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Price of Interference: Chapters 2 & 3

Chapter 2

The next day I sit down at my computer to check out the new Immortal in town. Grace hasn’t taken many students, so he shouldn’t be too hard to pin down. There he is. Hey, original name “Jean-Pierre Bastien.” Is he another “Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod”? No … I see a bunch of aliases here. Grace trusted me enough to give me the kid’s real name. As a supervisor, I can access the full file.

As it downloads, I wonder just how much Mac’s told Grace about me? And how many Immortals has she told? Do Immortals gossip? Let’s see what I can do to earn her trust. I’m not reporting I’ve found him, not until I’ve talked to MacLeod, that’s for sure.

Born: Haiti, 1820? The “kid” is 175 years old.
First Death: 1840? ; Circumstances unknown Wonder if he’d tell me, if I asked him.

First Teacher: Grace Chandel and Carlo Sendaro. That’s unusual.
Immortals who are paired up don’t often take on students. Three’s a crowd. Then again, people in unhappy marriages sometimes have kids to try and hold the marriage together. Maybe this works the same way, for Immortals.

Original cultural affiliation: Haitian Creole, practitioner of voodoo Interesting.

Occupation: Musician. Yeah, I would have guessed that. What kind?
Let’s see, New Orleans in the 50’s. I click on the link. Delta blues and R&B. Oh hey, I recognize that name. I’ve got his voice on an old record upstairs! That’s tempting.
Focus, Joseph. Chronicle now, save the vinyl for later.

Recent base of operation: No fixed location
Lived on the plantation with Grace and Carlo for a few years, then moved to Paris. Spent some time with Darius. After that … a real wanderer, this one. Hardly ever stays in one place for more than a few months.

Only places he’s settled down in this century were Jamaica, New Orleans, and Ireland. Guess he likes places where the cupboards and the banks are empty, but the music and hearts are full.

This chronicle is pretty spotty. An Immortal has to be either paranoid or truly dangerous for us to not keep a steady Watcher on him. Why’ve we got such a hard time keeping track of him? Just how scary is Jean-Pierre?

I sort methodically through the files, looking for an answer. I spent 8 months stuck in Research before I convinced the Watchers I could handle a field posting. I resented it at the time, but some of the skills still come in handy.

The answer, when I find it, is so innocent that I feel like patting the kid on the head. Most Immortals live like an episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” They fly first class, live in beautiful homes, and only work when they feel like it.

Jean-Pierre, on the other hand, was always either flat broke or faked it well. In 1990 he’d been living in Ireland for 4 years. Was part of a pretty successful Celtic folk-rock band, looked like they might make it big. All of a sudden, he tells his friends he’s going on pilgrimage, gives away all of his worldly possessions, buys a pair of hiking boots and a backpack, and starts walking.

Two ferry rides and two weeks of boot leather later, his Watcher lost him on the outskirts of Paris, right after a visit to Darius. The agent’s report includes some truly bitter complaints about Scottish weather, the condition of toilets in youth hostels, and the three nights he’d spent sleeping under bridges.

Jean-Pierre was assigned a younger, fitter, and more mobile Watcher, who eventually found him in Rome, then lost him again when he walked across the border from Greece into Turkey.

How do you follow someone who is walking two and a half thousand miles without being noticed? At least a couple of centuries ago there would be other foot traffic on the roads. No wonder we keep losing this Immortal when he travels.

Jean-Pierre showed up in the Holy City some months later. He spent six months in Jerusalem, respectfully visiting the holy sites of all three major religions, sleeping in youth hostels, busking on the streets to make some money, and becoming a favorite customer in one of the local bars. Then he bought a second-hand bike and headed south.

When he was spotted next, Jean-Pierre was singing with a jazz quartet in Cairo nightclubs. In late ‘93 we finally got a Watcher on him when he spent a season working on a fishing trawler on Lake Victoria.

Roster Status: Missing, presumed dead; Rwanda 1994.
Oh, now this is starting to make sense. Poor kid. Some things I saw in ‘Nam back in 1968 still give me Technicolor nightmares. Small potatoes compared to Rwanda in ‘94. Massacres, rape camps, genocide of almost a million people before it was all over. No wonder he lost it.

Thoughts of Jean-Pierre’s Chronicle distract me during a long night of tending bar. But you gotta figure anybody who orders a drink called “Sex With an Okinawan Bartender” in a place called “Joe’s”, deserves whatever he gets.

MacLeod shows up just before closing. I’m down behind the bar, checking the stock on some of the micro-brews I keep in the fridge, when MacLeod walks in the door.

I stand up and wave MacLeod over. Tonight Mac seemed subdued, tired. The shadow on his chin shows he didn’t shave before going out, unusual for him. He slides into a stool right in front of me.

“Joe.” he rumbles. Guess that’s the closest to a ‘hello’ that I’ll be getting tonight.

I nod, and raise my voice to reach the cheap seats. “Closing time, folks! You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

“Hey, Mac. Grace and Jean-Pierre gonna be coming by tonight?”

“No, not tonight. Jean-Pierre is … troubled.”

The die-hard customers shuffle out the door. I lock the door behind them, then start cleaning behind the counter and put the remaining glasses into the dishwasher. MacLeod moves around the room wiping off the tables and putting up the chairs, like he always does when we close the bar together. Amazing how the comfortable habits remain, even when the comfortable relationship that created them is shot to hell. We can talk while we work.

“Troubled? Well, I could see that yesterday. In what way?”

“He’s not carrying a sword, Joe. Says he’s afraid he’ll kill another Mortal, if he does. I don’t know; maybe he would. He told me he’s gotten in two fights with Mortals this year, and each time he put the man in the hospital with his bare hands.”

“He hasn’t carried a sword since he left Rwanda?”

“Yes, since Rwanda!” MacLeod snarls. “Why am I even bothering to tell you any of this? You Watchers probably know what color boxers he borrowed to sleep in last night!”

At least it’s out in the open. Still, Mac knows that I don’t run surveillance on the loft. I hate it when he pulls this crap. I snap back, “They lost him in Rwanda. They think he’s dead. And I haven’t reported seeing him yet.”

“Why not?” he asks, looking a little embarrassed.

Damn good question. Why do I break all the rules for a man who seems to think I care more about the color of his underwear than I do about him? Because he’s a friend, that’s why. Be nice, Joseph. At least Mac’s speaking to you enough to insult you. That’s an improvement.

“I wanted to give him, and you, a choice about how I pitch my report. But if you want that choice, we need to do it soon. If Grace’s Watcher hasn’t recognized Jean-Pierre yet, she will soon.”

MacLeod nods. “I’ll speak to him about it.”

I reach for a shot glass and the bottle of Glenmorangie, pouring Mac a liquid apology with the smooth ease of long practice. I walk to the fridge to grab myself a Sam Adams, and then around the bar to settle down on a stool next to MacLeod.

“So how did it go last night, after you got him out of here?”

MacLeod picks up the shot glass and sips the fine whisky. “Badly. Grace and I were trying to walk him home to the loft. But Jean-Pierre kept hesitating: in the alley outside, getting into the car, getting out of the car, inside the dojo. I was tired of pulling him along, so I stopped, stepped away from him, and asked what was wrong.”

MacLeod’s eyes glaze over, and his breathing slows down. I recognize the signs of an Immortal traveling down memory lane, and take a few swallows of my beer while waiting for MacLeod to return to the present. When he twitches, I’m ready to prompt him.

“And Jean-Pierre said?”

“He sank to his knees, Joe, and said he was waiting for me. He was resigned, ready for death. He honestly thought I would take his head, right there in my own dojo! No Challenge, just an execution.”

Maybe I should have warned you about that last night, Mac, but it’s not an easy thing to bring up. And I was a little too relieved that he didn’t think I was his executioner.

“Does Jean-Pierre want to die?”

“No! That’s the crazy thing about it! He wants to live. Jean-Pierre called Grace from Boston, and she told him she wanted him to meet the two of us here in Seacouver. He knew I’d killed Carlo Sendaro, to protect her, and he thought I was going to do the same thing to him. And then he hitchhiked cross-country to get to his own execution! I don’t understand it!”

MacLeod downs the rest of his whisky and places the shot glass back on the bar with an emphatic *tink*.

“Look, Mac, imagine that after Culloden, after all you’d done, you went to your teacher, Connor, for help. And Connor looked you in the eye, and said, with great love and sadness, that the only way to make amends was to give up your own life. What would you have done?”

Mac doesn’t seem to like the analogy. Or maybe he just doesn’t like me knowing that much about him, not right now. MacLeod picks up his shot glass and starts to walk around the bar, then pauses, glancing at me for permission.

“Go ahead, Mac. Pour me one too, while you’re at it?”

There was a time he wouldn’t have had to ask. That was then; this is now. MacLeod uses the excuse of pouring us both some whisky to get a little physical distance before coming back to the conversation.

“Joe, I see what you are trying to say, but this is nothing like Culloden! He killed one man, a man who was ordering the massacre of innocent women and children. I would be proud to kill such a man in battle!” MacLeod shakes his head.

“Mac, you were raised a warrior, and that’s how you live your life. I was a soldier, and I’ve learned to live with the lives I took during the war. But Jean-Pierre, he’s a student of Grace and Darius. It sounds like he hasn’t taken a single Mortal life in his entire 175 years. According to his own beliefs, what he did was murder. You telling him it was right isn’t going to make it so, not in his heart.”

We sit quietly for a time. I take a sip of my whisky, waiting for MacLeod to continue.

“Once we convinced Jean-Pierre that Grace didn’t want him dead, it almost seemed worse for him. That calm resignation that had brought him to the dojo was gone. He collapsed. I had to carry him upstairs.”

Mac’s voice resonates with a soft pity. Good to know. Doesn’t matter if I’m shit-faced, gut-shot, and my prosthetics were swallowed up by quicksand. I will drag myself across a field of broken glass before letting Duncan MacLeod carry me anywhere.

“He has nightmares, Joe. They sounded pretty bad. Grace finally played your CD on the stereo, and that seemed to help him sleep. At least, he didn’t wake me up again after that.”

And I don’t think I’ll be mentioning that I am a 25-year expert on nightmares anytime soon, either.

“When I got up this morning he was perched on the windowsill, looking out at the dawn. At that point we were able to talk to him, get some of his story out. I tried to give him a sword, but that didn’t go well.”

“So if Jean-Pierre’s not willing to carry a sword, are you going to get him to Holy Ground? The island, maybe?” An Immortal without a sword is easy pickings.

“That’s the other part of the problem, Joe. He won’t step foot on Holy Ground. It sounds like some of massacres he saw happened in churches. Then, when he finally got out, he headed to Paris to see Darius …”

“And Horton had killed him in his own church.” That part of it is the Watchers’ fault. We were never meant to interfere, but James did. He killed Darius, MacLeod found me, and like a line of dominoes, it leads to this conversation tonight. Not that I didn’t make my own choices. I’m glad to have had Mac as a friend. But it was Horton’s killing of Darius that first brought us together.

“He almost got hysterical, when I pushed him to stay on Holy Ground. Started insisting that it seemed safe, but it wasn’t safe, and something terrible would happen.” MacLeod sighed. “I think … I get the feeling he fears some kind of divine retribution.”

That’s a tough one. Spiritual leaders who also happen to be Immortals just aren’t real common. If Jean-Pierre can’t get spiritual guidance, maybe some psychiatric counseling would help?

“How about Sean Burns? Have you considered sending Jean-Pierre to speak to him?”

“I suggested that, Joe. But he doesn’t want to speak to Sean Burns. He wants to speak to you.”

Ugh. Inhaling while drinking whisky is not a good idea. It burns the sinuses. “Me?”


“Why the hell would he want to speak to me?”

“It started with that CD. He listened to it over and over, said he could hear your heart in it. Jean-Pierre said he could hear that you were a good man, and he wanted to thank you in person. It was so frustrating! There I was, trying to give the man a sword so he can survive the Game, and he just wanted to talk about music! So I told him…”

“You told him I was a Watcher.”

“Yes, I told him you were a Watcher! Jean-Pierre seemed to think that having a secret society of Mortals spying on us and recording our every move is a great idea. He wanted to know if he had a Watcher, if he could meet him. It was the first spark of life I’d seen I him. I was trying to explain to him that it was not a good idea, for Watchers and Immortals to get too close. So I told him about some things that happened recently.”
A pause. “About Charlie. And Cord.”


“I didn’t even mean to, Joe, I’m sorry.”

My fingers drum on the head of my cane, once, and again. I look away from MacLeod, into the dim lit recesses of the bar. I don’t really want to cuss him out, but nothing else comes to mind. When I finally manage to speak, I’m surprised at how calm my voice sounds.

“You know, MacLeod, it never ceases to amaze me. For someone who lies about his personal history to every single person he meets, you can’t keep anyone else’s secrets worth a damn.”


Suddenly, I can’t bear to hear another word. I stand up, abruptly, moving towards the door. MacLeod grabs my arm. With my high center of gravity, I start to topple over faster than a tipped cow.

Of course, Mac slides his feet like a cat and steadies me effortlessly until I get my balance back. It's just instinct, I tell myself. He can't help it. I manage to resist my own instinct to clock him one.

Well, there’s nothing like a little personal humiliation to knock some sense into you. What was I going to do, stomp out of my own place in the middle of the night?

“Joe …” MacLeod is still holding on, supporting me. He waits until I turn to look at him. Scottish guilt, yep, just as I expected. “I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah.” I take in a deep breath and let it out slow. He’s reaching out, and I am not going to bite his hand off for it.

“Let’s just try not to tell any more secrets to the strange Immortal we met yesterday, okay, Mac?”

He gently releases my arm. I march stiffly back to the stool and sit down.

“So, how did Jean-Pierre react to this little revelation?”

“He announced that he wanted to tell you his life’s story. Don’t even ask me why, Joe. I have no idea what is going on in his head.” MacLeod rests his elbows on the bar and rubs his eyes. He looks miserable, and exhausted.

“Oh, Mac,” I feel a totally inappropriate bubble of laughter, just from the tension relief. I manage to turn it into a cough. “This kid is really driving you up the wall, isn’t he.”

“Joe, he is Grace’s favorite student. I know he’s been through some rough times, and I’m happy to help. But I am really looking forward to getting my own home back. Will you please meet with him sometime soon?”

First priority: I need to get Mac a decent night’s sleep, before he takes the kid’s head just to get a little peace and quiet. I get up, make my way to the register, and start looking through the drawers behind the counter.

“You bet, Mac. Oh, here they are.”

I toss him a small plastic container. MacLeod catches and inspects it.

“Earplugs. I use them sometimes if a band goes a little over the top with the volume; got to save my hearing for the good stuff. Wear them tonight if Jean-Pierre decides to use my CD for a lullaby. Tomorrow you can buy him his very own CD player, with headphones. Bring Jean-Pierre by Monday night, for the Jam Session.”

“I will. Thank you Joe, for everything.” MacLeod smiles with more warmth than a loan of some earplugs would seem to merit and heads out the door.

I make my way up the stairs to my apartment, sit down on the bed, and pick up my acoustic guitar. I wasn’t sure before, Mac, but we’re going to get through this. I pluck a high note, then a low. Mortal, Immortal, Watcher, Watched.

I strum a chord, blending the notes together. We’re still friends. I slide the chord into a Chicago blues shuffle rhythm and croon a little celebration over the top. “Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Oh yeah.” A grin on my face, I place the guitar back in its stand and get ready for bed.

Chapter 3

Monday nights are Open Jam Session Night at “Joe’s”. It’s my favorite night of the week. You never know who might show up to join in. It might be a local girl trying out some blues riffs for her garage band, or a headliner from Vegas returning to his roots. That’s the beauty of standards – they let you make music with perfect strangers.

The audience was small, but friendly, forgiving, open-minded, and fanatically loyal. They were up for anything, from swing to aharmonic free form jazz solos. There were regulars that had never missed a Monday Jam Session since “Joe’s” opened. One woman had flown back halfway through her honeymoon in Hawaii, new husband in tow, so as not to miss it. Never heard so many love songs as got played that night. Tonight we’ve got the house band plus “Walrus” Santiago on trumpet. Walrus was driving from San Diego up to a gig in Victoria, but had planned his trip so he could be in Seacouver for the Jam Session.

I can’t help but glance over at MacLeod’s table. It’s empty again. It used to be, whenever the two of us were in town, Mac would sit at that table. Of course, whenever he wasn’t in town, I’d be out of town Watching him, whether it was Paris or that trip to Scotland. The regulars made a few jokes about it, but they always left that table open. They knew if I was playing, Mac would be in at some point to listen.

Until six weeks ago, when my friend Cord killed our friend Charlie, and Mac stopped coming in on Monday nights. The regulars asked after him. The band asked after him. I can’t even remember what I told them, but no one asked after that night. Six weeks, and all the regulars still leave that table open for him, just in case. It’s starting to get a little morbid. But tonight, MacLeod is gonna be here with Jean-Pierre. It’s okay if it takes a crisis to get him here; that’s what his life is like. I just want to see my friend sitting at that table again.

MacLeod arrives during one of Walrus’s solos. I keep a steady rhythm going and watch the reactions as Mac strides in with Grace on his arm, Jean-Pierre trailing after them. I’m still not sure if MacLeod is just modest, or if he really is oblivious to the effect he has on people. My regulars murmur greetings as he passed. A few of the single women who had been maneuvering around him inspect Grace. Mac is more his usual dapper self, pulling out the chair for her while watching Walrus do his thing.

Jean-Pierre looks … better. Still under-fed, but he doesn’t have that “deer in the headlights” look from a few days ago. He’s wearing some of Richie’s clothes; the dressy slacks and cobalt blue shirt that Richie only wears when Mac drags him somewhere fancy. Jean-Pierre sits at the table folding in on himself. I’ve been reading Jean-Pierre’s Chronicles, trying to figure out how I can help. Getting him up on stage in front of an audience is the best thing I can do for the kid. That’s real life for him, before all this craziness started. And no real bluesman can resist a jam.

Walrus is winding up his solo, and I snap my attention back to the stage. A jam isn’t planned out in advance, so you have to keep your eyes open for band members signaling chord changes, solos, and stops. I throw myself into the next few verses. As the last chords of “Playin’ with my Friends” fade out, I decide it’s time to test out my theory.

“We’re gonna take a 15 minute breather, be back soon for the last half of the jam.”

I check in with the rest of the band. My guys are fine with anybody hopping on stage, but out-of-town pro’s sometimes get cranky about letting amateurs play with them.
“Walrus, the kid over there’s got a great set of pipes, mind if I invite him up?”

Walrus shrugs. “Fine with me, it’s an open jam, right? Just so long as I’ve got time for a smoke.” He bolts for the door. “Joe’s” is smoke-free, and it’s tough on some of the nicotine addicts.

I lay my Gibson down gently in its stand, pick up my cane and head for MacLeod’s table, greeting my regulars on the way. Mac gestures me to the open seat.

“MacLeod, Isabelle, glad you could make it!”

Grace glances side-ways at MacLeod, and then extends her hand. “My friends call me Grace, Joe.”

“Grace, then, it’s a pleasure to see you in here again. A beautiful woman always adds a touch of class to the place.”

I resist a sudden, bizarre urge to kiss her hand, shaking it firmly instead. Must be those drawings of her wearing bonnets in Mac’s chronicles. I settle into the remaining chair with a sigh and wait for MacLeod to formally introduce me to the kid.

“Jean-Pierre, this is Joe Dawson. You’ve been listening to his CD all weekend.”

Jean-Pierre is staring at me without saying a word. Anybody in there?

“Welcome to “Joe’s”, Jean-Pierre, good to meet you. Been enjoying the music?”

Jean-Pierre nods. “Yes. Yes, it brings back some good memories.” The faint Creole accent I noticed the other day is gone. I wonder if he only has it in French, or maybe it only comes out when he’s emotional, like MacLeod’s brogue.

“I hear you’re pretty good blues singer yourself. Want to sit in with us after the break? It’s an open jam session, everyone’s welcome.” Jean-Pierre looks around at the audience, clearly uncertain, hugging himself as if he’s cold.

“Hey, don’t worry. You will never find a friendlier audience than this. You could go up there and sing, “Happy Birthday.” If it had a decent bass line, these folks would try dancing to it.”

Mac looked ready to protest, but sits back in his chair at a pointed glance from Grace.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” I urge, reminded of my childhood in Chicago, coaxing a friend out to play in the snow.

Jean-Pierre takes a deep breath and lets it out, relaxing his shoulders. “I would like that,” he replies.

“Terrific! How do you want me to introduce you?” No knowing what alias the kid was using. And stop thinking of him as a kid, Joseph. He’s 175 years old, for Pete’s sake.

“Jean-Pierre is fine, thank you for asking, Joe.”

“Right, I’m gonna head to the john. Meet you on stage in 5. I already told the rest of the band you might be joining us.” Come on, Jean-Pierre, you’ve done this plenty of times before, just fall into that old groove.

By the time I get back on stage, Jean-Pierre has set-up his mike and is chatting with the band. “… in church of course, a few parties, but mostly just playing around with friends and some jamming. We moved around a lot, so I never really had a chance to get in a steady group.”

I settle down into my chair and pick up the Gibson. “Picked out a first song?”

Jean-Pierre nods. “I’d like to try ‘A Better World Out There Somewhere’. Everybody know that one? Joe, you start us off. Be ready to push the tempo.”

“Sounds good,” I confirm. “Everybody ready?” Hearing no protests from my boys or Walrus, I turn on my mike. “We’ve got something new for you folks. He’s a fresh young face with some old-school blues in his soul. Please welcome Jean-Pierre!”

The audience breaks out in good-natured cheers and whistles. I dive in, electric guitar carrying the melancholy melody. Jean-Pierre is swaying to it, eyes closed. When he picks up the vocals, it’s almost too quiet to hear.

“Sometimes I wonder, just what I’m fighting for,”
His tear-filled eyes snap open. Jean-Pierre leans towards the audience and wails:
“I win some battles, but I always lose the war,”

Damn, so that’s what it sounds like when you’ve been singing the blues for a century. Jean-Pierre just bundled up all of the pain he was feeling, pushed it into his voice, and anointed the audience with it.

Jean-Pierre’s vocals pull us faster and faster. The song isn’t melancholy anymore; it is a desperate, pleading prayer. Jean-Pierre rails against our world’s cruelty and hopes for better in the hereafter, all the way to the end. There is a respectful silence, followed by some raucous cheering and applause from the audience. I wonder, not for the first time, if anything is left of an Immortal after their Quickening is taken. Most of them don’t seem to think so, but Jean-Pierre might be an exception.

Jean-Pierre leads us through “Sinner’s Prayer” and “Wander this World”. Each song of loneliness and woe seems to bleed off some of his tension. His body loosens up as the sweat stain creeps down the back of his shirt. Jean-Pierre starts to move around the stage, working the crowd. By “I Pity the Fool” he has the audience singing along with the chorus, everyone in the band getting a solo. Walrus calls for “Born Under a Bad Sign”, and then I take lead vocals with Jean-Pierre backing me in “Mustang Sally.” That really gets the room hopping. It’s late, but the audience wants an encore. They aren’t ready to go home quite yet.

“All right guys, what do you think? We need something special here for a finale.”

Six panting, beaming musicians stare back at me. Jean-Pierre grins mischievously.
“Fever. Just like Peggy Lee. Joe, can you sing Romeo?”

“Never tried it, but I think I remember that part of the lyrics.”

“Great. I’ll start. Bass and percussion join me on the 4th beat. The rest of you jump in at the 2nd verse.” Everybody’s willing.

Jean-Pierre moves to the center of the stage and faces away from the audience, posing like a gypsy dancer with arms arced gracefully above his head. The crowd takes notice and quiets. Jean-Pierre snaps his fingers to set the beat. 1,2,3,4. When the bass starts he spins around and slinks sensuously to the mike. When he opens his mouth, a breathy torch song emerges.

When it’s my turn to break in as Romeo to his Juliet, Jean-Pierre pulls out all the stops. He shimmies, poses, flutters his lashes, and gyrates his way around me like some kind of harem girl. I sneak a look at the Immortals in the room. Grace is giggling; peeking out from between the hands she’s holding over her own eyes. MacLeod’s mouth is open, and he seems to have forgotten how to breathe. When my verse is done, Jean-Pierre has to sing the last part a capella. The whole band is laughing too hard to play their instruments. The applause is like a tidal wave.

Jean-Pierre bows extravagantly to the audience, and then leans on my shoulders from behind, yelling next to my ear to be heard. “Thanks Joe, that was fun.”

I turn my head and yell back. “I’ll say. Where the hell did you learn that?”

Jean-Pierre winks, grins, and replies, “Paris drag club.” He coyly lays his head down on his arms, mouth right next to my ear, and adds; “You should see it with me in an evening gown and wig.” He pauses there for a moment until a drop of sweat drips off his nose onto my ear, and then springs away.

I have to blink to clear the image out of my head. Was Jean-Pierre flirting with me? Probably just fooling around. I stand up in time to catch a glimpse of Maria, Grace’s Watcher, heading out the door. That should make tomorrow’s meeting with her interesting.

Every member of the audience seems determined to congratulate me, and talk about Jean-Pierre. “Thank you.” “Thanks.” “Yeah, I’ll be sure to ask him back.” “No, I don’t think Jean-Pierre sings with any local bands.” “Yes, he does seem to have an old soul.” “No, I’m not his agent.” “Thanks Josie, that means a lot, coming from you.”

“Mac, you and Grace can take off. Jean-Pierre can crash at my place after we’ve had some time to talk. Pick him up tomorrow morning around 11?”

I wonder if the two of them will take advantage of having the loft to themselves tonight. There’s some history between them, but Grace doesn’t seem to take things casually, and I’m not sure Mac’s looking for a commitment with another Immortal. Well, Mac can take care of his own love life. Tonight I’m going to have my hands full looking after Jean-Pierre.

Proceed to Chapter 4


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
This is such a terrific, well-realised story. I'm not finished reading it just yet, but I had to take a break and let you know how much I'm enjoying it.
Oct. 15th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
"But you gotta figure anybody who orders a drink
called "Sex With an Okinawan Bartender" in a place called "Joe's",
deserves whatever he gets."

*dies* Too funny!
Oct. 15th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
*grins* Thanks! It's a real drink, tho I can't remember how to make it off the top of my head.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )