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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 20)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(20) by Samantha Young
  • Noah had made her feel better about that.

    He’d laughed with her. Talked with her. Teased her.

    Sat in perfect, beautiful silence with her.

    And it had all been a lie.

    “Eden,” Ryan prompted, his voice harsh in her ear, “It’s time.”

    She nodded, a brittle nod, and without really looking at him strode towards Noah, chained on the floor.

    Silently, fluidly, she lowered to her knees, her eyes refusing to meet his. Determined not to tremble, Eden reached out, her hands taking hold of his head, ignoring the soft familiar feel of his hair. That strong citrusy, woody scent enveloped her and the hunger roared with approval. Her fingers curled tighter into his hair and she jerked his head back, ignoring the little gasp that escaped his mouth.

    “Eden,” he whispered, his warm deep voice pushing the hunger back.

    No! Traitor! the hunger screamed and Eden leaned forward, her lips falling open in frenzied anticipation. Her whole body shook with it.

    “Eden, please. Look at me.”

    She shook her head.

    “Please. Eden, I never meant to hurt you. I was never going to hurt you. I was trying to save you.”

    She made a mistake. Her unfocused eyes blinked into focus. They gazed straight into Noah’s violet depths and saw his concern. Her fingers relaxed a little, and she fought to breathe, to fight back the hunger.

    “You betrayed me,” she replied coldly, churning up the hurt again to help her escape the feelings she had for him.

    “I didn’t. I lied. But I didn’t betray you.” There was no fear in his eyes. Only desperation and worry.

    For her?

    “You betrayed me,” she maintained, but her fingers loosened even more.

    “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “But don’t take what I did to you and use it as an excuse to become the person you’ve been fighting against your whole life.”

    “Eden!” Ryan snapped at her back. “Do it!”

    Her chest screamed with the agony as she fought back the hunger that so desperately craved Noah. She closed her eyes, trying to clear her head. She’d thought this would be so easy. That if she ever saw him again she would kill him for what he’d done.

    But she couldn’t.

    “I can’t,” she breathed wearily, her hands falling away from him. Eden turned and looked back at Stellan, begging him for forgiveness. “I can’t.”

    Her brother looked tortured. “Para-”

    Whatever he might have said was cut off by the sounds of wood splintering and glass shattering all around them. Jerking in shock at the blaring raucous, Eden gaped in horror as men and women burst through the doors and windows, and jumped into the room with fluid grace, their hands clutching swords, and blades and other crude weapons, their eyes blazing with retribution and the light of war.

    “Eden,” Noah yelled in her ear as fighting broke out among the warriors and the Blessed. “They’re here to help you. Let them!”

    Hands gripped her arms tightly and hauled her to her feet. Eden struggled in them, the strongest hold she’d ever felt, and found herself facing a tall, handsome man with mocha skin and chocolate eyes. He was young, perhaps in his early thirties. His eyes were soft on her, amazed. “Eden?” he breathed.

    She felt transfixed by him, the noise and violence around them blurring and dimming to a dull thudding as they gazed upon one another. Electricity shot through her body from where he touched and she felt… safe.

    “Nooo!” They spun around as Ryan screamed at them, a warrior with a broken neck left in his wake. Eden saw Celine, Stellan and Teagan fighting hand to hand with the warriors as if they had been prepared for this day. Brain fuzzy with utter incomprehension at the turn of events, Eden allowed the tall man to shove her behind him. Suddenly Noah was by her side, the chains that had held him to the floor dangled broken from his wrists; another man, Noah’s rescuer, stood beside him, his sword out as he guarded over them.

    Eden was aware of Noah yelling at her but the words were muffled as she watched the man with the safe eyes battle her father. Something treacherous inside her prayed her father would lose the fight. They fought on and on, match for match, grunt for grunt, blood for blood. Eden was transfixed by them.

    “You are going to pay for what you have done!” the man finally cried, a war cry, as he ducked a powerful blow from Ryan.

    Her father was sweating, his eyes bright with hatred.

    “Ryan!” They glanced over at Celine, who was tumbling back into the room. Eden hadn’t even seen her leave. She threw Ryan a gun.

    “No!” Eden screamed.

    As Ryan aimed and fired, a bullet shot through the man’s shoulder as he swung around in an arc, his sword hissing through the air with song. He jerked a little at the impact of the bullet, but his arc never changed, never faltered, and the lethal blade sliced through Ryan’s neck, decapitating him. His head rolled from his body, and the body slumped to the ground with a thud, accompanied by Celine’s shriek.

    Numb with shock Eden watched the man who had rescued Noah gut Celine from behind before she could fire her own gun at the chocolate-eyed warrior. Blood spurted up out of her mouth in a thick fluid as she dropped to her knees, eyes wide and disbelieving. The man slid the sword out with sick finesse and swung it around with mastery, the blade cutting through Celine’s neck. Eden closed her eyes so she didn’t witness the full decapitation. Unreality made her dizzy and she snapped her eyes back open. What the hell was happening? This couldn’t be happening. Not happening.

    “Eden.” Noah shook her, as she gazed around in bewilderment.

    The warriors were winning.

    The blood of the Blessed splattered walls and chairs and pooled on the floor like something from a fantastical graphic novel. It was a massacre.

    Stellan?!

    Eden pushed at Noah, who kept a tight grip, tugging her towards the doorway as the chocolate-eyed warrior and the man who had killed Celine, drew towards her, guarding her. They were joined by a pretty woman with auburn hair.

    “No!” Eden tried to wrench away from them. “Stellan!” she shrieked.

    She caught sight of her brother through the fight, his head swinging around to find her as he heard her cry out his name.

    A female warrior with a swishing blonde ponytail took advantage of Stellan’s distraction.

    “Eden!” he yelled, turning away from the warrior, to fight his way through the miniature war.

    “Eden, no!” Noah tried to pull her back.

    “Stellan!” She reached out for him, her eyes widening as the sword came towards the back of his head. “Stellan, noooo!” she screamed.

    But it was too late.

    The sword cut through him, a sweep of his blood swiping through the air along with the top half of his head.

    Agony ripped through her chest and her knees buckled beneath her. She felt arms wrap around her, holding her up as the horrific sight of her brother’s body disappeared from view as she was dragged from the room.

    “Eden.” Warm hands clasped her cheeks but she couldn’t see past her tears, or feel anything past the grief that wracked her body. “Eden, we have to leave. Can you walk?” the voice asked.

    “There’s a girl in the basement,” her voice replied, detached from her body. “The code is twenty. Forty two. Eighty eight.”

    “OK, Eden, we’ll get her.” The warm fingers brushed her cheek. “Can you walk, Eden?”

    Stellan was gone. Her chest tightened and she couldn’t breathe, broken sobs, unearthly wailing erupted out of her. Hands slid under her legs and arms, and her feet fell away from the floor. She bounced against a hard warm chest, a body holding her up, a body that moved faster than her tears fell.

    Her own body listened to the agony she was in, understood the shock and pain was too much, and as the mind does when it tries to protect us from ourselves, it shut down, granting her blissful nothingness.

    Chapter Seventeen

    Guess I’m Not Me After All

    She awoke in an unfamiliar bedroom, the shadow of a tall figure standing beside the window. Eden struggled to sit up on the bed she was tucked into, her movements causing the figure to turn around; the soft light from the lamp near him on a computer desk cast clarity over his familiar features. The sight of the man with the warm chocolate eyes brought it all crashing back in tumultuous wave after wave of nausea.

    Eden gasped, trying to draw breath as visions of her parents’ death and Stellan’s collapsed in on her like bricks around a bombed barricade.

    Stellan.

    The torment of his murder pressed on her chest, her lungs struggling to handle the weight of it. She wanted to scream and shriek and rip everything apart until she couldn’t feel anymore.

    “Eden, breathe,” the man said softly, gently.

    His words were a switch. Instead of screaming and shrieking she drew up her knees and began to sob into them. The sounds of her choking, cracking, broken grief echoed around the room. She kept seeing his face before he died. His eyes full of anguish for her. Always for her.

    The one person she loved and these people had taken him from her.

    The hunger felt the anger and gnawed at it, pushing its muzzle past the grief and snapping at it to make room for it. Slowly, Eden looked up, ignoring her swollen eyes and thumping head, as she gazed at the man with the chocolate eyes. He had pulled a chair up next to the bed and sat as if unsure whether to comfort her or not.

    Eden glared at him. “My brother.”

    There seemed to be a hint of regret his eyes. “I tried to spare you that pain. I’m sorry.”

    Her fingers curled into her bedcovers. She wanted vengeance. She was going to get away from him, whoever he was, and she was going to get vengeance for what had been taken from her. “Who are you?” she asked calmly, shuddering back the grief and tears. Eden knew she had to be focused now. She had to discover what these people wanted from her.

    And then what?

    Ryan and Celine and Stellan were gone. She didn’t even know what had happened to Teagan.

    She had nowhere left to go, she realized.

    The man sighed, and leaned back. Eden studied him. He was handsome and young but there was something ancient in his eyes. It was hard to explain… just that he seemed to be a very old man trapped in a young man’s body. “I am Cyrus,” he responded softly, his eyes studying her closely. “I am Ankh.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire