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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 30)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(30) by Samantha Young
  • “I am sorry,” the male Jinn told her softly. “You are savage in your chaos. It should be glorious but it is not — not even to me. Instead you are catastrophic. I cannot chance you to exist as you are any longer.”

    She whimpered beneath him, her bloody eyes pleading with him. Ari watched him shake his head.

    “I cannot kill you.” He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You were born to upset the balance of things, Lilif. It is your way. But left within your hands, your destiny would cause such a shift that even Azazil the lover of destruction cannot allow your destiny to remain in your control. You will live your destiny my way.” He lifted a long finger to stroke her smooth cheek. “Forgive me.”

    A yell of disbelief escaped Ari before she could stop it as the Jinn removed his hands from around Lilif’s neck only to punch a hole below her left breast with his otherworldly fist. He withdrew the bleeding hand with a sickening, squishy wrench that made Lilif’s entire body collapse limp and lifeless. Lying in the palm of the male Jinn’s hand was a glowing ball of ember, pulsing with power and promise.

    “Ari, wake up.”

    The ember seemed to pulse at her, knocking her back, pushing at her shoulder.

    “Ari.”

    It kept coming for her. “No.”

    “Ari. Wake. Up.”

    Her eyes flew open, her breath coming in gasping pants. She saw a strange man looking down at her with a frown on his face as he lifted his bag down from the overhead luggage compartment. Blinking rapidly, Ari turned to Jai. “We’re here?”

    Her guardian frowned at her, his eyes seeming even more vivid in the dim light of the plane. “Are you OK?”

    “Yeah.” She shrugged off his concern and turned to tell Charlie to let her out. Instead her friend just stared at her. “What?”

    “You were having a nightmare,” Charlie said quietly, his dark eyes glittering with worry and love. “You sure you’re OK?”

    “It was a bad dream, that’s all.”

    “You want to talk about it?” Charlie shot a look at Jai and she realized they were tag-teaming her. When did this happen?

    “Yeah, that’d be great.” She sneered, standing up, irritation from the dream and general lack of sleep eating away at her patience. “And then we can all eat ice cream together and take turns doing each other’s hair.”

    At the sound of two long-suffering sighs, Ari pushed past Charlie, not sure she could restrain herself from clunking their heads together.

    20 - Rumor Told Me Not to Like You

    The house in Scottsdale was huge. They’d passed similar ones in the sparse, affluent neighborhood, all built with Arizona Stone. Most of them were carefully designed to blend into the surroundings and yet still offer up a feeling of space and laid-back wealth with their palatial arches, pillared columns, fancy pond-like pools and cool flag-stoned flooring running from outside to inside. The Roe’s were renting this place while they were out in Arizona. Since there were fifteen of them, they’d have to rent something that could accommodate them all. And accommodate them in style apparently.

    “We better go in before they mistake us for weirdos,” Charlie said from the backseat of the rental car.

    Jai grunted. “Mistake?”

    Charlie snorted.

    Ari quirked an eyebrow. Charlie’s snort was a ‘laugh with’ not ‘laugh at’ kind of snort. Were Charlie and Jai getting along? Uncomfortable with the two of them getting along when she wasn’t getting along with either of them, Ari frowned. “Try not to tell them about Ms. Maggie. I think it’ll just freak them out to know she’s there and they can’t see her.”

    “Amen. Why couldn’t it have been kept from me?” Charlie asked teasingly, his attempts to brighten her mood obvious and annoying since they only made her feel guilty.

    Instead of acknowledging the comment Jai nodded. “Agreed. We keep Ms. Maggie a secret. The less people know we have her as extra protection the better.”

    Well, he’d certainly changed his tune about her poltergeist. Without looking at him, Ari asked with a slightly antagonistic clip to her words, “How come you never told me you talked to Ms. Maggie through the telepathy?”

    “It never came up.”

    “Well?”

    “Well what?” Jai frowned, impatience eating into his tone. Clearly her bad mood was starting to wear on him.

    “What does she sound like?”

    “A woman.”

    Ari threw him a look of irritation. “You know you’re so eloquent and articulate it really makes me feel intellectually inadequate, Jai.”

    Charlie snorted again.

    Jai ignored them both and got out of the car making Ari feel like a twelve year old. The fact that she was acting like one hadn’t escaped her and only made her feel worse. Even Charlie rubbing her shoulder reassuringly and saying, “I thought it was funny,” didn’t help any. With an exaggerated sigh she got out of the car and into the thick air outside.

    “Why is it hot everywhere we go?” Charlie grumbled as he got out of the car, shrugging out of the check shirt he wore over his red Silversuns Pickup t-shirt. “I envy you and your weird lizard-like temperature control right now. Can we go somewhere cold and wet next time?”

    Jai pulled the bags out of the trunk of the car, slinging Ari’s over his shoulder. He threw Charlie’s at him as he said, “I envy you and your lack of awareness,” he threw a pointed look at Ari’s drawn features, “Stop talking.”

    “You ever think your taciturnity is the reason she’s in a bad mood?”

    “You ever think it’s because you’re a dumbass who made a wish.”

    “You ever think-”

    “You ever think of shutting up?” Ari snapped, grabbing her back pack from Jai and striding away from them up to the front door. In actuality she was glad the two of them were sniping at one another again. At least some things didn’t change.

    Before Ari could even raise a hand to knock, one of the double doors was wrenched open and a cute girl with choppy dark hair stood smirking at her. She ran her dark brown eyes over Ari, her arms crossing over her chest as she cocked her hip. The girl could be Ari’s age or maybe even a little younger — it was hard to tell because she was short and cute. As if she knew just how cute she was and was appalled by the adjective, the girl wore thick black eyeliner and a ton of mascara to make her eyes huge and dramatic. A tiny silver stud pierced her nose and Ari could make out at least six piercings along her left ear as the breeze blew her flyaway hair back. The grungy t-shirt she wore was too tight and the skinny jeans with a chain attached to the belt patterned with skulls and crossbones all growled, ‘call me cute and die’.

    The girl lifted her dark gaze from Ari’s plain grey tank top and low slung jeans. Pink toe nails peeked out from her bright green flip flops. The dry amusement on the girl’s face changed as their eyes met. “Whoa, check out those eyes.”

    The comment was a painful reminder of home where everyone was used to Ari’s ever-changing eye color. Anytime some had asked, ‘You know that Ari Johnson girl right?’ it was followed by a, ‘the girl with the eyes?’ Now she had to start all over again and defend a feature that she didn’t know how to defend. She shrugged at the girl. “It’s because I’m Jinn.”

    “Rub your full-blooded status into the face of a girl whose blood is so diluted she’s more of a fifth-breed than a half-breed why don’t cha.”

    “Huh?”

    The girl’s eyes widened as they lifted over Ari’s shoulder. Even as she licked her lips at the sight of the two young men coming towards the house, the girl managed to reply, “The Guilds. We’re like descendants to hybrids. Hardly any of us have a full-blooded Jinn for a parent. Except my dad. Who are these two?” She jerked her head.

    Ari didn’t need to turn around. She was so aware of both guys she felt their presence as they came to a stop behind her. “This is Jai.” She bobbed a head over her left shoulder. “And Charlie.” Head bob over her right shoulder. “But today you can call them Ass and Hat.”

    A throaty laugh purred from the back of the girl’s throat and she sent Ari an appreciative smile as she held her small hand out. Every finger was covered in rings, her wrists roped with bracelets, and she wore three gemstone necklaces around her neck. Girl likes her jewelry. “I’m Fallon Roe.” She stepped back after Ari had clasped her cool hand. “Come on in, Ari Johnson.” She nodded at Charlie and Jai as they greeted her. “Come on in, Ass, Hat.”

    The hallway felt more like a sun room, three huge arches leading off to other parts of the house. At the sounds of footsteps approaching from the left hallway Ari stepped in front of Jai and Charlie. It was time she started taking control of situations. After all, this was all about her.

    Long legs rounded the corner followed by an attractive older brunette who could be anywhere between twenty eight and thirty eight years old. At her side was an equally tall guy with dark eyes and the same pointed chin as Fallon. Fallon gestured to them. “Ari, this is my Aunt Megan and Uncle Gerard. They lead this team hunting Dalí along with Jacob, the elder supervising.”

    “Nice to meet you,” they murmured but Ari noted their wary distance. Uh oh. She had a bad feeling about this.

    As if sensing her unease, Megan offered a small smile. “The rest of the team is gathered in the main sitting room. Come meet them.”

    Keeping close to Jai and Charlie, Ari followed the threesome through the air-conditioned and sparse hallways that spoke of the building’s status as a rental, and into a huge open room. A massive corner sofa took up one end of the room and a large entertainment system sat in front of it. At the other end was a huge walk-in fireplace with a woodburner and flue. It was clean with disuse. A large dining room and chairs took up space at the back of the sofa and armchairs sat in the space in front of the fire. The far wall was made entirely out of glass and Ari could see out into a beautifully landscaped back garden with a pool right out back, a waterfall spilling into it from the rocks that formed a wall around one side of it.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire