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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 28)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(28) by Samantha Young
  • “Yay me. You?”

    “Computer Lab.”

    “I can’t wait for lun-” Ari cut off mid-grump, her whole body tensing as a wave of familiar energy hit her.

    Jinn.

    She spun around, her eyes searching through the throng of students as they miled between classes. Nope, not him, not her, not him, not her, not-

    Ari’s gaze colided with an older man. A teacher? He narrowed his eyes on her, as if he knew her but couldn’t quite place her. With a slight widening of those eyes of his, he backed up and turned on his heel, heading down the halway in the opposite direction.

    Heart pounding, not quite believing they’d found the son-of-a-bitch already, Ari folowed the Jinn, pushing past students without care.

    “Ari?” Falon hissed, grabbing at her arm. “What the…?”

    “Didn’t you feel him?” Ari asked, stil moving quickly, not even taking time to look back at Falon.

    “No.”

    “It’s him. Come on.”

    They turned the corner and Falon walked into her as Ari stumbled to an abrupt halt. This halway was almost empty. He was gone. Adrenaline pumping fast now,

    Ari gestured towards the classrooms dotted al the way up the long hal. “Let’s start looking.”

    Taking her at her word, Falon nodded. “No splitting up, okay.”

    “Fine.”

    They peered into every class, finding nothing of interest. Ari was ready to give up halfway down the hal since there was no buzz of Jinn energy at al, and then her feet stopped her in the open doorway of a classroom. The room was ful of easels and art supplies, and every wal was covered in carefuly mounted artwork that ranged from realy good to completely, unidentifiably bad. However, the colorful room wasn’t what had gotten her attention.

    It was him.

    He stood leaning over his desk, writing on a post-it before slapping it on top a pile of papers. As if sensing her presence, he glanced over at the door and then straightened. It was him. This was definitely the guy, but, there was no Jinn energy radiating off of him.

    He smiled, a confused, polite stretching of the lips. “Yes? Can I help you with something?”

    His brown eyes were warm and so human. He was probably in his forties and dressed the exact opposite of what Ari expected from an art teacher—a sweater over a shirt and tie, slacks, polished loafers. Short hair. The art teachers she had known had used their style as an expression of art as wel.

    “Ari?” Falon whispered beside her, that one word filed with concern and confusion.

    “I’m sorry,” Ari finaly managed to form words. A little flustered, she looked down at the schedule in her hands. “We’re new. We thought we had art now but clearly not.” She gestured to the empty class. “Not today.”

    “Okay.” He smiled again, buying her lie. “Wel, I’m Mr. Shepherd, but I let you guys cal me Sam. Welcome. I look forward to seeing what you two can do with a piece of paper and a pencil.”

    Returning his friendly grin, Ari shook her head. “Oh I wouldn’t.” And after giving him a little wave of goodbye, she grabbed Falon’s arm and bolted out of there, feeling like the world’s biggest dumbass.

    “What the hel was that?” Falon growled, her pretty face pinched. “You had my blood pumping and ready for a fight.”

    “I could have sworn I felt something from him in the hal. But then… there… nothing.”

    “Wel, now we’re late for class. Check the signal on your radar, Ari. Jeez, so far you suck at this.”

    “You know, I never realized it before but you can be realy mean for such a cute person.”

    “I’ve always been mean.” Falon waved off her suggestion that she was anything else. “And I am not cute.”

    Ari glanced at her schedule as Falon took off towards the east wing of the school. According to this, Calculus was west side, first floor. She started backing up from Falon, a smirk on her lips. “Cute as a button! Al the black,” She waved at Falon’s skinny jeans and black Big Bang Theory t-shirt, “Not fooling anybody, Snow White.”

    Falon’s mouth dropped open a little, aghast. Then just as quickly she shut it. Scowling playfuly, she gave Ari her favorite insult. The middle finger.

    Ari was stil laughing when she got to class.

    Her Calculus teacher wiped the smile off her face as he tore her a new one for being late. Apparently being a new student counted for nothing.

    Stupid high school.

    ***

    Lunch period couldn’t have come fast enough. Ari realy hoped they found their Jinn soon, because she didn’t know how much of repeating high school she could

    take. It was something that she was done with. She’d made peace with the end of her high school career before summer and now she knew why. She’d outgrown it.

    Running for her life this summer had only made her disconnection to it even greater.

    Ari shook her head at herself as she stroled along the main halway towards the front entrance where she knew Jai would be waiting for her. She had to stop being such a whine. This was what she wanted. An assignment. Wel, be careful what you wish for, right. Ari snorted and then shook her head again. She probably looked like a crazy person, but she didn’t care.

    She was about to see Jai.

    Footsteps pounded behind her and a shadow fel over her. Not Jinn.

    Glancing up into the cute face of some tal, dark haired student, Ari gave him a wide-eyed, ‘do I know you?’ look.

    He smiled down at her, reminding her a little of Nick. “Hey, um, you’re new right?”

    Distracted by thoughts of Jai just yards outside somewhere, Ari just nodded.

    “I’m Beau,” he said, holding the door open for her and letting a soft breeze wash over her. Not for the first time, and perhaps for the milionth since activating her Jinn heritage, Ari wished she could feel if the breeze was a cool or warm. From the skirts some of the girls were wearing, and the board shorts some of the guys were wearing, Ari would guess it was a surprisingly hot day for September in Connecticut. “I’m a senior,” Beau continued as they stepped outside, students gently pushing past them. “I saw you earlier in the hals. With your sister?”

    “Step-sister.” Ari stopped, turning to face him, squinting against the bright sunlight.

    “Marissa, right?”

    She almost blushed at the open appreciation in Beau’s eyes as they traveled over her body before returning to her face. He adjusted his backpack as it slid off his shoulder, his grin wide and handsome. She was being flirted with. Great.

    Yes, Ari, great!

    They were on an investigation and inside info would help—information from Beau the senior perhaps. Jeez, Falon was right. She did suck at this.

    “Yeah, I’m Marissa.” She returned his warm smile and held out her hand for him to shake. His grip was surprisingly gentle for his size and at the touch of her hand, his smile widened. It occurred to her that this guy, who was only a year her junior, looked so young and so innocent.

    “Anyone ever told you that you have the most amazing eyes?” he asked, so assured of his own charm and appeal.

    Who’s the guy?

    Ari blinked in surprise at the sound of Jai’s voice in her head. Twisting around, she spied him over her shoulder, leaning against his SUV that he’d parked in the front row only yards from the entrance. He was wearing dark sunglasses, a pair of wel-worn black jeans, boots, and a plain white t-shirt that showed off his honed physique.

    Ari eyed the girls walking past him, craning their necks around to catch another eyeful and then turning to giggle with their friends. The whole scene was a total cliché.

    Hot older guy at high school: the effect.

    Cliché or not, it had an effect on her. Her gaze drifted back to him and her mouth went dry. Jai was hers.

    That was never going to get old.

    “My boyfriend actualy,” Ari murmured in reply to Beau’s flirtatious question. Although distracted, the thought of Falon’s earlier annoyance niggled at her and she turned back to Beau with an apologetic smile. “Maybe I can catch up with you later?” She stil might need him after al.

    Beau’s gaze was on Jai now too. He looked a little bewildered as he answered warily, “Sure thing.”

    Crap. Why did Jai have to be so intimidating?

    Roling her eyes inwardly, Ari left Beau’s side, trying to strol casualy toward her boyfriend and ignore al the people staring at them. As soon as she reached him, Jai stood up off the side of the SUV and puled her into his arms, her shocked gasp lost in his possessively deep kiss. Grasping his biceps for support, her insides on fire despite the temperate cool of her skin, Ari kissed him back for al she was worth. When he finaly let her go, they were both panting a little.

    Ari wasn’t sure if she could remember what words even were, or how to use them.

    That was the first time they’d kissed in public.

    “What was that?” she finaly managed, her voice low and husky.

    Jai just shrugged, looking around the campus casualy. “Just playing my part as possessive boyfriend.”

    “Playing or for real?” Falon suddenly appeared beside them, a huge Cheshire Cat grin splitting her face. “Guys, that was so hot! Months of pent up attraction huh?

    Jock boy is stil staring by the way.” She gestured towards Beau with a lift of her smal shoulder.

    Ari tried for surreptitiousness as she looked over her own shoulder and sure enough, Beau was stil standing staring at them, his expression warring between

    disappointment and something else—something Ari couldn’t quite put her finger on. Two guys appeared beside Beau, clapping him on the shoulder in greeting and finaly drawing him away from them. Ari sagged in relief, wondering what that was al about.

    “You know,” Falon sighed wearily, “Three guys have already asked me if my sister is single. I know you’re hot and al, but I think you’ve got some weird succubus vibes from your mom. It’s totaly depressing being your friend.”

    It was like she’d slapped her with that careless comment. Ari frowned. Did she have some weird succubus vibes from her mom? Was that what Jai was attracted to?

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