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In my last installment, Matt had just discovered that I had been changed into a Gargoyle...

And so I told Matt everything--almost everything, anyway; I'd left out some of the more romantic bits--that had happened.  To his credit, he let me talk without interrupting, saving his questions for the end.  Talking about what had happened as surprisingly easy; I managed to hold mysel together through the whole telling.  I didn't stop, didn't cry once.

"So everyone in the city was turned into a Gargoyle last night?" he asked.  Good police work.  Always ask the simple questions first, just in case.

After I had nodded, he asked, "Wait.  I was here.  If this happened... why don't I remember it?"

"Puck's magic, most likely," Goliath supplied.

Matt hesitated before asking his next question.  He wanted to understand, wanted to make sure all the facts were straight, but didn't want to bring me any more hurt.  Finally, "And you're sure this is permanent?  This Puck guy could have been lying."

For a moment, hope swelled within me, but it was quickly dashed.  "No, lad," Hudson said sadly.  "Words are verra, verra important to magic and the Third Race.  Puck may be a trickster, but he'll no be telling lies.  Beings like him like people make their own webs with their own words."

"I've been thinking about that," Lex said.  "No loopholes I could see."

I caught sight of Goliath out of the corner of my eye.  Something was... strange about him.  Usually, he was so confident; I'd never seen him like this.  He'd told me I was beautiful.  He'd told me he'd always be there to catch me.  Was it possible?  Was it really possible that he felt the same way about me, that I'd tried so hard to deny feeling about him?  Did he want me to stay the way I'd become?  No.  Goliath was too fundamentally decent to want that.  He would have known how unhappy I'd be wth a Gargoyle's life.  (How little I knew about myself, eh?)  He would want me to be normal.  The way I was 'supposed' to be.

No matter how much it would break his heart.

"What about your parents?"

Mtt's question brought me back to reality.  Mom and Dad.  Now there was a chilling thought.  I'd rather have gone twenty rounds with Demona that have to bring them the news that another of their children was no longer human.  Not after Derek... 

"I have to tell them," I said.  "I won't vanish like Derek tried to.  That nearly killed them.  They accepted what happened to him.  They'll... they'll understand this too."  Not that I really understood it.

"Does that mean you're gonna tell them about us too?" Broadway asked, probably more concerned about me telling that it was he who'd shot me than any actual confusion about whether or not their secret was coming out.

"We will not leave ELisa in her hour of greatest need," Goliath said.  "Our secret is not so great that her family cannot share it."

So.  It was going to be all cards on the table.  Better that way.  Maybe the "what happened to you" concern would override the "why didn't you tell us about all of this sooner" guilty-trip. 

"I should do it soon," I said.  "Before they start to worry.  Maybe even tonight."

"If that is what you wish, Elisa," Goliath replied.

"Not about what I "wish," Goliath."  Just about what has to be done."

Even as I spoke, realization set in.  Realization of things that would need to be done.  Arrangements would have to be made so that I could dissapear, but would have to be done in such a way that would still let me come back to my life if I ever could.  A story would have to be fabricated, one that would stick.  I hated the thought of my friends thinking that something had happened to me, but it was the only way.  Better they had some answer, than no answer at all.  There'd be fewer questions that way.

And there was the matter of money.  Keeping the guys fed, not to mention putting food on my own table and keeping a roof over my head, was taxing enough with money coming in.  Now...  There were answers.  Even if some of it would feel like asking for a hand-out.  Just shows how my mind can work: thinking up problems and solutions even in the middle of a crisis.

"I... I should call them first.  Let them know I'm coming.  Better than just dropping in."

My eyes strayed to the unplugged phone, the line mornally just used for Lex's computer.

It was probably the hardest call I'd ever had to make.  Both emotionally and physically.  Trying to push buttons with talons was not easy work.  The thought that it would get easier with time crossed my mind.  And then the thought that I didn't want it to get easier, because that meant that I'd been a Gargoyle too long.

It rang once, twice, three times, and finally...


"Dad..." I started, weakly.

"Elisa?"  Concern filled his voice.  "What's wrong?"

"Better if I tellyou in person.  Are you and Mom gonna be home?"

"Elisa, what's going on?  Talk to me."

"In person, Dad.  In person.  I'll... I'll be there soon."

I hung up before he could say anything else.  "Goliath," I said, barely above a whisper, "come with me.  Please."

"Elisa, how do you intend to...?"

"I've got them.  Might as well use them."

It was far from graceful, and my hand had a death-grip on Goliath's, but I was moving through the air.  Something about it felt right.  Parts of me were at war with each other.  One part enjoying the power and freedom of gliding on wings, the other guilty over the first part.
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Elisa Maza

February 2011

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