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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 8)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(8) by Samantha Young
  • He tensed at her response, seeming surprised. “Wise answer.” And then scowled. “But almost? You mean the Ginnaye? You think you have nothing to fear from Jai Bitar? Because… you what? Love him?”

    Icy stalactites formed under Ari’s heart and began to drip freezing, frightened drops into her stomach. It churned from the cold and Ari took another step back from the Lieutenant. How did he know that? “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    His glower turned into a glare so arctic Ari’s breath caught again. “Don’t lie to me.”

    This man. This Jinn… Somehow, Ari feared him above al the others, despite the pul of him. Despite his draw. Despite the feeling that above al the others, this was a Jinn she somehow knew. Surely she wasn’t attracted to him? The thought filed her with horror. Sure he was gorgeous… but he was utterly terrifying.

    As Ari drew out of her own thoughts and back to Asmodeus, the look in his eyes, the chiling anger began to register, and instead of the fear she’d felt only moments before, a strange sense of melancholy took over her. The awful anger he directed towards her made her feel like she’d lost something. That he’d lost something.

    Like he was no longer himself.

    Ari took a tentative step forward, not even aware of her own body as she remembered her dreams about Lilif and Asmodeus. In al of them Asmodeus had seemed

    rational, wise, and almost… kind. He had been incredibly patient with his sister—with the exception of that first dream Ari had had of the two of them trying to pummel one another. Or more precisely when Lilif had been intent on destroying Asmodeus. Why? And what? What had changed Asmodeus into this… this wicked, cold

    Marid like al the others were famed to be?

    Ari so wanted to ask him but asking him would mean teling him she’d been dreaming of his past with Lilif—and she was sure it was their past. The dreams felt like memories. But whose memories? Lilif’s or Asmodeus’?

    And how the hel had they gotten inside Ari’s head?

    Am I some kind of psychic now?

    Nowhere in the book that Jai gave her did it say anything about the Seal having prophetic powers or whatever. She was weird enough as it was… she didn’t want to get any weirder.

    Shaking herself from her thoughts, Ari realized Asmodeus was just standing there. Glaring at her. She crossed her arms over her chest defensively. “You stil wear the Seal. Wel, you pretend to.” She nodded at the ring hanging from a piece of leather rope around his neck.

    Asmodeus touched it without breaking her gaze, his long, masculine fingers brushing the ancient-looking ring. “Azazil wishes it so. He does not want others hunting you.”

    Ari immediately thought of Dalí. Had the sorcerer told anyone else about her? “That might be too late.”

    Asmodeus’ eyes flashed with violence and his voice lowered into a deep rumble, “Oh it is.”

    Fear shot through her, igniting the dark mass in her chest again and Ari felt her skin grow unusualy hot. Growled words tumbled out from between her lips before she could stop them, “Are you threatening me?”

    “Advising you.” He shrugged, death in his eyes.

    Fury at the threat embraced her entire body and the heat was unbearable. She lashed out, the power of the Seal crackling at her fingertips. The air in the room grew electric and a phantom wind swooped around them, blowing Ari’s hair back from her face. “Your kind of advice is unwanted and unwise, Asmodeus.”

    Shock transformed Asdmodeus’ features, his face paling, his eyes widening. “Lilif?” he whispered, a hand reaching out towards her.

    As suddenly as the Seal had taken control, the darkness was puled back under, sucked in by the vacuum of Ari’s own control. Her whole body trembled as she

    tried to reassert dominance over her own mind and body. She blinked, shuddering and heaving. Asmodeus’ shocked question had brought Ari back in control. “What?”

    she breathed in utter confusion.

    “Your eyes,” Asmodeus growled and strode towards her threateningly. “They changed.”

    Ari stumbled back and held her hands up to ward him off, the darkness already awakening at the new threat. To her surprise he stopped and so did the darkness.

    “Changed?”

    “They turned dark. Dark brown.” He moved again and Red’s warning took hold of her as Asmodeus crowded her against the wal. His hand wrapped around her

    throat to hold her in place, his eyes blazing with furious questions.

    Terrified his attack would cause her to use the Seal again, Ari pushed the telepathy, searching for Red. Red, I need you! Asmodeus is in my room!

    Asmodeus squeezed her throat, cutting off her air supply. And then just as suddenly he loosened his hold. “Tel me what you know.” He pushed her a little and her head smacked against the wal. “Tel m-”

    Fire erupted behind him and Ari sagged in relief as Asmodeus let go of her to turn around and face the intruder. Not intruder. Ari met Red’s angry gaze and she slid along the wal away from Asmodeus only to stil at the sight of Azazil. He towered beside The Red King, eyeing Asmodeus carefuly. His gaze shifted to Ari and he smiled politely. “You look lovely, Ari.” And then he turned back to his Lieutenant. “Come, Asmodeus. You know it’s ungentlemanly to pay a cal to a maiden’s room alone. Let us leave Ari to gather herself before dinner.”

