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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Smokeless Fire (Page 4)     
  • Smokeless Fire(Fire Spirits #1)(4) by Samantha Young
  • Until today.

    “Fine.” Luca ground his teeth, trying not to admonish David in front of Jai. Jai smirked inwardly, watching his father’s internal fight. It wasn’t that Luca didn’t criticize his other sons. Jai had overheard him doing it plenty of times when he thought Jai was nowhere in sight. He thought showering his full-blooded Ginnaye sons with support and affection in front of him was another weapon of psychological torment. It had been at first. Until Jai realized Luca was the one tormented by the fact that Jai was more like him than any of his full-blooded sons. “You can leave.”

    “I want to see what he has to say about this? If he doesn’t want it, I’ll do it.”

    Luca flicked David an exasperated look. “You weren’t requested. He was.”

    Jai frowned, his curiosity getting the better of him. “What’s going on?”

    “David, leave.”

    With a heavy sigh, David muttered ‘yes, sir’ before throwing Jai a look. See you later, douchebag .

    Jai let his smirk glitter in his eyes where Luca couldn’t see. Go cry to your mommy, dick.

    Least I have a mom, dick. With that he slammed out of the office.

    Jai slid his father a look. “So… what’s so important you needed to talk to me here?”

    Before his father could respond the air shimmered beside his desk and Jai held his breath, waiting to see who was arriving. The explosion of fire signaled their entrance, the flames shooting to the ground before disappearing. Jai blinked, bemused by the enormous amount of power that pulsed into the room from the Jinn before him. He was huge, at least six and a half feet, with long flame-red hair pulled back into a ponytail. He wore modern clothing and grinned congenially at Jai.

    “So this is Jai Bitar.” The Jinn strode towards him. He gave a little respectful bow to Jai which Jai returned out of good manners, still confused as to what the powerful Jinn’s presence meant. Whoever he was he was someone important. Perhaps even royal. A minor prince perhaps?

    “Jai,” his father’s voice curled around him coldly. “This is The Red King.”

    Not a lot of things could get a reaction out of him but that did. He quirked an eyebrow in surprise and The Red King laughed. An immortal? The Red King . One of the Seven Kings of Jinn was in his dad’s office?

    Why?

    “You must be wondering why I have requested your services, Jai?” The Red King tilted his head, his light blue eyes washing over him, assessing him.

    “I didn’t know you had.”

    “Shame.” He grinned, twisting around to look at Luca. “You haven’t told him yet?”

    “He just got here, Your Highness,” Luca grumbled.

    The Red King smiled knowingly as his eyes flickered between father and son. “Oh I see. Yeah. I see. Well, Jai,” his huge hand came down on Jai’s shoulder with a hearty clap, “it’s well known that Jai Bitar of the Ginnaye has an unusual gift that gives him an edge in this whole guardian business. I need that edge.”

    At the mention of his ‘gift’ Jai squirmed a little. He had first realized his gift when he’d kissed their maid’s twelve year old daughter when he was thirteen. It was something to do with hitting puberty or something but after he’d kissed her he’d found himself connected to her. He could feel exactly where she was when her emotions were heightened. He couldn’t read her mind or anything but he’d been pretty impressed by the ‘gift’ and had told his best, and only, friend Trey about it. Trey had thought it was too important to keep a secret and had told his father, Rik, who then told Jai’s father. They had an old Jinn woman in the Ginnaye with greater ability to ‘see’ things within people. She’d explained that the ‘gift’ of Jai’s kiss was a trait that had somehow scrambled itself together out of his mother’s succubus genes. It was like his guardian genes and succubus genes had gotten together and come up with something unique. They discovered over the years that Jai’s kiss could be placed on a client to trace them. It had to be a real kiss and, like the succubus side, it only worked on those he could ever be sexually attracted to. Women. To discover if that was true or not, and not caring how humiliating it was for Jai (in fact, Jai was pretty sure his father saw it as another form of emotional torture), he’d demanded Jai kiss a boy when he was fifteen to see if it could work on potential male clients. At fifteen he was like any teenage guy. He had cared. It was mortifying. And getting another guy to kiss you… not such an easy feat. Trey had said he’d step up to the plate if he really needed to but Jai knew Trey’s dad (a closet homophobe) would kill him. So Jai had refused, and not because he was terrified to kiss a dude, although it wouldn’t have been the greatest thing to ever happen to a straight teen guy, but because he refused to be pushed into something just so his father could enjoy humiliating him. It was doubtful with his genes anyway that the trace would work on a guy. His father had come down on him hard for weeks after that.

    For everyone else Luca Bitar was this strong, loyal Jinn who protected people. To his family he was the guy they could turn to for help. But when Jai’s mother seduced him against his will, she’d stolen a piece of the love he had for Nicki and he’d blamed Jai for it for as long as Jai could remember.

    Letting the memories fade into the background, Jai turned deferentially to The Red King. “How can I be of service?”

    The Red King nodded, grinning widely. “I like you.” He pointed a gun finger at him and Jai couldn’t help but think this guy would do well in a Tarantino movie. “I do. I like you. That’s good. OK, kid. Here’s the deal. I have this extremely important Important I want you to watch over.”

    Well, if it was someone one of the Jinn Kings wanted protected they must be a huge deal. Jai felt his blood pump with excitement at the challenge. “I take it she’s a woman… if you want my particular gift?”

    “You betcha. Now, she’s real important to me, Jai. I need to know you got this.”

    Slipping into guardian mode, Jai stiffened with determination. “Of course, Your Highness.”

    “My son is the best, Your Highness,” Luca assured him.

    Keeping his face impassive, Jai nearly struggled to swallow a smile when The Red King laughed at Luca and then turned back to him with a twinkle in his eyes. “Bet that’s the first time you ever heard that sentence uttered from his mouth — I mean when he was talking about you and not one of his pansy-assed full-bloods.”

    Rather than say anything disrespectful, Jai’s eyes gave a non-committal reply. He kind of liked the King. He’d grown up on the stories of the Jinn Kings. He knew everything about them and Azazil and the so-called War of the Flames. Never in any of those stories had he imagined The Red King to be… funny.

    “Well, you’ll do.” The Red King nodded again. “Look, this is an indefinitely long assignment and it’s a 24/7 hour guard so if you got any stuff you need to take care of in Hollywood, you got twelve hours to do it. I’ll explain the whole… situation … when you meet me back here. I don’t do Hollywood. I like the movies but the people…” he shuddered at the thought before abruptly exploding into bright, hot licks of fire.

    When he was gone silence echoed around his father’s office. Finally, Luca cleared his throat. “I don’t have to tell you how important this assignment is. You’re not the only reason The Red King came to us for this. When my great-grandfather was tribe leader one of his guardians killed one of the Jinn in an effort to protect an Important. He was taken to the Jinn Courts and would have been tried and killed if The Red King hadn’t spoken up for him. The Red King is collecting on the debt we owe him. Don’t mess it up.”

    Not even his father’s disdain could ruin this moment for Jai. He’d just landed his biggest assignment ever. This would cement his position and power within the company. “No, sir.” He nodded militantly and then visualized his apartment before using the Peripatos . He’d get his car later.

    His condo was bright and airy and devoid of any clutter. There was little furniture and what was there was black and chrome and very masculine. Chicks hated it but Jai wasn’t really a relationship type of guy so it didn’t matter. With nothing to wrap up before the assignment started Jai flopped down onto his leather couch, staring out of the French doors to the view of LA sprawled out before him. The sun beat down strong in the morning light, causing eye-watering reflections to beam brightly off windows and buildings and cars. Jai sighed, throwing his head back. He could have waited in the Palisades until night fall but that would have meant having to be around his whole family.

    No thanks.

    He smiled slowly up at the ceiling as he thought of The Red King. The Red King . If this assignment went well all of the Ginnaye would have to treat him with respect. That would just kill Luca and his brothers. Sounded fantastic. Feeling the excitement build inside him, adrenaline already shooting through him with anticipation, Jai blew out a shaky breath and leaned forward to stare at the painting Trey had given him titled ‘Palmyra’. The rich colors and exotic landscape soothed him. He wondered who the Important was he was guarding. It had to be someone really big. Someone with a massive destiny if The Red King was stepping in to see her protected. Jai felt a flutter of nervousness in his gut and grinned. He’d never been nervous about an assignment before.

    This was so HUGE.

    When his cell rang, Jai jerked in surprise, reaching deep into his jeans to yank it out. He laughed at the caller ID. News travelled fast.

    “Hey, man.”

    “So,” Trey’s laughing voice echoed down the line, “The Red King, huh? Were you going to tell me or just take off to wherever he sends you without so much as a goodbye hug?”

    Laughing, Jai relaxed into the couch. “Sorry, I just heard myself.”

    “So what’s the assignment?”

    “Don’t know yet. Just know that it’s a she and she’s important.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire