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Discussions - Chapter 8

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 8

 

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:  Sexual Content

 

Notes:  Background story for Thailog and Demona’s relationship are based, with the authors permission, on the story Better Days by Nancy Brown http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/1392/gargoyles/betterdz.txt   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:  Adult

 

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: 06/21/08

 

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Friday, December 12th 1997

Night - Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

Elisa repeated what she had heard Kendra say to the unconscious Jon Canmore two days ago.  That the Weird Sisters had used the Canmores for the past thousand years to keep Demona’s skills honed until they needed her.  The detective didn’t include the fact that Kendra had actually referred to the three fey as those three bitches instead of the Weird Sisters, she didn’t really feel it was necessary to be that accurate and she could just imagine Goliath’s disapproving reaction to that particular fact.

 

“Maybe she was talking to the same spirit Macbeth said helped Demona and him,” Lexington said before anyone else could speak up.

 

The detective looked over at him in surprise, that possibility hadn’t even crossed her mind.  Part of the reason she was having trouble accepting Macbeth’s story was the idea of yet another powerful mystical entity out there that she had never suspected existed before.  His suggestion, however, did offer a reason for Kendra’s strange behavior over her unconscious cousin.

 

The web-winged gargoyle frowned thoughtfully, but before he could say what was on his mind Brooklyn interrupted, “Don’t tell me you think this story of a spirit is real?” he said incredulously.  “This is just something else Demona has cooked up, just like with those fake Quarrymen and that Assassin guy.”

 

“Brooklyn,” Goliath reproved him, “We do not know what is real and what is not, that is why I said we must watch and wait to determine the truth.”

 

“Surely this proves that what Macbeth told us was real,” protested Angela.

 

Brooklyn offered suspiciously, “She could be in on it as well for her own reasons.  Maybe that’s the real reason Demona helped her and why she’s working for Demona now.”  Elisa winced at how paranoid he sounded.  If that was how she sounded, no wonder Matt was constantly harping on her about it.

 

“And what would those be?” the young female replied scornfully, her arms on her hips as she scowled at him,  “Or is it just that anything that points toward my mother not being as evil as everyone thought, must be part of this mysterious plot of hers.”

 

“Enough,” growled Goliath, looking particularly unhappy, and the detective knew it was because the old argument between Angela and Brooklyn over Demona was starting once again.  “If,” he stressed the word, “what Macbeth told us is real, then you are right,” he said to his daughter, “it does explain why she changed in the way she did over the centuries we were sleeping.”  The big lavender male paused, his expression turning even more grim, “That does not, however, mean that Demona is not a threat to this clan,” he frowned at Angela when it looked as if she were about to interrupt him, silencing her.  “Until we see evidence that Demona has given up her anger and bitterness and is no longer a threat to us or the humans we protect, we must be wary of her.”

 

“But what if now is the time that some support from us could persuade her to give up her bitterness and anger,” Angela implored.  Finally saying what had been bothering for some nights, the feeling that she was letting a real opportunity to reach out to her mother slip away from her.

 

Elisa stared at the young lavender female troubled, if what they had been told was the truth, she couldn’t say that Angela was wrong.  If Demona was emotionally struggling with the truth of what had happened to her in the past, then now might be the perfect time for the young gargoyle to make an attempt at reaching out to her mother.  In light of that possibility, did she have the right to insist that the clan put her investigation first and ignore whatever was going on with the immortal gargoyle?

 

Brooklyn broke in, unable to keep silent any longer.  He couldn’t believe that Angela could still be so naive about her mother, “And what if this is just for that purpose, so that we will feel sorry for what she has gone though.  This is just another plot of hers to get back in the clan and once she is she’ll try and take over from Goliath just as she’s been trying to do all along!” the brick red gargoyle glared at her.

 

“Enough!” Goliath said again, this time with a roar loud enough to make everyone flinch, “you have heard my decision.  We cannot afford to have our attention diverted from Elisa’s investigation of the Quarrymen by this matter.”  He paused, staring sternly at them, “To tell us about Kendra Canmore was only part of the reason Elisa came tonight,” the huge lavender male turned toward the detective, obviously meaning for her to take over the conversation.

 

Despite her new doubts Elisa nodded to him, this wasn’t the right time or place to bring them up, “We don’t know what is going on yet, but the Quarrymen definitely have some big operation planned for the next week or so,” she said somberly.  “One thing I do know is that whatever they are planning, it will put you guys in even more danger from them.  We have to be ready to stop them and hopefully find enough evidence to put Canmore and the other Quarrymen leaders in jail.”  She went on to describe the increased meetings between Jon Canmore and the other Quarrymen leaders, the frenetic and almost paranoid way Jon was acting recently.

 

Five minutes later, the detective stared after the dwindling forms of the five gargoyles.  Goliath had decided to take the clan out on patrol, not wanting either Angela or Brooklyn to have time alone to fume, or worse, time to argue with one another.  “What’s bothering you lass?” Hudson asked, coming up beside her.

 

Elisa glanced over at him, “That if Angela’s right then this is the time for her to try and contact Demona, and if Brooklyn’s right then that’s exactly the wrong thing for her to do.”

 

The old gargoyle sighed, “That does seem to be the entire problem doesn’t it.  We don’t know if what we’re hearing is the truth or another lie.”

 

 

Saturday, December 13th 1997

 

Morning – Kendra’s Estate, north of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY

 

“Demona wake up,” Kendra’s voice disturbed the gargoyle’s slumber, “I’ve got a cup of coffee for you.”

 

The green eyes reluctantly opened, focusing on the woman standing by the bed holding the promised cup.  Sleepily the flame haired gargoyle blinked up at her, “What time is it?” she asked her voice husky with sleep.

 

“Six o’clock,” the black haired woman said with a smile, “if we can head out in twenty or so minutes I can find where the herd is feeding this morning and show them to you.”

 

Demona stared at Kendra; she could tell it wasn’t even sunrise yet though it was close.  She sat up and held out a taloned hand for the cup of aromatic brew.  She was slightly grumpy about being woken on the weekend while it was still dark outside, but she could see that her lover was excited about this.  Therefore, she didn’t say anything but sipped her coffee, transformed into her human form and dressed warmly, as she wasn’t certain how long they would be outside.

 

Signs of the day were apparent in the lightening of the darkness when they stepped outside.  It wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it had been in Canada, but Dominique’s breath still hung in the cold air.  In one hand she held a covered stainless steel mug of coffee, and in the other a warm biscuit stuffed with ham, swiss cheese and egg.

 

“I’ve got four winter food plots, I’m guessing they will be at one of them,” Kendra said as they started walking across the expanse of yard that separated the house from the surrounding woods and what looked like cleared fields.  The stark bare branches of the trees of the woods raised toward the sky, while underneath, the fall leaves formed a brown carpet among the underbrush.

 

The redhead raised an eyebrow, “What are food plots?” she asked curiously.

 

“In winter just some winter wheat and corn,” the black haired woman explained, “in the spring I’ll have alfalfa, soybeans, spring oats and buckwheat planted in between corn rows.”

 

It took them fifteen minutes to get to the first plot.  They slowed as they approached, swinging around so that they were approaching from downwind and stepping lightly among the dried leaves on the forest floor to avoid making too much noise.  Dominique stared at the row of short round trees that bordered the field of alternating rows of dried corn and wheat.  “What are those?” she whispered in Kendra’s ear.

 

“Crabapple and persimmon trees, they act both as a natural wind break for the field and as an extra food source,” the black haired woman whispered back.  “Ah we’re lucky, there they are,” she said softly.

 

Dominique had already spotted the movement; it was a grayish-brown colored doe, stepping warily along the row of corn.  The animal raised up on her hind legs and grabbed a dried ear of corn in her mouth, pulling it as well as the top of the corn plant down as she dropped to all four feet.  Another deer appeared behind the doe, the redhead frowned, this deer was limping badly and as more of it came into view, she could see deep bloody wounds on its sides and rear legs.

 

Beside her, Kendra stiffened, “Damn it, I thought that feral dog pack had all been caught,” she growled quietly.

 

The redhead looked again at the wounded deer, its injuries looked fresh.  If she could only get close enough, she could at least speed the animal’s healing.  But of course, that was the problem; it would be rather difficult to persuade the deer that she meant it no harm.  Or was it…she wondered.

 

“That was one of the best young bucks born that year too,” Kendra said angrily, “I doubt he’ll keep enough strength in his hindquarters once that heals to compete with the other males during rutting season now though.”

 

“How old is he?” Dominique asked.  She was surprised that Kendra recognized the deer; she knew that the black haired woman picked out which deer she would hunt each moon, but that was slightly different from knowing each animal in the herd by sight.

 

“Two years old,” Kendra answered, “he’ll be old enough to compete with the more mature bucks in another year or two.”

 

The redhead turned and looked at her lover for a second, seeing the compassion there for the wounded animal.  She shook her head slightly, Kendra’s relationship with this herd was obviously more complex than she had guessed, “Let me ask if there’s anything I can do to get close to him, if I can than I can heal that.”  She grinned at the surprised look on her lover’s face, settled into a more comfortable position and closed her eyes, shifting her consciousness effortlessly into the spirit realm. 

 

The great Irish Elk was not waiting for her, but she had the feeling that he would be there very soon.  She looked over at the shadowy image of the wounded deer, altering her vision so that she could see its life energy.  Here it was a simple matter to move close enough to the animal so that she could kneel by it and examine its wounds more closely.  Some of the wounds were very deep and had torn the muscle, but none seemed to be immediately life threatening unless the animal went further into shock than it was or they got infected.

 

“Chosen,” the deep voice of the spirit drew her attention away from the wounded deer.

 

Dominique swiveled and rose in one move, “Ancient One,” she responded.  She looked down at the grayish image of the deer, “I would like to heal this buck’s wounds, but unlike a tree he can, and probably will, run away.  I was hoping you knew of a way to get him to stay still long enough for me to help him.”  The great stag stepped gracefully toward her to look down upon the much smaller deer.  “Kendra thinks a feral dog pack attacked him, from the wounds I’d guess that she’s right,” added the redhead, seeing that the spirit was examining the deer’s injuries.

 

“There is a way chosen,” the great stag finally said, shifting his gaze from the deer to her.  Dominique met his eyes expecting him to teach her; instead the spirit gazed at her for a very long moment.  She had the feeling she was being evaluated, but she had no idea why, then his eyes drew her in, and by the time they released her once again she understood.  “There is a responsibility that goes along with using life energy in this way chosen,” the Ancient One stated, his tone stern.

 

Dominique bowed her head slightly, “I will not misuse it,” she promised him, her green eyes meeting his brown ones solemnly. 

 

He dipped his antlered head in acknowledgement, “I will be here to assist you with healing the animal once you are ready.  It is different from mending a tree, but I believe you will have no great difficulty.”

 

The redhead gave him a grateful look and slipped back into the living world.  She drew in a breath of the cold air and opened her eyes to meet Kendra’s curious blue gaze.  “There is a way,” she said to the black haired woman quietly, “I have to convince him that I, and anyone with me, mean him no harm, and that I’m going to help him.”  She paused a second, trying to think of how to say what needed to be said so that Kendra understood she couldn’t go with her, without hurting her lover’s feelings, “That has to be the truth; otherwise it will be a grave misuse of the abilities the Ancient One gave me.”

 

Kendra’s eyes widened as she absorbed this, “I guess I’ll be staying back here then,” she said settling back on her heels, “you can’t make that promise for me.”

 

The redhead leaned forward and gave her lover a quick kiss; thankful that Kendra understood that with the full moon so near, she couldn’t be vouched for by Dominique when she would be hunting the herd either this night or the next.  “Can you back up a little bit, I’m not sure I can move quietly enough to get closer without alarming him.”

 

Kendra nodded and backed carefully away until she was several feet behind the redhead.  From there she watched curiously as Dominique held out one hand toward the wounded deer for a few seconds before the redhead moved forward a few feet and then stopped again to hold out her hand before repeating the process over again.  The other deer moved away nervously, but the injured one remained still, staring at the cautiously approaching human with its ears pricked forward.  The black haired woman could only guess that Dominique was using life energy in some way to calm the animal.  Still, it took almost a full minute of the slow stop and go process for the redhead to cross the intervening space to the wounded deer’s side.  Kendra watched in awe as the animal sniffed at Dominique’s hand and accepted her touch without any more than a flicker of its tail from side to side.

 

With her enhanced eyesight, Kendra could see the deepest wounds in the animal’s flanks slowly closing as Dominique began healing the worst injuries first.  “My lover is a healer,” she whispered almost silently to herself in wonder and a touch of awe as she watched.  This was the first time she had seen Dominique heal anything other than a tree, and somehow seeing the deer’s wounds heal as the redhead concentrated on knitting together the injured flesh made it real in a way it hadn’t been before.  She suspected Dominique was currently straddling the realms and getting instruction from the Ancient One, but didn’t feel like shifting and missing any of this to see if her guess was correct. 

 

After the young buck’s worst injuries were healed, the animal seemed more alert and definitely more curious about the strange creature healing him.  Kendra watched with a grin as the deer sniffed at Dominique’s long hair and lipped at it inquisitively causing the redhead to turn and look at the animal with a raised eyebrow and amused look.  Dominique petted the animal on its muzzle for a few seconds before returning her attention to its flank and the remaining less serious injuries there.  Kendra shook her head remembering the prickly antagonistic gargoyle she had first met, who would have guessed that just over a month later that same gargoyle would be doing something like this.

 

“He wanted to follow you home I see,” Kendra said with a smirk several minutes later as Dominique walked toward her.  The redhead had ended up having to sternly escort the buck back to where she had healed him several times before the young male seemed to get the idea that she really didn’t want him to come with her.

 

Dominique looked back at the young buck that was now contentedly grazing on the dried wheat, bemused; she hadn’t anticipated that the animal would decide it wanted to stay with her.  “I hadn’t expected that,” the redhead admitted.

 

Kendra chuckled, “So shall we name him Bambi?” she asked with sideways look and a sly grin.  She got an elbow in the side for an answer, but as she looked over at the redhead, she noticed the solemn look Dominique was directing toward the animal.  Kendra put one arm around the redhead and hugged her, “Don’t worry, something tells me Bambi there will lead a charmed life,” Kendra said ruefully staring at the animal.

 

“You don’t have to,” the redhead said softly, shifting her gaze from the peacefully gazing buck to the black haired woman beside her.

 

“I know, but something in here,” Kendra tapped Dominique gently on the chest, “reached out to him and told him he was safe with you.  That’s good enough for me to let him live a good long life, besides,” she said in a purposefully lighter tone, “I could hardly kill the first animal you ever healed.”

 

Two hours later, Kendra watched in amusement as three yelping and terrified dogs ran as fast as their legs would carry them out of her territory.  She roared a threatening snarl after them just to remind them of why they didn’t want to cross onto her land again before turning and heading for home.

 

 

Late Morning – Kendra’s Estate, north of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY

 

Dominique stirred, and snuggled deeper into the arms and warm body behind her.  When Kendra returned from scaring off the feral dogs and re-marking the boundaries of her land, they had decided to take a bath together.  The redhead smiled; any intentions either of them had of simply bathing together hadn’t lasted for more than a few minutes before soapy hands had started wandering.

 

The memory of cold tiles against her back as she rocked against the heat of Kendra’s mouth and begged her lover to fill her flashed though her mind, sending a warm throbbing pulse of heated arousal through her.  She shifted, feeling the gathering moisture between her legs with disbelief.  She could understand if the bathtub had been the only time, but once they finally dried off and made it to the bedroom they had made love once again, rocking slowly against one another for a long time before finally coming in each other’s arms and then falling asleep.  She couldn’t possibly want Kendra again so soon…a warm hand sliding up her side, cupping her breast, and gently pinching the nipple derailed Dominique’s thoughts.  She couldn’t stop the moan of want that escaped her throat, the arching of her back thrusting her breast against Kendra’s hand, or the way she ground her hips into her lover’s body.

 

“So beautiful, so sexy,” Kendra breathed in the redhead’s ear, “sometimes I wonder what I did so right to deserve you.”

 

Even as her body reacted to the words, Dominique bit back a disbelieving, sobbing laugh, surely that had to be her line not Kendra’s.  If she were truthful with herself, she would admit that she hadn’t felt deserving of love for centuries, perhaps that had been the real reason she put up with the scraps of affection she got from Thailog along with the rest of the way he treated her, she hadn’t believed she really deserved anything better.  Teeth dragging along the top of her shoulder before lightly biting the muscle sent her thoughts of the cloned male scattering like leaves, “Kendra,” she whispered entreatingly.

 

The arm holding her tightened in a hug, “What do you want my love?”

 

The whispered question evoked a frustrated whimper from the redhead, “You,” Dominique didn’t know quite what she wanted; she felt so conflicted right now, torn between the memories that kept rising in her mind and the sweetness of her lover’s touch.

 

“You have me,” Kendra assured her.

 

The promise brought the beginning of tears to Dominique’s eyes, she turned in the black haired woman’s arms, “I’m the one that doesn’t deserve you,” she confessed, gazing up into the warm sapphire blue eyes.

 

Gentle fingers brushed along her cheekbones, “Then aren’t we both lucky that love doesn’t seem to care a whit about such things,” Kendra murmured before her lips covered the redhead’s.

 

Dominique buried her fingers into her lover’s thick black hair as their mouths met; Kendra’s kiss was loving and passionate.  She threw back her head, exposing more of her throat as those lips left her own and trailed down her neck.  Lips closed around her nipple, pulling a pleased murmur from Dominique at the same time as an insistent knee slid between her thighs.  She willingly parted her legs allowing Kendra to slide in between them. 

 

Dominique’s world swiftly narrowed to the weight and warmth of her lover upon her, the insistent mouth that alternately tormented and soothed her sensitive breasts, and the first gentle, teasing strokes on the intimate flesh between her thighs.  But even the acute pleasure from Kendra’s touch couldn’t stem the flood of memories that insisted upon rising into Dominique’s mind.  Instead, the pleasure swirled and entwined with the bitter sorrow rising from the deep dark well of pain that was her past, creating a bittersweet torment of both. 

 

In the beginning, sex with Thailog had been very good, though she wasn’t certain now if it were him or the fact that she had been centuries without a lover when she first met him.  That happy time hadn’t lasted but a few weeks or so before she began realizing how rough he was with her.  After that it hadn’t taken very long at all before the bruises from his grip, or the raw areas on her wings or arms and legs from where he pushed her against the floor, or the unpleasant ache inside from him being to forceful with his thrusts, had caused her to be almost as wary of intimacy with him as she was desirous of it.

 

She remembered the very first time she had touched Kendra, and how she had mentally compared how much she had wanted Thailog in the beginning with how much she wanted to touch Kendra.  Now though that mental comparison seemed like an insult to her lover, Kendra was nothing like that selfish and insensitive betraying male.  For one thing Kendra had never hurt her, not even during their most passionate and forceful lovemaking.  That realization was enough for Dominique to finally understand what it was that she wanted from Kendra.  She wrapped her arms round her knees, pulling her bent legs towards her chest and opening herself completely to her lover.  “Take me, claim me,” she begged, hoping that Kendra would understand that this was an offering of trust.

 

Kendra paused, stared into her eyes for a long moment before she replied, her expression intent, “I will.”  The black haired woman sat back on her thighs, looked down at the soft intimate flesh offered to her.  The soft teasing touches began once again, and Dominique drew in a sharp breath as she watched her lover watch what her fingers were doing upon her flesh.  The blue eyes flickered up caught her gaze, fingers teased her center, began entering her, “Don’t close your eyes, I want to see you as I take you,” she commanded as the redhead’s green eyes began to close.

 

Dominique’s eyes opened, locked with Kendra’s blue gaze, and she gave a harsh gasping moan as she was filled.  “Kendra,” she pleaded, this was so different from the other night when they had looked for the love in one another’s gaze, that had been gentle, loving and soft, this was no less loving, but instead of gentle and soft it was commanding and very possessive.  Exactly what she had wanted though she hadn’t anticipated this, she felt like this claim was being placed not just upon her body, but also upon her soul.

 

“Demona,” Kendra whispered as her fingers claimed the redhead once again, this time twisting as they entered.

 

The redhead arched into it, driving her lover’s fingers deeper inside, keeping her eyes locked on Kendra’s, a hissed, “Yes,” was all she was able to utter in response.  A second hand joined the first, fingers slid inside her gathering up the copious moisture there before sliding down to the second opening that no one had ever touched before.  “Kendra?” Dominique questioned uncertainly, feeling the fingers circle and play with the opening, which was proving to be surprisingly sensitive.

 

“I’ll stop if you want me to,” Kendra reassured her, the finger caressing her there slipped slightly inside before withdrawing.

 

Dominique was surprised, she hadn’t realized that being touched there would feel so good, the finger slipped inside once again and she pressed down upon it, pushing it deeper inside her.  She moaned in pleasure at the feel, and drew in a breath, “No, its ok, I just hadn’t thought…it’s not sensitive like this when I’m a gargoyle,” she explained disjointedly.

 

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Kendra said, her blue eyes dark and intense, and in the next moment both of her hands moved in unison, twisting, entering slowly, inexorably, wringing a pleasured cry from the redhead.

 

It was all Dominique could do to keep her eyes open and fixed upon Kendra’s gaze under the dual penetration of her lover’s fingers thrusting steadily into her, filling her, claiming every part of her.  It felt so unimaginably good to be taken this way; she shook with the ecstasy of it, the intimacy of it.  Kendra shifted and she had a moment to wonder why before the black haired woman bent toward her and there was the warmth of her lover’s mouth upon her, the flicker of Kendra’s tongue over her forcing another aroused cry from her lips.  She tightened her arms around her knees and closed her eyes concentrating on the beautiful sensations Kendra’s tongue and fingers were creating as they added to the ever-rising spiral of sensation and tension inside her.  She began rocking into her lover’s touch as the ecstasy and pressure built, she was barely aware of her sobbing breaths, the way she chanted Kendra’s name, or told her how good what she was doing felt while imploring her not to stop.

 

The knowledge that she could open herself this way, make herself so vulnerable and trust Kendra not to hurt her filled the redhead with a raw wild joy.  The steady rhythmic movement of Kendra’s hands and tongue, the thrusting fingers filling her, claiming her, drove her need, her pleasure, her ecstasy, ever higher and higher.  The redhead was shaking helplessly now with the pleasure of it and still it built ever higher ever more acute and intense.  Dominique felt on the edge of fracturing into a thousand pieces, between the unbearable tension of the rising pleasure and the emotions surging through her she felt raw and naked to her soul.  When her orgasm finally came, when the ecstasy roared through her body, scattering her senses and utterly overwhelming her, all she was aware of was Kendra’s claiming touch within her and the warmth of her mouth and tongue against her as she screamed the woman’s name.  Then she couldn’t stop the harsh sobbing that shook her, she felt shattered, unmade, and only Kendra’s hand pulling her arms from around her legs so that she could lower them to the bed and then Kendra’s body wrapping tightly around her started pulling the scattered pieces of her back together.

 

Finally, her lover’s increasingly worried questions broke though the emotions clouding her senses, “Hold me, just hold me,” she pleaded, “you didn’t hurt me, you’ve never hurt me.”

 

Something about the way Dominique sounded when she said the last caused Kendra’s brow to crease in concern, “I’ve got you, love, I’ve got you,” she reassured the woman in her arms.  Dominique couldn’t see the flicker of rage that passed over her lover’s features at the thought that someone in the past had hurt the redhead that way.  Kendra knew there were only two possibilities for the culprit, and one of the two was far likelier than the other given what she knew from Dominique of the cloned male Thailog.

 

Kendra stroked Dominique’s hair, soothed her hand along her back, and pressed soft kisses against her skin.  When the harsh sobs shaking Dominique’s body quieted the black haired woman whispered into the red hair, “I need to go wash my hands, and I’ll be right back.”  She waited for Dominique’s acknowledgement before rolling carefully away and hurrying to the bathroom.  As soon as she came back, Kendra pulled the redhead back into her arms, wrapping herself protectively around Dominique’s suddenly fragile seeming body as much as she was able.  “I will never purposefully hurt you, and I will always try my best to never accidentally hurt you either,” she whispered.

 

“I know,” Dominique replied, she squirmed and when Kendra loosened her hold she turned and buried her head underneath Kendra’s chin.  She lay there, feeling Kendra’s strong arms wrap around her once again as they settled against one another.  Despite, or perhaps because of the crying she had done, she felt more at peace than she had before.  She felt Kendra moving slightly, her arm reaching for something, and then the blankets were pulled over them.  Dominique smiled, kissed the soft skin of her lover’s chest, Kendra was always watching out for her like this.  She remembered how during their very first sparring session the black haired woman had been so worried about hurting her wings.  She allowed her eyes to close, feeling completely relaxed, happy and contented, and safe within Kendra’s arms.

 

On the edge of sleep and dreaming, between consciousness and unconsciousness when one wasn’t certain what was real and what was the dream, Dominique thought she heard Kendra say softly, “I love you.”

 

The redhead rubbed her cheek against warm soft skin, “I love you too,” she whispered, never completely waking, never realizing that her lover had momentarily stiffened upon realizing she had been heard and then relaxed and hugged her more tightly at hearing the response.

 

 

Noon - Eyrie Building in Upper Manhattan

 

“So,” Fox drawled out the word, not bothering to hide the grin on her face, “what do you think now?”

 

David Xanatos chuckled, “I think you might be right,” he admitted.  The reports from his investigators that Kendra Canmore had been spending every night this past week at Dominique Destine’s home did seem to point to the two of them being lovers.

 

“Interesting that her driver is gay,” Fox remarked, they were fairly certain now that was who blew the whistle on their information gathering attempts.  The fact that Dominique’s driver was gay and he was the one to tell her about the bribery attempts, was to Fox another piece of evidence indicating that she was right.

 

“Not only her driver,” David said dryly.  The tattooed redhead raised an eyebrow inquiringly, “Nightstone has eight division managers,” he said, “and after seeing the reports on them, I think that three of them are homosexual, or at least they have someone of the same sex living with them that aren’t related by blood.”

 

Fox stared at him in surprise, she leaned back in her chair thoughtfully, “Roommates?” she offered another possible explanation.

 

“Only if you usually put a roommate on your life insurance, your power of attorney, in your will, and live with the same roommate for more than five years,” he replied dryly.

 

She inclined her head, that didn’t sound like the average roommate, “Do you think Demona knows?” she wondered.

 

He shrugged, “I have no idea, but I find it rather interesting.”

 

It was interesting, interesting in one way if she hadn’t known and had unconsciously picked them out from the other prospective applicants, and interesting in another if she had known and hired them on purpose.  “So are we going to tell the clan that Demona has a human lover?” Fox asked.  “A female human lover,” she added with a smile.

 

David looked thoughtful, “I don’t know that they would believe us with the information we have right now, so I’d like to find something more concrete than what we have so far before telling them.  And I’d like to know what Elisa Maza has been discussing with them lately that has Brooklyn and Angela glaring at one another again.  I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t have something to do with Demona.”

 

“They do all seem to be a bit tense lately,” Fox agreed.  “It’s too bad that Lexington figured out how to scan for hidden microphones or we’d know.”  The web-winged gargoyle had found the ones scattered about the battlements only a few weeks after the clan moved back into the castle, and since they were trying to gain the clan’s trust, they hadn’t replaced them after Lexington found them.

 

“And they no longer have their discussions within range of the security system cameras,” David added with a disgruntled frown.

 

Fox thought for a moment, considering the possibilities in her mind.  She smirked, “Maybe there’s a simple way to find out.”  Xanatos looked at her questioningly.  His wife leaned back in her chair, looking rather Cheshire like, “I’ll ask Lexington what’s going on with Angela and Brooklyn while he’s playing with Alex tonight.”

 

 

Early Afternoon – Kendra’s Estate, north of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY

 

“Alright, first let’s start with the basic dance frame,” Kendra said standing very close to Dominique.  They were currently in the middle of the eastward facing sun room, having already moved some of the furniture out of the way to make an open space in the middle.  “I’ll form an L shape with my left hand, and if you will place your right hand thus,” she said taking Dominique’s hand and placing it so that her four fingers fit between Kendra’s thumb and fingers and the redheads thumb was on the outside of her own.  “Perfect,” the black haired woman commented once that was done. 

 

“Now square your shoulders,” once again she demonstrated, “this makes your shoulder blades more prominent so that I can do this.”  Her right arm curved around Dominique as she placed her right hand on her back above the bone.  “Keeping your shoulders back gives me a good hold so that I can do this,” she pulled with her fingers catching the edge of the shoulder blade and moving the redhead to her right, “or this,” she pushed with the heel of her hand, pushing against the bone and moving Dominique the other way.

 

The redhead smirked, “A steering hold?”

 

Kendra grinned, “Along with this,” she shook her left hand which was clasping the redhead’s right hand, “yes.  Now place your left arm on top of mine, and your hand on top or in front of my shoulder.”  She looked down at the result, “Hmm,” she frowned, “I’m missing…” the frown cleared, “put your thumb toward the inside of my shoulder, or your entire hand, just something so you can feel if I’m turning or moving toward you.”  Dominique moved her hand slightly, and Kendra leaned forward letting her feel how it allowed her to sense that movement.  “Ok firm this arm up,” the black haired woman said shaking their clasped hands, “but not too firm.  There should be a slight pressure but our arms shouldn’t be stiff.”

 

Dominique was surprised at how pleasant it felt to be held like this, not that she had expected it to feel unpleasant, but she hadn’t expected it to feel as nice as this.  The muscles of Kendra’s shoulder felt solid underneath her left hand, the clasp of the black haired woman’s hand around her own warm and strong, and they were close enough to…she leaned forward and pressed her lips against Kendra’s.  Her lover’s arms tightened around her, pulling her closer until their bodies met.

 

When they parted, Kendra said “Now, now,” her voice stern, but her blue eyes were dancing with amusement, “no distracting the dance instructor.”

 

“Who’s easily distracted?” smirked Dominique.

 

“Who’s easily distracted,” Kendra agreed with a grin.  “Now if you will look down,” the black haired woman continued with the dance lesson, “you will notice our bodies are off center, I have room to move my left foot without stepping on you and you have room to move your right foot.  You will always, no matter what the dance, start on your right foot,” Kendra said to the redhead.

 

Dominique nodded, “And you your left?”

 

“Exactly,” Kendra said, “I’ll start off on my left.  So if you will shift your weight slightly to your left foot and keep your knees loose, you don’t want to lock them.”  Kendra waited a second and then stepped forward with her left foot.

 

Dominique felt the movement, both with their clasped hands and with the hand on Kendra’s shoulder, it was natural with her weight mostly on her left leg to simply step back with her right.  She smiled; maybe this wouldn’t be that difficult to learn after all.

 

“Very good,” Kendra praised, “I guess it’s time to learn your first dance, the simplest one is the Slow Dance, which is a four count dance.  We’ll start with taking a step to the side, you with your right foot me with my left, so step,” Kendra stepped, and Dominique felt the simultaneous pull on their clasped hands and subtle push to her shoulder blade indicating which direction the black haired woman wanted her to move.  She took the step to the side with her right foot, “pause with your weight on your right foot, and then bring your left foot over and just touch it to the floor without shifting your weight to it.”  Kendra waited until the redhead had followed suit, “And then back the other way with your left foot and then touch with your right to complete the four counts.”

 

“Simple enough right?” Kendra commented once they had completed a few more of the basic step touches with the black haired woman quietly calling out the steps.

 

“I trust there is more to this dance than simply moving back and forth,” Dominique said, having found the basic step ridiculously easy to master.

 

“There is,” Kendra grinned, “you’re sure you’ve got this down?” she asked with a smirk.

 

The redhead mock glared at her, while trying and failing to keep an answering grin from her face, “I believe so,” she responded dryly.

 

“Then we will move onto the diagonal step,” Kendra said pausing and bringing them to a halt.  “I’ll step forward and slightly to my left while you step back and to the right,” she followed the instruction with the step and was pleased to see the Dominique automatically followed the step up with the touch, “and yes like that touch and then step back the other direction, me with my right, you with your left…and touch.”  She gave her partner a warm smile of encouragement, the dance was simple, and so she expected the redhead to learn it quickly.  What she was pleased with was how Dominique was showing such a quick grasp of stepping on the correct time.  Rhythm was one of the hardest things to master if it didn’t come naturally, requiring time and practice to learn, but Dominique seemed to have a natural feel for it.  “So the next step is the back diagonal, and since we always start off on the same feet, it will be me on my left stepping back and left and you on your right foot stepping forward and right.”

 

They danced around for a few minutes practicing the different steps.  There were a few missteps when she expected the black haired woman to go in one direction and Kendra went in another until the redhead started paying more attention to Kendra’s signals indicating which direction they were moving in next instead of which direction the redhead thought her lover should go.

 

“Now for the basic turns, once we have those down I’ll put on some music and we’ll put everything into practice.”

 

 

Sunset – Kendra’s Estate, north of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY

 

To Demona’s surprise Kendra wanted to go gliding instead of walking through the woods when night came, the Jagaur’s chosen wouldn’t go hunting until tomorrow night, the night of the full moon.  “Alright,” she agreed, glancing up at the black haired woman from where she was lounging on the dark brown leather couch reading Amateur City, the mystery novel Kendra had bought her a little over a week ago.  She couldn’t quite bring herself to read the romance novel, and besides she had been curious about the book ever since her IT Division manager, Ms. Conrad, had mentioned it to Kendra while trying to figure out if she was gay.

 

“We need to make you some clothes,” the flame haired gargoyle commented, glancing over at her now furred lover as they stepped out onto the small second floor balcony above the front door of the house a few minutes later.

 

Kendra shrugged, “We haven’t had the time.  Besides, who else but you is going to see me?”  She smirked, “And I thought you liked the view.”

 

“I do like the view,” Demona commented huskily, letting her eyes sweep slowly up the were-jaguar’s winged muscular form.  “But we might run into the clan sometime and they’re rather used to at least a certain level of modesty.”

 

Kendra leapt upon the railing of the balcony, she crouched there for a moment her tail lazily swishing back and forth before standing and balancing there easily.  “If it can be cut so that it’s comfortable on the wings and tail, a dark sapphire blue tunic would probably look good and not show up against the night sky,” she said, offering her hand to the flame haired gargoyle.

 

Demona took it with an amused shake of her head, this time she wasn’t surprised when she was lifted up to the railing.  She looked critically at Kendra, trying to imagine the style and color on her.  “I think that would look good on you,” the blue gargoyle agreed after a moment’s consideration, “and a tunic isn’t difficult to make, one of the gargoyles in my clan at Moray wore something like that.”

 

Kendra looked more interested in the idea upon hearing this, “Maybe we can go into Poughkeepsie tomorrow and look for a suitable fabric?”

 

The flame haired gargoyle nodded, she opened her wings and leapt off the railing, gaining altitude with a down sweep of her wings and then finding a wind current to carry her higher into the air.  In a moment, she saw Kendra come gliding up beside her, “I’d like to fly a search pattern over my land, make sure there’s nothing I missed earlier,” the were-jaguar stated.

 

Demona slowed a little letting her take the lead, “That would be nice, it’s very beautiful up here,” she commented.  “I don’t have nearly the amount of land around my house that I wanted, but I couldn’t find anything else that had a larger yard and was as nice without going much farther away from the city.”

 

Kendra could hear the wistfulness in her voice, “Earlier today I was thinking that I really needed to come up at least twice a month to make sure everything is alright with the land and herd,” she offered hesitantly glancing over to see how Demona was reacting.  Seeing that the gargoyle looked thoughtful instead of disappointed, she continued with more confidence, “I couldn’t tell if those dogs I chased off today were feral or if they belong to someone who lets them run loose so I’ll need to keep the scent markings I made today fresh and keep an eye out for them.”

 

The flame haired gargoyle stared at her for a long moment, she looked down at the wild land beneath them, thought of the house they had just left and how comfortable being there already felt to her, “I think that sounds like an excellent idea.”

 

 

Night - Eyrie Building in Upper Manhattan

 

“Hello Lexington,” Fox greeted the smallest gargoyle from the rocking chair where she was feeding Alex.  When he whirled around and stuttered out an apology, she grinned triumphantly at his back.  The sight of her feeding the baby was always enough to rattle the green gargoyle.  “How are you doing tonight?” she asked as if nothing particularly interesting was going on.

 

“Um,” she could almost see the puzzled frown on his face at the question, “I’m doing alright.”

 

“I noticed that Angela and Brooklyn are arguing again, does that mean I need to worry about Demona trying to shoot up the castle?” her voice was a carefully crafted mixture of amusement and worry.

 

He actually turned his head half way round toward her before remembering what she was currently doing, and he quickly looked at the wall again.  He wasn’t certain what to say, Goliath hadn’t informed Xanatos or his mate about what they had learned, so he shouldn’t say anything.  However, he thought there was a chance Demona might be angry with Puck as well as the Weird Sisters, after all Puck did cast that spell on her, and even though she benefited from it, the transformation hurt a lot as well.  That had become apparent to everyone during her stay in the Labyrinth.

 

“Lexington,” now her tone was only worried, “Is there something going on we need to know?”

 

“You should talk to Goliath,” he responded weakly, he thought Goliath should tell them, after all Puck might know something about the spirit Macbeth said returned their memories. 

 

The green gargoyle didn’t see her eyes narrow on him, “I’ll do that,” she said firmly.

 

There were a lot of questions Lexington had about Macbeth, Demona and Kendra Canmore that Goliath, Elisa and Brooklyn hadn’t thought of because they were convinced everything was just another plot of hers.  If he was right and Kendra Canmore had been asking the same spirit Macbeth had talked about to take the spell off her cousin, then why hadn’t the spirit taken the spells off Macbeth and Demona?  From being around Puck and Alexander when the older fey was teaching the baby magic, he knew that a fey couldn’t remove the spells of another fey, they could only modify them.  That meant that for the spirit to take the spell off Jon Canmore it was probably more powerful than the fey who had cast it; surely then it could take the spell off the two immortals as well.  The only reason he could think of that the spirit wouldn’t, was that Macbeth and Demona didn’t want to be mortal, or perhaps they would die instantly now if it were removed.

 

He was playing with Alex when Fox and Goliath entered the nursery ten minutes later, “Lexington,” his clan leader’s irritated voice summoned him.  With one last fond pat, the web-winged gargoyle carefully put the baby into his crib before going over to where they were standing in the doorway.

 

Lexington took one look at the deep frown on the big male’s face and launched into his explanation, “If Demona’s blaming the fey instead of the humans she might come after Puck for putting the spell on her to change her into a human during the day.”

 

“If Demona’s blaming the fey,” Fox repeated alarmed; she glanced past the small green male at her child in his crib, amusing himself by playing with his feet.

 

“Mmm,” Goliath rumbled following her gaze, “I had not thought of that possibility,” he admitted staring down at the smallest of the trio.  Lexington was right, considering that Demona had been willing to eradicate the entire human race for what a few had done, it wasn’t unreasonable to suppose she might now be just as vengeful against the fey and Puck in particular along with the Weird Sisters.  He could see the small male relax, apparently thinking he was no longer in trouble, “You should come to me with these concerns first Lexington.”  Sending Xanatos’s mate to him with her question had been the right thing to do, but it would have been better if the young male had brought his concerns to his clan leader earlier.

 

“Yes, Goliath,” the young male’s wings drooped a little at the chastisement.

 

“What are you two talking about?” Fox asked insistently, “Why would Demona decide to blame the fey for her problems instead of humanity?”

 

Goliath stared at her thoughtfully, “Perhaps we should find Xanatos and Puck before speaking of this.”

 

Twenty minutes later Goliath finished relating what little, and to his mind confusing, information they had gathered from Macbeth on the Weird Sister’s role in his and Demona’s past, and from what Elisa had overheard Kendra Canmore saying about the three feys’ role in her family’s history and their vendetta against the immortal gargoyle.

 

“Owen,” David looked over at the blond man, “do you know anything about this?”

 

“The existence of such spirits or what the Weird Sisters have been doing since the fey were banished from Avalon?” Owen asked with a straight face.

 

“Both, either,” Fox interjected with a frown, as far as she was concerned the time for Puck’s levity had passed the moment there was the possibility of this situation threatening her son.

 

Owen glanced at her, “There are spirits that have intervened in the past when mortals were…” he hesitated searching for the right word.

 

“Harassed, tormented,” offered David dryly.

 

The blonde man inclined his head, “A rather interesting choice of words considering the subject,” he commented grimly, “the latter of those two words would fit best in the particular cases I am referring to,” he conceded.  Ignoring the surprised and dismayed looks on their faces, he continued, “I do not have extensive knowledge of these spirits, but what I do know indicates that they are very powerful and potentially very deadly.  Around two thousand and five hundred years ago, we began finding the bodies of fey that had a reputation for amusing themselves by,” he nodded in Xanatos’ direction, “harassing and tormenting mortals.  From the wounds on their bodies, they had been killed by a wild animal or in some cases wild animals like a wolf pack.  Since fey usually are immune to such attacks, we knew that whatever type of animal killed them was able to injure fey as if they were mortal.”  He paused looking pensive, “That was all we knew for almost a thousand years until the day that one of the bodies had a note on it informing us that if we would gather nearby we would be informed of why they had been killed.  Lord Oberon and Lady Titania were expecting an attack; they arranged us as if for a battle.  We thought no one could approach without us knowing and then he appeared in our midst to deliver the spirits’ message to us.”

 

The blonde man fell silent apparently lost in his thoughts, it was Fox that broke the silence to ask the question, “He who?”

 

“The were-jaguar,” Owen responded.  He looked over at the large lavender male gargoyle, “He was as big as Goliath, and moved so swiftly through us that we didn’t have time to react to his presence before he seized Queen Titania by the throat and ordered us to be still before his claws extended any further than they already were.  Lord Oberon commanded no one to attack, as he was close enough to see that the creature had already pricked her skin, drawing the smallest amount of blood.  That was enough for Oberon to realize that the creature could kill her, we do not bleed from normal attacks.  The were-jaguar informed us that the spirits were displeased with the fey race, that we were not created so that we could torment the mortal races, nor had we been created to rule over them as some of us seemed to believe.  The creature told us that if we continued on this path the spirit’s chosen would continue to cull the worst of us until the survivors decided to cease their tormenting of the mortal races.”

 

“Cull?” Xanatos sounded slightly shocked.

 

Owen’s face tightened as he grimaced, “That was the word he used,” he confirmed.  “It was not long after that incident that Lord Oberon decreed that we were no longer to interfere with the mortal races.”

 

“So what Macbeth said about the spirit was true,” Lexington stated once Owen stopped speaking and before anyone else could comment on the rather shocking information.

 

“Very likely,” the blonde man agreed tersely.

 

“What I don’t understand,” Lexington said thoughtfully, “is if Kendra Canmore was able to ask the spirit to remove the Weird Sister’s spell from her cousin, why Demona and Macbeth have any fey spells on them now.”  He started pacing back and forth, “I mean if the spirit could remove them from Jon Canmore then why not them as well.”  The web-winged gargoyle didn’t seem to realize that everyone in the room was staring at him wide eyed, “But Demona is still a human during the day so obviously she still has your spell on her.”  Lexington finally stopped speaking and pacing to stare at Owen expectantly.

 

The blond man looked uncharacteristically hesitant, “Perhaps not…”

 

“Owen?” David prompted at the man’s continued silence.

 

Owen Burnett grimaced, “Understand that what I’m about to tell you is mostly my conjecture based upon the events that followed the were-jaguar’s appearance.”  Xanatos nodded and the blonde man continued, “A few of the less wise fey decided that the humans, who had been tormented by the killed fey, were responsible in some way for their deaths.  They determined that some of these humans were now immune to fey enchantments and essentially invisible to our magical senses, and the rest were using iron jewelry to protect themselves from being enchanted once again.  Whichever the case, the outcome was the same in all cases, shortly after they attacked the humans almost all of them were found dead, killed by wild animals like the others that had died before.” 

 

Owen turned toward Lexington, “So to answer your question, if the spirit Macbeth is referring to is the same type of spirit then it is doubtful that either Macbeth or Demona are enchanted any longer.  Since she’s still able to be a human during the day, I’d say the spirit has provided some other means for her to do so.”  He paused just for a moment before adding, “I would also expect to find that either or both are protected by iron jewelry or are immune to having enchantments placed upon them.”

 

Xanatos leaned back in his chair, “So we need to determine whether the fey enchantments on Macbeth and Demona have been removed.  If they have, then that would mean that what Macbeth told Goliath is the truth,” he looked inquiringly at Owen.

 

The blonde man looked thoughtful, “It should, another thing we can look for is if one or both of them are now immune to being enchanted.”

 

“We are not involving Alex in this,” Fox stated firmly, a protective glint in her eyes.  “Not when these spirits are capable of killing fey.”

 

David immediately shook his head, “I wasn’t even considering it,” he quickly reassured her.  He turned back to Owen, “I was thinking a visit to Nightstone to see its CEO might prove instructive.”

 

When everyone had left David’s office but Fox, the two of them stared at one another for a second before he commented, “Well that was rather more than I thought we would learn.  Spirits that can and will kill fey and Demona mixed up with them.”

 

“It does rather change things,” Fox commented seriously, “there’s a lot more going on here than just the question of whether or not Demona is in a relationship with Kendra Canmore.  I’m not too thrilled about the possibility of her starting a war with the fey.”

 

Xanatos nodded, his eyes narrowed and his countenance serious, “Well the first step is to find out whether or not Macbeth’s story is true, and whether the spirit he mentioned is one of the same one’s Puck told us about.  I’ll set up an appointment to meet with Ms. Dominique Destine early next week.”

 

 
 
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