“Are you alright?” Cyrus frowned at the wound.
Eden nodded. It hurt like a bitch but right now she was more concerned about Tobe and Cameron.
He gave her a brisk nod back and then turned to look down at the Scots. “Why are you here?”
Tobe looked up at Eden first, the cut on her lip really bad. She was clearly in pain and her arm needed set a.s.a.p. The dude had just taken on eight Neith. Eden felt a rush of pride, wanting to fall to her side, to help her, but there was still a lot of anger in Tobe’s eyes when she looked at her.
She still blamed her for her Nana’s death.
Grief clogged Eden’s throat at the thought of brave Mhairi Douglas. The woman she couldn’t save. The woman who had died to save Noah.
With a quick glance at Cameron who, Eden realized, was unusually quiet, Tobe turned to gaze up at Cyrus. “We came for you. For help?”
“Why, what’s happened?” Eden marched forward, her heart picking up speed.
Tobe glared at her. “My mum and dad have been taken. We were attacked. By The Tribunal.”
“Shit.” Noah sighed, rubbing Tobe’s back soothingly. “When?”
“Less than 24 hours ago.” A tear dripped down Tobe’s cheek. “They took us by surprise. We were in my room and we heard the fight from downstairs… we jumped out the window… I… I still don’t trust McLeish. I didn’t think he’d help because of Cameron so we circled back to the house and waited for it to clear. We got our passports. I took my credit card and jumped on a plane to Boston with Cam. When we landed we got in a taxi. A van cut off the driver outside the store and then the soul eaters tried to drag us inside. We took off for the nearest place to hide but they came after us.”
Fear. Guilt. Sorrow. It all crashed through Eden. She was so exhausted. Had it only been two days ago that she’d been happy? When Cyrus looked over at her she faced him grimly. “This is about me, isn’t it? About what Teagan was trying to do?”
Her cousin, Teagan, had had in his possession one of Cyrus’ old journals, stolen from him by her father Ryan Winslow. From the journal notes, Ryan had believed that if Eden were ever transformed to Ankh, the transformation could be reversed by killing the one whose blood had converted her to Ankh within seven years of the transfusion. That’s what he and Teagan had believed. But they’d been wrong. The truth was the entire bloodline had to die within seven years of the transfusion.
The entire bloodline.
That would be Christopher, Alison and Tobe. Mhairi was already gone.
Cyrus nodded, his eyes so serious and sad. “It appears they have learned the truth. But they are not concerned with you, Eden. This is about me and possibly Darius. I think The Tribunal hope to dangle the threat of your demise over us in order to bait us.”
“So what do we do now? We should have kept one of these bastards alive,” Val said, the anger evident in the tight clip of her words.
“It is alright. We will find where they are keeping the Douglas’ and we will get them back.”
“There’s something else,” Tobe whispered, her eyes falling with horror and concern onto Cameron. “The reason I didn’t go to McLeish… Cam… well… they…”
Cameron raised his head, his eyes seeming devoid of much emotion. He cleared his throat, his shoulders set with weary defiance. “They took a piece of my soul.”
Alone in a Crowded Room
It was like he hated chocolate cream cake. It looked like it was bloody delicious but the actual eating of it was like swallowing saw dust. That’s how Cameron felt about Tobe. About everyone. And the part of him that should be freaking out just didn’t care enough to. But at least he was aware that he was supposed to be freaking out. That was something. Right? The room was huge but cozy, decorated in warm, masculine colors, the king-sized bed in the corner just begging him to drop down on it and surrender to a long and dreamless sleep. Cameron hadn’t felt this exhausted in a long time. The door had closed behind Alain five minutes ago and still Cameron hadn’t moved. It was taking some time for the reality of what had happened to him to sink in. Or… maybe, he really didn’t care. Tobe had done all the talking when the Princeps and the others had bundled them into a van. As his arm healed over from the cut and his lungs started working properly again, the trip to Cyrus’ mansion had seemed to take forever. Tobe had been pretty banged up and he knew from his memories that he should have been pissed off, worried, anxious, ready to kill… Tobe meant a lot to soulful Cameron. But with a chip out of his soul, the semi-soul Cameron could barely bring himself to pretend to care. At least he’d been smart enough to trust his instincts and his memories and follow Tobe to Boston, to Cyrus. It looked as if the Princeps was going to take care of everything. And he knew he should want that piece of his soul back so that was good enough for him to do whatever it took to get it back. With a heavy sigh, he moved his healing muscles over to the bed and let his body sink into the luxurious mattress. He’d never seen anything like Cyrus’ mansion. It was crazy.
He’d left a lot behind to secure his soul. Friends, his Councilman/uncle and his mum. Not that he’d seen much of his mum lately. Christ, he’d been really angry about that hadn’t he? He’d been stewing in a rage for days. And he and Tobe had hooked up again after sorting out their misunderstanding. She’d wanted to talk about things. There had been so much drama in his life the last few weeks and now… to not care… it was kind of liberating.
He better not say that to Tobe.
As his eyes drifted closed a strange feeling took over. His body seemed to be sinking deep, deeper into the mattress, the firmness of it beneath him giving way to an inky goop that encased him, crawling over him like warm paint. Cameron gasped, trying to open his eyes but the darkness behind his lids refused to give in until… pin pricks of light began puncturing it like he was coming out of anesthesia. A stream of sound and color flooded him until he was no longer… well… him…
…Darwin Rice was pissed off. Utterly and completely pissed off. He threw a disgusted look at Peter, his anger not for him but for the incompetent idiots Peter had sent out after October Douglas when she’d landed in Boston. “How are we supposed to get to the girl now? She’s locked up in Cyrus’ fortress.”
Peter sighed, his own gaze shooting past Darwin to the glass observation window and the occupants of the room on the other side of it. Christopher Douglas and his wife, Alison, were chained to the walls, their arms cradled in steel so strong not even a Neith could get out of it. They looked like something out of a medieval prisoner of war tale. “Perhaps our possession of these two will be enough.”
Darwin shook his head, trying desperately not to take his irritation out on Peter. Peter was his only ally, his only friend. And the Blessed did not do friendships. “Without the Douglas girl there is no threat to Eden’s life and thus we have nothing compelling enough to draw Cyrus and Darius to us.”
Peter shook his head. “Not necessarily. From what Teagan told us Eden is close to the Douglas’. She may demand that Cyrus come after these two.” He flicked a hand at the Neith. “For now I suggest we keep them alive.”
That seemed reasonable, and desperate not to give up on his plan to take down the Ankh, Darwin nodded wearily. “And perhaps the girl will leave the mansion. She will have to eventually. Try and post a more competent surveillance team near the mansion.”
His friend nodded but surprised him by not moving away to do his bidding. Instead he cleared his throat. “Anderson is beginning to suspect something, Darwin.”
The name shot a feeling of dread and impatience through him. He turned to Peter sharply. “How so?”
“He’s been questioning your whereabouts. Our whereabouts.”
“What did you tell him?”
“That we’re tracking one of our own who has gotten out of control. But he did think it prudent to reiterate that we were to leave Eden Winslow alone.”
“You think he knows we haven’t given up?”
“As I say I t
hink he suspects something.”
That was the last thing they needed. Darwin straightened his tie, a nervous gesture. Landon Anderson was the head of The Tribunal. His superior. His superior who would think little of killing his own Blessed if he thought for one moment he was putting The Tribunal at risk. “We need something to distract him.”
Darwin looked at him steadily, a hard glint in his eye. “Let’s see if we can find dirt on any of our fellow Tribunal members.”
“Anything worthy of a witch hunt.”
Peter nodded, shifting his feet, betraying the fact that he was not at all comfortable with the idea.
Darwin sighed. Peter was always just that little bit softer than he was when it came to hurting their own. “Needs must, Peter. It’s either us or them.”