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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 11)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(11) by Samantha Young
  • Ari did need it. More than needed it. She thought of Dalí and felt an inner chil sweep over her. It had only been days ago that he’d stolen her and tried to use her blood to utilize the Seal as his own. Ari had never felt so helpless before. Not even when her dad had died. It had been terrifying, and she never wanted to feel that way ever again. Slowly easing up to sit beside him, Ari rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes when he kissed her forehead. I’m scared, she admitted and felt him tense under her. After what Dalí did to me, I’m scared.

    Ari… Jai inhaled sharply, his strong arm sliding around her shoulders and puling her even closer into his side.

    I don’t want to be scared, Jai. And I don’t want to hide. I want to hunt Jinn like Dalí and Pazuzu. I want that control back. I need that control back.

    He rubbed a comforting hand down her arm. Then we’re definitely going to The Guild.

    Ari stifled another ‘I love you’ and instead pressed a soft kiss to his shoulder. Thank you.

    I’d like to stop in at home first and explain to my father that I’ll be gone for a while. I want to say goodbye to Trey.

    Trey. Ari blanched, realizing she was taking Jai away from his best friend. Jai, I… maybe you should stay.

    He puled back from her, his eyes incredulous. I can live without seeing Trey every day, Ari. I can’t live without seeing you every day.

    She turned to mush in an instant. Who needs an ‘I love you’ when a hot guy you love says that to you? Ari knew her grin was dangerously wide. You are

    getting so good at this.

    Laughing, a little abashed at his confession, Jai hugged her closer and they sat in perfect, comfortable silence for a while. Finaly, just as her eyes were drifting closed, he whispered into her mind, Have you had any more dreams?

    The memory of her dream about White and Lilif jolted Ari awake and she puled back to face Jai as she told him everything she remembered from it. The realms

    will start to collide into one another, until there is nothing but a wasteland of dust? If the balance is completely destroyed? Jai was aghast.

    That’s what Lilif said to White. She shrugged. I’m beginning to think I should tell Red about the dreams. This could be something really important

    that we’re missing here. What do you think?

    I honestly don’t know what to think about Red. But you’re right. It might be the only way to interpret the dreams and find out why you’re having

    them.

    Ari nodded, feeling a little better now that she had made a decision. I guess I have to trust him.

    If it makes you feel better, I really believe he cares about you, Ari. You didn’t see his reaction when Anabeth hit you with the Haqeeqah, or when

    Dalí took you.

    You think? she asked unsurely

    Jai smiled slowly. Sexily. You’re kind of hard to resist.

    You didn’t think so two seconds ago.

    Jai’s response to her chalenge was to push her back on the bed and start kissing the oxygen out of her. Ari opened her mouth, alowing him to deepen the kiss, tasting remnants of the mint toothpaste he must have used before readying for bed. Ari would never have believed toothpaste could be such a turn on. She slid her hands over his back, urging him closer, deeper. As if giving into the inevitable, Jai’s own hands started to wander, his soft touch chasing goosebumps al over her body.

    Lost in the moment and greedy for some skin on skin, Ari reached down and began tugging on Jai’s t-shirt. Helping her, he sat up, his knees braced on either side of her hips, and he puled his shirt up over his head, throwing it to the floor. Ari bit her lower lip to stifle a sound of pleasure. She’d seen him shirtless before but never this close.

    Oh wow.

    He was broad-shouldered, powerfuly built, ripped and athletic without being too beefy. Although… those biceps… Ari sighed, sliding a hand up his arm. She was giddy with excitement, trying to contain it, trying not to come off as some inexperienced virgin. But she’d never felt like this before. She got it now – what Rachel was always talking about – the heat, the need, the want.

    Sex was a big deal and you had to want it. You had to be ready for it. With the right person.

    Ari was finaly ready for it. And she was definitely with the right person.

    The thought had just popped into her head when Jai’s lips returned to hers. Their kisses were growing frantic again, like they both knew where this was heading and were eager to get there before something epic – like a Jinn King – interrupted them. Ari’s hands smoothed over every inch of Jai’s skin, touching and stroking and learning him. But when she ventured further to where she’d touched no guy before, Jai jerked back with a muffled groan and gently pushed her hands off of him.

    He eyed her sardonicaly as if he couldn’t believe he’d let himself get so carried away. We need to slow this down.

    We don’t have to. Ari sat up, trying to reach for him again.

    Jai took her hands in his and quirked an eyebrow at her. How far have you gone with a guy?

    Completely unprepared for the question Ari blushed. Not far, she admitted, Kissing. Touching under the shirt, not under the bra. I haven’t really dated a

    lot, she shrugged off her explanation, feeling a little mortified as the words ‘because of Charlie’ hung unspoken and suspended between them.

