All the characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.
No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder.
All original characters are the property of Storyseeker.
Destine Manor; One Week Later:
Demona poured some tea as Darlene came into the room, but without Lana.
"Lana still won't come out?" She asked.
Darlene shook her head sadly. "It's as though she's turned herself completely off from the rest of the world," she replied.
Demona sighed. Ever since Thailog had revealed his true colours to Lana, she had secluded herself in her room refusing to see anyone. She hadn't even fought with Jarred lately and normally those two were at each other's throats constantly.
"What are we to do?" Darlene asked desperately. "She's depressed, growing old before her time and digging herself into an early grave."
"I know," Demona said. "But there's not a lot that we can really do. Her only chance is to work through the pain."
Darlene growled in frustration. "It just makes me so mad that all the time this Thailog guy was seducing my daughter tricking her into trapping us all, and I was unable to prevent it."
"Don't blame yourself Darlene," Demona spoke compassionately. "Thailog tricked even me once and I have lived for centuries. He even managed to elude Xanatos who's trickier than even the Fay and who knows how many others."
Darlene sighed. "I still should have known." She sat down miserably and watched the flames in the fireplace for a while before speaking again. "By the way, how's Angela? I never got to speak to her after we got home and I haven't seen her all week."
"I speak to her on the phone now and then," Demona said pleasingly. "She keeps me informed of what's going on at the castle." She grimaced a bit. "She tells me that Goliath and Elisa are planning to have their mating ceremony soon."
Darlene smiled. "That's nice. We could use some good news for once."
Demona muttered something under her breath.
Darlene looked shocked. "Mother," she gasped. "Please, none of that language. At least not while me or any of the kids are in hearing distance."
Demona didn't say anything and just drank her tea.
Darlene looked at her mother sympathetically. "I know you don't like detective Maza mother, but she's been a good friend and ally to the clan. She's helped them out of a load of scraps and from what I've been told she even saved Angela's life once or twice."
Demona stiffened but kept her cool. She had certainly been doing a lot better at that since Darlene and the kids came to live with her.
"Besides," Darlene continued. "It'll do Lana good to get out of the house."
Brooklyn combed his hair back and added on some aftershave of Xanatos's that he had found. Lexington found him in the bathroom.
"Whoa, check out Mister Ladies Man," Lex teased.
Brooklyn didn't even look at him. "At least I'm ready for the lady Lex. What do you do when you're meeting a pretty girl, polish the top of your head?"
Lex snorted. "So what's the occasion?" He asked while hopping onto the bathroom counter and sitting down.
Brooklyn finished patting his face with the aftershave. "I'm gonna ask Lana if she'll go to Goliath and Elisa's wedding with me."
Lexington lost his smirk. "Umm Brook," he looked a little concerned. "Don't you think it's a little soon for that?"
Brooklyn smirked at him. "Why? Afraid you'll get rejected."
Lexington glared at him. "NO you idiot! In case you forgot all that business that happened a week ago with Thailog, Lana might not be in the partying mood."
That made Brooklyn stop and look at himself in the mirror. It was true that he hadn't thought of that, he'd just been too preoccupied with himself. It was a little too soon and from what Angela had told them; Lana was still feeling down in the dumps.
'Still,' he thought cheerily. 'It had been a week so maybe the invitation might brighten her up?'
"Then a night out might do her the world of good," he said. "I'm just asking her whether she would like to go to our leader's mating ceremony with me. Nothing intended."
Lexington sighed. "Fine, you go ahead."
"Brooklyn? Lex?" Hudson called from down the corridor.
"In here Hudson," Lexington called back. "Brooklyn's doing his hair!"
"Fine, you two get here now. Goliath wants a word… And tell Brooklyn if he wants any help then I'm sure Fox or Angela would be willing."
Lex grinned as they heard Hudson's chuckling. Brooklyn glared at his brother and marched out down to the Great Hall.
When Brooklyn and Lex arrived in the hall the rest of the clan was already there. Goliath was standing in the centre with Elisa by his side. Hudson was by the fireplace scratching behind Bronx's ear and Angela was with Broadway who held her in his arms looking quite happy.
Goliath smiled at them.
'Damn,' Brooklyn and Lex both thought, 'Goliath must be in a really good mood if he's smiling.'
"I am glad that you are all here," Goliath announced with his hand in Elisa's. "I have something really important to discuss with you."
The clan all pricked up their ears eagerly.
"As you know," Goliath continued. "Elisa and I have plans to hold our mating ceremony soon… "The entire clan all smirked as if to say 'oh like we didn't know that!' "I've discussed this with Elisa and we agreed to make this into a family affair inviting both hers and ours."
Goliath looked at Angela. "Angela, we have decided to temporarily return to Avalon so that we may invite them to our wedding."
Angela squealed in delight at the thought of seeing her rookery kin again. Brooklyn and Lex were also looking delighted though they're smiles were due to a more personal nature.
"Lad," Hudson asked happy for the couple but concerned. "Are yuir sure ye want to do this?"
Goliath looked at him questioningly. "We've discussed it and believe it to be right," Goliath said firmly. "Although Angela's original clan might not live with us, they are still clan and must be treated as such."
Hudson nodded in agreement. "Aye, besides it'll be fun to meet the wee bairns."
Brooklyn suddenly had a thought. "Hey Goliath, what if we were to invite Darlene and her kids to come to the ceremony?"
Everyone went silent.
"Well… "Goliath brooded over this for a few moments. He actually wouldn't mind having Darlene and her kids come because it would give them a chance to meet the rest of their clan. The only problem was if they did come then chances are they would bring Demona along with them.
"Come on Goliath," Lex said eagerly. "Lana needs to get out since that business with Thailog a week ago and this would be the perfect opportunity." 'And an even better chance for me to take a moonlight stroll with her,' he added mentally.
"Yes please father," Angela begged. "I know all of my rookery brothers and sisters will certainly want to meet them."
Brooklyn and Lex both grinned, as since Angela was with them then Darlene would be assured to come. They weren't too fond of the possibility of Demona coming but it was a small price to pay for… Suddenly they each had a terrible thought.
"Err, Angela?" Brooklyn said his voice wavering a bit.
Angela looked at him, "yes."
"How many rookery siblings do you have?" Lex interjected.
"Well, including our watchdog Boadicca I have thirty-five," Angela said proudly.
"Thirty-five," Brook and Lex both breathed deeply. "You once told us you had fifteen rookery sisters and if Boadicca is your only watchdog then that would mean you have…?"
"Nineteen rookery brothers," Angela answered without looking at them as Broadway was hustling her off to the kitchen to start preparing a snack.
The duo stood there looking withdrawn and defeated. "A clan of thirty-five…" Brooklyn whispered.
"With only fifteen females…" Lex continued.
"And nineteen males who haven't seen another female save for their sisters all their lives."
If the others hadn't still been in the hall at that time, Brooklyn and Lexington would no doubt be bawling their eyes out on the floor by now.
"I don't care!" Demona snarled into the phone. "Goliath, you can prance around with that human whore of yours as much as you want and have your big stupid wedding, just leave me and MY family out of it!" She slammed the phone down and growled viciously.
'That good for nothing… human loving, weakling.' She thought angrily.
"Bad news I take it?"
Demona spun around in shock and saw Darlene in the doorway. She was never going to get used to having people in her home.
"I take it that was Goliath?" Darlene said. "And judging from your reaction, I'm guessing he was calling to extend a wedding invitation?" She looked expectantly at her mother.
Demona blushed furiously. "He didn't have any right to… "
"He had every right mom," Darlene sighed. "It's his wedding so it's his choice who gets to come or not. I'm sorry that he didn't invite you but…"
"He did invite me," she whispered.
Darlene looked surprised. "He did?" She hadn't expected that.
Demona fumed. "I guess he figured that you would have invited me to come along to the wedding anyway, so he decided to save you the bother."
Darlene crossed her arms and looked at her sternly. "And you just… refused him, for lack of a better word."
Demona met her fierce gaze. "I did," she said.
Darlene threw her hands up in exasperation and pleaded, "for the love of the dragon why?"
Demona turned around. "I have no intention of watching Goliath throw his life away for some measly little human who will be dead in a few decades anyway."
Darlene looked at her mother in shock. "Why do you say such a thing?"
Demona snorted. "Humans don't live as long as we do Darlene," she said proudly. "Physically, Goliath and the detective are now the same age but by the time she's a hundred Goliath will only be about sixty in gargoyle years. Assuming either of them doesn't get shot on the streets or hunted down by a hunter."
"So why should you care?" Darlene asked sincerely. "You've made it clear that nothing that Goliath says or does has anything to do with you nor do you wish it to be so."
Demona just growled. "I just… I just can't believe he'd throw his whole life away for a… a human!"
"Like I did," Darlene said. "And look how that turned out."
Demona grumbled. "That was different. You were human when you married… him. As a human you were able to bear his babies who have now turned into almost full-blooded gargoyles. Both Goliath nor the detective plan to do anything like that so their chances of having children are next to impossible, hence Goliath will not have any children and our race is already close to extinction."
She paced the room like a lioness trapped in a cage. "Our race is dying and does he care? No! He cares more about being with his precious Elisa than saving our race!"
"Mother, that's not true!" Darlene spoke out. "Goliath is doing all he can to save our race."
"How?" Demona snorted. "By protecting an ungrateful city that neither wants nor needs our help, by risking their lives night after night for a people who would sell us out at the drop of a hat?"
"I didn't say it was perfect mother but it is logical." Darlene spoke calmly. "If we continue to help and protect the humans then eventually they'll see that we mean them no harm."
"And when will that be?" Demona asked almost smirking. "When we're dead and dust?"
Darlene's eyes flared. "Not all humans are as bad as you make them out to be! I've spent some of the best years of my life living among and with them. I've met some bad humans, stupid ones and others who would gladly sacrifice themselves to help others… Others like us."
Demona snorted again. "I doubt it."
"I know it," Darlene said. "I'm not saying that humans will one day completely stop fearing and mistrusting us or even if they will at all. I'm just saying that with every day a single person or more understands us a little bit better and with their understanding more people will come to accept us."
"And how many of us will have to die before that happens?" Demona glared at her.
Darlene stopped and thought for a while. "My husband used to have a saying. He said that life can be a bitch sometimes so it's important that we never give in and show her that we can be total bitches too."
Demona stared at her daughter and blinked a few times before saying, "he had a unique way of putting things didn't he your mate."
Darlene laughed. "Yeah he was one of a kind alright."
Demona couldn't help but smile too and wished she could have met her son in law.
"But this isn't just about kids is it mom?" Darlene looked into her mother's eyes. "You wouldn't perhaps be feeling a little… jealous?"
Demona exploded. "What? You think I would be jealous of that pathetic sorry excuse for a gargoyle and his puny human!"
Darlene raised her eye-ridges. "Yes," she answered simply.
Demona roared and Darlene quickly intervened. "It would only be natural after all. I mean he was your mate at one time."
"That doesn't mean a thing to me anymore!" Demona yelled. "Any feelings that I once held for Goliath have long since dissipated!"
"But it still bothers you doesn't it?" Darlene countered. "Goliath, your so called one true love, would find love again so soon after you, in the arms of a human."
Demona's eyes were flaring redder than ever and were glaring dangerously at her daughter.
Darlene however was not afraid nor did she even appear to be nervous. She stayed where she was proud and tall. "You may not love him anymore but you did at one time and love like that isn't so easy to get rid of completely."
"Try me!" Demona hissed.
"I don't have to." Darlene smirked. "If he really didn't mean anything whatsoever to you anymore then why may I ask do you get yourself into a stew every time you talk about him?"
Demona opened her mouth but didn't say anything.
Darlene sighed. "I'm not gonna force you to do anything mom. Goliath and Elisa have invited you to their wedding so you can either take it or leave it. I know I'll be going because Lana needs to get out as I said and Jarred has always been up for a party, especially when there's cake involved." She turned to leave. "It would also be a good opportunity for you mother," she looked at her sadly, "to say goodbye to him. At least this way you'll finally know that it's well and truly over and you can say your farewells… something that I never had with my husband." With that, Darlene left the room.
Demona looked at the door for a few moments with a blank expression on her face. She didn't say anything and barely moved a muscle. Finally, she walked over to the telephone and stood there by it for over a minute debating over whether she should pick it up by its handle or not.
Another five minutes past and Demona was still standing there.
Eyrie Building; Same Time:
Goliath winced as Demona shouted down the phone line at him. She obviously wasn't taking his engagement to Elisa very well.
She soon hung up and Goliath sighed as he rested the phone back on its cradle.
"How'd it go?" Elisa asked as she came in.
Goliath paused. "She said that… she had some other pressing engagements that needed addressing."
Elisa half smiled. "She blew up at you didn't she?"
Goliath cocked his eye-ridge. "I don't know if she literally blew up as you say it," Goliath said. "But she was obviously not in the nest of moods."
"When is she ever?" Elisa said causing them both to chuckle. "So," she wondered. "Do you she'll let Darlene and the others come?"
Goliath shook his head. "Knowing Demona, she definitely won't give them her blessing but if I know Darlene then she'll definitely show up anyway. She has her mother's spirit and doesn't let anyone tell her what she should or shouldn't do."
"Let's just hope she doesn't have all of her temper too." They laughed.
"Do you think it was wise to invite Demona," Goliath wondered.
Elisa shrugged. "Probably not but we all know that Darlene would have brought her along anyway. I suppose I can't blame her for that, I mean she is her mother after all."
Goliath nodded. He had almost long since given up any hope of Demona's redemption, but since Darlene came into the picture, it was like she was slowly coming out of the grave that she had dug herself into. A grave filled with nothing but pity, hate and rage. "By the way, what did your parents have to say when you told them?"
Elisa smiled. "Well, they were surprised to say the least. Dad began going off at me about what I was thinking, you're a gargoyle and I'm a human and it would never work out. Mom just stayed quiet."
Goliath felt his hopes and dreams of a united family perish.
"But then I reminded him about all the trials that he and mom went through when they got married. The racism, prejudice and all the things that he had just told me, basically I pointed out to him that he was acting exactly like the people who were against him and my mom's marriage. After that, things cooled down and then they said that although they were surprised, we have their blessing and hope things will work out."
Goliath heaved a sigh of relief and smiled. "Will they be coming to the wedding?"
Elisa lost her smile. "No, it's… still a bit of a shock for them. They said they need time to get used to it and us having the wedding straight away wasn't helping."
Goliath's heart sank. He had hoped that Elisa's parents would be more understanding and supportive, but deep down he knew that the revelation that their eldest child was marrying a monster must have been overwhelming for them.
"I understand," he said.
"Hey, don't sweat it." Elisa said supportively. "Dad never liked change so it's gonna take him a while and whatever decision he makes my mom stays by his side. But at least we have their blessing."
"We could postpone the ceremony if you wish," Goliath said trying to be helpful. "Give them time to… "
"No!" Elisa said abruptly and firmly. "We've waited for this far too long as it is and I sure as hell am not waiting any longer." She stepped up to him and touched his lips with her fingertips. "I don't think I could stand waiting one more day or night for you to be my husband. Please don't make me wait any longer Goliath."
Goliath smiled and kissed her. "Don't worry, I won't."
Suddenly, the phone rang. Goliath stayed where he was holding his soon to be bride until Elisa gently pushed him away indicating the phone. Goliath growled but went to pick it up.
"Hello?" He enquired into the receiver. "Demona!"
He looked to Elisa surprised and she looked back at him with a cocked eyebrow.
Goliath turned back to the phone and continued speaking. "What do you want? I'm kind of…Sorry, would you repeat that? You want what?" He looked to Elisa with a more than surprised look on his face that was also mixed in with a little joy. "Why yes, we'd be glad to. Thank you. Goodbye."
He put the receiver down and looked back at his fiancée. "Demona has apparently changed her mind and wished to know if her invitation was still open."
Elisa blinked. "Okaaaay, that was unexpected."
Goliath nodded, amazed at Demona's change of heart as she had seemed intent on staying away. However he was immensely relieved because now Darlene and her family could come without any feelings of guilt about leaving Demona. Goliath thought amusedly that it was amazing as he never thought he'd be glad at seeing Demona.
"Well that's Demona's side of the family taken care of," Elisa said brightly. "Now how are we going to take of Gabriel and the Avalon clan?"
"Well, we still have the old skiff from before somewhere in Central Park, assuming no one has taken it. I could use that to return to Avalon and ask Oberon about sending me and Angela's rookery siblings back here for our wedding?"
"And what if he refuses?" Elisa said worriedly.
"Then, if the clan agrees we'll get here the old fashioned way." Goliath answered. "We'll leave Avalon like we did before. Xanatos has given me a contact number and has assured me that all of his resources will be on standby. So wherever we end up in the world, they'll locate us and transport us back here. After the wedding should they wish it, Xanatos has said he'll purchase a number of boast for all the clan to return to Avalon. Angela says that all her clan knows the spell to Avalon off by heart."
Elisa frowned. "Seems like an awful lot of trouble."
Goliath put his arms around her and looked deep into her eyes. "Trust me; nothing is too much trouble for you."
"Apparently not," a voice spoke behind them.
Goliath and Elisa both spun around in surprise.
"My daughter tells me you wish to seek a favour." Titania said looking at them with a hint of a smile on her face.
Two Hours Later:
"So how was your patrol?" Lexington asked while doing a somersault in the air.
"Three muggings broken up," Broadway said proudly.
"Yeah," Brooklyn smirked, "one of them literally."
"Hey!" Broadway said defensively. "It's not my fault he got in my way when I fell over!"
Brooklyn laughed. "First Castaway and now a mugger, you keep this up Broadway and pretty soon all the bad guys of this city are gonna be flatter than your home made bread."
Broadway roared and swooped down to tackle him, missing him by inches.
Hudson chucked. "Alright ye wee hatchlings, time to go inside." He said as they approached the Eyrie building.
"Finally," Angela sighed, glad to be home.
"Yeah, I… Hey!" Lexington suddenly yelled in surprise. "Who's that?" He pointed down to the battlements and saw a couple of male gargoyles walking along them.
At first they all thought it might be two of the clones from the labyrinth, until Angela got a better look at them and then squealed in delight. "Adrian! Malcolm!"
She dived down to the castle and gracefully landed right in front of the two gargoyles in question. They both blinked and then smiled brightly at her.
"Rookery sister," they cried happily and ran forward to embrace her.
When the others landed Angela turned to them with tears of joy in her eyes. "Guys these are my rookery brothers Adrian," she said pointing to a grey skinned beaked gargoyle with white hair and hazel eyes. "And this is Malcolm," she pointed to a brown skinned gargoyle with long brown hair and green eyes. Princess Catherine had named him after her father because he slightly resembled him.
Angela embraced the two of them once again. "You've no idea how good it is to see you again brothers," she said joyfully. "But what are you doing here?"
The two of them grinned. "Queen Titania sent us," they spoke in unison.
Angela smirked at them as they had always done that ever since they were hatchlings. Adrian and Malcolm had always been the closest out of all her kin. They had been almost constantly by each other's side even before they were hatched.
"Titania discovered that Goliath and his human friend Elisa Maza were getting married," Adrian said. "So she granted us leave to come be guests at his wedding."
"Everyone's here!" Malcolm said excitedly. "Even the Princess and the Guardian. Not that you could have kept them away even if you tried"
"Where's Gabriel?" Angela suddenly asked.
"Right here," a loud voice boomed behind her and she spun around to come face to face with Gabriel's large smile.
Angela laughed and playfully punched him on the right arm.
"Ow," Gabriel said pretending to be hurt only to grab his sister in a big bear-like hug.
"Where's everyone else?" Angela asked once she got her breath back.
"In the Great Hall," Gabriel said still smiling.
"Great! I… Oh," she said remembering the other members of their party, "Gabriel, this is Hudson our elder." She introduced her brother to the members of her new clan before coming to Broadway.
"And this is Broadway," she smiled. "My… "She paused and looked questioning at him. "What was it you said Broadway? A boyfriend?"
Broadway blushed. "Err yeah, that." He grinned at Gabriel and held out his hand and the two shook in a warrior's grasp. "It's great to finally meet you Gab! Angela never stops talking about you."
'Gab?' Gabriel thought.
"By the way, where's Ophelia?" Angela asked.
Gabriel suddenly went quiet and Adrian and Malcolm began shuffling their feet uneasily.
Angela looked at their faces. "What's wrong?" She suddenly thought, "Oh God, nothing's happened to her has it?"
"No," Gabriel whispered. "She's alive and she's here… with Damon."
"Damon?" Angela asked blankly, and then she realised. "Ohhh, Gabriel I'm sorry."
Damon was what the humans would call the hot stuff. He was the best looking gargoyle in her clan and had literally all of her sisters constantly flocking after him. He had forest green skin, black shiny hair, powerful build and large bat-like wings like Goliath's. He had been named Damon for his slightly demonic nature for always getting into trouble and for his excellent fighting skills.
"Who's Damon?" Lexington asked quizzically.
Gabriel shifted uncomfortably so Angela answered, "my other rookery brother." She looked back to Gabriel and then back to the others. "Could you give us a little time together? I'll meet you back in the hall. Adrian, Malcolm, why don't you go and introduce everyone?"
Adrian and Malcolm both nodded and the others taking the hint left with them.
Angela looked back to Gabriel who was staring at the spectacular view from the Eerie at the thousands of lights blaring down below.
"It's amazing," he breathed. "With lights as bright as these, who would need the sun?"
Angela smiled before turning serious. "Gabriel, what happened with Ophelia?"
Gabriel stiffened and replied emotionlessly. "Can't you guess what happened?"
Angela went quiet for a moment before asking "when did it happen?"
Gabriel sighed and said. "Almost immediately after you left us the second time. Damon began showing interest in her, I guess her part in Oberon's downfall impressed him and you know Ophelia, like all our sisters she was enamoured with him." He took a deep breath. "Anyway, to make long story short they quickly grew close together and by the time the last child of Oberon returned to Avalon they were practically mates."
Angela took on a look of pity. "Gabriel, I'm sorry. I knew that you cared for her."
Gabriel smiled bitterly. "You know she was one of the two reasons why I chose to remain on Avalon. I mean, apart from you she was the only other one of our siblings that I was close to. I guess I just assumed that someday we would become mates. It never occurred to me that she would end up with one of the others, especially Damon."
"Damon's not a bad sort," Angela defended her handsome brother. "I mean he has a bit of a bad attitude yes, but he's a good warrior and he's always shown kindness and courtesy to all including you."
Gabriel swore. "I know and believe me I don't wish to think like this but, why couldn't he have chosen another one of our sisters? It just doesn't seem fair."
Angela laid her hand down on his shoulder to comfort him. "You said two reasons kept you from leaving Avalon," she thought suddenly. "What was the other one?"
Gabriel mumbled something.
"Huh?" Angela enquired further.
"I guess I was just scared." Gabriel admitted.
Angela acted shocked. "You, The great and ever brave Gabriel… scared?"
Gabriel sneered at her. "Don't tempt me sister. Yes I was scared. The idea of leaving our home isle and everything we had ever known, even to come to a place as wondrous as this without possibly ever seeing the princess or the guardian again… It was terrifying to me."
He looked at his sister. "You've no idea how envious I was of you and your courage when you chose to leave with Goliath." He smiled and embraced her.
Angela snuggled into his embrace happy to once again feel his strong arms around her. She had always felt so safe in his embrace and so comforted. It felt weird that she was the one who had to do the comforting now.
Suddenly she felt Gabriel's hands start to circle her back, around near her sensitive area between her wings. She jumped back and looked at Gabriel regretfully. "Gabriel no," she said firmly. "I told you I already have a mate."
Gabriel looked angry for a second and Angela was worried he might take her rejection a little too far. Thankfully, his face soon lost the angry expression and was replaced by a look of sheer loneliness.
"I understand," he said finally and looked away. "And I am sorry."
"Gabriel," Angela tried to reach him again. "Just because things didn't work out between you, I or Ophelia doesn't mean you won't find love with one of our other sisters. I'm sure there are more than enough of them who would love to be your mate."
Gabriel didn't look back. "Maybe," he said. "But I have to be honest; I've never looked at any other of our sisters the way I looked at you and Ophelia. Besides I suspect many of them have already picked out whom they want as their mates and it's not me."
Angela sighed sadly. She slid her arm under Gabriel's and gently pulled him towards the entrance door to the Great Hall. "Come," she said smiling. "Let us go and see how many of our siblings Hudson and the trio have met yet."
Gabriel smiled bleakly but allowed himself to be pulled in. They went inside to find Goliath and Elisa talking with the Princess and Guardian, Bronx playing with Boadicca, and the trio talking with several of their sisters, including Broadway.
Gabriel couldn't resist smiling. "It seems your would be mate has gotten himself acquitted with our clan."
Angela smiled thinly and strode over towards Broadway wishing that she had a purse with her as that all human women seemed to use on their mates.
Two Days Later; The Big Night;
He had only had over a week but once again with a wife's good taste in style, patience and a hell of a lot of money, Xanatos had had the Great Hall decorated to hold the perfect wedding. White velvet sheets were hung in decorative bows around the hall with various flowers, their sweet scent filling the castle. Xanatos had also ordered nearly every dish out of the finest caterer in Manhattan from curved sandwiches to a three-foot tall wedding cake.
"I guess it pays to be rich," Elisa looked amazed at the decorations though she didn't have time to as Fox had already grabbed her arm.
"Never mind that now," she rushed her to her bedroom. "We have a wedding gown to fit on you."
Elisa looked in despair at Angela who just barely held her laughter in. From the instant that the clan had awoken that night, Fox had them all going in opposite directions to help arrange the food, flowers and ensure that Bronx or Broadway wouldn't eat the wedding cake.
A lot of her brothers and sisters found it amusing seeing Fox's insistent and at the moment high strung behaviour. That is until she had them doing their own chores in which case they were soon praying for salvation.
Gabriel however had spent a lot of his time on his own. Angela had asked Fox to deliberately leave him out of the wedding details as she believed that being involved in a wedding would not help him get over loosing Ophelia. She had been surprised herself as she was sure that they would have eventually wounded up together.
Still, what's done is done so there was no point in dwelling over the past. She had tried to talk to her other sisters to see if any of them were interested in him. Unfortunately most of them, although they thought Gabriel to be a fine and handsome warrior, they had their eyes on other potential mates, as Gabriel had said.
Angela swore silently to herself as she tied in another white lace ribbon to one of the chairs. 'There has to be someone.' She thought, but after two days of searching she was ready to call it quits.
'Is Gabriel really destined to live his life alone?' She wondered and prayed to God that this wasn't the case.
She decided to concentrate on the task she was accomplishing and continued tying in more of the ribbons that Fox had given her. She found it exciting to be helping in the preparation of the wedding.
Just then, Princess Katherine entered the hall and smiled warmly at her. "Hello Angela."
"Princess," she enveloped her foster mother in a warm hug. "How did you sleep?" Since the princess, guardian and the magus all had to have been awake in raising her clan then they had long since grown used to sleeping during the day.
"Fine, Tom's still polishing his armour for the big night tonight so I thought I'd come in and see how you all were doing." The princess picked up a ribbon and began tying the lace into a pretty bow.
The princess looked around at the grand decorations and smiled. "This reminds me of when one of the lords was married." Her memory wandered back to that day many centuries ago. "I remember all the beautiful flowers that had been freshly picked and arranged, the great feasts, music, jugglers and the talk. I was only five at the time, but I remember so clearly. The bride wore a long gown so long that it reached all the way to the end of the aisle and back. I was scared about going at first because I had never been away from Wyvern before but then the mentor… "
"Mentor," Angela asked curiously. "Who was that?"
The princess paused. "You know him better by his newly given name, Hudson."
Angela looked surprised. "I didn't know you and he were friends? You always told us about how you feared our clan back then and tried to keep clear of us."
The princess played around with the lace for a while before continuing. "I wasn't always like that," she said. "When I was born, my mother died giving birth… "
Castle Wyvern; 976AD:
From within the princess's chambers, cries of great pain were heard as she gave birth. Prince Malcolm struggled to keep himself from running in knowing that it would only make matters worse.
He wished that his old friend the gargoyle leader was here but sunset was at least another hour away.
Another few minutes and finally the cries of his beloved Elena ceased, followed by the wails and cries of a wee babe. Malcolm felt overjoyed and yearned to storm into the room and see his new family but he knew that it wasn't proper for am prince to behave so, so he waited.
He could still hear the cries of the child but still no one came to fetch him. He was beginning to get a little worried but then thought that they must just be washing the child. Servants always went out of their way to please their lord.
Finally, the door opened and the castle physician stepped out. Malcolm stood up to hear the good news but… something on the man's face stopped him.
"Your highness," the physician said. "You have a daughter."
A broad grin came over Malcolm's face. If this was what was worrying them then it needn't. Unlike other lords and kings who would crave sons, Malcolm was pleased to have a daughter who would turn out like his own beloved.
"But I'm afraid I bear grave news my lord." The physician said and Malcolm's heart started beating a little faster. "I'm sorry to inform you that the birth was too much for the queen, she did not survive the caesarean. I'm very, very sorry your highness."
The physician waited around for a while to see if the prince would require him further, but all he did was just standing there looking shocked. After a while he excused himself and left.
Malcolm stood there for more than a few minutes, his mind a complete blank refusing to accept what had just been revealed to him. 'It can't be,' he thought and walked slowly into the bedchamber.
He saw the nursemaids wrapping something up in a blanket, something large. He walked over and when the maids saw him they stood to attention with their heads bowed in respect.
Malcolm swallowed and reached out with his right hand and pulled back the sheet. Beneath it, he saw the face of his wife and princess, her skin now as white as the sheet that covered her, lifeless.
In that moment it all came to him and Malcolm prince of Wyvern let loose a howl of grief and despair. He fell to his knees and sobbed till his hearts content, which he feared would never come.
As he wept he heard another person's crying, the cries of a child. He turned his head to see the royal cradle standing in the corner of the room with a crying bundle in it. One of the maids went over to him sympathetically and asked "does his highness wish to see his child?"
For a moment his grief turned to rage and he glared furiously at the maid. "No!" He practically snarled at her. "I never want to see that devils spawn for as long as I live. You two are now responsible for it; see that I am never disturbed by it for as long as it lives! Now take the blasted thing and get out!"
The nursemaids squealed and rushed out taking the child with them, leaving Malcolm to weep once more.
About an hour later, the gargoyles awoke on the castle battlements. Their leader stretched, yawned and leaped down to give the warriors their duties for the evening.
The old one turned and saw the captain of the guard awaiting him by the stairs. "A moment of your time good friend, it is most urgent."
The leader frowned and looked to the others. "Each of you takes up yuir posts as last night and keeps watch until I say so otherwise." The clan nodded and went off to different areas of the castle to protect.
"What be the problem?" The old leader growled as he walked to the captain.
The captain sighed and looked regretfully at the leader of the gargoyles. "The princess is dead." He said simply.
The leader gasped and said, "How?"
"Childbirth," the captain replied. "The pain was too much for her and she couldna take it."
The leader heaved deeply and sighed. "How's the prince taking it?"
The captain looked at him in sorrow. "He's buried himself in depression and guilt and refuses to talk to anyone or even to see his own baby. He won't even let anyone speak of the thing in his presence."
The leader cursed under his breath. "Where is the child?"
"The nursery where else, why..."
The leader didn't him time to answer and just strode off, leaving a confused captain behind him.
In the nursery, a baby princess cried loudly wanting badly to be fed but her nursemaids were nowhere near. Her lungs burned as she wailed until finally her cries were answered.
The old leader heard the crying of the infant human and opened the door. He walked into the nursery and saw the little crying child. The baby stopped crying when he neared her as she felt the presence of someone. She couldn't see yet as her eyes had yet to open, but she could smell and the she smelt something that could only be described as yucky.
The leader lifted the princess into his arms and slowly rocked her in the nook of his arm, having had plenty of practises with the hatchlings in the rookery. He spotted a container of milk and went over to pick it up and hold it to the baby's lips.
"There, there," the leader said. "We'll soon have you fattened up in no time at all."
After a while the baby finished her share of milk and the wrinkles in her face began to slowly smooth out of her face. In the dim light of the room, she gradually opened her eyes and looked straight at the leader before falling asleep soundly in his arms.
The leader smiled, but then his look turned serious and he walked out the room with the baby in his arm.
Meanwhile, over in the other end of the castle, Prince Malcolm still sat by the deathbed of his once and future bride. He hadn't placed the sheet back over her face as he still held onto the mad notion that she would wake up soon and everything would be well again, but alas he knew he was only fooling himself.
A knock sounded on the door and the prince roared. "GO AWAY!"
But whoever it was didn't, in fact he or she ended up opening the door and entering.
Inwardly, Malcolm was amazed. Who was this to dare disobey the prince? He turned to shout more at the intruder but stopped when he saw who it was.
The leader stared at him with a look of pity on his face mixed in with a firm determination.
"What do you want?" Malcolm said.
The leader paused for a moment and then closed the door behind him and sat down on the floor beside the prince. "Well, I was after thinkin that maybe you could take a wee look at this little princess of yours." He held out the bundle that he had been holding, which Malcolm abruptly pushed away.
"Keep that thing away!" He snarled. "That thing killed Elena! I want nothing to do with that unholy abomination!"
The leader suddenly growled and Malcolm looked at him in shock, the gargoyle leader had never growled at him before. Not even when he was a child.
"I believe unholy abominations is our nickname your highness. But this child that you refuse to even look at is anything but!"
But Malcolm still refused to look.
The leader sighed sadly. "Then the princess is truly dead."
Malcolm blinked, afraid that more tears would spill out. "Yes, she is."
"Aye, and tis you that's killing her."
Malcolm's head spun round to glare at his one time friend. "What dare you to say this?" Malcolm shouted. "I did not kill her."
"Ah, but you are lad," the leader said disappointingly. "You're doing it even now."
"What do you mean?" Malcolm said now more confused than angry.
Before the prince could react, the leader shoved the baby into his arms and grabbed his head forcing him to look at the infant. "Look at her!" The leader said. "Look at her and tell me what you see."
Malcolm tried to close his eyes, but he had already looked. The baby had now woken up after being roughly shoved about and began crying.
"Take it away!" Malcolm yelled over the baby's cries.
"Look at it and tell me what you see!" The gargoyle repeated.
With little choice, the prince did as he was told and looked at the little thing that had caused him so much misery. She was very small but there was something about her that caught his eye.
"She has my eyes," he breathed in wonder.
The leader smiled knowingly. "Aye that she does. But she looks just like your mate, which means that your spirits, both yours and your wife's live on in her."
Malcolm stared at the child for more than a minute before saying. "I don't know what to do old friend. I don't know if I can do this by myself."
"You can," the leader replied firmly. "Because you have to and because she needs you to be strong." The leader took on a more compassionate tone, "Elena would have wanted it that way."
Malcolm smiled and held his daughter in his arms again, tears falling down his cheeks. The leader placed his hand upon his shoulder and allowed him his moment of grief.
Castle Wyvern; 977AD:
The little princess crawled under her bed as the big monster came bounding into her room. The beast lowered its head and sniffed searching for her scent.
The princess moved over to the other end underneath the bed and waited. The monster gave a little growl and started to lift up the covers of the bed. At the same time, the princess scampered out from under the bed and climbed on top of the bed so fast that the creature didn't see her.
The monster paused as it looked and saw no one under the bed. Frowning in confusion, it looked up just in time to see the princess raise her weapon and bring it down upon the monster's head.
Prince Malcolm walked over to his daughter's bedchamber to wish her goodnight when he heard a low roar come from within. He rushed over and entered the chamber only to see his four-year-old daughter and the gargoyle leader involved in some kind of pillow fight.
Malcolm arched his eyebrow in amusement at seeing the leader playfully roar at the little princess and then ticked her belly with his claws making her squeal in laughter.
"Having fun?" Malcolm asked making the two of them jump.
The leader's cheeks went red as he got up. "The little lass dinna feel like sleeping so I attempted to wear her out a little."
"We were playing hide and seek!" Princess Katherine said excitingly. "Uncle Mentor was the big scary monster and was going to eat me when he caught me!"
Malcolm stifled a bubble of laughter from within him and looked at the leader. "Uncle Mentor?"
The leader grumbled. "I'd like to point out that I was against this from the start but the lass insisted on calling me by that…that name."
Malcolm chuckled and turned to his daughter still standing on the bed. "Alright Katherine," he said, "time for bed."
"NO!" Katherine whined. "I don't want to go bed! I want to stay up and fight the dragon again."
Malcolm looked to the leader again whose cheeks had once again turned red. "She wouldna settle for only one game."
Malcolm laughed. "You can play with your… uncle mentor tomorrow night Katherine. Right now, you need to get some sleep. We are going to Lord Conner's wedding tomorrow."
"Ohhh, but father do I really have to?" Katherine whined again but crawled into bed like she was told.
"Yes Katherine," Malcolm said simply and tucked her in.
"Can uncle mentor stay with me a little while?" Katherine begged.
Malcolm looked at the leader who sighed and nodded. "Alright you wee bairn, but just for a little while alright?"
Katherine eagerly nodded and cuddled up to him when he sat down on the side of her bed.
Malcolm smiled, kissed his daughter goodnight and gave the leader a nod of respect and gratitude before departing.
Katherine snuggled up to the leader and smelled in his rusty aroma, his skin felt and smelt just like leather and the old stones of the castle. He also had a large bulk that was great to cuddle up to.
"Uncle," she asked suddenly nervous.
"Aye," he answered.
"Do I really have to go tomorrow?"
"Your father certainly wants ye to. Why? Don't ye wanna go to the festivities?"
"Not really," Katherine suddenly looked uncomfortable. "Some of the men frighten me."
"Och, no need to worry bout them then" the gargoyle who would one day be known as Hudson said. "If anyone tries to harm ye then they'll have me to deal with, and that's a fact."
The princess smiled and kissed her favourite uncle on the cheek. "Thank you uncle."
"Ah, be off to sleep with ya," the leader grumbled, but there was a hint of a smile on his face.
Lord Connor's Castle; The Next Day:
Princess Katherine had clung to her father's hand tightly for fear of loosing him in the crowd. Unfortunately he had to go and wish Lord Conner and his new bride his best wishes so he had to leave her for a while.
Katherine stayed sitting where she was by the fireplace nervously. She looked around and watched the jugglers and acrobats for a few minutes before someone tapped her shoulder. She turned around and saw a girl about her age grinning at her.
"Hallo," she greeted cheerfully. "I'm Corinne! Who are you?"
Katherine swallowed and replied, "Catherine, princess of Wyvern."
"Ohh, a princess are you?" The girl said. "Well then your Royal Highness, care to play?"
"Well," Katherine began nervously. "I really should wait for my father."
"Oh he won't mind," the girl debated. "And we won't be gone long. Come on!" She eagerly grabbed Katherine's arm and led her to where some of the jugglers were doing their act.
Katherine helplessly followed the active young girl.
A couple of hours late, the party was still in full swing and Katherine was surprisingly enjoying herself. The girl Corinne was in fact Lord Connor's niece who had come from the lower regions of Scotland to attend her uncles wedding. She was obviously a rough sort of girl and didn't seem to be afraid of anything except one thing, but she wouldn't say what it was.
Katherine couldn't hide her curiosity and so she kept bothering her until she finally gave in.
"Alright," Corinne yelled. "I'll tell, I'll tell, but you have to swear not to tell anybody."
Katherine nodded and crossed her heart. Corinne looked around and whispered into her ear, "I'm afraid of monsters."
Katherine looked blankly at her. "Is that it? What kind of monsters?"
"Winged monsters, the kind that turns to stone in the day," Corinne shivered.
"You mean gargoyles," Katherine asked confused. Why would this girl be afraid of them? Her uncle had always loved and protected her and her father.
"They're monsters!" Corinne hissed. "They're only good to you if you're good, but once you're bad they go mad and rip you to shreds."
Katherine gasped. No, this couldn't be true. Her uncle would never hurt her. "You're lying," she said.
"Am I," Corinne sneered. "Then what happened to my second cousin who disappeared a year ago? She had been bad the day before she disappeared and a gargoyle was seen flying away the night she disappeared."
Actually, the truth was her second cousin had drowned in a river accident and her body had been washed away and never found. There had been a winged creature spotted near the castle where they lived, but it had most likely just been a bird like a great golden eagle or something. Corinne had just got it into her head that it was something like a demon, or a gargoyle that had come to claim her relative.
Katherine however didn't know that and since she was so young she was inclined to believe anything. But that would mean her uncle would… No! It couldn't be true? Katherine turned and ran to find her father. He would tell her the truth.
She found him waiting by the fireplace looking worried and furious. When he saw her he looked relieved but that relief quickly turned to anger as he grabbed her by the arm and led her to a corner of the room.
"Where in blazes have you been?"
Katherine looked at her feet, unable to meet her father's gaze. "Playing," she replied sheepishly.
Malcolm swore silently and glared at her. "You should have told me where you were. Do you realise I've had nearly all of Lord Connor's men searching this place for you?"
Katherine bit her lower lip and looked apologetically at him.
Malcolm lost some of his glare but still looked sternly at her. "You did a very bad thing Katherine and you shouldn't have done it. Not only because it's wrong but you know what happens when a little princess like you is naughty?"
Katherine caught her breath and shook her head.
Her father lowered himself down and whispered into her ear. "The gargoyles will get you!"
Katherine's eyes widened but her father continued. "So no more running away or your uncle and his clan will have you for their supper, alright?"
Inwardly, Malcolm was smiling as he knew that neither his old friend the leader nor any of his clan would ever harm any of them let alone a child. But unfortunately, Katherine did not know that.
The rest of the day was spent in silence and Malcolm was starting to wonder whether he shouldn't have told her that jest? But after a while he decided that no real harm had been done. After all, it was only a mere jest designed to frighten children to obey their parents. What harm could possibly befall from it?
It was after nightfall when they finally arrived home and the leader was there to greet them.
"Greetings your highnesses," he greeted them warmly and reached down to say hello to Katherine. Katherine however immediately shunned away from him, her eyes wide and sacred.
The leader frowned in confusion and was about to ask her what was wrong when her father interrupted. "Forgive us old friend," Malcolm said wearily. "But it has been a long and tiring day and we would wish to retire for the night. So unless there are any concerns that you have?"
The old one shook his head. "Nay tonight has been quiet for a change save for some of the hatchlings raiding the barn."
Malcolm smirked. "Would those hatchlings be the same trio that stole the suits of armour and paraded them about on the horses?"
The leader smirked and said, "aye. They're an unruly trio if ever there was one. But they have good hearts and the chance to be fine warriors and great protectors someday."
Malcolm nodded and then looked to his daughter. "Well Katherine, say goodnight and let us be off to bed."
Katherine stood close to her father and whispered shakily, "goodnight sir."
The leader frowned again. 'Sir,' he thought. 'She has never called me sir in her life. What can be wrong with her?' "Goodnight princess," he added out-loud and then said. "I think my clan can do without me for a wee while so how bout I come in and tuck you in with an old gargoyles tale?"
Katherine had never looked more terrified in her life. "Nay!" She cried. "I'm tired and I just want to sleep." Without waiting for her father she ran inside past the surprised leader.
"What the devil be the matter with her," the leader asked his prince.
The prince sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. "I think maybe that I might be the problem old friend.' He told the whole story of the day's events to his leader. Needless to say, the leader wasn't impressed especially when he heard the part about gargoyles eating children who were bad.
"Ye said what?" The leader said. "None of my clan would ever do such a thing as horrific as harming a child."
The prince held up his hands. "I know you wouldn't old friend. It was just a little fun I was having with Katherine, something to make her behave more."
"But…" The leader stuttered. "Eating children?"
"Tis only a jest old friend," the prince assured him. "I meant nothing by it and I'm certain Katherine will forget about it in time."
The leader however wasn't so sure, as he had seen the terror in the young girl's eyes when she had looked at him, something she had never done before.
"Forgive me old friend," the prince said. "But if there is nothing more for us to discuss then I must bid you goodnight." The leader nodded and bowed his head respectfully for the prince as he left.
He thought for a moment and then decided to go see the princess. After all, he had helped practically raise her since birth. To him she was practically his daughter like another child of the clan was.
He reached the balcony of the princess's bedchamber. The room was dark so she must have already gone to bed so attempted to push the door open to enter. But it was locked? The leader looked down at the door as though it had betrayed him, as this door was never locked. Katherine had always left it open for him so that he could come visit her. Every night he would come visit, the door would be open and she would come running up to him to give him a hug and a kiss.
But tonight, he peered inside. The princess certainly seemed asleep but he tapped the window anyway to get her attention.
She never even stirred.
The leader just assumed she was asleep and just left it at that, but… Since when had the young lass ever gone to bed willingly and without one of his stories?
The leader frowned again for the millionth time that night and suspected that something was not well in castle Wyvern tonight.
She never called him uncle again.
Castle Wyvern; 984AD:
"But father I want to stay up for the feast," Princess Katherine of Wyvern whined as her father put her to bed. "I shall miss the feast and the jugglers."
From outside the room on the balcony, the old leader listened with a smile. 'Some things never change eh?'
"Hush now," Malcolm replied. "The gargoyles will get you if you don't behave."
Hudson growled. 'Aye, some things definitely do not change.' He stepped up to the window and Katherine once again gasped in shock and fear as he neared them.
"It is only me princess," he spoke trying to calm her though the fear never left her eyes. It never had done. "Your highness, we must speak."
"Aye, that we must," Malcolm tucked Catherine in. "Goodnight Katherine."
The two walked outside and at once the leader tried to reason with him again as he had done for the past few years. "You shouldn't frighten the girl with threats about gargoyle my liege," he almost pleaded. "We would never hurt a child."
"Och, you are too sensitive." The prince replied and the leader just sighed in defeat. He had never listened and apparently he never would. Katherine had started behaving more obediently and proper since he started those false stories and Malcolm was content to keep them up so she would behave.
"This is about the Archmage I take it?" The prince continued.
The leader had given the prince his thoughts on the matter only to be interrupted by the appearance of the man in question himself, the Archmage.
The sorcerer had fired a poison dart on the prince, which the leader tried to run into the path to but was too slow. The Archmage laughed horribly before jumping down from the battlements and disappearing.
A few moments later, the princess having heard the commotion came out to investigate and saw her father lying wounded with the old gargoyle standing over him. She immediately thought the worst and ran to protect her father.
"Leave him alone! Leave him alone!" She cried slamming her fists against his chest. The leader pulled away as though she had stabbed him with his own sword and looked sadly at the child who had once called him uncle.
Although things had turned out for the best, the Archmage had been defeated and supposedly killed and the prince saved. The old leader would never forget the look of anger in his human daughter's eyes and the way that she glared at him when her father had been ill in bed and she blamed him.
Any chance of reconciliation with her was long since over. She had disowned him.
The princess ended her story with a long sigh and looked at Angela who looked back at her sadly.
"I never knew about that," she said. "I mean I knew you hated and feared us back them but still, I never thought you would have… "
"I was a different person back then Angela," the princess said. "I was spoilt and filled with hatred and fear for your kind. If I had only… God I was so foolish."
"We all make mistakes lass," a voice suddenly sounded behind them.
The princess and Angela both turned to see Hudson standing right behind them. Angela opened her mouth to speak but she chose to remain quiet and silently leave the room.
Hudson and the princess both remained silent not knowing what to say. Katherine idly checked her dress while Hudson checked his sword. They remained like that for over a minute before Hudson decided to break the silence.
"Was that why you were so afraid of me lass?" He asked. "Because of a stupid childhood prank, one that wasn't even true?"
Katherine sighed. "No it wasn't just that but it started it. After that foolish girl Corinne scared me with that false story I thought she was just lying. But then my father made the same story up and I thought that it had to be true. So then I found myself looking for any sign that you would do what they warned me of. Every time I heard you growl or even just sniff the air, I thought you were out after me." She gave a half smile. "I had a frightening childhood after that as I was forever afraid that if I turned my back that you or one of you would eat me up."
She sniffed back a tear as she remembered her father. "Then when my father was poisoned with that dart, even when you helped save him, I hated your kind even more." She looked at Hudson with tears in her eyes. "I am so, so very sorry mentor. If only I hadn't been so damn stupid…"
"Hush now," Hudson wiped a tear form her eye and embraced her. "That's all in the past now. You saved Angela and her rookery kin and raised them all into find warriors."
"But I… "
"Enough," Hudson said sternly and touching her lips with his talon. "Living in the past won't change anything. You've more than made up for what was said and done all those centuries ago."
The princess smiled and then said. "I really didn't hate you, you know. Despite all I said. I still thought of you as my uncle and I missed you terrible and our nights together. "
Hudson suddenly smirked. "Well in that case," he said as he hooked his arm with hers and led her to the TV room. "Shall I tell you a story about when we first woke up in this strange land here?"
The princess laughed and nodded eagerly. "I think I would that very much," she said. "Uncle Mentor."
Outside In The Courtyard:
Gabriel sighed as he walked along the battlements. Everyone was happily involved in the preparation of Goliath and Elisa's wedding so he was all by his lonesome. Not that he minded as he welcomed the chance to do some soul searching within him.
Gabriel frowned. He had once declined Goliath and Angela's offer to join them on the skiff and explore the outside world. But the very notion of taking on such a quest was terrifying for him. To leave everything that he had ever known to this world was beyond terror.
"Still," he said out loud. "What is there left for me on Avalon now?" Ophelia the only other female besides Angela, whom he would have mated with, had gone and pledged herself to someone else. He had nothing waiting for him back home, not even his roll as honour guard of Avalon. There was no real honour in being a guard of Avalon, as what did powerful entities such as the Fay need guards for? It was only a title, nothing more.
"But what is there for me here in the mortal world?" He said hoping that someone, anyone would answer him. Angela too had pledged herself to someone else and most of his clan had done so too or was close to.
"What is there for me anymore?" He whispered to himself and continued walking.
Suddenly, he heard the whoosh of what could only be the wings of a gargoyle. He looked up curiously and immediately felt his eyes flare up. Demona was on her way to the castle. He growled and prepared himself for battle, Angela had told him that she was no longer an enemy but better to be safe than sorry.
He sneaked over to the dark corner of the courtyard and waited until she landed. She was apparently not alone either. He thinned his eyes as the others landed beside her. One was a female gargoyle about her age with the same azure colouring, beautiful with white blonde hair and blue eyes that seemed to sparkle like the stars. She had a caring and motherly look about her and she was also carrying an infant hatchling with her, which supported his theory.
The others were a young male hatchling no more than around twenty, in human years, which was about ten, with brown hair and eyes. He had a cheeky expression around him, but his eyes shone with an eagerness that only comes in the spirit of youth. He also had a blue colouring but his seemed slightly diluted for some reason.
The last one was… Gabriel felt his heart burst open.
Before him was without a doubt the most beautiful gargress that he had ever seen in his entire life. She must obviously be the first gargress's daughter as she had the same colouring as she did except her skin tone was a shade lighter and her eyes were brown. Dark brown pools that he would just love to paddle in. Her hair was thicker than her mothers, like the princess's, and shone brighter than a full moon on a dark night. Shining blood red lips that he would love to kiss and skin so blue that it must resemble what the sky looked like during the day.
All Gabriel could do was stare at her. She was so unbelievably beautiful that it was almost impossible to tear his eyes away from her. But she looked so sad and lost.
Gabriel looked at her deep in thought. She seemed so downcast that he wanted to go over and comfort her. What possible reason could a female as beautiful as this be sorrowful for?
Demona grumbled. "I can't believe I'm doing this," she hissed in displeasure.
Darlene gave her a pitying look that was mixed in with exasperation. "Mom, give it a rest! We're here now so let's just try and pretend to have a little fun?"
Jarred muttered under his breath in disgust. "I agree with Gran. All this stuff about weddings and love, it's enough to make me hurl."
Darlene gave her son a sly look. "Oh very well, if you really want to then you can go home Jarred."
Jarred brightened up and said, "Really?"
"Sure," Darlene said smiling, "all the more cake for us."
Jarred's face fell. "On second thought," he reconsidered, "I wouldn't want to disrespect Goliath and detective Maza by not showing."
Darlene laughed and playfully chugged Jarred under the chin and lead him into the castle followed by Demona. Lana however did not move from where she had landed.
Darlene looked back in concern at her daughter and Demona did the same.
"Lana," Darlene called. "Aren't you coming?"
Lana looked at them expressionless and shook her head. "I'm sorry but I'm really not in the partying mood, maybe later?"
Demona growled and was about to start shouting at her granddaughter to stop beating herself over a pitiful clone like Thailog when Darlene slapped her hand over Demona's mouth. "Alright then," Darlene said. "We'll see you later." She hissed at her mother to keep quiet and lead her inside.
Lana sighed and rubbed her shoulders as she stared out over the city. She loved the view from the castle, it helped her to think. She hadn't told anyone about Thailog coming in to her room after he had escaped. She knew they'd never understand. Thailog had obviously come in intending to kidnap her, but he couldn't go through with it, why?
Lana fumed as she paced the battlements. She hated him and yet she couldn't help but feel as if some part of her still loved him. She wanted to scream and run away as fast as she could, anything to help make sense of her feelings.
She remembered how Thailog had treated her when they first met. He had been so warm and caring, loving to her with his gentle caresses, soft kisses and hot breath that made her tingle.
'And all the time he was plotting to kill your grandma and take her company,' she thought admonishing herself.
She breathed hard. 'Then why didn't he just kill them instead of making that deal with me to be his mate?' She thought back.
'Maybe he thought if he played nice he could get lucky with you again.'
Lana gasped at what she had just thought. 'No,' she thought desperately. 'It can't be true, he wouldn't… '
Why? Because he's not that kind of guy? Wake up, you know he is! He proved it and why else don't you remember what happened that night when you woke up beside him in your birthday suit?'
"No," Lana whispered out loud feeling sick. She clung to the battlements and had to take in deep gulps of air to breathe. She refused to cry, not anymore… But the tears had already started.
She didn't hear the footsteps start toward her. She didn't even there was someone behind her until they touched her shoulder.
Lana spun round in shock and came face to face with a gargoyle she had never met before. He looked about Aunt Angela's age, but man oh man was he ever big. Not as big as Goliath but with just as good a build.
"I'm sorry," he apologised. "I didn't mean to startle you."
Lana sniffed and wiped her tears furiously. "You should give people some notice before you go sneaking up on them like that."
"I'll try to remember that," he looked at her in concern. "Are you well?"
Lana stiffened. "I'm fine, couldn't be better."
The gargoyle suddenly reached out one of his talons and carefully wiped a tear that was at her eye. "You seem distressed."
Lana angrily battered his arm away from her. "I'm fine! And when I want some weirdo touching me then I'll go down town! Now keep your hands off me!"
The gargoyle stepped back in shock and then looked at her in regret. He bowed and said, "Forgive me my lady. I meant no offence. I shall depart at once." He turned around and made to leave.
At first Lana was glad he was going as she didn't need another handsome stranger coming into her life. Not after what had happened with the last prince charming she trusted. But as she watched him leave, she felt sorry. She didn't know why but she couldn't just let him leave like this.
"Wait!" She called making him stop in his tracks and turn around to face her.
'He has nice eyes,' she thought and mentally slapped herself. "I'm sorry," she said out loud. "I didn't mean to snap at you like that."
The gargoyle smiled and Lana felt herself melt. "No apologies are needed my lady," he bowed again. "I am Gabriel of Avalon."
Lana raised her eyebrows at his bow. 'Obviously gargoyles come from a more refined background than I thought.' "Err hi," she said. "I'm Lana. Demona's granddaughter."
Gabriel felt the wind get kicked out of him in surprise. "Oh," he breathed in wonder. "I was unaware that Demona had any other children besides Angela let alone grandchildren."
"Neither did she apparently," Lana said smirking. At Gabriel's perplexed look she just held up her hand. "Long story."
They stood there for a few seconds before Gabriel finally asked her, "forgive my curiosity… Lana. But what may I ask got you so distressed?"
Lana sighed and looked away over the city. "I… I just got out of a bad relationship with my ex-boyfriend."
'Boyfriend?' Gabriel wondered but thought that must be what the females in this time call their male friends.
"He seemed nice at first," she continued. "But he turned out to be a big mistake… "She sighed again and looked miserable. "I did love him though."
'Love?' Gabriel thought in despair. 'Oh wonderful, she's mated. Now what am I to do?' Then he remembered what she did about just getting out of a bad relationship. Perhaps she was no longer his?
"Your mate?" He asked.
"HUH?" Lana said and then quickly held up her hands again waving them. "No, no, no, nothing like that, but he came pretty close." She sat down on the battlements and gazed out over the city again.
Gabriel found himself captivated by her and her incredible beauty. It was like when Tom had told him and his rookery siblings about the beautiful artwork that he had seen over his travels, the Venus De Milo and the Mona Lisa… etc.
'She would make a fine goddess,' he thought.
"His name was Thailog," Lana continued. "I didn't know who or what he was originally, but apparently he's a clone of Goliath."
"Clone?" Gabriel enquired curiously.
"Yeah," Lana frowned. "It's kind of like a copy of the original. You know like when you grow a new bush from a branch that you took from another bush?" Gabriel nodded. "Well that's how it's like with clones. Only despite what he looked like, Thailog was nothing at all like Goliath." Lana pulled her legs up and hugged her knees.
Gabriel sat down beside her. "What did he do?" He asked and secretly feared the answer.
Lana chewed on her lower lip nervously. She shouldn't be doing this, as it was telling her problems to a stranger that had started all this. She looked at Gabriel. He had a kindness in his eyes that were sort of like Thailog had had except Thailog had always had a bit of darkness in his. The kind an insurance salesman might have had. She didn't see any kind of hidden agenda though in Gabriel however. His look appeared to be totally honest and caring, and he was Angela's brother.
Lana sighed. "He tricked me," she admitted. "I had a row with my mom and I went out for a glide, Thailog found me and talked to me. He actually helped me sort out a few of my problems… only to replace them with new ones." She growled.
Gabriel felt hot when he heard her growl. A human would be scared of such a thing, but for a young male gargoyle it was enticing.
"We met up again quite a few times," she carried on and Gabriel found himself focused on her every word. "He was good to me and… "She blushed at the part she was about to reveal. "Well, let's just say he and I were close and leave it at that."
Gabriel looked confused but nodded and accepted her privacy.
"It wasn't long before we were dating," Lana said. "We tried to spend as much time together as possible until finally he said he felt it was time for my family to be told about us. I was sacred I can tell you but eventually I agreed as I thought I had the perfect guy, even though he was a lot older than me." 'If you can call a three year old a lot older,' she added mentally. "He convinced me it would be a good idea if I brought them to his place so I did." Lana wiped her eyes again. "It was all bogus! He had set up a trap waiting for us when we got there and chained us up like animals. He wanted to get grandma's company and so he used me to get her there along with my mom!"
Gabriel growled at the thought of anyone using Lana for anything and although she hadn't said it, he had a pretty good idea of what she meant by them being close. "That monster," he growled again.
"You can say that again buddy!" Lana agreed rocking back and forth on her hunches.
Gabriel sat down beside her and attempted to comfort her. She sat still when he touched but she didn't object and gradually she allowed herself to be taken into his warm embrace.
"It was none of your fault," Gabriel assured her. "You didn't who this… Thailog was. He sounds to me like a very tricky person and could have fooled anyone."
Lana sniffed. "I still should have known better!" She cried. "I stupidly led my own family like sheep to the slaughter. I was lucky that grandma had arranged Goliath's clan to follow us otherwise things would have turned out a lot worse."
'Maybe,' she thought suddenly as she remembered when Thailog had made her that bargain about her being his mate in return for her family's safety.
Gabriel took her by the shoulders and looked deep into her eyes. "It wasn't your fault!" He insisted. "And even if it was partly then you've obviously learnt from it and your family have forgiven you. You'll know better the next time when trust someone."
"That's the other worse thing," she sobbed. "I don't think I ever really trusted him."
Gabriel looked blankly at her. "What?"
Lana swallowed. "I mean, I did trust him to a limit but… There was just so much of him that didn't add up. And he had this dark look in his eyes every time he looked at me whenever he was talking. I should have known he was lying and maybe I did, but I was so enthralled with him that I ignored it."
Gabriel looked sympathetically at her. "You wanted to give your heart to someone," he told her. "There's no crime in that. No one wants to be alone… and everyone deserves love."
Gabriel suddenly realised he was still holding her and cautiously backed up blushing madly. Lana blushed too and smiled.
"Thanks," she said truthfully. "Thanks for being a great listener."
Gabriel bowed. "It was my pleasure my lady," he said sincerely. "Now, would you do me the honour of letting me accompany you to Goliath and Elisa's wedding?" He stuck out his arm for her.
Lana smiled. "I'd be honoured." She replied and hooked her arm with his smiling as they walked to the entrance.
Suddenly Lana's smile turned into an evil grin, as she slid her tail up and straight under Gabriel's own tail and into his loincloth.
"OOOHHHH!" Gabriel yelped in surprise and blushed even redder than before looking in amazement at her.
Lana giggled and ran up ahead. "Sorry Gab, I never could resist!"
Gabriel growled playfully and chased after her, neither of them noticing the pair of flaring red eyes that followed their every move.
After the princess and Hudson had left to reminisce, Angela had returned to the Great Hall to finish tying the ribbons when she met her mother, sister, niece and nephew.
"Greetings daughter," Demona smiled warmly at her and hugged her. Angela returned the hug along with Darlene, Jarred and placing a small kiss on her baby niece's head. "Where's Lana?" She asked concerned.
Demona and Darlene both lost their smiles when Darlene answered. "She's outside, but I recommend leaving her on her own for a bit. She's still pretty shook up after what happened with that Thailog fellow."
Demona muttered something under her breath, which was definitely not a compliment about him.
Angela herself felt like tearing his throat out for what he had done to her niece. But now was not the time for such thoughts, now was the time for fun and celebration… and actually making sure the decorations were done on time.
"I'm glad that you could all make it," Angela said honestly. "Why don't you all go to the TV room and wait there while I finish up here. I won't be a moment."
They all agreed and left the hall. Angela finished up tying the last few of the lace ribbons when her sister Ophelia came in.
"Sister," she greeted warmly and embraced her happily. "I hear you and our demon brother Damon have gotten quite close recently."
Ophelia blushed but smiled widely. "Yes, it happened shortly after you left. I couldn't believe he showed any interest in me. It was like a dream come true."
Angela lost some of her smile. "That isn't why you have pledged yourself to him is it, because of his handsome face?"
Ophelia shook her head firmly. "No, you know me better than that Angela." She cast a dreamy look up at the ceiling. "After that business with Oberon, Damon started spending more time with me and then he just came right out and asked me to be his mate. I was so shocked that all I could do was stand there gaping like a fish, until Damon started reciting poetry to me."
Angela nearly lost hold of the ribbon she was holding. "Damon spoke poetry?" She asked in amazement.
Ophelia laughed. "Aye, though not very well I might add. But the way he spoke the words, the way he spoke to me. I just couldn't resist and knew that I would be spending the rest of my life with him."
Angela smiled but then looked serious at her. "And… you didn't have the same feelings for Gabriel? I mean, all of our clan was expecting the two of you to one day end up together."
Ophelia gave a small smile. "Yeah, I even believed that too at one time, but… I don't know. When Damon proclaimed his love for me, my heart just seemed to melt and to be frank… I did love Gabriel, but I wasn't in love with him if you know what I mean?"
Angela nodded a little sadly. "You and he always used to play at being mates when we were hatchlings, so much that you must have assumed it to be. But the truth is you don't love him a mate, but as a brother and nothing more."
"And nothing less," Ophelia added. "I'm only sorry I hurt him so. I could tell he was so disappointed when he found out about Damon and me."
"I'm sure he'll get over it in time," Angela said reassuringly.
"Can you be sure?" Ophelia asked.
Suddenly the door to the courtyard sprang open and Lana came running in squealing with Gabriel laughing right behind her. He grabbed her from behind and lifted her onto his broad shoulders spinning her around.
Lana laughed. "Gabriel, you immature jerk! Put me down!"
Gabriel grinned. "As you command my lady," and dropped her right onto her tail.
"OOF!" Lana glared at him, which made Gabriel start to regret his prank… That is until she slid her tail in-between his legs again and snapped it up.
"OHH!" Gabriel gasped.
"HA!" Lana laughed in glee, "gotcha again!" She turned and ran out the hall with a roaring Gabriel running after her on all fours.
Ophelia and Angela stared at the departing two for a few seconds before Angela turned back to Ophelia and said, "I'd say it's a definite possibility."
Meanwhile; In Another Part of The Castle:
"Okayyyyy," Jarred murmured in slight fear and anxiety. "I know you're here somewhere." He walked cautiously down the hallway.
Suddenly, there was a loud bark from behind him and Jarred spun round to see Bronx grinning at him.
"Yikes!" Jarred yelped and began running. "Here we go again!" Bronx immediately began the chase to give him a tongue bath.
"HA!" Jarred yelled in triumphant. "I've been practising running all week for this!" He laughed but stopped as he came to the end of the hallway and saw to his dismay another gargbeast.
'You've got to be kidding me?' He thought. 'Please be kidding.'
This beast was a dark golden coloured one with a beak and a longer tail. She was sniffing at the ground but stopped when she heard his footsteps coming nearer. She took one look at him and barked with joy before galloping to him.
Jarred gasped and turned around to find a means of escape, but Bronx was half way to him and there was no other way.
The two beasts jumped on him smothering him with their excessive weights and bombarding him with lick after lick from their slobbering tongues, tickling him.
A few moments later, Brooklyn and Lexington were showing a couple of the Avalon girls around the castle when they came upon the two gargoyle beasts.
"Hey, what are you two doing?" Lex smiled and reached down to pet Bronx to which the mutt happily complied giving them a look at the view behind him.
The quartet blinked at Jarred lying on his back with a dazed look on his face.
"Jarred?" Brooklyn asked concerned, "you alright?"
Jarred looked up from where he was lying with Boadicca still licking his face fondly. "I've had it," he said. "I give up. From this moment on, whenever I come here I'm gonna be wearing the football gear no matter what… Oh, get off me will ya!" He shoved Boadicca a little who responded by placing her weight on him almost crushing him and never missing a lick.
"Eeewwww!" Jarred moaned and the four gargoyles laughed.
"Jarred," Brooklyn smiled and helped the boy up to his feet. "This is Cordelia and Dorcas from Avalon." He pointed to the two females.
Jarred wiped his face off and gave them a small grin. "Hey. Anyone got a tissue?"
The two females giggled and one of them even reached out and wiped his face for him with a handkerchief she had in a pouch around her belt.
"You're cute," she said conversationally making Jarred blush brightly. Thus making the two girls laugh out loud.
Jarred looked helplessly to Brooklyn and Lex where Lexington was smiling and Brooklyn was actually looking a little jealous.
"Don't look at us Jay," Lex said. "Guess you're a regular chick magnet."
Jarred looked back to the two towering girls in front of him. They had obviously never seen another one of their kind before, at least his age anyway.
'I think I was better off with the mutts,' he thought miserably. 'I hope this cake's worth it.'
Lana laughed as Gabriel chased her through the hallways until Gabriel pounced and rolled over with Lana in his arms laughing madly.
They eventually came to a stop with Gabriel on top of her. They laughed for a few seconds more before they realised the position they were in.
Gabriel lay still for a moment looking down at the maiden below him. It was as though she was made out of the elements themselves. Her skin like the summer sky, eyes like stars, hair of sunshine with little curls at the end like a daffodil. Even her hands looked curved and delicate like a flower's petals, and her lips were redder than any rose. Her figure made him think of an ice sculpture, delicate and fragile to the touch.
She looked back up at him and finally he decided to take the chance and began to lower his head closer to kiss her.
"What be goin on here?" Hudson barked as he opened the door. He had heard the commotion when Gabriel had rolled with Lana.
Gabriel immediately sprung up from the ground and picked Lana up with him, both of them blushing brightly.
Hudson looked at them with a raised eye-ridge and the beginning of what could only be a smirk. "Have I by chance interrupted something?"
"No," Gabriel and Lana both replied still blushing.
Hudson continued staring at them for a few moments more before finally shaking his head chuckling and went back inside. "Don't do anything I wouldna do lad, lass."
Gabriel and Lana breathed deeply.
"I guess I'd better go and see if they need any help with the decorating," Lana said sheepishly. She walked back the way they came.
Gabriel watched her go before he saw a large Ming vase with a beautiful flower arrangement of red roses within it. He reached in and plucked a single rose out. "Lana, wait." He called.
Lana stopped and turned where Gabriel rushed up to her. He held out the rose. "Take this as a token of my affection, now and forever." He gently placed the flower in Lana's hair where she stroked it lovingly.
She looked back up at him, her eyes shining like crystal glass. "Thank you," she stood higher on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek before turning and running back to the hall.
Gabriel however stayed exactly where he was, standing alone in the hallway with a large almost giddy smile on his face. 'Thank you,' he prayed to whoever was listening. 'Thank you so very incredibly much.'
Whereas, from up above someone else was having a very different reaction.
One Hour Later:
The preparations were finally ready and everyone was either sitting or standing in the Great Hall. Goliath stood at the end where an altar had been made to serve for the wedding.
'I bet he's never looked so nervous before in his whole life,' Darlene mused.
Goliath was wearing his usual loincloth. He hadn't bothered to get dressed up seeing as this was a human tradition and he didn't really fancy any of the strange clothes that humans wore nowadays.
Xanatos had hired the same reverend that had married him and Fox and who had rather nervously agreed to do the same with Goliath and Elisa. Xanatos had offered to make a generous donation to the church in return for the reverend's silence of the matter in hand.
Lana was sitting at the back with Gabriel right beside her. She was leaning right into the crook of his shoulder making Gabriel extremely comfortable. She actually seemed to be enjoying herself too as her mother duly noted.
Darlene had been a little nervous about letting her daughter go off with some strange boy, if you could call him a boy, so soon after Thailog, but Demona insisted that she had learned from the experience and wouldn't make the same mistake twice. If she did however, then she would be spending the next fifty years regretting it by washing dishes at home.
Darlene had reluctantly agreed and she was happy to see that Gabriel was being the perfect gentleman. A shame that she couldn't say the same for her daughter, but one was better than none.
Darlene had met some of the other clan from Avalon, they had all seemed wary when meeting Demona for some reason. Demona was confused by this, as she had never even met them all before. But they covered it well and the clan had greeted them warmly and exchanged stories with them about growing up on Avalon with Angela to which Demona listened on keenly.
They were also very curious about Darlene's life as a human and her three children. Since Angela was their rookery sister then Darlene supposed that would sort of make her kids their nephew and nieces also. The princess and the Hudson had come in a while later laughing about something. The two certainly seemed close and this Katherine was nothing like the one her mother had told her about while growing up.
Demona had told her about the princess hating their kind, treating them like pitiful dogs and constantly humiliating them. Yet this princess seemed genuinely happy to be among her kind and she obviously loved Angela and her kin as if they were her own children.
'Probably the reason why Demona hasn't looked at her once in all the time we've been here.' She thought looking at her mother who kept her sight set forward not looking at anything in particular.
Another few of the guests that she had met were Elisa's brother Derek, or Talon as he preferred to be called. Needless to say she had been shocked when she saw him and thought him to be a gargoyle. It had been an even bigger shock when she learned that he wasn't. When she asked about it he just grumbled and gave her a dirty look.
Actually, he had been giving her, her mother and Xanatos dirty looks all night. She didn't know why but she imagined that her mother and Xanatos must have wronged them at some point in the past.
He had decided to stay standing and watch the ceremony by the safety of the door. 'Probably in case he needs to make a run for help.' She thought. The guy certainly seems paranoid. She would have to ask Elisa about that later.
He had also brought his partner, another gargoyle wannabe, a lioness apparently called Maggie. She seemed pretty quiet and timid, but she didn't seem to mind Darlene and even said hello despite the look from her mate. Darlene had decided to leave them alone and give them their space as she had enough to worry about with her family.
Jarred was sitting near her and aside from Goliath and Elisa, he was the talk of the whole night. Every one of the Avalon clan had wanted to catch a look at her two youngest children. Many of them had asked to hold baby Gem, laughing as she gripped their noses with her little claws. All of the females thought that Jarred was extremely cute and cheeky looking and many had already pinched his cheeks because of it. It reminded her of the time when he was five and Paul's two aunts Rosemarie and Hyacinth had come to visit them with their extra long fingernails that pinched him so hard he was squealing.
Paul! Darlene still felt a tremor of pain every time she thought of her late husband, the years they had shared, the children they bore and the night when the police had come to tell her that he had been involved in that car crash.
'Stop it,' Darlene admonished herself. 'Crying won't bring him back, nothing will. You can't bring people back from the dead… 'Well actually you could but the results were rather messy as Demona had told her once in a magic lesson so long ago.
Finally the music started and the crowd all stood up.
Elisa came in wearing a grand white gown decorated with small oriental pearls, white satin, silk and a long veil. She looked beautiful.
Darlene smiled as she remembered her own wedding day. Paul hadn't been rich so they had to take what they could get. He had worn a simple grey suit with a white flower attacked to his breast pocket and she a plain but gay little wedding dress that she had improved on with a few flowers and extra cloth here and there.
Paul's parents hadn't been pleased that he had been seeing another girl without him telling them, but they had accepted the marriage when he said he was truly in love with her. They had even helped out with the wedding reception.
They had got married at a registry office and had the reception at a small hotel where Paul's entire family had come bearing gifts. When they asked about her family she had just told them that she was an orphan.
She observed Goliath looking at Elisa with love in his eyes and remembered how Paul had given her that same look, not just on their wedding day but every day after as well, the look of true love and adoration.
Elisa had got Hudson to give her away as he was the second man she had closest to a father. Hudson gave her a small kiss and wished her well before standing over to the side and sitting down. Goliath and Elisa smiled at each other for more than a few moments before turning to the reverend.
"Dearly beloved," the reverend began. "We are gathered here tonight… "
Darlene barely registered the words the reverend was saying as her memories washed over her and she imagined she saw her younger self-standing next to Paul Anderson, her devoted husband. A tear came to her eye and then someone squeezed her hand. She looked to the side and saw Demona watching the scene with a hard look on her face.
'She still loves him,' she thought. "Despite everything that she said, she still cares for him. This must be so hard for her." She held her own mother's hand and Demona looked to her and gave a small smile.
The wedding proceeded and before long where once Goliath and Detective Elisa Maza stood, now stood Mr and Mrs Goliath Maza. Since Goliath didn't have a last name he had to take on Elisa's.
The crowd cheered loudly as Goliath kissed his blushing bride and even more when Elisa kissed him back. Angela wept tears of joy, Hudson looked on with a smile and the trio cheered loudly along with the rest of the Avalon clan. Demona just remained motionless and stayed sitting until they began to clear the chairs away for the party.
The music soon started up and as tradition demanded, Goliath and Elisa were the first on the dance floor swaying softly to the music in each other's arms. Lana and Gabriel who soon had her swaying off her feet then followed them. Brooklyn and Lexington looked on in green envy at the huge muscled gargoyle that had captivated the fair beauty Lana, but they soon regained their true colour when Cordelia and Dorcas came to ask them to dance.
The princess and guardian Tom, Xanatos and Fox and nearly all of the Avalon were all soon dancing too. Hudson preferred to just sit down and observe the celebration, though the princess did manage to convince him to attempt a waltz with her later on.
No one asked Demona to dance and so she just stayed sitting by the wall with Darlene and Gem right beside her. As for poor Jarred, a few of the Gargesses decided to have some fun by dragging the poor little fellow onto the dance floor. And when he finally got away from them, Bronx and Boadicca were waiting for him with tongues and tails wagging.
Finally, the big moment that two particular gargoyles had been waiting for all night arrived.
"Alright," Elisa called as Owen came walking in emotionlessly with the three-foot tall wedding cake. "Who's up for cake?"
"ME!" Broadway and Jarred both cried and practically bowled over the other gargoyles as they ran to the cake.
"Race ya Broadway." Jarred cried, to which Broadway responded. "You're on!"
Lana laughed as her little brother and Broadway ran up to the cake where Elisa already had two of the first and possibly the biggest slices waiting for them. They didn't waste any time and immediately began racing to see who could scarf theirs down first.
Lana grimaced as she watched Broadway dive into his slice. He had even more appalling table manners than her brother, which it put her off her food. 'And people wonder why I'm so thin,' she smirked.
"Do you want some cake?" Gabriel asked.
Lana shook her head. "Not right now but if you could get me a slice then I'll have it later?"
Gabriel smiled and went to fetch her one right away.
"Oh, I'll be outside," Lana called after him. "It's getting a little too crowded and hot in here and I could use the fresh air."
Gabriel waved his hand back at her to show he understood and carried on to the table where they were dispensing the sweet.
Lana walked out of the Great Hall and sighed in relief as she felt the cool refreshing air hit her. She walked over to the battlements again gazing over the city. She had not wanted to come out tonight yet if she hadn't then she would have never met Gabriel.
Lana lifted her arms feeling the wind beneath her wings and felt a sudden urge to go gliding. 'Why not,' she thought. 'Can't hurt to suggest it to Gabriel, I'm sure he'd love the chance to stretch his wings.'
She suddenly heard a deep growl from behind her and turned around. "Gabriel?"
The growl got a bit louder and Lana heard that it was coming from the shadows. She smirked. "Gabriel, you're not playing the big bad beast again are you? I've barely recovered from our last chase. Anyway, I thought you were gonna get me some cake?"
The growl emanated from the darkness but nothing emerged making Lana grinned slyly.
"Are you ever going to come out of there," she asked. "Or am I gonna have to come in?"
The growl went into a different pitch that sounded almost pleasurable. Lana grinned even wider. "I thought so," she said as she walked over to the shadows.
A Few Minutes Later:
Gabriel finally managed to push his way through his rookery kin with the two plates of cake that he had got for him and Lana. It hadn't been easy as Broadway and Jarred were there again when he got there and there was already a queue. No one of his clan had even tried sweets such as this before and so far they were finding it quite enjoyable.
He pushed open the door to the courtyard and moved outside calling for Lana. "Lana?"
When she didn't respond he called again. "Lana where are you? I've brought you your cake." But there was still no answer.
Becoming a little worried he walked over to the battlements where he had first seen her. But alas there was nothing there either. Gabriel put the plates of cake down and looked around the courtyard puzzled.
The wind blew wildly. The cold didn't bother Gabriel as he was a gargoyle but it certainly was bothering something. He heard a strange noise coming from one of the corners and moved to investigate.
In the shadows of one of the corners, Gabriel searched with his excellent gargoyle night sight and saw a weird looking object. It looked like some sort of breathing apparatus. It resembled a tin but with an odd shaped plastic thing at the top of it. He picked it up curiously.
There seemed to be a hole punctured in the tin where the plastic was and as Gabriel examined closer he found that the plastic thing covered his mouth and nose. With that in mind he thought it might be some sort of breathing apparatus that someone needed to breathe. Worried that someone might need it, he turned to leave but stopped when he saw something else.
He knelt down and picked up a single red rose… the same rose that he had given Lana that night.
Suddenly worried beyond belief, he held the item to his face to breathe in a little of the scent that was emanating from it. The smell was strong and it literally made him feel dizzy and nearly fell on his face.
'A sleeping potion' Gabriel realised in horror… and right next to Lana's flower.
Gabriel turned and ran back inside. "GOLIATHHHHH!"
TO BE CONTINUED…