized a few seniors from school. The group just stared at them with disgust, their eyes washing over Eden and Noah dressed in black, while they popped in their yellows and pinks and blues. There were no comments made, however. None ever were when Noah was actually in the vicinity. While Eden found Noah’s company soothing, others were a little wary of him. He had this dangerous teen vibe thing going. Eden had told him on more than one occasion that he should trade in his car for a motorcycle.

    They passed the group and Eden remained silent. She felt Noah glance sharply at her. “Are you OK? You’ve been quiet all week.”

    Eden sighed again. She and Noah didn’t really talk about their parents. Noah’s mom and dad were academics and socially inept, so Noah had never invited her over to his house because his parents wouldn’t like it. And Eden had never invited Noah over to her house because she didn’t want him to die. But sometimes all she ever wanted to do was tell him the truth… maybe just to have someone to talk to. And maybe just to see how far she could push their friendship; to test him. In the end, Eden would never tell him because Noah knowing the truth was dangerous, and she would never do anything to put him in jeopardy. Ryan would hurt him. She knew deep in her bones that if he got the chance, Ryan would do what he had to, to cut her off from all human emotion. He was aware of Noah. The fact that he allowed her to hang out with him told Eden he was hoping Noah was going to be the one to push Eden to her limits. Bastard. He was so twisted. No wonder she was messed up. “If I ask you a question, will you promise not to judge?”

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