Secrets
by Judith Freudenthal
1995

This is an alternate ending to GET EP NAME (Anne sees Duncan die).

Duncan and Richie are talking in the Dojo.

"I can't handle another Tessa." Duncan says sadly.

"Tessa's death was an accident. It had nothing to do with immortality. Just answer me one question. Do You love Ann??" Richie says.

"Duncan hesitates unsure if he wants to admit it to Richie or himself. "Yes."

"Tell her. She's strong. She can take it. I can't stand to see the two of you in such pain."

"I'll think about it." Duncan somewhat reluctantly says. He's torn between telling her and her leaving him because of it and leaving things as they are.

Richie knows that he's said all he can, the rest is up to Duncan. All he can do is hope Duncan makes the right decision. He hopes that Duncan tells her.

Ann comes home. she enters and turns on the lights. She's stunned by the sight before her. Duncan's seated on her couch. "Who are you? What do you want? She says scared and confused.

"It's me, Duncan. Remember all those times you wanted to know more about me. I'm ready to tell you all there is if you're ready to listen. No more secrets."

"You can't be Duncan. I saw him die." Ann is totally confused.

"Did you wonder why Richie rushed you out so fast?" All Ann can do is nod.

"It was so you wouldn't see me come back to life before I had a chance to explain things to you."

"Why now. Why not at the Dojo?" Ann's still not sure what to make of it but is willing to listen.

"The last woman I felt like this for was killed in a carjacking. she was outside waiting for me while I was inside looking for something. I couldn't do anything but mourn her. I was devastated." Duncan's voice breaks, tears well in his eyes. "Ask Richie, he was there. I wasn't sure I wanted to ever get that involved again." Duncan clears his throat and continues. "I do love you, Ann. It hurts too much to be without you."

Ann is touched by Duncan's words but still isn't totally convinced. Her heart is but her mind isn't. "I'm listening."

"My name is Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. I was born 400 years ago in the Scottish Highlands. I am immortal. The only way I can die is if you cut off my head."

Slow dawning happens to Ann. "That's why you have that sword. Continue." She can't totally believe what she's hearing.

I didn't know I was an immortal until I died the first time. I had to learn to use the sword."

"Why do you have to learn? Can't you live in peace?"

"I try to. Most of us try to. There are some evil ones. Eventually there can be only one. We do have rules to our combat. Churches, monastaries, and cemetaries are holy ground. fighting is not allowed there. It can only be one on one. No interference is allowed. it is always done somewhere private. When an immortal loses his head the other gains his "quickening". His power."

Now I know why you have no medical records. You don't need them. Richie knows." Ann says slowing accepting it. "Now I see why you were hesitant. If I hadn't seen you fall to your death I would not have believed it. I probably would've thought you were nuts. How do you know when another like you approaches?"

"We have a sixth sense that detects another immortal."

"You must have some interesting stories to tell. I bet you've been many places. I'd like to hear some of them sometime. Right now I need some time to myself to digest all this. I'll call you."

"Leave a message with Richie. I've got to go to Paris for a while. Please don't tell anyone what I've told you. If you ever are in trouble go to Richie or Joe Dawson."

"Are they like you?"

"Joe is mortal just like you. He's a trusted friend. He knows all about me." Duncan says in response to her questioning expression. "You'll have to talk with Richie about things if you want to know."

Back at the Dojo Richie is heading out when Ducan enters. "How'd it go?" Richie asks.

"I think it went well. She seemed to accept it. She will call you when she's had a chance to absorb it all."

End

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