Discussions - Chapter 3
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
Destine’s home, and the character’s
Candice and Gregory are from ‘The Gargoyles Saga’ world and
adapted for use in this story.
Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep
writing. Please let me know what you like and what you dislike
about the story.
Revision History: 05/17/08
December 6th, 1997
Dominique woke slowly, a smile curving her
lips; the sun was shining brightly through the curtains letting
her know it was well past sunrise. The warm body pressed close
against her back sighed and the arm around her waist tightened
briefly in response to her movement. The redhead softly
caressed the arm around her waist for a few moments before
looking at the window once again at the brightness of the light
outside. She needed to get up, carefully she lifted Kendra’s
arm from about her waist and slid out of the bed.
The redhead paused and looked tenderly at
the woman asleep in her bed, Kendra’s face was relaxed,
peaceful, her midnight black hair spread across the pillow.
Last night’s lovemaking had been truly wonderful, but what she
was remembering now was afterward when Kendra had gathered her
up in her arms and carried her into the bathroom. If she hadn’t
been floating in a haze of sated bliss Demona probably would
have protested being carried around like a hatchling. As it
was, the gargoyle had simply marveled at how easily Kendra
carried her into the bathroom and then into the whirlpool.
There Kendra gently washed the oil from the gargoyle’s skin and
hair, and would have probably continued to ignore her own need
if Demona hadn’t lifted her upon the whirlpool’s edge and made
love to her until she came, shuddering against the gargoyle’s
mouth and crying out Demona’s name.
Reluctantly, Dominique pulled her thoughts
away from her memories of the night before. With one final
lingering look, she turned away from the bed and the sleeping
woman in it, dressed as quietly as possible and then went
downstairs. The clock in the kitchen read 8:23 am. The redhead
decided to wait ten more minutes and then call Gregory to see if
he could find suitable transportation. She wasn’t certain if he
could, she paid his company for his services and the use of
their limousines, but she wasn’t certain if they had a vehicle
that was wheelchair accessible. She busied herself with making
coffee while she waited for the time to pass, at 8:35 she called
Gregory’s cell phone number.
It rang three times before she heard
Gregory politely answer, “Good morning Ms. Destine, do you
require the limo today?”
“Good morning, Gregory,” Dominique replied,
she was pleased that she had gotten her driver instead of being
forwarded to the limo company as sometimes happened when he had
the day off. “That will depend; I need a wheelchair accessible
There was silence for a moment on the other
end of the phone and Dominique smirked as she imagined his
startled look. “I’ll have to check Ms. Destine, we have one
vehicle that’s wheelchair accessible, but I’ll have to see if
it’s already reserved for today. For what times do you require
“I’m not certain,” the redhead replied
coolly, not appreciating the request for specific times even
though she could understand why Gregory was asking. “I wanted
to find out if there was suitable transportation available
before inviting my guest.”
“Of course, Ms Destine,” Gregory hastily
answered catching the irritation in his employer’s voice, “I’ll
check and call you immediately with that information.”
A sound behind her distracted her, she
turned, Kendra was leaning against the kitchen wall watching
her. The woman was wearing navy blue sweat pants that rested
low upon her hips, a white sports bra and nothing else.
Dominique’s eyes wandered appreciatively over her lover, her
gaze slowing as her eyes traveled over the trim waist and
expanse of toned stomach. The redhead wondered how Kendra
managed to look just as sexy in what she was wearing now as when
she had been completely nude the night before.
“Ms. Destine?” Gregory inquired, confused
at the lack of a response.
Belatedly Dominique recalled the phone in
her hand and the last thing Gregory had said before she became
distracted. She cleared her throat, “Thank you Gregory, I’ll
expect your call shortly then.”
“Yes Ms. Destine,” Gregory responded
Dominique hung up the phone, turned toward
the waiting woman and raised an inquiring eyebrow, “that looks
quite nice, but probably not to wear out shopping.”
Kendra chuckled, “I need to get back in the
habit of working out every morning,” she explained. “I thought
I’d ask if you happened to have any exercise equipment somewhere
and maybe have a cup of coffee before I began.”
“Coffee’s brewing,” Dominique responded,
“and I have a small workout room upstairs.”
A few miles away in Greenwich Village.
“What did Miss Rich Bitch want?” the voice
came from the bedroom after Gregory hung up the phone, “Please
tell me you don’t have to work today, we had lunch planned.”
“Michael!” he protested staring at the
phone with a worried expression, “she might hear you and then
I’d certainly lose my job,” he added in a low mutter, “if not my
“I waited until after I heard you hang up
the phone,” the tenor voice protested from the bedroom.
Gregory stared at the doorway, just barely
able to see the foot of the bed from where he was standing, “I
told you I was on call today.”
“Yes, but you said she didn’t say anything
yesterday,” his lover replied in a pouting tone.
“Well,” Gregory responded unhappily, “she
didn’t, but I’m on call so…” There was no reply from the other
room and he could easily imagine Michael staring up at the
ceiling with a sullen expression. “Anyway I need to call work
and see if the van is available, she asked for a handicapped
vehicle,” his voice held his puzzlement at the request.
“Has she ever asked for one before?”
“No,” Gregory replied, “this is the first
time; I didn’t even know she knew someone who was handicapped.”
“Ohh,” Michael’s voice was closer and
Gregory looked up to see his boyfriend standing in the doorway
of the bedroom with just his briefs on. “Did you see that hot
fem-butch Kendra Canmore?” he asked. “The girls at the store
were all drooling over her the other day. They had some old
magazine with a picture of her in black leather and a big black
motorbike. Turns out she is definitely family, she had a string
of girlfriends a few years back and then she just sorta dropped
off the radar.”
Gregory grinned at him, amused at his
description; he could easily see the woman he met yesterday in
bike leathers. “I tried to tell you that yesterday, but you
Michael smirked as his eyes wandered slowly
over the dark haired man sitting at the table, “Well, I did have
other things on my mind,” he drawled.
The two of them shared a warm look before
Gregory glanced back at the phone, “I need to check and see if
the van’s available. Ms. Destine is waiting for me to call her
back,” he grimaced at the thought of his employers temper if she
thought she had waited too long.
Michael turned around and sauntered toward
the bathroom, he said over his shoulder as he turned into the
door, “You do that, but you should know that rumor says Miss Hot
Stuff Canmore has a thing for redheads.” The bathroom door
closed behind him, leaving Gregory staring after him with
surprised eyes at this piece of news. He couldn’t help but
remember that the redhead had been in a remarkably good mood
considering the fact that she had been hiking back to
civilization through the wilderness and snow for ten days after
Back at Dominique Destine’s home.
“May I speak to Robert please,” Dominique
asked, trying to keep the hostility from her voice as she
remembered what Rachael had said about these humans who were
taking care of the young Owl’s chosen.
“Who may I tell him is calling?” the
feminine voice sounded older than the redhead was expecting.
“Dominique Destine,” she responded in a
There was a pause on the other end of the
line, “The woman who was kidnapped?” the woman asked
The redheads green eyes narrowed, “Yes, the
woman who was kidnapped, now may I speak to Robert.”
“How do you know Robert?” the woman asked demandingly.
Dominique fought down a snarl, what
business was it of this human’s how she knew Robert. “A mutual
friend asked me to contact him,” she replied, her irritation
showing in her tone.
“What mutual friend, we know all of
Robert’s friends,” the woman demanded.
The redhead stared incredulously at the
phone, wondering if the woman, who was most likely Robert’s
aunt, interrogated all of his callers in this manner, “Rachael
The woman’s reply was disapproving sniff,
“Oh that Indian woman.”
By sheer force of will, Dominique bit back
the scathing response she wanted to make in reply. “May I speak
to Robert now?” she asked in a chill firm tone. In the
background the redhead heard a young sounding male voice ask,
“Who is it Aunt Nancy?”
“Robert,” the woman’s voice didn’t sound
that pleased, “I was just asking that, it’s some woman claiming
to be Dominique Destine, that woman who was kidnapped.”
Dominique noted that the woman she had been talking to didn’t
sound as if she quite believed that Dominique was who she said
“Rachael said she would call,” the young
male voice replied. Dominique smiled, she approved of the way
he was standing up for himself, his tone wasn’t disrespectful,
but it was firmly determined.
“Oh,” the woman’s voice sounded surprised.
A moment later Dominique heard a defensive sounding “Well, you
know you can’t be too careful these days.” The redhead glared
incredulous at the phone, she was the owner and CEO of
Nightstone Unlimited not some drug dealing hoodlum.
Almost as if reading her mind she heard
Robert say, “She’s the owner of her own business Aunt Nancy,
remember they were talking about Nightstone Unlimited on the
There was a long moment of silence as
Dominique listened, finally the older female voice replied, “Oh
yes that’s right,” she now sounded approving. “Ms. Destine, I’m
sorry I thought someone was trying to play a prank on me,”
Robert’s aunt said.
“A…” Dominique managed to stop the
incredulous reply she wanted to make, “Yes…well, may I speak to
Robert now Ms.?”
“Collins,” the woman replied, suddenly
sounding rather cordial.
“Mrs. Collins,” Dominique memorized the
name, “If I may speak to Robert now?”
“Yes, of course,” Robert’s aunt replied.
“Now remember to be polite Robert,” the redhead heard her say in
the background before the noise of a phone being passed from
hand to hand indicated that the woman had passed the handset to
“Yes Aunt Nancy,” Dominique heard Robert
reply in an even tone just before he said into the phone, “Good
morning Ms. Destine.”
“Good morning Robert,” she replied. The
last thing Rachael had said was that she needed to contact
Robert and inform him of Demona’s new status, as he was unaware
of everything that had recently happened. “I gather that
Rachael was able to speak to you?” she inquired hoping that had
been the case. If not this call would probably just be to
introduce herself, inviting Robert out would have to wait until
after Rachael had contacted him.
“Yes, we were able to have a thorough
conversation about what happened to you,” Dominique smiled at
the carefully worded statement, she was fairly certain that
meant that he had been able to visit the spirit realm and talk
to Rachael and probably the Wise One. “I was glad to hear that
you and Miss Canmore were found safely.”
“So am I, Rachael’s assistance was
invaluable,” Dominique commented quite sincerely.
“Yea, she’s that way,” the redhead could
hear the affection he had for the senior Owl’s chosen in his
“Well,” Dominique said after a moment’s
silence, “as to the purpose of this call,” she continued
briskly, “Kendra and I wanted to invite you to go shopping with
us. It’s become apparent that I’m rather lacking in audio
equipment,” she commented dryly, “so we are visiting the Bose
store in Columbus Circle and going out for lunch or an early
dinner. I’ve already arranged for suitable transportation for
you to accompany us if you wish.”
“Umm,” he sounded rather surprised. “The
Bose store,” he repeated sounding more interested, “what were
you planning on getting?”
“Kendra said something about a Wave Radio,
but depending on what they have I may pick up a full audio
system,” she responded. It was something she had considered
earlier this morning, she wanted Kendra to feel at home here and
after last night it was obvious that music was rather important
to her lover.
“They have some nice ones with wireless
speakers,” Robert said enthusiastically.
Dominique commented lightly, “That will
certainly make setting it up easier.”
“Robert?” the redhead heard the aunt
inquire from the background.
His voice was distant when he answered his
aunt, as if he were covering the phone, “Ms. Destine invited me
to go with her to the Bose store. She’s interested in
purchasing some audio equipment.” Dominique’s eyebrow rose at
the way Robert was phrasing her invitation, he was making it
sound as if she was interested in his opinion rather than his
“Well, she probably heard that you know
about those types of things from that other woman,” the woman
sounded dismissive and, oddly to the listening redhead, more
relaxed, as if the idea of her requesting Robert’s company for
his expertise rather than his company was reassuring to her.
“If you want to go you’ll have to call and see if you can find
transportation, but I doubt you will be able to since it’s the
weekend,” the almost satisfied way the woman said this made
Dominique glad that she had already arranged for a vehicle. She
couldn’t wait to see the expression on this humans face when the
woman saw what type of transportation she had arranged for
“Yes Aunt Nancy,” she heard and then he was
speaking to her once again, “Ms. Destine I’d be pleased to
accept your invitation what time would you like to pick me up?”
Dominique was starting to get the feeling
that Robert was just as intelligent as Rachael had implied and
had just maneuvered his aunt into giving him permission to do
what he wanted. “Eleven o’clock?” she said, “that way we can
have lunch and then go shopping.”
“Eleven o’clock,” he repeated almost
formally, “I’ll be ready Ms. Destine.”
“I hope you’ll call me Dominique once we
pick you up,” the redhead commented, amused.
He replied with only the barest hint of
amusement in his tone, “Of course Ms. Destine.”
Dominique chuckled, “I’ll see you at eleven
“Good bye Ms. Destine,” he replied
politely, in the background, Dominique heard his aunt ask
sharply, “She does understand that you need…” the disconnecting
phone cut off the woman’s question. The redhead shook her head
as she hung up the phone; she was looking forward to meeting
Robert even more now.
Dominique glanced at the clock as she
placed the phone in its recharging stand, Gregory would be by to
pick them up in an hour. There was just enough time for her to
change into her own workout clothes and get in a short workout
of her own before it was time to shower and change.
When she stepped into her exercise room,
Kendra was at the leg press station of the home gym smoothly
pressing up an impressive stack of weights. Dominique took a
moment to watch, Kendra had a look of total concentration on her
face as she pressed the weights up. Her lover had put her hair
up into a pony tail and wispy black strands stuck to her
slightly sweaty forehead and neck. Though her legs were covered
by the sweat pants, the redhead could see the outline of her
thighs as they flexed through the material and her bare stomach
was a washboard of tense muscle. Kendra completed her set of
exercises and got up from the station moving round to the lat
pull down bar and spotted the redhead standing in the doorway.
Pausing, she inquired, “Is Robert going with us?”
Dominique nodded, “Gregory will be here in
forty five minutes, so I thought I’d join you and get in a short
workout,” explaining her change of clothing.
“Three sets on this and then the gyms all
yours,” Kendra said reaching up for the lat bar once she had set
The redhead nodded moving to the treadmill
in the corner, she wanted to warm up for a few minutes before
starting on the weights. She started out at a quick walk, which
moved into a slow jog after half a minute, out of the corner of
her eye she watched Kendra pull down the lat bar behind her
head, the muscles in her shoulders and arms bunching and flexing
as she lifted the weights. She couldn’t ignore the fact that
the sight was causing a distracting tingle of awareness to
course through her, she wanted to run her fingers over those
shoulders, test the solidness of the muscles she could so
clearly see right now for herself. Determinedly she tore her
eyes away, focusing on the treadmill gauges instead. She jogged
for a few more minutes before stopping the treadmill and moving
to the rack of free weights in the corner for a set of hand
weights to do curls.
Kendra finished with the lat pull down bar
and moved over to the free weights to pick up the heaviest set
of hand weights and then over to the weight bench. Holding the
weights to her chest she straddled the bench and then laid down
on her back, she then raised the hand weights overhead and began
doing supine flies.
Dominique had to keep dragging her eyes
away from the prone woman, from watching the way her muscles
moved in her arms, the flexing of her stomach. The redhead
wanted to shatter the total concentration Kendra was giving to
the exercise she was doing by walking over and running her hand
down the flat stomach and taking the waistband of those sweat
pants and pulling them… Dominique tore her thoughts away from
the direction they were taking, Gregory was going to be here in
less than thirty minutes and Robert would be waiting for them to
arrive at eleven.
“I’ll go up and take my shower now,” Kendra
announced as she got up from the bench after completing her last
set of bench presses. The black haired woman paused in the
doorway, turning around and meeting the redhead’s green eyes.
Dominique’s breath caught in her throat at the intense look
Kendra was giving her; it was enough to let her know that she
wasn’t the only one fighting with their desires. They stared at
each other for a few seconds before Kendra said huskily, “I’ll
make it quick, I believe we only have about twenty more minutes
before he arrives.”
Dominique’s arms hang limply from the lat
bar after Kendra left, she hadn’t felt like this since the last
breeder’s moon, and the next one wasn’t for ten more years. She
had to get control of herself before Monday. They couldn’t act
like this at the offices or it wouldn’t be long at all before
someone figured out that they were much more than employee and
After her shower, Dominique stared at the
suits in her closet, from the way Roberts aunt had sounded she
strongly suspected the human would be easily impressed by an
obvious show of wealth and power. Yet she didn’t want to dress
as she usually would for the office, she finally settled on a
russet wool herringbone belted jacket and pantsuit with a
cream-colored silk sweater. She put up her hair, put on her
usual gold stud earrings and watch that she wore to work, and
then grabbed her long wool coat before going downstairs.
She hadn’t seen Kendra since the woman has
left the exercise room so she paused at the entrance to the
kitchen to stare at the starkly simple outfit her lover was
wearing. A black turtleneck that Dominique guessed was a silk
blend from the way it looked and hung, black wool slacks, and
black boots. On the back of the chair Kendra was sitting in
hung a hip-length black leather jacket with a stand-up collar.
The all black outfit drew attention to the glossy blackness of
Kendra’s hair, the dusky tone of her skin and the brilliant blue
of her eyes.
“You look very nice,” Kendra commented
looking at the redhead appreciatively.
Dominique’s lips curved upward as she eyed
her lover, “Black is definitely your color,” she said huskily.
The buzzer ringing interrupted them, “that will be Gregory,” the
redhead said, before she could put on her coat Kendra was
standing behind her gently taking it from her hands and holding
it open for her. “Thank you,” Dominique said softly as she
slipped her arms in the sleeves. She felt Kendra’s hands on her
shoulders, and then the press of her lover’s body against her
back right before Kendra pressed a kiss against the side of her
“You’re welcome,” Kendra whispered into her
ear, sending a faint shiver through the redhead’s body, before
stepping away, getting her own coat and shrugging into it. The
black haired woman opened the door to the garage and motioned
for Dominique to precede her.
As Dominique walked through the door, the
redhead reflected on Kendra’s behavior. The black haired woman
had been protective of her even before the kidnapping, the
redhead remembered thinking back to Kendra’s protectively
bristling attitude as she asked who had hurt her right before
the Quarrymen had attacked when she had been in her office
crying over her daughter’s rejection. The almost gallant way
Kendra had just behaved was new though, and Dominique liked it.
It reminded her of the way Macbeth had treated her when she was
pretending to date him. Then her enjoyment of being treated as
if she was the most important person in someone’s life had been
marred by the fact that she didn’t like Macbeth and certainly
wasn’t interested in being his mate, only in getting access to
his money. With Kendra however, that certainly wasn’t the case,
and Dominique was free to cherish everything her lover did to
show the redhead that she cared.
Dominique looked up from the steps leading
down to the garage and came to an abrupt halt at the sight of
the vehicle Gregory was standing beside. It was a black stretch
van, the redhead decided bemusedly after a few seconds
“Ms. Destine,” Gregory sounded uneasy as he
cast a glance at the vehicle he was driving today. It didn’t
take a genius to figure out from the redhead’s expression that
this hadn’t been exactly what she was expecting.
“This is the wheelchair accessible vehicle
I gather,” she finally commented.
“Yes, Ms. Destine,” Gregory responded,
trying not to stare at the woman standing behind his employer.
The black Jaguar convertible parked in the normally empty garage
had been an obvious clue that Ms. Destine had company this
morning and now he knew who owned it. “It will accommodate two
wheelchairs and six regular passengers.”
Dominique nodded, and indicated the side
door of the van with a wave of her hand. She would reserve her
opinion of the vehicle’s acceptability until she saw the
interior. Gregory promptly opened the door and held out a hand
to assist her into the vehicle. The seats were the same grey
cushioned leather seats as she was used to in the regular
limousines she noticed, only arranged along one side of the
vehicle in a long bench. Down the other side of the vehicle was
a black rubber mat with inset metal rings presumably to secure
the wheelchair once it was inside the vehicle. As in all
limousines, the driver’s area was separated from the front by
smoked glass and another row of passenger seats. She sat down
in one of the seats looking at the interior, except for the area
where the wheelchair was to be secured the appointments were
just as nice as she was accustomed to in the regular limousines.
Kendra was standing in the open door
looking inside the stretch van, “How will we get Robert’s
wheelchair in here?” she asked Gregory.
“There is a motorized wheelchair lift
underneath the vehicle at the rear, Ms Canmore,” Gregory
promptly answered. He had actually gotten instruction on
exactly how he was to handle his handicapped passenger this
morning and was a little nervous about doing it for the first
time, but he certainly wasn’t going to let Ms. Destine or Ms.
Canmore suspect that.
The black haired woman nodded and got into
the van taking a seat near, but not next to Ms. Destine.
Gregory closed the door behind her after seeing that both women
were settled, he already had the address of the next guest and
knew how to get there. As he walked around to the driver’s
door, he thought back to the expression on Ms. Destine’s face
when she stepped into the garage. The redhead’s usual
expression was a sharp-eyed neutral one, he had seen her pleased
after a business negotiation she had won, and he had even seen
her happy a few times. What he had never seen before was the
soft pleased expression accompanied by a touch of color to her
cheeks that he had seen right then. That expression combined
with the way the usually aloof woman looked at Kendra Canmore
made him think that his boyfriend might actually be right. He
shook his head in wonder; he would have never pegged Ms.
Dominique Destine as anything but straight before today.
Thirty minutes later in Union City, New
Robert waited anxiously by the front window
looking at each passing van to see if would pull into his aunt
and uncle’s driveway. He didn’t know what type of van Dominique
Destine would be driving, only that she had already arranged for
one. Rachael had described the Ancient One’s chosen to him and
it was hard for him to believe that the woman he was about to
meet was not only over a thousand years old but also not even
human. She was a gargoyle and had been born in the early 900’s,
Robert couldn’t imagine the history she had lived through and
even though Rachael had cautioned him that Demona’s life hadn’t
been that pleasant for her, he hoped she would be willing to
tell him about some of it. He loved the Renaissance Period, the
inventors, engineers and architects of Italy where the
Renaissance was born such as Leonardo da Vinci and Filippo
Brunelleschi and then once it had moved to northern Europe and
begun the Scientific Revolution, the scientists such as Nicholas
Copernicus, and Rene Descartes.
A gleaming long black van with dark windows
driving up the road caught the young man’s attention, whoever
owned it had obviously waxed and polished it recently. Robert
didn’t recognize the make but it looked vaguely European and
expensive. When it slowed in front of the house and then pulled
into the driveway, his grey eyes opened wide. The vehicle
stopped and a dark haired man in a black suit, a cap, and white
gloves got out of the driver’s seat. The man walked around to
the side of the van and pulled open the door then held his white
gloved hand out to assist whoever was inside.
“Robert,” his aunt walked up beside him,
her voice demanding, “who is that in the driveway…” her voice
trailed off as she got a good look at the stretch van in the
driveway and the woman being assisted out of it by the driver.
Dominique Destine stepped down from the vehicle looking around
the neighborhood like royalty come to visit. From the obviously
expensive suit she was wearing to the haughty, regal expression
on her face and her confident stance, she instantly drew and
commanded one’s attention.
Seeing the Ancient One’s chosen in person,
Robert was sharply reminded of the fact that the woman he was
watching was over a thousand years old. On top of that, she was
a very rich business owner who had gotten her company to where
it was today by being smarter, shrewder, and if rumor was to be
believed, more ruthless than her competitors were. Rachael’s
warning to him that he not forget whom Demona was as well as who
she had been in his enthusiasm suddenly made more sense to the
young man. Not in that he had to be fearful of the gargoyle,
but that he be respectful of her, of her long past, and of her
treatment at the hands of the Fey.
Ms. Destine stepped out of the way and
turned her head to glance back at the vehicle, a second woman
emerged from within it. He recognized the second woman
immediately having seen her picture on the news about their
kidnapping. This was Kendra Canmore, one of two Jaguars’s
chosen. Robert took in the black hair, the blue of the woman’s
eyes that he could see even from inside the house. She was
wearing all black, and he noted how she paused for a moment as
she stepped down, taking a quick observant scan of the
neighborhood before proceeding to stand beside Dominique.
The two women proceeded toward the house,
Dominique Destine walking with sure, confident strides, Kendra
Canmore with a lithe gracefulness that made the cat in her very
easy to discern to Robert’s eyes. The young man thought of what
he knew about Jaguar, the spirit only had two chosen and both
were given a full measure of the Jaguar’s gifts. Of all the
chosen, the Jaguars were probably the strongest and deadliest
warriors. Robert’s eyes went back to the redheaded woman and
the way she held herself as she moved. He had only seen the
Ancient One a few times, but every time he had been struck by
the regal way the spirit carried himself. It wasn’t just the
Irish Elks size, though being ten foot tall certainly helped, or
the impressive rack of antlers the stag had, though that helped
as well, it was simply what the spirit was, the Ancient One was
the epitome of majestic, the way he moved, the deep thoughtful
way he spoke, the look in his great eye. Looking at Dominique
Destine, he was not certain if he were seeing the Ancient One so
clearly in her or if she had always been somewhat this way and
what he was seeing was the Ancient One’s mark on her combined
with her normal bearing.
“Well her business must be doing well if
she can afford to have a driver and rent such a vehicle just to
go to the mall,” his Aunt Nancy commented, managing sound at the
same time impressed and disapproving. He glanced over at her;
Dominique couldn’t have chosen a better way of making sure that
his aunt would be eager to have him continue to associate with
the Ancient One’s chosen. Aunt Nancy wished she were rich; she
wanted to have the type of self-assuredness that the redheaded
woman walking up to the door so effortlessly projected.
Unfortunately, what she managed was a self-righteousness
closed-minded bigotry that found fault in everyone around her,
especially those who weren’t white, at least middle class or
higher and preferably protestant. He looked toward the door as
it rang and added to his mental list of those his aunt approved
of: straight. The young man watched as his aunt invited the two
women into her house, knowing that she would completely flip if
she ever realized they were a couple.
Robert rolled his wheelchair over toward
the front door. “Yes, I’m pleased to meet you as well Mrs.
Collins,” Dominique was saying to his aunt as she glanced at her
watch, “ I have reservations for lunch at noon Robert,” she said
looking up at him, “so I hope you haven’t eaten yet.”
“Lunch,” his aunt repeated uncertainly,
Dominique shifted her green eyes from him to his aunt, “Robert
doesn’t have a very big allowance…”
Robert gritted his teeth; money was
currently a sore issue between him and his aunt and uncle. He
wanted to go to MIT and they insisted that he would be better
off going to a local and less costly university. He knew that
his parent’s estate had been sizable and he was starting to
wonder how his aunt and uncle had managed his trust fund that
they were concerned about the cost of his education.
Unfortunately, even though he would turn eighteen in only a few
months, he wouldn’t gain control of his trust fund until he was
twenty-one, and he couldn’t get an answer out of his aunt and
uncle as to how much of his trust fund remained. The two times
he had pressed the issue after finding out they weren’t planning
on letting him go to MIT, they looked at him as if he were
betraying them. His aunt started crying and wailing, and his
uncle began talking about how costly it was to provide for him.
The last time he had asked his Uncle Edward had lectured him
about how he needed to be careful with his inheritance because
he wasn’t likely to find a well paying position with his
disability no matter what legal protections were in place, as
employers didn’t want to hire people who cost them money.
Dominique didn’t let her continue, “I never
make purchases on an empty stomach, and, of course, as Robert is
my guest, I certainly wouldn’t expect him to pay for his meal.”
The redhead sounded offended at the very idea.
Robert noticed the redhead’s eyes turn his
way, and a second later one eyebrow arched expectantly. He
realized this was his cue to say something, “I’m ready to go now
Ms. Destine,” he said rolling his chair closer to the door.
She inclined her head toward him in
acknowledgement before turning back to his aunt, “We should
return by no later than four o’clock.”
“Why so long?” his aunt questioned with a
frown, he began to get worried, his aunt and uncle didn’t like
for him to be out of the house for very long.
“I want to ask him some questions, see if
Rachael was correct about his level of technical proficiency,”
she explained coolly. “Nightstone has a few summer internships.
Robert is younger than we would usually consider, but I’m
willing to overlook that if he is as knowledgeable as I’ve been
led to believe,” she sounded doubtful, as if she wasn’t really
expecting that to be the case.
Robert flushed he didn’t like being
discussed as if he wasn’t present, and he really didn’t
appreciate his intelligence being questioned. Too many people
had a tendency to do that to him as if the wheelchair rendered
him unable to think as well walk, and he definitely had not
expected such treatment from another chosen. He felt his eyes
sting, the Ancient One’s chosen treating him this way hurt.
Motion behind Dominique caught his eye; Kendra shook her head at
him and held up a silencing finger to her lips. He stared at
her in confusion before realizing that she was standing outside
the door and to the side where his aunt couldn’t see her. The
Jaguar’s chosen gave him a reassuring look and a warm smile.
“I’m sure you will find that he’s very
knowledgeable,” he heard his aunt say. He jerked his gaze back
to her, staring in amazement, “he attends the Science and
Technical High School here taking advanced placement courses in
computers and the sciences.” Robert was dumbfounded, his aunt
sounded proud of him, she normally told him he needed to be more
social, and spend less time back in his room with his computers
while at the same time coming up with objections and reasons why
it was too difficult to take him anywhere once he got home from
school. He hadn’t thought she was even paying any attention to
what he was taking in school except to hand him ten dollars
every time he showed her all A’s on his report card.
“Well,” Dominique cast a coolly assessing
glance his way, “that’s in part what today purpose is for.
Undoubtedly, I will need to meet with Robert more than once
before making my decision. I wouldn’t want to place him in a
working situation he’s not quite mature enough for yet.”
Robert flushed even harder, he was starting
to see that Dominique was maneuvering his aunt into doing what
she wanted but that didn’t make what she was saying any easier
to listen too. Aunt Nancy looked over at him and frowned
flashing a warning look at him, “I’m sure you will find that
he’s very mature for his age.” As his aunt was staring at him
he watched the Ancient One’s chosen stare at her with a coolly
measuring look that held no friendliness, the expression
disappeared, replaced with polite smile as soon as his aunt
turned back to her. That made it clear to him what Dominique
was doing, and with widened eyes he watched as the redhead
continued to manipulate his aunt into agreeing to let him not
only go out several more times with her, but also visit
Nightstone for a few afternoons.
On their way out to the van where the
driver was waiting by the lowered wheelchair lift, he heard
Kendra, who was walking right behind him whisper in an amused
tone, “You need to look a little less smug until we are actually
out of her sight.”
He heard Dominique chuckle, “was I looking
smug?” she asked in what Robert thought was a playful tone. He
wanted to turn around and see the expression on her face, but
decided to wait until they were away from his aunt’s prying
eyes, and he had no doubt she was watching them right now from
the living room window. He was still reeling from watching how
easily the Ancient One’s chosen had maneuvered his aunt into
doing exactly what she wanted.
Dominique waited until the van pulled out
onto the street and away from Robert’s house before reaching
over and getting his attention with a hand on his arm. She had
seen the sheen of tears in the young man’s eyes before he
realized what was going on, and it bothered her that she had
hurt him no matter how briefly it had lasted. “Robert, I have
no doubt that you are the bright intelligent young man Rachael
said you were, I only said the things I did to get that human to
let me see you more than just this time.”
Robert looked startled for a moment before
he nodded, “I figured out what you were doing.” His grey eyes
fell away from hers for a moment before he looked up again, he
said quietly, “I know she doesn’t love me like I wish she would,
but she is my mother’s sister.”
Despite his quiet tone, there was firmness
in his eyes that Dominique liked; she understood his defense of
his clan. “She seemed proud of your achievements in school,”
the redhead commented, she had noticed the stunned expression on
his face as the woman spoke. Personally, she didn’t think it
said that much about the woman that Robert had been that
He nodded, “I didn’t realize she had really
noticed, she doesn’t comment on the courses I’m taking.”
“Maybe she’s just not one of those people
who does praise well,” Kendra offered.
Robert looked over at her uncertainly, not
really believing that. Her blue eyes were kind, and he realized
that she didn’t believe it either. He took in a breath fighting
down the old hurt, turned back to Dominique, “do you really have
an internship program?”
“Yes,” she replied, looking him in the eye,
“Nightstone usually takes college students in their junior and
senior years, but I can think of a few positions that might be
suitable for you.” She glanced over at Kendra, “There’s a new
division being formed next week that might have an internship
position, but that would be up to the division manager.”
He followed the direction of her gaze,
Kendra looked startled at first and then the Jaguar’s chosen
turned her gaze on him. She leaned back in her seat, gave him a
measuring look and asked, “So, what are your interests Robert.”
“Umm,” he said then flushed realizing that
didn’t sound too confident, he sat up straight and began,
“Currently I’m taking courses in physics, chemistry,
electronics, structural engineering and history.”
Kendra’s blue eyes sharpened, “Are you
interested in one of those in particular or in being more of a
He flushed, “I want to go to MIT and get in
their EECS program, but my aunt and uncle say there’s not enough
money in my trust fund for it.”
“EECS?” asked Kendra.
Dominique answered before Robert could,
“Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, one of the
researchers in R & D Special Projects has a doctoral degree from
MIT in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in EECS. He’s
the one I spoke with you about yesterday.”
Robert’s eyes lit, “That sounds like an
interesting combination. I considered Chemical Engineering as
well because their working on fuel cells there, but I decided
I’d rather eventually go into robotics.” Neither woman missed
his quick downward glance at his legs.
“You applied to MIT?” asked Dominique, at
his nod she continued, “You don’t think you’ll qualify for a
He flushed, “I can’t do most of the types
of extra-curricular activities they like to see on your
application, and I haven’t been able to attend the ones like
debate that I can do.”
Even though she suspected she knew the
answer, the redhead asked, “Why not?”
“My uncle and aunt don’t like to get out
much, and they don’t like to drive at night because they can’t
see that well anymore,” he explained.
Dominique inclined her head, “Your aunt was
much older than I was expecting,” she allowed, remembering her
surprise at seeing the liberal amount of white in the woman’s
brown hair and the lines on her face.
Robert explained, “My mother was born
fifteen years after Aunt Nancy, and my parent’s didn’t have me
until my mother was thirty. My aunt and uncle weren’t expecting
to have to care for a child when my parents died, but they took
me in anyway rather than let me go into the foster care system.”
The redhead’s green eyes narrowed in anger,
to her that comment represented what was worst about the care
Robert had been given by what should have been his clan.
Kendra’s hand on her leg forestalled her angry comment.
“Considering the state of the foster care
system, it’s a good thing they did,” Kendra said frankly, “even
with a trust fund to care for you it’s hard to say where you
might have ended up.”
The young man looked up at her with a grim
expression on his face, “Yea I know.”
Dominique settled back in her seat feeling
unsettled, she knew they were right, she had seen enough in the
news to know that the care for those children without a family
to claim them was uneven at best and fraught with possible
danger. As much as she hated to admit it, even with their
failings Robert’s aunt and uncle were a better place for the
young Owl’s chosen to be than the foster system.
The redhead studied him while Kendra and he
discussed the classes he was taking and his interest in
robotics. He had a rectangular shaped face with a strong jaw
and chin, and high cheekbones. A nose that was neither too wide
nor too narrow, and lips that could be described the same way.
His curly brown hair was a little long, but not overly so for
his age, she thought, remembering other young men she had seen.
He was a handsome for a young male human Dominique decided.
Despite his disability, he looked to be strong with
well-developed shoulder and arms, probably from moving his body
around she decided, and he had not let himself become
overweight. If anything, she thought critically, he could use a
little more flesh on his bones, as he was almost too lean.
She turned her attention to the discussion
Kendra and he were having, her lover was currently questioning
him about his knowledge of fuel cells. The redhead listened
intently to the conversation about the different types of fuel
cells and then the pros and cons of hydrogen proton exchange
membrane fuel cell vs. the direct methane fuel cell. It was
obvious to her that her lover knew more about the details of the
current difficulties faced by both types of fuel cells, but
Robert was asking intelligent questions that showed that he
understood what Kendra was saying.
The van slowing to a halt at the doors of
the Columbus Circle Shops brought a halt to the conversation.
Dominique looked at her watch; it was 11:45 am, they had plenty
of time to make it to the restaurant in time for their
“Ms. Destine,” the startled recognition in
the host’s voice irritated Dominique; they had been receiving
the same type of looks throughout their walk through the Shops.
She hadn’t anticipated that the news coverage of their
kidnapping and then their rescuing themselves had made Kendra
and she pseudo celebrities. At least no one had presumed to
come up to them and begin a conversation. Though at least one
overheard conversation between two young women had been
entertaining as they waited for the elevator to take them up to
the fourth floor.
“Is that the women who were kidnapped?”
asked the first young woman.
“I think it, is they both look like the
pictures they showed on TV,” said the second.
“Damn, that one looks like she walked those
350 miles without even breaking a nail,” commented the first
The elevator doors had opened then, and
they had stepped inside leaving the two young women. Both
Kendra and Robert had stared at her hands until she held them up
for their inspection with a wry look; obviously, they thought
she was the one the two young women were discussing. Kendra and
Robert inspected them solemnly, Kendra looked down at Robert,
“Damn, she didn’t break a nail,” she announced. The elevator
doors had opened then, allowing Dominique to exit before either
could comment further except for the chuckling that followed
“We have reservations for noon,” she stated
coolly to the host.
“Of course, madam, allow me to escort you
to your seats. As you specified, we have a suitable place
prepared for your guest,” he turned toward Robert and executed a
respectful half bow in his direction. The young man looked a
little startled, but inclined his head in reply before they
began moving again following the host through the restaurant.
None of them spotted the woman who had been
following along behind them ever since she first recognized
them. When the host came back to the restaurant entrance, there
was another well-dressed redheaded woman there waiting for a
table. Fox stopped the man before he lead her off in a
direction other than the one she wanted, “May I have that
table?” she indicated one well away from but still in partial
view of the one Demona and her two companions were seated.
“Of course, madam,” the host politely
answered, Fox hadn’t really thought he would argue with her
especially since he had already recognized her, her tattoo was
both a curse and a blessing that way. She seated herself at the
booth and slid back toward the wall before looking over at her
quarry, neither of the three seemed to have noticed her, good.
She recognized Kendra Canmore from the news, but she had no idea
who the good-looking young man in the wheelchair was with them.
Dominique was pleased with how quickly
Robert was adapting, it was obvious to her that he had never
been in an establishment like this one. He had been wide-eyed
and watchful ever since the host and a nearby waiter had
assisted Kendra and her with their chairs, and then the waiter
had opened and placed their napkins across their laps before he
poured water for the table. “Males usually place their own
napkins,” she reassured him quietly after the waiter had left,
having noticed his uncertain glance at the napkin he had placed
in his own lap.
He looked up at her from his examination of
the table and nodded, “silverware is outside to in?” he
“Yes,” she confirmed, “just watch what
Kendra and I do and you’ll be fine,” she reassured him.
Kendra chuckled drawing their attention,
“If you sit up straight, don’t rest your arms on the table like
your guarding your food, and don’t belch you have most of polite
behavior for men covered,” she commented dryly.
Dominique smirked, amused, Kendra was
right. In dining, like most things in human society, there was
a definite double standard when it came to acceptable male and
acceptable female behavior.
Robert looked back and forth between them,
taking in their expressions, “I think I can manage that.” He
turned his gaze to the menu in his hands. A slight frown formed
on his face as he looked at it.
“Get what looks good to you Robert,” Kendra
commented, glancing over at him, “don’t worry about the prices.
I’m going to have the strip steak myself along with the Belgian
endive salad and I was thinking the chilled seafood platter
looks interesting as an appetizer for the table.”
“Hmm,” Dominique commented glancing over
the menu, “I believe I’ll go with the strip steak as well and a
Caesar salad.” Her decision made she turned her attention to
the wine menu, “Wine?” she asked Kendra.
“Please,” Kendra replied, “split a bottle?”
Dominique nodded, “Bordeaux or Cabernet?”
she smiled as she looked up from the wine menu into her lover’s
blue eyes. She enjoyed the fact that Kendra seemed to know
almost as much about wines as she did.
Kendra picked up the wine menu by her hand
and glanced at it for a minute, “Are you really set on a
Bordeaux or will a Napa Meritage do?”
Robert listened as the two women continued
to discuss what wine to have with lunch, being with them was
both more intimidating and more fun than he had imagined. He
really hoped he hadn’t disappointed Kendra with his lack of
knowledge about fuel cells; the technology wasn’t anything they
had really discussed in depth at school, and most of what he
knew he had picked up from the journals at the library. The
more he was around Dominique and Kendra the more interesting the
idea of working at Nightstone became to him. The idea of
working with cutting edge technologies even before he started
college was a definite draw for him, but it was also fascinating
to watch the way people reacted to the two women. Despite the
casual way the women had accepted the host and waiter’s help
with their chairs and napkins, he could see that not everyone
got quite that level of service.
The waiter arriving for their orders
interrupted his thoughts. He had intended on getting his steak
well done as his aunt and uncle always cooked it, but hearing
Kendra order hers rare and Dominique medium-rare, he tentatively
ordered his medium instead.
“So,” Dominique said, once they had placed
their orders and the waiter had left, “you mentioned you were
interested in electrical engineering. What do you know about
Her green eyes held a hint of challenge as
she waited calmly for his answer. He knew almost nothing about
nanoengineering, he had heard of the name and had a vague idea
about what it was, but none of the companies developing it were
discussing it publically yet.
“Dominique,” Kendra chided her gently, “I
don’t know much about it either. You know no one’s talking
about it because you’re all rushing to develop something worth
patenting before you allow your R&D guys to publish.”
The redhead nodded, “I know but he’s going
to face questions and challenges like that if he comes to work
for us. They’re going to see his youth and wonder why we hired
him; I need to see how he does with these types of questions.”
Her challenging gaze turned his direction once again.
He straightened and took in a breath
lifting his chin slightly; he knew that he pretty much knew
nothing about the subject. “I don’t really know anything about
it except for the name and that it involves engineering
materials such as tubes and wafers which measure only microns
She continued to stare at him for a moment
longer before her face relaxed into an approving smile, “I would
have been surprised if you had, as Kendra noted very few of the
details have been published yet. I wanted you to tell me that
you didn’t know instead of trying to pretend that you did.” His
face must have registered his surprise because she continued, “I
don’t expect you to have the same level of knowledge as my lead
researcher,” she assured him. “And trust me it’s much better to
say up front that you don’t understand something than have it
come out once you’ve proven to everyone that you don’t,” she
Kendra snorted, “That sounds like it comes
with a story.”
Dominique nodded, “A former employee caused
us to miss putting in a patent for a process that we should have
easily beaten Xanatos Enterprises to, it cost Nightstone several
million dollars in wasted research efforts.” She looked over at
Robert, “Not that you’ll see that type of responsibility for
several years, but I believe that gives you an idea of why you
need to be honest about what you know and what you don’t.”
He looked at her searchingly; her last
statement implied that she saw him working for her at Nightstone
in the future, “Does that mean I have an internship this
summer?” The redhead glanced over inquiringly at Kendra.
Robert turned that way as well waiting for the other woman to
Kendra tilted her head, “You sure you want
to? She can be pretty scary when she puts her mind to it,” she
Robert frowned puzzled; he didn’t
understand why Kendra seemed to be trying to discourage him
now. He glanced over at Dominique, he wasn’t afraid of her, she
was still very intimidating of course, but he certainly wasn’t
afraid of her. Actually, he felt safer and more confident than
he usually felt out in public with the two of them.
“From your expression I gather that you
don’t find me scary?” Dominique commented, her tone reassuring.
He shook his head, “You’re intimidating,
but I’m not frightened of you.”
“Good, I never want you to be,” Dominique
stated, looking directly at him, “but I do have a temper and
there may be times when I lose it around you.”
He stared back at her wide-eyed at the
thought; suddenly he could see how she could be scary.
“You understand I’ll be your boss when you
come to work and that she’s my boss there?” Kendra asked him,
drawing his attention away from Dominique.
He nodded, “I understand.”
Kendra grinned, “Then you have an
internship this summer.”
The waiter arrived with their appetizers,
placing salads in front of each of them and a platter of chilled
seafood in the center of the table. Robert waited until he was
gone to reply, “Thank you,” he returned her grin; “I think I’m
looking forward to it.”
The Jaguar’s chosen chuckled at his reply,
he cast a glance over at Dominique, but she was apparently
engrossed with her salad. Her green eyes rose briefly to meet
his gaze and he saw the warm amusement in them. When the
redhead turned her attention to her plate he started on his own
salad feeling happy inside, he wasn’t certain how his aunt and
uncle were going to react, but he would be 18 in only four
months and they couldn’t stop him from going to work at
Nightstone during the summer.
They had barely finished off the seafood
platter when the waiter brought out their steaks. Kendra’s had
an impressive amount of blood red juice or maybe just blood,
draining from it. Dominique smirked; she said to Robert, “if
you get that side I’ll get this one in case her steak decides to
make a run for it.”
Robert grinned, the bloody steak reminded
him of the fact that the full moon was next weekend and he
wondered if Kendra normally preferred her meat this raw or it
was an effect of the approaching moon.
Kendra picked up her knife and fork, with
one smooth motion she sliced the steak in half, “it’s not going
anywhere now,” she assured them. Unfortunately, the waiter
chose that moment to pour wine into the two women’s glasses, the
man halted staring wide eyed at Kendra’s plate and then quickly
poured the wine and left.
Dominique held her hand over her mouth
covering the smile there until the human left. As soon as he
did, she dropped her hand to her lap and commented to Kendra,
“We’re supposed to be showing Robert how to eat in polite
company, not showing him how to terrorize the wait staff.”
Kendra reversed the grip she had on her
knife to a more proper one, she sliced off a small strip of
steak and cut it into bite-sized portions, “Can’t we do both?”
she asked looking up with a perfectly innocent expression.
It was too much for Dominique to keep her
composure, the redhead leaned back in her seat laughing merrily,
gazing over with a warmly affectionate look at her lover. She
didn’t pay attention to the sound of coughing in the background,
nor the voice of a waiter asking if another patron was all
Robert joined in with Dominique’s laughter,
even as he marveled at how it completely changed her face. In
one moment, she went from regal and slightly unapproachable to a
beautiful older woman with warmth dancing in her eyes and
laugh. The loving look she gave Kendra then made a wistful lump
rise in his throat, he hoped he found someone some day that he
wanted to look at in that way.