Magical Currents – Book 2 of The Mythical Warriors Series
Release Date April 2016
“You two fledglings think you have what it takes to dispense justice?” the man sneered.
With all her strength, Margo swung her fist, digging the tip of the key into his check. He roared like a wounded animal and shoved her to the ground.
Margo landed hard on her shoulder. She heard the fabric of her shirt rip.
Her two defenders advanced forward and put themselves between her and the imposing menace. Margo back-peddled across the asphalt, tearing gouges in her palms and the seat of her pants, trying to get away. She slammed into a grounded pair of legs and looked up into Graeme Stone’s face. In the faint light, his features were sharply defined.
His intense gaze pulled her in, arrested the hostility surrounding them. Margo’s cold terror receded, and she was able to take a deep breath, collect her wits, push aside her fear and find calm. For a brief moment, warm security enveloped her.
The moment ended. Margo was again aware of the freezing rain soaking her and the unfolding violence. Stone gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze, but by a flash of lightning she saw his countenance was now set, hard and fierce. The wind blew the collar of his rain slicker against the sides of his neck.
“Hold, griffins. Don’t be so quick to pass judgment. There’s more going on here than what you see on the surface.”
The three paused with fists raised.
“Use your gifts to look more closely at him. Don’t let yourselves be blinded by actions he’s not responsible for. Smell past his own scent to the evil that’s infected him.”
The circle of tense males expanded to include Graeme.
“Who are you?” the first rescuer on the scene demanded.
“What are you?” clarified his companion. “You aren’t human or were.”
Margo was lost. The conversation was veering off in a bizarre direction. She was relieved not to be choking anymore, but it was clear her assault was no longer the focus of her rescuers’ concern. Were those three men sniffing the air?
The fellow who had cornered Margo bristled. “Sorcerer!” he snarled, rising to the balls of his feet.
“Easy, gentlemen.” Stone’s cadence was low and even. Margo felt a push of strength in his voice with his request for calm. “Don’t make any hasty assumptions. There’s far more going on here than any of you realize, and a great deal more at stake.”
With another gentle squeeze on her shoulder, Stone drew Margo’s attention. His eyes never left the others as he whispered instructions to her.
“Very slowly, no hurried movements, scoot around me. I want you behind me, and any movement I make will be interpreted as aggressive. Stay down, stay close and stay quiet. If you run, this situation will explode.”
With a careful watch on the other three, Margo pulled her feet under herself and half scooted, half back-crawled to just behind and to the left of Stone. Gravel cut into her palms. Her neck had already begun to swell. Her throat burned, and it hurt to swallow. But she could see all of the men’s faces.
Significant looks passed between her two rescuers.
“Don’t you know a sorcerer when you smell his stink?” growled the one who had grabbed Margo. “Haven’t your teachers taught you better?”
Both stood ready, studying Stone and the antagonist.
“Tobin and Riley Saint-James have been well taught by some of the finest your kind have ever seen.” Stone nodded at the men he named. “I’m glad your uncle accepted the mating gift I left for him six weeks ago. It’s my hope he and his future bride enjoy many, many years together.”
One looked shocked, the other narrowed his eyes.
“An opportunity has presented itself,” Stone continued, “and I’d be a fool if I let it go to waste. Just hear me out. We may never have another chance.”
Her assailant’s growls grew more animalistic. He glared at Graeme with hate-filled eyes.
Long moments of silence passed, and the storm’s intensity increased. The wind drove the downpour against Margo’s arms with stinging pinpricks. Everyone was soaked through, yet no one shifted a muscle.
Finally, her two rescuers seemed to reach some type of silent agreement.
“State what you want to say. We’ll know if you’re speaking the truth.”
The corners of Stone’s mouth jerked briefly, and he gave a quick nod. “I hope your griffin’s ability to ferret out lies aids you now, Tobin. This may be our only opportunity to stop the sabotage.”
“You fools! Don’t let him cast a spell around you with his words.” Her molester drew himself up taller, his fury rolling off him in waves.
Margo still couldn’t follow the conversation. If she hadn’t been a victim of assault, she would have thought she’d walked in on the middle of a play rehearsal. That, and all three men were agitated by Graeme Stone. She finally placed the name “Tobin”. These two men who had come to her aid might be the brothers staying at Sue’s.
She found a warming comfort in Graeme’s presence. His was the familiar face on a nightmare landscape. The normally quiet man had taken on a commanding manner, and he wore it well. Something beyond her was at issue now, and it looked as if the evening’s hostilities could still escalate. With all the testosterone sparking on the storm-charged air, the tension steadily mounted. She hoped Stone could keep a lid on the eruption.
A loud rip drew Margo’s attention.
Shock obliterated all thought from her. Her attacker’s stature was not only growing but changing. His clothes were tearing and giving way to dark fur. A roar, this one more animalistic than the ones before, erupted from his elongating mouth and echoed into the storm. Reality as Margo knew it tilted farther off its axis. Total darkness had fallen, but in the dim illumination of the streetlight, Margo very clearly saw the outline of an animal more massive than anything she had seen in any zoo. He had turned into a huge bear! He stood more than ten feet tall, and long, sharp claws extended from his paws. She sucked in a breath and instinctively started to scoot farther away.
His gaze zeroed in on her movements. She froze. Stone stood with legs braced wide apart. His left palm stretched out toward Margo, signaling her to remain still. His right was held facing up before him. The other two men crouched and were ready to… Ready to do what? There was an enormous beast in the parking lot!
“Easy,” Stone cautioned. “As I was trying to explain earlier, this poor fellow is not himself. Even now, his need for her outweighs his fear of you, and he has forgotten me. Is this normal behavior?” As he spoke, a tiny, white flame began to hover above his outstretched hand.
The creature’s eyes were held captive by the small light as it grew to the size of a softball, still hovering.
“Are you able to detect the toxin polluting him?” Graeme asked.