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Discussions - Chapter 13

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 13

 

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: mild violence and language

 

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:  Teen

 

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: 07/29/08

 

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Saturday, December 20th 1997

 

Night – Majestic Theater, Manhattan

 

Dominique exhaled a quiet breath of relief once she saw Robert and the others settle safely inside the limousine, there seemed to be fewer reporters and more onlookers watching as they left the theater.  That, combined with the fact that the Quarrymen undoubtedly knew where she currently was, increased the possible danger to her party.

 

Kendra, standing on the other side of the glass door, turned and nodded to her, indicating that it was time for her to exit.  Dominique waited for the black haired woman to open the door and then stepped outside, being careful to not focus on the flashing lights of the mercifully fewer cameras.  Despite her best efforts, it had been hard to see anything when she stepped outside the restaurant earlier in the night due to the number of cameras on either side.

 

A red blur in the air from Dominique’s right and the shout of “Kill the Demon!” was her only warning that they were being attacked.  She reached up to catch what appeared to be a brick only to see Kendra’s hand in front of her own, the Jaguar’s chosen had shifted sides and moved to protect her from the attack.  The brick slapped into the black haired woman’s open hand, their eyes met, and Dominique’s brow rose, “I would have caught that,” she protested. 

 

In the next instant the reporters and onlookers, realizing what was happening, started shouting in fear and scattering around them, while the security team leader started bellowing orders to his men.  The slight shifting of Kendra’s eyes was all Dominique needed to spot the next incoming object, “Yours then,” the black haired woman said just as the brick slammed into the redhead’s hand.

 

“Even,” the redhead noted as she shook her hand after dropping the brick, that had stung slightly.  Kendra grinned merrily and Dominique smirked right back at her.  The redhead knew she should be more serious about the situation, especially since Robert, Sharon and the others were still nearby, but she had been so good since they had gotten back from Canada.  A battle would be rather welcome right now, especially since she was not the one instigating it.  Well…her sense of fairness had her acknowledging that she had started this in a way by donating to PIT, but really, this was rather an overreaction on the Quarrymen’s part.

 

The security team leader trying to grab her interrupted her thoughts, she easily evaded him and gave him a narrow eyed look, “Ms. Destine,” he protested, “we need to get you out of here!” 

 

She evaded him once again, while at the same time snatching another incoming brick out of the air and dropping it on the ground.  It earned her a startled glance from the brawny man, and seemed to be the signal to her attackers that it was time to try something different, more men came running up carrying hammers.  Kendra took a few steps forward to intercept them.

 

Dominique grabbed the man, “Get Robert and the others out of here,” she ordered him, “otherwise they’ll follow us and attack the vehicle.  Kendra and I can handle this and the police should be here very soon.  Now!” she yelled, as he looked ready to argue with her.

 

Another closer yell of, “Kill the Demon!” had her turning away from the security team leader, two Quarrymen, hoods on and charged hammers raised over their heads were rushing towards her.  She altered her stance, her weight mostly on her rear foot as she waited a half second for the right moment.  Just as the Quarryman in the lead raised his hammer slightly in preparation to bring it swinging down, she shifted her weight to her front foot, bringing her left leg forward in a powerful high kick.  The ripping sound of the seam of her dress giving way reminded her too late that it wasn’t really cut for this type of activity, as her extended foot caught the hooded man perfectly underneath his chin, snapping his head back and lifting him slightly into the air.  His feet slid out from under him as he fell backward unconscious, the hammer falling from his hands with a loud clatter onto the walkway. 

 

She ducked underneath the wild swing of the second man, stepping just slightly to the side and then bringing her left knee up hard into his groin.  His strangled sounding scream coincided with the sound of his hammer dropping on the ground.  She took a step backward away from her attacker; the Quarryman was bent over clutching the sorely abused flesh between his legs.  The hooded man lifted his head to brokenly snarl, “You bitch.  I’m going to make you regret that.”  A swift hard right cross to his chin ended his chances of following up on the threat.

 

She turned slightly, the security leader was staring at her wide eyed, “Now!” she repeated her order, this time he obeyed turning toward the vehicle and grabbing a few of his men.

 

“You four with me,” she heard him shout, “We’re getting the boy and the others out of here to safety.  The rest of you stay with Ms. Destine.”  The last thing she heard from him was him muttering, “Not that she looks like she needs the help.” 

 

Dominique chuckled to herself and glanced around to check on Kendra.  The black haired woman was snatching a hammer from a large Quarryman as if he had barely been gripping it, the redhead grinned as she imagined the surprise the human was probably feeling right now.  In the next instant, Kendra’s fist met his chin and Dominique doubted he was thinking of anything as the redhead watched the hooded man fall to the ground a few yards away from her.

 

Movement drew her eye and she turned to watch the limousine carrying Robert, Rachael, Sharon and Margaret pull away from the curb with two of the security vehicles, one before and one behind it, acting as escorts.  She nodded in satisfaction.

 

A warning, “Ms. Destine,” along with the sense that something was behind her, had the redhead instinctively ducking the swing of a hammer and whirling around to face her attacker.  A fast fist to the Quarryman’s stomach bent her attacker over; she grabbed his head in both hands and raised it slightly before bringing it down hard onto her swiftly rising knee.  As that attacker slumped to the ground, a kick of her foot to the handle of the hammer the man had dropped switched it off before someone stepped onto it and got a nasty shock from it.  Another Quarryman had been with him, but the three security men who had been left behind were taking care of him.

 

The sound of sirens rapidly approaching heralded the arrival of the police, and Dominique watched as the remaining Quarrymen scattered to escape them.

 

“Race traitor!” the nearby yell had her whirling toward the sound, anxiety clenching her stomach.  There was a Quarryman standing perhaps twenty feet away and her eyes widened in fear as she saw the gun in his hand aimed right at Kendra.  “No!”  Knowing that he was too far away even as close as he was, Dominique started running towards him even as she heard the gunfire.  Kendra leaned, almost in a casual movement to the side, evading the bullet as she scooped a brick from the ground and threw it with unerring accuracy at the Quarryman.  He screamed a high-pitched sound of pain and dropped the gun to sink to the ground and hold his hand.

 

Dominique stopped in front of him, “How dare you,” she growled at the kneeling human, furious that he had threatened her mate.  She wanted badly to lash out at him, to hurt him, but he was unarmed and obviously out of the fight.  He looked up at her and she could see the fear in his brown eyes though the holes in his hood, she reached out and yanked it from his head and then stared at the teenaged young male revealed by her action.  He couldn’t be any older than Robert she realized with some surprise.  Her anger, if not cooled, was now at least more controlled, and instead of striking him, she kicked the weapon he had dropped further away from him.

 

“We’ve got him Ms. Destine,” the three security men who had been left behind came up, one of them using a handkerchief to grab up the pistol and the other two standing over the young man, their looks warning him not to move.

 

“I’m alright,” Kendra’s warmly reassuring voice had her whirling around, grabbing the black haired woman’s coat and holding it open while her eyes worriedly examined the black haired woman for any sign of injury.  She could see no sign of a wound and a quick altering of her vision allowed her to verify that by checking her life energy.  “I’m alright,” Kendra repeated softly.

 

Dominique didn’t care who was watching, she stepped closer and pulled the black haired woman into a tight hug, “You need to stop scaring me like that,” she scolded, remembering their first flight together when Kendra had almost taken a dive into the ground.

 

Kendra’s arms wrapped around her and squeezed briefly, “I’m sorry; I’ll try not to have anyone shoot at me again,” she promised and the redhead could hear the thread of humor in her tone.

 

The redhead indulged herself by staying within her lover’s arms a few seconds longer before releasing the black haired woman and taking a step away when Kendra released her.  She looked into the blue eyes seeing the expected warmth and amusement there; she shook her head and smiled crookedly back, “You do that.”

 

A sudden increase in the volume of the approaching sirens and flashing blue lights interrupted anything Kendra might have said as the first police car screeched to a stop in front of the theater.  Detective Bluestone, how amusing, Dominique thought sardonically as she noticed who was getting out of the vehicle.

 

The redhead leaned over, “So, I got three,” she said in a low tone, glancing around at the unconscious Quarrymen littering the area.

 

Kendra smirked, “Five.”

 

Dominique frowned and started counting, “My heels slowed me down,” she defended herself after a few seconds.

 

Kendra let out a bark of laughter, staring briefly down at the heels in question.  “I believe you; don’t feel bad though, I think the three security guys only got the one, which might be why they’re giving us such wary looks.”

 

Dominique glanced over at the three men standing in a huddle together; she turned away and smirked after seeing the same expression Kendra was referring to on their faces.

 

“Ms Destine,” a timid voice had her turning around to see who was talking to her.  It was one of the reporters who had been there and scattered for cover when the Quarrymen had attacked.  The man turned and impatiently motioned the cameraman following well behind him closer.

 

“Do you have any comment about what’s happened tonight,” he asked holding his microphone out toward her.

 

Dominique stared at him consideringly, “Perhaps, if you will give me a moment alone I’ll think about it,” she finally said.

 

She turned to Kendra, motioned for her to lean closer, “If I say anything it will make this situation with the Quarrymen worse than it already is,” she whispered quietly, staring into her mate’s face.  “I don’t mind for myself, it may even keep them away from the clan, but I want to know how you feel about it before I say anything.”

 

“We need to be able to protect the others from them,” Kendra whispered back.

 

“I can hire security to guard the house at least until Rachael and Sharon leave, and we will have to stay away from Robert until this dies down.  I can use the security team we had tonight to escort Margaret around town until she leaves,” Dominique offered. 

 

The redhead watched Kendra’s face as the black haired woman considered what she had said, finally the blue eyes re-focused upon her and her mate nodded, “Go for it, my cousin will find out that he really didn’t want us as his enemies,” the blue eyes turned chill.

 

Dominique reached up and gripped her forearms, “We don’t have to do this, I don’t want you to go against your clan.”

 

Kendra shook her head in disagreement, “Except for my father I’ve always been against my clan, I just gave them a chance to mend their murderous ways.  Jon’s refused his chance, and it looks like he’s not going to leave you alone on his own, so we would have to do this anyway.  Our choice is simply when, I’d rather go ahead and deal with him now than later.”

 

Dominique stared into her eyes for a few seconds more before nodding sharply; she turned around to the reporter and motioned for him to come closer.

 

“I think we can all see tonight what the Quarrymen are really doing” Dominique turned and indicated the young man the police were taking away.  “Turning young people into obedient followers ready to kill anyone Castaway thinks is a threat to his organization.”  She turned back to the reporter, “The Quarrymen tried to kill me tonight simply because I chose to support PIT, a group that stands opposed to their goals.  I think that says quite a bit about the true nature of their organization and its supposed protection of this city’s citizens.”

 

She shook her head, her expression solemn, “Who exactly should we fear the most?” she asked him.  “The gargoyles who are trying to stop the criminals of this city, or these Quarrymen who fire anti-aircraft guns in the middle of Manhattan injuring dozens of people, and then tonight made a blatant attempt to murder Kendra Canmore and I because we don’t agree with their views or their goals?”

 

As soon as the reporter backed away, she stepped closer to Kendra, “I’ll try and make arrangements for security around the house tonight.”  She sighed unhappily, “I guess I’ll have to do without a personal assistant for awhile longer,” she said in a low tone to keep others from overhearing her.  She wasn’t pleased with the way things were working out, she hadn’t anticipated her donation starting an all out war with the Quarrymen, but if that was what they wanted then she wouldn’t disappoint them.  What she wouldn’t do was endanger others by getting them caught in the crossfire.

 

Kendra nodded in a particular direction, “Don’t you think you should let her make up her mind about that, especially since she’s here now.”  Dominique turned around following Kendra’s gaze, the limousine and the two escorting security vehicles were parked at the curb, apparently they hadn’t gone very far.  Of course the entire fight hadn’t taken that long either, perhaps five minutes at the most. 

 

Sharon had already gotten out of the limo and was headed rapidly in their direction.  “Are you two alright?” the short haired brunette asked in a worried voice as she came up to them.  “Gregory turned on the satellite TV in the limousine and we watched the entire thing.”  She nodded toward the single reporter and his crew, “The camera crew over there was filming the entire time; they weren’t that close, but he has a pretty good zoom lens on his camera so we saw everything.”

 

The redhead looked over towards the vehicle; she could see Robert and Rachael sitting within it.  Margaret was standing on the sidewalk looking toward them.  “We’re not hurt,” she turned back to Sharon, reassuring her.

 

“I thought not, but I wasn’t sure,” she looked back and forth between them, “You two were amazing,” she said her tone awed.  “I didn’t realize you could fight like that.”

 

Dominique smiled, but Sharon’s statement only reminded her of how vulnerable the young woman was, “Let’s go to the limo, the windows of this one are dark enough to give us privacy and I need to talk with everyone.”

 

The redhead waited until the doors were shut behind them before starting to speak, “The Quarrymen won’t stop with just one attack tonight, they’ll keep coming after me and I probably just made myself more of a target with what I said to the reporter.”

 

“I suspect you’re right,” Rachael agreed pointing up at the monitor which was still showing the scene around the theater with the police arresting the unconscious Quarrymen and occasionally panning over to the limousine in which they were sitting.  “But given what they did tonight, I suspect you really didn’t make yourself much more of a target than you already were just from making that donation.”

 

Wonderful, Dominique thought, live coverage, everyone had already heard what she had said to the reporter.  She turned back to Rachael and smiled wryly, “Undoubtedly,” she agreed.  “I’ll make arrangements with a security firm to have the house watched while you and Sharon are there.”  She turned toward Robert, “Robert, it’s probably best if I don’t see you for awhile, I don’t want them to target you or your Aunt and Uncle.”

 

“No,” he protested, looking rebellious.

 

“It doesn’t mean that Kendra and I won’t call you,” Dominique leaned forward, her face and tone earnest, “just that we shouldn’t visit you in person until this calms down.”  Robert looked only slightly mollified, “Besides, I suspect after tonight you’re Aunt and Uncle won’t be too pleased with the idea of letting you go out with me anymore anyway,” Dominique commented as she leaned back into her seat with a resigned sigh.  “Not that I blame them, I’m hoping I can get them to agree in a month or so to let you come to Nightstone so you can tour the building.”

 

“And if all else fails,” Kendra added, “you’ll be eighteen in a few months and they won’t be able to prevent you from seeing us anyway.”

 

Robert looked back and forth between them, “Do you think this will be over in a few months?”

 

“One way or another this will be settled in a few months,” Kendra finally spoke, her voice flatly resolute.

 

Dominique stared at the black haired woman troubled; sapphire blue eyes met her green ones.  “I know you want me to give him chances, but how many chances have you needed since the Ancient One freed you of the Weird Sister’s enchantments?” Kendra asked her gently.

 

The redhead frowned, there were more than a few differences in what had happened to her and what had happened to Jon Canmore, “He doesn’t know what was done to him, or who did it and why,” she pointed out.

 

“You’re right, he doesn’t,” Kendra agreed, “but I can’t permit him to harm you, or our friends, or the clan.”

 

“Then maybe he needs to know,” Rachael stated, staring at Kendra, “before any…permanent and irreversible decisions are made.”

 

Both Dominique and Kendra turned to look at her, “How?” Kendra asked.  “I want to give him as little information as possible, because if he doesn’t change after he knows the truth, then it might put everyone at risk.”

 

“In the same way Macbeth learned the truth,” the Cree woman answered.

 

The redhead frowned, recalling what she and Macbeth had been shown, “Do the spirits know enough about the Canmore’s past?  I never actually saw the Weird Sister’s enchanting any of them, though I did see the enchantments on them.”

 

“There’s no harm in asking,” Margaret responded before Rachael could, “The Ancient One wouldn’t have shown you anything that didn’t relate directly to your own history, so he could know much more about the Canmores than you think.  And even if he doesn’t, the other spirits might, between them all…” she shrugged.

 

Kendra stared at her for a second, “Alright,” she agreed, “I’ll ask, I do want to give Jon every chance I can to decide to stop what he’s doing.”  She took in a deep breath, staring at the carpet between her feet before looking up again, “Because I really don’t want to have to kill him.”

 

Dominique stared at the black haired woman, at the grim but resolute look on her face; the redhead had no doubt that Kendra would kill Jon to protect her or others from him.  Dominique also had no doubt that doing so would forever scar her mate, “Then let’s do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t come to that,” she said, shifting her eyes from Kendra to Rachael and Margaret.

 

Loud knocking on the darkened window of the vehicle, along with a faint, “Ms. Destine, I need to speak with you,” interrupted them. 

 

Dominique looked out, she could see the silhouette of a man through the dark window, but that was all.  She rolled down the window nearest her a few inches and recognized the man standing there immediately, “Detective Bluestone what do you need?” she asked impatiently.

 

“I need you and Ms. Canmore to come to the precinct office to make your statement, Ms. Destine, Ms. Canmore,” the detective stated firmly, his eyes shifting between the two of them.

 

One eyebrow arched, “In a few minutes detective, I’m not finished speaking to my friends yet.”  She raised the window again without giving him a chance to argue.  It didn’t however stop him from knocking on the window once again.

 

“Impatient, isn’t he,” noted Margaret with a frown.

 

“Detective Bluestone,” she said once again, her displeasure with him clear as she lowered the window.

 

“Do you and Ms. Canmore intend to give statements on tonight’s events, Ms. Destine?” he asked, this time he only directed his comment to the redhead.

 

“Yes detective, we intend to give our statements, we even intend on letting you drive us there while my driver takes Mr. McKenzie home,” she had startled him with that she saw, “but how soon that occurs is dependent on you letting me finish my conversation here,” she snapped.

 

This time she waited, staring at him impatiently, he flushed, “Let me know when you’re ready then Ms. Destine.”

 

“I’ll do that detective,” she assured him before raising the window once again.  She took in a calming breath before turning towards the young woman sitting at the back of the limousine.  “Sharon,” Dominique said, “I think it best that we delay your start date for awhile longer to let things settle down here.  The Quarrymen might target you once it’s known you’re my personal assistant.

 

Sharon immediately shook her head, “I don’t want to do that.  I understood when I accepted your offer that I was agreeing to help you with everything you agreed to do for the Ancient One, not just helping you with Nightstone.”  The brunette lifted her chin, “I know I’m your employee, but I’m also another chosen and I want to be involved in this.”

 

“This could get very dangerous, Sharon,” Dominique frowned at her, “It’s not a game, and as far as I know you’re not immortal,” she gave the young Horse’s chosen an inquiring look.  She could be wrong about this, she didn’t remember ever asking.

 

“No I’m not immortal, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make this choice.”  The younger woman’s hazel eyes met hers determinedly, “Standing up the Quarrymen is the right thing to do, and it’s what the Stallion would expect me to do.  Not flee at the first sign of danger leaving you two to face it alone,” her voice held a hint of outrage as she finished speaking.

 

Dominique stared at Sharon, taken aback by what the younger woman had just said, she understood wanting to please your patron spirit only too well.  Did she have the right to deny that to Sharon just because of her own fears?  But the thought of failing, of losing the young woman to a Canmore Hunter’s hatred just as she had lost her own clan so long ago…  Sharon had only spent two days in her home, but she had watched how she and Kendra interacted, had seen how much the younger woman already looked up to the Jaguar’s chosen even though Kendra seemed unaware of it.  Watched the black haired woman patiently teach Sharon dance steps late last night when they returned from taking Robert home and even danced with the younger woman while Kendra gave Sharon tips on how to be a better lead.  If Robert reminded her in so many ways of Macbeth’s son Luach, then Sharon reminded her of Angela, the two shared the same type of idealism and determination to do what they thought was right.

 

“You have almost two weeks until you’re due to start, we’ll see what happens to the situation here during that time,” it was all she was prepared to give Sharon, more time to consider her decision whether or not the young woman should come at the original time or wait longer.  “No, there will be no more argument over this matter right now,” she held up a forbidding hand, giving the younger woman a stern look when she saw the rebellious look in the hazel eyes and the opening of her lips to continue the discussion.  Sharon gave her an angry, frustrated look and the redhead was very aware of everyone else inside staring at the two of them. 

 

She looked over towards Kendra for help, saw the understanding and compassion in her mate’s blue eyes.  Dominique took in a deep breath, turned back toward Sharon, her expression softer, “Don’t you understand that I’m worried about losing you to their hatred, and of how much it would hurt to have a Hunter take another person I cared about from me just as they’ve taken so many already over the centuries.”

 

That seemed to take the fight out of the younger woman as she stared the redhead in open surprise, the two of them continued staring at one another for a few more seconds before Sharon dropped her eyes in silent acquiescence.  Dominique regarded the younger woman for a moment more before saying, “Do what you can to smooth things over with Robert’s Aunt and Uncle, let them know he has the internship and the only other thing is for him to visit the company to sign his paperwork and get a tour sometime between now and the summer.”

 

Robert protested, “But what about the visits to Nightstone?”

 

Dominique looked over at him, “I’ll try and work in the extra visits after they calm down, for now let’s let them think the excitement is over.”

 

“I’ll go with her,” Margaret offered, “I’m usually pretty good at calming down excited people.”

 

“Thank you,” Sharon said to her, looking grateful for the backup.

 

“It’s not a problem,” the tall woman assured her with a smile.

 

“I’d offer to help as well, but I don’t think my presence would help much,” Rachael commented dryly.

 

“Bigots,” Sharon said disapprovingly.  Robert flushed, looking uncomfortable and Sharon, noticing it, had the grace to be embarrassed, “I’m sorry,” she apologized to him.

 

“It’s ok, they are,” he admitted, giving Rachael an apologetic look.

 

The Cree woman smiled at him and reached out to pat him on the arm, “Don’t worry about it, their opinions don’t bother me.”

