Word Count 938
Well ladies, today marks six months since our sons have come home where they belong. I am so proud these two young men have taken their rightful place beside me and are now partners of the legacy I have built. They have opened my heart to joy long lost.
In spite of my joy, I have so many regrets. My dear Catherine, if only I would have listened to you as you fought my sending you away that night. I thought it would be best for you. Had I listened, you would have been here at home when you gave birth to my first born. I would have been able to see you hold this new life close to you. You were taken away the night our son was born. Even if you had to go, I could have held you once more in my arms as you left this world.
Our son would have grown up here on Lancer instead of Boston. He grew up believing his father wanted nothing to do with him thanks to your father. He grew up a lonely little boy.
My love, you would be so proud of Scott. He is steadfast and loyal. He served proudly in the army to right wrongs. His time in the Confederate prison would probably have broken most men, but not our Scott. He lived a life in Boston so different than what life is out here, but he took to ranching with a passion. He has even shown his old man a thing or two on improving our legacy. It He is also the most wonderful big brother to Johnny and Johnny idolizes him.
And Maria my love, what a fiery young thing you were. You made my heart sing again where I had it hidden away after losing Catherine and Scott. You gave me my dark haired little bundle of joy. I loved that boy from the moment Sam laid him in my arms. He was so small I was afraid of breaking him. He was wiggly and quite loudly announcing he was hungry. Well some things never change.
Maria, you and I were so happy with our new son. We would sit at the fire and plan our future. I regret that I did not notice the change in you. My heart was so full of pride and love for our baby. Did you feel you were losing me to Johnny? I admit I was busy trying to build up our ranch a lot of the time but I should have seen the signs that you were unhappy. That night when you left and took our baby you tore my heart out.
I tried so hard to find the two of you, but I was thwarted at every turn. I could not imagine it being so hard to find a beautiful young woman with a young very blue eyed child. I hired detectives to search when I could afford them. You seemed to have disappeared. Years later the detectives found you had been killed and our young son was raising himself. Out of the need to survive, he became the best and most feared gunslinger, Johnny Madrid.
Did you hate me that much? You could have sent him home to me if you were struggling. You could have come home too. I still loved you even though you broke my heart. This son was lied to also. You told him I threw you and him out; not wanting a Mexican woman and her Mestizo son around. How could you?
My inattentiveness caused you to leave, and set off such a hard and cruel life for our son. Picking up a gun at such an early age was his way of staying alive. Killing is not something he enjoys. Sometimes I see the haunted look in his eyes when something or someone brings Johnny Madrid to the surface. It saddens me to see the despair that holds him in its unyielding grip.
Johnny is really trying to put that life behind him. It made my heart sing at the signing when he took the name Lancer. You would be so proud of our boy. He too jumped into ranching life. He and I had some problems to work out, and we still do butt heads but we are getting better. He has such a kind heart. He will go out of his way to help people, and asks nothing in return.
Now, instead of the mistrusting cold stare, there are smiles and a twinkle in those blue eyes. He is fiercely protective of those he loves. He enjoys being around horses, and he sees Scott not only as a big brother, but a best friend. They bonded so easily.
My last regret is solely on me. When I first met these two wonderful young men, I was cold & treated our meeting as a business proposal. After twenty years all could say is that we were strangers to one another. That was wrong of me.
Well, I see our sons riding through the arch. I think I will go out to greet these remarkable young men, whom I am proud to call my sons. Ladies, now that we have cleared the air so to speak, I want to thank both of you for the most precious gift each of you have given me. Catherine and Maria, my toast to the two loves of my life.
Murdoch finished his drink, put the pictures of his two wives back into the desk draw and left his study.
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