GENRE: Gay Paranormal Fantasy Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 12,028 words
Sequel to Blackstone Manor
Two months have passed since Masonry Gargoyle Io came clean with Cinder about his feelings. Of course, in the process, he broke a major rule. Cinder stood by him, at a price, as the Council planned to pay a visit to decide their fate. Io may still be thrown out of the pack, and there's no telling what punishment would be bestowed on Cinder.
As if that isn't bad enough, Ran'imy is mad, jealous, and no doubt cooking up some nefarious plan. After all, she had her sights set on Cinder, too. How could he pick Io, the bumbling fool, over her?
Io has to stand by Cinder's side before the Council, but their relationship is still new. Will their love be strong enough to withstand the Council and Ran'imy's revenge?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
"I'm sorry, Io," Daisy said, placing her hand on his in an attempt to comfort his troubled mind. "Whatever the outcome happens to be you know that Cinder loves you. What he's doing, it's an amazing show of just how deeply he cares for you."
"What are you talking about?"
She closed the book and set it aside, giving him her full attention. "By calling up one of the Guardians you did a big no-no. You broke one of the most important rules," she explained, adjusting her glasses for affect. "By all rights you shouldn't have even been allowed to set foot back inside the house. Cinder should have turned you away at the front door. But he didn't. Instead, he invited you into his bed. He has put his neck on the line for you, Io."
"So ..." He chewed his bottom lip. "I won't go. I'm sure I would just manage to mess everything up."
"You have to go," declared Daisy, quite vehemently. "The infraction is yours, Io, and if you aren't standing there beside Cinder when he faces the council even worse could happen to him. Don't you see that? He's risk everything for you, Io."
Her words settled heavily on his shoulders, a tear managing to slip free. How could he have managed to screw up that badly? All he had wanted was to give Cinder the perfect birthday present and knowing how much Cinder loved Blackstone Manor it was a no brainer. Of course, finding the deed for the old homestead had been easier said than done until he gotten hold of a former owner. By way of a Guardian. The more prestigious type of gargoyle was responsible for protecting the gate to the world of souls as well as leading the departed to the afterlife and occasionally keeping track of special people still poking around the living.
Cinder loved the gift. It turned out to be just the thing Io needed to show his alpha how he truly felt deep inside. Blackstone gave birth to their relationship.
And might very well be the end of it.
Io abruptly stood. "I need to go," he said, heading for the door in a bit of a daze. There was a bitter taste in his mouth and his vision blurred with more tears. Why couldn't things ever work out for him?
"Io," Daisy called after him, breaking her own rule. "Io, please."
But he didn't stop, busting out of the library and heading for the attic bedroom. He wanted to be close to Cinder. With his head ducked, his mind a jumbled mess, he was unaware of the person that stepped into his path at the end of the hallway. Until he bumped into them, briefly flashing back to a similar incident three months ago when he collided with Cinder. But if he hoped to find the love of his life standing there now he was sorely mistaken, his night going from bad to worse. If he could banish his tears he would have done it in an instant. The last thing he wanted, needed now was to look weak in front of her.
"R-R-R-Ran'imy," he stuttered.