 

Dominique debated whether or not to add anything to the conversation, but decided that it was probably best to not.  “Alright, now for just one more thing,” she said instead as she pushed the button to open the intercom to her driver.  “Gregory, I was hoping that either you or Kendra could help me once again this evening.”

 

He responded promptly, “What did you need Ms. Destine?” and Kendra looked at her questioningly.

 

“I’m going to need to arrange for around the clock security of my home for at least the next few nights and perhaps even longer.  I’d prefer a security company that knows how to be discrete about their employer,” she said meaningfully.  “I was hoping that you might have some suggestions.”

 

Kendra shrugged, “I don’t know of any gay friendly security companies, I might be able to find something in a few days though if Gregory doesn’t know of anyone.”

 

“Actually,” Gregory responded, “I might know of someone, but I don’t know if their company is too busy right now to take on another client,”

 

“Understandable,” Dominique replied to him, “Which security company were you thinking of?”

 

“Masada Security,” Dominique was impressed, she had heard of the company, no wonder Gregory wasn’t certain they could take on another client.  “The owner is Michael’s ex,” her driver finished.

 

Her brow rose, out of the corner of her eye she saw Kendra grinning and then Sharon said under her breath, “It’s a small gay world.”

 

She looked over at the younger woman, bemused by the comment, “I’d appreciate if you checked on that as soon as possible, I’d like to get security in place tonight if possible.”

 

“I’ll make the call immediately Ms. Destine,” he assured her.

 

“Thank you Gregory,” she replied and cut off the intercom.

 

“We need to get going,” she said looking over at Kendra, the black haired woman nodded.  Dominique turned to Robert, his grey eyes met hers unhappily, she didn’t feel any better about how things were working out but this was the safest thing for her to do for him.  This was one young man that she could, and would, save, “Keep yourself safe,” she said reaching out and gripping his arm.  “Keep an eye out for anyone following you or watching your house that shouldn’t be there.  If you see anything suspicious let whomever you can reach first know about it.”

 

“Here,” interrupted Kendra, holding out a slender cell phone to him, “take this; I’ll get a second line tomorrow and a replacement phone.”

 

“Good idea,” Margaret commented, “I’d keep the fact that you have that from your Aunt and Uncle as well just in case their reaction to tonight is extreme.”

 

Robert looked at her wide eyed for a moment and then nodded, “I will.”  He knew she meant that if his Aunt and Uncle reacted to tonight by ordering him to not speak to Ms. Destine again, he honestly didn’t know how likely that was, but it wasn’t entirely unlikely either especially since his uncle thought the Quarrymen were right and the gargoyles were a menace.

 

Dominique nodded to the Bison’s chosen, that had been a wise suggestion.  No matter how Robert’s Aunt and Uncle responded tonight, he would have a way of contacting them so long as they remained unaware that he had a cell phone.

 

She rose and hugged Robert her arms going around his shoulders, “Never doubt that I care about you,” she whispered to him as his arms wrapped around her in return.  She heard his surprised breath and then the strong young arms around her tightened to almost the point of being painful before relaxing once again.  She had made the mistake of never actually telling Luach what she felt for him, and then she had forever lost the chance because of the Weird Sisters.  She wasn’t going to make that mistake with this young man.

 

A few minutes later Kendra and she watched as the limousine pulled away, escorted by the two security vehicles.  She turned to the waiting detective, “I trust that your vehicle at least has comfortable seats.”

 

“Umm,” he glanced uncertainly toward a late model dark sedan, he was pretty sure his seats didn’t compare to the one’s he had seen inside the limousine.

 

 

Night - Quarryman Headquarters in Lower Manhattan

 

“Who ordered this attack?!”  Jon Canmore stared at the television screen, appalled, this was just the type of publicity that the Quarrymen did not need at this time. 

 

“Not any one of us,” one of the men assured him, “we think they just got together and decided to do this after her earlier appearance.”

 

Jon grimaced, he didn’t know how the Demon managed it, but tonight had made it clear that she could appear human at night as well as during the day.  Her appearance at the restaurant had neatly diffused his earlier announcement and made him look like a fool in the process, the Demon had even referred to it as a patently ridiculous statement.  That had been humiliating enough, but this…it would have been one thing if she had been in her true form instead of this sorcerous illusion, but for them to make the attempt when she appeared to be human was disastrous for the organization.  In addition, the Demon had immediately capitalized upon it, accusing the Quarrymen of purposefully targeting youth to turn them into murderers.  The only thing more disastrous she could have done was openly compare them to the Nazis or KKK.

 

“We have to distance ourselves from them, make an announcement that we do not condone in any way their actions tonight,” his second in command said reluctantly.  “This was too public, and they made it too obvious they were trying to kill her, this will be much worse than the flack we got for breaking up that PIT meeting.” 

 

His second was right, that night had been a public relations fiasco and because of it, they had ordered their members to leave any more PIT meetings strictly alone because the press was beginning to draw parallels between them and the KKK for employing similar violent tactics against those who disagreed with them.  Tonight was guaranteed to stir those accusations up once again, only they would be much worse and it would take much longer for them to fade away.

 

Jon nodded, “I’ll do it tonight.”  The other men left him staring at the television screen his mind frantically working; he had to do something to turn this around, to show everyone that Dominique Destine was not the outraged innocent victim that she was pretending to be.  His eyes widened, he had it, there was no way she could disprove his allegations this time, the mere fact that her company had developed something like the carrier virus would damn her in and of itself, whether or not people believed she had tried to wipe out the entire human race.

 

And his cousin, Jon felt a wave of disgust at the suspicion that was rising in his mind after witnessing how concerned the Demon had been that Kendra was injured and their embrace.  Surely, his cousin hadn’t sunk so far as to actually sleep with the Demon?

 

 

Late Night - Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“Elisa,” Goliath rumbled as she entered Xanatos’ office joining the gargoyles gathered there.

 

“Hey Goliath,” she greeted him tiredly, “I’ve spoke to Matt, Demona and Kendra Canmore are at the precinct station making their statements now.”

 

“We have yet to watch what occurred,” the big male admitted, “we were patrolling when Xanatos informed us of what happened.  We decided to wait for you since you said you had not seen it either.”

 

“Is mother alright?” Angela asked her, she wasn’t certain what was going on, only that the Quarrymen had attempted to kill her mother and failed.

 

The expression on Elisa’s face was an odd mix of a grimace and a wry smile, “Oh she’s fine, and apparently the press is currently busy painting her and Kendra Canmore as crosses between Lara Croft and Wonder Woman.”

 

“Really?” Lexington remarked looking surprised and impressed.

 

Angela looked over at the web-winged gargoyle with a confused frown; she had no idea who the two women Elisa had mentioned were or why the press would compare her mother to them, but it was obvious that Lexington did, and considered it a complement.

 

“I would say so,” Fox agreed, “Quite frankly I’m jealous, I had no idea Demona could fight that well, especially in three inch heels.”

 

“Personally, I liked the garters,” David Xanatos commented with a grin.

 

“You would,” Fox’s tone had enough of a bite to it that the grin on his face faded noticeably, replaced by a startled look at his wife’s show of jealousy.

 

“Maybe we ought to watch the tape,” Elisa interrupted, staring at the two of them.  This was the second time she had heard garters mentioned and she was really beginning to wonder why.

 

“That sounds like a good idea,” Hudson added, confused himself as to what was going on with the married couple.

 

The flickering of the flat screen on the wall drew their attention as David started the replay of the earlier live broadcast.

 

The clan watched as the group left the theater just as they had before with the three women and the young man in the wheelchair leaving first.  “We know his full name now, it’s Robert McKenzie,” Elisa mentioned quietly.  Brooklyn glanced over at her sharply, making a note of the name, now all he needed was a number and he could warn the kid about Demona’s true nature.

 

“Unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon name; it might take awhile to track him down,” David responded and Elisa nodded, she had thought of that already.

 

The clearly shouted yell of ‘kill the demon’ drew everyone’s attention back to the monitor.  Angela watched, first in concern as the Quarrymen threw bricks at her mother and then in amazement as her mother knocked out a Quarryman with a well-timed and placed kick to his chin.  Looking at the shoes on her mother’s human feet Angela understood Fox’s earlier comment about her mother’s heels and being impressed that she was fighting in them.

 

The manner in which her mother dealt with the second attacking Quarryman had all the males in the room wincing upon hearing the human male’s scream of pain.  “Garters,” murmured David Xanatos, pausing the picture as Demona brought her knee up into the Quarryman’s chin.  Angela stared at the screen not certain to what he was referring. 

 

“What are these garters you keep mentioning?” Hudson asked looking over at the dark haired man.

 

“They’re used to hold up stocking hoses,” Elisa explained briefly, understanding now why garters had been mentioned a few times.  The dress Demona was wearing had ripped up the side far enough for the black garters she was wearing to be just barely seen along with a flash of pale flesh above her black stocking hose.  Men...

 

“So?” Hudson inquired, confused, that didn’t really explain why it seemed to be important.

 

“Never mind,” David grumbled, as his wife smirked at him.  Angela was confused, she understood now what garters were and that her mother was wearing them to hold up her stocking hose, but she didn’t understand why that fact would be significant enough for Xanatos to make a point of mentioning it.

 

They heard her mother order the security team to escort the limousine out of the area, leaving Kendra and she behind to keep the Quarrymen’s attention.  Angela frowned; this was starting to look a lot like what mother had done when she helped them escape from the staged Quarrymen attack.  “They’re actors,” Brooklyn announced his opinion, “and it’s a trick just like what she tried to pull a month ago,” his tone clearly indicated that he felt his suspicions had finally been vindicated.  Angela clenched her hands, but she couldn’t disagree, the same thought was on her mind as well.

 

“Except for one thing,” Fox replied freezing the monitor on the wall, “John Castaway’s already issued a statement repudiating their members’ actions tonight and denying that the Quarrymen leadership had any involvement in the planning of their attack.”

 

“What?” the brick red gargoyle said confused.

 

“She’s right,” Elisa confirmed, “Matt’s already looked into it, those were real Quarrymen and they were definitely trying to kill Demona.  The first thing they did when they regained consciousness was to try and defend their actions by claiming that what we’re seeing is an illusion and underneath she’s really a demon.”  She had initially thought the same thing as Brooklyn, but this had all been very real.

 

Angela let out an inaudible breath, relieved, and then she felt ashamed that she had been so willing to believe the worst of her mother.  As incredible as it seemed, Demona really had been protecting the humans in the limousine.  She drew in a sharp breath as she realized the significance of that, her mother never protected humans, she hated the entire race, and yet she had done just that rather consistently tonight.  What was so special about those humans and especially about the younger human in the wheelchair that Demona would protect them?

 

“That should go over well as a defense,” Fox commented dryly, interrupting Angela’s thoughts, “I wonder if they’ve noticed this is 1997 and not 1597.”

 

“If it’s a real attack then why does she look like she’s having fun?” Broadway asked staring at the monitor, which had stopped with the redhead mid-screen caught with a clear look of amusement on her face as she turned away from the human male who seemed to be in charge of the security team.

 

“Because she likes to fight?  And she’s been being very good lately?” David said with a grin that said he understood Demona’s motivations entirely.

 

“Or maybe because he just said something funny,” Fox added.

 

Angela glanced at the two humans dubiously and then back at the monitor, she frowned, Broadway was right Demona did appear to be having fun.

 

“He ordered some of his men to stay behind to guard her,” Owen spoke up, “and then he added, ‘not that she looks like she needs the help’.”

 

Everyone turned to stare at the blonde man, “Good eyes Owen,” David complemented him after a surprised second.  “I guess that answers it then, she was amused at what he said.”

 

Angela’s lips curved upward as she looked at the amused expression on her mother’s face again, it did make sense now.  When the taped broadcast began playing once more, Angela began paying attention to more than just her mother, that was when she realized just how well Kendra Canmore fought.  Her mother was an excellent warrior, but the black haired woman looked like she was playing with the Quarrymen she was fighting, disarming them with noticeable ease and in one case grabbing one of the hooded men that attempted to run away and yanking him back so she could knock him unconscious.

 

Then one of the few remaining Quarrymen drew a handgun, Demona shouted ‘No’ and started running toward him.  Angela had heard that truly frightened tone in her mother’s voice only twice before, once when Thailog was about to kill her and then a little over a month ago when the human her mother had hired to kill Goliath had tried to kill all of them.

 

Kendra, all in one smooth motion, leaned to the side, scooped up a brick and threw it.  “Every time I see that I’m more impressed,” Fox noted as the Quarryman screamed, dropped the weapon and fell to his knees, “amazing reflexes to dodge that correctly, and she barely looks before throwing the brick.”

 

Her mother ran up to the kneeling Quarryman, Angela heard the fury in her mother’s tone and she watched anxiously as Demona snatched the hood from the man’s head.  Only the Quarryman was barely a man and they could see that fact register as Demona kicked his weapon away instead of attacking him, leaving him to the two humans that came up as she turned to Kendra Canmore.

 

Angela’s jaw dropped in numb amazement as she watched her mother grab Kendra Canmore’s coat, opening it and looking the other woman over closely before pulling the black haired woman into a tight hug.  Weeks ago when they had both come back from Canada, Angela had thought that Demona kept Kendra Canmore alive because she had some use for the human woman.  The young gargoyle hadn’t revisited the question of what Kendra Canmore was to her mother since the clan started learning about what the Weird Sisters had done to Demona.  She had been too busy worrying about her mother’s temper and the possibility of her deciding to attack Goliath and Elisa, while at the same time worrying about Elisa being undercover with the Quarrymen to wonder about Kendra Canmore.  It had never occurred her that her mother would help Kendra simply because she cared about the human, yet here was the clear evidence that she did care.

 

One didn’t need to be a lip reader to decipher the discussion between the two when Demona released Kendra.  Her mother looked around and counted the Quarrymen, made some comment, and then the black haired woman glanced down at the heels on her mother’s feet laughed and nodded in response.  It was easy to guess that they were comparing numbers of Quarrymen defeated and that Demona had blamed her footwear for having less than Kendra.  What was different was the humor with which the comparison took place; Angela would have expected her mother to be more annoyed that she hadn’t defeated as many Quarrymen as Kendra, not smiling about it a moment later.

 

The young lavender female continued watching the monitor intently, not paying any attention to the reactions of the other’s in the room.  That was somewhat unfortunate, for if she had she would have seen the Xanatos’ sharing knowing, satisfied looks, and Brooklyn’s expression of continued suspicious disbelief.  She would have seen Elisa’s narrow eyed intentness and the slight frown on her face as she watched the interaction between the ancient gargoyle and the human woman, and Goliath and Hudson’s puzzlement at Demona’s friendliness toward the human woman.  Lastly, at the back of the room behind everyone, she might have noticed the pleased and somewhat incredulous smile on Lexington’s face as he watched Demona and Kendra and saw for himself what Greywolf had talked about in the chat room.

 

Then the reporter came up and asked Demona if she had a comment to make about the attack, her mother told him she would consider it and then she turned to Kendra.  Angela watched the intense quiet conversation between the two, the attention Demona was paying to Kendra’s words, how closely they were standing to each other and how at ease they seemed with one another, and suddenly the lavender female could see how the Xanatos’ could misinterpret her mother’s relationship with the human woman.  At the moment, they did look very much like mates.

 

Elisa stared at what she was seeing on the monitor, she had been so sure weeks ago that the only reason the ancient gargoyle was keeping Kendra around was to help her persuade the clan she was right to war against humanity.  Then Demona had hired the black haired woman when they returned from Canada, and the clan had heard the tale from Macbeth, and then things had gotten so confusing with trying to figure out if what Macbeth had told them was the truth or another scheme and if Kendra was involved in it for some unknown reason of her own…  If she had been asked why the two were cooperating before seeing this, she would have suggested that both of them had their grudges against the Weird Sisters and that was why Demona was willing to put her hatred of humanity aside long enough to work with a Canmore.  Demona wasn’t looking as if she had any problems with Kendra being a human or a Canmore right now.  As a matter of fact, it looked very much like Demona was consulting with Kendra before deciding whether or not to make a statement to the reporter.  The idea that the ancient gargoyle would seek a human’s opinion before making such a decision was startling to say the least.

 

Angela watched as her mother turned around and summoned the human reporter over with a gesture, she motioned toward the young man who had tried to shoot Kendra and then essentially accused the Quarrymen of purposefully turning him into a murderer.  Angela’s eyes widened in alarm as her mother asked the reporter who the people had to fear the most from, the gargoyles or the Quarrymen, and in the process, Angela feared, making herself even more of a target for the Quarrymen than she had been before.

 

Goliath had thought that the gargoyle he had known so long ago had died, that there was nothing left of his Angel of the Night in Demona.  Yet tonight he had seen glimpses of her once again, she had protected the humans with her by sending them away to safety while she fought the Quarrymen.  She had even tried to protect Kendra Canmore from the Quarryman who had attempted to shoot the human woman, and then she had controlled her temper and hadn’t harmed the injured young Quarryman even thought it was clear she had wanted too.  A few days ago, she had ordered the clan to stay away from her so that they would not become targets of the Weird Sister’s vengeance, and now she was making herself a target for the Quarrymen.  Was it possible that she was doing these things because she regretted her past actions against the clan and wished to atone for them?

 

“Elisa I have to say I’m impressed that you managed to defeat her that day you met her in the park,” David Xanatos’ voice drew Goliath out of his thoughts, the lavender gargoyle looked over at his human clan member remembering the day she had protected them from Demona.

 

The dark haired woman stared at Xanatos suspiciously wondering just how he had heard about that incident.  “That’s because she didn’t fight anything like what I just saw,” she finally replied, “not at all.”  She didn’t like to admit it, but she wasn’t sure she could have beat Demona that day if she had fought anything like how Elisa had just seen the gargoyle fight.

 

The other night the question of whether or not the Weird Sisters enchantments upon Demona had something to do with her attacks on the clan had given Elisa a pounding headache.  Tonight she was forced to once again consider the same question, before the kidnapping Kendra Canmore had told her that Demona was an accomplished fighter.  The comment had puzzled her then because she didn’t really think that the ancient gargoyle fought all that well considering how long Demona had to learn how.  Watching the gargoyle tonight, even if she had been in her human guise as Dominique Destine, had made it clear to Elisa that Demona had never fought them to the extent of her true abilities, she had held herself back and that brought up the question of why.

 

“What are you saying lass?” asked Hudson.

 

Elisa stared at the monitor; the picture was paused on the limousine that Demona had gotten into after the fight with the Quarrymen, “That the Demona I fought didn’t fight nearly as well as the Demona we saw fighting the Quarrymen tonight.”

 

“Are you saying that’s not Demona?” Broadway asked wide-eyed.

 

“No,” Elisa said turning to him, “that’s not what I meant at all.  I just mean that when I fought her she obviously didn’t fight as well as she could have, she held herself back.”

 

“Interesting,” David Xanatos commented thoughtfully.

 

 

Almost Midnight – Library, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

Elisa followed Goliath into the castle library wondering what it was her friend wanted to talk to her about, he had been rather quiet ever since they watched the tape of Demona’s altercation with the Quarrymen.

 

“Elisa, I do not believe that Demona has told us the entire truth,” the big lavender male spoke as soon as the door shut behind them.

 

The detective smiled wryly, “No, I don’t think she’s told us about everything either,” she agreed.

 

“Before Demona was kidnapped we agreed that we should speak to Kendra Canmore,” Goliath said, “perhaps she can tell us something Demona has not.”

 

“Maybe,” the detective commented, somehow she didn’t doubt that Kendra might know, but whether or not the black haired woman would share that information was another matter.  “Kendra and Demona appear to be a lot closer than I would have thought given who Kendra is,” she finally broached the subject that had been on her thoughts since seeing the ancient gargoyle hug the human woman.

 

“Mmm,” Goliath rumbled thoughtfully, “Demona was treating her…”  He paused a puzzled frown on his face that slowly shifted to more of a bemused expression, as if he couldn’t believe his own thoughts, “As if she were clan,” he finally finished softly.

 

Elisa stared at him, she hadn’t quite known what to think of the obvious concern Demona had shown for Kendra Canmore.  At least Goliath’s interpretation of it was much more believable than the Xanatos’.  “They did seem rather close; I can even understand why David and Fox thought they might be lovers.”

 

The big male was already shaking his head, “They are not,” he said with certainty.  Goliath stared at Elisa for a moment, he took a step towards her and reached down and took one of her hands in his own.  He met her dark eyed gaze earnestly, “Understand that I do not believe there is anything wrong with accepting a human as clan when they have proven they are a true friend to us as you have proven yourself to be since you first met us.”

 

The detective smiled up at him, she could guess what he was about to say, “But Demona has never thought that way.”

 

He smiled back at her, “No, Demona has never thought that way,” he agreed.  The smile on his face faded.  “Until tonight I would have never believed that she would accept a human as clan,” he said quietly, almost as if he were speaking his thoughts aloud, “even though Macbeth did tell us that she was very close to his son and that the Weird Sisters had to take her memories of him away before she would betray them.”

 

“Shared adversity does bring people closer,” Elisa pointed out, “and they both have reason to hate the Weird Sisters.  It does give them a lot of common ground.”  She took in a deep breath, she had to know if what she suspected he was considering was true, “You’re thinking of allowing her back into the clan.”

 

He didn’t immediately deny it, instead he looked thoughtful, “No…” he finally responded, “at least not yet.  I do not understand why she appears to have changed so suddenly and completely.”  He stared down at her, his expression troubled and confused, “Elisa, she was acting like a true gargoyle tonight.”

 

She could see the renewed hope in his eyes; he had given up on Demona only after it became painfully clear that his ex-mate would not and did not want to change.  Even then, it had pained him that he had failed to persuade her to give up her hatred and bitterness.  “You’re hoping that Kendra Canmore can tell us why.”

 

“Yes,” he agreed simply.

 

“I’ll find a way to ask her to come to the castle and speak with us,” Elisa promised quietly.

 

“Thank you,” he said on a deep exhale, the troubled expression on his face never easing.

 

Elisa nodded hiding her anxiety, what would this mean for the unspoken relationship between them if he allowed Demona back into the clan?  She knew Goliath had feelings for her, but they had never openly spoken about it because she was human and he was a gargoyle and that seemed like an insurmountable barrier between them.  If Demona had been behaving the way she had because the Weird Sisters' enchantments had somehow altered her personality and forced her to attack the clan…her thoughts trailed off troubled.  The detective wouldn’t have willingly considered it before, but after seeing how Jon was acting and what he had said, she simply didn’t know anymore.  If the Weird Sisters were capable of addicting the Canmores to killing gargoyles just to make sure they kept hunting Demona, what had they done to the ancient gargoyle herself to make sure she stayed alone, bitter and angry as the Archmage wanted?

 

If what she was starting to suspect was true, would Demona want Goliath back now that she was free of the Weird Sisters' enchantments, and what would Goliath do if she did, now that she was acting like the gargoyle he had fallen in love with so long ago, his Angel of the Night?

 

 

Almost Midnight – Battlements, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“Angela?” Broadway followed the lavender female outside hesitantly, not certain if she wanted company right now or not.  She turned and held out her hand to him, and with a sigh of relief, he quickened his pace.  “What’s wrong?” he asked as he took her smaller hand in his.  She ducked her head away from his gaze, looking shame-faced, “Angela?” he repeated her name softly.

 

“We should be with mother,” she finally responded, looking up at him, her tone conveying her anger, disappointment, and resentment.

 

He glanced down at her intently, not missing the fact that she had probably really wanted to say I instead of we.  “Are you mad with Goliath for not letting you go see her?”

 

“I’m mad at both Father and Mother,” she admitted, turning away from him to look out over the city.  “She’s changed Broadway, really changed,” she turned back toward him.  “You saw what she did tonight; she’s taking on the Quarrymen for us.  How many more battles can she fight by herself?” she asked him passionately. 

 

“She has Kendra Canmore,” he said, and then shook his head.  That sounded so very odd, but no odder than realizing that it seemed to be the truth after seeing how Demona acted toward the human woman.

 

“Isn’t that just more proof of how much she’s changed,” Angela responded quietly, “that she has a human friend?”

 

“She’s changed,” he agreed wholeheartedly.  “It’s just that it’s been so sudden, it’s hard to trust that it’s real this time,” he glanced at her apologetically.  “It’s been less than two weeks since she came back from Canada, and we started learning about what those three fey did to her.  I think everyone just needs more time to let everything we’ve learned sink in.”  Under his breath, he added, “I know I need it.”

 

Angela slumped, she knew he had a point, everything had been happening very rapidly.  “Is she more like how she used to be?” she asked.

 

Broadway thought back, dredging up his memories of the scarlet haired gargoyle before she became Demona, when she had been Goliath’s mate.  He remembered her being stern, watchful, but kind and in rare moments playful and fond of the occasional joke.  Even then though, she had been angry and resentful of the humans in the castle, and he had overheard enough talk from the clan elders to know that the clan’s second in command hated Princess Katherine and the Magus for the way the two humans treated and spoke of them.

 

“Maybe,” he said thoughtfully, “but even then she didn’t like how the humans in the castle were treating us.  She did have a sense of humor though, and she was never unkind to any of us back then.”  He was unaware of how wistful his voice had gotten as he remembered.

 

Angela frowned, Princess Katherine hadn’t talked much about those days, but she had readily admitted that she bore a share of the blame for what had happened because of the shameful way she had broken her vow to her father to honor his word to the gargoyles that their family would protect them.

 

“She didn’t look that unhappy tonight, even with everything that happened,” Broadway offered quickly seeing the frown on the lavender female’s face.

 

Angela focused upon him, “No she didn’t,” she agreed, her emotions ambivalent.

 

Remembering her earlier concern he added, “She’s not totally alone like you were worried about,” trying to cheer her up.

 

The lavender female flushed feeling the shame of her jealousy, “No and I’m happy about that,” she forced herself to say in a light tone.

 

Broadway frowned, confused, “Angela what’s wrong?  I thought you would be pleased about that.”

 

“I am happy about that,” she looked up at him, “it’s good that mother has human friends now.  That she realized they aren’t all the same, that some of them can be trusted.”  She let out a deep breath, turning to look out over the city once again, “We should be there too though, showing her that she can come back to us.”

 

“Oh,” he responded quietly and noncommittally, unless pressed he wasn’t going to mention that he wasn’t really certain about welcoming Demona back into the clan just yet.  A few more months to make sure that she wouldn’t just as suddenly change back again to the old Demona would be nice.

 

“But we’re not the ones with her,” Angela continued, “and I’m worried that she believes that we won’t ever accept her as part of the clan.”  She turned back to him, regret in her eyes and voice, “The last thing I told her was that I would never trust her again.”

 

Broadway knew that hadn’t been exactly her words in the cargo hold of the ship, but that had been the message behind them.  “I’m certain that she knows that you would give her another chance if she shows that she’s really changed,” he tried to reassure her.

 

“But does she care anymore?” the question was out before she could censor it.

 

“Huh?” Broadway stared at her completely surprised, “Why wouldn’t she?”

 

The lavender female sighed, her wings drooping slightly, “She hasn’t tried to talk to us at all, and she seems to be really close to some of her new human friends.”

 

Broadway frowned, wasn’t that a good thing?  As he stared at Angela, taking in the discontented expression on her face, a possible reason for it slowly dawned on him.  Angela had always yearned for a close relationship with her mother, however now that Demona seemed to be changing into what the lavender female had always wanted, it was not Angela who was getting Demona’s attention and affection.  He had noticed the displays of affection Demona showed the young human male named Robert and Kendra Canmore, obviously so had Angela.  He reached out and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, as soon as she looked up at him, he said, “I’m certain that she’s thinking about you, and she’s only staying away to keep you safe.”

 

“Do you really think so?” she asked him, staring up into his face intently.

 

He nodded, “Yes, I do,” he responded honestly, thankful that he was as certain about this as he was, Angela was sure to spot a lie, but he had never doubted Demona’s desire to keep her daughter from harm.  What Demona was willing to do to ensure that safety was entirely another matter.

 

“I hope so,” she replied softly and moved closer.  He wrapped his arms around her, hoping that Demona wouldn’t disappoint her daughter yet again.

 

 

Almost Midnight – David Xanatos’ office, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“I almost believed that Goliath could be right and we were misinterpreting things,” Fox commented, “until I saw how Demona reacted to Kendra almost being shot tonight.”

 

David replied thoughtfully, “He’s very certain that homosexuality doesn’t exist in gargoyles, isn’t he.”

 

His wife nodded, “I suspect the truth is that those who are gay bury the feelings and chose a mate of the opposite sex because that’s what the clan expects from them.”

 

The dark haired man looked thoughtful, musingly he asked, “Do you think that’s what Demona did?”

 

Fox was surprised at the question.  She had never really considered it; though she had always thought it odd that Demona went through all the effort to persuade David to buy the castle and bring her remaining clan members here to break the spell on them only to do everything she could to thoroughly alienate them.

“I don’t know,” she responded with a one-shouldered shrug, “she could be bi after all.”

 

“True,” he conceded, then in a complete change of subject, “Would you like a drink?  I was going to ask Owen to bring me some cognac.”

 

“That sounds nice, I’ll have some scotch on the rocks,” she watched idly as her husband contacted Owen and made his request.

 

“I’m thinking that Demona might be right about this being the right time to support PIT,” David said when he hung up the phone, “Castaway being so quick to disavow their actions shows that he’s fully aware that tonight’s events coming so soon upon his actions last week will damage the Quarrymen’s public image even more than it already is.”

 

Fox frowned, “I don’t think they really have the resources to put any more funds to good use though,” she pointed out, “Demona gave them quite a healthy amount.”

 

“I agree,” he said with a smile, “Which is why I suspect that the services of a few good public relations people might be of use to them in designing their advertisement campaign.”

 

Fox met his dark eyes, “What an interesting idea,” she commented, “I like it, the more unpopular the Quarrymen become the safer things are for all of us.”

 

A quiet knock on the door interrupted them, “Come in Owen,” David called, fairly certain it would be no one else.

 

The blond man entered and sat down the tray he was carrying on Xanatos’ desk.  “So Owen what did you think about tonight’s show?” David asked as the blonde man used tongs to place two ice cubes in each glass and then poured cognac into one and scotch into the other.

 

“That though Demona’s sudden improvement was commented upon; Kendra Canmore is the more skilled fighter of the two,” Owen immediately responded as he handed the couple their respective drinks.

 

“No, I noticed that,” Fox replied, “she was toying with them.”  That had been both a fascinating and troubling fact.  Kendra’s fighting moves were a study of grace and deadliness, and all that skill was on Demona’s side, not theirs

 

“Yes,” the blonde man agreed.

 

David gave Owen a sharp look, there had been something different in his normally cool tones, “I noticed that as well,” he agreed still staring at Owen, “especially the one that tried to run away after she snatched his hammer out of his hands.”  Xanatos noticed a flicker of something in the blonde man’s eyes, at his words.  “Owen?  Is something bothering you about Kendra Canmore?”  David frowned as the normally cool and controlled blonde actually shifted uneasily, the dark eyed man waited, becoming more concerned the longer the fey in human form stared off into space as if searching his memory and didn’t respond to his question.

 

“Owen,” Fox finally said sharply, causing the blonde man to start slightly in surprise, “what is it?” she asked, concerned now because of his behavior.

 

The blonde man stared at her for a moment, a faint crease between his brows; he exhaled in a light sigh before saying, “There is a certain resemblance in the way Kendra Canmore moved as she fought the Quarrymen to someone I have seen before.”

 

“With whom?” David questioned, troubled, he had seldom seen Owen so obviously disturbed.

 

“The were-jaguar that delivered the spirits message,” Owen responded, the crease between his brows becoming more noticeable.

 

David and Fox looked at one another, uncertain as to what if anything that meant.  It didn’t seem as if there could be any connection between the woman and the events of over two thousand years ago.

 

 

Almost Midnight – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

A black Chevy Suburban with the Masada Security logo on the side was waiting for them when the limousine pulled up to the house.  “Ms. Destine,” Gregory said, introducing the dark haired, dark eyed, stocky man who got out of it and came up into the garage to meet them as they got out of the vehicle, “this is Azarel Mayer the owner of Masada Security.”

 

The redhead was surprised; she hadn’t expected the owner of the company himself to respond this late at night.  Apparently, Gregory’s mate had been able to contact him directly.  Obviously, Michael had a much more friendly relationship with this man than Kendra had with Marla.

 

“Nice fighting against those Quarrymen,” Azarel complemented the both of them, “I understand from Michael that you would like some security around your home to make sure those whack jobs don’t get any bright ideas about attacking it.”

 

Dominique’s eyebrow rose at his choice of words, and her lips curved slightly in amusement, “I take it you don’t agree with their views,” she commented.

 

“No,” he answered firmly, meeting her green eyes, “I know better, my father and mother owe their lives to a gargoyle that saved them when they were young.  If it weren’t for her saving them I wouldn’t even be here.”  The slight widening of her green eyes betrayed her surprise at his answer, “So, since you’re coming under fire from them for supporting PIT, as well as the fact that Michael was the one that asked me on Gregory’s behalf, I’m interested in making sure you get the security you need,” he finished his eyes determined, intent.

 

It was the determination and intentness that startled Dominique, this seemed to mean entirely too much to the human.  She searched his eyes looking for any hint of deceit, some hidden agenda; she sensed none, which confused her.  The redhead glanced quickly over at Kendra, meeting her blue eyes, a minute reassuring nod told her that her mate sensed nothing threatening from him either.  Perhaps his intentness came from the fact that he felt he owed gargoyles a debt because of his parents and this was the first time he had found a way to repay it, Dominique decided.  “I don’t know yet how many days I’ll need your company’s services,” she told him.

 

He nodded, “We’ll play it by ear then.  I’m stretched a bit thin right now,” he admitted, “but in a few days I’ll have people getting off other contracts.  Since Castaway has already distanced himself and his organization from the ones that attacked you tonight, I’d say he isn’t planning on doing anything too overt against you any time soon so it should be all right.  In the meantime, I’ll take some watches myself to make sure we have enough coverage.

 

That was certainly unusual, Dominique thought, “If you’ll bring over your contract I’ll look it over and we can come to an agreement tonight.”

 

“Tomorrow’s good enough,” he waved her offer away, “you have a good night Ms. Destine.”

 

She stared at him bemused for a second, “Thank you,” she finally replied appreciating the fact that she didn’t have to stay up late tonight waiting for the contract to be delivered and then checking it over.

 

He just nodded and turned to walk back to his vehicle.  Dominique found herself smiling after him; he was starting to remind her of Wayne.

 

An hour later, after everyone had settled down from the excitement of the night…

 

Well this dress certainly needed some mending, Dominique thought, staring at the long rip up the seam in the side that extended to mid hip, almost revealing the thin lace of her underwear.  An arm wrapped around her waist as Kendra stepped up close behind her, pulling her against the black haired woman’s body as Kendra’s other hand rested upon the bared flesh above her stockings exposed by the ripped seam.  The redhead inhaled sharply, stiffening just slightly as a wave of tingling arousal danced down her body before she relaxed into the woman behind her, letting her head fall back against Kendra’s shoulder.

 

It had been so long since this morning when she had wanted to touch her lover as she stretched after awakening, and so many things had happened since then, especially the moment of pure fear when she had been certain that the Quarryman would shoot Kendra.

 

Kendra stroked the pale soft skin between the hose and garter for a few seconds before her hand slipped underneath one of the garters and slid underneath her dress.  The warmth of her hand rested upon the front of Dominique’s thigh her fingers stroking slowly over the sensitive flesh of the redhead’s inner thigh so very teasingly close to the lace that covered her femininity.  The redhead drew in a deep breath, her eyelids lowering over her green eyes as she focused on the sensations Kendra’s teasing hand was causing inside her.

 

But she hadn’t been injured, that graceful agility that Dominique had so often admired had allowed her mate to evade the shot and disarm her attacker. 

 

“Kendra, please,” Dominique begged, wanting the reassurance of the black haired woman’s touch, proof that they were both alive and well and had defeated their enemies.

 

“Yes,” the hand around the redhead’s waist tightened possessively as Kendra drew her even closer, and warm lips pressed against the side of her neck.

 

 
 
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