DISCLAIMER: All characters except OC belong to Disney. No money made from this fic.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a sequel to A Million Reasons, but this story can stand alone. It deals with a dark subject matter but doesn't go into graphic detail. Thx to my beta elizabethrex1 for her patience and willingness to let me bounce ideas off of her.
WARNING: The story includes mention of war crimes, sexual abuse and racism.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
To Catch A Killer
He stared at their bodies, some dying others already dead, and felt nothing. They were the scourge of humanity and had sold themselves to him for a few dollars. He'd see them standing on street corners, dressed provocatively and flashing fake smiles.
There was a time when he didn't have to pay for a woman to service him. The female prisoners of war he'd captured were used for one thing only, sex. They knew to refuse would mean a quick and painful death.
Day or night, soldiers could be seen raping and torturing women of all ages. He smiled, remembering the sounds of their screams as they begged and pleaded for mercy. Once his men were done using them they were killed. Their bodies thrown into a mass grave.
His government was aware of what was going on in the camps, but looked the other way. The cabinet was anxious to be rid of the Dashamirr ethnic group. Their presence threatened the countries racial purity. Everything changed when an assassin's bullet to his right eye ended his military career. He now wore a patch over the eye to cover the empty socket.
Shortly after the attack, U.N. troops entered his country and brought an end to the war. He stopped his search when he found one of them still breathing. Her gaunt cheeks and bony frame aroused him.
It reminded him of how powerful he'd once been. Her ribs stood out from her swollen belly. He was certain she didn't know who the father of the unborn child was. Ignoring the stench in the room, he unzipped his pants. He kneeled down in front of her and placed his throbbing manhood inside her open mouth.
Elisa sighed, staring out over the city. The view from the castle balcony could only be described as breathtaking. The castle sat on top of the tallest building in Manhattan, overlooking Central Park. From this distance gone was the graffiti, grit, and grime. In its place were hundreds of twinkling lights from other buildings and street lamps, making the scene appear almost peaceful. Underneath the illusion, the harsh reality was something much darker. Someone was kidnapping prostitutes - plucking them off the streets. Dozens were missing, but so far they'd only found eight bodies.
"Elisa?" The brunette turned to find Goliath staring at her from the balcony doors. "Thank you for coming." She tried to smile but failed. It had been six months since they were supposed to meet here to discuss their relationship, but Goliath had been called away. Angela, his daughter, had informed Elisa about a phone call he'd received, along with the message they'd talk another time. She'd tried forgetting him, but her heart wouldn't allow her to. Not even when Fox Xanatos came into the picture. Her brief affair with the married woman had been intense, and left Elisa even more confused. She'd used Derek's ultimatum as a reason to end the affair, but the truth was she didn't want to break up Fox's marriage. Loneliness had pushed her into Fox's arms, and guilt had driven her away. She needed closure, and she intended to get it tonight. Elisa swallowed, forcing down the lump in her throat.
"Hello, Goliath," she croaked out. She and Goliath had never crossed the line from friends to lovers. Perhaps that's why, she told herself, it was thoughts of Fox and not Goliath that kept me awake at night. The memory of soft kisses and silky red hair gliding down her body, fanning the flames of simmering desire. Blue eyes filled with passion and something more staring up at her from between spread legs.
"The council finally made its decision," Goliath informed her. The lavender gargoyle walked out, stopping only inches from her. She stared up at his eight-foot frame. His dark mane whipped around his angular face, concealing his brow ridge. He smiled at her, baring sharp fangs. "You and I can be together." He drew her hand up to his mouth, placing a gentle kiss on the back.
Elisa released her breath. She'd already decided if they stayed together she would tell him about her affair with Fox. Sooner or later Demona would reveal what she'd seen at Nightstone: Elisa and Fox practically making love in one of her conference rooms. "I need to tell you something." Elisa started. She stopped when he placed his claws on her shoulders.
"There's more, Elisa." Goliath stated. He hesitated. "For us to be together you must agree to certain things," he said in a gentle tone. "During the Breeder's Moon I will take a consort. A gargoyle female," he explained. "You will be my mate, but she will bear my child." The Breeder's Moon was the twenty year cycle when gargoyle females were fertile and could conceive. Several months after conception, the female would lay an egg. It would take another ten years from the time the egg was laid until it hatched.
His large wings fluttered open. He wrapped them around her drawing her closer. The wings' warmth didn't offer her any comfort. A sense of dread knotted up in her stomach. The Breeder's Moon was a sensitive subject for her. Even if she could give him a child, it wouldn't be a full blooded gargoyle. Tears welled up in her eyes as she struggled to pull out of his embrace. He looked down at her, his onyx eyes full of emotion. "It's my duty to do what I can to ensure the survival of my kind. You must understand that, Elisa. If you were in my place, I would expect nothing less from you," he said. She turned away, attempting to hide her tears. He cupped her chin in his talons, turning her head around. "It's just sex, Elisa, nothing more. I will copulate with a female gargoyle to produce an offspring, and it ends there."
She laughed bitterly. "How can you say that?" she asked. "You will be bound to her from the time the hatchling is conceived until the day you die. It's not just sex; it's a life-time commitment," she said. "All the horrible things Demona has done and yet you still can't take her life. Why?" she asked him. He dropped his hands, releasing her from his wings. When he didn't answer, she continued. "It's the same reason she hasn't killed you. You're bound to each other by Angela, your child." Goliath turned away from her. Elisa stood behind him, waiting for a response.
When he spoke, his voice was determined. "I won't turn away from my responsibility. You and I have not committed fully to each other. We are at best close friends," Goliath said. In her heart, she knew it was over between the two of them, but his next words still hurt. "If I choose to be with another, then it's my choice, not yours," he concluded. She stepped back as if she'd been slapped. He glanced over his shoulder. The stricken look on her face burned into his memory. "It's not my wish to cause you pain, and this causes you pain," he said. "We should not see each other until the Breeder's Moon is over."
Elisa realized Goliath had already chosen a concubine. "Who is it?" she asked. It could only be one of two possibilities. He'd never sleep with his daughter, so that left Delilah or Demona. "Delilah," he answered. The irony didn't escape her. She couldn't give him a child, but he would use her genetic clone as a substitute.
"Why her?" she asked.
He turned to face her. "We've discovered that your DNA won't affect the species of Delilah's offspring, but it will allow her to give birth to live hatchlings." He held his hands out in front of him. "She will carry for eighteen months before giving birth. We won't have to wait ten years for an egg to develop," he said.
He took a step toward her. "Delilah can save us. Once she's mated with me, Brooklyn, and Lexington, I will send her to the other clans," he explained.
Elisa stared at him in horror. "You're going to breed her?" She asked. He froze, dropping his hands "After what Thailog did, how can you even consider doing this?" She looked at him through new eyes. He was no longer who she'd thought he was. "Anton Sevarius said that Thailog was your alter ego. Maybe he was more like you than any of us realized," she accused.
His eyes flashed red in anger. "I'm not going to take her against her will. Delilah has agreed to be with me," he defended.
Elisa stared at him in disbelief. "You look like the gargoyle she called 'master'. The gargoyle that created her from my DNA and your ex-mate's DNA and then used her as his sex slave." Goliath stiffened. "Did you think she'd tell you no?" Elisa asked. "Do you believe she'd be capable of telling you no?"
He stared at her in silence. He knew the clone had been broken by Thailog, but he'd made it clear that this would be her choice. He would be gentle with her, and pleasure her in ways Thailog never did. "Delilah has made her decision; there is nothing more to discuss," Goliath said.
Elisa shook her head. "When Delilah dies in labor after giving birth to gargoyle number 20 or 100, what then?" Elisa asked. "Will her children be forced to take her place and get passed around like chatel from one clan to the next?" She turned on her heels before he could respond, more afraid of what he would say than if he'd say anything at all.
Elisa made her way down the great hall, the sconces that lined the wall lighting the way. She reached the elevator just as the doors opened. She stepped blindly inside, her progress halted when she bumped into someone. "Elisa?" The brunette looked up into concerned blue eyes. For a brief moment she lost herself in Fox's piercing gaze.
"Fox," Elisa whispered, her voice trembling with emotion. The red head took a step toward her.
"Detective Maza," David Xanatos said. He wrapped an arm around his wife's slender waist. Fox froze, fighting the urge to take Elisa in her arms.
Elisa's gaze slid from the arm around Fox's waist into David Xanatos's dark gaze. He was standing slightly behind his wife. His lips curled into a smile when their eyes met. The hand on Fox's waist slid higher to just below her breast. Elisa's eyes followed. "Detective Maza, are you okay?" he asked.
Elisa pulled her gaze away from his hand. She tried telling herself she had no right to be jealous, but that didn't stop her angry response. "When will you two get enough of playing God?" She looked between the couple. "Is that why you live in a castle on top of a skyscraper? So that you can look down on the people whose lives you've destroyed?" Elisa accused. She knew the gargoyles didn't have the technology to research Delilah's fertility and gestation cycle, but the couple in front of her did. "She's not a guinea pig. I won't let you hurt her. I'll stop you, all of you, anyway that I can." She moved to get on the elevator.
David Xanatos stepped aside. His wife didn't. Fox stood in front of Elisa, glaring at her. "You will not speak to me like some criminal on the street. This is my home, and you are a guest only because I say so." Elisa brushed past the angry red head. "I'm not done," Fox snapped. She grabbed Elisa by the forearm and spun her around. "You will learn manners, or I will teach them to you," the red head warned.
"Fox!" David Xanatos called out, never having seen his wife so angry.
"I want to know what you're accusing me of," Fox demanded.
Elisa reared up on her heels getting into the red head's face, but David Xanatos stepped between the two women. "That's enough! I want you to leave, Detective Maza."
Fox released Elisa. She turned to face her husband. "David?" Fox asked.
Elisa stood frozen staring, between the husband and wife. "It's nothing, darling. Goliath came to me for help," David Xanatos said. "You were busy with the X-10 rifle project. I didn't want to bother you."
Elisa stepped quietly into the waiting elevator. "I'm not busy now; care to explain it to me?" she heard Fox say as the elevator doors slid shut.
Fox entered their bedroom, the automatic lights coming on, the soft light casting shadows around the room. Gold Egyptian figurines accented Grecian pillars and columns. Fox sat on the side of the large sleigh bed in the center of the room watching her husband. She crossed one leg over the other. The green silk mini she wore riding up her thigh. David Xanatos leaned against the bedroom door his dark gaze traveling down his wife's creamy legs. Even after four years of marriage her beauty still bewitched him.
Fox stared wondering when she'd stopped seeing him through rose colored glasses. It wasn't that he was changing. He was the same man she'd married. Handsome, charismatic, ruthless, all qualities she'd adored at one time. No, he wasn't changing, she was. It started after the birth of their son, Alexander. Oberon, the king of the fay and Titania, his queen and Fox's mother, had decided to take Alexander and raise him on the mystical island Avalon. Something inside Fox awakened. She'd created Alexander from a part of herself that couldn't be labeled as fay or human. He was created from love. It was love that gave her the strength to tap into her latent power and defeat Oberon. Her love for Alexander showed her that not only could she love but she wanted love in return. In the four years they'd been married David Xanatos had yet to utter the three words she longed to hear. I love you. Fox shook off her thoughts. "You were going to explain to me about Goliath?" Fox asked breaking the spell.
It had been months since Elisa had visited the Castle. Seeing her tonight caught Fox off guard and seeing in her tears was even more surprising. Fox suspected the "her" Elisa referred to earlier was Delilah.
When Goliath had cancelled his meeting with Elisa after getting a mysterious phone call, Fox had asked Owen, out of curiosity, who Goliath had spoken with. The PA had informed her the call had come from the clone hybrid, Delilah. Fox later saw Goliath and Delilah leaving the labyrinth together one evening when she'd stopped by to drop off medical supplies. The look of adoration on Delilah's face had been unmistakable as she gazed up at the clan leader.
Fox didn't like what she saw but decided to stay out of it. Her presence in the underground lab was barely tolerated. Talon avoided her at all costs, Maggie greeted her with suspicion. Claw, would hide in the shadows watching her. And Fang simply leered at her from his cell. The last thing Fox needed was to confront Goliath about Delilah in front of them.
David flashed her a brilliant smile. "Goliath asked me to research Delilah's fertility." He pulled himself up to his full height unbuttoning his jacket. He took off the jacket and carried it into the walk in closet they shared.
"Why would Goliath want to know about that?" Fox asked.
She new the breeders moon was only a few weeks away. "Does he want Delilah to mate with Brooklyn or Lex?" She heard her husband chuckle.
"Not Exactly," he called out. "Delilah started spotting and went to Angela for help. Turns out she was ovulating."
Fox closed her eyes. "Oh no," she muttered. The gargoyles were desperate to reproduce.
"Elisa's DNA altered her fertility cycle but it won't affect the species of Delilah's children. She'll give birth to live full blooded gargoyles." David Xanatos explained. He stepped out of the closet, minus his jacket and tie, his shirt undone. He'd freed his hair from his customary ponytail. The dark locks hung past his square jawline. "Say what you want about Anton Sevarius but the man was brilliant. I always wondered why he mixed Demon and Elisa's DNA to create Delilah." He paused. "Thailog was probably going to breed her too." David stated.
Fox groaned. She buried her face in her hands. "Fox?" He asked surprised by her reaction.
She looked up at him pleadingly. "Please tell me you tried to talk Goliath out of this. That you told him she's been violated enough." He stared at her his hands in his pockets, studying her as if she were some new species created in one of his labs.
"Don't you see how wrong this is, David. She survived Thailog only to end up the Council's whore. I will not allow it."
He walked to the glass liquor cabinet in the room and poured himself a drink. He took a swallow before turning around to face Fox. "You've changed. This is a scientific break through. I'd think you'd appreciate the magnitude of this discovery. If the clan is successful and her off spring survive, their cells may hold the key to longevity. Humans can benefit from this too."
Fox threw her hands in the air. "So that's why you got involved. Always searching for that elusive immortality."
He gritted his teeth. "Look in the mirror; you haven't aged a day since I met you. Do you think I want to grow old and feeble? Knowing I won't always be able to satisfy you? That sooner or later you'll leave me for someone else?" She watched him take another large gulp from his glass. He grimaced as the brown liquid slid down his throat.
As she watched him she realized he was afraid. Afraid of death, afraid of her leaving she wasn't sure but it was an emotion she'd never seen him display. She stood up and walked over to him. He watched her approach gripping his now empty glass. She gazed up at him her blue eyes capturing his brown. "I love you," she told him. Slender fingers reached out stroking his hair. He sighed closing his eyes leaning into her touch. Her fingers glided down over his cheek and jaw caressing his goatee. She placed her hand on his chest and could feel the rhythmic beat of his heart. "But sometimes I wonder-----do you love me."
His eyes snapped open. "Or like Delilah am I just another science experiment." She took a shaky breath and stepped back. "I intend to offer Elisa my help. No female, of any race or species, deserves to be used like that." She took one last look at him waiting for a response. He remained silent staring at her. "I'm going to take a shower," she told him. She turned away and headed for the adjourning bathroom.
"Fox." She stopped in her tracks. He'd spoken her name so softly most would not have heard it. She cocked her head and glanced at him over her shoulder. "You are my most prized possession. I will never let you go." He said. "Remember Fox: For better or worse till death do us part."
His dark good looks took on a menacing appearance in the low lighting of their bedroom. "Till...death...do...us.... part." He enunciated each word slowly.
To Be Continued
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