Kudara's Stories

 
Home ]
 

Discussions - Chapter 21

 
 
Back
Home
Up
Next

 
 

Discussions - Chapter 21

 

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:   This is now definitely an AU story if it was not before since I have altered the events of an episode.  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: 01/10/09

 

******************************************************************************

 

Wednesday, December 31th 1997

 

Night – Bryant Park Hotel, Times Square, Manhattan

 

Dominique smirked in amusement as she noticed Robert’s wide-eyed stare after the beautiful blonde woman who had just walked by.  She wasn’t certain whether his interest was due to him recognizing the woman, who was a rather famous movie star, or due to the woman’s dress, which plunged down to reveal most of her back.  Then again, she mused, noting how he was still staring with an awed expression after the woman, perhaps it was a bit of both.

 

There were multiple New Years Eve parties going on in the hotel.  The public one was a few floors below them in the hotel’s nightclub, this party however, was very exclusive and by invitation only.  It had taken her a few phone calls to find the right person to inform that she was interested in attending this year, but after that, they had fallen over themselves to provide her with the number of invitations she desired.

 

“Dominique,” a low toned vaguely familiar feminine voice had her turning around to stare into the tattooed face of Xanatos’ wife, “you’re being rather social these days, and that’s a stunningly nice dress you’re wearing this evening.”  The CEO of Nightstone was wearing a scarlet mermaid dress in a one shoulder strap design, the ruching in the torso and hips hugging Dominique’s body tightly to just below her hips showing off her narrow waist.

 

Only a brief widening of her eyes betrayed Dominique’s surprise, she sensed something...she let her vision alter just long enough to verify her suspicion.  Fox Xanatos was part Fey.  “I am, and thank you,” the gargoyle in human form replied with a calm serenity that masked her curiosity, “Kendra and Robert wanted to see the ball drop, so here we are,” she indicated the room’s windows, which happened to overlook the landmark red globe.  “Speaking of which,” she glanced over at the young man, noticing that he was now looking at them instead of staring after the blonde actress.  Dominique motioned him over, “Fox Xanatos I’d like you to meet Robert McKenzie.  He’ll be staying with me until he goes to MIT in the fall.”  She didn’t try to hide her pride in him as she made the introduction, he had sent off his paperwork two days ago and she had no doubt the university would accept his application.

 

Robert’s cheeks colored slightly as he wheeled himself closer and then held out his hand, “Pleased to meet you Mrs. Xanatos.”

 

Fox gave the young man a warm smile, “It’s nice to meet you as well Robert, I’ve heard quite a bit about you lately from Lexington,” Robert smiled at this.  “He’s rather excited to have someone his own age to talk to who shares his interests.”

 

“I enjoy talking to him as well,” Robert responded, “he’s very knowledgeable about electronics and computers.”  As the two continued chatting, Dominique eyed Fox Xanatos.  Where had the fey blood come from in Fox’s bloodline, she wondered, from Halcyon or Anastasia Reynard and was the woman even aware of it?

 

“Hey,” the low husky voice in Dominique’s ear sent shivers up and down her spine.  Arms encircled her and she leaned back against her mate.  Absently she noted that except for a brief widening of the woman’s green eyes, Fox did not look particularly surprised when she glanced over at the two of them.  “Want to dance?”  Kendra asked a hopeful note in her tone.

 

Dominique tilted her head slightly in consideration as she listened to the opening bars of the song that had just begun.  It was a slow waltz.  She smirked, thinking of people’s reactions, “Why not.”  She knew they looked very good together tonight, Kendra in her black tuxedo with scarlet cummerbund and tie that exactly matched the shade of her dress.  They had gotten quite a few stares when they walked in tonight with the rest of their party, most of which had been curious and speculative rather than disapproving.  She glanced over at Robert, not wanting to just walk off and leave him. 

 

He gave her a quick smile, “I’ll be fine, and I like watching you dance together.”  That did seem to be true, he often watched them practicing in the evenings, and it saddened Dominique that he was unable to dance himself.  It frustrated her that it had been much too long since the accident for her to help him.  She could only heal very recent injuries, one’s in which the body’s tissues still knew they were injured and she could coax them into healing into how they were supposed to be.  Robert’s body had forgotten that it had ever been any other way than the way it was now.  She gave him a smile in return, fighting to keep the unhappiness from her expression, and not to glance at the wheelchair in which he sat, she knew he wouldn’t want either her regret or pity.

 

“Shall we,” Dominique said, turning to Kendra and accepting the hand her mate held out for her.  She almost laughed as she caught sight of the surprised and startled look on Fox Xanatos’ face as they left; she suspected the human woman hadn’t suspected she knew how to dance.  As they stepped onto the dance floor, Dominique placed her free hand on Kendra’s shoulder as the black haired woman lifted their joined hands and pulled the redhead to her with a hand resting upon Dominique’s upper back in a slightly closer than necessary dance hold.  Brilliantly blue eyes met green and a soft smile curved Kendra’s lips that was matched by the one on Dominique’s a second after.  Upon the beat, they stepped out with the characteristic dip and rise of the first step of the waltz, going through the first three standard steps, before the slight lift of Kendra’s leading hand signaled a coming turn.

 

 

Thursday, Jan 1st 1998

 

Just after Midnight – Bryant Park Hotel, Times Square, Manhattan

 

“Do I need to be jealous?”  David asked with a smile as his wife walked up to him after finishing a rather active and intricate swing dance with Kendra Canmore.

 

Fox grinned back at him, “Perhaps, she is a very good dancer,” she teased.  The couple turned and regarded the two women currently dancing the rumba out on the dance floor.  “And apparently a very good teacher as well, Robert told me they practice for a half hour to an hour every night they can.”

 

The dark haired man grinned widely, “I guess that’s one of the things she’s so busy with that she doesn’t have the time to patrol with the clan.”

 

The redhead woman smirked, “We probably shouldn’t mention it to Goliath, I doubt he would be pleased with her choosing to learn how to dance over patrolling,” she commented dryly.

 

He chuckled silently his eyes meeting hers in shared amusement before his gaze returned to the two dancers.  “She’s doing rather well considering that she’s only been learning for a month or so,” he noted after a moment.

 

Green eyes watched the two dancers, “She is,” Fox agreed, “she’s also happy,” she remarked quietly.

 

David glanced curiously over at his wife, “She does appear to be.”

 

His wife’s expression turned thoughtful, “Was she ever happy before?”

 

He considered the question for a moment before responding, “When she and Goliath were reunited, I think she was for a short time.”

 

“It didn’t last,” Fox stated certainly.

 

David shook his head, “No, it didn’t, not even for a day,” he commented his voice holding just a hint of sadness.  He turned his head to look at his wife, his gaze wandering over her features, love warming his gaze.  Sensing his attention her green eyes turned from the dance floor to meet her husband’s brown eyes, Fox’s gaze softened when she saw the emotion there.  When his dark’s eyes returned to the dance floor, David focused his attention on Dominique, noting the relaxed happy smile and the loving way she regarded the dark haired woman holding her.  The gargoyle in human form wasn’t making any effort to hide her feelings for Kendra.  He turned his attention back to his wife, “It wasn’t like this,” he commented.  Fox turned questioning eyes to him.  He sighed, “Even then, it was as if she knew it wouldn’t last,” his attention returned to the two women dancing together, “This is very different.”

 

After a long silent moment between them, Fox commented, her attention on the other couple as well, “Kendra doesn’t seem to be at all like Goliath.”

 

David smirked, “No, she doesn’t.”

 

“She actually reminds me in some ways of you,” the tattooed redhead commented, looking up at David.  Her husband turned bemused eyes toward her and Fox’s smile widened.  “She’s a rogue,” her smile turned into a smirk, “and a charming one, just like someone else I know.”

 

The current dance ended and another began, Xanatos held out his hand to his wife, “May I have this dance?”

 

 

Thursday, January 1st 1998

 

Very Early Morning – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

“Did you know that Fox Xanatos was part fey?”  Dominique asked Kendra as they went up the stairs to their bedroom after returning from the party and seeing Robert settled in his room.

 

“No…” the black haired woman began and then stopped speaking abruptly, halting her progress up the stairs as well.  “Wait... is that what I sensed from her?  I wasn’t certain what it was the night I first met her at the castle.”

 

The redhead stopped, staring down with an intent look from a few steps above, “She’s definitely part fey.”  If Kendra had said anything that night about sensing something strange about Fox Xanatos, she didn’t remember it.

 

“Hmm… interesting, she didn’t feel the same as Puck so I discounted it.  I guess I shouldn’t have,” Kendra commented ruefully, starting back up the stairs.

 

“She is part human,” Dominique offered, turning around and starting up the stairs herself once she saw her mate was moving again, “perhaps that’s the reason she didn’t feel the same.  I didn’t recognize what it was about her that caught my attention until I altered my vision and took a look at her life energy.”

 

“Well that makes me feel slightly better,” Kendra remarked.

 

They reached the second floor of the house and Dominique paused to watch the black haired woman come up the last few steps, “It wasn’t like recognizing Owen was fey,” she confirmed and Kendra nodded as she took the last step.  “I wonder where she gets her fey blood from,” the redhead mused as they headed toward the open master bedroom door down the hallway.

 

Dominique glanced over at her mate in time to see the startled expression on Kendra’s face, “Queen Titania,” the black haired woman announced.  The redhead halted and stared, her expression a silent demand that Kendra continue.  “Remember I told you Owen made a remark about Queen Titania being interested in Alexander’s wellbeing and thus interested in the clan being at the castle to protect him?”  Dominique nodded; she did remember the conversation now that Kendra reminded her of it.  “We decided we didn’t have enough information to figure it out that night,” the black haired woman remarked.

 

The redhead frowned thoughtfully, “We did, didn’t we.  I’d say we have enough information now, what Puck said would make sense if young Alexander is of Titania’s bloodline through Fox.”  She paused a moment before musing, “I wonder how closely they’re related.”

 

Kendra raised her eyebrow, “Close enough for her to care.”

 

“True,” Dominique smiled in wry agreement.  The redhead turned and continued down the hallway, entering the bedroom and pausing to slip out of her heels with a relieved sigh.  “I can’t say that I really like the idea of another couple of fey so close to the clan, especially since one of them is a young untrained infant.”

 

On her way to the walk in closet, Kendra responded, “At most Alexander can only be a quarter fey, and in this case it seems to be giving them some protection.  From what you described of your visit to Avalon via the spirit realm, Titania isn’t a fan of the Weird Sisters.”

 

The redhead glanced at her startled, “You think Fox might be her daughter?  That would mean that Anastasia Renard is actually Queen Titania,” she said bemused.

 

“I don’t know,” Kendra stated as she hung her jacket on a hanger, “I was just saying that at most Fox’s son can only be a quarter fey, he’s probably less.”

 

“Her great-grandson,” Dominique remarked thoughtfully, “that would make sense I guess,” she was more comfortable with that idea than the thought of Anastasia Renard being Titania even though she had never met the woman.  Dominique picked up her shoes and padded on stocking feet over to the closet.  “No Titania doesn’t appear to be a fan of those three,” the redhead agreed, remembering the day she and the Ancient One had watched the Weird Sisters from the spirit realm and Queen Titania had appeared.  “And with any luck, that means she might do something if they attack the clan or the Xanatos’.”

 

 

Early Evening – Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“Hello, Mother,” Angela’s heart was beating slightly fast.  She wasn’t quite sure how she was going to work what she wanted to say into the conversation, but she was determined to do it tonight.

 

“Angela,” Demona replied, her voice sounding pleased, “how are you doing this evening?  I gather you have the later patrol?”

 

“I do,” the younger female confirmed, “and I’m doing fine.”  She took in a breath and concentrated on keeping her tone light and conversational, “I heard Fox talking to Lexington about seeing you, Kendra and Robert last night at the New Year’s party they went to.”

 

“We had a very good time,” Demona replied warmly, “Robert seemed to enjoy watching the countdown in person instead of on the television.”

 

“I’m glad,” Angela replied somewhat distractedly, more focused on how to bring around the conversation to the topic she wanted to discuss than she was on the actual conversation.  “Fox was teasing Xanatos about needing to practice dancing more often because Kendra was a better lead dancer than him last night.”

 

Her mother laughed, richly and warm, and despite her nervousness and tension it brought a smile to Angela’s lips at the sound of it.  “Kendra is a very good dancer,” the older gargoyle agreed, “She and Fox danced a few dances together.”

 

Angela took in a breath, “And you,” she said, pushing the conversation toward where she wanted it to go.

 

There was a moment of silence, “Yes and me,” Demona replied, sounding cautious now.  “Kendra’s been teaching me how to dance; I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would actually.”

 

The lavender female smiled bemusedly at the comment.  Until Fox had talked about seeing her mother and Kendra dance together, she had never considered that her mother would participate in such a human thing.  “I’m glad you’re enjoying it, I’ve seen humans dancing together and it looks like fun.”

 

“It is,” Demona confirmed after a moment.  She still sounded wary to her daughter.

 

Nervous, Angela blurted out, “Kendra told us she was gay the night she came to talk to the clan.”

 

There was a moment of silence from the other end, “Does that bother you?”  Demona asked slowly.

 

“No,” Angela responded firmly, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay.”  There, she had gotten to say it, the young female thought to herself.  There was only silence on the other end of the line and Angela realized belatedly that perhaps she had been too obvious.

 

“Angela, is there something you want to ask me?”  Demona now sounded overly calm.

 

“Umm…”  Angela searched her mind frantically for something to divert her mother.

 

In the background of the other end the younger female heard Kendra’s voice, “Is that Angela?”

 

“Yes,” Angela heard her mother respond.

 

“Tell her happy New Year for me.”

 

Her mother didn’t pass on the message instead the noise on the other end of the line became muffled; Angela could hear Demona’s voice but couldn’t make out exactly what her mother was saying.  “Oh no,” she muttered worriedly to herself, realizing that Demona must be telling Kendra about their conversation.

 

“Angela?”  Her mother’s voice was suddenly clear on the line, startling the younger female.

 

“Yes,” the lavender female responded hesitantly.

 

“Perhaps it would be best if we met somewhere to have this conversation instead of over the phone,” her mother’s tone was now calm and confident.  “We are least likely to be disturbed at Nightstone, the window to my office opens and we can talk there without worrying about anyone overhearing us.”

 

Angela blushed, remembering the night she had snooped around her mother’s office.  “Alright,” she agreed quietly, “when did you want to talk?”

 

“Tonight?” her mother asked, “Do you have time before your patrol?”

 

“Second patrol doesn’t begin for another five hours,” Angela responded, knowing that she was agreeing to talk to her mother tonight by telling her this.

 

“Good, we will see you there in an hour then.  My office is on the top floor, it’s the only place on the building that has a ledge along the outside so you should be able to find it easily.”  Angela bit at her lip to keep herself from commenting that she knew this, the last thing she wanted was her mother asking how.

 

An hour later Angela was climbing down the side of Nightstone to the ledge outside of her mother’s office, she stepped onto the ledge and looked through the glass into the green eyes of her mother looking out from inside.  The younger gargoyle’s eyes widened as she took in the black pants, green shirt, pale skin and lack of wings.  It was only after she got over the shock of seeing her mother as a human that she noticed Kendra standing a few feet behind Demona.  Her mother reached out and tapped a control from her side of the large window and the glass began rapidly descending.

 

“Come in Angela,” Demona urged her as soon as the window was fully lowered, “I don’t want someone on the street looking up here and noticing you.”

 

Tucking her wings in close to avoid knocking over the plants on either side, Angela stepped into the office.  After one glance, she avoided looking over at her mother’s desk.  She still remembered with embarrassment the pile of clothing on it and the chair behind it and her mistaken assumption that her mother and Kendra had gone out flying.  The lavender female turned her attention to the other person in the room, staring at the blue-eyed woman standing near her mother.  A flash of memory caused Angela to blush as she recalled what she had seen just a few days ago in the room next to this one, Kendra lying on top of her mother and the two of them embracing and kissing passionately. 

 

“Angela,” Kendra greeted her.

 

“Hello,” the younger female replied uneasily, trying to focus on how the human woman looked right now in her black pants and cream-colored sweater she was wearing instead of the well muscled, olive-skinned nude figure in her memory.

 

“You’re wearing my gift,” Demona commented with a pleased smile, drawing her daughter’s attention back to the currently very human looking gargoyle.

 

“I was finally able to persuade Owen that the magic he sensed was what you said and nothing more,” Angela was so disconcerted by her mother’s appearance that only a slight trace of exasperation colored her tone.

 

The redhead woman stared at her searchingly; at least the green eyes were the same.  “Well, I’m glad to see you wearing it,” Demona finally responded, “and I believe I should go change now.”

 

Angela looked at her mother in surprise, “You don’t have too.”

 

The redheaded woman regarded her evenly for a moment, “I think it would be best, I can see you’re not comfortable with me in this form.”

 

“I’m…”  Angela’s voice trailed off, she couldn’t lie to her mother.  She had seen her on the television like this, but she was finding that actually seeing her mother as a human was very unsettling, “I’m just not used to it,” she admitted.

 

The redheaded woman smiled crookedly and suddenly Angela could more easily see her mother underneath the human appearance.  “That’s why.  I think it’s best for us to be focused on other things during this conversation rather than what I look like.”

 

Angela stared at her mother, she had managed the one thing the PFLAG web site warned not to, and yet… the lavender female thought about what Fox had told Lexington and her about the New Years Eve party.  It certainly didn’t seem as if Demona was making much of an attempt to hide her relationship with Kendra from anyone, rather the opposite in fact.  She took in the resolute look on her mother’s face, maybe her mother wanted this discussion to happen as well.  “Alright,” she agreed quietly.

 

Demona gave her an encouraging smile, “I’ll be back in as soon as I change.”  As Angela watched in surprise her mother went over to her desk and pushed a few buttons inset into its surface, the bookcase on the wall behind the desk came forward and slid open, revealing a way into the room next door.

 

“You watched too many secret squirrel movies you know,” Kendra commented with a smirk.

 

Demona glanced over at the blue-eyed woman with a startled look before looking back at the opening.  She shook her head, “Actually it was Thailog that had the building remodeled to include the control room and the entrances into it.  I was busy collecting DNA from the clan and trying to persuade my daughter to join me in my war against the humans at the time,” she said, looking over at Angela with an apologetic expression.  “I’m very glad now that you didn’t listen to me.”

 

The younger female smiled brilliantly, it was amazing to hear her mother say this and know that she meant it, “It’s alright, I know now that it was because of the spells the Weird Sisters had on you.”

 

Her mother’s expression turned introspective and she sighed regretfully, “Only partially, much of that was my own hatred.”  Her jaw tightened and Angela could see the regret and pain in her green eyes.  Kendra moved, drawing both Demona and Angela’s attention, and the younger gargoyle’s eyes widened as she saw the gentle, loving expression the blue-eyed woman was giving her mother.  The lavender female looked over at Demona in time to see her expression soften and the green eyes, which had been filled with pain, warm.  The two women stared at each other for a moment longer before her mother took a step toward the opening behind her, “I’ll be back in a moment,” she said before stepping through it into the other room.

 

“So how are Goliath and Brooklyn recovering from the other night?”  Kendra asked, distracting Angela from staring after her mother.

 

“They’re fine,” the lavender female responded staring at the human woman she now knew was her mother’s mate.  Kendra’s words had reminded Angela of watching the woman in her were-jaguar form subdue her father, who had been mind controlled at the time.  Graceful and deadly, Owen had called her, and after seeing how easily Kendra had avoided her father’s wild blows and then stepped around Goliath to hold him still for Demona to remove the chip, Angela couldn’t argue with his assessment.  “One stone sleep was all they needed to recover.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” Kendra replied, “I’m glad to hear that neither of them was hurt that badly.”

 

Angela tried not to stare too obviously at the blue-eyed woman.  The younger gargoyle couldn’t help but wonder what it was that her mother saw in Kendra that she would choose the human as her mate.  Was it the confidence and strength of Kendra Canmore’s personality, or the fact that she could turn into a winged were-jaguar and fly with her mother, or perhaps it was her skill as a warrior?  Then again, Angela thought with another quick glance over at the blue-eyed woman, maybe it was the combination of all of those things that had caught her mother’s attention. 

 

The lavender female blushed as she noticed the human woman watching her with a small smile curving her lips and an amused look in her blue eyes as if she knew what the younger gargoyle was thinking.  That was another thing Angela didn’t understand, Kendra didn’t seem anything like her father at all.  Why had her mother chosen someone so different in personality?  Demona appearing in the doorway wearing her halter-top and loincloth was a welcome distraction, and Angela felt herself relax as she took in the more familiar appearance of her mother’s true form.

 

Demona smiled, “Better?”

 

Angela blushed again, this time out of embarrassment that she hadn’t hidden her relief better from her mother, but she couldn’t deny the fact that she was more comfortable now that her mother looked like a gargoyle instead of a human.  “I’m sure I’ll get used to seeing you that way.”

 

“It’s alright, it took me weeks to get used to seeing myself as a human after Puck cast that spell on me,” Demona reassured her as the scarlet haired gargoyle moved to stand beside Kendra.  Angela stared at the two of them, her mother standing as tall as Kendra Canmore now that she was in her true form.  Demona glanced over at Kendra and the two females stared into one another’s eyes, a silent communication passing between them.  The lavender female shook her head slightly in disbelief, she would have never ever have imagined seeing her mother like this with any human whether they were male or female.

 

“So, I believe you have a question for me,” Demona said as she finally looked away from the woman standing beside her to her daughter.

 

Angela looked back and forth between them, “Not really,” she said quietly.

 

Sharp blue eyes focused on her, “Not really because you don’t want to know the answer, or not really because you already do,” Kendra asked.

 

Angela felt her face heat with her blush and was thankful her coloration hopefully hid most of it, “I believe I already know,” she answered quickly.  Please don’t ask how, the lavender female begged silently, the last thing she wanted to admit to her mother was that she had accidently spied on them together.

 

Demona’s eyes widened slightly at the younger gargoyles response, and she glanced briefly over at the blue-eyed woman before returning her attention to her daughter.  “Kendra and I are more than friends,” the scarlet haired gargoyle paused waiting to see what the response would be to this announcement. 

 

Angela waited for a second to see if her mother would say anything else before nodding, “I know, the Xanatos’ have been telling the clan for weeks that you were together.  I thought at first father must be right and they were misinterpreting what they were seeing, but the papers kept reporting on seeing you together and then the Xanatos’ saw you last night.”

 

“I refuse to act as if I’m ashamed of who I’ve chosen to be with simply because someone else doesn’t agree with it,” Demona said, her voice quite firm and there was no mistaking the pride in her green eyes as she looked over at the black haired woman standing next to her.  Then her gaze softened, she swallowed and when she spoke next, her voice was husky with emotion, “Especially when I consider myself quite lucky and blessed to have her in my life.”

 

Kendra smiled at the azure blue gargoyle, her expression filled with warmth and love, “Are we going to argue again on who is more blessed and lucky than the other.” 

 

Demona’s lips curved upward in a wide smile and Angela just stared, stunned to see how it transformed her mother’s face.  She had never seen Demona looking as happy as she did right now.  She was also a little bit stunned at Kendra’s words.  Angela stared searchingly at the human woman, looking for any sign that the blue-eyed woman didn’t mean them, but she didn’t see any sign of duplicity in Kendra’s expression as the black haired woman gazed at Demona, her blue eyes brilliant with emotion.  Angela’s own lips curved in a smile of delight.  She had immediately disliked and distrusted Thailog, and liked and respected Kendra Canmore, and it was wonderful to think that her mother had finally found someone who truly loved her.  “I think we can spare Angela that,” the azure blue gargoyle remarked, still smiling.  Demona took in a deep breath before turning to face her daughter, her expression turning serious, “You should know that we are mates now, Kendra asked me on Christmas Day and I accepted.”

 

The younger gargoyles dark eyes widened, she hadn’t known their mating was so recent.  However, she reflected, it would almost have to be recent given the short amount of time they had known each other.  “Congratulations,” she finally thought to offer.

 

“Thank you,” Demona replied and Angela could hear the mingled surprise and pleasure in her mother’s tone. 

 

“Thank you, Angela,” Kendra said quietly.  The woman’s blue eyes met the lavender gargoyle’s own for a moment and then went meaningfully over to Demona, making it obvious that the human woman wasn’t just thanking her for her well wishes.

 

Demona’s expression shifted from pleased to serious, drawing Angela’s attention back to the azure blue gargoyle.  Her mother’s green eyes met her own dark ones, “I don’t know how to tell you how much your acceptance of our relationship means to me,” Demona told her softly, “Your reaction has been the one I’ve worried about because you’re the only person whose opinion about our relationship matters to me.”

 

Suddenly Angela was enormously relieved that she had seen them together.  That she had already known this, had already thought about it, and accepted the idea of her mother being with another female before talking to Demona.  Her mother’s words and the way she was acting made it clear to her daughter how much a rejection, even a brief one, would have hurt her.  Even now, it was strange to think of Kendra and her mother being together, though it was less strange now than it had been even fifteen minutes ago.  Seeing the obvious love between the two helped.

 

“You’re happy,” it was the first response that came to Angela’s mind, and it was also the most compelling reason she had for accepting her mother’s relationship with Kendra.  “Seeing you tonight made me realize that I’ve never seen you so happy before, and if Kendra is the reason for that then I’m glad you found one another.”

 

Demona’s eyes became suspiciously bright, the azure blue gargoyle glanced over at Kendra, “She’s a large part of the reason I’m happy,” she said, her voice soft and deeper timbered with her emotions. 

 

Kendra took a step toward Demona, closing the slight distance between them and wrapped an arm around the gargoyle’s slender waist.  “You’ve made me no less happy,” the blue-eyed woman said softly.

 

Angela found herself looking away from her mother and her new mate as they stared into one another’s eyes.  The emotion between them was almost palatable it was so intense, and the younger gargoyle was starting to feel like a voyeur watching them.  She turned her gaze to the other room instead, staring through the still open entrance, taking in the computer displays along the walls and the grey round table in the center of the large room.  Demona had called it a control room, which implied that you could control most of the building’s systems from within it.  Angela had no doubt that Thailog had used it to monitor everything that went on in the building when he was in control of Nightstone and Demona was imprisoned in the Labyrinth.  Currently, most of the computer screens were turned off and Angela suspected her mother rarely used the room.  Demona’s office had a much more lived in feel with the paintings, plants and comfortable looking chairs and sofa.

 

“I’m sorry Angela, we didn’t mean to embarrass you,” Demona’s quiet words had the younger gargoyle looking back at her mother immediately.  Kendra’s arm was no longer around Demona’s waist and both females were frowning slightly as they looked at her.  Her mother’s expression held markedly more concern than Kendra Canmore’s, which held very little concern and a lot of annoyance.

 

“It’s alright; I just didn’t want to stare,” the lavender female replied hastily, not wanting either her mother or her mother’s new mate to continue thinking that she was bothered by seeing their love for one another. 

 

Kendra’s expression eased immediately, an amused look replacing the previous frown, “Ah,” the sound the blue-eyed woman made held a wealth of understanding.  “Perhaps we should sit down for the rest of the conversation,” the black haired woman waved toward the short couch and seats on the other side of Demona’s desk.  “I imagine that you have some questions for us.”

 

After a quick, startled glance at her mate, which was met by an even look Angela couldn’t quite decipher, Demona gave her daughter an intent stare before letting out her breath in a quiet sigh.  “Yes, I guess you probably do.”

 

Angela chose one of the two chairs, and watched as Demona and Kendra sat down beside one another on the short couch across from her.  As soon as her mother took her seat, the azure blue gargoyle met the younger gargoyle’s eyes, her expression rather serious as she waited silently for her daughter to ask whatever questions she wanted to ask.  Looking back and forth between Demona and Kendra, Angela found herself feeling uncertain about asking about what she most wanted to know.  It suddenly felt very awkward to be asking about her mother and father’s relationship in front of her mother’s new mate.

 

As the silence in the room dragged on, Demona’s expression grew more concerned, “Angela what do you want to ask me?  I could tell from your expression earlier that you have a question.”

 

The younger gargoyle’s dark eyes widened briefly, she took in a nervous breath her gaze flitting back and forth between her mother and the human woman sitting next to her.  “Father…,” Angela was able to begin before falling silent, trying to figure out exactly how to ask the question without offending either female.

 

Demona tilted her head to the side, regarding her obviously anxious daughter with puzzled eyes, “What about your father?”

 

Angela’s eyes went uneasily to Kendra, meeting the human woman’s blue ones.  To her surprise, they were warm and understanding, “You want to know if your mother loved your father or if she just chose him because she felt she had to choose a male as a mate?”

 

The lavender female stared at her mother’s new mate in surprise, “How did you know?”

 

“It wasn’t that hard,” Kendra said with a small, understanding smile, “I would be wondering the same thing if my mother had one day decided she was in love with another woman.”

 

Beside Kendra, Demona shifted, drawing Angela’s attention.  “I did love your father a long time ago Angela,” the azure blue gargoyle said, “and no I didn’t know then that I could be attracted to females.  I don’t recall ever finding any of my rookery sisters attractive in the same way as I did a few of my rookery brothers.”  She looked over at the human woman sitting next to her, her lips curving upward in a smile, “Kendra is the first female and the first human that I’ve ever been attracted to in this way.”

 

Angela looked back and forth between them, absorbing her mother’s words.  Her curiosity now peaked she asked, “When did you know?”

 

“I knew I was attracted to her before we ever met,” Kendra commented, merriment dancing in her blue eyes and a slyly amused expression.

 

Demona snorted, “That’s because you knew Dominique Destine was a redhead.”

 

“I knew you were a stunningly beautiful redhead,” Kendra corrected her, grinning.  Angela had to smile as she saw the blush on her mother’s face.

 

“You certainly didn’t make any effort to hide it when we first met,” Demona commented, her tone holding both disapproval and amusement.  “I’d have had to been exceptionally obtuse not to realize you found me attractive after that rather obvious head to toe perusal you gave me when you first saw me.”

 

The younger gargoyle stared at her mother in surprise, “You weren’t angry?”

 

Demona shrugged, a smile playing on her lips.  “A Canmore making noise that they wanted to invest in my company.  I was suspicious and curious; I had my lunch hour cleared for our meeting when she called.  I was watching the monitors when she arrived to our meeting on her motorcycle,” Demona confided.  “The meeting seemed so aboveboard I wasn’t certain by the end of it that Kendra knew who exactly I was, and then she asked to spar with me.  I was intrigued by her so I agreed.”

 

“When did you realize you were attracted to her,” Angela asked, this was fascinating.  She would have never guessed this, and she would certainly have never guessed that her mother would share this information with her.

 

“The second time we sparred together,” Demona admitted with an embarrassed look and slight blush that made Angela wonder what story was behind it.

 

Angela blinked, “Before Canada and the spirit?”  She had been certain it would be afterward.  After her mother had learned what the Weird Sisters had done to her, and that the Canmore family was not completely responsible for their actions over the centuries.

 

The smile on Kendra’s face was a definite smirk and Demona reached over and lightly smacked the black haired woman on the thigh with the back of her hand, “Behave,” she admonished. 

 

“Oh, I always behave,” the woman’s sultry, suggestive tone had the younger gargoyle briefly looking away and blushing in embarrassment, no Kendra Canmore was definitely not anything like Goliath.  Angela couldn’t imagine her father ever making such a comment whether she was there to hear it or not.

 

Demona cleared her throat, waiting for her daughter to look at her before confiding, “Angela we became lovers before I ever knew about the spirit.  What I learned from him only made it easier for me to fall in love with Kendra, but know I would have anyway.”  The azure blue gargoyle turned to look at the human woman sitting next to her, speaking the next words more to Kendra than Angela, “It would have just taken me longer to be able to admit it to myself.”

 

The lavender female stared at her mother in complete astonishment, that would have only been two weeks or so after Demona and Kendra had met.

 

 

Friday, January 2nd 1998

 

Very early morning – Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island

 

Robyn woke suddenly, her eyes opening and staring around her in confusion at the abrupt transition from where she had been in her dream to the reality of the cell she occupied.  She moved her head enough to stare out the bars at the other end of the cell at the hallway.  The dream wasn’t fading, it still felt so very real as if she had actually been there instead of only dreaming, but that was clearly impossible, she had seen events from her family’s far past in Scotland in addition to more recent events here.

 

She stared blankly at the bars of her cell, she felt a little numb, if the events in her dream had been real, had been accurate retellings of the past…  The idea that her family had just been a convenient way for three powerful beings to make sure the Demon was properly alone and angry when the time came that they had need of the ancient gargoyle…dear God, appalled didn’t even come close to covering what she was feeling right now.  Centuries, her family had spent centuries hunting and killing gargoyles, fully believing they were divinely ordained to wipe the demons from the earth. 

 

Only gargoyles weren’t demons and they weren’t beasts either, they were another sentient race on the planet, unusual and very different from humans, but no more or less evil than mankind.  She had realized that over a year ago after watching the big lavender one, Goliath, crush the praying gargoyle in his clawed hands and tell the Demon that now she would have to kill everyone, including her own daughter, if she wanted to destroy humanity.  Robyn could still hear the ancient female’s panther-like scream of rage at his act before the scarlet haired female tossed the vial of dark purple liquid into the air saying, “catch,” before bounding through a shattered cathedral window, and escaping into the night.

 

Robyn’s thoughts went from that night back to the events she had witnessed in the dream tonight, and underneath the covers, her fists clenched.  God’s reward for the righteous, as her father had called it, was nothing but a spell activating their pleasure center.  Like a rat in an experiment with an electrode wired into its brain rewarded for performing the right behavior, she thought bitterly.  Contrary to what her father had taught, and what she had whole-heartedly believed until that fateful Hunters moon night, God had nothing to do with it and certainly hadn’t given his blessing to any of the family’s murderous actions.

 

Robyn reached up and ran an unsteady hand through her blonde hair, and then resettled herself underneath the sheet and coarse woolen blanket of the narrow prison bed.  She wasn’t even certain why she was treating her dream as if it had actually been real, as if the events from the past, which she had watched in disbelief and dismay, were true.  She let her breath out…that wasn’t true; she did know why she was tempted to believe the events she had observed were an accurate retelling of both her family’s past and the Demon’s.  Strange things had been happening lately, and if what she had seen in the dream was the truth, it explained everything.

 

After the FBI agent’s visit, Robyn had used her next free time to search through the newspapers in hope of finding out the reason for their visit and their questions about whether her family was connected in any way to the Quarrymen.  She hadn’t been keeping up with the news since her incarceration, finding during her first few months in prison that it only made her more aware that she was locked up in here rather than free out there.  Thus, she hadn’t known about the kidnapping of Nightstone’s CEO, Dominique Destine, and her cousin Kendra or about their subsequent return after spending several days hiking across the wilds of Canada together.  The newspaper articles she had read hadn’t mentioned anything about the Quarrymen being responsible, but she had been certain that her brother had been behind it. 

 

Kendra’s presence with the Demon had been a complete surprise, as had been the fact that the gargoyle had let her cousin live.  It had baffled her; Robyn didn’t understand why Kendra had been with the Demon in the first place nor why the Demon had passed on an opportunity to kill a Canmore.  What had her cousin said or done to persuade the murderous gargoyle to spare her?

 

The news of the kidnapping had made Robyn feel more caged, she was unable to seek out her cousin to get answers to her questions.  She knew Kendra shared her father’s opinion of the hunt, that it was wrong and that the Canmore’s should stop seeking out and killing gargoyles.  Robert Canmore had even refused to join them in seeking revenge for their father’s, his brother’s, death, telling them that the Demon had the right to defend herself when Charles had tried to kill her.  Robyn and her brother’s had been furious with his refusal, but now, seeing where it had gotten them, she thought that he had been smarter than all the rest of them to walk away from the hunt and to stay away from it and make sure his daughter did the same.

 

That same week in the Wall Street Journal, Robyn had read about a new division at Nightstone and its new division head, her cousin, Kendra Canmore.  She could only guess what New Technologies and Special Projects might include, and all of it was potentially dangerous to humanity.  Robyn couldn’t understand why her cousin would work for the Demon, unless Kendra had no idea what the gargoyle was capable of and the Demon was actually using her cousin for some nefarious purpose.  She couldn’t imagine though why Jason or Jon hadn’t warned Kendra already, or perhaps they had and their cousin hadn’t believed them.

 

Then, just a few days later, Dominique had donated one million dollars to P.I.T, and, in what was clearly a response to that donation, Jon held a press conference a day later where he revealed that Dominique Destine turned into a gargoyle as soon as the sun went down.  It should have been a decisive blow against the ancient gargoyle, only there was one issue; Dominique Destine didn’t turn into a gargoyle at night.  His Quarrymen attacked the woman and her companions on the way out of the theater that same night.  Woman, not gargoyle.  The newspapers had a field day with the story and John Castaway had ended up looking like a fool and his Quarrymen dangerous thugs.

 

Robyn hadn’t known what to think, she had been so certain that the Demon and Dominique Destine were one and the same.  Her finding of the disk with the Demon’s plans to wipe out the human race in Nightstone’s safe had seemed the final verification of her suspicion.  There was no arguing with the fact, however, that no matter what Robyn had thought, no matter how much they looked alike and that no one had seen the redhead out at night before this, Dominique Destine clearly didn’t turn into a gargoyle at night.  If Dominique Destine wasn’t the Demon, then Robyn had to wonder what the relationship was between the two.  After all, she had stolen the disk, with the recording of the gargoyle on it, from Nightstone’s safe, so Ms. Destine had to know the gargoyle and had to be working with her.  Why the redhead would work with the Demon to destroy her own race made no sense to Robyn, but it was obvious that Nightstone’s CEO had to know the ancient gargoyle and her genocidal plans.

 

On top of that bombshell, Kendra had been with Dominique Destine the night of the attack and had helped the redhead in defeating the Quarrymen who attacked them.  The Tattler’s article on the attack the next morning, besides making the two women sound like heroines and featuring a full color picture of Dominique Destine wearing a full length red dress torn far up the side enough to note that the redhead wore garters, mentioned that the two women appeared to be very close friends.  Robyn knew of her cousin’s penchant for redheads, but she just couldn’t see her cousin having anything to do with the coldly calculating CEO.  The only explanation Robyn could think of was that Dominique Destine was hiding her activities and relationship with the ancient gargoyle and deceiving Kendra into thinking that she was an innocent victim of the Canmore trio.  Robyn could see Kendra falling for that lie; she could still remember her cousin’s cold blue eyes boring into her as Kendra informed her that she would have nothing to do with their genocidal insanity when Robyn had slipped away to talk to her cousin while her brothers talked to Uncle Robert.

 

Those had been her thoughts until the day that Jon revealed the existence of the carrier virus, claiming Nightstone had developed a deadly plague and had planned on releasing it.  The company had rebutted his accusation only an hour later, claiming it was impossible since the carrier virus he spoke of couldn’t replicate on its own.  Later that day a CDC investigator, thanking the company for the full access to their records and their helpful cooperation, had verified the company’s claims.  The carrier virus had been engineered to not be able to replicate.  Moreover, the last stocks of it were destroyed shortly after Dominique Destine had returned from Canada and hired Kendra.

 

That had been when everything had stopped making any sense at all to Robyn; the Demon had certainly acted as if the carrier virus and disinfectant solution was a plague.  The other gargoyles had certainly acted as if they believed it was deadly when they stopped her from releasing it.  Robyn knew that she hadn’t questioned the information on the disk and hadn’t paused to do any additional research on the carrier virus to see if it what the Demon was claiming was actually possible.  She had no idea if Nightstone’s denial was a lie or not, the CDC doctor certainly seemed to think that they were telling the truth.  The only possible reason she had thought of was that the Demon had something Dominique wanted and the redhead had given the gargoyle access to the carrier virus because she knew that the gargoyle’s plan simply couldn’t work.  If that were true, it was a dangerous game for Dominique to play, but Robyn could easily imagine the redhead doing it, arrogant enough to believe that she could escape the ancient gargoyle’s resulting wrath when the plague didn’t work.

 

Until tonight, Robyn had thought that she had been wrong in her initial belief that Dominique Destine and the Demon were one and the same.  She had also thought that the redhead CEO was, for her own manipulative reasons, playing on Kendra’s attraction for her and, in a very dangerous game, pretending to help the Demon, most likely for power or money or possibly both.  That was, those had been her thoughts until tonight’s dream and watching her family’s history play out before her eyes.  What she had witnessed had been fantastical, and yet it explained so much about why the Canmore’s, why she, had been so driven to hunt.  It explained why she had thought firing two missiles into an occupied building was acceptable if it meant that she could kill a few gargoyles, and it explained why, after the FBI agent’s visit Robyn had suddenly stopped feeling God’s reward.

 

Robyn shook her head, three very powerful sisters, who were certainly not as human as they appeared, and an evil sorcerer and his plans for world conquest.  It sounded more like a fairytale than reality.  However, she did believe in sorcery and in magic.  The Canmore family journals mentioned a few encounters with powerful magic users, so the idea of magical beings interfering and manipulating in people’s lives wasn’t as farfetched to her as it might be to other people.  The raven, blonde and silver haired sisters she had watched casting spells on her ancestors and upon Demona were clearly immortal, and the callousness she had seen them display towards mortals, humans and gargoyles alike, chilled and frightened Robyn.  She could clearly remember standing by the quiet, but alertly observant spirit and noting with a chilled feeling the dispassionate expressions on the three women’s faces as they enchanted the infant Canmore to feel what the family would later call God’s reward.  To feel pleasure when he killed a gargoyle or even thought about killing a gargoyle and one gargoyle, the Demon, in particular.  The Canmore’s’ were to keep Demona from settling down anywhere, from forming any close attachments to any clan, and to keep her angry and hating, and they had fulfilled the sisters’ task very well. 

 

Robyn closed her eyes in regret, thinking of all the clans the family had destroyed over the centuries as they tracked down the ancient gargoyle.  Yes, the Canmore’s had done a very good job at keeping Demona from forming any close attachments, mostly because they killed every gargoyle clan they found as they searched for her.  Many of those clans had been ones the hunters thought the ancient gargoyle had joined and had been certain that they had killed her along with the rest of the gargoyle clan only to hear reports of sightings years later that proved that the Demon was still alive.  Now that Robyn knew that Demona had been immortal and not just prolonging her life by sorcery, the blonde guessed it was entirely possible that some of those hunters had smashed Demona along with the other gargoyles.  The immortal gargoyle would have eventually healed enough to live once again, only to find herself surrounded by the shattered remains of her kind.  Robyn grimaced at her thoughts, her father had called them monsters, but she had no doubt that Demona thought humans, and the Canmore’s especially, were the monsters.  Really, Robyn thought to herself, it was no wonder the gargoyle’s hatred of humanity ran so deep.

 

Or did it…the thought hung in the blonde’s mind, she now knew that the disinfectant plague that Demona had planned on releasing the night of the Hunters Moon wouldn’t have done anything.  What she had seen in the dream indicated that Nightstone and the CDC doctor hadn’t lied, the carrier virus couldn’t replicate.  The entire thing had been an act caused by the three sister’s enchantments on the gargoyle, making Demona to do things to keep her clan away from her.  Jon shooting Jason, Jason’s resulting paralysis from the injury, Jon running off blaming the gargoyles for his action and starting the Quarrymen: all because of a spell placed on the gargoyle. 

 

Now that Robyn could look at the events in retrospect, she suspected that Dominique had known who she was all along.  Why else make sure that a completely new employee, personal assistant or not, knew about the carrier virus, why else make sure that she saw the inside of the safe, and why else had the gargoyle called her in the research lab and told her to go home and enjoy the next few days because life was fleeting.  The disk had all the information they needed, the threat clearly laid out and the when and where.  Once the ancient gargoyle had all the players in place, Demona had shown up and completed the drama with herself in the role of the thwarted villain.

 

Obviously, making sure the clan stayed away from her had been more important to Demona than wiping out humanity, and from what the CDC representative had said about Nightstone’s vaccine research, Demona could have laid her hands on a deadly pathogen instead of the disinfectant she had used.  The ancient gargoyle could have made a plague that was capable of wiping out humanity, but she hadn’t.  Why hadn’t Demona used one of the deadly pathogens in Nightstone’s lab?

 

Robyn’s frustrated wondering why the ancient gargoyle had created a false plague led to her thinking about the fact that she had been right in her original suspicion, Dominique Destine and the Demon were indeed one and the same, the result of an enchantment by yet another immortal.  This immortal though had actually wanted to help the gargoyle, giving Demona the opportunity to realize that humanity as a whole didn’t wish to kill off her race.  Originally the spell had done exactly what Robyn had first suspected, transformed the gargoyle at sunrise to a human and back to a gargoyle at sunset.  Now though, with the immortal’s spell replaced by the spirit’s own, Demona had the ability to decide when she would transform.  The spirit had also freed the gargoyle of all the spells the three sisters had placed on her, including the ones that had influenced the gargoyles emotions and actions.

 

As for the relationship between Kendra and Dominique Destine, Robyn shook her head against her pillow, not Dominique Destine but Demona.  No matter that it had all been due to the three sister’s spells on each generation of the Canmore’s, her cousin was attracted to the gargoyle the Canmore’s had spent centuries hunting and being killed by.  Robyn could hardly credit the idea, but after seeing the pictures from the Nightstone Christmas Party and other places, it seemed clear that there was more than just friendship, at least on her cousin’s side.

 

Of course, the three sisters, the spells on the Demon and on Robyn’s family, went a long way toward explaining why Kendra was friends and perhaps even more than friends with a thousand year old human hating gargoyle who had most likely killed thousands of humans.  Both the ancient gargoyle and the Canmore’s had been victims of the three sisters; and Robyn knew her cousin hated what the Canmore’s had done in the past, that Kendra thought her ancestors were murderers.  She could see Kendra forgiving Demona her past if it was because of the spells on the gargoyle and not the gargoyle’s own free will.  Still, gargoyles were so bestial-looking with their clawed hands and feet, ears and tail, not to mention the wings.  She couldn’t see finding one attractive even if it were one of the one’s with a more human-like face.  Maybe it was just the Demon’s human form that Kendra found attractive, Robyn mused, and Dominique Destine was a very beautiful woman if one overlooked the cold demeanor the woman projected.

 

Then again, the ancient gargoyle might not be so cold and hateful toward everyone anymore, the spirit who had revealed her family’s past to her had informed her that Demona was no longer any threat to humanity.  Just as Robyn had relived the Canmore family’s past in a dream, Demona had relived her own past.  The ancient gargoyle had watched as the three sisters manipulated Macbeth and she into allowing them to cast the immortality spells on them, and the gargoyle also knew about the other, less benign, spells that the three placed on her.  The spirit had assured Robyn that Demona’s war against the humans was over; the ancient gargoyle was now focused on the three sisters who would undoubtedly come after her, unwilling to let her escape from their control. 

 

Robyn huddled further under the sheet and blanket, the spirit was concerned that the three sisters might come after her and her brothers as well, the prospect of the three sisters casting another spell on her was not a pleasant possibility to consider.  She never wanted to feel that way again.  She had grown to hate it before she knew what it was because of where it had gotten her, now that she knew exactly what the feeling was, the thought of feeling it again sickened and repulsed her.

 

The spirit had shown her images of an iron amulet that would protect her from being respelled against her will, but Robyn knew the prison guards wouldn’t allow her to make or wear it.  The prisoners’ were allowed to carry in their pocket one religious medal as personal property and the amulet didn’t look anything like any known religious symbol.  The good news was, as she had noticed a few days ago, she was free of the sister’s spells right now.  The FBI agents who had come to speak to her, the tall, lean one who had rested his hands on her shoulders, had broken it and the spirit had assured her that the lean man would return occasionally to make sure that new spells hadn’t been placed upon her.

 

The spirit had strongly hinted that he could get her moved to a less restrictive facility.  She had no idea how the spirit would accomplish that, but…she believed him.  She couldn’t remember exactly what the spirit looked like, only the memory of unwavering grey eyes and the overwhelming sense that he was truthful and just…and sternly kind.  Her thoughts dwelled on the last for a moment, trying to figure out why she was so certain that the spirit was stern but also kind, and then she remembered, she had seen the same expression in Agent Robinson’s eyes just before he had moved behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.  It was why she hadn’t been afraid of him even though he was standing right behind her, and why the weight of his hands on her shoulders had felt more reassuring than threatening.  Agent Robinson obviously had some connection with the spirit and enough magical ability to be able to dispel the three immortal’s enchantment on her.

 

Robyn heard the distinctive measured tread of a guard doing their rounds, she closed her eyes and evened out her breathing as the footsteps drew closer and then paused for a few seconds outside her cell before finally moving on.  She opened her eyes, at least this one hadn’t decided to, not so accidentally, rap the bars with their nightstick to wake her up.  A different, less restrictive facility sounded very nice, and all the spirit asked of her to get it was to give up the family’s hunt. 

 

She had already decided to give up the hunt for every gargoyle, but her father’s killer many months ago.  If the Demon were willing to forgive the deaths of the hundreds of gargoyles the Canmore family had murdered over the centuries, was it really so much for her to forgive Demona for killing her father when her father had went hunting the ancient gargoyle with a high powered rifle?  After a few minutes of solemn thought, Robyn decided that forgiveness would be so much easier if only Demona hadn’t laughed as she flew away after tossing her father from the roof of Notre Dame. 

 

Grey eyes filled her memory; she wanted to be able to forgive, the spirit had said that he believed that she could forgive and she didn’t want to show him that he had been wrong about her.  She knew now that the hunt had been wrong, as Kendra and her uncle Robert had said, it was murder and genocide.  She had asked the spirit how many gargoyles were left in the world, he hadn’t directly answered her, but he had stated that he wasn’t certain they would survive as a species without some direct intervention to prevent any more deaths.  Robyn swallowed against the sick feeling in her stomach; her family might yet succeed in wiping out the gargoyle race even if they all gave up the hunt today.

 

Genocide was a terrible thing, Robyn thought to herself, perhaps that was why Demona hadn’t done it.  Even with all the clans humans had killed, with her own race teetering on the edge of extinction, and her own daughter almost killed by Jason only a few nights before, the ancient gargoyle still hadn’t taken that step.  In her drama to drive away the clan, she hadn’t risked, even accidentally, doing to humanity what the Canmore’s had tried to do to her own race.

 

Robyn let out a slow deep breath, she would do it, she decided, she would give up the hunt completely and accept the spirit’s offer of aid.

 

 

Very early morning – Jason's Apartment Building, Manhattan

 

Jason opened his eyes, sat up in bed with a gasp that was loud in the quiet of the dark room, and took a wide-eyed look around him.  A few seconds passed and then he let out a short uneasy sounding laugh, “Just a dream,” he said reassuringly to himself.  The dark haired man leaned forward and ran his hand down the side of the bed, searching for the controls so he could raise the head of the bed.  He found the power cord and followed it to the controls, finding the right switch and pressing it.  The quiet hum of the hydraulic lift operating filled the room as the top of the bed slowly rose, when it was at a comfortable angle Jason released the switch and dropped the controller back over the side of the bed where it banged briefly against the lowered railings.  He leaned back with a deep sigh, his expression thoughtful; the dream had seemed so real that it had actually been disconcerting for a moment to find himself in his apartment when he woke.

 

His gaze shifted to his legs, in the dream he had been able to stand, to walk.  He glared at the unresponsive limbs, trying, as he had so many times over the last few months, to twitch his toes, anything.  Finally, feeling bitter frustration, he gave up with a growled, angry exhale.  He looked up, looking through the open door of the bedroom out to the apartment’s living room at the sofa and coffee table. 

 

Carefully stacked boxes underneath the coffee table caught his eye, each box held a Canmore hunter’s journal chronicling that ancestor’s hunt.  After his injury, he had sent for and then re-read some of the oldest family journals.  With his thoughts clear of vengeance for his father and his over-riding hatred for all gargoyles gone, Jason realized as he read a copy of Canmore’s own journal, that there really wasn’t any good reason for the hunt to have begun in the first place.  Macbeth not Demona had killed King Duncan, the first of the Canmore hunters and Canmore’s father.  Yes, the Steward of Moray had gargoyle allies, but the blow that killed Canmore’s father had been stuck by Macbeth’s hand.  Why had Canmore blamed the gargoyle and all her kind for his father’s death?  Reading Canmore’s angry denouncements against the gargoyles, Jason was struck by how unnervingly like mad ravings they sounded, and he wondered why he hadn’t ever noticed it before now.

 

He hadn’t read any of the journals recently, stopping sickened after reading one long ago hunter’s boasting of killing pregnant female gargoyles and young hatchlings.  Now that he knew that gargoyles were another type of people, people that had families and loved and tried to protect their children…reading such things left him bleakly despondent and keenly ashamed of his family’s actions and behavior.  Jason had no idea how to even begin to make up for all the gargoyle deaths his family was responsible for over the centuries.  He didn’t want to add up the numbers, most of the gargoyle clan’s had been small, but there had been a few with thirty to forty members.

 

The dream though, the dream made everything fall into place and make sense, it explained why, without any real reason for it, young Canmore had so fanatically embraced the hunt as a way of life and made sure that his children carried it on.  A spell cast on each generation of his family to make them want to hunt and kill gargoyles by three immortal females.  Three sisters with an agenda of their own that focused on Macbeth and Demona, and featured the Canmore family only in that they were to make sure Demona kept up her warrior skills, remained angry at humanity and remained alone.  The fact that his ancestors had embarked on a genocidal plan to wipe the gargoyle race from the earth was just a side effect of their spell, one which they cared so little about that they didn’t bother to modify their enchantment to prevent it.

 

How though, how could he know whether or not what he had witnessed in the dream was real, if it were what had actually happened?  If it were true, it explained some of the strange things the Demon had been doing since her return from Canada, and why Kendra and she appeared to be friends.  His cousin had been determined to find out if the truth about the Demon, and if what he had seen tonight was real and not just some dream his imagination had created, then Kendra had found out weeks ago what he had learned tonight.  Jason could guess what his cousin’s reaction would have been to learning about the Archmage’s revenge and the three sisters’ enchantments on the ancient gargoyle and upon their Canmore ancestors.  That went a long way toward explaining why Kendra was working for Demona and appeared to be friends with the gargoyle. 

 

Given what he had seen in the broadcast of the Quarrymen attack on the two, the friendship was reciprocated.  That panicked no from Dominique Destine and her desperate attempt to stop the young Quarryman when he had drawn a handgun and shot at Kendra hadn’t sounded or looked faked, nor had the embrace afterward.  As for what he had read since then in the paper about them being seen together…he had no idea if there was something more than friendship there or not.  He had long known that Kendra was gay, but he also knew that Demona had been mates with Goliath long ago and he had never heard anything about the ancient gargoyle liking other females that way and reporters were good at making things sound the way they wanted if they thought it would sell a newspaper.

 

The sprit who had talked to him assured him that Demona had given up her war with humanity, and was no longer any threat to the Canmore family so long as they did not attempt to hunt her kind anymore.  The donation to PIT and more recently Nightstone’s employee matching contribution to the New York City Food Bank certainly seemed to bear out the spirit’s assertion. 

 

An intent look crossed Jason’s face, he should verify that Kendra had the same type of dream, she had indeed witnessed the same things as he had tonight.  His cousin hadn’t spoken to him since returning from Canada, but then what would she have told him?  He wouldn’t have believed her if she had blamed the Demon’s past actions on enchantments placed on the gargoyle by three mysterious immortal sisters and the revenge of an ancient powerful sorcerer.

 

If the two of them had the same dream, it would at least rule out that the dream had just been the product of his overactive imagination.  If it were true, Jason stared down hard eyed at his useless legs, feeling a growing anger, he didn’t know what he would do, but surely there must be something.  Those three immortals had used his family and turned them into murderers.  Demona had killed his father, but those three were the reason why his father had been determined to carry on the hunt, why he had gone up to the roof of the cathedral to kill and ended up being killed instead.

 

 

Very early morning – Quarrymen Headquarters, Manhattan

 

“No!” his shouted denial, woke Jon from the strange dream he had been having.  He sat up in the bed disoriented; staring around him groggily at the small bedroom he sometimes used in the Quarrymen Headquarters.

 

The door opened, casting a sliver of light from the hallway, “Mr. Castaway?” a male voice inquired, “Are you alright?”

 

Jon couldn’t tell exactly who it was but it really didn’t matter, “I’m fine, it was just a dream,” he reassured the Quarryman on duty.

 

The form in the doorway hesitated for a second, staring at him before responding, “Of course, sorry sir,” before closing the door.

 

In the gloom of the room Jon frowned, he knew that they were talking about him behind his back, about the strange way he was acting lately.  They didn’t understand that he felt abandoned by God, why, just when he was following his father’s teachings unwaveringly was he being tested like this?

 

The dream tonight…Jon shook his head violently…he would not think about it, he would not.  He had strayed once from his father’s teachings and Jason had gotten hurt because of it, he would not be tempted to disbelieve again.

 

 
 
Next
Back ] Next ]