Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic

Lost in the Loving: The Calling

Chapter 3

by Carson Kearns

carsonkearns@hotmail.com

 

Ritz Hotel, London. Three days later.

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"Tonight at midnight. Docklands."

Methos looked up from his novel and let his eyes feast on the sweaty form of the man standing before him as he put away his cell phone. "So, he finally contacted you. Are you telling me the truth about the time and place?"

The past three days had been pleasant--but with an underlying tension made all the more irritating by Duncan's unwillingness to talk of Masters.

"Perhaps he'll get lucky and won't come?" offered Methos.

"Maaay-be." Duncan knew what Methos was doing. Knew how skilled he was at throwing out a seemingly innocent morsel, so that before the victim knew it, he was revealing everything. Duncan had found that the best defence was virtual silence, which infuriated Methos beyond words.

As if reading his thoughts, Methos fumed. That Duncan could read him as well as he read Duncan was one thing, but it was quite another to have Duncan turn his own strategies back on him. "Why is he so important to you? Why even give him a second's thought?"

"I'm not. You are." Give him no more, he told himself...nothing that his lover could spin and strengthen into a stronger twine to trap Duncan into talking--or thinking--about things he had no intention of thinking or talking about. Masters would die. It was as simple as that. Nothing more needed to be said, as far as Duncan was concerned, about motivations or intentions.

Both Immortals had filled the days and nights with various items of business and research, while the expectation of the phone call laid down a steady thrum that disturbed their easy interactions and love-making. Master's unwelcome presence had insinuated itself between them.

Methos repeated his question. "Are you telling me the truth about the time and place?"

"Yes. Midnight tonight. Docklands." Duncan turned and moved quickly towards the bathroom before he said something that he knew he'd regret. He didn't like Methos knowing about the time or place of the challenge, but had decided against an ultimately futile attempt to trick the ancient Immortal. //I don't trust you not to interfere, Methos. Don't trust you at all.// He worried over the thought as he closed the door firmly, signaling his intention to bathe alone. Stripping off the jogging sweats, he turned the water temperature up as hot as he could bear.

As the water pelted down on the Highlander's aching head, he thought of the afternoon's successful sale of a number of exquisite fourteenth century manuscripts that he had managed to acquire for friends--very wealthy friends. Nice to be good at something, he mused, as he felt the threatening melancholy begin to sink into his skin.

He'd decided days ago that he certainly wasn't going to let Methos know of any other challenges, despite his word to Methos that he would. There was no way, he rationalised, that Methos would stay out of it. //So, Duncan--what's the bigger sin? Lying to Methos or letting someone interfere in the Game?// He genuinely had no idea. As he began to relax under the hot water, he thought back--again--to the tensions between his lover and himself over the past three days, over Duncan's refusal to talk of Masters and what their exact involvement had been, letting neither tantrums nor seductions persuade him.

He leaned back against the marble wall and soon found himself sliding down and sitting on his haunches, fighting off the painful flashes of memory that had kept breaking through over the past few days. He hadn't thought about Masters in decades and resented Methos' efforts to get inside his memories.

//Why is it so important to Methos, anyway?//

At one stage, he recalled, he'd actually shouted at Methos to stop being such a hypocrite. "You wrote the fucking rulebook on 'How Not to Share Anything of Importance with your Lover,' Methos." He hadn't meant it, but as he'd intended, it had hurt Methos and also served to deflect any further questioning. And that, after all, had been the real goal. He let himself smile beneath the steaming water as he reflected that his more recently acquired warrior skills frequently provided very effective tactics on the battleground that was their lives.

Sitting on the floor of the shower, he pulled his arms up around himself in an effort to ward off the pain and self-loathing that always accompanied the fragments of memory about Masters, fragments that kept breaking through to the fore of his mind despite his iron will. One hundred years of repressed memories fell away.

//Amanda.//She'd been naive. He'd warned her. As always, as always--she'd ignored him.

"You're just jealous. Admit it, lover boy," she'd taunted, laughing.

"I'm not jealous. Trust me--he's dangerous."

He could still see her, dressed in deep blue velvet. So beautiful. So tempting. Too tempting. "Amanda!" But she'd laughed over her shoulder and fled down the stairs of this very hotel, promising to catch up on the morrow. //Racing to meet with a madman...who wanted you...wanted what you had...what you owned...//

And then she'd disappeared. Not unusual in itself, for Amanda. Except that she hadn't packed. Hadn't left a message. Had left a cache of jewels hidden in the chest of drawers Duncan had been using. Again, nothing unusual in that, he had mused wryly. Then the packages had started arriving, and Duncan had thought he'd go mad, fearing each time that the box contained body parts. But they were her things--blood-stained locks of hair and pieces of clothing, semen-stained underwear, the jewelry she'd worn the last time he had seen her. And then the demand.

Then the demand, he sighed. I was always too pretty for my own good.

"It's just a business transaction," he'd told himself. After all, it wasn't as if he hadn't had playful tumbles and fumbles under kilts and blankets. But he'd never before unwillingly given his body over to another to be used and abused. Raped. He could have walked away, but that would have meant leaving Amanda. Small price, he'd told himself afterwards, as he'd nursed Amanda. He'd never raped anyone, even as a soldier, even at his most brutal. Never raped. He'd seen the devastating effects too many times. He always saw his mother, or Deborah, or Little Deer in the faces of the victims. And after that night with Masters, he knew how women felt when their inner core had been violated, shredded, and stained.

He often wondered how Methos coped with it. After all, he'd told himself, it had to have happened to him many times in five thousand years--on both sides. It made him feel weak to let that night so long ago still get to him. He thought of Cassandra and her pain after so many millennia. Cassandra... He suffered for one night. She'd suffered for hundreds of years...at the hands of his lover. He supposed there was some of Methos' precious irony in it all, but he didn't know where to start looking. He hated this. Hated feeling like a fragile schoolgirl. He'd stopped Cassandra from killing her attacker, who had done far worse to her than Masters had ever done to him, Duncan reflected. He hated that feeling. All of his high-blown phrases kept coming back to haunt him. He'd told Richie once that there sometimes was no justice--only mercy.

//But that was before I killed you....//

Fine words dripped down the years at him from the showerhead above, the color of blood. Words about revenge achieving nothing. About how it left you feeling empty inside. Isn't that what he'd told Katya? It was just all too complicated. //Too complicated.// Richie's death had made clear thinking about morality and ethics too complicated most of the time. He was, after all, a killing machine. A very well-oiled, brilliantly successful, killing machine. //And machines don't think...they just wear out...or break down....// And tonight he would set out to answer another challenge, issued in a Game he'd never asked to be a part of, as he fought for a prize he didn't want. And once again, once again, he intended to kill.

And because he was first and foremost a warrior, he would pick up the gauntlet and fight to win. And, afterwards, he'd work through it with Methos. With Methos there was life and love. Methos had found his soul for him.

Methos was keeping it safe.

So he'd never told Methos about being raped. And Methos had never asked. He had, in those early days of their relationship, gentled him like a skittish colt, pretending that nothing was amiss when Duncan tensed at any hint of penetration. Soothed him. Never asked. Never demanded... Duncan had hoped that Methos had attributed his nervousness to Duncan's unfamiliarity with a male lover. And in that you were right, Gradhach. I'd never had a male lover. Rapists, but not lovers.

He'd never told a soul about Masters.

Never spoken of it to anyone.

Never let himself think about it.

Denied it even to himself...but on very, very rare occasions, the bloodied memories from long ago leaked through and started staining and paining him anew....

He reached up to massage the sharp pain at his temples, wondering why so many tragedies cycled back into his life, always chasing away the small pieces of happiness. //Always.//

And as the water started to cool, he remembered Amanda's stunned surprise when she'd realized, weeks later, that Duncan thought that she'd been repeatedly raped by Masters. "Scared out of my wits, maybe. Terrified of what I thought he might do to me. But he never really touched me. Weird. I wondered later if I should be insulted. It was the most terrifying thing I've ever been through, though. It was all psychological. All threats. Clearly I wasn't to his physical taste, MacLeod. Ech!--I can't imagine what offal would be to his taste!" She'd shivered and let Duncan hold her. He tried to soothe away her trauma, all the while trying to lock away the bloodied memories of his own abuse. "God!" she'd gone on to say, "the very thought of his hands on me makes my skin crawl." So he'd swallowed quietly, never saying anything.

//Offal...//

Clearly, he realized afterwards, Master's packages had all been an elaborate ruse--the blood, the semen--all designed to push Duncan MacLeod's buttons. Of course, the Celt in him had insisted on a suitably heavy burden of guilt--why hadn't he thought of a way out of it? Had he secretly enjoyed it? Was he homosexual? Perhaps, he admitted in the quiet and steamy security of the bathroom, because parts of that night had been exciting, intoxicating, liberating...and had fed sexual fantasies. And that was the most unbearable part of all that had happened that night--he'd enjoyed parts of it. He'd never forgiven Masters for showing Duncan MacLeod a part of himself that he hadn't known existed. He'd never forgiven himself. One hundred years ago, it had provided ample fuel for his nightmares. Some warrior, he could hear his father spit at him. //You're no son of mine...demon spawn...depraved...damned, damned, and doubly damned.//


So when Methos once asked him, gently probing, if he'd ever been with other men, he'd laughed, rationalizing that Methos really meant had he ever been with men he'd wanted to be with. He'd held Brian in his arms and cried for his pain all through some dark nights. Had some fun with Jacob...some raw, fumbling, drunken blow jobs. //Fitz...//

But he'd never made love to another man. Never penetrated with love or been penetrated with love. Never pierced the soul of a male beloved. Never had his own soul cauterised with love. Never became one with a male lover. Until Methos. So, technically, he told himself, he wasn't lying when he said "No..."

He further rationalised that if he said anything about these darker incidents, Methos would pick away at them, demanding to know...and Duncan hadn't aired those memories for decades--if ever. He'd just let them lay there--fallow and quietly festering, thinking all the while that they had shriveled to nothing. Until Masters came back into his life.

So, he wondered, what are you going to do tonight if Masters says something about what happened, and Methos overhears it? He had no idea.

Rising, he rinsed his hair and stepped out of the shower.

Meanwhile, in the large dining area of the suite, Methos heard the shower finally being turned off. He looked towards the bathroom door and let the book he'd picked up at one of his favorite Charing Cross bookstores lay across his stomach. Definitely time to tackle MacLeod, he decided. He rose and retrieved a cold beer from the bar fridge before wandering back to the couch, throwing himself into the comfortable indentation his body had managed to sculpt over the past three days.

Minutes later Duncan appeared, towel-drying his hair. He went immediately to the chest of drawers and quickly clothed himself in soft, black stretch jeans and a dark T-shirt. Good clothes to move in, Duncan, Methos observed silently.

"Let me dry your hair, Duncan."

"It's okay--I'll do it."

"It might be my last chance. You wouldn't deny me that, would you?" Methos got exactly the reaction he'd expected. Looking back at him for the first time, the Scot scowled and threw one of his towels back into the bathroom with more force than was required or necessary. "Duncan. Please. Come here. Grab a drink out of the fridge and come and sit down. Please."

 

Finally the Highlander stopped scowling, shrugged his shoulders, and appeared to play along with Methos. But it wasn't difficult for Methos to detect that all of his warning radar was in place. Returning to the couch with a cold beer, he sat cross-legged before Methos and handed him a fresh towel and a large-toothed comb. And said nothing. Leaning down, he picked up the book Methos had been engrossed in for two days, Christendom and Christianity in the Middle Ages by Bredero. It was still open at the page that Methos had been reading. Suddenly the book was plucked out of his hand, and Methos started to massage his head.

"Give it back. I was looking at it."

"It's too dry for your tastes."

"So. What do you care? What don't you want me to read?"

"I don't not want you to read anything--if that makes sense." He decided on another tack. "I was feeling insulted, that's all. Seems you'd rather read a dusty old tome than just let me play with you." Gathering the Highlander's hair, he pulled it back into its customary ponytail, pleased that Duncan had let it grow back.

"We can do both. You play, and I'll read." The book had fallen open at a reading by the twelfth century historian, Orderic Vitalis, a monk of the Norman Benedictine monastery of Saint-Evroul. Duncan started to feel sick as he read, hearing his Father's voice enunciating the Benedictine's words:

At that time, effeminates set the fashion in many parts of the world: foul catamites, doomed to eternal fire, unrestrainedly pursued their revels, and shamelessly gave themselves up to the filth of sodomy. They rejected the traditions of honest men, ridiculed the counsel of priests, and persisted in their barbarous way of life and style of dress...grew long and luxurious locks like women, and loved to deck themselves in long, over-tight shirts and tunics. Some of them frivolled away their time, spending it as they chose without regard for the law of God or the customs of their ancestors. They devoted their nights to feasts and drinking-bouts, idle chatter, games of dice and other sports and they slept all day....

Duncan slammed the book closed. //Without regard for the law of God or the customs of their ancestors//...Ian MacLeod, he knew, would have heartily agreed. Damned, damned, and doubly damned.

Methos never stopped playing with his lover's neck, letting his long fingers dig deep into the tense muscle. Duncan finally spoke. "Well, at least there's one sin I'm not guilty of. You, maybe, but not me."

"And what's that?"

"I don't sleep all day." He began to rise, brushing away the comforting hand on his neck. But Methos wouldn't have it.

"And you think you are guilty of other sins? What? You're going to burn in hell for wearing tight T-shirts? Having long hair? Get a grip, Duncan. It was written eight hundred years ago, for Christ's sake." Methos felt himself beginning to rise to the bait thrown down by the guilt-ridden man before him--but he saw it coming and pulled back from the edge in time. "You'd like me to verbally thrash you, wouldn't you? Then you could shout back, and I could shout back. You could storm off and feel spat upon and shat upon and suitably outraged. And you wouldn't have me tagging along to meet your friend Masters." Taking the Scot by his shoulders, Methos pulled him back down and turned him until they were face to face. "Talk to me, Duncan. Please. Just talk to me."

"There's nothing to talk about." The set of his face said it all. //I won't play, and there's nothing you can do to make me play this game.//

//Go for the jugular, old man.// "What--you think your mother and father would disapprove of your new lifestyle? Picking up the book, he reread the offending passage. "Is it the word catamite, Duncan?" And upon seeing the immediate tensing around the eyes, he knew that it was so.

"Just drop it."

"Duncan--" he stopped, desperate to find just the right words, to break through the solid defence line. To redefine the rules of engagement. "Duncan--your parents would have disapproved of lots of things about your current lifestyle, for Christ's sake...they'd regard daily bathing as the essence of hedonism!"

"Leave my parents out of this. It's got nothing to do with them."

"Then what has it got to do with, pray tell?" He then broke a cardinal rule. But Duncan always had this effect on him. Finely crafted rules, honed over centuries, seemed of late to just find themselves ignored or discarded at whim. Never ever ever ask a question unless you're sure of the answer. But he did. "You want to leave me? Is that it?"

The relief was instantaneous when Duncan started to shake his head. "No. No, I don't want to leave you. I'm just pumped up." He tried once more to disengage the close physical contact with Methos. It always brought him undone. Methos wouldn't allow it and moved himself to the end of the couch. "Come here." Pulling the Highlander this way and that, he finally settled him on the couch, his head resting in Methos' lap. Methos started to play with the Scottish left ear and its gold stud. He started to laugh.

"What's so funny?"

"I was just thinking about the golden stud presenting itself for my pleasure...and wasn't sure which one I was talking about, the human or the metal. I decided on both." He let his fingers gently touch and soothe, pulling at the fabric of the T-shirt, setting a calming rhythm with his hands. "Who's Masters, Duncan? And what did he do?"

Duncan sighed. "I knew this was too good to be true. That there'd be a price. Nothing's ever free anymore. Why don't you just ask Joe?" Sitting up, he started to pull away, but was restrained by a very strong, bruising grip on his upper arm.

"I have. He claims he doesn't know any more about it than what's in your Chronicles--which is fuck all."

"Good. Now you know how I feel most of the time about knowing fuck all about your life."

The mutual glares said far more than raised voices could. Duncan threw the book down, heavily, taking malicious delight in how much that action would annoy Methos. He gathered his long coat and proceeded to sweep from the room. He reached the lift before Methos joined him, still glaring--still saying nothing.

"We had a deal, remember! You fight. I watch."

Duncan turned away, mumbling. "Yeah--we had a deal. Sure, Methos." His voice trailed away as they waited for the lift to arrive. "Of course, Methos. Three bags full, Methos. Whatever you say, Methos... whatever you say."

"Good. Would hate to think that you weren't a man of your word." The thick sarcasm permeated the corridor.

"You're the one who's always at me for being a Boy Scout. Maybe I'm starting to pay attention to you? Maybe you're right. Honesty. Integrity. Who cares anymore? You sure as hell don't." Leaning forward, he thumped the lift button again.

"You've never listened before. Why start now?" Opening a packet of peanuts, Methos theatrically offered some to the Highlander.

"Shove them!"

Methos laughed. "Well--at least you're in a spirited frame of mind. Always a hopeful sign. Stopping off for Joe, are we?" They entered the lift.

Duncan growled. "No! We're not fucking well stopping off for Joe. If Joe wants to watch, he can do it on his own terms, time, and transport." He felt himself wallowing in compete exasperation as Methos proceeded to throw peanuts into the air and catch them with his open mouth. As if they were on their way to a Pancake Parlour, not a beheading.

"Do you spend long planning these scenes?"

"Nope. They come naturally. You inspire me. Sure you wouldn't like a peanut?"

It was Methos' Disingenuous Face that did it to the Highlander. The large innocent eyes. //Such a facade. Such a brilliant facade.//

Within seconds Methos found himself slammed against the wall of the descending lift, his arms pinned with the brutal strength that always delighted him. Before he could even think about reacting, he found his mouth covered with a savage and possessive kiss, his lower body pinioned by the strategic placement of a very strong, very threatening Scottish knee. Finally breaking for air, Duncan pulled back, using his tongue to further entice his lover by slowly licking the salt from the now-bruised lips before him.

"You owe me a packet of peanuts," whispered Methos.

"Half a packet. Take it off your tab." Letting his lips slide to cover Methos' neck, Duncan gave a sharp, vicious bite. The lift came to a slow stop. Licking his lips, the Highlander quickly released his infuriating partner just before the doors opened.

The couple entering could not help but notice the two stunning men standing on opposite sides of the lift. "You're bleeding!" offered the kindly matron to the stranger on her left. She solicitously touched the exact spot on her own neck to guide the young man to his injury.

"I thought I felt something bite me when I entered the lift," Methos replied in his best Oxford accent. "What between wildlife in the lifts and peanuts all over the floor, one wonders just what the Ritz is coming to."

As the four finally departed the much-maligned mechanical contraption, the woman's partner looked at Duncan and winked.

Once on their own, Methos laughed, releasing some of the tension. "If you're not careful, one of these days you'll slip up and get caught actually looking at me in public."

"Wishful thinking." But it was a jibe that hurt because he knew how stupid he was about such ridiculous false propriety, knowing that it said far more about his fragile male ego than anything else. And it infuriated him that he still hadn't been able to work it all out. Always the shadow of his father. //Always. As if he doesn't know his warrior son's a fucking faggot--a catamite.... //He knew he couldn't keep the issue at the level of playful banter for much longer. Later. He'd worry about it after Masters was dead. It was cruel to keep denying Methos in public. He'd resolve it...afterwards....

The alley behind the old stone warehouse left much to be desired. Duncan had no intention of dying in such tawdry surrounds.

"You didn't seem to have much trouble finding it? Been here before? With Masters?"

Duncan ignored the questions. "I'd suggest you get out of sensing range, Methos." he said, and quickly moved to distance himself. Drawing his sword, he entered the shabby building he had last entered some one hundred years before. Tactically he knew that Masters had cleverly chosen the exact location of his victory and domination.

//But not clever enough.//

A single light showed him that little had changed in the old, solid structure. Flashes of his rape kept intruding as he stood and stared at the sandstone wall where Masters had tied his wrists above his head. His hand moved to wipe away the remembered blood on his face as he once again felt his head being pressed against the stone by Masters' weight behind him. He looked down at the slate floor, remembering how it scraped along his spine as Masters took him in yet another position, finally exhausting his perverseness by forcing Duncan to all fours. He could still remember the shock when Masters savagely knocked his arms out from under him, allowing his face to be rubbed raw on the cold stone once again. His arms had been cruelly tied, and Masters had taken him like that so many times Duncan had lost count. He'd retreated deep inside his head. Indeed, he mused, so deeply had he buried the memory that he was only now consciously retrieving most of it. He recalled that a century before, he'd never seriously expected to leave there alive. But leaving him alive had been part of Masters' game. He would leave alive tonight. Masters would not.

He remembered Amanda's release...how she'd looked at him, told him she knew he would come. He'd handed her a long velvet cloak and sent her back to the Ritz in the carriage he'd kept waiting outside. He'd told her that he and Masters would fight. Just as he'd told her, afterwards, that he'd killed Masters. And here, one hundred years later, it was finally going to happen.

The voice startled him out of his reverie. "Fond memories, MacLeod?"

"Nope." He kept his voice low, just loud enough for Masters, but not any observers, to hear. "None that come to mind. Men with real cocks, Masters, have fucked me. Yours didn't even register." And without giving the Immortal opposite time to react or say anything that might be overheard, Duncan attacked.

Masters was skilful--highly skilful. The Highlander quickly found that he needed to focus his attention on the here and now and leave the bloodied memories alone if he intended to survive. After a brutal twenty minutes, with both men badly wounded and staggering from blood loss, Masters made his mistake, leaving Duncan his long sought-after opening. And as Masters realized what was about to happen, a small pistol suddenly appeared in his hand, and Duncan felt himself slammed into the stone wall behind him as bullets ripped into his lungs and trachea. As his eyes misted, he saw the feral look on Masters' face and heard snatches of that despised voice yet again. "I can't tell you how this has turned me on, Highlander. I think it's about time history repeated itself. Don't you?"

As Duncan fell to the floor in agony, he saw Methos behind Masters and knew that if he died, Methos would find out everything. Hearing someone behind him, Masters turned away. It was his last mistake. Duncan suddenly rose, and with the last of his strength, severed the head of the lascivious animal still licking his lips in anticipation. The beginnings of the sewerage that was Masters' soul began to seep towards the Highlander, and his last conscious feelings were of physical and spiritual agony as he felt himself blasted apart by the putrescence that passed for Master's life and memories.

He finally awakened, totally drained and exhausted, in Methos' lap. Suddenly Joe and a stranger--Masters' Watcher?--were there as well, and between the three of them, they managed to help Duncan back to the rental car and the Ritz.

His torn and bloodied body and clothing were sufficiently covered by his long, dark coat, enabling them to return to their room unnoticed. Duncan hadn't spoken since the Quickening and went straight to the shower. While he washed off the evidence of the fight, Joe arrived and helped Methos pour some much-needed alcohol into their systems. Joe raised his glass. "To MacLeod. Unbelievable. Just when I think I have every move of his covered, he surprises me."

"He certainly does that, Joe. He certainly does that." Hearing the door, both turned as Duncan came towards them, clad only in the floor-length lush purple robe provided by the Ritz management. He handed a towel and comb to Methos, poured himself a glass of whisky, and then he moved to sit cross-legged in front of a large, wing-backed leather armchair. "Well?" was the only word to break the silence.

Methos didn't wait for another invitation to actually engage in a demonstration of physical intimacy. Grabbing another beer, he stepped over Duncan MacLeod, sat down and positioned the beautiful body between his thighs. Taking up the towel, he started drying the dripping curls.

It was to Joe Dawson's credit that he continued as if this were the most normal scene in the world, watching Duncan MacLeod have his wet curls untangled and dried whilst ensconced between the thighs of a five-thousand-year-old man. "You okay, Mac?" Joe smiled. "We were just saying how you never cease to surprise us. And you sure surprised us tonight."

Duncan leaned back into the firm hands towel drying his hair. "I'm fine, Joe. Fine." Reaching up, he took one of Methos' hands and kissed it gently.

Methos was stunned. "Remind me to have peanuts more often!" he quipped. "Does this mean I don't get to tease you any more about your boring, repressed upbringing and fragile male ego? Damn--I'm going to miss that. I've been planning to ambush you at the British Museum for days!"

Duncan sniggered. "Well--it's not as if everyone doesn't know. We're sharing a room, for God's sake. And then that man winked at me in the lift tonight. He knew. And we weren't even standing near each other."

"What?" The Watcher spluttered. "A come on! To you!"

Duncan affected indignation. "And why not? But no--it wasn't that. Methos was being his usual annoying, infuriating, smart-assed self."

"Tell me about it...." Joe took another swallow of whisky in sympathy with his Immortal's daily Methos trials and tribulations.

"...and so I kissed him. Hard. And peanuts went everywhere..."

"Savaged me, Joe. Drew blood! Right here!" And all delivered courtesy of Methos' Who Me? Face.

"Knock it off. It's beyond me and all MacLeod's legion of friends why he didn't behead you years ago."

It was left to the Scot to restore order. "Anyway, a mother and son got into the lift only seconds after we pulled apart...and the son knew what had been going on. And I realised afterwards that I didn't mind that he knew. In fact," he once again took Methos' hand to his mouth and kissed it, "I liked it."

Methos did not intend to reveal what Duncan's words and gesture actually meant to him. It pleased him to know that his heart could soar without affecting the rhythm of his ministrations to the silken locks before him.

"Mother and son! Christ, MacLeod, you are unbelievable! He was her toyboy...."

The Highlander gave Methos the exact reaction Methos had intended. He spun around and fixed Methos with a look of stupefaction. "What? You're insane. There are just normal people in the world, you know. "

"Suit yourself. What would I know about anything? I'm only..."

He didn't get a chance to finish the aphorism on wisdom and age as a combined "Spare us, please!" and "...blah, blah blah..." reverberated around the room.

Within fifteen minutes Joe had departed, and Methos was helping a very tired, very heavy, very solid Highlander to bed. He left the deep purple gown on his lover, deciding that he not only liked Duncan in such colors, but that he wanted Duncan to be awake when he slowly removed it.

 

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End of Chapter 3.

 

Go to Chapter 4.

 


Posted here in this format 26 May, 2001
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