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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Smokeless Fire (Page 27)     
  • Smokeless Fire(Fire Spirits #1)(27) by Samantha Young
  • ~14~

    There Are Some Things Even a Dog Shouldn’t Know

    Jai was frustratingly closed-mouthed about the whole being telepathic thing. His literal reply had been, “Jinn can talk to each other with their minds.”

    That was it.

    Frustrated, Ari wanted more but he was annoyingly vague about the whole thing and would only answer one of her questions — could Jinn read minds? Her heart had spluttered in mortification at the thought of Jai being able to read her thoughts. Thankfully, he promised her the Jinn could not mind read and then promptly lay down on his sleeping bag, turning the lights off with his Jinn voodoo.

    The next morning Ari tried not to think about the book and all she’d discovered. Derek was in his office, still slinking around the house without talking to her, and Rachel was on her way over to ‘make up’. When the doorbell rang, Ari was jerked out of her daze — she’d been staring stupidly at the book on her nightstand, the haunting pages of it rolling around in her mind like spooky little ghosts. Jai came out of the bathroom with questioning eyes. She nodded to let him know that Rachel was at the door and the air around him shimmered before he exploded into a fire that quickly burnt out, leaving behind Hamlet the Great Dane.

    The knock on her bedroom door told Ari her dad had let Rachel in. Bracing herself for the multitude of moods Rachel could have picked from to face her after their ‘fight’, Ari sat down on her bed. “Come in,” she called and smirked with amusement as Jai jumped onto her bed beside her, curling up lazily on the comforter before staring determinedly at the door. Rachel came in tentatively, an apologetic smile on her face as she closed the bedroom door behind her.

    “I come in peace,” she said softly.

    It was weird. Rachel was this completely anal, bossy, know-it-all, bratty, self-important type-A pain in the ass a lot of the time. But as Ari smiled back at her, warmth gathered in her chest and the tension in her shoulders unknotted, and all she could see was the sweet, concerned, funny Rachel that had made Ari want to be her friend in the first place. “Come in, sit down.” She shimmied over, nudging Jai to make room for her.

    Rachel’s eyes widened as she approached, her face lighting up. “Oh my God, who is this enormous bundle of gorgeousness?”

    Ari smiled, swearing she could hear Jai make a snorting sound from the back of his throat. “This is Hamlet. He’s replaced Ms. Maggie.”

    Rachel’s shoulders hunched as she glanced around the room. “Is the poltergeist gone?”

    “Yup. All gone.”

    “For good?”

    “Looks like. So I got Hamlet here to keep me company.”

    Rachel giggled and sat down next to him, running her hands over his head and back. “Oh I sooo prefer Hamlet. And how cute is that name btw?” She grinned up at her. “Very witty.”

    Ari laughed. “At least one person thinks so.”

    “Oh sooo cuuute,” Rachel squeed, pressing soft kisses to his head. Jai didn’t growl or snarl or anything, but he was trying desperately to get away from her mouth. When Ari laughed at his predicament he shot her a dirty doggy look in protest. Finally taking pity on him, she reached out and touched Rachel’s arm. “So… we OK?” she asked, drawing some of her attention away from Jai.

    Rachel looked up, still patting his head. Ari could see the confusion in her eyes but she nodded. “Yeah. I don’t know what happened to you but… the reason I got so mad was because I knew it was a Charlie thing. I thought you were freaking out about him. You were so out of it at your own party, and I just felt frustrated, you know. I was so worried about you. I’m sorry for not handling it the right way, Ari. I really am.” She patted her hand, smiling apologetically. “But since then, Staci said you’re taking my advice and moving on from him, so whatever those two missing days were they were at least a very good thing.” She grinned now, reaching out to pull Ari into a hug. “I’m proud of you.”

    For thinking I abandoned a friend?

    When Rachel pulled back Ari had smoothed the scowl from her face and put a fake smile on in its place. “So have you heard any more news from Stace about Nick?”

    “Oh, he’s going to be OK. The doctors can’t work it out. There’s no physical sign of injury, external or internal. It’s just this weird phenomenon. So weird. I feel bad for him, but you know he’s alive, he’s young and fit and he can get through this. We’ll all be there to help him. Although, not yet.” She frowned. “His parents are being wicked weird about visitors right now.”

    “Is A.J. still mad at Charlie?”

    “I don’t think so. I mean he’ll never like the guy but Staci convinced him that Charlie was just there at the wrong time, wrong place. Although I hear he was going to take Nick to the ER so that’s, like, a point in his favor right?”

    “Right.”

    “So anyway!” Rachel suddenly cried, her mouth stretched in a cat’s-got-the-cream grin. “You have to hear about my time with Paul Schwartz.”

    “Uhh.” Ari looked down at Jai who was watching everything they did and listening to everything they said. She really didn’t want Rachel discussing her love life with the T.A. in front of him. “You hooked up, that’s great. Any plans to see him again?”

    She nodded, her eyes glittering. “I’m going to have such a ball with him this summer before I head off to Dartmouth. So… OK... I invited him to your party; you were kind of out of it that night so you didn’t see him flirting with me all night long. Nothing happened but he texted me the next day to go to the movies. Well… we got to the parking lot of the movies.” Rachel wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. “And that’s as far as we got. Next thing I know my shirt is off, my hand is down his pants—”

    “Uh Rachel!” Ari stopped her, glaring at Jai for not leaving the room like a gentleman. “Are you sure you want to discuss this in front of the dog?”

    Rachel burst out laughing, her eyes washing over Ari’s flushed face. “Jeez, Ari, come on. You know you wouldn’t get all embarrassed about sex if you just traded in your v-card already. I know, I know, you were waiting on Charlie to give up the old virginity but you are too pretty to be missing out on this stuff. Seriously at one point I thought my—”

    “My dad’s home.” Ari bolted up off the bed, totally mortified that Jai now knew she was a virgin.

    Rachel’s eyebrows drew together in a glower. “So?”

    “He might hear you.”

    “Ari, what is your damage?”

    “You know… you’re right.” She blushed even harder. Rachel must think she was a total schizo. “Let’s go get a soda and some chips or something. I’ll put together a snack while you give me all the gory details.”

    “Oh sure.”

    Jai stood up to jump off the bed as the two of them made their way to the door. Ari turned back on him. “Stay,” she snapped.

    “Oh, Ari, he can come, he’s so cute.”

    “No, he can stay.” Ari glowered at him, his doggy eyes burning through her with indignation. “He chewed on my diary this morning. Chewed on stuff even a dog shouldn’t know.” She narrowed her eyes on him pointedly.

    “I didn’t know you kept a diary,” Rachel mused, as Ari ushered her out the room and slammed the door on Jai.

    Ten minutes later, as they sat in the kitchen — Rachel having already regaled Ari with her tale of sex with a TA in the back parking lot of the movies — a familiar click of nails on tile brought her head up and she watched as Jai wandered in with a lazy doggy smirk on his face.

    “Wow,” Rachel breathed. “How did he get out?”

    “He got out because he’s too damn nosy for his own good.”

    “You’re pretty harsh on your dog, Ari.” Rachel held out a cheese puff. “Here, boy.”

    Jai took it, crunching on it comically, his tongue licking the cheese powder from Rachel’s hands as she giggled. Ari wanted to kill him. Wasn’t it possible for her to have at least an hour in a room without him listening in on every little thing? Thankfully the conversation steered back to Rachel’s excitement about attending Dartmouth. Not quite able to find the courage to discuss the whole probably not going to Penn thing with her just yet (she hadn’t even talked to her dad about it because he wasn’t speaking to her), Ari threw all of her excitement about college at Rachel for Rachel. And she was excited for her friend. This was everything Rachel had been dreaming about since she was a little kid.

    A few hours later, assured that she and Rache were back on track (for now), Ari walked her to the door, surprised to hear Derek call out to them.

    “Nice to see you, Rachel.” He nodded from the armchair in the living room. He had his briefcase out, lots of work papers scattered over the coffee table.

    “Oh you too, Mr. Johnson.” Rachel smiled back and then hugged Ari goodbye. She bent down to place another slobbery kiss on Jai’s forehead before she left. When the door clicked closed behind her Ari snorted, watching Jai lift a paw to try and swipe the saliva from the top of his head.

    “Ari.”

    Taken aback, Ari jerked her head up sharply. Derek was speaking to her?

    “Dad?”

    He stood up, exhaling heavily, his features drawn and tired. He began gathering up his papers, slotting them into his briefcase. Finally, just when she was about to snap with impatience, he strode over to her, his familiar scent making her wish she could fall against his chest for a hug like she used to do when she was little.

    I’m lonely.

    “Ari, I’m…” he shook his head. “I haven’t been acting very adult lately and for that I’m sorry. But… I am just so… so disappointed in you, kid.”

    Biting back the rush of anger his words incited, Ari nodded tightly, unable to respond.

    “The things you told me. Said.” He heaved another sigh. “I just…”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire