Standard disclaimer: the concept of Immortality and the characters of Connor and Duncan MacLeod belong to Rysher and are copyrighted by them. This story is for fun, not for profit. Also, this is an alternate universe where Richie is alive, and he is mentioned in the story.
The other characters are copyrighted by Vi Moreau. The Immortals Elena Duran and Maria Feliz Betancourt are original recurring characters with a lot of history by now. To find out more about Elena Duran and her relationship to our heroes, you can read other Elena stories, available here on this site as well as the Seventh Dimension site or in the following Website: www.erols.com/darkpanther/moreau.html
This story is rated ADULT for language and sexual situations.
Thanks so much to our ever-faithful beta reader, Janeen Grohsmeyer, who betaread this in one sitting in the middle of the night, bless her, and gave us great ideas as usual. Special thanks to our patient and long-suffering husbands who sat around while we wrote about "the other men" in our lives.
New York City, July 2008
The doorbell rang.
Connor MacLeod opened the door to his apartment, sword in hand.
The Immortal woman standing there stood just a bit taller than his chin, and her blonde hair was loose and reached her waist. Her hands were empty.
She was Maria Feliz Betancourt and she was beautiful.
"I am here," she announced.
"Yes, you are," he croaked, his heart pounding, his mouth suddenly dry, as he felt all his bodily fluids immediately migrate down to his crotch.
Maria Feliz glanced down his body, stopped meaningfully at the obvious bulge in his jeans, then looked back up to his face. As he had when he'd first met Maria Feliz, he had the impression of being on display, of being tested. And once again he passed the test. With flying colors, no less, he thought, pleased and -- face it, MacLeod -- proud to have a woman like Maria Feliz so obviously approve of him.
She smiled. "I like you. You like me," she stated.
His turn to look her up and down. July in the city was hot, but she was wearing a light trench coat and white running shoes, no socks. Her bare calves were perfectly shaped. Perfectly. Leaning against her left leg was a tote bag. Too small for a sword, he thought; it must be under the coat.
"Yes, I like you," he agreed.
"I come in, yes?" she asked, eyeing his katana.
"Si, yes, you come in," he replied, putting his sword at rest behind his arm, thinking that while her English seemed to have improved, his own had deteriorated to single mumbled syllables. Damn. Say something, MacLeod, he chided himself as she swept past him.
She looked around the apartment, an amused look on her face, her gaze lingering on a statue of a nude. As she walked over to the sofa she was slowly unbuttoning her coat, and finally pulled her sword out -- it was in her coat, he thought, a little smugly because he'd guessed right. But then it wasn't that hard to guess with Maria Feliz.
However, at the sight of the sword, Connor immediately tensed, his fist closing around the katana's hilt, his breath starting to....
She laid her weapon down on the coffee table and turned to Connor. "No swords," she said meaningfully, large brown eyes boring into his.
Connor debated for a brief moment -- Maria Feliz was not, he was convinced, here for his head. Not that head, anyway. He was feeling physically uncomfortable and couldn't wait to take his jeans off.
He walked over to the table and put his sword next to hers. "No swords," he agreed.
She grunted deep in her throat, like a happy piglet. Then, with a smile that could melt steel, she pulled her shoes off and slowly removed her coat.
She was totally naked.
Her body was as breathtaking as he remembered.
"I stay?" she asked him.
"Yes," he managed, walking towards her.
As he pulled her to him, she asked him, "Bed?"
"Yes, bed," he smiled, then picked her up and carried her into his bedroom.
The phone rang.
Groggily, Connor pulled himself to a sitting position. Maria Feliz lay stretched out next to him, absolutely beautiful and radiating sensuality, even in her sleep. If he recalled correctly, she radiated sensuality when she was dead drunk, too. Still half-asleep himself, he already wanted to devour her. Again.
The phone rang once more, and, not taking his eyes from her, Connor fumbled for it, knocking the handset off the receiver and having to go fish for it. Finally, he put the damn thing to his face and answered with his latest alias. "MacKinnon."
He heard nothing.
Damn. He had the fucking thing upside down. He turned it over, said, "What?"
"Mr. MacKinnon, this is Joseph. Sorry to disturb you, but we're having a problem with the inventory. There's this armoire ...."
