Seriously, for consensual BDSM and definite NC17-ness, for the random
downing of a major character (no death): for Methos bottoming (and topping)
and Duncan torture and angst and manipulative Amanda. Language, but
frankly, if you're worried about obscenity, you shouldn't be here. Also
an unhealthy obsession with colons, the grammatical sort, linen and
safe, (relatively) sane and consensual sex. Or, let me say this again,
this is quite plainly porn, there's no two ways round it. <grin>.
Plot: Here be the merest dregs of one, blink and you'll miss it.
me say this explicitly, at the risk of sounding foolish, that this is
a valentine in its original form, a cunt held open by a woman's trusting
fingers. It is a visible act of love, written for any reader who is not
a traitor to her own cunt."
"I don't believe it is wrong, you see. I never believed it was wrong.
No. Each of us has within him a dark chamber where the real desires flower;
and the horror of it is that they never see the light of another's understanding,
these strange blooms. It is as lonely as it is dark, that chamber of the
was a bee buzzing in the kitchen window. Amanda watched it for a moment,
the odd juxtaposition of the bee's fat furry body and the sheer, magnificent
volume of whine it produced. Amazing, she thought, that bees fly, condemned
as they were by all man made laws of probability. She smiled to herself
and, leaning over the kitchen sink, opened the window and let it fly free.
up," she said.
turned his head and smiled up at her. He looked younger, tanned to a golden
shade of brown that echoed the Cotswold stone of the terrace and the house
behind her, although she noted once again that all the hairs of his beard
Mum," Joe said.
Amanda answered, pouring out a little cream and giving the teapot an exploratory
shake. Whatever, she thought, and poured, the scent of the tea rising
sharp and green into the honeysuckle hay smell of summer. Lemon in hers,
bobbing bright against the white china of the cup. She abandoned dignity
then, and took the cup in both hands, sitting with her legs dangling off
the terrace and her head leaning against the cool metal of Joe's seat.
From where she sat, she could hear the gentle ripple of the river at the
bottom of the garden, and the clack of wood on wood from the far lawn
where Duncan and Methos were playing croquet.
like it here," she said decisively.
said Joe. "I'd like it better if you'd remembered the biscuits."
He glared down at her from under the tangled fringe of eyebrows grown
longer with age, and she laughed back, unrepentant.
better for you without."
since when have you worried about It's better for you?"
always better for me," Amanda said.
laughed then, around a mouthful of tea. "You could be right,"
he said, when he had finished choking, and Amanda sipped her tea and nodded.
There was a little smile curling at the edges of her mouth, one that spoke
of long, light nights and four poster beds and old linen that smelt of
lavender, and seeing it, Joe wished for one bitter-sweet moment that he
was younger and healthier than he was. Then he pushed the thought aside,
for he did not believe he would trade his precious mortality with all
its aches and pains for the burden of immortality that weighted even Amanda,
the lightest hearted of all his charges.
was a yelp of anguish from behind the box hedge.
said Amanda, frowning. Then she stopped, her mouth open, as a single brightly
coloured ball came flying over the hedge and onto the grass in front of
them. It ran busily for a moment or two, and came to a stop near a clump
of dandelions that the gardener had not yet spotted and unearthed.
ball came flying over the hedge and landed on the lawn.
you think-" Joe said, as a strangulated sound of protest made itself
known - "that-" another ball - "we should referee, before
the windows come under fire?"
Amanda said. She had straightened, and was watching the gap in the hedge
with bright-eyed anticipation. She was not wrong.
guard, you lout!" came Duncan's voice, cheerful and absolute. "No,
you dastard, you won't escape me this time. Put up your blade, my good
was the sound of Methos' laughter, and the hedge shook.
begad!" roared Duncan. "I'll have you yet. Fight, sir!"
I'm an honest man!" Methos said. His voice sounded closer, strained
my arse!" replied the Highlander, with a degree of force behind the
words. "Stand and fight, begorrah!"
vernacular," said Amanda, sotto voice and smiling.
of my wife and children." Methos said. "Wives, I mean."
hedge shook again, dislodging two pigeons and a startled jackdaw.
here, you little-"
came through the gap in the hedge with some speed. He was wearing cricket
flannels, with the shirtsleeves rolled up, and the pith hat he'd sported
all day had vanished: his hair was tousled and his eyes bright. "Gotta
catch me first!" he chanted, coming to an abrupt halt and hefting
the croquet mallet in his fingers.
more balls ricocheted from behind the hedge. Methos took a long, satisfying
swipe at one of them, and watched it sail towards the river with beautific
came charging onto the lawn like a bull elephant. His shirt was off and
his flannels grass stained, bagging at the knee: he wielded his mallet
with the force of a minor Norse god. "Bounder! Dunce!" he said,
swinging the unwieldy wooden hammer in his hands. "Face your doom!"
in a month of Sundays." Methos said. He took two steps backward,
and swung the business end of his mallet at Duncan's knees in a vicious
understroke. Duncan parried, sailing forwards. Methos retreated, dancing,
essaying another swing as he went.
stood on my ball!" shouted the Highlander. He was smiling.
not." Methos. He'd taken stance by the dandelions, and was hefting
the wooden shaft in his hands with intent.
essay forward was parried with grace, but the reversed overstroke took
the Highlander by surprise: he stepped backwards, and tripped on the croquet
ball. Amanda would not have put it past Methos to have planned the whole
thing. Duncan went sprawling, and Methos pounced with a handful of dandelions,
smearing the acrid juice over Duncan's back as they rolled. Duncan was
still shouting, the words muffled, but Methos appeared to have the upper
hand. That was until fate intervened in the shape of an abandoned watering
can: Duncan hit it hard, but it was Methos, on top, that the cold water
covered: he let go and rolled away, choking, and when he opened his eyes
Duncan was standing over him with the sharp end of a battered mallet at
aye," Methos said. "Gralloch me with besoms and hang me out
to dry: it's time for tea."
course I did," Methos said. He stretched under the steady threat
of the mallet like a cat, offering up the line of his throat. "How
else was I going to get you to stop?"
looked down at the man in front of him. His eyes narrowed, glinting: he
reversed the mallet and held it steady, two feet above Methos' belly.
Then he dropped it. Methos yelped and convulsed upwards in a flurry of
water and torn grass, but Duncan was fifteen feet away and striding up
the lawn to the tea tray.
Smell better than goats."
I never said-"
didn't need to," Duncan said, serenely, as the tea pot in front of
him exploded with a tang of china. Amanda jumped. Joe had his eyes shut.
could have hit me!" Duncan said.
was going cold," Methos said. "Now go and get some more, and
remember the biscuits this time."
two men stared at each across the lawn, green eyes meeting brown.
wet. I need to change."
whose fault was that?"
raised the first word in anger?"
Methos stalked to the watering can and upended it. He took his shirt off
and laid it, deliberately, across the base. Then he picked up Duncan's
mallet and walked up the lawn. He was smiling.
walked, quickly, up the steps of the terrace and vanished into the house.
Methos let the hammer fall, slightly regretful, and followed him: Amanda
could hear his light step vanishing up the staircase as the Highlander,
in the kitchen, began to whistle.
pigeons had returned to the hedge, and over in the fields past the river,
someone was calling a dog to heel.
leant her head back against Joe's chair, closing her eyes under the heat
of the sun.
you think-" She stopped. "I had a phone call from Nick yesterday."
said Joe, noncommittal.
are times when I do my damnedest not to," Joe said. He moved, she
could feel the weight of his eyes on the back of her head.
ought to do something," she said.
it ain't gonna be me."
let be. They've had years," Joe was no longer trying to hide what
they were talking about.
maybe someone ought to, you know, push them-"
Joe's voice. He'd known her a long time: known her well.
came out, ducking into the sun with a tray of cups and bottles and a plate
of the chocolate diabetic biscuits Methos had charmed the village shopkeeper
into ordering from the Internet. Behind her, she could hear Methos' voice,
singing, off-key "Pretty maids milking in the garden-"
said nothing else.
karabiner. She pushed again at the closed catch, cursing the pull of the
rope that anchored her immobile to the windowsill. It was the last hurdle,
the final abseil down the gray stone of the warehouse, and the darkness
had been a blessing, but she was sixty feet above the ground and a fall
from this height would likely kill her. Temporarily.
was considering cutting the rope (and, drat, it was the new .9 Ronson
that had cost her seven dollars a metre) when she heard the footsteps.
The windowsill was blessedly wide, but the alley narrow: sound reverberated.
She huddled into the corner, trusting to the broken streetlight to keep
sets of footsteps, one heavier, one stumbling a little. The noise curled
around the buildings and came up to her with a strange double echo. Nearer.
She tensed a little, fingers still worrying at the little catch. Something
brushed her skin like a butterfly's kiss, almost - not quite- presence.
Oh damn, damn, damn, she didn't want to be caught like this, trapped like
a fly with its feet in honey. The chronometer in her backpack hadn't been
worth loosing her head for, even if it would look perfect on Duncan's
A man's voice, rough, accented.
heard then the muffled sound of wrapped metal hitting concrete. Maybe
you had to be an immortal to know that sound so intimately, but the song
of it sent the hairs on her body erect and fear frissioning amongst them
She had to look. She moved a little, holding the ironmongery at her waist
still with one hand, gripping the jammed rope with the other. Two inches,
one, and she eased her head round the stonework. She could see two men,
indistinct in the shadows beyond the broken light. One of them, larger,
was leaning against the wall on the other side of the alley. He was the
dangerous one, the one that could see her: she froze again, glad she'd
blackened her face despite the mess it made on the towels, after.
other was standing in centre of the alley, facing away from her. He had
taken off his coat, and it lay puddled at his feet, a mass of black cloth
with rubbish already drifting against it. His shoulders were broad, but
he was whipcord thin, shirt plastered to his body by the light, cold breeze
from the river. He turned his head a little, dropping it, and the gesture
was so familiar that she nearly gasped. She'd been wrong about which one
of them was dangerous.
This was Methos.
let the breath out quietly, transfixed. Ten years, it had been, since
that golden season in the Cotswolds, when it seemed they had laughed all
the rest," said the other man. He had taken something out of his
pockets, was playing with it in hands that were gloved against the autumn
cold. He was bigger than she first thought, but not, surely, immortal:
she didn't know. How far did presence reach? How much nearer would Methos
need to be before he realised that she was here? She blessed the jammed
karabiner that had saved her from what looked to be an awkward encounter,
but she could not stop watching.
shirt came off. Methos' skin was white, stretched over his bones: the
muscles on his back were sharply defined, his spine a precise curve of
shadow. He bent his head further, and she saw his hands reach to the snap
on his jeans. The waistband loosened.
Methos went, slowly, the infinitesimal sway of his buttocks a silent invitation
that Amanda felt shiver across her own skin. He knelt at the other man's
feet, and sat still, his hands spread open on his thighs, looking up.
His partner leaned forward: his hands were busy at his groin, the gloves
tucked into a pocket. Then he had freed his cock and she could see the
shape of it white against the darkness of his clothes. The muscles of
Methos' back tightened, but he did not move, as the other man played lazily
with the lengthening shaft inches from his face.
it?" he said. "Seven inches uncut Pittsburgh steel, slut, all
for you, if you're good." The words were rougher now. "Beg me,"
he said, looking down, and Methos bent, silent, the black of his hair
falling over the other man's boots. He'd moved his hands: they were clasped
behind his back, the fingers held still.
bigger man groaned, looking down. "Put some effort into it, boy."
what are you doing? Amanda thought, repulsed and excited at the same time.
There was no affection in this, not even simple lust. Methos' head jerked,
busy, he was moving, surely he was not doing what she thought he was doing.
She looked away, and watched in fascination as the immortal's partner
rolled a condom with practiced efficiency, finger and thumb pinching air
out of the loose tip.
the man leaned forward to pull Methos up onto his knees, and she caught
her breath. Leaning forward, the light glanced off high cheekbones, dark
skin. The curve of his head, what she had thought cropped hair, reflected
the light in gleaming bands: he had long hair caught back into a ponytail.
a dark night, in an unlit alleyway, and without the warm fire of the Highlander's
quickening, he could be Duncan MacLeod.
saw Methos' back arch as he leaned upwards. The other man laughed a little,
harsh: his hands were tight on Methos' hair, holding him still for the
first push of cock to throat. She could see the power of that possession
in the short, violent thrusts the other man made. The immortal's hands
were still clasped behind his back, and Amanda shuddered when she thought
of the control that took. If that were her, her own hands would be controlling
thrust, angle, making a dance of it, loving the taste, the art. There
was no art to this. It was short and brutal. She could hear the snapped,
growling commentary: "Ah, take it, it's what you want, go on, suck
it good, keep at it, ah, that's good, you know how to do this, don't you,
cock sucker. Whore." The bigger man loosened a hand, drew it back:
the sound of the slap echoed across the alley. The force of it rocked
Methos against the imprisoning hand: his own fingers tightening. It happened
again, and again, but the immortal did not stop. Amanda winced in sympathy:
the old man made no sound, but even with Immortal healing, that must have
abruptly, it was finished. The bigger man convulsed, his spine arching,
and as he did he threw Methos away from his body, sending the slighter
man to lie in a sprawl of ungainly limbs on the concrete. He came silently,
Methos' eyes fixed on the other man's hands and his spasming cock: he
did not move. Amanda, watching, could only see the terrible stillness
of the old man's body, held in place by a will that carried him through
five thousand years of living.
at last, the other man straightened. He walked forwards, shaking the last
drops of cum with the condom, dropped, from his softening penis, to stand
between Methos' spread legs. "Want more?" he said.
made no move, but Amanda heard the tall man laugh a little, breathless,
humourless. He put his booted foot on Methos' crotch, grinding, and for
the first time she heard the old man make a sound. He gasped, once, hoarse
and bitten short, and the boot was removed.
up then. Against the wall. I want into that pretty little arse you've
been flaunting in my face for the last hour: you wanted it, boy, you're
going to get it good. Stand up!"
collected his legs together and stood. He was a little unsteady, and it
looked as if he might be shaking. It took him four steps to get to the
wall, spread himself against it, arms wide. His head was turned against
the stone, away from her, but she could see the dark grazes on his elbows
and back. There was a frailty about his body, stretched and waiting, that
caught at Amanda's throat. She had never really considered the old man
to be vulnerable before, but like this...She swallowed, her throat dry.
He had chosen this. She had no doubts that what was happening played itself
out with Methos' consent.
front of her the pony-tailed man (she could see the dark length of it
now, falling down his back, longer than Duncan's had ever been) was fondling
his own cock again. A tear of plastic, and she knew the second condom
was being rolled on. Methos knew too, she could tell by the tensing of
his back. Two steps, the man's coat swinging, and under its hem she saw
Methos' jeans fall to lie, hobbling, around his feet. There was very little
of Methos she could see now. The hair of his head, pressed against the
stone: his feet, and one hand, tightening and loosing on the stonework
with the strained, forceful thrusts the other man made into his body.
could hear something patter, and tensed again: her first thought was rats,
but it was the sound of rain on concrete, light, fat drops of water that
cooled her flushed skin and dampened the stonework.
her, Methos stirred at last. He bent slowly, like an old man, and dragged
up his jeans one handed. No underwear, she noted. He pushed himself off
from the wall and walked to the little pile of abandoned clothes. Bent
again: it was clearly painful, and picked up his shirt. He turned it in
his hands as if he was uncertain what it was, frowning, and for the first
time Amanda considered calling out. No. No and no and no...Methos struggled
into the shirt and left it unbuttoned, cuffs hanging loose. The coat went
on top of the shirt, and as it enveloped him he straightened. Either healing
had kicked in or he had remembered who he was. He stretched, head bent
backwards under the cleansing rain: he stretched like a cat, every muscle
involved, easing out shoulders and arms and finally hands, each finger
in turn: and he held still for a moment, looking up at the sky. Then,
cat-like still, he shook himself, spun on his heel and walked away. His
steps were absolute and certain, placed just so. He was Methos, the world's
oldest immortal, the cat who walked by himself. He had no need of anyone
said Amanda to herself. "Whoops. Jiminey cricket. Gadzooks."
one thing to know that your friends and acquaintances fuck strange people
in alleyways and parks, another to see them do it. Amanda felt both aroused
and disgusted at her arousal. Getting off on Methos getting off on some
bit of rough trade...She shook herself, and tugged again at the jammed
catch on the karabiner.
minutes and five miles away, she promised herself that she would...when...of
course, she'd never really had an opportunity to break this particular
Forty-eight minutes and five miles away, she blew her nose fiercely on her handkerchief, blinked her eyes, and reminded herself that she was going to visit Joe, tomorrow. Absolutely.
hated the smell of hospitals. Intellectually, she knew that the fear was
irrational. There was little likelihood that she would ever end up immured
in Seacover Central: it was as likely as Duncan changing his name, and
the odds on that were immutable. She was smiling as she walked through
the corridor, one hand on the leather bag that held the brand new shiny
chronometer. It was going to be the Highlander's, of course, but she thought
Joe might like to see it first, even if he would frown a little at her,
tiredly, the way he always did when she had sat cream-fed and illicitly
fulfilled in the bar. He never asked, which was good, because both he
and she knew he would not like the answers.
always ran up the stairs. It was a private ritual. She always parked her
car in the same line, went in through the same door, ran up the steps.
It was a promise to herself that if she did the same things each time,
the man who waited for her would also be unchanged. Don't get older, Joe,
she thought to herself: don't fade, Duncan needs you, I need you...
was not surprised to feel Immortal presence at the door to the ward. She
set hand to metal, smiling still: Duncan. The man had been dropping by
every day since Joe had been taken, protesting, from the unmade bed of
his untidy flat and deposited here, where people could take his blood
and make him pee in bottle and fluff his pillows every hour and talk to
him in tongues ("How are we today?"). She would hate
it. So did he. By the second day he had been sitting up in bed, irascible,
and asking for his legs, but he'd been neglecting his late-onset diabetes
far too long for escape. Four more weeks, the overworked doctor with the
tired eyes had said, four weeks, and he'd have stabilised. He'd had to
promise away his soul to the hospital to get that reprieve.
put it aside, she always did. She was Amanda, and her new Jimmy Choos
made lovely sounds tap-tapping down the plastic floor, and her new Versace
silk shirt rustled with an expensive whisper, and the scent on her skin
was Chanel, and she carried riches in her bag...She got to the door of
the room, and it all vanished.
man by Joe's bed, head propped on bony wrists, black coat spread out like
a crow's wings, was not Duncan.
hundred years ago, she would have blushed.
hundred years ago, she had been an infant, and he a visitor in the night.
Methos," she said, and he looked up. He was not surprised. One eyebrow
raised in greeting, but he said nothing, and she followed his eyes to
the bed. Joe was asleep, his head fallen sideways on the pillow, his beard
pointed upwards with jaunty tolerance despite the little trail of drool
that ran from his opened mouth.
sat down on the other side of the bed and reached for the wet-wipes in
did you get here?" It was spoken quiet: a whisper would have louder.
in this morning," Methos said. His eyes looked tired, and he was
thin: she'd noticed it last night, but the lines of his face were consciously
relaxed and at peace. Liar.
shrugged. Of course he was here.
her hands Joe stirred a little, turning away from the damp tissue. She
mopped impersonally, quickly, she hated any sign of weakness and so did
are you staying?"
turn to shrug in reply.
long? Should I call Duncan?"
shook his head, gently.
happened? What happened what happened? Tell me...
have you been?"
shrug. This was getting annoying: three minutes in the old man's company
and she was already thinking of slugging him with the handbag, tying him
to the bed and calling Duncan...
that was a thought. She looked at Methos across the bed, the shape of
his hands and the rounding of muscle across his shoulders the crumpled
greatcoat could not hide, the smoothness of his skin. She remembered the
way he had looked, kneeling with his shirt off, last night. Not that she
was tempted, the old man was stronger wine than she could drink, but Duncan...
Methos was stubborn and Duncan was blind: she would see the pair of them
dispatched to some hell for the emotionally illiterate before she was
long's he been asleep?"
nurse came by half an hour ago. Twenty minutes?"
be out a couple of hours, then," Amanda said. "There's a bar
down the hall: it's meant to be for the staff, but they let me in. Want
smiled, then. She could see the mask slip a little. He was tired, bone
weary tired, as if he'd been stretching himself for months.
was a small room, with one exit, and a little bar where Methos settled
for Millers rather than Coors but Amanda had a glass of rather good Chardonnay
she'd persuaded the barkeep into ordering. Half way down the glass and
twenty minutes into a discussion of the marital customs of Samoa (Yeah,
right, but the old man could be wickedly amusing if he tried) she went
to freshen up.
was a short call.
me. Methos is here."
Where?" Duncan's voice loud and rising. She held the phone a little
way from her ear.
Hm. Trying, she said to herself, and curled herself back into the barren
little washroom, clicking the phone off and splashing some more No.7 on
her wrists for verisimilitude. She walked slowly back to the bar, an act
of faith, but Methos was still there, frowning and picking at the label
of the bottle. Sitting down, she took hold of her own glass and fortified
herself with a deep draught. Ahh.
did you try it yourself?" she asked, and Methos looked up and grinned.
do you think?" he replied.
don't ask me, I'm just the fluff girl." she said, and smiled again.
Oh Methos, I've got plans for you...She just hoped it didn't show, but
it can't have, because fifteen minutes later they were into the mating
habits of the lesser spotted woodpecker. It was then that Methos' head
went up, seconds before she felt Immortal presence herself: he reached
for his coat and she reached for his hand and Duncan found them like that,
Methos leaning over the table, his mouth opening, his eyes narrowed and
glinting green and Amanda smiling sweetly with her hand gripped on top
of his so hard her knuckles were white down to the bone.
stopped in the doorway. He knew this bar. The only way out was through
let Methos go as though his skin scorched her.
gone white and pinched at the nostrils. There were shadows under his eyes,
and he was thin, too thin: he was clearly furious.
one to know one," Amanda said with chutzpah, but she was shaking.
stopped on an indrawn breath. He looked at the Highlander, his eyes a
blaze of furious green, and then back at Amanda, who scooted back in her
chair. Her smile had begun to tremble at the edges.
you think you know what you're doing, or are you simply playing god?"
he said pleasantly. "Because, believe me, I've known horses who do
a better job."
One fifteen. Last night," Amanda said. She'd moved far enough back
that he couldn't touch her, and Duncan was two steps away.
head went back. His hand jerked convulsively, towards his coat, and was
stilled: he looked at the silent Highlander and back at her, and Amanda
knew that if Duncan hadn't been standing in the doorway she would have
been dead then, hospital and barkeep and startled charge nurse in the
do you want?" he hissed at her.
weeks," said Amanda. It was the first thing she could think of. "Here.
With Joe. With Duncan."
make it eight," Duncan said, from the doorway.
little foo," Methos said. "Do you realise-" He broke off,
looked again at the Highlander. "I can't stay."
or won't?" asked Duncan.
do you think?" For the first time, the old man seemed discomposed.
He reached for his coat.
Amanda said. "And should."
is," Duncan said. "Tell me, old man, did you even see Joe?"
Methos said. There was a flush of uneven red over his cheekbones, but
the rest of his face was white. "Yes, I did. We spoke. Believe me,
I don't think he wants to see me again, so if that was your reason.."
He looked back at Amanda.
missed you too," Amanda said. She did her best to look pathetic and
imploring, through the fear.
weeks," Amanda said. "It's not much to ask."
fuck you," Methos said. He turned to the Highlander. "MacLeod,
I fucked someone last night, or, more correctly, someone did me last night:
I don't know what his name was and I don't care. Can I go now?"
it good?" Duncan asked conversationally.
was a short pause. Four people looked at Methos. Amanda had frozen in
her chair. The charge nurse had her coffee halfway to her mouth, where
it had been since Duncan walked in the door: the barkeep dropped the towel.
looked down at the table, at his three-quarter finished beer with the
label shredded and Amanda's Chardonnay, at the little pattern of circular
spills and the scar on the plastic rimmed in dirt. His eyes were hidden,
but one hand clenched, once, on the overlong sleeve of the sweater that
hid his wrists with the betraying, faded tattoo.
he looked up. He was not smiling, but the glitter had vanished from his
eyes and the colour of his skin looked more like pale Caucasian than moonscape.
you ask," he began, and Duncan flung up a hand in protest and walked
forward from the doorway and Methos sat down and it was almost as if ten
years had never happened.
if he refused to say where he'd been. Or where he was staying. Or if he
would stay more than a week. Even if he refused, whitening again, to see
Joe, although when Duncan disappeared into the ward leaving Amanda on
guard (and a fat lot of good that would be, if he really wanted out of
here) he questioned the other Immortal obsessively, exactly, about Joe's
meds and his health and his prospects and what they were going to do when
Joe could no longer live alone. It was then that Amanda told him about
the way Duncan had converted the dojo into living space, two years ago,
and how they'd set ramps into the building and aids in the bathroom and
how Joe had grumbled but stayed, sometimes for days, and somehow that
segued into the new sofa and the stove and the comforts of cashmere blankets,
and when Methos walked out of the hospital between the two other Immortals
he found himself sitting in the front seat of Duncan's SUV with no clear
idea of how he got there but knowing exactly where he was going. He hadn't
meant to do this. He was so tied, and hurting, and Duncan's presence licked
at his skin cold as fire, and last night had not been enough to chase
the beast from his skin. He was hurting both of them, he knew, but it
was so easy, like going home.
it was not like going home at all.
building, outside, was the same, but the inside was so changed it felt
almost like somewhere he'd never visited. The door led into a living space
as big as the floor of the dojo had been: he recognised the floor under
the layers of rugs. The fireplace with its French pot-bellied stove was
new, and the open kitchen with its surfaces at wheelchair height. The
refrigerator was the same, though, and the way Duncan hung his coat up
before he opened it.
beer was the same too.
found that astonishing.
had already curled up on the big sofa in front of the stove, looking at
the logs with a wistful expression. He might as well make himself useful,
he thought, and walked forward as the Highlander popped the cap off the
first bottle and set it into his hand, passing.
was much, much later, as he lay under the light, exquisite warmth of a
cashmere blanket, that he remembered he really hadn't meant to do this.
Then he remembered why, and the tears came, slow and hot and hurtful.
He was sniveling like a child, snotty and angry and frustrated with a
world full of things he could not change. Amanda was a minx and Duncan
a fool, and Joe was a stupid old man who would get older and weaker and
die. And die.
Methos turned over on the couch and reached down to his jeans, and closed
his hand around the little packet of shards he'd spent years collecting.
The tears were falling on his wrist, hot as beeswax, and the cuts the
crystal made in his skin did not bleed the pain away.
gave them the envelopes before Christmas.
told Joe she was breaking the promise she'd made ten years before, in
the drugging heat of a summer that went on for months. She told him when
he was asleep, but she told him. She told herself that she was doing something
that needed to be done, something the Highlander should have done and
Methos would never do, something that would tie the old man to his soul
and the Highlander to his heart.
she called Lisa, and three days later the envelopes arrived in the post,
two of them, made of heavy parchment and sealed with crimson wax. The
House was open.
two days she kept the envelopes on her dressing table and looked at them
when she brushed her hair, when she checked her lipstick, when she came
back late at night and stared into her own eyes in the mirror. Then she
took Duncan out to dinner. They went to a restaurant she knew well, and
sat at a table where they had sat many times before, and they talked over
the wine as if nothing had changed. The envelope sat in her purse. She
could pretend it wasn't there, pretend she'd never made the call. But
she could see the loneliness in Duncan's eyes.
the Maitre d' had brought the petite fours with the little cups
of coffee, she took the envelope out of her purse and slid it across the
heavy white linen of the cleared tablecloth.
your Christmas present," she said.
Duncan answered her. He looked down. "What is it?"
it," Amanda said. A little thrill of guilty pleasure shot through
her. Why had she worried? This was fun.
looked down. When his fingers reached for the seal, she knew with absolute
certainty that she'd won. The rest of it was just negotiation.
watched his face, reading, the frown line that grew between his eyes and
the way his mouth tightened, but he said nothing until he reached the
end of the note. She wiggled in her chair. Then he started again from
the top. She drummed her fingers on the tablecloth, but he didn't move
a muscle. When he started reading for the third time, she'd had enough.
Highlander dropped the letter on the table. He looked up.
me see if I've got this straight," he said. "Amanda. You. Bought.
Me. A. Whore. For Christmas!"
she said. She dimpled at him, consciously delicious.
opened and closed his mouth. He looked as if someone had hit him over
the head with a mahogany two by four.
very expensive whore," Amanda said. "In fact, to be honest,
not really a whore at all. An artist. Honestly, Duncan, this is something
I really think you'd like. It's not as if you haven't done it before,
and I was trying to think of something really special for you this year,
and then I heard that Lisa had set up a house in Seacover, and it was
just perfect.." She ran out of things to say.
yes. But you can go anytime, look, and Lisa says she's free anytime to
discuss what we want.."
Amanda said reasonably. "You don't think I'm going to be left out,
dropped a fork. It landed, behind her, in an expensive clatter of silver
Highlander laughed. He sat back in his chair, and really laughed, the
way she hadn't seen him do for years.
she said: "So you'll go?" and then she said quickly "Take
me to bed."
So he took her to bed, and they had glorious rip-roaring sex, the kind that leaves your toes curling and warmth branded across your skin and spreads a grin the size of Loki's across your face in the morning. Afterwards, though, she knew that once again Duncan had tempered his strength to match hers, and it was not her face that he saw when he climaxed and lay silent afterwards, his hand stroking her hair over and over again. She made him promise then, warm with sex and whisky. Oh, she was sure she was right.
picked her spot to speak to Methos just as carefully. He'd stayed. He'd
stayed, edgy, not really with them, dropping in and out of their lives
with unpredictable sarcasm. He visited Joe occasionally, she knew, but
he picked times when he knew the aging watcher would be half way between
sleep and uneasy, painkiller laced days. There was something between them,
she knew, but Methos wasn't saying and neither was Joe. Afterwards, though,
he would go to the little cafe round the corner of the block and sit staring
out the window, drinking mug after mug of coffee and staring out at the
people passing by. All she needed to do was be there when he was.
took a week, but then she'd never thought he'd be easy.
he read the letter through in silence, one hand on the coffee. Then he
tossed it down on the tabletop, and said, "No." It was his wardrobe-terror-in-the-night
voice, the one that could command armies but still leave space for one
tolerated, pretty little thief.
on earth were you thinking?" Methos said. He seemed genuinely puzzled.
that an absolute no?" Amanda said. "Don't you think you should
loosen up, have some fun?"
looked at her.
But you know who this is, right?"
Methos said, after some hesitation.
you know how much I had to promise to get this?"
corners of Methos' mouth quirked. "No," he said. "But I
can make a pretty good guess...Why, Amanda? Just because.."
tapped his fingers on the mug. "Do you honestly think I'm not capable
of getting exactly what I want? Look, Amanda, I'm touched and grateful,
if a little surprised, but I'd much prefer to make my own arrangements.
keep an album of people at the house," she said. The corners of the
photograph were rubbed, where she'd been twisting it nervously in her
dropped the photograph on top of the letter. Methos looked down. He froze,
unmoving except for the way the colour fled his face, whitening around
the corners of his eyes and his nostrils and the compressed line of his
lips. He bleed out as if someone had cut a hole in his heart and his life's
blood was draining to the floor. For a moment she thought he would hit
her, but he picked up the letter and the photograph with a hand that trembled,
distinctly, and was gone.
"That went well." she said to herself, and took a deep breath. Oh, he would come: he could not resist.
Indeed, Lisa called two days later to say that Adam had been on the phone. She grinned to herself then, and went out to buy some things she thought she might need.
surprised himself, walking up to the door. A neat, freshly painted door,
a large house sitting neatly in manicured grounds behind a wall and an
entrance gate where he'd proved who he was three times over and even then
the porter had called through to confirm the appointment. He hadn't enjoyed
the confirmations, and he felt the sweat begin to prickle at the edges
of his collar: what was the man thinking? What lay behind that flat, unthinking
gaze? How many men and women walked up this neat driveway, with its manicured,
leafless Rose of Sharon and the sprays of frost bitten late flowering
roses above the door? He pulled at his cuffs, and rang the doorbell. The
door opened, and standing beside it was a small woman with a bright smile.
It was too late to run. He stepped inside.
house smelled of lavender and leather and polished wood. The stair stretched
up in front of him, with the newel posts gleaming in the pale winter light,
and on the first landing a tall stained glass window lit the faded Persian
runners. Saint Sebastian. He followed the woman through a door to the
right, and stopped on the doorstep. The room was filled with books. Books
and two big sofas and a desk with an astrolabe, and a fire burning in
the grate against the cold. Methos would love this, he thought, and then
checked that thought, for who was he, now, with years of friendship lost
(where did he fail? What could he have done?) to say what Methos would
or would not like?
MacLeods" the woman said. She did not touch him. "Take a seat."
sat, cautious, on the edge of the sofa, and looked at her. She wore a
white cotton blouse, and a black skirt of some kind of soft leather. The
boots that came up to the sweet curve of her knees added inches to her
height, but she was not tall. Her hair was long, lustrous, and her eyes
were extraordinary, large and brown and gleaming. On the third finger
of her left hand she wore a wide platinum band inset with diamonds.
can call me Lisa, in this room," she said, and he knew then that
this was indeed something out of his experience. Her voice was rich with
secrets and pleasures.
you," he said, and realised without her acknowledgment that he'd
said the right words. "Duncan. Mac."
She rolled the words on her tongue, looking at him intently. He became
aware, all at once, of the weight of the sword at his back, the itch on
his calf where a loose thread pulled against the hair on his legs, and
the fact that he'd showered before he set out. All this, he thought, she
might know. Then she looked away, and the spell was broken. She sat down
in the Chippendale chair by the desk, and reached for a large leather
bound book that lay on the polished surface. Opening it, she screwed the
cap off a fountain pen, and wrote his name at the top of a blank page.
Her writing was black and angular, forceful. He could smell roses.
understand," he said.
looked up and smiled. "There's no need to look quite so worried.
I promise you, this is not a test or an obstacle course: we all serve,
here, in the pursuit of pleasure. You are welcome. Can I get you anything?'
course," she said, and pressed a buzzer by her desk. "Coffee,"
she said, and he heard someone's reply, indistinct. "Now, Mr MacLeod,"
she said. "Relax. Just think of me as your favourite therapist...I
don't bite unless asked. Tell me. What is your favourite sexual fantasy?
What do you dream about, what do you wish for most?"
took a deep breath. "The usual, I suppose. I like women: I love the
smell of them, the taste..." He ground to a halt, embarrassed.
you like to be the one on top? Do you like to decide when, and how?"
Duncan said. "Although sometimes, Amanda.."
know Amanda." Lisa smiled then, to herself. "She says that sometimes
you prefer to be the one restrained?"
He was going to kill her, slowly.) "I'm a strong man," Duncan
said. "That way, I can be sure.."
you don't hurt your partner? Chivalrous, Mr MacLeod?"
Duncan said. In for a penny.. "And I like..sometimes it's good not
to be the one in charge."
Lisa said. She wrote something down in the book. "What about costumes,
shrugged. "I always liked the eighteenth century." He confessed.
"All those petticoats and laces and silks...It made undressing incredibly
erotic, if you had all night."
blanched. "I'm not averse to Amanda in leather trousers," he
said. "But all those studs and collars just seem a little bit forced.
Cowgirls.." he shuddered, and Lisa smiled with him. She wrote busily
in the book.
do you feel about the naked body?"
He was on firmer ground here. "I love it. The taste, the smell...although
I can do underwear too. Definitely."
about being watched?"
Duncan said, a little loudly.
said Lisa, writing. "Ever slept with more than one person? Liked
and yes," Duncan said, after a moment's hesitation. God, this was
erotic, formal and obscene at the same time. He wondered if the images
in his head, glorious technicolor, matched what Lisa was writing.
Duncan said, and squirmed. "Maybe the usual with men, a couple of
looked up and smiled. "Would you do it again?" she asked, with
will be here," Lisa said. "In fact, she arrives for her own
interview in, oh, two hours. It's you I'm interested in now."
Duncan said, quietly, and Lisa wrote that down too.
was a knock on the door, and a woman came in, with cups and a silver coffeepot
on a tray. She wore a black dress and a white apron, her eyes downcast.
Duncan could not help noticing that she wore a neat, narrow leather collar
around her neck, and as she walked he could hear the metallic chime of
fine chains catching against each other. He couldn't see them. Imagination
fed an instant flare of pure lust. He shifted in his seat, leaning back
with conscious control as she placed the cup on a side table beside him,
bending gracefully to pour coffee and add thick cream, stirring the cup
for him with elegant fingers. He could hear the tiny sounds of link slipping
against link, and she smelled...ah, she smelled of woman, unadorned. He
moved again, looked up, and caught Lisa's bright, interested gaze. He
thought of dropping his eyes under hers, but did not, and the woman left
broke the silence. "Are you familiar with concepts of dominance and
submission, Mr MacLeod?" she asked. "Ever played games with
power in the bedroom?"
head went back. He thought, suddenly, of the white length of Methos' neck
under the blade of his own katana. "Yes," he said.
it something that excites you?"
