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Part 2

Scene 5

"Becky, I'm home." Anne called out to her baby-sitter as she walked into her house. Immediately she thought something was wrong. No, she thought something was wrong. It was too quiet. "Becky? Mary? Where is everybody? Hello?" Anne searched the house for her baby-sitter and daughter. It wasn't like them to go anywhere without leaving her a note.

Anne noticed the flashing light on her answering machine and hit play, hoping maybe there was a message from Becky. "The time is six fifteen, September twenty-sixth. You have 2 unplayed messages." The voice called out. "Message number one, four fifteen p.m."

"Hi Anne," Duncan's voice called out. "Just calling to see how you and Mary were doing. Give me a call later, maybe we can have dinner. Bye."

"Message number two, five thirty p.m."

"Anne, it's Corinth. I enjoyed seeing ye today. I didnae expect to run into ye at the hospital, but I'm glad I did. Have a nice day, and hopefully I will see ye later."

Anne flipped off the answering machine and walked into the kitchen. The dishes had been done and were in the drying rack, but something still wasn't right. Mary's stroller, diaper bag, and Becky's purse were all by the back door, letting Anne believe they might be in the back yard somewhere.

She looked out the window and into the yard and when she didn't see them, she walked into the living room. That's when she noticed the letter on the mantle. Breathing a sigh of relief, she picked it up and sat down on the couch to read.

Anne- What a lovely child Mary is, I'm sure you must be proud of her. As you may have guessed by now, I have her in my custody and she is fine. Whether or not she stays that way is up to Duncan. One day many years ago, Duncan killed my son in battle. I swore revenge against the MacLeods to avenge his death and I have been hunting them ever since. Imagine my surprise when a few days ago I find Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod himself. Duncan has a choice. You may have Mary back if Duncan surrenders his life to me. Otherwise, I will take from him what he once took from me. You both have a few days to decide, I will be in contact with you.

-Corinth

Anne dropped the letter and began to panic. Then anger set in, but she wasn't sure who to be more furious at- herself for allowing herself to fall victim to Corinth's charm, or at Duncan for not telling Anne about him and allowing Mary to be used as bait.

Once she had finally calmed down enough to think rationally, she called Duncan.

"Duncan!" she said close to hysterics.

"Anne, what is it? Are you OK?" Anne shook her head forgetting she was on the phone. "Duncan it's Mary. I came home from work and she and Becky were gone." "Calm down, Anne. Maybe they're at the park."

"No, Mary's been kidnapped. There's a note and everything. Corinth has Mary."

"OK, Anne, calm down. I'll meet you at Joe's in a half hour and we'll get Mary back safe and sound."

"Duncan?"

"Trust me Anne. I won't let anything happen to her."


Scene 6

Eavesdropping was a habit at which Joe was very practiced, but he never had been comfortable with it. Yet, at the moment the temptation was too great, and he was straining to hear the very quiet conversation Richie was having with an unknown person on the other end of a telephone line. The youth had moved to the end of the deserted bar when he'd been handed the phone, and was now faced away from his companion. What had started as a lively discourse, had suddenly dropped to a much lower tone, and had grabbed Joe's interest.

"...Yeah -- well he just robbed a bank," Richie was disclosing sheepishly, "but I really don't know what to do with him. If I'm not careful, it's going to turn out exactly like last time."

Joe put down the highly polished glass before he broke it.

"He has a total mind of his own," Richie seemed to be complaining, "I don't seem to be able to control him anymore. For God's sake, I started all this," that wasn't good news for Joe, but there was worse to come, "and now he just keeps doing things. Things are getting out of control, I just can't stop."

The Watcher decided to take a swig of beer just to stop himself grinding his teeth together quite so loudly.

"...Yeah, I think I may even have to kill him," Joe's heart missed a beat, Richie continued oblivious, "maybe I should shoot him or push him under a train."

{A mortal?!} Joe's mind screamed.

"...Yeah, I know, maybe that is too drastic," Richie shrugged at the phone.

Joe silently thanked God for small mercies.

"You'll help? -- Great!" Richie sounded relieved. "See you in twenty."

Richie slammed down the phone with renewed energy, turned to his friend and smiled.

"See ya later, Joe," he waved, "I gotta run."

Joe strode down the counter as fast as he could, and called his companion back with, "Richie."

The young Immortal turned, Joe tried to think of what he was going to say next, the phone rang. Riche gazed at him in all innocence, and the words just wouldn't form.

"I'll see you later," he eventually said, and reached for the phone.

The youth waved and was gone.

"Joe's Bar," the man greeted with unusual hostility. "Mac?.....Slow down.....Mary what?......I'll make the call now."


Scene 7

"Don't worry Joe's looking for Corinth right now. In a few minutes we'll know where Mary is, and I'll go get her."

"Duncan don't tell me not to worry. Mary is my daughter and I'm supposed to protect her. I can't allow her to be used against you every time one of your enemies show up. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to Mary."

"Anne, I'm not asking you to put yourself or Mary in that position. I'm just trying to..."

He was cutoff by Joe walking in from the back office. "Well I have bad news and worse news. The bad news is we don't have a Watcher assigned to Corinth, so therefore we don't know where he or Mary are right now."

"There's news worse than that?" Anne asked even more alarmed than before.

Joe nodded. "What files we could find on him were very descriptive. Apparently Mac, whatever happened between the two of you, he hasn't let go. He's been hunting for hundreds of years for any descendants of your clan and killing them whether or not they were Immortal. Frankly, he's pissed and he won't rest until justice is done."

"And the bad part of that is?" Mac said nonchalantly.

"Imagine when one day he befriends another MacLeod. One that's the same clan, different vintage."

"Connor?"

Joe nodded. "Apparently when they met, they had no idea who each other were. And Connor led him directly to you."

"So how did Mary get caught up in all this?" Anne asked slightly confused.

"Duncan killed Corinth's son before he became Immortal. It seemed Corinth knew he was getting on in years and wasn't as strong as he used to be. Theory is, he was going into the fight as a suicide battle, and then Jamie would take over as the clan Chieftain."

"Robert killed Corinth and I killed Jamie." Duncan said starting to understand. "But instead of Jamie rising to lead the clan, Corinth rises from the dead- an Immortal, and swears his revenge."

"And since Immortals can't have children, he sees you with Mary, her father figure..." Anne supplied, half trying to convince herself.

Joe nodded. "Now for the worst part. Corinth doesn't fight fair. He's done everything short of killing on Holy Ground. There's even a possibility we can link him to the Hunters."

"So even if Duncan beats him, there's no guarantee Mary's safe?" Anne asked as both men nodded. "So now what? Do we just sit here twiddling our thumbs?" Anne's anger was returning, and both men knew she had every right to be upset.

"I've got every Watcher in the area on the lookout. It's only a matter of time before they report back."

"Joe, time is something we don't have much of." Duncan said, standing up and reaching for his katana. "I'm going to find Mary and bring her back myself." He said, as he headed towards the door.

"Mac."

"Yes, Joe?"

"Be careful."


Scene 8

It was surprisingly warm and dry for a warehouse, but that had more to do with the bar heater on a very long extension lead, than the design of the building. As Becky glanced around she could see the generic dark corners, and she could hear some pipes complaining about the night's temperature drop. the gag was tight between her lips, but perversely all she could think about was how glad she was it was clean. It had a vaguely perfumed taste, as if it had just been washed.

To say that the young woman was not afraid would have been a lie, but in many ways she was more worried for little Mary. Their captor had not physically hurt either of them, but the way he looked at the toddler frightened Becky. It was the half doting, half psychotic gaze that made her the most anxious. Corinth seemed almost indifferent to her, but not to Mary at all.

The Scotsman had done his best to make sure the little girl was comfortable, and he'd actually played with her in the afternoon. It was when she had started crying for her mother that his mood had changed. At first he'd yelled at Mary, and of course she's cried harder; then he's tried to comfort her, which didn't work either because he was the one who had frightened the small girl. When he'd released Becky to look after the child, the baby sitter had been so terrified of the emptiness in his eyes that escape had never crossed her mind.

Becky hadn't seen anyone else, but Corinth was never gone for long. This time he returned with what looked like take-away boxes. The tall man walked in front of his captives and put his burden down on the boxes which sufficed as a table. Then it didn't take him more than a few strides to cross the distance between himself and the back of Becky's chair. The young woman couldn't help stiffening as she felt his touch on her hands, and he actually laughed. Her bonds loosened with efficient speed and then he walked towards Mary.

"Take what you want," Corinth said coldly as he moved past Becky. "I hope you like Chinese."

The baby sitter hadn't eaten since breakfast, so she didn't hesitate long. Her kidnapper seemed much more interested in Mary, but she never doubted for a second that the man was watching her. he moved like a predator, and she did not try and hide her fear. She was pretty sure her presence was fairly irrelevant in the current scenario, but that could mean she was in more danger than she would otherwise have been. There was no doubt in her mind that if she caused trouble this dark haired Scot would kill her.

He had knelt down next to Mary's pen when Becky next glanced over, and he had produced several items from the pockets of his coat. It appeared that the little girl was being offered a somewhat healthier diet to the meal for the adults.

"Do you like apples, Mary?" Corinth asked with what Becky took to be a somewhat insane smile.

He offered the child a slice of the fruit he cut with a small knife that seemed to have materialized from nowhere. Mary just looked at the offering, her little eyes vaguely tearful. She was tired, and she wanted her mother, that much was very clear. This was one little girl not very interested in gifts from a stranger.

"Come on little one," the Scotsman continued, "it's a good apple," and he popped the piece into his mouth.

He held out a fresh slice to her. She stared across at him, and Becky could see the wail coming before it started. The baby sitter froze at the sound, unsure and afraid of what Corinth's reaction might be. He definitely did not look happy. For a few second neither of the adults moved as the pitiful crying filled the building, and then everything was over in a flash of movement. The Scotsman was on his feet, stalking away from the circle of light.

"Look after her," he commanded icily, and disappeared into the darkness.

It took Becky more than a few minutes to calm Mary down enough to stop her tears. She did not consider trying to find the exit. The young woman felt like a fly in a spider's web, she knew she was being observed. Only as the little girl fell into an unsettled silence did Corinth reappear. As he came closer, Becky realized he was carrying the Tickle Me Elmo doll. Mary brightened immediately, and the tall man presented her with the toy.

"Elmie," she cried, delighted and diverted for the moment.

Becky could not look at their captor.


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