Requested hereJuly, 2004
Cripple Creek, Colorado
Brutæ had been acting antsy for days, and that was never a good sign. It usually meant there was an Immortal holed up somewhere near the ranch. Just terrific. With Brutæ and Bragloré in tow, I saddled up and headed out. It was my turn to ride fence anyway.
It was nearing lunchtime when I felt that I was getting closer to the other Immortal. From the buzz at the base of my skull, he felt positively ancient. I frowned, definitely not a good sign. There was a pretty decent-sized creek ahead where I had planned to stop for lunch, but Brutæ's low growl said that was probably where the other Immortal had set up camp.
As I approached the creek, I could hear the water burbling over the rocks and the distinctive whirr and snap of a fly rod. I shook my head in confusion. An ages-old Immortal had decided to go fly fishing on my ranch? The hell?
I nudged Snowdancer into a slow walk and emerged from the trees just downstream from the Immortal angler. He was dressed to keep Bass Pro Shops in business single-handedly: chest-high waders, vest with enough lures on it to catch anything short of the Lock Ness Monster, khaki hat, and denim shirt. By the reflections of the sunlight on the water, I could see his scarred right eye. There was only one Immortal who was older than dirt and had a scar like that: Kronos.
It wasn't like Kronos and I were the best of friends. After all, he and three of his buddies had been The Four Horsemen written about in Revelations. And then there was the fact that Methos had once enslaved my First Teacher. Methos and I had run into each other a few times over the centuries, and he wasn't entirely
a bad sort. All that being said, I supposed I could be at least passably civil.
I watched as he zipped the line back and forth over the water with ease. It definitely went against my preconceived notions about him. It wasn't long before a fish took the bait, but apparently Kronos wasn't prepared for the rather feisty fish. For long moments, the pair fought, Kronos swearing rather colorfully and fluently, trying to backpedal his way upstream. At least until his foot slid on an algae covered rock just as the line broke. Next thing he knew, he went over backwards with a tremendous splash, his waders almost immediately filling with water and dragging him down. I couldn't help laughing as I watched him flail against the rushing water. Good thing he was Immortal and couldn't drown.
Realizing the guy wasn't going to get out of the water himself, I unlooped the rope attached to my saddle. Lucky for him, I actually knew how to throw a lasso. I twirled the rope overhead a few times before letting fly. It landed just upstream and Kronos made a mad grab for it.
"Hang on!" I called to him.
"No shit!" he hollered back.
I looped the rope around the pommel of the saddle a couple of times before nudging Snowdancer to back up. The mustang strained a bit against the weight of the man and his water-filled waders.
"C'mon, girl. That's it. Back up. Keep going." I clicked my cheek a few times, encouragingly.
Before long, Kronos had finally made it to shore where he flopped down to try and empty the waders. Again, I couldn't help snickering at the rather comical situation.
"Think this is funny?" he groused.
"Actually, yeah," I laughed. "Some Horseman you are."
Kronos blinked. "You know the guys?"
"I've met Methos a few times over the years," I replied, still chuckling. "Between him and having Cass as a First Teacher, I've heard quite a few stories."
"Oh, yeah? And how are they these days?"
"No idea," I said honestly. "Been awhile since I've talked to Methos. I think he goes by Adam somebody-or-other now. As for Cass, last I heard she was doing something with horses in Kentucky."
Alright, so the Kentucky bit was a fib, but it wouldn't do to have one of the Horsemen paying her an unannounced visit to New Zealand.
"Right, well, I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell Methos about this," Kronos replied, almost embarrassed.
"Sure, on one condition," I answered. "Well, two, actually."
"Oh, yeah?" he growled. "What conditions?"
"First, I get to keep my head right where it is, and you owe me one," I said, trying not to sound like I was teasing. "And second, next time you want to go fly fishing on my property, ask first."