Rocked by Love (Gargoyles Series)(9)

By: Christine Warren



The sentiment might be harsh, but Kylie could see some of the tension ease from his muscles, and she hoped that signaled he no longer intended to rip her head off her shoulders. She was kind of attached to it. Before she could really relax, though, the creature shifted closer and drew a deep breath.

Was he smelling her?

Kylie bit her lip against the urge to voice that question. Too soon, she told herself. Remember not to antagonize the monster. At least, not until he gets to know me better. By then, it will just happen naturally.

She held herself still while he appeared to mull over whatever he had discerned from his sniff.

“If you do not serve the Guild,” he finally ventured, “and you have no stench of the Darkness in you, how is it that you smell of magic?”

She squeaked, this time the sound escaping her throat instead of being confined to her brain. Again with the Muppet noises. “Magic? Me?”

He nodded, this time leaning forward until his head was just inches from hers. When he inhaled a slow lungful of air, she could see his chest expand. “Magic. You do not smell like a witch, though.”

A laugh choked out of her before she could stop it. “What does a witch smell like? Eye of newt or toe of frog?”

He didn’t appear to get the joke. “It depends on the witch. I have never met one who practiced an amphibian form of magic.”

Oy vey. Did he always take things so literally? Kylie squeezed her eyes shut and raised a hand to rub against her forehead. She’d just realized how much it ached.

Come to think of it, just about all of her ached. Maybe that explained why she felt so off at the moment. She’d never spent much time in her life imagining how she would react if she were ever confronted with a mythical creature, but if she had, this wasn’t what she would have bet on. She liked to think of herself as a scrapper, not as the girl who quivered at the prospect of a little gory disembowelment and some stilted conversation about witches.

Witches.

Her eyes flew open and her hand dropped so fast she nearly smacked her own ass. “I know a witch.”

He rumbled something in response, but she had stopped paying attention. She was already dialing her phone. Witches knew about magic, right? So Kylie would bet her brownstone that one particular witch knew quite a bit more than that. After all, said witch had been related to a guy who collected information on demons. What were the chances she knew nothing about them herself?

The phone rang twice then a voice answered. “Hello?”

“Well, hey there, Wynn,” Kylie all but purred, her eyes narrowed as if the other woman could see her accusatory expression. “How are you doing?”

“What’s wrong?”

That gave Kylie pause. “Wrong? Why do you think something’s wrong?”

“You called me Wynn.”

“That’s your name, right?”

“Wynn,” the witch repeated. “Not Winnie-the-Pooh, not Pooh Bear, not Wynn-abago. Not even Wynneleh. You never just call me Wynn. Sooo … what’s wrong?”

Kylie pursed her lips and tried not to pout. Trust her friend to seize control of the conversation just when Kylie was trying to exact a little revenge. Totally unfair. Time to regroup.

“Yeah, well, I have a question for you,” she said, her gaze still locked on the glowering gargoyle. “What’s big and gray and stone all over and says I smell like magic?”

“Ohmygods.”

“What girl likes to be told she smells, I ask you. Not, ‘wow, what’s that perfume you’re wearing?’ but straight up, ‘hey, you smell funny.’ It’s not flattering.”

“Oh. My. Gods!”

Okay, that was a somewhat more satisfying level of response. Of course, Kylie couldn’t quite tell if Wynn was stunned, excited, or, you know, having an aneurysm.

“Personally, with those manners, I wouldn’t have thought he was a friend of yours,” Kyle continued, “but then, I wouldn’t have thought Bran and you were big ol’ demon hunters or some such, either. I guess maybe we shouldn’t rely too much on assumptions, huh?”

“Knox! Come here! We found one!” The change in volume told Kylie her friend had lowered her phone to call out to her new fiancé. Who apparently knew more about all this than Kylie did. That grated. “Ky, I can explain everything, but first I have to ask. Are you okay?”

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