Sacrifice (The Gryphon Series Book 3)(3)

By: Stacey Rourke

Bad time for the side door of the garage to open and my half-demon boyfriend to saunter in, trailed by my brother. Bernard’s jaw set and his bushy white eyebrows drew together. He never made any attempts to hide his distaste for my beau.

“Except for that one,” I tagged on. I tried to sound sorry. Really, I did. But the rush of adrenaline I got whenever I saw the raven-haired Irishman put an audible smile in my voice.

Caleb. Tall, dark, handsome, and all mine. We’d been together for a few months, but the swoon factor of his unbelievable hotness had yet to wear off. I sincerely doubted it ever would. Hints of blue reflected in his glossy ebony locks. He possessed the chiseled jaw of a Greek god, and a slight crook in his nose that added a flaw of humanity to his otherwise untouchable perfection. What he saw in me I had no idea. But all he had to do was give me “that look” and any intelligent thought I had was replaced with incoherent ramblings of humhna-humhna-humhna.

I rose to my feet. Everything and everyone disappeared around us. He walked toward me, the glint in those beautiful emerald eyes bordering on mischievous. His lips curled into a knowing grin as he slipped one hand around to the small of my back and pulled me in for a quick kiss.

Kendall noisily turned the pages of her magazine. “Hi, I’m Celeste. I have a boyfriend and I rub it in people’s faces even when I know they just got dumped.”

Reluctantly I pulled away from Caleb to glare at Keni. “First of all, that whiny voice sounds nothing like me. Secondly, you didn’t get dumped. He cheated on you. Big difference.”

For a moment she just stared. “Thank you so much for pointing that out. I feel much better now.”

“You’re welcome.” I gave her my biggest, most cheerful grin. That threw her pout into overdrive.

Caleb tugged at the bottom hem of my t-shirt, his subtle signal for me to give my sis a break. Fine by me, I’d rather focus on him anyway.

Knowing I had limited time before Bernard got annoyed and shock-happy again, I gave Caleb another quick kiss then whispered for his ears only, “Any luck?”

Regret shadowed his face. “No. Sorry, lovey. He’s gone deep underground. I’ll keep lookin’, but I don’t think we’re gonna find him until he wants tah be found.”

In his spare time, Caleb had been scouring every corner of the earth for traces of my friend, Alec. Something demonic had a hold of poor Alec although we had no idea what, how, or why. Somehow, this decidedly evil Alec had figured out a way to make demonic playthings out of innocent people for his own enjoyment. Before I could figure out a way to stop him, he vanished without a trace.

I hid my disappointment behind a tight-lipped smile. “Thanks for trying.”

Caleb hooked his finger under my chin and tipped my head up. “I won’t give up. I promise.”

I nodded, but said nothing.

Bernard banged his cane against the floor in six rapid-fire successions. His round face flushed red, then purple. “Training time isn’t over!”

Caleb glanced over his shoulder at the glowering gnome. “What’s with the hostile envir’ment?”

“Oh you know, same old, same old. I don’t respect my sacred duty of pummeling inanimate objects, blah, blah, blah. Maybe Gabe will train with me to appease Mr. Sunshine.” I looked to my brother with a hopeful expectation.

Bernard folded his arms over his chest and scowled.

“Sorry, Cee,” Gabe raked a hand through his recently grown-out hair. He usually kept it buzzed, but Alaina insisted he grow it out for the wedding. He fiddled with the whole inch of it almost as much as Kendall did with hers. The two of them had daily scuffles over ‘mirror time’ in the bathroom. My low maintenance ponytail and I were very amused by this.

“I don’t need to train,” he said with a cocky smirk. “I’m a lion. It doesn’t get any more badass than that.”

Gabe ignored my eye-roll and circled his hands around Alaina’s slender wrists to pull her into his waiting arms. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Couples suck,” Kendall grumbled and tossed the bridal magazine aside.

Against the far wall of the garage—flanked by Gram’s flamingo lawn ornaments—Bernard’s pinched up red face warned of an impending gnome-sized embolism.

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