The Girl and the Gargoyle: Book Two of The Girl and the Raven Series

The Girl and the Gargoyle: Book Two of The Girl and the Raven Series by Pauline Gruber Read Free Book Online

Book: The Girl and the Gargoyle: Book Two of The Girl and the Raven Series by Pauline Gruber Read Free Book Online
Authors: Pauline Gruber
sighs. “Garret wants to speak with you. Are you open to that at least?”
    He fixes her with a hostile glare. “Let’s go back to the reason you left all those years ago.”
    Camille’s face freezes. “Marcus…you have to understand.”
    He arches one eyebrow. “Understand what exactly?”
    “There were several attacks. Protectors were being hunted and slaughtered. Three in one year.” She lets the words hang in the air for a moment before continuing. “As the next in line to lead the clan, Garret was a target. He didn’t want you in harm’s way.”
    “But you left with him.” Marcus’s expression darkens.
    “Not initially.” Camille steps around his question. “Even though we were engaged to be married at the time, I wasn’t permitted to go. As a mundane—a human—I was left behind.”
    Mundane? Even the word human causes her lips to curl in disgust.Camille catches my look of surprise before I can hide it and pauses. Her gaze lingers on me for a moment before she returns her attention to Marcus.
    Marcus rubs his eyes with the heels of his hands. “You joined him later. What changed?”
    Camille squirms. She pushes her hair from her face with an unsteady hand. I wonder if it’s possible to fake that. I make a mental note to try it later. She holds her hair back, the cords of her neck straining, struggling with what she’s going to say next.
    “Garret had an opportunity to become head of the clan. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. A position of honor and power.” A gleam flashes in her eyes—defiance? Did she feel the clan slighted Garret, that he should’ve had this position earlier?
    “He had the ability to change the laws, so that protectors and mun— humans were equal within the clan. We could be together.” Camille lets the words sink in, words that mean so much more to her than to Marcus. She chose Garret over her own son.
    A stab of anger flares inside of me.
    “I was only going to be gone a short while.” She tries to convince her son. “I planned to come back for you.”
    Marcus narrows his gaze at her. “But you didn’t.”
    Camille’s gaze falls to her lap. Her fingers pick at the fabric of her jeans. “There was a constant threat of attacks against protectors. Garret felt it was best for you to remain outside of the clan.”
    Marcus’s breaths come out in ragged, short bursts. “Outside of the clan,” he echoes, a wild look in his eyes. “Did you agree with him that it was best for me to remain outside of the clan ?”
    “I…I…” Camille’s mouth snaps closed.
    “Let me ask you a question, Mother . How do you think it felt the first time my wings ripped their way out of my back?”
    Camille curls into the corner of the couch, wrapping her arms around herself as if wounded.
    Marcus rakes his fingers through his hair. He paces while remaining on the opposite side of the room, as if there’s an invisible barrier between him and Camille.
    “What did you think my stepdad was going to do when he found out I was a monster? Give me flying lessons?” His voice is raw, as the fiery words claw their way from his throat.
    “It was the wrong decision. I’m so sorry.”
    “Why now? And don’t tell me it’s because my stepdad died.” Marcus’s face turns red. “I assume Dad told you he dumped me at St. Pat’s several years ago, gave you Father Bill’s number. Why didn’t you come for me then?”
    “Marcus, please…” she chokes out, about to rise from the couch and go to him.
    Marcus gives her a death stare, and she stops, sinking back onto the couch. Her shoulders hunch, and she lowers her eyes. I watch him, the way he’s perched on the balls of his feet, leaning toward her, holding his breath. I realize I’m holding mine, too.
    “A protector—one who chose a life outside of the clan—was slaughtered.” Her voice gains strength. “That’s never happened before. He should’ve been safe.” She pushes herself off the couch. “I couldn’t risk that

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