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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 26)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(26) by Samantha Young
  • “A few.” Cyrus didn’t blink but Noah could see his hands curl into tight fists. “Adam has kindly sent in one of his own as a spy among the group. He’ll call when he hears word of her.”

    Noah grimaced, his body screaming for action. “So we just have to wait?”

    Valeria nodded. “I’m afraid so.”

    They didn’t have to wait long. Five hours later, Cyrus burst into the kitchen where Noah was sitting eating takeout with Alain and Emma. His eyes were bright with energy. “The Neith have spotted Eden.”

    “Where?” Noah shoved up from the table, already reaching for the long coat that would hide his sword.

    “They’ve spotted her in Detroit. They’ve lost her position but they know she’s still there somewhere.”

    Relief flooded Noah as they gathered their gear.

    I’m coming, Eden.

    Chapter Twenty Two

    Some Legends are True

    She was running out of money. Eden huffed and squeezed the brown bag full of snacks closer to her chest. Having never had to worry about the green stuff before, Eden was discovering she was terrible at economy. Her second day in the warehouse she bought two throws and a pillow for sleeping on the sofa. The rest of her money she’d blown on junk food, Shonen Jump and a J.R. Ward paperback.

    It was her fifth night in the warehouse. It wasn’t the greatest sleep but it wasn’t like she was frightened of a human breaking in and attacking her. In fact sometimes her need kind of made her wish one of them would be stupid enough to do that. There wasn’t much going on in her brain right now anyway. She was losing energy and focus, and was pretty much just trying to get by without killing anyone. In order to distance herself from temptation she had taken to venturing out at night to the late night market near the mall off Elmwood. She had bought the throws at the mall during daylight hours and had to high tail it out of the plaza before she killed some innocent person. Heading into a mall had kind of defeated the purpose of hiding out in a warehouse to stay away from people, but she had to use the bathroom and had tried to clean up a little. It was a mistake. One she was trying not to repeat. She was beginning to smell, though, and her hair was passed icky.

    At the market she would put her money on the counter and refuse to touch the cashier. The guy behind the counter probably thought she had some weird mental/social disorder.

    She kind of did.

    I am going to have to mug someone.

    It was true. She barely had any money so she was going to have to steal a wallet (again) and learn to pick crappy food that cost, like, nothing. Eden tripped on a jutting sidewalk and frowned back at it, shaking her head. She was getting weak and uncoordinated. Not good.

    Maybe you shouldn’t have left. Maybe Cyrus really was going to help you.

    She grunted. It wasn’t the first time she wondered if she had made a mistake. But then again what could Cyrus possibly do? She was starving and dying for a soul. What other option did he have but to kill her? Eden knew she could try and do it herself. It would take some inventiveness but she was pretty sure she could pull it off. But… she was just too damn stubborn. There had to be a way out this. There had to be.

    Holing up in a warehouse doesn’t really count as brainstorming.

    Shut up.

    Eden was perhaps two or three minutes from her warehouse when she sensed she was being followed. At first she thought she heard the pad of footsteps and had stopped in the middle of the street to turn around. She heard a skittering noise but there was no one there. However, her skin prickled and her heartbeat picked up speed. She was sure she felt the heat of someone’s gaze. Tensing for a fight, Eden turned and hurried towards her destination. If the Neith had come for her, at least she could fight them in the warehouse, in her own territory, where no one would get hurt.

    Well. Except for the Neith.

    Her leg dragged a little.

    OK. Maybe her too.

    Slipping into the warehouse, Eden hurried to her little den and dumped the food, swiping up the steel pipe she had placed by her ‘bed’ in case she was attacked. She shrugged out of her coat and headed back out into the center of the warehouse, just as the four Neith exploded through the door. There was no time for conversation. They attacked as one.

    Eden slid back onto the balls of her feet, her stomach concaving to avoid the slice of the first Neith’s blade. In the same motion she cracked the pipe off the Neith’s nose, and kicked out at his colleague whose own blade cut through Eden’s sweater and scratched the surface of her arm. The kick forced him from his feet, his broad shoulders clipping the only female, who staggered, giving Eden the opportunity to knock her over with a round house kick as she swung the pipe at the fourth Neith, the blade of his sword slicing through the rusted instrument. She cursed and lost her footing with the impact and the kick, hitting the floor and rolling out of the way just as his blade zinged off the concrete ground where she’d fallen milliseconds before. As she drew to her feet, forcing as much energy into her body as possible, hard arms tightened around her from behind and a blade pressed into her throat. It was the first Neith with the now broken nose.

    The three other Neith crowded in around her like hyenas around a zebra.

    “We got you now,” the one holding her whispered in her ear, his words laced with some kind of eastern European accent.

    “Let’s not play with her,” the female Neith scowled. She was American. “Just do it. I’m-” she cut off with a yell of pain and the Neith all jumped, the one with the dagger nicking Eden’s neck. The woman turned towards the doorway and Eden saw, not only a dagger wedged deep into the Neith’s shoulder blade, but Cyrus, Noah and some woman she had never seen before stroll leisurely into the room. The air around them bristled with potent energy and danger. Eden watched the Neith stare at each other anxiously.

    “You know who I am?” Cyrus asked, toying with the dagger in his hands.

    The Neith holding her cried out, “It does not matter. She must die!” The blade bit into her neck and a hissing noise whipped by her ear. The weight of him was gone and she turned, astonished to find him sprawled out on the floor, the dagger Cyrus had held in his hand now embedded in the dead man’s forehead.

    All hell broke loose.

    The three Neith ran at the Ankh and Eden stumbled, watching, confused. Wary. Noah ducked a swing from the tallest of the Neith and came up with a close impact punch of his own. He then gripped tight to the man’s hair and smashed his knee up into his face. The warrior staggered back and reached for his weapon. As he did so, Eden watched in awe as Noah flicked back his coat and slid a sword out from a scabbard attached to his hip.

    “Eden, look out!” Cyrus yelled, as he and the woman fought off the other male Neith. Eden shifted her gaze to see the female Neith run at her. She slid out of her beeline and watched the female with Cyrus launch another blade into the Neith’s back. The girl collapsed, panting in pain into the concrete floor. Eden could still hear the clang of the fight behind her, vaguely registering that these Neith were better trained than the others who had attacked. Well. Except this one. This one on the floor, with the blood trailing from her open lips.

    Hypnotized by the flare of pain that lit up the Neith’s soul, Eden’s legs gave way and she collapsed beside her. Gripping hold of her, Eden turned her just as the girl’s eyes closed and she slipped into unconsciousness. She was dying.

    Her soul. Her soul. What a waste.

    Eden’s grip tightened and she jerked the girl closer, the vortex opening up inside her. Nothing else existed. She couldn’t remember who she was, where she was, what was happening. Only that this soul was bright and she was needful and surely it was a waste to let this soul disappear into the otherworld where it would have no real use.

    She smiled, feeling entranced. Relief lifted the massive weight from her shoulders and she leaned over, cradling the girl like a child. It was almost over.

    A painful hold bruised her upper arms and dragged her back from the girl like a ragdoll. Eden wailed as if in pain and limply let the hands twist her around. Attached to the hands was a familiar man.

    She blinked, trying to focus.

    “Eden, no,” Cyrus was begging her.

    I was so close. So close.

    “Let me,” Eden began to cry, twisting around to try and reach for the girl. “Let me.”

    “No!” he yelled, shaking her, drawing her eyes back to him. He looked so pained, so hurt and desperate. She didn’t know why.

    “Please.”

    “Never.” His grip lessened a little and a sort of sanity began to return with his touch. Like before, she felt a slow, warmth building inside of her, a measure of control gained by his nearness. They gazed at one another for a long time, Eden huddled in his arms on the floor. She wasn’t aware of anyone else. Her eyes closed as he brushed her hair from her face. An affectionate gesture. Not something someone who was trying to kill her would do. Unless they were sadistic like Teagan. God, Teagan. She hadn’t even thought about her cousin. She didn’t know if he was alive or dead or…

    “Eden?” Cyrus spoke again.

    Her eyes opened and the connection she felt to him slammed through her. Perhaps it was because of who he had been to her real mother, but all Eden wanted to do was let herself be enfolded in his arms, to let herself hide. But she could still feel the soul behind her, slowly disappearing as the girl lay dying. She still wanted that soul. She choked. “Just let me go.”

    “No. I can help you, Eden.” He shook her, as if trying to shake the words inside so they would gain meaning for her.

    The tears wouldn’t stop now. They brimmed over her lids and soaked her cheeks, salty tears falling into her lips and rolling off her chin. “No one can. I’m a monster, OK. I want her soul. I want to take her soul, Cyrus. If you don’t kill me, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna take it.”

    “You just need to hold on, Eden,” he begged, pulling her closer, even as she tried to press away from him. She was too weak and he was too strong. He looked up behind her and Eden froze. She had forgotten they weren’t alone. Cyrus felt her tense and leaned forward. She was shocked and amazed by the kiss he pressed to her forehead, her eyes bewildered when he pulled back. “I can save you from this. You don’t have to be a soul eater anymore.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire