Kisses and Lies: Living with a Myth

Sweet Conflict X




J.L. Blackstone




“Methos?”  Duncan huffed, his muscles strained to their utmost as he held the huge painting pressed against the wall.


“A little to the right,” came the smooth nonchalant order.


With increasing pain he did as directed.


“Too much, back the other way.”


He could feel the sweat pooling in the center of his back as he again, did as directed.


“Now three millimeters to the right, yeah there…hmmm--now it’s not level.  Bring the left side down a bit.”


“Methos!”  The trembling of the muscles in his arms warned that he was about to drop the monstrosity within seconds.  He wondered what the ancient immortal’s face would look like with the undoubtedly priceless sculpture in a thousand pieces.  Okay so he was still bitter about the Ming vase…


“There, right there.  Hold it.”


It was long agonizing seconds before he felt the weight lifted off his arms and the wall-size shadowbox sculpture was fastened securely to the wall.  Duncan stretched and rubbed his arms; glaring up at Methos who was leaning upon the ladder, his elbow resting upon the top, completely carefree.  The man was begging to be killed, or at least definitely maimed.  “I can’t believe you.”


Methos frowned in apparent innocence.  “You’re still on about that?  L’éminence grise.”


Duncan snorted before muttering under his breath, “power behind the throne--in your dreams,” as he backed up to get a good look of the object he’d spent a good two hours literally sweating over.  Ignoring the figure still poised on the ladder he cast his eyes over the clear glass.  It was an unusual painting--if painting was an accurate description. 


It was a faux three dimensional sculpture of a woman’s face in profile but you could see both of her eyes.  Sculpture because it was of course all white the colour of the stone--a very heavy stone; probably granite knowing Metho’s sadistic little jokes.  What was arresting about the face was the character in the woman’s face and that the details in the…feathers of the headdress that was upon her head which intermingled in her long hair.  The eyes though were what stopped you in your tracks.  Expressing--even for being all white they seemed to contain the wisdom of the ages.  “Who was she?”


“Why are you asking me?” Methos carelessly replied from behind him.  He’d finally disembarked from the ladder and had moved towards the kitchen without him noticing.


“It is yours.  Obviously old,” he stated with impatience.  He turned around and wasn’t surprised to find Methos drinking a bottle of beer.


“Hard work,” Methos commented, before pointedly taking a long draught of the liquid.


With two steps Duncan’s right hand intercepted the bottle on its next journey to the glistening lips and brought it smoothly to his own before handing it back to a bemused Methos.  “Yes, it is.”


Methos grinned.


A grin that immediately challenged him to kiss it away which he of course accepted with some irritation.  “So what do I get in return for my labour, your eminence?”


“My esteem,” Methos nonchalantly drawled.


Duncan’s irritation disappeared in the laugh that burst forth at tone like usual.  He could never stay angry at the immortal even now it seemed.