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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 47)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(47) by Samantha Young
  • Today was the first day it was empty. Today was the first day Ari could realy touch and taste the thickened air of grief that clung to every wal, every door…

    Trey was keeping an eye on Caroline, making sure she was functioning, cracking jokes, wiping her tears, and constantly checking his celphone. Was it for Glass?

    Ari wondered, her suspicions about those two growing deeper the more and more she thought about it. She hoped if Trey heard anything from Glass he’d let her know.

    She stil hadn’t heard a word from Red and had no idea where her mother had been buried. If she’d been buried.

    Then there was of course the matter of Asmodeus and The White King who stil had unfinished business with her. According to Jai, who’d had word from Luca that Yasmin had been bitching about waking up to find out she could talk about what Ari had commanded her to do, this signaled the possibility of a new threat. It might be that everyone she’d commanded was no longer under that compulsion. The Ghulah. Pazuzu. Would they come after her for revenge?

    Ari blew out her breath between her lips as they entered Michael’s office. He was waiting for them, absentmindedly staring into the fireplace. The room must have been toasty and warm with the flames roaring to life for the first time since Ari had come to stay with him. Everyone kept complaining about the cold snap that had blown into New Jersey, but as per usual, Ari and Jai couldn’t feel it.

    Another aching pang lit up Ari’s chest at the sight of Michael, his strong face so drawn with sadness. Did Michael blame her? After al, if she’d never entered The Guild’s lives, bringing Charlie along for the ride, Falon would stil be alive.

    “Sit down, please.” Michael gestured to the two seats before his desk.

    Feeling unexpected gremlins start to eat the butterflies in her bely, Ari swalowed hard, awaiting his decision on whether he was alowing her permanently back into The Guild.

    “You keep looking at me, Ari, as if you expect me to suddenly throw you out of the house.” He frowned at her, seeming so exhausted and a little annoyed.

    Ari winced. She hadn’t realized she’d been so obvious.

    “As a member of The Guild, we are aware that a short life is a possibility. My daughter was aware of this and I’m trying to accept it, knowing my daughter died in service to a friend.” Bitterness sprinkled over the word friend. “I’ve already spoken with Jai and offered you both a place in The Guild along with Trey.”

    Taken aback, Ari glanced over at Jai and he offered her an apologetic smile for not teling her before now.

    “Jai has purchased a property in the area for himself and Trey to live in. It’s in the neighborhood so they can be close at hand for me. I am grateful to have them in The Guild.” He nodded respectfuly at Jai and then when he looked at Ari his gaze turned knowing and almost… fatherly? “He also made me aware of the true nature of your relationship with him. I know you’re eighteen but you have no parents and I would feel remiss in my duties as your Guild leader if I didn’t urge you to consider staying here with me and Caroline instead of moving in with two older men. But Mr. Bitar wants you to have the choice.”

    Wide-eyed Ari turned to face Jai, her mouth faling open slightly. Unexpected excitement started to swat at the gremlins in her bely. Move in with you? She telepathed.

    He smiled softly. If you want.

    The gremlins started to swat back at the excitement as the thought of living with Jai sank in. it was fast. They’d be living together like a real couple. She was only eighteen. They hadn’t even slept together yet, and Trey would be their roommate. Or would they al just be roommates—as in she’d have her own room? Or—oh crap.

    She felt a little dizzy.

    Suddenly Jai took her hand, his eyebrows drawn together in worry. Ari peeked at him through the curtain of her hair and felt something punch her in the chest when she found more than worry lurking at the back of those gorgeous eyes of his. She saw fear.

    Fear that she didn’t want him?

    Ari tightened her hold on his hand.

    They would be living together. She’d get to see him every day. To know he was safe.

    They’d get to make-out without any interruptions.

    Hopefuly.

    Trey would be there too, and she cared about Trey. The two of them made her feel safe.

    They were family.

    The excitement swung at the gremlins with a basebal bat. “I’m going to stay with my family. I want to move in with Jai and Trey.”

    Michael didn’t look at al happy. “People might talk.”

    “Then let them talk.” Ari shrugged, completely unbothered by the thought. “There are worse things in life than gossip.”

    Heaving a sigh, Michael finaly nodded, his eyes growing heavy with grief again. “Yes. There is. Which brings me to my next piece of news.”

    Jai’s hand tightened in hers almost to the point of being painful and Ari felt the excitement inside her die—death by dread. “News?”

    “Your last assignment was taken over by my uncle’s son, Aidan. You may remember him from Phoenix.”

    Ari nodded. She hadn’t realy gotten to talk to him much.

    “Aidan posed as a supply teacher and discovered that the art teacher, a Mr. Sam Shepherd, had a Qarin.”

    “A what?”

    “A double,” Jai explained. “A person’s dopplegänger. They usualy try to turn their human double to the dark side, or in some cases they just want to mess up their human double’s life. Not al are bad. But most are.”

    “Yes,” Michael agreed. “And this one was. He posed as the art teacher and would grant wishes through a student’s painting. He’d get them to paint what they

    wanted most.”

    That made sense, Ari thought. When she first felt the power of the Jinn in the school hals it must have been the Qarin she’d encountered. Then when she met Sam, he was the human counterpart.

    “Aidan discovered a locked closet filed with paintings. The four missing kids. They were trapped inside their paintings. Aidan said it was one of the most bizarre things he’s seen. There was a kid trapped in the painting of,” he shot Ari an apologetic look, “an ‘adult’ movie scene. For Christ’s sake.”

    Jai did not just snort? Ari made a face at him before turning back to Michael. “So what happened?”

    “The Qarin knew he’d been busted and he fled with his human double. We’re tracking him but we’d like to put you on notice. If he starts up shop somewhere new and somewhere under our jurisdiction, we want you and Jai out there to stop him. He’s a number one priority and from now on—seeing as I have three ful-bloods in my Guild—any priority hunts are now priority kils. Jai told me Red said something about ful-bloods not being tried.” He smiled humorlessly at being privy to the truth about the Law.

    Ari nodded a little dumbly. She knew it echoed the promise she had given Michael in the speech she’d used to convince him to let her become a hunter, but to hear it so bluntly put…

    Michael was asking her, Jai and Trey to be his personal assassins.

    She shot a look at Jai but he seemed calm. He seemed ready.

    Be a grown up, Ari, she chastised herself. You wanted a purpose.

    “Okay,” she agreed.

    “Ari…” Michael cleared his throat, suddenly looking incredibly uncomfortable. “The Roe Guild has been given another priority assignment, orders from Mount Qaf.”

    His gaze darkened and his eyebrows dipped in fierce thought. “We’re to aid the Law Makers in a hunt. This one is considered extremely dangerous and impossible to find. That’s why we need you on it.”

    Her heart was suddenly pounding in her chest and she felt her palms begin to sweat. Feeling her tremble, Jai squeezed her hand. She let go of the breath she was holding, salt stinging her eyes as she tried to fight her emotions in order to be able to take what he was about to say.

    “He’s a half-blood. Sort of. So this is a track and kil order.”

    “Why me? Why do you need me?” Ari needed him to say it.

    “Because you know him better than anyone. You know his habits. His haunts.”

    “Track and kill…?” she choked, disbelief wrapping its hands around her throat.

    “If we don’t take him out, someone else wil.” Michael shook his head, his eyes surprisingly ful of sympathy. “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you, Ari, but he is gone. That’s not him anymore.”

    “Just say it,” she hissed furiously. “Just say his name.”

    Michael nodded, his expression grim but determined. “It’s Charlie. Our next target is Charlie Creagh.”

    To be continued…

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire