For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting chapters of a novel I wrote in homage to Highlander: The Series.
I will add this disclaimer every week as well…
I do not own the characters for this novel. I am not receiving monetary reimbursement of any type for this piece of fiction.
Oh, most importantly…enjoy.
Highlander: The King and I
“The rest of the story is rather boring. I woke again, finally, and rested for some time. I cast illusions over the stone with the sword in it as I didn’t want it found yet. I knew the enchantment would keep it secure, but I was being overly cautious.”
Duncan was shaken with what he had heard. It was such an imaginative story full of wizardry that he still couldn’t believe. He was sure that he didn’t truly believe it either, but after what Morgan had done to him by just her presence, he wasn’t quite sure exactly what he believed anymore. It was all very confusing.
The Highlander’s background in living history kicked in. “According to legend and very little historical fact, the final battle took place near Bristol.”
Merlin laughed; a deep rich sound full of obvious mirth. “Mortals! Knowing that I couldn’t leave things as they ended, I worked one last feat of magic. I know the area of Glastonbury well and am aware of its mystical properties. Only by having the story of King Arthur as a long lasting legend could I see the future of this land as promising. I moved it all: the sword in the stone, the battlefield, even the memories of the survivors. I moved it all to the area around Glastonbury and let the mortals do the rest. I then took the sword and moved it again to where it now rests.”
Duncan nodded. “Alright, assuming that, after hearing the story, why didn’t you use Excalibur? You seem extremely well within the confines of your own spell to wield the weapon. Such power would beckon even the most steadfast of us.”
“Spying on the enemy. Sleeping with the enemy. These are not actually honorable things. So I actually created the sword outside of my ability to use. I moved it by magic, I never drew it. I can’t.”
Duncan nearly grinned at the obvious regret the magician was showing. If the story was true, the creation of the sword and denying himself its use was by far the most honorable thing Merlin could have done. Again Duncan ran headlong into his own beliefs. He didn’t know what he could accept as real anymore. Finally he remembered what he had told Joe. It did not matter what the truth was, or if magic existed or not. He was chosen to the deed and would see things through. Still, Morgan had completely seduced him and could have taken his head easily. He wondered if he could have stopped her.
Duncan asked, “So you used your arts to rewrite history and move everything to a different location to instill legend in the minds and hearts of mortals?”
Merlin smiled. “In essence, yes.”
Duncan returned the smile, feeling the cathartic release from hearing the end of Merlin’s tale. “And you said the rest of the story is boring.”
The magician laughed again, a great hearty mirth with an accompanying slap on Duncan’s back. “Well, it’s boring to most.”
“So, Excalibur is somewhere near Glastonbury then?” asked Methos.
“Yes Arthur, in a most holy of places, if you believe in holy things.”
Duncan stood up. “Let’s go get this done then.”
The magician held up a hand. “Tomorrow is soon enough my friend. Let us find some refreshment today and some rest. Tomorrow may find us stressed and I would not wish to face Mordred without all my faculties.”
* * *
His dreams were interrupted by a gentle knock on his door. The wave of the presence passed unnoticed as Duncan passed from dreams to wakefulness. He shook his grogginess clear and moved to the door. Through the peep hole, he saw Morgan had returned. Even with the distorted view afforded him; she still took his breath away.
Duncan steeled himself mentally and cracked open the door. Morgan’s smile greeted him. She was much more modestly dressed than the last time he’d seen her, sporting jeans and a windbreaker. Still, she made the fashion look incredible.
He was relieved he had managed to grab a robe. Even though they had shared a night together, he felt somewhat uncomfortable. It was an unusual feeling for him. Normally Duncan was more confident than most. Perhaps the fact that she so easily confused him the first time made him uneasy.
“Are we going somewhere?” he asked.
Her smile never wavered, and still seemed genuine. “If you’d like to. I had such a good time with you I wanted to have a second date with the famous Highlander.”
He felt his heart leap. This time however, he crushed the feeling ruthlessly. Still, he couldn’t be rude. Duncan opened the door and allowed her entry.
Duncan said, “We didn’t go anywhere last time. I assume this time you wish to go somewhere so you can confuse me again.”
She laughed. Still clear and melodious; her voice echoed about the room. He felt himself shiver. She was working her power over him again, but this time he knew it. Merlin had said the power was in the belief. Duncan kept a fierce hold on his logic and mind. Her attraction was enormous, but this time he had a fighting chance.
“My sweet Duncan, please don’t be so crass. I did take an opportunity to learn from you, since you offered so nicely.” She winked suggestively and he felt the rush of blood in his veins. “This time I promise I won’t pump you for information. Of course I make no promises I won’t pump something else.”
Her smile left no doubt what she meant and Duncan felt fire coursing through him. However, there was a saving grace for his beleaguered defenses. She had not shown anything so blatant the last time she had visited him and her off-color joke seemed out of place. He latched onto that thought and tightly held it like a dog with a meaty bone.
She examined him in his robe and gave a little sigh. “Of course, staying in might be good too.”
Duncan stammered, but only slightly. “No, I’ll change. Please excuse me.”
He left her there, feeling as if he had to rip himself away. After he reached the bathroom, he felt as though he’d run a marathon. He shook it off and focused his mind. She wanted something and he had to convince himself it wasn’t him. He dressed slowly, forcing his logic to examine what she had said for any ideas of what she wanted. He needed an anchor, something to tie him to reality. A slight smile appeared to him in his reflection. He knew what he needed.
When he returned, Morgan sat quietly in a chair strategically facing the bathroom. There would be no escaping her. Duncan knew he could ask her to leave, but that would be like surrendering. He had to face her and her power.
Morgan stood, or rather flowed upward like gas escaping through a vent. Every movement was focused to show her litheness and sensuality. She had brought her best moves for this encounter. Duncan vowed silently to persevere. There were no armies, no fighting, but there was definitely a war raging between them.
When she started moving, he wasn’t sure. She just flowed through the doorway and down the hall. Duncan found himself following, feeling somewhat lost in a dream. The hallway rolled by and there was the elevator. The feeling of an Immortal washed over him, but he suddenly didn’t care. He was lost in her.
As the elevator door closed, Duncan thought he saw Methos, running for him. Beside the elder Immortal, Merlin was running too. The look in the magician’s eyes spoke only of fear.
The elevator moved, upward. He was about to ask when Morgan placed a gentle hand on his face and crooned quietly. Resistance washed out of Duncan. He gathered her in his arms and held her. She snuggled against him like a cat and sighed. His arms reveled in contact with her. He felt a stiffness behind her, something inside her coat, but he did not care. Morgan was with him again and all was right.
The elevator doors opened and Morgan led him out into a small foyer. She opened another door and led Duncan out to the roof of the hotel. The moon was bright overhead, a bright silver eye of God staring at them unblinkingly.
She led him out into the night and spun around to face him. With a sigh of something like hunger, she moved in and kissed him. The beautiful woman flowed away like fog on the moors and stood looking out over the city.
“I could love you Duncan.”
The Highlander said nothing. He ached for her, wanted her back in his arms where she belonged. He watched her, longing for her touch, her kiss, her breath on his skin.
She reached behind her head and drew her sword. Morgan slowly turned to face him, sword at her side. She was lovely, dangerous.
“I could, but I cannot. You would own me and I cannot allow that. I have ensorcelled you like no other man before you. You are mine and you cannot resist me.”
She walked around him, caressing his neck and shoulders with her free hand.
“Ah, my dearest Duncan, what might have been.”
She walked away from him again, holding the sword almost as lovingly as she once held him. “This sword is special. I’ve had it since the day I became Immortal. I’ve used it for battle, beheadings and my spellcraft. It’s been through everything with me.”
She turned to him again, bringing her sword up to strike. “It will be with me until only I remain. Fair travels Highlander, I had hoped you would be a little different than all the other men.”
The door behind Duncan burst open and Methos spilled out, Merlin close on his heels. Morgan stepped forward and struck, her sword a liquid silver streak of light. The blade snaked in incredibly quick, faster than the eye could follow, faster than anything could register.
It stopped short of Duncan’s neck, impeded by another shining blade. Duncan forced the block forward and away, toppling Morgan and unceremoniously dumping her on the rooftop.
“You almost had me Morgan, until you started talking about your weapon. I know war. I live for battle. Swordplay lives in my blood. My soul itself longs for battle. I live for battle more than I am captivated by you. By turning your attention to wanting my head, you freed me from wanting you.”
With a feral cry, Morgan rolled backwards and sprang to her feet. She attacked instantly, which Duncan easily blocked. She was nowhere in his league. Morgan didn’t seem to care though, she kept her attack up.
Duncan was conflicted though, deep inside. He blocked her next attack and backhanded her roughly. Again Morgan crashed to the rooftop. As she made ready to rise again, Duncan kicked her blade away and placed his sword at her throat.
“Don’t Morgan. Stay down, stay away.”
She looked down at the roof in defeat. Duncan turned and found Methos and Merlin looking at her as well.
“Told you he couldn’t do it.” Said Methos.
Merlin stepped forward, his own sword whipping forward. Duncan was surprised by the attack. Had it been for him, he would have been sorely wounded. As it was, it intercepted Morgan’s blade. Merlin moved past Duncan and pushed Morgan back to clear an area.
“You can’t interfere!” Cried Morgan.
Merlin snarled at her. “You never challenged him. You tried to murder him. I challenge you Morgan.”
Morgan threw aside her sword and stood up to the magician. “You can’t kill me. You need me too much. Throughout everything between us, you need me.”
Merlin shook his head slowly. “You were so wrong about so many things in our time together. You were wrong to take Nimue from me. I will always care for you in some manner and yes, I will miss you. However, again you are incorrect. There can be only one.”
Merlin struck so quickly it seemed as if he hadn’t moved. A deep rumble of thunder crawled across the skies and the light from the moon dimmed as a stray cloud covered it.
Methos took Duncan by the shoulder. “Let’s give him some privacy.”
The two Immortals moved away as the Quickening hit the legendary magician of England.