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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 16)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(16) by Samantha Young
  • “I’m really glad you asked me to do this.” Stellan grinned at her as they pulled into the parking lot of the cinema. “I’ve been worried about you.”

    Eden frowned, getting out of the car. “I’m fine.”

    Her brother shook his head, locking the door. His remained focused entirely on her as he strode towards her, their stride finding time with one another. “You’ve been different. Crabbier.”

    “I’m always crabby.”

    “Yeah, but not with me. Not with coffee shop assistants.”

    He was referring to the fact that she’d gone a little ballistic at Sally at The Coffee Shoppe on the weekend, when she and Stellan had stopped in for a latte and sandwich. Sally was easily the friendliest person on the planet and had in no way meant to put tomatoes on Eden’s egg salad sandwich when she had pointedly asked for no tomatoes.

    “I’m just being me.”

    “No, you’re not.”

    She felt the familiar prickle of frustrated fury. “What the hell do you want from me, Stellan?”

    A wincing pain flared up her arm and she found herself being burled to a stop by him. They both ignored the ticket seller, who watched them curiously, clearly desperate to hear their obviously brewing disagreement. “I want my little sister back,” he hissed under his breath, his pale eyes wide. “The Awakening Ceremony will take away all the pain and the guilt you feel, Paradise, but don’t let it take away you.” He slumped, his grip easing.

    Eden scoffed, but not meanly. It was more a desperate sound. “That pain and guilt, that’s what makes me me. I thought you wanted me to do this?”

    Stellan gulped and looked away, jamming his hands into his jeans. “I do. I want you to be like me but… I kind of don’t too.”

    She smirked affectionately at him and batted his arm playfully. “You like me all gooey and human-like? Who’s the freak now, Stel?” she cracked, trying to ease the tension.

    He gave a half-hearted laugh and took her arm, leading her towards the box office. “Just promise me… when you’re like me… you’ll fight your nature.”

    “I will.” Eden frowned. “You’re being weird.”

    Quietly they bought their tickets and headed towards the screen room. Her brother stopped her before they went inside. “You saw me that night… when Teagan left the basement door open and we heard...”

    Yeah, she’d seen him alright. That look of envy on his face over Teagan’s free depravity had made her skin crawl.

    “I don’t want to be that person… I don’t want to be that person because of you.” His eyes were shining now as he looked anywhere but at her. “And if you change… I won’t have anything stopping me. I need you not to change.”

    At his anguished plea, Eden felt her chest squeeze with unbearable pain, like grief. She reached out and pulled him into a hug, holding him as tight as she could. All of a sudden he was just like a normal college guy, struggling with who he was. “I promise, Stel. I promise.”

    It was the least she could do.

    After a while, he laughed a little awkwardly and pulled back, not really meeting her eyes. They walked quietly into the cinema, a new weight on her shoulders threatening to buckle her knees.

    Since her talk with Stellan had cut into Noah’s schedule she excused herself ten minutes after they sat down. Stellan tried to anxiously follow, but she promised him she just needed to use the bathroom.

    Stealthily, Eden crept out of the cinema, looking towards the exit for signs of the goons. She caught a flash of one, pacing in front of the doors and shot across the corridor to hide behind a billboard for the final Harry Potter movie. She could feel a cold sweat begin to build on her skin already, as she glanced behind her. The hallway was empty.

    Eden took off down it, turning right at the end and then another left, like Noah had text her. She pushed on the bar of the emergency exit and breathed in the night air. Ugh. Night air mixed with garbage, she wrinkled her nose. The door swung shut and she jumped at the sight of Noah behind it, leaning against the brick wall of the alley.

    He nodded at her. His expression so serious. “Come on.” He held out his hand.

    Still suspicious, but trusting him, Eden gripped a hold of his large, warm hand, her skin tingling at the comparison of his rough, hard palms against her soft ones. Her hand seemed so tiny in his.

    Guilt crashed over her, remembering Stellan back in the cinema. God he would be so worried when he realized she’d disappeared. And she would be in so much trouble.

    Noah tugged on her, his eyebrow raised.

    This better be worth it.

    Sighing, and casting one last look over her shoulder, Eden let Noah hurry down into the dark of the alley, taking corners and side streets without thought. He seemed to know this place like the back of his hand. Worry started creeping in pretty quickly, this indecipherable feeling… like maybe she didn’t know Noah nearly as well as she should.

    She stopped, clutching her chest in panic at the thought.

    “Where are we going?” she demanded.

    Noah looked at her impatiently. “I’m just trying to make sure we’ve lost the goons.” Suddenly he stilled, his whole body growing tense. “Eden…” he breathed quietly and she watched with utter confusion as a blade slipped down from his sleeve into his hand. “Eden, get behind me.”

    “What?” she squeaked, her eyes trained on the knife in his hand. Her heart was pounding so hard it was nearly all she could hear.

    “Now!” he hissed and grabbed a hold of her, tugging her behind him.

    Noise erupted around them as six men slithered out of the darkness to surround them.

    “Oh god,” she breathed, catching the glint of blades in the dark. More Neith.

    Noah! She had to get Noah out of there. But…

    Wait. Noah knew. Noah knew! He’s got a dagger!

    There was no more time to think as the men attacked.

    Like before, Eden’s senses and reflexes took over, jumping back from the swishing arc of a sword targeting her stomach, her fist flying and hitting a face with a crunch. Strong arms encircled her, the bite of a dagger nicking her neck before she dug her fingers into the guy’s privates, twisting out of his hold as he howled in pain. Her leg snapped out like a bolt of lightning connecting with the guy’s face. And all the time she was aware of Noah, fighting as she did. With ease. With grace. With utter finesse. As if he had been born to it.

    Noah is Neith.

    Noah. Is. Neith.

    Betrayal hit her with the impact of a truck going at 100mph. The hunger, the monster within, roared with vengeance at the hurt that ripped through her. She turned from him as he fought off the last two Neith standing. Her eyes found the first man she’d felled. He was barely conscious, his mouth hanging open in pain. The hunger raked its claws down her insides and Eden dropped to the ground, the sounds of blade hissing against blade, of groan followed by flesh being pounded, was drowned out as the hunger laughed in victory.

    Just take him.

    No.

    Yes. He tried to kill you. Just take him.

    I won’t.

    But you’ll feel better. All the pain will go away.

    Eden reached out, her fingers brushing the Neith’s lips like a lover reaching for a kiss.

    Take him!

    With one last groan, Eden tugged at the man’s hair, jerking his head back. She leaned in, the rush of need and excitement making her tremble. It was all going to go away…

    “Eden, no!”

    She was wrenched back on to the cold of the alley ground, Noah standing over her with horror inscribed in his features.

    Her upper arms tingled from where he had grabbed hold of her and thrown her… thrown her like a rag doll with his preternatural strength. Eden shook her head, her chest crying inside. She’d been such a fool. All those time she’d wondered at how strong he was, how fast, how cool. He was a warrior. A warrior sent to kill her.

    “You piece of shit,” Eden hissed, fighting back tears as she froze him with a look of pure hatred.

    Noah flinched, panic flaring briefly in his eyes before he stood up straight. His expression smoothed out. “It’s not what you think.”

    “You’re Neith. You’re one of them,” she spat out, jerking her head in the direction of the unconscious bodies.

    Noah shook his head, reaching a hand out to her carefully. “I’m not Neith. I’m Ankh. Now get up.”

    She skittered back from him, her heart thudding. “Ankh? What the hell is Ankh?”

    A bitter smirk curved his lip. “I’m not surprised he hasn’t told you about us. Of course he wouldn’t. Then you’d know.”

    Eden scowled, sure he was trying to mess with her somehow. Confuse her. Trap her. “Know what?”

    “Look, I’ll explain, but right now we gotta go before more of these a**holes turn up.”

    Eden watched his hand reach for her, letting her body relax as she calculated her next move. With an affected sigh, she clasped her hand in his and let him pull her up.

    Her free hand flew at his face. A blur of movement. He jerked back, faster than she could ever have expected, but she’d took him off guard and she felt her knuckles graze his cheekbone. It was enough. Eden grasped a hold of his arm for balance and shot her leg out, her foot connecting with his solar plexus with enough power to send him colliding in among garbage cans.

    She didn’t stick around.

    She was only three quarters way down the alley when she heard his running footsteps behind her. Eden pushed her speed, sliding around corners and jumping over boxes and god knows what other crap was out there. She eyed a huge dumpster up ahead and swung around behind it, pushing it as if it weighed nothing, so that it glided up and across the alley, cutting Noah off. She spun on her heel and ran, hearing him grunt. When she turned the corner, to her disbelief Stellan was at the back entrance of the cinema, his face pale, his hands shaking as he looked in the opposite direction for her. Eden heard the running steps behind her.

    “Stellan!” she screamed, and he turned around wide-eyed as she ran at him. “Run, run, run!” She pushed at him as she collided with him and gracefully they regained their balance, speeding off into the parking lot. As soon as they hit open space, the footsteps faded behind her. But she and Stellan didn’t stop. They hit the car and dived in, seeing the blur of the goons as they followed suit, careening out of the parking lot as if the place had just gone up in flames.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire