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Discussions - Chapter 9

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 9

 

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 suggestiveness

 

Notes:  Songs: ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ by Alison Krauss, and‘Black Velvet’ by Alannah Myles.  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:  Mature

 

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: 06/29/08

 

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Saturday, December 13th 1997

 

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

 

Dominique examined the black jeans, emerald green long sleeve shirt and black loafers she was wearing with a critical eye, Kendra had assured her this was appropriate for where they were going to dance.  The redhead shrugged and grabbed the black leather jacket her lover had loaned her, it was nine thirty at night and time to leave.  It seemed late to Dominique, but Kendra had said they would actually be a bit early and could practice their dancing; the club wouldn’t start to fill up until after eleven or so.

 

The first thing the redhead noticed when they entered the club was the loud booming music.  The second was the pervasive smell of stale smoke, causing her to wrinkle her nose in distaste.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kendra asked leaning close so she didn’t have to raise her voice over the sound.

 

“It smells of cigarette smoke,” Dominique answered.

 

Kendra responded, “We’ll take a bath before going to bed to get the smell out of our hair.”  She looked a little apologetic, “It’s pretty much like this at any bar or club you go to.”

 

Dominique nodded, resigning herself to the situation, she looked around the bar curiously, noticing that the majority of the humans currently present were male, with only a few women either standing by the bar or seated at the tables around the edge of the dance floor.  A few male couples were…the redhead stared at one pair of males that appeared to be only moments away from mating in public with the way they were grinding their crotches into each other, the rest were gyrating, there really was no other word for it, on the dance floor.

 

Kendra followed her eyes, “Don’t worry they won’t be going any further than that in here,” she assured her, “though there’s a few places in the city where I couldn’t make that guarantee.”  Dominique stared at her wondering if she were joking, but Kendra didn’t notice as she was looking at the few still empty tables around the walls of the bar.  As she began guiding the redhead across the floor to claim one of them, she commented, “It’s been a few years since I’ve been here.  I hope they haven’t started playing only techno club music, if that’s the case then we’ll have to wait till we go back to the city to practice our dancing.  I’ll go over and ask the DJ, and if it is, then we can leave if you want.”

 

From where she sat at the table they had claimed, Dominique watched as her lover walked around the dance floor and spoke to the male standing behind a bank of electronics gear.  Kendra’s red lips curved up in a smile at his answer and the redhead guessed that his answer had been that this was not the only music he was playing the entire night.  She didn’t know whether to be pleased or not, this place smelled and was very loud.  She glanced briefly again at the two males grinding into one another, though the activities of the humans here might be interesting.

 

“Dominique,” the mixture of reproach and amusement in her lover’s voice caused the redhead to glance at Kendra, who had just come back to the table, with a raised eyebrow.  “You’re not supposed to stare at the boys as if they’re wildlife at the zoo.”  The redhead’s eyebrow arched higher, and the black haired woman grinned, “No matter how they’re acting,” she added.  “Now what would you like to drink, and you don’t want to order any wine here,” she hurriedly added.

 

Dominique had already guessed that, “What are you having?”

 

“Corona,” Kendra responded, “it’s about the best beer you can get here, or I can see what they have for bottled water.”  She paused a beat before adding, “Unless you want a mixed drink?”

 

The redhead shook her head; except for the occasional scotch, she wasn’t that fond of distilled spirits, “How about some water and I’ll try your beer.”  Kendra nodded and headed in the direction of the bar.

 

About a minute later, the black haired woman returned with her beer, a wedge of lime floating inside the neck of the bottle, and bottled water.  “Not entirely unpleasant,” Dominique announced after taking a sip of it, the beer itself wasn’t too strongly flavored, and the lime, which the redhead had initially thought rather odd, went well with it.

 

“Did you want me to get you one?” Kendra inquired, watching the redhead open the bottled water.

 

Dominique shook her head, “This will do for now,” she lifted the bottle and took a sip.  Her eyes went to the doorway as a large group of women entered, noisily greeting the bartender and others.  One of them, an auburn haired woman, looked vaguely familiar to Dominique, though she couldn’t place where she might have seen the human before.  A vaguely annoyed sound from Kendra drew her attention away from the boisterous group to her lover; the black haired woman was staring at the group as well, a slight grimace turning the corners of her lips down.  “What’s wrong?” the redhead asked, her attention going back to the group.  The auburn haired woman was now staring back at them, and the expression on her face was not a particularly friendly one.

 

“Ex,” Kendra replied succinctly, looking away from the woman to meet Dominique’s gaze, “one that didn’t want to be an ex, but I didn’t feel for her what she said she felt for me.”

 

Well that explained why the woman had looked familiar, the redhead thought as she remembered the pictures her investigator had included in his report.  Her green eyes sharpened on her lover, “You doubted her?” she glanced again at the woman, “Was she one of the ones more interested in your money than you?”

 

Kendra shrugged, drawing Dominique’s attention once again, “I don’t know, I never knew if what she was saying was the truth or not.”  She took a sip of her beer, looking introspective, “I think maybe it started out that way for her and then she started getting serious…or maybe I just want to think that it wasn’t just my money.”

 

Dominique asked carefully, “You cared for her?”  She knew it wasn’t fair of her considering that she had her own lovers in the past, but she just didn’t like the idea of Kendra caring about some other woman.

 

Kendra responded quietly enough that the redhead had to lean closer to hear over the music, “Enough so that when she started talking long term, I decided it was time to end it because I knew I’d never feel that way about her.”  Sapphire blue eyes met green, “You have no need to feel jealous of her,” Kendra commented gently, “when you start making plans for a year or two from now I’ll happily make them with you, when she did I headed for the hills.”  The redhead flushed, both at being caught, and in pleasure at the comment, before she could respond however, Kendra continued, her eyes locked onto Dominique’s, “And I’ve never told anyone else that I’m falling in love with them.”  The black haired woman stood and held out her hand, “Dance with me?”

 

Dominique had been so focused on their conversation that she had barely noticed the end of the thumping music, and the start of a ballad.  She let Kendra help her to her feet as she began listening to the soft, gentle sounding voice of the female singer.

 

“It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart,
Without saying a word you can light up the dark,
Try as I may I could never explain,
What I hear when you don't say a thing.”

 

Dominique looked into Kendra’s face as they stepped onto the dance floor, her lover’s expression was tender and yet serious and a bit intense as well.  Kendra pulled her closer than she had when they practiced the steps, but Dominique didn’t mind, she knew the steps now and she wanted her lover to hold her close.

 

“The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There’s a truth in your eyes saying that you’ll never leave me,

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall,

You say it best when say nothing at all.”

 

The look in Kendra’s eyes caused the redhead’s heart to beat more strongly, and Dominique wondered, as she had when she woke up earlier, if she had dreamed that Kendra told her that she loved her or if it had been real.  “Did you request this?”  She asked softly.  The black haired woman nodded.  Dominique felt embarrassed now at her jealousy of the other woman, the song was beautiful, and the fact that Kendra had asked that it be played for their first dance together…  “I’m sorry,” she whispered, feeling slightly ashamed.

 

“For what?” Kendra glanced at her curiously.

 

“For being jealous,” the redhead responded quietly.

 

“Shh…” Kendra leaned forward and brushed her lips in a feather light caress across her brow, “don’t worry about it.”

 

Reassured, the redhead did relax, allowing herself to enjoy moving in rhythm with her lover as they danced.  As she listened to the words of the song and stared into Kendra’s blue eyes, her throat tightened with emotion, she was starting to think it hadn’t been a dream at all.  She could guess why her lover hadn’t spoken more openly, undoubtedly for the same reasons she herself hadn’t, this was so fast, so sudden.  Her more pragmatic side doubted that love could happen so swiftly and completely, and was waiting for it to disappear like a mirage in the desert heat.

 

“All day long I can hear people talking out loud,
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd,
Old Mr. Webster could never define,
What's being said between your heart and mine.”

 

Her pragmatic side might be wrong though, Dominique thought and if this sweet rush of emotion she was feeling for Kendra wasn’t love then she had no idea what it might be.

 

“The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There’s a truth in your eyes saying that you’ll never leave me,

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall,

You say it best when say nothing at all.”

 

As they continued dancing, the redhead became aware of the looks they were drawing, some envious, many appreciative, as they moved around the dance floor.  Dominique was starting to see the appeal of going out to a gay club.  She knew there weren’t many places where she could openly be with Kendra and not get hostile or shocked looks, and being out with her lover in a public place where everyone was aware that they were together was rather nice.

 

The current song playing ended and when the next one began the redhead eyed the couples taking a dance stance that she had never seen before.  “What dance are they doing?” she asked curiously, the couple she was watching were both facing the same direction, the woman in what she guessed was the lead position holding their partner close to them with one arm wrapped around her waist.

 

Kendra chuckled, “I guess you’d call it the Gay Nightclub Two Step, because I haven’t seen it done anywhere else.  It’s a quick, quick slow step, though with this beat it’s a step, step, slow step, and it’s not that hard to learn if you’d like?”

 

Dominique nodded, “I would,” she confirmed, staring at the other dancers.

 

“Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell,
Jimmy Rogers on the Victrola up high,
Mama's dancing with baby on her shoulder,
The sun is setting like molasses in the sky,
The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything,
Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for”

 

The redhead drew in a breath when Kendra’s warm body pressed against her back, “Alright,” her lover whispered in her ear, sending a shiver of arousal though her.  “You can do this with the more traditional dance frame or this completely untraditional one,” Dominique could hear the amusement in her whispered voice.  “Since you’re looking at the dancers dancing this way, I’ll explain this one,” Kendra said.  “One hand at the center of the waist,” she took the redhead’s right hand in hers and wrapped her arm round Dominique’s waist, pulling her tightly against her so that her shapely rear nestled tight against her groin.  Her voice was huskier as she took the redhead’s left hand in hers, “And this arm out like this, just bent slightly,” she held her left arm outstretched with a slight bend at the elbow, “this acts as a guide for what direction we will be going,” she moved her left arm forward and back a little.  “Now as for the dance step, we’re both technically in the lead position so we will both be starting off on our left foot.  As you can see from the other dancers it’s a step with the left foot to the left and forward, then bring the right foot up beside the left, take another step with the left and bring the right up.  Then a slow step with the right foot in the other direction and bring the left foot up and start over again.”

 

“Black velvet and that little boy's smile,
Black velvet with that slow southern style,
A new religion that'll bring ya to your knees,
Black velvet if you please”

 

After finishing her instructions, Kendra said, “Let’s start over here in this corner so we will be out of the way of the other dancers.”  She only called out the steps softly a few times before stopping, the beat of the song was very slow and Dominique was having no problems catching onto the simple steps.

 

“Up in Memphis the music's like a heatwave,
White lightning, bound to drive you wild,
Mama's baby's in the heart of every school girl,
"Love me tender" leaves 'em cryin' in the aisle,
The way he moved, it was a sin, so sweet and true,
Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for”

 

They were pressed so close together that Dominique could feel the warmth of her lover from her shoulders to her thighs, the soft press of Kendra’s breasts against her back, and every flex of the powerful muscles in her lover’s thighs against her rear and back of her legs as Kendra danced.  The slow, heavy bass beat of the song throbbed into her body forming a sensual counterpoint to the rock and sway of their hips as they moved together in the steps of the dance.

 

“Black velvet and that little boy's smile,
Black velvet with that slow southern style,
A new religion that'll bring ya to your knees,
Black velvet if you please”

 

As they moved together to the unhurried rhythm of the song, the redhead half closed her eyes, preferring to concentrate less on the other dancers and more on the feel of the strong warm body behind her guiding her so surely around the dance floor. 

 

“Every word of every song that he sang was for you,
In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could you do?”

 

When the song ended far sooner than she would have liked, the redhead turned around and looked at her lover.  Kendra’s blue eyes were darkened, showing her arousal, and Dominique knew her own eyes were just as revealing of her own state.  Dancing so close together, their bodies moving as one in a slow sensual rhythm, had been more than a little suggestive of something a bit more intimate than dancing.

 

“We can practice this at home, and I’ll teach you how to switch from one hold to the other and back again, and how to do the turns from either hold,” Kendra offered as they returned to their table. 

 

Dominique nodded, “I’d like that,” she had noticed the other dancers doing some rather intricate looking moves as they switched back and forth between the two holds.  The redhead glanced around, noticing that the club was starting to fill up.  There were no tables where there were not drinks left while their owners were on the dance floor or people sitting and talking.

 

Kendra finished her beer in one long swallow, she held up the empty bottle, “Did you want another water or one of these?”

 

The redhead stared at the bottle for a second before making up her mind, “I’ll try one of those,” she finally responded.  She turned in her seat to watch as the black haired woman made her way through the crowd to the bar, admiring how the black jeans she was wearing showed off the muscular length of her legs and the white shirt she was wearing contrasted with her black hair and dusky skin.

 

“Don’t let the songs or those soft blue eyes get to you,” Dominique turned back around in her seat to look up at the owner of the bitter voice, “haven’t you noticed yet how she never mentions anything beyond the fact that she cares for you?”  The auburn haired woman’s eyes glittered with malice as she continued, “How though her hands are tender when she has sex with you that you’re always alone on your side of the bed come morning.”

 

Dominique stared at her, knowing that the woman couldn’t realize what she had just revealed about her relationship with Kendra.  Yes her lover had touched this woman intimately, had given her pleasure, but she had clearly never given this woman much of her heart at all.  The redhead knew she could wound the woman with a few well-placed words, a simple statement of ‘No I don’t know about either of those things’ would be both succinct, truthful…and cruel.  She chose not to say anything, and was unaware of the obvious pity in her green eyes.

 

Just as the bitter malice in the woman’s hazel eyes changed to anger Dominique felt a warm hand upon her shoulder and Kendra’s unmistakable presence behind her, “Marla,” her lover’s tone was a warning and held no softness or warmth.  A hand holding two bottles appeared within her field of vision as Kendra placed them on the table in front of her, “I think you should go back and sit with your friends.”

 

The auburn haired woman pasted a false looking smile on her face as she looked over Dominique’s head at the woman standing behind her, “I was just giving your new girlfriend a friendly warning to never assume you mean more than exactly what you say.”

 

Kendra responded in a firm, unsympathetic tone, “I think you’ve already realized that she doesn’t need a warning and that’s why you’re over here.”

 

Marla paled noticeably and Dominique’s eyes sharpened on her, so that had been the woman’s intention.  Unfortunately for her, she and Kendra’s relationship had already passed the stage where her words would have any effect.  If indeed it had ever started there, Dominique mused remembering how from the very beginning they had slept cuddled up against one another, and it hadn’t been just because of the cold, though that had definitely contributed. 

 

Dominique smirked, seeing no need to be nice now that she knew what the woman’s game was, “I thank you for your concern,” she said sweetly, “but Kendra and I have no problems with being emotionally intimate with one another, and as for the other, I’ve never woken without her wrapped around me holding me in her arms.”  She reached up and stroked her fingers along her lover’s hand, Kendra’s hand slid forward capturing her own and held it.  The auburn haired woman stared at her in what almost looked like disbelief for a second before she flushed angrily, whirled and left, almost knocking the chair on that side of the table over in her haste.

 

Kendra’s hand let go of hers and then the black haired woman slid into the chair next to her, giving her a concerned glance.

 

Before her lover could ask, Dominique said, “She was busy telling me about how you would be sleeping on the other side of the bed come morning.  Funny how I’ve never noticed that, I’ve never woken up without your arm around me, you seem rather possessive of me in your sleep.”

 

Kendra grinned crookedly, “I do, do I?”  Dominique nodded, smiling.  “Do you mind?”

 

The redhead shook her head, “No I rather like it,” she admitted.

 

“That was it?” the black haired woman remarked looking rather surprised.

 

“Well she did say something about you never telling me anything more than you cared about me, but I rather think we’ve already gone past that point,” Dominique said softly.

 

Kendra gave her a tender look, “Yes, I believe we have.”

 

It was after midnight, the club lights were down low, and the song playing was soft and slow.  Like most of the other couples on the floor Dominique and Kendra were barely bothering to step to the music.  Pressed close against one another they stepped in a small circle and swayed to the music, Kendra’s hands were around the redhead’s waist pressing and stroking her lower back in a way that if she were a gargoyle would definitely amount to having public sex.  Dominique’s head was resting upon Kendra’s shoulder, her arms were wrapped around Kendra’s neck her fingers playing with her lover’s silky black hair or stroking teasingly along her neck and shoulders.

 

“I think it’s time we went home,” the redhead lifted her head enough to whisper into Kendra’s ear.  The hands at her waist pulled her tighter against her lover’s hips for a moment, causing a fresh surge of arousal to go through her body.

 

“That sounds good,” the black haired woman agreed in a low, husky voice.

 

They released one another and left the dance floor, stopping by their table to get their jackets before leaving.  If either of them noticed the knowing looks that followed them, they didn’t bother acknowledging them.

 

 

 

Sunday, December 14th 1997

 

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

 

After getting up late, they had spent the day being more productive than they had been on Saturday.  They had worked out together and then Dominique had sat down to do some work while Kendra went out to the small barn that had been converted to a gymnasium to practice.  In the afternoon, the redhead had called Robert’s Aunt and persuaded the woman to let her take the young Owl’s chosen out for two nights in a row, first to get fitted for a suit and go out to dinner, and the next night to attend dinner and the play with the group.

 

After eating dinner and cleaning up the dishes, Dominique transformed into her gargoyle form and they sat down on the leather living room couch together, getting ready to go into the spirit realm.

 

“So are you going to offer her the position?”  Kendra asked curiously.

 

Demona glanced at her surprised before realizing that she hadn’t shown Kendra Sharon’s resume, she reached over and shuffled the papers on the coffee table around searching for it.  As soon as she found it, she handed it to the black haired woman and waited.

 

Kendra looked up after scanning though the resume quickly, “You’re offering her the position,” she stated.

 

The gargoyle smiled, “I am, she is certainly more knowledgeable about business than I was when Thailog and I started Nightstone.  The only thing I’m worried about is whether she can adapt to the more formal atmosphere of the company, but there’s no way of knowing that until she actually starts working for me.”

 

The black haired woman nodded, “She’ll need to upgrade her wardrobe as well if what she wore last time was an example of what she has for work clothes.”  She paused thoughtfully, “Depending on how well off her family is, she may need some money up front to be able to afford the move for herself and her horse, a month’s rent and deposit as well as new clothing.”

 

“I’ve already considered that, I plan to offer her a rather healthy signing bonus, it should cover all of her expenses,” Demona commented.

 

Kendra grinned, “Sounds like you have everything covered then, shall we go?”

 

Rather large group was waiting for them when they got there, not only was the Ancient One there along with Sharon and the Horse spirit, but also the Jaguar spirit, Rachael, and the Wolf spirit with Wayne Robinson.

 

“Chosen,” the Ancient One and the Jaguar spirit greeted them almost at the same time.

 

“Ancient One,” Demona greeted the Irish Elk spirit, rather taken aback at the size of the gathering and wondering especially why the Wolf spirit and Wayne were there.

 

“Jaguar,” Kendra greeted her spirit, “What’s going on?” she asked staring at the others.

 

“You cannot reach your cousin Robyn to free her from the fey enchantment upon her.  The Wolf spirit believes that his chosen will be able to do so,” the great cat explained.

 

That seemed to be the cue for the lean pack leader and Wayne to approach.  “Greetings Ancient One’s chosen, young Jaguar,” the Wolf spirit said as he sat back down on his haunches.

 

Kendra and Demona returned the spirits greeting and then exchanged greetings with Wayne.

 

“My chosen,” the grey Wolf spirit looked up expectantly at the lanky man standing next to him.

 

“I’ve started investigating the Quarrymen.  Bluestone, the lead detective of the Gargoyle’s Task Force was right, there are some organized crime groups among other’s funding them.  With that piece of information, I’ve got enough of a reason to go visit Robyn Canmore to see if she knows anything about these Quarrymen.  I’ll also question her to see if any of the money for their expensive toys came from some place other than their inheritance from their father.”  Wayne smiled crookedly, “I expect she won’t be very cooperative, but that will get me close enough to her to rip out that enchantment the Weird Sisters put on her.”

 

Kendra’s lips quirked briefly upward at his choice of words before her expression became more serious, “Thank you Wayne, I didn’t like the idea of leaving that enchantment on her until her sentence was complete.”

 

“Yea that’s alright,” he waved her thanks away, sounding rather gruff and embarrassed, “it’s what we do for each other and that…” he seemed to be struggling to find the proper word, open anger apparent now, “perversion shouldn’t remain on her any longer than necessary.”  He didn’t even pause long enough for Kendra to respond before continuing, “I’ll get a message to you letting you know when it’s done.”

 

The black haired woman stared at him for a second, and then her lips twitched in amusement, “I’d appreciate that,” she acknowledged.

 

He nodded sharply, then wavered and disappeared.

 

“He’s not one for a lot of small talk is he,” Kendra commented bemused.

 

The Wolf spirits mouth opened in a canine grin, “My chosen prefers actions to words.  If at all possible he will accomplish what he has promised to do.”  The pack leader stood, “Now I will leave you to your business with the Horse’s chosen.”  He turned to go, paused and looked back at Demona, “It is good to see you reaching out to your fellow chosen as you are, Ancient One’s chosen, you will find that your trust in them is well placed.”

 

It took Demona a half second to reply; she hadn’t been expecting the spirit to speak to her at all, much less about this topic.  “I don’t doubt it,” she acknowledged, “I only hope I can be as helpful when someone comes to me with a request.”

 

He cocked his head a little to the side and stared at her, “But you already have been, Ancient One’s chosen.”

 

The gargoyle stared at him puzzled, “Robert?” she finally made the connection, “but…” she cut off her protest, seeing Robert had started out as a favor to Rachael.  “It’s not that way anymore, I like the young man and enjoy his company,” she said softly.

 

“And that is what I meant by how you are reaching out to your fellow chosen,” the Wolf spirit said, the canine grin apparent once again.  Then, apparently satisfied with Demona’s surprised expression, he turned and trotted away, blending quickly into the grey mists.

 

The Irish Elk stared after him for a moment before turning his massive head to gaze at his chosen, “The Wolf spirit is right, it is good to see you forming relationships with your fellow chosen,” he said, his tone approving.

 

Demona stared at him, his words ringing in her mind.  She caped her wings automatically about herself as she thought about the recent past and her interactions with Rachael, Margaret, Sharon and yes, even Wayne.  She certainly hadn’t consciously set out to do so, but she had been forming relationships this entire time, friendships.  Kendra was, of course, her friend as well as her lover, and Rachael was her friend and possibly Robert as well in time.  Margaret and Wayne weren’t yet her friends, but that would probably happen as they interacted more in the future.  She glanced over at young Sharon; the Horse’s chosen would likely become a friend as well as an employee if everything worked out.  Friends, the concept was strange after being completely alone for so many centuries, she hadn’t had a friend since Michael and now she possibly had several.

 

“You’re not alone anymore,” Kendra said softly from beside her.

 

The flame haired gargoyle glanced at her, “No, I’m not,” she agreed.  Well she had wondered at one point what the chosen were to one another; apparently, the answer was they were friends or at least potential friends.

 

“Demona, Kendra,” Rachael greeted them warmly as she, Sharon, and the Horse spirit came over.  Demona stepped forward hesitantly her arms slightly upraised, the Cree woman gave her a big smile and finished the movement, wrapping her arms around the gargoyle in a warm hug.

 

As soon as everyone finished greeting one another, Demona turned toward the senior Owl’s chosen, “Rachael,” she said, “I spoke to Robert’s aunt today, he will be going out with us on two days, the nineteenth and the twentieth.”

 

The smile on Rachael’s face grew brighter at this news, “How did you manage that?”

 

Demona smirked, “Why I told the truth, of course.  He’s interviewing for the intern position in Kendra’s division, which means he has to be able to interact with other corporate executives in social situations where he will be representing the company.”  The smirk shifted into a wry smile, “Well mostly the truth,” she amended her previous statement, “he already has the position, but I do need to see if he can handle himself in social situations.”  Rachael gave her a questioning look, so the gargoyle explained further, “Kendra will be visiting other companies, as her intern Robert would accompany her and those usually involve going out to lunch or dinner with the company’s executives.”

 

The confusion on Rachael’s face cleared, “When I asked you to get to know Robert,” the senior Owl’s chosen said, looking guilty, “I didn’t mean that you had to hire him.”

 

The blue skin gargoyle waved it off, “Nightstone has several summer intern positions, I have no doubt that Robert is just as capable of performing up to the level I expect of an intern as any of the college students we hire.”

 

The Cree woman gave her a penetrating look, “Yes, but would you hire anyone of them to be Kendra’s intern?” she asked perceptively.

 

Demona grinned, “Certainly not, I’d never give one of them access to information such as what technologies the company will be developing or which companies Nightstone intends to acquire.  Robert however, is another matter and hopefully it will give him some direction so he can select what major or majors he wishes to take in college.”  Before Rachael could say anything else, the gargoyle added in a softer tone, “Besides I like Robert.  I can see that he’s a bright, intelligent young man and depending on what he chooses to do with his future, I’d like to persuade him that there’s no better place for him to work than Nightstone once he finishes with college.”

 

Rachael expression softened and she gave the gargoyle a crooked smile, “So this is all just a plot to make sure you get first dibbs on him four years from now?”

 

The flame haired gargoyle’s smile widened, showing white teeth and fangs, “Precisely,” she agreed her green eyes dancing with amusement.  From Kendra’s quizzical glance, Demona knew she was acting unusually cheerful, but her surprise at realizing she had friends had changed into a mild feeling of…elation, she really couldn’t think of another word that fit how she was feeling. 

 

Having friends wasn’t the same as having clan, but then Demona didn’t think she would really be happy in a clan anymore.  Clan meant that you were seldom alone, that you did everything with your rookery brothers and sisters, and that everyone seemed to be always curious about what you were doing.  She hadn’t always appreciated the closeness a thousand years ago, but she had accepted it because that was the reality of belonging to a gargoyle clan.  After several centuries of being alone, the gargoyle strongly suspected she would feel completely smothered by the closeness and attention these days.

 

Even though she didn’t want to be part of a clan, Demona was still a gargoyle, and that meant that she didn’t want to be completely alone and needed regular social contact with others.  As far as she was concerned, the good thing about friends was they didn’t insist on living with you and knowing what you were doing all the time, and that made them sound just about perfect to Demona.  

 

The gargoyle looked over at the Horse spirit and his chosen, noting that Sharon looked troubled.  The young woman’s expression immediately damped her good mood, “Did your conversation with your father not go well?” she asked concerned.

 

A frown etched itself between the younger woman’s brows, “Dad brought up a lot of things he wanted me to consider before accepting.  I didn’t realize how expensive it is to live in New York City.”

 

“Ah,” now Demona understood, she imagined it was quite a shock after living in Arizona to look at the prices for housing in New York City.

 

“I found a few stables that I wouldn’t mind boarding Bree, all around an hour’s drive or so north of the city,” Sharon continued, “if I can find a place around the Yonkers end of the metro line then it would only be a thirty minute drive to see her.  It’s just the amount of rent they want is…”

 

“High compared to where you live,” the gargoyle finished for her, “However, the salaries here are also higher than they would be in Arizona.  I was planning on offering you sixty-eight thousand plus the boarding costs for your horse.”  Sharon looked stunned at the figure and the big bay stallion standing behind the young woman stretched his muzzle forward and nuzzled her hair.  The brown haired woman reached up and touched his jaw briefly in what seemed almost like an automatic response.

 

Kendra spoke up, “Boarding places run about seven hundred and fifty a month if you want them to let your horse out to graze and run for a few hours each day.”

 

Demona quickly added the cost for a year up in her head, “Let’s make it eighty thousand then, that should give you enough to feed your horse as well as board her.”

 

“Are you sure?” the young woman asked sounding uncertain.

 

“Interesting, I’ve never had anyone try to persuade me to lower their salary,” the gargoyle said with sly amusement.  Sharon blushed, but before she could respond Demona continued, “I did say salaries were higher here to make up for the fact that rent is rather high.  I believe that takes care of your concerns about managing to find a decent place to live and eat as well?”

 

“Yes,” the young brown haired woman agreed weakly.

 

The green eyes sharpened on her, “Don’t think it’s a handout, I’ll expect you to work as hard as I do, so you’ll earn every penny of it.”

 

Sharon straightened, “I’m used to working from seven in the morning until four or five in the afternoon on the ranch,” she said determinedly.

 

“Good,” Demona said, her words a challenge, “Because I work from eight until five with usually only a half hour break for lunch.  And for the first few months’ I imagine you’ll be taking home a few hours work as well each night as you learn about the company, its competitors, and our business environment.”

 

The young chosen’s jaw firmed as her head rose proudly, and in that moment Demona saw a striking similarity between Sharon and the proud bay stallion standing behind her.  It was the look in her eye, the way she held herself, she could see the horse spirit inside the younger woman and it reminded the gargoyle of the way she could see the jaguar in Kendra.  “I’m a hard worker, Ms. Destine I’ll do what I need to do to get up to speed.”

 

Demona stared measuringly at the younger woman, finally she smiled, “I’m sure you will, I’ll have HR send your official job offer on Monday to start work on the 12th of January, a month should give you time to arrange everything and move.”

 

Sharon looked slightly overwhelmed, but she nodded determinedly, “I’ll be ready by then.”

 

The flame haired gargoyle took in a breath, this was the part she wasn’t so certain about, but she was managing to remain focused on work with Kendra while they were at Nightstone, so she didn’t see why she couldn’t manage to be both Sharon’s employer and friend.  “I’m sure you’re aware that Rachael is staying with me later in the week and that Margaret is going to be in New York City at the same time as well.  I can get plane tickets for you to come and stay with me a few days to celebrate Solstice with us while you look for an apartment and arrange for the boarding of your horse.”  

 

The younger woman’s face brightened, before she could reply though Rachael broke in, “Oh, please say yes, we already have Margaret and Robert it would be nice for you to be there as well.”

 

Sharon grinned at the older Cree woman before turning back to Demona, “That would be wonderful.”

 

“Good, because I’d hate for that extra play ticket I had Candice purchase earlier this week go to waste,” the gargoyle stated.

 

“But you didn’t know if I would accept,” Sharon protested, looking as if she wasn’t certain whether to be offended that she had been so predictable or not.

 

Demona shook an admonishing talon at her, “A good businesswoman is always prepared for all possible outcomes of an offer,” she said with a smirk.

 

 

Monday, December 15th 1997

 

Early Afternoon, Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island

 

Robyn Canmore stared after the two men from the FBI as they left the small room where she had been brought so they could question her about what she knew of the Quarrymen and any connection her family had with organized crime.  Oh Jon, she thought to herself sadly, what have you gotten yourself into now.

 

It had certainly been one of the stranger interrogations she had experienced since the ill-fated attack on the 23rd precinct building.  She was becoming used to being sneered at and treated with open hostility from various law enforcement officers, firing a missile into a building full of their fellow officers certainly hadn’t made her very popular with them.  The two FBI agents, despite their stern demeanor, hadn’t been very hostile toward her at all; even when the one tall agent had briefly put his hands on her shoulders, she hadn’t felt threatened by either of them.

 

“Canmore,” the stern voice of the prison guard drew her out of her thoughts, schooling her face to impassiveness she stood and let the woman check her restraints.  The way the guard was fingering her baton and Robyn knew the woman was just looking for the slightest excuse to use it.  Once she was safely back in her cell, she sat down on her cot and allowed herself to relax for a few moments. 

 

She didn’t know what had possessed Jon to get involved with the organized crime syndicates, now he had federal level attention.  What was worse, she was certain that the two agents suspected that Jon Canmore and John Castaway were the same person, why they hadn’t pulled her brother in for questioning if they knew that she wasn’t sure.  Maybe they were just waiting for him to make a mistake big enough for them to throw him in jail too; she knew they didn’t have enough on him to arrest him for his role in the clock tower attack.  Neither she nor Jason had even mentioned he was there, and lacking any evidence to the contrary the only thing the police department possibly had on him was using a false identity to get hired as a journalist.

 

Steps coming down the corridor had her opening her eyes and focusing them on the far side of the cell.  She didn’t look through the bars to see who it was; she guessed it was a guard doing their regular round through the cellblock.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the guard slow as they walked past her cell and look in at her.  Their baton swung out, hit one of the bars, she finally looked away from the wall to meet the guard’s sharp gaze, keeping her own carefully neutral.  The guard sneered at her, satisfied they had interrupted whatever it was she was doing and continued on their round.

 

Robyn took in a deep breath, she hated this, hated being treated like an animal in a cage for the guards to amuse themselves by tormenting, and she wished more than anything else that she had never ever fired that damn missile.  But the thought of killing the gargoyles she knew were inside the clock tower had driven her on, that and the feeling of righteous elation she felt whenever she contemplated killing the demon who had killed her father or any others like her.

 

She tensed, realizing with dismay where her thoughts had gone, and waiting for the rush of feeling that now sickened her, but it never came.  She stared unseeing at the institutional green colored wall, thought about killing the demon once again, this time intentionally…nothing.  There was none of the feeling her father had taught her was God’s reward for thinking righteous thoughts.  She tried again, thought of firing a particle beam right through the scarlet haired demons chest, still nothing except for the ever present hatred she felt for the gargoyle that had killed her father.

 

The blonde woman frowned utterly confused; the rush of pleasure that followed thoughts of killing a gargoyle had been something she had known for as long as she could remember.  Suddenly not feeling that was disconcerting and even slightly frightening, even though the feelings were ones she had grown to hate for leading her to this place.

 

 

Late Afternoon – inside Quarryman Headquarters in Lower Manhattan

 

“Hey Sally, get away from there,” the gruff voice caused Elisa to jump guiltily away from the partially open door she had been peering though.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said in a low voice stepping closer to the Quarryman, “I’m just worried about Mr. Castaway.”  The sound of a hammer hitting rock from the partially open door behind her caused her to jump, it was followed a moment later by a frustrated sounding shout.

 

“He just wants to find one of those demons to kill, he’ll be fine after that,” the man said, it would have been more convincing if he hadn’t sounded like he was trying to persuade himself as well as her.  “We should get the stuff to bag us some pretty soon though,” he patted her on the arm in a comforting manner, “we got some extra special anti-gargoyle weapons coming in soon.”

 

She looked up at the tall heavy-set man curiously, “We will, will I get to try one of them?”  It was in character of her to ask, she was playing a rather gung ho gargoyle hating recruit.

 

For some reason her question amused him, “Maybe,” he responded after he quick chuckling.  “Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance to kill one of those demons too.”

 

Her eyes narrowed in supposed anger, “Good,” she said vehemently, “I’m looking forward to getting rid of those winged freaks.”

 

“You’ll have your chance soon,” the smooth oily voice of Jon Canmore, or rather John Castaway, came from behind her.

 

She turned around, “Mr. Castaway,” she greeted him in the respectful, deferential tone she had noticed he liked from his followers.  She couldn’t help notice how his reddened eyes darted nervously around the hallway, he looked pale, tired, and perhaps even sick.  “Are you coming down with a cold Mr. Castaway?  You look like you don’t feel well,” she said solicitously.

 

“What?” he barked, staring at her suspiciously.

 

“I thought you might want some chicken soup?” she offered startled at his behavior, she was fairly sure her cover was still intact, but he was acting so strange lately.  She had thought it just a coincidence that the odd behavior had begun right after his altercation with his cousin.  However, what she had heard him say right before the Quarryman had found her watching at the door indicated that the way he was acting did have something to do with Kendra Canmore.

 

“Soup?” he repeated staring at her blankly, “No, no,” he finally responded in a more reasonable tone, “I’m not ill I’ve just been having trouble sleeping lately.”  The blonde man turned and walked away, leaving both she and the Quarryman next to her staring after him baffled.  Elisa couldn’t figure out his behavior, if she didn’t know better, she would think he was a junkie badly needing his next fix, but she was fairly certain that he wasn’t doing drugs.

 

She found a quiet room to sit and think about what she had just seen and heard, her cop instincts were telling her that it was significant.  Jon had been smashing gargoyle statues, staring at the rubble as if he expected something from it and then looking disappointed and enraged when it did not.  What had he been expecting, she asked herself, and what did it have to do with Kendra Canmore, for what she had heard him say was “What did you do to me cousin, how could you have taken God’s reward for the righteous from me?”

 

That phrase kept repeating in her mind, to what was he referring?  What was God’s reward for the righteous?  Her mind kept coming back to the last question and to how he was looking and acting like a junkie deprived of his fix.  Elisa really didn’t like the connections her mind was making; surely the Weird Sisters wouldn’t have…  The detective remembered their cold, arrogant manner the both times she had interacted with them, the way they had regarded her as if her life and the lives of those she cared about were worth absolutely nothing to them.  Yes they would have she knew, they would have enchanted Jason, Jon and Robyn to give them a high like a druggie taking a hit whenever they did anything that resembled killing a gargoyle and thought nothing of doing it.

 

Elisa felt sick, if what she was thinking was true no wonder Kendra had sounded so furious and ready to kill the three fey.  Her mind raced trying to figure out a way to either prove or disprove the conclusion she had drawn from Jon’s words and behavior.  She couldn’t go to Jason while the investigation was ongoing to ask him if he ever felt high when he thought about killing a gargoyle, he would certainly want to know why she was asking, and she couldn’t risk him warning his brother.  Finding out the truth would have to wait until she got the evidence she needed to arrest Jon Canmore, she finally decided with reluctance. 

 

 

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

 

Marvin has entered GayChat

 

Xenafan0001: hey Marvin how are you doing this evening?

 

Marvin: alright

 

Furrybear: looking forward to your Christmas break?

 

Marvin: yea, that will be nice to be out of school for a few days

 

Greywolf has entered GayChat

 

Greywolf: hey guys, how are you all doing tonight

 

Furrybear: hey Grey

 

Marvin: doing alright Greywolf

 

Xenafan0001: hey Greywolf

 

Greywolf: wow, what a weekend, I went up to see a friend of mine in Poughkeepsie and we went out Saturday night at the club up there and you wouldn’t believe who we saw in there

 

Xenafan0001: who?

 

Furrybear: spill it don’t keep us waiting

 

Greywolf: you know those two women who were kidnapped?  Haha well I know now what they were doing every night when they stopped to warm up :o  J

 

Xenafan0001: you saw Kendra Canmore and Dominique Destine at the gay club in Poughkeepsie?  You’re joking

 

Greywolf: I swear I’m not, and by the way they were dancing together and looking at each other they are certainly not just friends

 

Xenafan0001: damn, I mean I knew Kendra was gay but I never heard anything about Dominique Destine being gay

 

Greywolf: well then she’s certainly at least bi, and stunning wow what a gorgeous shade of red and those green eyes and that body  sigh, Kendra’s a lucky woman but then from what I understand shes very partial to redheads

 

Marvin: when did you see her?

 

Greywolf: Saturday I thought I said that?

 

Marvin: I mean what time?

 

Greywolf: shrug, dunno midnight or so, why?

 

Marvin: oh… just wondered.  You’re sure it was Dominique Destine?

 

Greywolf:  haha, oh yea, both me and my friend were like is that Dominique Destine with Kendra?  But then we were like how many other women with that shade of red hair and green eyes that also look just like the picture of her are there…  it was Dominique Destine

 

Xenafan0001: so they’re lover’s now I wonder how long Dominique will last, Kendra isn’t known for keeping them around for long though I haven’t heard of her seeing anyone in years

 

Furrybear: yea from what I’ve heard she isn’t into long term relationships

 

Greywolf:  uhh I dunno, I sorta remember seeing her years ago out with another woman and I don’t remember seeing her look at that woman then like she looked at Dominique last night.  They were really into each other, I mean really really into each other like the rest of the world doesn’t exist into each other

 

Xenafan0001: you’re joking

 

Greywolf: no I’m not, I could hear other people around us talking about how Kendra looked like she’s been landed this time.  I mean we were all drooling over how hot they looked together but no one even tried to go up and ask either of them for a dance

 

Greywolf: and I heard that before we got there Dominique sent Marla off with a bee in her bonnet when she came over

 

Xenafan0001: oh god why doesn’t she get over it, I mean it’s been like three years since she was going out with Kendra

 

Greywolf: well from the tale going around and I don’t know if its true or not since we weren’t there.  Marla tried to say something to her about Kendra never falling in love and she told her that they had no problems being emotionally intimate with one another and that Kendra held her all night

 

Xeanfan0001: :o

 

Greywolf: but as I said I don’t know if that’s true or not, since it was a someone overheard her and they told…etc type of thing

 

Furrybear: yea no telling what she actually said though that sorta sounds weird I mean the emotionally intimate part of it who says something like that

 

Greywolf: shrug.  I don’t know about that but I’m telling you they looked really sweet together the way they would just stare into each other’s eyes

 

Furrybear: haha, the if your a diabetic don’t sit at this table type of were staring into each others eyes?

 

Xenafan0001: you’re

 

Greywolf: LOL yes definitely that type of sweet, as I said they were really into one another and it was pretty clear what they were planning on doing when they left cause they were slow dancing or maybe slow swaying would be a better description and then they left like right in the middle of the song

 

Greywolf: it didn’t take much of an imagination to guess they were going somewhere to do the horizontal dance

 

Greywolf: damn they looked hot together, I need to find a girlfriend

 

Furrybear: haha

 

Xenafan0001: LOL poor baby did watching them get you wishing you had someone to do that with?

 

Xenafan0001: I keep offering to hook you up with someone, come out with us this weekend

 

Greywolf: I may take you up on that, where is it you go?

 

Lexington sat back in his chair shaking his head, and chuckling at himself, for a moment there he had actually thought…but Demona was a gargoyle at night so they had to have seen some other redheaded woman with Kendra Canmore.  Still it was interesting to find out that Kendra was gay.  He looked back at his screen reading the text he had missed, Xenafan and Greywolf were still discussing going out to the club to find a girlfriend for Greywolf.  He suspected the conversation would get more explicit once he left, they all thought he was a sophomore in high school, so they often wouldn’t talk that way when he showed up in the chat room. 

 

He knew he should tell Goliath about this, but that would mean explaining where he had heard the information.  The green gargoyle cringed, he did not want to tell the big lavender male that he chatted in this particular chat room, he still remembered Goliath’s reaction to Elisa explaining why those two men had been threatened.  The clan leader hadn’t said much but it had been very clear to all of them that he disapproved of such relationships and thought they were abnormal in some way.  The last thing he wanted the clan leader to start suspecting was that he might be that way…

 

He huddled unhappily in his chair his wings curling automatically around him in response to his thoughts.  He already didn’t fit into the clan with his obsession with modern electronics, the last thing he needed was yet something else to set him apart much less something that Goliath disapproved of so strongly.  Anyway, it wasn’t as if it could have actually been Demona, the green web-winged gargoyle comforted himself, so there was really no reason to tell his clan leader about this.

 

 
 
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