Chapter Eight


"Maybe I should have suspected something when I found out about the disappearance of Naomi’s body, but I didn’t,’ John Byatt said softly as he slumped in his chair. "I've dealt with immortals all my adult life. I knew the signs, knew that Naomi was a foundling, but when it's one of your own...well, love is blind, as they say."

Joe sighed hoarsely as he noticed the new lines on Byatt’s face, John was getting on in years but now, for the first time, he looked truly old. “When did you find out she was an immortal,” he asked softly.

“About two months ago,” Byatt admitted, “She just turned up on my doorstep. I can’t explain how that felt…you’d have to experience it to understand. One moment, she was dead; the next, she was alive again, sipping tea at my kitchen table. I knew what had happened the moment she opened the door, of course. Love may be blind, but it’s rarely deaf and dumb too. It wasn’t until she explained about Tribeau that I realised how much trouble she’d gotten herself into…she was innocent, you know. She really didn’t know her boss was a traitor, but I suppose it doesn’t matter now.”

Joe’s heart went out to Byatt as he noticed the tears welling up in the older watcher’s eyes. What would have he done if he’d been in the same position…if it had been Amy. Probably the same thing as Byatt, he realised with a sinking heart, remembering how he’d once almost sold out Methos in order to save his daughter’s life. Joe grimaced, that day still left a bad taste in his mouth. “What did she tell you, John?” he asked as he caught Amy’s eyes and pointed to the decanter on the sideboard. Silently, she poured a glass of the brandy and placed it in front of Byatt.

With a small, grateful nod, Byatt took a sip. “She told me that Tribeau had taken her in and put her to work, tracking down other immortals,” he continued as he cradled the glass in his hands. “Not to kill them, you understand, but to recruit them.”

“Recruit them for what, John?” Joe prompted as he noticed the glass shake in Byatt’s hands.

“For the gathering,” Byatt said softly.

Joe shuddered, he had suspected, of course, but he had hoped he was wrong. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem he was.

“But it can’t be!”

Joe looked up, startled at Amy’s outburst, “You knew it was a possibility-”

A possibility, yes,” Amy muttered, “But isn’t it just as possible Tribeau was lying?”

“Believe me, nobody in this room hopes for that as much as I,” Lee spoke up, “But the signs are all there-”

“Signs, my foot,” Amy snorted, “This only confirms Tribeau and Wren are psychotic and Naomi is a gullible fool—”

“There’s more,” Byatt said quietly, “Do you want to hear it?”

“Want to? No,” Joe sighed tiredly. “Need to hear it? I’m afraid so…” How had things gotten so bad, he thought glumly, could he have prevented this? Joe leaned back in his chair and stared at the older watcher as Amy put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

“Tribeau has a boss…and I can see, from the look on your face, that this doesn’t come as news to you,” Byatt said, astutely, “He goes by the name of Wren, but his true name is Octavius Septimus.”

“We know,” Lee said softly.

“Yes, I suppose I should have known that,” Byatt murmured. “Tell me, Mr Lee, why are you here? I always got the impression, from your files, that you liked to keep a low profile.”

Tsi Tsung shrugged, “Let’s just say events conspired against me,” he said.

“John, please, you need to tell us the rest,” Joe interrupted.

Byatt took another sip of his drink. “Well, apparently Octavius has supposedly found the key to the Immortal’s origins and has discovered what the gathering entails,” he sighed, “And he’s set the wheels in motion so that he’ll get his wish.”

“And what wish is that?” Amy asked, archly.

“To be the last one left standing, of course,” Byatt replied with a weary shrug, “Of course, Naomi didn’t know the full truth of Wren’s plans until she was in too deep and, when Tribeau disappeared, she suddenly fund herself alone with Wren and his cronies. It was then she decided to make a break for it and try to beat him to the finish line.”

“Wait a minute,” Amy piped up, “You’re saying that Naomi made a break for it? I was under the impression Wren had cut her loose.”

“Cut her loose? You must be kidding,” Byatt snorted, “Naomi may have been at the bottom of the heap, but she still knew too much for Wren to just let her walk away. No, Wren wants her back, alright; though he’s not really picky about what condition he gets her back in – that’s why I couldn’t turn her away,” Byatt pleaded as he turned his gaze to Joe, “I’ve read his files; I couldn’t let my baby go through that.”

Joe mind flitted back to the expression on Naomi’s face when she ordered Halifax to inject him. She wasn’t the innocent child her grandfather thought. “Naomi has to face up to the consequence of her actions, John,” He said, harshness creeping back into his voice, “She may not have realised what had been going on before her first death, but she did know after. She could have chosen to not track Tribeau down.”

“But who else could she have turned to?” Byatt protested.

“She was a watcher, John,” Joe retorted, “If she didn’t know which Immortal she could turn to for some real help, who would?”

“It wasn’t like that,” the elder watcher muttered, “She was scared and confused –”

“And an adult, John. You can’t…” Joe sighed and shook his head, “Listen, this is getting us nowhere. We need some answers and we need them fast. What is it you haven’t told us, John?”

“The Methuselah Stone,” Byatt muttered.

“What about it?” Joe asked tiredly.

“It’s the key, Joe,” Byatt said, sadly.

“The Methuselah Stone doesn’t exist anymore, “Amy declared, “It was destroyed last year.”

“Was it?”

What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Amy demanded roughly, “Of course it was destroyed, Adam did it himself…”

Joe glanced up as he heard the quiver in her voice, “Amy,” he asked.

Amy’s eyes shied away under Joe’s stare. “I promised I wouldn’t tell,” she muttered.

Joe groaned, “ Adam,” he growled, “Byatt, put your coat on; it’s time to go.”

“Go where…would someone tell me what’s going on?” Lee asked, annoyed.

“I’ll explain on the way to Gina’s,” Joe said grimly, “And then I’m going to hunt down a certain immortal and show him a thing or two about repercussions.”

“Dad, it wasn’t like that,” Amy said urgently, “He had reasons, good reasons. Promise me you will listen to his side of the story before you leap to conclusions -please?”

Seeing the expression on his daughter’s face, Joe relented, “It’d better be good,” he warned, “Because I’m not in the mood for more lies.”


Frowning, Duncan studied Methos’s face as silence fell in the car. The elder immortal seemed to be asleep but Duncan knew better. His eyes may be closed, but the tension in his shoulders belied his appearance. “Awake, alert and terrified,” Duncan thought, grimly, “Damn, it must be bad.”

He tried in vain to shrug off the feeling of foreboding that had settled on him but he couldn’t. He had known Methos for over ten years and if he had learned anything about his immortal friend, it was that if he said things were bad, he was usually understating the fact.

Watching Methos out of the corner of his eye, Duncan pulled Wren’s address book out of his pocket and leafed through it.

“Anyone interesting?”

Duncan glanced up and caught Amanda’s enquiring eyes in the rear view mirror before turning his gaze to the page in front of him. “I recognise a few of the names,” he admitted, “Though I’m not sure what kind of address book this is…Stephen Keane is in here.”

“Keane? You mean…”

Byrne’s student, yes,” Duncan said, sighing as he remembered the pain on the other immortal’s face when he had spared his life.”

“Somehow I don’t see Chapman as the kind of Immortal who would join up with Wren, he struck me as the honourable type.”

Grimacing, Duncan nodded, “An address book of potential targets, then?” he asked aloud.

“One way to find out, look up your own name,” Amanda suggested.

“Ha, ha,” Duncan muttered, flicking to the ‘Ms’ all the same.

“Well?” Amanda enquired.

“You’re right, I’m here,” he muttered.

“Must be nice to know you’re so popular,” Amanda said lightly as she turned onto the gravelled driveway that led up to the De Valicourt’s mansion. “Oh look, its Joe …and he doesn’t look very happy.”

Looking out the window, Duncan spotted the watcher standing in the driveway, scowling darkly as his eyes rested on the slumped form beside him. “Oh, oh,” he muttered “Methos, I know you’re not asleep…and I think Joe wants to speak to you,

“How bad is it?” Methos muttered without opening his eyes.

“Lets put it this way – are you armed?”

“Ah, just what I need to brighten up my day, an angry Dawson,” the elder immortal murmured as he reluctantly opened his eyes. Plastering what had to be the fakest smile on the planet on his face, Methos opened the car door and jumped out. “Hey, Joe, how’s tricks.

“Don’t you ‘how’s tricks’ me, you lying, conniving, son of a bitch,” Joe snarled. “Count yourself lucky I’m not carrying a gun at this moment!”

