Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
The Gargoyle's Running Back
A Paranormal's Love: Book Seventeen
Into the Paranormal World: Something vastly different might seem dangerous, but it could be just what you need to find yourself.
Sumak finally convinces his gargoyle clutch’s leaders that he can do more than cook food, prepare picnics, and wash dishes. He revels in his new, part-time job of walking their territory’s boundaries. Enjoying the moonlight, Sumak goes farther than he should and stumbles across a young human out jogging. He immediately recognizes the male’s scent as his mate and follows him to a parking area. Taking note of the license plate on the human’s truck, he discovers the man’s name is Andre Capston. His joy at learning that his mate is the brother of Mace Capston--a fellow gargoyle’s mate--is short-lived. Sumak finds out that Mace’s family disowned him years ago for being gay. Sumak struggles with how to pursue his young mate, but Fate steps in, giving him an opportunity. Can Sumak convince his mate that true family loves and supports each other no matter what their differences?
Excerpt - The Gargoyle's Running Back
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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“Uh, is Vane around then?” Sumak asked softly, glancing around as if the huge, blood-red gargoyle would suddenly appear. “He could do it, right?”
“Yes,” Tobias confirmed. After a few seconds hesitation, he added, “He’s either in his office going over security for the millionth time or he’s at the infirmary.” He smirked as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Of course, you might find him in his rooms with Matthew,” he said with a wink. “Let him know I sent you.”
Nodding swiftly, Sumak murmured his thanks, then went in search of Vane. The big red gargoyle was actually one of the youngest amongst Maelgwn’s people. His egg had been found or stolen—Sumak wasn’t certain which—and he’d been held captive from birth and used as a monster attraction at sideshow carnivals. When Maelgwn had heard of it, he and several others had located him and rescued him, then taught him about the world, everything from reading to computers to driving a car.
For the longest time, Vane had remained reclusive. Well, even more reclusive than he still was. He’d steered clear of all humans, including the mates of those in the clutch. Until his own mate, Matthew, had come along and dragged him out of his shell.
That had been the spark for this infernal war. Vane had begun to remember deeply repressed memories. He and others in the coven had gone in search of those others held captive by carnivals.
Little did they know that freeing them would draw the hunter’s attention.
Sumak finally found Vane in the dining hall with Matthew. The tables were almost full with people lounging around with all manner of food and drink, which was a strange occurrence. Normally, the place was only about a third of the way full, since gargoyles would trickle in and out of the dining hall whenever they were hungry.
On the other hand, they could all be waiting for some kind of news.
Settling across from Vane, Sumak glanced between the huge gargoyle and his mate before leaning halfway across the table, so he could murmur, “Hey, uh, sorry to interrupt.” Not that he knew what he was interrupting save for a cup of coffee. “Second Tobias said I might trouble you for a bit of help?”
Vane lifted one deep red brow ridge, his expression one of interest. “Yes?”
“Can you look up this license number and tell me who owns it?” Sumak held out his phone with the picture of Andre’s truck’s plate on it. Seeing Vane’s incredulous look, he added, “Please?”
“If you tell me why.”
Understanding Vane’s demand, Sumak nodded as he stated, “That truck was being driven by a human named Andre this evening.” He paused and stared at Vane’s unimpressed expression. “Andre is my mate. I want to learn more about him.”
“Ah,” Vane immediately responded. “Of course.” He unclipped his phone from his belt and began punching in information. “Let’s see…” he mused.
“Uh, you have an app for that?” Sumak asked in wonder.
“Yeah,” Vane responded absently as he continued to fiddle with his phone. “Got it from Detective DeSoto,” he claimed, referencing a local detective mated with an alligator shifter. “Said something about him getting tired of us hacking into their people’s computer systems.”
Sumak lifted a hand to his mouth as he snickered. That so sounded like the straight-laced cop. How Collin dealt with Tristan’s occasional unlawfulness, he had no idea.
“Huh.” Vane grunted, then glanced around the room. Leaning toward his mate, he murmured, “Go get Mace for me, would you, babe?” he rumbled. “He’s at the table in the corner.”
“Sure thing.” With that, Matthew rose and headed through the crowded room.
For a few seconds, Sumak watched him go. He frowned, shifting in his seat as he turned his attention back to Vane. “What’s going on?”
“Well, these tags belong to one Andre Capston,” Vane told him. “I’m just wondering if he’s any relation to Kort’s mate.”
“Oh!” Sumak grinned as hope filled him. “Oh wow!”
If Sumak’s mate was the brother of someone already mated to gargoyles, then that would make it so much easier to introduce him to paranormals. Mace could just bring him over.
Oh, how perfect!
“Hey, what’s up?” Mace asked when he came to a stop beside them. Kort stood directly behind him, a thick brown arm wrapped around his human’s waist possessively. “Matthew says you want to see me?”
Vane nodded. “Do you know an Andre Capston?”
Mace’s face took on a slightly pink hue as his lips pinched. “Yeah,” he responded slowly. “I have a younger brother named Andre Capston. Is something wrong with him?” He glanced up at Kort. “Did you ask them to look into Andre?”
Kort shook his head. “No, babe,” he replied. “I know we talked about it, but you said you wanted more time before we approached him. I’m not certain why they’re asking about him.”
“Andre is my mate,” Sumak murmured, glancing around at the men. “What do you mean, look into Andre?”
Mace opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, his face turning a bright shade of red. Finally, he spoke, his voice strained. “My family cut me off when they found out I was gay,” he explained, his body language screaming his discomfort. “That was almost three years ago, now. I haven’t seen or heard from Andre since.”
Sumak didn’t know what else to say. His mate had stopped talking to his brother because he came out? Well, shit! What would happen if Sumak approached him? Not only would the man have to get over his prejudice against gays, he’d have to embrace his own sexuality…all while having to accept that gargoyles and other paranormals were real.
Staring down at the table, Sumak clenched his hands into fists as frustration filled him. He felt a hand on his shoulder, but he didn’t look up to see who it was. When Kort murmured, “We’ll figure something out,” Sumak figured it was him.
While Sumak nodded absently, he wondered what the hell Fate could be thinking.