Blood Past, p.1Part #2 of Warriors of Ankh series by Samantha Young
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.
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 warrior with a swishing blonde ponytail, a girl perhaps a year older than she, 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 blinked back tears, the burning, choking feeling in her throat making it hard to swallow. The image of her brother's death had played over and over in her head every day since it had happened.
She kept wishing she could pause and rewind the replay, do something different, not shout out his name and distract him. Why couldn't it have been Teagan? She wondered despairingly. Her cousin was the lowest piece of scum on the earth and yet somehow, out of everyone, he was the one who had survived unscathed. And she knew he was unscathed. He wouldn't care that Ryan and Celine and Stellan were dead. He didn't have it in him to care.
Eden frowned; it was paranoia, she knew it was, but that big puff of cloud outside her window had Teagan's sneer. Eden growled under her breath at it and ignored Valeria clearing her throat from the leather couch across from her on Cyrus' private jet.
“Is everything alright, Eden? Need the drug?”
She shook her head without looking at the warrior who was taking time out of her busy schedule of hunting and killing soul eaters to escort Eden across seas. The drug she was referring to was the one that was keeping Eden's hunger abated. Her hunger for souls.
Being a soul eater sucked ass.
Eden exhaled heavily and leaned her head back on the cushy leather recliner, blocking out the tasty tendrils of soul wafting towards her from all directions. She was stuck on a plane with not one delicious Ankh soul but three. They couldn't get to Edinburgh fast enough.
If someone had told her six months ago that meeting Noah Valois would lead to the death of her parents and the discovery of an unbelievable heritage, Eden would have snarled at them sarcastically and given them a look that said ‘Did I say you could suck oxygen next to me?'
But lo and behold… here she was.
Opening her eyes to little slits Eden snuck a peek at Noah who sat across from her, reading In Cold Blood again. She curled her lip in agitation, ignoring the way her heart thumped a little harder as her eyes drank in his strong face and elegantly masculine hands – hands that could kill a man in under two seconds, she remembered stubbornly. She snorted inwardly. He was reading that damn book deliberately. Trying to charm her with memories of how their friendship first began.
Reminding her that he had manipulated an entire friendship with her by forcing In Cold Blood on her (a really inappropriate book considering the ordeal she was going through), and pretending to like the manga magazine she was reading, was not the way to soften her up.
“I lied before,” she huffed, drawing Noah's pale violet eyes up from the pages of his book to her face. His eyebrow quirked up, clearly surprised she had deigned to speak to him.
Eden ignored the little shiver that tickled down her spine at the sound of his deep rich voice. He had the perfect narrator's voice. Melodic and unusual, and utterly captivating. She hated him for it.
“About the book. It sucked. ”
He threw her a look that told her he didn't believe her. He knew she was being petulant. “Well, I didn't lie about Naruto. I really did enjoy it. ”
She scoffed. “Yeah right. ”
“Noah, leave it,” Valeria interrupted and Eden twisted her head around to stare at the ancient warrior. Valeria was a tall, leggy, exotic woman, with dark eyes and dark brown hair. She was roughly two thousand years old and one of ten members of the immortal Warriors of Ankh Board of Authority – it was called The Circle. The Circle was put in place to rule and organise, not only themselves, but also their brethren - the vastly more populated mortal Warriors of Neith, without whom the Ankh would not exist. A Warrior of Ankh could only be borne by the Neith, identified by the Ankh-shaped birthmark all Ankhs were born with on their body. The Ankh child was promptly handed over to The Circle and given to a member of the Ankh to be raised as their own. In Eden's case, her father, Ryan, a particularly perverse and evil soul eater, kidnapped Eden's mother, Merrit, a Warrior of Ankh, and raped her. All because he'd read somewhere about a stupid legend that said a soul eater had managed to impregnate the normally infertile Ankh, producing a soul eater so strong it had taken the most powerful warriors to destroy him. Wanting to create his own little super race of soul eaters, Ryan experimented with Merrit and the experiment paid off. Merrit fell pregnant but managed to escape back to her husband. However, Ryan found her and had the babe cut from her body and she died. The babe he took home and raised, a legendary child of mixed blood called the Unforeseen. Eden. Eden was the Unforeseen. Not that she'd known any of this until Noah came to her school six months ago, struck up a FAKE friendship with her, broke her heart, destroyed her life and handed her over to the Ankh.
That last part she couldn't be mad at him for though.
Her eyes caught Valeria's and a powerful understanding flowed between them. Thousands of years ago, Valeria had been one of the Unforeseen as well, but her guardian, Cyrus, discovered a cure for the hunger, a cure that destroyed the soul eater heritage and made the Unforeseen a pureblood Ankh. The cure was blood itself. The blood of the Unforeseen's human bloodline.
“I'm not doing anything,” Noah snapped. “She spoke to me. ”
“Oh please. ” Eden rolled her eyes.
The warning rumble originated from the doorway of the pilot's cabin. She looked up guiltily as Cyrus frowned at her reprovingly. He knew she was deliberately trying to bait Noah. She'd barely known Cyrus two weeks and she felt as if he knew more about her than anybody else. Well perhaps not as well as Noah, but he was certainly getting there. He told her it was because she was so much like her mother Merrit. And Merrit had been Cyrus' wife.
Now Cyrus was her guardian.
In a way she couldn't have asked for a better guardian. Cyrus was the Princeps. The leader of The Circle, and the man with the highest authority among all warriors. He was also about twenty five hundred years older than her which made him possibly the most powerful Ankh on the planet with the exception of some guy called Darius she had never met, who was the oldest of the Ankh. He gave over the title of Princeps to Cyrus because he was sick of the politics and just wanted to kill soul eaters. Sounded like a fun guy.
“Cyrus, she didn't do anything,” Valeria interceded casually, drawing her legs down off the leather sof
“She's baiting Noah. ”
Eden bit her lip, her cheeks feeling a little warm. Jeez, she wasn't going to be able to get away with anything around this dude.
“She's not, I'm fine,” Noah insisted and Eden growled in his direction. He shrugged.
“Eden, do you need the drug?” Cyrus asked, sitting back casually. “We have been on the plane for hours. ”
“Are we nearly there yet?”
“Another hour. ”
Good. She couldn't wait to get off the damn thing. It was her first time on a plane but truth be told the excited enjoyment she'd felt had quickly dissipated after the first two hours. The jet was spacious and she had been able to walk about, but it was still like being stuck in a fat, stylish tube for 6 hours.
Only another hour. And then she would be in Scotland where she would meet her Neith family and have the eldest of the line's blood transfused into her. That would hopefully begin her transition from soul eater to Ankh. Before that, however, she had to get past all the human souls begging for her to take them.
She bit her lip and nodded. “Yeah, I need the drug. ”
They were inside the non-descript rented Volvo barely two minutes, pulling away from the Leuchars'
airfield in the tourist town of St. Andrews, when Cyrus' cell rang. He flipped it open and answered immediately, pulling the car over to the side of the road. Eden absently took in the open country around them. She'd been instantly enamoured by the crisp, fresh air of Scotland, and already used to the sometimes cold springs in Michigan, wasn't bothered by the cool, grey day, or the threat of showers in the gradually filling stomachs of the clouds above. Behind them, she heard the gravel shift as Valeria pulled the Volvo she was driving in behind them. Glancing in the wing mirror, Eden saw both Noah and Val frowning.
It was then she realised she'd never heard Cyrus sound so reverent before. Who was he talking to?
“I do appreciate you coming,” he said in a low voice and Eden pricked her sensitive ears, hoping to catch the other side of the conversation. As if he knew, Cyrus leaned away from her, throwing her a look out of the corner of his eye. “Yes. ” He nodded. “Alright. Where? No, that is fine, I have a Tom Tom. Yes. Alright. Thirty minutes. ” He snapped the cell shut and glanced at her with a thoughtful look.
Blood Past by Samantha Young / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 2.7 out of 5 / Based on16 votes