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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 11)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(11) by Samantha Young
  • She bit her lip, thinking it over. Her heart fluttered as his scent flooded her insides, making the hunger yawn and bat at it, like a kitten at a mouse. She closed her eyes, pushing his scent back out of her. After a moment the trembling in her hands ceased. Still, she felt the familiar heat of his presence, could make out his expectant wicked smile. God, she missed him. She missed how easy it was to be with him, how sitting in total silence with Noah was the only time she didn’t feel alone.

    Maybe I can keep seeing him. I just have to be strong for the next few weeks. After the ceremony I’ll be able to be around him no problem. And it’s not like he knows what I am. It’s not like he can condemn me for my nature.

    No. She would do enough of that for the both of them.

    “OK,” she breathed, feeling the sadness drain out of her with the words. “But for now, we can only hang out at school.”

    Eden saw the outline of his smile. “Sounds good to me.”

    Chapter Eight

    Unquiet Misdeeds

    Despite everything, Eden couldn’t help but feel relieved over her decision to remain friends with Noah. They’d hung out in the cafeteria again and he’d given her a playlist of all the new bands he’d been listening to. Like old times they joked and kidded around, and Eden felt that weirdness again… other people called it contentment.

    It was a good idea to keep it secret for now.

    Eden had headed home after class, singing along to the radio and her secret music crush Lady Antebellum. Eden had been OK with hanging out alone in her room but Stellan had cornered her and pulled her back downstairs to play the Wii. Feeling nostalgic, they were playing tennis.

    “You really suck at this, Eden,” Stellan laughed.

    She huffed, shaking her wrist out. “You chose tennis because you know you can beat me. This would be a different story if we were boxing.”

    “We can switch.” He puffed up his chest at the accusation. “I’m willing to prove you wrong. I’m just vastly superior at this game.”

    Sighing, Eden flopped down on the sofa. “Change it. I forgot how much it blows.”

    Stellan chuckled and put in a disc. Mario Kart flashed on the screen. A wide grin replaced Eden’s scowl. Her brother winked at her and Eden nodded gratefully. She rocked at Mario Kart.

    For a while, as she always did when she and Stellan hung out like this, Eden forgot about her troubles. They were just a brother and sister, hanging out, teasing one another, having fun. Their parents hadn’t bothered them all evening which was always a bonus. Eden glanced at the clock. She frowned.

    “Stel, it’s a Friday night. Why aren’t you out with your friends?”

    He shrugged. “Sometimes it’s more fun kicking back here with you.”

    She glared at him. “Is this a pity hang?”

    Stellan grunted, not taking his eyes off the screen. “No. Although I gotta say I am glad you’re not hanging out with that Noah kid anymore. Guy was a freak.”

    Noah was a freak? Eden snorted. They were the ones sucking souls out of people but oh no… Noah was the freak. She shook her head and returned to the game.

    “Hey kiddies, what’s happening?”

    She immediately tensed at the sound of her cousin’s voice reaching out to her from the threshold of the room. Stellan had gone all stiff too but he shrugged it off and overtook her on the track. Eden bit her lip, trying to ignore Teagan as he glided into the room with his usual air of cruelty and arrogance.

    “How sweet, Stellan, hanging out with little sis.”

    She shivered. He somehow managed to make everything sound perverted.

    “Of course.” He drew to a stop between them, and she felt his eyes bore into her. She refused to look at him. “That’s not exactly a hardship.” His hand slid down her back and Eden jerked away from him before it could slide any further downwards.

    Stellan’s hand whipped out and he slapped Teagan across the back of the head pretty hard. Teagan winced and glared at his cousin while Eden smirked.

    “I told you to back off,” Stellan warned.

    Teagan held his hands up a surrender gesture. “Hey, I wasn’t doing anything. I-”

    “NOOO! STOP! NOOO!!” A man’s terrified scream rent the air, cutting off Teagan. The blood drained from Eden’s face as her eyes automatically sought the exit.

    “Oops.” Teagan grinned wickedly, sidling back to the doorway. “Did I forget to shut the basement door again?”

    They both knew he had done it on purpose. Eden’s heart was pounding in her chest as she tried desperately to forget the scream. Stop thinking about it, she demanded inwardly, fighting back a swell of nausea. She looked up at Stellan for comfort… and wished she’d never done so. Her brother was frozen solid, glaring at Teagan. But there was something there. Something sick. Something envious of Teagan. Did Stellan want to be down in the basement? Did he want to inflict pain and shame on someone? He must have felt her staring, his eyes flicking to her. Her expression gave her away, and Stellan cast his gaze down to the floor, color flooding his cheeks.

    Teagan began to chuckle at the interplay between them, but before he could mock them Celine came hurrying past the door to the parlor. “Teagan, shut that door right now!” she screeched at him. “I’ll be speaking to Ryan about this.”

    Her cousin licked his lips. “Uncle Ryan might not be up for a while. He had a twin brother and sister brought in from Ohio. Delicious. Blonde.” He winked and set off across the foyer towards the basement.

    Eden was shaking from head to foot. She felt so much. So much anger, frustration, disgust, shame. Too much. Too much to handle. And Stellan… Eden felt his eyes on her, pleading with her. But she couldn’t look at him. She dropped the game controller and walked out of the room, her arms wrapped around herself as if she could somehow contain all her feelings.

    Once inside her room, she shut the door quietly and leaned back on it, staring around at the large bedroom with its canopied bed and en-suite bathroom. It looked like a normal teen bedroom. Posters of bands on the wall. Hot guys. Art work by Michael Parkes she found beautiful and twisted and ethereal all at the same time.

    But her bedroom wasn’t normal.

    It existed in a house with a basement where unquiet misdeeds occurred.

    And that was putting it politely.

    It was a house of horrors. And she was part of it.

    Her eyes blurred with tears. Every time she’d thought she’d come to terms with it… a scream would rent the air and kill her determination.

    She wondered what it would be like to be normal.

    The pocket of her jeans buzzed and Eden wiped at her face as she dug in for her phone.

    You were right. Twinkies. I don’t get them either. N.

    Eden burst out into tearful laughter, thanking whatever fate had uprooted Noah Valois and landed him at South Salton.

    Chapter Nine

    I Am Ankh

    “So, we’re just… sitting?” Noah asked her, a teasing smile in his eyes.

    Eden smirked back at him, hoping the sadness she felt wasn’t written all over her face. School had been better this week, now that she had decided to stop avoiding Noah. She was supposed to be worrying about the SATs coming up in a few weeks, but since she somehow got through the PSATs last October, and considering the Awakening Ceremony was around the same time… she just wasn’t in the mood to care. So she was cutting class. And had enlisted Noah in her truancy. They sat together in his car, having managed to sneak out of the school unseen by her dad’s goons. Noah was fantastic at this spy crap. She wondered where he got that from.

    They were parked down by the lake in a near empty parking lot and the rain was lashing against the windscreen. There was a hush in the air that soothed her and slowed her frantic heartbeat. “We’re just sitting.”

    He nodded slowly and relaxed back into his seat. As if sensing her mood he didn’t even turn on the radio.

    After a while, she sensed the slightest change in his posture, and knew he was going to say something. Eden felt as if she knew him down to his pinky finger, she felt so close to him. “You know when I was a little kid my dad used to do this.” He turned his head on the headrest and smiled softly at her.

    “Do what?”

    “Come and get me when it was raining. It didn’t matter if I was supposed to be with a tutor or with the nanny, he’d stop whatever he was doing, come get me, stuff my feet into rain boots and a mac and take me by the hand and lead me out into the backyard. We’d just stand there, the rain lashing against us, my hand tight in his.”

    An ache, a wave of pure loneliness shuddered through her. “Why’d he do that?”

    Noah shrugged, smiling at the memory. “He said that no matter how old he was getting, the rain always made him feel renewed. It woke him up and reminded him of why he was here. I don’t think he knew how to explain it. I don’t. But I got it. And even as a little kid he knew I got it, and that it was something for us. Just us. It used to drive my mom mad.”

    Eden snorted. “She would be worried you’d catch pneumonia.”

    Noah threw her this secret smile and gave a little half nod, like he wasn’t telling her something. “I guess.”

    The hush wrapped around them again and Eden thought about Noah and his dad, and his mom all worried about him. It was such a small thing. She bet his life with his parents was made up of all these small things.

    “Noah?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Could you hurt someone to survive?”

    She felt him tense beside her, the lines of his body taut, and she held her breath wondering at his reaction.

    “Noah?”

    He wouldn’t look at her. “Depends.”

    “What do you mean it depends?”

    “Well that’s a loaded question, Eden,” he snapped, jerking his head around to glare at her.

    Eden felt her face flush with anger, and she bit her nails into her hands to control an unexpected flare of temper. “What’s your problem? It was just a question.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire