Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Courting the Sheriff
A Paranormal's Love: Book Thirty-One
Into the Paranormal World: When a coarse gargoyle runs across his mate, he must learn the fine art of wooing…fast.
Following his brother, Bodb, to a ranch in Texas, Lludd works there as a gargoyle enforcer. He protects not only Bodb, but his mate, their holdings, and make-shift family. Over the last few years, Lludd has watched a number of others find their mates in and around the area. He longs for that himself, but as a gargoyle, he has no safe way to search out that special person who is the other half of his soul. At over a thousand years old, Lludd is losing patience. When Bodb gives him a dressing-down for saying something thoughtless—again—he heads to the barn in a foul mood. Naturally, that’s when Lludd stumbles upon his mate, startling him but good—Sheriff Archer Montgomery.
The sheriff had been doing some discreet investigating after receiving an anonymous tip about shady goings-on noticed at the ranch. Introducing Archer to the paranormal world is the easy part. Getting him to accept Lludd is quite a bit harder. Can Lludd find a cure for his foot-in-mouth syndrome before driving Archer away for good?
Excerpt - Courting the Sheriff
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Pausing at the corner of the back of the building, Lludd carefully peered around it. He was just in time to see a booted foot disappearing between the narrowly opened door. Narrowing his eyes, Lludd followed, fighting back a growl, letting out a low deep breath.
Some hand must be meeting another for a hook-up.
There was no other reason for one of their cowboys to be sneaking in the back of the barn at ten-thirty at night. Since these animals were all earmarked to be shown to a buyer over the next few days, no one was supposed to be in there other than the night watchman…and they didn’t need to sneak.
Deciding to give the hand a scare—after all, rules were in place for a reason—the elder’s safety—Lludd crept forward.
Lludd yanked open the door and snarled. “This barn is off-limits at this time of night,” he roared, lifting his arms and wings, after all, all the hands knew of paranormals, including gargoyles. “Turn and declare yourself.”
To Lludd’s shock, the man who turned to face him was a stranger—and a handsome one at that. The guy wore faded jeans, boots, and a flannel shirt. His muscular frame stood around six-foot-one, and his black hat hid his face.
The gasp of shock and the acrid scent of fear, however…that Lludd didn’t miss. Odd that he found some underlying masculine baseness to it pleasing. Except, just as his blood began to warm, the fear turned to an acidic smell of panic.
Fuck! What the hell? Was a hand meeting someone uninitiated?
Bad, bad, bad.
Lludd began to lift his hands, opening his mouth to try to soothe. Whoever the guy was, he didn’t want to hurt him. Unfortunately, the other man didn’t seem to be of the same inclination.
As Lludd rumbled, “Easy, human,” the stranger pulled a gun from somewhere behind his back.
Without a word, the human fired.
Pain flared through Lludd’s upper right torso. The thick scent of his blood perfumed the air. His ears rang from the sound of the gunfire as well as the screaming whinnies of several frightened horses.
Lludd stumbled backward, struggling to form thoughts through the pain. Knowing he couldn’t go down—what if this man is actually after Bodb—he drew on his millennia of warrior’s training and pushed through it. Bending his knees and spreading his wings, Lludd lunged upward and forward. Seeing the trembling human swing his gun up and in his direction, he adjusted the angle of his wings and arced left, then right.
The bang, bang of the weapon caused his ears to continue to ring. A sting to his left side told him at least one of the man’s bullets had nicked him.
Then Lludd was on the male. He grabbed the human’s hand where he clutched the weapon. Pushing it upward toward the ceiling—I’ll have to confirm the hay in the loft doesn’t end up on fire—Lludd used his momentum to take the man to the ground.
Lludd wrapped his other arm around the human, cradling his head and neck. As annoyed as he was to be shot by the guy, he didn’t want to hurt him. If the stranger was there to meet someone, it wasn’t this man’s fault that his date hadn’t been waiting to soothe him.
Oddly, the thought of this human meeting another caused Lludd to growl softly.
“Oh, fuck!” the human cried. “I’m a dead man.”
“You’re not going to die, human,” Lludd countered, even as he tugged the gun from his grip. “Just gonna meet a vampire next.”
Ideally, having a stranger on the property would be an easy fix—one of their resident vampires could easily alter his memories.
Except, why the fuck did bile surge in his throat upon thinking about a vampire touching the human’s mind. He inhaled deeply, trying to get his roiling emotions under control as he pinned the human to the barn’s floor. Surely it was just because of the pain in his torso and side that was affecting him.
While the smell of his blood perfumed the air, clogging his senses, something else managed to break through—an earthy, masculine goodness that he registered beneath the scent of fear and panic.
Once again, Lludd found his dick twitching.
As Lludd peered down at the man, confusion gave way to suspicion. He bent his arm and lowered his face, ignoring the way the guy cringed beneath his much bigger bulk. As Lludd took a deep inhale at the crook of the stranger’s neck, he registered the pounding of booted feet outside the barn.
The realization caused Lludd to rear up in shock, still half-crouching over the prone man.
“Damn,” Lludd whispered in awe as he took in the gorgeous human sprawled beneath him. The man’s chiseled features were on clear display since his hat had been knocked off—revealing wide green eyes with laugh lines to either side. A goatee framed his lips, and Lludd couldn’t wait to feel that facial hair everywhere on his body. A shiver of need worked through him as Lludd murmured, “Delicious.”
“Please don’t eat me,” the man whimpered.
“Eat you?” Lludd shook his head and frowned. “I wouldn’t—”
“Lludd, let the sheriff up, please.”
Snapping his attention to Nicholas, who spoke from a few feet away, Lludd stared at his brother’s mate. He froze, not wanting to release the man who was the other half of his soul. This guy—the sheriff—was everything to him.
Nicholas gave him a slight smile. “You did your job. You stopped the intruder.” Indicating the downed sheriff, he added, “We’ll take it from here.”
Take it from here.
Those words caused his blood to freeze in his veins. He knew what they meant. It had been his own plan moments before—turn the human over to a vampire to have his memory wiped.
“No,” Lludd rumbled. Lowering his bulk, he crouched protectively over his mate.