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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 43)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(43) by Samantha Young
  • “Jai is trapped in a bottle here by his father, but Luca made an oath to White that he wouldn’t let Jai go wilingly.”

    “Wilingly?” Glass repeated and then sighed as he began to grasp what she implied. He turned to Red. “I wil help Ari. You should take Sala somewhere. Lay her to rest finaly.”

    A sob tore from Ari’s throat before she could stop it and her whole body began to shake with the grief. She hadn’t expected to feel so much. To feel so raw and hurt by the loss of a woman she barely knew. But the utter love she’d had for Ari had been a promise of a real relationship with her mother. Her sacrifice to save her daughter… had it been for nothing? Would White realy have kiled Ari? The thought wracked her body with sobs.

    A familiar but surprising presence was beside her suddenly and Ari managed to look up through her tears and pain into the face of The Red King. His expression was stern, his eyes bleak and Ari waited with almost bated breath, her sobs dying out, as he lifted a hand towards her. She stiled. Waiting. The large hand came down and caressed her shoulder and Ari sagged into it.

    “She loved you,” he told her in a voice numb with pain. “She would not want you to blame yourself for her death. Nor would she want me to blame you.”

    “Do you?” Ari asked warily, batting away the tears, unable to stop her hands from trembling.

    “I am trying not to.”

    The honest answer was cutting, but Ari accepted it. She understood. She wished she didn’t but she did.

    “Go with Glass and Luca,” Red ordered quietly. “I’m taking Sala somewhere I promised I would take her if this ever happened.”

    Knowing another apology was futile, Ari alowed Glass to take her arm as Luca led them to the treasure room. Stil in shock, Luca’s words made no sense to Ari as he spoke to the red bottle that held Teruze. Then they were in front of a mottled green bottle and Glass was demanding Luca let Jai out.

    Luca’s energy filed the smal room— and then Jai was there—crumpling against Luca who reached out to steady him.

    Ari took in the way Jai’s eyes blinked rapidly as if the light was blinding him. His clothing was dirty and rumpled and he’d grown a beard, making him almost unrecognizable.

    She flew at him. Careless of what they’d both been through, her arms banded around him tightly as she pressed herself to him, his feet staggering under the impact.

    As she cried silently against his chest, Jai’s arms came around her and he seemed to sag against her.

    “Ari,” he breathed, his arms tightening until she could barely breath. “Ari.”

    26 - Making Sense of it All Makes no Sense when you Sense it Too Late

    “This is getting us nowhere, Charlie,” Falon huffed as she crawled up beside him on the motel bed. “There are no anomalies in this area—none of the morgue

    records show an increase in child deaths; there are no records of poluted water supplies like there usualy is when a Labartu is in the area. Maybe she’s gone, or maybe she’s on the other side of freakin’ Houston… or Red and Glass lied…”

    “Nah.” Charlie shook his head, lifting his arm so she could snuggle up against him. It had been a long day. Again. “I think the bitch knows I’m on her tail. She could be manipulating the records, or Red might be. He seems to have changed his mind about letting me do this.” He knew he sounded bitter, but he was. The last thing he needed was the Jinn King going soft on him.

    “Don’t you think you’re reaching?”

    “I think I’m getting pissed off waiting around.” He squeezed her closer so she’d know he didn’t mean he was pissed off at her. The truth was, he was just pissed at everything. He was worried about Ari, wondering if she was okay—knowing that if she were okay, she would have come after him by now. Guilt and shame flooded him. He would be looking for her if it wasn’t for the emerald burning in his pocket. It had become an obsession. Like he’d gone from snorting to free-basing. And right now, he felt like he needed to use that emerald more than he needed to rescue the girl he loved.

    That was some ‘effed up shit right there.

    Charlie blanched, trying to ignore the burn of the emerald in his pocket. It was becoming that he wanted to use it for the hel of it, just so he could taste its power again.

    …The motel manager had been rude to Falon…

    The ping of Falon’s cel ripped him from his dark musings as she leaned over him to pick it up off the bedside table. She touched the screen twice and then her eyes widened.

    “Oh my God,” she breathed.

    Instantly alert, Charlie leaned over to see the screen. “What? What is it?”

    “It’s her. Akasha.” Pale faced, Falon handed him the smartphone.

    I hear you’re hunting me ;-)

    Come meet the same fate as your brother, little boy.

    Midnight, tomorrow.

    Sydney Marone Middle School

    High Star Drive, Alief.

    Sweet Dreams,

    Akasha

    “Why?” Falon asked, a shake in her voice as she took the cel from his trembling hands. “Why would she taunt you into coming after her?”

    Trying to control the rage and the anticipation that rushed through him, Charlie looked away so she couldn’t see the depths of the darkness he felt gripping hold of him. “Because,” he muttered, “This is what Azazil wants.” He wants me out of the picture. Just like he wants Jai out of the picture. He wants Ari to have no one but him to turn to. The realization made his fists curl into the sheets. His hand brushed his pocket where the emerald was, and the worry for Ari began to dissipate.

    That means she’s probably okay though, he argued with his guilty conscience.

    “Charlie…?”

    Hearing the tremor of worry in his name, Charlie jolted out of his suddenly perceptive thoughts to shoot Falon a grim look. “Don’t chicken out on me now. This is what you signed up for.”

    Instantly the fear on Falon’s face melted into irritation. “Don’t remind me, jerk.”

    “You’re free to walk away.”

    “You’re free to go fu-”

    “Hey,” Charlie cut her off, reaching for her as if she were his personal brand of Xanax. “I know the hard-ass thing is just an act. I mean it, Falon. You should get out while you can.” He brushed her pixie short hair back off her face, his adrenaline stil spiked, but his muscles at least relaxing as he looked into her non-judgmental, beautiful big eyes.

    “Nah,” she huffed, tugging on his t-shirt and puling him close. “I’d never forgive myself if something happened to you. Asshole.”

    He lay down, puling her with him so she was sprawled across his chest. “I can’t believe this is going to happen.”

    “You’re an idiot.”

    “I know,” he agreed. “But I feel like I might go insane if I don’t get this out of my system.” The revenge or using the emerald? His subconscious queried snarkily.

    Falon sighed, her breath warm against his t-shirt. “I realy am afraid for you.”

    “I’m afraid for you too.”

    “Don’t be. Out of the two of us I have a better chance of surviving.”

    Charlie snorted. “Uh, thanks.”

    “Come here.” She lifted her head and slid up a little further to stroke his neck. Responding to her instantly, Charlie wrapped his arms around her waist and puled her up until her lips were almost touching his. Her wide eyes were honest for once. She realy was scared for him. “Take my mind off tomorrow, okay.”

    Glad that the rush of need he felt for her was managing to overpower that of the emerald, Charlie gripped her by the nape of the neck, his kiss hard and desperate.

    Catching on quickly, Falon met him frantic kiss for frantic kiss, their hands brushing one another’s as they hurried to divest each other of any piece of clothing that hindered the feel of skin against skin. They let their bodies take over—using them to say everything they couldn’t quite bring themselves to admit.

    Saying he felt disorientated was an understatement.

    Jai felt his father and Ari’s heavy gaze upon him as he tried to compute everything they’d told him. His nerves were jangling and his lungs were stil adjusting to al the extra air, working freely now instead of against his anxiety. He had pretty much been in solitary confinement for two weeks. To someone who was more used to flying than being trapped inside, it might as wel have been two months.

    And now this…

    … to have to sit and listen to his father apologize for the first time ever in his life; to have to find the courage to be forgiving when Jai stil felt as though he were being suffocated and his limbs were stil heavy with disuse.

    And Ari.

    She wasn’t the Seal anymore. Asmodeus had almost kiled her. The Red King had saved her. The White King had almost kiled her. Sala had saved her. Sala had

    died. Red was in a fury. Charlie was in trouble. Ari wanted to leave right away to help him.

    Jai sucked in a deep breath, exhaustion slowing down his thought process.

    The first thing that realy pressed upon him was that he needed to push Ari harder in her training now that she wasn’t the Seal. She’d almost died twice, and would have if someone hadn’t been there to save her. She needed to be able to save herself.

    Jai shook his head clear. “Charlie is in Houston going after Akasha and you want us to leave now?”

    “You’re not going anywhere,” Luca ordered, shaking his head beligerently. He no longer had that humble, regretful look on his face that had made Jai so uneasy.

    No. His father was back with a vengeance, the old fire of intimidation back in his voice and eyes. “You’ve been through an atrocious ordeal, Jai—an ordeal that even the strongest Ginnaye would have found difficult to endure. You need a shower, a shave, some food in your stomach and then a few good night’s rest in a proper bed.”

    “Father-” Jai tried to argue, but Luca held up a hand, cutting him off.

    “Ms. Johnson is no longer the Seal. Your duty to her is over.” He eyed them both meaningfuly and with warning.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire