Redemption

Disclaimer: Rebecca and the concept of Highlander aren’t mine. They belong to Gregory Widen, Davis/Panzer, and Rysher Entertainment

Author’s Note: Written for Highlander Spring Fever. Thank you to Faile02 for the beta.

“Milady?”

Lady Rebecca Horne reluctantly pulled her gaze from the body of her dead husband. Turning around, she saw a servant standing in the doorway. “Go away, Marcus.”

“But, Milady, there are guests waiting in the hall.”

“I don’t care!” Her voice grew louder. “Just leave!”

“Yes, Milady.” With that, Marcus bowed and left.

Rebecca turned back to her husband and allowed the tears to flow freely. How could she let this happen? She had known that Sir Tate had come for her, not her husband. However, Lord Michael Horne was a proud man and fully believed in the code of chivalry. He felt it was his duty to defend his wife.

She realized she should have told him then, explained to him that she was not like other women. She was Immortal and had been alive since the days of the Vikings. Her father had been a Viking king and expected women and men alike to be able to fight.

All she had now was her guilt and the unmoving body of the man she loved.

She smiled as she remembered the first day she had met him. He thought she was a damsel in distress, yet she impressed him by her skill with a sword. They continued to meet in the afternoons after that, until he chose to make her his wife.

Straightening, she closed her eyes and recited two separate prayers – one to the pagan god she had grown up with and the other to Michael’s Christian God. She stood and wiped her eyes, wishing there was a mirror in the room. She then attended to her guests.

* * * * * * * *

A week passed, and Rebecca laid Michael’s body to rest. At the funeral she felt an Immortal presence, but when she glanced around, she could see no one. For a fleeting moment, she thought that Tate may never come back. Unfortunately, she was sadly mistaken.

“Milady, there is a knight here to see you,” Marcus announced one day. When she nodded, the servant showed him in.

Rebecca felt him before he ever stepped over the threshold. She looked up, her eyes cold and hard. “Sir Tate, I see you have returned to finish what you started.”

He was a tall man with shoulder-length, brown, curly hair and cold green eyes. His tunic pulled tightly against his broad shoulders, causing him to appear larger than he really was.

He circled her, reaching out to touch the red strands of her hair. “Your husband was in my way; I won’t let it happen again.”

She turned around and smacked him. “Don’t you dare speak ill of my husband.”

“I’ll speak however I damn well please,” Tate snarled as he grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. His touch was rough and calloused. “You and your pathetic love for mortals. We could have been great.”

Rebecca spit in his face. “I wouldn’t touch you fifty years ago, and I won’t today.”

Tate laughed as he stepped back. “Then death it is. Tonight, Milady. By the woods.” He strode towards the door, only pausing for a moment. “And this time, come by yourself.”

* * * * *

As she laced up her black riding boots, fear loomed in her stomach. She closed her eyes against the memory of the last time she had faced Tate in battle. If only Michael hadn’t followed her. She could still see the fight in her mind’s eye, how Michael’s tunic had quickly became dark red. The ring of metal against metal and her husband’s cry as Tate’s broadsword sliced through him echoed in her ears. Opening her eyes, she promised herself that his death would not be in vain.

She clutched her sword as she crept out of the castle and towards the woods. The moon was full overhead and cast a silvery glow across the landscape. It gave off just enough light to see by.

When she was within a few feet of the forest, Tate’s presence washed over her. Rebecca glanced up and saw him resting against a tree, a confident smile gracing his handsome features. He stood up and held out his sword as she approached.

“Shall we?” he asked.

Her eyes narrowed. “Why waste time?”

Their swords sang as the blades slammed into each other. Rebecca pushed all sentimental thoughts to the back of her mind. All she could think about was Tate’s death. Back and forth, parry and block, they fought viciously. The fight crescendo as she pushed him into the forest where the trees hid the light of the moon. She winced as he sliced into her stomach, and she heard him cry when she returned the favor.

Finally, the battle came to an end when Tate fell to his knees. He looked up at Rebecca and dared her with his green eyes.

“You can’t do it, can you? You’re only a woman,” he taunted.

Rebecca didn’t answer. She only swung her sword downward and severed his head from his neck.

The Quickening hit her with such force that it knocked her to the ground. Energy ran over her, around her, and through her. She could feel Tate’s anger and hate surge through her. When it ended, she stumbled out of the woods and stared up at the sky. Now Michael could rest in peace.

Back

© 2004 Crimson Idealist