Skiff in the Mist

Goliath/Elisa, some mild N/C, if you're a stickler for that kind of thing.

Goliath set his teeth, curled his hands into fists, and thought desperately of the sharp snap of the updrafts in lower Manhattan on a cold December evening.

Oblivious to these furious thoughts, blood pulsed in his groin, and he felt himself stiffen. His talons bit sharply into the meat of his palm, and he concentrated on that small pain. After a few minutes he felt the urgency subside a little and sighed in relief, slumping.

Elisa chuckled softly, and he looked over at her with a swift clench of dread. His reaction was impossible to hide at this point.

Her sweet face held only understanding, and a weary hint of wry amusement.

"You too, huh?" Elisa said gently, with a slight twist of her lips. His eyes widened in surprise, and she put a hand on his arm, lightly. He'd been a bit too distracted to notice, but he saw now that she definitely looked...strained.

"...Yes," he sighed, smiling down at her with a warm flush of unexpected camaraderie.

"I think Angela's having some trouble, too," Elisa said, sotto voice. She glanced back at the far end of the boat, where Angela stood facing out, her tail lashing.

Goliath winced.

"I find that...strangely uncomfortable to think about," Goliath grumbled. Elisa laughed out loud, her eyes sparkling, teeth flashing white in the moonlight.

"Just think about that the next fog bank we hit and you should be fine, Big Guy," She said, patting him on the arm.

He sighed, turning to look ahead to see just when that next bank would be rolling in. He could see it clearly, swirling and coiling in on itself, like a living thing. It was repellent to look at. It was also getting closer.

Goliath touched her once, on the shoulder, a silent gesture of sympathy for what they were about to experience.

"Here it comes," Goliath said firmly, in case Angela wasn't looking.

The fog flowed over them, caressing like a lover, tendrils reaching and touching, solid and warm, licking...It was worse, worse each time. As if it was testing them, worrying at their defenses, refining it's approach until it drew out the essence of what would bring them over. The distilled spirit of lust, the exact balance of temptation. He was getting close to his limits. He did not know about the others, but just then it took everything he had not to simply let it happen. To give in, and let go.

He wanted, and oh, how he ached...he would not think of her. He would not think of her dark eyes, or the short sharp breaths she was taking as she stood beside him.

He was hard again, stiff and straining. Yearning as his heart yearned... The sensations were suddenly much sharper, much sweeter, and he thought with a pang of dread that it had finally gotten hold of him, he was getting too excited, he couldn't help it...

Goliath reached down with sharp talons and made a fist in his groin. The pain was sickening, but it was enough to quell him. Just barely. He growled as he tightened his grip, listening to Elisa panting harshly beside him. There was something in her voice that was suddenly more of a moan than a pant, and he reached out with his free hand and grabbed her arm roughly. She gasped at the bite of talons, gasped in relief, and then they were clear of it.

Goliath bent double over himself, hissing his breath out in pain. Elisa went down on one knee.

"Are you," she choked, "all right?"

Wordlessly, eyes shut, he nodded.

"Angela?" she called back weakly.

"Mostly," Angela replied, her voice very raw. "I don't think I can keep this up."

Goliath lifted his head, and found himself looking right into Elisa's eyes. Those this light they were black as a moonless night. She was leaning close, her face soft and concerned about him.

('It's good to know somebody cares.')

He was far enough gone that he could swear he actually heard her voice. He took a deep, shaky breath and looked away from her deliberately. He was hideously sensitized and he desperately needed some time to recover.

Elisa sighed.

"I'm not doing so great myself," she admitted. They both looked ahead with trepidation. Goliath sagged a little in relief when he saw the way looked clear.

"It's getting more difficult to resist," Goliath said finally, sinking down to rest on his knees.

"You can say that again," Elisa murmured, sitting beside him with a slight wince. "I think we've probably already got farther than most people would."

"It won't matter if we can't take another one," Angela said, finally drawing near. Her wings were flared in arousal. Goliath noticed that, glanced up, and quickly caped his wings. Elisa frowned at the deck.

"What did the monk say, before we left?" She said sharply, sounding thoughtful. "His exact words."

"Well, he said we had to resist..." Angela began.

"No," Goliath said suddenly. " He said we must resist as long as we can." He looked up, and both females gazed back at him unhappily.

"Implying that everyone gives in, eventually." Elisa shifted uncomfortably. " Not exactly optimistic, but at least it means we have some chance of making it to the island, even if we can't hold out." Elisa glanced at both her companions, then down at her hands.

Goliath stared out at the water ahead of them, looking grim. The lake was much bigger than it should have been able to be. They had been drifting for longer than seemed possible, and with mist rolling on the surface, there was no way to see the shore.

"We must give ourselves the best chance we can. We must resist as long as possible." He looked at both of them in turn, giving the impact of an order without pushing. It was the best way to handle Elisa, and it seemed to work all right on Angela, as well. They both nodded, each looking fierce and determined in her own way.

For a moment, his heart forgot entirely the situation they were in, and warmed at the sight of them so fearless.

Then, off in the distance, they heard a howl. It was a mournful, lamenting sound. A lone Gargoyle calling for his clan. Goliath stiffened.

"Bronx," blurted Angela. Elisa put a hand on her shoulder and looked out at the water ahead of them.

"We're coming, boy," Elisa said firmly, as if Bronx might hear her.

They had already left the Monk's temple when they first noticed Bronx was missing. Along with their skiff.

The three of them stared at the spot the boat had been for a moment in mute surprise.

"I don't suppose Bronx learned how to pole a boat, did he?" Elisa said in disbelief. Angela let out a breath of laughter as they neared the water, looking up and down the sand for signs of him.

"He has to be around the shoreline somewhere," Goliath mused, then glanced at Angela. "We will search from the air." He turned to Elisa and moved to lift her into his arms, something he always enjoyed, but she put a hand out to stop him.

"I can check and see if he's gone back to the temple," She offered. Goliath frowned a little.

"All right, but be careful. There's something strange going on here," He cautioned, and she smiled at him, pleased. He did not know why it gratified her so much to be worried over, but her happiness always shone through. It was good that it pleased her-it wasn't like he could stop himself. She was clan and she was his...responsibility.

"Sure thing," she quipped, dashing off, looking light and radiant. She was lovely when she was like this. Bright as an evening star.

Angela was looking at him with a slight smile on her face. Goliath gave her a stern look, and they took off without comment.

The lake was not large and it didn't take long to realize that Bronx was not on shore, and neither was he set adrift on the water.

"Could someone have taken the skiff?" Angela asked him in confusion.

"Perhaps," Goliath mused, and angled his wing slightly to change direction toward the temple. "Come."

He could hear Elisa long before he saw her, questioning the monk, her voice sharp and suspicious. He shared a quick, amused glance with Angela before entering. The temple was small, almost a one room building with a small alcove in the back for the monk's cot. The walls gleamed with golden inked pictures of many-armed humans and fierce creatures that may have been meant to be gargoyles. Bolts of red and yellow cloth glowed warmly in the light from dozens of candles. They had shared a meal with him earlier in the evening, sitting on cushions on the floor.

"Your missing...creature, he is an animal? Not like your friends?" the elderly man was asking.

"You humans would call him a 'pet'," Goliath cut in. He put a hand on Elisa's shoulder.

"No sign of him?" she asked without much hope. Goliath shook his head. They both turned to regard the small, hairless human in yellow robes.

"If your animal has been taken by the lake, it would be wisest to leave without it," the monk said pleasantly, as if they were discussing the weather.

"That is not an option," Goliath said firmly.

"What do you mean, 'taken'? It's just a lake." Elisa folded her arms skeptically.

The little man regarded them with some amusement.

"Yes, and I am sure your boat is merely a boat, and Gargoyles are only legends."

Angela covered her mouth with her hand.

"All right then," Goliath allowed, "What is special about this lake, and how will that keep us from our friend?"

The monk regarded the three of them for a moment in sober contemplation.

"Your animal can not be harmed, but you can. If you go after him, you risk your own destruction. He will be fine. Leave him." The monk smiled happily at them, and Goliath bit back a snarl.

"Look," Elisa cut in sharply, "We're going after him no matter what you say. You can either help us or not."

The monk lost his smile, looked away for a moment.

"Anger is a poison," he said quietly. "There is a boat in the shed you may use."

"I'm sorry," Angela cut in, "but our skiff isn't on the lake, and neither is Bronx, we just looked."

The monk stared at her with something like pity on his face.

"In this place, there is a difference between reality, and what you see as reality." He looked up at Goliath's doubtful expression and sighed, shaking his head. "Come, we will get the boat, and you will sail to find your animal."

The boat was under a tarp in a small structure behind the temple. It was quite a bit larger than the skiff, painted in bright colors and strange symbols. Goliath could have lifted the weight of it himself, but the shape was unwieldy and he had Angela help him with it.

That left Elisa to pick and prod at the monk herself. It was one of the things she did best, and very shortly, the monk was telling them a story.

"Once, long ago, Mara the demon was defeated by the Buddha's great love and wisdom, smashed to pieces and scattered over the earth. The Buddha called to the earth, and the earth caught these pieces, and held them safe, far from any sentient being. But Mara's wicked nature lingers on, and even the remains of him call out for minds too feed on. His black heart is there," The monk lifted his hand and pointed out over the water. "Even now it tries to free itself from bondage in the ground. If you take this boat and let it drift, it will take you to an island where his heart lies."

"And you think that's where Bronx is?" Elisa asked him, as Goliath and Angela set about easing the boat into the water.

"Mara can not harm him. Mara needs the desire from fully sentient beings. Your Bronx is..." The monk hesitated in the manner of a man not speaking his native tongue. "Bait, yes? He is bait." The old monk nodded firmly.

"This Mara, feeds on...desire?" Goliath prodded. At this point in their journey, he was practiced enough at the art of jumping into the middle of other people's problems to know they needed every little detail they could get.

The monk looked past him at Angela. Goliath narrowed his eyes.
"Mmm," agreed the monk. "It will be hardest on the young one. You must resist-"

"-For as long as you can," Goliath murmured to himself, as he eyed the approaching tendrils of mist. Angela drew away, towards the far end of the boat and Goliath intended to do something similar. Draw back, give everyone some space. It was a personal struggle, private, and he knew Elisa. He knew she wouldn't want him, invading her privacy now.

Despite that heartfelt intention, his hands were on her shoulders somehow, bracing her. She put her hands on his wrists, and he thought she would pull his hands away but she didn't. Instead she widened her stance as if preparing for battle, tightened her grip on him, and looked up at him with determined intensity.

It was getting far too good at pushing past his defenses.

Goliath hissed in a breath as he started to ache in inconvenient places. Elisa made a "whouf" noise, as if she had been struck in the stomach, and Goliath, hypersensitive to the point of pain, growled at the puff of air she exhaled over his skin. He snatched a hand away from her shoulder and held himself harshly, but this time it did no good. Even the pain was viscerally exciting. His wings flared and he could swear that the mist was caressing him, stroking down his spine, urging him on in his passion. Goliath choked as the sensation spiked and he lifted his hips helplessly.

The lingering tendril of fog blew past, and the boat found a patch of clear air.

Goliath stood on the edge of a knife, taking deep breaths, his wings twitching restlessly, tail lashing. Elisa rested her head on his chest with a groan of relief and disappointment. She made a mirror out of them, her own hand reaching between her thighs and grasping herself tightly. After a long moment of wavering agony, Goliath eased down on the side of self control and sagged, his head bowing to rest upon Elisa's with an honest twinge of regret. He pulled his free arm around her shoulders and held her close.

Behind them, Angela came down on the other side of it, and let slip a snarling cry. Goliath glanced that way without thinking. Her back was facing him but he caught a glimpse of movement from her, as if she'd been pushing against her own hand. He looked away quickly, hearing a gasp of dismay from his-from Elisa, and turning to face a wall of fog that seemed to be reaching out for them.

As if attracted by something on board.

Just then, Goliath caught a glimpse of shoreline. A curve of pale wood that might have been their skiff.

"Hold on!" He shouted hoarsely, lunging for the pole and driving it into the water. He pushed with everything he had, and he was surprised the wood did not splinter. The fog hit before the boat grounded, but Goliath pushed on, grinding his teeth.

Behind him, Angela let out a choked cry. He heaved himself over the side and turned to see Elisa scrambling down as well, red-faced and gasping.

"Angela!" He urged roughly, reaching out to help her down. She'd gone down on one knee, and growled when he spoke, her talons scarring wood.

Goliath hesitated, staggering, not capable at that moment of thinking very clearly. He blinked hard and looked at her, really looked at her. Then he leaned down, put his shoulder to the prow and shoved the boat off into the water again.

"We'll meet at the temple. Don't come after us." Goliath was short with her, but he didn't have any self control to spare at the moment. Angela looked up once in anger and frustration, but couldn't get enough self-possession to stop him. The boat was quickly swallowed by the fog.

Goliath stumbled onto the sand, flinching as the fabric of his loincloth rubbed against him, lightheaded with the certainty that even just that would be enough to bring him to climax very shortly. Elisa fumbled for his hand. He did not know why, but it seemed very important to be touching her right then, for a reason completely outside the hot aching magnitude of his erection.

From out on the water, they heard a gargoyle's triumphant cry.

The mist, as if listening as well, bore down on them harshly. It was suddenly much stronger, Goliath realized with real dismay. He could feel it, thick, touching him beneath his loincloth, teasing and warm, stroking and sucking him...

"Goliath," Elisa moaned, and the sweet passion in her voice shot his arousal even higher. He stretched his wings wide, the action pushing even more blood into his groin. They were clinging to each other, barely on their feet, and he knew he was going to climax and couldn't stop. He looked down into her eyes, and she looked up at him.

There were many things he'd wanted to say to her over the years they had known each other. He wanted to tell her how fair she'd looked in the air that one night she'd been given wings by Puck's mischief. He wanted to tell her how her hair had shone in the lights of the Empire State building on christmas eve as he glided home with her in his arms. He wanted to say that he knew that for most of the first year after they'd awakened, he'd been nearly out of his mind with horrors of times long dead but so fresh in his heart it took everything he had not to snarl and rend at the whole world in grief. She'd never flinched at his raw heartstrings, had coaxed him along like a horse gone half-wild until he could think clearly again. He wanted to thank her for that, and for the look she got in her eyes sometimes, when she thought he wasn't watching her...

For a split second he could imagine from the way she was looking at him that she could hear his thoughts. That just perhaps there were a few things she wished to say to him as well.

His erection was enormous and painful. As he looked at her the sensation sharpened beyond insensibility and he felt his muscles begin to contract in sweet, blessed completion.

He reached for her. She reached for him. His knees buckled as her arms and legs wrapped around him tightly. His erection pressed firmly into the cleft of her thighs, blood warm and flexing against him ardently.

He let out a hoarse cry as he came into her, thrusting against cloth but pouring himself out for her joyously as she tightened around him. She made a soft mewling sound, sweet as an angel's sigh and he moaned, pressing deliriously into everything that he wanted.

"Elisa," he gasped, cradling her to him, his hands stroking her back, sliding through her hair. He held her tenderly, his heart swelling in his chest until he could barely breathe from the warm immensity of it.

There was something in the quality of the feeling that somehow cleared his head.

He expected a resurgence of the attack against them. They had, after all, given in to desire. Mara the demon had been 'fed', and if what the monk had said was true, it should be harder for them to resist, not easier. Goliath was inclined to believe in the monk's integrity, and looked around with suspicion.

Elisa, too, lifted her head with a frown.

The fog that had covered the island had drawn back from them as if they were poisonous, leaving a circular space around them that was clear. Goliath could see their skiff on the shore not far away.

"Strange," He said with a furrowed brow, loosening his hold on his-on Elisa. Elisa's face flushed as she untangled herself from him, her eyes wide and liquid dark. She was breathing hard, and seemed inordinately clumsy, tripping over the sand and nearly ending up on her hands and knees.

Goliath reached out and caught her easily by the arm.

"Sorry, big guy," she said with a faint, intimate smile. "A little wobbly."

Goliath slid his talons down the length of her arm, lifted her hand, and brought it to his lips. Her eyes widened a little.

"I think we both know," Goliath said with gentle eyes, "no apologies necessary."

There was a hesitation in Elisa's eyes, doubt mixed with the same longing he felt in his own heart.

"Goliath," she began, but was interrupted by a mournful howl.

"He's close by," Goliath exclaimed, getting to his feet. It was coming from inland. Goliath listened a moment, tilting his head. He could hear better than Elisa. She knew this and waited, looking towards him expectantly. "This way," he said finally.

She caught his hand as they started off, surprising and pleasing him.

There did not appear to be much on the island but sand and rock. No plant life save some dark gnarled root-like things that looked black and dead until several surprised them both by actually slithering away from them as they approached. Goliath stepped in front of Elisa. Elisa jumped, and her free hand reflexively reached beneath her arm, touching her weapon, even though she knew it to be spent of ammunition.

"Well, I don't like the look of that," she muttered.

"No," Goliath rumbled. He looked up at the sky in frustration, his wings flexing. "The air in this place is maddeningly still. There is nothing here I can use to lift us up."

"Ah, the trials of a hero's life," Elisa said with a flash of wry humor. He suspected she did that sometimes simply to get a smile out of him. Goliath glanced back at her with amusement, and she brightened.

They continued on up the hill, edging around the plant life. The fog parted before them, the roots flinching back from their approach. It was eerie, and Goliath felt Elisa press closer to him. He squeezed her delicate hand gently, mindful of human bones. She stiffened suddenly, pointing.


A jubilant yowling sound seemed to blow the mists aside, and there lay Bronx at the top of the hill, entwined tightly in thick black roots. He yelped and strained at the restraints binding him, trying to get to Goliath and Elisa.

Goliath dropped Elisa's hand and ran to the faithful Beast.

There was an unnatural-looking mound of earth beside Bronx, and a crack at the base where it rose up from the surrounding soil. Something dark was leaking from it, trickling down the hillside, and it looked as though it was from this small amount of fluid that the spidery roots originated. Goliath avoided touching it as he made his way to Bronx, glanced back and saw Elisa prudently edging around it as well. It looked...unnatural.

The roots were smoking a little, now, where they touched Bronx's skin. Now that he thought of it, the mist had flinched aside from Bronx as well, even before Goliath and Elisa had come close enough to include him in the strange little circle of clear air they'd seemed to be carrying around with them. Goliath reached to snap the withering bindings holding Bronx, wondering at the island's seeming inability to affect them.

"Good boy, Bronx," Elisa soothed as the Beast struggled, whining. She stroked his massive head and Bronx wiggled ecstatically. The roots barely required breaking, almost seeming to crumble at the force of Bronx's delight at their arrival.

Goliath frowned in sudden thought as he cleared the remnants away. The monk had told them the tale, how Mara had been defeated in the first and wisdom. He made no claim to the latter, but as for...

His eyes rested on Elisa for a moment with a kind of dull shock.

Mara's heart was here on this island somewhere, he thought firmly, getting hold of himself. He looked over at the mound of earth with a cold suspicion running talons down his spine. He stood as Elisa continued to soothe Bronx, stepped away to get a closer look.

There was a depression in the center of the mound, almost a bowl carved out. It was filled with the same kind of liquid...It was utterly dark, so black it sucked at his eyes and caused a sharp headache to suddenly flower fully formed, stabbing him like an arrow right through to the back of his skull. There was something in it, something beneath the liquid, the source of it, he could nearly see...

He cried out, clutching at his head and falling back, wings askew.

"No," he choked, aghast. A sudden stab of lust hit him with the thrust of a spear, pushing aside the paltry defenses of mortal flesh and stiking vital organs. "No!" He'd let it in, he'd let it, oh, fool, fool!

"Goliath!" Elisa cried out, still sounding quite sane, his Elisa... He arched his back, writhing in sweet agony on the ground. One of his wings swept across the trickle of seeping liquid, staining it a streak of black.

Goliath came with a snarling cry at the contact, thrusting his hips to the sky. He felt her hands on him, heard her calling him, too late, too late.

The mist rolled in on them, clamping down. He got a brief flash, a kind of...satisfaction pulsing around them, burning up the streak of filth on his wing. Pleasure at being fed. Some great monstrous thing savoring the meal he had given it. Goliath would have retched if he hadn't been distracted by the invasive presence of the mist, pushing past his lips, flowing beneath his loincloth, giving him no respite, no place in himself to retreat to, nothing left in him to resist.

Oh, fool, he'd let it in...

Elisa flinched as the fog grabbed hold of them. She gasped and fell beside him with a cry of dismay and pleasure, nearly insensible, writhing upon his outstretched wing. Dimly, he could hear Bronx whining, digging at something.

It took everything he had to turn and reach for Elisa. He couldn't have said why he thought to do it. The pleasure Mara brought was largely internal-the only thing he ached for in that one moment of defeat was to find climax again. He knew he needed her near, somehow. He needed her near to be whole, and if that was something he was accustomed to thinking it was done subconsciously enough that he'd not noticed it until right then.

Elisa gasped and clung to him, pulling at him until he was half on top of her. He wrapped himself around her, longing suddenly for her scent, pushing his face back into the fragrant cascade of her hair.

He felt a jolt somewhere deep inside and pulled back, looking down at her. She watched him with clear eyes, wide and dark with desire.

"It's better," she said, shaken, speaking the words that were in his mind. "With you here," she began, but he shifted against her and she gasped and shut her eyes tightly for a moment. Elisa arched against him, pleading with her hands and her body. "Oh, it's so much better," she gasped, and lifted her head to press her mouth to his.

His heart stilled in his chest. It was not the first time he had been kissed, and after a moment of shock he applied himself to it ardently. He pressed against her with a fine, burning joy and she opened her legs in blatant invitation.

He settled himself between her thighs with a strange sense of completion. As if something in him had known for a long time that this was where he should be. It left him elated and unsettled. Shaking slightly, he let his mouth stray down over her chin, tasting the fragile skin of her neck. Elisa turned her head and bit his shoulder.

He gasped and thrust against her strongly, sensitized enough that even through several layers of cloth, his clothing and hers, it was shockingly lascivious.

Elisa hooked her legs around him tightly, lifting her hips to meet him. There was a kind of fierce tenderness in her face that, upon seeing, drove him slightly mad. He could not get close enough to her, he could not get enough of her taste, her smell. In that moment he felt utterly possessed, and was shocked into exhilaration.

There was something on the ground, something black and unpleasant that was smoking. Pouring out from where Bronx was digging. An object, solid and dark and terrible, fell free of the earth with a gush of black fluid. He could not at that point form a coherent thought but he still had enough sense to know it shouldn't touch her, and lifted her up against the side of the hill a little. The angle pushed him more firmly up against her and she cried out for him passionately.

He pressed into her again, and once more with a rising elation that threatened to ignite him like a candle. Elisa climaxed with a little wail and he growled, ferociously aroused, it was beyond bearing...

Goliath distinctly heard something shatter like glass and came against her, for her, gasping,

"My love-"

Goliath awoke tangled with someone. He blinked, frowning, and lifted his head. Elisa looked up from beneath him, appearing mightily amused.

"Hey there, big guy, fancy meeting you here." She grinned up at him mischievously as he lifted himself up off her. They were...rather intimately entwined, and Goliath put a hand to his head in confusion. Had he been hit in the head? He looked around. They were on a small islet, perhaps ten feet by ten feet, a little larger than three square ells, entirely surrounded by water. Bronx sat beside them, looking rather proud of himself for some reason. The skiff lay empty beyond him, grounded on the sand.

"What happened?" he asked, bewildered. "Elisa, do you-"

"Not a clue," she said, dusting herself off as she sat up. "I think I woke up about three seconds before you did."

Goliath noticed, just then, that he was rather sticky. Beneath his loincloth. He froze in shock, his eyes darting to check and be certain he wasn't visible in his arousal. He was not, but there was a definite sensitivity in that area that was familiar. Elisa had turned and was poking at something in the sand, so he made a quick examination of himself.

Jalepenia. He'd definitely...

"Goliath, look at this. It's still hot." She lifted something black and shiny up to the moonlight. He felt a jolt upon seeing it.

"Don't touch it!" he hissed sharply, flicking it out of her fingers with a quick application of his tail. Elisa jumped.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm not sure," Goliath said honestly, after a moment of thought. He leaned over to look at where the shiny object had fallen. It looked like scorched black glass. There were bits of it spread all over the sand, glinting in the moonlight. Some of the larger pieces were steaming a little in the cool night air. He found them deeply, instinctively repulsive. He'd acted entirely on impulse in swatting the shard out of Elisa's hand. Something so foul should not be touching her.

"I don't remember what happened but..." he glanced at Bronx for a moment. Bronx cocked his head to the side and panted at him cheerfully. "I think, whatever it was, we defeated it."

He looked over at the skiff and stiffened.

"Where is Angela?" he demanded, alarmed. Bronx gave a huffing sound and stood. He walked over to the skiff and looked back at both of them expectantly. Then, with a grunt, he heaved himself over the side.

"Think that means she's on shore somewhere," Elisa mused. He held out a hand to help her to her feet. She bumped him a little as she stood, and for some reason blushed furiously. She walked ahead of him and he watched her a moment, ambushed by suspicion.

There was a cool, brisk wind coming off the water as they hopped onto the skiff and for some reason it cheered him. He glanced over at Elisa as he took up the pole to push them out into deeper water.

"You're certain you don't remember anything?" he asked her lightly. Elisa shrugged, looking apologetic.

"Not a thing," she said, her cheeks reddening again. He was watching her carefully, and saw her hand snake down as if to make some adjustment to her pants. She squirmed for a moment, as if uncomfortable in that area for some reason.

Goliath sighed as he felt the breeze sneak through the weave of his loincloth, cold as it dried the evidence of passion on his skin. Something had certainly happened between them, and to his surprise, it lifted his heart to know that. He hadn't let himself think...he'd tried not to let himself think... Goliath eyed Elisa where she sat looking out at the water. If they had been presented with an opportunity, and she had accepted him...

Goliath felt a warmth start to glow through his chest, and smiled.

ell- ancient Scottish measurement of distance, slightly over three feet

(Yes I am a geek.)