Double Madrid by Robyn B.

Word Count 9,490

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I don’t own any part of Lancer or the characters.  I do on occasion, take them for a run around the ranch.

This story will have an R ratingas there will be certain images of an adult content.  There will be alerts before these images…if you proceed it is at your own risk.  You have been warned in advance.

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The man on the beautiful Palomino, rode the trails along the border.  Since his sire threw him off the ranch he had called home for three years, he had ridden between the border towns.  Never going into Mexico, because there was still a bounty on his head.

Colonel Jose Medina wanted Johnny Madrid’s head for his office wall.  But always, Johnny would slip away, swallowed up into the darkness.

As Johnny slowed his horse, he got a thoughtful faraway look on his face.  Johnny lowered his head as he remembered the happy times, and then more recently the bad times.

His sire, Murdoch Lancer, had beaten Johnny so severely one night, that he almost didn’t reach Barranca’s side to escape.  Johnny holed up in a line shack, the furthest one from the estancia, to heal and figure out what he was going to do.

For almost a month, Johnny stayed hidden and healed.  And all the time, he was reverting back to being Johnny Madrid.  He was angry, hurt and confused.  He had no idea why the old man had turned on him like that.

Johnny felt most sorry not saying goodbye to his brother.  Scott had been in San Francisco, on a business trip.  He returned two weeks after Johnny was gone.  He looked for his brother for a week, finally returning one day, tired and disappointed.

Without taking care of his horse, Scott jumped from his back and stormed into the house, slamming the door, making the whole house tremble.

Murdoch was, as usual, behind his desk working on the books for the ranch.  Scott stood and watched him for a few minutes.  When Murdoch didn’t even lift his head to question Scott, that was when he exploded.

Normally, Scott was laid back and calm, but right now he was furious and he wanted answers.

” What the hell did you do to Johnny this time Murdoch?!  He’s been gone for 3 years!  There’s no word from him!”

Teresa came out of the kitchen, timidly, because he had jumped on her on a number of occasions for mentioning Johnny’s name.

“Scott, when Johnny left, Murdoch beat him so severely, he barely was able to get in the saddle on Barranca.”

Scott whirled on his father and said, ” You better find some how to get Johnny back, or you will lose me as well.  There is nothing Johnny could have done or said for you to throw him off the only place he’s ever been safe.”

Murdoch threw his pencil down and slowly stood up.

” I think you better curb your tongue boy!  You aren’t too big that I can’t take you down a peg or two.”

Murdoch stomped to the bar and as he took a large swallow from his Scotch bottle, he turned to face his son.

” I had it on good authority that……. that half breed got someone with child and refused to acknowledge it.”

” What girl? And who was this authority?  And what the hell do you mean calling Johnny a half breed?!  He’s your son!”

Murdoch turned flashing eyes to his eldest.

” Not anymore! Good riddance!  I don’t want his name ever mentioned in this house, ever again!”

” Did you even ask Johnny?  Did you talk to him about it, or did you just beat him into submission?!”

Murdoch rounded on his eldest son and Scott just lifted his head and all but dared Murdoch to strike him.  He turned away and went back to his ledgers.  Scott just shook his head and walked out of the room.

As Johnny sat on his golden horse, a single silver tear slid from his eyes and rolled slowly down his cheek.  Impatiently, Johnny wiped it away and said, out loud to no one, ” Can’t do anything about it anymore.  Don’t know why I let my mind wander back to that damn ranch.  Better off on my own, like I’ve always been.”

Little did Johnny know, he was being silently watched.  High on a hill, hidden in a heavy tree grove sat a scruffy looking man, sitting on a black stallion.  Val’s eyes locked on Johnny and he smiled a half smile as he finally saw his buddy.  He stayed in the tree line, and paralled Johnny’s movements.  He didn’t want Johnny to bolt if he saw him.  Midnight was a good horse, but Johnny’s Barranca was truly fast.

Val thought back on the story he had heard in Green River.  How the youngest son of Murdoch Lancer had attacked a girl and got her pregnant, and then refused to do anything to help her. Val knew his Amigo better than that.  Johnny would never attack a lady, no matter what. And if he had gotten even a whore pregnant, he would have helped her anyway he could.

Val’s investigating had unearthed a plot to get Johnny off Lancer.  And because Murdoch Lancer always wanted to believe the worst of his youngest, the plan went into overdrive.

Val saw Johnny after he had healed a bit, but you could still see the faint black and blue marks on his face.  He still held his arm against his middle, so Val surmised Johnny either had bruised or broken ribs.

Val also saw the sadness that seemed to ooze out of Johnny. Never had he seen Johnny so sad before.  Johnny told Val what had happened, what his…… what the old man had called him and the beating he took.  Not once did Murdoch ask if it was true, he just automatically thought Johnny was guilty.

” Johnny, what are you supposed to have done?”

Johnny wrapped his arms around his body and in a soft quiet voice, Johnny said, ” Have no idea Val.  The old man beat me almost senseless and I barely had the energy to get on Barranca. “

They talked a few more minutes, and then Johnny wearily mounted Barranca.

” Johnny, where are you going?”

By the lowered eyes and head, Val knew where he was going, even before Johnny said.

” Going back down south, where I belong Val.  Never should have stayed here.  Tell Scott I’ll miss him, he was a great older brother.”

Johnny got very quiet and said, ” Tell Teresa I wish her luck in a marriage.  She’s special to me.”

As Johnny urged Barranca a few steps, he said, ” Been nice seeing you again Val.  Stay happy Amigo.  Bye.”

He turned Barranca and galloped from Green River.  Val watched as his pal left a home he loved.  He slapped his hat against his thigh and said, ” Damn Murdoch Lancer!”

Val went into the jail and slammed the door, scaring his deputy to death.

” Okay Val, wanna tell me what’s got you so ornery?!”

Val looked at him and said, ” I need to find out what’s going on here.  My best friend was just run off from the only home he’s ever had.  I want to know what the hell is going on!”

Val went out and went to every business he could in Green River, trying to find out why Murdoch turned on Johnny like he did.

Val thought back to how long he looked for some reason why Johnny was forced to leave, and when he found out, Val was just livid.

Buck Addison!  He’s always wanted Lancer, and he figured he’d spread lies about the half breed gunslinger.  Knowing how Murdoch was so touchy about that part of Johnny’s past.

Val started to head to Lancer, and decided he’d have Sam do it.  He went to find the old Doctor, and told him the lies Buck was telling about Johnny.

” And Murdoch believes them?  Damn that man anyway Val!  He is such a muleheaded jackass!”

Val walked with Sam to the livery and he watched as Sam’s buggy was hitched.

” Do me a favor Sam?  Tell Scott, I know what’s going on and I’m going after Johnny.  I think I know where he’s heading.”

Val ran to the livery and saddled Midnight.  He stopped and got some jerky and filled his canteen, and took off after Johnny.  He had a 2 week head start, but Val can track anything.

As Sam drove his little mare to Lancer, he got mad.  He was pretty much steaming when he pounded on the door.  Maria opened the door and ushered the Doctor in.

” Tell Murdoch I want a word with him, please Maria.”

She could feel the anger coming off Sam in waves.  Murdoch came from the kitchen, where he was eating.  Scott and Teresa chose not to eat with him.

” What can I do for you Sam?”

He whirled on Murdoch and snarled, ” You can shut up and just listen!  You have done some pretty low things to Johnny Murdoch, but none like you’ve done now!  How dare you beat on that boy without even telling him what was going on!  You should know Johnny would never get any lady pregnant and just walk away. You never even told him what was wrong, did you!? “

Murdoch looked at Sam and said, ” How do you know what happened?  This was 3 years ago Sam!  If he wanted to speak, he should have 3 years ago!”

” How Murdoch!?  Before or after you beat him almost unconscious!”

” He could have come back and talked.”

Sam paced and said, ” Well, when your father calls you a dirty half breed and tells you to leave his ranch, Johnny evidently had no reason to stay.”

Murdoch walked to the couch and he said, ” Have you seen him?”

” Val saw him when he left town 3 years ago Murdoch.  Since then, he’s been doing a little investigating.  Would it surprise you, Val found out who it was making all those accusations against Johnny? “

Murdoch lifted his eyes and softly said, ” Who?”

Sam sneered at Murdoch and said, ” Buck Addison!  He figured with Johnny gone, Lancer would be easy pickings.”

Murdoch leaned back and rubbed his face, saying, ” Oh my God! What have I done Sam?!”

Sam picked up his black hat and as he walked to the door, he turned and said, ” You threw your youngest son away Murdoch.  A son you spent 20 years searching for!  You are some piece of work Murdoch!”

He left and slammed the door.  As Sam clicked to his little mare, Scott came downstairs.  He saw his sire sitting on the couch, his head in his hands.

” I heard Sam.  You really are a piece of work Murdoch!  You never even gave Johnny a chance to say anything.  You automatically thought him guilty and not worthy of being a Lancer.  You cost me a brother I prayed for growing up and with one act of stupidity, you threw him away!  I hope you can sleep with yourself!  You make me sick!”

Scott turned and bolted up the stairs.  He walked down the hallway to Teresa’s room.  He found her in her chair by the window, her legs pulled up under her.  She lifted sad brown eyes and Scott’s heart broke.  He went to her side and he pulled her to his chest.  

As Teresa’s head fell on Scott’s chest, she quietly said, ” I heard Sam.  I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but Sam was rather mad!”

Scott gently rocked Teresa in his arms and quietly said ” Sam said it was Buck Addison who created this mess.  Murdoch doesn’t even listen.”

Teresa stayed in Scott’s arms and he gently caressed her back.

” Why don’t you get some rest Teresa.  I’ll stay here and watch over you.”

Teresa went to her bed and took her shoes off.  She wanted to take her dress off, but didn’t want Murdoch to get angry.  Scott sat in a chair and picked up his book he’d been reading, and pulled a blanket over Teresa’s shoulders.

As she slept, Scott read until he put his book down.  He lifted his feet to the side of the bed, and put his hands on his stomach.

He was almost asleep, and Teresa suddenly sat up and began screaming.  Scott instantly woke up and wrapped his arms around her shaking body.

” Shh, Teresa.  I got you honey!  Wake up honey!”

She opened her eyes and she clung to Scott.

” It was horrible Scott!  I saw him beating on Johnny and he wasn’t fighting back!”

Scott sat on the edge of the bed and gently caressed her back.

” It’s okay Teresa.  Val will locate him and bring him home.  You’ll see sweetie.”

Scott pulled Teresa into his arms and held her against his chest, as she tried to sleep again.  In the morning, as they both got up to go downstairs and have breakfast, Murdoch waylaid them in the hall.

” I don’t like you being in Teresa’s room all night Scott.  It’s not appropriate. “

Scott turned on his father.

” You gonna run me off too Murdoch?!  She had nightmares, she has them every night.  I help her thru them.”

Teresa and Scott went to the kitchen and ate.  Neither speaking to Murdoch.  When breakfast was thru, Scott went outside to get the crews working on trouble spots.  Murdoch never even came out to the porch.

Teresa stayed in the kitchen with Maria, and Scott was out on the ranch.  When he came back in for dinner, he found Murdoch out cold on the desk, a half empty bottle of Scotch by his hand.

Scott shook his head in disgust, and went to the kitchen to have dinner with Teresa.

” What about Murdoch Scott?”

Scott lifted his silver blue eyes to look towards Murdoch’s office.

” Leave him there.  If he wants to drink himself stupid, I’m not going to stop him.”

Scott and Teresa had a quiet meal, and neither gave Murdoch another thought.  When the dishes were cleared away, both young people went out on the porch.

” Scott, do you ever think we’ll see Johnny again?”

Scott looked out towards the archway and he said, his eyes holding his tears at bay.

” Maybe one day, I’m sure we will honey.”

In a soft quiet voice, Teresa said, ” I miss him Scott.  I miss him a lot.”

” I know sweetie.”

A distant rumble of thunder echoed around the valley, and Scott said, “Gonna be a storm.”

Teresa smiled and she said, ” Hope not a loud one.  I think we both can use a good night’s sleep.”

They sat together on the glider and watched the flashes of lightning.  Scott stood up and pulled Teresa up.

” Come on, I don’t care to get wet! “

They both laughed and went up to their rooms.  It was about 3 hours later, that Scott heard the cries coming from Teresa’s room.  He put his jeans on and padded across the hall and went into her room.  She was tangled in her blankets, crying like her heart was breaking.

Scott unwrapped the covers from around Teresa’s body and as she slowly woke up, she saw that Scott was watching her with great concern.

” Shh Teresa.  It’s okay sweetie.  I’m here and I won’t let anything happen to you.  It’s okay honey.”

Scott pulled her against his chest and his hand slid down her soft silky hair.  Scott held Teresa in his arms and as she began to calm, he asked her if it was Johnny or the storm.

Against his bare chest, Teresa breathed gently.  She was well aware that Scott was almost naked and she was in his arms.  Teresa gently ran her fingers across Scott’s chest, and she felt the tremor running thru him.

Scott moved both his hands to her cheeks and his thumbs caressed her soft skin gently.

” Teresa, you are so special to me, I don’t want to do anything to frighten you.”

Teresa lifted her face to Scott and said, ” You could never frighten me Scott.”

Scott lowered his lips to her’s, softly caressing them.  As he got bolder, his lips began to slide to her neck, behind her ear and down the front of her body.

Softly, with the utmost care and softness, Scott let his lips caress over Teresa’s lips.

” Oh Teresa, you are so perfect.  I can’t and I won’t take you like a field hand.  I want to court you, make this perfect for you.  It will be honey, I promise you”

Scott leaned Teresa back into the bed, straightened her blankets and slid his half clothed body into the bed next to her.  Scott pulled her to his chest and wrapped his arms around her.

Teresa’s head fell to Scott’s warm chest and her right hand slid across his body.  The warmth and the smoothness of Scott’s chest was so different than Johnny’s chest.  She had seen Johnny’s chest once when he was digging post holes.  The sweat running off his chest, making his muscles look like they were chiseled out of stone.

Teresa slowly slid her fingertips over Scott’s chest and he closed his eyes.

” That feels so nice Teresa.  Your touch is like the beating of butterfly wings.”

She snuggled closer and said, ” Let’s just rest Scott.  Maybe we can go for a ride, maybe a picnic, tomorrow.  I don’t want to stay here and have to worry Murdoch will do or say something.”

Scott scooped her into his arms and even tho he was careful, Teresa did feel how excited he was.  She also knew he’d never take her against her will.

As the days wove together for Scott and Teresa, they seemed to be moving away from Lancer and Murdoch.  He didn’t seem to notice, he had his Scotch and his cows.

As Scott was saddling Charlemayne one day, Aggie Conway rode into the courtyard.  Scott was courteous but cool and Aggie understood.

” I know Scott.  I’m so sorry for what he did to Johnny.  I’ve thrown him off my ranch and I’m here to see if I can piece together what happened.”

Scott leaned against Charlie’s side and said, ” With all due respect Miz Conway, what your husband did to Johnny tore this family apart.  I don’t know if I ever will see my brother again.  Murdoch is drinking himself stupid and quite frankly, I’m about ready to take Teresa and leave the ranch.”

” Teresa is still his ward Scott.”

” Not as of August 12th she will be 19 and can leave on her own.”

” Where will you go?”

” Maybe San Francisco, maybe back to Boston.  I don’t know yet.  But wherever I go, Teresa will be with me.”

Aggie nodded her understanding.  As Scott rode off, she went into the house.  Murdoch was, once again, drinking Scotch like there was no tomorrow.  Without even talking, she turned and left the estancia.

Teresa stayed in the kitchen with Maria, and after the evening meal was prepared, she went up to her room.  Scott found her there when he came in.  Scott sat on the bed and scooped her into his arms.

” Teresa, if you want to, when I leave, I want you to come with me.  You will be legal on August 12th, and we can leave.”

” Where will we go Scott?”

” San Francisco, or maybe Boston.  We can go anywhere honey.”

Smiling, she said, ” Wherever you go, I’ll go with you.  Just don’t leave me here alone Scott.”

Scott pulled her close, ” Never honey, never.”

Scott began to fill in Jelly and Cipriano about what was going to happen soon.  Cipriano understood, Jelly got a bit teary eyed.

” You gonna look for Johnny Scott?”

Scott sighed softly, lowering his eyes.

” I don’t know where to even start Jelly.  I don’t know if I’ll ever see my brother again.”

Jelly got quiet and he said, ” You know Val lit out a week after Johnny left.  Don’t know where he is either.  I hope he’s found Johnny. “

” We’ll never know I guess Jelly.  I hope one day I’ll find my brother again.”

As the summer months came to Lancer, the summer roundup was hectic.  Scott refused to contribute and his father jumped on him one day.

” If you can’t do your job Scott, you are worthless to this ranch!”

Scott spun around and said, ” Well, as soon as August 12th is here, both Teresa and I will leave.  I have enough money to live on from my grandmother.  You have no need of taking care of Teresa, I will take care of her.”

Scott bolted up the stairs and went to Teresa’s room.  She was sitting on the bed, knitting and she lifted her eyes.  

Sighing gently, she said, ” I heard.  He’s gonna make everything horrible until we leave Scott.”

Scott sat on the bed and took her knitting from her hands.  He pulled her into his arms and gently caressed her hair.

” We need to pack what we want honey.  Sam said we could stay at his house until August 12th.  Sam told me he could run interference with Murdoch too.”

” 2 months Scott.  Can we stay at Sam’s for 2 months.  He’ll find us!”

Scott wrapped his long arms around Teresa and quietly said,

” You will be of legal age in 3 weeks honey.  Sam will not let anything happen to you.”

Teresa laid in Scott’s arms and she  felt her body pulled onto Scott’s lap.  She laid her head to his shoulder and said,  ” What if he tries something Scott?  I can’t go back to his house.  I hate it there.”

Scott got kind of quiet and he softly said, ” I know a way honey.  We can get married.  We don’t have to consummate the marriage until August 12th, and there won’t be anything he can do.”

That was exactly what they did.  Sam, Maria and a few friends from town were there and Scott leaned down and softly kissed Teresa’s lips.

” Mrs Scott Garrett.  Has a nice ring to it.”

Teresa smiled and softly said, ” Yes it does Scott.”

The small party Sam and Maria put together was fun and lovely.  After the guests left Sam’s tiny backyard, Scott and Teresa sat on a swing.

” Married, and now he can’t do anything to us Scott.”

Scott pulled Teresa to his chest and softly said, ” Happy honey?”

Teresa softly sighed and said, ” Yes Scott, only one thing would have made it the perfect day.”

” I know honey.  We’ll see him one day, I can feel it.  Come on, let’s go upstairs to begin our new life, before the stage leaves in 3 days.”

Four days after Scott and Teresa’s wedding and subsequent leaving of Morro Coyo, Val sat on Midnight swearing a blue streak.

” Dammit! I knew if I relaxed, he’d up and vanish!  Now I have to start looking all over again!  When I catch up to him, I’m gonna kick his ass all over Arizona! “

Val then did something he’d never done ever to a horse, he kicked Midnight in the sides with his spurs.  3 days later, Val was walking his horse, and saw, off in the distance, a campfire.

Val chuckled and said, ” Got ya!”

He was just about to the fire and before he could ever announce himself, Val heard the click of a trigger being pulled back.

A very soft sultry voice said, ” State your business Mister, I ain’t got no problem shooting someone sneaking up on me.”

Vals hands lifted from his gun belt and he said, ” Name’s Val Crawford.  Saw your campfire and thought it was my pal.”

The gun was unclicked and I said, ” Come in the light. “

As Val dismounted, he slowly walked towards my campfire.

” Well, I’ll be damned! It is you Crawford.  What the hell you doing in Arizona?  You a little off your stomping grounds.'”

I saw the grin slowly come to Val’s face.

” JT, long time.  You been staying busy I see.”

I turned and walked to my saddle.  I lowered to the ground and stretched my legs out.  Val noticed my thigh high boots with the spike heels.

” Jesus JT, how can you walk or ride in heels that high?!”

As Val threw his saddle down by the fire, I laughed, soft and low.  ” Lots of practice Val.”

I had been starting to make supper, and Val added coffee.  We had a quiet meal and as Val drank his coffee, he lowered his eyes and said, ” You see Johnny in your travels JT?”

I lifted my surprised eyes and said, ” Johnny?  Last I heard he’d found his family and was in California on a ranch.”

” He’s been gone for almost 4 years JT.  Was a major blow up with him and his old man.  He beat Johnny almost to death and told him to leave and never come back. “

My green eyes suddenly flashed fire and I said, very softly,

” He beat Johnny?  What the hell for Val?  Johnny is as gentle as a lamb!”

As Val began to tell me about what had happened 3 years ago, I became almost incensed.

” Didn’t he talk to Johnny?  Ask him what was going on?!”

Val shook his head and said ” No, Johnny’s old man never was crazy with Johnny being Madrid.  Never gave him the benefit of any doubt, just always thought he was guilty.  Even after I told him who it was trying to cause trouble, he didn’t want to believe it.”

I lifted my eyes to the sky and closed them.  ” Sounds like a real piece of work, this father.”

Val sure didn’t disagree.

” He even alienated Johnny’s brother and his sister.  Don’t know how they are faring, hope they are okay.”

Val told me about Johnny’s brother and sister, and to me they seemed like they accepted who Johnny was and loved him anyway.

Just before we got ready for bed, Val asked, ” So where are you heading JT?”

” Was thinking San Francisco.  I’m getting tired of desert Val.  Wanna ride with me?  Maybe we can find Johnny.”

Val readily agreed and we both laid down and thought of Johnny.  When morning came, I smelled Val’s frying pan coffee.  I took a sip and said, ” Damn Val! You still making this mud?!”

” You can always go without ya know JT!”

I smiled an evil smile, that reminded Val of Johnny, and a chill ran up his spine.  We mounted up and headed out.  Val told me he lost track of Johnny about 10 days ago and I looked at Val and said, ” Well, Val.  Between you and me, we should be able to track his scrawny ass!”

As we rode along, both of us on flashy black stallions, I got thinking about Johnny.  ‘ Haven’t seen you in almost 7 years Johnny.  Miss you so much.’ We rode quietly after our talk of the morning.

Around this time, in San Francisco, a dusty stage coach was finally coming to a halt.  Scott jumped out and held his hand for his bride.  

Scott wrapped his arms around Teresa and she said softly into his chest, ” I never thought that thing would stop!  I need a bath, a change of clothes and a meal of something other than beans and jerky!”

Scott gathered their suitcases and they headed to the big hotel across the way.

” We’ll stay here until we can find a home of our own, okay honey.  Then I’ll have Sam ship all our stuff to us.”

Teresa smiled sweetly, and they headed to the courtesy desk.  A charming little gnome of a man turned, and with a smile bigger than he was, he said, ” And what can I do for you folks?”

