I am not a real writer so this is a first attempt.
Disclaimer: these characters do not belong to me; I’ve just borrowed them to play for a while. No copyright infringement is intended, and any similarity to anyone else’s work is unintentional.
This has not been proof-read apart from spellchecker and I expect errors.
A stranger rode into town slowly and deliberately, head high, a gun slung low on the hip. A pride and confidence emanated from him. The show drew attention from the onlookers. An aura of strength and sheer will could be felt, as well as the hint that deadly was a mere understatement. As if the charisma of the rider weren't enough, the horse was black as the deepest night with the exception of main and tail; the creamy white in such contrast to the ebony body made for a rather flashy sight. With each step, the ebony coat rippled with the muscle and strength hidden beneath it.
The rider dismounted in front of the saloon, dropping the reins knowing full well the horse would wait.
He paused and drew a deep breath in preparation for the game that had been played since. Well since how many years had it been? A smile crossed the well shaped face but only for a moment as it, and the twinkle in the eyes, disappeared to reveal only cold and hardened steel. The rider stepped through the threshold, eyes alert to all threats the room might hold, open or veiled, in every niche.
The room had grown unnaturally quiet so Scott Lancer turned to see what had caused the disturbance or lack thereof. The newcomer couldn't have been more than 5'7"-5'8" at the most and was slight of build. Other than that there wasn’t' t much to see as the poncho hid any further inspection of the body and the low worn hat hid any thing above the neck save for a few wisps of brown hair.
The bartender moved swiftly as the rider tossed coin on the bar, pouring tequila in the glass that had appeared so fast it could have been magic. The barkeep had worked more saloons than this; many had been around the border towns to the south. He knew who and what had entered.
For the most part the saloon patrons accepted the newcomer save the worried glances tossed in his particular direction. But there is always one too drunk to know when to keep quiet and this place was no different.
One of the men in the card game stood up unsteadily and shouted out "Boy go home. Drinks aren't served to young'uns that should be in bed this time o' the night!"
A challenging neigh from the stallion outside pierced the room at the sound in the drunkard’s voice.
The man is right. This isn't much more than a boy" thought Scott, but even he had felt the undercurrent of silent deadliness that had entered with the stranger.
With a movement that proved so quick there wasn’t even a blur, the hat and poncho landed on the counter, and long wavy locks fell from their restraints. Scott inhaled sharply. The poncho's removal had revealed a buckskin vest, tightly encased the body it covered, was worn alone, showed well developed curves and far more skin than was proper. Curves of the like that any man would want to be lost in. Leather pants hugged long slender legs rising just above well proportioned hips. And that face! While only the devil himself could have had a part in the design below the neck, the angels had done their job even better above. Brown eyes twinkled with brightness despite the cold ice they portrayed. Graceful classic lines formed a beauty that artists would want to draw for all time, with full lips that he could think of a few things to do with! She turned her head slightly in acknowledgement of the empty challenge.
Loudmouth sat down, alarmed at who and what he saw, but not before another man across the table stood up, chuckling, blue eyes sparkling with a smile that any girl wouldn't have been unable to resist, had it been directed at her.
Scott was confused. Here was a woman any man would have died for, though it would have probably been her doing the killing, yet his brother was standing there with such ease and... Laughing? He gave the younger Lancer a quizzical look but it wasn't seen as those blue eyes saw only one thing.
The woman turned around with a grace and agility of a dancer, to catch site of the man behind the laugh. Her face seemed to soften and the icy look melted away. Her guard dropped in recognition of the man daring to confront her.
"Well, well, Liz Michael, been a long time, you looking for me?" he drawled softly, as his eyes drank in the sight before him.
A slight smile flirted on her lips as she made her own bold appraisal of the man in front of her "Yes Madrid it has, I headed down to Mexico but then I heard you had been snatched from the grip of death before I got there. And then I heard nothing more, figured maybe you might be lying low so I stopped looking, You know how people say I am unmistakable, figured if I found ya I might give you away." She chuckled as she met his gaze.
Johnny looked her up and down again "Well Elpaso, depending on what is giving me away, I don’t really mind a’ tall. I tell ya what…and keep this in mind...a visit from the lone she wolf is always welcome, no matter where or what I'm up to".
His smile broadened as he walked up to her, and they turned back to the bar "Well Lizzie I'll buy you a drink but you can get the rest.... we both know you carry more money on you than I ever would" Johnny laughed. Yes it had been too long since he had seen her. That unbearable longing ache that had been building since they had parted ways before he went into Mexico had crashed down the minute she had entered the room, it always did. He turned to Scott and introduced them casually " Scott this is Liz Michael, we rode together off an on for several years, she's an old friend of mine." Johnny thought a moment no not friend but definitely MINE, even if only in his mind.
"A friend?" he had heard of her, who hadn't? Scott couldn't imagine Johnny keeping a woman like this as just a friend. He had witnessed his brother's way with the softer sex. Nope he thought there has to be a reason his brother had not carried this one away and kept her for all time. 'Course there was other rumors.......
Johnny walked to a table in the back corner of the room. Knowing she wouldn't be comfortable anywhere else. She would want to keep her vigil up. After all Lizzie was more alert to her surroundings than he had ever been, and that was saying something there. A second thought assailed his mind; with good reason after…God don’t you’ll drive yourself insane dwelling on it.
She picked up a new bottle and walked toward the table Johnny had selected. Scott followed her noting that every movement she made not only hinted at a challenge to all around but seemed to be laced with sensuality…a shockingly tempting combination.
