Word Count 855
She sat in the surrey and watched as the stage drove into town. One of the hands helped her down. She approached, watching as the passengers stepped out. She looked back at her two escorts, one looked at her blankly, the other simply shrugged. She turned back and thought she would give it a shot. “Mr. Lancer?” Two voices answered her in unison. She was a bit bewildered, perhaps they hadn’t heard her right. “I’m sorry, which one of you said?” Again the chorus replied. Understanding dawned on her as she took in the two young men. She looked past the first and knew immediately which was which. “Your Johnny…” “Oh, then you must be Scott Lancer.” She certainly wasn’t expected the harshness she witnessed between the two. But then, they had no idea. It was natural they would be surprised to say the least. She explained the situation and they were both definitely more than surprised. Johnny actually laughed at the easterner and Scott only seemed put out. ‘My goodness, this is going to be a challenge,’ she thought.
She managed to get them in the surrey without any more confusion and they were on their way. She had to admit to herself, she was apprehensive. She knew about them both and their pasts. She wasn’t thrilled with having Johnny Madrid sitting behind her where she couldn’t see him, but then he didn’t seem very dangerous to her. In fact, he seemed to be a kind man, at least his eyes were. She supposed you couldn’t really tell much on a first meeting. Now the one sitting beside her was quite the dapper gentleman. Very well dressed and very polite. Pale blue eyes and a nice face, more than nice, he was downright handsome. He sat tall and straight beside her and she felt a twinge of something she didn’t recognize. Her thoughts went to the other one again. He seemed so casual, almost bored. As if he took things as they came and never wondered about the why of it. She didn’t think that was true, she was sure it was to hide his true feelings. She wanted to believe that, wanted them both to accept their father. She knew it would be hard at first, but she was confident they could make it work. If they only knew how much this meant to Murdoch. She got her opportunity to tell them when Scott asked if she worked for his…their father.
It was the first time either of them had spoken since they began the trip. She tried to explain it without getting all gushy. She certainly didn’t want to scare them off. After all, she didn’t really know them, only the stories of how and where they grew up. Listening to her father and Murdoch Lancer talk late at night when she should have been in bed, she had learned a lot about the boys’ circumstances and she had always felt sad they hadn’t grown up here, in this place she loved so much. She stopped the surrey at the top of the rise and announced to them that this was Lancer. The pride and awe in her voice were easy to hear. She noticed Johnny didn’t look long but dropped his eyes almost immediately, as if he didn’t want to see his home. Scott took it in more deliberately, seemed to have more appreciation for the place, but there was a skepticism on his face as well. She continued on, becoming more anxious as they rode through the gate and up the road into the yard. She smiled and waved at the vaqueros who greeted them then she showed them in and pointed out the door to the living room.
She went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and to breathe. She sat at the table and thought about them both. Scott … formal, polite, handsome, but she sensed a strength there that most might not see under the fancy clothes. He was definitely a determined man. She knew she was going to like him as soon as he relaxed a little. Sure he must be nervous! My goodness, his first meeting with his father, that can’t be easy. And what about Johnny? The gunfighter. She had to admit when she first heard this news she was frightened. But when she saw him, looked in his eyes, she thought it must have been a mistake. Those eyes were too kind with too much love to give and too much … need, to ever belong to a cold hearted killer. No, Johnny would be hard to get to know, that was for sure, but she decided it would be well worth the effort to find out just exactly what was behind that playful smile. All things considered, she figured Scott to be the marrying kind and Johnny would have to be roped and hogtied. She giggled a little at this thought and started thinking about the women she knew and who would be right for each of them, or maybe which of them might be right for her.
Comments: We don’t have this author’s current email address. If you leave a comment below, if she reconnects with the fandom, then she will see how much her work is appreciated.