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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 26)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(26) by Samantha Young
  • The forty minute drive in the car with Jai heading out had been fine. Heading back. Not so good. Ari shifted uncomfortably a million times which only seemed to irritate Jai. She just wanted to get back to the mansion so she could hide.

    Driving along the PCH Ari’s mind was turning over and over as she stared out at the ocean. Her thoughts were abruptly pulled back inwards when Jai made a noise like a growl from the back of his throat. The car sputtered and Ari’s eyes widened as her head snapped around to look at her guardian. With a choke and cough and spluttering of bile, the Mercedes rolled to a stop on the strangely silent highway. “What’s going on?” she whispered, dread filling her. This was all too familiar.

    Jai looked ahead up the darkened road, his eyes narrowing and jaw clenching. “Get in the Cloak and get out of the car,” he ordered.

    With fear immobilizing her it took Ari a moment to shake herself into concentration. What the hell was coming for her now? Was it The White King? Had he decided to attack again even though he’d said he wouldn’t?

    “Ari,” Jai snapped.

    “I’m doing it, I’m doing it,” she whispered and closed her eyes, imagining her whole body was light and transparent. The air around her crackled with her magic.

    “Get out the car,” Jai said and Ari turned to see he was gone. Well, in the Cloak too. The driver door slammed and Ari scrambled out of the car, almost tripping as she tried to get used to not seeing her legs.

    What now?

    Look ahead of you.

    Eyes widening, Ari watched as a group of humans strode out into the road. Like last time they were tall and rangy men, their eyes fierce with determination. This time they had weapons. Guns.


    Ari shivered, feeling exposed even knowing they couldn’t see her. What do we do?

    As much as I’d like to teach these a**holes a lesson, we’re going to walk past them as quietly as possible until we’re out of their sightline. Then we’ll head into the Peripatos.

    Why can’t we just head into the Peripatos now?

    Because our flames give us away and that’s just enough time for one of the cowards to put a bullet in us.

    OK. Let’s go then.

    “They’re gone!” The guy closest to the car called over his shoulder.

    “They’re in the Cloak,” one yelled back and Ari’s heart sunk as her eyes adjusted enough to see what he was dragging. A girl.

    Shit. Jai cursed, seeing her too.

    The guy stopped in front of the car’s headlights, the girl pressed against his body, a knife digging into her neck. She only looked about fifteen or sixteen. Her cheeks were pale with terror, her eyes wide and red from crying. Ari noted a tear in her shirt and felt her blood boil with rage. The ugly knot in her chest started forming, pulling up away from her heart and morphing into that dark separateness that longed to do damage. “I think they’ll step right on out when they realize I plan to kill this girl if they don’t. A guardian like Jai Bitar won’t be able to walk away from an innocent in trouble. Right?” He grinned cockily, his eyes washing over the entire area with the thoroughness of a true predator. “All Master Dalí wants is the girl, Mr. Bitar. Hand her over and we let the little one go.”

    Someone sounds like they’ve watched too many bad Hollywood action flicks, Ari laughed nervously, trying to cover up the fact that she was furious and scared to hear that Dalí knew exactly where she was.

    Someone is a cocky bastard, Jai hissed back and Ari felt his anger pounding around her head.

    A streak of fire blazed through the air towards the leader and his whole body stiffened, his eyes rolling back in his head as he collapsed to the ground with a sickening thud. The knife clattered to the ground and the girl yelped, tears streaming down her face as she shivered in her shorts and t-shirt, completely confused and terrified.

    Ari wasn’t sure she understood what was happening as the fire moved with a speed the human eye couldn’t keep up with. In under thirty seconds every man was unconscious on the ground, their weapons, unfired, discarded next to their bodies.


    Don’t come out of the Cloak, he commanded harshly.

    What the hell did you just do?

    Krav Maga. A powerful blow to the back of the neck can render your opponent unconscious.

    Ari gulped, not quite able to compute how powerful Jai was. She’d been all ready to fight and he’d come along and made these idiots look like… well… idiots. It suddenly occurred to Ari that if Jai hadn’t been incapacitated by the harmal that first time, he’d have taken out those men Charlie and her had labored greatly to defeat.

    Show off.

    The girl? Ari asked, worry eating away at her.

    I’ve already called my father for help through the telepathy. He’s sending in a team to clean this up. You and I need to get out of here.

    Shouldn’t we wait until someone has her?

    The girl slumped, falling to her knees in utter fear and disorientation. The sound of a car heading towards them drew Ari’s head up in panic.

    It’s Rik. Trey’s dad. He’ll take care of this. Let’s go. Walk towards me so you’re behind the girl. The last thing she needs is to see us head into the Peripatos.

    Ari did as she was told focusing what little energy she had left to travel by fire to the mansion.

    16 - A Message that No One Seems to Get

    Dalí stewed over his own reticence. Perhaps he should have been in L.A. to oversee the attack. Would it have gone any better, or would he have been taken by the girl and her guardian? The chance that he didn’t get the harmal into her in time had stopped him from joining them. The thought of being commanded by the Seal and his will taken from him terrified him as much as the thought of wielding that power over others excited him. The concoction was finally strong enough.

    “Master Dalí, the girls are beginning to come around from the effects of the harmal,” Dr. Cremer reported as Dalí stepped out of the elevator onto the lab floor. He eyed the girls strapped to leather chairs that could pass for dental chairs, his eyes scanning the leather belts now holding them in place. When he’d left last night to find Ari, those belts had not been necessary.

    Dalí frowned, masking the unease that shifted in his stomach as his eyes drifted over the two girls that were left. In order to get the concoction right, Dalí had kidnapped human living Jinn girls close to Ari’s height and build. Since Ari was stronger than these lesser Jinn, he’d had the scientists work until the harmal paralyzed the girls. What he was doing was dangerous for many reasons. One, there wasn’t a lot of human-living Jinn in the US, at least not enough for missing girls to go unnoticed. And two… it ate at his conscience. Six of the girls had died, leaving only two. Dalí stared into the waxy complexion of one of the girls and fought to remind himself why he was doing this. Ari and all the power she could offer him. His blood screamed at him with need for that power. Flinching, Dalí turned his back on the girls, the smell of disinfectant making him nauseated. Apparently the girls’ bodily functions had taken on a mind of their own and the scientists had had to clean up their waste and wash the girls, like caretakers. Ignoring a stab of guilt, Dalí looked down at Dr. Cremer his expression cold. “I told you to inject them right away with another dose.”

    “But they’ve had three…” Dr. Cremer stilled, her eyes turned black with fear at his thunderous look. “…Master.”

    Clenching his fists, Dalí fought to contain his frustration. He’d never taken anything out on his employees before and he was trying his hardest not to now. “I’ve already told you that Ari will need to be under the harmal continuously.”

    “Master…” Dr. Cremer frowned unhappily. “What you’re suggesting… it might not work. The transfusion and the harmal… who is to say the girl’s power won’t dilute with the transfusion?”

    “No one,” he agreed with her doubts. “But I’m going to try. So put the girls under again.”

    “Yes, Master.”

    Congratulating himself on getting another’s day visit to the horrendous lab over with, Dalí rubbed a finger over the emerald talisman he wore around his neck, channeling the power of the stone of Mount Qaf to aid him as he stepped into the Peripatos to take him upstairs. Using the Peripatos was faster than the elevator and also reminded his human workers just how powerful he was. He should have taken her last night, he snapped inwardly again. The waiting was killing him. Everything would have gone so much easier if she hadn’t run off to the Ginnaye tribe in L.A. Now she was well-protected, living in a mansion in the Palisades that was cocooned by many enchantments. It was natural defensive magic and far too powerful for Dalí to fight unless he himself used defensive magic against it, which of course he couldn’t since his intention was offensive. But last night she’d left the mansion with just the one Ginnaye guarding her and still his humans hadn’t been able to take the guardian out and kidnap Ari.

    Still… he’d try again. He had to use humans to bring her to him. It was just a matter of watching and waiting. Oh, and avoiding more of his father’s calling. Hell, Dalí hoped she’d leave that damn mansion soon. Before long his window of opportunity would close for good.

    Trey leaned against the dresser in Ari’s room, his arms crossed over his chest, watching her quietly. Perched on the end of the bed, eyes dull with lack of sleep, Ari stared blankly back at him.

    Trey sighed.

    Ari yawned.

    He crossed his ankles and tapped a finger against his arm.

    Ari shot a look at the clock.

    Trey cleared his throat.

    Ari glanced down at her flats. They’d gotten soaked in spilled alcohol when they were leaving the club the night before. She wished she barely remembered any of last night, but since she’d taken so long to fall asleep it felt like it had all happened minutes ago. Indeed, sleep was beginning to feel like a ghost, a haunted shade that crept upon her whenever it felt like it. And apparently it was a shy ghost. Exhausted, Ari waited Trey out, her mind reeling with the events of… well… the entire last few weeks. Last night had been horrible. Jennifer and Chris had complained to Luca about Jai and Ari’s disappearance to the bathroom and Luca had had to waive their fee. After the attack on the highway, Jai and Ari had returned to a furious Luca who was only somewhat placated when Jai explained about The White King’s appearance and then Dali’s trap. Still, he hadn’t looked entirely convinced by the truth of the whole story, eyeing Ari’s swollen mouth with suspicious, knowing eyes. His anger wasn’t lessened by the fact that he now had to work his tail off to make sure the incident didn’t tarnish the Bitar Security reputation for excellence.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire