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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 13)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(13) by Samantha Young
  • Ari blinked, trying to take in al the information. She glanced at Jai to see his reaction, but he was just listening to Red in utter fascination. Something niggled at Ari but she couldn’t put her finger on what that was. Not wanting to be distracted from her own point, Ari took a step toward her uncle. “So these dreams… they are memories?”

    “It would appear so. How else could you know such things?”

    “How is it possible? Why do I know this stuff? Why am I dreaming about it? What does it mean?”

    The Red King held up a hand to quiet her. “I have no idea. Leave this with me, Ari. I wil find out but I wil have to tread very carefuly here. Tel no one else what you have told me here today.”

    Despite her impatience, despite the ugly darkness in her chest wiling her to take a stand and force Red to find out everything he could as soon as possible – the consequences be damned – Ari took control of herself. Taking deep, even breaths, Ari struggled for calm and eventualy gained it.

    “So what now?” Charlie asked quietly.

    Flicking her gaze over her friend, Ari felt another wave of relief that he was here in the mortal realm and in one piece. “How would you feel about joining to the Roes?”

    He smiled slowly, nodding. “Yeah, that sounds good.”

    Ari winced, seeing the excitement starting to burn in his eyes. Charlie was clearly desperate to get back to Jack and his training. She hoped to get a moment alone with him soon to get a better understanding of where his head was at. Ari was stil clinging to the hope that after the fright of a Jinn trial, he had finaly put his need for vengeance behind him.

    “Red,” she turned to her uncle slowly, “Can you talk to The Guild? Make sure we’d be welcome there. As hunters, I mean.”

    “You want to hunt?”

    “I’m sick of waiting for crap to happen to me. I want to be the one that the bad guy fears for a change.”

    Silence greeted her and then the three of them snorted. Jai at least tried to cover his laughter but it was too late. She saw.

    “What?” she snapped. “Bad guys wil fear me.”

    “Not at first,” Red disagreed, stil smiling. “But your appearance wil act in your favor. They won’t be expecting your kind of power.”

    Somewhat molified, but not completely, Ari listened quietly as Jai discussed the plans for the next few days. Red would take Charlie to the Roe’s and explain that they would be staying as part of The Guild for an indefinite period of time (apparently Red didn’t ask, he commanded) and that Ari wished to be trained as a hunter. In the meantime, Ari would accompany Jai back to his tribe here in L.A. to explain he would be MIA for a while. Jai tried to insist one last time that Ari didn’t need to come with him, but Ari was adamant. After everything she’d discovered about his upbringing under the rule of Luca Bitar, Ari was in no way letting Jai venture back into that world without her support.

    7 - My Heat hits her Ice and the Snow Falls

    Crap.

    Ari gazed around her wide-eyed, surprised to find that she and Jai had flown through the Peripatos to Luca Bitar’s office, only to find that it was already ful. Seated in a semi-circle around the room and standing behind chairs that had been set up in front of Luca’s desk, was a whole bunch of people she didn’t recognize along with two people she did—Nicki and David Bitar. Luca was standing in front of his desk, his eyes alert as Ari and Jai turned around to face him.

    Jai gave his father a deferential nod. “Apologies, Father. I forgot that you would be holding a tribe meeting at this time.”

    Oh. Ari inched a little closer to her boyfriend, her skin prickling from the heat of the group’s gaze. This was a Ginnaye tribe meeting. It was so… classroom-like.

    “Apology accepted.” Luca frowned, glancing warily between his son and Ari. “Has something happened?”

    Knowing that only Luca, Nicki and Tarik were aware of Ari’s true nature, she wasn’t surprised when Jai replied, “May we speak in private?”

    “Of course.” Luca glanced around them to eye his wife. “I’l be back in five minutes. Excuse us.”

    Ari could feel the tribe’s curiosity hit her in waves as she folowed Jai and Luca from the room. She surreptitiously looked for Trey in the crowd but didn’t see him.

    Disappointment flooded her knowing Jai had wanted to say goodbye to his friend.

    It wasn’t until the door had closed behind them and they were standing in the black and white checkered halway that Ari thought Jai might want to be alone to tel his father that he was leaving indefinitely on this assignment. She cleared her throat, drawing the two men to a stop. They both turned to stare back at her in the exact same predatory motion. Ari shuddered for Jai. He was so much his father’s son in some ways. She just hoped Jai knew that he was al the good things and none of the bad.

    “I… uh… I’l let you guys talk alone. I’l take a little walk.”

    Jai frowned. “You sure?”

    “Yeah. I’l be fine.” She waved him off and watched as he reluctantly turned to folow his father. She waited until they had disappeared around the corner.

    What now? Ari threw the door to Luca’s office a wary look. No way was she going back in there. Relaxing, Ari let her feet do the thinking and she wandered quietly through the Bitar mansion, glad she and Jai were only dropping by for a few minutes. She hadn’t exactly enjoyed her last stay with the Bitars. Jai kept pushing her away, Nicki was a bitch, Luca had dared to warn her off Jai, and Jai’s brother had tried to attack her, and she’d ended up using the power of the Seal against him. Yay. The one bright spot out of the entire visit had been Trey.

    And okay… she wasn’t going to lie. The make-out with Jai in the club bathroom in L.A. had been pretty hot too until he’d gotten al uptight about it.

    “Oh,” Ari breathed, as she took in where her wandering mind and feet had brought her. She was standing in the treasure room, the one that housed the hourglass of Shakespeare – the symbol of the point in time Azazil had broken the rules and turned back time to right Shakespeare’s destiny after White messed it up. Teruze, the Jinn who guarded the Bitar treasure, stood guardian within his red bottle in the corner and Ari could feel his strong energy pulsing out at her. She shivered a little, realizing he’d be watching her to make sure she didn’t steal anything. But Ari clearly wasn’t interested in stealing anything. She had been drawn here for one reason only.

    The painting of Lilif.

    In her last visit Ari had discovered the dark painting of the Lilif and had been amazed by the likeness between Lilif in the painting and the one in her dreams. That’s when she realized she may actualy be dreaming about the real Jinn. Taking tentative steps towards the painting, Ari narrowed her eyes, wishing she knew exactly what al the dreams meant and wondering if Red realy would divulge the truth about it once he found out.

    “He’s not capable of love you know.”

    Heart in her throat Ari whirled around at the unfamiliar voice, and her eyes widened as they took in Yasmin Lenz. She’d seen the girl once before. An exotic beauty, Yasmin was a guardian and daughter to Luca Bitar’s best friend, Hugo. She was also someone Jai had used (intimately) to get back at Hugo for cheating on Luca with Nicki. Something Luca stil knew nothing about as far as Jai was aware. Ari was shocked and angry at Jai for using Yasmin, but he’d told her how cruely Yasmin had treated him, and although Ari wished he hadn’t used her as a tool for revenge, she also didn’t feel particularly bad for the young Ginnaye. “Excuse me?” Ari asked cautiously.

    The tal, dark-haired beauty took a few more long-legged steps forward. She was so sophisticated and confident. Feral and predatory. Everything Ari wasn’t. She scowled, trying not to think about Jai with this supermodel. “I said… Jai is not capable of love.” At Ari’s silence, Yasmin smirked. “Oh please, everyone with eyes can see the way you look at him.”

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    “Oh but I do.” Yasmin nodded. “I see the attraction, I do. He’s beautiful and broken and very powerful. I spent months learning every inch of him. I know him better than anybody and he stil threw me away.”

    Ari tensed, feeling a shift inside her chest. That familiar ache sharpened and began to uncoil, its dark whip of a tail wagging in anticipation of lashing out at this cruel beauty. She scoffed, trying to keep her composure. “Puhlease. You care more about your tribe than you ever cared about Jai and he knew it. You had the hots for him and were using him. He hates Hugo. He was using you to get at him. But you’re delusional if you think you ever got to know him.”

    Yasmin chuckled, seeing how much she’d gotten to Ari. Her eyes flashed wickedly. “Oh you’ve got it bad. I wish I could be there to see him crush you. You might think you can save him, Ari, but I was there… I know what his family has done to him. And in the end, he’l remember that you’re just a kid. And he’l come running back to a woman who knows exactly what to do in the bedroom.” Her gaze drew dreamy, her skin flushed. “I love how he makes this shuddery, breathy noise when he–”

    “Shut up,” Ari bit out, the whip lashing out with the words. Too late, she realized her words had been a command.

    Gaping back at her stupefied, Yasmin clutched at her throat unable to talk and the darkness within Ari enjoyed having power over her.

    “You stood by and watched his family do that to him,” she growled, feeling this other self push her way into her tongue and limbs as she prowled towards Yasmin.

    “You watched them break him and then had the audacity to ask something of him. But al he gave you was an empty shel. And that’s al he’l ever give you. You’re done hurting him. You’re al done hurting him. I command you to leave him alone.”

    “Ari!”

    Ari blinked rapidly at the sound of Jai’s voice, the other self folding back into her so Ari was back in control of herself. She stumbled back at the unexpected control, her heartbeat racing, a lump of sick disbelief in her throat as she gazed reluctantly up at Jai who was standing, gaping at her in horror. She winced, looking over his shoulder to see Luca by Yasmin’s side.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire