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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 17)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(17) by Samantha Young
  • Jai nodded in understanding. “I appreciate your efforts anyway. I’ll show Ms. Johnson and Charlie to their rooms. They need to rest after everything that’s happened in the last twenty four hours. The Red King wishes them to learn some basic defense. Do I have permission to utilize the training room tomorrow?”

    As Luca granted that permission, Ari gaped at Jai like he was an alien from outerspace. She threw Charlie an incredulous look and he shrugged as if to say, ‘I’ve always thought the guy was weird’. Mutely, annoyance burning in her gut, Ari followed Jai as he led Charlie and her up the wide staircase. When they reached the third floor he turned left and headed towards the farthest end of the hallway. He stopped at a door and threw it open, revealing a good-sized double room. “Charlie, this is your room. All the rooms have an ensuite.”

    Stepping inside, Charlie glanced back at Ari and she squirmed a little at the look in his eyes. He hadn’t lied when he said he was going to ‘stick around’. His gaze was smoldering. “You going to be OK?”

    “I’ll be fine,” she replied hoarsely, untangling her eyes from his as quickly as possible. She heard him sigh as he closed the door. Ari looked up at Jai who watched her carefully. He nodded at the door across the hall. “Mine?”

    “Yeah.”

    She walked over to it slowly and then whirled around, unable to keep her annoyance at bay. “Ms. Johnson?”

    Ignoring her, Jai began backing away. “I’ll take you to the training room with Charlie tomorrow morning, so get some sleep.”

    “Ms. Johnson?” she asked again, her jaw clenched as she tried to work out whether she was angry or hurt.

    “It’s how a Ginnaye guardian refers to his or her client. No first names.”

    “You’ve been calling me Ari since we met,” she argued.

    He shrugged uncomfortably. “I’m just following protocol.”

    Ari wished she didn’t understand, but she did. Like Charlie with his whole revenge quest, Jai was obsessed with pleasing his father. She sighed heavily, thinking about her own dad and all the things she kept to herself in an effort to make him love her more. Bitter tears burned her eyes and she shook her head. “He doesn’t deserve your protocol.” Leaving him a little stunned, Ari slid inside the guest bedroom and waited for the hum of Ms. Maggie’s energy to follow her before she closed the door. She leaned back against it, trying to stem the flood of tears and grief that had been fighting through the numbness all day.

    She heard the floor outside her room creak and stilled.

    “Goodnight, Ari,” Jai said quietly through the door.

    The tears spilled over her lashes and she pressed her cheek against the wood. “Goodnight, Jai.”

    As she flopped into bed she felt guilty for the one thing she shouldn’t have been worrying about today of all days.

    Would she be forced to meet the woman Jai was in love with?

    Ari stared at the leftover breakfast buffet, wondering if her stomach was stable enough to digest food. It felt like she hadn’t eaten in days but she still felt shaky and sick inside with grief, even if she did look together on the outside.

    “Here.” Jai shoved a plate at her. “Eat.”

    Under his eagle eyes Ari put pancakes and some bacon onto her plate, drizzling maple syrup over the top. She grabbed a glass of orange juice and sat down at the large empty dining table. Jai sat beside her, his plate piled high with food.

    “Luca leaves for the office early and when I’m around, Nicki does a disappearing act. As for my brothers, my father tells me they’re all on assignment at the moment so hopefully we won’t see much of them over the next few days.”

    “You don’t get along with them either?” Ari asked before chewing on a piece of bacon.

    Jai smirked at the thought. “They live to torment me. My friend Trey is more like a brother than those idiots.”

    Ari chewed on her breakfast, thinking that over. Trey seemed really important to Jai. She was intrigued by the one person who had Jai’s respect and loyalty. “Will I get to meet Trey?”

    “Probably.”

    “Morning,” Charlie greeted them as he wandered slowly into the room, rubbing sleep from his eyes. He was wearing his rumpled Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt over a long shirt, and except for the short, close-shaven hair he looked more like himself again.

    Ari felt a pang of something she didn’t want to feel and looked back at her plate. “Morning,” she replied.

    “Dude, a maid showed me down here,” Charlie gestured with a pastry at Jai as he selected food from the buffet. “No wonder you act the way you do when you grew up in a place like this.” His words hung in the air as he piled his own plate high before sitting down beside Ari. As Charlie dug into his food he was completely oblivious to the venomous look Jai was shooting at him.

    There was a warning growl in the back of Jai’s throat as he demanded, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

    Charlie shrugged, waving a piece of bacon around. “I don’t know. You’re kind of detached.” He stared at him now, his expression serious. “I thought it was something to be admired believe it or not, but seeing this place… how cold it is… nah, I don’t think you chose to be the way you are.”

    Holding in her breath Ari waited for Jai to react to Charlie’s insight. As she knew it would, her guardian’s face darkened. “Here’s a suggestion you might want to pay attention to. Try to forget everything you learned on Oprah and if you can’t do that, at least refrain from regurgitating that crap at me. It spoils my appetite.”

    Charlie grunted but surprisingly didn’t retaliate. Instead he dug into his breakfast and Ari ate slowly, tensely, waiting for the blowout to happen. It didn’t. Perhaps they were trying to be on their best behavior because of everything Ari had been through. She’d like to think they were both that considerate. They made it through breakfast and were just clearing up when the door to small dining room opened and in walked a very good-looking and very tall guy grinning from ear-to-ear. His pale grey eyes sparkled as they washed over them all. He headed for Jai and engulfed him in a manly hug, thumping him on the back. “Good to see you,” he said in a rich, deep voice. He turned around and Ari noted the tiny diamond earring winking in his ear just like Jai’s.

    Recognition lit through Ari and she smiled at him, a warm, real smile. The first she’d produced in days. “You must be Trey.”

    He grinned back at her as he walked slowly towards her. “Ari?”

    She nodded and then gave a muffled laugh as she found herself swallowed in a tight hug. Trey pulled back and Ari flushed at his appraisal. He really was deplorably good-looking. Holding her at arm’s length Trey whistled, running his eyes down the length of her before returning them to her face. “Sweetheart, you are gorgeous.”

    Ari blushed again and shoved him playfully. It was strange how comfortable she felt with this person and they’d only just met. Perhaps it was because she knew how good he’d been to Jai. She was grateful to him for that. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.”

    “You too,” he replied sincerely and turned around, sliding his arm along her shoulders as he checked out Charlie. “And this must be Sorcerer Boy.”

    Charlie held out a hand. “I prefer Charlie.”

    Trey shook it heartily and threw Jai a look, his eyebrow raised in a way that Ari recognized. She suddenly remembered Jai confiding in her that Trey was bisexual. Apparently he thought Charlie was hot. Stifling a laugh at Charlie’s obliviousness, Ari looked up at Trey. “Are you joining us for the training session?”

    “Training session?” he looked over at Jai.

    Jai nodded. “You heard we were back, obviously. Did you hear why?”

    Trey shook his head.

    His pleasant expression disappeared as Jai told him how they’d been attacked by humans and had a dark sorcerer on their tails. Trey’s face darkened as Jai finished and Ari suddenly realized that under Trey’s charm and flippancy was a guardian Ginnaye just as protective as Jai. “You were lucky Charlie’s power woke up or Ari would have been alone. What the hell kind of drug did they come up with?”

    Charlie cleared his throat. “Not to change the subject or anything but any chance someone might show me how to tap into more of my power?”

    “No,” they all replied in unison.

    Charlie glowered back at them. “You all suck.”

    “What we will teach you is how to be more aware of your surroundings and how to channel and control your defensive power.” Jai strolled towards the door. “Let’s go kiddies. Time to get your asses kicked.”

    13 - I Would Reach Through Time…

    The comedy played on the small cinema screen in the movie room. Charlie and Trey were laughing raucously at the insane farce about a bunch of guys’ bachelor party gone wrong in Las Vegas. Normally Ari would be rolling around on the floor laughing too, but she’d already seen the movie and she just wasn’t in the mood. Training that day had gone well. She and Charlie had sparred with Jai and Trey and learned how to better control the kind of magic they’ d used to fight off their human attackers. More importantly, they’d shown them how to create large air cushions so their attackers couldn’t get so close to them, and how to use objects around them as weapons without losing focus on the attacker. They’d also shown them how to listen and study the energy and air around them for change, to see the warning in the stillness of a room before an attack came. While Jai was stern and focused, Trey was forever cracking jokes and distracting them. For some reason that didn’t bother Jai. He just laughed right along with everyone else. Ari loved seeing him smile and decided Trey might possibly be the best person she’d ever met. Charlie liked him too. The two of them had a similar sense of humor and Charlie seemed relaxed for the first time in forever. There was no way she was telling Charlie that Trey was gay. Some guys could be weird about that, and while she’d like to think Charlie was more evolved than most, she wasn’t going to chance spoiling the good time he was having making new friends. She eyed him carefully. He did look so much happier. This warmth and energy had seemed to appear all around him since they’d started using their magic. Something niggled her down deep inside as she thought about how much Charlie got off on using his power.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire