Goliath ran his taloned fingertips over her breasts, following with his lips. His tongue rasped against her skin, rough like a cat's. She arched against him, aware of the heat of his erection against her thigh. His fiery breath puffed against her skin.
"So different, yet so beautiful."
Elisa knew he compared her to Demona and she couldn't help contrasting him to the men she had known. She traced the contours of his face and body as his hands explored her. The horn-like bumps on each side of his forehead, the pointed tips of his ears, the heavy slabs of muscles in his arms and chest, the spurs at his elbows, the smoothness of his skin, she knew them well. Inside, she fought a tiny voice reminding her she could bear the consequences of her actions later.
She told herself helping Goliath made the gamble worthwhile. Who was she fooling? Pure selfish desire also drove her. Within moments she was beyond coherent thought as he dipped his head between her thighs. Her flesh there felt hot, swollen, and yet empty as he pressed kisses to her most sensitive area. Her hips flexed with the touch until, dimly, she realized he moved up and over her, poised to join his body to hers. His voice echoed with repressed need.
"I will try to go slow for you, but you must tell me if I hurt you."
"Yes." She gripped him and tried to relax. Her teeth clenched at the discomfort of stretching as he slid the blunt tip slowly forward through her moistness. At last he stopped, staying still within her.
His voice shook with effort. "Elisa?"
"I'll be OK. Just give me a minute." She panted and tried to control her grimace of pain. When he started to withdraw, she held him closer. "No. Don't. I will be fine."
"But I am hurting you."
"Just stay still for a little. It's already easing." She smiled, surprised to find her words true. "There, that's better."
Her hands strayed to his chest, felt his heart pounding within as if it would break through. She wet her dry lips, then her fingers, and slid one hand between their bodies. Her fingertips moved around the moistened area where their bodies met. As she touched his shaft, Goliath groaned, his hips moving to plunge into her again. Elisa's eyes closed and she pulled her arm back to embrace his waist.
"Oh, yes." She moaned and hung on to him.
Her world narrowed to the huge body hovering over her and moving within her. When the sensations peaked, she almost screamed at their intensity. She thought she heard him call her name. Somehow she sensed he held back, even when his body convulsed and his wings expanded in orgasm. He hung his head beside hers as he supported himself above her. Elisa smoothed his long black hair from his face and kissed his cheek.
"Stay with me. You'll be safe here during the day."
He drew back to look at her. "I cannot. The others..."
"I know. Whatever they face, you must face. Sometimes you're too honorable for your own good." Her arms caressed the smooth expanse of his back, briefly encircling the base of his wings with her hands. He shivered at her touch.
"Elisa, about tonight..." She stopped him with her fingers over his mouth.
"Shh. I expect nothing more." At his frown, she sighed. "Goliath, you are welcome in my home. No matter what."
"Does this mean nothing to you?"
"It means a great deal to me, but I won't pressure you." Her lips refused to smile and trembled at the attempt. Goliath's gaze fastened on them.
"You are not one of us by blood or race, but I would have you as my own." His lips sought hers as if to seal his words, then moved to taste the tears at her eyes' corners.
"Goliath, you honor me, but what of your need for a mate of your own kind? What of Demona?"
He did not answer immediately, merely rolled on his side, pulling Elisa with him and covering her with his wing. "She gave up her rights when she broke faith with our kind. All she means to me now is trouble."
"What about children?" Elisa had to ask.
"Our clan is too small, Elisa. Even if Demona had not proved such a danger, any further products from our union would have little place in this world. I would have the others seek out mates if they wish."
"What about..." How could she say it? Didn't he understand?
"No, I do not want your pity. Despite their distrust and enmity, we will help the humans of the world, but when the last of my clan has passed, humans will not miss them."
"That's not true. This human would miss them very much." Elisa looked up into his face. "And I don't pity you, Goliath. I love you. Every stubborn, overly honorable bone and sinew in that big body of yours. Even your occasionally misplaced trust and sense of always doing the right thing makes you something special in my eyes."
Goliath did not answer her, but continued to hold her close. The stress of the day and their lovemaking had worn Elisa out. One moment she remembered lying close to him. The next she awoke in bed to her alarm's screech. She groaned and rolled over to hit the snooze button. The day's bright light didn't show one trace of her incredible night. Too bad she had to work the day shift this week.
A sense of heavy depression pressed Elisa back into her pillow. How could she convince Goliath and the others to be more careful? She'd tried logical reasoning and yelling. Even, she admitted, seduction, to get the hardheaded male to see the light. Nothing worked. If Xanatos, Demona, or the Quarrymen did anything to hurt her friends...
The anger didn't last. What could she tell the department? She gave a slight, derisive laugh. Despite the revelation that gargoyles existed, most people would hardly appreciate her defense of them. She couldn't very well waltz up to her boss and tell her the department had to provide protection during the day for a bunch of her friends. Just look at the Quarrymen. Some of the gargoyles' vulnerabilities needed to remain a secret.
Her alarm screamed at her again and she gave in. When she sat up, she reeled with a wave of dizziness. She waited for it to pass, then got up and headed for the bathroom. By the time she reached it, her nighttime activities played back in her head. Her thighs were sore and sticky and she smelled of him. How had Hudson said his blind friend described it? Old leather and concrete. She shook her head, then groaned. After she used the toilet, she started the shower. Maybe a good hot one would wake her up.
Carefully, she removed the nightgown she couldn't recall putting on last night. As she raised her arms, she gasped. Her breasts and thighs bore prints resembling claw marks. Not painful, just a slight tenderness. The incredible heat of his body flickered through her. Instead of fear or revulsion, Elisa's mind and body craved a repeat performance.
"Steady, girl. Gotta keep a cool head," she muttered as she climbed into the shower. With conscious effort, Elisa finished getting ready and went to work.
Two hours later Elisa waded through the pile of reports on her desk. She still hadn't made up for lost time after the explosion that nearly destroyed headquarters.
"Maza, get in here!" Chief Chavez's voice carried through the office.
Elisa groaned and wended her way through the clutter of drunks, hookers, juvies, and booking officers. She went in with a sinking heart. Her boss frowned down at the papers before her and ran a hand through her already rumpled short hair.
"Just got a report about another warehouse break-in on the docks. Same MO. Security guards never saw anyone. No sign of forced entry on ground level, only a broken skylight."
"What's missing?" Elisa asked. A cold knot of certainty tightened in her gut.
"The owners reported several hundred pounds of explosives due for shipment to a mining company in Brazil. This makes the fourth incident of this type in the last month."
Elisa nodded, remembering Goliath's words last night. Demona. What did she want with all the weaponry? Or could it be the Quarrymen readying to make a major assault on her friends?
The chief waved a hand in front of Elisa. "Hello. Anybody home?"
Elisa shook her head, focusing on her boss again. "Sorry. Just wondering if they're tied together and what the sicko wants with all the hardware."
"That's your job, Detective. I want to find out where this stuff is going. Pump your usual sources about any recent sales. Something fishy's going on around here. I want you to see what you can find out."
The chief handed Elisa the report to add to the pile on her desk. For more than one reason she wanted to get to the bottom of the robberies. If it was Demona, and there was little reason to doubt it, the female gargoyle was building up a tidy little arsenal. With a sigh, Elisa realized she might end up searching every rooftop, mountainside, and building before she found Demona. She could be hiding almost anywhere, especially since she looked human during the day.
Since it wasn't practical to tell her boss, or anyone else, about her suspicions, the job would be even harder. At night Goliath and the others could keep an eye out for Demona. But during the day, only a human could search.
Most of the morning passed in organizing the reports and correlating the information. By lunch, Elisa felt frustrated and angry about the growing list of dead-end leads. After grabbing a quick bite from the vending machine, she went to see Xanatos. She didn't think she'd get much from him, as she doubted if Demona still had anything to do with him. Still, it gave her an excuse to get into the building and leave a message for Goliath. They had to talk.
Xanatos flatly denied seeing Demona recently, and with a trace of his old arrogance, any knowledge of the stolen goods whereabouts. Not surprising, but she did extract a promise from him to let her know if he saw Demona. He assured her she'd have access to Goliath later in the evening, but Elisa didn't like the speculative gleam in Xanatos' eyes.
The rest of the day Elisa spent grilling her snitches. No one had heard anything. She went to the warehouses and questioned the guards. Vague reports of possible hang gliders did nothing to ease Elisa's mind. Instead, it strengthened her suspicions of Demona's guilt.
By the time she called it quits, the sun had nearly set. Elisa rushed back to the Xanatos building and made it up the elevator before Goliath and the others awoke. She sat beside Goliath, watching the bloated orange globe sink behind the cloud-streaked horizon. Elisa moved back, away from possible chips of falling stone skin waking gargoyles sprayed.
It never ceased to amaze her how they came to life at night. Tiny cracks appeared around Goliath's eyes and in the creases, spreading over his body until he stretched free of his stony form with a powerful roar. He looked over at her, a warm smile on his face.
"You came. What news?"
Elisa told him what she had found out earlier. As she finished she heard a snort of disgust from Brooklyn.
"Figures. Demona'll probably try to blow this place to pieces again. Just to get to us." He stepped closer and sniffed around Elisa.
She laughed. "What are you doing?" she asked as he continued to move around her. She wasn't wearing any new perfume and she'd taken a shower this morning.
Brooklyn stepped back at Goliath's growl. "Uh...nothing. Sorry." He turned to Broadway and Lexington. "Come on, guys. Let's get some grub and go catch a movie."
Broadway shrugged. "Not tonight. Angela and I are gonna do some reading in the library." He waved and left with Angela, arm-in-arm.
Brooklyn frowned at them. "Come on, Lex. They're no fun anymore." He nodded toward the stairs. "I'm in the mood for a good shoot-em-up, but let's get a pizza first."
He stomped off, followed by Lexington, who shrugged with a "Who knows?" look at Elisa's raised brows. After they went downstairs, Hudson and Goliath alone remained with Elisa.
She made a face. "What was that all about?"
Goliath said nothing, moving to stare out at the lighted city.
Hudson touched her arm. "A bit of jealousy, lass. Broadway's been a tad preoccupied with Angela lately. Since the incident with Demona, she's not spent much time with the others."
"Yeah, I know. But what about that other thing. He reminded me of Cagney after I've been to the fish market." She raised her arm to smell her jacket. "Haven't been there for weeks."
Hudson shook his head. "It's not that, lass. Our sense of smell is much better than a human's. Brooklyn...well, to put it as politely as possible, could tell you've been marked."
He glanced at Goliath, then returned his gaze to her. Elisa felt her face flush. Marked. As in property.
"Oh. Good thing humans aren't that sensitive," she managed.
"I'll leave you two alone for a while. Come down later and we'll talk if you wish." The older gargoyle gently squeezed her arm and joined the others. Elisa walked over to stand beside Goliath.
"Marked, eh?" She grinned, oddly pleased until Goliath refused to look at her.
"I regret that, but as you say, it is good humans cannot sense such things." His voice held a curious combination of pain and wariness.
Elisa forced herself in front of him, frowning and pointing a finger at his chest. "Well, I regret nothing about last night, do you hear me?"
"It was not wise."
"Wise, schmise. You told me the clan and you would be there for me. Well, I'll be there for you whenever you need me."
"No, Elisa. It cannot happen again. I was wrong to claim you." Goliath wrapped his hand over hers for a moment, then turned away.
She clenched her teeth against the anguish his rejection caused her. If it was the last thing she did she'd find out his reasons. It took every scrape of effort she had to sound calm. "Why?"
"It could be dangerous to you." Goliath turned toward her.
"You said something of children. I began to think... If by some chance our species could interbreed..." He shuddered. "Our females lay eggs. It would be like a human and a bird mating. What monstrosity might arise is anyone's guess."
Elisa shivered, then shook off the horrifying picture. "I don't believe that. We're not that much different physically or it wouldn't have been so easy for Puck to change humans to gargoyles and gargoyles to humans. And if it were so wrong we wouldn't be able to make love at all. You are not a bird." She moved stand before him, forcing him to look at her. "Besides, I'm willing to take the chance. You can't change the facts. I'm yours now."
She could feel the stress in his body as the wind whipped around them. Desperate to shake him from his gloomy mood, Elisa wound her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him.
"We'll deal with the issue when and if it arises. Right now I'm only interested in one thing rising." She grinned. "Kiss me and we'll see just how compatible we are."
Goliath groaned, wrapping his arms and wings around her. His heat completely surrounded Elisa. Her own body responded to his caresses, begging for more. She was glad he held her, for her knees felt like water. His hips ground his erection into her abdomen, feeding the ache between her legs.
A tiny part of her mind laughed at her in wonder. The Elisa Maza her family, friends, and coworkers knew wouldn't get caught dead like this. No one else had held such power over her. She'd always demanded control of relationships and was usually the one to break off from lack of interest. She couldn't see that possibility anytime in the future, even the distant future.
Elisa's absorption in Goliath broke when he put her down in one the tower guestrooms' chairs. He stood and adjusted himself before he began pacing. "We must talk."
She wanted to protest talking was the last thing she needed to do, but she realized anything that pulled him from arousal must be important. Her lips felt bruised from his kisses and she doubted she could stand if she tried much less walk.
He finally knelt before her, just below her eye level and took her hand. "I must know if we can work together and have this between us."
Elisa frowned. "I'm adult enough I think I can maintain a professional attitude when necessary."
Goliath looked down with a sigh. "I am not sure I can do the same. I will worry about you when I cannot be with you. How can I protect you? And if by some chance you carry my child, what then?"
Elisa's lips thinned. "I told you, we'll deal with that issue when and if it arrives."
"What of your parents? Will you tell them?" He stood, then flung away at her expression. "You see. It would not be acceptable."
"I'm a grown-up for crimenently sakes! I don't tell them everything. Besides Mom's in Africa and Dad's decided to stay in Arizona on the res for awhile. What's that got to do with us?"
When he remained silent, her tears hung precariously close. "I'm not asking you to marry me. Just love me."
Goliath returned to her. "I do love you, Elisa. For my people there is no such thing as marriage. We usually mate for life, though it was not unknown to change partners. I had chosen Demona and she betrayed me. Should I consider her dead? I do not know. Part of me still longs for her or at least for what we had." He touched Elisa's face. "But you have become a part of me as well. Without you, my clan would have ceased to exist or would have lived without hope."
Elisa pressed her cheek into his hand. "Then let's concentrate on one day at a time. I'm doing everything in my power to find out if those thefts are Demona's or the Quarrymen's doing. I understand your dilemma." I have my own, she thought. "For now..." She reached up, drawing his face close. "I want you."
Goliath pulled her up against his body. She wrapped her legs around his waist, rubbing herself against him. If it were possible she would have liked to crawl inside his skin. Everywhere they touched she tingled as she felt his response.
"Wait," she gasped and released him to move away slightly. In a fever she removed her jacket and blouse, kicked her shoes into a corner, then nearly tore her zipper getting her jeans off. She paused only long enough for him to shed his loincloth, then she flung herself back into his arms.
This time they remained standing, her legs gripping his torso. Goliath allowed her to position herself over his erection and lower herself at her own pace. He had aroused her so much she barely stopped as she sank down over him. She brushed her breasts against his ribs until the nipples pointed in hard pebbles. To give him access to them she leaned back against his arms. He took the hint and lowered his head to the taut flesh. At the taste of her, he began moving his hips.
He growled and thrust deeply. Shivers of pleasure ran up Elisa's spine, causing her fingers to bite into the skin of his back. She cried out at the feel of his tail caressing her buttocks, then reaching around to flick at the nub of flesh above their joined bodies. Every fiber of her pulsed until she felt as though she would shatter. The sensations built and built, throbbing in time to his thrusts. She strained against him, seeking the crest. Then, when she thought she could take no more, the spasms began. Her flesh closed around the turgid muscle within her, bidding him to join her in release.
Goliath took her cries into his mouth, but within moments he could no longer control his own reaction. His tail curled over Elisa's shoulders, holding her tightly, while his hips increased their tempo. Rather than frightening Elisa, it excited her again. She hugged him tight, arching against him as he roared his climax. This time he held back nothing, nearly crushing her with the strength of his fulfillment.
Elisa slumped against Goliath's chest and shivered with the chill air on her sweat-slicked back. At once, he enfolded her with his wings as he sank to the floor. She looked up and found his eyes closed. She could still feel him throbbing inside her, almost as if he was unwilling to let her go.
"Maybe you should move from here. There's an abandoned church not far from the new police station you could use. You know the one."
Before he could answer, someone pounded on the door. Rather than setting Elisa aside, Goliath wrapped her closer and rose to open the door a crack. Elisa heard Hudson's voice, full of disapproval.
"Will ya bring the place down around our ears, lad?" A silence stretched as Hudson took in Goliath's flushed face.
"Och, later we must talk. I tell our landlord there's naught amiss. He came rushing in to see what disaster befell us that such a commotion sounded up here." Hudson sighed and the door shut behind him.
Elisa peeked out over the top of Goliath's wings. "Is he angry at us?"
"No, but he knows how unwise this is." He moved to set her aside, but she clung to him.
"Don't do this. May be it's not the wisest course we could have taken, Goliath, but you know it's been building over the last two years."
"I cannot deny it, though it is wrong." A rueful smile pulled at his lips as he pulled her closer again. "You are a woman of incredible courage, my Elisa. Would that I were human or you gargoyle. We would make beautiful children."
At that, Elisa could feel him hardening within her again. The deep ache only he seemed able to satisfy built in her again, but this time they drew it out until she lay weak and gasping against him. Her legs refused to work and trembled as he lowered her to her feet.
Immediately, he swept her back into his arms and moved to lay her on the overstuffed couch against one wall. "I will bathe you as a male would do for his new mate." He turned to the room's sink and filled it with water.
Elisa huddled on the couch under a warm blanket, torn between wonder and worry. Perversely, she wished it were possible for her to carry Goliath's child. She muffled a giggle, considering whether she might get pregnant like a human or lay an egg. Pulling the blanket closer, she realized she just wanted a part of him to live on beyond Angela.
Goliath returned to gently wash and dry first her face, then her arms, breasts, and back. When he finished her upper body, he turned his attention to her legs, tenderly cleansing the semen from between her thighs. Elisa lay back, uncertain if it was really a gargoyle tradition, but enjoying every moment of his attention. It had an added benefit. He hadn't dressed yet and she could watch him become aroused again as he touched her body.
*Child, child,* she thought. *If your mama could see you now. Panting and ready for him after two times in a row. And him not even human.*
She stifled another giggle as he washed her feet. "Sorry. I'm ticklish," she managed as an excuse. They couldn't spend all night in here. They had work to be done for Pete's sake. Besides, what would the others think? That the randy old human couldn't keep her paws of their leader? Wouldn't be far off. She grabbed the washcloth, wrapped the blanket around herself and pushed off the couch. Goliath gave her a puzzled look.
"Sit. Now it's my turn." Without waiting for his reply, Elisa hurried over the sink and refilled it with warm water. Painstakingly, she repeated his movements. Face first, then arms, chest, and back. Especially the area where his wings joined his shoulders. Next, between his thighs.
*Ah, see how he grows at my touch. Well, I won't be able to walk if we do it again, but... there are other ways.*
She lay half on top of him, her fingers stroking the soft-hard flesh, watching him as he closed his eyes, his nostrils flaring. He groaned, his talons scoring deep indentations in the couch's upholstery as she placed him in her mouth. Harder and harder he grew under her ministrations. She couldn't help it...the ache between her legs demanded it again. Never in her limited experience had any human male made her so hot and wet. He stiffened and pulled her over him completely.
"Yes, I want it again, too." She wriggled until she felt the tip of his erection against her moist lower lips. It felt so right as he slid into her. "Ah," she sighed with satisfaction, then began to move on him.
Faster and faster until the exquisite pleasure-pain spasmed through her again. "Ah, ah, ah," she gasped as her body arched against his. Although she knew it was impossible, she swore she could feel his own climax; the spasms of his male member as it emptied into her, the hot semen pouring into her, begging entry to her womb.
*Yes, she thought desperately, fill me with it. Give me a child, beloved, no matter its kind.*
Heat filled her and a fierce exultation swept through her as he continued to move inside her with the last of his orgasm.
Elisa slumped against him.
Phew! Making love with Goliath was like walking in a thunderstorm. Replete, he continued to hold her, buried deep inside her body, soul, and heart.
His breath ruffled her hair, lying against his chest. "Beloved, we must rise. Our work awaits us."
"Yeah, I know. Too bad we can't take an extended vacation and spend all night like this every night." Elisa sighed, then chuckled. "So much for your clean-up job. I need a shower."
Goliath rose with her and walked to the bathroom Xanatos had installed for human visitors. "Come. I will let you bathe alone, else we will accomplish nothing tonight." He turned on the water, then set her in the shower stall. With a quick kiss, he closed the stall door and left.
"Oh, brother," Elisa muttered. She didn't waste time, but washed herself with the soap and cloth provided. When she climbed out, Goliath wrapped a large, warm towel around her and helped her dress. How was she ever going to maintain around him? Every time she saw him, she craved him. He was like a narcotic. The more she got, the more she needed and wanted.
Goliath watched Elisa closely, fearing his lovemaking might have hurt her. What Titania had put him through two nights before had given him a tantalizing taste of what Elisa's love could be, but nothing had prepared him for the reality of her coming to him. She had not let him speak his wish that they were of the same race, yet she had been the one to seek him out, offering succor for his loneliness. He could not help wondering what Titania would think of this development in his relationship with Elisa. There still remained the problems of Demona and the Quarrymen. Elisa and he must concentrate on solving the puzzle behind these new thefts and leave their personal desires behind. For the time being anyway, he mused as his love pulled on her clothes and turned with a heart-tugging smile.
"Ready to go find some bad guys?" She tucked her arm through his and looked at him expectantly.
He cleared his throat and nodded, then gestured for her to leave the room first. Her shoulders slumped for a moment before she let him go and headed for the door.
"Someday I'm going to get you to accept this," she mumbled under her breath.