"Mamma, I am going out with Alexander, be home before dark." Jordan said
as she started for the door. She had just turned twenty-one, and was to be
married the next day.
"Jordan, you do not need to see him the night before your wedding. Stay in and help me finish your dress."
"But mamma, the wedding is not till tomorrow. We can do it tonite. We are just going for a picnic on the coast. I will be back before dark. Promise you."
Jordan's mother walked towards her daughter and hugged her. "Your papa would be so proud of you, God Bless his soul. all right then, but you be careful and make it home before dark. Understood?"
"Yes mamma." She hugged her mother back. "I promise."
"Jordan?" her mother said with a tear rolling down her cheek.
"Never mind you." She said as she watched her daughter walk out the door.
Jordan walked down the path to the spot where she and Alexander were to meet. They had been betroved to each other since before they were born. As they grew up, they had fallen love and had remained so even when he spent time traveling in Ireland and Scotland where his family came from before they settled in Wales. Now Jordan couldn't imagine anyone else she would want to spend the rest of her life with. As she was setting up the picnic near the water, she saw Alexander walking towards her. He was gorgeous in her eyes. His long reddish hair and eyes as blue as the water on the lake and his part Irish smile could melt Jordan a mile away.
"Afternoon, Miss Jordan," he said as he bowed slightly. "Ya mamma let you come? I had to argue with me mamma to let me out to see you. She said 'twas bad luck to see me bride."
"As long as we are together, no bad luck can harm us." Jordan said as she wrapped her arms around his muscular body and hugged and kissed him. They were both very traditional, but yet had still found a way to enjoy the joys of marriage before the honeymoon. "Mamma put up a fight, but she let me come. I hope you are hungry, I brought lots of food."
"I was thinking more of a feast before the feast." Alexander said as he slid his hand down her thigh. "After tomorrow, the fun of sneaking around will be gone." He flashed her a smile that no woman in her right mind could resist.
"Alex!" she shyly protested as she pushed his hand off her leg. "Not in public."
"No one else is around. Jordan, ya know I love ya an' I wanna be with ya." He said kissing her neck and sitting her down on the blanket that had been spread out for the picnic. "Then I will race ya to the water."
"The undertow will be rough with tes storms we been havin."
"Come on, what are ya chicken? We both can swim, nothing is gonna happen."
Jordan thought it over for a moment and smiled. "Ok, you know I am never able to resist you when you smile that Irish smile of yours."
Within a minute, Alexander had striped down only to his underwear and was already in the water. Jordan took her time taking off her clothes, wanting to entertain her lover. "Did you hear something?" She said in a panic as she turned around looking for the noise she heard.
"Tis nothing Jordan. Come..." Alexander stopped. Jordan turned with a jerk, to look at the water. He was no where to be seen.
"Alex? Alex? Come on Alex, this isn't funny show thyself." There was still no answer. She ran to the waters edge and looked around. Floating a few feet away to her left was Alex. She ran to the waters edge near where he was floating face down, and tried to get in the water. The undertow was so rough, she wasn't even in ankle deep when she was dragged out and under.
A few minutes later, Jordan had managed to break free of the undertow and get out of the water. She ran and put what clothes she had taken off, on. She ran and dressed in what clothes she had taken off and headed for the path, screaming "Help! Someone please help, my fiancee` is in trouble at the water." There was no answer. Up ahead she could see an old cabin. She ran up there and knocked on the door.
An odd looking man opened the door, looked at her and smiled. "Yes?" he said with an American accent.
"Please help, my fiancée and I got caught in the undertow in the lake, and I think he may drown.
"I'm sure he's gone by now, please come in and dry off."
"No, I got to help him." She said heading away.
The man grabbed her arm and yanked her into the cabin locking the door behind her. "You're not going anywhere!" he said as he shoved her into a chair. He grabbed a piece of rope, and tied her arms and legs to the chair. "Ahh my pretty thing, you have so much to learn. You will have many men in time, why bother with one who you will never see again."
Jordan looked at him and around the cabin. It was decorated with swords of all types and lengths. "Please let me go, I have to help him. We are to be married tomorrow. Me mamma will be worried if I don't get home."
"You're not going anywhere, not just yet. Now shut up you whore." He slapped Jordan across the face and kicked her in the leg. "You think I haven't been watching you and your boy making love by and in the water. Your mamma musta raised you better than that. Such a sweet and frail thing. Too bad you won't last long in the Game."
"What Game? What are you talking about. And don't talk about me mamma like that." She said as she spat at his feet.
He slapped her again and yanking her hair, pulled her head back. "Don't cross me Miss, or you'll find out sooner than you want to." He leaned down an looked directly into her eyes. Jordan saw the hate and pleasure in his eyes. He jerked her head upright, and walked to the door. He unlocked it and walked out.
Jordan tried to break free of the ropes, but they were too tight. An hour later, the man returned. He had the food that Jordan had taken to the picnic earlier, but there was no sign of Alexander. "What are you doing with me food?"
"It's all taken care of, everyone thought you both drown and that your body was carried out to sea."
Jordan looked at him and realized he was serious. A tear rolled down her cheek as she realized everyone thought she was dead. "But I did not drown, I am here. Why do they think that. If you was there, why didn't you tell em the truth?"
"It will be the truth eventually, until then you are my guest here and will do what I say. If not, you will surely die."
Jordan looked away from the man as he handed her some of the food. "I wanna go home to me mamma."
"Your mamma thinks your dead, it would fright her so if you came back from the dead. Now eat!"
Jordan spat on the man's feet and looked at him "You are an evil man, and I will never do what you say."
"I warned you once not to cross me!" he said as he slapped her for the third time. This time it was a lot harder than he had planned, and she fell to the ground in an unconscious heap. "Next time you won't be so lucky."
London: 1667-A few days later
Duncan MacLeod, and his lover Amanda Darieux were walking down the streets of London, when they received the buzz. They looked around and saw a young woman in her mid twenties who had appeared to have been beaten. Amanda was the first to realize she had just become one of them and cautiously approached her.
The young woman was frightened as Duncan approached with Amanda and started to run. It was the first time she had received that funny feeling, after waking up two days ago in an old warehouse. She had no idea what had happened, other than she knew she and her fiancée had died.
"Wait!" Amanda said. "I am Amanda and I'm like you."
The girl hesitated for a moment and turned around. "What do you mean, like me? I do not understand."
"It's ok, come and we'll explain. This is Duncan MacLeod, my friend." Jordan looked at Duncan cautiously and wasn't sure if she should trust him. He was after all, a male and that was how she had died.
"I am Jordan Christine." She said looking at Amanda. She refused to look Duncan in the face as she could sense he was doing to her.
"We'll help you get through this, come."
The three walked a few blocks where Amanda and Duncan had rented a one room flat for their stay. Amanda knew whatever had happened to Jordan had been done by a male and by the way she looked at Duncan, most likely one she did not know. She thought it would be easier for Jordan if she walked between the two. When they got to the flat and walked in, Jordan looked around at the swords hanging from the wall.
"I need to go." She said quickly turning around and heading for the door.
"What is it? Is it the swords you're scared of? It's ok, we won't harm you." Jordan nodded. "Duncan, please move the swords away from here. Let's sit down and you can tell me what you know."
"Does he have to be here?" Jordan said pointing to Duncan.
"Would you like him to leave?" she nodded. "Duncan, why don't you go to the dress shop and pick out some clothes for our guest. I don't think she should be walking around town dressed in those rags."
"But..." he said started to protest.
Amanda stood up and walked him to the door. "Don't you remember how traumatic your first death was?" she whispered. He nodded. He could remember as if it were yesterday. The feelings of fear, confusion and isolation still haunted him at night. "Could you trust anyone at first? No. Imagine how she feels about now. Trust me. By the time you come back, I'll have her opened up and out of her shell. I can tell somewhere beneath all that grime and dirt, there's a beautiful young woman under there. Just give me time ok?"
"Ok, but be careful, you never know." He said as he kissed her and walked out the door.
"So, let's start from the beginning." Amanda said turning back towards the couch. She sat next to Jordan and pushed a strand of loose dark hair out of her face. "What do you remember?"
"Is he a friend of yous? Will he harm me?"
"Duncan? Duncan is my friend, and he won't hurt anyone unless he has too. You are safe with us, you just happened to find two of the best."
"The best at what? I still do not understand why I am here. A few days ago I was at home a day away from my wedding. I met my fiancee at the shore, and he drowned. I went for help, and I found this cabin... this man... " she stopped and a tear rolled down her cheek.
"This man did what? Did he hurt you?" Jordan nodded. "Did he beat you?" another nod "Did he rape you?"
Jordan looked away from Amanda. "He said he had seen me and Alexander together several times and why should I waste my time trying to save someone that could not be helped when I could have a lover that would last forever. He kept mentioning something about a Game, but I never heard of a Game that involved what he did to me."
Amanda realized the man that had done this to her was one of them. "The Game..." Amanda said trying to find a way to explain it. She had found many new Immortals and had trained them, but most of them had been men and eventually her lovers. She had little experience dealing with female Immortals. That was more of Duncan's style. She wished he was here at the moment. "Did this man, kill you?"
"How could he?" Jordan asked. "If I was dead, I would not be here with you."
"When Duncan and I found you, did you feel this ringing in your head?" she nodded. "That is a way to know when others like us are near. It's sort of like protection so no one can sneak up on you. It comes in handy. "
"But why did I get it now and not before?"
"This man killed you, but when I refer to one of us, I am talking about Immortals. We can't die in the ways mortals can. Well, we can *die*, but we come back to life. Unless..."
"I do not understand. I can not die? But I thought you said this man killed me. I am confused."
"You died yes, but you came back to life. That is call Immortality. You can live for hundreds of years. I'm over 800 years old."
"You must be a witch then!" Jordan said as she got up and headed towards the door. She had heard about a witch in her village at home, but she had never seen one.
"No, I'm not. You're not either."
"But how is it possible? I can die but not really? This is all part of a Game?"
"Let me explain the Game to you, and maybe you'll understand this better. Inside each Immortal, is a power known as the Quickening. It's our power that keeps us alive. Part of the Game is to keep that power. At one point in the future, there will be what is called The Gathering where those who have survived will fight till the end. For in the end, there can be only one."
"But how can there be only one if we can not die?"
"The only way we can die is if we loose our head. When that happens we loose our Quickening and the other Immortal gains it and grows stronger. Does this make any sense?"
"I am confused. I do not know how to fight, so how will I make it in this Game?"
" It's quite easy once you learn how. Swords are quite easy to use once you know how to handle them."
"Swords!" Jordan yelled as she turned pale.
"Why are you so afraid of them?"
"The man.... In his cabin there were swords everywhere."
"They're the best tool we have to fight. Here," Amanda said as she pulled her broadsword out from underneath the bed where she kept it as a spare. "Try this."
Jordan stood and looked at the sword for a second, and then reached for it. It was a lot heavier than she expected, and dropped it cutting her leg and foot. "Ouch!" she yelled out in pain.
Amanda picked the sword up and helped Jordan back on the couch propping her leg and applying pressure to stop the heavy bleeding. "Watch your leg, and you'll see the power."
Jordan watched her leg and was amazed how quickly it healed. Sparks covered the wound, and within minutes the only remaining evidence that there had been any injury at all, was the dried blood on her leg. "Are ya sure I'm no witch?"
Amanda laughed, "Yes I'm sure. You'll get use to the broadsword. Try it again, although lift it slowly and let yourself adjust to its weight. Let it become part of you."
Jordan did as she was told, and began to adjust quickly and easily. She swung the sword around more and more as she began to get comfortable with the movements Amanda was showing her with her rapier. About an hour later, Jordan was in mid swing when the buzz hit. She let go of the sword and Amanda ducked to avoid loosing her head.
"That would be Duncan." Amanda said laughing. She picked up the sword and handed it back to Jordan. "This is yours now, you're getting pretty good."
"I could never accept tis from you."
Amanda was about to insist when Duncan walked in the door startling Jordan. She swung the blade towards the door, this time able to hold on to the hilt with both hands.
"I see you wasted no time, Amanda." He said as he grinned and laid the packages he had brought with him down. "Here, let me show you an easier way to hold it." He said walking towards her.
"Get back!" she said aiming the sword at Duncan. She had swung it so hard and fast, she lost her balance and fell forward. In one large stride, Duncan caught her and helped her back up. She struggled to break free, and Duncan let her go.
"Jordan," Amanda started. "Why don't you go and clean yourself off while I talk with Duncan." Jordan nodded and walked out the door.
"She doesn't trust me yet?"
"I don't think she will for awhile either. The man that killed her was one of us, and he beat and raped her. I don't think she'll be able to trust a guy for a long time. And I don't think she understands what she is quite yet. I tried explaining to her the best I could, but she still has a lot of questions."
"Don't we all." He said as he kissed her. "Does she seem like a quick learner?"
"She's getting there, once she gets use to the weight of the sword..."
"Did you have to give her a broadsword, they're so heavy."
"But her inner strength, will guide her until she has physical strength. I think this is going to be a challenge for us, but we can do it."
A few minutes later, Jordan came back to the flat all cleaned up. Amanda had been right, under all that dirt, and grime, there was a beautiful young woman. She had dark Auburn hair and the darkest brown eyes, that were filled with so much pain and confusion. She was still awkward around Duncan, but at least she would look at him.
"You're looking a lot better." Duncan said.
"Thank you." She said looking at him. "Amanda tried to explain this Immortality thing to me, but I do not understand it completely."
"You will, give it time." Amanda said going over to her and hugging her. "Duncan and I will help you through this."
"Everyone feels the same as you do when it first happens." Duncan said.
"Speak for yourself Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." Amanda said as she laughed. "Why don't we get you some food and let you rest, then we can begin your training tomorrow. Ok?"
Jordan nodded and headed to the kitchen and started to look for things to cook. "What can I fix you?"
Amanda walked over to her, "As long as you are a guest here, you don't have to cook or clean. Just be comfortable, you may be here awhile."
"But I am suppose to clean, that is my job."
Duncan looked confused for a moment and then realized she was brought up in the style of women being barefoot and pregnant cooking an cleaning while the men did nothing to help out. "Not here, your only job is to learn to survive."
Jordan looked confused for a moment and then sat down on a chair. "But how will I earn my masters' respect?"
"The only Master you need to respect in that way, is yourself. Duncan and I are only your masters in training, that's all."
"Ok," Jordan said as she stood back up and headed back to the cooking area. Duncan and Amanda just looked at each other and shook their heads.
Lyon, France: 1667- Two months Later
Amanda and Duncan had spent two months training Jordan, and even though she
was starting to come out of her shell, she was still wary around Duncan.
She had seen first hand what is was like to take a head when she was with
Amanda one day. They had been walking in Paris and Amanda was challenged.
She easily took the guys head, and Jordan watched the Quickening. It wasn't
until that point that she fully understood what being Immortal meant.
Now they were living in Lyon. It was early in the fall, and the memory of being raped and killed still haunted Jordan at night. Amanda tried to get her to open up more about what happened, but Jordan would try to change the subject. One day, Duncan was out and Amanda and Jordan had a chance to talk.
"Amanda?" Jordan asked looking at her teacher with a very concerned look on her face.
The two had been sparing when Amanda withdrew her sword and looked at her student. "Is everything ok? You're not fighting like usual." Jordan had never held a sword until the day Amanda gave her the broadsword, but she had become very skilled. She was a quick learner, and after two weeks of training and learning from her mistakes, Jordan fought with the broadsword as if she had had it for 100's of years.
"I am worried. I think I may be..." she stopped. Amanda looked at her puzzled.
"May be what? Is everything ok?"
Jordan sat down on the ground in the forest where the two women had been sparring. "The past is catching up to me. I have not felt good in the morning lately and I am gaining weight."
Amanda looked blankly for a moment, then realized what Jordan was talking about. "Your talking about being pregnant?" Jordan nodded. "Oh god." Amanda said. "I knew there was something I forgot to tell you that day. There is no need to worry about that, it can't happen. Immortals are sterile, unable to have children."
"But tis happened before I became Immortal." She said as a tear rolled down her face.
Amanda sat next to her student and put her arm around her shoulder. "It doesn't matter, no one knows why we can't have them, but children are not in it for us."
Jordan looked at Amanda "You mean I would not have been able to have a child with Alexander? I wanted that very much."
"I'm sorry." Amanda said. She never had the motherly instinct so she didn't know what it was like to want a child so badly and learn you couldn't. Children was something she never thought about. It just wasn't part of who she was. She accepted and didn't mind.
"I thought after all the times I had been with Alexander and not have a baby and then to think I may have one by the bastard that put me through this." She stopped. "It would have been my fault."
Amanda wiped away the tears falling from her face. "Rape is never the victims fault. Do you want to talk about it? It might help you feel better."
Jordan nodded and was about to say something when she grew silent and shook her head. Amanda stood up and was about to walk away when Jordan walked up behind her. "I was scared."
Amanda hugged her student and they sat back down. "It's ok to talk about it, you may feel better."
"After he knocked me out, I woke up the next day tied to his bed naked. He was standing over me with a whip hitting me. I told him to stop...."
"Please stop, I have not done harm to you."
"You bitch!" he said as he whipped her again. "You won't listen to me, that's what you have done. You waste all your time on a dead man when you can have a real lover."
"Alexander would be alive if you had helped me," she said flinching as she was hit again. Her legs, arms, and stomach already were bruised with red whelps forming at every place of impact.
"Don't mention that name. I'll show you what a real lover can do for you." He said as he laid on top of her, the whip still in one hand.
"No, please get off me."
"Why, I know for a fact your not the innocent girl you act like. I've seen you with your lover, he's a baby compared to me."
"Please!" she said as she struggled to break free of him, but it was to late, he had already plunged deep and hard into her causing her to scream in pain.
"Oh come on bitch, you should like it rough." He said as he slapped her.
Jordan tried to break free, but she had no luck. Everytime she moved, he would either slap her or beat her with the whip. He raped her repeatedly whipping her each time she tried to break free. Finally, Jordan just laid there giving in. She had lost all of her energy to fight him off. With the struggle over, he lost the excitement and pleasure and stood up.
"See, I told you I'd show you what a real lover could do for you." He said as he walked out the door locking it behind him.
Jordan laid on the bed covered in her blood shivering. She wanted to get out of there, but didn't have the energy to move. She just wondered why anyone could be so cruel. A few hours later, Jordan was awaken by the door opening.
"Come on bitch," he said as he untied her. "People are looking for me." He said as she picked her up by her hair and drug her out the door and onto the back of his horse. Each time they stopped, he would tie her up and rape her over and over until she passed out from sheer exhaustion. Finally, somewhere around London, she didn't wake up until a few hours before Amanda and Duncan found her.
"It's ok. The man who did this to you will be found and Duncan or I will take care of him. It wasn't your fault."
"Thank you for listening, I feel better. Do you think he may come for me?"
"It's possible, but Duncan and I will prepare you. You're pretty good you know."
"Can we continue some more? I want some more practice."
"I think you've had enough for the day, why don't we head back to the cabin. Duncan should be home in a little while and he may begin to worry." Amanda said as they stood up and started walking towards the cabin.
"Are you and Duncan in love?"
Amanda tried not to laugh. "We love each other yes, but in love? Duncan? No."
"Then why do you stay with him. Is he your master?"
Amanda looked at Jordan and laughed. "We really need you to break you of this master thing. A woman is nobody's master except to themselves. Duncan and I have been friends for a while now. He's still a young one really."
They got close to the cabin when the buzz hit. As usual, Jordan turned pale and looked as if she was going to faint. She drew her sword as Duncan walked out.
"Sorry." She said as she withdrew her sword.
"It's ok, you'll get use to it. I'm glad to see your reflexes are improving though."
"I think I'll go start supper now." Jordan said as she walked into the cabin. Duncan looked at Amanda.
"Is she ok?"
"She's been through a rough time. She finally opened up to me, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She's scared and confused, but I think talking about it was just what she needed. I think she will be ok if we give her time to heal."
"Unfortunately, that may not be an option."
Amanda looked at Duncan blankly. "What are you talking about?"
"The man that did this to her is John Mars. I met him in town earlier and I think he may be looking for her."
"Damn, I thought Mars would be dead by now. Does he know where she is?"
"No, not yet. But he has ways of knowing things. We need to keep a close eye on her. She's not ready to fight someone that powerful."
"But we can't interfere, you know that. Duncan if he comes for her, we have to let it happen. And we both know she won't be the one to walk away."
"We'll work harder with her. She's learning quickly and she has a fair chance."
"We both know John Mars does not fight fair. Duncan, I've been around a lot longer and I've almost lost to Mars many times. If something hadn't happened, we wouldn't be standing here having this conversation. I think maybe it would be best if Jordan and I left town for awhile. I could take her to Rebecca."
"Amanda," Duncan said "You can't teach her to run from her fights. If everyone ran to Holy Ground when they were challenged, then what's the point of the Game?"
"You're right." Amanda said as she sighed. "We just have to wait and see what happens."
The next day, the waiting was over. Amanda and Jordan were walking in town together when they got the buzz. Jordan turned pale and Amanda was at her side. There standing across the street was John Mars. He pointed to an alley between to buildings and Amanda and Jordan followed.
"Amanda..." Jordan said.
"I know. That's John Mars. Duncan told me he was in town yesterday."
"You knew and did not tell me?"
"Amanda this is not your fight, you have no right to be here, my challenge is with Jordan." Mars said as he drew his sword.
"I'm just here to make sure you play nicely." She said as she smiled a cocky smile.
Jordan looked at Amanda and then at Mars and drew her sword. Amanda stood by and watched as her student was being beaten. She knew she couldn't interfere, but part of her wanted to. Jordan was pretty good and had gotten in a few good shots, but within minutes, Mars had her down on her knees. Jordan looked at Amanda with fear in her eyes. Mars raised his sword, and as he was about to make the final blow, they heard the sound of a horse galloping towards them. Mars withdrew his sword and ducked into the side door of a saloon.
The man on the horse got off and ran to Jordan's side.
"Is everything all right?"
"No." Amanda said as she noticed the man's sheriff badge. "That man who ducked into the saloon attacked us." She said as she went to Jordan and helped her up. "We want him arrested for rape."
"When did this happen?" he said looking at the two women. The younger one had looked beaten but not raped.
"A few months ago. I assume he attacked us to do it again."
"Is this true miss?" he said looking at Jordan. She was still in shock and just nodded. "All right, I'll see what I can do." He said as he entered the door.
Amanda helped steady Jordan and they left. They mounted their horses and headed back to the cabin as fast as they could. Jordan was silent most of the way.
"I let you and Duncan down." She said as she slowed down.
"No, you didn't. You're not ready yet. There was nothing you could do, you were challenged and I couldn't interfere."
"But I should be ready. You and Duncan have been training me for many months now, and I am not learning as I should. I have disgraced my Masters."
"Jordan," Amanda said as she stopped her horse. "We are not your Masters. We are your friends and you did not disgrace us. It takes a long time to train, and not even the best can handle someone like Mars. He's been around for over 1,500 years. It takes time, and you will learn. I promise you, one day you will be the best student I have taught." The words she spoke echoed through her mind...
Rebecca's Castle- 851 AD
"I give up!" Amanda yelled as she threw her sword on the ground. "I will
never be as good as you are Rebecca."
"If you give up now, you will not live long enough to find out how good you are." Rebecca said as she picked up Amandas' rapier and handed it back to her. "Now, let's try it again."
"But why? What is the point? I will just loose my head." She said as she tried to block Rebeccas' blow. She had been with Rebecca for a little over a year, and each day since Rebecca had tried to train her. It was doing her no good.
"You have to loose your stubbornness first. Block into the attack, not away from it." She said as she jabbed Amanda in the shoulder with her sword. "If not, your stubbornness will cause you to loose your head, not your skill."
Amanda withdrew her sword and looked at her teacher. "And then I will have disappointed you because I have no skill." She said as she hung her head low.
Rebecca looked at her student and lifted her chin with her finger to look into her eyes. "It takes time, and you will learn. I promise you, one day you will be the best student I have taught."
"Maybe we can go and visit Rebecca." Amanda said coming back into reality. Duncan's buzz as the approached the cabin brought her back.
Duncan came out and looked at the two women. "Do I want to know what happened?" he said noticing the blood on Jordan's shirt.
"No, but I've decided I'm taking to Jordan to Rebecca..."
"We've been through this, Amanda. I don't think..."
"I don't care what you think!" Jordan yelled as she dismounted from her horse. Amanda and Duncan looked at her amazed. Not once in the two months had she been with them, had she yelled, let alone said that many words to Duncan in one sentence. "I almost lost my head to John today, and if Amanda thinks Rebecca can help me than I want to go see her!" she left Duncan holding the reins of the horse in his hands, and stomped off into the cabin.
"I told you that you didn't want to know." She said as she also handed Duncan the reins and headed towards Jordan.
Rebecca's Castle: 1668- Six months Later
Amanda had been right, Jordan did need Rebecca's help. In the six months since she and Jordan had left Duncan for Rebecca's, Jordan grew stronger and a lot more confident. Amanda would be forever in Rebecca's debt for what she had done for her, and loved her like the mother she never had. Rebecca was always more than happy to see Amanda, and was amazed how much Jordan had learned before she arrived. All Rebecca had to do was help her come out of her shell and use the gift Jordan possessed.
One day Amanda and Rebecca were standing over the railing of the castle watching Jordan spar with a dummy Rebecca had made for Amanda so may years ago. "She had a good teacher."
Amanda looked at Jordan and then at Rebecca "If only she fought like this against Mars."
"She wasn't ready. You weren't your first time. With someone like Mars, you need to come to grips with yourself before you can fight. She was just beginning to understand what he had done to her and that was what stopped her from fighting like that." Jordan stopped fighting and looked up towards Rebecca and Amanda. She smiled and then went back to fighting the dummy. "So how does Duncan feel about this, I know you saw him in town the other day."
"Duncan and I aren't on speaking terms at the moment. He thinks I'm letting Jordan run away from her problems instead of facing them."
Amanda looked puzzled "What makes you think that?"
"Would you have fought Mars had Jordan lost?"
"Would you have fought had I lost that day?"
"If I had been challenged."
"Amanda, you can't fight other peoples battles. You may be as very wise, but you still have a lot to learn."
Amanda looked at Rebecca as if she had been slapped in the face. The day of Amanda's first Quickening was a hard one. She had been followed by a man for several days, and retreated to Rebecca's castle for sanctuary...
Rebecca's Castle- 853 AD
"Rebecca! Rebecca!" Amanda cried looking for her teacher as she stood on the balcony. Rebecca appeared at the window and looked down at her student. Rebecca knew before Amanda had hollered what it was. There was another Immortal around.
"You can not come here every time you are challenged."
"Rebecca please." Amanda pleaded. "I'm not good enough."
"Will you run all your life?" She said starting down at the Immortal below. She knew Amanda was afraid but she had to face it sooner or later. "Choose your ground... choose your weapon and face what is to come. You're more than good enough."
A few hours later, Rebecca sat alone in her castle worried. Amanda had not yet returned from the challenge. Finally she got the buzz and Amanda appeared in Rebecca's chamber. Rebecca walked to the secret cabinet and opened the lid. She opened the container holding the crystals of Methuselah's Stone and handed Amanda one.
"Do you remember what I told you three years ago when you tried to steal this?" she said as she placed a piece in Amanda's palm and closed her finger's into a fist around Amanda's.
Amanda nodded. "That one day I will have earned it and it would mean the world to me."
"This is the day." Rebecca said as she let go of her students hand. "Your training with me is done, I can teach you know more."
"But that was different. You pushed me into fighting knowing I was ready."
"Did I? You were ready, and you knew it as much as I. And when she is ready, you will give her the push she needs even if she thinks she's not."
"Do you think she is now?"
"That is not for me to decide. The question is, do you think she's ready?"
Amanda looked at her teacher and then at her student. Jordan had not been the first student Amanda
had, but she felt they had bonded the same way she had to Rebecca. Amanda knew this must have been how Rebecca felt the day Amanda took her first head. If it hadn't have been for Rebecca's love and understanding that day, she wouldn't be here. "I think so, and I think she knows it as well but she just won't admit it to herself."
"If you are sure, then give her that push. There is no more we can teach her."
Amanda looked down at Jordan and nodded. She walked into the castle and into the courtyard. "Want a real partner?" Amanda asked.
Jordan looked puzzled for a moment and then nodded. "Just practice right?" Even though she completely trusted Amanda, she was still wary when they sparred.
"Of course." Amanda drew her sword and the fight began. Amanda knew exactly what kind of push to give Jordan, and she didn't think Jordan would catch on. Amanda didn't fight as well as she usually did in hopes that Jordan's confidence would increase. It was the only way to give her the little push she needed. Within minutes, it was over and Amanda smiled. "You won."
"You were not playing fair, you let your guard down." Jordan protested.
"No I wasn't." She said in a convincing voice. "You won fair and square."
"I could never be better than you! How could you do that to me?" Jordan screamed and threw her sword down.
Amanda looked up at Rebecca puzzled. Her plan to give Jordan that push backfired. "I just wanted to show you that you were ready now. You're training is over. There's nothing more Rebecca or I can do for you."
"I am not ready. I..."
Amanda hugged Jordan and smiled. "Yes you are. I know your scared, but it's time."
Jordan realized Amanda was right. It had been almost a year, and she had had three of the best teachers anyone could ever have. "Will I ever see you again?"
Amanda let go of Jordan and smiled. "Of course you will. Duncan and I as well as Rebecca will always be here if you need us."
"I will go then. Let me gather what little I have." She said as she headed towards the castle.
"No." Rebecca called from above. "Tonight we will celebrate. Then in the morning if you wish, then you may go."
Jordan nodded and smiled. "Thank you. Thank you both."
Glenfinnan: 1668- Three months Later
Jordan was walking down the dirt road of Glenfinan, Scotland, one day. It
had been three months since she had left Amanda and Rebecca, and luckily
she hadn't run into any other Immortals. She had spent the time traveling,
doing things she had never done before, but living each day scared of being
confronted by another Immortal.
It was getting late, and Jordan who had been looking for a place to stay all day, was about to give up. She decided to camp in the woods, and had dismounted off her horse when she got the buzz. She drew her sword and looked around. There in the distance she could see a figure moving towards her. As it got closer, she heard the voice in the dark. "I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."
"Duncan?" she asked as she withdrew her sword and held up her lantern to get a better look.
"Jordan? Is that you?" She ran up and hugged her former teacher and smiled. "Where's Amanda?"
"I do not know. I left she and Rebecca three months ago. I have been on my own since."
"Out here? All by yourself?"
"No, I have been traveling around Europe. You?"
"After you and Amanda left, I spent time in London and here. I'm from here."
"Have you seen her since we left?"
"Once. It was a few months after you left for Rebecca's. We didn't get along on friendly terms."
"Duncan, I am sorry for everything. I was scared and confused then. I..."
"There's no need for an apology or for you to stay here alone. You may stay with me and Connor."
"Your kinsman? I am not welcome there."
"Any student of mine is always welcomed at Connor's. It's safer than staying here alone. Come let's go." The two got on their horses and rode to Connor's castle.
Connor was outside when the buzz hit him. In the distance he could see two horses. Duncan had left earlier, and should have been back by now. He was still really a young Immortal, and Connor often worried about his kinsman. Duncan had taken his first head years ago, and he was good, but Connor couldn't help to think 'what if'.
As the two horses rode up, Connor noticed it was Duncan and what looked like a girl. It was dark and it was hard to tell. When they dismounted, Connor could see that indeed it was a very beautiful girl, just a bit on the grungy side.
"Leave it to my Duncan here to ride off and come back with a pretty woman in his grasps." He said as he kissed Jordan's hand. "And you are?"
"Connor, this is Jordan. The student Amanda and I were training. Jordan, this is Connor MacLeod, my kinsman."
"Same clan, different vintage." He said with a smile. It was a little joke between he and Duncan. "Nice to meet you. Are you staying?"
"If it is ok with you, Duncan said I was welcome."
"Any student of Duncan's is as welcome as he is. Come, let's get you settled in."
The three Immortals stayed up most of the night talking. Jordan had cleaned herself up and put on a clean dress while Connor and Duncan fixed dinner. Jordan loved to hear the stories of Duncan when he was "just a lost puppy" as Connor stated it. Jordan was still wary around unknown men, but she had a feeling Connor was ok. She warmed up to him more quickly then she had with Duncan when they first met.
The next day, Connor and Jordan were out sparring when they got the buzz. The three had been drinking, and Jordan was not fighting as well as she usually did. She was hoping it was Duncan because she was in no mood for a challenge.
When the horse stopped and the rider dismounted, Jordan turned pale. "Mars." She said.
Connor saw her turn white and then tried to remember where she had heard the name John Mars. Then he remembered Jordan talking about the guy that killed her. "You are not welcome here." Connor said as he drew his sword.
"My challenge is not with you MacLeod, not yet. It is with Jordan."
Jordan looked towards Connor. She knew the ale they had been drinking had weakened her and she could tell Mars had been drinking as well. Connor could see the fear in her eyes, and wished Duncan were there. There was nothing Connor could do, the challenge had been made. Jordan had to fight, even in her state. Connor nodded encouragingly and Jordan drew her sword.
Mars made the first hit, and Jordan was caught of guard as she tried blocking it and her sword vibrated from the force. She stepped back and caught her breath. Mars came towards her again, but she stepped into the arc and was able to slash his chest causing him to retreat back a few steps. She lunged forward and tried it again. He blocked her and sliced into her leg. She fell on the ground in pain, but was able to cut him right below the knee.
Knowing it would take a few moments for her leg to heal, Mars thought he had the advantage. He tried to attack her, but she took her rapier and stabbed him in his heart. Within seconds, he was dead. When her leg healed, she stood up and walked towards Connor.
"You're just going to leave him there? Take his head."
"Not while he is dead, it would not be right." She said. "If he still wants to fight when he comes to, then I will fight again."
She sat on the ground, rubbing her leg. It had healed quickly, but it was still stiff. A few minutes later she felt Mars come back to life and she stood up using her sword for balance. Connor had gone back into his castle, and watched through the window of his room. He knew Jordan wasn't going to finish the fight unless she had to, and he knew Mars wasn't going to let her off that easy.
Mars stood up and charged towards Jordan. She swung her sword towards him, hitting at the wrist. He dropped his sword and fell. Jordan looked down at him and knew this time he would not get up. She raised her sword and took the final swing. Mars's head rolled to the ground and Jordan stood there waiting. She had seen a Quickening, but wasn't sure what it was like.
The white energy escaped Mars's body and floated above Jordan before hitting her. As it did, she cried out in pain. Her body spasmed as the power raced through her body, engulfing her in pain. When it was over, she fell to the ground crying. Connor walked out of the castle and towards her.
"It's over." He said as he kneeled beside her. "Mars can never hurt you again."
Jordan nodded and tried to stand. Connor helped her up and steadied her. "I know, I know." She said as she smiled. "Do me a favor."
"Tell Duncan good-bye for me. Do not let him know what happened."
Jordan nodded. "Promise me you will not say anything. Even if he asks."
"Because I am ashamed." She picked up her sword and headed towards the stable and her horse. Connor just stood there and watched her ride off.
Paris: 1699- Festival of the Fools
During the past 30 years after Jordan took Mars's head, she spent time traveling
the world. She had grown stronger in many ways, and not once had she run
into Duncan. She had seen Connor a few times, and he said nothing about that
night, nor what he said to Duncan. She had also run into Amanda in Egypt.
She was supposedly trading Egyptian artifacts, but Jordan knew better.
Now it was her Birthday. The start of a new year. Jordan had come to Paris to live a little, after all today was the Festival of Fools. She had spent the time alone living in fear of her own emotions. Now she wanted to start a new life. Live a little and have fun. Something she wasn't able to do since the day she died.
Walking down the banks of the Seine, she got the buzz. Jordan looked around and there about ten feet in front of her was Duncan. She frowned as he turned ghost white.
"Jordan?" he asked.
"Hello Duncan." He hugged her and smiled.
"You're suppose to be dead! Connor told me that..."
"I asked him to."
"I was afraid and ashamed. I could not face you after I took Mars's head, so I left."
"Ashamed? But why? You must have fought hard and well to beat him."
"I did, but I really do not want to talk about it. Please, Duncan."
Duncan nodded. "So what brings you to Paris during the Festival of Fools?"
"It tis my birthday and I wanted to start my life over. I have been running from my emotions since that day, and I want to have fun again."
"You've come to the right place for that. Where are you staying? Surly you're not camping out again are you?"
"No, I am staying at an inn on the outside of town."
"Stay with me, I have a place right over there. It'll be a way to start the new year, with an old friend."
Jordan looked hesitant for a moment. "Sure, why not." She said as she sighed.
The two walked back to where Duncan was staying, and Jordan felt at home once again. Once she was settled in, they went to the festival, had a few drinks, and stayed there until hours after midnight. Once they were back at Duncan's, they talked for awhile longer.
"You never told me why your were ashamed of killing Mars." Duncan said as he sat down in the chair.
Jordan crossed to the window and looked out "I told you I would rather not talk about it."
"Jordan, it's never going to get any easier for you to take a head unless you tell me why."
"I have taken six heads since that day, and not one have I been ashamed of. Do you really want to know?" Duncan nodded. "Because I thought if I took Mars's head, I'd feel some sort of honor. Honor for avenging Alexander's death, avenging the fact that my mom thought I was dead, avenging the fact that I was *dead*. But the only thing I felt was more anger towards him. As I received his Quickening, every evil thing he did to me raced through my mind. I could feel it as if it were happening all over again. The rape, the murder, all of it. I had finally come to terms with my Immortality, and to have all those feelings come running back to me..."
Duncan went over to the window and hugged her. She turned and cried into his shoulder. "And so you told Connor to tell me you were dead. Why?"
Jordan looked into Duncan's eyes and then quickly looked away. His eyes reminded her of the way Alexander's use to shine in the light. "I just told him not to tell you what happened. I told him to tell you good-bye for me. I could not face you with shame in my eyes, I would have disappointed you."
"You could never disappoint me." He said as he took his finger and placed it under her chin. He lifted her face up towards his and kissed her lips.
She stayed there for a brief moment allowing him to kiss her and then backed away. She had not kissed another man since the day Alexander died, and she hadn't been with one since Mars had raped her. "I can not believe you did that!" she said. "Why did you kiss me?"
She didn't wait for an answer. She grabbed her sword and headed out the door. Duncan went to find his sword, and by the time he went after her, she was gone.
1746: Merida, Mexico
Jordan was riding her horse across the Yucatan Peninsula towards the coast,
when she got the buzz. She brought her horse to a stop and looked around
for the source. Under a tree near a pond stood a man about 10 years her senior
and he walked towards her. She drew her sword out of habit and as
"This is Holy Ground," he said as he stood up and walked towards her. "There is no need for that here. I am William Jose Vincente."
"I see no markings of Holy Ground, prove thyself or die."
Will pulled out a map from around 500 AD. "You are standing on the ruins of a temple named The Pyramid of the Magician."
Jordan looked at the map and then at the man before her. She saw the trust in his eyes, and even though she had learned over the years not to trust anyone, she withdrew her sword and stepped down off her horse. There was something special about this man and Jordan felt she could trust him with her life. "I am Jordan Christine Renwyck. Tell me more about this Pyramid."
Will looked at the woman before him and smiled. He could tell she was much younger than he. They sat down under the tree and he explained about the place they were at.
"So no one knows this is here, but us?" Jordan asked.
"It's been buried for centuries. It was a beautiful and magical place. Maybe one day if it is ever rediscovered it will be again."
"Why do you not let someone else know and have them dig it up."
"Because it's not ready yet to be found. When the Mayan Gods see fit, it will be found."
"What was this pyramid like?"
"It is the only Mayan site with a pyramid whose base is oval, rather than square and the corners were rounded as well. There are five different temples, one from each phase. The steps were located about here," he said as he stood up and walked over towards some trees. "And here." He said crossing in front of her. "This side was much steeper and had a huge doorway. There about 200 yards," he said turning his back from her and pointing "stood the Nun's Quadrangle." A tear rolled down his cheek. "It was there that I first died over 1100 years ago."
Jordan felt herself being pulled upwards by some unknown force and walked towards Will. "How did it happen?" she said wrapping her arms around his waist and laying her head down on his shoulder. He was only about two inches taller than her 5'3" body, and he was well built from head to toe.
"The day before I was to marry, I fell from the top of the wall onto the quad in front of my entire family, all my friends, everyone. A few hours later I awoke and everyone thought I was a God. We had many bad storms for a time after that and they thought I was an evil god so I left."
"When did you find out what you were?"
"Not for many years. I had found my way to Egypt by that time, and for the first time found another like me. He took me in and told me what I was and trained me. One day I told him I wanted to go back home since I was not a God, but he told me I could never go back. This map and my memories were all I had to remind me until I found my way back here a fortnight ago." He turned around and looked Jordan in the eyes. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, even though she was covered in dirt and sweat. Her eyes were so deep, they reminded him of the sea which could barely be seen through the trees.
Jordan noticed him staring and backed away. She had this feeling deep inside her and her breathing grew rapid. "I need to go."
He reached his hand out and took hers gently pulling her towards him. "Please stay. Please do not leave me alone." He bent his head down and kissed her forehead. When she didn't resist, he gently kissed her lips. He felt her body go limp, and he carefully picked her up and carried her back to the tree. He sat behind her and placed one leg on each side of her, and wrapped his arms around her waist. They stayed like that as the sun fell behind the trees.
Three months later
Amanda made a few more changes to the dress and stood back to admire her work. "You look beautiful." She said.
Jordan fussed with the bodice of her gown and complained. "Did you have to make it so low cut?"
"It's not like he's never seen it before right?"
"Amanda." Rebecca said in a warning tone.
"Not once." Jordan confessed. "Well, ok once, but it was only because he walked in on me while I was bathing in the cenote."
"Sure, Jordan." Amanda said as she smiled. "You are going to make a beautiful bride."
Jordan turned to Rebecca and hugged her and Amanda. "Can you believe I am going through with this? What am I thinking?"
Rebecca grinned. "You're thinking about how much you love him and how you're about to spend the rest of your lives together."
"Long lives." Amanda joked. "A few centuries at least."
"That is it, I am not doing this." Jordan said as she started to walk away.
"She's only kidding, Well, maybe she is maybe she's not." Rebecca said walking towards Jordan. "Look at him." She said pointing across the way to where Will was standing next to Duncan who he had chosen as best man. "Do you love him?"
"Yes, with all my heart. I have never felt this way about anyone."
"Then, let's go." Amanda said. "The longer you wait, the more nervous and scared you'll make yourself. If this is what you want, then do it."
Jordan took a deep breath and smiled. "Ok, ok. If I do not go through with this...." she stopped. "No, I am going to go through this. I love him and I want to marry him. So what if we've only known each other a few months, I can not think of anyone I would rather spend the rest of my life with, no matter how long that is." She said looking at Amanda. "At least I can make a commitment to someone I love."
Rebecca tried not to laugh. It was true that Amanda loved Duncan, that had been apparent since they day they first met, but she could not see the two of them married. "She's right you know."
Amanda laughed loudly. "Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod married? That's a good one. Now come on, their waiting. Besides, if Darius doesn't get back to his monastery soon, he'll flip out. How Duncan convinced him to leave, I'll never know."
"Will had some help in it." Jordan said. "Darius and Will are old friends."
Duncan walked over towards the women and smiled at Jordan. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you." She said as she hugged Duncan. "How is he holding up?"
"He's nervous. Darius is talking to him now. How about you?"
"She's scared as well." Rebecca answered. " If we're going to get these two married, we need to do it now, before they both change their minds."
Jordan smiled and hugged everyone. "Thank you. I am glad everyone could be here. It means a lot to me."
"It means a lot to us to see you happy." Duncan said. "Now let's get over there and get the two of you married."
Jordan, Amanda, Rebecca, and Duncan walked over to the tree where Jordan and Will had met three months earlier, and Duncan who had been holding Jordan's hand gave it to Will. Darius smiled and nodded.
"We are gathered here today, to witness the bond of two people who deeply love one another. I first met William 800 years ago in Paris. He was a scared man with a reckless attitude. He came to me for solitude and sanctuary as have many. Now I am glad to see he is a changed man and know that he will be happy. If there be anyone here that sees not why this union should take place, speak now or forever hold your peace."
Darius paused. Jordan looked at Will and smiled. She had truly fallen in love with him over the months, and she knew he felt the same. Ever since that day they first met and watched the sunset together, she knew they were meant to be together.
"The rings please." Duncan handed Will a ring and Amanda handed one to Jordan. "Jordan and Will wish to express their own vows and would like to say those. Will?"
Will took Jordans' hand and kissed it and looked into Jordan's eyes. "Three months ago, I returned to my place of origin in order to start a new life. I found no other way for me to start that new life than that day when I met you. I knew from the moment you drew your sword, that you were my life. I would loose my head for you, and as long as you have me, I want to be the one you wake up with in the morning, the one you share your secrets, your fears, your joys and accomplishments with. Till death do us part." He said as gently placed the ring on her finger. "I love you."
Tears started to roll down Jordan's cheek, and Will wiped them away. She took a deep breath and smiled, trying to hold back the tears. "I have never been good at talking about how I feel..." she started. Duncan and Amanda let out a chuckle remembering the day she yelled at Duncan. Jordan looked at them and smiled. "Ok, well maybe once in a while it escapes, and I am trying to let today be one of those days. The day I lost Alexander, I never thought I would be able to love someone ever again. Then I met you, and as I heard you tell me about the legends and the myths of this place as the sunset, I knew that the magic you spoke of was affecting me in a way I have never known. I fell in love with you, and I too, want to be the one to share those things with you, till death do us part." She slipped the ring on his finger. "Sorry, I guess this was not one of those days." She said as she smiled.
"It's ok." He said as Will kissed her. "I still love you."
"By the power given to me by God and witnessed in front of those that care about you most, I know pronounce you two husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride, again." Darius said as he smiled. Will picked Jordan up and kissed her.
When he put her down, she was giggling so hard, she had to lean against him for support. Everyone came up and congratulated and hugged them. Jordan was happy, and everyone could see it. During the small reception she couldn't stop smiling and nothing made Duncan or Amanda happier.
After the reception, once everyone had left, Jordan looked at Will and smiled. "I have never been this happy in all my one hundred years."
"Nor have I." Will said. "I have a gift for you. It is nothing special, just a small gift." He said as he pulled a wrapped package from his pack and handed it to her. He sat down next to her under the tree and smiled.
Jordan looked sad for a moment. "I did not get you anything, I am sorry."
"You have given me the best gift I could ever receive, your love. Open it."
Jordan opened the package, and inside laid a beautiful saber. The hilt was silver with purple and gold braids crisscrossing all the way down with a band of purple and gold leading towards the guard. There, three tassels had been attached. There was two short gold ones and the longest one in the middle was purple. In the middle of one of the crisscrosses, laid a brown cross etched in gold. The blade was also silver, with a delicate design of a cross made of two swords. Under it were 6 machetes, curving upwards like blades of grass. Above the cross was a quote. "Potest esse nur unus, carpe Diem!?" she read questionably.
"There Can Be Only One so Seize the Day. Do you like it?"
"I love it. Thank you." She said as she kissed him. "What are the six tiny swords for?"
"They are machetes. There's one for each generation of our family."
"I want to have children with you. I know we can not, but we can find a way to have children. And I have a feeling that the possessor of the sixth generation will be special. I have one as well as one we will give our child."
"I do not know what to say." She said as she stared at Will.
"Then say nothing." He said as he kissed her. He knew she had not been with a man since Mars had raped her repeatedly, and their love making on their honeymoon was slow and passionate. He wanted to prove that making love could be beautiful and he did. When it was over, Jordan laid in his arms and cried.
"What's wrong, my beautiful?" he asked as he wiped her tears away.
"Then why are you sad?"
"These are tears of joy." She answered. "I never thought I could ever feel this way after..." she stopped.
"I know." He said as he stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head. "But you're safe with me, and as long as you will have me, I will never let anything happen to you again."
Chris's Chronicles, Book 2
To the Authors' pages
AUTHORS NOTES: Ok, Ok, so just call me Mary Sue! I'm a sucker for happy endings what can I say. Who knows, what I'll do in the next chapter of the Chris Chronicles. We all know what happens to both of them, it's just a matter of what I want to happen to them before that happens. And if you readers are anything like my Beta's
*I also just saw the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I realized the Festival of Fools just happens to take place on Chris's (Jordan) and mine's birthday (coincidence??) which is January 6. Geez and dumb old me thought the festival was on April 1st. Guess I'm the fool. :-)
BTW, the sword Will gave Jordan does exist. It's been in my family for guess how long? 6 generations!!!!! I was supposed to have inherited it, but my uncle is debating whether or not I'm worthy of it! The only difference between the real sword and the sword mentioned here, is the real one doesn't have the cross on the hilt. It's a very beautiful sword and if I can ever get it back I'll take a picture of it and put it on my website.
Carpe Diem! (Latin)- Seize the Day
Cenote (Mayan)- a natural limstone cave used for water storage.
Potest esse nur unus (Latin)- There Can Be Only One
Chris's Chronicles, Book 2
To the Authors' pages