Iím sitting in my favourite armchair,
comfortably ensconced beside a dying fire, absently staring into its glowing
embers. My thoughts are dominated by the events of the day and rightly so.
It has after all been a truly wondrous day. No, Iím not exaggerating! My
choice of words are apt for today my prayers were finally answered.
Melodic chimes echo through the silence. Father
Timeís dedicated songster reminding me of the lateness of the hour. I know I
should be in bed, asleep and gaining the strength l need to face the
difficult days that lie ahead but Iím not tired, not in the slightest.
To the unsuspecting eye I must look rather
sedate and perhaps even a little dour. That couldnít be further from the
truth for my heart soars! A word springs to mind, one that I believe
describes my state of my mind perfectly, that word is euphoric! I chuckle
softly to myself knowing that it is not a word I or anyone else would
normally associate with me butÖ my sons are home! Both of them are here,
both safe under my roof!
For the first time in twenty-five years I know
peace of mind. The hollow ache inside has gone, the emptiness is suddenly
filled. I feel whole again.
Iíve never been one to indulge myself but
tonight Iím allowing myself to savour the moment. Iím happily wallowing in a
sense of contentment I donít really own, not yet at least but its something
Iím determined to fight for, something I hope and pray I will win and
forever hold on toÖ
Damn! I didnít want to allow my thoughts to
travel down that path. Iíve been avoiding contemplating anything but the
positive tonight, but Iíve opened the door now and the doubts are flooding
in. Doubts borne of wrongs I canít ever put right.
My boys are home but I will have to fight to
keep them here. That is one fight that scares the hell out of me, more so
than the fight we face with Pardee. I could survive the loss of Lancer but
not losing my sons, not again.
My euphoria is dampened but only a little, joy
is a formidable force, a buoyant emotion, thankfully one not easily quashed,
not even by the fact my sons hate me!
Yes they hate me. I have had to accept that. It
hurts I donít deny but that pain has strengthened my resolve to win their
trust, their respect and ultimately their love. Am I expecting too much?
Only time will tell.
Right now they look at me and see a stranger, a
man they have no memory of. Both have been raised on lies, force fed tales
of abandonment, cruelly convinced they were unwanted and unloved. But God is
my witness, he knows the truth, he knows how much I wanted them both, how
very much I love and have always loved them.
I may be a stranger to them but despite what I
said just minutes after they arrived they are no strangers to me, how could
they be? They have always been in my thoughts, remembered nightly in my
prayers, treasured in my heart and cherished in my soul. No matter the miles
that separated us they have always been a part of my life. I have never
forgotten them or lost hope of bringing them home.
So why didnít I tell them all this today? Why
didnít I make my feelings known?
As they stepped into the great room together my
heart thundered wildly in my chest. It had felt ready to burst, overflowing
as it was with relief and wonder. I reined in those emotions and
deliberately concealed them. In doing so I no doubt reinforced both menís
belief that Murdoch Lancer truly was a cold, heartless bastard.
I know I did myself no favours today, I held
back like I always do. There was so much I could have said, things that were
begging to be saidÖand then there were the things that would have been best
left unsaid. I got it wrong today, terribly wrong but Iím determined not to
make the same mistake tomorrow.
I sense Scott is willing to give me a chance,
wanting me to be a part of his life but Johnny? Iím certain Johnny expects
me to betray him, believing it to be a question of when rather than of if.
The blue eyes that twenty years ago looked at me with love now stare at me
full of suspicion. I canít blame him, not knowing what I do of his past.
So is it too late for Johnny and I? I
desperately hope not, he most of all needs a father, so too a second chance
at life. Both are waiting for him here at Lancer. My greatest fear is that
he will reject both, that he will ride away and return to his old life and
fate has decreed that the Madridís of this world will die young.
Suddenly there is a chill in the room and I
shudder violently. My spirits plummet back to earth with a numbing thud, the
euphoria surrounding me evaporating in a blink of an eye. Iím left flailing
in despair but I determinedly surface insistingÖItís not going to be that
wayÖI wonít let that happenÖnot to my son!
I tell myself that my blood runs through his
veins, that whether he likes it or not he is a part of me and a part of
Lancer. He and his brother belong here. This land is their birthright, this
hacienda the home in which they should both have been raised. The boys and I
have an invisible bond, undeveloped maybe but its there all the same. Surely
we can build on such foundations?
Yes. Iím running scared now and desperately
trying to reassure myself. But who wouldnít if they had as much as I to
If I could look into the future what would I
see? Cattle grazing in the pasture? The letter L emblazoned on their rumps?
Would there be four places set around the supper table?
My heart screams a resounding yes! My headÖwell
it isnít nearly so wise. Itís led me astray before, many times. Iím going to
have to learn to ignore it, at least where the boys are concerned.
I know itís not going to be easy; Iím set in my
ways, stubborn and riddled with pride. I donít give an inch and insist on
calling the tune but one thing Iím not is what they grew up believing me to
be. Will they ever acknowledge and accept the real me?
Maybe the key to success is Lancer itself. It
has united us in its defence and tomorrow we begin our fight in earnest. If
my estranged sons are willing to work with me to secure themselves a share
in Lancer, is it not then possible they then be willing to work towards
becoming what we should be, a family?
It all hinges on what it is they want. That
being the case I can only hope we share something else besides the same
I stifle a yawn. Iím so very weary now and the
leg thatís gone all sour on me is beginning to ache. My bed beckons and I
limp towards the stairs knowing I must close my eyes to the worries and
uncertainties that plague me. I need to rest, I need to wake refreshed and
ready for whatever the new day will bring. At least now I wonít be facing it