974 AD

Two gargoyles glided there way through the forest. The first was Goliath, aptly named by his human peers. The second had no name; it was not in the gargoyle tradition to have names, and no human had given him one. From time to time, however, he was nicknamed by his family and human acquaintances "friend", "red", and "demon". He was only twenty years old (ten in human), but was already a prodigy warrior, among gargoyles. Of course, it helped that Goliath was his personal trainer.

Every gargoyle had a personal trainer, after they reach around 30 years of age, but "Red" was so good, that he got special treatment. Goliath was the best in the generation ahead of him, so naturally Red received lessons from him.

This particular lesson was an easy one; but since they had only just started working together, it made sense to start that way. Gargoyle wingspans were generally wide, and this was a lesson in flying in close spaces. Branches and trees hindered their glide, and were made harder when Goliath decided to kick it up a notch by adding sparring lessons to the mix. They traded hits, while every now and then the teacher imparted words of wisdom to the pupil. Further and further they went into the dense foliage.

It was getting light, and they had started to make their way back to the castle, when they heard high pitched, squealing. They looked at each other before following the sounds. When they reached a clearing, they found a large, burning carriage that looked like it had once been multi-colored. Surrounding the fire were bodies of dead humans, all dark tanned and wearing bloodied but colorful clothes, and strewn around the humans were empty chests. It looked like a gang of thieves had attacked a group of traveling gypsies, and that it had only just happened within the last few minutes. The crying came from large bush at the edge of the clearing. In front was a dead woman on her stomach, her arms outreaching towards the crying. It looked like she had been left to die, and had left this world while crawling towards the bush. Next to her was an overturned bassinette, probably thrown during the scuffle and whatever had been in the basket was tossed out.

While Goliath checked around for any surviving humans or for items of interest, Red pushed the leaves away and peered in the bush and found a human baby girl all dirty and bloody from scratches all over its body. The baby stopped momentarily at the sudden appearance of the gargoyle, but a moment later resumed crying again.

"There is nothing we can do for these humans." Stated Goliath, "We can not even hunt the thieves, they hid their tracks well. Let's bring the baby back to the castle. Perhaps our friend, the captain of the guard, can help her during the day."

With that, Red picked up the baby and carried her as the two finished their glide back to Castle Wyvern. The baby, in hunger and pain, cried the whole way.

With a few minutes to spare, they told the events of the last hour to the clan leader, a brown male with graying blond hair, and the very young captain of the guard, Wallace. Wallace promised to try to find help for the babe while they slept, and, true to his word, went around the castle looking for a midwife to look after the baby girl.

974-984

Unfortunately for the baby, no one wanted to bother with her. She was born from gypsies, and the best she could do without her gypsy family was servitude. Since she was only a babe, no one wanted to bother taking care of her, then training her. It also did not help the poor babe that there was already another baby being busily attended to, what with the birth of Princess Katherine. No one had ties to the babe, no one felt indebted to protect her. It was rare indeed, when gargoyles took an interest in rearing a human, and that's what happened to the dark haired, tanned skin, chocolate eyed, gypsy baby.

First, it was Wallace who went to the clan leader and asked for this to happen. Apart from his lack of bravery at times, Wallace did pick up a thing or two from his co-guards, the gargoyles, including the need to protect. He could not explain it, but he wanted to continue taking care of the babe. It was not possible, with his night guard duty, for him do to so. After debating with the clan leaders (the young, azure skinned female was opposed as much as the brown male leader was for it). In the end, Goliath, "Old Soldier", and "Split Wing" convinced "Flaming Hair" to spare the child and raise it as a gargoyle.

Wallace even named it 'Elisa', as 'holy vow', his own oath to better the life of another, thus his own. Elisa was placed in the rookery, although there were no eggs there at the moment, just young gargoyles learning to be warriors by their rookery keepers. There should have been hatchlings there, the year of 974 being one of the birth years, but there was a curse in effect against that happening, by way of the Arch-Mage. Even the azure gargoyle had to agree that it was an auspicious omen having at least some kind of new life in the rookery. A few times it was seen that Flaming Hair even held Elisa in her arms with care on her face, but that was a rare sight indeed.

Elisa was the pet of the rookery. Even though there were no child gargoyles currently, only adolescent ones, of the same rookery as Red; Elisa was taken care of by the rookery keepers, and played with by the other "hatchlings". As she grew older, she was allowed to participate and listen in on lessons, but at a reduced pace so as to not hurt her. Sometimes, too, she could only watch, as she didn't have gargoyle features to use, i.e. wings, tail, claws, and heightened senses. As far as humans go, though, she was probably the fastest and strongest child.

Wallace came every morning to collect her after his nightly guard duties were done. They shared a "breakfast" and talked about the night. Then they went to Wallace's chambers to sleep. (The prince, though he was good and kind, was unable to convince the servants to spare an extra room for an orphaned gypsy.)

Elisa made friends with all of her "rookery brothers and sisters", but became the best of friends with the outcasts of the group. Though there was an age difference, there was no difference to the comfort and fun they gave to each other. "Yellow Spider", "Big Blue", and "Red", were the friends. Spider for his small size and smarts, Big Blue for his love of human style of food and unusual calm and easygoing nature, and Red for his "teacher's pet" status.

Red even had a special place in his heart for Elisa since he felt he found her and felt he was partially responsible for her life. Whenever he had extra time away from personal training (which wasn't very often), he would take Elisa for glides or fishing or hunting or any other type of adventures.

The four outcasts became known as the "Fearsome Foursome", albeit somewhat mockingly.

"Outcasts" is probably too strong a word. So would be "mockingly". They just connected easiest and the mocking was in affection. Elisa was loved and well cared for. Old Soldier, Split Wing, Goliath, and a few other older gargoyles that were not rookery keepers would occasionally shower Elisa with attention and play time, as they did with all the young of the clan. Even the Azure gargoyle could be seen once or twice teaching Elisa how to wield a mace, her weapon of choice. Only a few gargoyles disapproved: those too old and unable to change their ways whether they liked Elisa or not, and those gargoyles that mistrusted humans altogether.

However, Elisa's first real test for being part of the gargoyle family came much later, around the year 992.

985

The "hatchlings" were no longer called "hatchlings". They by now had reached the age of thirty, and had "graduated" from the rookery. Goliath had now been made leader, Flaming Hair was second for now (until a younger generation gargoyle proved worthy) and Red had already had his warrior ceremony, at only age 30 (15 in human years). There was a big feast (as much as the prince would/could allow) in Red's honor, and Red would also have the pride to be given a human name for his larger then life accomplishment. He was named Brooklyn, meaning "the break of uncertainty", as no one was uncertain of his skills or his smarts, anymore.

Old Soldier (who now sported a scar on his right eye) was also happy to see, when others didn't notice, that Brooklyn was a humble and humored warrior. As an alternative of having a "teacher's pet" status, he had a "hunk" status. However, instead of changing friends, Brooklyn mingled only with his companions of the "Fearsome Foursome".

And because of Old Soldier's tracking skills, and Goliath and Flaming Hair's bravery, the Arch-Mage's curse was now broken, but they would have to wait till 1004 for the next Breeder's Moon, since they killed the Arch-Mage to late in the year 984 for anything to take place.

985-991

Elisa still thought of herself as mainly a gargoyle at heart, but now entered a phase of life that included mostly humans. Because of her prodigy like skills as a child fighter (as a human) she was allowed to become a page of the castle, by the Prince. There were many arguments from his subjects, and he tried to convince them of her gargoyle upbringing ("Their ways, are not our ways!"), but in the end, with the support of Wallace and a few other guards who had warmed up to Elisa in her beginning years, the Prince just ignored the others and had Elisa join anyway.

Now she had gargoyle and human training to make up her skills as a warrior. And although she never made squire, or Knighthood (even the Prince could not cut the red ribbon surrounding that scandal), she was later placed on the parapets as a low ranked guard, by the age of 17.

Though she had lots of training from both the gargoyles and the humans, she became more tired then she had ever been. However, that did not stop her from occasionally cooking with Big Blue, or playing chess with Spider, or going fishing with Brooklyn, or learning to read from Goliath, or gossiping with Split Wing, or learning how to use weapons from Flaming hair, or any other thing she might do with her gargoyle family. Her life, though barely begun, was full, and she was happy.

992

It was a few weeks away from her 18th birthday, (as much as they could figure, no one really knew when her exact birth date was), when her first test as a gargoyle came.

One night that Elisa didn't have patrol duty, she was sitting on the parapets with Brooklyn, talking about nothing really, when he brought up the Breeder's Moon. He confided in her that he was now ashamed that he found no mate. Now in his 38th (19th in human) year, he should have found a mate, or at least a single gargoyle he wouldn't mind having an egg with, and who wouldn't mind him either. But no one caught his attention. Either they were into his status only, or, if they were friendly enough, wanted a mate for life, not a mate for the sake of an egg. He couldn't hurt anyone like that. However, the situation made him very miserable.

Elisa could do nothing to console her friend. Instead, tried to take his mind off of it, and satisfy her curiosity at the same time. She asked him about the Breeder's Moon, and why there were no current eggs or gargoyles of a younger generation.

Brooklyn then told her that the Arch-Mage, who she barely remembered as the wizard who gave Old Soldier his scar and had almost killed the Prince, was the one responsible for the lack of eggs in the past thirty years. He placed a curse of barrenness on the gargoyles, and the curse had been lifted when he was killed. However, since the last Breeders Moon was supposed to have been in 984, and the curse was lifted only after the even passed, they had to wait till 1004 for the next one. Good thing they had magic of their own. Flaming Hair, along with the Magus's unwilling assistance (the Prince ordered it), studied their magic for help. After a few years of studying, they were able to cast a spell for the Breeders Moon to come this year, and for the eggs to hatch in the normal hatching year of 994, two years later instead of ten.

But because of Brooklyn's lack of luck with the females, he would become a very depressed and horny male the next night. There was nothing more Elisa could do. She tried several times to take his mind off it, suggesting things they could talk about or things they could do, but he had none of it. She was almost happy to see him turn to stone.

The next night, Elisa was advanced lookout scout in the forest. However, because of her love for her family and, mostly, her curiosity, she watched the castle at sundown. After the roars of awakening, there followed powerful screeches from the mated females, who leapt off the parapets followed by their mates. Elisa saw Goliath chase Flaming Hair, and Split Wing being chased by Two Face (so named for his tendency to switch moods quickly). Some of the unmated ones, but willing to have an egg with a friend, shyly paired off and flew towards some privacy. Having never been mated before, they were able to control their hormones a little better. Elisa also saw Old Soldier on the highest tower, looking a little forlorn, but otherwise proud as ever.

After watching a while, Elisa wondered how her friends were doing. She knew Spider and Big Blue didn't have mates, like Brooklyn, but somehow were not as down about it as Brooklyn was. Just as she was starting to really worry about Brooklyn, he glided down in her vision, and came towards her.

They clasped hands in a warriors' handshake, smiling at each other, and Elisa was about to ask him how he was doing, when Brooklyn suddenly frowned.

"I should not have come to you." He said. "You're fertile."

"Huh?"

"I can smell it on you. It never affected me before. I knew it was coming, but I didn't think it would be any different this time." Brooklyn didn't let go of Elisa's hand; instead he pulled her towards him, his other arm going around her back.

"What's going on?" Elisa was by now afraid of Brooklyn's advances.

"I'm so sorry Elisa!" He managed to strangle out before slamming her against the nearest tree. She was not prepared for her best friend to do this to her, and her head banged against the tree, dazing her. "I can not promise anything, but I will try not to hurt you." he spoke into her ear. Elisa was still confused as to what was going on, and could barely comprehend what was happening to her, let alone able to stop it or question him.
Brooklyn's chest pressed against Elisa, his arm on her back moving up behind her head. His other hand let go of her forearm, going down to unbuckle her belt. Her sword and dagger fell to the ground, useless to her, as well as her plain kilt, pooling around her boots.

Elisa brought up her hands to Brooklyn's sides, trying to get to his chest and push him away, but she was still stunned and him stronger then her anyway, that she had no leverage against him. Unfortunately, her scratching his sides aroused him even more. He let out a cross between a moan and a grunt, and pushed against her some more, cutting off her air supply, thus confusing her even more. He ground his hips into her a few times, almost purring the whole time.

He leaned on one side, bringing up his free hand to fondle her covered breasts, leaving light scratches on her human skin, through the thin shirt. He brought his beak down to her neck, nuzzling her, while he brought up his tail to twine around her leg and then to her sex. It entered her, rubbing against her most sensitive area, causing her to moan in her disorientation, and for her juices to wet his tail.

He shifted his body to the other way, switching his arms so he could get to the other breast, all the while, his tail ministering to her sex. She kept moaning, now, sometimes moaning "no", and he did not reply, seemingly unaware of what he was doing. He only softly growled some more.

After a last flick of her nipple, he brought his hand down to his buckle and removed his loincloth. After a last flick of her sex with his tail, she cried out with an orgasm. He then leaned again all against her, and he lifted both her legs and (after taking off her boots) placed them around his hips. Again placing one hand behind her head, he pushed her back onto the tree. His other hand held onto one of her thighs, stroking it and then grabbing it gently, he slowly entered his erect member into her wet sex. All the while, she tried to protest, and once she cried in pain when he passed her barrier. His tail now wrapped around her waist, and squeezed bringing her even closer to him in her delirium. Powerless to do anything, she placed her head on his shoulder, whimpering, and her fisted hands and arms along his sides.

He waited a few seconds, the most he could do for her in this state, then started a pace with his hips and his tail, using them, at first, to slowly pull out of her then slam back into her. His eyes started glowing white. The pace got faster and faster, and he started grabbing her head and thigh tighter, and Elisa bit her lip, trying to distract herself from the pain from her bruised head. The pains from her nether regions were a sweet pain however, as much as it was unwanted, and she felt a second orgasm coming.

It came and went, as well as her strangled cry of satisfaction, but he was still going! It was no longer sweet pain, but horrible pain. Finally, after what seemed like hours of him slamming into her, which was really much shorter then that, he roared his release, roaring to the heavens, and stretching his wings to their full extent; spilling his seed into her.

Still crying, Elisa could do nothing but hold onto her friend. He leaned against her for a second, before lifting her away from the tree, still holding her head and legs around his hips, and fell to his knees. He seemed to come out of a trance, "I'm sorry!" he kept saying over and over again, and she believed him, though she could not forgive him at the moment.

He uncoiled his tail from her, "I'm sorry!" and lifted her off him to place her kneeling on the ground, "I'm sorry!" her upper body leaned on him. She was still powerless to stop him when he continued to humiliate the both of them by lifting her tunic off of her. "Please!" she begged, "Stop!" She was crying anew and still unable to prevent him from doing anything, should he do so.

He hesitated, seeing her like this. It almost broke through his Breeder's Moon haze, but it didn't. "I… can't!" he choked out. He deftly made his way around her, kneeling behind her, his arms now holding her back up to his chest.

He wrapped his tail around her waist to help hold her up, and caped his wings around her, each wingtip on her opposite shoulder, and brought one hand to her backside, using his fingers to enter her backside entrance. She cried aloud at the intrusion, but Brooklyn continued stroking her inside, Meanwhile his tail again entered her sex, from the front, and Elisa was unable to think and feel these sensations at the same time. Crying out and moaning, she fought herself, but couldn't stop her body from betraying her.

When her ass was wet enough for Brooklyn, he brought his hand back around to her front, and started fondling her now naked breasts with both his hands. His tiny wing claws grasped her shoulders and left little marks on her skin, his eyes glowed white, and he nuzzled her neck again with his beak. His erect member entered her again, this time from behind. She grunted in pain at the entrance, and then bit her lip again to distract from the pain. Her hands were grasping his wrists now, and he stopped moving them, but he neither stopped his tail from rubbing her clit or himself as he slammed again and again into her backside.

At one point, she passed out from the pain, both sweet and not so sweet. After Brooklyn released his seed into her, yet again, he laid her down onto the ground, removing his wings, tail, and member from her, but still prepared to have some more. When he saw her unconscious, he was finally able to break his haziness. He feared for her life, more then anything his lust might induce, and seeing her hurt and unconscious finally brought out his brotherly love for her.

He held her to his chest for a few minutes, trying to hold back the rage of tears that threatened to come, before his senses came back to him and he realized he had to get her back to the castle for help. He dressed himself and her, then gingerly lifted her in his arms, and carried her back to the castle.

The human doctor was brought to Elisa, and he told Brooklyn, Old Solider, the only other gargoyle not staying away from the humans or who wasn't mating, and Wallace, that Elisa had passed out from a concussion, not from anything sexual, although it did not help.

Brooklyn was loathe to confess to them that he, in a moment of lustful instinct, had slammed her into a tree to force her into submission, somehow knowing that she would have tried to object to the mating, and that that must have been the cause of her injury. Wallace had a murderous look in his eyes, but Old Soldier calmly told him to look after Elisa and led Brooklyn away.

While not the leader anymore, Old Soldier was able to give orders in his wisdom. He was ashamed of Brooklyn, but knew how the Breeder's Moon affected even the most prepared and controlling gargoyle. Brooklyn had been neither prepared nor able to control his urges yet. When the night had come, he himself should have kept Brooklyn at the castle. However, no one could have foreseen that Brooklyn had even a trace of attraction for Elisa. It really could have been worse; at least Brooklyn tried to pleasure Elisa too, instead of taking only what he wanted and hurting her even more.

Old Soldier confined Brooklyn to the rookery till further notice, and banned him from seeing Elisa, too. Since the rookery was completely empty at the moment, it gave Brooklyn no job or hatchlings to distract him from his thoughts. For the rest of the night, he could be heard sobbing, roaring and hitting the walls in his self-anger. If not for the "concrete cure-all", he would have had to be bed-ridden too.

The following weeks were hell for Elisa. Aside from being bed ridden till her head healed, she went into a depression stage that seemed very likely to take over her life. She only ate because Wallace refused to leave her alone until she did so. That only made her angry with him. Any time someone she could tolerate came and visited her, she would lay on the bed with her face to the wall. She cried most of the time and was frustrated that she could not forgive Brooklyn. He had only been following instincts, had tried to not hurt her, and was her best friend: why then was she so angry and depressed?

She was not a gargoyle, was human, and had different expectations of friends and sex. As much as Brooklyn couldn't help mating her, she couldn't help feeling her trust violated, and used.

Wallace, unable to stand her moping much longer, pulled Elisa from the room one day. He had her patrol the battlements with him, and the sun and fresh air seemed to do her good. She spaced out a lot, but no longer was wallowing in self-pity.

After that, she slowly found her way back into the world. Her winged family supported her whenever they could, and Spider and Big Blue never left her out of their sights.

But things were far from being happy again. The Prince had died from pneumonia, and his daughter, the Princess Katherine, was not as nice towards gargoyles. Aside from her fear of the demon-like beings, she had been jealous all her life of Elisa, befriending them and being a courageous warrior, something she would never be able to be. Not that Katherine wanted to be a warrior, but she did want an adventure or two. Hell, running in pants would have been a joy she would have liked to try.

Katherine was finally able to rule, but still was restricted by her royal blood, so in anger she placed some rules that further hindered the acceptance of gargoyles. They could no longer come inside the castle; they could not approach her or the court if they went out at night, they could not mate inside or in the air surrounding the castle, and a few other restrictions.

Brooklyn was still banned from seeing Elisa, and had been given the job of advanced scout, so he was away from the castle most of the night. Elisa missed him, but every time she caught a glimpse of him, or saw his statue, her heart sped up in shame and fear, and she had to turn away. Brooklyn himself felt shame and hot tears every time he glimpsed her or smelt her lingering scent.

But the worst news that followed the Breeder's Moon was that Elisa had become pregnant. When the news was given to the clan leaders, they were stunned. In gargoyle history, no human had ever become pregnant by a gargoyle, or vice versa. Of course, it wasn't for lack of mating between the two; sometimes there were not enough pairs between the two gargoyle sexes, and the ones who had no mates found human friends willing to help itch a sexual itch, especially that of a Breeder's Moon. Old Soldier himself was one who was mate less and had had relations with a buxom and humorous servant wench, whom he fondly remembered after her death.

But it was not possible for children of the two different species together. The azure female magician suggested that perhaps the magic in the air allowing the Breeder's Moon to occur abnormally, also allowed for inter-species pregnancies. It was the only viable answer, and they left it at that. The next question was what to do with the situation. Flaming Hair wanted to have Elisa get rid of the abomination. But Goliath reminded her that all life was precious, and they should help Elisa in any way they could and raise the child as a normal gargoyle. Old Soldier advised them that they should ask Elisa what she wanted, rather then force her to do either, and respect her wishes. In the end, that's what they did.

Elisa kept the life inside her. She had been raised too long a gargoyle to destroy it. Had she been raised by humans and then raped by a gargoyle, she might have done what Flaming Hair and Wallace both wanted her to do, and get rid of it, but she couldn't bare the thought of the disappointed glances of Goliath and her winged friends, and couldn't bare her own conscious either.

Carrying the egg inside was a unique brand of torture. It weighed down upon her physically, to match the weight of her depression. Split Wing was the only one, it seemed, who was able to offer her comfort and words of wisdom regarding the new developments. But mostly, Elisa was by herself, with fear and self-loathing. She had just started re-living her life, resuming her duties, and now she was bound to her room again from something she had no control over.

Before the year was out, after about 5 or 6 months of carrying a life, Elisa birthed an egg along with her 'sisters'. It was the smallest egg, and was one colored rather then two, but the shell was as hard as any egg. It was a good sign, and it gave Elisa hope for the future when she touched it, where she had none a moment before. She smiled a genuine smile for the first time in months.

Brooklyn was up in the rafters with Spider, hiding, so they could witness the egg laying, and Brooklyn was renewed with hope, also, at seeing her smile.

993-994

Elisa and Brooklyn slowly regained their friendship after the egg laying. At first, they were never alone together, either the Fearsome Foursome was all together or one of the older generation would join in their activities.

Then they were not allowed to leave the parapets of the castle, always within sight of another gargoyle or loyal guard.

Near the end of 993, they were found at times fishing, or playing chess, or sparring, or doing any number of things they used to do together, without the watchful eyes of others.

It was done for both of their benefits. Elisa needed to regain his trust, and Brooklyn needed to see that he had not permanently damaged her. Slowly, it came. They talked nothing of the incident in the beginning, but of course it did have to come.

One fine sunset, after the sun had gone but had left blazing colors behind, the pair sat on the parapets and talked. Elisa explained her fears, and Brooklyn told her he never meant to use her. That even though they weren't a couple, he still felt affection for her, and that gargoyles did not get that uncontrollably horny during the Breeder's Moon unless it was with someone they at least liked more then a normal friend. When he had gone to her that night, he himself didn't realize how much she meant to him. Also the reason Spider and Big Blue weren't as down about it, they didn't have anyone to feel deeply about.

It was the big break; they hugged, and cried, and afterwards they seemed back to normal, no awkwardness around. Sometimes, he even brought her flowers from the far away and dangerous crags, and she would brush his hair, a luxury that was rare for the gargoyles.

994

The eggs in the rookery were set to hatch in a few months, the rookery Elisa had grown up with had finally 'graduated' to full warriors, and she and Brooklyn seemed back to normal again. There were even rumors that Brooklyn would replace Flaming Hair as the second, since the position of second was traditionally held by a member of the younger generation then the leader.

Elisa's second test as a gargoyle came when the Vikings came, led by the fearsome barbarian, Haakon. What he lacked in wits, he made up with his cruelty and strength. He had recently set his sights on Castle Wyvern, reputed to be a safe hold of magical items (accumulated by the Arch Mage, then later by Magus and the Azure Magician) worth a bundle to the right people. And, unlike other attackers of Wyvern, he was unafraid of the gargoyles.

Lacking wits one particular day, he planned an attack at dusk. His men didn't say it out loud, but they thought it nuts. Haakon had his reasons, though. The guards would be more tired then the ones during the day. Also, he wanted to show everybody his prowess against the gargoyles, further boosting his image, and ego.

Elisa was currently resting next to the statue of Brooklyn, waiting for the sun to go down. She was thinking of her fellow guard, Irishman Matthew; a weird man, to be sure, who left his home country in pursuit of adventure, and had found it with the gargoyles. Matt also found Elisa exotic with her dark skin and eyes, not normal in either Scotland or Ireland, and fun to be around, since she had spunk and could beat his ass any night of the week. He asked her if he could court her, and she was seriously considering it. Nice, funny, handsome, brave, if a bit weird: what wasn't to like?

Her thoughts were broken when the advanced scout came running from the forest yelling for everyone to take up arms. Behind him could be seen dust rising, and could be heard what sounded like many carts being rolled.

There had been a standstill when the Vikings had finished moving into place, just outside the range of the longbow, while Haakon watched the sun move lower and lower through the sky. He seemed to be impatient, though, and ordered for the attack before the sun had left the sky.

The battle was going badly for the Wyvern guards. In only a few minutes, the Vikings had thrown up ropes to enter the castle. Elisa lent as much help as she could with her archery skills, but there was too many of them. Pretty soon, she had to unsheathe her sword with invaders lucky enough to scale the wall.

One lucky Viking was able to pass the Wyvern guards and get into the castle itself. He was unable to go undetected, though, as Elisa spied him as she had just finished striking a Viking through his stomach. She was able to follow the lucky invader, but couldn't get to him in time as he smote down the princess's personal guards and broke down her door.

When Elisa got there, the black haired Viking was waiting for her, holding the princess in front of him, dagger placed against her throat. "I can kill her now, or take her hostage without trouble from you. It is your choice." He spoke.

Elisa didn't hesitate, "Take me instead!"

The disturbingly handsome Viking laughed, "Do you have more riches then your princess?" he laughed again, appraising Elisa with his cold, blue-eyes from head to toe, "but you do offer something… different. Maybe I'll take both of you!" and he shoved the princess aside, drawing his sword out again to fight Elisa.

He blocked Elisa's downward swipe with his sword, and brought about his other hand with his dagger to stab her thigh. She cried out, but did not retreat, instead brought her sword around to try and strike again, but was blocked again. Taking a tip from her enemy, she, in one quick movement, let go of her sword with one hand and used it to punch him in the groin. He staggered back with a grunt, but was now angrier then before. He started to charge Elisa, when the princess, who seemed to have gained some bravado, hit him in the shoulder with a fire poker. She realized too late that she should have aimed for his head (or better yet, stabbed him with it), but alas, he was not even stunned. He grabbed the poker, and used it to propel the princess, holding the poker with a death grip, into Elisa as she tried to attack him while he was distracted.

Elisa fell down with the unprepared weight of the princess (also losing her sword in the process), and she barely had time to shove the princess off of herself when the Viking landed on top of her, straddling her waist, and grabbed her throat with his hands. He proceeded to choke her, and he gave no mind to the princess who was getting up from the floor and looking around for a weapon with which to use against the Viking.

All of Elisa's buckling, punches, and knees to his back were ineffectual and weakening. All of her grunts of effort were drowned out by the timely awakening of the gargoyles. As she was turning purple, Princess Katherine raised Elisa's sword (rather awkwardly and weakly, having no muscle to raise the iron easily) to strike the Viking. Her slow speed was what doomed her and her guard, as another Viking who got away from the fight grabbed the princess from behind and continued to subdue her.

After Elisa finally passed out, the two Vikings tied the two women up, and found the back ways out of the castle just as Haakon was ordering the retreat.

When Elisa came to, she had none of her weapons; she was tied hand and foot, as were about twenty of her fellow guards, and it was daylight again.

After looking around for a while (with what limited movement Elisa had) and from what she gathered from her fellow captives, no one else but them and the princess had been captured, but they shouldn't count themselves so lucky to be alive. They either were going to be given the choice of joining the Vikings or being killed, by their former guardsmen (as a test to prove willingness). The princess, Katherine, was to be used as ransom to her rich uncle, the King, while Elisa, they were hesitant to admit, was to be a "spoil of war", for the Viking Jason, the very one who had chocked her into unconsciousness. On the bright side, the Vikings had been forced to retreat, thanks to the gargoyles. And one of their captors had been kind enough to bandage her thigh, but it still hurt like hell.

But the worst was for later that day.

That black-haired Viking, Jason, with pale skin and a smile that led people to believe that he was hiding something, had his ice-cold blue eyes on Elisa. In fact, it was he who had bandaged her thigh. His mind was far from hospitable, however, as his main thought was that she would be able to last longer then his other "conquests". Later that afternoon, after all the Vikings were drunk and rowdy, he dragged her away to his tent before Haakon ordered the hostages all either joined or slaughtered.

Elisa struggled the whole time. She struggled when the dark-haired Viking, Jason, tied her hands above her head on the center post of his tent. (He wanted to tie her to a bed, but a tent didn't afford such niceties.) As much as she wrestled with her gargoyle family, he was stronger then her thanks to his larger frame, which could hold more muscles, and she could get very little leverage what with her arms and legs all tied up. She tried to knee him in the groin when he shredded her clothes off of her, but he only laughed in her face as he whacked her hurting thigh. She tried to land a solid kick to his head when he kneeled down to untie her legs and yank her boots off, but he had the advantage and used it to also yank her leg to the side, breaking it at the knee. Elisa could not move without pain shooting throughout her.

After Jason came back up from breaking Elisa's knee, he grabbed her face harshly with one hand, and leaned in to steal a kiss. She spat in his face, which he wiped off with his other hand and then retaliated with a punch to her stomach. She only glared as he leaned in to kiss her again.

It was rough and ungentle. As Elisa's first kiss, it was enough for her to appreciate Brooklyn's beak massaging her neck. It did not help that his breath stank of rancid ale and that he kept biting her lips too, as she tried to bar his tongue access from her mouth. His grip on her chin never relaxed.

His other hand was busy unbuckling his own pants, and massaging his member after the article fell to the ground. When he was ready, he leered at her, using his leg to try to separate her clenched legs, which she valiantly tried to keep shut, even with the broken knee. He slapped, her, she didn't open up, and blood flowed from her lips. He grabbed her breasts harshly, kneading with excess force and scratching at them. It drew blood and hurt, unlike when Brooklyn lightly scratched in a teasing manner. It did not cause her to open up, but it did bring tears to her eyes. His leer, which never left his face, seemed to get more ugly as he perversely seemed to enjoy torturing her. Jason never said sorry, and Elisa wanted her sword more and more as it went on.

Jason punched her again in the stomach. Elisa coughed, but did not open up. He seemed glad, she was tougher then others, and it meant he could go for the ultimate pressure point: he kneed her broken knee. Crying out, she could do nothing as her leg gave out. More tears streamed out of her eyes as he jammed into her.

Jason was smaller by a few then Brooklyn, Elisa would later recollect, but he was hurting her more then she thought ever was possible. He didn't prepare her, he spat onto his own hand to rub on himself, and that was it. He never gave her a chance to get used to him, just going at his own pace, which seemed stuck on "jackrabbit". And he seemed to enjoy doing it more then once, the same thing over and over. Always with his foul breath and harsh teeth torturing her mouth as well. The only variable was what else he decided to bruise each time. He would grab her legs and squeeze his hands like vices. He reached up to hold her hands, bending them back and wouldn't let go when she screamed for mercy. On time, he tried to bear hug the air out of her. Another time, he choked her, to stop her from crying, and the gagging seemed to excite him more. On and on it went, till the sun seemed to be gone.

When he was done, he cut the bindings from her wrists, and she fell lifeless to the ground. She vaguely recalled that Brooklyn was much more gentle, and had even taken her to the doctor. She wished he were there, to help her, rather then the unfeeling Viking who abused her beyond any nightmare.

Jason left her broken and still naked on the floor of his tent as he clothed himself and left to witness the deaths of the other Wyvern guards.

Before the slaughter could commence, though, the Vikings ate food, and fought over the "honor" of killing the captives. It was just enough time.

As the first axe was raised to kill the first captive, there was a wailing in the sky.

There was panic as the Vikings ran around looking for their weapons or tried to find a defensive position. Half the gargoyles, led by the second in command, Brooklyn, had come to save the lost captives (if possible) and to cripple the Vikings. They led a squadron of human guards, led by Matthew.

The Vikings were not prepared. They only ever were when they attacked. Their camp was a disarray of tents, while half the forces were drunk or sleepy. Haakon almost got away while carrying off the Princess, but had been chased by the Azure Demon and thrown off a cliff (saving Katherine in the process). She herself came only because of Elisa. While always tough with Elisa, she did respect the human girl of her tenacity and friendliness to her clan. There was even a small part of her heart that though of Elisa as family. Albeit, distantly. The Azure Demon did not throw Haakon of the cliff in anger towards humans, but in anger that her family (including Elisa) had been attacked.

Jason, also, almost escaped the wrath of the gargoyles, had Brooklyn not specifically tracked him.

The gargoyles were doing so well, that Brooklyn felt he could afford to look for Elisa, instead of concentrating of the fight. He found her as Jason had left her earlier in the night, except now she had passed out. He rushed towards her, then kneeled next to her, not knowing what to do. Everything made him angrier and angrier. Her bloodied lips and breasts caused a low growling to start. The stench of the violator made him see red. The bruises all over her body caused his eyes to burn white. He roared with sorrow and fury when he noticed her broken knee and bleeding center.

Brooklyn rushed out of the tent on all fours chasing the sent of the foul Viking. He almost rammed into Split Wing, who came to see what the cry was all about. When she saw Elisa naked and violated on the floor, she only reacted with a gasp before going into mother/sister mode. Waking Elisa up gently to keep her from falling into a comma, setting her knee so it would heal properly, and splinting it with available sticks and ripped cloths. Washing the blood from her body with water from the basin in the tent. All the while keeping others out of the tent. Finally, she wrapped Elisa in one of the currently unused cloaks in the tent, just as Brooklyn returned.

Brooklyn had found it easy to trace the barbarian Viking, as the man didn't wash much, and he had the stink of sex newly on him, a potent smell. He tracked Jason into the forest, the same one he had found Elisa all those years ago. For her life, he was prepared to kill another: not in defense, as the norm, but with revenge and rage.

Jason had his bow and arrow out, running as silently as he could. He was a skilled warrior, had been before he was bored with life, left his siblings behind and joined the Vikings. He was not ready to give up his life of greed and dominance. If he were an honest man, however, he would have to admit that he was scared of the dark forest with the gargoyle running after him. Oh, yes, he knew he was being followed; the gargoyle was not being subtle about it.

Hearing a loud snap in the tree behind him, Jason whirled around and shot a true arrow right where Brooklyn had been. "Twang!" went the arrow into the bark, and then there was silence.

A shuffling of leaves and boughs, but not loud enough to know where it came from…

Jason kept turning in circles, trying to find his chaser. Turning to find only more shadows then a few minutes before… wait! His heart skipped a beat when where there had only been leaves and shadows, a dark red beaked nightmare halfway materialized, seeming to be melted in with the shadows. He raised his bow, but it was shaky and not quick enough as the red demon, with suddenly bright white eyes, darted forward and swiped his weapon.

Jason tried to punch the red demon, but it ducked low and tripped him from under his feet with his tail. Jason spins away, and rolled to get up, managing to get his sword out in the process. The two adversaries take a few breaths, subconsciously, and then charge towards each other. He raises his sword up high, ready to strike down upon the demon, but the sword is stopped by the demon's hand, it doesn't even wince!

That's all Jason has time to register, as it continues his forward motion by spinning and throwing him over its head: one hand on the sword and the other lifting and propelling the armpit.

Jason sails into a tree, head first, and falls unconscious to the ground. He is awakened by the demon shaking him. He's dimly aware that it is yelling at him, sometimes roaring. How he will never hurt another person ever again, how he'll never hurt her again, whoever that is. His look of confusion must have made it angrier, as it starts growling low and clawing at his clothes. He knows it is to scare him, and he is. He tries to wrangle its wrists off of him, but to no avail. His last memory before death is of it slashing his neck with its claws.

Split Wing carried Elisa in her arms as the group made its way back to the castle. How Brooklyn wished that he was the one to carry and comfort Elisa, but when he reached to hold her back at the Viking tent, she cringed into Split Wing. She spread her four wings around Elisa to comfort her, and gave her leader an apologetic look.

Brooklyn was hurt by the reaction, but he couldn't really blame Elisa. She must have been remembering what he had done to her. He was able to lead his group of gargoyles and humans back to the castle before he had to escape somewhere to have his breakdown. He was no longer angry in the uncontrollable sense, killing that Viking bastard had taken care of that. No, now he was fearful for Elisa and sad that he had any part in her pain and how he could do nothing else for her.

He glided to the rookery, before he had even reported to Goliath. Only Spider was there, tending to the eggs as part of his new duties. Once he saw Brooklyn's demeanor, he was kind enough to leave Brooklyn alone, for which he was grateful.

This time, Brooklyn and Elisa avoided each other for all the wrong reasons. Observers would gladly have told them what they were doing was stupid, had either spoken of what was bothering them, but neither was speaking to anyone. However, when Brooklyn heard through the grapevine that Elisa was pregnant by the Viking, he could no longer keep himself away from her.

He found her in her room, bathing in a tub, naked and crying, her back facing the window. He almost left her alone, but decided against it and perched on her window.

"Elisa…" he started, but couldn't say anymore.

Elisa stopped crying aloud, but did not turn to face him. "Have you come to finally tell me that we can no longer be acquainted?"

"What? Why would you think that that is what I would ever want?"

"I have, in the words of my fellow countrymen, 'been defiled beyond any use.' Matthew, the Irishman, has revoked his wish to court me. If he did not want to continue his friendship with me, why would you want to? I am 'damaged goods'…"

"What? That's why you have shied away from me? You thought I would not want to be your brother anymore? But what about… what I did… to you?"

"Apparently, they understand about being 'used' by a monster, but as far as humans go, I 'should have been able to stop him' (especially being a warrior…), or 'it is unfortunate'… they do not understand!" She starts crying again, heaving her shoulders and sinks lower into the tub. "Now, just leave me alone, and I will never bother you again. I… understand."

There is silence while Brooklyn considers her words. He half wants to throttle Matthew of the Bluestones, but he is, after all only human. He instead jumps down into her room off the windowsill. He walks forward to place his claws gently on Elisa's shoulders, but goes no further, and she doesn't stop crying. "I sometimes forget, even with your appearance, that you are human."

"What does that have to do with anything?" Elisa whispers.

He walks away to get a cloth and turns, holding it up for Elisa. "It means that your gargoyle family still loves you and had feared, for the last couple days, that you held us responsible for your misfortunes. It means that I, your brother, still would love to be your friend."

Elisa was silent now to ponder his words. When she finally grasped that her reasoning was wrong, she stood up to wrap her arms around Brooklyn's neck. He, in turn, wrapped the cloth around her, and then held her with his arms and wings.

She cried for a long while on Brooklyn's shoulder (after she stepped out of the tub), but tears of mingled joy and sorrow. As for Brooklyn, he was confused, between the mixed signals of wanting to comfort her, and wanting to enjoy the body that was pressed against him once again, albeit through the thin cloth. He settled for stroking her hair.

When it was dawn, Brooklyn slept in a protective pose on Elisa's windowsill, while Elisa slept peacefully for the first time since the Viking raid.

As a result of the Viking attack, Princess Katherine and the Magus changed their attitudes towards the gargoyles. While the Azure Demon was still wary of the humans, and hard to have a conversation with, Princess Katherine was indebted to her, and said as much. So was the Magus, but he kept his reasons conspiratorially between himself and the Demon, he loved the princess, and doesn't know what he'd do without her.

Princess Katherine lifted the restrictions against the gargoyles, and even encouraged them to walk the halls of the castle: and not sparingly, but as regularly as wanted. It was seen from time to time that she would stop them in their tracks and talk to them. Other humans followed her example, but none matched the Princess's warmth and friendliness. Only she and the Magus seemed to make any genuine friendships out of the situation. Aside from Wallace, who had been a friend for longer then Elisa was alive.

In one of those conversations with the Azure one, the gargoyle admitted that if it weren't for Elisa, she never would have been tolerant of humans, let alone save any. She asked a favor of the Princess, to continue paying Elisa for guard duties, to find her a place among the guards, since her ruined leg would prevent her from being a guard much longer. The healed wounds already caused Elisa a limp; they would very soon prevent her from walking without at least a cane.

So it was that Elisa was asked to take the role of teacher, teaching new recruits and squires how to fight and how the Wyvern guards worked side by side with the gargoyles. She accepted, on the condition that those of low birth could join as well. It was agreed upon, and she fell into her role nicely. Not only did she do a superb job, but she also incorporated gargoyle techniques to the drills as well, and had fellow gargoyles demonstrate too. It was another step towards a truly cohesive castle of the two species. One of her best and most bright students was Tom, who was a peasant boy. Because he was separated from his mother, and had no money for lodgings of any sort, he was allowed by Goliath to sleep in the rookery. There he would become an older brother of sorts to the new hatchlings.

A couple of months after these developments, it was to be the hatching of the gargoyles. Elisa was about four months pregnant, and she and Brooklyn were as strong as friends as before. Compared to the egg pregnancy, the human baby within her was much easier, but Brooklyn took care of her all the same. Hunting for her cravings, massaging her back, blanketing her with his wings when she was cold, gliding her when she was hot, and so on. It was also easier then the last pregnancy as Elisa made it past her sorrows quicker and spent time with all her family this time instead of just Split Wing.

One night found Elisa, Brooklyn, Goliath, Spider, and Wallace surrounding one, lone cracking egg, Elisa's egg, which started hatching before the others. Elisa had a small smile on her face, and it only grew after Spider washed off the egg whites and shell fragments, and it had spread into a large grin when he placed the baby gargoyle wrapped in a blanket into her arms. Tears of joy sprang from her eyes, and she laughed a little. The others were unable to hide smiles from their own faces.

The babe was a male. It had a tail and shared horns and wing style with Brooklyn (although the horns were shorter). The skin was Elisa's color, but slightly redder and darker. The hair was a darker shade of brown (what little of it there was). His ears were elongated and pointed, like normal gargoyle ears. There was no beak, nor brow ridges, but human-like lips and brown eyebrows. The baby also had ten claws on both the hands and feet, instead of the normal eight and six, and they were smaller then normal for hatchling claws. No spurs graced his elbows or knees.

At one point, Elisa glanced at Brooklyn, her eyes full of happiness and love, and it finally clicked for him; he loved her. He wanted to see that face full of that expression for himself for the rest of his days, and never wanted the possibility of loosing her, like to the Vikings. He loved her, and more then as a brother loved his sister: as a male loved his lover. He turned to stone before he could say anything.

The hatchling, in Elisa's arms, also turned to stone.

The rest of the hatchlings came into the world less then a week later, and between Elisa's babe and the rest, Brooklyn didn't get a chance till almost a month later. Elisa may have been raised a gargoyle, but she was human, and she needed more one-on-one time with her offspring then gargoyles usually allowed, so Goliath permitted her more time in the rookery, and she took advantage of that.

Besides that, Princess Katherine convinced the gargoyle leaders to allow her to have a naming ceremony for the new hatchlings, and for the rest of the clan if they wanted a name too. Her selling and most convincing point was that it would bring the two species closer. There were plenty of preparations for the ceremony, and Katherine spent time with the gargoyles individually (the ones that wanted to be named), to devise names for them personally. Brooklyn always escorted her to explain the gargoyle way for her to understand more.

995

There was a great feast on the day of the naming ceremony. Gargoyles were seen walking the corridors of Castle Wyvern, and Princess Katherine also danced some dance numbers with some of the males of the gargoyle clan.

When it came time for the naming, everybody, human and gargoyle alike, were crowded into the great hall. The Princess was standing in front of her throne, while her court and subjects were sitting on the outer edges of the room, and upper balcony, while the adult gargoyles that were part of the ceremony came up one at a time to be named. Katherine would shake their hands (claws), and would say in a loud voice their new name, and then the magus (behind the Princess), would shake their hand and then give them a goblet of fine wine.

Spider became Lexicon, "of the words", as he was the most eloquent speaker and the smartest amongst his peers. Big Blue became Broadway, for his broad heart and broad girth. Split Wing and her mate became Desdemona and Othello. Flaming Hair was called Demona, for being the most like a demon, in attitude and fighting skills. And so on…

After the adult naming, Katherine, Magus, the gargoyle leaders and rookery keepers (including Lexicon), went to the rookery to name all of the hatchlings. Elisa's babe was named first, and named Raphael, "God Heals", in reference to his tying in of the two species. Raphael could have cared less, sitting in a rookery keeper's arms, trying to eat her hair.

After the ceremony, a few hours till dawn, Brooklyn and Elisa were laying on her bed, talking about names for the baby growing in her stomach. He was propped on his side on top of one of his wings, one hand on her stomach, feeling the baby kick and move. Brooklyn suggested that they get Katherine to name the baby, since she was good at names, and they shared a laugh, then there was a comfortable silence.

The baby stopped moving, most likely having fallen asleep, but Brooklyn did not take his hand back, nor did Elisa ask him to; instead, she turned to her side, her back facing Brooklyn. "Much more comfortable." She spoke. She reached up to take his hand, now touching her side, and guided it down her side and thigh, to the hem of her sleeping gown, and then stopped.

All of a sudden, Elisa made to move further away from him, seemingly embarrassed and ashamed of what she had done. Brooklyn didn't let her move, though, moving his hand from her thigh to around her middle, pulling her closer to him, wrapping his free wing around her too. Silently he let her know how little she had to be embarrassed of, maneuvering his other hand under her head for her to rest upon, and moving his head forward to place his beak upon her neck. They stayed this way for a few moments, enjoying the comfort they gave each other, Elisa realizing how much Brooklyn would do for her, him realizing she loved him too.

Elisa brought one hand up to caress his beak, turning her head to also place a kiss on it. Brooklyn brought his hand back to the hem of her gown, and started to bring it up towards her waist, caressing her thigh all the way. His tail followed his hand; slowly winding it's way around her thigh. When his hand reached her waist, he reached under the hem, to continue to her enlarged and sensitive breasts, which he grabbed at, and started to fondle. He used his arm that was under her head to reach across her collarbone and hug her closer to his chest.

Elisa could feel his erection, which Brooklyn was grinding against her butt. She could feel herself going weak as he nuzzled the weak spot of her neck with his beak. She continued to caress his beak, which he seemed to enjoy as he was continuously purring/growling, and brought her other hand to cover his that was taking care of her breasts, and never let go. She moaned loud and long when his tail entered her as far as her body would allow it, and then started to thrust out and in; in time with his grinding, squeezing the thigh that it was wrapped around too.

He brought his hand down away from her pert breasts, towards her sex, and started playing with her clit, in time with everything else. Every sensation, it seemed, caused Elisa to cry out in ecstasy, which was every second. When the pressure burst, she cried out with release, soaking Brooklyn's hand and tail with her juices.

While Elisa slowly relaxed again, enjoying having his warm tail still within her: Brooklyn took his wet hand from her sex and reached under his loincloth to rub his still hard member with her juices. He pumped a few times in his hand, and everything tensed; his tail squeezed, his wing flapped over them, his arm around her shoulders flexed, his head and beak jerked next to her face and neck.

His grunts were turning her on, and she started moaning again, rubbing her legs and squeezing onto his tail, asking him silently to continue. She whimpered when he instead removed his tail from her sex, but kept it around her leg. He chuckled in her ear, but she also heard the sound of a buckle becoming undone, and the movement of cloth, which she felt along her butt and before Brooklyn had tossed his loincloth away.

With his free hand, he grasped her hip, and slowly entered her from behind. That was the last thing that he did slow, after she adjusted to his presence. He started a fast thrusting pace, which only seemed to go faster the more he went. His grip on her hip hardened as well, giving Elisa bruises for the next day. She did not mind though; in fact it added to the pleasure. She ground her hips back into him, matching his pace, even as he sped up. She let go of his beak to use both hands in pleasuring her neglected breasts. She cried out her release, her muscles clamping down on his cock, and he slowed down, but not much; he still needed fulfillment. He released her hip and reached around her pregnant stomach, hugging her like his life depended on it, and continued humping her. She removed her hands down to his one on her stomach, and held on. He sped up again, every thrust eliciting a cry of excitement from Elisa, causing him to grunt in blissful exertion. When it was almost time, he started a low growling, eyes glowing white. He roared loud to the heavens, his eyes almost a blue from being so bright, and his one free wing stretched out behind them, as his seed spilled into Elisa in a long stream.

When Brooklyn was able to relax again, he loosened his grips around Elisa, but otherwise did not move, except to lower his wing again over them.

He heard her humming in satisfaction, and he was content to listen, never having heard her hum or sing before. After a few minutes, he felt the baby stir under their combined arms. "Sorry about waking up your baby."

"This baby is as much yours as anybody else's, tonight proves that. If you were human, I would ask you to officially be the father. It is more then enough for me to know that you will be one of his or her guardians."

Brooklyn thought long about that last statement Elisa said. About a month before the child was to be born, he spoke of his thoughts to her. How he knew she spent her whole life being a gargoyle in spirit. He realized how hard that had to be, especially when she couldn't control her subconscious human needs: in dealing with sex, love and motherhood. He spoke of how, even though he knew Raphael was his, he did not love him more or less over the other hatchlings; but love him he did. He felt that it would not be a bad or hard thing to do if he were to meet Elisa halfway, and try a human custom for her; after all she had done for him, and the clan. Brooklyn offered Elisa to be the father of her children. He even asked for her hand in a mating/marriage ceremony.

Elisa's reply was an ecstatic 'yes!'

They waited till after the baby was born to have the ceremony. The baby was a girl. And while she had lighter skin from her biological father, she had her mother's dark chocolate eyes and brown hair. Elisa half cried with joy with how little there was of the Viking in her, as with happiness that the babe was born healthy. Surprisingly, it was Old Soldier (who didn't receive a human name) who offered the name that was chosen for the baby. Beth, after the human servant woman he had loved.

When they did have the ceremony, it was just a mating, not a marriage. Elisa, for the first and only time in her life, wore gargoyle garments. It was a one piece, the sleeveless tunic joining the loincloth. It also had a belt around the middle, to hold it to her body. The belt had been Wallace's at one point. Much later, the garment would be given to one of the female hatchlings after she had grown up.

Elisa also wore heather in her braided hair, while Brooklyn wore a brown leather vest for the occasion.

The ceremony was short and sweet, the leader (Goliath) saying a few words before the couple exchanged trinkets to symbolize the giving of their hearts to each other. Elisa gave Brooklyn an ornate, blackened oak brush with black bristles, while Brooklyn gave Elisa a delicate golden dagger with flowers etched into the blade. The leader then gave Brooklyn a black leather pouch and a black leather sheath to Elisa for them to tie their "hearts" to their belts for the rest of their days.

They glided (Brooklyn carried Elisa) off into the forest for their one-night "honeymoon" while the rest of the inhabitants (both humans and gargoyles) partook in celebrations.

Brooklyn and Elisa did not live "happily ever after", but through whatever trials and tribulations they survived, they were always happy together and never regretted anything.