Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Butting Heads with a Gargoyle
A Paranormal's Love: Book Thirty-Four
Just a little Love Bite: A nip here and a tug there could bring two people together.
Ridger Carruthers watches his best friends find their beloveds in members of the nearby gargoyle clutch. Having met all the males, he knows none of them are his own. He doesn’t think anything of it when he zips over there to deliver electronic supplies.
Joining the gargoyles for a meal, Ridger comes face to face with someone new—the visiting gargoyle elder, Vermidian. The male is quick to declare that Ridger is his mate…as well as demand that he leave Wyoming to live with him in Ohio. Beloved or not, Ridger gives in to his knee-jerk reaction and tells him no.
As an elder, Vermidian can’t remember the last time someone refused his command. To hear his fate-given mate tell him no shocks him, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up on the vampire. Instead, Vermidian invites himself to stay at Ridger’s coven, with a pair of Elder Enforcers in tow.
With so many dominant personalities in one place, Ridger and Vermidian hit bumps quickly and not just with each other. Can they learn to communicate in time to save not only their relationship but the coven and clutch from hunters, too?
Excerpt - Butting Heads with a Gargoyle
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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Vermidian turned away from the displays, a flutter of longing warming his gut. At over thirteen hundred years old, he’d lived alone a long time. It wasn’t often Vermidian thought about what finding his mate would be like, but seeing the happily mated pairs at some clutches always brought those thoughts to the forefront.
Perhaps Sethnos thought the same way, for he drew Vermidian’s attention by saying, “It looks like Ridger is still sitting with Praerna.” Amusement filled his tone, and he smirked as he shook his head, his attention on something—or someone—across the room. “And if I don’t miss my guess, he’s trying to sweet-talk our gargoyle out of his secret ingredient.”
Following where Sethnos indicated, Vermidian moved into the room. He spotted a handsome man with shaggy, ear-length blond hair leaning toward a small pale-purple-hided gargoyle—Praerna. A grin curved the vampire’s lips, revealing his fangs, and he nudged the gargoyle while saying something probably cajoling.
So that’s Ridger. Huh. I wouldn’t mind him flirting with me like that.
Gods, what an odd thought.
Vermidian couldn’t remember the last time he’d been instantly attracted to another—male or female.
Praerna peered at Ridger through his lashes even as he nibbled his bottom lip and shook his head.
“Let’s go rescue Praerna,” Sethnos rumbled, amusement lacing his tone. “What do you say?”
Nodding, Vermidian followed Sethnos around the tables. All the while, he couldn’t seem to tear his gaze away from the vampire. He admired the male’s muscular frame, roguish features, and confident air.
“You sure there isn’t anything I can do to convince you, Praerna,” Vermidian heard Ridger say as he drew closer. “There must be something.”
Praerna looked so uncertain, as if he were dying to give in, but then in a soft voice, he said, “Sorry, Second Ridger. It’s a family recipe.” As if wanting to ease Ridger’s disappointed look, Praerna added, “My mother passed it on to me, and I promised not to tell, but I’d be happy to whip up a large dishful for you to take home.”
Ridger straightened. “Hmm…a dish just for myself.” He licked his lips as he placed his hand over his chest. “You know the way to my heart, sweet gargoyle.”
Unable to help himself, Vermidian growled low in his throat. When Sethnos jerked his focus to him, he quickly cut the sound off on a cough. After swallowing hard, Vermidian inhaled a deep breath, hoping to clear whatever oddness he was feeling.
Except, something tickled his nostrils…something…delicious—masculine and earthy with a hint of iron.
Like a flash of lightning, Vermidian’s instant attraction suddenly made sense.
“You’re my mate,” Vermidian declared, staring down at Ridger. Holding out his hand, he asked, “Second Ridger, of the Maven coven, isn’t it?”
Ridger stared at him in obvious shock for one heartbeat, then two. Finally, he snapped his mouth shut and took Vermidian’s hand. The first touch of the vampire’s slightly calloused palm against his own caused goose bumps to form on the thick hide of his arm.
Wow! So this is what it feels like to touch my mate.
“Yes, I’m Second Ridger,” the vampire began slowly as he rose from his seat.
To Vermidian’s pleasure, Ridger didn’t release his hand.
Narrowing his gorgeous, light-brown eyes—which were starting to darken as the scent of arousal began to perfume the air—Ridger stated, “Ridger Carruthers. I thought I’d met all the gargoyles in the Aerasceatle clutch. Who are you?”
Right. Mating hormones are muddling my brain.
Vermidian moved closer, closing the distance between them. “I’m Elder Vermidian,” he revealed, lifting Ridger’s hand to his lips and pressing a kiss to the back of it. “I have truly been blessed by Fate to have stopped here during the short window of your visit. I wish to know everything about you.”
Ridger licked his lips, then one fang.
The move caused arousal to sing through Vermidian’s veins, and he desperately wanted to retrace the path of Ridger’s tongue with his own.
“An elder,” Ridger murmured, staring at him steadily. “That is…impressive.”
Not wanting Ridger’s focus to get hung up on his job, Vermidian smiled at his vampire. “I’m just a gargoyle, one who wishes to get to know his mate.” Easing even closer, Vermidian rested his free hand on Ridger’s neck. “We will eat and get to know each other. Then I’ll cradle you in my arms and fly us to my home in Ohio. My remote mountain lodge will be perfect for us to spend weeks in seclusion getting to know every detail of each other’s lives.”
To Vermidian’s surprise, Ridger took a slow step backward, pulling free of his hold. He even twisted his hand, forcing him to release him. His jaw clenched once, twice, before he shook his head.
“No, Vermidian,” Ridger stated gruffly. “That won’t work at all. I won’t be going with you.”