Author's Note: I really have no idea where this came from except a request by a good friend of mine who was rather intrigued by this certain coupling during 62 - "Temptation", and wanted it expanded just a little more. This may seem a little strange, or even a little hypocritical considering I'm perhaps one of the biggest advocates for original couples, but when falling within the Elseworlds title, it's not meant to be taken seriously at all (and I thought this would only work within the Elseworlds title, so I could lose the excess baggage of established spouses). Just small, fun and sexy, and just a peek into a window holding an infinite number of realms, and what could have been. This one's for you, Puaena.

"In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places - some that have existed, and others that can't, couldn't or shouldn't exist. The result is stories that make characters who are as familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow."

Elseworlds is property of DC comics and is being used without permission.

Elseworlds - "When The Hunter Becomes The Prey"

September 15th, 1999, a few weeks after the TGS episode, "Seeds Of Change"
A war for extinction of his species and that of his newly announced fiancé had ended only mere weeks ago, and their lives settled into a routine at times tedious verging on dull, but nonetheless treasured. As he entered into the stark corridors of the Eyrie building's top floor, the lavender giant was indeed exhilarated they had won the costly war against the Unseelie forces, and now had proven his love for Elisa in asking her to be his mate. She in turn readily accepted, and plans were being made for the impending ceremony, small almost cozy in a way with clan and immediate family only, but grand in its bonding of two souls, and the merging of two hearts.

Goliath rapped softly on the large office doors leading into the builder of an empire all too impressive. But he would never let such praise escape his lips towards this particular financial leader, and a former enemy with which he held a relationship precarious at best.

"Come in."

Goliath entered into a spacious office, though vacuous and stark in decoration, perhaps to purposely lead any eyes towards a massive desk and chair. A throne in function and design, and seated in front of a window staring out into the heavens a faded milky lavender quietly dousing the angry, ruby flames of sunset.

"Here are the patrol schedules as requested, Xanatos." he rumbled towards the chair, faced towards the sunset.

It turned to reveal the occupant, where strands of deep red appeared more as molten sun, streamed in straight lengths along both sides of a face strong but elegantly, intoxicatingly feminine. She casually brushed away the fire, to reveal a contrasted color of emerald green beneath a delicate brow, arched wickedly in her examination of an old foe turned new ally. Fox Xanatos stared at him with more than a passing interest as the gargoyle placed the disk to her wooden desk, antique and no doubt appallingly expensive, and varnished to a mirror-like sheen. "Thank you, Goliath." she purred, sitting her head to entwined fingers and staring at the towering creature, peering with a gleam in her eyes all too mischievous unto striations of muscle rippling beneath flawless, pale orchid skin with even the slightest of physical effort. "Much appreciated."

His observation always keen in his dealings with his landlord, he noticed the tone had changed slightly, from the usually infuriating flippancy, to an expectant, amorous mewl. Goliath raised a brow, and wondered just for what purpose she trailed her eyes down his hulking frame searchingly, and wanting. "Is there a problem, Xanatos?" he asked, breaking Fox from her reverie with a voice brimming with a growl, feeding his annoyance onto his tongue and into the open air.

Fox curled lips into a catlike grin, and bared her teeth, enjoying the at time playfully antagonistic rapport she had formed with Goliath during their turbulent relationship. "Just...comparing." she evaded. "And how are the soon-to-be-betrothed?"

Goliath lowered his brow, sensing a certain direction to this brand of small talk. "Truly happy. At long last." he revealed, but careful not to allow Fox too much information. "Why do you ask?"

"Just...wondering." A falsification wrapped transparently within a certain amount of truth, Fox admitted perhaps more than she truly wished to. "Your entire relationship with Elisa seemed doomed from the start, with the whole human gargoyle race relations problem. I'm glad you two were able to overcome your difficulties and your...stubbornness."

"Indeed."

Fox flicked away a vagrant strand, and leaned back into the leather embrace of her chair, pressing her fingertips together broodingly. "And how is your recently restored brother faring with his refurbished flesh?"

Goliath formed a mournful smile in his brother's recent resurrection form the Coldstone cyborg. "He is adjusting, but the fact his mate did not survive to be with him in this new world has been..."

"Difficult." she finished for him, the gleam in her eye become a fire. "I can imagine. But I'm sure a gargoyle as handsome and virile as Othello, will have no trouble finding a suitable match."

"I truly hope so." answered the majestically cloaked Wyvern leader, sheathed in the shadows transforming lavender skin to a silky, grayed ebony-ash.

"I was wondering if you could do me a favor, Goliath."

Goliath in reply cocked a horned brow.

"Could you send Othello to my office?"

The request was indeed unexpected, and quite indicative of her motives, but in fact, he now deemed her interest in his physique a comparative measure against his brother. The very thought of this human attempting yet another conquest, this time of flesh and blood and clan, was laughable, but otherwise interesting to see her make the attempt. "As you wish." the words rolled from his lips in almost a dare. Goliath moved away, his smile swelling with the incredible arrogance this woman presented and the fact his oft-stolid brother could never be swayed by her charms.

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

"You sent for me, my lady Xanatos."

Fox tried to suppress a devilish grin in the gargoyle's tenth century manner and dialect. His etiquette was of another age long past, and yet so refreshing in a world of quick men and even quicker courting rituals of droning wit and cheap wine. "Yes, Othello," purred Fox, sliding from her chair and onto the slick surface of her desk, crossing long, tanned legs and crossing them over the beveled edge, "thank you for coming."

The Wyvern huntsman edged closer, cautious in step and wary of eyes hungry and similar to an animal in the hunt, her tattoo speaking more of a personality than words ever needed to. He noticed the air, heavy and ripe with a strong flowered scent perhaps lily or rose, and in turn a sweetened lure. "And just why would you call for me?" he asked.

Fox straightened a tight leather skirt left intentionally several inches too high, and continued running her hand down the length of her entire thigh, as if uncaring a male were present to watch the near sexual display, as if teasing a libido gone unsated for a millennium. "Just hoping you're fitting in well here." she lied all too apparently, her voice a dare and her tone an invitation. "After being imprisoned within the Coldstone cyborg, and now finally being released with a brand new body..." Her eyes roamed a thick chest, and bulging arms now crossed defiantly. Wings high and impressive and a suede texture tempting for her touch. A long, ivory tress as white as fresh fallen snow hugging his regal brow and swathed across broad, hunched shoulders, his hardened countenance gave rise to her challenge, seeming as impenetrable as his soul. "And I see my mother gave you quite a body at that."

"I would hate to insult any woman, let alone she who named me," interrupted Othello, thinking his presence here was only to be toyed with, his patience as always short, "but does this meeting have any importance?"

"Right to the point," Fox laughed, a husky growl bred from the base of her throat, "just like your brother. I like that." She switched her legs, replacing one long appendage on top of another, and hoping to raise more than just Othello's browridge. "You wish me to be succinct? Fine. I have tested myself against every challenge this world could offer me. I am perhaps the richest human on the face of the planet, I have conquered the economies of entire countries, and I vanquished both technological limitations and the supposed wrath of nature with this building and the castle that sits atop. I swam with starved mako sharks, scaled Everest where others fell to their deaths, I even hired the most lethally trained mercenaries to try and kill me in my sleep."

Othello knitted fiercely his brows together, the sheer contempt this woman had for her own life amazing, she would throw such a treasured gift away to prove herself against even the forces of nature and humanity. Despicable, intriguing, stirring.

"I thought there was nothing left for me to defy, until I discovered an old urban legend born in the misty hills of Scotland. I once bested everything I possessed versus Goliath, one of the greatest warriors alive, a constant game like chess requiring the utmost pinnacle of physical and mental states." Her eyes narrowed, each iris glinting with dying sunlight, a feline edge like hunger in seductive green. "And now with our alliance, there is something else I have always wondered about the gargoyle species with so many battles invested against Goliath..."

"And that would be?"

"Their sexual prowess."

"I beg your pardon."

"I want you."

"For what?"

The obliviousness rolled the corners of her lips into a smile, and Fox enjoyed the fact a Dark Age dialect and comprehension of the English language misunderstood so blatantly her obvious intent. This creature was not dimwitted, far from it, but the very scope of her desires the stolid hunter would never guess. More laughter, fused with a rumble pitted in the depths of her chest, a woodland sound the gargoyle standing across from her was sure to recognize from his journeys into the forest surrounding castle Wyvern.

His arms unfurled from their place against his chest, a brow rising as his mind suddenly clicked upon the possibility. "You cannot be serious..."

She flashed her fangs, with a swath with her tongue over the smooth enamel. "I am always serious, my dear Othello." she blustered the impossible combination of fire and ice on a breath almost visible, leaning forwards from her seat against the table edge. "I wish to have you in every possible position I know of, then eat caviar from your bare chest in the afterglow of adulteration." A hand disappeared underneath the unbuttoned collar of her silk blouse, rubbing the skin of a chest exposed so far as to reveal her black lace bra, a cleavage flushed a faded salmon in the heat shooting through her with just the thought. It was more than a simple indication. "I want to see firsthand the true passion of a gargoyle unbridled by something as ruinous and spoiling as a conscience. I want to drown within your lust, Othello, and wake the next morning with clawmarks down my back."

"I fear your wealth has made you presumptuous." he snorted, his form exploding and his wings, his wings snapping from their peaceful place across his shoulders to rise and fashion a dark cloak. "I am neither a mindless animal nor any woman's toy!"

"I don't want a mere toy," like lightning she pounced, springing from the desk towards the winged creature, "I want a warrior."

The stolid hunter dodged the instinct-driven lunge of the billionairess, her fiery locks catching any stray light having made its way through the violet wastes of nightfall and peeking above the horizon. And anger turned quickly to apprehension. "I told you, human...I will not s-succumb so easily as did your other conquests..." Othello trembled a reply stuttered and deeply hesitant, the hunter in a role ironically reversed, and under the uncomfortable scrutiny of the tattooed seductress crawling her way over the oak veneer writing desk in her haste to hunt him, to taste what flavors adhered to his skin. Perhaps stardust, or sapphire ocean sweetness, she licked curling, bee-stung lips in the anticipation of sinking her blunted human canines into his thick, meaty flesh. "I am not..." In his haste to escape, he tripped over a wide office chair, heavy and padded with tanned Corinthian leather, and enough to topple the displaced Wyvern warrior.

"Interested?" finished Fox, flipping with an athletic grace from the edge of her desk and unto Othello's lower torso. Her fingers tickled across the raiment holding back what she sought, swelling against her hand. "As exceptional a specimen as you are, like all men, you're led by a greater judge."

"I said no." he stressed, his mouth becoming dry, like sand rolling across a swelled tongue.

"Your lips say no, my dear Othello," cooed the human, grinding a satin-bound nether region into his bulging leather, stirring the instinct long buried when resurrected from the brink of death with a rhythmic, erotic dance atop him, "but your loincloth says 'oh baby yes'."

He quickly barred her roving hands from their journey across muscle like sculpted by a god's skilled hands, lean and feeling of polished marble and sterling steel. "I will not break my bond of love to my beloved." he growled, his words belying a truth he in fact so desired.

"Your beloved has been dust for a thousand years." purred Fox hungrily, entwining her fingers through his claws and suckling the tips of his taloned fingers, guiding lustful fire down his hand and arm. "But I am flesh and blood and alive...and very happily single." With the majority of blood having flowed from Othello's head to between his legs, his defenses were weakened against Fox's tongue tickling his skin, and melting the icy exterior he had formed around himself. Fox lazily reclined onto his chest, and scraped her long nails down the dusted cerulean of his skin, directly to his belt. "Indulge without fear, and let's test the legend of the gargoyle appetite I hear so much from Elisa." As Othello watched without any resistance to her delicate fingers, she undid the golden clasp and started to relieve the hunter of the one barrier between her and ecstasy. "I want to play..."

"I-I think not..." he stuttered before she uncovered what she had so desired, pushing the human female from his body and scrambling to his feet at a safe distance. "I am NOT interested."

"Then why are you tenting your loincloth?"

With a look of embarrassment, he looked down to his loincloth bulging outwards and most prominently displaying the betrayal of his body versus his mind. "Damnable loincloths..." He swallowed, grimaced in mortification and straightened dark features in any attempt to keep that last shred of dignity he managed to maintain.

"Ravage me, hunter, I am prey." Fox crooned, stalking with one foot crossing in front of the other. It was a slow gait, but enough to frighten Othello backwards near an adjoining couch. "Weak, and at your mercy."

Grabbing a pillow from the loveseat and holding it across his loincloth fit to burst, Othello backed away. "Weak is not a word I would use to describe you, my lady Xanatos." he chided defensively though graciously, walking slowly towards the office doors without taking his receptive gaze from the human. "It seems insatiable would do you more justice."

"Othello..." Fox tried, a step closer necessitating two paces back for the gargoyle.

"No!" he cried, adamant in keeping his distance as he reached the doors. "I am not some conquest, or some macabre satisfaction! Use your wealth to hire such a plaything!" He stormed out, sending a tremor through the door and wall as he slammed the heavy barrier back into place.

Fox stood in darkness, silhouetted against the last of the daylight at last consumed, and heaved her shoulders, flaring glistening red about her shoulders. The hunt was on.

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

Fleeing through the labyrinth as if fire nipped hungrily at his heels, the gargoyle found sudden twist and endless curve a detriment to his escape, the walls of stone becoming one continuous, identical string. Corners vanished into darkness, and the walls closed in, his mind suffering with the lack of blood, his instincts yearning for his surrender to desire made flesh. He knew this castle intimately, but with the muddling of need in opposition to will stirred up by the damnable billionairess, he was lost. The pillow clutched to his groin concealed the arousal yet to wither, an embarrassment he hoped he would keep to himself.

"Othello." came a greeting to off his right shoulder, the gargoyle stopping within the corridor. Brooklyn appeared from the corner of Othello's gaze, slowly eating away the white pulp of an apple and leaning casually against the wall. He noticed the lashing tail and the mannerisms transforming stoicism into anxiety, and even panic. And then, of course, he noticed the pillow pressed between Othello's legs, that in itself warranting the question, "What's with the pillow?"

"That is none of your concern!!" he roared towards the Wyvern second, edging up against the wall and flicking anxious eyes from underneath a jagged brow, searching the opposite ends of the hall leading into obscurity.

Brooklyn bobbed the ridges curling over his eyes, taking another bite from his apple. "Well, meow." he responded to his clansman's slur with gentle humor. "A little cantankerous tonight aren't we. Got an itch you can't scratch?"

A taloned finger rose and near pressed into Brooklyn's beak, Othello unappreciative of each and every little joke thrown his way. He was heaving, his arm rippling with muscle from wrist to elbow to bicep to shoulder, and his eyes held deathly still. "That had better not mean what I think it means!"

"Well, I don't know. What do YOU think it means?"

"I know you know what it means. And I know that you know that I know EXACTLY what it means!"

Brooklyn creased his brow, a headache erupting from a normally cultured creature spouting near incoherency. "What?"

Exasperated, Othello growled in annoyance, "And you help lead this clan?!" Leaving behind Brooklyn's simple shrug in response, the crimson gargoyle unable to challenge the insult without breaking the calm facade and laughing uncontrollably, Othello swerved around the corner, pillow firmly in hand and mumbling modern obscenities better left unheard.

Brooklyn resumed his meal, until met with another traveler journeying past.

Fox sauntered lazily into view, her senses led through this corridor following her target's musk, a vapor trail made strong by his growing arousal. She stopped, hands on flared hips and one leg cocked outwards, playing the perfect innocent. "Brooklyn, have you seen a very handsome gargoyle pass this way?" she asked politely, her very smile an explanation. "You know, tall, dark and ornery? And perhaps holding a pillow to his groin?"

Brooklyn purred with a subtle laughter, traveling the length of his beak. "In all the years I've known that guy, I've never seen him flustered like that." He turned suspecting eyes towards the human, every question running through his mind now answered in full. "Was the chubby because of you, Fox?"

She leaned into a prouder stance, and her lips made themselves pucker by her gratification. "Aren't they all?" an answer verging on conceit, she seemed pleased in the fact she could melt ice without a flame. "I often leave hard flesh in my wake with black leather one size too small."

Brooklyn immediately pointed in the direction of Othello's escape, rolling his eyes. She bowed slightly to show her appreciation and followed Brooklyn's prompt, off to test her charms against a seemingly impenetrable glacier of emotion. The clan second simply shook his head. "Good luck, O."

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

His dusted skin fused into the shadows, thankfully, the chamber off from the main section of the castle a sanctuary allowing him a chance to breathe at last. Othello leaned against the wall in the small utility room, the only sound of his lungs wheezing for nourishment and pushing hard, deep breaths into the air.

His nostrils though flared, catching a scent that settled into the room like an afterimage, faint but intrusive and alarming. His eyes snapped open, the ghostly aroma gathering strength and cohesion as it neared from a distant corner. "By the dragon..."

"You led a predictable path, Othello," came the disembodied voice, "you sought refuge where you thought no one would find you." A whisper trembling the surface of a pond, she emerged from the shadows, a feminine form birthed from an entity of darkness and standing in front of Othello expectantly. She leaned in, pressing her prey against the wall with the power of her fiery leer. "I found you."

The gargoyle nearly tore the door from its hinges in his haste to escape.

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

The throaty hum of machinery disguised his steps, the generators rising as nearly high as he and churning out surplus power to supplement the already impressive flow of electricity to the castle. Othello had fled into the southern wing of the castle, where the extra power generators were housed, a safety mechanism to ensure if the Eyrie ever lost power, the castle and its security systems would be completely autonomous. Between the ten massive spinning drums, he sought isolation.

The clack of stiletto heel across the titanium-enhanced, stone flooring was as well masked from the gargoyle, a languid gait neither hurried nor rushed, but confident. She hummed a simple tune amidst the primal roar of pure conducting energy, a death knell seeped from swelled lips.

Othello swung his eyes from around the long white hair falling across his shoulder, hearing the melody ascend from the constant background drone. A shadow danced between the metallic monsters, the specter haunting his every movement. "Damnation."

She stepped into his line of sight barely a few meters away. It was Fox, idly playing with a hardhat and balancing it atop her fiery mane. She turned towards him and flicked a suggestive brow. She seemed concerned. "What took you so long?"

A fused expression of fear and bewilderment a parting image, Othello fled once more.

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

Every shape and subsequent shadow was something to be feared. Even in the cavernous media room, all corners bathed in a light reassuring of his safety, he feared her presence. Edging backwards, he bumped against a table and whirled around, expecting to find the human behind him, smiling her damnable smile, and making red his cerulean skin. His nerves were shaken, his acute senses blurred like static, the hunter was unsettled and nearing confusion, a normally stolid warrior terrified she would somehow emerge.

Settling his weight to the table's edge, he rested and calmed the fire passing through his chest with every tortured breath. Thoughts churned like emotion, his yearning for flesh and completion conflicting with his honor and former love. To betray her memory would bring shame, but to deny himself the sweetest rewards of a restored existence would perhaps only bring despair. He was stubborn, even against his own heart.

"Where's your pillow?"

"GAAH!!!" he yelped, spinning around to see a figure seated in a large leather chair in a distant corner near the liquor cabinet, stirring a brandy glass full of amber fluid. "Fox?!"

She wetted her lips with her snifter, savoring the drink glowing a golden orange against the light of the chandeliers. A rapture spread through her smile, pleasure in liquid form, and she tipped her eyes above the wide rim when finished. She saw fear in the creature's dark eyes, and weariness, and loved it. "Would you like some?" she offered. "It's magnificent."

His eyes wide and glazed, Othello backed away, from a woman able to appear in many places at once. Her scent did not register until now, any sound she made he could not hear, she was as if an apparition. "You are not human..."

She replaced her glass to the cabinet and rose with a quick, downwards jerk to her leather skirt. "A compliment, I assure you."

"You haunt me, my lady Xanatos." he wheezed, the resistance fading. His wings had drooped much like the insolence and the control he wanted over both his soul and private parts, and he seemed near defeat. "Why can I not escape you?"

"Perhaps you don't wish to." She descended the carpeted steps from the raised section of the room, and wandered towards him, her fingers tracing the angled wood of the pool tables as she approached. "You forget, dear Othello, I too know every crook and corridor of this castle intimately. Escape is near impossible."

Defiance lowered his brow, and set his teeth to gnash behind lips curling back. "As long as I have breath, I will resist you, woman!" he growled, filling the room with an echo that climbed to the height of the ceiling, strumming across stone with its vibrancy.

"Many have tried." she accepted a challenge bereft of any strength to stand upon, her prey weakening under the pressure. "All have failed." She moved forwards, and as much as she tried to close the gap between them, Othello ensured she would remain her distance. Her grasping hands safe from harm, and far from his reach.

He backpedaled towards the farthest wall, where windows overlooked a city alive with bellows of fire, thousands of points of light outlining a jagged urban silhouette. Fox neared, and Othello collided against the stone arch between the windows. His hand searched blindly for the locking clasp, a struggle as he kept his eyes focused on the looming threat of translucent silk and tight leather. He damned the delicate construction and swung his fist at the mechanism, breaking instantly through the metal frame.

Fox reached out and barely grazed the tips of her fingers against Othello's breastplate before he fell backwards, out into the night. From the sill, she watched the winds embrace the gargoyle, his awesome wingspan holding the muscled creature aloft within the swirl of ocean breath. She admired his skill at taming the breeze, ascending out of sight. "You are a worthy prey, Othello. A worthy man."

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

He was welcomed into the scent of saline and ozone, a mixture almost electric against exposed skin. But mostly, it seemed the very taste of freedom amongst the stars made a permanently etched scowl into a smile. He angled up and closed in his wings to trap the air and slow his ascent above the cornice edge. He stopped short and fell into the outer periphery of the courtyard, an audible stamp of his taloned feet to the stoned floor, and the cloak of leather membrane falling against his shoulders.

Othello breathed deeply atop the castle floating within the sea of stars, his every movement shadowed by the billionairess, but more surprisingly, his every desire echoed by her promises. And he loathed her for such accuracy. "That woman..."

A sharp wind caressed against his hair, and a sudden weight heaved between his wings. Slender arms snaked around his neck to hold tight against him, and milky flesh slid against his, cheek to cheek. "I don't know why you resist." she whispered silkily into his ear, the gargoyle held eerily still by the power of her lips. "I hold the power of life and the promise of paradise between my legs. I'll make your blood boil and every nerve ending in your body explode. It'll be fun." Fox trailed her tongue across his earlobe, the sensitive skin sending lightning throughout his neck and chest. "Mmmmm, you taste marvelous."

Resisting mulishly, he shook her off, and stumbled away. "You have an indomitable will, I admire that." he admitted, holding his distance. "But such energies should be put to better use than sating the heat between your thighs!"

"You should learn to sate such heat, Othello," Fox warned for if only his own health, "it may be why you're always so cranky."

"I do not live my life leading by my groin!" he snarled, his bellow like the winds, fierce. "And I do not waste my existence with such frivolity!"

"A pity." she sighed, walking away from him and towards the edge of the castle, where loomed a deadly plunge more than two thousand feet down. "You have no idea what you're missing. The pleasure, and the joy that life can bring. The rush of adrenaline, the ecstasy of living by a single thread, its bliss."

"Or stupidity."

Her back towards the gargoyle, she shrugged in response, her hips swaying back and forth a hypnotic sight. Reaching the parapet's edge, she leaned over and stared into the city center, her empire's headquarters dwarfing even the tallest of any Manhattan structures. The wind threatened to push her with cold hands against her back, an icy draft like nimble claws burrowing beneath her blouse and sending a chill across her skin. "Life is meant to be lived, my dear Othello." Fox hopped up onto the cornice edge and walked a fine line between certain death, enjoying the test of poise. Her high heels made her balance difficult to maintain, even as skilled an athlete and martial artist as she was at the mercy of the gusts at this height, but she seemed oblivious. "Not to shy away from what it can bring by hiding in the shadows."

Othello observed carefully the human's dance along the trail of parapets, and from one smoothed finial to another she played her dangerous game casually regarding her own safety. "Fox..." he cautioned, and his voice simply served to halt her journey.

"To risk everything brings the greatest rewards." She stopped upon a single merlon, and raised her arms as if inviting the winds to snatch her from the precipice. Othello's brow slowly rose, fearing her intent. "To open your heart and mind brings the greatest of fulfillment." One last smile and a kiss blown towards her would be winged suitor, she leaned back and fell from the edge.

"FOX!!!!" he screamed, the human having disappeared completely over the castle's edge. Instinct immediately kicked in, and Othello snapped from his place and jumped into the sky, his eyes frantically scanning through the orchid wastes and the chaos of lights for any sign. She was there, below him, and falling fast towards the street, gaining speed with every meter.

Her expression was one of delight, and as she plummeted story by story, her gaze rose upwards towards her savior, the snow-maned gargoyle diving towards her with an extended hand. She made it increasingly difficult, she did not reach for him. Instead, she enjoyed the ride.

"Damn you, woman!!" he howled over the winds nearly shredding his skin and tearing it from his bones. "GRAB MY HAND!!!"

She ignored his plea, and forced his hand. His wings were brought in as close to his form as possible, and ever steadily he gained. At speeds over two hundred miles per hour, he breached the gap between them with barely a few hundred meters to go, and scooped her from the air. With Fox cradled to his chest, he opened his wings and nearly ripped the appendages from his shoulder blades in the sudden exertion of force versus momentum. Skimming a restless crowd just below, he caught the wind and flew upwards on a warm draft, heading back to the castle.

Landing, he settled Fox back to the courtyard, the human disentangling herself from his chest and all too reluctant to leave his arms. Unruffled, she simply guided the errant strands back behind her ear and straightened her skirt. Dying it seemed, was not as big a deal to this particular human, but just another grand exploration.

"You are insane!!" Othello suddenly yelled, a dull ache passing through his shoulders, but lost to the frustration choking his body and voice.

"I prefer to use the term adventurous." she corrected.

Othello's jaw fell slack, in the sheer arrogance. "You continually imperil your life for simple thrills!!"

"Thrill, exhilaration, risk, that is the very basis of existence. To see how far you can push against the hands of fate before they push back." She placed her hands to either side of his chest, her touch not amorous, but ensnaring, his attention focused solely on eyes taken on a more hardened sheen. "We are all but an instant on the grand scale of eternity, a blink of an eye before we age and die and decompose. And thus, I prefer to live my life to the fullest."

He brushed her hands away, and muttered, "Foolish..."

"You say that because you fear dying. Again."

"I do not fear anything..."

"Except your own subsistence." she finished, her tone rigid and damning of his fears. "You are caught in between life and death. Too frightened to move ahead with your restoration, yet too afraid to venture any risk for a full, rich life." He had no rebuttal for such an argument, his features contracting beneath the comfortable mask of shadow. Her hand guided itself along the sharp ridge of his cheek, this time a touch not to selfishly explore her fantasies, but to soothe. "Not many beings get a second chance, Othello, to live again."

"I will not be claimed, nor subjugated, nor chained to your bedpost."

"As you wish." she surprisingly yielded the chase, bowing with extended arms to parody her defeat. "Besides, my interest has considerably waned. It would seem a millennium of nonexistence has made lifeless any virility you might have had."

That lit a fire. "I beg your pardon."

Fox licked her lips. "Wet noodle syndrome."

Anger flared, as did his eyes in a brilliant white. "That had better not mean what I think it means!"

"Well, I don't know, what do YOU think it means?"

The mimicry of an earlier conversation brought a slight pause to the gargoyle, then a hand quickly moved up and massaged his throbbing temples. "Only with the fact that I turned you away, you now insult me?!"

"You seemed so ready to play earlier, but now your sails have gone limp." Her eyes trickled downwards. "Among other things..."

He quickly looked down to his loincloth and back up again, the target of her jest a sore spot at the least. He wrinkled his lips, flashing a fang. "You play a dangerous game, human."

"Perhaps I'm not your type." she inferred, merely fueling the flames with a purpose that, if miscalculated, would surely get her burned. "Maybe you prefer a chaste woman, quiet and reticent, one that would obediently cook your nightly kill while simultaneously birthing another child."

"How dare y..."

"Or perhaps you prefer men."

"Men?!! I do not..."

"Making the nightly club scene, and dancing within a sweaty crowd of studded leather and chest hair to the dulcet throbbing of Cher's greatest hits."

"That is not...!"

"Or maybe you actually prefer something even below MY species. Perhaps your blood flows just a little faster when flying low over the New York Metropolitan zoo, catching the scent of an animal's musk in the evening breeze."

"ENOUGH!!!" he bayed, an eruption of outward wind tearing across the stones as his breath burned the air, and his wings snapped open, flaring something evil in a breeze blowing hot.

A single brow arced upwards on Fox's features, having successfully transformed the creature to better her suit her needs. With her continued prodding against his greatest weakness, his pride, she had wedged between a slight crack in glacial ice, and broke the emotional restraint he continually preserved. But her results fashioned something she never expected.

Each footfall a tremor through the stones, he made her the whole of his senses, a perfume-veiled pheromone inflaming instincts long suppressed. The scent of fear delicious, the tables turned. "You play with fire, Xanatos!!" he screamed towards her, the power behind each spitted word enough to push her backwards. "Do you truly wish to test my libido?!!" She hit the wall, her route of escape effectively ended when butted against the battlement. Othello's shadow grew high and dark against the wall, cloaking her within a gnarl of misshapen wing and spur. "Do you truly wish to experience firsthand the rapture of a gargoyle?!! SO BE IT!!!"

Talons dug sharply into her sides, a sudden jab on either side of her stomach that made her shudder, and she was lifted effortlessly into the air and against the wall. The snap of her skull against the unforgiving Scottish limestone clouded her vision and made warm her thoughts, a dulled vertigo like a powerful drug. He lunged his mouth into her neck and pressed his fangs to bare flesh, and she squealed, loud and crisp against an empty sky. He suckled against the sensitive slope beneath her jaw, and scraped his fangs across her throat, a feral kiss that pierced and bled a precious fluid to but sweeten the taste.

His hands found their way by some blind sense and a memory of such cloth, emblazoned upon his mind, to the collar of her blouse, and he tore it open, shredding the silk garment and pulling buttons from their threaded seat. Black lace contained tender flesh, an intimate sight allowed by the jetsetter to a select few, and on her terms alone. But Othello was beyond such restrictions now, and freed her breasts with a yank on the brazier.

"...t-that was...expensive..." Fox gasped between heavy breaths, conscious to the breeze tickling across her chest.

"I do not care." came a wild growl buried underneath her chin.

"Good." she whispered, heaving, and wrapping her legs around his torso, as he slid the leather skirt up towards her waist with his talons to prepare for entry. "Now...you're beginning to understand...."

He impaled her, savagely, without a care to her delicate form, and pressed deeply inside of her. He sensed what she wanted by the anticipatory tremor running through her, he knew what she needed by the muffled call of his name through gritted teeth. It was as glorious as she ever hoped, an all consuming thought running through her mind, before losing all perception and reason to the fire rising like some great creature consuming them both. It was pain fused with delight, it was a star birthed between her legs, and her scream swelled and erupted from her throat, and shattered the heavens.

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

Discarded clothing, costly fabrics imported from across the world lay tattered and shredded and useless across the black-speckled tile of the grand chambers. The remains of silk, leather and hosiery formed an imprecise trail towards the massive berth seated against the wall, abandoned in the throes of passion and a challenge accepted, and well met. Dark claw marks brandished the European Cherry with their passion, torn linins draped their nude bodies entangled between a disarray of limbs, they slept, replete and whole, a curiosity satisfied at long last.

Moonlight dust dotted her bedded form, and she stirred beneath the broken shafts. She moaned, and turned into the weight beside her, a touch of her fingertips across marble it seemed in the haze between slumber and dreams. The reality of an intruder beside awakened her, and beneath the gild of tanned skin lay a pale indigo, a contrast more indicative of their difference than demeanor or attribute. She explored the crevasse of muscular structure along his arm, serving to rouse the sleeping giant. He blinked, his eyes fluttering beneath the lowered brow, and his field of vision stained by a river of red. "Good evening."

Othello though drowsy, came to quickly recognize his odd environs. Opulence bathed by wealth, the appearance of a bedroom dressed by heart and not her riches was a refreshing change, an intimacy secured beneath a steeled skin gone unseen until now. He turned his attentions towards Fox, idly tracing lines etched by strength along his arm. "It seems you have survived yet another quest."

Nestling to the warmth exuded by the gargoyle, she gathered the sheets about her and she released a breath into his chest. The lines down her back, side and shoulders were emblems to boast, every wound inflicted by her lover's claws holding the reminiscence of a scream. "The first step to a larger mountain, my dear Othello, there are still many more adventures to be taken."

A line furrowed between his brows, as her pledge contained a meaning beyond simple words. "Why does such a declaration send a shiver down the length of my spine?"

Her eyes sparkled moonlit emerald, her satin smile a promise. "For you fear what heights I can bring you to." she whispered, roaming her hands across his bare chest, an idea forming. "You fear the pinnacle of we shall achieve together when trying our luck against a stubborn fate..."

He pulled the sheet tighter to his frame, and grumbled, "I fear you and your thirst for thrills will result in my premature death...again."

"Yes, but won't it be fun?" Before he could answer, she brushed a strict hand across his lips, silencing any rebuttal. She twisted and climbed atop him, leaning on his chest with only the silk sheet to conceal the reclining nude. They linked gazes, Othello's circumspect, and Fox's ravenous. "Now," she leaned in, and grazed her teeth about his bottom lip, "about that caviar..."