This story has been incorporated and changed into part of Ricki's Chronicles. I keep it here because some people might want to read the story on its own, not added into the larger whole. It is different enough that you can read both easily. It might also help fill you in on some details - or confuse you more, I don't know. So if you like this story, or Ricki's Chronicles, you might like the other!
I sat alone on the bench as I did everyday at this time. Perhaps I was too much of a creature of habit, or perhaps I just enjoyed watching the people walk by everyday. New faces, whispers of conversations, couples and friends passing each other by. I liked it, liked to watch, but that was all I ever did, just watch. I believe I was getting used to it, sitting silently here on my bench near the window. I didn't have much of a choice either, because I chose no friends to associate with; started no conversations. Perhaps it was also of my own doing that paper and pen had become my friend, or more closely that of a fiction story written by some mortal hand, or that of this Immortal hand. It was the stories I chose to write that kept me company while sitting alone on the bench. Of course, that and the characters I chose to associate with in this story who I was the main character of. In stories I could be with anyone, anywhere, at any time. There was once a purpose to the story that I was writing at that time, but the purpose was lost somewhere in the words. Lost somewhere after the first page where I had placed myself on a lonely desert island with only a palm tree and an empty bottle. Of course there was also this single coconut that I couldn't quite figure out how to open, and had broken the bottle in the process. Understandably enough, I stopped writing right then and there. I closed my book. What was the use? So I instead started again to watch as the people walked by on their ways to some unknown destination. There was a strange similarity to these people, as if I had seen them a few moments before, a feeling of déjà vu perhaps. Suddenly I recognized that it wasn't déjà vu at all, but really another Immortal. My eyes scanned the crowd, looking for another of my kind. I didn't worry much of my safety, even though I didn't have my sword with me. No Immortal would fight with so many of the mortal kind around. He was walking quite nervously down the hall, his eyes scanning the crowd. I watched as his brown eyes fell upon mine, and almost wished I had a camera with me. About six-foot or so, wearing loafers and a long coat, he carried a pile of books in his arms that probably weighed fifty pounds. The reason I wanted the camera was because one of his books was shoved under his chin, another under his arm, as well as ten in his hands. It was quite a sight as those books, one by one, fell to the ground in a pile of loose papers and leather bindings. With a chuckle, I packed up my notebook and pen, grabbed my book bag, and went over to help him. "Having trouble?" I asked, bending down to help him restock the books. He looked up at me with a cocked eyebrow. He pointed a book at me, "If you hadn't been sitting there, I would have been just fine." I added the eighth book to the stack before I noticed the title, "Medieval armaments?" The Immortal placed the ninth on top of it, then the tenth before answering, "I'm interested in history, so?" "Strange, that's all," I commented. For a moment we just looked at each other, then he went to add the last two books to the stack. When the books were piled up to about my waist while standing, the man bent down to pick the whole thing up at once. I watched curiously, wondering if he could do it. Apparently not. "Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to help me?" I shrugged, and picked up five of the books, all I could carry. Even the stack I had weighed thirty pounds, so maybe my earlier guess about weight had been wrong. I waited as the other picked up the rest. "So, where are we going?" "My car. You have a problem?" "No," I answered. "But I don't even know your name." He looked up at me a moment, then sighed. "Adam Pierson, and yours?" "Richelle Scott. Nice to meet you." The trip to his car wasn't exactly a pleasant one. Those books, as I said, weighed thirty pounds, but probably more halfway there. Then of course there was my book bag that kept slipping, and if it wasn't for one kind gentleman, I would have lost a few of my books while readjusting the bag. I'm not complaining though. It was an especially more delightful experience then if I had remained sitting there on the bench. Thankfully, someone else was waiting at the car to open the trunk when we arrived. A young fellow about my age at the time of my first death, with a pleasant smile and glowing blue eyes. That, and a Watcher tattoo on his left wrist which suddenly reminded me of who he was. "Sean Woodruff?" He nodded, "Hello, Richelle. Nice to see you again." You see, we had had a class together once in the college I was still attending. Strange though, I hadn't realized he was a Watcher until just then. With the books unloaded, Pierson turned to me, "I suppose I owe you a bit of gratitude." "Is that your way of saying thanks?" I wondered. Sean had already gotten into the car, and had started the engine, so I should have thought twice about the remark. It might have been my last one to this new Immortal who I had met. Luckily, it wasn't. "No, my way of saying thanks is normally taking a lovely lady as yourself out to dinner." I admit, I flushed at his remark. I didn't know what to say, didn't even know where to begin. Ugh, it would have been better on my part had I overheard a conversation similar to it before, but I hadn't. "You want to have dinner?" I paused, "With me?" "That was the idea," he answered. "Seven all right?" I nodded, mainly because I didn't know what else to say. I watched as Pierson went to the passenger's side and opened the door. Just as he was about to sit down, something caught my mind. "You don't even know where I live." He smiled, "Don't worry, I'll find you." Then he sat down, closed the car door, and the two drove away. I just stared after them, not sure what to think, or do. Good grief, it had been a very long time since someone had talked to me. It was a whole new thing to deal with.
There had been a time when I wouldn't expect anyone to show up on time, even if they did know my address. Then there were those who didn't know my address, and they would even show up. So I never really even expected Adam Pierson to come to my house, little lone on time. So I sat down on my couch in my jeans and T-shirt, watching the beginning of my favorite television show. Ah, my favorite character was going to be on. A knock at my front door startled me enough that I fell off the couch. I landed on my bum, couldn't even believe I had been startled so, but it wasn't the knock, it was the feeling of another Immortal. I left the television on and went to the front door. "Am I early?" He asked, and I just stared at Adam Pierson for awhile. Here he was, five minutes after seven, all dressed up and no place to go. "May I come in?" I shook the cobwebs out of my head. "Sure." I opened the door further, let him step in, and then closed the door. "Sit down, I wasn't really expecting you to show up." He shrugged, "I try." Adam sat down on the couch, practically in the same place that I had just been sitting. His head craned over to the television. "What are you watching?" I shrugged, then reached over to the remote control to turn the show off. "Just a program I watch every night at seven." "Don't turn it off," he said. I didn't turn it off. "I like this show. People keep telling me I look like one of the main characters." Setting down the remote, I went over to a chair across from him. I turned my head to the show, and recognized the episode. Something about these four guys who rode horses. I'd seen it before. "Which one?" Adam turned to look at me. "That one there, the one with the blue face. But I don't see the resemblance." I shrugged, "I can, maybe. But I think it's just the nose." "Maybe." He glanced at his watch. "I've got reservations at seven thirty. I can cancel them…" "I can get ready." I said suddenly, standing from my chair. I left the room, left the conversation, and practically left my skin when I realized I felt yet another Immortal. Suddenly there wasn't just Adam, but some other. I grabbed my sword off my bedroom wall, trying to figure out where the other Immortal was. Suddenly there was a knock at the front door and Adam's voice, "Should I get that?" I walked out to the livingroom with sword in hand. "Are you expecting anyone?" "No," Pierson answered. "And I take it you weren't either." With a breath, I passed through the front room and cautiously opened the door. Took my breath away then and there as I oped the door to a huge bouquet of flowers. Those set aside, I saw the man who had brought them. Long blond hair and green eyes, he stood eye level with me; my door was six inches off the porch. He smiled in greeting. "Good evening, Richelle. May I come in?" I opened my mouth to say no, but he pushed me aside, shoved the flowers in my hand, and came into the living room. Adam Pierson stood up as he saw the other Immortal come in. I busied myself with balancing my sword in one hand and the flowers in the other, but managed to say, "Adam Pierson, this is Alexander Gregory. Alex, this is Mr. Pierson." "I didn't realize you had company." Alexander said haughtily. I could tell he wasn't very happy, but neither was I. Of course, I suddenly realized that he probably did know I had company, he was always on top of the Immortal world, always knew where I was, where those I associated with were. "Have we met?" He asked Adam. "I don't think so." Pierson responded. I suddenly noticed that neither of them had offered their hands in greeting. Maybe they had met. "What are you doing here, Alex?" I asked, setting the flowers down on the coffee table, then turned off the television. "I've got company if you haven't noticed." Alexander looked at me, "Oh, I've noticed." "Should I cancel the reservations?" Adam wondered. I glanced at Gregory, then back to Pierson. "No, I'll only be a minute, and then we'll go." Walking past Alex, I took my sword up to his throat a moment. "Be good." He raised his hands in innocence. "I will. I promise." Sighing, I left the room, and changed into one of the nicer dresses I owned. With a glance at the mirror, I came back into the living room. The two men were staring at each other. Pierson looked seperated from the situation, but Gregory had a look of pure loathing in his eyes. Adam looked up as I came in, "Ready?" I nodded. "Yes. Let's go. Alexander, I'm sorry, but I'm busy. I'll have to talk to you later." Gregory stood as Pierson did, frowning, but he nodded to me. "Some other time then." Then a glance over to Adam, "I'll see you around." And he left out the still open front door. I looked after him as he drove off. I shook my head, then grabbed up my coat. Adam Pierson came over and helped me with my coat. As I turned around, he asked, "Are you sure this wasn't a bad time?" "No," I said. "I think it was the perfect time."
It was getting near the hour of midnight when I chose to go out and sit on the front porch. It was cold, being February, but I didn't really notice. Something had brought me on to the porch, but until the moment I saw the man in the street, I hadn't known the reason. Nervously I looked around for anyone else, but there wasn't anyone. Placing my hand back on the door handle, I was about to to turn around, when the man ran up to the porch. "May I speak with you?" I sighed, turned around, and recognized the man. Great, I thought. An Immortal. I backed up a step, "Yeah, sure." I said to Alexander Gregory, the Immortal I had been Watching for the past year. "Why is such a lovely girl such as yourself, Watching a man such as myself?" He asked. I frowned. "What are you talking about?" "You see this?" He asked, and pulled up his sleeve to reveal a Watcher tattoo. "You've got one too, and have been following me around for over a year now." I didn't say anything, just remained silent as Gregory continued. "And frankly, I'm quite tired of it." He pulled his sword from his coat, and brought it to my neck. Swallowing, I cautioned a few words, "What do you want?" Alexander frowned, "You don't realize who you are. You just keep pretending to be a Watcher, and you don't know you could be the one being Watched." "I don't know what you are talking about." I said, but knew that my words weren't going to change a thing. I could feel it as he pulled his sword away from my throat and made ready to strike. "Please don't kill me." He laughed. "I'm not. I'm going to make you Immortal." The blade plunged deep into my heart, and the heat, blood, and blackness soon followed as my life faded away and I fell to the ground. Gasping, I felt so suddenly my life return to me, but also the pain of being skewered by a sword. I felt also the presence of another Immortal. I opened my eyes, clawing away at the pain in my chest, but then suddenly realized that Alexander once again held his sword to my throat. As the pain faded away, I spoke. "Now what? You've made me in your image, now do you want to take my head too?" "I will, if you choose to go against me. But I am going to offer you another option." He said. His blade still at my neck, I said, "So, what is option two?" "You, ask for reassignment. Leave me alone." He looked away for a moment, then back. "But anytime I want you, you'll come." "You want me to be your pet?" I asked him, appalled. Alexander's blade pressed into my neck. The warmth of blood trickling down my throat made me wince. "You owe me." "For Immortality? Anyone could have given me the same, you know that." I hissed at him. "I'll kill you." Gregory pulled back his sword for the final stroke. "Do what I ask, or your head will be mine." I held up my hands. "Okay! Fine. Just call and I'll be there. Just don't kill me." His sword down, he nodded. "You might want to find a teacher. I'll be around." And he left the porch, his presence faded away. I sagged, thankful I was still alive.
"He thinks I'm his little pet project. A puppy who will come anytime he calls. It's a pain." I told Adam over our meal. "So I'm really glad you were there." Pierson shook his head and took a sip of his wine. "He killed you, and now you let him own you. I've heard of a similar instance." I sighed, wiped my hands on my napkin. "You're not very sympathetic." "Well, it's not my fault that you allowed him to rule over you like that." He shrugged. "Why don't you just kill him?" "Kill him? And then I get his Quickening and he rules over me for the rest of my life. Yuck." I stuck out my tongue, and Adam chuckled. "At least his knowledge and power is in me for the rest of my life. A fact I'd rather not have to deal with." "You'll have to do something if you don't want him stopping by every so often wanting you… What does he call you to do anyway?" I rolled my eyes. "I have a feeling it's not what you're thinking. He has me do all sorts of things. Errands, attend concerts with him, stall Immortals coming after him. The list goes on and on. One time he wanted me to make him a five course meal, then wait on his date like a made." I shivered at the thought. "Even had to wear a French maid uniform." Adam chuckled, and I glared at him. "It's not funny." "It is." He said, but stopped laughing. "It's one of the most ridiculous things I have heard." "I'm glad it amuses you. But in the meantime, you've also gotten yourself on his most wanted list." I said seriously. Pierson looked at him, dead serious. "What do you mean?" "I mean," I started. "That Alexander has a habit of writing down and going after every Immortal that has ever kept me from doing my chores. He's killed one already, one of my friends who had asked me to a movie. Seems that Alex wanted me to massage his back that evening. A week later, Mike was dead." I watched Adam's face change with recognition, and I continued. "He's an ex-Watcher, and he uses his tattoo for information. That' how he knew I had a date with you this evening, and how he'll know where to find you to kill you." It didn't take an extra moment to sink in. "You're saying he's going to kill me for taking you out to dinner? I didn't do anything to him." "I know. Now isn't that funny?" I laughed sarcastically, then raised my glass. "So we're in this together, whether you like it or not." "Great," Adam sighed.
I hadn't thought much about Alexander's ploy up until that point. Even when he had killed Mike I had let it go, forgiven him for doing such a thing. Well, I kind of had to since he was two hundred years older then I, and a much better swordsperson. After he had killed Mike, he had asked for my forgiveness, with a sword against my throat. On this evening though, as Adam and I had parted ways, it wasn't my head I was worried about, it was his. If I was correct, Gregory would go after him first, and then come after me. That's the way he had done it in the past, and the way I had assumed he'd do it again. But, on this evening, that old saying about assuming came to play; you assume and it makes an ass out of you and me. Well, me anyway, because once again Alex had his sword to my throat, a fact which was getting on my nerves. "Get a life, Alex. He was only thanking me for helping him with his books this afternoon." "A fact which has not made me very happy. I needed you this evening." He said angrily. "What? To give you a sponge bath? Rub your feet? Go out for cigarettes? I am not your slave." I spit out. "You owe me!" He hissed, bringing his sword ever closer, but this time it didn't affect me like it had at first. It was old hat, and besides, this time I had my sword with me. A quick move, and I brought my sword up and knocked Alexander away. He frowned as I stood on guard against him. "I've more then paid any debt I've ever owed you, Gregory. And I want you out of my life." "That Adam Pierson fellow, he's brain washed you, hasn't he?" He sneered. "He's made you believe that you don't love me anymore, hasn't he?" I gaped at him. "Love you? Are you out of your mind?" "I'll kill him," he said, and Alexander left my house, left my street, and went in search of Pierson. I sighed, the guy had gone mad, completely mad. Great. Even though, I did have one card up my sleeve, namely that Adam Pierson hadn't gone home. I went to the intercom, "It's all clear, Adam." "He's gone?" "Yes," I answered. My eyes trailed over to the patio door at the back of the house and out to the barn out back. It was just a large utility shed, but it had a loft that was quite comfortable and private. I watched as the Immortal came out of the shed and made his way to the house. I opened the back door for him. "He's going to kill you." "Wonderful. What did I do to deserve that?" He wondered. I smiled, closed the door behind him. "You've made me believe I don't love him anymore." "You're kidding. You loved that guy?" I rolled my eyes. "Of course not. But he sure thinks I did." "And you said he was a Watcher once, so he'll probably find my house. So I can't go home." He plopped down on one of my dining room chairs. "I need a drink." "You and me both," I agreed. Adam nodded, "I know just the place."
Even though I had met Joseph Dawson once, and had heard of this bar, I had never bothered going there. I suppose I had never had a reason to, up until tonight, now that it was coming upon the hour of eleven. Of course, I made it my way never to drink, but for some reason, I found a beer in front of me, even though I hadn't drunk from it. Adam on the other hand, was on his second, and wasn't showing signs of slowing. "What are we going to do?" "Leaving town has always been an option." The bar owner, Joe Dawson, said. He had listened to our whole little predicament, and hadn't much else to say. I doubted Adam had expected him to say much more. "We're not going to leave town because of some lunatic," I said. "I'm just going to have to break down and kill him." Joe shook his head. "Maybe you'll get lucky and he'll forget the whole thing." "I doubt it," Adam responded. "Give me another." Dawson gave him another beer, and I suddenly felt the presence of another Immortal. For a moment I though that Gregory had found us, but no, it was some four hundred year old Immortal with his girlfriend. Joe waved to his friends. "Hello MacLeod. Amanda." Adam looked up from his third bottle, then back again. He was, I believed, getting drunk. I watched Duncan MacLeod and Amanda walk over to the bar. Duncan nodded to Adam. "What's with him?" "It's just a little problem we've gotten ourselves into," Pierson told him. I nodded. "A problem by the name of Alexander Gregory." "That kid still bothering you?" Amanda wondered. I shrugged. "Not me exactly, but he wants to kill Adam here. Guy thinks… Wait a second. You know Adam?" I hadn't realized until that moment that no introductions had been spoken. Amanda shrugged. "Who doesn't? But how long have you two…?" I held up a hand. "We met this afternoon." "Really?" Mac asked. "How quaint. You've already gotten him his very own head hunter after twelve hours?" "I didn't mean to. How should I know that Alexander would want me this evening?" I turned, took a sip from my beer and practically gagged. Nope, I'd never to that again. I looked over to Joe. "Water please?" "Sure," he answered. I turned back to MacLeod. "You have any ideas on how to stop this guy?" "How about you kill him?" Amanda suggested. Adam looked up, "We've already thought of that." I nodded in agreement, and Duncan just shrugged. "I guess you're on your own then." And the coupled walked over and sat at an empty table. I turned back to Pierson. "I'm going for a walk. Care to join me?" Adam tipped his beer from one side to another; it was still half full. "Maybe in a minute." I shrugged, and stepped out into the cold night air. There was a bridge nearby, and I made that my destination. I was perhaps half-way across when I suddenly felt the presence of another Immortal. I thought it was Adam, but as I turned to the approaching footsteps, I found it was Alex. I sighed, stepped back a foot, but Alex held up his hand. "Can I ask you a question?" "Look, you try to kill Adam, and I'm not going to be civil with you anymore. Now leave me alone," I told him. He stepped forward. "I just want to ask you a question." "What?" I asked him, and suddenly noticed that he looked kind of tipsy as he reached into his pocket for something. Then I realized that he really must have been drunk when he pulled out a small box. "Would you…" I sighed. "Alexander, you're drunk." "Marry me?" I cringed, suddenly felt Adam came up behind us. "Who's marrying who?" Pierson put a hand on my shoulder, and I suddenly realized he too was drunk as he kissed me on the cheek. "Have I missed something?" Alexander was silent, his eyes full of anger and hatred. A sword issued out from his coat, and he stepped forward to Adam who was backing away. "I'll take his head for your hand." Adam frowned, "I know I've missed something." He took his sword from his coat to defend himself, then looked over at me, suddenly sober. "What's going on?" "I'm going to marry her, and you aren't going to stop me, Adam Pierson." Alex threatened. He came towards Adam, sword raised. A moment passed as Alexander tried to disconnect Adam from his head, a sight worthy of noting because Alex wasn't as drunk as I had thought him to be. He did things in threes, attack upper cut, lower cut, upper again, three jabs to the stomach. None of the moves hit Adam, and I frowned, bringing my own sword out. I placed it, as well as myself, between the two. "It's sweet that you two are fighting for me, but this isn't the middle ages anymore." "Haven't you heard? The middle ages are back, much like the sixties." Pierson mumbled, grinned slightly, then looked past me to Alexander. "Shall we continue?" Alexander lifted his sword into the air, and sidestepped me to combat another moment with Adam. I watched then, intrigued, and suddenly wondered how old Pierson was. He did happen to be better then Alexander who was two hundred… I sighed, brought my sword close to Alex. "No one is going to lose their head over me." Alex hit my sword out of the way, the frown on his face deepening. "Out of my way, or I'll fight you myself." I turned to look at Pierson, who was still ready to fight. Turning back, I answered, "If you want to pursue this further, let's get it over with now." I pulled my sword back to ready. Adam stood back, sword at his side, ready to watch the fight. "Let's go then," Alexander responded, and our swords clanged together. I figured that even though he was larger, older, and more skilled then I, he really didn't want to kill me. Sooner or later I would get the winning hand, but it would take time. Gregory brought his sword in a deadly arch past my stomach, but I jumped away, brought my sword in a downward stroke, which he blocked. Another arch, one I instead blocked, sent his sword back as he changed attacks, a jab to the side. His third move disappeared, and I suddenly felt myself weakening as stroke upon stroke I blocked. I knew I had endurance, but he wasn't tiring. And then, suddenly, a tip of his head, a twitch he had, and he brought his sword in one more arch, which I jumped away, then back, to bring my sword into his chest, then out again as he slumped to the ground. "Do it," he hissed. "If you truly do not love me, and want this Pierson, then kill me." I hesitated, wondering whether I should do what he asked. The notion, I figured, was preposterous; I could never do such a thing. He had been the reason, the beginning of my Immortality, and I would never forget that, even if he did use it for his own purpose. Before the stroke of my sword took the life out of him for a time, I said, "No. I won't kill you. But leave me alone." As his body went limp from lost blood, I turned away from him and towards Adam. There was a moment, as I noticed he had not put away his sword, that he might kill Alexander for me. He shook his head though, and put his blade away. "Let's get out of here." I nodded. "Let's."
I have only one heart in which to love, in which to laugh, with which to cry. My heart has never allowed me to fall to the ground in anguish with the death of a family member, or that of a friend. My heart has allowed me to stay strong, and face every new day with optimism and hope. Face every new evil that would come with forgiveness. I hadn't thought that Alexander would give up, never suspected for a moment for him to die without a fight, but he had. I could still see in my mind's eye that scene where Gregory had finally fallen. I guess I knew it would have come down someday to Adam and him fighting, Alex had never, through the ten or so years I had known him, to give up without a fight. And he had come and fought Pierson, and had lost.
Adam Pierson looked up at me from the ground. He knew I had seen it all, had watched the final blow, and Gregory's body fall to the ground. I had watched the Quickening, and as it left, he said, "It had to be done." I nodded and came over to him, but did not touch him, nor look at the headless body to his side. I saw instead something I had never seen before, a small velvet box that had tumbled from Alexander Gregory's pocket. I bent down to scoop it up, and suddenly knew what it was. I chucked it into the nearby river with a splash. I would never allow myself to remember that he had said he had loved me, or that he had wanted to marry me. It wasn't something I had wanted to remember. I went to Adam, and helped him to stand. "Are you okay?" He nodded, "Yes. But are you?" There was a moment of thought, and sudden recognition that kept me from telling a lie. "Yes. I'm fine." I had only known Adam Pierson for a week, but he had stuck by me, even when he easily could have left town after being threatened by Alexander. It was noble of him, and I told him so as we walked along the river's edge. "Noble? I did what I had to do," he answered. "And I have to stick by my friends. MacLeod reminded me of that once." I nodded. "Duncan is a smart guy. He knows what he's talking about. I'm just glad you listened." As we walked along the shore, I could see the moon's reflection on the water, I could hear the calm sound of the water, and I stopped, just to listen to the world around me. "I'm going on a little trip." "Where?" Adam asked me as he too stopped to look at the river. "I don't know," I told him, but I placed a hand on his arm. "But you're welcome to join me. Wherever." He was silent, and I suddenly wished I hadn't said anything. Then he turned, smiled, and said, "Not right now, I have other things I must do first. But you could always visit me in Paris." I watched as he walked away, then sighed. "Paris is supposed to be pretty this time of year."
© 1998 Ricki