Backdated to July 17, 2008.
It had been a few days since Adam left to go take care of whatever he had going in New York, and she'd finally remembered her latest opponent's wallet was on her dresser. Rather than brood about how empty and quiet the house was with only her and the dog, she decided to see what she could find out about Jonathan Evan Stone.
His driver's license listed an address in Ithica, New York as his primary residence, but that didn't explain how, or why, he'd ended up practically on her doorstep. Had he really been after Adam, but she'd caught him by surprise? Or had he been after her the entire time? Neither idea sat very well with her. She was just about to call her Watcher to see what he could find out about Stone when her fingers found an unassuming business card in one of the inner recesses of the brown leather billfold. She stared at it dumbly, her jaw slack in disbelief.
The card belonged to her Watcher: Michael Gillean.
Her temper was legendary. As Boudica, she had sacked three Roman outposts in Briton and decimated a Legion. If she hadn't lost that last battle, Nero very probably would've pulled his forces from the island. Now, just as it had then, she felt her blood pressure begin to skyrocket.
She'd known about the Watchers for centuries, but had never interacted with them. She'd never really understood the need for a nosy bunch of quidnucs to go poking around her life, and she had taken a "live and let live" approach to the situation. Until now.
It couldn't possibly be a coincidence that his card just happened to turn up in the wallet of the bloke she'd just killed. There was something else going on, she could feel it. She just didn't have all the pieces.
Quinn stood up from the table and started pacing. By now, Gillean probably knew well enough that she was still alive. Calling him would only make him think she was suspicious of him, and she couldn't tip her hand, not yet.
She hated playing these sorts of mind games. Gillean had access to no telling what sort of information about her, or how far back it went. What she couldn't understand was why he would've sent a Headhunter after her, especially one so young.
And the other bloke, back in December, had known more about her than she liked. He had to have gotten that information from someone, somewhere. But he'd been smart about hiding his identity. She still had no idea who he was or where he'd come from.
The more she thought about it, the more Quinn realized she needed to meet this Michael Gillean face-to-face. She needed to see for herself just what sort of man he was to send Headhunters after her. If he wasn't, she needed to see if he was telling the truth.
Reluctantly, she picked up the phone and dialed.
"Gillean," an almost snide-sounding Brit answered the phone. Already she didn't like him.
"Michael, it's Quinnleigh Kincaid," she replied, trying not to sound too hostile.
"Ahh, Ms. Kincaid, a pleasure," he replied with a false sense of respect that made her cringe. "To what do I owe the honour?"
Quinn suddenly had a very appealing vision of shoving the man's teeth down his throat, but decided be a touch more civil.
"I was just thinking that y'might want t'meet sometime. With you bein' m'Watcher an' all, thought a bit of a meet-an'-greet was in order," she said using her most unassuming tone.
And it's a lot harder to kill someone once you've met them, she added silently.
There was a long pause on Michael's end that did nothing but fuel her suspicions of him.
"I can meet you Friday in Kirkwall," he said finally.
"Tha's grand, we'll meet for lunch at The Auld Motor Hoose, say half-one?"
"Right, bye then."
Quinn quickly rang off before he could get a chance to change his mind. Gillean's false-sounding charm that had oozed through the phone almost made her want to wipe her hands on her jeans.
"Slimy bastard," she groused before deciding to make a pot of fudge to get her mind off the situation.