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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Scorched Skies (Page 44)     
  • Scorched Skies(Fire Spirits #2)(44) by Samantha Young
  • Charlie chanced a glance at Jai but he only had eyes for Ari.

    “What did he do?” Jai muttered, stunned fear written all over his face. He did not resemble the usually in-control guardian Charlie had come to know.

    Red shook his head, striding towards Ari’s body. “He’s tried to drain her blood. He thought he could use it to power her gift through his talismans.”

    “Leave her!” the sorcerer yelled as The Red King began unstrapping Ari. A slap cracked around the room and Dalí’s head snapped back from Fallon’s invisible punch. His eyes narrowed on the young hunter and he shook his head regretfully. “You should have let me go. You don’t want to play this game with me.”

    He was on her before anyone could stop him, his hands wrapped around her throat. He muttered something and terrifying veins popped up on her face, her eyes widening as she clawed at his hands.

    Charlie didn’t think.

    He just reacted.

    His legs took him across the lab faster than he knew he could move. His fist wrapped around the silver coin that hung from his neck and the image of a silver dagger Jack had in his weapon’s trunk filled his mind until cold metal filled his hand. Charlie’s breath brushed the back of Dalí’s neck, his elbow swung back and then plunged deep, hard, the blade ripping bumpily through flesh and muscle. Dalí’s body grew limp. Fallon’s gasping, choking breaths filled the air. Charlie pulled his hand back, warm with blood and the murder weapon that withdrew from Dalí heart. The sorcerer fell back against Charlie’s body and he jumped back in shock letting it thump to the ground, Dalí’s lifeless eyes staring back up at him.

    “Charlie,” a hoarse familiar voice whispered.

    He’s dead.

    I killed him.

    Charlie eyed his hand. Blood.

    It had happened so quickly.

    “Charlie.” He was shaken and Fallon’s face appeared in front of his. “Charlie.” She brushed a hand over his face. “It’s OK. You saved me. OK? It’s OK.”

    Nausea rolled over him and he wiped his hand hard against his jeans trying to get the blood off his hands.

    “Charlie, it’s OK.”

    “He’s dead.”

    “You saved me.”

    What? He looked at her carefully, at the red blush around her throat where Dalí’s hands had been. “I saved you.”

    Fallon smiled sadly. “Yes. Thank you.”

    As Jai focused on freeing Ari, he had to shove the fact that Charlie had just killed a sorcerer to the side. He was aware that Charlie had the look of a war victim, the trauma glazing his eyes, but Jai could only deal with one thing at a time, and Ari needed him. The Red King finally freed her limp body from the chair and Jai scooped her up into his arms, worry tightening his gut at the way she lolled, unmoving.

    “I have a car waiting outside,” Red said, brushing Ari’s hair off her face, his eyebrows puckered with concern. “My healer is in it.”

    Leaving The Red King to clean up the mess they had made and Fallon to lead Charlie out of the building, Jai cradled Ari into his body, his eyes glued to her face, waiting for any sign of her waking up. “Ari, come on,” he whispered in her ear as the elevator climbed. “Wake up, baby, wake up.”

    The doors opened and he stepped over the carnage they’d made, rushing out towards a small limo. The back door opened and the young healer who had fixed them before got out, his pale silver hair gleaming in the moonlight. “In here,” he directed with long graceful fingers and Jai carefully slid Ari’s body inside, clambering beside her and easing her across his lap.

    Charlie and Fallon climbed in next, Charlie’s eyes seeming more focused now as they fell upon Ari’s lifeless body. “Is she going to be OK?” he asked hoarsely, eyes bright with fear.

    The healer shut the car door and the car moved off. Kneeling at Jai’s feet, the healer placed his hands over the air above Ari and closed his eyes, magic crackling at his fingertips. After a moment his pursed lips relaxed and he gave Jai an encouraging smile.

    “She will be fine. The drug will leave her system within a few days and leave her unharmed. She just needs to rest and you must all have patience. Give her time to wake up. She will wake up when she is ready.”

    Relief crashed through Jai and he pulled her closer to him.

    A sound, a cracked breath, caught his attention and Jai’s eyes collided with Charlie’s pained ones.

    “Does she know?” Charlie asked, his jaw clenched with emotion.

    For some reason Jai felt a flash of guilt as he realized Charlie had guessed his feelings. Jai didn’t want to hurt anyone. He shook his head. “Not yet.”

    “Not yet…” Charlie breathed in pain and he looked away sharply out of the window, shutting them all out as he dealt with everything the only way he seemed to know how. Jai could understand that. He’d never been very good at talking things out either.

    A brush of Ari’s hair touched Jai’s hand and he looked back down at her, all the love he should have let her see before now, blazing in his eyes.

    He was suddenly very impatient for her to wake up.

    29 - The Road to Recovery Leads to a Trial

    Ari woke during the night in an unfamiliar room. Panic took over her as images of a man and woman’s face collided with images of blood and chemicals and feelings of impotence and despair. A soothing hand pressed against her forehead and Ari locked gazes with Fallon. The young woman explained everything. Ari had been taken by Dalí and he’d been trying to siphon her blood to use with a talisman to try and recreate the Seal. Fallon, Jai, Charlie and The Red King had launched a rescue mission. Dalí had almost killed Fallon. Charlie had killed Dalí rescuing Fallon and was now having a difficult time dealing with it, but Fallon and Jack were trying their best to help him come to terms with what had happened. Anxiety for him flooded Ari but Fallon didn’t take a breath to let her process the information. Jai wouldn’t leave Ari’s bedside and Fallon had had to threaten him with a kick to the nuts to make him leave so she could get some sleep. They were in a different hotel. The Guild was all waiting for her to wake up. They were worried for her. That was nice. Ari was so tired though. Her eyes fluttered closed and she vaguely thought how nice it was to feel her limbs again…

    … Ari sat in sandy dirt and as her eyes adjusted to the scene she relaxed, noting the familiar people, the familiar feeling of the world playing out before her. “I don’t know how we’re related.” The beautiful female Jinn with jet-black hair smiled, shrugging elegantly as she lay back on a rock.

    Lilif.

    Pale moonlight glinted off a placid lake, and mountains like black shadows guarded their privacy. The male Jinn with his matching black hair and youthful beauty smiled back at her as he stepped out of the lake, refreshed from his midnight swim. “Do I really need to explain the mechanics to you?”

    She threw a pebble at him, laughing. “Of course not. You know what I mean. We’re so different. I’m so…”

    “Petulant, spoiled, annoying?” He grinned teasingly.

    She harrumphed. “I was going to say… destructive.”

    His smile melted now and he scowled. “True.”

    “And you’re all about order and everything having its place.”

    He shrugged. “Together we balance it out.”

    His words made her smile now. “I think Master likes me the way I am, don’t you?”

    Her brother’s mouth twisted, his eyes sparking with dry humor. “I think he more than likes you.”

    “He doesn’t know me,” she whispered, staring off into the night sky, a strange, almost dangerous look in her eyes. “He thinks he knows everything… but I’m going to surprise him.”

    Unease seemed to ripple through her brother and he narrowed his eyes on her. “You can never hope to master him, Lilif. Never.”

    As if she hadn’t heard his words, Lilif looked back at him, her eyes huge and pleading. “Whatever happens, promise me you’ll always be there for me. For anything I need of you. Promise,” she insisted.

    Wisdom flashed in his young eyes as he walked towards her in contrition, his expression sad. “I cannot make that promise. I love you. But I cannot make that promise.”

    She gasped, tears glittering in her eyes. “Is this it then? Is this how it will be between us from now onwards? No promises, no trust? Is this how it is to be a grown up?”

    “No, sister.” He shook his head slowly and reached out to catch a tear as it spilled from her luxurious eyes. “This is how it is to be immortal.”

    “No.”

    “No.”

    “Ari.”

    “No.”

    “Ari, wake up.” She felt her body shake, strong arms grasping her wrists tight. Pulled from the dream, Ari’s eyes flew open and automatically shut against the stinging light of day that streamed into the hotel room. A rough finger brushed her cheek and she shivered at the touch. Jai. Peeling her eyes open Ari sucked in a breath at the sight of him. He looked wonderful. He looked… worried. “You were having a nightmare,” he told her softly, gently easing back into a chair he’d pulled up next to her bed. “You want to tell me about it?”

    Needing to be at least sitting up, Ari struggled , waving Jai off when he tried to help. She felt disgusting. She must look disgusting. Ugh. Awkwardly she patted her hair, trying to brush the greasy strands back off her face. Lovely. “Hi.” She smiled, a little embarrassed.

    His answering smile nearly melted her insides and curled her toes. “Hey.”

    They were silent a moment, each seeming to tabulate each other’s features, memorizing them. “The dream?” Jai asked, his voice hoarse.

    Remembering her latest dive into a dream world where Lilif seemed to be the star, Ari frowned. “I keep having these dreams—”

    “And you’re just telling me now?” Jai scowled with concern.

    Ari huffed with frustration. “Will you let me finish?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire