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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 10)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(10) by Samantha Young
  • He opened the door, standing aside to let the king in. Red nodded at him to close the door and Charlie did so, watching him al the while. “Is this about what I said at the table? Because I know that was dumb.”

    “It was stupid,” Red agreed, “But I believe it did nothing to change Azazil’s… opinion of you.”

    Not sure he liked the emphasis Red put on the word ‘opinion’, Charlie crossed his arms over his chest defensively. “So why are you here?”

    The room seemed to crackle with power and Charlie was astonished when he heard Red’s voice in his head. To give you this, Red dug into his robes, and when his hand came back into view he was clutching a silver chain. And sparkling on the end of it in the low light was a briliant pendant of pure emerald.

    Charlie’s eyes widened as his blood thrummed and surged towards the gemstone. “Why?” he whispered, unable to unglue his eyes from it.

    Because… you will need it. It will protect you… when I cannot.

    Reaching out for the chain, Charlie felt the power surge through him as soon as he touched it, his head blowing back with the impact. His whole body shuddered as heat flooded him from the top down, like lava spewing down volcanic rock. It was so blistering Charlie was surprised it felt good rather than painful. Eventualy it stopped and he chuckled in wonder as he finaly met Red’s gaze. “That was amazing.”

    Keep it hidden, Red warned him. Use it only when you really need to. Say… if someone were trying to track you for breaking a law.

    Realization dawned and Charlie felt a surge of overwhelming gratitude. Red knew Charlie wasn’t going to give up on his vengeance and rather than want to punish him for it, he was giving him a chance to escape punishment. The emerald would make him more powerful. It would help him to evade capture. “Thank you,” he replied, hoping Red could see how much this meant to him.

    You are welcome. Just try to stay alive. That means no more smart ass comments at the dinner table. With one last look of rebuke, Red swept from the room, leaving Charlie with the temptation of the emerald.

    Even though its glitter was like droplets of crystaline water to a parched man, Charlie shoved the chain deep into his pocket. He would be smart this time. The emerald was for after… after he took his revenge against the Labartu that kiled Mike.

    Ari did a twist and then a turn for the fifteenth time and pummeled her pilow in frustration. She couldn’t sleep. Her brain was way too busy. What Charlie had done at the table bothered her most. It was like the idiot had a death wish. And then there was what White had said about Azazil… how Red was just Azazil’s puppet and Azazil had an agenda. She’d noticed the Sultan cutting Red off anytime he was in the middle of educating them about the Jinn… like he wanted to keep Ari ignorant. She wondered if Red was in trouble for saying too much. She hoped not. She was beginning to believe – despite White’s warning – her uncle realy did want to protect her.

    And then there was Jai.

    She knew she had major problems right now. Like al those Jinn today finding out who she was. And also the ever-growing evidence that she was somehow going to have to be Charlie’s freaking keeper until he started acting like a sane person again. But… she was in love. And not the girlish, best friend love she had for Charlie. This was potent, enthraling, want to touch Jai al the time, can’t stop thinking about him for a second, want to crawl into his mind and body kind of breath-stealing love. She missed him. Lying there, across the hal from him, she actualy physicaly missed him.

    She was that girl.

    And Ari knew they were supposed to be keeping their relationship on the down-low but now that Charlie was in the clear, she could be with her… boyfriend?... in private without feeling guilty. Right?

    Her comforter was thrown off without another thought. Ari conjured her jeans and a tank top and tiptoed out of her room. The pulse in her neck was throbbing and her heart was banging against her ribcage. Jai, I’m outside your door.

    There was no reply. Ari waited a second, feeling deflated. He must be asleep.

    Turning to leave, Ari stifled a gasp as a strong hand shot out of his now open door and puled her inside. Jai grinned down at her as he used her body to press the door shut.

    Unfortunately he was fuly clothed.

    What are you doing here? he asked, reaching out to curl her hair back over her ear. Ari shivered and leaned into his touch.

    As if he didn’t know why she was here.

    I couldn’t sleep. She placed her hands gently on his chest, tracing little patterns on his t-shirt and enjoying the feel of him under her fingertips. Is this what you

    sleep in? she asked doubtfuly, eyeing his jeans.

    He stepped into her wandering hands, closing the distance between them. His hot gaze pinned Ari to the door and she slid her hands up around his neck to anchor herself. Her legs were beginning to feel a little wobbly. I put them on when you came to the door.

    She smiled at this gentlemanly act although she was disappointed in his modesty. So what do you normally sleep in when I’m not there?

    No longer smiling, Jai placed both hands on the door at either side of her head, trapping her. I’m more interested in what you sleep in…

    And before she could answer he dipped his head, his lips brushing hers in tantalizing strokes that made her mouth tremble and her hands clutch tighter around his neck. Seeming determined to tease her mercilessly, Jai trailed those butterfly kisses along her jaw until he reached her ear. His teeth nibbled at her ear lobe and Ari moaned, surprised her ear was such a sensitive place. She felt him smile against her skin and part of her wanted to slap the smugness out of him, but the bigger part of her was too busy enjoying the sensual teasing to care. Letting her head fal back against the wal, Ari sighed softly as Jai kissed his way down her neck. When he reached her colarbone he stopped and straightened, his arms stil barricading her against the door. His eyes had darkened to a smoldering emerald and his breathing was a little uneven. He pressed a soft kiss to her lips. You should go back to your room.

    No. She protested, wishing his hair was longer so she could tug a hold of it and keep him there. I want to talk to you about something.

    Jai puled back, frowning. What?

    Ari was going to broach the subject of returning to work for The Guild but her eyes lowered to his mouth and those words just… dribbled out of her head. Wanting a real kiss, Ari jerked him down to her mouth, kissing him hard and demanding he kiss her back. His tense surprise melted into a shudder as Ari’s tongue touched his and suddenly he was meeting her demand, his kiss lush and desperate as his arms wrapped around her so every inch of her was pressed against him.

    And stil Ari wanted to be closer.

    She didn’t know which one of them moved but suddenly she had a mattress beneath her back and Jai’s strong body braced above hers. Jai broke their frantic kiss and a flushed Ari drew breath before urging him back to her for more. The frenzy of their make-out finaly eased into long, languid and passionate kisses. They learned the taste of one another, the smel, the feel. When Jai brushed a hand down her side, his thumb tickling the side of her breast, Ari gasped into his mouth in excitement.

    The noise and his reaction to it seemed to wake Jai up and he wrenched himself from her, colapsing beside her on the bed.

    “Okay, time out,” he whispered hoarsely.

    Ari groaned. Spoil sport.

    Chuckling Jai shook his head. You said you wanted to talk about something.

    Flipping over onto her side so she could look at him, Ari rested her head in her hand and nodded reluctantly, her body stil strung taut with the tension he’d created inside of her. I wanted to talk about a couple of things.

    Such as?

    Whether you’re really okay about keeping our relationship quiet until…

    Jai snorted. Until when? We don’t know how long your situation will last. Indefinitely, possibly.

    Okay, well let’s just keep it quiet until my father makes his next move. And until you and I have spent more time together.

    In private.

    In private. I’m trying to protect you. It’s not that I don’t want to be with you openly, because there’s nothing more I’d like in the world than for

    everyone to know that I love you. But you’ve also got your family to think about and I… just think it would be better if we waited to tell people.

    Jai was silent a moment as he stared up at the ceiling. Ari waited, tense, butterflies rioting with the gremlins in her stomach. She wanted to see if he’d acknowledge her second ‘I love you’.

    I understand, he replied slowly as he turned to meet her gaze, and you’re probably right. We’ll keep it quiet.

    And..? She couldn’t help ask, annoyed that he was ignoring those three little words.

    Jai frowned. And…? But she saw a flash of something in his eyes. Something desperate and uneasy… and almost pleading.

    After a moment, Ari began to understand what his look meant… or what it might mean. An ache in her chest grew for him and al the hurt his family had put him through. They’d messed Jai up emotionaly, but Ari was determined she would be the one to put him back together. Relaxing so he would relax, Ari reached out to stroke his cheek. He wasn’t like her. Jai was not an open book and this was new to him. Trusting her. Caring about her.

    He wasn’t ready.

    And she would be understanding for now…

    And, she replied instead, about our next move? Like you said, we don’t know how long my situation is going to play out for, but I’d really like to

    return to The Guild. As a hunter.

    Her guardian seemed to let this sink in and then he sat up, his arms braced over his bent knees as he turned to look back at her. If that’s what you need, we’ll

    talk to Red. I’m sure The Guild will offer us sanctuary for a while.

    Us?

    He grinned. What, you don’t want me with you?

    Relieved, Ari shook her head. I didn’t know if you’d want to. I mean, you are Ginnaye.

    We’re not so different from The Guild. And this isn’t about me. It’s about you. If you think you need this, then we’ll do it for however long you want.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire