Sacrifice (The Gryphon Series Book 3)(9)

By: Stacey Rourke

Caleb’s battle-ready exterior softened—but only for a moment. He stepped closer and pressed his palm to my cheek. “That’s right. The Chosen One—whose death would both break my heart and bring about the end of the world. So, off ya go.” He waved one hand to dismiss me.

If looks could kill, my boyfriend would’ve been on the ground twitching. “I’m not going anywhere,” I hissed through clenched teeth.

Caleb’s eyebrows rose in expectation. He cast a sideways glance to the blond pirate. “Row?”

A hand clapped on my arm. My body fell limp and my mind went as blank as a freshly shaken Etch-a-Sketch. Rowan caught me and scooped me up in his arms before my head could hit the ground. Together we disappeared in a puff of black smoke.





CHAPTER Three



As soon as my feet sank into the snow and the paralysis wore off, I spun on Rowan and slammed my fist into his stupid, chiseled jaw.

“Take me back! Now!”

“No can do, lass.” He laughed and rubbed his reddened face. “See, most of the time I spent in that tropical haven I was slightly—correction, majorly—inebriated. I’m afraid I couldn’t find it again if I tried.”

“Oh, don’t even try that!” I jabbed my finger at him, more than willing to hit him again if I thought it might help. “You know exactly where we were. And you’re going to take me back. Because if you don’t, and something bad happens to Caleb, I’m gonna snap you in two over my knee like a stick. Got it?”

Rowan leaned back and considered me through narrowed eyes. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re cute when you’re angry? Like a rabid teacup poodle.”

I balled up my fist, ready to go all ‘rabid poodle’ on the other side of his smug face. Before I could arc back Grams’ front door flew open. Gabe bounded out into the snow dressed only in a pair of stretchy pants. Something had him ready to morph in a moment’s notice.

“There you are!” he rumbled. “Here’s an idea; if you have a cell phone and happen to be the friggin’ Chosen One, maybe you answer your phone when people call you!”

I untied my hoodie from around my waist and dug into the pocket for my phone. It frantically buzzed and shook in my palm as six missed calls, three voicemails, and over a dozen text messages came in one after the other.

“Sorry. I must’ve been in a dead zone. What’s going on?” I tugged the hoodie up my arms, and shifted on my frozen, bare feet in the snow. “And can we maybe discuss it on the porch?” I gave Rowan a pointed stare. “I didn’t get a chance to grab my shoes before getting abducted.”

Instead of waiting for a response, I pushed my way between the two and trekked up to the porch. Gabe’s grim tone followed me, “Cee, there’ve been earthquakes in New York caused by a demon. Someone caught a glimpse of it on film and all the news stations are playing it on a loop. We need to get there now before this turns into a world-wide panic.”

I spun fast, slipped on some ice, and caught myself on the porch rail. “Three demon attacks in one night? That never happens!”

Rowan paused in buttoning his shirt to hold up one finger. “Not never. Tonight, actually.”

Gabe talked right over him, not even bothering to glance his way or acknowledge his existence in the slightest. “Three? What were the other two?”

“Two demons attacked the beach Caleb and I were on. He stayed behind to deal with one and we need to get back and help him.” I glared at Rowan who gave a noncommittal shrug.

“Cal can hold his own.” Gabe’s massive pecs rose and fell with each heaving breath. “We need to deal with this other matter first.”

Despite it being cold enough out to see our breath, neither Gabe nor Rowan seemed chilled in the slightest. I, on the other hand, was still wet and freezing to the point of stabbing icicle pain. Pride made me try and hide it so I didn’t look like the wimp. The convulsing chills probably gave my secret away.

“W-w-what I don’t understand is why New York? As a r-r-rule the Dark Army attacks are centered around one of us. S-s-so why there?”

Rowan rolled his eyes and followed me up on to the porch. I flinched when he clamped his hand onto my wrist. The shaking stopped and the chills eased. Yes, my hands and feet were still blue, but I no longer felt the effects of the cold. I could’ve said thank you, but considering our history I viewed this act of kindness as the very least he could do.

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