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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 19)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(19) by Samantha Young
  • Ari sighed and turned to face Falon, feeling a stupid little ache in her chest that Charlie had moved on so fast. “I’m not upset. I’m fine. You just took me by surprise.” She smiled ruefuly, tentatively touching her cheek. “It means I made the right decision.”

    Understanding, Falon nodded, her dark brown eyes ful of more wisdom than someone her age should have. “You did, you know. Charlie wil realize that soon

    enough too. He’s just being stubborn.”

    “We’ve been friends forever. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the memories.”

    “I’l get him there.” Falon smiled kindly, looking so much like her mom it was scary. “If that’s okay?”

    Ari gave her a reluctant smile back. “I like how he is around you,” she admitted, even though doing so made her a little sad. “He’s better.”

    “So, we’re stil friends then?”

    “Of course.”

    “Are we sparring or gossiping, ladies?” Jai asked, striding back into the room with the ice.

    Falon roled her eyes. “Speaking of stubborn.” She smirked at him as he passed her, stopping in front of Ari to gently press the ice cold towel to her cheek. His fingers brushed her chin as he tipped her head up a little and Ari shivered. Falon chuckled. “We were just discussing sex, Gorgeous. Maybe you got something to add to that?”

    Feeling her cheeks heat as Jai tensed, Ari lifted her gaze to catch his but he was looking back around at Falon, scowling.

    “What?” Falon shrugged, laughing. “She’s hot!” she gestured to Ari. “Half the guys in The Guild are drooling over her. You should think about picking up the snail’s pace before some other guy gets there first.”

    “Falon,” Ari groaned, puling away from Jai in embarrassment as he turned to look at her questioningly. So a couple of the guys she’d met had been a little flirty. The other half were scared shitless of her, so she thought that evened it out a little.

    “Sorry to interrupt, people,” Caroline said, appearing in the doorway. She was staring at Jai. “Someone here to see you.”

    ***

    “Oh my God,” Ari breathed, a huge smile breaking out across her face. “Trey.”

    The guardian Jinn who, with his tal, rangy build, messy dark blonde hair and tip-tilted grey eyes, might just be the most beautiful guy Ari had ever laid eyes on.

    Seeing him brought a rush of warmth to Ari’s chest as he stood, leaning casualy against one of Michael’s bookshelves with a wide smile. He was wearing a pair of designer black slacks, beat up biker boots, a crisp white t-shirt, and a tailored leather jacket. He wore clothes wel and he knew it. Ari wasn’t pleased to see him because he was so gorgeous—although he did pretty up any room he was in— she was pleased to see him because he was so loyal to Jai. He loved his friend, and for that he had Ari’s friendship and trust. “Hey, beautiful.” He winked at her as he strode toward Jai and took his hand, puling him in for a gruff one armed hug.

    “Not that I’m not pleased to see you,” Jai said slowly, looking confused as he glanced between Trey and Michael Roe. “But what are you doing here?”

    “Thought you might need a hand,” Trey answered vaguely before grinning at Ari again and reaching to pul her into a bear hug. She laughed, shoving him playfuly away when he squeezed too hard. He frowned suddenly and reached to turn her face into the light. “What happened here?” he eyed the bruise on her cheekbone that was thankfuly already beginning to heal.

    Ari shrugged. “I wasn’t paying attention. Falon’s tiny, ineffectual fists… not so ineffectual.”

    Michael cleared his throat, getting up from behind his desk. “Trey has requested permission to join The Guild while you’re here?”

    Surprised, both Ari and Jai pinned Trey with inquisitive gazes. He laughed again and shrugged. “I finished up my case and thought a vacation from the Ginnaye might be in order.”

    “And you’re letting him stay?” Jai asked Michael, and Ari could hear the curiosity in the question. She was a little curious too as to why The Guild would let Trey in.

    It wasn’t like The Red King had forced this on Michael Roe.

    Falon’s dad shrugged. “I’ve heard of Trey. He’s a great Ginnaye. He’s your friend and I think it’s wise we have as many powerful Jinn among The Guild as we can get our hands on while Ari is staying with us.”

    Jai nodded. “Fair enough.” And then he turned to Trey, silent questions in his eyes.

    Ari wondered if they were telepathing.

    “Let’s catch up.” Trey gestured to the door, his smile wilting a little.

    Uh oh. Something had happened.

    They strode in silence through the house, Jai leading them up to his bedroom. Ari sidled inside, unsurprised to see everything neat and tidy. His place was a like a soldier’s barracks.

    “What’s realy going on?” Jai asked gruffly, but Ari could see in his eyes he was concerned for his friend.

    Flopping down onto Jai’s bed, Trey looked between them, his smile false, his usualy bright eyes dim. “My dad caught me with a guy.”

    Silence fel over the room and Ari’s chest ached with for him. Trey was bi-sexual, something he’d never told anyone in the tribe about except Jai. His father, Rik, was openly homophobic and Trey had not wanted to deal with the consequences of his father finding out the truth. He’d even lost a pretty serious relationship over it.

    “Oh hel.” Jai sighed and sat down beside his friend. “What happened?”

    “My dad went nuts. Tried to hit me… that didn’t work. I gave his ass a smackdown. Then he went to Luca and asked him to throw me out of the Bitar Tribe.”

    Jai’s head jerked up at the mention of his father, his eyes narrowing with prepared hatred. “Did he?”

    “Nah.” Trey shook his head and Ari watched Jai visibly relax. “I think your old man has always known. He said I could stay, but I don’t want to be somewhere I’m not even wanted by my own family. And they’re not realy my family.” He grinned sheepishly, such a boyish look that Ari felt another pang of affection echo in her chest for him. “Thought I’d track down my real family and see if he needed help—say with a certain sorcerer wannabe.”

    Ari took a step forward. “You want to help with Charlie?”

    Trey shrugged. “Michael says Jai is busy training you with his kid Falon. He says Charlie is being trained by some guy named Jack – that neither of you knows what’s going on with his training.”

    “True,” Jai murmured.

    “Wel, I’m another pair of eyes. I’l keep an eye on them. Make sure everything is on the up and up.”

    Grateful, Ari slid in between the two of them and grabbed Trey’s hand. “That would mean a lot.”

    He flashed her a wicked smile and raised their clasped hands to press a kiss to her knuckles.

    “Yeah, none of that,” Jai interrupted, sliding a hand around Ari’s waist and puling her closer to him. Her mouth fel open in surprise.

    “No way!” Trey burst out laughing. “Dude, did you finaly come to your senses?”

    “Yeah, I did. So hands off.”

    Ari gazed at Jai, wide-eyed and a little annoyed that jealousy had made him share their secret. “We’re teling people now?”

    He made a face. “Trey’s not people. He’s not going to tel anyone.”

    “Ooh it’s a secret.” Trey bounced up off the bed, his eyes twinkling mischievously. “Very hot.”

    “You can’t tel anyone.” Ari pinned him to the wal with her gaze, hoping she was coming off a little bad-ass. By the way he kept grinning at her, she wasn’t. “I mean it, Trey. Jai’s life depends on it.”

    Intrigued, Trey raised an eyebrow at Jai.

    He sighed beside her, his hand flexing on her hip. “She’s got it in her head that anyone could use me to get to her.”

    Annoyed, Ari countered, “She is sitting right here.”

    “She’s not wrong,” Trey replied thoughtfuly. “They tried using Charlie, and he was just her friend.”

    “Again, right here.”

    “Yeah, but I’m not some stupid kid with a thirst for vengeance. I can take care of myself. She needs to stop worrying.”

    “I stil think she’s right. Besides, no one realy needs to know right now.”

    “She needs some chocolate,” Ari growled before puling away from Jai’s embrace. She shot up off the bed, striding towards the door. “Before I smack one of you.”

    Trey’s laughter filtered through the doorway just as she slammed it shut. Jai’s voice rumbled through the wal, sounding lost. “What just happened?” Despite herself, his muffled question made her smile as she walked away.

    12 - Chasing Dreams that are not My Own

    Like al Jinn, Red was temperate. He did not feel the cold nor the heat.

    However, it did not stop him from taking pleasure in the things that created them. The sun was this bal of warmth, the being in the sky that chased shadows from the face and glittered sunlight in the eyes. For centuries Red had watched humans raise their faces to the sky, eyes closed, as they basked in the peace only the warmth of the sun could bring.

    But the sun could burn. It could blister the skin. It could dry out a river. Cause thirst. Famine. Death.

    As for the moon, Red had always thought of it as this cold, hardened object that chased the sun, desperately trying to catch it, to understand what made it so different. To understand what made everything so different. And never, ever reaching the knowing.

    But the moon was also light. Pure, white light. A beacon for the stars in the darkest of skies. A being of hope, of awe, and despite its thirst for knowledge, a being of patience.

    When he was young and his mother was stil alive, Red had always thought of Lilif as the sun and Asmodeus as the moon. Now, as he stood before what was

    essentialy his uncle (although he’d never thought of Asmodeus in those terms), Red wondered with an anxiousness that surprised and panicked him, why Ari had suddenly become the earth in their analogy. What was she to the twins that she would be dreaming of Lilif’s memories, and Asmodeus would be so intrigued by her?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire