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Discussions - Chapter 1



Discussions - Chapter 1


By Kudara


Disclaimer: All the characters appearing in Gargoyles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.  No infringement of these copyrights is intended as this is a not for profit fan fiction work.  All original characters are the property of the author.


Warning:  none


Notes:  Dominique Destine’s home, and the character’s Candice and Gregory are from ‘The Gargoyles Saga’ world and adapted for use in this story.


Rating:  Mature (barely)


Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep writing.  Please let me know what you like and what you dislike about the story.


Revision History: 05/06/08




December 5th, 1997


“Do you find it odd that we’re flying into the same airport that the kidnappers flew us out from?” Kendra asked with a wry smile as the plane landed.  It bounced only slightly before settling firmly on the runway and then began taxing toward the terminal.


Dominique chuckled, “It is odd,” she agreed, “but I doubt this size plane could get permission to land at JFK or LaGuardia.  This is probably the closest regional airport to Manhattan that it can land at,” she looked up toward the closed door of the cockpit, “and probably the reason your cousin and his Quarrymen had to fly out from it.”


“True,” agreed Kendra, she peered out the small window toward the terminal building, “it’s going to be a long taxi ride from here,” she observed.


“Gregory will be waiting for us with the limo,” Dominique said, she frowned searching her memory.  “I’m sorry; I guess I forgot to mention that.”


“You have a limo?” Kendra asked in surprise, turning away from the window.


The redhead flushed, “I don’t know how to drive,” she admitted.  She glanced once again at the cockpit door, “I never had time in Paris, and then it would have been too suspicious for Dominique Destine to take driving lessons,” she shrugged, “so I have a limo and a driver.”


Kendra stared at her, surprised; she hadn’t considered that the redhead didn’t know how to drive.  “We’ll have to do something about that, you should know at least the basics,” she sounded slightly scolding.


Dominique arched an eyebrow, “Are you offering to teach me?” she inquired.


The black-haired woman’s lips curved in a crooked smile, “I guess I am.”


The plane came to a stop next to the terminal and a minute later the cockpit door opened and the pilot stepped out.  “Ladies,” he said, “they’ll have the steps here shortly and then I’ll get your bags for you.”


Fifteen minutes later, they had cleared a cursory customs check of their bags, and were walking toward the black limousine that was waiting by the terminal entrance.  The driver door opened and a young man in a dark suit and cap practically leapt out of the driver’s seat.  “Ms. Destine,” he exclaimed as he hurried up to them, “Ms. Canmore,” he added belatedly.


“Gregory,” Dominique acknowledged him; she looked out over the familiar cityscape and drew in a breath.  Her nose wrinkled as it was immediately assaulted with the odors of asphalt, car exhaust and other assorted odors better left unnamed.  They paused by the trunk of the limousine.


Beside her, Kendra chuckled, “Missing the snow, pine, and fresh air already?”


Gregory opened the trunk and took their bags from them, stowing them in the netting on either side.


The redhead returned her smile wryly, “but not the cold and I’m not really missing the snow.  I’ll deal with the smells to get to my bath and my bed.  Besides, it doesn’t smell like this where my house is located.”


Kendra noticed that the driver, who was now holding open the wide passenger door for them, was looking somewhat startled by the conversation.  Recalling how Dominique had acted before the kidnapping, she could make some guesses as to why.  They slipped into the limo, sitting opposite one another on the black leather bench seats and Gregory closed the door as soon as he saw they were settled.  Kendra looked around the interior curiously, she had ridden in limos before, unfortunately, the two prior times were her father’s and then her mother’s funerals.  The control console in the ceiling looked intimidating, though she could easily recognize sound and climate controls.


“Where to Ms. Destine?” Gregory asked over the intercom.


Dominique looked inquiringly at Kendra, “we’re stopping by your apartment first right?”


The black haired woman nodded and rattled off the East 57th Street address, and the limo started moving.  She looked out the tinted window watching the street and building slip past, with a frown she switched seats, sliding into the one by Dominique.  Now everything was moving in the right direction, she thought, as she stared forward out the window in the direction the vehicle was moving.


“Kendra,” Dominique’s worried tone had her switching her attention instantly from the window to the redhead beside her, “what’s wrong?  You’ve seemed…” she hesitated obviously searching for the right word, “restless and upset ever since we got in the limo.”


Kendra sighed, “Sorry,” she hesitated, and then looked into the concerned green eyes, “I just haven’t rode in one of these too many times.”  She indicated the seat where she had been sitting, “going backwards felt weird.”


Dominique smirked, “I don’t like those seats either for the very same reason.”  She examined the pensive looking face of her lover; it seemed as if it were more than just that bothering Kendra.  “When was the last time you were in a limo?”


“My mother’s funeral,” Kendra responded quietly, “and before that my father’s.”


The redhead’s green eyes widened slightly, she reached over and placed a comforting hand on a strong thigh.  After a second, Kendra’s hand covered hers and their finger’s entwined.


Kendra offered her a soft smile, “I’m sure that after a few more times it won’t remind me of that at all.”  Her sapphire blue eyes dropped to their hands, and her smile shaded more toward mischievousness, “though if we don’t want your driver to figure out certain things we need to be careful.”  She looked curiously toward the smoked glass partition.


“He can’t see back here unless he lowers the partition,” Dominique reassured her.  She pointed at a dark LED on the console above them, “And that lights up whenever he activates the intercom.”


Kendra’s blue eyes took on a predatory gleam, “so he can’t see or hear us,” she said.


Dominique looked into her lover’s darkened eyes, her breath caught in her throat and a rush of desire went through her body.  When the intent blue gaze lowered for a long moment before returning to her own, she knew that Kendra had noticed her reaction.  Oh this was not good, Dominique thought, she had to get control of herself before Monday if all Kendra had to do was glance at her and all she could think of was what her lover’s mouth and hands could make her feel.  Even with those cautionary thoughts running through her mind, the redhead didn’t move as Kendra slid across the seat towards her.  Their lips met, Dominique closed her eyes and surrendered to the kiss, tilting her head to the side and lifting one hand to slide it through the thick black hair and cup Kendra’s head as their lips pressed and moved against each other hungrily.  She moaned breathily when she felt the tip of Kendra’s tongue slide along her lips and then it was warm within her mouth, and the cushions of the seatback were cool against her shoulders as Kendra’s warm body pressed her against them.


She sighed in disappointment when Kendra pulled away a few minutes later, “Traffics getting heavier and I don’t think these side windows are one way,” the black haired woman explained, her voice both uneven and regretful.


Dominique looked out the window, Kendra was right traffic was picking up.  She took a deep breath, willing herself to calm, “How long do you think you need at your apartment?” she asked trying to keep her mind from dwelling on thoughts of what might happen once they were safely inside her home.


Kendra frowned, “I’m not sure,” she replied, “I realized last night that I hadn’t made any phone calls of my own and there’s a few of my father’s old friends that I really should call and let know that I’m alright.  I’m sure they will have heard already, but they would be hurt if I didn’t give them a call myself.”  She gave the redhead a regretful and slightly embarrassed look, “I can make those calls short so long as I promise to call them back over the weekend, but that will still probably take me close to an hour.”


Dominique didn’t understand why Kendra felt she had to call these people today, “they can’t wait until tomorrow?”


Kendra shook her head, “There are a few of them that I need to call today, I should have called them yesterday actually, but I didn’t think of it.”  Kendra could see from the frown on the redhead’s face that Dominique was going to try and persuade her to wait another day.  Before the redhead could marshal her arguments, Kendra continued, “I was only sixteen when father died in the car accident, for the first week or so they didn’t know whether or not my mother was going to live.  I was trying to keep up with school, visit my mother in the ICU and the county morgue was asking me where to send my father’s body for embalming services.  I don’t know what I would have done if Richard Murton and William Kensley, my father’s best friends, hadn’t stepped in and helped me make the funeral arrangements as well as taking me to see my mother every day.”


It was all Dominique could do not to snarl out the word ‘humans’ in disgust at the idea of pestering a child about what to do with the body of one parent when the other was still gravely wounded.  “I’m glad they were there for you,” she said trying to get her anger under control.


Kendra’s eyebrow rose slightly at the redhead’s growling tone, she reached over and squeezed the slender hand on the seat between them.  “So you see why I should call them today instead of waiting until tomorrow.”


Dominique nodded, she did see, she didn’t like it, but she did understand now.


“So I was thinking that you could drop me off and I’ll drive over to your place once I’m done, that way I can drive us if we want to go out somewhere over the weekend without you having to call up Gregory,” Kendra said.


Go out somewhere, Dominique considered the words, she hadn’t thought about going somewhere this weekend, but it might be nice to go out for lunch or dinner.  And Kendra was right; it would be a good idea not to have Gregory driving them everywhere, both to keep him from noticing and because the limo made them too noticeable.  Neither of them had stated it, but considering how Kendra had initially acted around Rachael and how they were both acting now, Dominique thought she was right in thinking that Kendra wasn’t any more anxious than she was to advertise their new relationship.  “I hadn’t thought about going out, did you have something in mind?”


Kendra’s blue eyes sparkled, “I thought going out to One if by Land, Two if by Sea might be nice.  We completely skipped going out to dinner and a play or movie as a part of getting acquainted with each other, but there’s no reason we can’t do them now,” she commented with a grin.


“Tonight?” Dominique asked, she didn’t really want to go out tonight, and wasn’t certain if they could even get reservations for tonight, but if Kendra wanted to she would try.


The black-haired woman shook her head, “No, I was thinking tomorrow or Sunday.  I’ll call and see which night I can get reservations for,” she glanced at the redhead, noting the slight frown, “or you can do it,” she shrugged, it didn’t really matter to her who did, “while I’m making my calls and picking up something for us.”


Dominique glanced at her curiously, “Picking up something?  Dinner?”


Kendra looked thoughtful, “No, but that’s not a bad idea.  My cleaning service at the apartment will have taken out anything that spoiled while we were in Canada, but I don’t know if you have someone come in and clean your house?”


The redhead made a face, she hadn’t thought about the state of her refrigerator, “I have a cleaning service that comes in once a week, but they can’t get into the house unless I’m there to let them in so they won’t have cleaned.  I’ll have to clean out the refrigerator when I get home.”  Dominique frowned, not happy at all about having to do it, but it wasn’t something she could avoid.  She sighed in resignation, “I guess I’ll have to stop by the grocery store too and pick a few things up on my way home too.”


Kendra looked out the window, they were getting close to her condominium building, “I have a few items to pick up as well, so it will probably be a few hours before I head over.  I have a phone in the car, so I’ll give you a call when I’m done and headed that way.”  She grinned, “Which brings me to the directions part of this, I don’t have a clue where you live.”


“Forest Hills Gardens on Long Island,” Dominique proceeded to give her directions from the Queens Midtown Tunnel to her home.  The limo pulled to a stop in front of the very distinctively angled entrance of the Galleria, the redhead stared in surprise at it for a moment before realizing that the street address Kendra gave must be this building.  “Your condo is in the Galleria?” she inquired, wanting to make sure.


“47rd floor,” Kendra responded as the driver opened her door.  She glanced over at the redhead, “did you want to go up with me and see it?  It’s not big, the tour won’t take long,” she grinned.


Dominique nodded, not waiting for Gregory to come around to her side of the limo she opened the door and stepped out looking up at the odd architecture of the skyscraper.


“The top is just odd, but the condos are nice, plus they have full housekeeping services,” Kendra commented coming up beside her and following her gaze upward.  “My dad bought the condo in 1976, shortly after the building was finished.”


Dominique instructed Gregory to wait for them in the limo and the two women entered the building.  The redhead had never been inside the building before; she looked around curiously at the tall ceiling with the angled sunlights.  They went up a small set of stairs to the right of the entrance into another lobby; along one side was a bank of elevators with an elderly doorman sitting on a padded stool in front of them.  He rose from the stool as they entered, and his dark eyes widened in recognition, “Miss Canmore!” he exclaimed


“Robert,” Kendra replied warmly, “how are you doing this afternoon?”


“I’m doing well Miss Canmore,” he walked stiffly over to the elevators and with his key summoned one for them.  “I was worried about you when the police said you had been kidnapped,” he said turning back around to look at them.


Kendra chuckled, “I was worried about me a few times too, but everything worked out well and here I am again none the worse for wear.”  One of the elevator doors opened, and they stepped inside.  Kendra pushed the button for the 47rd floor.


Robert replied, “I’m glad to hear that Miss Canmore, you take care now.”


“I will Robert,” Kendra replied as the doors closed.


“He seems to know you well,” Dominique commented slight surprised at the old humans familiarity.


“Robert’s been one of the doormen here for as long as I can remember, I think he started working here when they first opened up the building,” Kendra said.  “We pretty much lived here during the summers when I was growing up, so he’s known me for just over twenty years now.  I loved spending summer in the city, there was always something to do or see that was interesting: concerts in the park, visit one of the museums, or go to a play or the theater.”


Dominique gazed at her lover, seeing the faraway look in her blue eyes.  She wondered what Kendra had looked like as a child, unfortunately she had never paid much attention to how humans aged as they grew from a child to an adult so the task was not easy for her.  The most she could guess was that Kendra must have been as striking a child as she was an adult with her dark hair, skin tone and unusually brilliant blue eyes.  Thinking of Kendra as a child made the redhead realize that she knew very little about Kendra’s past, they had spent most of their time discussing hers.


The elevator arrived at the 47th floor and the doors opened, they stepped out into a foyer with four doors, Kendra walked up to one of them an opened it with her key.  They stepped inside, the first thing Dominique noticed were the windows, the entire wall was windowed and through it she could see buildings and Central Park, they were obviously on the north side of the building she realized.  Double doors opened onto a small recessed balcony with tall black railings.  They were several blocks away from the park, but from this high up there were only a few buildings tall enough to obstruct the view.


“I think the view and price was what sold my father on this place,” said Kendra, “when he bought it the building owners were almost into bankruptcy.  They had originally designed it for office space and when that didn’t sell well they converted it to condos, he got a good deal on the price considering the building’s location and how high up we are.”


“It is a very nice view,” Dominique agreed, she looked around the large room; it was immediately obvious it was a combined living room and dining area.  To the left were two comfortable looking dark grey leather couches arranged in a half square with one against the windows and the other vertically dividing off the room.  Black iron tables with smoked glass inserts rested to the side of both couches and another longer coffee table in the same style rested in the center of the square formed by the couches.  An answering machine with its red light blinking rested upon the center coffee table.  The right side of the room contained a smoked glass dining table with modern looking chairs with black seat cushions.  The furniture would have looked too dark if not for the white walls and windows, and the blue carpet on the floor.  As it was, the three colors together contrasted pleasantly with one another giving the room a strong, distinctive look.


“That was my room when my parents were alive,” Kendra indicated a doorway on the northwest side of the room through which Dominique could see a small room with a weight bench and treadmill, “I converted it to an exercise room a few years ago.”


Kendra turned toward the right, “Office, bathroom, and kitchen are on this side.”  She turned back to her left, “Beside the exercise room is the main bathroom, and the master bedroom.”  Dominique followed behind Kendra as they went down the short hallway leading past a large bathroom; the redhead peaked in noting the marble floor, white wood wainscot and blue wallpaper and what looked like a whirlpool tub.  They entered the master bedroom; Kendra sat the duffle bag down on the bed and walked over to the west wall windows to open the blinds over them.  The afternoon light shone in, lighting up the room.  Cherry wood, blue and cream were the colors in this room, cherry wood furniture and wainscot, dark blue textured wallpaper and thick cream-colored cut pile carpet.


“Very nice condo,” Dominique said, “did you redecorate?”


Kendra cocked a quizzical eyebrow at her, “I had an interior decorator come in two years ago and remodel the entire condo.  I like darker colors than my mother did, and I’m not as fond of reds and pinks as she was.”


Dominique’s lips curved upward, she glanced at the stucco textured deep blue wallpaper above the cherry panel wainscot, “Let me guess…you like blues,” she said thinking of the blue carpet in the main room and the blue wallpaper in the bathroom.


The black haired woman chuckled, “there is a lot of blue isn’t there.”


The redhead glanced over at the inviting looking bed; it was tempting, especially when she thought of the state of her refrigerator.  She frowned, that reminded her that she needed to call the cleaning service and see if they could come and clean either this or next weekend.


“What’s wrong?” Kendra asked.


Dominique glanced over at her, “Just thinking about when to schedule my cleaning service,” she explained, “I guess I’ll see what state the house is in before I decide because I really don’t want to have them over this weekend.”


Kendra made a noncommittal noise, “It probably won’t be that bad,” she said optimistically, “after all it’s only been twelve days and no one’s been bringing dirt into the house.”  She unzipped the duffle bag and began pulling out clothes, “are we going out to more than one formal dinner?” she asked glancing from her task to the redhead standing just in the doorway, “I need to know how many suits to bring.”


Dominique smiled remembering the silk blouse and black leather pants Kendra had worn to their first meeting.  She took a step back and leaned against the doorway, “No more than two, I don’t believe I’ll feel like going out more than twice.  I don’t usually like being around…people,” she quickly substituted in another word for the one she would have normally used, “and after the last twelve days I suspect it will take awhile to get used to it again.”


  “Crowds don’t usually bother me,” Kendra replied, choosing not to comment on her lover’s hesitation, “but I know some people just don’t like them.  She carried the clean clothes with her into the walk in closet to put away.  “Did we ever decide what we’re doing for dinner tonight?” she asked as she hung a sweater up.


“No,” replied Dominique, walking over to the closet door.  It was a sizable walk in closet, she noted, and the lower portion of one side had drawers.  “Do you have a preference?”


“I’ve been wanting Italian,” confessed Kendra, “Lasagna with some salad and a nice Chianti Classico to go with dinner.”


Dominique chuckled at the rather specific answer, “I assume you have a place you want to pick it up from?”


“Gradisca,” Kendra immediately responded, “their lasagna is some of the best I’ve tasted, I’ll order it just before I head out for your place.  I can get a bottle of wine there as well they have a nice Riserva Cru that’s a nice hearty sangoviese and cabernet blend.”


Fifteen minutes and one long kiss later Dominique slipped back into her limo as Gregory shut the door.  She waited until she heard the sound of the driver door shutting before using the intercom to let him know she needed to stop by the grocery store.  The redhead glanced up at the building once more before the limo pulled into traffic; it seemed strangely fateful that Kendra’s apartment happened to be one of the few in this area that actually had a balcony.  Granted it was a small one, but a gargoyle could land there if they were careful.



Forest Hills Gardens Long Island


Three hours later, Kendra was turning onto Queens Blvd from the Long Island Expressway, dinner was sitting in the seat next to her filling the car with wonderful aromas and everything else was in the trunk.  She had heard of the prestigious Forest Hills Gardens area but had never driven this way before, from what she recalled the entire area had been built in the Tudor style.  She turned right onto Ascan Ave. and drove under the railway, no sooner had she emerged from underneath the trestle than she was abruptly in a completely different neighborhood.  Tall trees bordered and hung over the two-lane street, large houses some in red brick, some in the characteristic cream colored stucco with exposed dark beams appeared at intervals, each with its carefully landscaped yard.  Kendra whistled underneath her breath, this place was impressive and very European in feel, no wonder Demona chose to live here.  As she wound her way through the neighborhood streets, toward the address Dominique gave her she slowed her car, taking time to admire the architecture of the houses.


Finally, she turned onto Dominique’s street, she was looking for a large garage and a tall stone fence around the property.  Kendra slowed to a stop in front of the address, staring at what she could see of the two-story house set well back from the street.  Between the tall stone fence and the bare branched trees in the front yard it was difficult to see very much of the house from the street, and Kendra could imagine that during the warmer months they hid it almost completely.  The house, or at least the second story of the house which was all she could see from the street, was architecturally interesting.  Stucco and horizontal and vertical dark beams covered the left side of house; rough cream and brownish stone covered the right hand side of the house.  The right side of the house also had a half-octagonal design element giving it almost a turret like appearance.


Kendra stared at the garage, Dominique had described it as large; it was large enough to fit two limos side by side.  One of the garage doors opened as she was staring at it, Dominique stood inside with her hands on her hips, her attitude showing her impatience.  Kendra could guess that the redhead was wondering why she had stopped in front of the house and just stared at it instead of driving up into the driveway.  Turning the wheel sharply she turned into the driveway and drove into the garage.  She turned off the ignition and opened the door.  Sliding out of the car, she turned around and smirked at the redhead, “We need to discuss the difference between the words large and huge,” she said.  To make her point she glanced around at the cavernous interior of the garage, four jaguars would fit inside it if they pulled up close to the wall and each other.


Dominique laughed, “Is that why you just stopped in front of the house,” she remarked.  “I thought maybe you hadn’t written down the exact address and weren’t certain you had the right place so I came out to get you.”  She walked over to the car, looked inside, “this is a jaguar isn’t it?”


Kendra smirked, “Jaguar XKR Convertible,” she confirmed.


Dominique looked across the top of the vehicle at her, there was a smirk on her lips and one eyebrow was arched, “a black jaguar,” the redhead stated, amusement clear in her tone.


The black-haired woman shrugged eloquently, “could I possibly drive anything else?” 


The redhead chuckled and shook her head she opened the passenger door.  “This is dinner?” she asked, inhaling the aromas drifting from the bag in the passenger seat of the car, tomatoes, oregano, basil, olive oil and alongside those scents a whiff of chocolate.  Her stomach growled at her, they had lunch with Rachael before flying out of Alma, but nothing since then and she was hungry.


“Yep,” said Kendra going around to the trunk of her car, “Flatbread, salad, lasagna, the wine I mentioned and chocolate soufflé for desert.”  She pulled out the overnight and garment bags she had packed and two shopping bags.  Dominique picked up the bag containing their dinner, shut the car door, and opened the door leading into the house.  Kendra followed her in, they were in the kitchen, to the right was a table onto which Dominique was unpacking the restaurant bag.  She sat down her bags upon the floor and moved over to help her.  “When did you want to eat?” she glanced at the clock on the microwave, it was four forty-three.


“As soon as we take your bags up to my room?” Dominique responded.


Kendra nodded, “Sounds good to me, lunch was early.”


Dominique picked up the two shopping bags, one of which was much larger and heavier than the other.


Kendra glanced at the bags in the redhead’s hands, “Oh, wait there’s something in that one that needs to be washed before we can use it,” she indicated the larger bag.


Dominique opened the bag, curious; two packages that looked like blankets drew her eye, as they were the largest.  In the bottom of the bag, she could see different sized bottles and one long box.  Kendra reached into the bag and drew out the two packages.  The redhead stared at them uncertainly, whatever was inside was black, “Sensual throes?” she asked hesitantly after a second.


“Yep,” Kendra confirmed, opening one of the bags, “they have a vinyl middle, and should work well at protecting your bed from the massage oil.”


The redhead flushed, suddenly feeling slightly warmer as she remembered Kendra’s promise that she would give her a proper massage with massage oil.  She looked in the bag, now that the two packages were gone she could see the labels of the bottles in the bottom, one was sweet almond massage oil and the other was labeled personal lubricant.  She drew in a breath, remembering, the tent, the relatively warm night, the globe shining a reddish light over everything, Kendra’s hands massaging, stroking, and then later her hand inside her, slowly twisting.


“I got black just to be safe, since I didn’t know what colors you had in your bedroom,” Kendra said pulling the throe out of its bag.  “It has a velvet side and a satin side, I don’t know which will feel more comfortable,” she ran her hand over the muted black material of the velvet, “this is softer than I thought it would be,” she commented holding it out to Dominique.


Dominique ran her hand over the velvet side of the black throe, “It is soft,” she agreed, “the utility room is right behind us, we can go ahead and put them both in to wash now.”  She sat the shopping bags back down upon the floor and helped Kendra unpack the two black throes.


“Nice washer and dryer, do they work as well as advertised?” Kendra asked, watching as the redhead stuff the two throes into her front loading washer.


“I’ve been pleased with them,” Dominique responded, adding liquid detergent and starting the washer. 


The two of them returned to the kitchen, Kendra picked up the smaller shopping bag and handed it to Dominique, “while was out shopping I stopped by the Oscar Wilde Bookshop and realized you probably didn’t have some basic essentials.”  The black haired woman shrugged; “I don’t know if you’ll even like them…” she trailed off uncertainly, watching as Dominique pulled out the three books and two music CD’s.  It had seemed like a funny idea at the time, but now she wasn’t certain that the gargoyle would understand the significance of the books or more to the point, she realized belatedly that she had no idea how Demona thought of herself right now.  If the gargoyle was uneasy with identifying herself as bisexual, the gifts might go over rather badly instead of amusing and interesting as intended.


Dominique stared at the three books and two CD’s in puzzlement; she flipped over the back of the smallest book, ‘Curious Wine,’ and read the summary on the back.  Her confusion cleared as she realized the book was a lesbian romance novel.  “You’ve read these?” she asked, looking up from the book to Kendra.  She raised an eyebrow at the obvious relieved look on her lover’s face.


“Yes I have, their all three are good books.  The CD’s,” Kendra shrugged, “I don’t know if you will like them or not, Melissa Etheridge is a rock singer and k.d. lang is a country music singer.”


The redhead glanced briefly at the two CD’s still in the bag, returning her gaze to Kendra she asked, “Were you worried that I wouldn’t like them?”


“Actually, it crossed my mind once I gave them to you that perhaps they wouldn’t go over well.  We haven’t really discussed…,” Kendra hesitated searching for the right words, “our relationship and the outside world.  I don’t know how closeted you want to be or even if you want to be closeted.”


It took Dominique a few seconds to remember that closeted was used to mean secretive in this context, she hadn’t heard it used that way very often and certainly never before in reference to her own life.  She put the books down on the kitchen counter and placed the bag beside them, “Let’s take your bags up to my room and we’ll discuss it over dinner.”


As they walked down the hallway Kendra looked down curiously at the stone tiles, “Is this marble?” she inquired.  It looked like marble, but she had never seen any in this creamy terracotta tone before, or if she had, she hadn’t paid enough attention to it to realize it was marble and not some type of sandstone.  It went rather well with the antique looking hardwood raised panel wainscot and dark red painted walls.  The hallway opened into a large foyer that ran the entire width of the house; there was a stairway up to the second floor here.


“Egyptian Marble,” Dominique answered as they started up the stairs, “the owner before me had tile put down over the original hardwood floors.  The glue completely ruined them, so I had the marble put down.  I liked how it looked with the walls which the real estate agent claimed were original,” her tone indicated that she didn’t know whether that claim was true or not.


Kendra nodded, “From their looks I would be inclined to believe her, they look like maple.”  They stepped out onto the second floor foyer, she hesitated looking down at the wood floor, “Please tell me this isn’t the hardwood he tiled over.”


Dominique paused, looked back at her, “No the second floor was done in pine, I had the mahogany put in when I bought the house.  How do you know so much about wood floors and paneling?”


“When we remodeled the estate house mother dragged me with her, it was a long time ago, but I still remember the discussions she had with the remodelers over the different types of wood and why she wanted sugar maple flooring for the hallway and entry area instead of oak.  I remember she considered mahogany because of its hardness and wear ability, but it was darker than what she wanted.”


Dominique turned walked back alongside the stairwell railing and to the first door on the left, which was open, “We should hang your suits up to make sure they don’t wrinkle.”  Kendra followed her into the room; she noticed the fireplace on her right as she entered the room first and then the large canopy bed with cream-colored curtains and red comforter at the far end of the room second.  Dominique walked over to the right most door of two on the opposite wall and opened it, “this is my walk in closet,” she said with a smirk.


Kendra raised an eyebrow at the tone, she walked over and looked in, it was more than twice the size of her closet at the condo and only half of the space was filled with clothing.  She unhooked the folded garment bag, unfolded it and hung it up on the empty side; she then dropped the overnight bag under it.  Kendra eyed the garment bag critically; she opened it and pulled out the four hangers, two suits and two dress shirts.  She placed the hangers on the empty side leaving about a foot of spaced between each of them.  Throughout all this, the redhead watched her curiously, leaning casually against the doorway with her arms crossed over her chest.  “There,” Kendra announced, “now it doesn’t look so empty.”


Dominique shook her head and chuckled, “Let’s go eat before everything gets cold,” she said straightening up from where she had been leaning.  She walked over to a table and put the shopping bag with the oils and other items upon it.  Turning she glanced at the fireplace thoughtfully, “I think I’ll order some wood, it might be nice to light a fire one night.”


The black haired woman walked over and knelt by the fireplace looking into it, “Did you have the chimney swept this fall?” she asked.


“No,” replied Dominique walking over to stand next to her.


“You should before we start up a fire,” the black haired woman advised, “nothing like discovering a bird has nested in it or a squirrel and it either won’t draw or the nest catches fire.”


“That sounds like the voice of experience,” Dominique commented, her lips curving in a smile as she observed her lover.


Kendra looked up at her, her blue eyes dancing with laughter, “Oh it is.”  She rose, they walked out of the room and down the stairs as Kendra related how she had learned about the necessity of having chimneys swept out every year in the late fall well after any birds or squirrels might feel the need to build something.



4:30 pm Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building Upper Manhattan


The first thing that Angela noticed when she woke was that Elisa was waiting for them just as she had the night before when she informed them Demona had been found along with Kendra Canmore.  Angela was certain that she had been the only one not surprised by the news that Kendra Canmore was still alive.


“Elisa,” Goliath rumbled, jumping down from his perch and striding over to her, “you have more news of Demona?”


“She and Kendra Canmore flew back into town earlier today, and Matt managed to get a copy of the Canadian police report,” the detective reported.  The clan looked at her expectantly, “They claim never to have seen the faces of any of their kidnappers, someone came in and fed them but he had a mask on and refused to talk to them.  They were tranquilized before the plane transfer in Alma Quebec and didn’t wake until after the crash.”


“But you don’t believe that,” Broadway said, picking up on her phrasing.


Elisa glanced over at him, “If this were a normal kidnapping then it would make sense, the kidnappers wouldn’t want to be identified after their demands were met and they freed their prisoners.  However, Matt and I are certain that the kidnappers were Quarrymen lead by Jon Canmore; it doesn’t make sense that he would have hidden his identity from Kendra and Demona.  He would have come into talk to Kendra, either to rant about her being with Demona or giving her a chance to join him.  And he would have wanted to rant at Demona and taunt her about whatever he had planned for her.”


“Well it does make sense that Demona wouldn’t want anyone to know the Quarrymen were involved,” Lexington commented, “after all Jon Canmore might tell them that Dominique Destine turns into a gargoyle at night.”


The detective nodded at the small green male, “That’s exactly what Matt and I believe, that Kendra and Demona know exactly who kidnapped them and their keeping it from the police to protect Demona’s secret.”


“She may choose to directly attack the Quarrymen or Jon Canmore directly,” Goliath said thoughtfully, “now that they have moved directly against her.”


Elisa nodded, “That occurred to us as well.”  She grimaced, “It couldn’t be worse timing, we’ve uncovered enough information about the Quarrymen for it to be time for me to go undercover and see what I can find out from the inside.  The last thing we need is for her to go on one of her rampages and disrupt the investigation, plus the taskforce is watching the Quarrymen pretty closely if she attacks them…” her voice trailed off.


“One of them will see her and all the effort we’ve done to prove that we are the good guys and not monsters like they say we are will go down the drain,” Brooklyn said gloomily.


Goliath’s eyes flared white; he made a frustrated sound and stalked off toward the other side of the battlements away from everyone.  Elisa stared after him for a moment before she turned to Brooklyn, “why don’t you guys go ahead and have breakfast,” she suggested quietly.


Brooklyn glanced at Goliath, taking in the way his leader was standing, the clan leader was clearly angry.  He looked back at Elisa, “That sounds like a good idea,” he agreed.  “Hey Broadway what’s for breakfast tonight?”


Elisa waited until they had all left before going over to stand beside the large lavender male, “What’s bothering you?” she asked, “besides the obvious,” she added dryly.


The big male sighed, “Once again Demona’s desire for revenge threatens to harm the clan.”


The dark haired woman echoed his sigh, it was the obvious, “Matt and I are planning on going and visiting Nightstone Monday morning to try and get some more information from Demona.  There’s at least a chance that she’ll say something to us that she wouldn’t say to the Canadians.” 


As she had expected Goliath wasn’t exactly pleased to hear this.  As she listened to his usual arguments about how she shouldn’t have anything to do with his ex-mate, Elisa wished that she knew what schemes Demona was plotting.  She was certain the gargoyle would retaliate against the Quarrymen in some way, and Demona was probably brooding about what she was going to do to Jon Canmore right at this very moment. 



5:55 pm Destine Manor – Forest Hills Gardens Long Island


Kendra regarded the redhead across from her fondly; she found it rather endearing that Dominique had insisted that they use the formal dining room next to the kitchen to eat.  The redhead had set the table with china, silverware, crystal glasses and tall white tapers.  The warmed food was on their plates, the wine bottle open and decanted into a clear crystal container and Dominique was lighting the tapers after turning down the room lighting.  It made for a very romantic setting, which was not really something that Kendra had associated with the gargoyle up until now.  Given how gentle and tender the gargoyle could be though, it probably should be a surprise that she was romantic as well, the black-haired woman reflected.


“So,” said the redhead as she poured the wine into their glasses, “in reference to the outside world and our relationship, what do you see as our options?”


“Well,” Kendra began hesitantly, “We can try and hide the relationship.  Unfortunately, I’m out so that will automatically make the gossipers suspicious if we’re seen together too much.  We would have to limit the amount of times we went out together in public, and it would probably be a good idea to find you a beard.”


Dominique blinked; surely she hadn’t heard that correctly.  She stared a Kendra in puzzlement, a frown upon her face.  “Why exactly would I need to get a beard?” she asked hesitantly, all sorts of very odd thoughts going through her mind.


Catching sight of the look on the redhead’s face, Kendra chuckled, “Oh, sorry, I meant we need to find you a male escort to play the part of a boyfriend.  A gay guy with the same need would be perfect.”


The redhead’s confusion cleared, she could see the sense in what Kendra was saying, and why a gay male would make the perfect escort.  There would be no concern about him running to the gossip columnists and risk exposing himself, and no concern that he would get ideas that he would become more than just an escort.  “Why is that called a beard?”


Kendra took a sip of her wine as she thought, “You know, I don’t really know where the term came from just that it’s the term gay’s use to describe that situation.”


Dominique nodded, “And the other option?”


Kendra shrugged, “We go out to dinner, or wherever, and try not to be too obvious.  Let the gossip’s tongues wag and just ignore them.  We neither confirm nor deny anything.  If your company was public I’d be worried about the stock valuation slipping for a few months until people got used to it, but since it’s not, the only potential problem you have is whether or not you have some supplier or buyer who’s a raging homophobic.”


Dominique took a bite of the lasagna, the sauce was not the tomato rich one she had gotten used to, but the more gentle melding of flavors characteristic of the best Bolognese sauce.  Her eyes half closed in pleasure, Kendra was right this was quite good.  She made a quiet sound of pleasure, as soon as she swallowed she commented, “This is delicious where did you pick it up from again?”


The redhead looked up inquiringly as Kendra cleared her throat before responding, “Gradisca.”


“We will have to order from there again some time,” Dominique commented.  “As for the other, I prefer the second option.  It should also allow me the time to see if I’m going to need to switch suppliers or have difficulty with my buyers, though I don’t think I will, they don’t strike me as the type to let something like my sexuality stop them from buying Nightstone’s weapon and defense technology.”


Kendra nodded, she watched her lover take another bite of lasagna.  She had read about people being able to eat in a sensual manner, but had always suspected it would look rather affected and obvious.  The way Dominique was eating was definitely not an act nor was it obvious, it was more of a combination of the very proper way she was cutting her food before eating each single bite and the purely sensual pleasure evident on her face as she savored that bite’s flavor.  It was the combination of elegance and enjoyment, Kendra decided that was what made how Dominique was eating sensual.


Dominique glanced up from her meal to her quiet companion, wondering why Kendra hadn’t commented on what she had said yet.  Strange, she thought, the look on the black haired woman’s face reminded her of something.  Macbeth she realized, she had caught him looking at her like that sometimes when they were out eating.  “What is it?” she asked taking her napkin and wiping her lips, wondering if she had accidentally gotten some sauce on her face.  No, the napkin was still clean she noticed as she placed it back in her lap.


“Nothing,” Kendra responded lightly, returning her attention to her food, “I was just thinking of what you said.”  She was hardly going to admit that she had been enjoying watching her lover eat; besides, she didn’t want to make Dominique self-conscious.


Green eyes narrowed slightly, Macbeth had pretended not to have been watching her as well.  She observed the rather determined way Kendra was staring at her food; it was fairly easy to guess that she would have as much luck getting Kendra to confess why she had been watching her eat as she had with trying to get Macbeth to admit it.


“Are you going to continue with the weapon’s research?” Kendra asked searching for a distracting topic, entirely aware of the redhead’s green eyes boring into her.


Dominique’s eyebrow rose briefly, at least it was a decent attempt at a distraction she decided, recognizing the attempt for what it was, after all she employed it herself quite frequently to divert humans away from questions about herself.  “I’ll have to for now,” she responded, “it’s the source of almost half of Nightstone’s revenues, though I’d like to get away from it I think, I suspect it doesn’t fit in well with the inherent worth idea to be making weapons to kill humans more efficiently,” she commented rather dryly.


Kendra snorted, “No probably not,” she agreed.  A thought came to her; it was one that had been in the hovering in the back of her mind ever since they discussed the power sources Nightstone had developed for its laser weapons.  She stared absently at the silver chafing dish on the table behind Dominique’s right shoulder as she considered the idea.  “That power source you developed, would it be possible to further develop that into a generic power source?”


Dominique, who had been almost ready to look over her shoulder to see what Kendra was staring at so fixedly, stared at her lover instead, she hadn’t been expecting that question.  “One of the scientists working on the project mentioned that it might be possible, but I haven’t had the team pursue that idea.  What are you thinking about?”


“How much patenting the next generation of battery technology might make Nightstone,” Kendra replied, meeting the green eyed gaze.  “Especially if their noticeably better than lithium ion batteries and can be made for at or nearly the same cost.”


The redhead tilted her head slightly to the side as she considered Kendra’s idea, she hadn’t considered the humans suggestion because it didn’t fit into her desire to revenge herself upon his species.  Now however, that wasn’t a consideration since she had swore to the Ancient One that she would no longer war on humanity as a whole.  Batteries were truly ubiquitous; almost every electronic device used batteries of one type or another.  “That could be very lucrative if it can actually be done and done for a low enough cost,” the redhead commented thoughtfully.  “He did seem very excited about the possibility, and disappointed that I wasn’t interested.”  Dominique smiled, “I think I’ll be paying Research and Development a visit early in the week and letting them know I’ve changed my mind.”


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