They sat and talked for quite some time about all that had happened since they had last seen each other. Yes she knew Murdock Lancer. Had met him some years ago in her travels - even helped him out a time or two. Johnny laughed at that. Wasn’t that how most had met and befriended the beauty? Hell, truth was most who would never be able to even call her an acquaintance held her in high respect. She had sure earned it. Oh there was always talk about her not being a lady and participating in more than one un-lady like activity (he could even vouch for a few) and most of it was truth, but she couldn't have cared less. Many times he had heard her say that she never wanted to be a lady, ladies can’t enjoy life...they are too busy…being ladies.
Scott listened to them, he sensed and underlying wisdom and understanding in her beyond her years. These two seemed quite at ease with one another, so what was the current of tension flowing just under the surface between the two? He wondered at the times these two had apparently shared, he was almost jealous of her closeness to, and knowledge of his brother. As for Johnny’s closeness to her, well that was a definite. Who wouldn't be jealous? He was surprised when she drew the night to a close and Johnny didn't ask him to tell Murdock "He had some business in town for a few days". He was even more surprised when she had refused Johnny's offer to let her stay at the ranch, "In your own room of course" he had said. Umm… maybe they were just old friends.
"No" she had said as they walked out into the moon lit night. She agreed to drop by the next day but for now it was probably best she stay in town for the night. With that she had mounted her stallion (not quite the tame animal one would expect a woman to ride) and headed to the livery.
Scott glanced back as they headed home. She's almost surreal in the moon light thought Scott. He saw a movement, a huge dog-like shadow slinking after her, and then it disappeared as suddenly as he had seen it. Mind tricks, he shrugged and continued homeward.
As they rode home Scott, deep in thought, finally asked "So that was the legendary Liz Elpaso?" To himself he thought Very attractive ....Just as the rumors said. "She didn't appear to be as dangerous as I have heard..."
Scott waited for a response and got none. "So is she…as deadly as I have heard?"
Johnny drew up his horse and looked at his brother cautiously, but
offered no response. Scott quickly realized it was Madrid he was riding
with, not his brother.
Scott thought for a moment and pressed on "What about the rest of what I have heard ... " Scott wondered if he really wanted to know "about Madrid and Elpaso? "
"Why? You interested?"
"Well of course I am" he said, not sure if it was the story or her that piqued the most interest.
"Well l tell ya brother, about her anyways, she like me learned her lessons the hard way. The first one came when she was 12.." Johnny seemed lost in memories for a second before he continued. Was that a flash of regret Scott saw? "She was the purtiest thing you ever saw and she shore never looked 12, but there was just something about her. Why, even the types i hung with treated her different to other girls and I know now it weren't just cause we all knowed she was innocent. She just drew out a smile on anyone, but even then some lessons she learned where a lot harder than the ones I learned." A sadness had crept into his voice. How many women had he used, just trying to...trying to.. Dios...why couldn't he just ...forget? Better yet why had he not seen the path fate was setting before them? By the time he had realized......Their roads had been set in stone by fate... I faltered. M
i ángel en azul died that day. From the ashes of what could have been, a Lone She Wolf arose. Lizzie was gone and Liz Michael was all that was left. The deadliest predator he had ever met…es mi culpa, mi amor.....As much as he enjoyed his brother's company Johnny really wanted to be alone with his thoughts or better yet...maybe by a certain river bank where he had helped a friend come to terms with a nightmare…
"And?" Scott broke the silence. Why the sadness? What could possibly have happened back then to this sweet girl he spoke so highly of? Secrets, his brother had so many…The woman he had been introduced to was anything but sweet and innocent. No he thought, he hadn’t noticed any little girl in her at all. She had been all woman and wasn’t modest about showing it in her mannerism and dress.
"Well lets just say that there were many times I was alone and no one had my back, or so I thought, but when I turned around not quite sure how I made it through alive...there she was asking " "what kinda fool plan was that Madrid?". He chuckled at a flash of memory, her hair blowing in the wind, head high, shoulders squared and eyes flashing in the face of danger, "But make no mistake about her she is as deadly as they come and ..... well.......don't fall for her what ever you do or you will learn a lesson or two of your own." He paused as if to search for the right words before continuing.
"She is like me, there is a lot of pain behind her and more to come. And the hardest lesson of all is" Johnny swallowed hard as if to force something down" ....to know that you have fallen in love with something, a woman, that you can't have and can't never forget." He goaded his horse on toward home in silence.
Suddenly, Scott saw a much clearer view of his brother and his actions, Why, when it seemed as if Johnny had finally found the right girl,...he would end it. Other times they did. Then some times, it seemed .....fate stepped in? Maybe, just maybe, fate knew what the rest of us didn't. His brother had not taken his own advice…Johnny Madrid Lancer couldn't give his heart away to any of them because it wasn't his to give anymore.......it seemed clear Johnny had given it away long ago to …a girl he couldn‘t forget...a girl he met when he was younger.... and she was... well apparently his brother had met her when she was 12.
And now she was back…..
Note: Many have written about the type of girl they think Johnny Madrid Lancer might have truly fallen for but I kind of think most are wrong, this is story of the one I think he truly would have never been able to forget.
While I think JML did like to be a hero for the ladies, I think it would have gotten old. No I am sure in the end he needed someone who could have at least been able to stand on equal footing and be forever a challenge! I first dreamed her up MANY years ago when an English teacher was trying to teach me to write a fictional essay. I ran across it in some old trunk and I decided to develop that character some for good old JML.