Joe Dawson concentrated on cleaning the bar, putting his
anger and frustration into action, wishing he had a pair of
stubborn, pig-headed Immortals here so he could vent his
frustration on them. They were, after all, the reason for
his state of mind.
It had been two weeks since the Horsemen incident and, to his
knowledge, Methos and MacLeod had not even been in speaking
distance since then. Barring the meeting at the church, that is.
Joe mumbled a curse, wondering if their friendship was
salvageable then reminded himself that of course it was. If only
MacLeod would just realize that the world was not all black and
white and that Methos was not the man he had been three thousand
He heard the door swing open and frowned, certain he had
locked it. Maybe it was Amanda, practicing her lock-picking
skills but when he glanced up, he saw that the figure standing
outline in the doorway was too tall for the Immortal thief.
"We're closed." He said, hand sliding down to rest
lightly on the grip of the gun concealed under the bar.
"I'm sorry, the door was open. I'm looking for Adam
Pierson." The voice was that of a woman's, a gentle, oddly
familiar tenor with an equally familiar accent. "I
understand he hangs out here."
"Oh?" Joe's hand tightened on the gun. Adam Pierson
was Methos' current alias. "On occasion. Would you care to
leave a message?"
"I suppose so." She said doubtfully. "Could
you let him know his sister is looking for him?"
"Sister?" Joe's voice rose an octave. He let loose
of the gun. "Wait a sec! I didn't know he had a
sister." Actually, he didn't know Methos could have
a sister. He'd never heard of Immortal siblings. Of course, she
had said Adam. . .and now that he thought about it, there was
mention of a sister in Adam's Watcher file. He'd thought it was
just a piece of fiction concocted by Methos to make Adam's
history seem more real. Then the woman stepped into the light
and he revised his opinion of that.
She looked just like Methos, not necessarily a good thing,
especially with that nose but it seemed to work for her. Same
short brown hair, same gold-green eyes, same pale skin. The
angular face was somehow feminized, the nose, prominent on
Methos, softened and *just right* for her. They even, Joe
noticed in bemusement, dressed alike; her black long coat was
opened to revealed a bulky fisherman sweater, faded jeans and
"He didn't mention me then?" She asked.
"Errrr, no." He paused then decided to test the
waters, so to speak. "He did mention brothers. . ."
The woman looked at him sharply, an expression that increased
her resemblance to Methos. "Last I heard, they weren't on
speaking terms." She said cautiously.
"Well, I think I can guarantee they'll never speak
"Oh?" She studied him for a long moment then
nodded. "Good riddance to bad rubbish then. Do you know
where I can find him?"
"I think I can contact him. Here." He set a beer on
the bar. "Have a seat and let me see if I can call
She hesitated then slipped off her coat, draping it over a
stool and watching as he made his way into the back room. Joe
considered closing the door then rejected the idea, not wanted
to give this woman a reason not to trust him. Plus he wanted to
keep an eye on her. He tried the number he had for Methos first
but got only an answering machine. He left a brief message
asking him to come to the bar then called MacLeod. Another
machine, another message. He hung up and rejoined the woman.
"I left a message on his machine."
"Hmmmm." The woman said thoughtfully then suddenly
reached across the bar to grip Joe's wrist firmly, turning it
over to look at the tattoo on the inside of the wrist before
letting him go. "I don't suppose I could get something to
eat? I'm starving." She said pleasantly.
Joe blinked, wondering whether he should say anything then
shook his head. "Sure. I was about to make myself some
lunch. Hamburgers do?"
"As long as itís rare. Very rare." She smiled,
revealing very white sharp teeth. Joe blinked and hastily turned
away, telling himself firmly that he did not just see fangs,
that it was a trick of the light.
"Adam never mentioned a sister." He said again,
slapping two hamburger patties onto the grill. "And your
name is. . ?"
"Take a guess." She grinned and Joe decided he was
going to like this woman.
"Eve." He said without hesitation and her grin
"Yep. And you would be Joe. . ?" She gestured
vaguely at the name of the bar.
"Ahhhhh. Can I help?"
"No. I got it." He slid a plate in front of her and
another next to her then made his way around the bar to sit
down. "So, Eve, what do you do?"
"Currently? I'm a perpetual student." She grinned.
"Specializing in dead languages and history. I've been
considering a position with the local University. Imagine my
surprise when I found that one of the other applicants for the
position was my own brother."
"Ahhh." Joe wondered why this woman hadn't been
recruited for the Watchers. Maybe they had tried. She seemed to
know of them. "Hadn't seen him in awhile?"
"No. Not for. . .some time." She grinned. "I
love my brother dearly." She confided. "But he can be
such a pain in the ass at times that we find it best not to stay
in the same area for long periods of time. In fact, sometimes we
find it unwise to be on the same continent for long periods of
Joe had the sudden suspicion that if it were Methos sitting
here instead of Eve, he would have said the exact same thing,
with Eve being the pain in the ass. He smiled then cleared his
throat. "Did you know him when he was running around with
Eve threw him a thoughtful look. "No." She said
finally. "We met just a short time after."
So she was an Immortal and at least two thousand years old.
And her resemblance to the Old Man did lend credence to her
claim of being his sister. Joe felt a flare of excitement. If
they really were siblings, that could add a whole new dimension
to the Immortals. Did that mean that, unlike other Immortals,
Methos knew his real parents? Knew where Immortals came from?
"Hey!" Eve waved her bottle to get his attention
and he started guiltily. She grinned at him and he had the nasty
suspicion that she knew what he was thinking. She winked at him
conspicuously. "So, just how large is Adam's bar tab, hmmmm?"
He blinked at her in surprise then burst out laughing.
Methos frowned at his mail, chucking junk mail into the
nearest wastebasket and bills onto a table. Too many of both
really and he scowled darkly. Then he spotted the blinking light
of the answering machine and his scowl deepened, if that was
possible. He hesitated then pushed the button.
The first caller hung up without leaving a message. .
.something he really hated. Then the university called...they
wanted another interview, a promising sign. Or it would have
been three weeks ago. Now, well, now he was thinking of that
maybe he would be moving on soon.
The next caller was Joe. "Hey, Adam. I. . .errrrr. .
.I've found something you might like to see. Come over as soon
as you can, okay?"
Methos frowned thoughtfully then shrugged. Oh, hell. Why not?
Give him a chance to say good-bye should he decided to vanish
tomorrow. He dropped the remainder of the mail onto the table
and walked back out, closing the door firmly.
He parked across from the bar and slipped out, walking for
the bar. It never ceased to amaze him that Joe, a mortal, could
accept his past better than Duncan MacLeod, an Immortal. He
swung the door open, stripping off his coat as he went only to
freeze at the tableau before him. His mouth dropped open.
"Eve! What the hell are you doing here?"
Eve looked up from her boneless sprawl on the floor,
surrounded by ribbons of calculator paper and bottles of beer.
Joe sat in a chair next to her, idly strumming on his guitar as
he watched her. Both looked quite serious and a little tipsy.
"Hi, Adam." The woman waved a handful of calculator
paper at him. "We're totaling your bar tab!"
"You're what?" Methos looked at the mess
surrounding the couple.
"Your bar tab! It's a doozy!" She grinned.
"It's not that bad." He draped his coat over the
back of a chair and reached for the paper Eve was waving at him.
His eyes widened at the sight of the amount and his face paled.
"Deities! You're jerking my chain."
"Nope! Pay up, bro."
Methos shook his head. "I need a beer." He mumbled,
turning toward the bar. The next minute he was on the floor, Eve
wrapped around his legs. "Hey!" He howled.
Eve crawled up his body, jabbing him in the chest with a
finger. "Pay. Up. No beer until you pay up." She waved
the finger in his face, just out of reach. Methos noted idly
that her finger had finally grown back from the last time. Joe,
studying them from the chair, marveled at how much the two
looked alike, especially nose-to-nose like that.
"Oh, come one, Eve! I don't carry that kind of money
with me! Help me, Joe!"
"I'm on her side." Joe grinned.
"Where's your checkbook?" Eve proceeded to frisk
the ancient Immortal. "In your coat?" She reached over
to snag the piece of clothing in question and dragged it over,
ignoring the thud as the sword hit the ground. "I can forge
your signature, y'know."
"You can?" Joe said hopefully. "Great! How
about giving me an advance on future bar tabs?"
"No! Give me that!" Methos yanked the coat from
Eve's hand, scowling at the duo. "All right! All right! Let
me write it out." He grumbled as he pulled out his
checkbook. He rolled over to brace it on the floor.
Eve promptly climbed onto his back, sprawling there.
"Now, be sure and get the right amount. . ." She
helpfully pointed out the amount and Methos scowled at her but
wrote out the amount indicated. "And sign the right name.
The one you're using now." Methos glared at her. "Adam
Pierson." She said helpfully and grinned at him. He
twisted, planting a hand against her upper chest and pushing her
over to sprawl giggling at Joe's feet.
"You okay, honey?" Joe asked, blinking at what was
undoubtedly three of Eve.
"Oh, she's fine." Methos considered hiding or
tearing up the check, figuring Joe wouldn't even notice. But Eve
would and he didn't want to raise her ire. He stood, taking the
check to the bar and sliding it under the register before
grabbing himself a beer and walking over to sit in a chair
across from Joe. The Watcher was still looking down at Eve in
concern. The woman had curled up, head resting on Joe's feet and
seemed on the verge of taking a nap.
"She doesn't look comfortable." Joe frowned.
"She would be comfortable on a bed of nails. Really
sharp nails. Is there one available?" Methos grumbled then
sighed. "Here." He handed his bottle to Joe. "How
about we take this into the back room and get comfortable?"
He crouched, picking up the slender woman and carrying her into
Joe's office, putting her gently on the sofa. She grumbled and
rolled over, curling up with an arm under her head.
"How much has she had to drink?" Methos frowned.
"Not that much. I mean, compared to what it takes to put
A hand grabbed the collar of Methos' sweater and dragged him
down to Eve's level. "Haven't slept in almost two
weeks." She mumbled, glaring at him with her one opened
eye. "Knew you were in trouble but didn't know where you
were. Had to sneak into the Watcher database and then had to
come out here. In the cold. I hate the cold, y'know." She
released him and curled up, fast asleep within seconds.
Methos stared at the woman, astonished. The last thing in the
world he ever expected was to have her show up, apparently
determined to help him, whether he wanted it or not. But then,
she always did take familial ties very seriously. He realized
Joe was speaking and turn to look at him rather blankly. The
mortal frowned and repeated his question.
"Is she really your sister?"
Methos sighed, running a hand through his short hair.
"Yes. No. Maybe. It's a very long story. Definitely not to
be told sober. If told at all." He reached for his beer and
sank into a chair, frowning at the bottle as if it held all the
answers. "She's. . ." Then he paused with a sigh.
"Ask me another time, Joe. Better yet, ask her." He
eyed the mortal and smiled slightly. "Care for a game of
chess, Joe?" He asked pleasantly.
"You just want to take advantage of me while I'm
drunk." Joe mumbled then shrugged. "Well, if I'm not
getting a story, why not?"
Methos smiled and reached over to set up the board.
An hour later, Joe was pretty close to sober and two games
behind. He glared at the board, trying to find himself out of
the neat trap Methos had smugly gotten him to fall into. He was
just contemplating an little accident that would, of course,
knock the board over when the phone rang. He snatched it up,
thankful for the interruption.
"Joe's. . .oh, hi, Mac." Across from him, Methos
stiffened, looking up to meet Joe's eyes. "Methos?" He
raised his eyes questioningly and Methos grimaced, sighed then
reluctantly nodded. "Actually, he's here now. Oh, okay. We
can discuss it when you get here. Later." Joe hung up the
phone and cleared his throat. "Mac says you left some of
your stuff at the dojo. He'll bring it over when he comes."
Methos' face tightened. "Yes, I did leave some stuff
there. I thought. . .never mind."
On impulse, Joe reached over to cover Methos' hand with his
own. "Give him time, Methos. God knows you guys enough of
that." The ancient Immortal looked startled then he relaxed
with a slight smile, closing his hand briefly on Joe's before
"Do we? I wonder sometimes. Being Immortal just gives us
more time to make even more mistakes and worse ones as well. So
MacLeod's on the way then?"
Methos fingered a pawn, his eyes looking as old as his years.
"Fine." He murmured. "Maybe we'll get a chance to
talk. Or not." He set the piece back down.
Joe said nothing more, just conceded the game they were
currently playing. They were seven moves into a new one when he
saw Methos stiffen, his face acquiring that ~look~ Immortals get
when another of their kind was near. Eve's reaction was a little
more dramatic as she lunged from the couch and toward the door,
sword in her hands and eyes not even open.
Eve slammed into the closed door head first and bounced back
to sprawl on the floor, looking more then a little dazed.
"I never could house-break her." Methos said
pleasantly to Joe as he stood and walked over to the door.
"Let me explain this again, Eve. You have to open a door
before going through it." He followed words with action.
Standing on the other side of the door, looking tight-faced, was
Cassandra. Methos stared at her for a moment then slammed the
door closed again. "Of course, the skill of closing a door
is equally important."
Despite himself, Joe burst out laughing. Eve dissolved into a
fit of giggles, a circumstance that made it difficult for Methos
to help her to her foot. That changed abruptly when the door
swung open to reveal a now furious Cassandra, sword in hand.
Eve's giggles evaporated and she shoved Methos back, bringing
her sword up, eyes fierce and expression grim.
Joe's laughter vanished as well and his hand reached for the
gun he kept nearby. He had no qualms about interfering. . .he
never did like Cassandra and besides, he had his brand new sound
system to think of.
Methos rested his hands on Eve's shoulders. "Easy, love.
Not in the bar. You'll blow out Joe's electricity."
Eve grunted. "Tell her to sheath her sword and I'll back
off. She doesn't and you've one less worry, brother."
Methos grimaced and threw Joe a helpless look. Cassandra's
"Brother? Who are you?" She demanded.
"Eve Pierson. Sometimes called The Kirien." Eve
sketched a salute with her sword. "And you're Cassandra.
The witch. I've heard of you. Put it up, woman. I'm far better
then you ever were."
This time the other woman's eyes widened. "The Kirien?
I've heard of you as well. . ."
"So have I." Amanda appeared suddenly, peering over
Cassandra's shoulder. "You robbed the Stephens' estate
before I could. You must have gotten a good haul."
"Good enough." Eve said smugly. "Enough to
live off of for about sixty years. But then, things were cheap
back then. Friend of yours?" She indicated Cassandra with
"Not in this lifetime." Amanda eeled around
Cassandra and walked over to sit in Adam's chair. "Are you
going to fight her?" She asked in an interested tone.
"If she doesn't put that sword away, yes. Adam, y'see,
won't fight her. He feels he owes her something. Males are
stupid that way." She shared an exasperated look with
Amanda. "I, on the other hand, have no such qualms."
The smile she gave Cassandra then was anything but friendly.
"Cassandra!" MacLeod snapped from behind the woman.
"We are not here to challenge anyone!"
"Why are you here?" Eve asked. "Too early for
All Hallows Eve so the witch has no reason to be roaming.
Nothing worth stealing. . .except maybe that mega-check Adam
just made out to Joe. . .which is where?" She asked Methos
"Under the register. Honest!" Methos had retreated
to the couch and was watching events unfold with an air of
"And no one to rescue. Or help across the street. So we
don't need a boy scout. . ."
"You have been receiving my letters."
"Hush, brother. Who else is here?"
"Probably Richie Ryan." Methos said.
"Is she putting that away or am I going to have to make
her eat it?" Eve asked MacLeod, now visible over the
witch's shoulder. "I can, y'know. Be happy to do it. I've
missed a few of Adam's birthday and Christmas presents. This
would make up for that." She smiled brightly at the
"Put away your sword." Cassandra commanded, her
Immortal ability of using her Voice to command others weaving
through the words.
Methos sat up from his customary sprawl, his eyes wide and
alarmed. "Cassandra! Don't. . .!"
Eve's sword hit Cassandra's with enough force to tear it from
her hands and with such speed that none of the others even saw
her move. The next second, Eve had Cassandra against the wall,
the razor-sharp edge of her sword against her throat.
"Try that again, witch, or I'll have your heart for a
mid-day snack." The grimness of her expression and the
deadly tone of her voice left no doubt that she would do it.
"Now," She stepped back, lowering her sword and
speaking in her earlier cheerful tones. "What is this all
about?" She looked at MacLeod, now standing in the doorway,
then at Richie and lastly at Amanda. It was the latter who
shrugged, hands held apart.
"Don't know. Duncan gave me a call and told me to meet
him here. Just said it was important."
"I bet." She walked over to curl up next to Methos,
setting her sword on the back of the couch. "I've a
suspicion as to what this is about. I also suspect it won't turn
out the way Cassandra thinks."
Methos raised an eyebrow. "Precognition now?"
"Among my many talents, brother mine. For example, dear
Cassandra's little ability doesn't affect me at all and since I
trust her as far as I can throw. . .well, I don't trust her at
all. Now, I can handle anyone with a sword but with a gun is
another matter. Joe, would you mind emptying that gun you
Joe blinked then shrugged. With a practiced move, he pulled
the clip from the gun, cleared the chamber and set the gun back
it belonged. The clip he placed in the center of the chessboard.
Eve nodded in satisfaction before turning to look at Cassandra
expectantly. Methos looked up with an identical expression and
Joe almost burst out laughing. Schooling his expression into
somber interest, he too turned to look at Cassandra.
The witch was rubbing her throat, eyeing Eve uncertainly.
"Well?" Eve said impatiently. "Are we just
going to stare at each other all day or is there a reason for
this gathering? Pardon the expression. Sit down, boy." The
last was directed at Richie. "You're making me
"Yes, maíam." Since there were no chairs
available, Richie hastily sat down on the floor, obviously not
wanting to make this odd woman nervous.
Cassandra stared at her, looking more then a little put out.
Apparently things were not going the way she thought they would.
But then, she hadnít counted on Eve.
"I thought that perhaps Methosí friends may wish to
know the truth about himÖ" She said acidly.
"Which truth?" Eve said brightly.
"Excuse me?" Cassandra stammered, thrown
off-balanced. Hurriedly she gathered herself and opened her
mouth to continue her planned speech.
"Which truth?" Eve repeated. "Your truth? His
truth? How about my truth? And concerning what?" She
paused, waiting expectantly. "Youíre beginning to remind
me of a fish, Cassandra."
Cassandra snapped her mouth closed then snarled through her
teeth. "It concerns his history of murder, rape and
"Ahhhhh. Doing or receiving?" Eve asked politely.
"If itís the latter, weíre going to be here awhile. You
might want to close the bar for about five days, Joe. Seven, if
you plan for sleep and meals. Mind fetching some beer, boyo?"
The latter was directed to Richie.
"Ahhhh. Sure. Just a minute." Richie jumped to his
feet and out the door, reappearing so quickly he must have run.
He hadnít bother grabbing any bottles, heíd just snatched up
"Smart lad." Eve said approvingly, taking an
offered bottle. Richie grinned, grabbed a bottle of his own and
retreated to his chair.
"Iím talking about what he did to me!" Cassandra
was almost screaming.
"No need to shout, child. We can hear you perfectly
well. And donít slouch."
"You grew up with that?" Joe asked Methos,
beginning to feel sorry for the man.
"Not exactly. Get me drunk later and maybe Iíll tell
you the tale."
"Donít bet on it." Eve jabbed her elbow into
Methosí side. "Hush. I think sheís actually going to
"Or choke." Amanda said, watching in fascination as
Cassandraís started to make strangled noises.
Cassandra took a deep breath. Obviously the reactions she was
receiving was not what she expected. She launched into her
story, telling of the slaughter of the tribe that had taken her
in, her first death and her time with the Horsemen. She finished
with a triumphant look at Eve.
"Well, let's see." Eve looked thoughtful. "How
many times did he beat you? You seemed to have glossed over the
point." Eve said politely.
"That doesn't matter. . .!"
Cassandra muttered something.
"Come, come, child. Speak up."
"Once!" She snarled.
Eve grinned and rolled over so she was facing Amanda once
more. "I'd love to contribute that to kindness on Methos'
part but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that she has
no spine." She confided to the woman and both of them burst
into giggles, ignoring Cassandra's shocked look. "By the
way," Eve drew herself up onto her elbows. "I love
that skirt you're not quite wearing. I wish I could get away
with wearing something like that."
"Are you kidding? With those legs? You'd wear this
better then I ever would!" Amanda stretched out her legs
then eyed Eve's long limbs with envy. "That sweater and
those jeans do nothing for you! Why wear them?"
"Habit, I suppose. For the first several centuries Adam
and I traveled together, I was his younger brother. Figured it
might keep me a bit safer. Worked until we got to Greece. There
it was more dangerous to be a young boy then a young girl. But I
usually traveled as a man. Even after we separated.
Besides," She pulled her sweater away from her body and
peered down into it sadly. "It's not like I have anything
to show off."
Amanda studied her with a frown. "Do you even own a
Eve blinked then looked thoughtful. "I don't think
"When this is over. . .whatever the hell this is. .
.we'll go shopping. I'll have to get some money, of course. Or a
credit card." Amanda smiled at MacLeod.
"Oh, don't bother." Eve held up a small brown case.
"I lifted Adam's when I was frisking him for his
Methos whooped and snatched the case from her hand, riffling
through it to make sure everything was still there before
shoving it into a pocket. "Use your own damn money!"
He snarled. "Now shut up. I think Cassandra's trying to
make a point."
Eve looked over her shoulder at him then back at Amanda.
"Males are so stupid." She repeated with a sigh.
Amanda grimaced in sympathy and both women turned to look at
Joe wished feverishly that he could report what was actually
happening to the Watchers, though he doubted they'd ever believe
it. The witch was rapidly losing control, of both the situation.
. .if she was ever in control of it to begin with. . .and of
herself. MacLeod rested his hands on her shoulders, scowling at
the two women. "I would think you'd be more
Methos snorted then looked down hurriedly as MacLeod glared
"Sympathetic?" Eve said. "About what? She's
lived almost three thousand years and she's still stuck on one
year that happened to her some twenty years into her life. If I
feel anything, it's pity. That woman needs some serious
Amanda nodded her head in agreement.
"What he did. . ." The Highlander started.
"Yes, yes. I know. What he did was horrible. Terrible.
Etc., etc. But it was three thousand years ago. And I know he
hasn't done anything like that recently. . ."
"How?" Cassandra snapped.
"Because he'd have called me with an invite." She
turned back to Amanda. "How about we stop for a bite on the
way to the stores? Oriental would be good."
"There's this wonderful place on the way. Are you
serious about. . ?"
"Him inviting me along? Listen, if I'd known him while
he was a Horseman. . .well, let's just say the world would be a
very different place. As it was, he was away from the Horseman
and free of Kronos' influence. Of course, he still wasn't the
nicest person under the sun. Just the most sun-burnt."
"Ain't that the truth." Methos muttered.
"Of course, I still don't see the reasoning behind this
little get-together." Eve continued, absently peeling the
label from her beer bottle. "Just so Cassandra can recite
what Methos did to her some three thousand years ago? Let's see.
. .killed most of the clan that took her in. Hard times back
then. For some, raiding was the only means of survival and, of
course, her clan wasn't free of it. Exactly how many other clans
did that one misplace on the journey from well to well? How many
did they attacked and kill to get needed goods? At that time, it
was the way."
"But not necessary." MacLeod snapped.
Eve rolled her eyes. "No, not necessary. Just the way it
was. The desert is a very hard environment and the people were
hard as well. Ask your lady friend about the babies her tribe
used to leave out in the desert because they were malformed or
too much of a drain on the food supply or just not wanted. And
as for being mistreated. . .she was beaten once. Other then
that, she, like everyone else with the Horsemen, ate when there
was food, drank when there was water. Slept in a tent with
blankets. And rape?" Eve shrugged. "She was a slave,
worth less then the horse Methos rode. In fact, I'd say she was
treated just as slaves in her tribe had been treated." She
caught the look on Cassandra's face and snarled. "Don't you
dare tell me that tribe didn't have slaves! Methos struck the
chains from the wrist and ankles of a half-dozen such slaves
Cassandra closed her mouth, looking confused. "All in
the tribe were slain by the Horsemen!"
Eve snorted. "Less then a third were slain. Most escaped
into the desert. After Adam killed you and rode away, he found
the tribesí slaves housed in a grotto. He struck their chains,
told them to hide until the others were gone then take what they
could of what was left behind and head toward sunup. The
opposite direction the Horsemen were headed."
"He told you this. . ?"
"I know this." Eve said firmly. "I know
everything about Adam. Good and evil. From his days as a slave
to his days as a scholar and everything in-between. I know more
about him then he does. And you, woman, have no right to judge
him." Her eyes shifted to MacLeod. "And you have even
"She's right, you know." Amanda spoke up. MacLeod
opened his mouth and the thief threw up a hand to cut him off.
"Oh, what happened to her was horrible. I'm not arguing
with that. Of course, I doubt there isn't a female Immortal over
five hundred that hasn't been in a similar situation. . .or, for
that matter, any male Immortal over five hundred."
Cassandra gaped at her in disbelief.
"What did you expect, Cassandra?" Joe spoke up.
"Did you expect me to toss away ten years of friendship
with a man over events that happened three thousand years ago?
He's not the same man he was then anymore then I'm the same man
I was thirty years ago."
Cassandra stared at him then at Amanda and on to Richie. The
latter shook his head vigorously, holding up his hands to ward
off any questions. "Hey, don't ask for my opinion! I'm not
taking chances of getting her upset with me!"
"Bright boy." Methos mumbled, still staring down at
"I agree." Eve said thoughtfully. "Any chance
of taking him home with me?"
Methos looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "A
little young for you, don't you think?"
"Everyone's a little young for me."
"More like a lot young." Methos gave her a shadow
of a grin and Eve jabbed him in the ribs again with a elbow.
"What exactly do you hope to accomplish with this
recitation, Cassandra?" Eve asked. "Since you've gone
to all this trouble, what do you want? Do you want an apology?
I'm certain Adam'll be happy to oblige and I've no doubt he'll
mean it. Do you want monetary reimbursement? Give me an amount
and I'll have it drawn from our joint account. Do you want him
"Don't you think he deserves some kind of
punishment?" MacLeod asked but his tone was oddly
For the first time, Methos looked up from his hands to stare
at the woman, his face white and drawn. Silently, he reached
over to tug the pins from her hair. Eve absently shook her head,
letting the hair spill down her back and slipped from the couch
to sit at Methos' feet, leaning back against his legs. Methos
ran his fingers through her hair then began to braid it with a
single-minded purpose. It occurred to Joe that Methos knew what
Eve was going to say and was using the excuse of braiding her
hair to keep his face and expression hidden. And his hands busy.
"What kind of punishment? Let's see. . .he killed
members of her tribe. He killed thousands of people besides
them. Would you have him die for every person he's killed?"
Cassandra looked thoughtful but before she could say anything,
Eve was shaking her head. "No, that won't work. Last time I
tallied it up. . .maybe fifty years ago, Adam was still 60-plus
deaths in the credit. And that's counting the Immortals he's
killed. Torture? Hardly fair. Methos didn't do much of the
torturing. That was Caspian. Even so, I'd say that any torture
participated in with the Horsemen would be covered by that
thirty-year span before he joined the Horsemen. And as for rape,
well, between his first five-hundred years and that previously
mentioned thirty-year span, he's so far into credit, it's not
Methos' hands were shaking slightly and he was giving his
self-appointed task for more attention then was needed, ignoring
MacLeodís stare. Eve noticed it.
"Surprised, MacLeod? What? Did you think one morning
some four thousand years, Methos woke up and decided to wipe out
half of Europe? Human monsters arenít born, MacLeod. Theyíre
created. By other monsters. Worse monsters. In this case, human
"What comes around goes around." Joe said suddenly.
Eve nodded. "Exactly." She caught MacLeodís eye.
"Youíre too fixated on Adamís past, ignoring the
thousand-plus years before that and the three thousand years
after. Youíre just too busy being self-righteous to let little
details like. . .oh, letís see. Before the Horsemen. .
.ouch!" She glared over her shoulder at Methos. "All
right! I wonít go into that. How about after?"
Methos didnít say a word, just continued braiding her hair,
gentler this time.
"Okay, fine." She turned back, wrapping her arms
around her legs. "Letís see. . .how about the many
villages Adam helped protect over the centuries? The thousands
of Jews and Gypsies Adam helped me rescue from Hitlerís
Germany? The fact that he offered you his head to help you
defeat Kalas? The times he saved your life? How many times was
MacLeod didnít answer. Like Methos, he was studying his
hands intently, not wanting to meet Eveís eyes.
"Thought as much." Eve said with some satisfaction.
"That doesnít matter!" Cassandra yelled.
"Wrong, Cassandra." MacLeod said, still staring at
his hands. "It does matter." He raised his eyes to
look at Methos. "Methos."
Methos ignored him.
Eve frowned and jabbed Methos with her elbow a couple times
then growled and reached up to tug hard on his nose.
"Ouch! Damn it. . !" He glared at her then
reluctantly looked up to meet MacLeodís eyes.
"Iím an ass. . .which you already knew, Iím sure. I
donít have a right to judge and I have been. Iím
Methos looked down to meet Eveís eyes and also to hide a
smile. "Apology accepted." Tension seemed to slip from
him, his shoulders no longer bowed in defeat and he resumed
plaiting the womanís hair.
end beginning four
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