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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 38)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(38) by Samantha Young
  • breathing was erratic, her chest rising and falling, willing his fingers to slip further down. Her eyes were glued to his face, waiting for his next move.

    Finally, he blinked, clearing his throat as he came back to himself. But his eyes were a little brighter than before as he raised them from her chest to meet her gaze.

    “Why are you asking me this again?” his voice was deeper, rumbling. “I told you when you asked me the first time to come with you that I’d do anything

    to protect you.”

    “That doesn’t mean you don’t miss your life before.”

    “You’re right,” he agreed. “I liked my job. But I was indifferent to my life. And you changed that.”

    She couldn’t help but smile at his meaningful look, butterflies beating their wings inside her chest instead of her belly. “You know what else has

    changed?”

    “What’s that?”

    “You’re a lot more loquacious.”

    Jai laughed, a soft rough sound that thrilled her. “Loquacious is a good word.”

    “It is a good word. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I read it in a book last night. I was, like, I do not use that word enough. So I decided I was going to use it in a sentence today.”

    He chuckled again, but the look in his eyes had grown more serious. “You’re so adorably weird, you know that.”

    “Good idea to add the adorable part.”

    Jai cocked his head to the side as if he were thinking deeply on the matter. “Yeah. It was. I think I’m getting good at this boyfriend crap.”

    Ari burst out laughing, shaking her head. “Oh, I think you may need to work on it a little more. Boyfriend crap?”

    They shared amused smiles until eventually a comfortable silence crept over them as they gazed at one another.

    “I suppose we better get going,” Jai eventually said softly.

    But Ari didn’t want to leave, and she didn’t think he did either.

    Instead of replying to that, Ari reached out to run her fingers over the scruff on his cheeks. “You need to shave,” she whispered, loving the feel of his bristly whiskers against her skin. It was weird, but she wanted to kiss him right then just to feel the burn of those whiskers scraping against her skin. Like he would be marking her as his somehow.

    Jai had grown still under her touch, his eyes darkening in a way Ari had come to recognize. It matched her own excited hunger. Needing to be closer to

    him, she slid along the mat until they were pressed together and then she slowly curled her arm up around his neck, bringing her left cheek to his right as she nuzzled him like a cat, his two day beard abrading her soft skin.

    Jai’s breathing sounded shallow in her ear as she felt his arm slip around her back, his fingers kneading her muscles. She turned her head, inhaling him, before pressing her lips to his cheek, a hot sensual press of her mouth to the corner of his. There was nothing innocent about that kiss and Jai’s hold on her tightened.

    “I miss you,” she breathed deeply.

    “Ari…” Jai groaned, but before he could respond she pulled back, biting her lip in anticipation. “What?” he asked, his fingers brushing lazy patterns on her spine.

    “Take your shirt off,” she ordered gently, her voice low and husky. She liked how it sounded—hoped it would be enough to convince him to give into her

    request. Ari bit her lip harder to stop the smile that awoke inside her as Jai’s eyes narrowed with intensity at her husky demand.

    “What?”

    “I just want to see you. I miss you. All of you.”

    “You want me to take my shirt off here? Where we could get caught?”

    “If anyone walks in they’ll just think we’re training. I’ve seen you train without your shirt on before.”

    He didn’t look convinced but as if deciding he wanted to cater to her whim anyway, Jai stood up with a grace Ari both envied and lusted after. His strong, masculine grace was one of the hottest things about him.

    Ari’s breathing grew strained as Jai stared down at her. He was completely focused on her, his gaze never wavering as he offered her a little strip tease, reaching for the hem of his t-shirt and raising it inch by slow inch until it was up over his head and then discarded on the mat beside her.

    She’d seen him shirtless before, but she’d somehow forgotten over the weeks just how… wow. He was honed and roped.

    He had a warrior’s body.

    So hot.

    Taking hold of his hand, Ari started to rise and Jai’s fingers automatically tightened around hers as he helped her up. Standing now, Ari still had to tilt her chin to meet his gaze.

    “Now what?” his voice was hoarse.

    “I just want to touch you.”

    His eyes flashed and he grew still, as if considering whether or not it was a bad idea. Finally he nodded. “Okay.”

    Excitement pulsed through Ari as she tentatively let her fingers fall against his stomach. It rippled under the lightest of touch and Ari felt her lower belly tingle at the affect she had on him. That she had that much power over him. It made her insecurities over his sexual experience and her inexperience melt away. Feeling bolder, she ran her hand up the center of his six-pack, tracing the ridges of the muscle. His olive skin was silky beneath her touch, silk over pure steel. She’d read that somewhere in a cheesy romance novel Rachel had given her, but God, did it fit. She was finding it a little harder to breathe evenly as her touch reached his hard pecs. When her fingers brushed his nipple Jai moaned and Ari’s eyes flew to his. They were blazing down at her and Ari felt that look like an explosion in her lower belly. Encouraged, breathing completely ragged now, Ari leaned closer and pressed her lips to his chest, whispering butterfly kisses across his skin and reveling in the way his chest had begun to rise and fall more rapidly.

    Some devil crawled inside of her and her hand backtracked, sliding slowly downwards, slipping over his abs until she hit the waistline of his jeans. At the same time as she tickled her fingers along his lower abdomen, Ari pressed a kiss over his nipple, her tongue tentatively flicking over it.

    Jai cursed, his voice low and guttural. He grabbed her by the elbows and pulled her into him but before he could retaliate the sound of footsteps echoing down the staircase towards them stopped them. They froze for a second, and then Jai was pushing her away from him, turning his back and letting his magic crackle around him. A t-shirt covered his upper body but he refused to turn around.

    “Almost done?” Caroline’s voice called out to them, and then she was there, peering around the doorframe. “Dinner’s almost ready.”

    Jai looked like he was still brooding, staring out of the French windows. Ari was flushed, trembling, but somehow she managed to throw Caroline a tight

    smile. “Yeah. We’re just finishing up.”

    “Great.” Caroline smiled back at her and left after shooting Jai a curious look.

    Ari listened to her footsteps fade and then turned to Jai. He shot her an unreadable look over his shoulder and she wished she understood what the hell it meant. “Are you mad?”

    “No. I’m not mad. I… want you. Now.”

    Ari grinned, relishing the possessive look in his eye. “Well, that’s good, right?”

    “No, Ari,” he laughed despite himself as he brushed past her, careful to barely touch her. “Time and a place. Okay? There’s a time and a place.”

    Hurrying to catch up to him, Ari disagreed. “Well, I thought it was incredibly hot. Maybe the time and the place was a factor in that.”

    “Maybe you’re right. But if we’re going to keep a lid on this, then no more strip teasing.”

    So unlike her, Ari found herself pouting. “I don’t like the sound of that.”

    He caught her look and laughed, shaking his head.

    “I love that sound though,” she admitted, the words just slipping out before she could stop them.

    Jai stopped on the stairwell, a quizzical frown appearing between his eyebrows. They were getting closer to the rest of the house and its occupants where unwanted ears might be in listening distance, so Ari understood why Jai’s voice suddenly popped into her head.

    What sound?

    Your laugh. It does crazy things to me.

    His eyes widened. Ari, he breathed as if winded, No one’s ever…

    No one’s ever, what?

    No one has ever looked at me the way you do. It’s humbling… to have someone like you look at someone like me that way.

    Someone like me?

    You’re everything, he admitted, his voice catching, You know that right?

    Then tell me you love me, she wanted to say. Instead she nodded. You’re everything to me too. I look at you and I forget that I’m in the middle of the

    deepest shit anyone’s ever been in.

    Jai snorted, shaking his head. And you say I’m the unromantic one.

    They playfully grimaced at one another and Ari impulsively stood on her tiptoes to press a quick kiss to his lips. She drew back, stroking his cheek. You

    need to shave.

    In response, he leaned down to kiss her forehead. I will never get tired of hearing you say that.

    Pain shot through her chest as Ari drew in a breath. Jeez, it felt like she’d been shot. What had happened? Where was Jai? Why was it dark? Hadn’t they just been on the staircase heading up to dinner? “Jai?” she mumbled, reaching a hand out in the dark for him.

    “No, Ari, it’s me.”

    The familiar rumble of her uncle’s voice was like a key unlocking the memories from the point in the gym with Jai onwards. The forest where he had finaly told her he loved her, the high school, the Jinn attack, her mother saving her, The White King stealing Jai, her bargain with Azazil…

    The image of Asmodeus smashed its way through al the rest, his fist ripping out of her chest with the ember inside his closed hand.

    Ari’s eyes flew open with a gasp.

    Hovering above her was the familiar face of The Red King and the healer with silvery hair that brushed his chin. He’d saved her before. After the Haqeeqah and then again after Dalí had drained the blood from her. “Red?” she croaked out, her mouth feeling dusty, her throat dry. As she tried to move, sharp aches and burning pain shot through her body. Her limbs didn’t feel so light anymore… they felt… real? It was almost as if for years she’d had help carrying the weight of them and now she was left to carry them alone.

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