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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 33)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(33) by Samantha Young
  • Days later, and there was stil no word from her.

    The Glass King had stuck around, but what with Falon sneaking into Charlie’s room at night and Trey constantly blocking any attempts Glass made to speak with him in private about the Labartu, nothing had progressed in that department. If Charlie were honest with himself, he’d admit that a part of him was enjoying the reprieve.

    After the turmoil, those tumultuous emotions he’d ridden through after using the Mount Qaf emerald, he was scared. Scared of himself, his response, his disregard for…

    everything else but the power it could give him.

    “Mmm,” Falon murmured puling back from their languorous kiss. “Where did you go? I lost you there for a minute.”

    “Thinking too much.” Charlie shrugged apologeticaly.

    “About Ari?” she asked quietly, a veil covering her expression and ironicaly giving away her vulnerability.

    Charlie felt a spike of guilt and worry that he was hurting her. He was used to sleeping around with girls and walking away. Somehow, it hadn’t turned out like that with Falon. They’d been together for weeks and he wasn’t bored yet. If anything, he grew more intrigued by her every day. Unfortunately, the ache he felt whenever Ari walked into a room stil hadn’t gone away. He wanted to move on. He just wasn’t there yet. “I’m just worried,” he tried to assure her. “I’m glad you’re okay though.”

    Falon bit her lip, not meeting his gaze, her whole demeanor so un-Falon-like Charlie couldn’t help but tense in anticipation of what was coming next. “Charlie…”

    her breathing seemed a little shalow. “I think… I think I might realy care about you.”

    His shoulders dropped from where they’d hunched up at his ears, al his muscles relaxing as her words shot across his chest like warm water on a freezing cold day.

    Reaching for her, he eased her chin up gently so she had to look him in the eye. “I realy care about you too. I don’t know what I would have done without you these last few weeks.”

    “Realy?” Her smile was cocky again, putting them back on familiar territory.

    “Realy.”

    “Good. Then you’l be okay with the fact that I’m coming with you when you go after the Labartu.”

    It was as if she’d thrown a bucket of ice water over al that warmth she’d created only moments before. Charlie felt the blood drain from his face at the thought of Falon anywhere near the bitch that had kiled Mikey. No way! And no way was he alowing her anywhere near him when he took his vengeance. He didn’t want her or anyone else witnessing the kind of person he was going to have to turn into to do that.

    “No,” his voice was cold and unmoving as he stepped back from her.

    Falon locked her legs around him, stopping his withdrawal. “Don’t shut me out of this, Charlie. I can’t stop you from doing this, but I can damn wel make sure you get out of it alive.”

    “I don’t need you to keep me, alive.” He shoved her legs off of him and backed away, flexing his hands in irritation. “And I don’t need to be worrying about you and whether the rest of the Jinn world wil hold you just as accountable for that monster’s death.”

    “This is suicide, Charlie! I understand your need for revenge but what about al the people who care about you? Me, Ari… even Trey! And have you spoken to your mother lately? Have you told her she’s going to lose the only child she has left?”

    “Shut up,” he hissed, closing his eyes to the truth, to the pain. “I don’t need this crap. Not from you! You’re supposed to understand. You’re supposed to get me.”

    “I do understand. I do.” She was calmer now as she leapt agilely from the pool table and walked towards him. “I just don’t want you to die.”

    He groaned.

    How could he be mad at her for that?

    Softening under her forthright gaze, Charlie sighed and puled her smal frame close, tucking her head under his chin. “You have to trust me.” He thought of the emerald and told her confidently, “I know I’m getting out of this alive.”

    “But then you’l have to run, you arrogant a**hole. I’l never see you again.”

    “Bul. Of course you wil. We’l have clandestine meetings. It’l be hot,” he promised and grinned when she chuckled, punching him playfuly on the arm.

    The surge of energy in the room alerted them to another’s presence and Falon puled quickly away so they could turn to face the intruder.

    The intimidating Glass King gazed at Charlie from his stance at the doorway, his expression bland. Almost bored. “I hate to interrupt, but I’ve found Akasha… I’ve found your Labartu, Charlie.”

    This was always what Ari had imagined when she’d thought of genies. Unlike the cool elegance of the bedroom suite Red had placed her when visiting his part of Azazil’s palace, the quarters the Sultan had placed her in was a riot of deep jewel colors and sensual luxury. The room was pure decadence. From its size, to the fittings and fixtures, and the wardrobe ful of clothes that Azazil had insisted she wear during her stay.

    The bed sat in the center of the room, low to the ground, covered in silk cushions and taffeta throws. The bronze, Moroccan-style furniture was scattered elegantly here and there, and the walk-in closet was separated from the rest of the room by heavy, deep purple and gold damask curtains. Eerie-eyed but strangely beautiful female Shaitans saw to her every need, their almost constant presence rubbing Ari raw like rope on the wrist.

    Days.

    Days she’d been on Mount Qaf.

    And many more to folow it, she feared.

    It was Ari’s own fault. After days of touring the palace grounds, wandering the market stals, and dining with Azazil and Asmodeus in the evening, Ari had finaly lost her patience. However, in an effort to be smart about her interactions with the Sultan, Ari had chosen her words carefuly as she’d politely asked Azazil at dinner two evenings before if he would mind teling her where White was keeping Jai.

    Azazil had lowered his golden fork and knife and gazed at her with a speculative gleam in his eyes, a gleam that had sent invisible warning flags up Ari’s spine.

    Sure enough, he had wanted to play with her.

    “I know where Jai is. I also know that your dear friend, Charlie, has discovered the location of the Labartu and has taken off after it.”

    Ari’s heart had lodged somewhere in her throat as she stared incredulously back at the Sultan. Azazil’s presence stil made her feel as if she’d been under water too long, and to look at him was like staring into a too bright bal of energy. His aura pressed against the skin with such force, Ari was always surprised she never stumbled back from him. Her thoughts had been chaotic as she looked at this ancient being. Not Charlie, she’d thought. Not yet, when she wasn’t there to stop him. To protect him.

    “Choose one.” Azazil had flicked a huge jeweled hand at her. “And I’l help him.”

    Furious did not even come close to explaining how Ari had felt in that moment. Heartbroken. Betrayed. Disgusted. At him. At herself. How could someone be so cruel? And how could it have taken her only minutes to answer? How could she even have given him an answer? “Jai,” she’d whispered, almost choking on her own guilt.

    Azazil had smiled at her, a slight curving of the corner of his lips. What a cruel young man he’d appeared to be. But a cruel young man could be forgiven for being so young and unknowing. However, a being as old as the earth? Ari would have thought centuries of watching how love could make people do extraordinary things, would have chipped the cruelty out of him.

    But then he’d also spent centuries watching how easily cruelty got its own way by turning love into a weapon.

    “Jai it is then.” He had smirked at Asmodeus who’d gazed at Ari uncaringly. “I wil make a pact with you, Ari. You remain here with me, indefinitely, and I promise to make sure that no harm shal befal either of your young men.”

    Her jaw had almost hit the table. “But why…” she’d begun before realizing she already knew the answer to her question. Why had he made her choose if he were going to save them both?

    Because it amused him to toy with her emotions.

    To watch her rip herself apart with the guilt.

    “I want updates on them both.” She had raised her chin in defiance, her gaze flicking between the two immortals. Azazil had continued to smile benignly, while Asmodeus had sat back with a glimmer of something other than boredom in his eyes.

    “Done,” Azazil had agreed.

    “Then I’l stay indefinitely.”

    It was a stupid bargain to have made. Ari knew that now. Three days had passed and she’d stil heard nothing about Jai or Charlie’s whereabouts.

    She lay back on the luxurious bed she’d been given, staring at the ceiling carvings that had been painted over with gold. For once she was enjoying a moment alone from those insistent Shaitans. More like spies, she grumbled to herself, turning to curl up as her heart panged at the thought of Jai. Azazil had promised no harm would come to him. Did that mean he was free? If not, was he being treated wel? Time and time again, Ari had tried to telepath to him, but it only weakened her. It was useless. He was too far from her. And what of White? He wasn’t hurting Jai, was he?

    At the thought of White torturing Jai, Ari shuddered in pain.

    “You wil give yourself bad dreams if you continue on like that.”

    Ari flew up into a sitting position, whirling around to find Asmodeus lounging on a chaise. She had been so lost in her thoughts she hadn’t even heard or felt him enter her room. Tonight he was dressed in robes so dark his hair seemed to be lost in the silk as it spiled down his back. His long legs were stretched out in black leather, his upper body bare except for a gold torque around his neck. Dark, deadly eyes glittered at her, pinning her to the bed. She hated the way she felt around him. Scared, unsure… intrigued….

    “What are you doing here?” she snapped, remembering Red’s promise that she could not be harmed by Asmodeus. Seven days she’d been here. Seven days in this

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire