by FF Calliope
This story contains some violence and lots of juicy sex described in loving detail. Therefore, if you are a minor (under 18 years of age) or are squeamish about sexual content, drop this like a hot potato. If you continue to read after this warning, don't blame me.
The Other Legalities: Highlander is the property of Gaumont Television and Rysher TPE, based on the character created by Gregory Widen and the underlying characters and concept of Davis/Panzer Productions, Inc. I just like playing in their sandbox; no copyright infringement is intended. Delphyne is my own creation.
Many thanks to Emma for her beta-reading and to my writing partner, JakeStone. They both helped me to improve the story immensely. Any errors, grammatical or otherwise, are my own damned fault and none of theirs.
Constructive criticism welcomed. Destructive criticism ignored. Send either, or just general comments, to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Stay" is the First in a Series of Methos and Delphyne Stories
He rode without care for where he went, and one thing blended to another: a face, a cart, an alley, another cart. The rhythm of the horse hooves striking the cobbles of the street were the only thing solid to him. People got out of his way, but he hardly noticed. He was used to it. He tried to lose himself in the movements of the horse, the wind in his face, the smell of the city, but it wasn't enough. No matter how fast or how far he rode, he could not get away from what was inside him.
A stomach-wrenching sensation came over him, then, warning that one of his kind was near. He greeted this with mixed emotions. A sharp jerk of his hand pulled his horse to a halt, and his self-absorption vanished. Hard, dark eyes scanned the crowds, looking for a face. The face.
Delphyne was on her way to the silk merchant's stall when she felt the quickening of another immortal nearby. She stopped abruptly, causing someone to run into her, and ignored their mumbled apology as she looked through the crowds of people in their flowing robes and chitons. There was a disturbance a short distance away, a single horseman riding recklessly fast. As she looked up, he reined in his mount and began searching just as she was. Searching for her.
She studied him, wondering if he would challenge her. Tall and in prime condition, with long dark hair, wearing white and leather, his sharp features were like a shuttered window. He had the look of a murderer, cold, brutal and efficient, but he wasn't easy to read. Most people, she could look at their face and know their heart, their soul, in an instant. There was more to this one than what was written on his face.
His eyes locked onto her then, and narrowed. A graceful leap put him on the ground, sword in hand, moving towards her. People melted out of his path. Something about him made them instinctively move away. Delphyne saw that he fully intended to kill her, but that hint of something else beneath the surface, at war with his intent, made her curious. Without fully intending to do so, she opened her other senses to him, senses she had not used in hundreds of years. Not since she'd learned how to shield herself so that she was not constantly invaded by the feelings and thoughts of everyone around her. She didn't like to feel other people's emotions. It was confusing, and often painful. But her curiosity overcame that and she released the mental walls that protected her so that she could know him, could feel....
...Turmoil. Anger. He wanted to kill her, yes, to prove to himself that he still enjoyed it. Killing had been his life for centuries, it was all he had ever known, and it enraged him that he no longer found pleasure in it. He was changing, and that scared him. So he fought it.
All of this came to her in a flash, and then he was there, right in front of her, the air around him vibrating with his rage.
"I am Death."
She smiled, for she suspected that he was saying this more to himself than to her.
"Why not be Life?"
Irritation flashed across his face, and he brought up his sword, backing her into an alley, out of the crowds, away from mortal eyes. Reaching over her shoulder, she drew her own sword from where it hung at her back, half-concealed by long red-brown hair. His gaze flicked over it, noting that it was smaller than his, suited to her smaller hands, and that she handled it as if she knew what she were doing. She studied him with deep brown eyes, letting him push her back.
"Death is who I am," he told her. "Of the Four Horsemen."
"How disappointing," she replied. He lunged, and she leapt aside, shifting into a fighting stance. He moved with her, not giving her a chance to take the offensive. Her eyes showed no fear. Instead, they flashed with what might have been anger or excitement, and this seemed to fuel his rage. He attacked again, swinging and thrusting with the skill of thousands of years, thousands of fights. She had to work hard to keep up, but she did it, and though grunting with effort she still managed to speak.
"What a waste" - she parried a blow - "of talent."
He was getting her measure now. She had skill, but was no match for his strength and size. Using what he had in his favor, he backed her against a wall, swords crossed and pinned together in a contest of sheer power.
"You're not good enough," he said, and waited for the fear to come into her eyes.
"You're not bad enough," she shot back, and then dropped out from under him, simply giving way to his strength and rolling to one side.
His face tightened. Following her movements, he immediately attacked again.
How angry he is, she thought. He wanted to prove that he was indeed Death, but she believed that he no longer could. He was at a crossroads in his life. Would her quickening push him a little further in the right direction? She had seen it happen before. She knew now that she could not defeat him, nor did she want to kill him even if she could. If only he had the courage, he could become something far beyond what he was now. His potential had no limit.
"You are worthy of so much more," she told him, grunting between words as she defended herself from his attack.
His lips twisted into a snarl, and he slipped under her guard to slice across her stomach, leaving a line of blood behind. Bringing his sword back down and his knee up, he trapped her arm between them, and her hand spasmed open, dropping her sword to the ground with a clatter.
"Lesson's over," he said.
Delphyne looked up into his eyes, and stood still, waiting. She loved life, yes, but she acknowledged the inevitability of death. There was much that she had to atone for, and perhaps this was, ultimately, to be her penance. She accepted it, and waited, looking up into his eyes as he drew back his arm for the final blow. Again she opened herself to him, letting his feelings and thoughts flow through her almost as if they were her own.
Methos, she thought, his name is Methos, and Delphyne looked through his eyes into her own, and saw peace. He was confused and frustrated, wondering what kind of woman she was, not to fear his sword. He tensed, his arm drawn back, ready for the kill... the kill... yet another kill, like the hundreds, the thousands before her. Images flickered through her mind of slaughter and death, and the mad joy it had brought him. He wanted that again, to feel the rush of power and pleasure. But other images intruded. A woman, Cassandra, handing him a cup of water cooled in the river, giving in spite of all he had taken, her eyes trusting, and there was a dull ache of regret, connected somehow to her. And after that, another immortal in the body of a youth, a beautiful boy whose first death had come while he was still in the midst of puberty, not fully formed. Ancient, though the gods only knew how he had managed to live so long in such a body. Delphyne saw the boy outside of the temple to Hermes where he had been some sort of priest, saw the sword sheer through that slender neck, and she wondered if it was this that had changed things. Was it that immortal boy's quickening that had destroyed his pleasure in killing?
She looked into his eyes, waiting, and yes, oh yes, he wanted to kill her, to wipe that serene expression off her face. Methos brought his arm down and slammed the butt of the sword into her head. She crumbled to the ground, and before she completely lost consciousness she heard a cry of fury, caught a glimpse of him thrusting his sword into the hard wood wall of a building, the force of his rage imbedding it several inches.
"Fuck! What is wrong with me?!"
He fell to his knees beside her, fists clenched in frustration. Then he picked her up and threw her limp body over his shoulder and carried her to his horse.
When she woke, it was to a nasty throbbing in her head. Delphyne put her hand against her skull, frowning, and sat up.
I'm not dead, she thought, and opened her eyes. A fire crackled in front of her, and the other immortal sat beside it, staring into the flames. Out of the corners of her eyes she could see that they were at some sort of ruin, probably a temple whose gods had fallen out of favor. A few broken pillars leaned drunkenly against the sky. Weeds grew between the cracks of what had once been stone floors, and there were slabs of rock that might once have been altars, it was hard to tell.
The headache was already fading as her immortal body healed itself. Absently rubbing her head, she studied the man before her.
"It's holy ground," he said.
Something sharp poked into her leg, and she looked down to see her sword there. She tensed, immediately alert. What was he doing? Why bring her to holy ground and give her the sword back? Surely he didn't intend to...
With a swift, sharp movement he rose to his feet, and in one step had his sword at her throat. Her eyes widened, and she lifted her chin, instinctively backing away. He wants to destroy himself, she thought. He's mad.
"You said it was holy ground."
"Who are you that you get inside my head?" he demanded. "Tell me, or I kill you, holy ground or not."
Her mind raced. So she had gotten inside his head, had she?
"Just the right person at the right time. I was once an Oracle, but no more."
It was the simple truth, but he didn't like it. The tip of his sword pressed into her throat and she stiffened instinctively.
"Don't speak to me in riddles. I am three thousand years old."
Old enough to figure out a riddle, she thought, annoyed with him. Did he want simple answers? There weren't any.
"What does your age have to do with it? I am perhaps fifteen hundred years old, I forget."
"I will gladly end it here in a blaze of glory," he warned.
"Would you? Then you are closer than I thought." Reaching up, she grabbed hold of the blade, cutting her palm open on the sharp edge as she silently challenged him to decide then and there whether he wanted to live or die.
Madness flickered behind his eyes. He was on the verge of killing her, his hand trembling with it.
"I can't live like this."
"I know," she answered. "You don't have to."
Methos jerked the sword away from her, laying her hand open in a deep gash, and let out the wordless yell of an animal in pain, all but screaming, "AAaaaaahhhhh!"
Delphyne grimaced at the pain of the cut, but it would heal. Her attention was focused on him.
"Yes. Let it all out, the pain, the fury," she urged. Carefully, she got to her feet, keeping her hands in plain sight as if trying to approach a wild horse without frightening it. He fell to his knees, his face a mask of pure anguish, and her heart ached for him.
"You don't understand," he told her, bitterness in his voice.
"Then help me to understand." Her hand lifted... hesitated inches above his shoulder... then came down to rest on it, but he didn't want to be touched, probably didn't believe her capable of understanding what was happening to him. He knocked her hand aside with such force that the bone nearly snapped, and she pulled back in pain.
"There is no atoning for what I have done."
She understood far better than he credited. If it had not been for that trip to Delphi, she would probably still be riding out to war with the Celtic tribes who had raised her. Delphi had changed everything. In that dark cave, breathing the strange fumes from the volcano, the vision-maddened eyes of the Oracle had fixed on her as though seeing into her soul. A sword in the belly would not have hurt as much as the truth which flowed from that woman's mouth. The prophetess had not even known what she said. The gods spoke through her, and they were without mercy. They had reached into her mind and for the first time she felt the horror of her crimes. Felt the anguish of her victims, the death-agonies of thousands of people, the grief of their families, heard their thoughts, their unanswered prayers to whatever gods they worshipped. Her punishment, it was decreed, was that she would experience the thoughts and emotions of others as if they were her own. Only when she learned to live with her guilt would she learn how to protect herself from that curse, to close off that extra sense and know only her own thoughts and feelings. It had nearly driven her mad.
So she knew what it was to discover remorse after centuries of murdering. What lay before him would be hard, no matter what path he chose. How could she help him get past it? Would he even be able to? Some people were simply not capable of bearing their guilt, and she had seen what became of them. She believed - hoped - that he was one of the strong.
"Perhaps not," she said gently. "But are you willing to try anyway?"
The expression in his eyes changed, and he got to his feet, taking a step towards her. She went on her guard in response.
"Right now I have something else in mind." Holding her gaze, he unfastened his shirt and peeled it off.
Delphyne knew what he had in mind the instant he began removing his shirt, and it sent a cold chill down her spine that settled in her belly. Yet... the feeling was not altogether unpleasant. She could not deny that she was drawn to him, to his intensity, his intelligence, the sheer power of his personality.
"I spared your life," he said.
"Now you will repay me."
Her eyes darkened, and she asked almost casually, "And how shall I do that?"
"Don't play the fool!" he snapped, "or we both die here, in fire. I have nothing to lose."
She moved into him now, challenging him, her voice growing louder, more demanding with each word. "I meant, is it to be a single casual rape? Do you wish me to service you like a lover? Am I to be your slave? How shall I repay you, Immortal? Do you wish me to fight, or to kneel meekly in submission?"
He almost smiled, and she realized that she had inadvertantly given him exactly what he wanted: a reaction. Walking a slow circle around her, he looked her over from head to toe. She imagined how she must look to him - small, pale skin and red-brown hair, slender hard body softened by a woman's curves. Not the most beautiful female he'd ever seen, but not the ugliest either.
"Slave," he said. "I like the sound of that."
She stood up straighter, looking for all the world like she thought she was royalty... and smiled.
"Strip... slave." He grinned, anticipating her reaction to that.
Delphyne thought she knew what he was trying to do now. He wanted her angry, wanted her to fight him so that he could focus his rage on her instead of himself. He wouldn't have to think about it then. She had no intention of giving him what he wanted. Without a protest, she slipped off her clothes and tossed them aside to stand naked before him.
"I await your command, Master."
Methos cocked his head to one side, studying her.
"All right," he said, "Let's play your game."
"Game?" Her eyebrows lifted.
"Kneel before me."
She complied, going to her knees at his feet and resting her hands on her thighs, then looked up at him as if to say "Next?"
Again she showed no hestitation. Stretching out on her belly, she completely prostrated herself. Her rounded ass distracted him briefly, but not for long.
"Kiss the ground at my feet." His smug tone told her that he expected her to refuse.
Crawling forward on her belly, she obeyed, pressing her lips to the earth and coming up with a dirty face to sit back on her heels and look at him, her eyes dancing with amusement.
Frustrated, he put a heavily booted foot to her shoulder and shoved her backwards, sending her sprawling amid the dirt and rocks. "Aaaaargh!"
Delphyne tossed her hair out of her face and looked up at him, her lips quirking and eyes crinkling at the corners, barely restraining herself from laughing out loud.
"You are taking all the fun out of this," he told her.
Her eyes widened in mock innocence. "Oh dear, am I doing it wrong?"
Methos turned away, then turned back and stopped as if about to speak ... then instead cracked her on the head with the handle of his sword, knocking her unconscious once again. She fell, a heap of female flesh and tangled red-brown hair, and he paced back and forth.
Delphyne woke to a sharp pain across her face, and when she raised her hands to fend it off she discovered that her wrists were bound together in front of her. Head aching, she blinked her eyes open to see the immortal kneeling over her, slapping her face. As soon as he saw she was awake, he stopped. He was naked now, his body thin, every muscle visible beneath the skin, clearly defined. By the gods, she thought, he's beautiful.
"You are now my slave," he informed her, "willing or not."
Delphyne smiled up at him. "Yes, my Master."
Methos ran a strong hand over her breasts, callouses scraping at her soft skin. He smiled to himself as she arched, gasping softly in unmistakable response.
"You may not break," he said, "But I think you'll bend."
Fingers skilled with centuries of exploring women's bodies closed around her nipple and pinched it gently. She moaned, and he took both nipples, twisting them, deliberately arousing her.
Delphyne closed her eyes and gave herself over to the pleasure. She knew that he was playing at some new game, but she didn't care. She felt no shame in this. Her body responded with exquisite, uninhibited sensuality, muscles slowly flexing.
He moved to rest his cock against her belly, letting her feel how hard he was, and desire for him flared hot inside her. His fingers released her nipples, and those strong hard hands moved up to caress her face, gliding over every part of it, like a blind man trying to learn her features. She turned her head to one side, then the other, nuzzling his hands, lips parting slightly as her breath quickened.
Slowly his hands slid down her neck, to grip her shoulders, and she felt his cock drag along her skin as he slid back, and then shifted up to enter her, more gently than she had expected. She let out a long sigh, welcoming him inside her. Her bound hands were in the way, preventing their bodies from coming together, so she stretched her arms up over her head. He let go of her shoulders so that she could do so. His body pinned her against the slab of stone as he bent down to kiss her, and the unyielding rock bruised her, but it didn't matter, the pleasure overwhelmed all pain. His hands slid up her arms and blindly untied the ropes binding her wrists together. He moved against her sensuously, lips crushing down on hers, tongue filling her mouth as his cock filled her sex, claiming her, and he took her hands, fingers interlacing with hers. She squeezed his hands gently, her body moving with his, giving herself to him without reservation.
Beginning to move inside her, he played her beautifully, slow thrusts going deeper.. deeper... and back out again. Her head rolled to one side, and her lips curved in a smile of sheer bliss. Her hips rocked up into him, matching his rhythm.
Methos brought her hands down, sliding his fingers out of hers, and placed them on his rock-hard ass so that she could feel every movement of his hips and cock, every flexing of muscle. Her hands tightened, caressed, lavishing attention on him, and she moaned deeply. She felt as though her fingertips and palms were glowing with the depth of her emotion.
His hands left hers and moved up her body into her hair, pulling her head back, forcing her to arch beneath him like a drawn bow, utterly exposed to him. Hot lips pressed kisses to her bared throat. She was moving more urgently now, gasping, making little sounds, the feel of him stroking in and out of her unbearably sweet. He moved faster, and faster still, his flesh lightly slapping against hers, and the pleasure grew and intensified beyond all control. She clutched him to her, fingers digging into him, face twisting with the power of what was building inside her. His ass tightened within her grasp as he drove harder into her, each stroke pushing her closer, closer to the edge.
He sucked at the sweet spot at her neck, teeth scraping the skin, and she moved wildly, completely driven by her passion now, mouth seeking him, hands grasping, sex driving up over his again and again. He brought his lips to hers and kissed her with a passion bordering on madness. He grunted and twisted with each stroke, body tense from head to toe. She could feel it in his lips, his tongue, his cock. She heard the noises she was making, muffled by his mouth, rising higher with each thrust, and then her body arched and for one endless moment she neither heard nor saw anything at all...
...and then the orgasm ripped through her, more powerful than a quickening. Throwing her head back, she tore her mouth away from his and screamed with the ferocity of it.
The immortal tossed back his head and let out a single hoarse cry, not quite a scream, and it seemed to her that some burden deep inside him was lifted before he erupted, flooding her body and overflowing down her thighs. She held him tightly, her heart open, willing him to pour out some of his anguish and rage, to let her absorb it for him, even as her own orgasm shuddered on and on, seemingly without end.
At last he collapsed on top of her, his weight pinning her to the stone, and there was a whisper, barely heard, in her ear. It was as if a different man were speaking. He tried to make it a command, but she could hear the plea beneath that.
Delphyne caressed him tenderly, fingertips stroking his back, his long hair. There was so much she wanted to tell him, but she could not find the words, so at last she simply whispered back...
Methos held her for a second longer before pushing away, and she saw the effort it cost him to become his old self once again. He ordered her to make him dinner, as if he could pretend that nothing had happened between them.
Delphyne sat up, rather dizzy now, and grinned. It was not her death that the gods asked in penance, but her life, and she would give it willingly. She would stay with this man as he chose a new path for himself. Her servants had been instructed in what to do if she should ever vanish. They were provided for, and explanations would be made wherever necessary. She had always been prepared to leave at a moment's notice, since she never knew when her survival might depend on it. She'd been thinking that it was time to move on. This must be fate.
Knowing that her submission annoyed him, Delphyne cheerfully called out "Yes, Master!" and went about the business of cooking his food. It was all she could do not to laugh aloud as he said, "And don't burn it, slave."