“Listen, I know I shouldn’t have run out on you like that, but I had a good reason, honest,” Methos said, ducking as Joe lifted his cane and swung.

Duncan winced as the cane struck across the immortals shoulders. “Hey, Joe, calm down, “ he called out as he scrambled out of the car and stepped between them. “What’s with you? I know he shouldn’t have gone off like that but don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit?”

“He lied to us,” Joe roared, “The bastard lied to us!”

“Dad, you promised me you wouldn’t do this,” called out Amy as she hurried out of the house.

“Guess what? I lied.”

“What’s going on here, Joe?” Duncan glanced over his shoulder at Amanda, noting the worried expression on her face as she stepped out of the car.

“Care to tell her, Methos, or shall I?” Joe bit out angrily.

“I don’t understand…” Methos said, his voice trailing off as he caught the expression on Amy’s face.

“Sorry, Methos, he knows,” she murmured softly.

“Damn,” Methos muttered, giving Joe a sideways glance. “I was hoping to break it to him gently.”

“Bullshit!” Joe roared, “You weren’t going to tell us anything. You wouldn’t know how to tell the truth if your life depended on it!”

Duncan looked over his shoulder at Methos and caught the resigned expression on his eyes. “Care to tell me what’s going on?” Duncan asked softly, turning to face him.

“He’s talking about the Methuselah Stone,” Methos murmured.

“What about the stone?” Amanda said, puzzled, “Oh…oh no, tell me he’s wrong”

Duncan cursed inwardly as Methos buried his hands in his pockets and shook his head silently, his heart sinking as he saw the look of betrayal on Amanda’s face.

“You bastard,” she said flatly, “You knew how much that stone meant to me. You knew it was all I had left of Rebecca, and you let me think you’d destroyed it. How could you?”

“What else could I have done, Amanda. I needed them to believe it was destroyed, or they would have kept on coming. They were too much of a threat,” Methos pleaded.

“And what about us, Methos?” Amanda countered, “Or were we too much of a ‘threat’ too?”

“Amanda, please, we don’t have time for this—”

“Don’t have time for this?” Amanda echoed grimly, “You had a whole year to tell us.”

“I know, I know.”


“Well, you’ve buggered this up royally, old man.” The thought flitted through his mind as he watched Amanda’s face grow hard. She was right, he should have told her; but first the days had passed, then the weeks, and then…. Well, it had just seemed better to let sleeping dogs lie. “But they didn’t stay asleep, did they?”

He took a deep breath, “I know that it really doesn’t help much but the last thing I wanted was hurt you, Amanda. It just seemed the right thing to do at time,” he offered. “It was just….” Methos shivered. “Listen,” he said, huddling into his coat. “Why don’t we continue this conversation inside? It’s getting a bit chilly.”

“You’ll be more than a little bit chilly, if this isn’t good, Methos,” Amanda said flatly as she turned around on her heels and stalked up the steps.

“She isn’t going to make this easy, is she?” Methos observed aloud.

“I don’t think you deserve to have it easy, Methos,” Duncan said as he followed her into the house.

Methos let his eyes slide over to Joe and Amy, and swiftly turned away as Joe glared at him darkly. “Well, then, inside we go…” he muttered as he strode ahead of the two watchers and climbed the steps.

“Ah, there you are,” a soft French accent pronounced as he crossed the threshold, and Methos looked up to see Gina glide into the hallway. “I’d wondered when you’d turn up.”

“You know me, a regular bad penny,” Methos joked half-heartedly.

“So I’ve heard,” Gina observed lightly. “They’re in the drawing room, by the way. And they don’t look very happy… you look terrible.”

“Direct, as always.”

Gina answered with a Gallic shrug. “I’ve always believed in honesty… in small doses,” she said softly as she grabbed a wrap from beside the door and threw it over her shoulders “I’ll join you in a minute. I just have to find Lee; he decided to take a tour of the gardens just before you arrived.” Methos nodded absently as he headed for the drawing room, ignoring the soft murmur behind him as Gina paused to exchange a few words with Amy and Joe.

