[Bracketed words indicate thoughts]

You Had Me From Hello
By Denigoddess2001

Elisa read the last lines of Ritual of Proof By Dara Joy. A month had passed since that first wonderful, crazy and impulsive kiss shortly after Hunter's Moon. The week had been filled with wonderful evenings of Chess, late night walks in Central Park, ice cream, literature and a hundred other amazing activities. She appreciated most the nights where they simply cuddled together on her sofa and watched rented movies. It touched her deeply that Goliath wept shamelessly at the end of Ghost and severely chastised the male lead in Against All Odds.

Elisa finally emerged from her secretive shell when she admitted to herself that she loved one large lavender leviathan named Goliath.
Goliath and Elisa watched a movie called Save The Last Dance. Goliath had held her hand throughout the movie. Sharing a bag of microwave popcorn, they remained glued to their chairs throughout the movie. The tale seemed the epitome of their particular tale: different individuals from different worlds and cultures coming together and learning to love each other against impossible odds.

Elisa turned the page of her book as she fondly remembered that night. Goliath barely remembered to be honorable. He had opened his heart to her that night. The words he told her rang like church bells, clear and pristine inside her memory.

"Everything about you, My Elisa, makes my heart come alive. The dark shadow of Demona's betrayal died when you came into my life. When lesser individuals turned and ran from adversity, you embrace it."

He admitted that for such a long time he had longed to speak of his feelings for her. Yet, he remained silent because he thought Elisa wanted nothing of it. [Funny, I didn't say anything about it because it seemed so hopeless. Sometimes, I can't believe that he and I are finally doing something about this fantastic thing between us.]

Goliath made the walls of isolation melt around her. Her cool demeanor warmed with his sincere smile. Her detached behavior vanished and was replaced by a clever, subtle wit. She spoke more to the people around her and became more involved in extra-curricular activities. He made her radiant and people noticed.

Her parents thought little of her distinctive friendship with Goliath. Diane held little understanding for her daughter's taste in "men." Goliath longed to tell Elisa's mother how she knew his mind and inspired his heart. Yet, some humans simply refused to believe that love between Gargoyle and human wasn't blasphemous. Her father, Peter, held no regard for their relationship.

He refused to speak to Goliath when in his presence. He virtually denied the existence of his oldest daughter. Goliath had seen Elisa weep only twice. Once had been when she found her brother Darek the victim of Sevarius' maniacal schemes. The second time was when Peter Maza disowned his daughter for "engaging in bestiality with a demon."

Goliath remembered how her tears scalded his shoulder worse than acid when she cried later that night. He remembered how Peter had told her, "Don't ever come back here until you've come to your senses! And take that bat-winged freak with you."

Goliath nearly tore Peter Maza's limbs from his body in that moment. The Gargoyle instead chose to cloak his wings around his beloved and chose to take leave of Peter and Diane Maza. It tore his heart to shreds that Elisa lost her parents because of her love for him.

"I've never regretted my choice, Goliath." She whispered later that night. "You had me from 'Hello'."

She tried to forget his unforgiving harshness of her father's demeanor. Yet, she didn't understand his insensitivity and lack of tact. Elisa thought her parents eventually had accepted Goliath. It shattered her heart to find out she was wrong. She spent most of her time by herself or with the clan. Occasionally, she and her mother did things together but only at Diane's insistence. Otherwise, Diane knew she would never see her daughter at all. They refused to speak of that fateful night in question.

She placed her book down by her bed stand when she heard a rapping at her against her skylight window. Elisa's heart jumped into her mouth when she heard the sound. She knew who it was and she ran to the window eagerly to unlatch the lock.

"Big Guy, is that you?" She asked hopefully.

"Yes, Elisa." That deep voice sent tremors of ardent anticipation through her body.

Joy spread through her being as she rushed to push open the window. She stepped back and trembled in bliss with her gentle giant staring down at her. She ran to him and wrapped her arms tightly about his waist. He brought his brow to hers and cloaked her in a loving embrace of his dark, velvet wings. His hands were mysteriously out of view. She raised her brows in a silent question.

"These are for you." Goliath said softly as he handed Elisa a bouquet of freshly cut wild flowers. "I -I hope you like them."

"Thank-you." She replied. "They're lovely." She found a crystal vase and the wild flowers found a new home.

"I was wondering if I might have the honor of your company this evening?" He bowed gallantly before his beloved Elisa.

'I'm afraid that I must decline, good Sir." Regret laced her voice.

"Why, Elisa?" Disappointment permeated his otherwise jovial mood.

"Chavez is making me work day shift for the next week. I have to train some new detective." She sighed. "I'm sorry."

His expression of melancholy played with the flutters of her heart. How she wanted to call in sick to work and spend the evening with her handsome Gargoyle. For so long, she had only dreamt of being cherished so tenderly by a love as him. When he gazed at her, she felt as thought the ugliness of the recent past melted away leaving only a sparkling splendor. She felt complete by virtue of he never saw her as plain or shy. Goliath saw her as a discerning, clever woman of bravery and loyalty.

Goliath brought his colossal hand to gently caress her cheek. The feather-light brush of his lavender talons against her sensitive skin sent wavelets of sensation throughout her being. She unconsciously turned her cheek into his tender caress. She felt herself blush instantly as she indulge in the simple joy of his palm upon her skin.

Goliath watched Elisa's eyes darken from coffee to midnight. She was like a wild butterfly; unfettered and free to fly about and show her beauty. The Gargoyle knew he risked everything with this woman if he moved too quickly. The pain of her father's rejection remained fresh in her memory. The wounds inflicted by Peter Maza's condemnation left fresh wounds upon Elisa's broken heart. Goliath had no desire to break her heart again.

An inspiration came to Goliath. It was a practical and clever idea to spend some time with his Butterfly. [Do I dare mention this? What if I offend her with my forwardness?]

The words slipped from him before he knew what happened. "Then let me spend the evening here with you."

"Goliath, I thought you and Hudson had patrol. It wouldn't be right to leave him hanging. " She smiled.

"It would take only a moment to change my plans. Please, let me. I promise to leave early so that you can get a good night's sleep." He promised.

"Goliath, shouldn't you at least call Hudson? And how's it going to look if Clan leader ditches patrol?" Elisa sassily wrapped her arms around the thick strong column of his neck. "You need to call the castle."

"Elisa, please.." She was just too close at that moment for him to think straight. Goliath felt his loincloth become two sizes too small.

"Maybe it's not such a good idea, Big Guy." Goliath watched as her walls built themselves around her making her unreadable. He hated when Elisa withdrew into herself like this.

"I'll make you to a cappuccino." The inspiration of humor might save the evening

"You don't know how." Elisa couldn't help but smile at his keenness to be with her.

"I learn quickly." He growled as he folded his wings about her. "Don't block me out, Elisa."

She shook her head in joyful disbelief at this Gargoyle's tenacity. He wanted to be with her. It warmed her heart to know that he appreciated Elisa for herself. "You know what, Big Guy? You're really something special."

Goliath felt fear creep into his soul as he watched Elisa's beaming smile for a second time was overtaken by a frown. Her eyes left his and her gaze became downcast. She turned away from his winged embrace. He watched as the proverbial walls of isolation rebuilt themselves around her within seconds. Her warmth vanished into cool neutrality. He thought he FELT her demeanor change.

"Elisa, please speak your thoughts to me. What's wrong?" Hank implored the dark beauty standing before him.

"Nothing, Big Guy." A slight tremor in her voice betrayed her nervousness as she pushed the rims of her silver-framed glasses back onto the bridge of her nose. "I simply have no desire to keep you away from your duties. I just don't want you to become ostracized and alienated from the clan like I-"

"SSSShhhh. Do not worry, Elisa. That will not happen. The clan will always be there for you. I will always be there for you." He placed two large lavender talons against her lips. "Speak to me of what ails you, Elisa. Never fear honesty between us, I beg you."

"Well... you will think I am being fatalistic." She muttered. "Maybe I am. It's just that the odds seem stacked against us."

"Elisa, I have faith in you and in our love. I only hope that you have the same trust in me. I will not fault you for sharing your heart and your thoughts with me." He said quietly. [Not as your father did.]

"I'm...just worried that... well...you see... that you may...well...change your mind about.... how...you feel...about us being together." She exhaled as she said those last four words. There, she said what had been on her mind. She fearfully looked up to meet his dark onyx eyes. "Let's be honest. We're not exactly the same species."

"Elisa," He whispered softly into her ear. "I find you captivating simply as you are."

[Discretion is the better part of Valor, Goliath. Tread carefully.]

"My affection for you, Elisa, deepens with each rising of the moon. I long us to be far more than good friends. I want us to be whatever we can be to each other... and only with each other. My sweet Elisa, a Gargoyle's love does not fade away with the coming of dawn. Like the mountain stone it endures. I love you, Elisa Maza. That will not change." His eyes glowed with a brilliant white radiance. Elisa knew better than to doubt his sincerity.

"Sometimes, it just feels as if the entire world is against us, Goliath." The despair in her words wore like heavy chains upon Goliath's heart.

"I know, Elisa. I know." He no longer resisted the temptation to draw his Beloved into his embrace and cloak her in a blanket of love and affection.

"I love you too, but I have to be honest. I'm scared that this won't work out." Her quiet response betrayed her anxiety. "But, Goliath, I'm just not quite ready to-"

"An everlasting covenant between us? I will be your mate for always if you will but have me, Elisa. I want to know your heart and soul first. I want us to be the best of friends with our hearts firmly on the same path before we truly contemplate total commitment." He finished softly. She silently nodded her agreement. "I can wait until you are ready, Elisa."

"You truly are wonderful." She said quietly. She found the urge to kiss him almost impossible to deny. She rose up on her toes to slowly press her lips to his. He remained still for a moment savoring the warmth of her against him. He found his strong, muscular arms wrapping themselves around her and pulling her to the hard wall of his chest.

"Oh, Elisa. You truly are a treasure." He smiled down at her. "What shall we watch tonight?"

"How about Sleepless In Seattle?" She suggested. She gave the impression of being short of breath.

He felt a surge of pure masculine pride at the thought that she was as affected as he by their seemingly innocent kiss. [JALAPENA! YES!!!]

At the end of the night, he found Elisa sleeping contentedly in his arms. He carefully removed himself and placed her gently into a reclining position upon the sofa. He reached for the knitted comforter and covered her with it. Goliath turned his attention to her CD collection. He remembered her words that she had once spoken, "You had me from 'Hello."

He knew it to be a favorite song of hers. As it played, Goliath returned to his sleeping Beauty and held her close to him. He would stay just a while longer. As the strains of music lilted across the room, Elisa relaxed and dreamt good dreams.

You Had Me From Hello

(Kenny Chesney/Skip Ewing)

One word, that's all was said,
Something in your voice called me, turned my head.
Your smile captured me; you were in my future as far as I could see.
And I don't know how it happened, but it happens still.
You ask me if I love you, if I always will.........

Well, you had me from "Hello"
I felt love start to grow the moment I looked into your eyes,
You won me; it was over from the start.
You completely stole my heart, and now you won't let go.
I never even had a chance you know?
You had me from "Hello."

Inside I built a wall so high around my heart, I thought I'd never fall.
One touch, you brought it down
Bricks of my defenses scattered on the ground
And I swore to me that I wasn't going to love again
The last time was the last time I'd let someone in

Well, you had me from "Hello"
I felt love start to grow the moment I looked into your eyes,
You won me, it was over from the start.
You completely stole my heart, and now you wont let go.
I never even had a chance you know?
You had me from "Hello"

That's all you said
Something in your voice calls me, turns my head
You had me from "Hello"
You had me from "Hello"
Girl, I've loved you from "Hello."