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Sworn to Shadows

Lisa Blackwood

After a two-year healing stone nap, Corporal Anna Mackenzie wakes to find the military outpost she was sent to protect has been annihilated without any signs of survivors…

Being temporarily outclassed is one thing, but now her dangerous gargoyle protector has awakened early and he’s bigger and scarier than ever. Except he’s lost his memory, and Anna’s got to do some major hand-holding if they’re to hunt down a powerful creature unseen since ancient times.

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Read an excerpt from Sworn to Shadows

“Come on,” Anna managed between yawns. “Think our bodies are trying to tell us something. It has been a stressful few days.”

“Sleep is probably wise,” Obsidian agreed. “More of my memories return each night compared to the few that return during the day.”

Anna glanced sidelong at him. “More of your memories have returned?”

“Some. It’s so subtle, I barely notice, honestly.” He made a vague gesture with one hand. “It’s like I don’t even realize I can remember more until I think back to how old I thought I was when I first woke up and then realize I now know more than I did. But there seem to be a few holes or blurry memories.”

“That’s excellent news.” She came around the table to give him a hug. “About the returning memories. Not the holes.”

Tactile creature that he was, the gargoyle took the opportunity to press his muzzle along the sensitive skin under her jaw. Warm puffs of his breath raised the tiny hairs along her skin.

His innocent touch made her nipples stand at attention under her shirt and generated a distant, needy echo down south.

‘Jeez, Anna, get your hormones under control,’ she scolded herself. ‘It was just an innocent touch and a little warm breath.’

Anna cleared her throat. “We should go to bed. To our rooms. To sleep, I mean.”

When she was finished stumbling over her tongue, she snapped her teeth together. Gods. She’d sounded like a fool. “Goodnight, Obsidian.”

“Sleep well,” he murmured, then turned and padded toward his room.

Anna retreated to her own, where she swiftly stripped off her uniform and chose a sports bra and boy shorts for sleep. After crawling in bed and tossing and turning for ten minutes straight, she got up again.

Maybe an herbal tea would help her relax?

When she exited her bedroom, she found Obsidian out in the hall, prowling toward her room. He froze at being discovered.

“Can’t sleep?” She asked.

“No.”

Looking upon Obsidian’s obvious embarrassment and awkwardness, Anna decided it was time for another movie night to break the tension.

“Come on. Let’s find something to watch.” Grabbing his hand, she tugged him toward the entertainment center.

***

A few hours later, Anna’s cheeks were burning, and she regretted not checking the show’s rating. She wasn’t a prude by any means but sitting watching the show with Obsidian was something else entirely. That awkwardness was only made worse by knowing he was a big old virgin.

Because of what the Battle Goddess had done to him while he was still developing in his mother’s hamadryad tree, he could convert other species to gargoyles through any of his bodily fluids. But since the legion healers didn’t know how potent he was or if those gargoyles would be enslaved to his and Anna’s wills, the elders asked that he not get into a physical relationship until after they knew the full ramifications of the changes the Battle Goddess had worked upon him.

Somehow that had morphed into the big dork ‘saving’ himself for her instead.

Yeah.

Awkward.

Obsidian gestured toward the TV, drawing Anna’s attention back to the show, where two of the characters were getting intimate on screen.

“I will admit,” he said with humor thick in his voice, “to having been curious about human mating. This is answering a few of my questions.”

Anna groaned, grabbed a pillow, and shoved it in front of his face. “I’ve decided you’re not old enough to see this.”

Obsidian laughed and shoved the pillow out of his field of view so he could continue his ‘education’ without obstruction. When Anna made to grab the remote, he wrestled her for it, and they both dissolved into laughter until tears ran down their faces.

In the end, they continued to watch the series, laughing and groaning at the heated moments, with Anna again trying to shove pillows at Obsidian during the sexy times. At some point, their banter had morphed into an easy-going teasing, very similar to what they’d once shared while linked by the Rasoren-Kyrsu bond.

Eventually, they fell asleep on the sofa with Anna tucked up against his side and one of his wings wrapped around them for warmth.