His breath came just a little faster. Imagination showed him Methos' face
turning towards his crotch, his mouth opening a little. Methos wet his
lips, glanced up... Jesus Christ. He looked up himself, but Lisa's head
was bent, writing.
Masochism? Deliberate pain?"
Duncan said. He caught it back. "Consent...is important. Pleasure.
I won't say..."
the occasional little game? Spanking, perhaps, hairbrushes?"
riding crop and some reins," Duncan said, surprising himself. "Amanda
was very persuasive."
sure she was," Lisa said, her voice coloured with amusement. "Mr
MacLeod.." She was frowning down at the book, now.
I want isn't possible," Duncan said flatly.
cocked her head on one side. There was something about the way she looked
at him, that air of interested detachment, that reminded him so much of
Methos, sitting in boneless sprawl on his sofa, across his chessboard,
on a chair at Joe's, across the Highlander's own bed one morning many
years ago in the old loft apartment, before. Before.
or person?" she said.
apologies," Lisa said. "I didn't mean to push you so hard. It's
think that's all I need to know," Lisa said. She blotted the ink,
shut the book. "I'll see you out."
She was already walking to the door. He followed.
we need to arrange a date?"
will tell you," Lisa said. "Good day, Duncan."
He found himself outside the front door without realising quite how he'd got there.
the house Amanda was already laughing with triumph. She made a high five,
skipped round the sofa. "I knew it, I knew it!"
grinned at her, came to kneel by the chair.
could not help but smile. "You are impossible."
"I know," Amanda answered, smugly.
came into the house, three hours late, on a breath of freezing wind, scattering
snowflakes from his coat and the muffler wound in untidy yards around
his neck. The tip of his nose was red, and his eyes were watering, bright.
"Ye gods, it's freezing," he said, and unwrapped the muffler
with hands that were thinner and bonier than she remembered.
moved forward into the familiar oil and leather smell of his embrace.
He was definitely thinner, but the affection in his eyes was undiminished.
He did not appear to have aged.
are you? Are you well?"
let go of her and stepped back. He never held onto anyone very long, even
in the drowsy aftermath of good sex.
how about your handsome husband?' His eyes dropped to the platinum band
that never left her finger.
fine. We are fine." She could not help it, then: she dropped her
hand to the waistband of her skirt, although it was a month before she
would start to show. Methos' eyes followed her hand.
he said, astonishment and pleasure mixed. "Really?"
congratulations, my bright one. When are you due?"
and a half months. Elliot begins to think I will break."
course he does. Humour him, my girl: he loves you."
am. I do. Oh, it's good to see you!"
Amanda's invitation? I didn't know you knew her.."
doesn't know I know you."
took one look at his face and laughed, a bright peal of laughter that
rang through the hall and set the white five petaled roses trembling at
Saint Sebastian's feet.
yes. Tell me she's not here. I wouldn't put it past her."
"She's not here," Lisa said. "Come through. I have beer for you, Magister. What was it that..."
he had gone, though, she sat by the fire, turning the doctored photograph
in her hands. She had no idea if Amanda was right to do what she was doing:
she had had no notion, when the imp had called her the first time, that
this was her own beloved Magister that Amanda was playing with. Adam was
so unreadable. In all the years she'd known him, exacting top, exhilarating
sub, she'd never known him play with the same person more than once or
twice, never known him loose control or express more than passing affection.
turned the photograph in her hands again. It was almost the image of Duncan
MacLeod. In fact, it was the image of Duncan MacLeod, digitally altered
to look just enough like someone else, with the cheekbones stretched just
a little and the hair long instead of the collar-length cut he'd sported
three days ago.
closed her hand around the back of Adam's neck, earlier, reaching round
his back to get the photograph album, and he'd stilled and loosened under
that touch, all of him waiting. He had looked up and smiled, and she knew
what he wanted this time without even asking. This could be very interesting,
but it could all fall apart in her hands, and then where would she be?
There had been no preliminaries, for neither he nor she needed them. No negotiations. He'd been naked when he walked in the room and dropped his head to her feet in the exquisite tightness of black leather boots: then he had been hers. The only thing that surprised him was that she had fastened the broad cuffs around his wrists and ankles, chaining him to the bed. They both knew that to give the illusion of force made it easier, and she'd known that he came open eyed to what he wanted. When she put on the blindfold and the collar he'd wondered if she had forgotten, for these too where things he had never required, but when her hand hit, flat palmed and hard, across his skin, he knew he would do whatever she wanted tonight.
was having fun.
a little bit of help.
was the boy with the ears like a faun's and the eminently kissable mouth,
and the girl with the little golden chains spread across her thighs, and
the woman with long blonde hair who did nothing but watch but always seemed
to be ready with another towel or a condom just when you wanted one. There
was the tray of goodies and the silk scarves and the ostrich feather,
the clean toys and the electric light wand that made the most intriguing
noises and crackled over skin almost like a quickening, there was the
chocolate sauce and the strawberries and, oh, there was the chair.
was very fond of the chair.
was a sturdy chair, made out of oak, with blackened restraints set into
the wood as if it had been born that way: and just at the moment it held
one absolutely furious, absolutely aroused Highlander, his cock pink and
clean and swollen as a washerwoman's cheeks.
started with the chocolate sauce.
that wasn't true. She'd started, on her own, with the restraints and the
leather cock-ring that buckled o-so-neatly around Duncan's cock and balls
as if it was made to go there. And indeed, she'd bought it for that very
purpose, measuring circumference around her hand under the shop assistant's
envious gaze. Then she'd opened the door, and Marie had come in with the
tray. They'd had to gag him then. But his cock told a different story
from his mouth, and she'd gone right ahead with the sauce, and she and
Marie had eaten it all up between them. After that she'd started on the
strawberries while Dominic had run the light wand over Duncan's skin,
very gently, and he'd jerked in his chair as if stung with pleasure. She'd
looked up, and Dominic was looking down: she popped a strawberry in his
mouth, and he followed her fingers.
Then Marie was stroking her skin with the feather and Duncan's eyes were fixed on her face. Marie's knowing fingers tweaked her nipples, once, twice, and then she had to, oh, she just had to kneel and taste the lovely warm charcoal-honey-salt of the woman's cunt with its tiny golden rings, all its juices running for her and Duncan. Oh, it was lovely, Marie flushing under her touch, spasming around her tongue, coming for both of them. Dominic's eyes, Duncan's face: she'd been so hungry and actually, this wasn't for her at all. But dammit, she'd done the humpety-thumpety right there on Duncan's lap with his cock pressed up against her backside and Dominic's length so good, rooting inside her. At the end, when she came (sparks!) the boy had leaned over her bent neck and kissed Duncan, and, oh yes, his cock had done the lovely twitching thing right there against her skin. He was so, so starved, poor baby, his eyes furious, his cock beet red and definitely...definitely throbbing.
He was barely aware of the last stroke of the cane. It was only minutes later that he realised she'd stopped, and the only sounds in the room were her breath and his, gentle and labouring. He was glad of that, in some part of him that was not flame, for he'd tried to get someone else to do this for him ("My dear...should you? Now?") and she'd refused. ("Who else, Magister?"). Now he knew she knew he was capable of noticing, for he heard the sound of the cane being broken and laid on the tray, and her steps in the vertiginous boots coming towards him. The only thing that touched him was the soft silk of her hair, lying gently across the welts on his body, drawing him together, reminding him that there were two parts to this evening. There was the part where he got the shit beaten out of him in cleansing pain, and then there was the part where he got his brain fucked out. He moved then, remembering, and felt her hands busy at his face. Ah, plastic, the thin plastic straw of a water container. He sucked gratefully, not too much, and she pulled away and ran her hair down his back again, oiled him gently in preparation. When the plastic touched his mouth a minute later he opened for it, and realised too late that what she had offered him was the ball of a gag. He hit down with the flat of his hands on the sheets - this was not, definitely not - in the contract! - but her hands had already fastened the strap and left his body. He heard her steps go to the door and pause - one last look - and the door opened and closed. She had gone.
When it came to undoing the restraints she was worried, for the way Duncan looked at the moment he would likely fuck anything that moved as soon as he could get his hands on it, but the blonde woman was surprisingly strong and Dominic knew what he was doing, and they had him up and out on the corridor as easy as pie. Oh, there was only one place that cock was going tonight. She was almost dancing.
been aware from the start that there was another immortal in the house,
but Lisa had told him all about it - "Amanda. I promise, Magister,
she will have nothing to do with what happens in this room." She
hadn't lied. He'd heard Amanda laughing from the library as he ghosted
up the stairs. She sounded happy, and he had hoped then that whoever she
was here with would have an equally good time.
Now he was not so certain, for he could feel the encroaching prickle of presence against his skin, and no matter how he tugged at the restraints, they held.
They held him against the door, Marie's hand on the handle, while she undid the gag. It was the last thing she could do for him before they threw open the door and thrust him inside, the key turned on his furious, roughened - "Amand-" She turned and ran for the stairs, and Dominic was not far behind her.
There was someone at the door. He could hear the thump of a body hitting wood, the muffled, angry groans of someone fighting a gag, as he was. Then the door handle clicked and suddenly there was someone in the room with him - "Amand-" and he knew who it was.
Silence. Silence and breathing. Then Duncan said,"Jesus Mary Mother of God."
had they done?
was Methos. He knew the shape of that back as he knew his own, the curve
and wing of its shoulderblades and the deeply indented spine, the fine
skin that lay like living silk across the bones of the skeleton that had
carried the man for five thousand years. He knew the tufted, dark hair,
and the exquisite shape of his feet, and the way the hairs on his thighs
clung sparse and strong to his skin. He knew the smell of him, salt and
sweat and hops and cardomen.
could see the unhealed welts across Methos' back, the little trickle of
blood from one wrist where the cuff had dug into the flesh. Methos' head
was turned away from him. But he could see the black strap of the blindfold
and the gag and the collar that showed up so well the cream of his neck.
His own mouth was dry: he was so hot.
he could think of was the way the gag had felt in his own mouth. He took
two steps, stumbling with the weight of his unappeased erection, looked
down, snapped the ring off and tripped on the rug. He landed right across
Methos' body, but that didn't matter, for his hands reached up (my god,
what had they done? He would kill them, he would eviscerate her, who could
have guessed that Methos' skin was so soft or so hot) to the strap of
the gag and he sighed himself as he threw it to the floor.
he said again. He would pinion them on racks, tear them with pliers.
head turned, under his cheek, with all its mess of fine hair exquisite
me," Methos said.
swollen, powerful cock (oh, god, this was such as mistake) found the oiled
entrance to Methos' body, sliding against the crinkled skin that gave,
oh, just a little: he couldn't help it, he would apologise later, just
one exploratory, tiny thrust, he could explain.
me now, MacLeod."
There was no way on this earth he could disobey that voice when it commanded him. He reared up, and his cock slid home in one devastating, absolute thrust. Methos was so hot, so soft, so tight, he could feel the contractions around his needy and desperate flesh. The man under him shook and convulsed - "MacLeod" -and he found he could move, just, sweat dripping from his face, he was so close, and everything he had ever wanted was slipping out of his fingers like sand. He sobbed then, and the old man's body bucked under his, and it was no good. He was abruptly on that slope from which there is no turning back, thrusting like a madman, every movement sending seed out of his body in blinding waves, as if he'd never come before. He could see stars, planets, galaxies: it had never been like this, he was dying.
Dominic said critically, watching. Lisa had turned away from the smoked
glass when it became apparent that they really were going to be all right,
Duncan had done the deed, but Amanda was still watching, guilty and enthralled.
of course he's not going to last very long," she said. "Not
after all that we put him through. Lisa-"
"Take her away," Lisa said to Dominic, and he did, so effectively that it was several hours later that she woke to a silent house with no sense of presence and wondered just exactly what she had wrought.
you want this?" said MacLeod in his ear, disbelieving.
Methos said. The Highlander weighed a fucking ton, but it wasn't important,
because any minute now the man would dissolve into a wreck of sullen Scottish
apoplexy and they would be right back where they started.
"Good," MacLeod answered. "Because I'm going to do it all over again."
let herself in through the slatted wooden gate at the side of the house,
cradling the awkward paper-wrapped parcel with hands that were just a
little sweaty. It was April, and the sky was a clear cerulean blue, the
sun hot enough to heat the wood under her fingers. She could smell lavender
and sage and someone was singing, off key. "Les chansons mort,
les voix aux danse-" The cool shade of the passageway lay gently
across her skin, bared under the pink Joey T-shirt she'd picked up in
Portobello between flights. She walked through into the garden, a riot
of herbs and tulips and a terrace seeded with marigolds. There were croquet
hoops set close together on the lawn. On the terrace, eyes closed and
a white sun hat pulled down over his face, Joe dozed. The voice changed
key, laughed and started again, deeper "La plus belle de la ville,
c'est moy, c'est moy-" It was Methos. She ran up the steps and
through the tall windows, set wide, into the kitchen.
put on weight. The bare back was sleek and tanned to the pale brown of
a fawn's underbelly, and his hair lay longer and untidy over his neck.
He wore denim shorts, worn and sagging, with scarves tied through the
belt loops, and his feet were bare. When he turned round he was smiling,
and the peace in his eyes took her breath away.
You found us."
took long enough," she said, remembering, miffed. It had taken two
months before she got a single postcard, four to negotiate the visit that
brought her here to this small village ten miles outside Aix-en-Provence.
you brought gifts."
said a number of things, in my time, and not all of them were true,"
Methos said. "But lunch...ah yes, I think.."
was juggling a bowl with a mess of glistening chickpeas and lemon as he
spoke, and he held a spatula in one hand. There were plates set ready
on the scrubbed tabletop, with salad and olives and bread and fresh butter.
She placed the parcel down in a clear space, and unwrapped it carefully.
Tarte aux abricots. It came from the small bakery just off the Rue Saint
Michel she knew Methos liked: it was a peace offering, of sorts.
Methos said, peering down. "Does that come from where I think it
Amanda said. Damn, she got nervous when he bent over her shoulder like
in London: stopped in Paris."
did you do with the shopping?"
it at the hotel-" she said, and stopped. Oh, drat, now she'd admitted
she was staying. But Methos said nothing, only smiled and passed her a
wide earthenware plate for the pastry.
good," Methos tilted his head to one side for a moment, as if he
was listening for something. She turned her own head, unsurprised when
Duncan ducked into the kitchen moments later.
he said. He opened his arms and she walked into them. Oh, he smelt good,
warmed bread and sea salt. She didn't hold on too long, but when she let
go she realised that the two men were sharing a long, wordless greeting
above her head, brown eyes to green.
you brought us desert," Duncan said with satisfaction. "Is this
ready to go, Adam? Should I wake our patient?"
done," Methos said. He gave the bowl in his hands a final stir, and
walked out onto the terrace. "Joe? Joe? Wake, rise, beauty herself
has come a-visiting.."
god," Amanda said reverently. "What did you do?"
"What Doctor Amanda ordered," Duncan said. The crinkles around his eyes were lined with white, as if he'd been smiling so much they hadn't tanned. "Here." He poked doubtfully at one of the bowls. "I don't know what this, but I'm sure he'll eat it. Off you go."
hours later, replete and happy with half a bottle of white burgundy lending
her skin a gentle flush, she had the courage to ask again. "What
did happen, after the house? I woke up and you were just gone..I felt
so stupid, I was really worried. And then when you didn't call.."
She looked at Duncan, but he was looking at Methos. Again. The old man
lay back in his chair, his hands resting quietly on the small bottle of
Trappist beer in his lap. He was smiling, and trying not to, and failing.
ran away," he said. "Or I tried to, at any rate.."
thought I was going to let you go?" Duncan said.
didn't have to keep me chained to the bed," Methos said.
was under the impression that was what it would take," Duncan said,
with dignity. "And well? It worked, mon cher, did it not?
And if you ever..." His voice tailed off, but the glance the two
men shared was a promise cast in molten iron.
then we came here," Methos said.
what?" Amanda said. "You vanish from Seacover, you practically
kidnap Joe from the hospital, you-"
was later," Joe said. He was smiling too. Damn, it was an epidemic
of happiness all round.
And the first I knew of that was when I had the hospital on the phone.."
Duncan said, insincerely, but it was Methos who leant forward, serious.
Amanda, we owe you."
do?" Her breath hitched in her throat: the time to start worrying
was when Methos got serious.
stood up. He moved round the table, looking at Joe.
I get it," The watcher said. "This is the bit where I disappear.
See you later, boys." He stood and walked, easily, into the kitchen,
the sun glinting off his white hair and the golden chain he wore under
"What-" Amanda said, but Duncan's hands were already on her shoulders and Methos was undoing the scarves from his belt.
gone past being angry. Now she could feel the heat of the sun toasting
her down to the bones, the prickle of grass against her bare backside
and the healing ripple of quickening on her bruised wrist. She'd given
up struggling twenty minutes ago: the only way she was going to get free
was if one of them stopped doing whatever it was they were doing and set
her loose. The bastards. She was sorry. Oh, she was really sorry, she
would be a good girl from now on, just wait and see. She was sure there
was something crawling up her inner thigh. Ants? It tickled. A centipede?
She struggled once again against the scarves that tied her spread-eagled
to the croquet hoops (and damn, damn, damn, wasn't that a trap waiting
to close? How could she be so blind?) but it was hopeless. If only she
could see, but all the twisting of her head against the flat knot had
been useless too. Anyone could see her like this. She just knew they were
watching, laughing at her. Poor, stupid, silly Amanda, good Amanda,
come on Duncan...
There it was, the tingle of approaching presence. She wiggled once, appeasingly,
and it got nearer. Which one of then was it? She wouldn't put it past
Methos to add some enterprising new torture.
could hear the faint whisper of feet on grass, breathing. The chill of
someone's shadow across her skin. Deft fingers undid the gag, let her
breathe freely. "Get me out of here," she said. "Duncan.
Untie me. I'll be good, I promise-"
shit, it must be Methos, because the gag went back in and she could feel
a hand on her skin, now, circling her belly with the lightest of touches.
What was he-
into her belly button with a definite rhythm. Was Duncan here too? She
twisted her head, blind, mute, pleading, and the hand slid up to trickle
oh-so-lightly around the curve of her breasts. She was wet now, feeling
the moisture gather in her cunt, the tissues warm and swell. This was
awful, embarrassing, hot. The clever fingers moved on, lifted, outlined
her lips, and then spread gently down the exquisitely sensitive line of
her neck. She bucked, helpless, shuddering, and felt the heat of someone's
mouth on her hipbone, licking into the hollows and curves of her pelvis,
her belly, while the hand spread sweet fire across her breasts again.
Two hands, and pressure: they cupped her breasts, and she felt the tissue
swell into those callused palms, her nipples tighten. She groaned round
the gag. The mouth was moving lower. Hot breath on her pubic bone, cool
air blown onto her open cunt. Oh, lovely, just-ah! Stubble against her
thighs, the tip of someone's tongue tracing circles above the hood of
her clitoris, just the way she liked it: Duncan then, for Methos had never-
Oh, oh yes, one hand spreading her labia and that lovely, muscular, mobile
tongue lapping at her cunt, long, slow, broad strokes, and the thumb still
making little circles on her swollen, wet clit. If this was punishment,
she could take it, she'd been a very bad girl indeed.
tongue stopped, and she realised she was pleading around the gag, moving
her hips as much as the scarves would allow. Oh, she was so close, don't
stop now. Then, oh blessed mother, she felt two sure fingers slid into
her cunt, smooth and easy, move inside her: she could feel her body shift
around them, shaping itself, and the fingers ran so deep, reaching up
to her cervix. She shuddered and cried out, twisting her head, bucking
up against that pressure, oh, she was undone, and when the thumb came
done firmly on her clit, rubbed once, twice, she was gone, coming blind,
pulling at the scarves, wanting to get closer, wanting to touch...
can do that again," Amanda said, panting.
hands were on the blindfold. It lifted, and she looked up into a dazzle
of sunshine. She blinked, blinded once again.
"Oh, I intend to," Nick said.
she look lovely like that?" Methos said. He was stretched out, loose
as a cat in sunlight, across the broad reach of his lover's back. Duncan
stood with his hands resting on the windowsill, looking down into the
garden: Methos had his own hands folded across Duncan's neck and shoulders,
and his chin tucked on top of his wrists, his head next to Duncan's so
that he could watch as well. They fitted so well together, Duncan's arse
warm between the curve of Methos' hips, legs strong and taut between his
thighs. He loved this man.
Duncan said. "Do you think she's been there long enough?"
Methos said. He ran an exploratory tongue around the curve of Duncan's
ear, and felt the Highlander shiver under him.
it's been half an hour."
know," Methos said. Duncan's ear tasted slightly bitter, salty: he
dipped the tip of his tongue into the well at its center. "I'm suffering."
you love me."
aye, I do, mo chridhe, I do, I do," Duncan reached behind
him with one hand and pressed Methos harder against him, almost too tight,
but Methos didn't mind, because they had so nearly never been here in
the first place. Then he felt the first warning prickle against his skin.
He dropped his hands, and held Duncan hard against the windowsill even
as the Highlander felt Immortal presence and reacted.
Do you want to-"
Highlander was struggling against his grip, but it held, it always did
when he'd a mind to it. "It's all right, MacLeod. Watch."
could hear the latch of the garden gate, and steps up the passageway.
Amanda's head had lifted: she was clearly aware that someone was coming.
I need to kill you for this?" Duncan groaned. Methos' fingers were
busy at the buttons of his jeans.
by the angle, Duncan watched the Immortal come into his garden. It took
a second to recognise him, but Methos knew when he had: all the breath
went out of the man in a silent huff of relief.
He had his hand on the lovely silk soft length of Duncan's cock. It was
hardening in his fingers, filling. Nothing felt as good as Duncan's cock,
Duncan turned round in his arms. He was smiling, and one of his hands came to rest on Methos' hips, pulling him in. "Nothing," Duncan said, and his other hand twisted in Methos' hair, bringing them closer. "Methos." Their lips touched. It was fire from heaven.