Shades of Blood(Warriors of Ankh 3) - Page 8

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She shook her head, burying her face in his chest. “Did you hear?” she whispered. “About me, about Stellan?”

“I did.”

“He would have been alright, Noah. If she’d followed your orders… he would have been alright. Why is Cyrus doing this? I was OK… she was gone and I was OK. But I can’t…” the rage growled from deep within her and she gripped him tighter, trying to force the ugliness down.

Noah took the hand that had crumpled his shirt, his fingers smoothing it out of a fist and placing it palm down on his upper chest. He then shifted, tilting her head so she would look up at him. “I don’t think this is Cyrus. I think this is Darius.”

Eden stiffened. “Do you think… do you think this is a test?”

Anger swept fleetingly over his features before he smoothed them back out. “Possibly. Probably.”

“Why?”

“To see if you really will put your duty before anything else. And you just have to prove that you can.”

Eden snapped up away from him, her long hair hanging down past her face, brushing his t-shirt. She glared into his wide, violet eyes. “Prove that I can? Noah… I want to rip her effing head off!”

He flinched at her tone and they stared at each other for an unbearable few seconds. Finally his jaw clenched, and she saw some kind of resolve in his eyes. “No, you don’t.”

How could he not get this?! A rush of flaming heat crashed into her chest and she wanted to scream at him, pummel him, anything to make him understand. “Yes, I do.”

What was that look in his eye? Was that disappointment? Disbelief. Eden choked on the thought and turned to leave him. Just as his hand wrapped tight around her upper arm, holding her in place, a knock sounded on his door. They both glanced up as Noah’s mom came into the room, her features tight with anxiety. “Guys,” she said quietly, “I’m sorry to intrude but… we need you downstairs and ready to roll.”

“What happened?” Noah asked as he got up, his hands tight around Eden’s waist, helping her off the bed whether she wanted him to or not. Even when they were standing he didn’t let go and Eden felt a familiar ache in her chest.

He was worried.

He was worried Romany’s return would put up a wall between them.

Eden was worried too.

She caught his hand in hers and he squeezed it tight as they walked towards his mom.

Emma’s features were drawn and tense. “There’s a disturbance in a warehouse in China Town. One of our PD guys intercepted a call to the police. A witness described the people involved as unnaturally fast, organized… and one of them had distinguishing features - pale grey eyes. Soul eaters. At least eight.”

“What are they doing?” Eden asked, throwing everything else that had happened behind her as they rushed down three flights of stairs.

“Witnesses think they were after something. Sounds of a disturbance could be heard from the warehouse adjoined to the store.”

In the entrance hall they met up with Alain, Cyrus and Val. Everyone was strapping up. Noah passed Eden her katana from the closet and she belted her scabbard around her hips, the sword sliding into it, as ready to be used as Eden was to use it. The disturbance couldn’t have come at a better time as far as she was concerned. She needed an outlet for all her hurt and fury.

Someone was soooo going to get it.

They drove in Cyrus’ van, speeding when they could and sticking to the limit when they should. The tension and air of anticipation was thick, almost suffocating. Eden’s knee kept bouncing up and down, desperate to flex and kick some douchebag in his good-for-nothing places. The forty minute drive into Boston was cut down to twenty by Cyrus’ amazing driving skills. They whipped into a parking space behind the warehouse and were out of the van, blurring across the lot to the building that immersed them in shadow away from prying eyes.

“The plan?” Alain asked Cyrus softly.

Val answered instead, “Kill them all.”

At that succinct response Cyrus yanked on the locked door, the metal crunching under his strength as the door gave way. Immediately the sounds of heavy breathing and grunts reached their ears and they flooded inside, Eden last in line behind Noah. As soon as she could see passed her fellow warriors her eyes widened in disbelief. Three soul eaters lay incapacitated, not dead. Ugh, Eden wrinkled her nose involuntarily. One of them was kind of almost dead – it looked like his head had been sawn at with a small knife. Her gaze swept the room, coming to a stop on the two Neith fighting five soul eaters, their movements weary, their faces blooded, small knives in each of their hands. What were they doing with such crappy weapons? The soul eaters paused at the Ankhs’ sudden appearance, their grey eyes bright in the dark.

Like true asshats, three of the five turned tail and ran. The Ankh gave chase.

Not Eden and Noah. They each flew at one of the remaining soul eaters. Eden’s was a woman, a tall, well-built, seriously-looked-like-a-dude female soul eater. She spun on Eden, somewhat out of breath but eyes flashing with hunger. She kicked out with a long, strong leg and Eden barely dodged it, swiping back on her feet, the rush of adrenaline wiping everything else from her mind. She could easily reach for her katana. End it quick.

But she needed the fight.

The female stepped into Eden’s space, her fist coming up in a charging uppercut that caught Eden on the chin. She barely felt the flare of pain vibrating through her face, making her eyes water. Instead, she jerked back from the soul eater’s other fist as it slammed towards her, grabbing her wrist between two hands, dancing away from her with a twist, cracking the female’s arm back behind her with a snap of bone.

The soul eater screamed and Eden growled in triumph, forcing the arm from the socket with a strong kick to the base of the female’s spine that stretched her in opposite directions. She howled and wrenched herself from Eden’s grip, turning on her, her eyes bright with pained tears as she grabbed her arm and fixed the dislocation.

Eden let her, enjoying the sounds of fighting at the other end of the warehouse where the older Ankh had caught up with the soul eaters. She heard Noah’s grunts as he pummeled the guy behind her and she flicked him a quick look, her eyes catching on the Neith girl who had collapsed to the ground, cradling her arm, her short, dark hair greasy with sweat and blood. The boy Neith knelt near her, trying to catch his breath, a stream of blood trickling its way down his arm.

Eden’s eyes widened as she recognized them. “Tobe? Cameron?”

October Douglas looked up at her with fury in her eyes and Eden found herself so caught in the familiar blue of them she missed the lunge of the soul eater.

She felt the dagger slice into her stomach though.

Almost as soon as the pain hit, Eden brought her elbow down across the soul eater’s face. As the female staggered back with a broken nose, Eden pulled her dagger out of her stomach, ignoring the fast flow of warm blood soaking her shirt. The wound began to close.

Still hurt like effing hell!

She yelled in fury, a war cry, and pulled her katana from its scabbard in one smooth motion.

The soul eater’s eyes widened at the sight of the sword and she stumbled even further from Eden. For a large lady she was certainly spry, dodging Eden’s slashes and swipes. With thoughts of the whys and whats of Tobe and Cameron’s appearance ru

nning through her mind like cars trying to get somewhere fast on an icy road, Eden launched the dagger in her hand at the soul eater, grateful for her fantastic aim as it plunged deep into the female’s chest. She staggered, falling to her knees with wide pale eyes. Eden spun, bringing the blade of the katana down in a forceful arc, the feel of flesh, muscle and bone under her sword signaling her triumph. The soul eater’s head flew off into the air and landed with sickening, squishy thump on the concrete floor of the warehouse. Wow. Impressive decapitation, if she did say so herself.

Eden winced as her eyes washed over the room. They were inside some kind of silk screen printing company’s warehouse. A beautiful oriental piece that was half completed now had an arc of blood and ‘human’ tissue spatter across it.

That would have to disappear.

She glanced around, seeing blood on wooden tables, chairs broken, equipment trashed. The three soul eater’s that had been knocked out now no longer had heads thanks to Noah’s kaskara. The smell of chemicals and paint mixed with blood and sweat to produce a sickeningly gag worthy stench. This whole place would need cleaned up.

Poor Terrence. This wouldn’t be the easiest clean-up job to work out. In fact she was surprised they hadn’t tripped an alarm.

Alarm, Eden?! she yelled at herself, turning back around to see Noah leaning down before Tobe and Cameron. Who in hell cared about an alarm right now? Cyrus was heading towards them from the bottom of the warehouse - Val, Alain and Emma at his back. She saw the moment he realized the Neith he had saved was Tobe and Cameron. To her surprise Cyrus eyed Eden instead of acknowledging their presence. His gaze fell on her injury, where she had a hand pressed against her warm, soaked stomach to staunch the blood while the wound closed over.


Tags: Samantha Young Warriors of Ankh Fantasy
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