Word Count 825
He kept stealing glances at the man sitting in the front of the surrey, trying to size him up. He had paid him no mind in the stagecoach but now, things were different. Brother? Not likely. He smiled a little at the ridiculous idea. Those clothes were enough to tell him the dandy wouldn’t last a week out here. Something bothered him though, something out of place for this easterner. The way he had looked at him at the stage. When he had said his mother only had one kid, the blonde had turned and looked hard at him, saying ‘likewise’. There was no fear in the blue eyes, no hesitation as he defended his position. Johnny liked that, maybe he wasn’t what he appeared to be. He would have to take some time with this one before deciding what kind of man he was. He sure seemed confident but that could be an act though he didn’t think that was the case. He wondered what the man did in Boston, what kind of job he had or if he even worked. He seemed pretty well off, probably hadn’t done an honest days work in his life. Still, the way he sat, so straight and proper. The way he carried himself when he walked. Johnny had noticed all these things in the brief moments before they boarded the surrey. Yep, he was pretty sure of himself alright. Well, that’s fine for Boston but let’s just see how you fair out here, blondie.
She pulled to a stop at the top of the ridge overlooking the valley and announced that this was Lancer. Lancer, a name he had hated all his life. It was impressive and big but Johnny was not easily fooled by wealth and prominence. Not anyone’s. Sure the old man had all this land, he sure didn’t waste any time worrying about his kids. He wondered once more what the old man could want from him. He was pretty sure and with what the girl had just told them, he was almost positive. The man wanted his gun, same old story except this one came with a twist or two. His father AND a brother he didn’t even know about. He still wasn’t sure what he was going to do once he came face to face with the man who had thrown him away. He wanted to put a bullet between his eyes, but he had decided to hear him out first and at least get the money before he acted. Then he would decide what to do. Then there was this one. What the hell was he supposed to do with that? Nothing, he decided. He was a stranger, he meant nothing. He wasn’t worth Johnny’s attention certainly.
They rode through the gate and he heard the vaquero’s yelling and carrying on. Hollering about them being ‘home’. Yeah right! Home my eye! He looked over the huge house and shook his head, more convinced than ever that the old man could only want one thing from him. He sure didn’t need anything else. He wondered what he wanted with the other one though but he figured Lancer was probably looking for an heir. Yep, he brought him there to keep his land so he could give it to the dandy. Sounded about right to him. In Mexico, the eldest son was always the heir, whether he deserved it or not. He figured it was the same here. Well, it didn’t matter to him. He’d listen to the old man, maybe even hire out to him, which was gonna cost him more than the thousand he had been promised. Then, he would go on his way and leave the place to blondie, if he even wanted it. He wondered what the story was there. Had Lancer thrown him out too? Didn’t seem likely but ya never know. Maybe he wasn’t happy with this one’s mother and tried again without any better luck.
He figured he’d find out soon enough as they walked in the front door and the blonde knocked on the door the girl had shown them. He heard the voice, loud and strong, answer and he felt a strange gallop in his heart. What the hell was that about? He shook it off and walked into the room, staying back a little to take it all in as the blonde strolled right into the middle of God knows what. He saw the man rise from behind a huge desk and was taken aback at his size. He wasn’t intimidated, he had faced a lot of men bigger than him. Size didn’t matter, courage, strength and resolve mattered. He had all those qualities plus a few more in his possession. The man walked over and offered them a drink. Suddenly, he felt the anger and hate come flooding back and he narrowed his eyes as he took in the man who had abandoned him so many years ago. His instincts told him to just kill the old man where he stood, but he fought them back, remembering his decision to wait and hear him out. Then he would either kill him or leave. He had never been so wrong in his life.
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