Teresa smiled and Scott said, ” I believe you have a reservation for Scott and Teresa Garrett.”

He checked his ledger and his eyes lit up.  ” Oh yes indeed Sir, the honeymoon suite with an open end to the reservation.  May I take the reservation and secure a warm bath for the young lady?”

Teresa sighed and said that sounded heavenly.  We were shown up to the suite of rooms and Teresa stood in the room in simple awe.

” Scott, it’s beautiful!  But it’s too much!”

Scott wrapped his arms around Teresa and said, ” Nothing is too good for my baby.  Let’s unpack and by then the tub should be here and you can wash 10 days worth of dust off yourself.  Then you, Mrs Garrett, put on your fanciest dress and we are going to the grandest restaurant for dinner and dancing.”

Teresa’s eyes lit up and she said, “Dancing Scott?”

Scott saw her joy and said, ” Yes, and then a special part of the evening honey.”

Scott couldn’t say anymore, the bell boys came with a huge tub and buckets of water.  Soon the tub was filled and the screen was around it.  Teresa luxuriated in that tub.  When she stood up and reached for a towel, her skin had a soft pink tint.

When Teresa went to the bedroom to get dressed, Scott washed the dirt from his body.  He got dressed in an outfit that would fit in with Boston or San Francisco.

When Teresa opened the door, Scott’s eyes beheld his bride.

” You are so beautiful Teresa.”

She slowly spun in a circle and said, ” Do you really like it Scott?”

Scott walked to Teresa’s side and put his arms around her, pulled her to his chest and claimed her lips with his.  The kiss lasted almost 5 minutes, and when Scott finally leaned back, Teresa was breathing fast.

” I think, Mrs Garrett, we should go to dinner, before I lose all control.”

Scott reached for the soft shawl and wrapped it around Teresa’s shoulders.

” Dinner and dancing await my love.”

They left the beautiful room.  As they walked to their meal, Teresa suddenly said, ” Scott, look at the sign over that hotel door?”

Scott turned and said, ” Oh damn!  Cattle Man’s Association.  Well, don’t worry. We’ll stay at the places where I know he won’t go.  He won’t find us, I promise honey.”

Teresa relaxed and they got to the restaurant.  It was far more glamorous than their hotel suite, and again, Teresa was just in awe.  Scott had already ordered their entire meal.  As Teresa ate, she loved every new dish more than the one before.

The topper of the evening was more champagne and fresh strawberries.  Teresa’s eyes lit up and they took turns feeding each other berries.  After they were done, they went to where the dance was.  

Teresa saw all those beautiful gowns and she told Scott that she wanted every one that passed them.

” Oh don’t worry my love, you will be spending lots of time in ladies shops, buying beautiful gowns to your heart’s content.”

As Teresa and Scott danced, a lone man on a golden Palomino was just entering a small town.  All Johnny wanted was food, booze and a bed to sleep in.

As Johnny waited for his meal, he took a bottle of tequila and went to a table in the back.  Johnny was halfway thru his meal, and he heard those dreaded words.

” I’m calling you out Madrid!”

A soft sigh came from Johnny’s lips and he softly said, ” I don’t know you Mister, and you are interrupting my meal.”  

The kid laughed and said, ” I’ll wait outside for you to finish.  No rush.”

After the kid left, Johnny stood up and paid for his meal.  He was sliding his tight black glove onto his left hand, as he walked out to the middle of the street.

Johnny took his stance, and said, in that soft deadly drawl,  “You called this dance kid.”

Johnny waited for the look, and as he pulled his colt and fired, he felt the slam into his back.  Johnny spun and fired and the guy fell from the top of the livery.

He dropped to one knee. The guy from the livery came and helped Johnny to his room above the bar.  A few minutes later, the Doctor came.  As Johnny gritted his teeth, the bullet was removed.  The Doctor poured some whiskey over the bullet hole.  Then sewed it together and wrapped bandages around his back and over his shoulder and across his chest, to keep it tight to his body.

The barmaid volunteered to stay with Johnny…….feed him, wipe his face, check for infection, whatever was needed to get Johnny better.

Mac in the livery was tending to Barranca and the whole town was taking care of Johnny.  Johnny lapsed into unconsciousness, because of the infections coursing thru his body, despite all the care.

As the barmaid was wiping Johnny’s sweaty body, he softly started to say, ” Scott, I need you brother.  Where are you Boston?”

” Shh, you’re okay Johnny.  Ol’ Bess ain’t gonna let anything or anyone hurt you again.  You just rest.”

Johnny was so sick, it was almost 2weeks before he even felt human.  Johnny knew how the townspeople took care of him while he recovered.  And as usual, Johnny started to feel antsy, but the Doctor said he still needed a few days to recover more.

Johnny didn’t mind, he really had no where to go, and the people treated him really nice here.

Johnny had no idea there were 2 riders heading for town.  Both riding black stallions, one Johnny hadn’t seen in over 3 years, the other he’d not seen for almost 7 years.

Johnny once again drifted off to sleep, and as usual, he thought of Scott and Teresa.  Even in sleep, he had tears slip from his eyes as he thought of them, missing them.  How he missed his brother.

Soon, Johnny drifted to sleep, and Bess wiped the tears from Johnny’s long black lashes.  She knew he hurt for someone named Scott, but she had no way to find him.

As Johnny slept, she worked on some needlework.  It always relaxed her and she had a whole chest in her home filled with finished pieces.

Mean while, in San Francisco, the meeting for The Cattle Man’s Association was just winding down.  None of Murdoch’s old friends wanted to be around him, because of what he’d done to Johnny.  So Murdoch decided to find another bar to drink at.

Murdoch walked towards the one with music and as he sat at the bar and ordered his drink, he looked around.  In his bleary state, he wasn’t quite sure, but he saw a tall blonde and a petite brown haired woman, hell girl really, dancing.

He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, and he just stared and drank.  The more he drank, the more he thought it was Scott and Teresa.

After awhile, Scott wrapped Teresa’s shawl around her shoulders and they started to leave.  It was very crowded and very noisy, so neither of them heard or saw Murdoch.

After they had left, his pickled mind all but forgot about them.  Scott and Teresa walked back to their suite of rooms.  As Teresa walked into the room, Scott stood at the door and Teresa heard a soft click.  She turned around and saw the look in Scott’s eyes.  It was a look she’d not seen in awhile.

Scott very slowly began to walk towards his bride.  He slid her shawl from her arms and ran his fingers down her arms.  The touch made Teresa tremble.

” I won’t hurt you baby.”

Scott slid both hands up to Teresa’s cheeks and he lowered his lips to her’s.  Scott’s lips tasted of the brandy he drank, and Teresa found she liked it.

Scott reached for her hand, and gently pulled her into the bedroom they would share after this night.  There were candles everywhere and Scott turned her to look at him.

*** ALERT ***

” I love you so much Teresa, and I think it’s time to make you mine totally.  I won’t hurt you baby.  Just follow what I say, okay.”

As Scott slowly began to unbutton her dress, one button at a time, his eyes never left her’s.  As her skin became visible, Scott’s fingers slowly touched her.

Scott lowered his head and she felt his lips kissing down her body.  Softly, against Teresa’s lips, Scott softly said, ” Touch me baby.  Let me feel your touch.”

Teresa could feel the hot blush crawl up her cheeks as her fingers began to unbutton his shirt.  As his skin became visible, Teresa gently kissed his skin.  The tremor that ran up his spine, excited her.  His jacket fell to the floor and Scott stood in front of her, with his trousers still on.

Teresa’s fingers slid over his skin and Scott’s eyes closed and he tilted his head back.  When Scott’s eyes opened, all Teresa saw was 2 shining black orbs looking at her.

Scott put his arms under her legs and behind her back and picked her up.  He turned and gently laid her on the huge bed.  As Teresa watched, Scott slid the rest of his clothes from his body.

Her eyes got a bit large when she saw how excited Scott was.  Scott kissed Teresa and ran his fingers over her body, opening the ribbons on her chemise.  Scott gently pushed it from her shoulders and looked at her.  He had such love in his eyes and he very slowly said, ” Oh God, Teresa, you are beautiful. “

Scott got on the bed and moved one leg in between her’s.  Slowly, Scott ran his forefinger down her flat belly, to caress along her thighs.

Teresa trembled and was just lifting her hands to Scott’s neck, and she felt Scott’s fingers slip gently into her body.  Teresa arched against the bed and Scott slowly drove Teresa crazy by sliding his fingers in and out of her body.

Tiny sighs slid from Teresa’s lips, and Scott kissed her sighs away.

” Teresa honey, this first time will hurt.  I’ll try to be gentle, but it’s not always a sure thing.  Just don’t fight.”

Scott moved over her body, and Scott began slow.  Scott’s arms held Teresa tightly as he made her his wife completely.  Tears slid from her eyes and Scott kissed them away.  As Scott slowly moved to another rhythm, the pain was leaving Teresa’s body.  Soon, she found her hips beginning to move with Scott.

As their marriage was finally consummated, Scott scooped Teresa into his arms and held her against his body.  He caressed her body and kissed away the evidence of her tears.  Softly, against her head, Scott said, ” It’s hard, the first time honey.  I tried not to hurt you too much.”

Smiling, Teresa reached her fingers to Scott’s face, pushing his sweat slick hair from his eyes.  ” I’m really your’s now, Scott?  Nothing he can do can take me away from you?”

*** END ALERT ***

Scott pulled her close and said, quietly, ” Nope.  You are my wife and now in all ways you are mine.”

Scott ran his fingers up her arm and then very quietly said, ” I didn’t hurt you too much, did I Teresa?”

Teresa snuggled closer to Scott and said, ” No, it’s a nice kind of feeling Scott.  So I guess next time, it won’t be painful.”

Teresa gave her husband a very evil look and Scott laughed softly and said, ” I think I created a monster!”

” Mmm, yes you have my husband.”

As they held each other, they soon fell into an exhausted but welcome sleep.  Scott’s last thoughts were he was going to enjoy teaching Teresa ways to please him, as he was going to enjoy teaching her what he liked to do to her.

Just outside that tiny town where Johnny had been ambushed, Val and I were walking the horses.  Val’s horse threw a shoe 10 miles out, so we both walked.  

As we got to the livery, Val was in a rotten mood.  The livery man came out, and Val told him that his horse had thrown a shoe.  Could he repair it, give both horses tending to and point us to a good place to rest and eat.

” Pick out two stalls, fresh hay and oats to the left, cool water in the trough.  I’ll get to work on your horse in the morning Mister.”

As Val walked his horse into a stall, he spied a very familiar Palomino.  He walked towards the horse and he whinnied and head butted Val.

” Barranca!  Where is he boy?”

I looked at the horse and said, ” He’s Johnny’s? “

” Oh yea he is.”

” Hey Mister, the man who owns that Palomino, where is he?”

” You friends?”

Val told him he knew Johnny from California and has been trailing him for 3years.

” He was ambushed about 2 weeks ago.  Some kid called him out, and had a friend up on a roof behind him.  He’s in his room above the bar.”

Val did everything but run to the bar.  He asked the bartender what room Johnny was in and he told him.  My boots were making more noise than Val’s spurs.  

We got to the room and knocked, and Bess was there.  She looked us over and then finally let us go into the room..

Johnny slowly opened his eyes and saw Val.  A huge grin came to Johnny’s lips and Val leaned over and hugged the piss outta him.

” Jesus Johnny!  I been on your tail for 3 years boy.  You always manage to vanish before I can get to you.  I’m glad I finally found you!”

