“Since when do Immortals need an excuse to kill Watchers?” Annelise snapped.

“It was just evening the score for what those people do to you people. I would’ve done the same,” she finished, coldly.

Aghast, Duncan did a double take.

“Kill Watchers—what are you saying? What score are you talking about?”

“I know now who’s responsible for what happened to my brother,” she continued. “Connor promised he would help me free him—he’s on his way there now, but I know it’s a trap. You’ve got to help me, Duncan. Take me to Connor before it is too late for both of them.”


“I’m Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, and I’ve come for your head.”

“I’m Réne Chastain,” the cyclist shouted back, “and I have no quarrel with you.”

Removing his racing helmet—his short, damp black hair glistening in the sunlight.

“I don’t care if you do or not, I’m going to take your head,” Duncan retorted in a hostile tone of voice.

“Why are you so eager? We have never met before—I don’t know you.”

“Does that really matter to our kind?”

“It does to me,” Réne shot back. “I have better things to do with my life than fight every Immortal on this earth—I have a wife and a little girl—they’re my family—I also have a career.”

“We have the Game—anything else is secondary, you know that,” Duncan spat. “Now get that bike off the road and draw your sword, if you have one, or I’ll take your head where you stand.”


Albricus pushed his Viking cloak back, reached out and grasped Darius’ arm.

“I want to be like you—a holy man. When you are near me, with this special book in your hand, I feel a power that is all around you.

Darius smiled and lowered his head but did not reply.

That isn’t the book you are feeling my friend, it is my immortality. You are a pre-Immortal, Albricus and a very sensitive one. I wonder what I should tell you—about yourself, about the choice you could make right now, about your future and how what you may do will affect others.



“I’d like to say something,” Duncan shouted over the din inside the barge and quickly stepping between the two women who were getting dangerously close to one another.

“Everyone is going to a neutral corner!”

“Now—Annelise, nice and calm—tell us why you are here?”

Alright—nice and slow, girl—don’t rush through your story. You need Duncan’s support, you have to convince him. Forget Tessa—she’s nothing more than a distraction.

Following him several steps, Annelise wrung her hands, wiped her damp palms across her sleeves then shook her head.

“I’m convinced my brother is being used as leverage against that damn society he joined—the Watchers.” Annelise wet her lips, “These aren’t your garden-variety terrorists who grabbed him—they’re the Immortals.”


“Duncan—Connor will be facing that Immortal gang alone if we don’t go now.

You can’t let him do that.”

“Please—every moment we stand here, going around in a circle, we’re wasting Connor’s precious time. He can’t walk in there alone. I’m going to face that challenge with him,” Annelise finished forcefully.

“Duncan, I don’t care what you say about this ‘privacy & code of honor’ matter you, Immortals seem to have between you when you decide to fight one another, you’ve got to take me to him—it’s where all Immortals are gathering—to carry out this final, ‘honor served’ fighting. My brother will be there too.”

“You want Duncan to take you to where the Gathering will be?” Tessa asked slowly.


“They wanted Connor—I didn’t give them anything—I fought them off and ran.”



Annelise finished, her trembles faded away as she felt her inner control returning. She quickly shifted gears in her story.

“I am still in danger and so is Connor, Duncan. They have been hunting me ever since that night where—”

“Hunters,” Duncan said under his breath as the image of the man responsible for Darius’ death came to the forefront of his mind.

“James Horton,” he whispered.