Taken by the Gargoyle (Taken 2)
by Megan Slayer
Cover Art: Angela Knight
Genres: Action Adventure, New Releases, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Themes: Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures, Magic, Sorcery, and Witchcraft, New Adult
Series: Taken (#2)
Book Length: Novella
Page Count: 120
With the help of a gargoyle, an enchantress tries to connect her past to her future.
Spread the ashes, find her future, meet an overly eager harpy, a gargoyle and the love of a lifetime? Belle might not be new to Eerie, but she’s got a lot to learn.
Belle Isle came to Eerie because she needed to hide, but also to spread her late mother’s ashes. According to the will, she needs to visit Chester’s Corners within Eerie. The job seems easy until her car breaks down, stranding her on the side of the road. She’s convinced she’s at her lowest point.
Then she sees the gargoyle, and her entire world changes.
Azel wasn’t looking for love, but he knew the moment Belle set foot in Eerie. His harpy eagle, Melanie, knew there was something special about Belle, too. He refuses to let her tackle the job of spreading those ashes alone -- especially when he finds out she’s being followed by a shadow from her past who wants to ruin her future.
Warning: Taken by the Gargoyle contains references to child abuse in the victim’s past that may be triggers for some readers.
She knew better than to offer her hand to the animal. Eagles, even if they sure resembled harpy eagles, weren’t friendly. The fact she wasn’t dead yet shocked her. Harpy eagles didn’t show up for no reason. This one had to have a handler or at least a partner. She wanted to check the ground to ensure she hadn’t accidentally hit the partner without realizing it. Maybe a collision was the reason her engine had died.
Except she didn’t remember hitting anything. She’d been careful.
“What are you going to do to me?” she asked, knowing damn well the thing wouldn’t answer her in words. It’d probably snap her head off.
She couldn’t run. The eagle would catch her in seconds. She trembled but held onto her mother’s ashes. What are you doing? she asked herself. “Get out of here, you eagle.” She forced herself to remain calm. Her gift wasn’t any help right now. Even if she did spark flames in her hand, the harpy wouldn’t care. It might force the bird to lash out faster.
At least Arthur hadn’t found her. Not yet.
The longer she stood on the edge of the road, the more she risked him catching up to her. He wanted to exploit her. To make her bend to his will and use her gift for his financial gain.
What a guy.
Before she could come up with any plan for escape, her feet were no longer on the ground. Something grasped her under her arms and tucked her to something else hard. Like stone. The ground sank beneath her, and within seconds, she looked over the skyline of Eerie. Something had her in its clutches. The harpy’s partner? She didn’t feel claws in her arms. More like hands.
When she struggled, she couldn’t move much.
“Put me down,” she managed. “Hey.” She kicked, but whatever held her had her tight in its grasp.
She struggled again but noticed the tower of the Eerie Hotel came into view. She’d stared at pictures of the hotel so many times and wished she had towers and turrets in her house like those in the hotel. Maybe then she could’ve hidden away in those high places. Maybe then Arthur wouldn’t have found her. Or he’d have locked her up there and done even more dastardly things to her.
She didn’t want to think about her past.
Just as soon as she’d been lifted into the air, the thing that had her placed her on her feet at the top of the tower. She collapsed next to the crenelated top and thanked the Goddess she still had her mother’s ashes in her hand. She fought to catch her breath. “What are you?”
The being who had lifted her from the ground settled on the stones before her and folded its wings, giving her a better view. This being wasn’t an eagle. No, it was a man. She stared at him, not realizing what she was looking at. He wasn’t a regular man -- no, he had wings and his skin was tinged gray, like stone. He folded his arms, and his muscles bulged. He spread his feet, and the loincloth he wore barely contained his manhood. He reminded her of a statue, and his imposing shadow practically blotted out the sun.