Johnny was just gonna ask about Scott and his vivid sapphire eyes locked on me.

” JT!  Oh my God!  I never thought I’d see you again baby!”

I slowly slid towards Johnny and I pushed my hat off my head and shook my waist length hair out.  My green eyes locked on Johnny.  My fingers caressed his long shaggy bangs and I very softly said, ” I knew I’d see you again one day baby.  But I figured I’d be the one on my back.”

Johnny’s grin was very evil looking, and Val recognized it.  Val reached for Bess’s arm and said, ” I think we need to leave these 2 alone for a bit sweetie.”

Johnny lifted his fingers to caress across my jaw and his eyes took on a lazy look.

” I’ve missed you so much JT.  I never should have ridden away from you.”

Smiling, I said, ” Oh baby, since you left, I’ve gotten really good.  I’ve been called the female Johnny Madrid.”

Johnny’s eyes locked on mine and he said, softly and quietly,  “The female Johnny Madrid?  That’s interesting baby.  But I don’t think you’ll ever be as fast or as deadly as I am.”

” I’m faster Johnny.”

I saw the slow evil grin come back to his lips and his voice got very deep.

” Well, I do know one thing Querida, we are alike.”

Johnny lifted my hat from my head and threw it across the room.  Johnny sat up in the bed, and he reached for one of my legs, encased in my thigh high boots.  He pulled until my leg was free.  He threw the boot to the floor and repeated with the other boot.

Johnny ran his hot hand up and down my legs and I felt a tremor run thru me.

Johnny smiled, a slow sensual smile and softly said ” God, you are still so beautiful baby.”

Johnny’s hands slid up my flat belly and began to open the buttons on the red shirt I wore, so like his pink shirt.

***  ALERT  ***

I stood in front of Johnny, and I slowly peeled my clothes from my body, until I stood naked to Johnny’s sapphire gaze. I watched as Johnny took the night shirt he had on off his body. Just looking at Johnny’s body and feeling the cool breeze from the window across my body, I began to breathe heavy.

Johnny’s eyes sparkled and he said, ” I haven’t even touched you yet baby”

I leaned over Johnny’s body and my hair caressed around him.  I smiled and slowly slid my body over his, and I felt our bodies become one.  My eyes closed as I slowly moved against Johnny.  His eyes had also closed and his lips parted and I heard soft sighs slipping from his lips.

Johnny’s hands began to caress across my chest, down my flat belly and back up across my nipples, making them hard against his touch.

My hands slid into his long silky black hair and my whole being went into orbit.  The touch of Johnny’s hair, his body moving under me, his touch on my skin, it all was causing me to see stars behind my eyes.

My body moved against Johnny’s to a different rhythm, and then suddenly Johnny had flipped us over.

” Always liked you better on your back JT.”

Johnny’s body took over the rhythm, and I soon felt our combined releases.  Johnny’s head fell to the pillow next to me, his soft warm breath against my neck.

*** END ALERT ***

Johnny lifted his head and my fingers gently caressed the sweaty hair from his face.

” Mmm, I’ve missed that feeling Johnny.  Don’t go away again.  Let me ride with you again.”

Johnny’s eyes took on a soft lazy sparkle, as he rolled to his back and he said, ” I’m never leaving you again JT.  You and Val will ride with me.”

I snuggled against Johnny’s chest, sliding my fingers thru the soft dark hair covering his chest.  I felt Johnny’s fingers gently caressing my long hair, and my eyes began to slowly close.

I felt Johnny’s arms wrap around me and I felt the warmth and strength of his body, a feeling I had missed for a number of years.  My hand rested on his flat belly and I soon found myself finally drifting off to a peaceful sleep.

When I woke in the morning, I was alone in the bed.  I sat up and started to panic.  Suddenly the door opened, and Johnny walked in with a tray of food and coffee.

Johnny saw the wild look in my eyes and he set the tray down and came to me.  I felt his hands caressing my face and he softly said, ” Relax JT.  I only went to get breakfast and coffee.  Honey, look at me.”

My green eyes locked on Johnny’s sapphire eyes and I began to relax. Softly, and so very quietly I said, ” I thought you vanished again Johnny.  I thought it all was a dream and you weren’t really here.”

Johnny’s hands went to either side of my face, and his thumbs caressed my cheeks.  Softly, but with raw feelings suddenly being bared, Johnny said, ” You never have to worry JT, ever again.  I will never leave you behind.  We are together and Val will be like your brother.”

We laughed and I said, ” I just never want to wake up and find you gone Johnny.  Please!”

Johnny lowered his lips to mine and I felt them possessing me as he whispered against them.

” I promise to never leave you again JT, ever!”

After a few more days, the Doctor told Johnny he was well enough to ride again.  As we saddled up, the Doctor looked up and said,  ” Try not to stop any more bullets, okay Johnny.”

We all were still laughing as we rode out of town.  As we rode along, Val told Johnny about what had been going on in Morro Coya and Johnny stopped Barranca.

” Buck Addison?  You sure Val?”

” Oh yea, I’m sure Amigo.  Sam even had words with the old man, and he still didn’t believe it.  He kept saying Buck was his friend, why would he want to run off his son.  Johnny, you’re better off not going back.  Lancer will never apologize and he’ll never let you stay.  Don’t look back anymore.  Hey, you have JT back again, I’m not going back to Green River.  So the 3 of us can just go where we want now.”

Johnny got quiet for awhile, and I turned to Val with questions in my eyes.  Softly, so softly, we had to stop the horses, Johnny said, as he looked over the land, ” Any news on Scott or Teresa Val?  Are they okay?”

Val scratched his scruffy beard and said, ” I don’t know Johnny.  I lit out of there 2 weeks after you left and I ain’t never been back.”

