The Gateway Trilogy Book 1
by Dariel Raye
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Every predator has a weakness.
The employee who came to get Gateway stopped short of the hallway, his blue eyes wild with fear. More symbols lined the back of the club where the offices and restrooms were, but once again, there was no time to ask about them.
As soon as we reached the small sitting area outside Gateway’s office, two men were waiting there for him.
They both held guns as they glanced at me, then at Gateway, dropping their heads in the next second as if they had broken some unwritten rule I wasn’t aware of. The whole thing was like a scene from a bad mafia movie.
Gateway immediately shoved me behind him before I could even gasp, but he didn’t let go of my hand.
“Good Evening, Mr. Savoy,” one of the armed men said.
The last thing I wanted to do was distract him, but I instinctively placed my free hand at his back for support to keep from passing out. I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. I had never been one of those weak, simpering females like so many in horror movies. I didn’t mind a good fight from time to time and I had definitely won my share, but guns were different. They had a strong tendency to give the holder almost 100% advantage, if the holder knew how to use them, that is.
Gateway squeezed my hand in reassurance and for some reason I believed him. I trusted that he had it all under control. Of course, my subconscious was screaming for me to get the hell out of here and stop acting like a damn fool, but I needed to believe him because my feet wouldn’t move and my legs felt wobbly. I really didn’t need the drama right now or ever, for that matter. Hell, I was embarking on a job search the next morning.
“Evening. How can I help you?” Gateway asked as if he didn’t see the guns.
My hand tightened, clutching his back like a security blanket.
“We figured one of your staff would see the urgency of getting your attention,” the man with the gun replied. “What you can do for us is to open your safe.”
The next few seconds were a blur of rapid movement and I was still behind Gateway, so I only caught bits of the action.
Arms moved, mostly Gateway’s and feet scuffled, mostly everyone else’s except for Gateway’s. The scuffling feet were mostly the gunmen’s.
I couldn’t see how he managed to do it, and I’d only managed to do it a few times in self-defense class, but somehow Gateway took the guns from both men and dropped them to the floor. I knew I would never forget the clattering sound they made when they landed on the concrete. I know concrete is supposed to absorb sound, but the guns sounded like thunder in my ears because all of my senses were amped with adrenaline.
Then Gateway finally let me go and stepped away long enough to lift both of the men by their necks and pin them against the wall.
The sound of running water drew my attention to the fact that one of the men was pissing himself.
Both of their faces were masks of horror, eyes huge, mouths open, soundless. They just hung there, all the fight gone out of them in an instant.
I wondered what exactly were they seeing and thinking.
“Look what you made me do. You scared my lady friend, and almost made me lose my temper.”
Gateway sounded dangerously calm to my ears and I couldn’t see his face. Almost? What is he like when he actually loses his temper? “If I ever see either of you again, you’ll end up in the same condition as your weapons, except I’ll make sure to make you suffer first. Understood?”
The men nodded in quick time like bobble heads, unable to speak with Gateway’s hands around their necks.
I slumped against the opposite wall in an attempt to pull myself together. I was probably in shock, but I definitely was mesmerized by the way Gateway had dismantled the would-be robbers.
The minute he released the men and turned to face me, my feeling of relief flew out the window as the thieves ran for one exit and I ran for the other. I wasn’t running from Gateway, but from the whole near-death experience. If not for meeting Gateway, I would have sworn this day had been sent from Hell.
I glanced back like Lott’s wife in the Bible and like her, I immediately regretted it. Unlike the nameless biblical character, I was looking to see if Gateway was following me. A flash of red grabbed my attention and I couldn’t look away.
Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A counseling psychologist, classically trained vocalist, and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments, and naturally incorporates behavioral psychology into her characters. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a mom, art tinkerer, and Netflix and Amazon Prime paranormal TV series binger.
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