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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 15)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(15) by Samantha Young
  • “He killed a lesser Jinn,” Azazil answered, his booming voice echoing around the transformed room. It was bare, the walls rock and dirt, and the floor being loose dirt beneath their feet. Dropping the knife on a bench that held an assortment of torture devices, Azazil strode towards his son. Not many people or Jinn towered over him, but even in his human form, Azazil was a giant. “The lesser Jinn was his neighbor. She killed his daughter for some minor infraction against her vegetable garden and so the human killed the Jinn in retaliation. This,” he gestured behind him to the brutalized man, “Is my retaliation.” When he turned back his smile was pure wickedness.

    Confused and a little curious The Red King said, “You usually leave punishment of the tried to the Shaitans, Master.”

    “Yes, well, today I was bored.”

    “You’re about to be un-bored, Father.”

    “Oh?” He grinned at him, a wet towel appearing in his hand from thin air. He wiped the towel over his torso, washing away the blood. “Has this anything to do with my Gleaming son’s greedy little half-breed and my granddaughter?”

    Too busy trying to maintain a bland expression to even think about commenting on the fact that his father referred to Gleaming’s child as a half-breed and White’s as his granddaughter, The Red King replied, “You know he is after her then?” without letting his disbelief, and yes anger, show.

    “Perhaps.”

    “Well, what is to be done?”

    “Nothing,” Azazil growled, throwing the towel into the air and turning it to ash that glittered like tiny jet pieces in the low light. “Let it play out as it should.”

    “Do you know of this poison as well? This harmal concoction the sorcerer has procured?” From there he explained exactly what had happened to Jai.

    Silence ensued once he was done, interrupted only by the whimpers of the awakening human on the cross. Finally, stroking his chin in thought, Azazil sighed. “It is part of the course. Do nothing. I do not harm family, you know that,” he proclaimed silkily.

    Well we all know that’s a lie, The Red King thought bitterly before mentally berating himself. Now was not the time to be angry at his father. He worked for Azazil. He was loyal to Azazil and no one else. But then there was Ari…

    “By do nothing, Master, can I assume you mean do nothing by my own hands?”

    His father smirked at him knowingly. “You wish to aid her?”

    Thinking it better to remain silent, The Red King let Azazil draw his own conclusion.

    “Fine.” Azazil waved an agitated and heavily jeweled hand at him. “However, I want a personal update.” His eyes glittered dangerously. “We shall talk soon I think, Son.”

    11 - She Needs a Constant in those Ever-Changing Eyes

    The sitting room seemed tiny, so tiny that there wasn’t enough oxygen to go around. Jai shifted uncomfortably, wondering how he had managed to find himself in such a position. The tension between the three of them, especially between Charlie and Ari, was unbearable. Jai hadn’t been able to help overhearing part of the discussion between the two of them upstairs because Ari had yelled a little.

    So… she’d finally come to her senses. He couldn’t help but feel relieved at that but on the other hand he was also worried. Jai eyed her surreptitiously as she picked at a loose thread on the cushion of the chair she was sitting on. Her features were tight and pale, her whole body tense. Her dad’s death had changed her. What Derek had said to her before he died had changed her, and Jai found himself in the uncomfortable position of being angry at a dead man. Why did Derek have to tell her those things? Even if it was the truth, what purpose had there really been in being honest with Ari? Sure, Derek might have felt unburdened by it but he’d left Ari hurt and broken. She deserved better than that. And she deserved better than Charlie, which she finally seemed to have grasped.

    In a twisted way Jai couldn’t help wondering if the hurtful truth hadn’t been exactly what Ari needed? Finally she was seeing how destructive Charlie’s need for revenge was, and she saw that she would always play second string to that revenge. Whatever had happened upstairs between those two, Jai could only guess by the strain between them, that Ari had broken whatever romantic chord had held them together. He shouldn’t be happy about that… but he was. Jai scowled, dropping his gaze. He was becoming too undisciplined for his own liking.

