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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 15)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(15) by Samantha Young
  • reminder of what she had done. And as long as you live I will never have hope again, no hope of ever recovering what was lost.” She brushed hastily at her tears and growled into his ear. “And so I will take what you have taken from me, boy. I will be your constant reminder that there is no hope for you. There will never be anyone who could love you. Not true, deep, abiding love, because I will make it so you are so broken, so unloved, that you’re incapable of connecting with it. You’ll be forever unloveable.” She pinched his arm and Jai squeezed his eye shut along with the swollen one. Although his body ached with the beating he took, it was nothing compared to the cutting, ripping feeling that was tearing apart his chest and causing tears to fall when they never had before. “Yes,” she whispered in satisfaction. “No one will ever love you. No one. How could they, when even the beings that brought you into this world cannot.”

    … Jai shuddered from the memory and turned to gaze at Ari, completely forgetting where they were. Feeling his gaze, she looked back at him in surprise and

    whatever she saw in his expression turned her ever-changing eye color dark with sadness.

    I love you, she whispered in his mind. I know you’re mad… but I love you.

    Despite what Nicki had tried to do, despite how much she had taken from him, Ari stil loved him. And best of al, she seemed to understand that even though he couldn’t say the words back to her just yet, it didn’t mean he didn’t care about her, that he wasn’t struggling with his past in the hopes of having a future with her. Ari loved him without expecting anything in return. And although that scared the hel out of him, and he didn’t want to hurt her or be hurt by her, Jai was going to see this through. He was going to be there for her. No matter what.

    I’m not mad, he promised. We’ll work it out. Together.

    She smiled slowly, the tension seeming to leak from her body and the fact that he had that kind of effect on her made Jai feel a lot euphoric and a little scared shitless.

    A throat clearing broke their gaze. Michael Roe was staring at them with narrowed eyes from his perch on his huge library desk. They were in his office in his home in Burlington, New Jersey, surrounded by tradition. The room was richly appointed in expensive walnut flooring, doors, desk, bookshelves. The bookshelves were crammed with leather-bound books and colector’s items. A Persian rug lay under foot, and a top-of-the-line computer was perched on the desk. A locked display cabinet held some ancient looking weapons in them that drew Jai’s interest. He reminded himself to ask about them later.

    Indeed the whole room screamed money, and Jai remembered from his own enquiries into the Roe Guild before they joined them in Phoenix that the families had

    invested their money into a number of successful restaurants, bakeries and even a movie theater. They paid other people to manage their businesses while they took the money and used it to fund The Guild hunting.

    “Are you alright, Mr. Bitar?” Michael asked curiously.

    Jai nodded, unleashing the ful force of his energy into the room. He may be distracted by Ari but they stil needed to know that he was powerful. And that he was her guardian. And he would do whatever it took to make her happy. They had to be intimidated by him in case they decided to neglectfuly abuse their position as a sanctum. “Eager to see Ari settled, Michael. And please… cal me Jai.”

    An unexpected feeling of pride rushed through Ari at the way Jai handled the situation. It was mingled with relief. And… yeah… lust. She couldn’t help herself. He made her skin tingle even in the most dire of situations. Ari smiled and then shot a look at Charlie who had arrived at the Roe’s before them. He was sitting beside Falon at the fireplace in Michael Roe’s office. Charlie gave her a nod, and Falon winked at her, seeming happy to have them back.

    “The Red King has informed me that you wish to seek sanctuary with the Roe Guild. Correct?” Michael asked Ari, drawing her attention back to him.

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Despite his Royal Highness’ threats to kil any one of my Guild who betrays your existence here and indeed your secret, I am more than happy to welcome you.

    Both of you. A Ginnaye with your reputation, Jai, is always welcome. And Ari, despite it being dangerous to harbor you, what kind of Guild could we cal ourselves if we turned away someone in need and indeed the chalenge. However.” Michael frowned, standing up off the desk and surprising Ari with his height. He was almost as tal as Jai. And despite being a little over middle-aged, he was ripped; kind of intimidatingly strong and authoritative actualy. “The Red King has insisted that you be alowed to hunt. That is a concession I find hard to make. You’ve been in control of your powers for only a few months. You’re not trained. You’re inexperienced and inexperience can be dangerous.”

    A fist squeezed around Ari’s ribcage in panic at the direction this conversation was taking. She needed to hunt. She couldn’t just sit around al day waiting for the bad guys to come and get her. She needed to be the one pursuing them or she’d go nuts. “I understand your reluctance,” she began, staying as calm as she could. “But I’m a fast learner. I’ve already started training with Jai and Falon, and I’m sure they’d both tel you how far I’ve come in such a short time.”

    Falon’s father nodded back at her with a smal smile. “I appreciate your eagerness, Ari. I admire it. I do. And yes, my daughter has told me how impressed she is with you, but, and I don’t intend this to be calous, you weren’t even able to protect yourself from being kidnapped. How can I expect you to hunt?”

    Ari winced, not realy seeing how she could reply to that with any dignity.

    “I’ve been training since infancy.” Jai stepped forward, surprising her and Michael. His green eyes glittered with strength and truth. “And even I was taken by surprise by the Harmal concoction utilized to drug Ari.” He shot her a glance, his expression serious and professional, betraying none of his feelings for her. “I’ve worked with a lot of Jinn over the years and I promise you, I’ve never seen better potential than Ari. She’s been through more than most and she’s not running. She’s here, standing strong and ready to fight. That’s the kind of hunter any Guild would dream of having.”

    The room grew hushed at his declaration and Ari had to squeeze back the tears of emotion that pooled in her eyes in case it ruined the effect Jai had just tried to create around her. She drew in a deep breath and gave him a grateful smile. He was getting a big kiss for that later.

    Michael Roe was looking at her again, studying her more carefuly than before. “Maybe in a few years.”

    Ari scowled. “Mr. Roe, no offence, but I can’t wait a few years. Train me, watch me, and then throw me into the deep end.” She took a beseeching step forward. “I need this. You’ve been a hunter your entire life… but have you ever been the prey? And not just any prey… I’m like winning American ‘freaking’ Idol prey…

    thousands of people want it. Want me. Or they wil if and when they discover what I realy am. Which I’m pretty sure they wil eventualy, or my uncle wouldn’t have hired the best Ginnaye on the planet to look after me. I know my uncle kind of high-handedly insisted that you let me hunt, but that’s because he knows I can’t be a victim any more. Do you understand?” she asked fiercely. “I can’t let them do that to me. I need to turn it on their heads. And isn’t there some crazy ass Jinn out there that you would love to stop? Permanently? Because I can do that… and apparently, according to my uncle, no one wil ever face trial for it.”

    Everyone was so quiet for a moment, Ari thought maybe she’d gone too far, acted too desperately. But then Michael smiled, a huff of laughter escaping his lips as he eyed her a little differently than before. “Fine.” He nodded. “I might regret it later, but you’ve won me over. You’l be put to training immediately while Charlie continues his training with Jack.”

    “Thank you. I appreciate it.” Ari grinned at him and then smiled hopefuly back at Jai. He gave her a smal nod, clearly trying to make up for his earlier preoccupation with her by acting a little more cooly towards her. Ari didn’t care. He’d kiss her behind closed doors later.

    “Jai and Ari wil stay with my family.” Michael turned to Charlie. “Jack says you’re welcome to stay in his home with him, Charlie.”

    “Great.” Charlie smiled and then winked at Ari. “Fresh start, bestie.”

    Ari laughed. “You know for someone who almost died yesterday, you’re in an exceptionaly good mood.”

    “I escaped the jaws of death. It does something to a guy.”

    Jai grunted and Ari noticed how suspiciously he stil eyed Charlie. “Yeah, wel let’s hope that something hasn’t made you any stupider.”

    Charlie flipped him the bird causing Jai to mutter under his breath about immature kids and death wishes. A tight bal of anxiety developed in Ari’s stomach. Charlie was chipper because he stil hadn’t given up on his revenge? That’s what Jai thought, right?

    “Interesting,” Michael murmured, his eyes flicking between Jai and Charlie.

    Falon waved her father’s interest off. “They’re like this al the time. Don’t be put off by it. It’s actualy quite entertaining.”

    “It’s a headache,” Ari growled. “So quit it.”

    Charlie held his hands up in defense. “Hey, I didn’t do anything.”

    “Yet.” Jai cocked an arrogant eyebrow at him.

    Jai, Ari admonished, her own need to believe in Charlie smothering her instincts, you know what it’s like to have no one believe in you. Let’s give him the

    benefit of the doubt for now.

    He shook his head. You’re setting yourself up for a fall. I don’t want you hurt.

    Look, let’s just give him a chance to fall in love with The Guild. If he’s happy, he might not want to jeopardize his new life.

    How can you still be such an optimist? he asked in amazement.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire