Garrick crouched near the roof’s edge. He looked out over the quiet street to the small apartment below him. The woman from the street was viewable through the patio doors. She was sitting on her couch holding her gun in her hand. Her long, chocolate-colored hair flowed over her shoulders. He soaked in every twitch of her body like it was air he needed to breathe. She was gorgeous to look upon. Even in the alley’s darkness she’d taken his breath away.
Get your head in the game! Garrick shook his head hard trying to clear his thoughts. The girl wasn’t the reason he was there, let alone in the city. He was after a far greater prize. His men had been scouring the city for a renegade gargoyle for the last several weeks. They had gotten close a few times to snagging the culprit, but the rascal kept slipping away. Today, after four nights of searching, he’d caught the gargoyle’s scent again. He just wasn’t sure why it was on this girl. She wasn’t a gargoyle; she was far from it. At least that’s what he thought. But his gut told him to follow her. Garrick trusted his gut more than anything, and his gut said to keep an eye on the girl. She might be the key to finding this renegade.
The girl stood up, stretched her long, slender torso, then walked through a door out of his line of sight. Garrick growled deeply, wondering what she was doing. Several minutes passed before she reentered the living space wearing a pair of pajama bottoms and a white tank top. He could see every curve on her glorious body. Gulping he shook his head again. You need to stop this. It isn’t like you can have her, anyway. She’s a human, and it is forbidden. The longer Garrick sat there, the more he wished he could reach out and touch her. After letting thoughts of her infiltrate his mind one more time he gave up. Best get back to the guys to report. Once he was sure he wouldn’t forget her address, he jumped into the night sky.
His wings stretched out from his back and billowed in the wind. Streetlights passed in a blur below him as he made his way to the Brooklyn area. Once he spotted the old, run-down apartment complex they were using for their base, he swooped low and landed on the roof. Garrick’s claws dug into the brick surface, leaving small craters as he walked. He pulled his wings in close to his form then passed through the rooftop entrance. The stairs were a pain to navigate with his large, clawed feet. But soon he found himself on the second level of the building. His eyes took in the small hallway that had six doors, three on each side. Two doorways were missing their doors, while one had its door still clinging to its hinges. The last door on the right drew his attention. A bright light spread across the floor from beneath the door. Making his way down the hall, he snatched the door handle in his clawed hand and flung it open. Voices echoed out into the hall as he took in the small group of gargoyles sitting within.
“Well, it looks like our leader has finally graced us with his presence,” said Deryn.
Garrick growled, showing his fanged teeth. Deryn grinned, flashing his fangs right back. He jumped to the edge of his seat looking Garrick up and down.
What is he so eager about? Garrick wanted to smack the smile off Deryn’s young face, but let it slide. He was always making sly comments and trying to be the joker. Deryn’s brown body shifted as his wings made room for Garrick to sit on the sofa next to him. Lucien was too deep in thought over his small laptop to take notice of the banter going on between the two. Garrick sat with a thud. The poor couch groaned under the weight of the winged men. Deryn chuckled and mumbled something to himself. Garrick didn’t catch it and thought it better to leave it alone.
“So, what did you two find out on patrol?”
Lucien’s copper-toned hands stopped mid-click. “Patrol?” His eyes turned towards Garrick like he’d just seen him for the first time. Garrick was two seconds from smacking the guy back to reality when he blinked. His eyes shifted and realization filled his expression. “Oh, right, the patrol. I found nothing. It’s like this gargoyle just disappeared without a trace.”
Garrick turned his attention to Deryn’s small figure next to him. Deryn just shrugged. “I got bubkes.”
Then all eyes were on Garrick as he contemplated his response. He didn’t even know what he’d found but thought it best to share with the group. The way their eyes glazed over with excitement, he got the feeling they were like eager children waiting for a bedtime story. They were just dying to hear if he’d succeeded where they had failed.
“I might have found something.”
Lucien and Deryn looked at him with exhilaration. They were ready to hear what their leader had to say. The only sad part was Garrick didn’t really know how to say it. Every time his gut went into play everyone thought he was crazy. But his gut always turned out to be right.
“What exactly did you find, boss?” Lucien asked, tapping his nail on the desk.
“A girl with the gargoyle’s scent on her.”
Both Lucien and Deryn’s eyes widened in surprise. They looked at each other and Garrick could see the gears turning in their heads.
“You don’t think…” Lucien began before Garrick interrupted.
“No, there has been no inter-species mingling. The scent on the girl is too weak. If anything, she knows the gargoyle in passing or has been around him for a period.”
“Hmm…what does this mean then?” Lucien asked, turning back to his computer.
“Not sure, but my gut…”
“Your gut! Oh crap, we’re in for it now,” Deryn barked out laughing.
Lucien turned faster than a bullet and backhanded Deryn over the side of the head.
“Ow, that hurt!”
“Good, now shut your mouth and listen. We don’t need your smart-ass behavior—we have a job to do. And Garrick’s gut has never been wrong before. Got it?”
Deryn smirked, holding his head. He nodded in agreement then turned his dark brown eyes on Garrick, waiting for him to continue. Garrick rolled his eyes and began.
“My gut tells me the girl is the key to finding the renegade. I just don’t know who it is or how she knows him. Which means we have to do some recon and try to figure out this girl’s every move.”
“Do you know where the girl lives?” Lucien asked while typing away on the computer once more. He was in the process of filling out a report to send back to the base. Garrick didn’t like having nothing good to report back, but he had no choice. He just hoped this girl was the lead he was hoping for.
“Yes, I followed her back to her apartment. Once you finish up your report, I can take you there.”
Deryn squirmed next to Garrick without saying a word. Garrick pretended not to notice, but he had the feeling that Deryn was eager to get out of there. It was far too cramped in that small living space for three full-grown gargoyles. Their wings and tails took up half the space on their own, and the poor couch was seconds from breaking apart under their two massive bodies. Clicking continued for a short period until Lucien shut the laptop and placed it safely in a hidden bag beneath the coffee table he’d been working on. Squaring his shoulders, he got to his feet and stretched, running his claws along the ceiling in the process.
“I don’t know about you two, but I’m ready for a night out on the town. Perhaps we can go find this girl and stretch our wings.”
“Yes, finally!” Deryn said, jumping from his spot on the couch.
Garrick shook his head then stood. His wings once again trailed behind him as he took the lead. “God, I can’t wait to get out of this dirt hole. My wings are so cramped up. I don’t know why you have to take so dang long on your reports when there is nothing to even share.”
Lucien only grumbled as he followed Garrick up the stairs. On each pass the stairs seemed to fall away in chunks as their clawed feet dug into them. Soon there wouldn’t be any stairs to use to get back up to the roof. Garrick grunted, swinging open the rooftop door and walking out into the moonlight. He took a deep breath and enjoyed the sweet smell of the autumn winds. The other two came out grumbling. They stretched and waited for him to jump into the sky to show them the way. His tail twitched, sliding a loose brick away from him in the process. With a deep sigh he launched himself into the sky once again. He veered to the right and headed back toward the girl’s apartment. Everything blurred beneath him as his two companions followed close behind. As the streetlights disappeared and her apartment came into view, he wondered if he would get another glance at the beautiful woman before the sun came up and they had to go back into hiding.
Thank you for reading chapter 7 of my Vortex Series: Book 1. Want to keep on reading? Click here for Chapter 8.
Each chapter is released on a month to month basis to my Dragon Ryder VIP Reader List. If you have missed a chapter feel free to check out the Library. The library will list all the available chapters.
Disclaimer: You are reading the first draft of this book. When the book is finished it will go through an extensive edit. It will also have a read through with my beta team. Then once completed ebook copies will get sent out to all members.