by  AJ


Over and over again he made the move until it was smoothly on target. His name's reputation demanded it. He knew how many times he'd let his father down, how many times this action had caused the great Murdoch Lancer, President of the Cattlemen's Association, embarrassment. True, the old man had hidden his disappointment, but Johnny had seen it in his eyes. A gunhawk noticed everything.

Scott, on the other hand, was much more forgiving. Without the instant connection they shared, the younger Lancer would have ridden away long ago, caving in to the seduction of the false freedom he'd lived before. Sometimes, the pressure to conform was heavy, but deep inside Johnny Madrid Lancer knew what was best.

All it took was practice. A shift of a foot, a tilt of the shoulder, and it would be as smooth and natural as a snake striking. Johnny chuckled at the mental comparison and, actually, the visualization helped him to perfect his form.

Dusk was approaching and the time of confrontation was two hours away. Johnny knew he was perfect now but decided to give it one more shot before departing for the meeting.

He stood straight, feet shoulder width and knees slightly flexed, giving an air total relaxation. Blue eyes peered directly forward, engaging the imaginary eyes of his target. A grin touched his lips. His hand moved out, ready to engage in a firm shake.

"Pleased to meet you."






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