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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 5)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(5) by Samantha Young
  • Jai shook his head, a wry smile curving his lips despite himself. “I think so.”

    “You still pretending what happened, didn’t happen?”

    “I have to.”

    “OK. Answer me one thing…?”

    “OK?”

    “She’s hot isn’t she?”

    “Goodbye, Trey.”

    “No come on, man, I want details.”

    “She’s not for you, Trey,” Jai warned, feeling that inexplicable possessiveness take over again. Why was Trey so fricking interested in her?

    “I know that, didn’t we just cover that. Jeez, someone’s a little overprotective. I just want to know if the girl who’s got you all tied up in knots is hot?”

    “She’s not got me all tied up in knots.”

    “No, but you wish she did,” he snorted.

    Rolling his eyes at his friend’s weak joke, Jai sighed heavily. “She’s hot. Now piss off.” He hung up, feeling exhausted. Talking to Trey was like talking to a politician. You never really got anywhere.

    A chill shot through Jai’s body and he stiffened in surprise. Jinn didn’t feel much in the way of changing temperature but Jai did when a person he had under trace was in danger.

    Ari!

    Heart pounding against his chest, Jai drew himself up letting the flames of the Peripatos overwhelm him. Two seconds later he stepped out into Vickers’ Woods, the smell of damp moss and wet grass hitting his nose just as his eyes fell in horror on the scene before him. Derek lay slumped at the feet of a Shaitan and beside him was Ari, unconscious at the feet of another Shaitan. The tall one over Derek’s lifeless body smiled at Jai, his teeth sharp silver points that glittered in the afternoon sun.

    “I bring a message from The White King.”

    Jai’s eyes narrowed, fury flowing into his veins. “Yeah?”

    The Shaitan winked at him. “Checkmate.”

    With one last smirk, and just as Jai was darting towards them, the two Jinn stepped back, huge flames engulfing them as they returned to Mount Qaf from where they’d been sent. Panic had consumed Jai. His movements felt slow, his heart rate too fast, and his vision blurred. He fell upon Ari and rolled her over, two fingers resting on her neck. At the feel of her pulse beating steadily beneath his skin, Jai cursed, relief unfurling through his entire body. His throat burned with unnamed emotion and he leaned over, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead and inhaling her familiar vanilla scent. He brushed a trembling hand down her cheek, her skin the softest, finest thing he’d ever felt. His eyes drank in each tiny detail, the long fan of her lashes across the crest of her cheeks, the small delicate nose, her full soft lips; longing punched him in the gut and he sighed, pushing himself back from her. This was getting ridiculous.

    With a little distance, sense returned and Jai rushed over to Derek. Derek looked abnormally pale. Worry spiked through his blood again and Jai nudged Ari’s dad over, his fingers reaching for his pulse. He frowned, not feeling anything. He shifted his fingers waiting to feel that little steady press in and out against the pads of his fingers.

    Nothing.

    Disbelief shot through him. There was no pulse. Remembering the Shaitan’s ominous message, Jai sat back on his heels and held out his hands, palm downwards, moving them through the air above Derek’s body, searching for a trace of Jinn magic. It wasn’t until he reached Derek’s head that his hands tingled and he sensed the trauma that had been caused at the Shaitan’s hands.

    “No way,” he breathed as he fell backwards.

    He had been sitting there mooning over Ari like an adolescent boy with a peephole into the girl’s locker room and Ari’s dad…

    The air crackled behind him and Jai whirled, lowering himself into a defensive position, protecting Ari and her dad’s body. At the sight of The Red King, Jai straightened. The look on Ari’s uncle’s face drove home the truth. Stepping towards Jai slowly, his huge body tense with emotion, The Red King shook his head, his red hair swinging below his waist. “He’s gone,” he told Jai sadly. “My brother sent the message to me knowing I would be too late to stop him.”

    “This is revenge?”

    “Yes.” His blue eyes glittered dangerously in the light. “Payback for defying him.”

    “Ari,” Jai choked, glancing down at her still curled up form unconscious on the grass.

    The Red King didn’t say a word. Instead he strode past Jai and knelt down, lifting Ari into his strong arms with ease. “I will take her home,” he replied softly. “I have to explain everything to her before she does something rash.”

    “And Derek?”

    “The Shaitan was ordered to give him an aneurism. Even when dealing out revenge my brother likes to keep things organized and easy to clean up after.” For just a second, The Red King’s face flickered, his eyes turning black, and shadows swirling under his skin. Then just as quickly, he looked like himself again. “Arrange it so that Derek is found. Put him back in his car and have it placed somewhere someone will find him quickly. His death must be like all other human death. It will be easier for Ari in the long run.”

    “Easier for Ari,” Jai growled, rubbing a hand over his short hair in desperation. He felt useless. “How is… she’s not going to get over this.”

    “She’ll have to.” The Red King looked down at his niece and Jai could have sworn there was a sad fondness in the huge Jinn’s eyes. “The White King has thrown down the gauntlet.”

    4 - I’ll Protect You Once I Save Myself

    The sound of snoring had become soothing despite its origin. Charlie was sitting across from his dad in silence, watching his chest rise and fall in drunken sleep. The television was muted, the football game playing across the screen just flickers at the edge of his vision. A bottle of scotch lay at his dad’s feet. It was difficult to come to terms with the truth. His father was a drunk. And his mom didn’t seem too concerned about doing anything to help him. Sure the house was cleaner, she was starting to pay more attention to Charlie — she’d even hugged him the other day — but Mike’s ghost still lingered in the house. A sharp knife of pain flared in Charlie’s chest and he closed his eyes briefly, still amazed by how fresh the grief of losing Mike could be. Maybe if they’d had a more volatile relationship like some brothers, maybe if Mike had been a total pain in the ass, then he could deal with his death more easily. But Mike had been a great kid. He’d been his buddy…

    … The soft rap at his door was not unexpected. Charlie sighed, throwing his pencil down on his math homework and spinning around to face his bedroom door. “Come in,” he called with only a slight rasp of exasperation in the words.

    The door opened slowly and Mike’s boyish face appeared in the doorway. He was getting taller, but Charlie still saw a tiny little kid that was somehow his to protect, even though Mikey could hold his own and had more charm than men three times his age. Mike was the most popular kid in his class and at Little League. He even had every teacher in his school in raptures over him.

    He should also be in bed by now.

    His chocolate eyes were wide as he shuffled in and closed the door behind him, his smile sheepish.

    “Mom and Dad wake you up?” Charlie asked him quietly, hating that his parents’ constant arguing upset Mikey so much.

    Mike shrugged. He was at that age now where he thought he had to pretend to be OK about everything. Especially in front of his big brother. “I wasn’t asleep.”

    Another curse word floated up from downstairs as their mom and dad started arguing again. He winced as his dad accused his mom of spending too much money on clothes for Mikey. Charlie knew what her shrieked answer would be before it came. “You should go back to bed, Mike.”

    His little brother shrugged again and jumped onto Charlie’s bed. “What are you doing? Talking to Ari on Skype?” he teased, his grin far too knowing for a twelve year old.

    “No,” Charlie huffed, a little affronted that even his little brother thought all he did was think about Ari. He got enough crap about it from his friends at school. “Math homework.”

    Mike wrinkled his nose. “I’d take Ari over math any day.”

    “I thought you liked math.”

    “It’s OK.”

    Charlie narrowed his eyes on Mike. His brother had that look. He hadn’t just come in to see him because of his parent’s fight. He wanted to talk to him about something. Knowing that with Mike you had to wait it out of him, rather than press him about it, Charlie whistled softly and swung a little on his chair, his eyes trailing over the familiar posters in his room.

    “So…”

    He raised an eyebrow at Mike. “Yeah?” Holy crap did Mikey just blush. Charlie grinned. “What?”

    Squirming a little, Mike exhaled like a forty year old with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He couldn’t meet Charlie’s eyes. “Something happened at Sarah’s party on Saturday.”

    “Oh really,” Charlie tried to hide his grin. Mike had been invited to a eighth grader’s birthday party over the weekend which was almost unheard of, but she was the big sister of one of the kids in Mike’s class. “And?” thinking he knew exactly what was coming next.

    “We played Seven Minutes in Heaven,” he mumbled hurriedly.

    He couldn’t help it. Charlie laughed. “Who did you have those heavenly seven minutes with?”

    The shy awkwardness melted away as Mike looked up, finally meeting his gaze. He grinned mischievously. “Sarah.”

    “Kissing and everything?”

    “With tongue.” Mike nodded, his grin taking on a cockiness that cracked Charlie up.

    Once he’d stopped laughing so much, Charlie shook his head in amazement. “Score. An older woman, little bro. I’m very proud.”

    Having told his big brother and received such accolade for his exploits, Mike straightened his shoulders, his eyes glittering with confidence now. “I think I have a thing for older women.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire