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Discussions - Chapter 4

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 4

 

By Kudara

 

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

 

Warning:  mild language warning

 

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

 

Rating:  Teen

 

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

 

Revision History: 05/21/08

 

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December 6th, 1997 (evening)

 

Eyrie Building

 

“You’re certain,” David questioned his fingers steepled in front of his chin as he considered what Fox had just told him.

 

“I’m certain,” she assured him dryly, leaning back in her chair.  “I could hardly believe what I was seeing myself.”  She chuckled as she saw the persistent disbelieving expression on his face.  She couldn’t blame him; the idea of Demona with a human was inconceivable enough, much less a Canmore and a female.  She shrugged, taking a sip of her drink.  “Perhaps I was wrong and I misread her expression, but I don’t think I am, and over the course of their meal it happened more than once,” which was what had finally convinced her that she wasn’t seeing things, Fox thought, but didn’t add.

 

He leaned back in his chair, “And the only hint we have of the identity of the young man with them is that his name is Robert, he’s handicapped, and Nightstone will be employing him this summer as an intern.”

 

Fox nodded, “That’s all I was able to hear.”  She swung her crossed leg slowly, “So are we going to tell the clan and Maza?”

 

David was silent for a long moment, “No I don’t think so, not until I can find out more information.  They’re too likely to want to confront her, and from what you said she doesn’t have any intentions towards the young man other than hiring him for an internship position,” he glanced at her questioningly.

 

“I don’t think she does,” Fox said reflectively, “if she did I would have expected her to look at him analytically when his attention wasn’t on her, trying to judge if her efforts were successful, but if anything she looked more fond of him then.”

 

“And you’re certain she didn’t see you?”  David asked, wondering if Demona had been putting on a show for his wife’s benefit.  It wouldn’t be beyond her.

 

“Positive,” Fox replied decisively meeting his brown eyes.

 

He nodded, “Then yes, I think waiting until we get more information is the best idea.  As much as I like Goliath’s direct approach at times, in this situation it will just make her more wary and guarded.  That would make the information we are seeking, both the clarification of what her relationship with Kendra Canmore is, and the identity of the young man you saw, much harder to obtain.”

 

“Is there anyone we can buy on the inside of Nightstone?”  Fox inquired.

 

“There’s always someone you can buy for the right price,” he said with a confident smirk.

 

The smile on her face mirrored his as she commented, “True.”  Fox took another sip of her drink, letting it slide over her tongue, remembering the merry laughter and the warm look on Dominique Destine’s face.  It wasn’t something she had ever expected to see, much less directed at another woman.  She smirked, though if Demona had decided to switch sides she did have excellent taste, Kendra Canmore was beautiful and exotic looking with her brilliantly blue eyes and dark skin, as well as being unusually graceful in her movements.  As a part of the Pack, Fox had worked on looking graceful and deadly as part of her act, but she had never managed it to the extent that Kendra Canmore did, much less how the woman made it look natural and effortless.  “The next few months should be interesting,” she mused aloud.

 

“Indeed,” David agreed, his white teeth shining as he smiled broadly, “and we have front row seats.”

 

 

December 7th (evening)

 

Dominique settled into in the leather seat of the Jaguar, observing Kendra intently as she drove them back to the redhead’s home.  The black haired woman looked incredibly good tonight; the ruffled collar and cuffs of her white blouse the only overtly feminine touch to the tailored three-piece suit she was wearing.  In the dim light from the street lamps, the redhead could just see the tendons flex in the back of her lover’s hands as she shifted gears and then returned her hand to the steering wheel.  Dominique didn’t feel like hiding the fact that the only thought on her mind was how they would feel upon her when they got to her home.  The redhead shifted in her seat restlessly, her entire body felt sensitized to every touch, even the caress of her clothes against her skin.  She shifted once again unable to keep still as she felt another heated anticipatory tingle of desire run though her body.

 

She heard an indrawn breath and looked over to see Kendra lift her head slightly her nostrils flaring.  The hands on the steering wheel tightened briefly and then relaxed, darkened blue eyes met her gaze their intensity sending a bolt of heat through her body before they shifted back to the road.  Dominique closed her eyes, by the Dragon she couldn’t remember ever having been this aroused before without even being touched and knowing that Kendra could scent it only intensified the fiery tingling that was dancing over her skin.  The car slowed and she opened her eyes, they were pulling into the driveway.

 

The garage door opened and Kendra pulled in, bringing the Jaguar to a stop next to the door leading into the kitchen.  Dominique had just opened her door when Kendra was there holding out her hand to help her out of the low slung vehicle.  She swung her legs out and allowed her lover to assist her to her feet.  The long scarlet sheath dress she had on, despite the slit up the side to above her knee, didn’t allow for very much movement.  The look on Kendra’s face when she came down the stairs after dressing though had made the effort she took tonight so very worth it.  Kendra had seemed to remember to breathe only when she reached the bottom of the stairs, “You’re beautiful,” she had whispered her eyes brilliantly blue.

 

“Dominique?”  Kendra’s husky voice brought her out of her memories of earlier in the evening; the black haired woman was holding the garage door open for her.  She walked through it, turned and waited for Kendra to lock it with the second set of keys she had given her earlier.  Their eyes met, “Let’s go upstairs,” her lover whispered. 

 

Anyone following along behind them would have come across Kendra’s jacket on the marble floor of the foyer, her vest on the stairs, the long red dress lying abandoned on the mahogany floor of the second story, and a few feet further the matching red high heels.  The navy pants and black shoes were just inside the bedroom door, while on the floor beside the bed were the stockings and garters Dominique had wore underneath the dress along with a ruffled white blouse.  The few other remaining pieces of clothing were not immediately noticeable, though they might be lost somewhere among the covers of the four-poster canopy bed.

 

As for the entwined figures moving together upon the bed, from the soft gasping cries, the occasional low possessive, “mine,” and responding hissed, “yes,” they most assuredly didn’t care at the moment where their clothes were, just so long as they were no longer in the way.

 

 

December 8th 1997 (morning)

 

Dominique opened her eyes, the annoying sound of her alarm clock in her ears; still half-asleep, she reached out and managed to turn it off even with the arm around her waist limiting her movement.  A protesting moan from behind her heralded Kendra’s own awakening, she laid back upon her pillow.  Scarlet red drew her attention and she looked up, her strapless bra from last night was hanging over the headboard.  She stared up at it bemused, wondering exactly how it had managed to end up there.  Dusky olive skinned fingers entered her field of vision; she looked over at her grinning lover as Kendra retrieved the piece of clothing and then sat up.  She looked over toward the door of the bedroom, the grin getting wider.

 

Dominique turned her head, following her lover’s gaze; Kendra’s pants were lying on the floor just inside the bedroom doorway.  A few feet further inside the room sat one glossy black shoe, the other of the pair, lying on its side, was few feet away from it.  She flushed as she remembered Kendra on her knees wearing only her white blouse and driving the redhead wild with her nips and kisses as she removed the stockings from her legs.  Those would be right beside the bed.  A warm kiss upon her shoulder had her returning her attention to the woman beside her, Kendra’s blue eyes were dancing with amusement as she murmured, “I’ll go collect our clothes.”

 

The redhead paused in front of the full-length mirror to glance over her body briefly; she suspected that if it weren’t for her healing ability, she would have marks upon her from last night.  Seeing none on her creamy pale skin, she felt a brief pang of regret.  She met her own green-eyed gaze in the mirror, surprised to realize that she wouldn’t actually mind a few reminders of those moments when Kendra had growled possessively over her and then suckled hard on her fair, creamy skin, marking her as Dominique encouraged her lover with her urgings.

 

Movement drew her attention, her eyes shifted from her own to the reflection of Kendra’s blue one’s as the black haired woman stood naked in the doorway with an armful of their hastily removed clothing from last night.  She watched still as those sapphire eyes moved over her a hint of possession in their gaze, Dominique lifted her chin proudly, feeling very aware of how beautiful and desirable her lover found her.  Kendra had touched her everywhere the night previously with her massage.  Last night the black haired woman had tasted her everywhere, lips, tongue, and teeth had traced meandering paths all over her body leaving no part of her unexplored while whispering against her skin how beautiful, how desirable, how sexy she was and how much Kendra wanted her.

 

“You should take your shower or you won’t be getting to work on time,” Kendra murmured huskily.

 

For a moment Dominique was tempted, and then she remembered everything she needed to set in motion today.  She strode into the bathroom, escaping from her temptation, and closed the door behind her, feeling the warmth of Kendra’s blue eyes on her every step of the way.

 

As she dressed after her shower, Dominique was briefly tempted to wear something different from normal to work this day.  Her hand hovered over a camel colored suit before switching to one of her favorite suits in red; with the kidnapping and her extended absence she needed to remind her employees that Dominique Destine, owner and CEO of Nightstone Unlimited had returned.

 

She walked out of the closet into her bedroom; she could hear the shower running through the closed bathroom door as Kendra took her turn in the bathroom.  Her stomach growled at her, normally she wouldn’t bother with breakfast, but ever since becoming chosen her metabolism had noticeably increased making breakfast a necessity.  Knowing that Kendra would be just as hungry, Dominique went down to the kitchen, mentally reviewing the contents of the refrigerator as she descended the stairs.  She hadn’t picked up much at the grocery store, so it would have to be eggs and toast with butter.  The redhead added ordering groceries and having them delivered this evening to her days to do list.

 

Forty-five minutes later Kendra whispered, “By the way you look absolutely hot in that,” just before she captured the redhead’s lips with her own.  She had been out before with beautiful women who drew their share of envious eyes, but never had she reacted with such jealousy as she had last night.  Fortunately, their dinner table had been off in corner of the restaurant away from the other guests, because she knew she had unsettled a few of the men staring at Dominique in the bar before they were escorted to their table.  Once they had returned here, a confusing mixture of desires had filled her, she wanted to make love to the redhead as if she were spun out of fragile glass, she wanted to worship her as she deserved, and she wanted to claim her and mark the redhead as hers and only hers.  In the end, she had tasted Dominique, mapping out the textures and flavors of the redhead’s entire body.  Finding which places made her lover sigh and shiver with arousal and which caused her to try and squirm away because they were ticklish.

 

Their lips slowly parted, Dominique reached up and pulled Kendra’s head down until their foreheads were pressed together and then slowly rubbed their brows together while stroking through her lover’s thick black hair.  She felt Kendra’s hand pass gently over her own hair, which was bound by a hair clasp at the nape of her neck.

 

“Is that a gargoyle version of a kiss?” asked Kendra softly when they parted.

 

“Very like a kiss” Dominique agreed, “touching brows together is intimate for gargoyles.”  She didn’t add that it usually only took place between a mated pair.  “You need to get going, Gregory will be here in ten more minutes.”  Dominique watched from the kitchen window as Kendra’s black Jaguar drove away.  She would see Kendra again at lunch when the woman would come by Nightstone to sign the papers from HR, she assured herself, trying to ignore the suddenly empty feel the house had now that she was alone.

 

Dominique folded the Journal and stared out the limo window at the passing streets, they were approaching Nightstone.  She felt a nervous sense of anticipation mixed in with the general sense of well being and happiness that seemed to be her usual state since she and Kendra became lovers.  Today she would begin her first steps in honoring her promises to the Irish Elk spirit.  Her eyes fastened on the thirteen-floor building as they approached it; this was her domain, the domain she had promised to become a wise steward and guardian of to the Ancient One.  The limo slowed and halted before the building.  Demona took in a deep breath, thought of everything the spirit had done for her, he had freed her from manipulations of the Weird Sisters, given her the truth of her past, supported and comforted her when she was hurting, and yes, pushed and prodded her to accomplish what he believed that she could accomplish.  She lifted her head resolutely as the butterflies in her stomach settled; she was not going to disappoint him.

 

As Gregory opened the door and assisted her from the limo, she looked up at the building, its windowed sides gleaming brightly in the morning sunlight, above it absolutely clear blue skies.  She reached out mentally to the majestic stag, wondering if he was nearby watching over her.  A sense of calmness flowed over her accompanied by the feel of the spirit, the wisdom, calmness, strength and kindness of him.  She drew in a deep breath of the wintery cold New York air, sensing the life energy of its people dancing just out of the range of her normal vision. 

 

She turned toward Gregory waiting beside her; he was staring at her, a puzzled and slightly bewildered expression on his face.  She glanced at him with a raised questioning brow, and he almost seemed to shake himself out of whatever it was that had affected him.  “Will you require my services before four o’clock this afternoon Ms. Destine?” he asked politely as he did every morning.

 

Usually she gave him a cool glare and assured him that she would contact him if she did, this morning she responded calmly, “Not that I’m aware of, I’ll contact you if that changes.”

 

There was a very brief flash of startlement across his face before he recovered his professional demeanor, “Of course, Ms. Destine,” he politely replied.

 

A brief moment of mischief caused her to comment, “Excellently smooth ride in as usual, Gregory.”  She turned toward the building before he could reply, but she had seen the open surprise in his expression at the compliment.  She shook her head at herself; Kendra’s sense of humor was rubbing off on her.  Still, her lips curved upward briefly, that had been amusing. 

 

As Dominique strode toward the doors of her company, her earlier sense of purpose and determination returned.  She lifted her head high, and squared her shoulders as she walked toward the main doors.  She was unaware that unlike all other mornings she was meeting her employee’s eyes instead of passing them by as if they barely existed and that her own held something other than cool disinterest.  She left in her wake confused and startled glances; after all, the general consensus had been that she would be in a worse mood than usual after her experiences.

 

Mr. Aaron Lancaster, the division manager of Sales and Marketing, and Mr. Harry Delaney, the Marketing Dept. manager, were heading into work discussing last night’s football game when the sound of purposeful steps behind them caused Aaron to glance back.  “Ms. Destine,” he said, realizing the front doors were right in front of them he stepped forward quickly and pulled it open for her.

 

“Mr. Lancaster, Mr. Delaney, good morning,” the redhead acknowledged them as she stepped through the door Aaron held open for her.  “I trust everything has gone well during my absence in your division Mr. Lancaster,” she glanced at him expectantly.

 

She didn’t pause but continued towards the elevators; Aaron cast a confused glance at Harry and then hurried to catch up to her.  “Yes, Ms. Destine,” he continued to give her a very brief explanation of what had happened in his department as he entered the elevator with her.  Harry stepped back from the elevator door intending on escape by taking another, but a commanding crook of a red nailed finger had him stepping obediently into the elevator with them.

 

When the doors closed on the three of them and began to move upward, Ms. Destine glanced at Mr. Lancaster and held up a finger, “a moment Mr. Lancaster,” she said interrupting him.  He stopped speaking, confused, she turned toward his division’s marketing manager, “Mr. Delaney I understand you have a meeting this morning with a representative of the Department of Defense?”

 

“Yes, Ms. Destine,” Harry Delaney hastily acknowledged, “we’re discussing the next calendar year’s contracting.”

 

“Shift the focus of those contracts away from any further weapons development to armor and defensive countermeasures,” she instructed him firmly.  The elevator passed the floor the two men should have gotten off on, but neither of them had been foolish enough to push that button.  The only floor button lit was the thirteenth floor.

 

He grimaced, knowing what the DoD representative would be most interested in, “I’ll try my best Ms. Destine, but I believe weapons development is what they were planning on discussing,” he admitted.  He stiffened; bracing himself for the redhead’s legendary temper that he was certain was about to be directed his way.

 

Dominique reached out and hit the stop button halting the elevator and turned toward him.  Noting his posture, she suspected he though she was about to yell at him.  Luckily for him though she wasn’t, at least not this morning, “I understand that Mr. Delaney, but as of today Nightstone Unlimited is getting out of the business of discovering better ways to kill off the human race.” her tone was dryly amused.  “Therefore you need to shift the focus of those discussions to the two area’s I mentioned and if you cannot then set up another meeting with the DoD’s representative and myself and I will explain to him why our company is no longer interested in perusing such contracts.”

 

He gaped at her for a moment before hastily recovering himself, “Yes, of course…  I mean I’ll do my best Ms. Destine so that isn’t necessary.”

 

She looked at him noting the nervousness, she knew his meeting with the DoD representative was in two hours, leaving him little time to prepare a strategy to do what she was requesting.  “Mr. Delaney I understand I’m giving you little time to prepare, do your best,” she reached out and pushed the start button to get the elevator moving once again, “invite Mr. McKnight and have him discuss the new ceramic composites and the laser anti-missile defense system he’s working on,” she suggested, her mind working through the problem.  “That should take up the majority of your scheduled time.  When the meeting runs long reschedule it for next week,” the doors opened on the thirteenth floor, “I believe that should give you sufficient time to develop a new marketing approach.”  She looked over expectantly for his reply, she could see his mind working over the possibility she had presented.

 

His iron-grey eyes brightened, “I’ll do that, thank you for the suggestion Ms. Destine.”

 

The doors began to close and Aaron reached out and pushed the button to reopen them, “We’ll have an alternate marketing strategy on your desk by the end of the week Ms. Destine,” he assured her.

 

“Very good, Mr. Lancaster,” she acknowledged before stepping out of the elevator, in her thoughts she marked one item off her days long to do list.  She turned toward her office, her stride slowed as she saw the two humans rise from where they had been sitting.  Her green eyes narrowed, Maza and Bluestone, undoubtedly here on the clan’s behalf to see if they could get her to tell them something she hadn’t mentioned to the police already.

 

“Ms. Destine,” Candice rose from her desk as soon as she saw her, shooting a wary look at the two detectives, “I wasn’t certain what to do about your morning appointments.  These detectives say they have some questions about your kidnapping.”

 

Dominique shrugged out of her coat and handed it to the waiting woman, turning to the two waiting humans as soon as Candice took it.  “Detective Bluestone, Detective Maza I wasn’t aware that you had been transferred from the Task Force, how unfortunate for you,” she commented with false sympathy.  She stared at them waiting, ignoring the obvious hatred in Elisa Maza’s brown eyes.

 

Bluestone looked uncomfortable, “We haven’t Ms. Destine,” he replied.

 

“Ahh,” she drew out her reply, “I wasn’t aware that the department engaged in a free for all when it came to its cases.  I was under the impression that it was the duty of the detectives assigned to my kidnapping to ask any further questions they had, not any detective or detectives who just happen to be curious about it.”  She let that sink in a moment.  Before Goliath’s human could utter the angry comment she could see burning in those brown eyes, the redhead continued.  “I’m sure you won’t mind if I call your captain to ask her exactly how many detectives I should be expecting to show up at my office?  That way I’ll know exactly how much time I need to set aside to satisfy the personal curiosity of any random detective who decides to drop by.”  Her tone was sarcastically dry as she drove in the point that they had no real grounds to be here.

 

Elisa couldn’t believe it; whenever they had come to ask Demona questions during the day before the gargoyle had spent all her time subtly glaring and sniping at her, and barely addressed Matt except for the rare response to his question.  This was the first time the gargoyle had ever passed by a chance to snip at her; in fact, the redhead appeared to be pretty much completely ignoring her except for a few cool glances in her direction that held none of their usual venom.  She had watched the redhead closely ever since she stepped out of the elevator and except for the narrowed eyes when she first saw them, Demona appeared remarkably calm this morning despite the irritation and sarcastic wit she was displaying.

 

Bluestone flushed angrily, “Ms. Destine we only have a few questions if you could give us ten minutes,” he knew she had them over a barrel; he hadn’t mentioned the possible involvement of the Quarrymen to anyone.  They had no official reason to be here asking her questions about the kidnapping, and it would raise uncomfortable questions if the department knew they were here.  He wouldn’t have thought Demona would go there, she usually glared at them and then acquiesced, but she looked rather displeased and quite ready to make that phone call this morning.  Maybe her first day back at work hadn’t been the best time to confront her.

 

The elevator behind them opened with a muted chime, Dominique’s gaze went past the two detectives to see who else had just arrived.  Her green eyes widened in surprise when she saw Macbeth staring back at her.  She drew in a breath; she hadn’t expected this though she probably should have given what had happened.  “Candice,” she turned toward her secretary ignoring the two detectives and the approaching Macbeth, “move all of my appointment’s back one hour except for the one with HR and reschedule the last appointment to tomorrow.”

 

She turned back toward her three visitors; Macbeth was glaring angrily at Detective Maza who was staring back at him with open surprise.  His actions confused her as well until she recalled that the Ancient One had returned his memories of Avalon as well.  She felt a wave of embarrassment and chagrin as she remembered that he had been there when the Archmage had raged in front of her and when the Weird Sisters had replaced their enchantment upon her.

 

Macbeth stopped in front of the Detective, his eyes narrowed, “How dare you make decisions about our lives and what we’re allowed to know, you do not know the damage you did that day,” he hissed at her.

 

Bluestone stepped forward even as Elisa stepped back from the angry former king, “Professor McDuff,” Matt put a restraining hand on the older man’s arm.

 

Before the situation could escalate further, Dominique said softly, “Lennox,” as she expected his grey eyes swung toward her immediately.  She hesitated only briefly before continuing, “They were certainly not the first to be taken in by their false claims.”  There was nothing to lose at this point by acknowledging it in front of Maza, if the woman hadn’t guessed by now that Macbeth had his memories of Avalon back the detective was only seconds away from it, the human wasn’t stupid.  She could see by his flinch that her words had hit their mark, she and Macbeth were the first ones who had been completely taken in by the Weird Sisters false claims not Elisa and Goliath.

 

What was the human saying, in for a penny in for a pound?  This was certainly guaranteed to upset Maza and the clan.  She held out her hand toward him, “I’ve cleared my schedule for you, let’s take our discussion into my office.”  As soon as Macbeth shook off Bluestone’s restraining hand, she glanced over at Candice, “while I’m meeting with Professor McDuff type those memos I sent you over the weekend and have them hand delivered to their recipients.  If anyone has any questions I’ll try and fit them in tomorrow,” she ordered.

 

“Yes, Ms. Destine,” her secretary replied.

 

The memos directed the Research and Development Division to shift their focus and personnel from weapons research to armor and defensive systems.  It also directed the project lead of R&D’s Special Projects to put his entire department’s efforts into developing the batteries he had engineered for the laser weapons into a commercially suitable product.  The second memo was to Human Resources telling them she wanted a report on the feasibility of instituting flexible working hours, telecommuting, pre-tax elder and childcare accounts, and extending the health care plan for spouses to domestic partners.  The final memo was to the legal department, it was past time for Nightstone Unlimited’s silent partner to become nothing but a dim memory.  They were to find a way to get Alexander Thialog’s name off the incorporation documents and make Dominique Destine the sole owner of the company in every way.  As she happened to know that that misbegotten clone was currently serving as a pigeon roost both day and night, Demona didn’t anticipate any difficulties from him over it.

 

That was another task on the days to do list started, Dominique thought as she turned her attention back to the tall broad shouldered man walking toward her.  With any luck, she might actually get through half of them.

 

“Dominique,” he greeted her, halting a few paces away as if he were uncertain of his welcome.  She could see the conflicting emotions in his stormy grey eyes and the way he looked at her, sorrow, pity, and a hint of old anger, though directed at her or his thoughts of them she couldn’t guess.

 

She wouldn’t take his pity, what was done was done and there was nothing either one of them could do to change the past.  She lifted her head proudly; meeting his eyes letting him see her determination.  Knowing that the others in the room wouldn’t understand she said in the old form of Scots Gaelic that they had spoken when he was her ally.  “We cannot change the past my old friend and king,” she said softly, remembering Kendra’s words to her the night after her memories of Avalon were returned, “but we can make a different present and future than what they intended for us.”

 

His eyes widened at her words and their gazes meshed as his eyes searched hers.  His arms rose and she grasped his forearms in a warrior’s clasp as he grasped hers.  They stood like that for a few seconds, Dominique was aware of the three other humans in the room staring at them in open amazement, but she didn’t really care.  Let Maza and Bluestone try and figure out how Macbeth and she had went from sworn enemies to friends.  Macbeth was the only one who would tell them anything and her old friend only knew what it was safe for him to know and after the discussion they were about to have, he hopefully would be telling them very little.

 

She loosened her hold on his arms and stepped away, glancing coolly at the two detectives.  She knew Bluestone and Maza would be doggedly persistent in getting the information they had come here after, therefore it would just be easiest to give it to them.  “You’ve caught me in a generous mood this morning detectives so I’ll give you two answers.”  She found the surprise in their eyes rather amusing.  “To the question you came to ask, yes.  To the question you are worried about…no.”  She let it sink in for a moment before steeling her tone, “And that detectives is all you’re going to get this morning, so good day to you.”

 

She returned her attention to Macbeth, completely ignoring the two detectives.  Indicating the door of her office, she smirked, unable to resist the temptation, “Lead on MacDuff.”

 

He growled in annoyance, “you know that’s lay on MacDuff, and I don’t use the a.”

 

She breezed past him, “Yes, I just wanted to see if you knew,” she said sweetly.

 

“Woman,” he complained as he entered her office and she closed the door behind them.  He turned to look at her, took in the amused smile and lively sparkle in her green eyes.  For a second he was painfully reminded how she had managed to trick him into falling in love with her, Demona’s human form was a very beautiful woman.  The smile on her face slipped away, before she could give voice to the regret that was filling her eyes and taking away their light he held up a hand, “It’s ok lass, you’ve already apologized enough for that, let’s just forget about it.  Besides, that’s not why I came to see you today.”

 

Dominique straightened with a nod, “The dreams,” she replied, sounding business like.  She glanced at the collar of his blue shirt, “Did you get your charm made?”

 

In reply he pulled out the intricate iron charm on its silver chain, “and you?” he inquired remembering that the spirit had said something about providing one for her.  She undid the high collar of her shirt, revealing a gold chain and lifted up a pendant of reddish stone set in gold.  He leaned closer to see what was inscribed upon it, and saw the image of a woman.  He met her eyes questioningly.

 

She lifted an eyebrow, “The spirit broke the fey enchantments upon us Macbeth, including the one that Puck placed on me allowing me to be human during the day.”  She replaced the pendant and buttoned her shirt, “The charm replaces that spell as well as protecting me from being enchanted again.”

 

“I didn’t even think about that,” he said chagrined.

 

A smile curved her red lips, “Thankfully the spirit did.”

 

He shook his head ruefully, remembering his original purpose this morning, at her questioning look he said, “I came in here today to try and figure out if the dreams were real.”

 

Dominique tilted her head to the side curiously, “And how did you intend to determine that?”

 

From his pocket he pulled out the small device he had built, “it delivers a decent jolt but does no damage; it’s enough for us to make sure we aren’t linked anymore.”  He had already tested it out earlier in the weekend to make sure it worked as he thought it should, so now he didn’t hesitate to press it against his hand and activate it.  With a mumbled oath, he pulled his hand away from the machine shaking it with a growl of irritation, she hadn’t moved except to stare at him, one brow raised high.

 

“And now I suppose you expect me to do that?” she asked dryly.

 

Without responding he tossed it to her, she caught it easily.  Her brow hadn’t lowered one millimeter, “I am not going around with a burn mark on my hand.”

 

He showed the palm of the hand he had tested himself with to her, “It won’t leave a mark, I said it did no damage and I meant it.”

 

She sighed in irritation, a moment later the device was returned to him a bit more forcefully than he had tossed it to her.  “I didn’t feel anything,” he said, his relief apparent.

 

“Did you really expect to?” she asked, shaking her still tingling hand, honestly surprised that he had doubted the Ancient One’s word.

 

“I didn’t know,” he said sitting down, “after what the Weird sisters did to us…”

 

Her eyes softened, “I understand, I was hesitant to place my trust in him at first as well, but everything the spirit said he would do he has done.”

 

Something in her tone caught his attention, a level of affection and respect that seemed odd given the amount of time they had spent with the spirit.  “He does seem to have,” he agreed.

 

She turned her chair toward her and sat in it, “There is one thing that he reminded me about that I don’t remember him telling you,” she said fixing him with a serious look.  “While the charms will make sure we can’t be enchanted, they don’t protect us from direct magical attacks.”

 

He sunk into the chair on the opposite side of Dominique’s desk, a frown on his face, “Do you expect them to attack us?”

 

“After what they did to us just to have their revenge on the Magus can you say they wouldn’t?” she countered.

 

His frown deepened, and he leaned back in the chair and absent-mindedly stroked his beard as he considered the question.  The more he thought about the lengths they had went to get their revenge upon the Magus and how willing they had been to kill the young gargoyles and humans that had taken refuge on Avalon, the more likely the possibility seemed to him.  “No, I can’t,” he finally acknowledged, “the more I consider it the more likely that seems.”

 

She nodded, “That was my analysis of the situation as well.  We need time to prepare for a direct attack upon us.”  She leaned forward in her chair, “Right now Oberon has every fey except one with him on Avalon and they’re not supposed to leave the island without his direct permission.”

 

Macbeth frowned, “How do you know this?”  He didn’t remember being informed of any of this information.

 

“The spirit told me at the same time he warned me we weren’t immune to direct attacks,” she responded.

 

Obviously, the spirit had spent a lot more time with Demona than with him, Macbeth thought staring at the redhead across from him.  “Which fey is not on Avalon?”

 

“Puck, who pretends to be the human Owen Burnett, personal assistant to David Xanatos,” Dominique watched his grey eyes widen, “which means there is a possible conduit of information from Xanatos, the two detectives and the clan directly to Avalon and the Weird Sisters.”

 

He groaned, remembering what he had said to Elisa Maza.

 

Dominique smiled wryly, “The only thing they know right now is that you remember the events on Avalon and, given that we didn’t try and kill one another, that I do as well.”  She paused and leaned forward in her chair, her gaze intent, “They do not know exactly what we overheard, nor do they know that the spirit removed the enchantments on us.  When Goliath comes to talk to you all he needs to know is why we aren’t enemies.”

 

Macbeth stared back at her considering her words, “We don’t know that Puck would tell them,” he pointed out.

 

“Why take that chance until we are ready in case he does,” she immediately countered.

 

He leaned back in the chair and stared at her, “What about the enchantment the Weird Sisters placed on you, doesn’t the clan deserve to know why you kept attacking them.”  He could see her fingers whiten upon the armrests of her chair, betraying her reaction to his words, “Don’t you deserve for them to know why you did your best to drive them away from you?”

 

She smiled bitterly, “I’m not sure it would make a difference at this point, and I’m still not willing to risk everything just to tell the clan about that enchantment.”

 

“Are you sure you just don’t want them to know what they did to you,” he saw her flinch, her eyes fell away from his and knew he was at least partially right.  Placing his hands on his knees, he leaned forward, “Demona I saw your clan together enough to know that one of the hardest things for a gargoyle to endure is being alone.  What they did to you was beyond cruel.”  He waited until she was looking at him again before continuing, “Lass you don’t deserve to be alone anymore, you thought you were protecting them from the hunters, give them the chance to protect you.”

 

Her eyes widened in surprise as she realized he was trying to help her become part of the Wyvern clan once again.  Her expression softened, “Macbeth I can’t go back to being the gargoyle I was a thousand years ago, I don’t fit in there anymore.”  She took in a hesitant breath, suddenly having a lot more empathy for why Kendra had been hesitant to tell her mother that she was gay.  She had no idea how Macbeth would react to this, “And I’m not alone, though I suspect my choice will come as rather a shock to everyone.”

 

Macbeth stared at her in surprise, wondering whom she was talking about and why she would say it would be a shock.  Brilliantly blue eyes warning him away from Demona flashed in his mind, “Kendra Canmore?!”

 

Dominique’s green eyes narrowed, her chin raised, “And what if it is?” she said challengingly.

 

He opened his mouth, closed it on the words as the thought the better of them seeing the rising temper in her narrowed eyes.  “You know she’s human right?” he blurted.

 

The redhead stared at him silently for a few seconds, finally her lips twitched, “I had noticed that a few times,” she replied dryly.  He flushed, she leaned back in her chair, “That’s all you have to say?  She’s human?” she was clearly amused.

 

He stared at her, even though he had guessed accurately, somehow he hadn’t really thought he would be right.  “Well there is the part about her being a Canmore, and a woman.”  For some reason his mind flashed to the past, and he remembered how Gruoch had always been somehow immune to the gargoyles temper, even when Demona was in a foul mood she wouldn’t lash out at his wife.  He had always attributed it to the fact that Gruoch reminded Demona of her more innocent self, the one who had been completely devoted to and in love with Goliath as Gruoch was with him.  Now he wondered, “I didn’t know that you were…” he searched for the right word, “bisexual.”

 

She snorted softly, “Neither did I until Kendra came into my life,” her face softened markedly and her eyes brightened as she smiled, “and proceeded to turn it completely upside down.”

 

He took in the slight flush to her cheeks, the pleased, even joyous expression on her face.  It had been centuries since he had seen her look so completely happy.  “How long have you known her?” he asked curiously.  He still wasn’t certain what he thought of the relationship, but this stint as a university professor and his own experiences over the centuries had broadened his outlook on the world.  He certainly wasn’t about to condemn something that brought such evident joy to his old friends life, especially now that he knew how tormented she had been by the Weird Sisters.

 

The pink tinge to her cheeks increased as she admitted, “Almost a month.”

 

Several responses ran though his mind, all of them likely to raise her ire.

 

“I know it’s not been long,” she acknowledged, his expression having given away his doubts, “and we’re still figuring everything ourselves.”  Her smile became crooked as she confided, “Along with everything else that’s one of the reasons I’m not interested in getting involved with the clan right now, I don’t need them or their opinions in the middle of things, not when I’m still getting used to it myself.”

 

“You don’t think they would take it well?”  He asked, puzzled, “I wasn’t aware that gargoyles had any prejudices against such relationships.”

 

“The subject has never come up before as far as I know,” her eyes met his squarely, “I’m the only one I know about or have ever known about.”

 

Macbeth stared at her in surprise, “Oh,” he said somewhat weakly.

 

Ruefully she agreed, “Yes, oh.  I have no idea how they will react since it has literally never come up before.”  She glanced over at the time, she wanted to make sure they were able to go over exactly what Macbeth would tell the clan when they came seeking him out as they undoubtedly would either tonight or tomorrow night.  “I only have an hour, so shall we work on what you will say to the clan,” she finished wryly, “probably tonight?”

 

He chuckled, knowing that she was most likely correct about how Goliath would react to the news of their friendly meeting.

 

 

West 57th Street – Kendra’s Condo

 

Kendra glanced over at the ringing phone irritated; her answering machine had been filled with requests from various reporters to interview her.  This was probably another one of them, or one of the same one’s trying yet again.  She returned her attention to her laptop, Dominique wanted a list of companies involved in fuel cell production and research and Kendra’s evaluation of their value to Nightstone by the end of the week.  She already knew about a lot of the companies involved in the field, but there were always new advances and new players.

 

“Ms. Canmore,” Gregory’s voice on the answering machine came as a surprise and she reached over and picked up the phone while shutting off the answering machine.

 

“Gregory, it’s Kendra Canmore,” she said to let him know she had picked up the phone.  There was a small crease between her brows as she tried to think of why Dominique’s driver would be calling her.

 

“Ms Canmore,” he sounded relieved, “I was hoping I could reach you here.  This morning after Ms. Destine entered the building I was approached by a man who offered me money in exchange for information about Ms. Destine’s movements.”

 

“Oh just tell her the truth,” another male voice broke in loudly, Kendra’s brow raised as she listened to his voice, that was a queen, or if he wasn’t one he was certainly doing a good imitation of one.  “Someone’s sniffing around trying to figure out if you two are lovers, cause they asked Greg how many times he had seen you two together and how you acted around one another.  They wanted him to call and let them know whenever you two go out.”

 

“Michael,” Gregory’s chastising voice identified the other male.

 

“It’s alright Gregory,” Kendra assured him, “that’s the specific type of information I needed to know.  How much did they offer you?”

 

A few seconds of silence passed before he responded, “The man kept upping the price, I guess he thought I just wanted more money, but I wouldn’t do that to you or Ms. Destine.”  Something in his tone told her that there was a story behind it, and it didn’t take a genius to guess that someone had done that to him or someone he cared about and the fallout hadn’t been pretty.

 

“I appreciate that Gregory,” she said softly, “but I need to know so I can give her an idea about how hard their trying to buy that information.  Since they didn’t get it from you they’ll just go elsewhere and that elsewhere might not have the same scruples as you.”

 

“I threatened to turn him into security, so I don’t know how high he would have gone but the last offer was twenty thousand per each piece of information,” Gregory responded.

 

Kendra was impressed and worried, that was a lot of money to tempt someone with, “They really want it then.”

 

“That was why I decided to call you Ms. Canmore,” Gregory responded.

 

“That and I told him he could go out and buy one of those suction cup dildo’s if he wanted any for the next month if he didn’t,” Michael’s voice broke in once again making it clear he had been listening in on the conversation.

 

“Michael!”  Gregory’s voice was utterly appalled.

 

Kendra’s eyebrows rose in shock for a brief moment, and then she bent over in laughter.  Above the sound of her own merriment, she could hear Gregory complaining, “I can’t believe you said that to her…”

 

“Oh please,” Michael interrupted sarcastically, “does it sound like she has a problem with it?”

 

“It’s ok Gregory,” Kendra assured him trying to get control of herself, “though I wouldn’t recommend saying that around Ms. Destine,” she couldn’t help but add with a chuckle.

 

He sounded relieved, “That’s one of the reasons I contacted you, Ms Canmore, I wasn’t sure how Ms. Destine would react...” he hesitated before finishing , “to any of this.”

 

Kendra smirked, she wasn’t certain if he meant the attempts at bribery, the fact that he was gay, or his boyfriend.  “I’ll contact her but I need his description first,” she said, “tell me everything you remember about this guy.”

 

“He had brown eyes, dark hair that was short and parted on the side, he was a little taller than I am…”  Gregory began.

 

 

Twenty minutes later at Nightstone Unlimited

 

Dominique hung up the phone after talking to security, they would begin sweeping the building looking for anyone who wasn’t an employee and verifying that they had a legitimate reason to be there.  Candice was currently informing the division managers to be on alert for any information gathering attempts.  The redhead smirked; fortunately, corporate espionage was such a business reality that this particular attempt likely wouldn’t gain any more attention or remarks than usual, no matter what information whoever was funding this was after.

 

She didn’t understand why Gregory had called Kendra instead of simply walking in and informing security, but given the size of the bribe he had been offered, she was relieved that the human hadn’t just taken it.  Five minutes worth of conversation would have made him a richer man.  In the past she hadn’t worried about what Gregory knew, after all what was he going to tell someone, that he drove her to and from work and occasionally stopped by the grocery store?  Now though it was different, she did have something to protect, not because she was ashamed that Kendra was her lover, but because she wanted control of when that information was revealed and to whom it was revealed. 

 

The few seconds before Macbeth’s response, when she had informed him that she was no longer alone, had ended up being surprisingly tense when she realized that she didn’t know enough about his views on such relationships to know whether Macbeth would accept her or become self-righteous and condemn her.  She had chosen to take that chance with her old ally and it had worked out in her favor, but it had also shown her that she didn’t want such moments to come as a surprise.  She didn’t like the idea of someone blindsiding her with the question of what her relationship was with Kendra when she wasn’t prepared for it or the possible outcomes from answering it.

 

This morning was one of the very few times she had ever complimented Gregory.  The few words she had said about his driving hardly seemed like a sufficient reason for him to have not taken that bribe.  In the past, she would have attributed his refusal to his fear of her or of losing his job; however, Kendra said his reason was a personal one.  Dominique had tried to get Kendra to tell her, but the black haired woman had been adamant that she needed to wait until after work to hear it.  That had only made Dominique more curious.  For right now though, she would have to settle for simply being grateful that her driver had not taken the bribe and that he had informed them about the attempt.

 

 
 
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