“This one looks nice,” Nick said looking at a small sample square of wallpaper.
Amanda looked over at his square. “Oh, yeah right! And what are we trying to say, ‘Hi, we are losers?’”
“What’s wrong with it?” Nick asked with irritation in his voice.
“Everything,” Amanda replied.
Amanda and Nick were walking down the street, having just come from an interior design shop.
“I think it could work,” Nick argued.
“No, no, no! That just will not do!” Amanda said sternly, snatching the square from Nick.
“Why not?” Nick argued back.
“Because it just won’t! Don’t you have any taste in anything? Obviously you don’t, otherwise you would see that this wouldn’t work,” Amanda said knowingly.
“Oh, come on! What’s wrong with plaid?”
“Nothing if you’re Duncan MacLeod.”
“Nevermind. But for wallpaper? I don’t think so. Not in this lifetime.”
“That doesn’t say much for you.”
“OK, let’s get one thing straight here. First of all—“
Amanda stopped suddenly.
“What is it?” Nick asked.
Amanda looked around cautiously.
“An Immortal?” Nick asked, this time more persistent.
Amanda ignored him, as she should. Then she turned around and saw a figure in the mist coming toward her. Instinctively she reached for her sword. Nick took a step back in caution (well, fear actually, that Amanda might be tempted to pull it out and swing it full circle and have an unfortunate accident involving Nick’s head).
As the figure got closer, Amanda whipped it out, ready for a fight.
“Is that how you’d greet an old friend?” the stranger asked as he came closer.
As he stepped into the light, Amanda squinted to see who it was. A slow grin crept along her face as she lowered her sword.
“Richie!” Amanda exclaimed in disbelief.
“The one and only,” Richie said as he approached her.
“I can’t believe it’s you!” Amanda exclaimed again, reaching out to give him a hug. “How in the world did you find me?”
“Well, actually, I was just walking down the street back there when I saw you come out of that interior design place.”
“A-hem!” Nick coughed rudely, trying to get Amanda’s attention.
Amanda looked at Nick to see what he wanted. “Oh, where are my manners?” Amanda realized. “Richie, this is Nick Wolfe. Nick this is Richie Ryan.”
“Hi, nice to meet you,” Richie said extending his hand.
“Nice to meet you too,” Nick replied, shaking Richie’s hand with suspicion. “So, how long have you two known each other?”
“Long enough,” Amanda responded, avoiding his question. “So, tell me what you’ve been up to,” Amanda inquired of Richie.
“Oh, a little here, a little there,” he responded.
“Come on. Really.” Amanda prodded.
“Well, I just came from Vienna where I met this really great girl...”
As Richie told of his adventures, the trio walked to Amanda’s place. Nick just tagged along like a lost sheep, obviously forgotten.
As they walked into Amanda’s apartment, Amanda invited Richie to sit down. Nick waited for an invitation too, but when he didn’t get one, he just sat down anyway.
“Would you like something to drink?” Amanda asked Richie.
“I’ll be back in a sec,” Amanda said leaving the room.
“Uh, I’ll have something too,” Nick yelled after her.
“So,” Nick said, trying intelligently to start a conversation, “you’re.....let me guess.…..200.…..300?”
Richie raised his eyebrows and smiled smugly. “25.”
“25?” Nick asked, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. “Years?”
“What else?” responded Richie.
“I see,” Nick said dryly. Then he just sat there in silence, feeling dumb, as he should, unable to say anything else.
‘What a loser,’ Richie thought.
“Here you go,” Amanda said, cheerfully entering the room with two glasses of Chardonnay, one for Richie and one for herself.
As Richie took his glass, Nick piped up. “Where’s mine?”
“Oh, uh, I ran out,” Amanda said with a false apologetic smile on her face.
“But didn’t you just buy that bottle yesterday?”
“So, Richie,” Amanda continued, ignoring Nick, as she should, “have you seen Mac lately?”
Richie looked down at his glass. “Not since...” His voice trailed off.
“I see,” Amanda said, understanding. “You know, he still thinks you’re dead.”
“Yeah, I know. But I can’t go back there after what happened. It’s probably better if he thinks I’m dead. Then I won’t have to worry about anything like that happening again.”
“I understand,” Amanda said sympathetically.
“I think I missed something,” Nick barged in, rudely.
Lucky for the Immortals, the ringing of the phone interrupted any possible response to Nick.
“I’ll get it,” Amanda chirped.
As she left the room, Nick again, tried to redeem himself. “So, how did you two meet?”
Richie, however, wasn’t going to give in this time. “Actually, how did you two meet?” he countered.
“Well, that’s a long story.”
Nick took a deep breath and started on his Captain Kirk-like monologue. “She is……...Immortal………a thousand years old and she cannot die…..a creature of legend, like the raven…..a thief, who stole the sun and the moon. They sent a warrior to bring her back…..…he found her….and together they brought back light to the world. I was a—“
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. A warrior? You think you’re a warrior?” Richie laughed. “I hate to break this to man, but you are NOT a warrior!”
“What do you mean I’m not a warrior?” Nick asked, confused. “I’m not hearing this. ……I was a cop. To me, she was just a thief…..another day on the job. But she wasn’t……she changed my life…...she changed everything.”
“What - that’s it?” Richie asked.
“Man, you have got problems.”
“That’s news,” Amanda said sarcastically, entering the room. She sat down and took a sip of her wine, and sat in silence, obviously disturbed about something.
“Amanda, is everything alright?” Richie asked concerned.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” she responded unconvincingly.
“Amanda?” Richie asked suspiciously.
“It’s nothing really.”
Richie gave her a skeptical look.
“Alright,” Amanda sighed. “Felix Corleone is in town.”
“Corleone... Corleone...should I know him?” Richie wondered out loud.
“Probably not. I met him 80 years ago in Moscow.”
Amanda sighed. “And, in a nutshell, I sorta helped to derail his plot to assassinate a Russian ambassador.”
“That’s some nutshell. So?”
Richie gave her another skeptical look.
“So, I’m going to meet him tonight.”
“Wait a minute,” Nick broke in. “You can’t just fight him.”
“Nick, yes I can.”
“Man, why don’t you just keep out of this! You have no clue what this is about!” Richie snapped at him.
“Hey, I’m just trying to protect her and keep her alive!”
“Well, she doesn’t need protecting! And even if she did, she wouldn’t ask you—“
“Boys! Please! This isn’t getting us anywhere,” Amanda intervened. “Richie, I’m meeting him tonight at the old warehouse off Beckett Street. Felix is a good fighter. I’d really like you to be there, in case he wins. Then, at least you would have the chance to…..you know.”
“I’ll be there,” Richie replied.
“And Nick, I really need you to stay out of this. This is Immortal business,” Amanda said.
“I understand,” Nick replied.
“Thanks,” Amanda said. Of course, what she really thought was, ‘Anything to keep this loser away from me!’
As he entered the warehouse, Richie felt an Immortal presence, too strong to be just one. As he felt for his sword, he heard voices. One was Amanda’s. Richie headed towards them but ducked behind a group of crates in order to remain unnoticed (kind of hard with the Immortal radar thing but he tried nonetheless). A moment later, the voices stopped and Richie heard the clanging of swords. As he headed toward them, he saw Amanda dueling with a man whom he assumed was Felix Corleone. As he watched, secretly rooting for Amanda, Richie saw something shiny out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see the barrel of a gun pointed at the dueling couple coming from behind another crate. Richie moved to intercept it and as he rounded the crate, he found himself face to face with Nick Wolfe.
“Wolfe, what the hell are you doing here! I thought you were told to stay away!” Richie hissed at him.
“I can’t just sit back and watch her be killed!”
“This isn’t your fight!”
“It is now,” Nick replied. With that he took aim and was about to shoot when Richie knocked the gun away from him. Nick dove for it but Richie threw a left hook. The gun forgotten, Nick turned to return the punch but Richie countered. The two broke into a fight as the clanging of swords continued behind them. After several more exchanges, Nick was on the ground motionless. Richie returned his attention to Amanda who was still fighting. Obviously preoccupied with the fight, Richie didn’t notice when Nick got up and retrieved his gun. Standing behind Richie, Nick held up his revolver, took aim, and fired. Richie turned around immediately to try to intercept the bullet, but it was too late. The clanging of the swords stopped abruptly. Richie and Nick both watched in horror as Amanda fell to the ground with a bullet wound to her chest.
Felix stood over her and laughed. “Last time you ruined my plot to kill. This time, your plot to kill me ruined you.”
As Felix raised his sword over Amanda, Richie leaped into action. Before Felix could finish the downswing, Richie ran up behind him and with one swing, took his head. Felix fell to the ground. Richie stood over the body, waiting for the inevitable quickening. As lightning struck, Nick watched with amazement. Richie, then, dropped to his knees as the quickening subsided. As Amanda woke up, she saw Richie and the decapitated body. She also saw Nick standing by the crates with the gun still in his hand. As Richie got up and grabbed his sword, Amanda did the same with hers. Then they both stood looking at Felix’s sword. It was custom for the winner to take it.
“You take it. It’s rightfully yours,” Amanda said to Richie.
Richie took the sword and he and Amanda headed to where Nick was standing dumbfoundedly. “Nice goin’ man,” Richie said with bitter attitude. “Next time you feel the need to be a warrior, at least shoot the right person.”
“But, it wasn’t supposed to happen like that,” Nick wailed, shaking his head in disbelief. “Amanda, I’m so sorry. It’s just that—“
“Save it,” Amanda interrupted bitterly. “Why don’t you just go back to your little dogloo or wherever the hell you came from. Come on Richie, let’s get out of here.”
With that, Amanda and Richie left as Nick stood there, staring after them in disbelief. “Dogloo?” Nick said confused. “Hmmmmm..........,” he wondered as he considered the possibility.