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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 10)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(10) by Samantha Young
  • Her phone buzzed.

    Where are you? Everything OK? N.

    Hot tears brimmed over her eyelids. She’d agreed to the Ceremony. Which meant…

    No more Noah.

    Chapter Seven

    You and Me, Dude

    “It has been a few days now,” Cyrus sighed down the other end of the phone line.

    Noah winced at the reproach in his sigh. “It’s not like I’m not trying, Cyrus, but if I push her now, I might not get her back.”

    “If you do not push her now, we might not get her back.”

    Noah exhaled heavily. It was Friday tomorrow and still Eden was avoiding him like he was a Bieber fan at a Korn concert. In any other hunt it wouldn’t have been a problem. He’d have gone in aggressive and had a hold of his prey in record time. But with Eden he felt he needed to tread carefully. She was going through a traumatic time right now, and pushing her to talk to him when she was so clearly afraid, might ruin their friendship forever.

    “You are becoming too involved, Noah,” Cyrus softened, his understanding worse than the recrimination.

    You’re one to talk. “I’m not too involved. I’m just trying to be careful.”

    “No. You are concerned about losing her trust. Well that is something that will probably occur, so it is best you resolve yourself to that outcome. Right now, I am concerned about losing her. If she has broken away from you, Noah, it can only mean she has decided to go ahead with the Awakening Ceremony. We cannot let that happen. Do what you must to get through to her.”

    Noah groaned inwardly as he flopped back on his bed. Cyrus was right. He’d effed this one up. Gotten too close. Too attached. “Of course, Princeps. I’ll fix this.”

    “Good. Alain would like to speak with you.”

    He brightened a little. He hadn’t spoken with his parents in a few weeks except for a couple of text messages from his mom.

    “Noah,” his father’s heavily accented voice murmured in his ear and his whole body relaxed.

    “Hey, Dad. How are you? How’s Mom?”

    “Good. Missing you. We did not think this assignment would take so long.”

    “I know. I had to take my time. Build trust.”

    The line was quiet for a moment and Noah could hear his father moving, a door closing in the background. Finally Alain sighed, sounding as weary as Noah felt. “Cyrus has been keeping me updated on your progress.”

    Noah didn’t like his tone. That tone had always signaled a lecture. A lecture that somehow managed to make him feel seventeen instead of seventy. “Yeah?”

    “I was never keen on this, Noah. I wanted what was best for Cyrus, what would make him happy, but I’ve never been sure of this creature, this girl-”

    Noah flinched at the disdain in Alain’s voice and unexpectedly found his hands curling into angry fists.

    “-but for Cyrus I would agree to almost anything. He’s a good man. But now my son is caught up in this girl’s life, acting like a friend, tip-toeing around her feelings. I’m worried you grow too attached to something that you shouldn’t.”

    His cheeks felt flush with anger. ‘something’? “Dad, don’t you trust me?”

    “Of course, but you are still young, Noah. Still easily-”

    “No. Think on Valeria. Cyrus was right. He’s seen this before. I can back up his claims now, OK. I’m not duped by a clever soul eater. Eden is a messed up, confused kid who deserves a chance to get the hell out of a world she should never have been born to.”

    His father remained silent for a while. “She’s still one of them, Noah.”

    “Not if I can help it.”

    Noah heard the familiar sound of his father growling unhappily. “Fine,” he snapped.

    “Does Mom feel this way too?” Noah squeezed his eyes shut, pressing his fingers into the sockets as if to stem an imaginary headache. Ankh didn’t get headaches. But they got pissed off pretty easily.

    “No,” Alain bit out. “Emma thinks we should trust your instincts but I’m still-”

    “Maybe you should listen to Mom.”

    “Maybe you should remember it is rude to interrupt. I swear every time you go on assignment as a teenager you turn into one.”

    Noah snorted. “That’s kind of the point, Dad.”

    He grumbled. “Alright. I better go. But be careful, Son.”

    “Always am.”

    But as Noah ended the call, he gazed at himself in the mirror, a look of mockery curling his upper lip. How could he guarantee anything to anybody in this situation? Nothing had gone to plan so far. Eden had turned everything upside down. And then there was the added pressure of how important this was to Cyrus.

    OK. Cyrus was right. He had to get his game face on.

    It was sneaky and underhand but Noah couldn’t think of another way. He stood with the door to the janitor’s closet open a crack, as his plan unfolded. As he waited, a fake note from the principal’s office found its way to Mrs. Sorenson’s Business Studies class stating that the Principal wished to speak with Eden Winslow. She’d have to walk this corridor to get to the school office.

    He waited another a few minutes.

    And then…

    There she was.

    Noah’s heart picked up at the sight of her and he deftly ignored his reaction to her. Her eyebrows were furrowed in a frown of consternation, clearly wondering why the hell she’d been called out of class. He held his breath, waiting for her to come closer, to nearly pass. He studied her for a moment. She was looking a little thinner, easily noticeable on her tall frame and with her hair pulled back tight in a long ponytail. Noah smiled as his eyes wandered downwards. Over a long-sleeved black shirt Eden was wearing the Killers t-shirt he’d shrunk in the wash. Stupid, but the sight of her wearing something he’d given her gave him hope that this would go his way. He couldn’t lose her.

    Just as she past the door he snapped the door open, shot his hand out, and wrenched her into the closet, closing the door with a quiet click.

    “What the hell? Noah, you scared the crap out of me!” Eden hissed, her warm breath tickling his throat. It took a moment but his eyes adjusted to the dark until he could make out the shape of her, trapped inches from him in the tiny closet.

    “Sorry, but it seemed to be the only way I could have an actual conversation with you.”

    She gasped into the dark. “You wrote the note?”

    He grinned. “Yup.”

    He winced as she slapped his arm in retaliation. “Dude, I was freaking out wondering what the hell I had done.”

    For once Noah was glad to hear her call him ‘dude’. “Well if you wouldn’t turn tail and run every time you see me I wouldn’t have to resort to extreme measures.”

    “Whatever.”

    Drawing on his skills of manipulation, Noah pushed anxiety and hurt into his words. “No, no whatever. OK. Eden, come on, what did I do?”

    He saw her head drop, her eyes trained on the floor. “You didn’t do anything,” she replied quietly. “It’s me. I’m just… going through a rough time. And Ryan doesn’t really want us hanging out anymore.”

    Noah wasn’t sure he believed that or not. He was kind of under the impression Ryan would like Noah to push Eden over the edge with her need, with her hunger for him. Then again if Ryan had grown suspicious of him he would ban Eden from seeing him. Noah didn’t like that possibility one iota. If Ryan knew who he was, they’d have to move fast.

    He took a moment, his arms crossing over his chest, brushing Eden’s skin. A frisson of tingles and heady heat was quickly ignored.

    Nah, if Ryan knew there was an Ankh in town he’d have the whole Winslow family on the move.

    “I thought you didn’t give a crap what your dad thinks?”

    She shrugged. “I don’t know anymore.”

    Oh no. Oh no no no no no. Noah shook his head. No way was he losing her. He grabbed a hold of her arms, jerking her closer so her head shot up. In the dim light he could make out those pale eyes staring up into his. “Eden, we’re friends. OK. We survive whatever crap is thrown at us here because we have each other. Whatever you’re going through, don’t shut me out. Life would kind of suck without…” He shrugged, trying to appear like a bumbling embarrassed teenage boy. “Well without you. So… I dunno… if you don’t want to hang out, you gotta tell me,” he snorted, like he knew he was making an ass of himself.

    It worked.

    He felt Eden’s hand wrap around his wrist, felt the tension in her body. “It’s not that. You’re my friend, Noah. You and Stellan. You’re my only friends.”

    Noah winced at the mention of Stellan, the other huge complication in this. If he had it his way, Eden would hate all of her family and would happily choose Noah and Cyrus. But the situation was not that straightforward. There was Stellan, Eden’s big brother. Eden loved him completely. And from what Eden had told Noah, Stellan adored Eden. That was a problem. That was a huge problem.

    He shrugged it off. He could only deal with one thing at a time.

    “So, can we start hanging out again, or am I going to have to drum up weird and wonderful ways to make you stop avoiding me?”

    Eden took measured breaths like Celine had shown her last night. After nearly taking out Lucy in the library, Ryan had ordered Eden to sit with Celine an hour or two every night to learn some mental and breathing exercises that would help her fight off the hunger until the Awakening Ceremony. Stuck in such close proximity to Noah was torture but the exercises helped a little. As did his charmingly awkward attempt to tell her, her friendship meant a lot to him. Eden had felt this awful pang in her chest at the words, mentally berating herself for being so callous with his feelings. Noah always come off so cool, like nothing could touch him. She’d thought he might be bothered by her avoiding him but that he would eventually get over it. Even though she knew that it would have been so much easier on them all if he had just given up, Eden couldn’t help but feel a little psyched that he’d gone to so much effort just to get her to talk to him.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire