Author: Denigoddess2001
Addy: Denigoddess2001@aol.com
Saga: Angels Amongst Us
Episode: 17
Title: The Group Dynamic
Rating: PG-13 Language and Adult Humor
Characters: Dominique Denise Destine, Lennox Moray MacBeth, Daria Damson, Timron Nightkind of Avalon, Skylaris -Dragon Goddess of the Gargoyles, Dr. Tina Hansen-Stephenson, Ms. Wong

Summary: What happens in a typical day with the Linoma clan. It's all part of the ebb and flow of the Group Dynamic. The hardest part is waiting to see what happens next. Read fiercely and well.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gargoyles. They belong to someone else. All original characters belong to Denigoddess2001. No infringement intended. Please do not sue. Gargoyles have no need for money.




Timron felt the cold, chilling rain pelt mercilessly upon his unfurled wings. The frigid wind froze his skin and the precipitation froze into a thin layer of ice over his entire body. Loincloth had long since fluttered free into the night as he ascended skywards at great speed. Primal instinct drove him to push his body beyond its limits. He longed to drive the temptation of Daria from his mind as he spiraled into a downward dive. He concentrated upon the tenets of the Gargoyle Way and repeated them as a meditation. Again, whenever thoughts of Daria came to mind, Timron recited the Gargoyle in DeMahri.

Visions of velvet brown eyes and dark curly ringlets taunted his mind. Neither the harsh elements nor the strict words of Skylaris banished thoughts of the bewitching Djinni from his mind. Timron's body ached from wanting her. It throbbed from sheer physical exhaustion as he attempted taming his urges into submission. He cursed the Powers-That-Be for bringing the Djinni across his path then tearing her away because of honor.

He landed upon the distant, rocky cliffs of Avalon. He walked along the mountain paths of the western half of the island. It was rumored that when Skylaris assumed dragon form, she took refuge in a lair in the isolated part of Oberon's land. Timron trudged mindlessly through the mud. He silently prayed that his goddess would grant him an audience and free him of Daria's love.

[TIMRON.] A voice almost tickled the very corners of his mind.

He said nothing and continued on the path that led up Avalon's highest mountain, Thyatira.

[TIMRON.] A rich, melodious alto echoed along the mountainside so that even the rain's falling failed to make noise. The Crimson cleric remained still and simply listened to the voice that beckoned him.

It carried a melodic quality that brought one person to mind. [Daria.]

[NOT EVEN CLOSE.] There was a subtly of laughter in the reply. [TRY AGAIN.]

Timron had heard the voice once in court. It belonged to the beloved Avatar of Skylaris: the stunning Nubian Queen with the lavender eyes. Misty green eyes noticed that the ground beneath his taloned feet no longer was rocky soil but jagged amethyst that cut into the soles of his talons. Amethyst was a beloved stone of his goddess. His heart soared when he realized that he stood near Skylaris' true lair.

"Stop, Timron." The deep voice commanded. "Stay where you stand. You walk upon hallowed ground, Son of Stone."

"Skylaris, is that you?" Timron's voice was barely a hushed whisper.

"The voice that speaks is the Matriarch of the DeMahri, the deity of Gargoyles, and the protectoress of Simianites. I am Skylaris, hand-maiden of the All-Father and sister of the Lightbringer."

Timron never before felt the island course with such raw, unrestrained Magick. It was a sensation that droned through his body from horn to tail. It was a vibration that rocked him to the innermost core of his essence. The scarlet Gargoyle fell to his wings upon the pointed spires of glisten violet stone. He cloaked his wings about him and his eyes stared at the ground.

He was truly humbled before his goddess.

"I have seen the wretchedness dwelling within your heart, my son. I have heard your sobs in the night as you fly above the island. I hear Daria's heart crying out to you in her dreams. By trying to block the bond, you amplify it, Timron. She know no peace and you have no concord within you."

"My goddess..." He stammered. "I long only to serve you. If I've done wrong, please forgive me. But how can I serve Avalon if she's always haunting me?"

"Like most sires, you've only done something gratuitous." Her voice took a harsher tone of chiding. "She isn't a temptation for Heaven's Traitor. She's a gift from the Powers-That-Be because you've sought a heartmate for years. You and she have brought about the Illumination because of an innocent wish. Now, the Chrysalis is at hand and nothing can stop it."

"The Chrysalis, goddess?" Timron's eyes dared to dart upwards to the large serpentine silhouette hovering several feet above him. He saw a winding presence stretching nearly ten times his wingspan. Large wings of gold and emerald flapped in the rainy night until the form landed upon the ground only a few yards from him.

Two elliptical lavender eyes blinked once and stared at the scarlet Gargoyle. A burst of amethyst fire exploded from her jaws and fell short at Timron's feet. "The Chrysalis -the time of Change and torment for many. The Preternaturals shall walk the Earth during the day wreaking havoc upon the sunlit world. Many seek revenge against humans who have hunted them. Many innocents shall know death."

"By the Dragon." The blood in his veins ran cold with her ominous words.

"Indeed, but not by this one." The long green serpent said gravely. "This is the work and will of my sister, Katoramet. She is in league with Heaven's traitor to bring about the end of Human rule on the planet."

"I see." Timron felt inept for being unable to say anything articulate.

"You don't see." Skylaris told him. "Katorahmet wants the Preternaturals to rule. Then, that leaves the field free for her and the Traitor to claim the planet for their own use. That isn't an option, Timron."

"Why can't she be stopped?"

"The Prince of the air and my sister have been consorts for a very long time." A low growl rumbled through the wet, cold air. It caused the very rocks to tremble and amethyst to shatter. "If Preternatuals bring about a bloodbath, Humans are the first victims. They have little or no Magick defense. It is the Gargoyle Way to serve and protect the weak, especially those without wings and tail. You and all my children must protect those in Linoma now to prevent mass destruction later. Otherwise, The Prince will destroy everything hallowed and sacrosanct on this planet. That also includes the last of your kind.

"Gargoyles." The revelation left a heavy sickness churning in Timron's stomach. "Dead by the Traitor's hand?"

"Dead by the Traitor's hand." Skylaris' voice carried a note of sadness. "Only those who embrace the Greater Good can stand as the first and only line of defense. We stand by He who is Love. The one I speak of is ALL THAT IS."

"Menash Kah." The faint DeMahri expletive filled the night. "This goes to the highest zeniths of Heaven."

"Exactly." Skylaris sighed. "I have claimed my true form to bring relief to the DeMahri. It is time to bring the DeMahri and the Simianites home. There are a few good humans that shall find their way into the treasures of my lair -but precious few. It is time to bring forth the Day of Reckoning and the end of an age."

"The end of an age?" Timron shivered at the ominous tone in his goddess' voice.

"Indeed, the time for Gargoyles has long past." The Dragon goddess curled her tail around her. "The time has come to draw them home, not just beneath the warmth of my wing, but to take them home to Thubin."

[Thubin.] The name rang in his mind. Only in legend was the hallowed name of the Dragon goddess dared spoken. It was a distant star in the Draco constellation that was home to the fabled Eden of the DeMahri. [She wants to draw us all back to Avalahaun.]

"There are also a few not of the Gargoyle blood that have become my children. There are a few humans and Fae that deserve a better life than this. I'll even throw in a rebate on a couple of werewolves and the occasional vampire."

Timron marveled how such a magnificent creature and goddess such as Skylaris could speak so plainly. He also knew that there were so few Gargoyles left remaining in the world. While in the realm of Humanity, he had heard that only three hundred still lived.

"You're right, Timron." She gave him a toothy smile that seemed almost absurd on the dragon. "The plight of many has reached my ears. The anguish and torment of you and my daughter has touched me. So, now I need you to remedy both of these situations you've helped cause."

"But how?" He exclaimed. Timron's wings flared slightly in disbelief. "How can I undo the Magick of one of the most powerful creatures on the planet?"

"Where you go, I go. Where you lead, I follow. What you are so shall I be. What you are so shall I become. We are one and I shall always be with you." She recited the ancient vows so ingrained upon the souls of Gargoyles."

"But, goddess..." Timron fell to the ground in dispair. "I'm a simple Gargoyle. I've failed you. I didn't free Daria of her prison. I'm trying to serve my Queen, your sister-in-law."

"My sister-in-law is the least of your problems." A puff of smoke billowed into the night air with the Dragon's indignant snort. "There is life beyond Avalon, but you're too shortsighted to see it. Let the Fae take care of themselves. Now, you have a chance to redeem yourself. You've been given a chance to bring about something good. Do as I command you, Timron Nightkind of Avalon. This is my commandment: GO FORTH INTO THE WORLD OF HUMANS. TELL THE GARGOYLES THAT I HAVE SENT YOU. TELL THEM THAT THEY SHALL RETURN TO A REALM OF MILK AND HONEY. CLAIM THE MATE THAT WAS MADE FOR YOU BEFORE YOU WERE EVER HATCHED, TIMRON."

Timron felt his shame at her last words. "How can Daria be at my side to aid me if she is still imprisoned in the bottle."

"You FOOL." Skylaris knocked unceremoniously to the ground with her tail. The Dragon's eyes glared with a brilliant amethyst light that announced her motherly outrage. "She is free where it counts...inside her heart. The bottle chips away more each day. She has served cruel masters for eons and you're worried about the fact of some technicalities?! Honor is one thing. Obstinacy is sheer stupidity."

The Gargoyle fumed as his beloved goddess chastised him as though he were just another hatchling.

"You bungled it by leaving her in that cesspool of a world. Now, I'm going to help you two remedy the situation before the world goes up in smoke."

Skylaris hiccupped. A waft of heavy plum smoke drifted into the air followed by a small column of violet flame. A taloned paw sheepishly covered her mouth. "Excuse me and the bad pun. I had Barbeque for lunch."

Timron remained silent.

"Go forth and gather all the clans to Linoma. Make sure that they protect all humans and keep the balance. You will need help and Daria is the helpmate you have chosen. You are a quiet Gargoyle with a fierce heart. She is vivacious force of nature that longs for the allaying influence of her mate's love. Together, walk the path you've started and stop the Chrysalis."

"Not all the clans know of you, goddess." Timron was astounded to hear himself speak so boldly to his goddess. "What if I go to the clans and say, "Skylaris -creatorix and Matriarch of DeMahri and Simianites sends me to you," and they ask for proof? What do I do."

"I give you the ancient gift of my children." She chuckled. A long, slender tongue flickered from behind sharp dragon teeth. The forked ends gently tickled the Gargoyle's browridge. "Skylaris sent me to you."

"I understand." Timron said softly. "I'll do my best."

"Go to the clan leaders and their lieutenants. Tell them Skylaris has appeared to you and that she watches over them even now in the time of darkness. It is time to bring about the Exodus to Avalahaun. Tell them to unite and fight the Preternaturals who attack the humans. Only when the Humans are safe then so are all the Children of Stone. That will ensure the survival of our people. It means that there will be many leaving this world."

"I'll do as you ask." The Gargoyle bowed slightly.

"Get up, Timron. Go to Daria. Ask her to join you in this quest and have her stand beside her. You need her and the world needs both of you strong and united."

"I will." He nodded solemnly.

"It's time for you to go." Skylaris urged him.

"Now?" Timron's eyes widened to the size of saucers.

"NOW." She replied sternly. "Close your eyes."


"Yes, Timron?"

"I've lost my loincloth." He wondered if a blush showed up on scarlet skin.

"I see that. Nice package." She gave him another wide draconic grin. "Try that."

"What, My goddess?"

"When in doubt, Timron." She nudged him much more gently with her tail. "LOOK DOWN."

The Gargoyle's eyes noticed that somehow a dark gray loincloth had made its way onto his body. "I'm grateful. Thank you."

He closed his eyes. A voice echoed faintly inside his mind. [No time for pyrotechnics, beloved Son of stone. If you want special affects, talk to Steven Speilburg. Each hour here on Avalon is a day in the real world. Time is of the essence -go to Daria. Find her. Then both of you must carry out my commandments.]

"I promise it'll get done." Timron vowed. "But what if Daria won't take me back?"

"Then you need to work hard to get her. Harsh words and rigid stances will drive her from you. She isn't a tame creature. She is wild and free. She need a gentle love from a fierce heart, not a stern distant affection that given only with convenience or condition. Use the brain that I gave you. Now, GO."


"Goddess?" He called out softly into the night.

His voice sounded quiet and muffled. He let his eyes grow accustomed to the dark. Timron was engulfed in complete blackness. He tentatively brushed his tail around him and he met something with a good solid "THWACK." It felt like wood. He carefully wrapped his tail around the thin cylindrical object. The edge of his tail crept up the length of the object and encountered a sharp edge and a flat surface.

"Who's there?" A groggy voice called in the dark.

Timron knew that voice. He knew the feel of that cylindrical object caught within the grasp of his tail. It was a table leg made of solid oak. He turned with new confidence and walked several paces to the left. His talons skimmed gently along a smooth vertical surface until they encountered that which they so desperately search.

A light flickered on. Timron's misty green eyes widened slightly. There, sleeping on a futon of white oak lay a dark haired beauty clad only in purple silk. Her hair was slightly mussed and fell prettily around her shoulders.

She looked a tad pale but just as lovely as when he had last seen her. He longed to run his talons through those wild ringlets. He noticed her hair was longer than when he had last seen her. How much time had passed?

"Daria?" He called out softly. "It's me, Timron."

She shook her head. "Damn it, you haunt me every night in my dreams. I'm dealing with it, okay? Just leave me the fuck alone and let me get on with my life."

"No." He said with resolution that filled him. Timron strode across the short distance between them and forcibly sat Daria upright. He knelt before her. "This is no dream. It's me, Timron. I'm here. I'm real."

She shook away the last of her groggy disorientation and warily reached out to caress his cheek. Her fingers ran slowly along the contours of his brow ridges. His hands caught hers within red talons and a tail wrapped loving around her calf. Lips still new to human custom came to hers and gently tasted honey and cinnamon.

It made him come undone. He growled. A Tail found her waist and pulled the Djinni to him. Strong crimson arms brought him to her. Wings kept her cradled in their suede folds. He breathed in her scent and felt their hearts heal with every touch and each sweet word.

"Do you think it's that easy just to blow hot and cold with me?" Her eyes gleamed with the same fire as a Dame enraged. The fires were amber but he knew that illumination well. [I never knew she could do that.] "No, you told me you had to go serve Avalon. I've just started getting my life together and now you want back in it!? Go home to Titania."

"Woman, you're trying my patience." The Gargoyle growled. He was half-tempted to simply leave her there and grant her wish. [I don't need this pressure.] No, he knew the vixen better than that. She was a woman of strong emotion and strong spirit. She needed to know that he was there to meet her on all fronts.

"No, Daria." Timron said firmly. He cloaked his platinum and scarlet wings about him. When he sat down on the futon, it creaked and the mattress visibly sank. "I'm still serving my goddess. But, I'm not leaving you again. I'll take your bouts of temper and sharp words. Vent all you want, but know this: I'm not leaving you."

"Until you suffer an another attack of honor?" She spat. "Oh puh-lease, Timron. I'm not a century old. I know better."

"Shut your mouth, Daria or I'll do it for you." He rumbled. His eyes gleamed with an argent light that signaled his exasperation. "I'm here. I'm not leaving. I love you. But, we have a mission to complete that goes beyond us. Are you with me?"

Her stare threw daggers.

She cursed in a stream of Persian a thousand names meant for annoying men over the ages. She used the ancient DaMahri word. "Ditwad."

He chuckled. If she called him that, then he knew she was calming to a point of rational thought. "Daria, be quiet."

He drew her into his triple embrace that he had denied them both for too long. She embraced the beloved dream and held him close. Tears ran freely down her cheek. He felt the dormant thread of their empathic bond burst to life. A celebration of joy, bittersweet happiness, love, adoration, righteous feminine anger and confusion melded together into a singular bolt of raw emotion. It coursed along their bond and flooded his brain.

"You're really here?" She poked him lightly in the chest. "You're staying?"

"In the flesh, Love." He brought his brow to hers. "I'm here."

"Yeah, right." She snapped and abruptly pushed him away. "The last time you said that, you decided to high-tail your ass to Avalon and kiss Titania's patukus."

"My heart was always with you." His quiet sincerity melted away the last remnents of hurt and confusion from Daria. "I'm sorry. I thought that I was doing what was right. It's behind us. Look ahead. It's all I can give you now."

"I believe you." She sighed sadly. "Why have you returned? Why now, Timron? You don't know how things have turned."

"How long has it been since we saw one another?" Came the urgent question.

She glanced at the calendar beside her wall. "Roughly eight weeks."

"It was February when I was here last."

"Now it's mid-April." Daria quipped. "It's been a while."

"Daria, how close are you to being free of that bottle?"

"Closer, but I still have to wait until I'm paroled." She nearly snarled. She held up the bottle that sat on the nightstand. She pointed to a small chip in the bottle. "That isn't supposed to happen. This bottle can't be chipped or broken....and yet, it's happening. Each day, I find more flecks and chips."

"Really?" Timron felt a nagging tug of happiness in his heart.

"Yeah. I've found a place to live...here. I have a job. But, if I'm still a mile or more away from the bottle...back I go. Demetrius had to uncork it the other night when I went fifty feet too far to the convenience store."

"Why would you go there?" He seemed truly perplexed.

"I wanted gum."

"But couldn't you have blinked and simply made it so?"

"No." Daria's eyes fell to the floor. She stood silent in his embrace for several minutes as she clutched him to her. "I'm losing my powers, Timron. Two weeks ago, I could blink from Summerlands to the Athenaeum without difficulty. Now, I can only blink about half the distance."

"Daria...I don't know what to say."

"I think it's the price of my freedom." She laughed darkly and wiped away a tear. "The Powers-That-Be don't want a Djinni with that much power running around loose. I've already caused one catastrophe. I don't need two."

"I never should have made that wish." He lamented.

"Too late now. It's a done deal." She looked up at the Handsome Gargoyle and gave him her best smile. "I'm alive and you're here. That works."

Timron hugged her. "Always."

"We'll see." She cast him a long glance. "I'm not going to have my heart broken twice."

"My word is my bond." Timron felt growing anger simmer within him. [Why does she doubt me?]

"Prove it." Daria stood defiantly with hands on her hips.

"What would you have me do?" He asked quietly. He turned from her. "Would you have me declare my undying love? Would you want me to take you to den and mark you again? I won't do that until we are mated properly before the clan."

"No, I want you to STAY." Her voice caught on the last word. It came out little more than a breathless, jagged whisper. "Just...STAY."

Timron was stunned by the unusual request. He had expected anger, acrimony, and rejection. He half-expected demands of tokens or grandiose gestures on his behalf. He was unprepared for the simple entreaty that had the power of bringing him to his knees. He watched her eyes brighten with unspilled frustration.

"When you are free, then I'll call you my mate." He pressed his brow to his. Timron's sharp crimson talons entwined with Daria's slender fingers. "But, always remember, that I won't leave you again. I am always your protector."

"Promise?" She asked. Timron swept her into his arms and returned to the bed. His wings were the loving warmth her for which her aching heart longed. Her vivacity and her innate sense of him gave him completion. He held her throughout the night and they spoke of these things. He watched as velvet brown eyes blinked slowly and finally closed in peaceful slumber.

He knew that he was where the Goddess meant him be.

"I'm a Gargoyle. We always keep our word."

And he meant it.


April 16, 2006
Summerlands Estate
Timron's old room

Dominique knocked quietly on Daria's door. There was no answer. Frustrated, the young woman tossed back an errant lock of brilliant red hair and rapped loudly. "Daria, it's 9:00. Wake up! I have to be on campus in ten minutes and you said you'd blink me there!"

A roar met her sharp words. Dominique jumped several steps back in the corridor.

A roar? Demetrius was with Wren. MacBeth was human and didn't possess the capability. Throwing good judgment aside, Dominique focused her attention on what was on the other side of that door. She posed her foot at a strategic angle and drew it back to give the heavy would a good, sound kick.

It opened and stood there in seven feet of hard crimson muscles was the last one she ever expected to see.

"TIMRON!" Dominique's arms wrapped zestfully around his waist. He found that she knocked the air from his lungs and he bent over in a severe coughing fit. "You're back!"

"I'm *cough*...." He turned his head and covered his mouth. It was a hoarse rattle akin to one with pneumonia. "*cough, cough* ...back."

"Great. Now, the clan's together again." The cheery voice quickly vanished when the crimson warrior fell to his knees. "Hang on! I'll get Tina."

An hour later in the infirmary, Tina shook her head and stared at the young warrior. "What in blazes did you think you were doing flying around in the rain? If you get in the dumps, go on a drinking binge like everybody else."

"I was in meditation."

"You were punishing yourself." She gave a look that read "BULLSHIT." "You've got a severe chest cold. I never knew that Gargoyles caught colds."

"Neither did I." He shrugged. "It's a human thing."

"Well, some humans can really take a toll on her health." She scribbled furiously on a pad and handed him a piece of paper. "Have MacBeth or one of the more human looking one take this to the pharmacy."

"What is it?" Timron squinted to read the scrawled lines on the paper. "How will this get me well?"

"It's tradition. No one should read a doctor's handwriting." Tina pointed to the black lines of script. "It's called a prescription. I am advising you to take this particular medicine to help clear out the fluid in your lungs. A pharmacy is where these medicines are kept. You can't get the medicine without a Doctor's permission."

"So you're giving me consent to get the medicine and get well." He shook his head. "It's strange. I can take care of myself."

"Yeah, you fly in the rain...I see you've drilled a hole in your tooth." Tina clicked her tongue. "You're not taking care of yourself."

"I wear an amethyst in honor of my goddess." Timron tapped the canine. "Some humans wear crosses of fat little men on a necklace. I wear my goddess's favorite gem in my fang."

"I'm agnostic." Tina smirked. "Cheaper dental bills."


Star City University Campus
Metaphysics 101
An Introduction to Preternatural Society

Dominique watched the hands of the clock slowly tick by as MacBeth talked about the hierarchy of Vampiric authority. She struggled to focus her attention on the lecture and take good notes. However, the only thing her attention focused on was how sexy was the Professor.

For weeks, MacBeth had spent little time at Summerlands. He attended faculty meetings and University events. Demetrius and he coordinated several field trips between the University and the Museum of Ancient History. When she managed to catch him, he spoke a few quick words and bolted for the nearest door.

Dominique's Gargoyle fury brimmed as she quietly sat in the chair listening to him explain about Vampire Coronations.

He was avoiding her. It was obvious.

With resolution, she slowly sat down her pencil. Two glittering green eyes looked at MacBeth with feminine ferocity. [Avoiding me is NOT making me happy.]

His back was to her as he wrote several Latin phrases on the board used in the Vampiric Coronation and Rite of Passage. He stopped mid-stroke as the thought formed in her mind. The handsome warrior king turned to face the class. Warm brown eyes found green glaring at him. He hastily cleared his throat and returned to his lecture.

At the end of the lecture, he sorted his notes and stuffed him into his briefcase. Dominique made her way to his desk. "Professor MacBeth, do you have a moment?"

"Not right now, Dominique. I have another lecture to attend." He moved quickly to get by her.

A delicate hand caught his arm. "Not so fast, Lennox. It can wait."

"Dominique, this isn't the time." He warned her. "I have another class in twenty minutes."

"And it takes you five to get there." She quipped. She looked at her watch. "So you can spare me fifteen."

He exhaled in exasperation. He nearly threw down his briefcase on his desk. "Fine, what is it?"

"Okay, MacBeth? What is going on? You ask me to wait for you and now you avoid me as though I have wing rot. My tail hasn't been drug through a stock yard."

He looked at the young woman standing defiantly before him. Oh, she presented a lovely vision of fiery temper and fierce spirit. Yet, he knew beneath those vivid green eyes was a lady unsure of herself, of him and the world around them.

[How do I tell her that I'm reduced to basic instinct when she's around me? How do I tell her what I have planned...for her and us?]

He took her by the hand. He knew that she needed to know something if only to keep her from ruining it all. "Dominique, sit down."

She took a seat in front of his desk. "What's up with you, MacBeth?"

"Oh, Domi...." Where did he begin? "I know we haven't spent much time together."

"That's certainly right." A hint of Highland accent sharply punctuated each word.

MacBeth looked to see if any students were still in the room. He found it empty and he slowly closed the door. He returned to the young woman and sat across from her. "I've been attending faculty meetings with the Chancellor for several weeks now."

"Yeah, I know. I never see you." She scoffed.

"You know that my current living arrangement is temporary." He reminded her.

"I know. You don't want to live at Summerlands any longer than the end of the semester."

"Not exactly. I just don't want to live in someone else's home." MacBeth's light brogue soothed her agitated mind. "I've been talking to the Chancellor about a Metaphysics Department change of faculty. They're looking for a dean of the Metaphysical College."

"What?!" Dominique found that she couldn't find other words. "You mean they want to make you Dean of the Metaphysics College?"

"Yes." He grinned broadly. "I'm in salary negotiation with the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor."

"That's wonderful. Why didn't you tell me?"

"I wanted...." What had he wanted, MacBeth mused. "I wanted to surprise you. I also wanted to let you know that I'm looking at a house adjacent to Summerlands property."

"Great." Dominique noticed that melancholy and bliss battled within her for supremacy. [He'll be moving but he won't be moving far. Wonderful.]

"I'm closing the deal next week."


"It has room for a jousting lawn, a dueling area, combat training, an extensive library... and an area perfect for a rookery." He gave her a small smile.

"So?" She shrugged nonchalantly. Her eyes narrowed. "Wait a minute, why would you want a rookery?"

"So little Gargoyles can play." His eyes twinkled. "It also is on the edge of Holmes Lake. It's a wonderful glide over the water at night on patrol I hear."

"It is." She admitted.

"You could call it home." He whispered.


"You could call it home." MacBeth repeated the words. "If you can only wait a while longer."

"Give me one good reason why I should." She challenged.

"I haven't deserted you, Dominique." MacBeth clasped her hands and planted several kisses on them. "I've been preparing."

"For what?"

He traced the red heart logo on her little white tee-shirt. "Wait a while longer and it'll be a bright future."

"For who?" She pulled away. "You're speaking in riddles."

"Damn it, woman!" MacBeth exclaimed. "Are ye as dense as the highlands? I'm preparin' a place for ye ...a den, Dominique. It's Gargoyle tradition and I'm tryin' m' best to follow it."

Her eyes darted to see MacBeth's face contorted in frustration. The heavy Highland lilt poured from his lips. "Are you daft? How much simpler do I have to make it, Dominique?"


"You don't. I don't need this line of crap. Talk to someone else that way, MacBeth. But, don't use the blustering male on me. Adios and have a nice life."

He watched the dangling scarlet braids flow to the small of her back as she turned to leave. With shoulders squared, she set a steady pace in the corridor.

[I'll be damned if I run after some woman.] He shook his head in disgust. [Even if it is Dominique.]

She kept walking.

He watched her form grow smaller in his sight with each passing moment. His acute hearing and tiled walls of the wall caught every sound. She walked with anger and pride. But, that tiny sob was louder than a crashing waterfall.

For the first time in his life, MacBeth ran after a woman.

She was lost to his sight. Dominique blended well into the swelling masses making their way through the halls of Dragonfeet Hall. As he ran, he wondered why couldn't she understand that he was trying to do right by her?
He considered the possibility of simply letting her go.

His heart would break. Hers would shatter. Together, they had something that had lasted over a thousand years and would blossom for another ten thousand.

MacBeth caught a flash of scarlet at the Espresso booth. He recognized the long, scarlet braids. He grabbed her by the arm and spun her around.

"Never walk away from me again, Dominique." His voice carried the ominous undertone.

"Don't tell me to do a damn thing, MacBeth." She pulled her arm from his grasp. "I'm my own woman and I love you more than life but I won't take being treated as a burden. This isn't all about me. This isn't all about you. You want me to wait. Fine, I'm fucking waiting. Now, this is what I want: just because you're trying to get your house in order doesn't mean that we have to be apart. That just adds Menash Kah to the heap. I'm not into the suffering romantic masochism."

"I know not whether to kill you or kiss you." He muttered through gritted teeth.

"Pick one." Dominique retorted.

"What do you want of me?"

"You're a smart lad. You figure it out." She turned on her heel and paid for her expresso. She motioned to the vender. "Keep the change."

She walked away.

"DOMINIQUE." He bellowed. It was part anger, part command, and part entreaty.

She stopped.

She couldn't walk away no matter how much she wanted and damn it! He knew it. She was the one woman that had him caught body mind, heart and soul. He was the one man that convinced her to trust and cherish beyond her immediate realm.

MacBeth came to her. "I'm not going to chase you. You have a choice to make: love me as I am or not at all."

"All about you."

"NO!" He clasped her shoulders. "It's not. I think I know what you want, but let me see if I have this right."

"I'm listening." Dominique tapped one foot against the sun-warmed concrete. "Continue."

"You want me in your life. You want me around you. You want some of my time and affirmation that I'm yours."

"Yes, definitely, correct and assuredly." She answered.

"You want me to include you in more of my life. I can't right now -you can't be there when I talk to the chancellor."

"Then call me and tell me about it." She quipped.

"Dominique, I will spend more time with you. But, you have to be patient."

"I don't expect a grand house or anything fancy." She shook her head. "I just want you."

"I am still your instructor." MacBeth relented. "I can't be any more than your friend."

"And that's what I'm asking for in the interim." Dominique closed her eyes to block his handsome visage from her mind. "Spend time with me as my friend. Am I only lust-inspiring? Am I that much of a detriment to your precious restraint?"

"No, I love you. But, yes...you tempt me."

"Then learn to deal with it. I have. I don't see you spread-eagle on the ground. I don't see me demanding a ring or anything other than a bit of your time."

"Then, I can give you my friendship and some of my time." He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "But, if we want a long-term love, we have to endure short-term waiting. Can't you do that for me?"

She whispered in a hushed tone. "I'll try and wait."

"That's my girl." He planted a quick kiss on her brow. "I have to run. If I don't make that next lecture, then I don't get my salary increase to pay the first payment on the house."

"Not a problem." She watched him go. She knew that this was far from over. But, she wanted to show MacBeth that she had faith. "Go."

As he left, her heart went with him.

As she stayed behind, his heart remained.

The day looked much, much better.


12:00 Noon
The Linoma Bluffs Museum
Executive Assistant to Professor Lennox MacBeth's Office

Demetrius finished the last invoice of new artifacts shipped in from a dig in Egypt. To his surprise, three new winged statues of Sphinxes were sent to the Museum's warehouse until further investigation. He sent out replies to several letter addressed to MacBeth.

He answered several inquiries regarding fieldtrips from various grade schools. With the recent turn of events of Tw0-twenty-six, many were fascinated by the metaphysical and the arcane. Most wanted to see actual Gargoyles and Dragon skeletons. He found it how uninformed the public was about his people.

"No, madam." He answered a woman's questions via the telephone. "Gargoyles do not partake of human flesh. They sup on flesh as we do and dine on vegetables as part of their diet? Do they hate humans? Not on average, Ms. Wong. Each Gargoyle is as different as is each human. I can not speak for all of them, but I know that many have a great love for Human culture and human people."

Ms. Wong bombarded poor Demetrius with a rampage of several rapid-fire questions.

"Yes, Ms. Wong. Gargoyles are now able to walk around in daylight. Now, a human cannot become one. No, madam, Gargoyles do not drink blood. It is their nature to protect those weaker than they. What do I mean? It is the Gargoyle Way to love fiercely and well. Many of the clans have close human allies. Can you meet one? I am unable to arrange such a meeting. However, the leader of the Linoma clan will be giving a guest lecture. His name? I believe it's Demetrius. My name? Yes, I have the same name? No madam, Gargoyles do not turn into humans during the day. We merely share the same name."

Demetrius crossed to tapered fingers at that slight fallacy. Most Gargoyles remained Gargoyles such as Timron.

He nearly dropped the phone at the next question issued by Ms. Wong. "Uh, Madam, Gargoyles do, on rare occasion, take a fancy to humans in a amorous proclivity. What? No Madam. I've never examined a Gargoyle's ...er...endowments to see their size. I apologize Ms. Wong, I have an appointment that I must keep. If you have any further questions, Professor MacBeth will be in this afternoon. Have a pleasant day."


Demetrius visibly sagged in his chair. He was glad to be free of the woman's questions. He felt drained from the increased workload. The computers at the museum had caught a virus conjured by one of the young mages studying at the Arcane college. All the screens showed snapshots of Pamela Sue Anderson topless.

He needed sweet relief.

The striking assistant reached for the phone and called the one person that brought refreshment to his soul.

It rang once.


"Hello. Xanatos Publish: research and development department. This is Wren Summers."

"Sweetling." He sighed. "How I've missed you."

"Demetrius?" Concern laced her voice. "What's wrong?"

"I think the Weird Sisters have seen fit to vex me thus this day." She though she heard him growl. "At every turn there are things that run amok."

"Take a breath, Dem." She said soothingly. "What's wrong?"

"The computers are plagued with a magically-created virus. It is unable to be purged from the systems. It's interfering with ordinary functions: email, invoices, and Internet connections."

"Give me a moment." Silence came on the line. He watched a faint emerald light course from the telephone and find it's way to the computer. The unit was illuminated in a faint green halo for several seconds and then the light faded away to nothing. "Try it now."

"Soon, Love." He rested his head in his hands. "How are you?"

"I'm having a great day. Right now, I'm translating the Tome Of Tacitus into Spanish. We have a hundred thousand copies that need to be shipped to Madrid by Monday. I'm only half-way through."

"How long have you been working on it?" Demetrius asked.

"Two days. It takes a while to write all this down." Wren chuckled. "It needs to be to the presses by Friday. But guess what!"

He noticed the excitement in her voice. "What, Love?"

"The Tome is #3 on the best seller list for non-fiction. The sales from it alone will boost our profit margin 38% for this fiscal quarter. David just called he and me wants me to consider...get this! A Vice-Presidency here at Xanatos publishing -Midwest division."

"That is wonderful." Demetrius felt his own spirits sag. He was happy for his mate but his own melancholy taunted him.

"He read your proposal for the book you've been wanting to write on Gargoyle Clan history. He likes it, Sweetheart. He wants you to come in tomorrow and talk to him about it. He'll be in town. Can you make it?"

"I shall do so." He promised. That brought a bit more sunshine into his life.

"By the way, do you know how much I love you? I miss you, Demetrius."

All melancholy faded into nothing at her simple words.

"And I, you, Love." His baritone voice whispered deeply into the phone. He saw the light on the switchboard signal that he had a call to answer. "I must go. I love you."


"Take care." With that he let Wren go and switched lines to take the next call.

Wren smiled as she recalled her conversation with her fiancé and mate. How she treasured each day when they talked over the phone or made lunch plans. They didn't have much time together, but they made the best of what they had. He brightened her soul and she brought him bliss. It was a fair trade.

Oh, how she loved him...ever so fiercely and well. Dark times were coming for all and she knew it. How she thanked God and Skylaris for Demetrius in her life. With that, Wren picked up her briefcase and stared at the clock on the wall. She knew she had to meet Demetrius for lunch at 12:30. She'd worry about the dark times later. The entire clan would do so. [It's just part of the group dynamic.]