Captivated by the Gargoyle
Captivated by the Gargoyle
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One demon remains.
Its targets are clear. It wants Larissa’s magic and Janie’s soul.
Where it takes them is even darker than Larissa's most terrifying premonitions.
“I loved this series and this book. I highly recommend the Stone Sentries (Boston) series.”~ A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!
Meet the Stone Sentries:
- Book 1: Tempted by the Gargoyle
- Book 2: Enticed by the Gargoyle
- Book 3: Captivated by the Gargoyle
- Book 4: Protected by the Gargoyle
- Gargoyle shifters
- Fates Mates
- Psychic witch
- Portal romance
- Formidable demons
One demon remains.
Its targets are clear.
It wants Larissa’s magic and Janie’s soul.
After breaking through the demon’s darkness that imprisoned her best friend, Larissa has had enough of magic. She just wants to return to her normal life back on the police force.
But, the demons keep preventing that.
Roman, Commander of the Stone Sentries, plans to get Larissa and Janie to safety at the gargoyle compound. When a demon attacks his deputy and takes Janie, the mission turns into a hunt to track them down.
Larissa teams up with Roman and his team of gargoyle shifters to search Boston.
Where it takes them is even darker than her most terrifying dreams.
Is there a way to save Janie before it’s too late?
Complete Larissa and Roman's action-packed romance in their thrilling conclusion of the Stone Sentries trilogy.
Roman surveyed the city from the hotel window, searching for monstrous red wings slipping out from behind one of the hospitals. He had chosen this hotel for two reasons—he could watch over Larissa while she rested, and he could spring into action if the demon returned.
The sun crept in through the buildings in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston, bathing the hospitals in a warm summer glow as it woke the city. Minutes later, a ray kissed one of his two Stone Sentries mounted inconspicuously in statue form on the exterior, ready to shift at any sign of danger.
The demon had escaped two nights ago. No doubt, it would return.
For Roman’s mate.
He glanced back at her, the determined police officer with witch blood he’d fallen for. Although, Larissa had tossed during the night in distress, now she slept with a peaceful expression. Her dark hair splayed across the pillow, and her parted lips presented an irresistible invitation to kiss them. An urge to return to bed and hold her warm body against his, came over him.
But, he wouldn’t be able to see as much from the bed. And the demon threat was too high.
He prowled before the window, hands balled into fists. Cursing under his breath, he blamed himself for letting the demon get away after it had crashed into Larissa’s friend’s hospital room two nights ago. Larissa had succeeded in breaking through the incubus’s dark magic that imprisoned Janie, waking her friend from the coma, but her action had incited demon ire. The gargoyles had destroyed two that night, but a third one had vanished.
Roman opened a mental link to check in with his deputy who watched over Janie at a nearby hospital.
Arto, any updates?
No, Commander. Janie hasn’t wakened yet. Once she does, I’m sure she’ll want to get moving. She is eager to get out of here.
I don’t blame her. As soon as Larissa wakes, we’ll head over.
And then we’re heading to Janie’s apartment?
That had been the plan. Janie couldn’t wait to get home, and Larissa would stay with her at night. He would ensure they were well-protected with Arto there at all times. But, Roman had come up with a better option while she’d slept.
I think we should bring them to the compound.
Arto made a sound of surprise. No wonder. Gargoyles didn’t invite humans into their living quarters in the top two floors of Stone Tower. But, their compound was heavily fortified with years of magical protection, and a demon would be foolish to attempt to breach a location guarded by gargoyle sentries.
Has something happened? Arto asked.
No. It’s this sense of foreboding that disturbs me. It escalated through the night.
It made his skin prickle. The persisting ominous presence was like rough winds battering his wings—exhausting, but if he let down his guard, he’d plummet.
We need to take greater precautions to protect them, he added.
I understand, Arto replied. Something bothers me, too. Like dark magic swirling through the night skies. It agitates me, escalating the importance of protecting Janie. His voice dropped an octave as he declared those words like an oath.
Arto had appeared to grow closer to Janie since he’d been tasked with guarding her. Perhaps, it was simply part of his duty. Or, did it mean a deeper connection? No, Roman was just reading more into it. Just because he’d found his mate—something he never thought would happen—he might have been projecting signs onto others.
We must stay on high alert. He signed off with Arto.
Roman stole another glance at Larissa while she slept. She furrowed her brows. Her expression turned distressed—as if already contesting his suggestion. A Boston police officer, she’d told him several times how she was trained to protect others from danger, not hide from it. But, she couldn’t sense his silent communication with Arto, right? Since she was a witch who was still discovering her abilities, anything was possible. He’d sense her presence, though. She must simply be dreaming.
Roman groaned. He’d have to find the right words and the right time to suggest the new option.
He turned back to the city, which was quickly waking up with pedestrians trekking to their destinations. No signs of demons swooping in without warning. He gritted his teeth. They’d attacked Boston twice within a week, so he couldn’t let down his guard.
His next task was at hand. He let out a snort when he envisioned Larissa’s reaction. Convincing his stubborn beauty of the changed mission might be more difficult than battling an immortal.
Red glowing eyes glared at Larissa. The demon reached for her with sharp talons…
She bolted upright with a gasp, and her eyes burst open. Her owl necklace bounced against her ribs. Her heart thudded, threatening to launch into a sprint.
Glancing around, she recognized the lush red stripes of wallpaper and the painting of the Frog Pond in Boston Public Gardens. She was in a bed with a fluffy white comforter and even fluffier pillows. Roman had brought her two nights ago, so she could be close to Janie. He stood at parade rest as he stared outside the window, his raven black hair hanging down his massive back.
He spun around and rushed to her bedside. “What’s wrong?” His amber eyes darkened, penetrating her as if trying to read the secrets that tormented her soul.
The lingering fear of her nightmare lodged in her throat with a lump that constricted her airway. She swallowed the mass through quickened breaths. “Just a nightmare.” Her voice came out scratchy. God, she was so hot—and cold. Her skin was clammy with cool sweat.
Was this how it would be from now on? As if she hadn’t already had problems getting sleep. Would she be haunted by demons whenever she closed her eyes?
Probably. Demons had attacked Boston, killing countless in a rampage for blood and souls. The demon that broke into Janie’s room was still out there. Specifically, it was an incubus, the vilest of all demons as it violated humans while stealing their life force.
Roman handed her a glass of water from the nightstand. “You’re safe. I’m here with you. And Janie’s out of the coma.”
He spoke in a soothing tone. His voice often comforted her—dark and rich with a hint of a European accent.
She took a sip of water, quenching her parched throat. After putting down the glass, she said, “Right.”
He scooted over on the bed and opened his arms. “Come here.”
Larissa leaned onto his chest, finding comfort in his powerful embrace. She inhaled his scent, so earthy and masculine. Her racing heartbeat slowed to its normal rate. Janie was no longer trapped in a demon-induced coma. She’d be released from the hospital this morning.
But, not everyone was okay. Larissa’s grandmother was dead—her chest slashed open by one of the demons. A wave of grief welled up so quickly, Larissa was unprepared for it. She sucked in oxygen with a deep inhale. Her grandmother’s murder was still too raw—any reminders of it was like the gash that had ripped out her life.
“It’s going to be all right,” Roman said.
She took three deep breaths, letting them out with audible exhales. It would help stave off the growing despair that threatened to shake her off-kilter.
“She’s gone,” Larissa croaked out a sound, nowhere near like her normal voice. The final arrangements that she’d seen to with her father yesterday had confirmed that.
Her grandmother would have told her not to grieve. That death was natural. It was how the universe was designed.
But, nothing had been natural about her death.
Roman ran his hand over her hair, which was likely tangled from sleep. “She’ll always be with you.”
She hoped so. She’d sensed her grandmother’s presence guiding her two nights ago when Larissa had transferred her energy to Janie, waking her from the coma.
Larissa lifted her head off Roman’s chest. She needed to pull herself together. “I’m going to take a quick shower before we head over.”
After days of being trapped in a bed—trapped in her body—Janie had told her yesterday how she was itching to leave the hospital. But, they had to do so inconspicuously and with gargoyle guardians ensuring their safety.
“That’s a good idea,” Roman said. “I’ll let Arto know we’ll be there soon.”
Arto, the second-in-command of the Stone Sentries, had spent many hours watching over Janie since the demon threat. Without him, and the other gargoyles mounted in the area, Larissa never would have agreed to leave Janie’s room.
She took a quick shower and pulled on something suitable for the humid Boston summer—a pair of black shorts and a royal blue tank-top. Roman wore his usual black pants and a shirt that set off the golden flecks in his eyes—did he ever wear colors?
A half-hour later, they checked out of the hotel and walked to Janie’s hospital. Since she’d recovered in one of the world-renowned hospitals in the area, at least she’d had the best possible care. Yet, despite having world-class doctors, they’d been baffled by her coma. A coma induced by an incubus attempting to steal a soul was not likely taught in Harvard Medical School.
Roman took her hand and squeezed it, warming her palm with tingles of heat. He was a steady rock that she could cling to while the rest of her world tumbled around her like an avalanche.
She glanced at him and caught his amber gaze. “Thanks for doing this. For watching over me. For everything.”
He lifted her hand and kissed the back of it. “Of course.”
She smiled. His old-fashioned gestures were foreign in her modern world, yet she never wanted him to stop.
As they approached the hospital, she scanned the area. The window of Janie’s former hospital room had already been repaired. That made sense as neither the city nor the hospital would want any visible reminders to the public. It was the second demon incident in Boston within a week. The media inquiries were endless. Speculation was off the charts.
