Dreams of Reality

By Shadow Runner

Shadow_runner4u@hotmail.com

Holy cow, I finally have an update to my stuff… while I'd like to attribute the delay to an alien abduction, that just ain't the case… let's just chalk it up to a case of the dead ass… Oh, yeah… because that sounds sooo much better…

Either way, in my delayed absence, I still don't have any type of ownership for the gargs or anything remotely related to them… I like everyone else my doing my part to keep the dream alive… which means I'm still not making any money off this. I wish I was,,, but I'm not… so we'll just leave it at that…

This is my follow-up to Keeping the Faith…

Hope you like and happy reading J

***** ***** *****

They stood alone, locked in each other's arms on the balcony of Elisa Maza's apartment.

A light breeze lifted Goliath's hair and draped a loose strand over his eyes. Elisa laughed happily as the lavender gargoyle shook his head vainly in an attempt remove it. The persistent strand refused to budge, so she reached over and brushed it away from his face. Once the stubborn lock was back in it's rightful place, she paused and allowed her hand to rest against Goliath's cheek, "I had a amazing time tonight Big Guy…"

"As did I." He replied softly.

Elisa felt him sigh deeply and knew what was coming next. He was going to have to leave soon. She felt her smile fade, only to be replaced with a look of disappointment, and laid her head against his chest. "I hate this…" she voiced softly.

Goliath nodded in silent agreement and lowered his head until his lips were resting on her head. "As do I, My Love…" he whispered, "As do I…"

It was unusually warm for November as they continued to look out over the city. Two nights ago they learned they were going to have a son. Nearly two years ago, they'd gone through this exact same situation. Elisa mentally promised herself this time would be different. While Goliath said nothing to shake her resolve, she knew he too had his concerns.

The pregnancy was once again a unique condition and both of them felt the need to capitalize on the situation. In a spur of the moment celebration, Elisa had taken the night off and Goliath told the rest of the clan he needed a much deserved break from patrolling the city.

They had spent a magical evening together listening to music on Elisa's compact disc player. Even after three years of being together, Goliath was still fascinated that music could be trapped inside a circle of silver steel which, at the touch of a button, could be inserted into a machine and released for their pleasure. He tightened his grip on his beloved and she looked up at him, the smile returning to her lips. His eyes were dark and thoughtful, "What are you thinking about?" she murmured pensively.

"Of him…" he replied softly, resting his large talons over her still flat stomach. Almost as an after thought, he added, "and of this…"

He took Elisa hands into his, kissing the tips of her fingers gently. Elisa felt tears well up in her eyes for the second time that night and she hastily tried to wipe them from her eyes. Goliath smiled and held her left hand up in the night, allowing the moonlight to reflect off the ring she now wore on her finger.

When she asked Goliath where it came from, he quickly sidestepped the question and tried to change the subject. It was a delicately woven Celtic band made of silver and Elisa thought it was the most beautiful piece of jewelry she'd ever seen in her life; simple yet elegant. Several years earlier Goliath had asked her to be his mate and she accepted but with everything that had happened since, they never told anyone of their arrangement, nor had they done anything to make it official.

However, Elisa had her suspicions as to the ring's origin and in the end, her persistence not only paid off but also proved to be correct.

Although there was no way they could 'officially' be married, several weeks earlier Matt Bluestone let it slip that Goliath had spoken to him about the situation in hopes that he might be able to recommend a suitable alternative. Matt suggested asking Hudson, as the senior member of the Clan, to officiate a ceremony specifically designed to join together two people who wished to share each other's lives.

Elisa smiled since she knew exactly why her partner made that particular recommendation. Last year, her brother had done something very similar and Elisa considered it the most beautiful union ceremony she had ever seen. Granted it wasn't the most traditional ceremony, but tradition was not really the point. Claw had acted as best man and Delilah had stood with Maggie as the Maid of Honor. In the end, Elisa, along with everyone else who attended the ceremony, were in tears as Derek "Talon" Maza and Maggie Reed were pronounced "united in love and bound by their hearts for all eternity."

Goliath took in a deep breath and gazed at his love, "I am so very grateful for you, Elisa. I see the love in your eyes and I know that what we share is truly unique… To know that after all we have been through, we are still a part of each other… I sometimes have trouble believing it."

"You had better believe it, Big Guy." Elisa regarded him intently, "I've never known anyone who deserved to be loved more than you..." She paused and looked back down at her ring again, "When do you want to tell the others?"

"Tomorrow evening." Goliath pulled her closer, wrapping his wings over them in a protective cloak. "Come by the Castle and we will tell everyone before evening patrols begin…"

Goliath paused and felt the familiar, instinctive, feeling building inside him and knew it was time for him to go. Abruptly, he bent his head and kissed Elisa, lightly, tenderly at first and then increasing the pressure as her look of surprise changed to one of ecstasy. Then, just as swiftly he broke away, and vaulted over the balcony spreading his wings to catch the night currents.

"Goliath!" Elisa called out to him the night.

But he was gone, leaving her breathless and shaking.

"Jalapena…" she murmured softly, "Where the hell did that come from?"

***** ***** *****

When Elisa awoke the next afternoon, she felt as if Goliath's kiss was still on her lips, and she hugged her pillow tightly, noting it was a poor substitute for her beloved. She rolled over and nudged the sleeping form of Cagney, her lone bed companion, with her foot. The cat mewed softly and stretched before walking over to plant himself in the middle of her chest.

She scratched the cat's ears until his soft purring lulled her back to near sleep, but a few minutes later she woke again. She considered going back to sleep but a quick glance at the near by clock told her otherwise. With a sigh of resignation, she lifted the cat off her and got up to go make some coffee.

Elisa paused as she entered the living room and caught the view of the New York City skyline. It was a breath taking mixture of blues, reds, and oranges. Shifting her direction she walked closer to the balcony door and watched in awe as the colors shifted and changed before her.

It was almost as if the colors were alive and she continued to watch the shades fluctuate as if in a hypnotic state.

She was abruptly pulled from her trance and glanced out the window again realizing she was wasting time. The sun had already set and she wanted to spend a little time alone with Goliath before they announced their plans to the rest of the Clan. Hurriedly, she decided against the coffee and walked back into the bedroom to get ready.

Forty-five minutes later she slipped into her red bomber jacket and walked out the door.

***** ***** *****

The cross town traffic was unusually heavy and for a split second, Elisa berated herself for not getting to the Eyrie Building sooner. The thought was fleeting as she absently rubbed her hand over her still flat belly reminding herself there was nothing more important than making time for the small pleasures in life. She parked in the lower garage of the Eyrie Building, refusing to use the spot assigned to her.

She quickly walked through the parking garage and over to the main entrance of the building. Pulling open the door, she moved to the reception desk and flashed her entry badge. The security guard looked up and made as if to waive her by, but Elisa insisted he verify her authority to enter. The last thing she wanted was for the staff for Xanatos Enterprises to get too comfortable with her being in the building.

Despite David Xanatos' apparent hospitality, she still didn't trust the man. Over the years, the Clan had stuck an uneasy truce with the Xanatos family, but a certain degree of mistrust still remained between Elisa Maza and David Xanatos. Goliath once suggested the two of them continued their verbal baiting not because they needed to, rather because neither knew how to relate to the other without it. Either way, it was not a subject Elisa cared to discuss and therefor it was considered off limits.

Once the formalities were complete, Elisa walked over to the elevator and inserted her key for the private car. A few minutes later it arrived and she stepped inside and waited for the car to begin its assent.

Sometimes when the doors opened, Goliath would be waiting for her, but tonight there was no sign of him. Unconcerned, she made her way through the Great Hall and towards the stairs that led to the upper levels of the castle. Castle Wyvern was unusually quite and she saw no one until Owen Burnett suddenly appeared as if from no where.

"Ah, Detective Maza you're here already..." he began. Elisa noted that it seemed the man was looking past her in a somewhat distracted manner. "It's, er good to see you."

"Ah, yeah… hi…" Elisa paused, clearly not used to this type of greeting from the right hand man of David Xanatos, "Is everything okay?" she asked politely.

"I believe so." Owen seemed strangely nervous, "Mr. Xanatos would like to speak with you in his office immediately."

Considering the few times Xanatos wanted to meet with her, Elisa senses immediately went on the defensive as she cut him off while moving towards a near by stairwell, "Is everything alright? Where's Goliath and the others?"

"I assure Goliath's Clan is fine." Owen reached over and grabbed her by the arm preventing her from going any farther. "But it's imperative Mr. Xanatos speaks with you right now."

"No…" Elisa jerked her arm back and continued towards the stairs leading to the upper battle mounts where Goliath and the others slept during the day, "I want to make sure everyone is okay first…"

"The gargoyles are inside the castle for the time being, and I assure you they are just fine." Owen's next response took Elisa completely off guard, "In fact Goliath is with Mr. Xanatos right now…"

"He is?" Elisa replied slowly. She gave Own a scowl, indicating they could have avoided the little tug of war contest if he had simply told her that in the first place. "Fine, then take me to him."

The blond headed man was curiously quiet as they navigated the quiet halls of the castle. Even more strange, each time they came to an intersection Owen looked anxiously each way, as if he had no idea what might jump out at them at each turn.

"Are you sure everything is all right?" Elisa asked as they reached Xanaots' office.

Owen said nothing until he opened the door and walked into the dimly light room, "Detective Maza has arrived Sir." He announced formally. "Would you like me to stay?"

"That wont be necessary." Xanatos spun around in his chair and looked round quickly, an expression of suppressed excitement on his face, "Thank you Owen."

The blond man took this statement to mean he was excused and bowed slightly as he walked away. Elisa deliberately walked closer to Xanatos and rested her palms on the top of his desk, "What the hell is going on here Xanatos?" she demanded. "I've never seen Owen behave so strangely and you seem kind of nervous yourself. What's going on?"

"Good evening Detective. It's good to see you too…" Xanatos rubbed his chin thoughtfully, noting the NYPD detective was now making it point to smear finger and palm prints over the meticulously polished wood of his desk. He smiled slightly and motioned for Elisa to sit down. When she failed to move he indicated the chair again, "Please, this whole thing will go faster if you just sit…"

Elisa finally conceded and took a chair at the opposite side of Xanatos' desk. She inclined her head slightly, "OK, I'm sitting. What the hell is going on here?"

"Something has happened to Goliath." He started.

"What?!" A stab of fear jabbed Elisa's heart as she leaped out of her chair, "Where is he?"

"I'm sorry Detective… I didn't mean to worry you," The billionaire business man held up a pausing hand, "Goliath is fine."

"Then what?" Elisa demanded, "Xanatos, you have about one second to produce not only Goliath but the rest of the Clan or I'm seriously going to consider shooting you right now…"

"Detective, please sit back down. I have something to tell you. Something I don't quite know how to explain, but I feel you should be aware of the situation before you see Goliath."

"What situation?" Elisa questioned as she sat down while pulling her chair closer, "What's happened to…"

"I think I should be the one to tell her..."

The voice, which came from the doorway, sounded a lot like Goliath's, but there was something different about it. Elisa whirled around in her chair and what she saw stopped the flow of blood in her veins and nearly froze her heart.

The man who stepped out of the shadows was very tall, with long, jet-black hair. The span of his shoulders and depth of his chest was recognizable, as was his aura. He was a very attractive man, who appeared to be in his middle thirties and while he had the face of a stranger, he was very familiar.

But this was impossible.

Then she looked deep into the man's eyes. Only one other being on Earth had those piercing black eyes.

"Hello Elisa," he said softly.

Elisa's heart thudded against her ribs so powerfully she thought she might faint. It couldn't be. "G-Goliath?" she faltered. "This can't be…"

The 'stranger' smiled; a wide, confident smile from perfectly formed lips and surrounded by flawless skin. "Yes Elisa. It is me, I assure you." He held out his hand; a smooth, beautifully shaped masculine hand with manicured nails. He turned to Xanatos. "I wish to speak with Elisa alone."

"Of course, be my guest." Xanatos nodded, a speculative smile on his own lips. "I'm sure the two of you have much to talk about. I'll see both of you later."

When he made no indication that he planned to leave his own office, Goliath gave him an irritated expression and took Elisa's hand and led her out of the room.

Elisa noticed the strange expression on Xanatos' face as the pair left the office. She was used to smug expressions, but this was something more.

If she hadn't known better she would have thought it was concern.

***** ***** *****

Neither of them spoke as they walked. Elisa found herself unable to take her eyes from the man who walked beside her through the hallways of Castle Wyvern. She had no idea where they were going, but apparently Goliath did. When they reached their destination, he opened the door and led Elisa in. The room was nearly barren save for two chairs in the middle of the room. He pulled one chair back and allowed Elisa to sit before taking his place in the other chair.

"Gol…" Elisa started but found herself unable to form his name. After a moments pause she simply asked, "What happened to you?"

"I do not know. I only know that when I awoke from the Stone Sleep I was human." He replied slowly, "This transformation has been quite a shock for all of us."

"That's an understatement," Elisa agreed. She suddenly gasped, unable to contain her shock any longer, The others… were they…?"

"No…" The man shook his head, "Only I was affected…"

Elisa could only nod dumbly, "I'm not sure when to begin…"

Goliath cut her off, "I realize you must have a great many questions but I'm afraid I am unable to answer any of them. I have no idea how or why this has happened to me. Xanatos has assured me Alexander and Puck had nothing to do with this…" He waived his hands over his face and body, "change…"

"What about Demona?" Elisa volunteered, "We've been through this kind of thing before with her…"

"No, I cannot believe even she would do something like this…" Goliath sighed, "I will not question it... but I will accept it gratefully, and I pray the transformation is permanent." He reached out a hand and touched her cheek with his fingers. "Say something, my love. Please speak to me."

Elisa opened her mouth to speak but no words would come. Realizing how amazingly stupid she must appear, she took a breath. It felt like it might have been the first she had taken since she first saw him, "I… I don't know what to say to you Gol..." she stuttered, her voice trailing off into a whisper as she tried to speak his name.

Goliath laughed softly and Elisa shut her eyes for a moment to listen. It sounded wrong.

This was all wrong.

Goliath took her hand and when she forced herself to look at him again, she saw the hope in his eyes.

"Do you realize what this means, Elisa? My whole life begins again today. Our life begins together openly, in the daylight." He squeezed her cold hands and touched them to his lips. "I can live in your world with you, Elisa. I can now enter your world as an equal and go everywhere you do. More importantly, I can truly love you without fear that the day will be stolen from us..."

"My love," he continued, "for the first time I have the right to ask you... if you will become my wife."

Elisa wondered if she could possibly be having a heart attack. What she felt was not exactly pain, but the pounding and churning inside her reflected the feeling of panic, terror even, she was feeling.

This man, and she had been thinking of him only as a man and not Goliath, who sat beside her, was asking her to marry him. Her head was spinning and she wanted to run, but he was waiting for her answer. It suddenly occurred to her no matter what form he was in, he at least deserved her undivided attention.

"I… I… no… I mean… I can't." She stammered, "This isn't right..."

He looked puzzled, "What do you mean, Elisa? How can it not be right? It is the most wonderful thing we could have wished for. Are you not as thrilled and excited as I am?"

"Wh… what did Hudson and the others have to say about this?"

"They are happy for us. How could they be otherwise?"

A spark suddenly went off in Elisa's mind, "What about Angela?"

The man looked puzzled, "What about her? Of course she is afraid of losing me but I have told her there is nothing to fear. She is still my daughter in every way that matters."

"What about your son?" Elisa challenged, "What will he think…?"

The man smiled, "Why would he think I would love him less either? Together, we will overcome the fears of humanity… and yours as well, Elisa."

Her response was automatic, "No!"

"No?" His velvet voice was gentle as he lowered his eyes, "I apologize... It is too soon. The shock you feel at this change in my appearance is second only to my own, believe me. We will take it one step at a time... We have the rest of our lives ahead of us now."

Elisa's desire to get away could be contained no longer. She knew her reaction was unfair, hurtful and totally unreasonable, but with a degree of certainty unparalleled in her lifetime, she knew she could never love this man.

He was not Goliath, the love of her life.

The eyes were unquestionably his, the voice was similar, but everything else was wrong. If another shock to her system was possible, it was the knowledge and realization that looks were such an important factor to her. The tears began to stream down her face as she jumped up and began to back away from him.

"You're not him... you're not HIM!" As badly as she wanted to, she could not call him by name. Without thinking she pulled the ring from her finger and dropped it into the pal of his hand, "I'm sorry! I'm more sorry than I can ever tell you, but it's no good!"

The bewilderment and shock on his face as he rose to his feet and took a step towards her was all Elisa could see as she stumbled blindly from the room. The sounds the massive generators humming, providing power to the other areas of the castle, reverberate unmercifully in her ears during her flight.

Even when she reached the street below the Eyrie Building, she continued running as if fleeing from some unknown demon, although she knew the demon was in her mind.

***** ***** *****

She drove to her building without truly knowing how she got there. Making her way up to her apartment, she opened her door and she threw herself on the couch. There she sobbed uncontrollably for what felt like hours. Eventually, exhausted and drained of every emotion other than self-loathing, she dragged herself into the bathroom, ran a full tub of hot water, shed her clothing and lowered herself into the tub.

As the warmth filtered through her bruised and battered heart, Elisa began to pray for oblivion. How could she feel this way? Shouldn't she be overjoyed at the change in Goliath? As he had said, it meant he could take his place in her world now and enjoy every pleasure previously denied to them. Surely if you loved someone, you wanted the very best for them, and this had to be the best thing that had ever happened to Goliath. Why could she not accept it? Was it possible that, in time, she would get used to the idea?

Trust your instincts. Goliath had used those words many times. For months after the death of their first child Malcolm, she had been in such turmoil; torn between her love for Goliath and her newly found need for a home and family. Finally, she had listened to her heart and returned to her beloved.

Her love for Goliath was forever and completely unshakeable… or so she thought.

She tried to tell herself she could get used to him as he was now; that she would grow to love him all over again. God knew she owed him a damn sight more than that. And it was true; they could do everything they had always yearned to do; together.

But the terrible truth was… she wished it had never happened.

She wanted Goliath back the way he used to be; the way she had fallen in love with him… and now she hated herself for it.

***** ***** *****

The insistent beeping of her alarm clock reminded Elisa once again just how much she truly despised that particular noise. Something about the alarm frequency was so grating, so irritating, that you just had to wake up, if only to smack the damn thing off.

Which, of course, was exactly what the manufactures were hoping for. No sense making an alarm clock that didn't wake you up. Talk about defeating the purpose.

Cagney had hopped up onto the bed and parked himself in the middle of her chest. Elisa's eyes abruptly snapped open. How the hell had she woken up in bed when she'd fallen asleep in the bath? Dragging herself up into a sitting position she rubbed a hand over her eyes and noticed the distinct woven pattern of her ring.

Slowly, the realization dawned on her.

She had not gone to the castle last night.

The whole mind-blowing incident had been a dream.

She wanted to shout with joy and pure, unadulterated happiness. Weak with relief she groped her way to the living room phone to call her partner and let him know she was going to be a little late for their shift. Matt was a wonderful partner and a true friend to Elisa and the rest of the Clan, but he would have been less than amused if Elisa didn't show up for work.

After the call, Elisa made her way to the bathroom and turned on the shower. The warm, invorating water calmed her ragged emotions sufficiently to dress in jeans, black boots, and her bomber jacket. Grabbing her keys, she raced out of the apartment and into the elevator. Within minutes she was in her car, racing across town.

***** ***** *****

She reached the upper parphet just as Goliath's stone form came to life. Below, she was able to hear the others arguing about a new patrol route Brooklyn had mapped out two nights earlier. Judging by the sounds of their voices, and the fact that it sounded like she walked into the middle of a conversation, Elisa determined they had probably been arguing about the route when dawn came.

"Evening, Big Guy…" she called in an attempt to be heard over the sound of their voices.

Goliath turned around in surprise, allowing his wings to lift slightly from his shoulders. The lavender gargoyle looked the same as always and Elisa's heart pounded in her chest.

Without bothering to shake the remaining fragments of stone skin from his body, Goliath immediately pulled her into his embrace and swept her up in his arms. Holding her tightly, he leaped down to the lower levels of the castle and called out for the others to join him. "All of you, come here… we have much to discuss before…"

"Hold that thought…" Elisa cut him off suddenly, "Could I talk to you for a few minutes?"

Goliath nodded and shook his head, sending dust fragments flying and making Elisa cough. He set her gently down on the ground and turned to Brooklyn, "See if you can find a more peaceful way of routing patrols tonight."

The burgundy gargoyle nodded and grinned at Elisa while he and the others left the court yard area and prepared for the evening patrols.

Slipping her small hand into Goliath's large one, Elisa pressed close to him as they walked over to the small courtyard near the edge of the castle. Unable to hold back any longer, she threw her arms around his neck, breathing in the scent of him, reveling in the odors that were distinctly him.

Goliath was momentarily taken back but said nothing. He knew his beloved was going through numerous changes associated with her pregnancy but this outburst was out of the ordinary even for her. He simply said nothing and continued to hold her tightly in his arms.

"I am so glad to see you, Big Guy," she whispered softly. "I don't know how to begin to tell you about the nightmare I had!"

Goliath pulled back and looked down at her with dark and smoldering eyes that seemed to penetrate her very soul, "I feel your fear… but if it was only a dream…?" He pulled his brow in concentration, "What is it that troubles you my love?"

"It's nothing…" She clung to his arms, not willing to relinquish her hold on him even for a moment, "I guess I just had to reassure myself that you were still…"

When she stopped speaking, Goliath gave her a playful nudge, "Still what?"

"That you were still… you know…" Elisa sighed, "you."

"Elisa…" Goliath questioned, "I'm not sure I understand… Who else would I be?"

"I my dream… I… hurt you… " She turned her head slightly and looked out over the city skyline, "Tonight I raced over her like a bat of out hell just to make sure everything was the same as always. Now I know it is… and well… I guess now I'm feeling pretty stupid."

"Elisa…" Goliath favored her with a loving smile, "tell me what troubles you…"

"It's that stupid dream." She averted her eyes quickly, "I wish I hadn't mentioned it at all."

"Tell me," He pressed.

"I'm afraid."

"Of me?"

"No," Elisa sighed, "Of the possibility you'll stop loving me when you find out what a selfish, small-minded human l I really am." Goliath was clearly caught off guard by her comments so she released her grip on him and stepped back, "I found out something about myself last night Goliath, and it wasn't very pretty."

Goliath capped his wings over his shoulders and took a cautious step forward. He lifted her head until their eyes met, "The tell me, Elisa."

She dropped her head and took a very deep breath, which she expelled slowly as she spoke, "I dreamed I came to you last night and you'd changed."

"In what way?"

"This is kind of embarrassing for me to say…" She twisted a strand of his hair nervously between her fingers. "You… you had become like... you looked very different... you looked like you did when Puck changed everyone…"

She dared to look at him then and was surprised to see a faint smile playing around the edges of his mouth, "I see…" he began, "And am I to understand that you were not happy with what you saw?"

"No, I wasn't! I couldn't accept it was you, Goliath. To me, that man was a stranger. Except in my heart I knew it was true, and I should have been happy for you because you were so happy."

"So what did you do?"

"I ran away." Elisa tossed her arms up in exasperation, "I ran away from you because I couldn't stand to see the hurt on your face when you realized I didn't love you that way." Her voice broke as she recalled the dream that had seemed so real. She dropped her eyes in shame, "When you love someone you should want the best for them, Goliath."

For a long moment Goliath didn't speak. Then he tipped her face a little so her eyes looked directly into his, "Then all you have proved is that you are not perfect."

"Thanks…" Elisa pulled her brow in irritation, "I've always believed that looks are unimportant… that they have nothing to do with a someone's personality or character."

"Then I believe we can say you have held true to that belief." Again Goliath looked faintly amused as he chuckled softly, "How otherwise could you love me?"

Elisa felt her irritation flare as she placed her hands on her hips, "You're missing the point Goliath…"

"No," Goliath corrected, "Three years ago when the Puck changed you into a gargoyle, do you not remember what I said to you?"

Elisa shook her head slowly, "You told me that you never realized how beautiful I was until then…"

Goliath nodded, "My reaction might not have been different had we never experienced that night. Trust me, Elisa… you have not betrayed me because of what you saw in your dreams." He lifted her hands and held one to his cheek and the other against his chest, "This is real, Elisa... I am real. What you see now is what I will always be. Our love is the reality."

"I think you're just trying to make me feel better."

"Is it working?" Goliath countered.

Elisa attempted a smile, "Just so long as you know that I love you, just as you are, with all my heart... and I will continue to love you... forever."

"And you have no regrets?" Goliath asked the question despite the fact that he knew the answer without ever hearing the words.

"No. Never." Elisa replied firmly. She dropped the self-imposed barrier she had established earlier in the evening and let the need grow and swell like a balloon within her. She heard Goliath inhale sharply as her emotions coursed outward towards him and felt his tremors as he tightened the embrace. She lifted her head and smiled. Goliath's eyes were twin black flames; she could not recall them ever being so dark and deep.

Goliath didn't have to say a word. Elisa only had to look into those eyes as he held her to his heart, to remind herself that their love knew no boundaries. This time, as their lips touched she had no fear that he would turn into a handsome prince.

In her eyes and heart he always had been.

***** ***** *****

The woman slowly turned way from the scene before her. She had not expected this turn of evens but in reflection, she understood she should have. The connection between the human woman and the gargoyle was far stronger than she expected.

Perhaps that would be enough.

She glanced back briefly, understanding the power of fates and destinies were moving far faster than she herself could. For a moment she considering intervening, but as an after thought, decided against it. There would be plenty of time for that later. She stiffened slightly as she felt the presence of another enter the room.

"What are you doing?"

"Greetings to you." The woman's expression shifted to one of genuine surprise, "I did not know you had returned…"

"I expected to see you upon my return." The man nodded slight, noting she failed to answer his question, What has kept you from me?" he inquired none too gently.

She brushed him off with a smile, "It is nothing of your concern…" She favored him with a loving expression as she reached over to pull the vale over the mirror, "I am simply taking care of some unfinished business..."

"I see that…" Lord Oberon nodded without really committing to the gesture, "Come to me Wife. We have much to discuss…"

"As you wish, My Lord and Husband." Lady Titaina nodded as she cast a last glance over the covered mirror, "And yes… we do have much to discuss…"

***** ***** *****