Johnny’s sigh was so loud, I reached my hand out to caress his cheek.  He lifted sad blue eyes and tried to smile.  I had  never seen such sadness in those eyes I adored.  My heart broke for Johnny and then in the blink of an eye, his sadness was gone.

We began our journey again to San Francisco.  

Scott and Teresa had just come into the hotel they were living at, after seeing a home Teresa fell in love with.  As they passed the front desk, the owner came out of his office.

” Mister Garrett.  I just want to inform you that there is something going on.”

Scott turned and walked to the desk and said, ” What is going on Mister Martin that has you in such a state?”

” There is a man going to the other hotels, inquiring about a Scott Lancer and Teresa O’Brien. He’s saying this Scott Lancer kidnapped Miss O’Brien.  Now, I know who you are Sir and I know your lovely bride in Teresa O’Brien.  I will do what I can to keep him from you, if you wish. “

Teresa’s eyes were huge and Scott said, ” Yes Mister Martin, keep him away from us.  We have found a home to move to, but we’ll need time to get our possessions shipped”

As Scott took Teresa’s arm, he said, ” Don’t worry my love, he will not find us.”

They stayed in their rooms for a while, and Teresa cringed when she heard Murdoch’s loud booming voice, demanding to see the hotel register.  Mister Martin was a wily old man, and he showed Murdoch the register.  But the page he was looking for was gone.

” I know they are in the area!  I saw them!”

Mister Martin motioned for one of his clerks to find a policeman, to escort this loud obnoxious man from his hotel.  As Murdoch was being led away, he began to sadly mumble, ” But I know they are here.  She’s all I have left.”

Scott had been on the stairs and he’d heard the whole exchange.  His heart didn’t go out to Murdoch, he was actually mad all over again.

A few days later, Scott was watching from the shadows, as Murdoch got on a stage coach and went back to Lancer.  As the stage left, Scott thought to himself, ‘ That’s all you ever loved old man! “

Scott was just turning around to go back to the hotel and Teresa’s side, and he heard the words he thought he’d never hear again.

” I’m calling you out Madrid! “

Scott spun around and saw his little brother.  He looked a little harder, but it was most definitely Johnny. He walked into the street, his spurs singing softly.  Johnny was facing 5 men and Scott swallowed hard.

He was going to say something, and Scott saw Val detach himself from the crowd.  He stood next to Johnny and then Scott saw another figure walk to Johnny’s side.  She was dressed just like Johnny, except her boots were thigh high with spike heels.

Johnny’s smile, the same one Scott always remembered, and he said, ” You guys really want to face my gang and me?  You know you won’t survive and I really don’t want to dance.  Why not go on home and you can live another day.”

It looked like the men were gonna leave, and suddenly there were bullets everywhere.  Scott’s mouth opened as he watched the speed and the accuracy of his brother.

When the smoke had cleared, Scott finally managed to say,

” Nicely done little Brother.”

Johnny whirled around and his sapphire eyes lit up.

“Boston!  Oh my God!  Never thought I’d ever see you again!”

Scott grabbed his brother in a bear bug, and the amazing thing was, Johnny allowed it and his eyes closed.  After he let Johnny go, he saw Val and hugged him too.  When Scott saw me, Johnny reached for my hand and said, ” Scott, this is JT, my wife.”

Scott was, to say the least, stunned.  ” Your wife Johnny?”

” It’s a long story Boston.  Is Teresa here or is she back at Lancer?”

” I married her Johnny.  We are buying a house outside of town.  She is gonna flip when she sees you.”

We all walked to the hotel and as Scott opened the door, he said, ” I have a surprise for you honey.”

When Johnny walked around the corner, Teresa let a scream loose that could have been heard in Boston.  She launched herself at Johnny and he caught her easily.

” Oh Querida, I’m so glad to see you again.  Married to Boston, that should be an interesting story.”

Teresa hugged the stuffing out of Val too.  Soon she saw me and she asked Johnny, ” Who is this Johnny?  She looks like you with spike boots.”

” Teresa, this is JT, my wife.  It’s a long story sweetie.”

” Are you happy, with Scott I mean?”

” Yes I am Johnny.  Are you happy with JT? “

Johnny’s soft smile as he looked at me was all the confirmation she needed.

” She’s everything I ever wanted in a wife Teresa.”

Teresa lowered her eyes and said, ” I see.”

Johnny slid 2 fingers under her chin and softly said, ” You are my little sister Teresa, I never felt that way towards you.  But Scott makes you happy, doesn’t he Chica?”

Teresa’s big smile told Johnny that he did.

After Scott showed us all the house, you could see Johnny’s mind already working.

” Horse ranch Boston.”

Scott smiled and said, ” You read my mind Brother.  Val, you’re welcome to stay too, if ya want.”

” I’ll tell you what.  If Johnny can hang up his gun and become just a horse ranch owner, I’ll stay.”

Johnny looked at his brother and said, ” You just lost Amigo.”

Val stuttered and stammered, but he was happy as a pig in the mud.

After Scott bought the house and we all moved in, I was leaning against one of the pillars on the porch.  I heard a soft song from spurs and then two arms went around my waist.  I laid my head back against Johnny’s chest.

Against my neck, Johnny’s soft voice and breath caressed me.

” Do you think you could be happy here being a rancher’s wife JT.  Could you get used to wearing dresses and not having too much fun or excitement?”

I turned around in Johnny’s arms and softly said, ” I’ll do and be anything you want Johnny.  Can I still wear my boots?”

Johnny’s eyes sparkled with his rising desires and he said,

” You can wear only your boots for me in our bedroom JT. “

I felt Johnny’s hands caressing over my body and I said softly against Johnny’s warm chest, ” Double Madrids.  Still together.”

Johnny’s lips covered mine and he said, ” How about we check out the barn baby.”

We practically ran to the barn door and as Johnny shut the door, Scott was smiling.  He lifted up his drink and said,  “Welcome home Brother.”

October 2020

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