    Asmodeus looked down at her like he was considering disobeying the Sultan. Ari stared back at him warily, completely bemused by his aggression towards her.

    Finaly he nodded and with one last piercing look, Asmodeus turned and folowed Azazil out of the room.

    Ari sagged against the wal as the door closed behind them. “He seriously doesn’t like me.”

    Her uncle nodded. “I want to find out why.”

    “Can you?”

    “Not if my father doesn’t want me to know.”

    Ari’s face fel and she gave him a nod of understanding.

    Red sighed. “But I can try.”

    Thanking the heavens for her uncle, Ari gave him a grateful smile. “Thank you.”

    He smiled back at her and held out an elbow for her to take. “You look beautiful by the way. Just like your mother.”

    Ari blinked at the mention of Sala. “You knew her?” she asked softly as she took his proffered elbow.

    Red’s expression smoothed out to perfect blankness. “A long time ago.”

    4 - Feast on these Words Before the Plate is Removed from the Table

    Stil shaken from her encounter with Asmodeus, and desperate to keep how unnerved she was under wraps so that Jai and Charlie didn’t suspect she had been

    accosted, Ari tried to keep her expression serenely blank as she approached them. They stood together at the end of the halway at the exit to Red’s quarters in the palace. Standing by a window, the air of thick tension around them was obvious; Jai gazed outside at something that had caught his interest while Charlie stared determinedly at the floor.

    I must say I don’t think I’ve been quite as entertained by a love triangle since Meyer’s novels. Red chuckled, throwing her a sarcastic look.

    Ari roled her eyes and gave him a friendly nudge with her elbow. Why am I not surprised you read paranormal teen fiction?

    Because I read everything. I was particularly delighted by the one about the girl who fights in the arena with the other tributes from different

    districts… like gladiators of ancient Rome. It was blood-thirsty and very entertaining.

    Grinning, Ari shook her head. “Again, I’m not surprised.”

    “Not surprised by what?” Charlie asked, and Ari turned to look at him only to feel her cheeks redden at his gaze. He was staring at her as if he’d never seen her before, his eyes seeming to penetrate the soft fabric she was wrapped in. Again, Ari fought the urge to cover herself up. Instead she shot an anxious look at Jai who was no longer gazing in boredom out of the window. His vibrant eyes were traveling the length of her, his jaw clenching as they came to rest on her face. He noticed her flush and jerked a swift glance at Charlie, his scowl deepening.

    “I didn’t ask to be dressed like this,” Ari hurried to assure him. “Apparently, Azazil insisted on it.”

    Jai didn’t appear to be listening. He was stil glowering at Charlie who had finaly realized he’d been caught blatantly checking her out. He shot a wary look at Jai and then gave Ari a careful nod. “You look nice,” he told her hoarsely.

    Ari scowled as Jai crossed his arms over his chest, his biceps flexing threateningly. He was wearing a t-shirt. And jeans. So was Charlie. “What the hel?” she grumbled, gesturing to their attire. “Why aren’t you guys in some ridiculous get-up?”

    The Red King cleared his throat. “It was not required of them.”

    “Just me?” Ari sneered, feeling na**d and picked upon. “Why?”

    “Don’t take it as an insult, Ari. It was meant as a compliment. It suggests Azazil thinks of you as one of his own people. It was not meant to insult you. Although,” he cast another look over her appearance and gave a fatherly frown, “On second thought it is a little revealing.”

    “A little?” Jai snapped.

    At the sound of disgust in his voice Ari shot him a hurt look of angry dismay. “I look that bad?”

    His eyes narrowed. “No. That’s the opposite of the problem.”

    “Dude, she can wear what she wants,” Charlie interjected, frowning at Jai’s proprietary attitude. “You’re not her keeper.”

    The guardian Jinn slanted him a dangerous look. “Just keep your eyes glued in your head, Kid.”

    “Kid-”

    “Oh dear God,” Ari whisper-shouted at them. “Now is not the time or the place. I am dressed like an extra from Cleopatra and even though I can’t feel the cold, I’m freezing with vulnerability, so can you just be my friends here and shut up, go to dinner and be on your best behavior so we can get the hel out of here and I can get back into my jeans.”

    There was stunned silence for a moment and then Red sighed. “Wel said. Let’s do this.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire