(These characters are not mine, just borrowing.)
Johnny and Scott left the kitchen laughing, their arms around each other’s shoulders. They grabbed their hats and went outside. Murdoch and Jelly were in the courtyard staring intensely in front of them.
“Hey” Johnny said his voice still light. “What are you looking at?” Johnny stood alongside of them and stared at the wall his brother had stood against earlier in the day.
Scott came alongside his brother. All humor left his face. He stared at the wall where he had faced the Gatling gun. He hadn’t looked back when Drago had led him away. Now he could see the multiple bullet holes going around a human shape. Scott wasn’t sure what happened next, whether it was the thought of being tortured with the Gatling gun or his earlier fall down the stairs. Whatever it was, a wave of dizziness passed over him and he leaned hard against Johnny.
“Scott!” Johnny said in shock putting his arm around his brother’s waist and helping him to a stone bench. He sat down beside Scott. “Boston, are you all right?” Johnny asked his voice worried.
“I’m fine.” Scott said irritated at his weakness. “I just felt a little dizzy for a bit,”
Murdoch looked hard at his eldest son. “Scott, were you used as a target for that gun?”
Scott looked down at his hands and nodded. Johnny looked at his brother his anger flaring. “I could kill him with my bare hands.” Johnny muttered. “God Boston I am so sorry you had to go through that because of my past.”
“It’s not your fault Johnny” Scott said earnestly. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t terrified because I was. I know you are all concerned about me but it’s something I have to get through on my own.”
“No you don’t, Son” Murdoch said kindly. “We are all here for you if you need to talk.”
Scott looked at father and slowly stood up. “Thank you, Sir. “He said in a low voice.
Murdoch gazed at the haunted look in his son’s eyes. Catherine’s son who he had never held as a baby, or watched his first steps, had only shook his hand when he was 5 years old. Scott so even-tempered, intelligent, kind and caring. He had worked through Johnny’s walls so fast he knew even Johnny had been surprised. Now they both were devoted to each other. He is my son Murdoch thought proudly, a grown brave man. He could not imagine the courage it took to stand in front of that Gatling gun. His son could have been killed. The lost look in Scott’s eyes tugged at Murdoch’s heart. He was afraid what had happened would bring back the war for Scott all over again.
Suddenly Murdoch was sick of the way he had been acting, so gruff and hard. He took a step forward and pulled Scott into his arms and hugged him. At first Scott resisted but he then hugged Murdoch back. Johnny stood up in astonishment at Murdoch’s action. A smile came to Murdoch’s face as Scott clung to him. Murdoch reached out his long arm and pulled Johnny into the hug and they all hugged each other. “I love you boys.” Murdoch said feeling happy as he released them.
“I feel the same way, Sir.” Scott said his voice breaking a little.
“So do I” Johnny said softly looking at his hat.
“Well if ya all are done hugging and such.” Jelly said in his cantankerous voice. “Maybe we can get some ranching done today.”
All three of the Lancers smiled and went out to saddle up their horses so they could work their ranch….Lancer ….the most beautiful place in the whole world.
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