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I can't wait until this afternoon, would you please check?...I'm on deadline...Marcy, Marcy Townsend," she spoke into the phone, while glancing out the window past the massive columns supporting the high exterior archway of her office window. Her stare shot past the delicate motif carved into the marble to his face. Leonardo! Her pulse quickened. The familiar statue juttin from the ledge was a magnet. She couldn't help it. She'd been enamored of the statue from the first time she entered her office three years ago. He rested on top of a huge pillar that rose from the 1920s building some six floors below the forty-fourth floor.
The half-man, half-lion gargoyle perched on the column, crouched as though ready to take flight any moment. His hard, muscled arms gradually changed to the legs of a lion with wide paws where human hands should be. His back legs were the same, transforming at the knees to those of a lion, complete with a lion's tail that arched and fell to the ground behind him. The legs supported a very powerful body. A human male body with wings retracted into a streamlined V shape along his back. His face, while that of a man, was clearly framed by a wild mane untamed and permanently frozen in the wind. His forehead was deep and furrowed very much like a lion's. But his body was sleek and hard, the torso of man. A very sexy man with firm indented buttocks tensed against the stance. Her longing for him pounded everywhere.
"If only you were real." She trembled, with breath rushing hot between her lips. If only she could touch him. The cold glass was smooth against her fingertips as she traced the outline of bulging muscles and indented buttocks. It was maddening. Obsessed! It was as though she were under some kind of spell. The need to touch him, stroke his sinewy, muscled body was so strong she'd even tried to lift the heavy window, only to find it was permanently painted shut.
"No package for a Marcy Townsend." The male voice crackled with static from the phone, ripping her away from the gargoyle would-be lover.
"Are you sure? It was supposed to arrive in this morning's mail. I'm on the forty-fourth floor, Marketing Department, Marcy Townsend."
"Yes, ma'am. I know who you are, Miss Townsend, I've been sorting your mail for almost three years now. I doublechecked because I know it's urgent. You should check back after two for the afternoon delivery."
"Okay, Mister Jenkins. Thanks." She punched the button and tossed the phone onto the pile of papers on her desk. She still had time to make her deadline. The client said all final proofs had been overnighted to her, so the package would arrive in the afternoon mail. Clearly, she'd be pulling another all-nighter. She sighed and fell into the chair, staring about the room. Sometimes it felt as though she lived in the high-ceilinged, nineteenth century-style office.
She glanced out the window, letting her gaze travel over his sleek form. The all-too familiar impulses traveled down her spine to her pussy. Her libido was out of control. She longed for the sexy gargoyle to come to life and assume the role she'd fantasized him in her passionate lover. His handsome face set her pulse pounding, sending urgent heat surging through her.
He was a powerful mixture, but mostly he was a man. A very strong man. A nervous quivering pulsed to her clit. While she loved this job, it left no time to meet a man, much less form a relationship. Besides, she pondered as she stared at the gargoyle, how could any man ever take Leonardo's place? Whoever had chiseled him out of marble certainly knew the male physique in its strongest form. Those muscles seemed to press against taut skin, conveying a sense of restrained power. If only he could come to life. Desire blazed through her at the thought. He'd seize her in those strong arms and make wild passionate love to her. All night! She jumped up and nervously paced in front of the window.
She'd created all kinds of scenarios of sexy encounters with him.... When night came, he'd transform into a man, take her in his arms and extend his powerful wings, flying her away to exotic places. There, they'd make love all night. Her sigh left a faint vapor on the window. Pressing her forehead against the glass, she splayed trembling fingers against the cool surface. Those fantasies of love had carved a longing in her heart so deep that she worried any real-life romance could never compete. Marcy forced herself away from the window, but her stare sought him once more. His male body seemed to shout for her touch, and she imagined her hands trailing over those broad shoulders, dipping over sleek muscles to glide along that powerful spine to firm buttocks. Fire lashed her throat. She would drink his kisses as his hands moved over her body, squeezing and stroking.
She groaned at the all too familiar impulses traveling to her groin and eyed the door to the private bathroom. She hated being a slave to her own pussy, but the urges were too strong to ignore. She stopped in front of the cold fireplace and glanced back at the gargoyle. Her heartbeat pounded harder with nervous anticipation. Heat throbbed between her legs as she hurried toward the bathroom. She needed him! The itchy ache centered in her clit, begging to be stroked. She entered the bathroom, thinking about her gargoyle, and slammed the door.
Leaning against it, her fantasy about the dark marble statue grew stronger as she lifted her skirt and slipped her hand inside her pantyhose. She imagined Leonardo, pulling her to him. Male fingers glided over her breasts and trailed in a scorching path past her navel to the heat and moisture between her legs. Her clit throbbed for his touch. She stroked, closing her eyes, imagining his large thick fingers rubbing harder and faster against the hardened nub.
"Leonardo." She kneaded the moist heat, quickening the strokes, faster and faster.
He'd spread her legs, lower his face to her pussy and slip his warm moist tongue between her silken lips. Her breathing quickened. He'd taste her, growl for more and in his heated need, turn her against the door, nibbling the tender mounds of her buttocks, slipping past them with his hard cock. The pulsing need writhed up her spine in a searing trail inching higher with each stroke. She could almost feel his thickness inside her. His lips nibbling her neck and his heated breath fanning against her ear were so real. Excitement burst to flame and exploded in shudders with the sudden molten release. Her body spasmed under the orgasm, her pussy throbbing against her fingertips.
Immediately, a bubble of sadness rose in her, threatening to erupt in a cascade of tears. She fought against the sorrow. She was insane to long for something so impossible. Leonardo wasn't real.
Her clit throbbed, reminding her of a man's cock when he came. The lazy orgasmic release clouded her thoughts. Absently, she twisted the faucet handle and leaned over the cold splashing water. She had to find a man. Not just any man the right man. She plunged her hands under the rushing water. The coldness raced up her arms and the dying fire chilled under the sensation. Now she could focus on work. Lathering the soap between her hands, she held them underneath the water, but the pining for Leonardo pushed past the distraction. She pulled the towels from the dispenser and dried her hands. One thing for certain, she was darn lucky she had her own restroom.
"Marcy?" Her assistant's muffled voice invaded her imaginary world where Leonardo lived and breathed, waiting to please her, waiting to make love. Waiting "Are you in the bathroom?"
"Out in a sec," Marcy called, trying to still the quivering in her voice. She flushed the toilet and turned on the water, inspected her shoulder-length auburn hair and checked her makeup for any signs of needed repair. Satisfied, she turned off the water and unlocked the door.
"I found the Madison envelope." The stout, older woman waved the long Tyvek envelope in front of her. "Mailroom delivered it to Marcy Tooney over in Merchandising. Guess they can't read."
"Oh, thank God!" Marcy's legs wobbled under her. Trying to pull her thoughts out of the ensnaring sexual fog, she cleared her throat and reached for the envelope Nel held out to her.
"Are you all right?" Nel asked with blue eyes squinting in that maternal look Marcy hated.
"Sure." She snatched the envelope and sat down behind her desk. "Why do you ask?"
"You look a little flushed." Nel frowned.
"Just worried about this baby." Her hands trembled as she ripped open the envelope.
"How about an early lunch? I can order Chinese."
"I've got a twenty in my desk." She held the proofs in front of her, reaching for the magnifier.
"My treat. The usual?"
Marcy nodded, focusing on the proofs until Nel left. She dropped the magnifier and held her head in her hands, moaning over the reality that her fantasies had become all-consuming. This project was too important to neglect. Thank God for Nel. She was always such a lifesaver. She would do something special for the assistant at the end of the month, once the campaign was over.
The rest of the day was spent in meetings with her staff, going over the ad layout and pouring over the proofs until they were all in agreement with which shot to use. Even though she managed to get through the day, Marcy was constantly aware of his presence, drawing her attention away from conversations, distracting her so questions had to be repeated. By the time she was ready to concentrate on the copy, it was past nine o'clock and she'd missed dinner. Stretching in the chair, determined to allow herself a small break, her attention invariably gravitated to him. She walked over to the window and stood looking at him.
"I'm almost finished with the campaign, my handsome leone." She had no idea why she used the Italian name for lion, but liked the way it felt against her tongue when she spoke it. "Presentation will be in two days."
The need to nuzzle against his neck seized her. How many nights had she spent in long conversation about how much she wanted him and what she wanted him to do to her. It was absurd. She knew he was just a statue, yet every time she contemplated his muscled form, she wanted him desperately.
Her stare traced the lines of his body she knew so well. She longed to trail her hands along the strong curves and knots of muscled arms. Instead, she traced them against the cold glass. If only he would unfold from the eternal pose and sweep her into his arms.
"You're my ultimate fantasy, Leonardo." Her heartbeat flip-flopped with the thought of such a powerful man making love to her. Greek legends were filled with strange halfman creatures and the gods who'd ruled over mortals. Had he existed during those times? She'd researched his origin and discovered he'd once perched atop a building in New York before being moved to Atlanta. Before that, he'd guarded a cathedral in Romania. She'd even made up a story about how he was once a man and had been turned into a gargoyle statue by the woman he'd rejected.
"I need to get out and find a living, breathing man." She pressed her forehead against the cool glass. It was bizarre to be so attracted to a statue, yet she didn't care anymore. It was frustrating not being able to touch him.
Each chiseled muscle and carved feather were etched in her memory. The familiar sensation tingled down her spine then raced hot and moist to her pussy. She stared at his face, straining to see his eyes, sensing he, too, wanted to be free and waited for her to somehow give him that freedom.
"Tell me how, Leonardo. What can I do to free you?" she sighed. "What is this power you have over me? Can it be real?" She shook her head, trying to separate herself from the burning desire coursing through her.
"Okay, Marcy. Enough of this," she murmured, trying to force herself back to the copy she needed to finish proofing, but the magnificent statue held her captive. She sucked in air, trying to still the overwhelming urge to break the window so she could at long last touch him. This must stop! Just last week she'd called maintenance and demanded they unstick the window so she could open it. They'd promised to look at it, but never showed.
If only they had. Her mouth dried. The thought of being able to touch him sent a rush of warm juices to her panties. To feel such boldness beneath her fingers would surely make her come. And just as she did every night, she gripped the ornate metal handles to try one more time to lift the tall window.
"Okay. Leonardo, if this doesn't open, I'm going to stop this crazy fantasy." All she needed was for it to open about two feet, just enough to reach through and stretch the short distance to his arm. Just one touch was all she wanted and then she'd be satisfied. She took a deep breath and gathered strength.
"One, two, three!" She pulled up, thrusting all her energy behind the attempt. The window didn't budge. She tried again. Nothing. Unshed tears knotted in her throat as she fought against the swelling disappointment.
"Oh Leonardo, I wish I could open this window and touch you." She collapsed against the glass. Within the realms of her fantasy, they were both trapped. The handsome gargoyle waited, needing her to touch him and awaken him from the spell holding him prisoner. Absently, her attention drifted up the long window to the lock.
Her pulse spiked. Who had locked it? It was never locked. Hope sparked deep inside her as she dragged a nearby chair to the window and kicked off her shoes. Her mind raced with possibilities. It had been unlocked since the first day she'd moved in, never bothering to lock it back once she discovered it wouldn't open. Perhaps the maintenance crew had fixed it after all. Hiking her skirt to her waist, she climbed onto the chair and stretched. She stepped onto the arm of the chair, then onto the back of the wingback chair, until it tilted against the window. Her fingertips brushed the lock. She maneuvered so she could grasp the metal latch, and twisted it open.
Electricity rippled through her. The window might actually open! Her heartbeat pounded harder. She looked down on Leonardo from the new position. She couldn't climb down from the chair fast enough, all the while reminding herself the window still might not open. Every nerve ending tingled alive. Her breathing quickened.
"Okay, Leonardo, I'm going to try again. If this doesn't work well, I have to give you up " The sob choked off the vow. She touched the tip of her tongue to her lower lip and slipped clammy fingers through the handles once more.
"One, two, three!" she cried out and pulled. The window scraped loudly against the casement and shifted under her grip.
Copyright © 2008 by Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
To Kiss a Gargoyle copyright © 2006 by Sally Painter