    Jai tensed and Ari couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to clasp his cheek in her hand

    What?

    His vivid gaze burned into her and for a moment Ari forgot what she was asking him. Jai finaly shook his head ruefuly but there was a hard glint now in his eyes. I

    hate the thought of any guy touching you.

    Ari tried not to be pleased. You’re jealous?

    I guess, he whispered.

    Grinning, Ari wriggled closer to him. Well, I’m kind of hoping you’re about do a whole lot of stuff to me that no guy has.

    Jai laughed hoarsely, the hardness melting from his eyes. We’re still taking it slow. I am not rushing a second of this with you.

    No fair, Ari pouted.

    His grin turned cocky as he leaned over to kiss the pout away. Believe me… you’ll like how I do slow.

    A while later, Ari felt her body relax into the bed as if she’d melted into a puddle of Ari-goo. Her fingers uncurled from the bed sheets as she lay there panting and gazing at the ceiling in wonder.

    She’d never been kissed there before.

    “Wow,” she breathed.

    Jai laughed softly. Not out loud. His expression was light and happy as he brushed her hair back from her face. And yes. Wow.

    Ari roled into him, her bare legs feeling sensitive against his jeans. She wrapped her arms around him and he puled her so close his lips touched her neck. What

    about you? she asked, determined to fight through the languidness he’d created in her body if she had to.

    Instead, Jai smiled against her neck. Believe me, I’m good. I’m really good.

    This taking it slow thing is nice, Ari breathed in total relaxation, her eyes drifting closed.

    The last thing she felt and heard was the blanket faling over her and Jai snuggling her closer, whispering goodnight in her ear.

    6 - Losing Too Much can Make You Yearn to be Lost

    Ari felt Lilif’s grief and rage as if it were her own. She followed the Jinn, confused by how young Lilif appeared. She looked as if she were no more than eighteen years old. The wind whipped through Lilif’s long black hair, grime and blood streaked her face and marred the metal of the dress that was fitted to her body. The sandstone walls were polished to a high shine, the halls wide and open, servants gaping at Lilif as she blew past them with fury in her feet. Ari hurried to follow, somehow aching for Lilif as she rammed against double doors, throwing them open. Like the hallways outside, the room was tiled and

    polished, sparse but luxurious, with a huge bed in the center covered in exotic fur blankets. Asmodeus lifted his head from the bed and groaned when he saw his sister. He pushed gently at the na**d woman beside him. “Leave us.”

    The female Shaitan hurried to grab fabric that barely covered her and she fled the room, darting terrified glances in Lilif’s direction.

    “Turn your back, sister, so I may dress.”

    Lilif did so and Ari found herself averting her eyes too. That was just something she didn’t need to know about Asmodeus. “I can’t believe while I’m out warring you are in here tupping anything that moves.”

    “Not anything,” Asmodeus argued. “Anyway where were you this time?”

    “Africa.”

    Confused, Ari tried to center herself more in the dreams. She was now fully aware while in the dream that it was a dream, but that didn’t make it any less confusing. The timeline of the dreams kept changing. This was an earlier time. A much earlier time than she had ever visited before. What was Lilif talking about? She peered closely at the Jinn and as if her curiosity had power, the knowledge seeped from Lilif to Ari. Lilif and Asmodeus were part of the balance within war. Throughout the ages, throughout the realm, they would fight wars of the mortals, bringing balance to the situation. Sometimes Lilif would

    seduce leaders to weakness with her succubus gift, or fight physically side by side with the Jinn that were sent to aid her against those who were sent to aid the other side. Just as she had done the night before. And the month before that and before that…

    “I lost Meenah,” Lilif gasped, her eyes round and glassy with disbelief.

    Suddenly Asmodeus was there, turning her around, his own eyes bright with sympathy. “I am sorry, sister. I know how deeply you cared for her.”

    “She was my friend.” Lilif shook her head. “We have been friends for over a hundred years. I knew her when she was but a child. She had so much life

    left. Meenah was light, Asmodeus. She was beautiful light. How could someone put that light out? How can this be what we do?”

    “Ssh, Lilif, shh, it’s okay.” He held her close.

    But Lilif was having none of it. She tugged out of his grasp and pushed him roughly away from her, her glare burning into him. “How can you say that? It is not okay! And Meenah is not the first! For centuries I have borne witness to the wars of men. Azazil preaches of balance, placing Jinn on one side of the war and Jinn on the other and we fight our own people, to balance out the life of mortals! Meenah was killed by one of our own. All my friends, killed by our own. Because it is the way? We should leave the wars to the mortals and let them destroy one another!”

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