The door to the drawing room was closed, and Methos paused as he heard the urgent lilt of Duncan’s voice through the wood. “…I know, I know, Amanda; but you know how he is. The guy is so used to keeping secrets, he doesn’t know when to quit. A few years of friendship isn’t going to miraculously override his sense of self-preservation …I learnt that the hard way.” Methos winced slightly at Duncan’s words and laid his hand on the handle, halting in his tracks as Amanda laughed bitterly.

“Please, Duncan, don’t lecture me. I have first hand knowledge of how his secrets can ruin lives,” she said darkly. “And I’m not about to let him ruin mine—“

“Eavesdropping, old man?”

Methos turned to see Joe standing behind him, Amy hovering by his side with haunted expression on her face. “Just collecting my thoughts, Joe,” Methos said, his voice mild as he turned the handle and stepped into the room, ignoring Joe’s snort of disbelief.

“That’s him,” a voice said querulously. “That’s the man who has the Alexandrian files.”

Methos turned to eye the elderly man who had just jumped to his feet and sighed as he caught a glimpse of the tattoo on his wrist as he pointed. Great, that’s all he needed, another watcher. “Who’s he,” Methos said abruptly.

“John Byatt, one of the old guard,” Amy eventually supplied as silence reigned in the room. “He’s also happens to be Naomi Johnson’s grandfather.”

“Lovely, that’s just lovely,” Methos muttered in disgust. “Would anybody care to tell me why he’s here?”

“Not particularly,” Joe said harshly as levered himself onto a seat.

“Fine, fine,” Methos murmured, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he tried to remember how long it had been since he’d slept. “Right then, let’s get on with this. What do you want to know?”

Once more, quiet filled the room and Methos looked up to see the others staring at him silently. “Okay then,” he drawled as the seconds dragged on. “How about I rephrase the question? What is it you want to know first?”

Duncan sighed and shook his head as he leaned against the fireplace. “You should start with the Alexandrian files, I suppose,” he said quietly. “And what your teacher told you.”

“Hey, wait a minute, I thought you couldn’t remember your teacher,” Joe said, his eyes narrowing “Or was that just another lie?”

“It wasn’t,” Amanda said reluctantly. “He just remembered today.

“What? He just woke up and had an epiphany or something?” Joe said, disbelief showing in his voice. “Pull the other one.”

“I took a dip in Darius’s pool,” Methos said shortly. “And that is all I’m willing to say in present company, he added, glaring at Byatt, who shrunk back from the look in Methos’ eyes.

“What is going on here?” Byatt said shakily, glancing at Joe for reassurance.

Joe muttered something inaudible under his breath, before turning to Amy. “How about you take John for a stroll through the gardens,” he said.

“But…” Amy’s voice trailed off as she felt the weight of Methos’ eyes on her. “Oh, very well… but I expect to be filled in later,” she added with aspiration as she got to her feet and nodded at Byatt. “Come on, lets get some fresh air,” she said dryly as Byatt looked nervously around the room.

Byatt slowly stood up and left the room under Amy’s watchful eye. “You know, I’d really like to know why you brought him here,” Methos murmured softly as the door closed behind them. “All things considered, I don’t think we should have him around us at the moment. He might hear something he shouldn’t.”

“And what was I supposed to do?” Joe snapped. “Turn him loose so that he’d run to his granddaughter? Or were you thinking of a more final answer, like killing him?”

Methos met Joe’s accusing eyes and shrugged. “Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of handing him over to the watcher’s council and letting them handle it …although I suppose you could call that killing him. You guys don’t exactly follow the dictates of the Geneva convention.” Guilt stabbed him as he watched his jibe hit home. It hadn’t been a very fair accusation. Methos knew that Joe didn’t approve of the watcher’s draconian methods of dealing with dissidents among their ranks. But he was tired, damn it, and he didn’t feel up to playing this game.

“Listen, we don’t have time for this,” Duncan interjected. “Just tell us what you know, Methos..”

Methos glanced at the Highlander’s worried face. “Shouldn’t we wait for Gina?”

“We’ll fill her in when she gets here- “

Methos opened his mouth to object but Amanda beat him to it. “No, Methos, no more excuses, talk,” she said.

Shrugging, Methos filled Joe in on what he’d told Amanda and Duncan in the car, trepidation growing inside him as he saw the astonishment and disbelief grow on his face.

“So let me get this straight,” Joe eventually said as Methos paused for breath. You’re saying that Rebecca’s crystal is responsible for the existence of immortals – are you having me on?” he said incredulously.

“I wish I were, Joe”

“And the game?”

Ah yes, that is little more complicated,” Methos muttered. “You’ve got understand that even my teacher heard this second or third hand, and I don’t know how much is truth and how much is supposition—“

Joe snorted, “Stop stalling, old man.”

Taking a deep breath, Methos nodded as he studied his hands. “As I said, the stone is the reason for our immortality. Even in its broken state, it’s power to grant immortality is undiminished. I…I think Rebecca suspected this, which is why she broke the stone up and gave it to her students. I think she thought if there were enough of us, we’d start to question the game, or start to wonder about whether there needs to be only one, if our numbers just kept growing and growing…. pretty much a failed experiment, I think. I don’t think our kind would believe the truth if it slapped them in the face. The game is so ingrained in us, at this point; there isn’t any going back.”

Looking around the room, Methos heard his voice go flat as he continued. “The game is a lie. A ruse devised by the first of us, Kathul, to return the stone to its original state. There is no prize, not for us, anyway. The only winner would be Kathul…if he’s still alive, which I doubt. Otherwise, why would the stone have passed on to my teacher, and then to Rebecca’s?”

“What the hell are you trying to say, Methos,” Amanda said quietly.

Methos closed his eyes. “The reason Kathul couldn’t return to his original world,” he said, “Was because the stone is connected to us. We’re keeping it here, tied to the ‘mortal coil’, and as long as Immortals existed, Kathul, or whoever the hell he was, couldn’t return to where he came from, and…well, I think you can figure out the rest.”

Opening his eyes, Methos met their stunned faces. “Well, say something….”

“What do you expect us to say?” Duncan asked quietly.

“Damned if I know,” Methos sighed. “But I do know this; If we don’t stop Wren, we’re in deep trouble…especially if he finds out that the stone hasn’t been destroyed. You know the old saying ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’? Well, if we’re not careful, we’re going to find out how true that saying is first hand.

“How much does he know?” Duncan asked.

“Exactly? I’m not sure, the knowledge an Immortal gains from taking a head varies from person to person, but he doesn’t know everything; that much is evident.

“Whose head did he take?” Joe piped up as he shifted in his chair.

Methos winced, “My teacher,” he admitted, “Though how, I don’t know. She was one tough immortal….”

“She?” Amanda echoed.

Methos’ mouth twisted wryly. “Yes, Amanda, she,” he drawled. “Why? Did you expect—”

A scream echoed through the room, and all three immortals froze. “That’s Amy’s voice,” Amanda said lowly as her eyes darted to the window.


“The garden,” Duncan said grimly as he rushed to the door and wrenched it open.

“I’ll meet you there,” Amanda called out as she darted to the window and jumped out, landing lightly on her feet. Pulling out her gun, she ignored Methos’ curse as he landed beside her, and ran around the corner of the house, in the direction of the scream.

“So, what’s the plan?” Methos whispered as he caught up with her.

“Still not talking to you,” she muttered, as she saw Duncan emerging from the back door and heading for the rose gardens.

“Oh, the silent treatment,” he said as his gaze followed hers. “Real mature.”

Amanda sighed. “I’m not in the mood, Methos,” she murmured as she took off after Duncan. “How about we keep the sniping down to a minimum until we find Amy?”

“Fine with me,” he returned, his eyes narrowing as he surveyed the rolling lawn they ran across. “You know, there is something a bit off about this…”

Amanda snorted. “You just figured that out?”

“No sniping, remember? “ Methos said, his narrowed eyes belying the light tone of his voice.

“Fine, whatever,” she snapped back

“Whatever?” Amusement glimmered in Methos’s voice as he overtook her and veered to the left.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” she hissed, coming to a halt as she realised he was heading in the direction of the Road. “Duncan is over that way!”

“Something tells me that Amy isn’t there anymore,” he called back, “Come on.”

Cursing under her breath, Amanda ran after him. Methos may be a lying conniving, son of a bitch, but he did have a good instinct for this kind of thing - more is the pity. “You’d better be right about this,” she panted as she caught up with him.

“Here’s hoping,” he muttered as he put a final bust of speed into his step and leapt over the low wall onto the road. “Shit!” Methos backed up against the wall and hunkered down behind a piece of hedge.

Hopping onto the wall above him, Amanda’s eyes narrowed as the familiar shiver of another immortal’s presence found it’s way up her spine. “Damn, I should have caught that,” Crouching down, she realised why Methos had suddenly veered off in the other direction. With both Gina and Lee supposedly already in the garden, they should have picked up their presences immediately… but they hadn’t. Dropping to ground beside him, she peered in the direction of Methos’ gaze. “What the hell is going on?” she hissed as her eyes fell on two vans parked on the side of the road.

“Betrayal,” Methos said grimly, as he pointed at the open hatch door of the nearest van.

“What?” Amanda peered as she caught movement inside, “why do you think that we’ve been –oh,” Amanda fell silent a Lee jumped out of the van and scanned the road.

“I didn’t see it coming either,” Methos said softly, his hand pulling her back against the wall as their gazes met.

“This doesn’t make sense,” she murmured as she peeked out from behind the hedge.

“Careful, if we can sense him, he can sense us,” Methos warned. “ I don’t suppose you have another gun on you, by the way. Wren relieved me of my weapons.”

What? All of them?” Amanda said, surprise momentarily distracting her.

“All of them,” Methos confirmed quietly as he craned his neck over her shoulder. “We’ve got movement.”

Amanda turned to see a group of mortals, led by Wren, approaching the vehicles. Her breath caught in her throat as she noticed he was dragging a gagged Amy by the arm. “We’ve got to do something!” she hissed as they bundled her into the second van.

“We’re out numbered, Amanda, and I wouldn’t want to risk a fire fight with Amy stuck in the middle. Too many things could go wrong.”

“Amanda’s heart sank as she realised Methos was right. “So, what do we do?” she said, her mouth going dry as she watched Amy bundled into the back of the second van.

“Nothing, for now”

“You can’t be serious!”

“If you have any better suggestions, I willing to hear them, Amanda,” he snapped back. “But as far as I can see, the best chance Amy has for getting out of this alive is for us to wait until they have their guard down – and that isn’t going to happen here!”

And what if they decided she isn’t worth keeping alive?”

Methos flinched, but kept his voice even. “Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.”

Helplessly, Amanda watched as the men boarded the vehicles. “I can’t believe we’re letting them get away with this,” she murmured as the engines revved into life and the vans pulled away.

“Trust me,” Amanda, Methos said stiffly. “They’re not getting away with anything. This game has gone on long enough; it’s time to get nasty.

Amanda turned and studied the elder immortal as he leapt gracefully over the wall and stalked towards to the house. Was it her imagination, or was there a certain something in Methos’s voice. Something she hadn’t heard in a hell of a long time.. “Oh dear,” Amanda thought suddenly, as things began to click into place. “Joe isn’t going to like that.”


Amy flinched as the van trundled across another pothole and she slid forward, almost falling off the narrow metal bench she’d been thrown on. She tried to dig her heels in, to break her descent to the floor, but whatever way they’d tied her feet, she couldn’t seem to gain purchase. Finding herself propped on the edge, she clawed with her hands at the smooth surface of the seat but the hemp rope just dug in tighter, taking away another layer of skin from her wrists. Rope burn wasn’t pleasant.

A large meaty hand grabbed her by the shoulder and slammed her back into the seat. “Move again and you’ll regret it.” Amy looked up and glared at the henchman above her, who just smirked as he dropped onto the bench across from her and cradled his gun in his hands. Amy wrinkled her nose in disgust and looked away, her eyes resting on the Byatt, his unmoving body on the bench beside her.

It had all happened so fast. One moment, she’d been staring, speechless, as Lee hovered over an unconscious Gina; the next, she’d felt a gun placed to head. Byatt had tried to make a break for it; he had put up quite a fight, surprising her with the amount of strength still hiding behind his frail, elderly exterior, but he had been out numbered three to one, and when the butt of the gun was brought down on his head, he had silently slumped to the ground.

How the hell did this happen? Amy sighed; she knew exactly how this had happened. Lee had betrayed them. Frowning, she thought back to Lee’s troubled face as he crouched on his heels over Gina’s unconscious body, and the look of resignation when she’d stumbled across him. Funny, he hadn’t looked very triumphant when she’d been captured. If anything, he’d looked defeated.

Damn it, what the hell is going on here?