Fifth in the Underground Encounters series.
Tracy isn’t sure why she’s drawn to a particular gargoyle statue in the Goth club where she works. After the stone takes human form to protect her from her abusive ex, she brings the handsome, naked male to her apartment. It’s impossible to ignore the seductive appeal of a man sculpted like a Viking warrior.
Danton has only hours in human form to spend with the woman he has hungered for. He’s convinced what’s between them is more than hot sex, but he needs to convince Tracy of that before he turns back to stone.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Tracy brushed her fingers over the smooth stone of the gargoyle perched at the end of the bar of the Vamps nightclub.
“I’m stuck with the late shift tonight,” she said. “But at least I took in some good money.”
She stood over the crouched gargoyle and ran her hand over the smooth area between its two horns, down the back of its head and over its hunched back where its two wings connected. “Thanks for always listening,” she said, aware of how foolish she sounded speaking to a statue. If anyone saw her, they’d think she was stone-cold crazy. She bent to kiss its smooth, chiseled stone cheek in gratitude.
Over the last few months, Tracy had begun talking to the stone gargoyle as if it were a companion whenever she had a few moments alone in the bar. Why she gravitated toward this one gargoyle while several others were perched around the club, she didn’t know. She found something compelling about it, drawing her in, and she often confided her secrets to it.
Tracy rested her hand on the gargoyle’s shoulder while she scanned the club. Bottles and cups were scattered in every dark corner and under the other perched gargoyles. The scent of sweat and spilled beer still permeated the club.
Was it one of the guys out back? The guys she worked with were bringing out the trash and the bottles for recycling. The other bartenders had already settled up and left for the night. They rotated who could leave first and who had to stay to make sure they were stocked for the next night.
No, they knew better than to call her Trace.
“It’s Tracy,” she said, turning to face the intruder.
And stared into the face of her ex.
“What are you doing here, Brian?” The muscles in her body tensed as she gauged the distance between her and the pepper spray behind the bar should she need it.
She thought she felt a tiny movement under her hand.
No, she had to be losing her mind. As if stone could move.
She kept her hand on the stone like a security blanket, almost gripping it now that Brian had appeared.
“I came to see what you were doing tonight. Thought maybe we could hang out.” The way he slurred the words indicated he’d already had one too many, a bad sign.
“Definitely not. The restraining order should make that clear.”
“Babe, I was in a rough place and I took it out on you. Let’s put the past behind us and try again.”
The cold stone felt warmer beneath her hand. How strange. Was she so heated from the tension of Brian arriving that her palm could warm cool stone?
“No, Brian. I’ve given you too many chances and each time it ended worse than the time before.”
“Babe.” He approached her. “I would never hurt you again.”
“Don’t come any closer.” She moved away from the gargoyle to get to her purse behind the bar.
“Trace, you’re soooo dramatic.” He moved behind the bar.
Tracy was distracted by the gargoyle statue behind him. It was changing color, from gray stone to what appeared to be—flesh.
“Come on, we were good together. Don’t you miss the sex?”
The stone wings of the gargoyle statue unfurled into enormous sleek, black, feathered ones. The gargoyle reshaped itself, rising from a crouched position to stand on two legs to a full height well over six feet.
And its head. The horns sank back into the stone while light-blond hair sprouted to take their place, growing past its broad shoulders. Within a few seconds, the grotesque stone creature she found lovable had transformed into a breathtaking male with flawless bronze skin, long blond hair and the magnificent physique of a Viking warrior. Who stood before them stark naked.
“Holy shit!” she exclaimed, eyes widening.
“I know, babe. The sex was awesome.”
She fumbled for her purse, searching for the damn spray. She wasn’t even sure who she was going to direct it at now with two threats facing her.
It was too late. Brian had grabbed her wrists and tried to kiss her.
“Get off me!”
She attempted to knee him in his testicles, but he deflected the blow by turning his body to the side.
Enormous black wings surrounded Brian and a second later he was lifted off the ground. Brian exclaimed, “What the―” which was cut off as he was thrown over the bar onto the empty dance floor.
He scrambled to his feet on unsteady legs. The gargoyle stepped over to him in a few massive strides. While Tracy’s gaze paused on his sculpted buttocks, the gargoyle raised one of his sinewy legs and kicked Brian in the gut. Brian groaned and clutched his stomach. The gargoyle lifted a foot over Brian’s head.
Tracy screamed while Brian shielded his face with his forearm to brace against the gargoyle stomping on his head.