    Didn’t matter anyway, he flicked Ari another quick look. Ari was still mad at him for ordering her around. He felt that earlier mixture of fear and anger burn in his chest. Well he was mad too. She’d nearly given him a heart attack earlier. She could have been taken, those men could have done anything to her, and Jai would have just sat there under that intense drug not able to do anything but watch. It had been sickening. He’d felt impotent and his terror over losing Ari and how it would have been his fault had made him lash out a little. But he wouldn’t take it back. She had to start learning to obey him in those situations or she’d get hurt. And if she got hurt… Jai clenched his hands into fists, his eyes lifting to her again for reassurance that she was there and in one piece. She was still wearing the black dress she’d worn to her father’s funeral. It was a simple shift dress that came to mid-thigh but with her long, slender legs Ari still somehow managed to distract it from its purpose as a symbol of mourning. Or maybe just distract him. Jai mentally cursed himself even as his gaze lingered on those legs. His blood heated and he swallowed hard, fighting down the want churning low in his gut. She’s only eighteen, she’s only eighteen. Nah… that didn’t help. She’s the Seal, She’s the Seal. Not that either.

    I’ll only hurt her.

    And Ari has been hurt enough.

    That did the trick. Glowering now, Jai lifted his gaze only for it to get caught in Charlie’s. The inexperienced dick of a sorcerer was glaring at him. His eyes said, ‘Don’t even think about it’. And despite the fact that Jai had already talked himself out of thinking about it, he didn’t take too kindly to be warned off by this little jerk. Brazening it out, Jai threw him a smirk that widened into a taunting grin when Charlie’s whole body tensed as if ready to launch himself at him. Now the room was just brimming with mad.

    A hiss and crackle brought all of their eyes up towards the fireplace. Flames burned the air and The Red King appeared among them. He stepped out, his huge presence dousing the anger in the air and replacing it with anxious expectation.

    Jai stood to his feet. It was bad enough the guy was already a good four inches taller than him he didn’t need to be sitting at his royal feet like a servant. “News, Your Highness?” He may not be a servant but he was still respectful.

    The Red King nodded and looked down at Ari. “Dalí is your cousin of sorts.”

    Feeling just as confused as Ari looked, Jai asked, “Cousin of sorts?”

    “He’s the half-breed son of The Gleaming King.”

    Ari’s voice was soft and worn, “A sorcerer?”

    “A powerful and very intelligent sorcerer.” The Red King looked worried and that immediately set alarm bells ringing in Jai’s head. “If he’s after Ari he must believe he’s discovered a way to harness the power of the Seal. Dalí is a known dark sorcerer which means one of The Guilds must be hunting him.”

    “A Guild?” Ari queried.

    “Remember? They were discussed in the book I gave you?” Jai tried to jog her memory. At the shake of her head he continued, “The Guild was created by The Gilder King. They hunt sorcerers and try to prevent evil against humans by Jinn hands. Like the Ginnaye, there are different tribes of The Guild all over the world.”

    “And one of those will be hunting Dalí?”

    The Red King nodded. “Yes. We just have to find out which one.” He shot Jai a meaningful look and Jai felt the significance of it like a punch to the stomach.

    Oh hell, no. Jai held in a groan and fought the urge to flee. “You want us to go to my father?” he felt sick just saying the words. Take Ari to meet his family? To see how he was treated? She’d lose all respect for him. Dammit. He couldn’t stop his ferocious glare from burning into The Red King — to hell with the consequences.

    However, the Jinn just stared pleasantly back at him. “Luca Bitar has many contacts including contacts among The Guilds. He should be able to help you.” He looked at Ari now. “And to be honest I think it best if you leave Ohio before more idiotic Jinn find out about you. And before The White King realizes you have no intention of retaliating. Once he realizes that he’ll try something new… or old. Say… like, killing someone else you care about.”

    Ari blanched at the thought. “If we leave, if we head to the Bitar’s will he know?”

    The Red King seemed to choose his words carefully. “There will be an enchantment put over you. It won’t last long — a few days maybe — but it’ll be enough to give you some breathing space. Jai should teach you and Charlie some self-defense in that time. Once Luca finds out where The Guild is you should go to them immediately. They’ll hunt Dalí down before he hunts you down. Oh, and just so you know, Luca, Nicki and Tarik have been warned that if they tell anyone what Ari is, the sentence is death.” Exhaling, Ari’s uncle stepped back, preparing for the Peripatos again, and as if he hadn’t uttered something so terrifying and final he said calmly, “You need to work out the logistics of how you’re getting to the Pacific Palisades. I’ll let Luca know you’re on your way.”

    He left and Jai stood there staring at the empty space in front of the fireplace. All of his insides felt knotted and this unbearable anger was lodged in the back of his throat. He felt powerless, and he hadn’t felt that way about his family in a long, long time. Eyeing Ari he found his anger was directed towards her for making him care. Only the reminder that she had been through enough without him adding more crap to it kept him from bursting out into an aggressive argument with her for no good reason at all.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire