Author's Note: Ever since completing "Life
and Death at Castle Wyvern," I've been thinking about Rosanna's past,
especially how she could live in Connecticut and attend school there. Some
other aspects of her past are now running through my fevered mind ... who
would she have as classmates? What kind of guidance could the disguised
Coyote give the teenage hybrid? And so, seeing the opportunity Party on
Avalon gives me, I decided to explore this. So please, enjoy the story,
and learn a bit more about Rosanna along with me.
To place this on a timeline with G:CM ... this story takes place about a year and a half before Elisa Maza's death; it's also two months after Rose and Tommy Walker's first date, and about eight months before Captain Walker accidentally guns his son down.
I feel at this time that I should acknowledge and thank sincerely my two beta-readers (and close on-line friends) Ravyn Maza and Skydancer for beta-reading this story. You guys are the best!
And as always ... Enjoy! --DAM, 18 December
The kindly older woman at the foot of the stairs called up into the depths of the upper level of the big Victorian house, eagerly waiting for the lone other occupant of the house. After what seemed like an eternity, the teenager came down the stairs.
"I'm coming, I'm coming, hold your horses!" Young Rose Maza zipped quickly down the stairs, dressed cleanly in her school uniform. She was madly adjusting her necktie as she headed for the dining room, sitting before a huge plate of pancakes prepared by the older woman.
"Well, don't just sit there, eat up! You've got a bus to catch, young lady."
"I'll make it. Don't worry about me, Mrs. Thorogood." Rose smiled, eagerly digging into the short stack before her, a textbook open next to the plate. Mrs. Thorogood saw the book open, and promptly closed it.
"What the ...?"
"Now Rose," Mrs. Thorogood started scolding, "you know you were supposed to finish that assignment last night. What happened, anyway?"
Rose sighed. "I got caught up in what I was doing ..."
"No excuse, young lady. Reading while you eat will disrupt your digestion. Now eat up, you don't want to be late for your test this morning."
"Test?! Oh, no ..." Rose would have dropped her head to the table, were it not for the syrupy breakfast food before her. "I completely forgot!"
"Now, Rose ..."
Loud honking outside the door stopped Mrs. Thorogood in mid-sentence, as Rose grabbed her backpack and zipped for the door. "See ya later, Mrs. Thorogood."
"Um, Rose?" Mrs. Thorogood pointed.
Rose didn't make the connection immediately, but finally awareness came upon her. She frantically pulled the three-foot tail behind her around, pushing it up the back of her blazer as far as she could fit it, and rushing out the door.
"Rose! Eyes on your own exam!"
She snapped out of it quickly, turning her gaze back to the maddening test before her, scrawling her answers on the page. Suddenly out of nowhere, her pencil broke.
The only pencil she happened to have with her.
Rose's face took on a desperate look as she sighed heavily. No, today was not being a good day.
Rose couldn't help but smile, turning around to see him standing there. Tommy Walker. Quite possibly, he was the most sought-after boy in school ... and he only had eyes for her. She should have been happy.
If it weren't for her hard nights ...
She jumped up and placed a quick peck on his cheek, so as not to bring about the prying eyes of the anti-PDA hall monitors. "What's happening?"
"Not much ... having a bad day, and I needed to cheer up." He took her hand. "Always happens when I'm near you."
Rose smirked at him. "Right. How bad's your day been?"
He sighed. "Just found out about Taylor ... he's out for the rest of the season."
"Oh no. How bad was it?"
"ACL tear. He's going to need surgery." A dark cast came over Tommy's features. "If I get my hands on the jerk who made that tackle ..."
Rose nodded knowingly. Taylor Reeve happened to be Tommy's best friend on the football team, and had suffered that injury just three days earlier, in a game. She put a hand on Tommy's shoulder. "I might stop by the hospital later, Tommy. I'll give him your best, okay?"
Tommy smiled. "You're the greatest, Rose." He kissed her lightly on the forehead. However, he wasn't very careful about it, as a hall monitor grabbed him by the shoulder and proceeded to walk him down the hallway. He called "See you later tonight!"
Rose giggled, turning back to her locker. The girl in the neighboring locker took that opportunity to approach Rose. "Hey there."
Rose looked up at the other girl. She vaguely knew her ... she thought her name was Janice Kensington or something like that. Must be a transfer student, she thought.
"I'm sorry ... Janice, right?"
"Yes. And you're Rose. Or should I call you 'Little Miss Lucky?'"
Rose chuckled softly. "Uh huh. I suppose you noticed my little exchange with Tommy, huh?"
"Who didn't? In fact, who hasn't heard about Rose Maza, Tommy Walker's steady?"
"I wouldn't say that ..." Rose hesitated. If she really wanted to be serious with Tommy, eventually she would have to tell him about her transformations. Although their miraculous first date hadn't brought up any awkward questions, at least ...
"I would. You practically glow when he's close by."
Rose smiled embarrassedly. "I suppose so ..."
"Listen, I'm having a sleepover tonight, around 8 or so. Can I interest you in coming? Everybody else will want to hear all about Tommy."
Rose sighed again. This was a very interesting situation, it seemed. How could she keep her secret and still come to the party? She didn't want to hurt Janice ... but then again, she couldn't risk anything.
"Oh no, I really shouldn't ..."
"I insist. Come on, it'll be fun! I'll come and get you tonight, we'll have a blast!"
Rose rolled her eyes. How in the hell did she ever get herself into these situations?! True, the last time it had started something between herself and Tommy ... but what good could come of this?
"Oh, I guess."
"Great! Eight o'clock. Be by your house, OK?"
Rose resignedly nodded. Janice seemed almost bubbling.
Rose wondered how long Janice's happiness would last after tonight.
"What's wrong, honey?"
She looked up at the elderly housekeeper. "Nothing's wrong, Mrs. Thorogood. In fact, something's right ... and that's what's wrong."
Mrs. Thorogood gave Rose a cockeyed look. Internally, the fae hiding within her started wondering if Rose had been taking secret lessons from him.
"Did that sound as confusing as it came out?"
Mrs. Thorogood nodded. Rose sighed. "Okay, the new girl at the academy invited me to a sleepover. That's the problem ... one, I never sleep and two, I don't know how she would feel about a gargoyle in her house."
"The new girl ... you mean that nice girl Janice Kensington, right?"
Now it was Rose's turn to give Mrs. Thorogood a weird look. "How do you know Janice when I barely knew her this afternoon?"
"Call it ... housekeeper's intuition. Anyway, I don't think she'll mind at all."
Rose simply shook her head. It always seemed like Mrs. Thorogood kept an intentional blind eye to problems created by her dualistic nature.
"I'll be upstairs with my homework." Rose jogged up the long staircase to the upper level of the house, dragging her backpack behind her.
He became quite surprised when Rose nearly jumped into his arms.
"Well now, what's this for?"
"Oh ... just felt like it." Rose smiled at him, but before she could do anything else she heard a car pull up behind Tommy's. She disengaged herself from her boyfriend to face the newcomer.
It was Janice.
"Hey, Rose. Ready?"
Rose sighed, both at Janice and at Tommy. Her eyes became more darkened and regretful, then she finally began to speak.
"All right, I can't take this anymore. I've been hiding this from both of you, but you need to see it."
With those words, Rose turned to see the sun finally disappear. At that moment, her skin color immediately changed, as did her size. Two huge bat-like wings erupted from her shoulders. The tail she had been struggling to hide all day burst free at last. Human feet and hands were replaced by gigantic talons.
Tommy's eyes widened. He tried to turn and run, but Janice stopped him with a touch on the arm. A small shake of her head stopped Tommy in his tracks.
Finally, the fully-formed gargoyle burst forth out of the shredded human clothes around her. She finally looked up at her two companions.
"And now you know."
Tommy was the first to speak. "What happened? How ...?"
The gargess sighed. "Allow me to introduce myself first. At night I call myself Rosanna, just to keep myself straight. But if you want to know why this happens to me, it's because my father is a gargoyle."
Tommy did some figuring in his mind ... Rose was from New York ... the gargoyles were first spotted in New York ... there were rumors that a female police detective whose last name was "Maza" had married the gargoyle leader and bore a child ...
"I think I've heard about you, Rosanna. You're kind of an urban legend. I don't know how my old man would react ... but as for me ..."
Tommy's face suddenly took on a goofy, admiring look. "Cooooooooool ...."
"Oh ... kay ..." Rosanna looked up at Janice. "What about you?"
"I'm still bringing you to a party, Rosanna. Y'see, I have a secret of my own." Janice's eyes began glowing.
Quickly, Rosanna beckoned for Tommy to come to her side, away from Janice, who appeared to be under some fae influence. The girl suddenly grew taller, more slender and regal in appearance. When the glow subsided, Rosanna had by now figured out who this really was.
"I was wondering when I would get to meet you, Queen Titania. From my father's stories ..."
"... about his time at Avalon with your mother and sister. Yes, I remember. And now I wish to offer you a visit to hallowed Avalon's shores."
Rosanna's eyes widened. "The sleepover ..."
"Precisely. There is a party, child, a party of epic proportion currently commencing in the palace of Avalon. And your presence would be welcomed immensely ... not only by the Children of Oberon, but also by your Clan's children. Your presence there would give them great hope ... hope that they have been lacking as of late."
Rosanna looked at the resplendent Queen of Avalon, then back at Tommy, who was now completely shellshocked.
"Bring him too, if you wish. There is no reason that Avalon's wonders cannot be shared."
Rosanna smiled. "Okay, Your Majesty. We accept your invitation, as long as we will not be missed in class for the duration of the party."
"Very well, then." Titania allowed a portal to Avalon to form in her cloak, the glow illuminating the night air.
Rosanna took Tommy's hand, bringing him with her toward the portal. He finally roused enough to ask, "What's going on?"
Rosanna chuckled. "I'll tell you all about it while we're there. It's a long story."
The two teenage lovers passed into the portal and disappeared, as the portal closed. Titania turned toward the house, facing Mrs. Thorogood, who had come to the doorway.
"You will inform the girl's parents of her whereabouts, Coyote."
"Already dialing, my queen." A very Coyote-like smirk came to the elderly woman's face. "Boy won't Goliath and Angela be surprised!"
Titania flashed her regally subtle smile, forming a portal before herself and walking through it to the mystic isle.