Larissa glanced down at the intersections and noted the heightened police presence in the area. The Boston Police Department would be clocking overtime for weeks, if not, months to come.
The visual reminder hit her with a pang. She should be a part of the investigation, especially with her intimate knowledge of both demon attacks. But, they’d put her on leave, insisting she needed some time to recover after she’d passed out at the police station. Internal Affairs was investigating the incidents and her role in them. Shooting bolts of energy from her fingertips wasn’t the typical police response, yet nothing that night had been routine for any of the responders.
She grimaced as she entered the hospital. She’d discovered she was better off keeping her mouth shut rather than insisting that demons had infiltrated the city. Roman didn’t want the police involved at all. He insisted that his team of gargoyle shifters who protected Boston were better equipped to take on immortal beings and humans would just end up slaughtered.
Ah well, not working would give her time to get Janie settled back home safely and allow Larissa a chance to grieve.
Up on Janie’s floor, she spotted Arto. He stood well over six-feet and was built with massive muscles like the other gargoyle shifters she’d met. He paced outside Janie’s room.
When he spotted Larissa and Roman, he strode over. “She asked for privacy while the doctor is in there.” He turned to Larissa. “What kind of flowers does she like?”
Larissa straightened. That was the last question she’d expect from a gargoyle shifter on guard duty. “Flowers?”
“Ah, um...” Arto stammered and ran his fingers over his sandy-brown hair. “Isn’t this what humans do when someone is in the hospital?”
With the way he reddened, she couldn’t give him a hard time about Janie. “Yes, Arto. That’s sweet.” She smiled. “I’m sure she’d be happy with whatever you find. But, it can wait until we get to her apartment. It will be one fewer thing for us to transport.”
Roman caught her eye, and they exchanged a quick glance. Had Arto developed feelings for Janie while on watch?
Janie’s door opened. A doctor and a nurse came out. Larissa greeted them and entered the room.
Janie sat on the bed with her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail and her legs dangling over the side. She was out of the hospital gown and wearing a pair of black capris and a red T-shirt that her parents must have brought in. She gave Larissa a wide smile. “Am I ready to get the hell out of here or what?”
Larissa chuckled. “I’d say you’re ready.”
“I’d say let’s go to Newbury Street,” Janie suggested. “I want to sit at an outside table under the sun, order some comfort food, and people-watch while I drink a fruity sangria.” She grimaced. “But, that’s not going to happen while I have a big red demon magnet in me.”
Larissa recoiled and tried to cover it up by pushing a strand of hair off her face. A magnet might not be quite accurate, but Larissa had encountered the darkness that an incubus had planted into Janie while trying to steal her soul. The dark magic had seeped into Larissa, causing her to lash out at Roman. It had taken all her energy to overcome the demon’s claim on Janie.
Marked was a better word—although it wasn’t a better scenario.
“One day soon,” Larissa promised. “When this is all over.”
Janie quirked a brow. “Will it be? You might have some witchy powers, but I have nothing. And I’ve got the worst kind of stalker I can imagine—a supernatural one that doesn’t just want my body, but my soul.”
A sensation like centipedes crawling up her spine made Larissa squirm and then straighten. “Of course it will be. Soon, we can go back to our lives and go on like this never happened.” She forced a smile.
“True,” Janie replied. A shadowy glint haunted her eyes.
Larissa had to distract her before she headed down a path of dark memories. Janie had been trapped in a mental prison of despair for too long. Hell, Larissa could use the distraction herself. All she wanted was for them to get rid of what was hopefully the last fucking demon in Boston, so they could get back to their lives. She’d go back to the police force and continue the career path she’d always wanted, following in her father’s footsteps. She’d forget about all this magic she’d discovered in responding to all this supernatural bullshit. She’d go back to pretending to be normal and living a normal life.
As normal as she could with a gargoyle lover.
“Picture us at that cafe,” Larissa said in an upbeat tone. “All that rich, decadent comfort food. What are you going to order?”
Janie blinked and seemed to come back to the present. She tilted her head and clucked her tongue. “Hmm. Steak, for sure. I can almost taste the dripping, almost rare steak.” Her eyes flashed brighter. “With gravy-smothered mashed potatoes.”
“And a side of creamy macaroni and cheese,” Larissa added.
Janie stood. With a sweeping motion of her hands, she spread them from her chin to hips. “I have to get out of here. The first thing I’m going to do is wash the hospital off me. I can practically feel the superbugs trying to burrow into my skin.”
“Eww, yes,” Larissa said. “Come on, let’s finish up whatever paperwork we have to do to get you the hell out of here.”
And do so with stealth.
They all had to remain wary. A demon was still out there. And it had revealed its targets…
Larissa’s magic and Janie’s soul.