After finding out from Connor that Cassandra was already looking into some thing she'd noticed Duncan decided to head up to New York to see if he could contact a friend he hadn't heard from since he'd left, Annalise Morochova Cordoba. Or as he'd known her a few centuries earlier, Countess Anna. He and Fitz had again made fools of themselves over the elegant courtesan, neither of them achieving any success, which had led them both to keep trying for decades.
But as it happened with many of his friends the years had seen them drift apart, sometimes meeting up through coincidence, or good fortune, but Anna had remained elusive and the only contact he'd had from her was brief notes passed through friends, or word-of-mouth stories shared over a pint. One of these had been at a bar in Glasgow, before he'd left to visit Connor and he had a location, an apartment in New York's Sherry Netherland hotel that overlooked Central Park.
He'd checked into the hotel, deciding not to ask as he really didn't know what name she was going by, and went back out to go for a late afternoon walk in the 843 acre park in the centre of Manhattan.
The flights had been long, air traffic out of Heathrow reminding MacLeod how it had been a lot easier a few decades earlier. The drive down to Bremerston hadn't been too bad and he was glad he'd been able to get some sleep on the flight. The car wasn't as familiar as his old T-Bird, but at least it was a convertible and the weather had been good enough to have the roof down most of the journey.
He pulled into a gas station just inside the city limits, procuring himself a map and looking up the directions to Connor's store. Sitting in the car he stared at the gadget hanging off the windscreen, then screwed up his mouth a little and turned it on. A few minutes later he checked it against the map in his lap and nodded, satisfied it seemed to be giving him the right directions. Putting the map on the seat beside him, within reach, he pulled out of the gas station and headed in the dirction the 'lady' was instructing him. Fifteen minutes and only one moment of hesitation he was pulling up outside a row of shops, including a bookstore called the 'Well-fed Head' which made him smile.
"Might have to check that out," Duncan said to himself as he climbed out of the car. Pulling the keys out of the ignition he slipped them into the pocket of the light coat he was wearing as the familiar old buzz started to build in the base of his skull. Automatically he glanced up and down the street then closed the distance to the glass door and pushing it open. The small bell over the top of it tinkled as he did, making him look up then into the store again, a grin on his face.
"It makes no sense! Two of them killed at the one time, yet no idea who by?"
"What does it matter? Two less of them," he muttered, cigarette smoke curling up beneath the cone of light that descended from the desk lamp over his hand.
Jordan blinked, giving the older Watcher a small frown at the statement, grunting softly, neither in agreement or concern, merely in recognition of the contribution to the conversation.
Jimmy let out a sigh, took a final puff on his cigarette before stubbing it out in the ashtray. Once he was sure all embers were extinguished he emptied the ashtray into the trash and wiped it out with a tissue, returning it to his desk.
"So that's two watchers now available to assign elsewhere," he said perfunctorily. "Who is there on the list we know needs one," he asked, taking the list and running his eyes down it. A list of both new, and recently moved immortals who needed someone assigned to them.
"Right, these two," he said, finger tapping two names on the list, one in Ireland, the other in Turkey. New immortals who'd been noted when they'd trained with their teachers, now moved on in both cases.
"Send out word and I'll take care of the paperwork." Jordan nodded, stood up and left the room, not giving a backward glance, but still a little perturbed by the events they just had reported to them.
New Zealand had been chilly, but the foals were doing well. Digby was still sprightly enough for a few rides up into the hills surrounding the studfarm, Cassandra relishing the opportunity to ride without concern, or keeping a weapon on her.
Singapore and Hong Kong had been a little frustrating, the prices of breeding stallions still inflated given the way they'd plummetted around the rest of the globe. Hard negotiations were necessary before she could finally sign off on the breeding program they wanted to initiate for the next season. She flew from there to Paris, spending a few days shopping and diningwith old acquaintances and friends before departing for London, then Dublin. While in London she spoke with Radek, the other immortal confirming that he and Jeremy had arrived in Kentucky, and were definitely enjoying the carnival atmosphere. He promised her to cheer loudly, suggesting that Jeremy might be the one more likely to fulfil that role, when her horse ran.
County Cork was in full bloom, the green of the grasses there seconded by none. Two mares, growing heavy with foal were frolicking as best they could considering their bellies. Cassandra leaned against the fence, watching the two, when she felt the old familiar hollow buzz that ran up her neck and through her skull. She turned, looked at the man walking toward her, coat flapping against his legs and smiled.
"You made it."
He studied the number on the screen of his phone, put the handpiece down and went to the refrigerator to grab a beer and uncapped it as he walked back to where the phone lay. The clink of metal against metal sounded as the cap flew across the empty kitchen, hitting the side of the trash can before falling into it. A sigh sounded as he took a long swallow from the bottle, eyes falling again to the phone.
His mouth screwed up and he grabbed the phone, thumb punching the green button as he lifted it to his ear and settled down as the international connections clicked into place and the phone at the other end started to ring.