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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 22)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(22) by Samantha Young
  • Overprotective Ms. Maggie. Ari was beginning to think the Ifrit had been a nun in another life.

    His body now tense, Jai eased away from her and Ari slowly unhooked her legs from around his waist. Gently he helped lower her to the ground, his eyes narrowed as he tried to smooth her hair back into place. His fingers lingered on her cheek before caressing her skin down to her mouth. His thumb caught her bottom lip and his gaze darkened again. Another shiver rippled down Ari’s spine. Shaking himself, Jai stepped back, slamming his hands into his jean pockets. “Just when I was starting to like the poltergeist.”

    Ari snorted and rubbed a comforting hand over his arm as she passed him. “I’l talk to her about the whole privacy thing,” she promised.

    He grunted at that, folowing her out of the door. “Maybe you could throw in an ‘Oh by the way, who the hel are you?’ while you’re at it.”

    ***

    Falon was looking at her strangely, and Ari wondered for a second if maybe Jai hadn’t fixed her hair right? Were her lips stil swolen? She smoothed back her hair and fixed her gaze on Michael who was sitting behind his desk, peering past his daughter who had her ass on it, blocking his view.

    “Falon, sit on the chair.” He gestured to the armchair wearily.

    Spry in al her movements, Falon skipped off the desk and into the chair with an annoying smirk. Ari narrowed her eyes on her. Did she know? Feeling an inevitable flush at the thought, Ari deliberately kept her gaze off Jai.

    “I’ve got an assignment,” Michael got straight to the point.

    Ari took an excited step forward, butterflies tickling the crap out of the nervous gremlins in her stomach. “Realy?” A real assignment. Hunting Jinn. Instead of them hunting her.

    Awesome.

    “Emmett Bradford High School in Midland, Connecticut.” Michael pushed papers towards both Falon and her, and Ari reached for hers with an eagerness she

    couldn’t hide. She read over the report as Michael explained, “Last semester there was a taly of strange occurrences at the high school. Only a week into the new semester and already there’s been an incident.”

    Ari scanned over the papers in front of her. Last week a student won the lottery. Didn’t sound so crazy, except last semester four students went missing, three withdrew for unusual medical problems – a va**na where a penis had previously been for sixteen years, for instance – and a young history teacher started an affair with a student and then she’d kiled him when he tried to break it off.

    Ari handed the report to Jai and he scanned it quickly, his expression growing darker by the minute. He looked up at Michael, his eyes like steel. “You’re thinking a Marid is out there granting wishes?”

    Michael nodded. “We need to tag it so we can folow it, make sure we ruin its fun any time it hits a public center. I want Falon and Ari to pose as students and see if they can feel the Jinn energy.” He flipped through his own copy of the report. “There have been two new students in the last six months and a new guidance teacher. To make things a little easier on us, the two students are both juniors. I’ve enroled you both at Emmett Bradford High.” Michael nodded at Falon and then Ari. “You’l pose as juniors and your class schedule is divided so you each get to feel out the two new students. And as a bonus, as new students yourselves, you get a visit with the new guidance teacher.”

    Jai took a step forward before Ari could say anything about how stoked she was to be going on her first assignment. “If this is a Marid I should be in on this,” Jai said with gritted teeth.

    Ari blinked. She knew Marid’s were badass, but surely together, she and Falon could handle it. Right? A gremlin in her stomach bit one of the butterflies.

    Michael’s return stare was thoughtful. Finaly he sighed. “Fine. You can be Ari’s possessive older boyfriend who visits her at lunch.”

    A bloom of heat flooded Ari’s cheeks as Falon laughed. Ari flicked a glance at Jai and noted he had tensed. “Can’t you get me into the school?”

    “No. You have a high energy vibe for a start, and everything about you screams Guardian Jinn. Visiting Ari at lunch means you can scope out the school covertly.”

    He turned to Ari as if he hadn’t just driven way closer to the truth about her and Jai’s relationship than he even knew. “You and Falon are step sisters. Marissa and Bela Ribisi.”

    Falon groaned, kicking up off the armchair. “Great. Not only do I have to go back to school – which sucked the first time by the way – but I’m also going to be subjected to sparkly vampire jokes al day.”

    Michael frowned. “I don’t get it.”

    “You’re not the only one,” Jai murmured, staring at Falon quizzicaly.

    “Don’t worry about it, Sexy, it’s a pop culture reference. You wouldn’t get it.”

    “Falon,” Michael sighed deeply, “Please stop caling Mr. Bitar inappropriate names.”