Oh, fuck, Connor thought. Joseph Biddings, the antique store's manager, calling about the annual inventory which was going on in the store, right now, on the first floor of his building.
Maria Feliz stirred, grunted again.
That grunt! Connor thought. At the sound, his temperature and cock both started to rise. "What problems?" he said into the receiver, not giving a damn about any antiques.
"Well, the armoire doesn't seem to have a tag or an entry in the database. We don't have any information on it at all."
Maria Feliz opened her eyes and smiled at him.
He gripped the receiver more tightly. "Describe it."
"It looks like a...." Biddings kept talking, but Connor didn't hear anything else because Maria Feliz sat up and ran her hand along his cock, then leaned over and took him in her mouth.
"Unhhhh," Connor said.
"Excuse me, Mr. MacKinnon?"
"I'll call you...later," Connor croaked, then hung up the phone.
Maria Feliz smiled up at him, put one hand on his chest and pushed him down on the bed.
Connor settled back and let it happen.
The phone rang.
Connor plunged once more into Maria Feliz' dark warmth and held still, deep inside. He decided to answer the phone. It could be a challenge, an Immortal. It could be John or Rachel or Duncan. Duncan was still pretty rocky these days, so soon after the killing of Stephen Holz, Elena Duran's adopted son. And besides, Connor wanted to prove that he had some measure of control. That he was not just Maria Feliz' sex slave, although that thought made him get just a little harder inside her.
With Maria groaning in protest, he reached for the receiver. "MacKinnon," he gasped into it.
"Connor? This is Elena Duran." There was a pause. "Are you all right?"
She sounded tired, or worried. He didn't much care which.
"Yes, I'm fine, what is it?" he asked tersely. Ordinarily, he might have hung up on her, but Elena Duran was in a fragile state, in mourning because of the death of her son. And she was dangerous and unpredictable, so he needed to find out why she'd called.
"I just called to make sure Maria Feliz got there in one piece," she supplied. "She is there, with you, isn't she?"
"Yes," Connor gasped, as Maria Feliz squeezed the muscles of her vagina around him, gazing up at him with those incredible dark brown eyes.
Elena chuckled briefly, a weary, humorless sound. But it was Maria Feliz who was totally engaging him, filling all his senses. He closed his eyes, willing himself not to thrust, but it was a losing battle.
"She is there, very close. I can tell," Elena said.
"I'll get back to you," he said, then hung up on Elena's soft laughter. He would have to call her back and thank her for giving Maria Feliz his address.
"Now," he whispered, smiling down at the blonde underneath him. She was beautiful. And she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
"Yes," she said, grasping his ass tightly.
And he started thrusting again, moaning with the pleasure of surrendering to their mutual desire.
The intercom buzzed.
For a change, Connor thought, he was actually out of bed and wearing pants.
Maria Feliz had not bothered to put on any clothes, however.
After spending the night and half the day in bed together, they had both finally been driven to his kitchen by hunger. They had cleaned out his refrigerator--Maria Feliz had a prodigious appetite for food as well, and it seemed to run to meats and cheeses. She ate with all the daintiness of a starving wolf.
And she even made that sensuous, as she played with her food, licking her lips, letting juice run down her chin to her breasts, then casually wiping the juice off with her fingers and sticking them into her mouth. Just watching her made him horny--and the sight also distracted him from his own eating.
No problema--Maria Feliz was perfectly happy to let him share his food with her. In fact, she had sat on his lap, taking turns feeding the two of them the last of his grapes. His erection pushed against her ass, and he buried his nose in her thick hair, taking in her scent, one hand rubbing the nape of her neck and the other now and then gently teasing her left nipple.
She giggled as she dexterously rolled the grapes in her long fingers before putting them in his mouth. Sometimes she teased him with them, making him lean forward, his mouth open, before she'd actually put one in his mouth. Sometimes she made him take one out of her mouth with his tongue. Sometimes she placed a grape in his mouth from her own lips. And sometimes she held her finger in his mouth for him to suck as she slowly pulled it out.
The intercom buzzed again. After cleaning out the refrigerator, they'd cleaned out his pantry, too, and he'd ordered groceries to be delivered. He figured this was the delivery boy now.
Breathing hard, he carefully lifted her off his lap and onto her feet, then went to press the "talk" button on the intercom. "Hello?" he answered.
"Delivery from Benny's," the young voice said.
"Come on up," Connor replied, buzzing the lock so the boy could come up.
He started towards the door, but Maria Feliz grabbed his arm with one hand, waving a bottle of almond oil at him with the other, smiling wickedly. "No, no," she said. "[!No vayas a la puerta!] Bed."
Connor pointed to the door. "Food," he said, making an eating motion with his hand. "Comidas."
"Ah," she said, nodding. "[Comida. Muy bien.] Then bed?"
"Then bed," he replied.
Maria Feliz disappeared while he accepted the groceries and tipped the delivery boy, then, while he put things away, she walked back in, still naked, and started rubbing the almond oil on herself, grinning at him.
Connor tossed the last of the perishables into the refrigerator, left the rest on the table and went after her.
She slipped out of his fingers, giggling, then led him a merry chase around his apartment.
By the time he finally cornered her in the bedroom, he had almost as much oil on himself as she did. They fell into bed laughing, and Maria Feliz drizzled the rest of the oil over her chest.
She was beautiful. And she was fun.
Connor leaned over her and started to slowly lick the oil off her breasts, and she lay back with a great big sigh.
The phone rang.
Connor stood up from the sofa, tied the belt of his robe around him, and went to answer it. They'd just spent a frustrating half-hour trying to get better acquainted--or at least, he had. He'd met Maria Feliz at the funeral of Stephen Holz, and all he knew about her was that Elena trusted her. And that she had sparkling, warm brown eyes and a high metabolism.
"I'm a Scot. [Escoces,]" he had volunteered, pointing to himself.
"Yes, [yo se que eres escoses. Mexicana,]" she said, pointing at herself. She was wearing a long, translucent white silk gown, and it complemented her creamy, pale skin. Looking down, she pulled the tie loose and let it slip off her body and onto the floor.
She was beautiful, and he wanted to know more about her.
"Bed?" she asked him.
He grunted in frustration while a smile came, almost against his will. His cock rose also, again almost against his will. It wasn't just the lack of a common language that made it impossible to talk to her. She simply wasn't interested in talking. Only in fucking. And she was damn good at it, too, just an hour before--well, hell, they could talk later.
He went toward her, but the phone rang again, breaking his train of thought.
He held up his hand in the universal "wait" gesture and picked up the receiver, while she stomped her foot in mock--or maybe it was real -- impatience.
"[!Ese telefono maldito!]" she muttered.
"MacKinnon," he said, while he untied his belt. He opened his robe, and she smiled and came toward him. Whoever was on the phone, it was going to be a very short conversation.
"Connor?" It was Rachel, his adopted daughter, who was now over sixty. "Oh, I ... I'm surprised you're there. I thought you'd be out of town. On 'business.'" Sometimes she acted more like his mother.
"Who is?" Maria Feliz asked him, obviously hearing a female voice, stiffening.
"No, I'm here, Rachel," he said into the phone, then covered the mouthpiece and said to Maria Feliz, "[?Un momento?]"
Maria Feliz backed away, angry, he thought, and quickly said something where all he caught was the words [otra mujer.] Another woman.
"No," he said to the Mexican.
"...missed our weekly dinner together, so I was sure--" Rachel was saying. "No? I'm sorry, Connor, am I interrupting something? There's someone there with you, I'm so sorry!" Rachel apologized, but now he could hear amusement in her voice.
Our weekly dinners, damn! Ever since Rachel had retired from the antique store, she had cooked dinner at her apartment for the both of them every Thursday. And he never missed it--when he was in town. This week he'd forgotten about it. Completely and utterly. Rachel, of course, had concluded...damn!
"It's all right, Rachel, I'm fine and--"
"Sure, of course," she interrupted. "I'm sorry I called, I just... I was going to leave a message on your machine--"
"Don't be sorry," he murmured into the phone, eyeing Maria Feliz, who was looking at him disapprovingly, her arms crossed in front of her chest. "I'm glad you're thinking of me." It felt good, really good, to have someone worry about him. "Let me call you back, okay?"
"Okay," she answered. Then, with a smile in her voice, she added, "And say hello to the senorita for me, will you?"
Connor smiled slightly, then hung up and went to placate Maria Feliz. "Rachel [no es otra mujer,]" he explained. "Rachel is my daughter. My..."
What the hell was the Spanish word for daughter? "I," he pointed at himself, "Papa. Rachel's Papa."
"[!Aaaah! ?Rachel es tu hija?]" Maria Feliz asked, uncrossing her arms.
"Si," he replied. Hija was daughter, right. "Familia," he added.
"[Tu familia, si,]" she murmured, coming closer to him again. She opened his robe completely and pressed her breasts against his chest, rubbing up and down, then threw her head back and laughed as his erection grew against her. "[?No mas familia, eh?] Bed?"
Connor sighed but with satisfaction this time. "Yes, bed."
The phone rang.
They'd just come back from a walk in the city. The first time Connor had taken her over to the window to look out at the Manhattan skyline and said, "Big city. [Cuidad. Grande. ?Turista?] Statue of Liberty?" thinking she might want to do some sightseeing, she had answered, "No big city. Big bed, yes?"
"Yes," he'd agreed yet again.
But after a couple of days, she allowed him to take her out on the town. They both brought their swords under light trench coats. The difference between them was that she wore a navy blue cap that said "Mexico" on it and absolutely nothing under her coat.
The thought of her naked body next to his kept him in a constant horny state. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been so aroused every minute.
They took the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty, and she was much impressed, letting forth a stream of Spanish, of which he understood very little. He'd spoken Spanish once, but had forgotten most of it. He'd have to relearn it, if only so he could talk to Maria Feliz.
On the way back he wanted to take her to another famous Manhattan landmark. After that, he'd take her to a restaurant. And a walk around Times Square. Maybe a drink at a nightclub. He was going to try to be a gentleman, dammit, even if she wasn't making it very easy!
They got out on the 34th Street subway exit and he pointed. "[Es] Empire State Building. Let's go up," he said to her, pointing to each of them, then pointing up with both hands. "It's a great view of the whole city. [Buena vista.]"
That was a Spanish phrase, wasn't it?
Maria Feliz let her eyes travel slowly up the building until her lovely neck was completely stretched out and he had to reach out and hold on to her cap to keep it from falling off. That made her laugh, her eyes crinkling at the edges.
Connor laughed, too. He was laughing a lot with Maria Feliz. It felt good.
He reflected that she probably hadn't seen too many skyscrapers, as she had been looking up all afternoon. He liked the idea that he was introducing her to something new. After all, she'd introduced him to a few new things.
"Empire Estate Bildin'?" she pronounced in her Spanish accent. After he nodded, she exclaimed, "Is big!"
"Yes, it's very tall," he agreed. "Do you want to go up?" He pointed again.
"Is big like you," she said, glancing down at his crotch and smiling lewdly.
"Oh," he said, looking up at the skyscraper. He was a little surprised, but her comment also made him stand up a little taller, preening a bit. Of course the Empire State Building was one of the world's best known phallic symbols. And naturally she would think of it. And of course she wanted to get him back into bed.
That thought made other parts of him stand taller, too.
She noticed. "Bed?" she asked him, her whole face lighting up.
She was beautiful and wickedly sinful, and she definitely had a one-track mind. He threw his head back and laughed again. "Yes, bed." He put his left hand on the small of her back and nuzzled her hair, taking in her intoxicating scent, and that made him want to lay her down on the sidewalk and ravish her, right this minute. But they could do something besides that. As delightful as "bed" was, he wanted to find more things to do with Maria Feliz.
"Do you like to dance? Dance?" he asked, pointing to them both, then turning her and taking her arms as though they were dancing, taking a few steps back and forth, to demonstrate. The crowds parted around them, several men turning to look back at Maria Feliz. Most men looked at Maria Feliz, and Connor had spent part of their sightseeing glowering possessively. There was a downside to going out with a beautiful, glowing, happy woman. But it was worth the trouble, especially in this case, and especially since Maria Feliz, although obviously well aware of the attention, ignored every man but him.
Maria Feliz giggled. "[Ah, ?Bailar? You and I? ?Que si vamos a bailar? si,] yes, I like. ?Conga? ?Rumba?"
Connor remembered a dance club which was perfect, if a little sleazy. No problema. And if any man tried to cut in, tough.
"[Bailar,]" he said, echoing her. Tonight, [noche.] Okay?" he said to her.
"Okay, Connor, [vamos a bailar esta noche,]" she agreed.
Good, they'd go dancing tonight.
"Now...bed?" she asked again.
He grinned. "Now bed." He cleared his throat, raised his right hand, and called out, "Taxi!"
The phone rang.
Connor refused to break his concentration. He was working on a kata, his body moving fluidly through the motions, and he simply put the ringing out of his mind. Whoever it was would call back.
Behind him he could hear Maria Feliz' sensual grunts of effort as she lifted the barbell over her head. Her leanness made her appear taller than she actually was, and Connor knew firsthand that she was a strong, flexible woman. He also knew she hadn't gotten that hourglass figure and that tight ass just from fucking.
Of course, exercise didn't have anything to do with her breasts. Those she came by naturally-- He suddenly realized he'd lost track of his kata. So he stopped, took two deep breaths, found his center, and forced himself to start over again.
The phone stopped ringing at last, and Connor continued, each move slow and deliberate, strong and controlled, although he knew the exercise looked effortless. As he turned in Maria Feliz' direction he saw that she had stopped pumping and was staring at him, openly, avidly. He could see her nipples harden under her black leotard.
Good, he thought, pleased and flattered, but continuing his exercise. Let her get distracted for once.
Smiling seductively at him, she put the barbell down and leaned over to wipe her face, then her neck, with a towel.
Sweat glistened on her cleavage as she bent over-- Connor suddenly realized he'd lost track of his kata again.
Frustrated, he swore to himself and turned away from her to start his kata once more. He took several deep breaths this time, relaxed, found his center.
But before he could start she came around to stand in front of him. She fanned her face with her hand, and pulled at the neckline of her leotard, which was plastered to her body with sweat, outlining every curve and line. "Hot!" she complained. "Whew!"
Connor agreed silently, and once again she had his attention.
With a move as fluid as the ones in his kata, she pulled her leotard off her body and stepped out of it. Then, pointing to the mat in the corner, she asked him, "Bed?"
She was beautiful. And she didn't want to share him. That was okay; he didn't want to share her either.
Well, so much for the kata. The hell with it. He'd been practicing for nearly five hundred years; he could afford to skip one day.
Maria Feliz said, again, "Bed?"
"Yes, bed," Connor replied, smiling.
She stepped forward, tugged at his t-shirt.
Connor cooperated by lifting his arms, and she pulled the sweaty shirt over his head and tossed it aside. Then he reached down to drop his shorts, but she took his hand, led him over to the mat, and pulled the shorts slowly down his legs, kneeling in front of him.
He stepped out of them, rocking slightly back and forth. "Bed," he said, with an effort. He was going to fall over if he didn't lie down. So he dropped down to the mat and she crawled on top of him, straddling him.
Pointing at his erect penis, she said, "Empire Estate Bildin'. Is big."
"Uh-huh," Connor agreed.
"You go up," she laughed.
She slipped him inside her, watching his face, grinning, then lay down on his chest, closed her eyes, smiled, sighed deeply.
"Is big!" she whispered again. "[Que bueno]."
"Uh-huh," Connor grunted.
And then she started with her satisfied-piglet grunts, her ass moving up and down.
Connor gripped her ass tightly, pressing her down on him and matching her rhythm, feeling as big as the Empire Estate Bildin' ...
The phone rang.
Connor was just coming out of the bathroom. They'd taken a bath together, with much tickling and laughing, and had fucked inside his big bathtub as the water slowly drained away. Then they had showered.
As he walked into his bedroom, Maria Feliz, who was ahead of him, picked up the receiver and hung it back up, not even bothering to listen or to talk.
Connor was a bit annoyed. "Hey--"
"Bed?" she asked, in her usual direct manner.
"No," he refused, for the first time, but not because he was annoyed with her.
"?!No?!" she exclaimed, a look of mock dismay on her face.
He looked down at his limp penis, looked at her, and shook his head. "No," he said, shrugging.
She followed his glance down, then looked back up at him. "Okay," she said brightly, reassuringly. "[No te preocupes,] Connor. I can do."
Connor had no doubt that she could do. But for once, she'd have to do without him. He was going to the living room phone to check caller ID. He needed to get caller ID on his bedroom phone, too.
He turned to his closet to get some pants to put on, when she said, "Wait."
Maria Feliz pulled at an armchair. It was heavy, and her curtain of wet blonde hair--she was a genuine blonde, Connor knew--fell across her face as she struggled with the chair. He helped her lift it and position it at the foot of the bed.
Pushing her hair back behind her ears, she said, "Gracias. You sit please."
Well, he could always check that phone call later. With a flicker of interest, he sat.
"You watch," she smiled, then lay down on the bed, spreading her hair out on the pillows and her legs out in front of him.
"[Buena vista!]" he replied, sitting up a bit straighter.
She giggled, then ran her hands over her breasts, down her body, and between her legs.
Connor leaned forward.
Maria Feliz continued playing with herself, occasionally licking her fingers, rubbing herself, sighing and groaning and grunting.
Connor wondered if he'd ever be able to hear a woman grunt again without getting a hard-on. He leaned over some more, his long fingers gripping the wooden foot of the bed.
Maria Feliz had her eyes closed now, an expression of intent concentration on her face. She had two fingers of her right hand moving in and out of herself, her thumb flicking her nub, while her left hand was teasing her nipples.
Suddenly, she began to gasp and writhe and cry out.
Connor had heard that series of sounds before. He stood up, his tiredness gone, his little problem a thing of the past, his thing no longer little. He bent to lay down on her just as the phone rang.
"Dammit!" Someone was being persistent.
Maria Feliz just smiled at him, a look of total contentment on her face. For once she didn't ask him to come to bed -- although she would soon, he knew. But for now, he could answer the phone.
He left her, grinning slightly at the disappointed look on her face, then walked around the bed to the phone. "MacKinnon," he said.
Maria Feliz slowly wriggled to the end of the bed and followed his footsteps around until she was standing right in front of him.
"Connor, it's Duncan."
Connor sucked in air. Duncan was still reeling over Stephen Holz' death. This was not a good time for Duncan; and yet Connor couldn't devote a lot of time to Duncan right now. Especially not with Maria Feliz standing right here. Connor knew Maria Feliz hated Duncan MacLeod.
Still, he had to ask. "How are you?"
"Not so good. Rachel told me you were in town, and she mentioned you had company. I...I need to talk. Just for a moment, if you have the time. Richie's gone, and I...." Duncan's voice trailed off.
Connor glanced at Maria Feliz. She didn't like his talking on the phone or doing anything that took his attention away from her. But Duncan must really be hurting to call when he knew Connor was with someone. Connor sighed inwardly.
"Can I call--" he started to say, thinking to excuse himself, go to another phone, and call his kinsman right back.
But apparently Maria Feliz had heard and recognized Duncan's voice. She drew back from the telephone as if it were a poisonous snake. "Is Duncan MacLeod?" she hissed.
"What?" Duncan asked. "Who's that?"
"Later," Connor answered him, then added, "Wait a minute, Duncan." To Maria Feliz, he said, "Look, [ma p'tite--]"
"[No ma p'tite!]" she interrupted. "Is Duncan MacLeod?" she asked again, her face full of fury now, and determination. For the past two and a half weeks, Connor and Maria Feliz had just been a man and a woman, enjoying each other's company, laughing, eating together, fucking.
Connor had almost forgotten they were Immortals. But now Connor looked at her face and could clearly see the steel there, the anger, the experience, all the signs of her Immortality. He could see the killer in her. It shook him a little, but he should have expected it. They couldn't get away from it, not from their Immortality, not from who they were. Not for long, anyway.
"Duncan," Connor said, in his most authoritative voice, not taking his eyes off Maria Feliz, "I'm going to have to call you back. Sorry."
"What's going on, Connor?" Duncan asked.
"He comes? Here?" Maria Feliz was asking Connor, eyes narrowed dangerously. "I go now."
"It's business," Connor said, then, with a little pang of guilt, hung up on his kinsman. In the meantime Maria Feliz had backed away, facing Connor, and had hurriedly started to dress.
"He's not coming here," Connor explained, keeping his distance, holding his hands out where she could see them. "Duncan is not coming here," he repeated, waving his hands for emphasis. "No."
"[Duncan MacLeod es un asesino. Un canalla. Un cobarde. Un cabron,]" she enumerated, as she threw her few clothes into her tote bag.
Her voice was hard and brittle. It was not a side of her Connor had seen before, and although he obviously didn't agree with her assessment of Duncan, he couldn't much blame her. She had good reasons of her own to feel this way about Duncan, and he knew very well what they were. But defending Duncan and getting into an argument with her would not help anyone, including Duncan, and it would drive her away. Perhaps it was selfish of him, but Connor wanted her to stay.
He nodded. "I understand," he said, placatingly.
"I hate Duncan MacLeod!" she exclaimed. "I go."
"No," Connor said, very gently. She was not listening to him.
Carefully, slowly, holding his hands out, palms down, as nonthreatening as he could be, he walked over to her and lightly placed his hands on her shoulders. Encouraged by the fact that she didn't fight him, he tilted her chin up.
She was holding herself stiffly, and tears were running down her face. Whether they were tears of rage or sorrow, he didn't know, but she wasn't making any aggressive moves towards him. He didn't think she would attack him because of Duncan; after all, she had known, even before she came, that he was Duncan's kinsman. And she had come anyway. And now, after all this time they'd spent together....
"Maria Feliz," he said, "Por favor...I'm sorry." He stroked her face softly with one finger. "Duncan is not coming. Duncan no come here, you understand?"
"Duncan no come here?" she repeated.
"No," he assured her. This situation was neither her fault nor Duncan's, and she hadn't done anything to hurt Duncan, hadn't tried to hunt him down. He'd talk to Duncan later, but Connor had never, nor did he now, feel he was betraying his cousin by spending time with Maria Feliz Betancourt. Connor wanted her to stay--provided she wanted to stay.
A stream of Spanish spilled out of her, along with more tears.
Connor shook his head, placed his finger on her lips, then leaned forward and kissed her gently. In spite of her grudge against Duncan, he believed she was an honest and gentle soul, not vicious, vindictive or manipulative--not the type to try to hide her feelings about Duncan, even from his own kinsman, or the type to use him, Connor, to get to Duncan. Duncan was lucky because her gentleness meant she wouldn't go after him.
He hoped. But then, Maria Feliz was lucky that she wouldn't go after Duncan, too. "Duncan no come here," he said again. "Duncan no [veni.] Okay? So...you stay?"
She looked at him for a long moment, obviously deciding, and he smiled at her, his most gentle smile--the one, he'd been told, that made him look sweet and innocent and that sometimes stopped women in their tracks just so they could smile back at him.
"[Duncan es tu hermano, tu familia.] You love Duncan. So, you Connor, angry? With me?"
"Si, Duncan is my brother, [mi hermano,] and I do love him. But he has nothing to do with...No, Maria Feliz, I'm not angry with you." He squeezed her shoulders lightly as he said it, wanting her to be sure about that. And to be sure about him. "I'm not angry. No swords." He wanted to be crystal clear about that! "Understand?"
"No swords, I unnerstan'," she said, very serious.
He took a deep breath, glad they had that little matter straightened out. If she still wanted to leave, he wouldn't stop her, but... "Maria Feliz, I like you. I want you to stay."
She seemed dubious, but finally asked, "Duncan come here, you tell me, yes?" Her brown eyes were round and trusting.
She was beautiful. And she trusted him, as much as one Immortal could trust another.
"Yes, of course I'll tell you," he replied earnestly. "Si." The last thing he wanted was for Duncan and Maria Feliz to meet.
"No Duncan, I stay," she finally agreed, nodding, her body relaxing.
"Good," he replied, his smile wider. Good, she was staying. He pulled her to him, a comforting embrace. He kissed her on the forehead. For a few minutes neither one spoke. He needed to call Duncan soon, make sure Duncan didn't drop in on him as he sometimes did, but not right this minute; right now he needed to reassure Maria Feliz.
"Connor?" she asked, her voice muffled against his shoulder. "Si, [ma p'tite]?"
"Bed? No sex now, okay?"
"Okay, no sex now," he agreed. He understood. She just wanted to be held. He kissed her gently on the forehead again, tilted her head up, smiled at her, then he lay down on the bed and opened his arms to her.
She joined him, and he pulled her close, softly kissing her hair and holding her hands in his, comforting her. They lay together quietly until they both fell asleep.
The intercom buzzed.
Maria Feliz had been here for three weeks--twenty-two days--and she had decided it was time to go. Connor had called for a taxi. This might be it now. Connor glanced at Maria Feliz' tote bag and pushed the "talk" button.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Mr. MacKinnon? This is Joseph again. I called you three weeks ago --"
"I remember, Joseph," Connor said, gritting his teeth. This was not a good time. Although he was physically exhausted, had lost weight, had a tic in his left eye, and part of him was happy to see her go, he was also slightly depressed.
"I'm sorry to disturb you once more, but Nancy and I have finished all the inventory, except for that armoire...."
Connor didn't hear the rest. Maria Feliz had come out of the bedroom, fresh and glowing, dressed in her light trenchcoat and white Nikes. Somehow she made that combination look like high fashion. He idly wondered if she was wearing anything else. The thought made him hot.
But he didn't get a close look as she took her sword off the table, slipped the blade into her coat, and started to button it..
She was beautiful, and he was going to miss her. And he didn't want to talk to Joseph right now. He'd call Joseph back later.
"Joseph?" Connor interrupted, rather rudely, he thought. He'd have to apologize to Joseph later; he was a good man.
"Yes, Mr. MacKinnon?"
"Just add the armoire to the inventory. I'm sure you can research it yourself--I have the utmost confidence in you."
"Well, thank you, I--"
"I'll have to get back to you," Connor said, releasing the "talk" button.
Because Maria Feliz had come right up to him, their chests touching.
"You hor-ny?" she asked him, using one of the words he'd taught her.
"Yes," he answered, laughing. "You always make me horny, Maria Feliz."
"You make me hor-ny also, Connor." She looked around the apartment, then asked him, "[?La ultima vez?] You want bed?"
Connor chuckled, feeling even hornier. Her English was improving-- she was using whole phrases now, instead of just a single word--and he knew that [ultima] meant last, so she was saying, one last time.
"Yes," he said, opening the buttons on her coat. He stepped back and waited for her to take her sword out and put it on the table. "I want bed."
And later, when the taxi finally arrived and she was really leaving, she stood on tiptoe, cupped his face in her hands, kissed him roughly, hungrily, and said, "I come back, yes?"
Connor nodded. "You come back, yes. Por favor. I would love it. And I will miss you." He would truly miss this woman whose real name he didn't even know, but who called herself Feliz -- felicity, happiness. He would miss that happiness, her laughter, her sweetness, and especially her total lewdness.
She nodded, understanding perfectly. "I will miss you also. Adios, Connor. [Hasta la proxima.]"
"Adios, Maria Feliz. [Hasta la vista.]"
Authors' notes: If you want to find out how Stephen Holz died and why Maria Feliz hates Duncan, the answers will be provided in our forthcoming novel, "Elena and the Moor," to be posted this fall.
!No vayas a la puerta! - Don't go to the door!
Yo se que eres escoces - I know you are Scottish
!Ese telefono maldito! - That damn phone!
Rachel no es otra mujer - Rachel is not 'the other woman'
?Rachel es tu hija? - Rachel is your daughter?
familia - family
tu familia, si - yes, your family
no mas familia - no more family
ciudad - city
grande - big
turista - tourist
es - is
buena vista - a good view
bailar - dance
?Que si vamos a bailar? si - We're going dancing? yes
conga, rumba - Latin dances
Vamos a bailar esta noche - We're going dancing tonight
Que bueno - good
No te preocupes - Don't worry
ma p'tite - A French endearment, literally, "My little one."
es un asesino - he is an assassin
canalla/cabron - bastard
cobarde - coward
veni - come
es tu hermano, tu familia - he is your brother, your family
Hasta la proxima/hasta la vista - until the next time/until we see each other again
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