When Duncan MacLeod arrived at Maurice's club late in the afternoon,
it was still practically deserted, just a couple of customers, the
bartender, and Joe Dawson. The Watcher was sitting on a stool on the
stage playing his guitar, eyes closed, lost in the music. Duncan
quietly ordered a beer, and stood with it leaning against the bar,
not wanting to interrupt. The tune was low and sweet, and just a
touch mournful. When the song ended Duncan set the glass down and
Joe opened his eyes, startled. He squinted for a second, then his
face broke into a wide grin and he waved Duncan over.
"Hey, Mac!" he said as Duncan crossed the room.
Duncan smiled. "That was nice," he said gesturing toward the guitar.
"One of yours?"
"Something I'm working on," Joe nodded. "It's almost there."
"Thanks. Are we still on for dinner with Richie tonight?"
"Yeah," Duncan answered. "We have reservations at 8:30."
"Sad state of affairs," Joe said, shaking his head sadly.
"What?" Duncan was baffled.
"That not one of us has a date for Valentine's Day," Joe said,
breaking into a big grin. "Even Altea is out of town."
"Valentine's Day?" Duncan asked.
"Yeah, Valentine's Day." Joe was puzzled, Duncan looked almost
shocked. "You okay, Mac?"
Duncan was looking at his watch. "1998?"
Joe laughed, "All year."
Duncan abruptly set his beer down on the nearest table and headed for
"Mac?" Joe called after him, but Duncan didn't look back. "Hey, Mac!"
Duncan took the stairs two at a time, and was gone.