tagNonHumanGargouille Ch. 03

Gargouille Ch. 03


Hi readers, here is chapter 3. Thanks to the wonderful and helpful Angelicsounds for the lovely editing, and as usual I appreciate all comments and feedbacks. Thanks and hope you all enjoy this chapter.

Chapter 01

* * * *

Nicole started her journey early in the morning, but not as early as she would have liked. She had opened her front door twice, only to shut it immediately after seeing the falling snow and dank, gloomy sky. But the third time she opened it, the snow had ceased and the clouds were parting, giving way to a clearer sky. Checking the time, Nicole realized that she had delayed her departure longer than she should have and now she might encounter traffic on the way out of London.

She quickly grabbed her luggage and threw the bags into the car trunk, before getting in and starting the engine. She turned on her headlights and let the engine warm up for a minute and then eased the car from her driveway onto the road. Minutes later, she threaded her way through the light traffic with little spurts of speed here and there.

This journey, the day before New Year's Eve, was a premeditated act on Nicole's part. She had been devising a plan to get away from her mother ever since they had a fight a few days earlier, while Nicole was still in Jamaica. While speaking to her mother on the phone, Nicole had mentioned how they needed to find out where Lisa was living and see how she and the children were getting on.

Her mother had clammed up, refusing to talk about her eldest daughter. "Why should we try to find her? She's the one that left. She's no longer part of this family," her mother had said.

Nicole had buried her unhappiness and irritation at her mother's reply. She had sighed and gritted her teeth, pretending not to feel, as her mother often did, and allowed her mother to go on pretending that Lisa no longer existed.

Christmas Day in Jamaica had been a wonderful affair. Spending time with her father and her other relatives was a welcome distraction. She loved her mother, but all they did every major holiday was sit and eat a quiet meal. This year would have been no different.

There was going to be a great feast at her mother's house on New Year's Eve. Her mother would smile and be smiled upon by her guests, hiding her misery in the darkest corner of her heart. And instead of thinking of herself, she would focus her energy on Nicole. Her mother's New Year's resolution for the past five years had been for Nicole to find a man and settle down. The last time her mother had mentioned it, Nicole, in a fit of anger, had told her that she would sooner die than marry, get divorced and become a bitter old cow. Her mother hadn't particularly cared for her snide remark, and had told her as much.

The holidays, once upon a time, were all about celebrating love. Nicole wasn't sure how she felt about that emotion these days.

Easing from her thoughts, Nicole suddenly realized that she was hungry and needed to use the lavatory. She stopped at a diner called 'The Piglets' to quickly use the toilet then have a bite to eat, and rest herself for a spell. As she glanced out the window from her seat, she could see that snow was beginning to fall and the sky looked bleak. There was a lady and a young girl holding hands and heading toward the diner. They looked like mother and daughter. The bell on the door sounded as it opened and the two came in. They smiled when they saw Nicole, and she smiled back.

Nicole stared at them as her thoughts drifted to her own mother. Hyacinth de-Leon was a true termagant and had probably already called her father in Jamaica to tell him how she had chosen to be the servant of her boss by working over the holiday season, rather than being with family.

All her life, her mother had told her what to do. Nicole shook her head slightly as she remembered the day she had told her mother she wanted to study accounting as opposed to law. Her mother had responded with a simple, "No," but for a moment, she looked crazed, like a wild animal. Nicole had stared at her in fear.

"More coffee?" A voice suddenly snapped Nicole out of her reverie.

Nicole cringed at the coarse tone. She looked up to see the weather-beaten face of the waitress, giving her a cockeyed look.

"I- thanks, but I am okay," she replied, thankful that the woman just shrugged and walked away to serve another patron.

After paying, Nicole quickly got up to leave, but while she was making her way towards the exit of the diner, she decided to make an inquiry as to how near she was to the end of her journey. She walked over to an open door that led to the kitchen, as the waitress was nowhere to be seen. Through the door, she found a tired looking, middle aged man, who was busy flipping and frying various foods on a large stove.

"Excuse me," Nicole said firmly.

The man stopped, with a large greasy spoon in his hand, as Nicole suddenly caught his attention. He grumbled something unintelligible and turned around. Before she even had a chance to say anything, the man began to try and serve her. Sighing, Nicole hastily explained to him what she actually wanted. The disgruntled cook suddenly blushed and smiled a bit. "Oh! Oh, sorry- of course," he replied.

Information in hand, Nicole continued her journey on the winding country roads. She turned up her music, humming along with the songs of Adele and enjoying the scenic route. It was now noon, and by this time she was not far from Birmingham, but she wasn't familiar enough with the country lanes to know how close she actually was to her destination, despite the directions she had been given. So, she had to stop twice just to make sure she was on the right track. To add to her misery, it had begun snowing heavily, and she had to swerve on a sharp bend, narrowly avoiding a horse and rider.

But the worst part of the trip happened when she was only a mile or so out from Glasgow. Nicole was driving through the slippery, wet snow when her car suddenly skidded. She gripped the steering wheel tightly, certain she was going to crash. Though she eased up on the gas and steered into the skid, the car rolled into a small ditch.

As Nicole sat in her car, in a state of shock, a man who was driving by saw her. He stopped and got out of his car to help. He was the second driver that passed by, the first had just drove on. The man, Neal McDougal, was tall, with probing grey eyes, and later she learned he was also a recovering alcoholic. The Scotsman helped her negotiate her car out of the ditch and then checked her tires and brakes.

After getting through that disaster, she got back in her car and was soon making good progress through Glasgow with Neal's phone number saved in her phone. Neal had insisted on her taking it, telling her to call him if she ever needed any help.

Almost two hours later, Nicole arrived at her final destination, Colonsay. Nicole's hotel arrangements had been made by her boss, Ewan Kilpatrick. She was to stay at the Colonsay Hotel, which offered a self-catering accommodation. She had an estate cottage to herself, despite there being other empty rooms available.

It had been a long, tiring day. The minute she arrived, the proprietor, Cadha Alistair, a small, plump woman of an indeterminate age, was there to welcome her. Mrs. Alistair looked at her and catching Nicole's smiling, yet tired eyes, she rushed to embrace her like a long-lost relative. Nicole felt immediately at home and relaxed.

Nicole hugged her back and Cadha instantly began talking. Nicole was unable to respond while being crushed by the woman's hefty bosom. At least it took off some of the cold, she mused, chuckling softly. Cadha's husband, Walter, who wore a badge around his neck attesting to that name, took her bags.

"How kind of you. Thanks." Nicole gave Walter a tremendous smile as she dislodged herself from Cadha's arms.

Walter's face took on a deep shade of red, as he smiled softly and replied, "Bah! Dinna fret yourself, lass. It's me pleasure."

The Alistairs had a daughter named Brae, who began merrily chatting away the moment she entered the room. Brae was a pretty redhead with a bright smile. She wore her hair in braids and had green eyes set in a cherubic face. She was plump with large breasts. Nicole figured she was about seventeen, but she could have been wrong. Kids often looked much older than their actual years these days.

"Brae, kindly cease your incessant chattering and takes Miss Nicole to her room," Cadha scolded.

Cadha then turned to Nicole and cooed. "Aahhh... Poor hen, you look bone tired. Well, go get ye self a kip while I fix you a hearty meal."

"Aahh bless," Nicole responded with a smile.

A sleep sounded good, but she wasn't up for a hearty Scottish meal at the moment. She was escorted to her room by Brae. It was large and spacious with a wonderful view overlooking the mountains. Brae's chattering seemed a small price to pay for such a wonderful sight. While Brae continued talking, Nicole began unpacking some of her clothing, in the hopes of taking a well needed bath.

Brae was slowly giving her a pounding headache. At the moment, she was calling some woman named Manig a 'Sweetie-wife', which meant a gossipy, talkative person.

"Oh my God! You have to come to Hogmanay," Brae suddenly shouted excitedly. Based on Brae's animated behavior, she could have been a character from a play. She reminded Nicole of Lala from the children's program, Teletubbies.

Not giving Nicole time to respond, Brae rattled on about Hogmanay. Thirty minutes later, Brae finally explained that Hogmanay was a traditional time in Scotland for partying and warm hospitality, something that improved as the weather worsened.

"Well, I am here for work, not partying," Nicole responded, ignoring Brae's hurt look. With toiletries in hand, she turned towards the bathroom Brae had shown her earlier and locked the door behind her.

* * * *

How the hell did this happen? Was I conned? Yes, that was it. How in the hell did the Alistairs manage to convince me to come to the Hogmanay celebration? How could I be so gullible? Nicole asked herself over and over as she shook her head in bewilderment.

She had been peacefully going over her project for the seminar when a sound caused her to look up from the computer monitor. She was startled to see Cadha's round face smiling at her. Speechless, Nicole stared at her in surprise.

"What ye still doing working? Get yer self ready, Brae is about to go." Cahda was now fully in the room, arms akimbo.

"Well," Nicole rubbed her eyes, "I am a bit tired."

Cadha didn't look pleased at her response. "Ye may be tired, but ye'll be glad to get out and be with people, instead of being cooped up in this room."

"I wasn't planning to go out, my hair's a mess." Nicole ruffled her hair with her fingers for emphasis.

Cadha snorted, "Oh, beautiful lass like ye, ne'er a man alive who'd say he ain't find ye bonny. Such a lovely little thing ye are." Cadha had pressed on, wearing her defenses down.

"Oh-Okay," Nicole had replied, as if she was uncertain.

Cadha's eyes sparkled, her mouth curled in a smile. "Come on, lass, get yer self ready."

Sighing tiredly, Nicole looked around at the scene before her. Traditional Scottish music was blaring, and there was lots of cheering and hollers. It was a real tartan tear-up with plenty of traditional Scottish energetic drinking and dancing. There was also a Wellies boot throwing competition.

Fruitcake, shortbread and black buns were the customary morsels offered to the guests, and the guests all seemed to be enjoying the freebies. Champagne was flowing freely, but the only drink with which to toast the bells at Hogmanay was, of course, Scotch whisky. Nicole was having none of it, and ordered a non-alcoholic drink. When she requested the drink, the bartender looked at her like she was a ninny.

Twenty minutes later, Nicole was finally presented with a bottle of apple juice, which she took with a smile and thanks. The bartender later told her that someone had to run to the local shop to get her the drink. She could only think, Unbelievable, what a kerfuffle.

Sipping her drink, so it would last longer, Nicole was only half listening to Brae as she continued to talk foolishly about nothing in particular. Suddenly, two brawny Scottish lads approached them. Both young men had their tartans on, which were a tad bit too tight and exposing areas that Nicole would rather not see. They introduced themselves as Angus and Miles McDougal, leaving her to assume they were related. Then Neal McDougal came to mind, she looked at them keenly for any resemblance, but found none. Neal had dark hair, as opposed to their ginger locks.

To be frank, she would have prefered having a root canal than being in the company of a couple of foul-smelling, bumbling idiots in ill-fitted tartans. "Hi," Nicole said, ignoring their outstretched hands. They both smiled showing yellow, rotting teeth.

God help me. Nicole shivered in disgust.

Their eyes roamed over her body with great sexual interest. She sighed in annoyance, wishing she had worn her jeans instead of listening to Brae and wearing a skirt. Nicole wrinkled her nose at the strong smell of alcohol on their breath; they both had slurred speech and trouble balancing. Then Angus tried to grope and kiss her.

"Ye pretty...bonny...lass," he slurred, grinning lecherously.

Nicole pushed him away and he stumbled. Miles laughed, giving her a sly look. Outraged and annoyed, she shouted, "If you touch me again, I will bust your nuts!"

Why can't some men just get their act together?

This time they both laughed. This tactic won't work on these drunken fools, she fumed. So she gave them a winning smile. "I can give you my number to call me later."

They beamed, feeling flattered. Nicole instructed them to go get a pen and some paper. They both rushed off and came back in a flash, which surprised her.

With a sigh she took the items and wrote: Angus & Miles McDougal- Toothpaste, to be used three times daily or after a meal.

She handed them the paper and pen with a wink. They both smiled and left, laughing and slapping each other on the back. Nicole sighed in relief. She looked at Brae to tell her she was going to the lavatory, but Brae was busily sucking a guy's tongue from its base. Nicole rolled her eyes and quietly slipped away.

The nearest bathroom was down a lonely hallway. She had expected to see a long queue, but was surprised when the only occupant was a young female, who was busy vomiting on the floor. Could this night get any worse? Nicole quickly used the facilities and ran out.

On her way back to the main hall, Nicole noticed a door near the entrance to the hallway and the door was partially open. She wasn't sure what made her do it, but she pushed the door open and walked in. The room was empty, save for a snooker table and an oversized red chair. She ignored them both and went to stand by the window instead. Brae was more than likely still occupied, so Nicole had no reason to think she wasn't still standing where she had left her. Nicole opened the window. Cold air instantly blasted her and she shivered before closing it again. She wrapped her cardigan tighter around her; it now seemed thinner than before.

* * * *

Laird Kieran Mac Thomas stepped into the foyer of the celebration wearing his tartan. It was tradition to wear tartan to the Celtic celebrations. Both men and women acknowledged him with a bow as a sign of respect. "My laird," they would say.

Kieran answered with a nod as he went along. Eyon was away, attending to business with the Werewolf Clan of Dogdyke, Lincolnshire, so he came solo.

When Kieran had first entered and seen the excitement, he had been troubled by an odd sense of recognition. It woke all sorts of childhood memories in him, a longing for being with his parents, his father taking him to see the jugglers at the King's yearly festivals. Kieran thought rather wistfully that those years had been the happiest and saddest of times, as there was always the threat of his father being sent on a mission for their King. It was during one of those missions that his mother had died and it was then that his childhood ceased.

It had been three years since he had last attended the yearly festivities, where families and friends came together as one. Kieran had long dreamt of a family of his own, a hard feat for a man bound by duty, but no more, especially since the betrothal was dissolved.

When he and Eyon had decided to break the betrothal, they did not anticipate that most of the clan would oppose them. But, his clansmen began to object less as they began to worry about the lack of mates they so desperately needed.

Perhaps he and Eyon would now have the chance to find a mate ordained for them and escape the claws of the clan's power. Kieran drew a deep breath and pushed the memories and thoughts aside. He narrowed his eyes as a buxom redhead approached him, he could tell that she was human.

"Good day to ye." She giggled drunkenly, smiling hesitantly up into his hooded gaze.

Kieran lifted an eyebrow and smiled as she came closer. "Not tonight."

The girl looked puzzled, unsure who he was. Apparently, she was not ready to take the chance of insulting someone who might be important; she turned and made her way towards a group of drunken men. He watched as she slipped away with them into a darkened area.

Kieran sighed harshly, turning to survey the hall with mild interest and watching as most of the revelers drank themselves into a stupor. He hated these celebrations where shifters and humans both got drunk and whorishness ran rampant. He eased his large form off the wall he was lounging on casually as Neville Mann, a local farmer, came towards him.

About thirty minutes later, after sharing drinks and small talk with Neville and some of his other clansmen who had joined them during their conversation, Kieran excused himself to use the facilities. Leaving the restroom, he debated whether to go back and join the revelers or to leave quietly. As he considered this, he observed a partially opened door. His sensitive nostrils picked up the scent of Jasmine and contentment.

For a second, he stood there paralyzed while his mind wrapped itself around the possibility of what his nose had picked up. Could it be true? Elated, he walked over and pushed the door open.

It was then that she saw her, a vision, standing quietly, staring out the window. Proud manhood twitching in jerky anticipation, Kieran stood unmoving, his gargoyle eyes dark with passion, fastened hypnotically on his intended mate.

Kieran could hardly breathe, every muscle in his body was taut with expectation of what was to come. He felt a stirring in his loins that he had never experienced before. "I have found her," he muttered.

Still fresh in Kieran's memory were the events of the past seven days. The disagreement he had with his father, the shipment of priceless artifacts that were stolen, the wolf Ulrich and his heinous schemes to get money from them, Bhaltair's constant interference in their lives. He so wanted to kill the man, but to take another gargoyle's life was considered a serious offence, unless that gargoyle was deemed a threat to the clan. It was a trying week, and one he would like to forget.

A few hours prior to this very minute, he had flown to see Laird Callum, Eyon's father, to discuss the need to extend their business and include more humans in the fold. In doing so, they would be able to find potential mates for their brethren. Eyon was happy with this plan, as were the other Elders. With that settled, he had flown straight to the festivities, but not before stopping to see his father once again.

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bymerryweather© 10 comments/ 18659 views/ 24 favorites

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