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  • Home > Samantha Young > Warriors of Ankh > Blood Will Tell (Page 27)     
  • Blood Will Tell(Warriors of Ankh #1)(27) by Samantha Young
  • You don’t have to be a soul eater anymore.

    You don’t have to be a soul eater anymore.

    The words seemed to echo around the old warehouse, ringing in her ears over and over. Eden’s heart began to pound as she questioned what he could possibly mean by that statement. Did he mean he was going to kill her? He didn’t look like someone contemplating killing her…

    “What… what do you mean?” she whispered hoarsely, afraid to believe he actually meant there was a way out of this that didn’t involve someone dying.

    “There is a cure.”

    Eden burst out into huge, wracking sobs and he hushed her, pulling her fully into his arms, so her tears soaked his chest. She couldn’t calm down. She felt like she was hyperventilating. There was a cure. He said there was a cure. God, she so needed to believe that. Trying to grasp onto some control, Eden forced her sobs to subside so she could hear what this strange but familiar man had to say.

    “I knew of two cases such as yours, Eden,” he began quietly, still rocking her like a child. “One was centuries ago. A boy was born as one of the Unforeseen. Despite his guardian’s attempts, they couldn’t find a cure for the boy’s hunger and he took a soul and became a soul eater. A very powerful soul eater. It took many years but my brethren and I managed to hunt him down and kill him. It was the hardest kill I’d ever known for I knew his guardian well. His guardian’s name was Darius, the oldest of our kind. There was much discussion on what would have likely cured the young man. Darius refused to let go of the matter and whenever he could, he researched, spoke with people, and theorized with the brightest minds of our time. It was during an assignment in Egypt that he spoke with a voodoo priestess. She told him she believed that blood was the key. The blood of someone from the child’s human bloodline would have saved him had he taken it into his body. She theorized that he would have been reborn an Ankh.” He sighed and looked past her again and this time Eden followed his gaze. The woman who had fought with him kneeled beside them. “Another child was born many years later. The child of a female Ankh, raped by a soul eater. Unfortunately the child’s mother was killed in battle when the child was a year old. But Darius and I stepped in and reared the child. We spent years tracking down the Ankh’s human bloodline. The child was fifteen by the time we managed it. It was a miracle that we ever did. By then the child was craving souls, being driven mad by her need. But we acquired the blood from her bloodline and we forced it into her. It wasn’t pleasant, we had to make a crude syringe from reeds and beeswax to ensure the blood went into a vein.”

    “What happened?” Eden whispered, a kernel of something unfolding in her chest, light and painfully warm.

    Cyrus gazed back at the woman and Eden’s gaze followed him. She was beautiful with rich dark hair and almond-shaped eyes. “She took some kind of seizure and fell unconscious. We waited. She awoke some twenty four hours later.” He looked down at Eden and brushed a thumb across her cheekbone. “Her eyes were no longer pale grey, but dark brown. Almost black.”

    She jerked and stared over at the woman with the dark eyes.

    “Eden, this is Valeria,” Cyrus introduced them as if they were at a formal dinner party. “Valeria was the child I spoke of.”

    “Oh my God,” the words tumbled out of her mouth as she stared at this stunning and strong and healthy Ankh who had once been a soul eater. Like her.

    “No one else knows this except a few of The Circle, our trusted kinsmen. Neith and soul eaters aware of the legends believe the Unforeseen who became Ankh died in battle. It would be dangerous for them to know the truth of Valeria, as it is dangerous that they know of you. Ryan Winslow was one such Neith who knew of the legends. He wanted a child who would bear a race of extraordinary soul eaters.”

    She felt sick at the mention of her father.

    “I spent seventeen years looking for you. I am not giving up until you are saved.” He stood up now, tugging her weak body to her feet. She swayed and both Valeria and he reached for her. Her eyes locked with Valeria’s. They were kind and understanding. Kindred. “I found your bloodline, Eden. I found Merrit’s human bloodline and I’m going to take you to them. We’ll make this right.” His eyes shone now with tears as he cupped her face in his huge palms. “You look so much like your mother.”

    She laughed, a hoarse strange sob/laugh and fell into his safe arms.

    Epilogue

    This Battle has

    Just Begun

    Eden stared wearily at the suitcase in front of her. Valeria was packing clothes Eden hadn’t worn yet into it. Clothes Valeria had chosen and Cyrus had bought. Clothes that probably cost a small fortune. Although Cyrus had administered a drug to her that helped abate the hunger and made her feel somewhat normal again (at least not crazy anyway), Eden still didn’t want to leave the house and none of the Ankh thought it was a good idea. Cyrus’ home was amazing anyway. It was huge. There was a swimming pool, a bowling alley, tennis courts, a games room. A lot of things to help keep her mind off Stellan. Of course the first day she had slept and then the second day she had taken the drug for the first time and had slept some more. The third day she felt good enough to go for a swim and this was the fourth. Valeria had returned three hours ago with all these clothes. And now they were packing.

    Her real mom’s human bloodline was a family who belonged to a group of Neith in Scotland. They were flying to Edinburgh in one day.

    “So, how does this work again?” Eden asked softly, folding a really cool t-shirt with The Clash on it into the suitcase. Valeria had great taste in clothes.

    “How does what work?” the Ankh asked, ripping tags off a pair of black jeans. “You should wear these on the plane.” She held them out to her. Eden took them somewhat bemused. She was glad Val was around. After what Cyrus told her she felt a little clingy towards Val, needing to be close to someone who had gone through what she had. She was still cagey of them all, despite how connected she felt to Cyrus, and she wasn’t sure she trusted any of them completely. But Val told her that all the paranoia and anger would go away when she completed the transition to full-blooded Ankh.

    “Well do we have to tell these people about what’s wrong with me?” she grumbled, embarrassed at strangers knowing her weird, repulsive and macabre personal business. “Can’t we just, like, snatch one of them, stick a needle in them and take some blood?”

    Val snorted. “That’s your soul eater side talking.”

    Eden rolled her eyes. “How do you know? I mean, how do we even know I have an Ankh side?”

    “Because,” Cyrus’ familiar rich voice warmed Eden as he strolled into the huge bedroom he’d given her. “You’ve demonstrated its presence.”

    “Uh, when?”

    “Well, the night of the Ceremony-

    She winced, not caring for the reminder of Stellan’s death. The pain of that wasn’t going to disappear with the transition that was for goddamn sure.

    “-you were in shock and yet your nature, your Ankh nature, compelled you to tell me there was a human girl imprisoned in the basement. Through all that you thought to save her.”

    Eden frowned. She had forgotten about that.

    “If you need more evidence… what about your fighting abilities? You fight naturally. Of course you will need training but the raw material is there.”

    Eden grew excited at the mention of training. Cyrus told her there was so much she didn’t know. And so much to learn about being an Ankh. Eden was impatient to find out all Ryan had kept from her, and impatient to turn herself into a warrior who could take care of herself without help from anybody else. But Cyrus was adamant they get her through this first hurdle before he disclosed all the facts. She wasn’t happy about that, and a part of her questioned her tenuous trust in him, but in the end she needed to see this through.

    “And then there is Noah’s account of things. He tells me you often used your aggression to intimidate bullies at school.”

    Eden grunted at Noah’s name. He was still not forgiven. He’d been hanging around because Cyrus insisted on it, but she still wasn’t speaking to him and avoided him whenever he walked into a room. Every time she snuck a glance at him, the heartbreak she felt over losing his friendship, their bond, ripped through her like grief. She had enough of that to deal with. And she was still pretty sure she’d kill his skanky girlfriend if she ever got the chance, soul eater or no soul eater. Stellan was still with her through all this. He always would be. She felt he deserved some kind of vengeance for what happened. To make matters harder to swallow, while her loving brother had died, Cyrus told her, her vile cousin, Teagan, had gotten away. No one could find him. Fate was a heartless bitch sometimes.

    We’d get on well, Eden thought wryly as Cyrus threw her a reproving look at her reaction to Noah’s name.

    “You have to forgive him sometime.” He gave her one of his serious, fatherly looks. She had a feeling Cyrus was going to become pretty overbearing and over protective in the coming months. In a way it was nice.

    But not when he was sticking up for Noah.

    Before she could reply, Valeria shook her head. “She does not need to do anything of the kind. If being angry at Noah is what she needs right now, then so be it. For now, all Eden needs to concentrate on is getting to Edinburgh and getting through the transition. We still have a faction of Neith after her, remember.”

    Cyrus scowled but nodded. “Of course.”

    At the mention of the Neith, Eden’s hand trembled as she stuffed socks into a zipped compartment of the suitcase. This Cosmina Arcos person, or whoever she was, apparently wasn’t giving up. It seemed she didn’t care how many Neith it took to kill Eden, she was determined to see it through. And there appeared to be enough Neith that agreed with her assessment of Eden’s existence to carry on the hunt indefinitely. They would have to be careful on this trip to Scotland, and be ready at a moment’s notice to defend themselves against attack. Word was also out that The Tribunal was hunting Eden and Teagan after discovering the mess at the Winslow home. According to Cyrus, the soul eaters had disposed of all incriminating evidence of their existence, including what they had discovered in the basement. Now they were looking for someone to punish for the Winslow’s obvious crimes, and since Eden and Teagan were the only two left, they were the targets.

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