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Discussions - Chapter 7

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 7

 

By Kudara

 

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

 

Warning:  None

 

Notes:  Dominique Destine’s home, and the character’s Candice and Gregory are from ‘The Gargoyles Saga’ world and adapted for use in this story.  Paper batteries not something I made up http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6945732.stm.  The song lyrics mentioned are from “Send Me A Lover” by Celine Dion.

 

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: 06/13/08

 

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December 10th, 1997

 

Morning - Outside Jason’s Apartment Building, Manhattan

 

Kendra stared at the building where Jason’s apartment was located.  She had been sitting here for ten minutes staring at it trying to figure out what in the world she would say to her cousin.  She was fairly certain that “hey Jason guess what I found out while I was trekking though the Canadian wilderness.  The Canmore’s have been ensorcelled for the past thousand years by these three fey called the Weird Sisters so that we would make sure Demona didn’t get lazy and out of shape,” wouldn’t work too well.

 

For one thing, it would raise questions about what the fey were and how it was that she had come to know about them.  Secondly, she really didn’t think that Jason would believe her, at least not without her showing him things, such as the fact she had the ability to shapeshift and revealing the existence of the chosen.  That was completely unacceptable, she was hardly going to trust Jason or her other two cousins with that type of information about herself or anyone else.

 

A white van pulled up outside the building, and Kendra sat up straighter as she saw the lettering on the side of it.  There was a possibility that someone else in the building might need wheelchair accessible transportation, but there was a good chance the van was for Jason.  Luck was with her, a few minutes later her cousin wheeled himself out of the building.  It only took a moment for her to see the expected tattered remains of sickly green fey magic upon him.  Kendra sank back in her seat with an unhappy sigh, “Great,” she muttered to herself, “now how am I going to free Robyn and Jon?”

 

 

Night - Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

Angela gazed pensively at the lights of the city far below the castle as she wondered what her mother was doing right now.  Was Demona plotting against Elisa and Goliath or against Macbeth as the clan feared, or…the young lavender female’s thoughts trailed off uncertainly.  Angela really had no idea how learning what the Weird Sisters had done to her would affect her proud mother.  That Demona would not be pleased was an easy conclusion to make, what her mother would do after that was not so easy for her daughter to predict.

 

The young female sighed unhappily, despite how much Demona had hurt her every time she tried to reach out to the older female, despite all the lies her mother had told and the way Demona had manipulated her, Angela still felt some concern for her mother.  Yet her father had been very clear that she was not to go seeking Demona out, not until the clan had a better idea what the immortal gargoyle was planning.

 

Angela suspected her father believed that Demona was plotting against Macbeth and had cast a spell on the immortal king making him believe that the Weird Sisters were responsible for Demona’s betrayal of him in the past.  She didn’t know what to believe, she knew that it was certainly something her mother was capable of doing.  She had to only think of everything Demona had done to manipulate her into believing the older gargoyle was helping the clan against the Quarrymen, when in reality Demona was trying to kill Goliath and take the clan leaders position, to know to what levels of deception her mother was capable of pulling off.

 

The other possibility that the clan feared, provided that what Macbeth told them was the truth and this wasn’t another of Demona’s schemes, was that either Demona was, or would shortly be, plotting her revenge against Goliath and Elisa.  In all the time she had known her mother, Demona’s fiery, and frequently irrational, temper had certainly been something Angela had noticed about the immortal gargoyle’s temperament.  Considering that her mother hated Goliath and Elisa already and had tried to kill both of them before, even Angela thought it was reasonable to fear that Demona would lash out at Goliath and Elisa for allowing the Weird Sisters to cast a spell on her causing her to forget the events on Avalon.

 

“Angela?” Broadway’s hesitant voice from behind her interrupted her thoughts.  She smiled at him warmly, she knew he wasn’t the smartest or quickest, but he was the kindest and best tempered of the Trio as well as the strongest of all three of the young males.  “Are you alright?” he asked with a concerned look.

 

And the most thoughtful, Angela added to her mental list of his qualities.  “I was thinking of my mother,” she admitted, “wondering if she will try and attack father and Elisa.”

 

He shifted uneasily beside her, “She does have a temper.”

 

Angela’s short laugh carried little humor, “I know.”

 

“We’ll stop her if she does, we won’t let her hurt Goliath or Elisa,” he said confidently.

 

The young lavender female nodded.  She was silent for a long moment before changing the subject, “When is Elisa going undercover?”

 

“Tonight,” Broadway said, his tone worried, “she joined the Quarrymen while we were asleep during the day.”

 

Angela frowned in concern, “How will we know if she needs help?”  The thought of what might happen to Elisa if the Quarrymen found out Elisa’s identity frightened her.  Jon Canmore’s willingness to kill his own clan for associating with Demona showed how ruthless and dangerous he was; she doubted he would hesitate to hurt Elisa once he realized she was spying on him.

 

“Matt’s watching out for her and Goliath’s in contact with him, if anything happens we’ll know about it,” Broadway reassured her.

 

The lavender female glanced over at him, there were some rather obvious issues with that plan and she could see by his worried look that he was well aware of them.  “Yes, but will we know in time to protect her,” she spoke her biggest worry aloud.

 

Broadway looked over at her, his expression both understanding and firm, “That’s why we have to stay nearby and ready, just in case Elisa needs us.”

 

Angela stared at him for a moment before looking back over the city, “I understand,” the young female’s determination firmed.  Elisa had never let her down and had saved her life and the lives of the clan several times, she wouldn’t let herself get distracted by her concern for her mother while the human woman was in such danger.

 

 

Night – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

“Let’s go gliding,” Demona tossed the reports she had been reading down on the coffee table and looked over at Kendra, who was reading a novel, expectantly, “I’m tired of reading these and you need the practice.”

 

The black haired woman looked startled for a brief moment before she smiled broadly, “That sounds like a wonderful idea,” she agreed sounding relieved.

 

The gargoyle stared at her lover bemused as she practically bounded to her feet, laid the book she had been reading on the coffee table, and waited expectantly by the couch, her blue eyes gleaming with eagerness.  A short five minutes later, they were standing outside on the second floor balcony.  Demona stared at up at Kendra’s dark winged form.  The jaguar’s chosen was already standing upon the railing, balancing upon it effortlessly and staring out into the night and taking deep breaths of the cool air, her tail switching from side to side in not quite an agitated motion.  The brightness of the night caused Kendra’s glossy black wing feathers to gleam, catching the gargoyle’s attention.  She looked up at the source of the light, and her eyes widened in comprehension as she looked back at her lover.  “It’s almost the full moon,” she commented quietly.

 

“It is,” Kendra agreed looking up at the sky, “I’ll need to head up to my estate this weekend.”  She glanced down at Demona, her blue eyes intense against the darkness of her black furred face, “Come with me,” she requested.

 

The fiery haired gargoyle didn’t even need to think about it, “Alright.”

 

The blue eyes lightened, “Good,” the winged jaguar extended her hand.

 

Demona stared at Kendra’s outstretched hand and then at the railing upon which the jaguar’s chosen was standing.  She extended her own; her lover’s warm hand wrapped around it and then Demona drew in a startled gasp as Kendra simply lifted her into the air high enough for her to stand on the railing with the winged jaguar.  She caught a glimpse of Kendra’s dark, wine red lips curving into an amused grin just before her lover leapt into the air and with a powerful downward sweep of her feathered wings took to the air.  Shaking her head in amusement, the gargoyle followed, obviously Kendra had already incorporated some of the changes she had been talking about earlier into her winged form to make it stronger, quicker and more agile.

 

Gliding swiftly to catch up, Demona pointed to the south, “Forest Hills Park is directly to the south of us just over the Interborough Parkway, and west of that is a golf course.  Lets practice turns and loops there and then we can head north to let you experience gliding over streets and buildings.  The asphalt holds in heat no matter what the season and that causes a constant slight thermal effect.”

 

“Much wind shear along the buildings?” Kendra inquired as they curved gradually toward the band of trees that was the park.

 

“Not where we’re flying tonight, but in Manhattan yes, it can be very tricky gliding among the buildings with the unpredictable updrafts and even occasional downdraft,” Demona said, “so we’ll wait until you’re ready to fly there to go over the bridge.  Besides I don’t want to run into the clan yet and that’s their patrol territory.”

 

“Ok,” Kendra agreed easily as they reached the park.  As Demona watched and called out advice, the winged were-jaguar practiced ever-tightening turns and then vertical rolls, which Kendra had just learned how to do before they left Canada.

 

Demona watched Kendra’s gliding closely, but there were only a few corrections she needed to make.  The gargoyle marveled at how swiftly the were-jaguar was learning to fly; it had been less than two weeks, yet Kendra was already starting to look at home in the air.  Suddenly the gargoyle was very grateful that Kendra hadn’t decided to become a hunter.  The Canmore’s were unusually skilled warriors for humans, but her lover’s physical abilities far surpassed those of the rest of her family.  Demona strongly suspected Kendra’s physical prowess predated her becoming one of the Jaguar’s chosen, and she wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that had been what had drawn the Jaguar priestess’ attention to the young Kendra.

 

“Ready to fly over the city?” the gargoyle asked.

 

Kendra did one more roll before turning and gliding next to the flame haired gargoyle, “Sure,” she looked northward, “that way?”

 

Demona nodded, “That way is Forest Hills, it will do nicely for your introduction to gliding over city areas.”

 

The newness of being able to fly had still not worn off, and Kendra looked with interest at the landscape passing below them, the houses, and streets with cars and trucks moving along them.  As they approached more densely populated areas, she noticed that they were gradually rising in the air, “We’re gaining altitude, is it because you don’t want them to see us?”

 

“Not many tall buildings in this area to block their view of us,” Demona explained, “so it’s a good idea to present less of a silhouette against the night sky for the humans to notice.”  She smirked, “We don’t want your cousin to show up, escaping from Quarrymen flitters and helicopters definitely falls under advanced gliding lessons.”

 

Kendra smiled briefly, she knew Demona had meant the comment to be amusing but it reminded her of the news reports she had read about the kidnapping.  “No we don’t want that,” the were-jaguar said, “especially given the fact that for all his prostrations that he’s protecting people, he doesn’t seem to give a damn who gets hurt when he’s hunting,” she growled thinking of the people on the street below Nightstone who had been injured by the falling glass from his kidnapping of them.

 

Demona glanced over at her, a concerned look on her face, “You know he’s being controlled by the Weird Sister’s spell.”

 

The were-jaguar frowned, “It’s not forcing him to not care if he hurts anyone else while he’s hunting you or the other gargoyles.”  Demona looked away abruptly, but Kendra had already noticed the flash of pain and remorse on the gargoyle’s face.  She could guess what Demona was thinking, the enchantments on her hadn’t forced her to war on humanity either and yet she had chosen to do so, killing the innocent along with the guilty. 

 

Kendra continued, “I saw Jason, and even broken as the spell was, I could easily tell that it was just one enchantment that had been on him.  My cousin’s actions aren’t anywhere close to being as controlled as yours were.  I suspect that what Jon’s doing now is mostly his own choice because he can’t accept that he was the one who crippled Jason.”  She wasn’t quite so willing to let her cousin off the hook without holding him accountable for at least some of his decisions, especially given the rather radical difference in the amount of fey spells on her cousins and the mass that had bound Demona before the Ancient One freed her.

 

“You mean like I kept blaming the humans at Wyvern Castle for my clan’s massacre,” Demona said finally turning back toward Kendra.  Her green eyes were bleak as they met her lover’s blue ones, “Or telling myself that I was claiming vengeance for those gargoyles that died over the centuries the night I killed those humans I turned into stone?”

 

The were-jaguar stared searchingly at the flame haired gargoyle’s expression, “But you’ve accepted your share of the guilt for those actions and you regret them,” she said, her tone softer.

 

“Yes, and it took me ten centuries to admit that I was just as guilty as Robbie for the slaughter of my clan” Demona pointed out sadly.

 

Kendra growled in irritation, but she couldn’t deny the point Demona was making.  It wasn’t fair of her to completely forgive her lover for her past and be unwilling to forgive her cousin.  Finally she sighed, “I know, that’s why I’m not going after Jon for what he did to us.  I need to find him and break the spell on him and hope that stops him from doing anything else crazy.”  She didn’t mention that she had her doubts as to whether that would actually get Jon to stop with the Quarrymen nonsense.

 

Demona was silent for a moment before offering, “I know where the Quarrymen headquarters are located, or at least the public ones.”

 

“I need to get close to him for only a few seconds to dissolve the enchantment,” Kendra said, “and that’s all I’m going to do.”  She stared down at the city streets below them, feeling the updraft of warmer air Demona had mentioned.  “I know the spirits would rather I taught him how to do it himself,” she looked over at the gargoyle grimly, “but I don’t trust Jon with that much information about me or you or anyone else.  I think he’s too unstable.”  She looked down once again, watching the small matchbox-sized cars move along the street, “And I’ll have to go visit Robyn in prison to see if she’s broken the enchantment on her like Jason broke his, if she hasn’t then I’m not certain what I can do until she gets out of prison.”

 

Demona commented, “I guess it’s a good thing that the Weird Sisters are trapped on Avalon or they would have probably enchanted them again.”

 

Kendra looked pained, “That’s the only thing that bothers me about not telling them, it leaves them completely unprotected from the fey,” she admitted.  “The only thing I can do is keep an eye on them.”

 

The flame haired gargoyle offered, “At least if they do, we’ll know that the Weird Sisters are about again, and it’s easy enough to dispel any enchantment they place on your cousins.”

 

Kendra nodded, then changing the subject she said, “I can feel the updraft you mentioned,” she glanced to the north where she could see the tall buildings of the city, “how is it different over Manhattan?”

 

Demona looked over at her with a raised brow for a second before responding, “I’m sure you’ve felt the slightly stronger updrafts?”

 

They crossed over one right then, and Kendra adjusted her wings to steady her flight, “Like that one?” she commented with a grin, “It feels sort of like we’re going over waves in the air.”

 

“Yes, like that one, and yes, I guess it does,” Demona agreed with a smile, “the ones over Manhattan are much stronger and more abrupt.  If you aren’t prepared for them they can actually be rather startling when they lift, or perhaps I should actually say bounce, you up in the air.”

 

“I can see how that would be startling,” Kendra commented, amused.  She looked up at the sky above them, the almost full moon, “I’m glad we came out tonight, I’ve been feeling rather cooped up lately,” she admitted softly.

 

The gargoyle stared at her for a long moment before asking, “What do you usually do at night?”

 

“Walk around my estate or change and go for a run though the woods,” Kendra responded, taking a deep breath of the night air.  This wasn’t quite the same, but it was definitely close enough to dispel the trapped sensation she had been feeling.

 

Demona stared at her lover, the words and the way Kendra was acting served as a strong reminder of the wildness inside her lover, “We can go out for a little bit every night,” she promised.  She wasn’t sure how she could cut her workload more, but she would find a way, seeing how even this short glide had relaxed Kendra made it clear to the gargoyle that the jaguar’s chosen needed this time outside.

 

Kendra glanced over at her, “Is there anything I could be helping you with to lighten your load?”

 

Demona immediately shook her head, “No, I don’t want you doing the job of a personal assistant.  You’ve got quite enough to do already with your own Division,” she grinned slyly, “or if you don’t yet, you will be soon enough.”

 

The winged were-jaguar chuckled at the answer.  She knew Demona was correct; the meeting with Jean this morning had definitely started the ball rolling on the fuel cell company acquisition.  “Would one of those help?”

 

Demona laughed dryly, “Yes, but after the last one, I decided it was safer to do without.”

 

It took Kendra a moment to make sense of the statement, “Robyn,” she commented remembering finally.

 

The flame haired gargoyle nodded, “Yes Robyn, pity she turned out to be a hunter.  She was very good at the job.”

 

“What about another chosen?”

 

“Another…”  Demona’s voice trailed off and she got a thoughtful look on her face, “that might work; there would certainly be no doubts in my mind as to whether or not I could trust them.  The question is whether there is a chosen with an interest in business, I might be wrong but I’m getting the idea that you and I are oddities, most of the others don’t seem to be…”

 

“Motivated by money and power?” commented Kendra with a grin.

 

Demona chuckled, “Something like that, yes,” she admitted.  “Still it won’t hurt to ask if there is anyone who would be interested, I’ll give Rachael a call tomorrow, she seems to know about everyone.”

 

 

December 11th, 1997

 

Morning - Nightstone Unlimited HQ, Lower East Side Manhattan

 

“Good morning Rachael,” Dominique said as soon as the senior Owl’s chosen answered the phone.

 

“Dominique,” the Cree woman replied warmly as soon as she recognized the redhead’s voice, “I understand Margaret will be in New York City for Solstice too and that we’re going out with Robert to see Phantom of the Opera?”

 

The redhead grinned, Rachael sounded rather excited, “I haven’t checked with his Aunt and Uncle yet, but I’m hopeful that he will be able to come with us,” she said, “I’ve already gotten us tickets for the show and arranged for transportation for all of us.”

 

“I hope he can,” Rachael responded, “this is turning into quite the little gathering.  I haven’t seen Margaret in many years and Robert only once in person.”

 

“I’ll try my best to arrange it so that he can come along,” Dominique assured her, “I can’t guarantee anything though.”

 

“I’ll understand if you can’t, his Aunt and Uncle don’t like him going out, and I get the feeling that there are very few people they would approve of him socializing with,” said Rachael.

 

Dominique recalled how Robert’s aunt had referred to Rachael as that Indian woman, “I suspect you’re right,” she agreed dryly.  “Actually though, I wasn’t calling about our Solstice plans.”

 

“You weren’t,” Rachael sounded surprised, “why were you calling then?”

 

“I was wondering if you knew of anyone who had both the training and interest in becoming my personal assistant,” Dominique said.  “The last one I hired turned out to be Kendra’s cousin, Robyn Canmore, and the working relationship between us ended on less than a cordial note on either side.”  The redhead smiled at the amused sounding snort on the other end of the phone, “I thought I might have better luck asking you if you knew someone, not to mention it might be safer for me.”

 

Now Rachael did laugh aloud, “I’ll ask around, see if there’s anyone either in business or pursuing a business career.  I know of one young woman that might be interested, she just graduated this winter from the University of Phoenix.  I’m not sure she would want to move to a big city though; she has a horse and loves riding.  I don’t know if that would work out very well for her.”

 

Arizona, horses, it didn’t take Dominique long to come up with the picture of a cowgirl in her mind, “She has a business degree?”

 

“Yes,” the Cree woman confirmed, “she just got her bachelor’s degree.”

 

“General business or?” the redhead asked, she had been hoping for someone with a master’s degree, but it was worth more to her to have someone she could trust than a person with an advanced degree that she could not.

 

“Umm…” Rachael hesitated, “I’m not sure, I think Sharon said something about a double major in business?”

 

Dominique’s interest was stirred, a double major sounded promising, at the very least it meant that this Sharon had more than just a general business degree.  “I’m sure something could be worked out for her horse, if she’s interested.”

 

“I’ll ask and let you know, or did you want to contact her yourself?” Rachael inquired.

 

Dominique thought of the work she needed to do today, “Would you mind contacting her?”

 

“Not at all,” Rachael assured her, “will you be around tonight?”

 

“I can be,” Dominique responded.

 

“Seven o’clock?”

 

“Alright,” the redhead agreed, “I’ll see you then.”  Dominique hung up the phone, grabbed a notebook and started listing the things she needed to get done in order to be ready for Rachael’s arrival and their Solstice eve celebration.  She needed to call the cleaning service and get the house cleaned, and the guest room downstairs needed to be prepared for Rachael’s stay.  She continued writing down her to do list: she needed to get some decorations and have them put up, and put in an order for groceries.  That brought Dominique’s thoughts to the Solstice meal.  She wanted to have something nice and elegant for the dinner which meant that she needed to get the meal catered, because she certainly wasn’t a skilled enough chef to prepare the type of meal she wanted to have, nor did she want to spend the time making it.

 

Dominique was looking at the list trying to think whether there was anything missing, when it dawned on the redhead that the small, quiet celebration she had initially envisioned had certainly grown.  Now she was getting the house decorated for the holiday and planning a dinner, bemused she shook her head, her life certainly had changed rather dramatically since the Ancient One chose her.  She had Kendra who was both friend and lover, Rachael and Robert who were her friends, and now Margaret and possibly Sharon as potential friends.

 

How different this year was from last year, Dominique mused, she had still been fuming over the failure of the carrier virus a year ago.  A chill swept through her at the thought of what would have happened had Goliath not caught the canister, Kendra and Rachael might have survived, but young Robert wasn’t immortal.  The thought made her feel ill, and reminded her that there were still stocks of the carrier virus stored in the lab along with Dr. Sevarius’s research papers.  Her jaw firmed, that was easy enough to correct, and she needed to talk with Mr. Pierre about shifting the focus of the Biological and Chemical Research Department anyway.

 

She glanced at her list once again before rising and walking out to her secretary’s desk.  The dark skinned woman looked up inquiringly as she approached.  “Candice could you find me the names of some caterers and decorators, I’m planning a holiday get together at my house.”

 

There was a moment of silence, and despite her grim mood, Dominique found the brief stunned look on the woman’s face amusing, she had never made such a request before.  “Of course Ms. Destine,” Candice finally responded, “for how many people?”

 

“Five…”  Dominique frowned, thinking of the unknown Sharon who might or might not be working for her by that time, “or six perhaps, I’m not certain.”

 

She was walking toward the elevators when her steps slowed, memories of the past reminding her of the human celebrations usually associated with this time of year.  She turned and walked back to Candice’s desk, her secretary looked up alertly.  “I believe it’s customary for there to be some type of corporate Christmas party?” she said ignoring the fact that she certainly hadn’t authorized any type of party the past two years.  Candice gave her such a blank look in response to her question that Dominique wondered for a moment if she had accidentally spoken in Scots Gaelic or French instead of English.

 

“A Christmas party?” the woman finally responded, “Here, or at a hotel or a dinner cruise?”

 

“I suspect it’s too late to arrange for one elsewhere,” Dominique replied, “why don’t you and Mrs. Merrill discuss the possibilities and get back to me with the information by the end of the week.  Something catered during the day might be the best choice considering it’s already the eleventh.”

 

“Yes, Ms. Destine,” Candice sounded slightly overwhelmed and the redhead stared at her in surprise.  There had definitely been busier weeks at Nightstone that hadn’t ruffled the woman in the slightest.  Still, maybe there was more to arranging one of these parties, especially a last minute one, than she realized, Dominique considered. 

 

She looked down at the calendar on her secretary’s desk, and sighed in resignation, “Also prepare a memo for me to sign announcing that we will be closing at noon on the 24th for the Christmas holiday.”  She didn’t wait for Candice to respond before turning away from the woman and striding toward the elevators, she didn’t like the idea of paying for another half day of vacation, but she knew that both Xanatos Enterprises and Cyberbiotics gave their employees a half day, therefore she would as well.  As she stepped into the elevator, it occurred to her that Macbeth would doubtless get the credit for both the party and half day off.  Dominique smiled wryly, at this rate he would be a popular man around Nightstone.

 

Thirty minutes later, “The carrier virus is certainly a mixed bag,” Dr. Sanders, the Biological and Chemical Research Project Lead in Research and Development’s Special Projects Department, said, “on the one hand, Dr. Sevarius did engineer it to not be able to replicate so it’s fairly harmless on its own.  On the other hand, the wide range of vectors it has gives it a deadly potential when it’s bound to a pathogen that’s capable of replicating once it finds a suitable host.  Especially if that pathogen is highly contagious once it’s released into a population…” her voice trailed off uncertainly, “Ms. Destine?”

 

Dominique gripped the console in front of her in a white knuckled hold, “I had forgotten that the carrier virus couldn’t replicate on its own,” she admitted absently.

 

Dr. Sanders gave her a rather odd look, “From his notes I gather that both you and Dr. Sevarius agreed that if it were allowed to replicate the chances of it mutating were simply too high, thus negating its value as a carrier virus.”

 

“Yes,” the redhead agreed still sounding strange as she stared at the screen where the virus rotated, “I remember that now.”

 

There was a moment of silence as Dr. Sanders glanced over at Mr. Pierre with a puzzled look.  The large man shrugged, he didn’t know what was going on with Ms. Destine on any more than the researcher did.

 

Finally, the redhead released the console and turned around to face them.  She appeared composed, as if the brief moment before had never happened, “Still it’s too potentially dangerous,” she said, her tone firm and commanding once again.  “Dispose of it properly along with all the other things Sevarius was playing with and get rid of every piece of information that would allow someone to reproduce it.”

 

“Yes Ms. Destine, I’ll start on that immediately,” Dr. Sanders said, a pleased look on her face.

 

Dominique spared a glance at her, taking in the woman’s expression and feeling reasonably certain her orders would be followed.  She knew Dr. Sanders hadn’t approved of some of the research Nightstone had been conducting; now she had just given the researcher permission to dispose of most of them.  As for the rest, “Also, unless the project has a therapeutic focus all research projects in your section are suspended pending my review.”  Dominique ignored the stunned look on the woman’s face, “Those researchers affected by this suspension will be working with Mr. Kirkland on his current project,” she turned to the Research and Development Division manager, “Mr. Pierre if you will fill Dr. Sanders in please.”

 

The redhead listened as the ebony skinned man explained the new battery technology Mr. Kirkland had developed and why the Biological and Chemical Research Team might be able to solve his current problem.  “Mr. Kirkland developed a new type of battery technology four months ago using a thin cellulose sheet soaked in ionic electrolytes with embedded carbon nanotubes.  Our current problem is how to produce larger and cheaper sheets of these paper batteries for commercial production.”

 

“Has Nightstone already patented this?” asked Dr Sanders with a slight frown, she didn’t recall hearing anything about this new battery technology at any of the department meetings.

 

Jean Pierre shook his head, “Not yet, Ms. Destine just gave us the go ahead to submit the patent application for it.  They should go in at the beginning of next week.”  He waited a second to see if she had any more questions before continuing, “What I’m hoping is that if we diversify the scientific backgrounds of the researchers working on this project we will come up with some new ideas on how to produce the size sheets we need at a reasonable cost.”

 

“Mr. Pierre, Dr. Sanders,” Dominique interrupted them, they immediately stopped and looked her way inquiringly, “I believe you two can handle this from here.  Dr. Sanders I’d like a report on what you disposed of and how it was disposed for company records.”

 

Dominique was able to hold together her calm façade until the elevator, once the doors closed with only her inside she leaned against the wall choking back both incredulous laughter and the prick of tears.  How could she have forgotten that one rather relevant fact about the carrier virus, Dominique wondered.  The carrier virus couldn’t replicate, and the disinfectant she had spent so much time and difficulty obtaining certainly couldn’t reproduce itself.  The spell she had cast upon it would have spread the virus and disinfectant across the entire globe, but it would have also dispersed the matter in that one canister so widely that it would have had no effect at all upon anything.

 

The disappointment and horror in her daughter’s eyes, the disgust and loathing in Goliath’s and Brooklyn’s, the crippling of Kendra’s cousin Jason, all of it for nothing, for a canister of liquid that without the dispersal spell would have simply been a puddle of relatively harmless disinfectant on the floor of the cathedral.  “Damn them,” Dominique whispered bitterly in the silence of the elevator, knowing just whose enchantment it had been that had been the root cause of it all.

 

 

Late Afternoon - Surveillance van outside Quarryman Headquarters in Lower Manhattan

 

Elisa Maza, disguised as her Sally persona, opened the back door of the van just enough for her to slip inside, and shut it quickly behind her.  “Anything interesting?” she asked Matt who had one cup of a pair of headphones up to his ear.

 

He shook his head, “Not so far.”

 

The detective’s eyes scanned the bank of monitors along one side of the interior of the van; they showed views of the outside of the van and the building the task force was monitoring.  A familiar face caught her attention, her eyes swung back to one monitor as she stared at the black haired woman watching the same building they were monitoring. 

 

She made an irritated sound that drew Matt’s attention, “What is it?” he asked.

 

As an answer Elisa pointed at the monitor, “Kendra Canmore, I guess that’s why Demona said she wasn’t going after him, she doesn’t need to.”

 

“What do you think she’s after?” Matt asked after a few minutes of watching Kendra Canmore watch the Quarrymen Headquarters.

 

Elisa replied dryly, “Besides watching the building?  I don’t know, maybe she’s waiting for Jon to show.”

 

“Whatever it is,” Matt said a moment later as a familiar car approached, “we should know soon.”  The two detectives waited, tense and ready to move, a dozen scenarios running though their heads as they tried to figure out what might happen in the next few minutes. 

 

Kendra Canmore straightened as soon as she saw Jon Canmore step out of his vehicle; she crossed the street and followed him, catching up to him with swift long strides in a few seconds.  Her collaring of him was one of the smoothest either detective had seen, in one motion she grabbed his shirt and twisted his arm down and around behind his back, and in the next the both of them were continuing down the street.  Jon was struggling, but it was clear that he was getting nowhere; his attempts to get free weren’t even throwing Kendra off stride.

 

Matt whistled in admiration, “Nice,” he muttered.

 

“Yea, but now that she’s got him what is she going to do with him,” Elisa commented, worried.

 

Matt glanced at her, “You don’t think she’d kill him do you?”

 

“He did try to kill her,” she pointed out.  As Kendra and Jon Canmore disappeared into an alleyway the two detectives eyes met, “I’ll go,” Elisa said, “that way Sally can save him if it’s needed.”  She paused a moment to check her blonde wig, slipped out of the van and crossed the street, then headed toward the alleyway that the two Canmore cousins had disappeared into.  She hugged the building’s brick wall as she approached the alley, and cautiously peered around the corner.

 

“I didn’t want to kill you, but you chose the Demon over your own family,” Elisa heard Jon say angrily as she looked into the passageway.  Kendra and Jon were fighting, or rather Jon was fighting and Kendra was brushing off his attacks with almost contemptuous ease.  To the watching detective, it was painfully obvious that Kendra was much more adept in the martial arts than her cousin.  Yet another skill she could add to the growing list of Kendra Canmore’s talents, thought Elisa sourly, remembering the ice skating exhibition.

 

“You mean a bunch of murders and child killers don’t you,” Kendra responded contemptuously.  

 

Jon growled, renewing his attack and trying desperately to land at least one blow, “They’re demons, you can’t murder a demon, you send it back to the hell that spawned it.” 

 

At least Kendra didn’t appear to be interested in killing him, Elisa thought to herself, as she listened to the two cousin’s argue.

 

“They’re not demons, Jon and you know it,” Kendra replied coolly, “you just can’t accept that Jason’s injury is solely your fault, so you’re blaming them for it.”

 

Jon’s angry yell in response to this statement, and a rapid flurry of blows between the two cousins had Elisa rethinking her previous thought, but before she could intervene, Jon was down on the ground. 

 

Kendra stared down at the unconscious man, in an almost gentle tone she said, “But then I know that you’re not acting completely of your own free will right now.”  Her voice turned colder, “Just as our family hasn’t acted entirely of their own will in spending the last thousand years committing genocide while they were chasing Demona around to make sure she kept her warrior skills honed.”  Kendra knelt beside him, “Those three bitches are to blame for that, and if I get the chance I’ll kill them for what they turned our family into,” she finished harshly.

 

Elisa’s eyes widened in shock at the angry words, and she watched as Kendra placed a hand on Jon’s chest and then closed her eyes.  The detective stared puzzled at the unmoving woman; it almost looked as if Kendra were praying over him.  Finally, Kendra moved again, staring down at her cousin thoughtfully for a long moment before rising to her feet. 

 

Elisa ducked back around the corner, her mind was whirling and she didn’t know whether she wanted to confront Kendra Canmore about what she had said right now or not.  Her feet started carrying her away from the alley and back toward the surveillance van where her partner Matt was waiting.  She needed some time to think, about both what she had just heard, and what Macbeth had said about the Weird Sisters meddling in his and Demona’s lives, before talking with Kendra Canmore.

 

She slipped back into the van, “Did she give any sign that she saw me?” she asked Matt immediately.  She wasn’t quite yet willing to accept what she had heard at face value, it might be another part of a plot by Demona to have them thinking what Macbeth had said was real, though she couldn’t think of any reason why Kendra Canmore would be willing to go along with such a plot.

 

“I don’t think so,” he responded, “she glanced up and down the street before leaving, but she didn’t seem to look at you any longer than anyone else.”  He stared at her, curiously, “What happened?”

 

Elisa related what she had seen and heard in the alleyway, “I still don’t get what she was doing though,” she said puzzled.

 

“Woa,” Matt said, “so what Macbeth said was real then…”

 

“Maybe,” the dark haired, dark eyed woman commented uncertainly.

 

Matt frowned, “Why would Kendra Canmore be caught up in a scheme by Demona against Macbeth though?”

 

“I don’t know,” Elisa admitted, that was the one thing she couldn’t think of a reason to explain, “but then we don’t really know that much about her except for the little that Jason knows,” she said thoughtfully.

 

Bluestone glanced at her, “Well, are the Weird Sisters capable of doing what they’re saying?”

 

Elisa thought of what she knew of the three fey, how they had been willing to kill the young gargoyles, Princess Katherine, Guardian Tom and the Magus just to get their revenge for the Magus defeating them.  How they had lied to Oberon and Titiana in an effort to get Oberon to kill or drive away the young gargoyles when their first effort with Demona, Macbeth and the Archmage had failed.  “Yes they are,” she stated in a hard tone.

 

A crease formed between the red headed detective’s eyebrows, “Then why are you so determined to believe this is all a scheme of Demona’s?”

 

She scowled at him, “You know how many times she’s pulled something like this.”

 

“That doesn’t mean she’s doing it this time though,” he said reasonably, “what does the evidence tell you?”

 

“That it could go either way,” she responded immediately, annoyed, “and how many times has it not been a scheme by Demona?”

 

Matt couldn’t argue with that point, so he didn’t try, “Wouldn’t it explain though why she helped Kendra across Canada?  If she knew the Canmores had been enchanted by the Weird Sisters, it would have gone a long way toward her not holding her family against Kendra.”

 

Stubbornly, Elisa maintained, “If they were in this together, it would explain why Demona helped Kendra as well.”

 

Matt sighed; they were back to this again, “Once again, why would Kendra help Demona?  It’s not like she needs a cut of Macbeth’s money.”

 

She stared at the monitor bank for a moment with a scowl before glancing over at him, “You saw how she acted in the park at the Quarrymen rally, maybe she just thinks it fun.  Or maybe there’s a motive there we don’t know about because, as I just said, we don’t really know much about her.”

 

Bluestone stared at her narrow eyed, “You don’t like Kendra Canmore do you?” he said, his tone perceptive.

 

“What?” Elisa said incredulously, trying to ignore the twinge of discomfort she felt at misleading her partner.  It wasn’t as if she was lying though, she didn’t dislike Kendra Canmore, being jealous wasn’t the same as disliking someone.

 

Matt shrugged, “I’m just mentioning that you always bristle when her name’s brought up,” he turned his attention back to the monitors and sat up in his chair, “there’s Jon, I guess he woke up.”

 

Elisa turned her attention back to the monitors and watched with Bluestone as the blonde man looked up and down the street before heading into the building that housed the Quarrymen headquarters.  She looked at her watch, “It’s about time for Sally to show up.”

 

Matt wasn’t willing to let his partner change the subject yet, “When are you going to tell the clan?”

 

She frowned thoughtfully, “In a few nights,” she decided, she gave him a firm look, “I’d rather tell them myself.”

 

He stared at her, “Alright,” he finally acquiesced, “but they need to know about this.”

 

“I know,” Elisa agreed quietly, “if this is a scheme by Demona I’d expect her to try and contact Angela, but she should be safe for another few nights.  She didn’t argue with Goliath when he told the clan to stay away from Demona until we had a better idea what was going on.”

 

“And if Demona doesn’t?” asked Matt.

 

Elisa shook her head, “I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t,” the dark haired woman admitted.  “And even if this isn’t another plot of hers, as Brooklyn pointed out a few nights ago, she’s still attacked the clan repeatedly, killed several people the night she used that spell to change people into stone, and tried to wipe out the entire human race just over a year ago.  None of what I’ve heard so far changes any of that.”

 

 

Night - Destine Manor – Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

“Ahh, I had wondered if that disinfectant was really that dangerous,” Kendra commented, winding her spaghetti around her fork, “I mean, disinfecting the earth of all the germ like humans on it sounded pretty catchy, but it seemed a little short on the scientific principal side.  Binding the carrier virus to a pathogen would have made so much more sense.”

 

Demona stared at her lover, confused, she wasn’t certain what reaction she had been anticipating, but this certainly wasn’t it.  “But it caused your cousin Jason to be crippled,” she pointed out guiltily.

 

The black haired woman shook her head, she finished her bite of food and took a sip of her wine before responding firmly, “No Jon did that because none of my cousins stopped to ask themselves if what you were claiming was actually possible.  What you did was use a relatively harmless disinfectant instead of a pathogen in one of your plans to drive the entire clan father away from you.  Considering that a pathogen would have worked just as well, I’m really glad you decided to use the disinfectant.”

 

The flame haired gargoyle gave Kendra a puzzled look, not immediately following her line of reasoning.  “Using a pathogen certainly would have guaranteed that you remained alone.  I doubt the clan would have wanted to have anything to do with you after you succeeded after all, and with the praying gargoyle you would have been able to protect the other gargoyles from being harmed by whatever pathogen you chose,” Kendra pointed out.  “Which means that the interesting question is why you so conveniently forgot about the carrier virus not being able to replicate, and why you chose to use a disinfectant instead of the more logical choice of a pathogen in the first place,” she commented.

 

Demona sat back in her chair, stunned, she hadn’t thought about the fact that she could have chosen a pathogen instead of the stolen disinfectant and fulfilled the demands of the Weird Sister’s enchantment just as well.  The gargoyle shuddered, she was pleased that she had used the disinfectant, but it did raise questions as to why she had gone through all that effort to steal the canisters of it from Xanatos when Sevarius had several pathogens she could have chosen from that he had been playing with in his laboratory at Nightstone.  It was almost as if she had willfully blinded herself to that possibility, and instead chosen something that, while it sounded threatening, had little possibility of actually being harmful.  She had no answers for Kendra’s questions, she didn’t know why she had forgotten about the carrier virus not being able to replicate, nor did she know why she had fixated upon Xanatos’s disinfectant instead of one of the pathogens in her own lab, and the two unanswered questions left her feeling deeply unsettled.

 

When Demona didn’t respond after a few seconds, Kendra continued, “It’s too bad Robyn didn’t research the carrier virus more thoroughly before she stirred everyone up to go and stop you, but maybe the enchantment on her was to blame.  The one on Jon…” she shook her head, “I have no idea what it was supposed to do,” she admitted, “but I really didn’t like what it looked like…”

 

Demona frowned, Kendra appeared really bothered by this, “Why, what about it disturbed you?” the gargoyle prodded, trying to get her lover to continue.

 

Kendra looked at her, “I’m not sure, but I got a very nasty feeling about it when I was looking at it.  The threads of the enchantment connected certain areas of his brain together, but nothing else.  I’m glad we’re going to the spirit realm tonight, maybe one of the spirits will have an idea what exactly it was doing to him.”

 

“I’m certain one of them will,” Demona responded reassuringly.

 

Forty minutes later, they curled together on the couch and made the transition from the living world into the spirit realm.  They stepped out of the house and into the yard; the Ancient One and the Jaguar spirit were waiting for them.  “My chosen,” the Jaguar spirit addressed Kendra, in his rich, commanding baritone, “You have news of your cousin?”

 

Kendra went immediately to the Jaguar spirit, kneeling in front of him and meeting his green eyes in silent communication. 

 

While the two of them were communing, Demona quietly greeted the Irish Elk spirit, “Ancient One.”

 

First his ears and then his great brown eyes shifted from watching Kendra and the Jaguar spirit to her, “My chosen,” he responded in his great deep voice.

 

Finally, Kendra and the Jaguar spirit stirred once again, the Jaguar spirit turned toward the Ancient One, “I have never seen a fey enchantment like this one,” he sounded troubled.  This time, as Kendra and Demona watched, it was the two spirits whose eyes met for a moment.

 

The Irish Elk stamped his foot, “The Wise One may know more than even I, a few of her chosen have been examining this spell since recent events brought it more to our attention.  I have my suspicions as to how this enchantment affects the other Canmores, but we should confer with her to see what she has learned.” 

 

The great stag sounded angry, Demona frowned, remembering what Kendra had said about the enchantment and how it had made her feel to see it.  She started to worry about what it was that the Ancient One suspected, and how it might affect Kendra.  Only a few seconds later the Eagle Owl spirit came winging out of the grey mists to land in between the other two spirits.

 

“I do know what the spell on the Canmore’s does,” the Wise One stated immediately without even greeting anyone, her tone coldly angry, “One of the Eagles chosen, Ishmael, who is a physician, recognized what it was doing from some new research into the physical causes of drug addiction.  The enchantment mimics the effect of certain addictive drugs on the human brain; it activates the dopamine reward circuit in the brain whenever the person it is placed upon performs the desired behavior.  In this case the behavior they wanted was for the Canmores to pursue and attempt to kill Demona.  Unfortunately the enchantment is not specific enough and any gargoyle’s death will activate the enchantment, though not as strongly.”

 

Kendra turned toward the Wise One, her expression incredulous, “They addicted them to killing gargoyles?”

 

The Eagle Owl spirit ruffled her feathers, “Not just killing, even thinking about harming a gargoyle will cause a weak activation of the enchantment,” she snapped her beak together angrily.  “As I said, by the look of the spell I suspect they didn’t intend for the enchantment to be triggered by anything but Demona, but they didn’t take any steps to limit the stimulus that caused the enchantment to activate over the centuries they used it either.”

 

The black haired woman’s expression slowly changed from disbelieving to enraged, she turned and walked a few paces away from them.  Demona heard her take a few deep breaths and started to cross over to her when a wild cry of raw fury and pain erupted from Kendra’s throat as she fell to her knees.  The flame haired gargoyle could feel the anger radiating off Kendra, and the sense of danger emanating from the black haired woman was something she hadn’t felt since that first meeting between them in her office.

 

The great stag stepped in front of Demona as she started towards Kendra, “Chosen,” he cautioned.

 

Demona stepped around him, she knew Kendra would never hurt her, “Kendra,” she said softly as she approached the black haired woman.  It got no immediate response, “My love,” she tried again as knelt a few feet away.

 

That got a response, Kendra’s head turned, their eyes met, “How could they have done something that perverse?  To make my ancestors feel pleasure when they murdered or thought about hurting…” the sapphire blue eyes were filled with anger, but underneath it they were haunted, pain filled.  Then Demona felt it, the sharp pain of the wound this knowledge had made in Kendra’s spirit, the bewilderment and anger she was feeling. 

 

The gargoyle opened her arms, her heart filled with a deep, aching pain for her mate, and then they were full of her hurting lover.  She wrapped her wings around the woman and silently held her, rocking her gently back and forth.  She didn’t know what to do to lessen Kendra’s pain, except what she was doing now, holding the black haired woman and letting her know that she cared and would be there for her.  Just as Kendra had been doing for her ever since the gargoyle learned that the past thousand years of suffering had been the Archmages vengeance against her.  Gently Demona stroked the long, silky midnight black hair and thought about how much she loved the human woman in her arms, how much she wanted to just take this pain away from her and protect her from anything that might hurt her like this in the future.

 

After a minute or two, Kendra shifted in her arms, moving so that she could hold the gargoyle in return, “You’re making it very hard for me to remain angry,” she murmured.  Demona gave her a confused look; the black haired woman pulled away enough so that she could reach up and pull the gargoyle’s head down so that the bony eyebrow ridge rested against her forehead.  “Feeling your emotions,” Kendra explained, rubbing her brow against the gargoyle’s gently, “is making it impossible for me to remain angry with the Weird Sisters.”  Their lips met in a brief kiss, “What I’m feeling from you is so very beautiful my love.”

 

Demona closed her eyes, their foreheads were still touching and they breathed into the shared space between their faces.  Her wings held Kendra’s body tightly against her own.  The anger and pain she had felt from Kendra receded, replaced by much different emotions.  Tender and gentle, fierce and protective, bright and passionate, the strength of them brought tears to her eyes as she shifted to bring her body into even closer contact with her lover’s.  The gargoyle wanted to stay here forever wrapped up in these feelings, wrapped around Kendra.

 

The slight sound of feathers rustling reminded the two of them that they were not alone, “Demona, Kendra,” said the Wise One, sounding rather stern and commanding.  Her tone was quite unlike anything either of them had ever heard from the Eagle Owl before, and surprised they broke apart from each other and looked over toward her.  The spirit regarded them steadily, “I understand it is a temptation to remain here and feel one another’s emotions, but it is not safe for either of you to do so.  In the past, other chosen who were mates have seriously damaged their physical bodies when they remained here too long.  I do not wish to see that happen to either of you.”

 

The flame haired gargoyle’s green eyes widened at the Wise One’s warning words.  Considering the thoughts she had just had about wanting to stay here forever in Kendra’s arms, she could understand only too easily how it had happened.  Reluctantly, they released one another, moving apart until they were able to rise to their feet once again.  Kendra reached out and gently stroked down the side of Demona’s face, before turning to the Eagle Owl spirit, “Thank you for your warning.”

 

The Wise One twitched her wings back into place before replying, “You are welcome young jaguar, now my senior chosen is waiting with one of the young Horse’s chosen for you.”

 

“Concentrate on her image and will yourself to her as you travel, chosen,” the Irish Elk spirit advised.

 

Demona frowned, the directions he was giving sounded rather odd, yet… she thought of the Cree woman and began walking.  The swirling mists got closer instead of clearing in front of her as they normally did.  In her surprise, she let her concentration waver, and the mists receded from in front of her revealing more of her yard.

 

“Do not let your concentration waver chosen,” the great stag instructed.  The gargoyle nodded, she had already guessed what had happened.  Once again she concentrated, and this time when the mists remained steady she kept her concentration on the Cree woman’s image and walked into them.  When they cleared almost immediately in front of her, she recognized the woods around Rachael’s home in Canada.

 

“Cool,” Kendra commented as she appeared out of the mists beside her, the black haired woman turned and looked back at the mists from which they had come with a delighted smile.  Demona smiled at her, Kendra was right it was a very interesting way to travel.

 

Rachael was already standing beside her home; beside her was a much younger woman with short brown hair, wearing black chinos and a long sleeved white shirt.  This was probably Sharon, the gargoyle took a moment to look her over, the woman was a few inches shorter than either she or Kendra, and appeared to be rather muscular and solid looking.  At first glance she rather reminded Demona of her IT Division manager Jordan Conrad, though she wasn’t as slender.  Standing behind the young woman was a very large and powerful looking dark bay stallion that the gargoyle immediately guessed was the Horse spirit. 

 

“Demona, Kendra” the Cree woman smiled warmly as she welcomed them.  “This is Sharon McDonald, one of the Horse spirit’s chosen and the Horse spirit.”

 

“Pleased to meet you, Ma’am,” the tanned young woman said, stepping forward with bold self-confidence and holding out her hand to Demona. 

 

Her hazel eyes met those of the gargoyle without any guile and Demona’s first impression of the young woman was that she was rather open and honest.  Mindful of her talons and amused by Sharon’s manner, Demona grasped the proffered hand and shook it, “I’m pleased to meet you as well.”  The gargoyle found it interesting that the young woman was treating this as if it were an interview; it meant that she was at least curious about the position.

 

Demona’s eyes went to the spirit standing behind his chosen, “Horse spirit,” she acknowledged him respectfully.  The greeting was quickly echoed by Kendra who was standing a little behind and off to the side of the gargoyle.

 

“Ancient One’s chosen, Jaguar’s chosen,” the equine spirit replied lifting his head and giving both of them but especially Demona a long assessing look.

 

“Rachael told me you were interested in filling a personal assistant position?”  Sharon inquired, breaking the silence.

 

Given the Horse spirit’s obvious interest in this matter, the flame haired gargoyle decided it was best to be completely honest about why she was looking for someone.  Demona wanted both Sharon and the spirit protectively watching over her to have a clear idea about what the gargoyle expected of the young woman if she accepted the position, “I am.  With my magical lessons and teaching Kendra how to glide, my evenings are rather full these days.  I’d like to have the time to spar, work out, and learn how to dance as well, but I need to start taking less work home with me to have more time to fit them in, thus the need for a personal assistant.”

 

The hazel eyes softened, and Sharon nodded, “I can understand that.  I don’t have any official work experience besides two summer internships with local businesses, but I did just graduate with a double major in International Business Management and Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.”

 

Demona’s brow raised, that was an interesting choice of majors and potentially a good fit with the type of work the younger woman would be doing for her.  “Official work experience?” questioned the gargoyle, wondering exactly what Sharon meant by that.

 

“I’ve been helping my Dad with the ranch ever since I was twelve or so,” the young Horse’s chosen explained, “it’s why I decided to go into business administration.  I realized I enjoyed understanding how the ranch worked and stayed profitable so much that I decided that was what I wanted to do for a living.”

 

“He doesn’t need your help?” Demona inquired carefully.

 

Sharon grinned, “He’s got my two older brothers to help him.  I’m sure he would find something for me to do if I wanted, but he doesn’t need me to work on the ranch.”  Then apparently suddenly mindful that such an expression wasn’t quite appropriate for an interview, she sobered abruptly.

 

“Relax, Sharon,” Demona smirked at her, “this is somewhat informal for an interview after all.”  The gargoyle was pleased to see that though the shorter woman did relax, she didn’t take the invitation as an excuse to relax too much.  “I understand that you have a horse?”

 

The hazel eyes warmed appreciably, “Bree, she’s a three year old Appaloosa mare,” she smiled, “I picked her out when she was just a foal and trained her myself.  Even when I was in school I always came out on the weekends to ride her.  That’s the main thing I’m concerned about with your company being located in such a big city, where will I keep her and how often will I get to see her.”

 

Knowing whose chosen she was, Sharon’s obvious love for the animal didn’t seem so odd to Demona anymore, “If you’re interested in the position, I’m sure that something could be worked out for your horse.”

 

“Up near where I live in Dutchess County, there are several very nice stables.  It’s only a two hour drive from the city and I’ve got more than enough room if you want to stay at my estate on the weekends to see her,” Kendra offered.

 

“If I can find a stable that would exercise her, that might work,” Sharon responded, her eyes brightening hopefully.

 

“Will you need to go up every full moon?” the gargoyle asked, her eyes flickering briefly back to the dark bay spirit standing behind the younger woman.

 

Sharon looked puzzled for a moment, then understanding filled her eyes, “No, that won’t be necessary for me.”

 

Demona was relieved, that would have made things more difficult as well as being awkward to explain at work.  “I’ll need you to send me your resume so I can look it over, if you can send it to my email address I can take a look at it this weekend.”

 

Sharon suddenly looked a bit overwhelmed, “I can do that, does that mean I might have the position?  I haven’t even talked to my family about the possibility of me moving to New York.  Dad’s going to…”  Her voice trailed off, but Demona could make a few guesses as to how Sharon thought her father might react to this news.

 

“Why don’t you both take the weekend and think about it,” Kendra proposed, looking over toward Demona with a raised eyebrow to see if this suggestion met with the gargoyle’s approval.  “We can meet again on Sunday night after you’ve had a chance to look over her resume,” her gaze shifted to Sharon “and you’ve had a chance to introduce the idea to your family.”

 

Demona nodded, “That sounds like an excellent suggestion.”

 

 

December 12th – Friday

 

Afternoon – Park Avenue, Manhattan

 

They had put their clothes for the weekend into Kendra’s car this morning so that they could leave directly from Nightstone.  Now they were driving north on Park Avenue headed out of town to Kendra’s estate in Dutchess County.

 

The work day had went well in Dominique’s opinion, by mid-morning Dr. Sanders had sent up a report detailing how she had disposed of the biological and chemicals in Dr. Sevarius’s old laboratory and the steps she had taken to destroy any research information that could be used to replicate the carrier virus.  The redhead had been impressed; the researcher had been quick and thorough at completing the task.  Apparently, she had been right about how much Dr. Sanders disliked Dr. Sevarius’s work.  In return, Dominique had reviewed the department’s projects and sent a list of those she wanted discontinued to Dr. Sanders.  Those researchers on the discontinued projects would either be assigned to Dr. Kirkland’s team or reassigned to other projects in the Biological and Chemical Department.

 

Sharon’s resume had been waiting in her inbox when she got into work, and Dominique had been rather impressed with it, the young woman hadn’t mentioned that she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She had also looked up the courses required for both majors and been pleased with the breadth of coursework required.  The major concern remaining in the redhead’s mind was whether or not Sharon would be able to deal with the formality she would require of the young woman while they were at work.  That however was something they would both have to discover if the young woman accepted the position and Dominique already knew she was going to offer it to her.

 

“I wasn’t searching to end this hurting, but out of nowhere you made me feel.”

 

The opening lyrics of the song playing on the radio caught the redhead’s attention, pulling her thoughts away from work and to the woman sitting next to her in the driver’s seat of the car.  She stared at Kendra’s profile, taking in the straight nose and strong line of her jaw, thinking of how her lips had traced over the same soft skin she was looking at now, the night before.  Their lovemaking last night had been unusually intense, each staring into the other’s eyes as they touched and caressed one another, searching for the emotions they had felt from each other in the spirit realm.

 

“Send me a lover, someone to believe in,

Please send me someone I can hold,

Baby now send me lover, a new beginning,

Someone to take away the cold,

And give me back, what I’ve been missing,

All the love that waits inside your heart.”

 

The words of the song seemed almost meant specifically for her; she had been so cold and alone for so very long before Kendra came into her life.  She reached out toward Kendra intending to simply place her hand on the woman’s strong thigh.  Instead, her hand taken in a warm, strong clasp, the redhead looked up from their entwined hands to see Kendra glancing at her with a soft smile.

 

“It still astounds me, the way you found me,

It’s almost too good to be true,

From our first meeting,

I had a feeling the rest of my life I’d spend with you.”

 

Dominique smiled; well it hadn’t been quite that soon, though she had definitely been interested in Kendra from their first meeting.  She almost had to laugh at herself now, thinking of all the reasons she had made up in her mind for why she accepted the investment, the sparring match, and then not telling Kendra’s secret.  The last thing she had been ready to admit that first week was that she found Kendra herself interesting, not the information the woman had or what she might be able to tell the clan.

 

“I just can’t turn my back on what I know is true,

I’m into you in every way.”

 

They pulled up to a stoplight as the refrain of the song began again, Kendra turned toward her and Dominique needed no urging to lean over and meet her lover’s lips.

 

“I thought that love was only a word that I would never feel
All the passion that I hold inside was just a dream
Out of your heart you spoke to me all that I'd imagined
And I've fallen so in love with you.”

 

 

Afternoon – Also on Park Avenue, Manhattan

 

“I don’t know what they’re up to, but something big is definitely happening, Castaway is constantly in meetings with the other Quarrymen leaders,” Elisa said, her eyes narrowed against the glare of the setting sun reflected from the glass sides of the buildings lining the street.  She glanced idly at the black sports car in front of her and smiled as she saw the two figures inside take advantage of the stop light to lean over and kiss.  It made her think of Goliath; perhaps someday they would be able to display their feelings for one another as openly as the couple in the car ahead of her.  She blinked in surprise as she saw the hair silhouetted against the light.  Either the guy in the driver’s seat had very long hair or it was actually two women in the car ahead of them, with the glare off the buildings and the dark tinted glass of the windows, she couldn’t really make out enough detail to tell.

 

“What do you think it is?” Matt asked.

 

She shrugged, “As I said I don’t know, they don’t trust Sally quite enough yet to tell me.  Whatever it is I’d expect it to go down in the next week or so.”  Elisa raised an eyebrow as the woman in the driver’s seat leaned farther over, her silhouette providing undisputable evidence that she was indeed female, and cupped the other woman’s head and the woman in the passenger seat did the same.  The detective couldn’t see much detail, but she didn’t need to tell that the kiss between the two was getting more heated.

 

“Hey, that’s two women,” Matt said sitting up in his seat and looking with more interest at the two figures kissing in the car just ahead of them.

 

Elisa rolled her eyes; she had wondered when he would notice that.  She glanced at the car absently noting it was a Jaguar, the same type of car Kendra Canmore drove, she remembered, that first day she had met the annoying woman.  She frowned as she recalled the frank up and down appraising look Jason’s cousin had given her; she couldn’t remember ever having been so openly cruised by another woman before.  It had been irritating and even more so when she realized that Kendra was just doing it to see if it would rattle her.

 

The light turned green and the two women in the black Jaguar seemed completely oblivious of the world around them.  After waiting a few more seconds for the two to realize the light had turned, the detective pushed on her horn, it still took a few seconds before the figures in the car broke apart.  The two silhouettes stared at one another for a few moments before the diver finally sat back and the vehicle began moving.

 

“Are you going to tell the clan tonight about what you saw the other day?” Matt asked, distracting her from the vehicle in front of them. 

 

She let up on the brake and stepped lightly on the gas to get her car moving, “Yes, I’ll tell them tonight,” she confirmed.  “I just hope that it doesn’t distract Angela too much, the last thing we need right now is her going off and getting caught up in whatever Demona is playing at.”

 

Matt sighed, “She might not be playing at anything,” he pointed out once again.

 

“I know,” Elisa growled, tired of this argument, “listen, I recognize I’m not really looking at this objectively, but after what she did to Angela less than a month ago I don’t think I’m being that unreasonable in suspecting this is just more of the same.”

 

“You don’t think that type of news is enough to make her rethink everything?”  Matt tried again; he didn’t like how his partner was letting her emotions keep her from seeing all the possibilities.  It was a very bad habit for a detective to get into.  “I mean from what I’ve heard most of the reasons she believes humanity can’t get along with gargoyles was because of what she thought was Macbeth’s betrayal of her clan and the way the Canmore’s hunted her.  Suppose Macbeth’s story is true, and Kendra Canmore wasn’t playing along in some scheme, and that right now Demona knows that neither of those two things is true, that it was just part of a larger scheme against her by the Weird Sisters and the Archmage.  Isn’t it reasonable to think that might be enough to get her to stop warring with the clan and maybe even the rest of us?”

 

“Maybe,” Elisa very reluctantly allowed after a few seconds.  The black Jaguar continued down Park Avenue as she slowed to turn toward the Eyrie building, “but if that’s the case then whatever’s going on with the Quarrymen is more important than what Demona may or may not be thinking right now.  Unless she is planning something, they’re definitely the more immediate threat we need to concentrate on at the moment.”

 

Matt couldn’t argue with that logic, if Demona wasn’t a current threat then Elisa was right, they needed to focus on taking the Quarrymen down and stopping whatever it was they were in the middle of planning.

 
 
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