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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 45)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(45) by Samantha Young
  • “You are an a**hole.”

    “Don’t use that language.”

    “But you’re allowed to?”

    Feeling his irritation build again, Charlie slapped the wheel. “Can you just for five seconds not act like a little brat?”

    “Oh now I’m a brat and an a**hole.”

    Charlie whipped his head around to glare at him. “Seriously, dude, what is going on?”

    “Nothing.” Mike shrugged and then shot him a look when he wouldn’t turn away. “Nothing!”

    Charlie turned back to face the road and his heart jerked in his chest at the sight of the cyclist who seemed to have come out of nowhere. The sound of

    Mike’s yells became garbled among the sound of screeching tires and the crunching of metal…

    … “You’re making me nervous, pacing up and down like that.” Falon glowered at him from her position, leaning against the bathroom doorframe. “Stop it. I don’t do nervous.”

    Charlie gave her a weak smile as she puled him from his last memory of Mike. A terrible memory. He continued to pace as he checked his watch. Only six fifteen.


    A playful knock at the door stopped him in his tracks, his eyes clashing with Falon’s. They were both frozen, silently communicating on what to do. Finaly Falon nodded.

    Treading softly so whoever was at the door wouldn’t hear his footsteps, Charlie crossed the room and looked through the peephole. He frowned. No one. A sense of unease rippled over him as he gripped the door knob and began to ease the motel room door open, his magic bubbling at his fingertips. Like he’d been hit with a gale force gust of wind, Charlie staggered back as a streak of color tore past him and into the room. He whirled around, dazed, his eyes widening on the tal, skinny woman who stood beside Falon. She was plain-looking with red hair, pale skin and… yelow eyes. Yelow eyes?

    “Looking for me?” she smirked and just as Charlie registered that this was the Labartu, that this was Akasha, she had Falon’s head between her hands.


    Falon’s delicate neck snapped, the life abandoning her body as it crumpled uselessly, empty, souless to the floor. Unreality washed over Charlie as he stared at the place his dead girlfriend’s body had been discarded.

    He fought a sudden rush of vomit, gagging as he reached for a wal to lean against.

    “Now that’s two people you’l want to exact revenge from me for, little boy.”

    Breathing hard, Charlie pushed himself back off the wal to face her, his hand dipping into his pocket with a mind of its own, considering his own mind was numb with shock. Akasha was too fast. The wind of her departure blew him back again and Charlie stood befuddled for a moment, Falon’s body lying at the edge of his vision, taunting him to look.

    Instead he curled his fingers around the emerald. Find her, he whispered inwardly, his rage quiet but inextinguishable. Find her. The flames of the Peripatos engulfed him and Charlie closed his eyes, preparing himself for a slaughter.

    28 - And They Say a Wealth of Emeralds Won’t Change You…

    Ari watched as Michael Roe comforted his sobbing wife while Falon’s Uncle Gerard and Jacob Balendine arranged Falon’s body into a wooden crate lined with

    blankets. They’d Cloak it as they removed her from the motel, using the one piece of emerald The Roe Guild kept in their safe.

    Jai’s hand lay on Ari’s shoulder, offering her quiet comfort, but she was numb. Falon’s body looked so tiny and that cute face that had been so ful of character was pale and slack. Empty. She was no longer in there.

    It was too much.

    Too much death to deal with al at once. Too much aching loss.

    “Charlie didn’t do this,” Trey announced to the room as he snapped his cel shut. “Glass confirmed that Akasha was sent here by Azazil. She must have kiled…” his eyes grew narrow with fury at the sight of Falon’s body. “…She kiled Falon and she took Charlie. Or Charlie took off after her.”

    Caroline’s sobs grew quieter but Ari’s own grief only intensified as she watched Gerard wipe a tear away from his cheek as the lid on the crate shut his niece in. It seemed impossible to believe that Falon would never talk to her again. That they would never exchange playful barbs and insults, or just hang out…. Theirs had been an open, honest kind of friendship. One Ari had truly appreciated.

    She had lost the one girlfriend who realy knew and understood her…

    … And worse… Charlie had lost her too.

    She couldn’t imagine what he was going through right now. What he was thinking. How he was reacting.

    “He realy cared about her,” she whispered almost to herself. “They were together. Together, together. God,” she choked, “He must be going nuts.” Turning to Jai, Ari was demanding, determined. “We have to find him. We have to stop him.”

    “If you find him,” Michael’s flat voice drew everyone’s attention. “If you stop him, he’s out of The Guild and no longer under the Roe’s protection. His bitter need for revenge has gotten my daughter murdered.”

    Ari blanched, even in that moment, feeling like she needed to defend Charlie somehow. Falon had known what she was doing when she came after Charlie. Falon

    had cared about him. She was just trying to protect him. Charlie would never have wanted anything to happen to her.

    “Michael…” she didn’t realy know how to respond.

    “He’s out, Ari. That’s final. I understand if that means you’re out too.”

    The truth was she couldn’t answer that right now. The thought of leaving Charlie defenseless when he needed her seemed unthinkable. But for now, it wasn’t what mattered. What mattered, Ari realized, as she took in the pure agony on Michael’s face, was that the Roes needed to grieve in private, and they were al intruding.

    “I understand.” This might be the last time she saw them. Charlie was her best friend, although it may not have seemed like it lately. They were bonded by years of friendship, and he needed her just as the Roes needed one another. “We better go.” Ari tugged on Jai and Trey’s arms.

    “If there’s anything we can do,” Jai suddenly spoke up, his voice grave and strong, the kind of guy who could be believed when he said he’d take care of something.

    “Michael… please let me know.”

    Caroline was deaf to everything but her own loss, but Michael heard and he gave Jai a grateful nod before curling his wife deeper into his arms.

    Outside the motel, standing in the badly-lit parking lot, Ari finaly felt like she could breathe again. “This is unreal,” she mumbled, trying to shake off the deep sadness that was making her shiver to the very depth of her bones. Later, she could curl up in Jai’s arms and cry until there was nothing left, but not right now.

    Glancing with renewed determination between Jai and Trey, Ari tried to mask her fragility. “How can we pick up Charlie and the Labartu’s trail?”

    Trey’s cel pinged and he flipped it open, his eyes scanning the message with satisfaction. “Sometimes it’s like a god listening in,” he murmured with a smirk. “We don’t need to.” He looked up at them, the smirk replaced by something grimmer. “Glass. He says Akasha has fled to Sydney Marone Middle School here in Alief. It’s a new school, stil under construction.”

    Ari’s mouth dropped open, her eyes on Trey’s cel. “Should Glass be doing that? I thought Azazil wanted him out of it.”

    “Technicaly, the Sultan said that Red should stay out of it. Plus, it’s not like he’s physicaly helping.”

    “Jinn and there technicalities,” Ari grumbled. Then she frowned, a new thought occurring to her. “I thought you and Glass disliked one another?”

    Trey was utterly beautiful as he grinned at her; his exotic grey eyes were wicked beneath their dark lashes. “Oh we definitely have our moments.”

    Bemused by his enigmatic comments when it came to The Glass King, Ari shrugged him off. She turned to her boyfriend. He stil looked so tired, and concern for him flooded her. She wanted him out of this. He hadn’t fuly recovered his strength yet. “I’m going with Trey. I want you to stay with the Roes.”

    “Oh, so it’s okay for me to die?” Trey cracked. “I’m touched. Realy.”

    Ari glared at his inappropriate humor only to find her glower faltering under Jai’s.

    “There is no way in hel I’m letting you do this alone.”

    He was using that voice. Ari heaved a sigh, knowing he wouldn’t budge on it. “Fine. I’l meet you guys there.” Al three of them looked around to make sure no one watched as they melted back into the shadows behind three cars. Assured they had some privacy, they let the Cloak shroud them from visibility and then each of them caled on the Peripatos to take them to a sorcerer who desperately needed some sense driled into him.

    The Labartu was playing with him.

    Charlie’s head was bleeding from where she’d thrown him against some scaffolding outside of the school as he arrived. A middle school, he thought distastefuly.

    Fitting, for someone who liked to destroy little kids. Akasha was the worst kind of bad guy, Charlie sneered as he tread carefuly and slowly down a halway. A bad guy who was a bad guy for going after children? They were the lowest, vile, dregs found on the scum of the earth.

    Even bad guys hated those kinds of bad guys.

    Charlie stopped, his ears pricking up at the sound of Akasha’s boot buckles clanking softly. The sound echoed from every direction, deliberately confusing Charlie.

    This was the sixth time she’d played that trick.

    “You’re a coward!” he caled out, sounding far more calm and together than he felt.

    The footsteps stopped.

    Then started again, leading him this time in the one direction. A hole in the wal with doors piled near, waiting to be hung, led Charlie into a huge room. Checking out the counter at the opposite end and the large, shalow hatch that stretched the length of the counter, Charlie would have to guess this was the cafeteria.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire