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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 20)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(20) by Samantha Young
  • Why were they al orbiting one another?

    “Are you just going to stare at me al day, or are you here for a reason?” Asmodeus asked silkily, his eyes narrowed with affected boredom, his lips quirked in a sly smile. He sat in an armchair by the huge fireplace in his sitting room in Azazil’s palace, the flames flickering shadows across his body, reminding Red of the human’s modern depictions of the Devil.

    “My father may think he has you at heel, but I’m not so convinced. You broke his protocol by coming to Ari in her room. What wil stop you from doing it again?”

    “Why are you so protective of that little beauty? Seems to me you’re taking Azazil’s orders a little too much to heart.”

    “Why are you so interested in her?” Red countered, taking a step towards Asmodeus, deliberately vibrating magic energy so the Marid would know he wasn’t

    playing games.

    Asmodeus smirked in response, not even moving. “She’s a pawn everyone wants. Sometimes I like to take things other people want because it amuses me.”

    Something tightened in Red’s chest at the thought of Ari in the Lieutenant’s hands.

    Over my dead body, the thought flashed through his mind and he stiled in surprise. Blinking the thought away, Red glared at Asmodeus. “Surely you wouldn’t betray Azazil.”

    “Of course not,” Asmodeus snapped, no longer so uncaring or indolent. He sneered at Red. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun with her. She realy is rather delicious you know.”

    Trying his hardest to ignore him, Red sighed. “I saw something between you that was more than misplaced lust… She affected you. Why?”

    Slowly, Asmodeus sat up in his chair, carefuly lowering one foot after the other to the ground before rising just as slowly to his massive height. With a blank expression, he sauntered casualy towards Red until he was standing inches before him. He cocked his head to the side, his dark gaze bored and yet somehow

    searching. Red didn’t even flinch. He didn’t intimidate that easily, even if the Marid did have a thousand or so centuries on him.

    “Why are you so interested in what my interest in Ari is, hmm? Does Azazil know you’re here, interrogating his most loyal servant?”

    “I think you’re up to something. I think there is a connection between you and Ari I am missing. And I think that connection puts her in danger. Last I checked, my father wanted me to keep her alive. By any means. Including interrogating his most loyal servant who seems to have an unhealthy interest in her.”

    Asmodeus grinned wickedly at that. “There you have it, Red. I have an unhealthy interest in her… I haven’t seen such unusual beauty in a while and I was thinking when Azazil’s done with her – that is if she’s stil alive – I would add her to my harem. She’d be my favorite. I can tel.”

    Unbridled anger ripped through Red but centuries of soldiering and spying had trained him to let that anger tear his insides apart, rather than ever let it show. Instead he feigned a smirk and a nod that suggested he thought Asmodeus was funny. “Then I’m sorry to have disturbed you, Asmodeus.”

    “Not at al. Your visit has been most enlightening.”

    Trying not to flinch at Asmodeus’ suggestion that he’d given too much of himself away, Red dipped him another nod and stepped into the Peripatos. Almost immediately he found himself at his destination—the State of Nusrah, the land in Mount Qaf where his brother The Shadow King reigned over whenever he wasn’t playing servant to White. Despite his name, shadows were found and burned out in Shadow’s smal palace, with its high cathedral-like windows and heavy chandeliers dripping from every ceiling. Shadow was dining in the grand room with what was more than likely his wealthy neighbors… probably merchants and land owners. They al gaped at Red before bowing their heads in deference to him. Shadow curled his lip in annoyance at the sight of him, but stood up from the table. Everyone around it immediately stood too and Shadow flicked an unadorned hand at them to be seated.

    Striding towards him, Shadow’s long black hair blew back behind him, revealing the large jet stones he wore in his ears. It was the only jewelry he ever wore—they were given to him by Lilif. The blood red silk of his robes shimmered in the light as he approached, the only splash of color in the entire room.

    “What do you want, brother?” he asked quietly, his dark eyes narrowing in dislike. “You’re interrupting our meal.”

    “Speak with me in private.” Red turned on his heel, not waiting for a reply. He smiled knowingly as footsteps echoed behind him as he made his way through the cold white stone-washed halways and into an equaly cold sitting room. Mahogany wood was a stark contrast to al the white – white wals, white sofa, white

    armchairs. White, white, white. Red roled his eyes. He got it, already. Shadow was only a name. His brother was so obvious. Like a third grader’s poetry reading.

    “Wel, speak,” Shadow snapped, trying to regain the upper hand.

    Red shot him a look of boredom that he knew would irk his brother to no end. “I’m here about the Seal.”

    “I thought you were protecting it for father?”

    “It is a she,” Red replied calmly, although he felt anything but. “When it was an it… who was there? When father first bestowed it upon Solomon? Who else was there?”

    “Why ask me? You were there.”

    Trying to stifle his frustration, Red blew out a breath. “No, brother, I was not there. That bodes wel for an answer… you cannot even remember my absence.”

    Shadow scowled at his condescension. “Where were you then?”

    “I was aiding the Assyrian Adad-Nirari II into his new empire. I think we were warring against Babylonia at the time. I missed the whole Seal of Solomon deal because of it,” Red hissed in frustration, wishing he hadn’t done such a damn fine job in leading that war. If he’d alowed the Jinn Ramshi—who was aiding the many other states in their plight against Assyria—to win, he may have been among his family to watch those historic and most important events unfold.

    “Aah.” Shadow smirked. “Wel, I wasn’t privy to any more than White. As soon as father produced that damn Seal, White was after it. Maybe you should be

    directing these questions at him.”

    “I think we both know what a fruitless venture that would be.”

    “I think, perhaps, you’re stuck then. I wou-”

    Moving through the air like the wind itself, Red had Shadow clutched around the throat and pinned to the door behind him before Shadow had even finished the sentence. He grabbed at Red’s hand, managing to stop him from squeezing the oxygen out of him but not managing to get him off of him. Their power canceled one another out.

    “Tel me who else was there,” Red demanded in a low, dangerous voice.

    Shadow nodded slowly and Red relented, letting him go very carefuly, warily. Shadow shrugged his robes out, glaring at Red. “No need for violence, brother. There was one other who might know something.”

    “If you say Asmodeus I might just kil you.”

    Shadow smirked. “Not quite. No. He was a favorite of father’s at the time. I believe his name was Kadeen.”

    Recognition dawned immediately and memories played out before him. Kadeen had been one of Azazil’s confidants for centuries. He was one of the oldest Marids in their world. But… Red scowled. “Kadeen went into reclusion centuries ago.”

    “Oh so he did.” Shadow smiled, enjoying Red’s growing frustration. “Weary of the royal ways no doubt. You have your answer then, brother. Perhaps he’l be of help— if you find him.”

    “I take it you do not know of his whereabouts.”

    “No. Not realy. Are you going to tel me what this is al about?”

    Red sneered at a brother he’d never realy had much respect for. For many reasons. “I wouldn’t want to drag you into this and out of your comfortable position of doing nothing.”

    Glowering at him like a petulant child, Shadow sniffed. “White hasn’t asked for my help. I’ve heard nothing from him since I told him I knew about Ari. He told me to sit and wait. What else am I supposed to do?”

    Readying himself to step back into the Peripatos Red shrugged uncaringly. “Why not for once, stop acting like a lapdog, and act like a king in your own right.”

    13 - I Will Use Your Love as a Mold to Make a Dagger

    She felt desperate. Time was running out and she needed to do this. Lilif curled her hand tighter around the lesser Jinn. He was only a young man.

    Handsome, intelligent, charming. There was something special about him, something that drew people to him. Tamir. Beautiful Tamir. And her son, The

    Glass King’s lover. He stood stiff against her, knowing she could eviscerate him in seconds if she so wished it. That it had come to this— having to snuff out the children she loved most. And Glass, he had always been her very favorite with his deep blue hair that matched the depth of his loyalty and strength. Lilif cried her tears inwardly as she pushed Tamir through the double doors, surprising her son who spun around, his long hair startling in the candlelight, to match his startled expression.

    His eyes narrowed as he took in her cloud dark face and grip on Tamir. “Mother, what is going on?” He took a tentative step towards them, his jaw tight

    with tension as his eyes clashed with Tamir’s. Glass had never loved anyone the way he loved Tamir. A wisp of jealousy blew across Lilif’s heart.

    “I bring your love as collateral, my darling.”

    “Then Red’s suspicions are true. You seek to kill us, to destroy the balance by destroying your own sons,” Glass whispered hoarsely, despair in his eyes turning to disgust. That only made her pinch Tamir harder with her magic and he let out a grunt. Glass lunged at them with a guttural cry and Lilif moved like the wind until she had Tamir on the opposite side of the room.

    She smiled sweetly at her son, hiding her pain. “I have to change everything. So much has been lost under this rule, I need something… new. I hurt for a new life for the Jinn.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire