LOVER IN STONE, Installment No. 8

Installment No. 8 #hell #gargoyle #vampire
That man makes walking look like a sport.
The kind of sport performed by Greek athletes back in the days when the Olympics were played in stone constructed coliseums. She wouldn’t sigh, gall-darn it. She peeled her eyes off the Gargoyle’s tight butt and watched Aro’s departure, instead.
Which was like switching TV channels from Skin-emax to PBS.
And she refused to think about the smug victory on the Vampire’s face as he hastened from the gallery. He parted with no words of gratitude, dispensed no advice, not a single word of warning for her.
Secretly? She’d enjoyed watching the guy bend himself in half, backwards, as the Gargoyle had threatened him.
Shame on her. Aro was her boss. He had offered her a place within the Literati, albeit more for selfish reasons than for her skills as a researcher. But, hey, beggars couldn’t be choosers.
Besides, what words of wisdom could Aro have imparted? Her education with the Literati was supposed to have prepared her for such an eventuality as a trip into Hell.
Even if she could have never prepared for her guide.
Sure, she knew as the only human member of the Literati she’d be expected to enter into dangerous situations by herself, and she had readied herself for it. She had trained, honed her fighting skills and her body so both would be up to any challenges she would face.
Studying her butt off, she’d learned everything she could about the beings she’d grown up with, and the creatures she’d heard about while growing up with her Vampyre parents.
Just in case Aro forgave her for her first blunder.
But for all her lifelong fantasizing and wishing, she had never met a Gargoyle before. Not just Gargoyle, either, but a Chimera, a being made up of two other creatures he kept hidden away from the rest of them.
Merrick had her just as nervous as her impending excursion into Hell.
Well, there’s a fine line for you.
Not much separated Hell and the Chimera. Except she didn’t think Hell would have such a fine ass if it wore leather pants, nor would its long, muscular thighs flex suggestively, like the leather was a pelt aching to be stroked by her personally.
Oh yes, if she kept thinking along those lines she’d prove again she wasn’t worthy of the Literati.
She had to stop thinking about how sexy Merrick was, and start concentrating on the danger oozing out of him. She hadn’t missed the undercurrent of rage swelling into the room as he’d stood on the threshold.
The Chimera was menacing, and she’d agreed to walk straight into Hell beside him.
Had she been born without a brain?
Moot point now. She and Merrick would start their descent into Hell soon, and it wasn’t going to be an easy trip. She’d need every scrap of her fortitude, and her intelligence, if she was going to resurface with the Scriptum in her arms.
And only that book in her arms. Nothing else, she swore, even if there wasn’t a stack of Bibles on hand. There would be no sexy Gargoyle in her embrace. Wasn’t. Going. To. Happen.
She locked down on those thoughts like the doors on a submarine lest someone, especially Merrick, should read them. It was bad enough she felt the burn of embarrassment on her cheeks.
Nothing like a father’s voice to throw gasoline on the fire of her cheeks. Anton spread his arms wide for her, a faint smile of inevitability playing upon his lips.
“I’m sorry for this, Papa. Really, I am.” Of course, she meant the Literati thing, not her carnal thoughts. Of which, the Vampyre would pick right up on if she didn’t flush said thoughts straight into the gutter where they belonged.
Anton closed his arms around her. “Hush, now. I know. You’re a grown woman, my Angelia. It is time for a father to let his little chick go.”
Eek. He doesn’t suspect, does he?
He rubbed his cheek to her crown, as if savoring the scent of his little girl.
No. “But the price—”
“You never mind about that. From what I understand of fathers and daughters, it is a small price to pay to make my princess happy. Besides, I never paid a cent toward college tuition. Think of it as that, hmm?”
She nodded. Then her head went deer in the headlights as she felt Merrick’s shadow fill her personal space.
Surprise, surprise. That looming shadow didn’t chill her or shroud her with a sense of foreboding, despite the vibration of his simmering rage. She peered over her father’s shoulder to watch Merrick stride near, a leather backpack in each strong knuckled fist, his lips pressed firm on a locked, and square jaw.
Forbidding as all get out—but wicked fine.
Dragging her gaze from the bracing sight of Merrick closing down on her, she smiled bravely for her father. “I don’t have time to say anything to Mom.”
“She will be all right. Do not worry, chickie.” Her father dabbed her nose as he winked. “Or should I stop calling you that, now you’re all grown up and flying the nest?”
She loved that he smiled, showing her his luminous Vampyre teeth. She thought his smile one of his best features of so many great ones.
Angelia blushed. “I’ll always be your chickie, Papa, you know that.”
Anton placed a chaste kiss upon her forehead at the same time she felt Merrick’s heat closing over her.
Yet, Merrick felt the weight of his longing, the sharp bite of its teeth, and suppressed the resistant growl brewing in his thick chest. He’d been without the comfort of another being for more than two thousand years, this familial scene would not bother him. He couldn’t let it. Remembering how it used to be among his Kynd, the way they once touched to give solace to each other, would only puncture holes in an already faulty dam barely keeping his rage from spewing outward.
Merrick squeezed his eyes shut and gave a sharp shake to his head. Setting it straight. His lot was what it was, and he wouldn’t let this blatant display of affection rattle him. The two doing the lovey-dovey thing weren’t even Kynd, for Christ’s sake.
“Hate to break up the sloppy good-byes, but if you’re going…” He held Angelia’s pack out for her, then let it drop just as she was reaching for it. Her father snagged it before it touched the stone floor, lancing a wrathful, silver-eyed glare at him.
Promises, promises. Merrick smirked, welcoming the stab of his antagonism as it buffeted his leaky defenses. “You won’t be there to catch her when she’s too slow, Vampyre. Better she learn right off she’ll be no chickie on this trip.”
He intentionally goaded them, he couldn’t help it. Not when his insides betrayed him with odd feelings of seeing her so vulnerable in her father’s arms. She should be looking at him like that, not some other man.
Aw, Jesus. If only he could slip out of his Gargoyle body. It acted funny around the woman, made his chest ache as if there wasn’t enough air in the room. He needed to get moving, to get his mind on something else besides this human.
Although he knew that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. He was stuck with her for the next seven days, at least. He wasn’t heading to Hell, he was already there. “Grab your pack. Let’s go.”
Sticking around to catch her reaction was a bad idea. It was torture enough to have the smell of her curling around him like it moved intentionally, as if it was some kind of magical serpent taunting his stiffening cock.
Christ Almighty. Merrick almost cupped his balls in a bid to make more room. Instead, he forced his hands to stay busy shouldering the bag he’d picked up for the trip, not the one God had given him. He did not look back to see if Angelia followed. He didn’t have to—he could feel the warmth of her soul swirling across his back.
As if his skin wasn’t thick at all.
~S.C. Dane
~Installment No. 9 coming Tuesday, February 24, 2015


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