Authors: Faith Gibson
kept his eyes on Tessa as she rose from the bed and walked past him without so
much as a glance. He followed her into the kitchen where she filled a bowl with
ice then added water to it. She sat the bowl on the counter, not letting go of
the edges. Gregor leaned his backside against the counter, standing as close as
he could without touching her.
still holding onto the bowl sighed. “Look, this is going to be a long couple of
days. I’d appreciate it if you’d give us some privacy. This isn’t pretty to watch,
and I know she won’t want an audience.”
could understand that. Even though it had been over five hundred years since
his first transition, he remembered the initial pain. He knew the female
Gargoyles didn’t get wings, so it would only make sense the half-bloods
you want me to bring your bike to you? You have no transportation, and I don’t
like the idea of you being stuck here with no wheels.”
rides Lita but me,” she scowled at him. Did she not realize he had the same
do know I have a bike just like yours, don’t you?”
yours is not
just like mine
. She has been modified.”
had an adrenaline junky for a mate. Perfect. “So instead of trusting her to me,
you’d rather be stuck here?”
crossed his arms over his chest waiting for an answer.
thought I repulsed you. Why would you care if I’m stuck here without wheels?”
think you know that you don’t actually repulse me, Red.” Gregor now regretted
his earlier statement, even if he had been joking.
pulled a key out of her left pocket and held it out. “If you put one scratch on
what?” He couldn’t help but smirk down at her. He might not be as tall as his
brothers, but he was a hulk compared to her small frame. He took the key from
her hand, wrapping his fingers around hers, not letting go. He would take
advantage of every chance to touch her, even if it drove him insane. The mate
pull obviously didn’t affect her as it did him. She just continued to frown.
be careful, but Tessa, if you need me, just call. I’ll be here for you.” He
couldn’t resist. Gregor reached out and ran his index finger down her face. Her
eyes closed, and he could smell her arousal. So she
she had a chance to pull away, he kissed her softly on the forehead.
left the women alone and headed back to the Pen. As soon as he arrived, Gregor
headed downstairs. Tessa was his, and he needed to make that clear. He stopped
at the albino’s cell and glanced in. He was awake and staring at the ceiling. Gregor
stepped to the next cell and unlocked the door. Tamian sat up quickly. “What is
it, is everything okay?”
held his finger to his lips and motioned for Tamian to follow him. He didn’t
want the albino to hear anything that had to do with Tessa. When they were in
the stairwell, he said, “Everything’s fine. Why wouldn’t it be?” He wasn’t
sure how to approach the subject without sounding like a jealous fool. “I just
wanted you to know that I caught your girlfriend. She won’t be visiting again
shit, Andi! Is she all right? I told her not to come back, that I’m here on
was confused. “Andi? You mean Tessa, the redhead that was just down here?”
what she calls herself, but yeah, that’s her. And she’s not my girlfriend. Listen,
I don’t know how she got down here, but when I explained to her I put myself in
here, she assured me she wouldn’t come back. That’s good, right?”
not your girlfriend?” But she told him she loved him. What else could she be? “Your
wife? I was under the impression you didn’t have any family here in New
No, man. Andi’s my sister. Is she okay? I know she can be a little hard to
handle sometimes, but she has good intentions. How did she even get in here?”
heart lightened by about ten pounds when Tamian confirmed Tessa was his sister.
“She was here visiting her cousin, Isabelle. I guess that makes her your cousin,
too. We hired her on as the doctor after Henshaw was cut down by the Unholy. Tamian,
I just watched Isabelle begin her transition.” He didn’t elaborate. If Tamian
was a shifter, he would know what that meant.
with her, right? She’s the best at seeing someone through their change.” The
man was seriously concerned. Frey had been right; Tamian St. Claire was a good
I just drove them both to Isabelle’s house. Andi,
asked me to
leave.” It had taken everything in him to leave her there, knowing she was his.
Feeling it was one thing. Knowing she felt it, too, was something totally different.
She knew she belonged to him.
you know why your sister dislikes me so much?” He hated to sound like a
teenage girl, but dammit, he wanted to know.
clapped him on the shoulder. “Because you’re a full-blood.”
shook his head. He didn’t understand what being a Gargoyle had to do with it
since Tessa herself was a shifter. “I think we need to go to my office and
talk.” He led Tamian up the stairs. Gregor shut the door, and they were both
mentioned Isabelle is a half-blood, that she has a human mother. I need you to
fill me in on everything you know, St. Claire.” With the news that humans and
Gargoyles could mate, Gregor’s hopes for the future of the Clan rose
one-hundred percent. He needed confirmation to give Rafael and Kaya.
shifted in his seat. “I would prefer Tessa be the one to tell you.”
that? And why was Tessa just standing at your cell door not speaking?”
seemed nervous. What was he hiding? Gregor needed some answers so he asked him,
“You obviously know what I am, so why shouldn’t I know about you and Tessa?”
is a different story, one I do believe you should be told. But man, it’s her
story to tell you. Her place as your mate.”
do you know she’s my mate?”
stood and paced the small area. “Let’s just say I know all about my sister,
more than I want to know. Can we talk about something else? Like Vincent
got Gregor’s attention. “What about him? Has he spoken?”
you could say that. The man is off his rocker as far as I’m concerned. To
answer your question, yeah, he’s talked. More like rambled. One minute he’s
coherent, then the next, it’s as if his brain is scrambled. I do know he needs
a fuckin’ cigarette. Jesus H, he won’t shut up about that godsdamn patch. Anyway,
I’m pretty sure he was working for Flanagan, because he mentions him often. He’s
also mentioned the name Merrick a couple of times. But I’m gonna tell ya, the
thing that scares me the most about him is the fact that he knows who Isabelle
is. He called her Izzy.”
would he know Isabelle? Unless he heard us talking outside his cell…” Gregor hadn’t
considered Tamian could be a shifter. “If you can hear him through the walls
that means you’re either a Gargoyle or a half-blood who has gone through your
transition. I’m going to bet since you’re Tessa’s brother, you’re a half-blood.
Tessa told me the transition for you happens when you find your mate. Why isn’t
yours here with you in New Atlanta? Or is she?”
stopped pacing. “Gregor, I really don’t feel comfortable having this
conversation until you’ve spoken to Andi. I’m not trying to hide anything, not
really. She has the whole story, and if I give you bits and pieces, it could
throw a wrench in the family’s plans.”
stood up and faced Tamian. “You’re not giving me anything. There’s so much I
need to know, but for now, tell me the truth about the bonding. Humans and
Gargoyles, are they successfully having children? With no complications?
Please, Tamian, my King just found his mate, and she’s a human. I would love to
give them some good news.”
sighed. “That much I will tell you; yes, it’s possible.” He scrubbed his hand
down his face. “Man, Andi’s gonna kick my ass eight ways to Sunday. I think
I’ll stay in lock-up a while.”
laughed. “She’s a handful, I’ll give you that. But why… never mind. I will just
have to convince her she wants me.”
laughed, “Yeah, good luck with that.”
to Vincent, tell me everything he’s said. Motherfucker, I knew he could talk.”
men sat back down, and Gregor took notes of everything the albino had said so
far. After they were finished, Gregor escorted Tamian back to his cell then looked
in on Vincent. The shifter was on the floor doing push-ups. Gregor counted to a
thousand and shook his head. After the day he’d had, Gregor was ready for a
drink. Or ten. First he had to call Rafael and give him and his Queen the good
green eyes were staring at Merrick. He really should close her lids, but he
loved the look of surprise on her face. How easy it had been to get her into
his bed. Well, a bed. There was no way he would risk fucking a mark in his own
home. He took her to one of the apartments recently vacated by Vincent
Alexander. Fucking Alexander. Merrick knew he was a wild card when he enlisted
his help with kidnapping the delegates. The albino had been brilliant in
abducting twelve grown men from their hotel rooms with no one the wiser. For
some reason, he became obsessed with the pretty blonde police chief, and now he
was rotting in a cell at the Pen. Gordon had warned Merrick that the albino had
a few screws loose, but he took the chance anyway.
almost felt sorry for Vincent. When he was a young man, Vincent had been
tortured to the point of death just so Gordon Flanagan could build his army of
Unholy. Too bad Flanagan hadn’t hired smarter scientists. Where Vincent was a
shifter, the Unholy were unpredictable monsters. Working for Flanagan put him
in their crosshairs every once in a while, but Merrick was smart enough to give
them a wide berth as much as possible. He only knew the story of how the Unholy
came to be because Flanagan still employed those same scientists. They bragged
to anyone who would listen about how they successfully created the creatures.
returned his attention to the beautiful girl in his arms. “Greta, Greta, Greta.”
Merrick had rather enjoyed the sex. When he squeezed her neck while pounding
his cock into her core, she had really let loose. Until she figured out the
autoerotic asphyxiation was turning into murder. He pushed her red hair back
from her face just before he watched her body slip silently over the bridge
flipped the three deadbolts on his door. He went to his spare bedroom and shut
that door and locked it as well. In the closet, he removed the loose paneling
that camouflaged a hole in the back wall. Behind the paneling was a safe. Spinning
the tumblers, he entered the code that only one other person in the world had
access to: his brother, Travis. He opened the safe, pulled out a leather-bound
journal and shut the door.
Travis was born, the doctors found a defect in his heart. His parents quickly
made the decision to clone him. Trevor hadn’t been born, he had been created. Concocted
in a laboratory to be back-up parts for his older brother. Imagine finding this
out when you were a small child. The knowledge that you had been created, just
in case, could possibly give you a complex.
the doctors were able to repair Travis’ heart and Trevor’s wasn’t needed. Travis
loved his little brother and took every opportunity to show it. When Travis
found out the reason his parents cloned him, he distanced himself from them. Their
mother argued that they did it for his sake, but he was repulsed. The bond he
and Trevor held went deeper than anything he could ever feel for them.
started the journal as a project in school. He met a few other cloned children,
and they formed a secret group. They sat together at lunch, met on the
playground during recess, and even had sleepovers on the weekend. As they got
older, their group expanded as more and more clones joined them. Trevor added
each and every name to the journal, documenting characteristics they all had in
the time he was in college, Trevor’s journal was full, and he had to start a
new one. He refused to keep the information stored on a computer. Call him
paranoid, but with men like Gordon Flanagan free to hunt the clones while
searching for his child, he vowed to keep the information safe. Eventually, Trevor
entered the information on a spreadsheet which he transferred to a flash drive.
He never left the data on the computer. It was immediately wiped clean. The
flash drive was also stored in the safe.
sitting in his spare bedroom with the latest journal opened in front of him, he
scanned the list of clones. The name of the latest body brought into the morgue
had seemed familiar. Flipping back a couple of pages, he found it. Sonya Bell,
thirty-two, red hair, green eyes. She was the second body brought in within the
last three weeks that fit the same description. His boss, Dante, had to tell
him their hair and eye color because clones had one thing in common: almost all
of them were color blind.
M.E. had pondered at the similarities, thinking it was time to inform the Chief
that she more than likely had a serial killer on her hands. Trevor knew what
Dante didn’t. Both of the victims had more than just physical traits in common;
they were also clones.
closed the journal and rubbed his eyes. He had to decide whether or not to
confide in his boss.
should have seen her; she grinned at me then jumped off the fucking roof.”
Gregor paced Dante’s office while he told him about Tessa. “She fucking grinned.
Now I know how Rafael feels about Kaya. I’m telling you, I had no choice; I
shifted and dove after her. I have never felt fear in my life until that
me about the sick feeling you get.” Dante sat behind his desk, arms crossed
over his chest.
like Rafe described it, sort of like vertigo. Your world turns on its axis, but
you’re trying to remain upright. The more I’m near her, the worse it gets. I feel
the need to constantly touch her.”
closed his eyes. Gregor was just about to ask what was wrong when the office
door flew open. “Dante I have to tell…”
stopped talking when he realized Gregor was in the room. “Hello, Warden.”
what do you need to tell me?” Dante encouraged him to continue.
looked between the two men and remained silent.
will leave and let you two speak.” Gregor knew Trevor was not a fan of his.
on. Trevor, is this a personal matter or business?” Dante would tell Gregor
anyway if it was business.
Personal. Both. Mostly business.”
you can speak freely in front of Gregor.”
He still hesitated, obviously not wanting to talk with Gregor in the room. “It’s
our latest bodies. When I read their names something clicked. They don’t just
look alike. They’re both clones.” Trevor chewed on his thumbnail while he studied
the two men.
do you know this?” Dante asked his assistant.
you let it go if I said I just do?”
frowned at Trevor. “What do you think? You can’t come in here claiming to have
knowledge of the victims and leave it at that. How do you know?”
sighed and stared up at the ceiling. “Because I keep a database of most of the
clones in and around New Atlanta.”
was Gregor’s turn to question Trevor, “Why would you keep that information?”
Trevor whispered, “Because I’m a clone.”
that still doesn’t explain why you would keep a database of the other clones.”
Dante stood and put his hands on Trevor’s shoulders. “Look at me.” He waited
until Trevor met his eyes. “I don’t care that you’re a clone. You are smart,
and you’re a great assistant. But I would like to know why you keep tabs on the
relented. “It was something I started a long time ago. When I was in school, we
all sort of hung out together. When we found each other, we automatically
became friends. The older we got, the larger our group. I was the keeper of the
information, you know, names, addresses, phone numbers. That way we could always
stay in touch when we went off to different colleges. We were one big family. Others
were assigned to keep their own lists and send them to me to add to the main one.
It just grew.”
many names are on your list now?”
thousand? Holy hell. If there are that many names, how did you know our
victims were on your list? I know you’re smart, but two out of two thousand is
like a needle in a haystack.” Gregor hadn’t realized there were that many
clones in the world, much less in New Atlanta.
have a very good memory. This is information I have been storing for years.”
it just their names that triggered the fact that they were clones?” Dante asked
they were both redheads with green eyes. When we get victims with similar
features, I automatically try to link the murders together. Another thing I
find odd is that someone who looks like our victims visited Dane recently.
Remember when I went to check on him a couple of weeks ago?” Dante nodded. “A
woman who looked like these two was coming down the hall from his apartment.”
asked, “Was she a redhead, too?”
have no idea. I’m color blind.” Trevor murmured.
held up his hand. “Hang on. How old are the victims?” Surely it was a
coincidence that they were redheads.
didn’t have a good feeling about this. At all. “I want to see the bodies.”
asked, “What are you thinking, Brother?”
didn’t miss the look Trevor gave them both. Trevor had worked with Dante for
several years, but he still didn’t know they were related. “I’m thinking I hope
they don’t resemble Tessa.”
was leading the way to the morgue when his phone rang. “You two go ahead, I’ll
led Gregor into the holding room. He opened both doors and rolled out the
tables that housed the victims. Gregor was going to be sick. These women could
be Tessa’s sisters. “Fuck me.”
have another one. Body dumped over St. George’s Bridge,” Dante informed them as
he entered the room. “Gregor, what is it?”
look so much like Tessa they could pass for her sisters. Did you get any
information on the latest victim?” Dante just nodded.
Tessa isn’t a clone so this has to be a coincidence.” Gregor needed more
information before he went off the rails, but there was no way he was going to
let her out of his sight if these murders continued.
put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “I have to go. You need to call Rafael
and tell him what you told me earlier. Don’t think about this until we have
more information. You’re probably right that this is a coincidence.”
knew Dante was just placating him. “Yeah, call me when you know something
needed some air. He left the morgue, got in his Hummer, and rolled the window down.
What he really wanted to do was to fly, and taking Tessa’s bike to her would
give him the opportunity. He drove to the Pen, traded his Hummer for her bike,
and rode it to Isabelle’s. Even though he wanted to see Tessa, he needed to go
see Rafael and fill him in on the half-bloods. Tessa looked out the window as
he cut the motor. He inclined his head in her direction. With a hint of
hesitation, Gregor walked into the darkness and took to the skies.