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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 18)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(18) by Samantha Young
  • “Ryan promised.” Teagan grinned again.

    She pressed harder, surprised by how much she enjoyed inflicting pain on him. He kept grinning.

    Fine. No more Miss Nice.

    She changed the location of the letter opener, the blade between his legs. His eyes widened and he suddenly grew very still.

    “Ryan isn’t a god, Teagan.” Eden smiled at him coldly. “His word isn’t law. And I will kill you before I ever let you touch me. Do you understand?”

    He nodded slowly, his eyes darting to where she had the blade.

    Eden sprang up off of him, stepping back to let him up. He did so leisurely, his body language trying to ooze cool when they both knew he’d been terrified she’d use the letter opener on his precious pieces. She was sure he wasn’t going to say anything, even feeling a little relieved that maybe, finally, she had gotten through to him.

    But then he stopped at the door and glared at her. “It might just have to come to that then, Eden… ‘cause I always get what I want.”

    Without thought, only feeling and impotence, Eden threw the letter opener.

    Teagan hissed as it sliced through his upper arm. He scowled at her, clasping a tight hand around the handle of it. It slid out of his flesh, like a knife through butter, and he watched as the wound closed over, the only evidence of it a smear of blood on his skin and on the blade.

    “Nice aim.” He smirked at her now, his eyes bright with hunger.

    Eden felt sick. “Not really. I was aiming for your eye.”

    Chapter Fourteen

    Caffeine Hit with… Well… Punch

    Noah stood anxiously waiting on the coffee order. Lucky he had preternatural balance to carry them all. Cyrus, Alain, Emma, Romany, and another three Ankh and eight Neith were back at his apartment. They couldn’t afford to bring in anymore Ankh. Most of them were busy on assignment anyway.

    He was trying to stay focused. He was. But as he watched Sally make up Romany’s vanilla latte, his eyes grew dazed as he remembered the look on Eden’s face when she realized he wasn’t who he said he was. At first it was a look of terror and horror, a look akin to a blade through his stomach. And then there was just betrayal and hatred.

    The pain in his chest was worse than the blade.

    He’d never betrayed a friend before.

    And no matter how much Noah tried to convince himself that he had only been trying to help her, he knew Eden would see it as betrayal. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    If someone had told him six months ago that losing her friendship would bother him, he’d have scoffed in their face. He was an Ankh. He hated soul eaters. He was a seventy year old immortal teenager who had no time for the drama of teen relationships.

    Or so he’d thought.

    Sighing heavily, Noah tugged on his hair, reminding himself that tomorrow was the big night and he had to be utterly in control if he wanted to rescue Eden before it was too late. The fact that more Neith had come along and screwed up their plan had nearly sent Cyrus off the deep end. But the Neith promised they weren’t hiding the perpetrators, they were trying to discover who this rebel faction leader was and take them out. Still, they had been watching Ryan Winslow. He’d invited ten more soul eaters to the Awakening Ceremony as a security precaution. Eden and her family were on lockdown.

    Cyrus wasn’t stupid.

    He had handpicked a Neith trained to withstand the soul eaters’ compulsion just as the Ankh were. It was a difficult thing for a mortal to accomplish but some of the Neith were capable of it. The female Neith had been sent in as a caterer. She would disable the security cameras, open the mansion gates, and send the information they needed on where security was set up etc.

    They had done this sort of thing before. It would be a piece of cake.

    As long as he closed down and forgot that he had a personal interest in the outcome.

    “Here you go, Noah,” Sally said, pushing the trays of coffee towards him with a grin. “Got a study group going or something?”

    Noah snorted, handing over cash. “Something like that.”

    “Well I’m surprised.” She smiled sweetly. “I thought you and Eden kept to yourselves. Like two peas in a pod you two.” She winked.

    Gritting back a grimace, Noah nodded and took the coffee. He could barely manage a goodbye as he left the cafe, trying to swallow back the awful reminder of how he had played Eden.

    No matter what happened, she was never going to forgive him.

    His heart beat a little harder at the thought and he fumbled with Alain’s car keys as he balanced the coffee on one hand.

    By the time he heard the scuffle of feet it was too late.

    Pain slammed through his head, a sharp slice down the center of his skull. He groaned, slumping forward as he forced his body to move through the pain. His elbow flew out and cracked someone across the face, but it felt like a million hands were grappling with him, and then a brief sharp prick of pain in his neck flared his panic.

    Shit, he thought distantly, as a thousand little black bugs crawled across his vision until there was nothing but empty darkness.

    Chapter Fifteen

    Murderer. Monster. Both?

    Eden had been sitting staring out into the gardens from her bedroom window seat for the last two hours. There was a hubbub of activity around the house as Celine showed the Blessed who had arrived to celebrate the Awakening Ceremony with them to the guest rooms. Eden didn’t even know who half of them were, although she recognized a few familiar faces from odd events over the years. Ryan had invited more people without telling her. She pressed her face against the cool glass, watching goons pace in and out of view. Her dad had also tightened security. Eden grimaced. Noah and his Neith would have to be idiots to attack them. At the thought of him she felt only anger. The pain that had been there before had subsided. Her hunger preferred the fury and since she was pretty much trembling with need at this point, the hunger got what it wanted.

    Part of her was desperate for the Awakening Ceremony to be over. She wanted to feel normal again. Instead, she was wakening up in the middle of the night, her pyjamas sticking to her with cold sweat, her chest feeling as if heavy stone slabs had been placed upon it, her brain unfocused – like a million fingers squeezing on her temples. All she could think about was the hunger. The only voice she could concentrate on was the hunger.

    It was a small mercy that Ryan had put her under house arrest. Eden just might have attacked Lucy Stevens by now.

    Then there was the other part of her. The part that couldn’t forget the look on Stellan’s face when he asked her to promise not to change once she awakened. He feared his own nature. He feared the iron door in the basement.

    And now Eden did too.

    With other Blessed walking around the house, hanging out with Ryan and Celine, their sick laughter echoing through the halls, Ryan had had a lock put on the doorway at the top of the basement stairwell. But Eden knew a way in.

    And she couldn’t… she just couldn’t get the iron door out of her head.

    Watching the goon in the back garden pace back out of view, Eden bit her lip, her heart beginning to race at her thoughts.

    She had to know.

    She had to know what she might be capable of… once she took a life.

    Her legs shook as she stuffed her feet into green Converse, and her arms trembled like crazy as she shrugged on a sweater. The hall outside her room was quiet, and Eden’s sensitive ears picked up the sounds of the Blessed in the front parlor. They were quietly discussing the Neith and Ryan’s options for the move. He’d been very close-mouthed about where he was moving his family. They still didn’t know. Eden didn’t even think Celine knew.

    Gulping back her fear, Eden quickened her pace, barely acknowledging two of the caterers she passed and the goon at the front entrance. Instead she took off through the back hallway, past the large kitchen, and through into the back sitting room with the French doors that led into the gardens. The air was cool, the clouds heavy with the threat of rain.

    The perfect weather for turning evil.

    Hurriedly, in case she suddenly backed out, Eden loped down the stone stairs into the garden, glancing around to make sure the goon was nowhere in sight. Catching him near one of Celine’s fountains in the west gardens, Eden ducked behind the hedgerow that divided the back garden from the side garden. By now her heart was pounding so hard, all she could hear was the blood rushing in her ears. Exhaling, Eden sidled along the hedge quietly until she found the dead end. Well… it wasn’t quite a dead end. Ignoring the prickles and sharp scratches, Eden squeezed through the slight gap between the corner of the hedgerow and the apparent dead end. She stood at the top of the stone steps that led down to the basement, willing the nausea away. Only the family knew about these stairs, they were so well hidden and disguised. And even if someone were to find them, they’d think they’d found a useless staircase. No door at the bottom.

    They’d be wrong.

    Tip-toeing down them, Eden half-prayed the key wouldn’t be there. She gazed at the brick wall before her, her fingers shaking as they grazed the abraded stone. It was the third brick in from the left, six bricks down, she reminded herself. Her fingers grappled with the grooves and finally found purchase. With her strength, pulling the brick was like sliding a puzzle piece out of place. Behind the brick was a circular, iron lock. Old fashioned. Ryan liked it that way. A small key lay flat, where the rock had sat upon it.

    Eden’s chest tightened and she felt the hunger stretch.

    This is such a bad idea.

    You need to know. You have to test yourself.

    Taking the calming breaths Celine had taught her, Eden reached in, picked the key up and gently placed it in the lock. It took a lot of strength to the turn the key. A human would have serious problems with it. But it was easy for Eden. She winced at the grating sounds of the bricks sliding across the concrete floor, inwards to the basement. Dashing inside, with a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure the goon hadn’t followed, Eden hit the tiny switch on the wall that only worked when the brick door had been opened. The door wheezed against the stone and screeched shut.

    Eden exhaled.

    The lights had come on automatically, the basement hall cold and clinical and depressing. Her sad eyes fell on the iron door and she chanted the code that would open it, over in her head. There was a security pad on the wall next to the iron door and every week Ryan changed the access code. Only Teagan knew what it was. And idiot that he was, Eden had months ago discovered that he kept the code on his cell under Papa’s Pizzeria. She’d swiped his phone that morning and got the code, subconsciously knowing that she would end up down here. She felt worn out, broken even, as she slowly typed in the code. The lock popped and the door whined a little as it broke away from the latch.

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