He placed his hands on the solid oak door, giving it a push to open into the large room. At one end, a large fire burned brightly, radiating its warmth into the room. The flames caused shadows that danced and skipped along the spines of the books on the shelves, giving the whole room a very enchanted look.
And there, in front of the fire, stood Elisa. Had he not met an actual fae, he would have thought her a fairy queen.
Any lingering anger and fear from the last two nights was swept away, his relief at her being there washing it all away and leaving him with the love of his chosen mate.
He strode forward, sweeping her into his arms.
"I may never let you leave Manhattan without me again," he murmured into her raven black hair.
"Big Guy," Elisa breathed against his chest, "If it were up to me, I'd never leave our island again."
"Do not tempt me," Goliath said.
He felt her shoulders shake in laughter as she looked up and into his face. "I got ahold of Talon, and he's going to go and check up on the clones. He should be calling back soon. I know that we still have a lot to do and a lot to talk over tonight," she said. "But before that, I wanted a few moments alone together."
"For you," Goliath said, raising her chin so that he could lean down, "I have all the time in the world." With that vow resting against her lips, he kissed her, and everything was right in his world.
"Excuse me, Skyler" Harmony said, approaching Skyler. "But, would you have a moment to talk?"
Skyler gave a small jolt in surprise. "Sure," she said uncertainly. Ever since the night that she'd aired her feelings to Brooklyn, she had actively avoided Harmony as much as possible.
Skyler rose, following Harmony out to the courtyard. Harmony raised her face to the wind, her eyes to the stars. "'Tis hard to believe," she said in her musical tone, "That these are the same stars that shine o'er Ireland. This place is so different from my home."
"It must be a big change for you," Skyler said slowly. She wasn't sure what was going on, as this was the same female who had been giving her grief since she'd gotten off of the helicopter.
"Oh, aye," Harmony said, "but that will only make going home all the sweeter." Harmony turned then, and Skyler saw that she'd been wringing her hands nervously. "I am afraid that I have been the cause of a disagreement between you and Brooklyn, and I would like to offer you an apology."
Skyler froze. "Why do you say that?"
Harmony offered her a small smile. "You do not need to hide it," she said. "Neither of you are good at it, by the way. You're almost as bad as Goliath and Elisa, the way you both just… light up when the other enters the room. There's a spark between you, and that is something I would not want to destroy."
"Thank you, but…" Skyler frowned thoughtfully, "If you don't mind, can I ask why you've been…"
"Flirty?" Harmony asked with a head tilt. "A little irritating, as my clan calls it?"
"Yeah. That about covers it," Skyler said with a chuckle. "If you knew about Brooklyn and me, why were you all over him?"
"I like him," she shrugged. "I was told right off that he had a mate, so I knew nothing could happen between us but," she gave Skyler a full on smile then, "he's so much fun to play with. He is funny, handsome, and very much what I hope to find someday. Now that I know there are more gargoyles in the world."
Despite the smile, there was a sadness in her voice that caught Skyler's attention. "I don't know much about your clan," she admitted. "Are there no males in your clan you could…"
"We are a small clan," Harmony said, "and mostly female. There are four males total, three are mated already, and the last one has his sights set on my sister." Harmony sighed, her shoulders rising and falling with the action, and she turned and flopped down on the bench beside Skyler. "Lyra," she gestured to the inside of the castle, "she's the eldest in the clan."
Skyler jerked. "She's the eldest? But she's not that…"
"Not that old?" Harmony said with a sad smile. "We had older, once. We used to hide in caves closer to land. One night we woke, and… most of our elders were….." Harmony shook her head. "We moved farther down the cliffs then. I was still very young and don't remember a lot from that time, but I remember clearly that the few elders we had left. Lyra stayed behind, under protest but she was told to remain behind to watch over the younger members and make sure that the old ways stayed alive. The rest went in search of other clans, but they never returned." She looked back at the stars then. "I hope they are at peace."
"I am so sorry, harmony," Skyler said softly. "For all that you and your clan have been through."
"It is hard," Harmony said. "When those who went out to search never returned, we assumed that it was because we were the last. With the few males already mated, and our numbers so few already, I know that Lyra has been worried for a while that our numbers would soon dwindle and disappear. And since the males mate for life…" She turned to give Skyler a small smile. "For what it's worth, I was jealous of you before I met you. After I met you," she shook her head, "If I didn't like you, I'd hate you."
"I think that was a compliment," Skyler gave her a smile.
"Oh, it was," Harmony said with a laugh, and Skyler joined in.
When the laughter slowed enough to speak, Harmony turned suddenly serious. "We, the Emerald Isle clan, decided to take part in the council. Lyra and I discussed it, and she has decided to stay if it is agreed upon by your clan. I will return home soon, but… could you do me a favor?"
"Sure," Skyler said. "Tell me what you need, and I'll do my best."
"If you run across any unattached males…"
"I will send them your way," Skyler said with a laugh. "There are quite a few. Actually," Skyler said, an idea popping into her head, "Angela, Goliath's eldest daughter, has a handsome brother or two."
Harmony perked up, the light of a challenge in her eyes, and she was once more the young and seemingly carefree female that Skyler had thought she was.
"Really?" she asked. "Well. I may need to go see if I can go find Angela."
Harmony turned and made her way into the castle, leaving Skyler to sit outside in the courtyard, gazing up at the stars.