Saints In The Night 6.4

Silent Duplicity (Finale)



Disclaimer: I don't own Gargoyles. They belong to Disney. I don't own Hercules -The Legendary Journeys or Xena-Warrior Princess. They belong to Renaissance Pictures. All original characters belong to Denigoddess2001.

[bracketed words indicate thought or mental communication]

Her face looked leaner and harsher. Its soft, feminine roundness had slowly been eroded away by the long weeks of riding and the harsh realities of war. Instead of feminine softness now only remained angular planes hardened by adversity. Her eyes once held a bright innocence carved in jade and immersed in amber. Now, her eyes seemed a muddy mix of drab and khaki. Her named no longer fit her. She ceased to be a sweet, gentle Wren. She seemed more like a Raptor hunting for prey.

Demetrius watched as she trained with the men. She trained relentlessly in her spare time. She quickly mastered the staff and now she focused her attention on the bow. Her desire to return to her own time obsessed her to go against her natural instincts. Once she represented quiet serenity and tender discovery. Now, she embodied resolute focus and hardened cynicism.

Demetrius watched his lover as she practiced with the bow until her fingers bled. She stood in a line with three other archers each possessing arrows with different hued guide feathers. He noticed Wren's to be blue. With recently adopted skill, Wren picked the arrow from her quiver and loaded her bow. With a keen eye and fixed deliberation, she focused her attention upon the warrior standing in front of her. Donning no upper-body armor against his mahogany skin, Demetrius knew it to be Draco. Demetrius strained to hear the warlord's words above the clanging of swords and whooshing of arrows.

"Shoot your arrows at me." Draco challenged the warriors with jovial confidence. "And pray that Ares has mercy on you today."

The strings were drawn back as if synchronized and premeditated. There was a pause lasting several seconds. One by one the warriors let loose their arrows. The sharp "sfffting" indicated their flight towards the warlord. As Demetrius watched from the ridge above them, he watched the red arrow zip harmlessly by Draco's headdress into the background target board. The yellow arrow went sharply to the left. Draco's hand appeared from nowhere to smoothly seize the green arrow in mid-air.

Demetrius watched Wren. He watched for that familiar green glow that usually preceded any of her combat. There was no pretense and no glow. With only hardened determination engraved on her features, Wren let her arrow fly. Demetrius watched silently as the projectile sliced through the air and abruptly stopped with a thunk. The Gargoyle's eyes followed the flight path of the arrow to find it buried nicely in Draco's shoulder. The smoldering gaze he gave indicated his displeasure.

"Wren, you shot the blue arrow?"

His dark eyes were a simmering chasm of rage. Demetrius studied Wren's reaction. She slowly lowered her bow to her side. She lifted her chin just a fraction of an inch so that she met his full gaze. She inperceptively nodded her head in acknowledgement of his words. "I did."

"Ares has bless you today." He motioned to the other guards. "Keep the one that shot the green arrow. Get rid of the others."

Demetrius cloaked his wings about him. His tail lashed furiously as the tenseness overwhelmed his body. He watched the guards roughly escort the archers from the field. He knew that they would be banished or killed. There was little that could be done for them.

"Draco, wait!" A voice caused the guards to halt in their place. All eyes turned to the woman with a quiver full of blue arrows. "Don't kill them."

"I have little use for weaklings." He scoffed. "What would you have me do with them?"

"Simply send them back to their families." She walked to her side. "You can't conquer the dead."

"Why should I show mercy?"

"Who said anything about mercy? It's simply good business sense." Demetrius heard the edge of desperation in her voice. She was lying. She was afraid for these men's lives. "Save the killing for when the men will savor it most; in war. Killing warriors in camp lowers morale."

"Are you questioning my orders, Captain?" The edge of his words carried an ominous tone.

[Milady, bid thy tongue continence.] Demetrius crouched in a defensive position ready to sweep upon the warlord should he decide to bring harm to Wren.

"No, Lord Draco. You have taken me into your pay as advisor and consultant. Morale is important. Just send them home and save the battle-lust for when we really need. I am simply doing as you expect of me be pointing out logics other than the ones mentioned." How Demetrius thanked the Dragon for Wren's silver songbird tongue. "They may not be good archers, but what about cavalry or swordsmen?"

"You have a point." He returned his attention to the guards. "Test them in the areas mentioned by my..." he turned his attention to Wren briefly. "Consultant. If they are found wanting, confiscate their equipment and send them from the camp."

"Understood Lord Draco." The guards saluted at once and abruptly guided the two soldiers from the archery field.

[Swift solutions come easily to you.] Demetrius mentally breathed a sigh of relief at his ladylove's quick thinking. She managed to mix mercy with ruthless logic. Her keen wit and agile mind were fast become cunning, decisive and shrewd. Demetrius feared Wren's innocence slipping away in a stream of blood. Now, he felt some resolution that she held steadfast to it like a beacon in stormy waters. She did what was required of her to survive in this harsh, unforgiving world.

"Lord Draco, may I speak freely?" She asked as he motioned for her to walk with him.

"Yes, do so without my reprisal." They walked toward his tent.

"Had I missed, would you have had me killed?"

"No, I'm not expecting you to be one of my warriors; not now anyway." He shook his head and stopped to look at her. "Smart advisors are hard to find. Had you missed, I simply would have had you flogged."

Her eyes widened at his casual dismissal of such a harsh punishment.

His face remained stern and severe. Then he burst into raucous laughter. "Wren, don't worry so much. As long as you get me the results I want, you're alive and well."

"I see."

"Do you? I am the master of this army and there's little room for kindness." Draco motioned the expansive masses around them. "Yet, there is the way of the warrior; an honor to be found amongst these men. We don't kill our own unless it's for treachery. I can't afford to lose you; especially now."

He watched Draco's hands come to rest on Wren's shoulders. A shiver of jealousy chilled him to the bone. He let for a subtle growl demonstrated his true feelings to the world. His taloned hands clenched into tight fists. Demetrius' ebony knuckles became dark gray as blood drained away from them from sheer frustration. Draco was not a human to be trusted.

"What do you mean, Lord Draco?" Wren's brows shot upwards in surprise.

"We meet with Ares tonight at his temple in Verdana. There, the armies of Kadmos and Paroklos will unite with mine. Under the leadership of the god of war we will conquer everything between Brittania and Chin before the end of the year." His eyes lit with a fire that she had seen once when Demetrius spoke of the glories of battle. "When Ares makes me his second-in-command, I want to make sure that you are one of my captains to oversee the entire campaign. I need trustworthy people at my side."

"I am ...flattered." The words sounded flat to her ears.

"You and Demetrius will join me at the temple this evening when we sit in a council-of-war with the god. You will observe anything and everything. After the council, I want your observations, conclusions and opinions. I want to be his chosen general to lead the armies upon Rome."

"How will you conquer the entire world within the year, Lord?" Wren's stomach churned as she spoke the words. A welling sense of dread grew within her as she attempted a guess at the obvious.

"He has an amulet that will allow him to make time melt away." Draco looked around for extra ears. He lowered his voice to little more than a hushed whisper. "It is said that the amulet allows him to travel through time."

"And he trusted you with this information?" Wren asked trying to hide her skepticism.

"My sister is a priestess of Ares." He admitted. "She saw this in a vision after he laid with her one night."

"Charming." She grimaced under her breath.

"What?"

"How ...disarming!" She shook her head at her feeble attempt of backpedaling. "You should get what you rightfully deserve!"

"And I will with you at my side." Draco clasped her hands. "Wren, you've proven yourself worthy as a warrior and an advisor. I want you at my side to share my glory. Your words are gold. With you soft voice and sugared speech, I'll conquer half of Gaul without wielding a sword or shooting an arrow."

"I will be there." She faithfully promised the warlord. "As will Demetrius."

Demetrius was unable to discern the rest of the conversation as they turned their backs to him and entered Dracos' tent. He loathed Draco placed his hands upon Wren's body. He hated the words Draco spoke to her as he lured her into his net with sweet promises and syrupy compliments. Whatever inspired it; Demetrius understood little of Draco's sudden attachment and fondness for the cunning linguist. She was good, but she wasn't the be-all-and-end-all of the warlord's plans.

Or was she?


Duricles watched as the young woman spoke with their commander. She was fast becoming a thorn in her side as she nauseatingly curried favor with Draco. She hadn't earned her position at the warlord's side as advisor. For whatever Zeus-given reason he found her to be a necessity at the daily meetings of his officers.

Her speech was flavored with eccentric sayings. Her accent carried an intonation that wasn't that of Caledonia. That black beast accompanied her everywhere. It was a spawn of Tartarus, not a Harpie as Draco suggested. There was foul magick afoot in the camp and its name was Rensumeres.

Had no one bothered to notice the strange circlet hanging from her hip? Had not the Xena carried such a strange weapon? Now, another woman in armor dared to dishonor Draco with wiles and deception. Duricles couldn't specify exactly what it was about her that made his skin grow cold in blistering heat. He only knew that she was an unnatural abomination not worthy of licking Ares' boots.

The key to her success seemed more luck than skill. She never handled staff or bow until six weeks prior when she had fought Mongo in the testing arena. By all rights, Mongo had been one of Draco's best warriors. Yet, the slip of a woman bested him with elementary defense moves. She was far from being a warrior. Who was this strange woman? Was she truly from Caledonia? What was the nature of the black winged demon that almost never left her side? Duricles sensed treachery on the horizon in the form of Rensumeres. More like she would be the ruin of Ares if she wasn't eliminated.

Duricles noticed the black brute scrutinizing the exchange between the woman and Draco. He seemed none-too-pleased about the rapport growing between his concubine and the warlord. Perhaps, that was something that could be used to discredit the little wench who dared to be where only warriors walked. Perhaps, it was the opportunity Duricles needed to cleanse Draco and the army of her weak-filled notions of negotiation and diplomacy.

[True victory comes from the tip of a sword, not a sharp tongue.] Duricles recalled the old saying his father used when he taught his mother to know her place. [How I will love to see body bruised, beaten and dead upon the battlefield.]

It would be so. He laughed as he planned to make an offering to Ares. Ares would punish the wench for her arrogance.

********

For three more hours they rode along the rugged, arid plains of Northern Greece. The sun beat relentlessly upon their backs making it almost impossible to find any comfort in the hot leather armor. Demetrius stayed close to the side of his ladylove as she seemed to grow more distant with each day's passing. How he wanted to rip Draco's limbs from his body when he found him speaking softly tete-e-tete with her on horseback.

Demetrius' temper became silent fury as he intently listened for their conversation. They spoke only of battle plans and treaties, yet he longed for her company. He knew that she was using her unique appeal to work her way closer to Draco. He was their one, best chance at getting close enough to Ares to retrieve the Chronos Fragments. Yet, it did nothing to ease the ebony warrior's longing for his. ...what was she to him?

She earnestly refused to become his mate but still bedded him. She proclaimed her love yet refused to commit herself to him. When he spoke of solidifying their bond, Wren hid behind talk of returning home and defeating the warlord. He had her promise of love but little else to comfort his breaking heart. He thought when he had given her his virginity that love and commitment surely would follow. Instead, the heat between them was undeniable; it seemed the only thing Wren was at peace with in their anomalous liaison.

He watched as Wren reined her horse around from the front of the army and back towards him. She brought her mount alongside Demetrius. She flashed him a broad smile leaned forward and spoke words meant only for him. "You know, of course, that you look absolutely stunning?"

"I take heart of your approval." He knew not how to take her words. He chose simply to answer with an honest reply.

"I have news. I think we're close." She whispered. Hazel eyes focused upon her ebony-skinned lover. [I think this will prevent unwanted ears hearing our conversation.]

[Milady, I hoped that our mindtalk would be saved for heart's thoughts.]

[This is too important to say aloud and it can't wait!] She looked soulfully at him. [Just awhile longer, Dem.]

[Understood, love.] He nodded gravely. [What have you learned?]

[We meet with Ares tonight at his temple in Verdana. There, the armies of Kadmos, Paroklos and Draco will become one large fighting force. Draco is confident that he will be Ares' second-in command. He wants us there at his side when he stands before Ares in the temple. He wants us as his advisors when the generals convene their council-of-war.]

He knew she spoke only truth.

[Ares has an amulet that will make time 'melt away' according to Draco. He must have received it from his future self or he's disposed of his counterpart in this time.]

[Then we need to make plans to capture the amulet.] Demetrius replied.

"I hope that we can have some kind of plan." She bit her lip. "I don't know what it will take."

[Battle with Ares is suicide.] Demetrius looked at her. [Do not contemplate direct confrontation.]

"I'm not." She replied aloud. "We'll simply have to outfox him."






The rest of the day passed quickly into the first hints of evening. Demetrius and Wren made their way to the temple to meet with Draco. She saw twelve men and six women congregated at the temple's entrance talking. Wren silently surmised that these were the warlords and advisors readying for their meeting with the god of war. She had seen Skylaris, goddess of Gargoyles and Hercules, King of the Olympian gods. Yet, primal fear filled her as she dreaded coming fact-to-face with the god called Ares.

A stinging sensation nipped at her skin. A sharp chill brushed by her as she and the winged warrior alighted from their horses and tied them to nearby posts. A warmth surrounded her briefly and caused her to shutter. She thought that someone had touched her cheek. It seemed to surround her. Sheer instinct caused her hands to glow with their unnatural emerald luminosity. A small jolt of energy like a shock coursed through her and she found herself staring into eyes of absolute darkness.

Tall, swarthy, and sinfully handsome were some of the phrases that came to mind to describe the man intimately pressed against her. His dark wavy hair flowed freely about his shoulders. The dark, brooding man seemed devilishly sexy in black leather armor. His thick goatee framed full, sensuous lips made for kissing. A flush of rose flamed underneath the deep golden tan of Wren's complexion from her lurid assessment of the person embracing her.

She felt a primitive hunger for the leather-clan made overtake her. His naturally masculine scents of musk and virility combined with the tang of leather and sweat to enflame her Gargoyle instincts for mating. Her tail lashed furiously in trying to contain the violent arousal growing in her pants-

[Wait a minute! I can't smell a thing and I don't have Gargoyle instincts!] She stopped herself cold at the stark realization. A wave of nausea passed through her as she realized the lustful thoughts for the dark Adonis were not her own. With trepidation, she turned her gaze to Demetrius. She looked to him for an explanation but found him with a stern expression masking his masculine features.

She remembered their conversation from not so long ago about males mating with males within the clan. Demetrius begged her not to ask more of him about it. At the time, Wren thought nothing more of it and honored his wishes. Now, she felt his body's needs and thoughts taking over the bond shared between them. Bile rose to her throat at the revelation that Demetrius was-

"I am Ares, god of war." A voice bellowed as he abruptly let loose of Wren without acknowledging her presence. Before he turned she saw a golden amulet hanging from his neck. It was in the shape of a triangle with four large emerald fragments refracting light in the last rays of sunset.

[The Chronos fragments.]

He strode toward Dracos, Kadmos and Paroklos and they kneeled before him as the entire group. Wren bit her tongue to swallow the rage churning within her and chose to kneel rather than lose her head for insolence. She noticed that Demetrius remained standing.

"Demetrius! Kneel, damn it." She hissed as she tongued at his armor. "Do you want to get us killed?"

With little more than a blank expression on his face, Demetrius complied with her request.


*******

At the feast that evening, introductions were made and appointments given. As expected, Dracos was made Ares second-in-command. Paraklos and Kadmos were supreme commanders behind him. The main talk of the night was invading the Amazon and Centaur territory to the South as the first conquest.

"Lord Ares, I wish to introduce to you two people you may find worthy of your favor." Draco motioned toward Wren and Demetrius. "This is Captain Rensumeres, she is my cartographer and translater. She has proven valuable in doubling our forces and negotiating for supplies."

"I have little need for such weak measures in an army." Ares waved his hand in dismissal. Then, he seemed to think better of it. He rose from his seat and slowly walked toward the Mutant. He roughly cupped her chin and jerked her to meet his steely gaze. "I remember you. You're the one that stalled my entrance this morning."

"Lord Ares, I don't know what you mean." She stammered. Stunned by the fact that he stood less that three inches from her, she found herself hoping not to soil her undergarments. She felt the raw power of his godhood in his hands. She knew he could easily kill her with a thought.

"You stopped my arrival." He whispered. He pressed a hand to her forehead. "No mere mortal can do that."

A dull pain throbbed at the base of her skull and spread out to encompass her temples and brow. The slow intensity grew into a searing agony that threatened to rip away her sanity. The urge to give into the pain and simple curl into a fetal position overwhelmed the young woman. Ares sifted through her thoughts as though they were little more than fine dust. Yet the words Wolverine told her came to mind. "Never give up and never give in."

Her hands found their verdant gleam as she managed to place one feebly on Ares' chest. With a desperate attempt of relief from the pain, she pushed him away. Fortune favored her as he stumbled clumsily on a thick branch and landed firmly on his kiester. He glowering scowl look like he'd gladly vaporize her in a heartbeat. Wren met his gaze and found her tongue.

"My thoughts are my own and mine alone, god of war." She whispered shakily. "They are not meant for you."

"You're a god." He shrugged.

"Not even close." Came the cryptic reply.

"I managed to learn you sensed my presence, interfered with my abilities, and defied my will." He gave her a roguish smile as he deftly came to his feet. "I'm impressed. So..."
His obsidian eyes lewdly scanned her curves until his eyes came across the circlet hanging from hip.

His flirtatious manner suddenly turned to ice. "Where did you get that weapon?"

"It was made by an associate of mine." Wren thought his abrupt change in personality a sign of absolute madness. The god of war seemed one letter short of an alphabet.

"That's a chakrum." He growled. "Give it to me. I want it.

"No, Lord Ares." She let her hand fall to the gleaming circlet. " And, it is an annulus."

"Fortuna's blood runs through your veins, I can smell her." He nodded slowly and rubbed his chin in contemplation. He turned his gaze to the Gargoyle. "What is that?"

"That is my attaché, Demetrius. He holds the rank of lieutenant in Draco's army." Wren tried to keep the quiver from her voice. A resounding strike came across her cheek. The sharp sting brought tears to her eyes. The unrestrained force of the blow sent Wren to her knees.

"I didn't ask you who, I asked you what." He grabbed a handful of chestnut locks and cruelly dragged her to standing. "You're an inconvenience I don't need. A creature that can defy my will with abilities like yours prove dangerous. A weapon like that I don't care for very much. Duricles warned me that you might be trouble. Now, I see what he meant. Now unless you want to end up tonight's entertainment and tomorrow's burial, I suggest you curb that tart tongue of yours and answer as I demand."

"He is a Gargoyle, Lord Ares." She felt her heart become stone-cold with hatred for the god of war.

"What is a Gargoyle?" He looked at her. He gave her a smile when he saw that look of contempt cross her face.

"A Gargoyle is a winged warrior that is a child of the Dragon Goddess, Skylaris." How Wren longed for that blessing of the Dragon's to kick in and save her from this pain and humiliation.

"Never heard of her." He snorted. "Now, what are you?"

She refused to answer. Their eyes locked in a battle of wills for several seconds. His hand struck her again. Her head reeled to the side with the force of the blow. He gave the men and women surrounding him a broad smile. "I think I've found my entertainment for the evening."

His broad smile became a stunned look of surprise when he doubled over in agony. Her armored knee landed squarely into his codpiece and managed to dent it rather nicely. Somehow, the angle had been just right to make contact with his family jewel contained therein. "Duricles told me I'd find sport with you. Oh, how sweet! Fresh meat."

"God of war, you've made an enemy this night." She muttered with more bravery than she felt.

"Wren, the amulet!" Demetrius cried out to her. "Now is your chance."

Coming from her pain and rage, she heard Demetrius' voice. With a swiftness she didn't know she possessed, Wren tightly grasped the amulet hanging around Ares' neck. With one strong yank, she ripped it from the chain. With it in her hand, she looked down to see that the god of war no longer lay writhing in agony. He was nowhere to be seen.

"Oh, little girl. You are so right. You have made an enemy tonight. This is your last night before you meet my brother in Tartarus." A bolt of energy caught her eye as it flew across the clearing. She watched the other warlords scurry like frightened mice out of the path of the energy bolt. She watched it streak toward her in a path of burning fury. She ducked and allowed it to hit the two warlords standing behind her. She watched the two armor-clad warriors fly across the clearing as though they were ragdolls.

How had everything fallen apart so quickly? She had imagined that there would be some kind of brief introduction and then a feast to honor the war god. Wren hoped to steal the amulet somehow when Ares least expected it. Instead, her hands glowed of their own volition and now she was caught in the path of an angered deity she knew that she had no chance to defeat.

"Wren, jump!" A lilting brogue called behind her. She turned to see an ebony silhouette gliding over the small crowd. Somehow in the commotion, Demetrius found his way to the air. She nodded in understanding and stuck the amulet deep inside her bosom. She took three steps and leaped into the air just as he passed above her. She reached out to him and he with ease took his lover into his arms.

A flying fireball came fast and furiously at them. With a deft tilt, Demetrius easily dodged the deadly projectile. "Wren, can you use the amulet to get us home?"

"I don't know how." She took it from her bosom. "All I can do is guess."

"Then guess quickly, Milady, I beseech thee." His archaic speech indicated that he was nearly frantic. He preformed a loop-de-loop mid air to escape a barrage of arrows mysteriously manifested by the enraged god of war on the ground below. "He is beyond my ability to dodge for long."

"I can appreciate that." She held the golden amulet in her hands. She focused her luckmagick on the amulet and silently spoke the Dragon's name. "There's no place like home. There's no place like home.... Hey, it worked for Dorothy."

A ring of light appeared ahead of them in the dark evening sky. It seemed like a portal to heaven as it glowed brightly against the tapestry of night. Perhaps, no wider than a doorway to a room, Demetrius realized that they would not fit through. He straightened his body so that it was stiff and rigid. As they swiftly approached the glowing gateway, he folded his wings tightly around him and Wren. A hoarse holler of defeat caught their ears as they passed through the portal. An orb of fiery energy hit it's mark as it impacted with the duo and hurled them forward into the gate.

Skin impacted with the hard surface of asphalt as they landed roughly. Demetrius' wings took the brunt of the crash as they instinctively wrapped tightly around them. They rolled several times and finally came to a halt when a Volvo prevented further movement. Dazed, they lay on their backs for several minutes.

"Milady, are you well?" A voice called out to her in the night. Wren longed to remain in that beckoning sea of blackness. "By the Dragon, Wren! Please answer me."

She fought the ache in her skull and her hazel eyes slowly fluttered open. Hovering above her was the massive ebony form of her lover staring down at her with anxious concern. The image of both of him slowly focused and became one as she forced herself to steady her breathing. She noticed the several bloody abrasions on his wings and the nicks in his membranes.

"Are we home?"

"So it would seem." He helped her sit upright. "It seems that we're in the parking lot of the Linoma Museum."

"When?" She asked with trepidation. "When is what matters."

"Right now we need to seek you a healer." Demetrius shook his head. "You need attention, you are injured."

"You're worse." She retorted. "Let's find out when and then I'll go to a doctor, I promise."

With great deliberation, Demetrius slowly rose to his feet and carried her to the museum. He ascended the concrete stairs and without a second thought kicked open the door. The sound of the alarms sounded but he cared little as he headed for the main office of Professor Kevyn Xorbo.

"What the hell?" Came a familiar voice from the darkness behind them.

"Professor?" Wren asked weakly still stunned from her recent beating and crash-landing.

"Wren, you're back!" Kevyn stepped into the light. "What in Hades happened?"

"We managed to procure the fragments. But, she needs medical attention." Demetrius explained. "Please can you help her?"

"I can't heal her, but we can call 911."


EPILOGUE

A few nights later, Professor Xorbo arrived at St. Elizabeth's Hospital to take Wren home. She explained how Ares sensed her as an immediate threat and decided to do away with her almost instantly.

"Actually, that may have been a blessing in disguise." Kevyn explained. " When your hands glowed, that may have been your only opportunity to retrieve the fragments."

"Yeah, but it hurt like hell to do that." She quipped rubbing her bruised cheek. "How is Demetrius?"

"Worried about you." Kevyn assisted her from the wheelchair into the dented Volvo. "He's been like a tiger pacing about the museum for the past three nights. He's made an oath to repay Ares for hurting you."

"That makes two of us." She snarled.

"It's dangerous for you to remain in my employ." Hercules told her as he shut the car door. He walked around to the driver's side and stepped in. "David Xanatos has left six messages in the past two days begging for your return. It seems that your friends in Europe miss you and want you home."

"Friends?" She asked.

"I believer their names are Veda, Angus, Atalanta, Shani, Greer and Owen? Do any of these names sound familiar?"

A rush of sentiment flowed through Wren Elizabeth Summers. Tears of joy pricked her eyes. They unashamedly flowed down her bruised cheeks. "Yes, those names sound wonderfully familiar."

"They want you to come home...back to your clan, I believe was what one of them said on the telephone. Does that make sense to you?" He asked as he turned the ignition.

"Yes, Kevyn, it does!" She exclaimed with happiness. "You won't mind if I give you my two weeks notice do you?"

"Already accepted. Xanatos has a car waiting for you at his house. He says he wants you to stay in Linoma and look after his branch here."

"I thought he wanted me to return home." She scowled at Kevyn as he pulled from the parking lot onto 70th street.

"I guess he mentioned something about some of the 'clan' taking a vacation and needing a place to stay. He thought your house would be perfect." Kevyn moved into the turning lane. "What does he mean by clan?"

"They're Demetrius' family." She explained. "They're MY family."

"Then, we need to get you home."

And so they did.


Somewhere in the depths of the Linoma caverns brooded a god full of anger and vengeance. He knew that the witch that defeated his plans for greatness was somewhere in the city. He had waited 2500 years to find her and he knew she was close. Every fiber of his being sensed her particular power signature. Ares vowed that the bitch and the beast would pay for denying him greatness. When he found them, they'd beg for death. He wasn't feeling particularly merciful.

The End