“Dexter. I’ve been at this with my brothers for a long time. A REALLY, really long time. We took over the territory our dad ran when he was our age and made it flourish when he retired and opened up his hardware store. I’m good at what I do…but it isn’t what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

“…things like the flying circus?”

“Yeah, and maybe some tournaments. But beyond that, it’s a chance for me to make a reputation for myself. The Fallon name has a lot of power and swing to it…but most of the first names that people know belong to my brothers. Everyone knows me as their little sister…I want my own name and reputation.”

Dexter would never have guessed that Tayte felt these things…or that she was capable of such kindness and thought. “I…I really don’t know what to say… I’m grateful for what you did, I really am! But I just never expected any of this to happen…but I guess no one did and no one can ever guess at these types of things. Are…Are you sure your brothers are going to be okay with your decision? There are only so many criminal groups out there that can say that they’re family… You leaving could really change the dynamic of the group and how business is run.”

“You understand the gangster way of business a little better than I gave you credit for, Angel cakes.” Tayte said to launch Dexter into a fresh spell of blushes.

“Don’t call me-“

“I know, I know. But you don’t need to worry about me and my brothers. With all of the confusion of the trials and Ares and everything else, my brothers had to scatter so I’m free to make a few life style changes.”

“Donny and Kirk should be half way to Mexico by now…what about Nicky and Laurent?”

“Both at home. Nicky wanted to fix his car in peace and Laurent has wedding plans to arrange.”

“We-Wedding plans?! He’s-He’s actually going to marry Serena?! I would have figured him for the type to cut and run once there was a baby involved…not-not that your brother is a bad guy! It’s just that-“

Tayte found reason to laugh again at Dexter’s attempts to cover his bases and not insult her family. “It’s fine. You’d normally be right-Laurent would turn tail and run as soon as a girl announces that she’s two days late…but not this time. First time he’s gotten a girl pregnant so he’s stuck with her by order of the highest authority-no Fallon can go against this order.”

“You mean…?”

“Yeah…our mother.” Now this answer wasn’t what Dexter was expecting-from far what he had imagined. But now that the idea was in his head-big bad player Laurent Fallon…stuck marrying some girl just because his mom told him so…it gave him a reason to chuckle…which soon grew into a reason to laugh…and then the angel couldn’t help but laugh as he sat there with Tayte on her couch. When the harpy girl saw Dexter begin to laugh, she found reason to laugh as well. “I’m really not kidding! She’s been sitting on wedding plans for years just in case something like this happened!”

“I don’t believe it! How-How scary is your mom if she can make your brother marry the girl just on her say so?!”

“Pretty scary, take my word on it!” The winged pair continued to laugh together for a while before things calmed down. Dexter’s hand rested on top of Tayte’s as the laughter died. The harpy noticed and looked at Dexter. He was going to move it but she held onto it instead. There was some color in her cheeks as the angel’s grew bright red. “Dexter?” Tayte moved in closer to Dexter on the couch.

“Y-Yes…Tayte?” Dexter moved in closer to Tayte on the couch. The angel wasn’t sure if the candles in the apartment were scented or if it was the harpy but something smelled incredible. The kimono continued to slide down Tayte’s beautiful shoulders with each movement, her throat feeding down to her cleavage, her whole being emitting a raw sexual warm that lit up every part of the angel’s being. His heart beat rattled his rib cage as he hung off of Tayte’s every word.

“I really am grateful for everything you did… I should probably thank Tristian for hiring you but… a lot of the thanks should rightful go to you.”

“It-It wasn’t just me…Tyler worked just as hard as I did-maybe harder…and we had a lot of help from a lot of other people…we were only able to do what we did because we really believe in doing a good job, getting justice for all and…getting people their happy ending…” It was really embarrassing to admit…but Dexter couldn’t lie in front of Tayte right now. Even to help make him look cool or manly to the girl.

“And you probably believed that I didn’t kill anyone right from the beginning, didn’t you?” Tayte’s guess was right on the money as she looked into Dexter’s eyes. It was something she was starting to notice about his eyes-they couldn’t hide anything. They were open, honest…kind…beautiful… “Dexter…”

“Tayte…” The angel returned his gaze into the harpy’s eyes-eyes that started to melt into pools of warm silver-silver deserving to be used in sculptures of the gods. The angel wanted so badly to dive into those silver pools, to dive into the harpy herself and never resurface. He wanted it so badly…but not before he got down to the questions that burned inside his heart. He gave the harpy a gentle push back so he could have the space to clear his head of her presence and find the strength not to crumble against her before he had the last answers to his questions. “Before this goes any farther, I have to know something. That kiss…back on roof where you kept Dasha…did you mean it?”

Feeling as though yanked from a warm bed right before the dream could reach the best part, Tayte looked at Dexter while holding her robe to her throat. Did she mean the kiss she gave to Dexter back on that roof? It was complicated to explain how the angel could have grown on her so in such a short time. Even Tayte had a hard time understanding how she could have gone from hating his soft looking pansy a** to…to…not hating it. Maybe it was the determination…the presistance? Or maybe it was his passion… Tayte felt her face grow hot as her lips curled into a pout as she prepared to give an answer. “I’ve given kisses…and a lot of other things…to men before where…I may not have meant as much as I have let on… You…you weren’t one of those cases…” The look of pure joy that started to blossom in the angel’s eyes really threw Tayte for a loop. She didn’t expect to see him become so happy after hearing something like that-even the part about the other men didn’t bother him! But what really threw her was how happy SHE got by seeing him light up like that. The harpy may have set up this game for Dexter to learn something about her while tracking her down…she may have planned to tease him horribly with her body but having him here now…and the situation turning into what it was becoming… Tayte needed to seize control again. Or else she would be lost to Dexter. “It’s-It’s not like you feel the same, honestly! I mean-this probably happens to you a lot-“

“It doesn’t.”

“-then you’re just getting…caught up in the excitement from the last few days-“

“I’m not.”

“Then you’re acting out some sort of-fantasy! The detective-the girl from the night club-it’s probably something you’ve seen a million times and wanted to try out for yourself! You detectives always try to act out what you’ve seen in the movies-you can be real freaks like that! So how about we stop this before it gets any more-“

“Tayte!” It was Dexter’s turn to take control. The moment that had been in the works a few minutes ago, she was trying to deny. Why…it could have been for a number of reasons but the angel wasn’t going to let her think about any of those. He grabbed onto her shoulders so he could look straight into her eyes and so she couldn’t avoid looking into his. “I meant it all. Everything I did, everything I said to you over the last few days…I meant it all. It started off as a job at first but once I saw you-the very first time I saw you-I wanted to protect you! It’s crazy-I know…but that’s how I feel about you! And nothing you could say now can convince me otherwise.” The bewilderment in Tayte’s eyes was enough to make Dexter forget about his own red face. He needed to be serious and true. He wanted to tell her how he felt…but it wasn’t good enough. He had shown how he felt well enough over the last few days…but now…he needed to do more. So-before common sense could say otherwise-Dexter leaned down and kissed Tayte. He kissed her good, and he kissed her long. It was a moment when he almost forgot that the two of them needed to breathe so by the time he was done, they both needed a moment to catch their breath. “Uh…Uh…Tayte…I-“

In a rush of movement, Dexter was pushed back down on the couch and Tayte was on top of him. Catching a glimpse of a very predatory like glance from the harpy, the angel’s mouth was soon trapped under pouty red lips until his lips started to move against them. The sound of their breath grew stronger and was soon accompanied by the clicking of buttons from Dexter’s shirt under Tayte’s fingers. The angel had to stop her for a moment. “Is this moving too fast?”

“Not fast enough.” Tayte pinned him down again and continued her kisses and efforts to claw Dexter’s clothes off. The angel tried to protest before he gave into the kisses and felt his hands plant themselves on the harpy’s back and hip. The heat of her body could make him melt…

The feel and taste of Tayte’s mouth was intoxicating… “I still want to know more about you.” Dexter said again, his shirt starting to fall off of his shoulders. “And not just through your games…or…moments like these.”

“Me too. But really, let’s start with what we’re doing here.” Tayte wasn’t in any mood to delay this any longer. She wanted Dexter and Dexter wanted her. If that was put off any more, something was bound to give. So, feeling that the angel was happy with her answers, the harpy continued with her kisses and her undressing. With her kimono starting to slide out of place and showing more of her form and skin, it wasn’t long before she felt something press up against her thigh…it made her smile. “Dexter…what’s this that I feel? Dexter…” She whispered into his ear.

The angel felt like another nose bleed was approaching and fast. “That’s-That’s-That’s perfectly natural and you know it!” There was no hiding that now-though it was horribly embarrassing that he…got so worked up…so quickly.

“I know. Will God be mad if one of his angels indulges in some sin tonight?” Her fingers were playing with the hair at the nape of his neck and her lips grazed his ear. His grip on her body got tighter, his hand sliding towards the bare skin of her exposed thigh, wrapped around his waist…

“…I don’t know. But right now…I don’t care. Tayte…let me stay here tonight.”

“Dexter…I have no intention of letting you leave. Not tonight…and maybe not ever…”


Dexter gently took a hold of Tayte and adjusted them both on her little couch. With the harpy under him and nestled among her beautiful gunmetal feathers, the angel started his kisses again-soft…sweet…terrified…but bold… Tayte wrapped herself around him-her fingers in his feathers and lips on his bare shoulders. The heat in the apartment started to grow hotter and the light of the candles flickered in the surge. Against the walls, sultery silhouettes of the new winged lovers acted out the movements of their counterparts, discovering each other’s bodies after the flutter of clothes stopped at the floor. Tayte guided Dexter-his hands, his mouth…all until he could take the lead on the couch. The coos and whispers exchanged between them would only ever be heard by the candles’ flames and lost on the breeze…but the passion and the emotions would hang in the air for a long time to come. The heat from the apartment collided against the windows and met with the cold October night, leaving a thick film of steam to grow over the glass and allow the lovers a private moment…

I didn’t tell Tayte that I loved her that night. I felt like I didn’t need to at that moment…it would come with time. Plus I didn’t want to ruin my chances of losing my virginity to the one woman who had become the center of my universe by dropping the love bomb on her at the wrong moment. But I didn’t need to tell her yet because it felt like…she loved me back. Not enough to say with those exact words at the time but enough for me to have such an impact on her world. That night was the beginning. Not just the beginning of a relationship for me and Tayte but a beginning for so many things. For relationships to get a fresh start, for people to make amends, make change…to contemplate why they wanted change, if they got what they wanted…or how to take back the change that they fought for. On that night, all of the players in this story all throughout L.A. had thought about the changes that they had wanted or had been a part of. Some were good, some were bad…all continued to prove a point-L.A. was a city that did what it wanted. It wrote its own story-dreamt its own dreams. We can influence the dreams but only if our will is strong enough. L.A. will always continue to be the city on the border between Heaven and Hell but so long as there were people like Tyler and myself, with reasons to fight like Cyrus, and Tayte, and our friends…we would always make sure everyone got the ending that they deserved.