    “Inappropriately true.” Falon winked at Jai and Ari felt a stupid burn of jealousy scald across her chest. Oh God. Who was being possessive now?

    “So when do we start?” she interrupted, taking a step between Jai and Falon.

    Handing her the class schedule, Michael replied with a searching gaze on her face, “Tomorrow. I want this done as soon as possible since your appearance wil most likely alert the Jinn we’re looking for. There’s hope he thinks you’re both lesser living Jinn, but if he’s powerful then he won’t make that mistake, especialy if he feels the strength of your Jinn energy, Ari. I’m sending a team with you to watch your back.”

    If he was looking to see if she was about to puke up, he could forget it. Ari may be nervous as hel, and yeah okay, maybe not completely prepared, but she wanted to do this. She stil had flashbacks to how it had felt to be so numb and helpless under the Harmal Dalí had given her.

    Ari had no intention of ever feeling that helpless again.

    Michael cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable al of a sudden. “I was also wondering if we could make use of your particular gift, Jai?”

    Ari frowned as Jai tensed. What particular gift?

    “On who?” Jai asked quietly.

    Why did Michael look like he wanted to run for the door? “Wel, as I understand it, Ari already has the trace. It would be a nice precaution if Falon had it as wel.

    That way if anything happens…”

    “I can track her,” Jai finished, nodding in understanding.

    Ari understood now too and her stomach had just flipped on her. Michael wanted Jai to kiss Falon so he could trace her if she disappeared on the job. She felt that jealousy heat her cheeks as Falon, who also got it and didn’t look too upset by it, took a step towards Jai.

    “Now?” she asked casualy, glancing between her father and Jai.

    An ugly, inky hand suddenly wrenched itself out of Ari’s chest and choked her, its anger at the situation burning through her entire body, trying to buly her into taking a stand. Command them not to, it whispered to her as Jai slid Ari a surreptitious look, the tense line of his shoulders teling her he felt more than a little awkward.

    Power crackled at Ari’s fingertips as those words started to make sense. She didn’t want Jai kissing other girls. She should command him not to. It was her right. He belonged to her. His lips belonged only to her. Her eyes flipped to Falon and she started to think it might be a better decision to command Falon to stop breathing.

    She’ll hold her breath and die, and that way you’ll never have to worry about this. Shock and horror managed to bury its way out from under those thoughts and Ari held in a gasp of terror. She had to get out of this room. Now.

    The Seal. It was its first appearance in weeks. She’d begun to hope that, that meant she had some control over it now. Obviously, she was wrong.

    Ari started to tremble with fear as she mentaly pushed that inky, black hand and its wicked thoughts back down inside her chest, until it curled up into an aching fist.

    It didn’t disappear entirely. But at least it had shut up. But Ari knew she couldn’t watch Jai kiss Falon. She knew it was just a stupid little kiss, but the idiot had to use tongue and Ari didn’t want to see that. If only because the Seal might wake up again.

    “I’l just step outside.”

    “Me too,” Michael said hurriedly and folowed her out of the room.

    Thankfuly, Jai and Falon stepped out only seconds later but Ari couldn’t look at either one of them. Her boyfriend’s tongue had just been in someone else’s mouth.

    And she’d almost kiled that someone because of it.

    “I’m going to let Charlie know we’re leaving. You want to say goodbye to Trey?” Falon asked, her eyes wide and searching as she directed her question to Ari.

    Ari nodded, stil not realy able to meet her eyes after the horrible thoughts the Seal had seeped into her mind. “Yeah, of course.”

    As she moved to folow Falon, she felt Jai fal into step beside her, his fingers brushing deliberately against hers.

    Do you know how much I hate doing that? His voice penetrated her terrified thoughts.

    What? Kissing pretty girls? she answered absentmindedly. Should she tel Jai? No. No he’d just worry. She’d fought the Seal off. She’d just need to keep doing that.

    Having to kiss girls whether I want to or not. I’ve always tried to shrug it off as part of the job. Up until now I’ve been able to do that. I don’t like

    doing that to you.

    It’s just part of your job, Jai. I get it. You did it to me too.

    Then why can’t you look at me?

    Ari sighed as they stepped out of the house, folowing quietly in Falon’s wake as she headed down the sidewalk towards Jack’s house. She had to lie. She couldn’t tel him the truth. Because, you’ll see my irrational jealousy burning in my eyes and think I’m psychotic.

    His soft chuckle echoed around in her head and she smiled at the wonderful sound. Ari, I’d feel the same way. If it had been you and some other guy.

    Taking a deep breath, Ari forced a smile into her eyes and finaly looked up at him reassuringly. I know. We’re cool.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire