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Tracy rested her hand on the gargoyle statue.
“You look hot, Trace. I love you in this dress.”
She turned at the sound of her ex-boyfriend's voice. “What are you doing here, Brian?” The muscles in her body tensed as she gauged the distance between her and the pepper spray behind the bar.
She felt a tiny movement under her hand.
No, she had to be losing her mind. As if stone could move.
She kept her hand on the stone like a security blanket, almost gripping it now that Brian had arrived.
“I came to see what you were doing tonight. Thought maybe we could hang out?” The way he slurred the words indicated he'd already had one too many, a bad sign.
“Definitely not. The restraining order should have made that clear.”
“Babe, I was in a rough place and I took it out on you. Let's put the past behind us and try again.”
The cold stone felt warmer beneath her hand. How strange. Was she so heated from the tension that her palm could warm cool stone?
“No, Brian. I've given you too many chances and each time it ended worse than the time before.”
“Babe.” He approached her. “I would never hurt you again.”
“Don't come any closer.” She moved away from the gargoyle to get to her purse behind the bar.
“Trace, you're so dramatic.” He moved behind the bar.
Tracy was distracted by the gargoyle statue behind him. It was changing color, from gray stone to what appeared to be–flesh.
“Come on, we were good together. Don't you miss me?”
The stone wings of the gargoyle statue unfurled into enormous sleek, gray ones. The gargoyle reshaped itself, rising from a crouched position to stand on two legs to a full height well over six feet.
And the horns receded into the head, as golden hair sprouted to take their place, growing well below impressively broad shoulders. Within a few seconds, the once grotesque stone creature she'd found lovable, had transformed into a breathtaking male with flawless bronze skin, long, blond hair and the magnificent physique of a Viking warrior.
She shrieked and then fumbled for her purse to search for the damn spray. Who the hell should she even direct it at now, with two threats facing her?
Brian grabbed her wrists and tried to kiss her before she found it. Adrenaline powered through her with the force of a tsunami.
“Get off me!” She attempted to knee him between the legs, but he deflected the blow by turning his body to the side.
Enormous wings surrounded Brian and a second later he was lifted off the ground.
Brian exclaimed, “What the―” but was cut off as he was thrown over the bar onto the empty dance floor.
He scrambled to his feet on unsteady legs. The gargoyle stepped over to him in a few massive strides. It raised one of his sinewy legs and kicked Brian in the gut. He groaned and clutched his stomach. The gargoyle lifted a foot over Brian's head.
Tracy screamed while Brian shielded his face with his forearm.
She tried a gentler tone. “Please don't. You'll kill him.”