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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 42)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(42) by Samantha Young
  • “I can’t,” she managed hoarsely.

    “Command me, Ari!”

    “I command you to shut the hel up!” she yeled, her voice cracking on the words.

    They were al silent a moment and Ari chanced a glance over at Luca and Nicki. Luca was on his feet now, Nicki standing protectively by his side. Ari caught the turmoil in his expression. He wanted to help, but doing so could harm his Tribe. She gave a tiny shake of her head to let him know she wanted him to stay out of it.

    “It didn’t work,” White responded, his voice hushed with disbelief. “It didn’t work.”

    As he stood there aghast, Ari considered the quickest way past him to the treasure room. Just as she was gathering her nerves to zoom by him, White turned his gaze on her, his eyes opaque with blank steel.

    “Then you are of no more use to me,” he announced softly, but the words were laced with the quietest fury Ari had ever heard.

    The threat lanced through her and Ari quickly threw up her hands, summoning her power just in time to block the bolt of magic he shot her way. It bounced off the cushion she’d created and Ari sped back from him at Jinn speed.

    He was faster.

    As she took corporeal form, the blurry trail of smoke she’d become solidifying back into her, a hand wrapped around her throat again and Ari’s eyes popped wide as White slid her body up the entrance door of the mansion, her body dangling helplessly again. There was nothing in his eyes. Nothing at al.

    Ari forced her magic through her fingers as she gripped at the hand that was choking her, sending sharp knife-like pains into his hand, down his arm and into his body—little spiders of virulent energy aiming for his heart. She was sweating from the energy it took to shoot al her defensive magic into him, and yet it had no effect.

    She felt her magic flame out as his far more powerful abilities overwhelmed it.

    He was an immortal Jinn King after al.

    And she was going to die.

    Ari begged herself not to cry in panic. She wasn’t going out that way. Not after everything he’d done. He deserved, even if she was the one dying, to feel as if he’d lost.

    Checkmate, she telepathed loud and clear to him, her voice filed with a strange mixture of smug acceptance.

    As they gazed into each other’s eyes, as she gazed into the face of her monstrously cruel father, as her breathing began to grow more strained, and black spots started pushing in at the corner of her eyes, Ari could have sworn the emotionless bled from his eyes. They widened a little, as if recognizing her.

    His grip began to loosen and Ari felt a rush of air drag down into her windpipe just as an explosion of flames could be heard from beyond them.

    White flinched, his body jerking, his hand unclasping Ari as he made a guttural sound of pain. Ari crashed to the ground with a hard thump as White whirled around above her to face his attacker. Coughing, struggling to draw in air down her hurt throat, Ari looked up through the curtain of her hair and froze in absolute dismay.

    Sala.

    The power of the Haqeeqah in Sala’s hands whipped her long dark curls behind her, snapped back the fabric of her blue silk dress dramaticaly. Her eyes were feral on White as he took slow, calculating steps towards her.

    “You wil never harm my daughter again,” Sala hissed, enraged, her chest rising and faling rapidly with the emotion.

    “Mom,” Ari croaked, stumbling to her feet. “Get out of here,” she pleaded.

    “You get out of here,” Sala bit back at her desperately. “He won’t stop until he kils you. I won’t let that happen. Now get Jai and get out of here. Now!”

    “No,” Ari breathed, the memory of White’s grip loosening around her neck ripping at her. She was safer with him than Sala was! RED! Ari telepathed as powerfuly as she could. HE HAS SALA!

    As if sensing the power she’d just unleashed into her s.o.s. , White shot her a dangerous look over his shoulder. Using that moment of distraction Sala threw the Haqeeqah.

    White moved.

    A blur of smoke, he was across the hal in miliseconds, the Haqeeqah blasting into the wal inches from Ari, the magic seeping into the plasterwork. It began to crumble, bricks started to shift.

    Ari’s gaze swung back to her mother only to feel her heart vomit up into her throat at the sight of White clutching hold of her. He stood with Sala’s back pressed to his front, his arms clasped around her, his mouth at her ear. They may have looked like two lovers embracing if it hadn’t been for Sala’s terror as she looked up over at Ari.

    “Ari, leave,” she whispered pleadingly, flinching as White murmured something in her ear.

    Ari ran toward them, pushing her energy out at White to knock him back from her, but he moved again, this time taking Sala with him, and as Ari spun to get her bearings…

    … she was too late.

    His bloody fist was already appearing out of Sala’s chest cavity, her heart dying in his hand, and her empty body crumpling to the ground.

    “NO!”

    Ari heard the below, she felt it vibrate through her as her knees gave way. Red hair streaked across her vision folowed by blue.

    Her blurry gaze froze on her mother’s body, on her wide empty eyes that stared directly into Ari’s. Ari’s own body crumpled in on itself in agony. Grief, regret, wishes— they al slapped against her like a gang of youths beating her up before pick-pocketing al the promise of the future she’d had inside of her. The promise of having a parent who loved her.

    It was gone.

    Sala was gone.

    Hands grabbed each of Ari’s arms and she let herself be dragged back into the doorway of one of the Bitar’s sitting rooms. She turned her bleary eyes up into Luca’s face. His features were strained, a sympathy she didn’t know he was capable of burning in his eyes. “What are you doing?” she whispered in a daze.

    “Getting you out of the way of that.” He nodded into the entrance and Ari turned, the sounds of chaos finaly filtering into her ears and connecting with the sight before her.

    Red and Glass had attacked White. The entrance hal was a disaster zone—the lower balustrade of the staircase was broken, portraits had crashed to the ground, huge cracks zipped up the sides of the wals where White had been thrown with the force of a wrecking bal. Now The White King was pinned against the stairs under the power of both Glass and Red.

    Understanding dawned as she took in the absolute grief and horror in Red’s eyes as he curled a fist in the air and squeezed, the action seeming to magicaly squeeze the air from White’s lungs as he clawed at the invisible hand around his throat.

    “Brother,” Glass whispered softly, although he did not loosen his grip on White. “Red… we cannot…”

    But Red was far gone, his face mottled with fury. “I wil destroy you,” he choked out. “For what you have taken today, I wil destroy you.”

    Ari had barely registered the opening in the Peripatos when a tal, dark-haired Jinn strode out in a similar garb to Glass. Another Jinn King. He flicked a look at Ari as he strode towards his brothers. “Not today you won’t, Red,” he answered in a bored monotone. “Two against two, it could go on forever.”

    “Get out of here, Shadow,” Red curled his lip at him. “This is not your fight.”

    “Actualy it is.”

    The Shadow King. Ari let out a slow breath watching the four Jinn Kings together. It was frightening. They could destroy everything in their paths, and no one would be able to stop them.

    “Red.” Glass pressed a tentative hand to his brother’s shoulders. “I know what you are feeling. You know I do. However, this is pointless. You know you wil never kil him.”

    The air was heavy as they al waited for Red’s decision.

    With a growl of disgust he stepped back and Glass folowed suit.

    White choked and spluttered just as Ari had done only minutes before when he’d attacked her in the same manner. Throwing Red a sinister look, White stood to his feet in one graceful motion. As smart as he was, Ari was unsurprised when he took a step back up the staircase, letting the flames engulf him into the Peripatos.

    The Shadow King grunted. “Thank you, Shadow,” he mimicked White, “For coming to my aid. Oh, you’re so welcome, brother.” He roled his eyes. “Ungrateful

    swine.”

    Noticing he’d drawn the attention of his furious brothers, Shadow gave them a taunting smile before turning his head to stare at Ari. “So this was the Seal. You look just like your mother.”

    And before Red could retaliate to that snide, cruel remark, Shadow disappeared into the Peripatos.

    Silence slunk around the room as if it knew there was no time for it to be there, but couldn’t leave for it was magneticaly drawn to the grief that thickened the air.

    Finaly, at the tightening of Luca’s hand around her arm, Ari took a tentative step towards The Red King. He stood gazing down at Sala in disbelief, with The Glass King by his side, his hand on Red’s back in offer of comfort. The tears started to spil down Ari’s cheeks as she took in the sight of the mother who loved her, a mother she had never gotten to know, and her uncle whose overwhelming presence only made his grief seep into everyone around him.

    Her doubts over whether a Jinn King could realy feel were buried by the obvious love Red had had for Sala.

    Lips trembling, tongue zinging with the taste of salt from her tears, Ari opened her mouth to speak and when no words came out she had to clear her throat. The noise drew Glass’ gaze and he offered her a sympathetic nod. Despite the distance between them, Ari had lost Sala too.

    That only made her tears fal faster and she had to brush them quickly aside in order to face Red. “Red,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

    He didn’t look at her. Couldn’t speak.

    Did he blame her?

    Oh God, if he blamed her…

    Deciding then she couldn’t possibly ask for his help, Ari shifted her eyes back to Glass who watched her expectantly. “I need your help,” she told him quietly.

    He frowned but nodded at her to continue. She noted he never once took his hand from Red’s shoulder.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire