The Man Without A Past by Robyn B.

Word Count 7,127

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I don’t own the characters of Lancer.  I just take them out every now and then to run around the ranch.  This story has some sexual moments that some may not like to read.  There will be alerts to inform you where they are.  This story will have an R-rating for that reason.

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Scott had just walked out onto the porch, and he noticed a crowd around one of the corrals.  As he saw a very familiar pink shirt, he started to walk faster towards the corral.

” I’m gonna kill him!  Sam hasn’t even released him to come downstairs, much less get on a bucking horse!”

As Scott got closer, he saw, under Johnny’s raised left arm, a bright red patch.

” Wonderful!  He’s ripped open that wound.  Sam and Murdoch are just gonna have a field day yelling at my little Brother.”

Just as Scott was gonna say something to his Brother, the horse ejected Johnny from the saddle, over his head and flying into the corral fence.  Scott heard the sickening sound of breaking fence, and he pushed his way to his Brother’s side.

Johnny was on his belly, out cold.  Scott could see the bright red blood on his shirt getting larger.  Scott ran his hands down Johnny’s legs and arms, noting that there didn’t seem to be any broken bones.

” Frank, send someone into town for Sam.”

The ranch hand broke from the crowd around Johnny and Scott, mounted a saddled horse and took off for town at a mad gallop.

Another hand helped Scott roll Johnny over onto his back, and saw the real damage.  There was a huge gash on Johnny’s forehead under his dark shaggy bangs.  There were also some punctures from the broken fence in Johnny’s chest, that were bleeding freely.

Someone handed Scott some clean rags and he pressed them against the new holes on Johnny’s chest.  The whole time, Johnny never moved or even moaned.

A couple ranch hands helped Scott carry Johnny up to his room.  Scott took off his boots, pants and shirt.  Just as he was pulling the soft blanket to Johnny’s waist, Maria came in with a bowl of hot water, some clean rags and all the bandages she could carry.

Scott and Maria worked on Johnny’s body, cleaning the puncture wounds on his chest and the gash on his head.  Then they wound bandages around his chest, putting thick pads to stem the blood.

Scott sat and watched his Brother, so still and quiet.  Scott could feel the lump in his throat, and it felt like it was trying to keep him from breathing.  He wiped a cool cloth against Johnny’s face and silently willed his energy into his Brother’s body.

” Please Johnny.  Wake up or move or something.  Just let me know you’re in there fighting.  Please!!

There was nothing from the dark haired man on the bed.  No moans, no movement, no flutter of eye lashes to signal he was waking.  It was almost like Johnny was dead.

                         ************************

Sam’s buggy was moving at a very fast clip.  Frank had told Sam that Johnny had been injured and had been thrown into a fence by a bucking horse.  Sam didn’t know if he was furious at Johnny for being on a wild horse, or the fact he had been thrown into a fence and it had broken.

” Sam, wait up!  Sam!”

Sam slowed his little mare down and turned to see Murdoch Lancer galloping up.

” You seem to be in a hurry Sam.  Where you headed?”

” To Lancer Murdoch.  Johnny is injured and I was told it was very serious!”

” I’ll meet you at Lancer Sam. “

Murdoch took off at a mad pace, to get to his youngest son’s side.  Praying it wasn’t serious.

Murdoch got to the courtyard, and handed his horse off to a ranch hand.  He then all but bolted into the hacienda and up the stairs to Johnny’s room.  His back protesting this harsh treatment with every step he took.

Murdoch pushed open the door and Scott lifted silver blue eyes, eyes that looked as tho they were wet with tears.

” What happened Scott? What the hell was Johnny doing on a horse?!  He wasn’t even supposed to be out of bed yet.”

Scott looked back at his Brother, lifting his right hand to wipe at his eyes.  He took a deep breath and said, ” I was working on the books and I went out on the porch for some fresh air.  I saw the crowd around the little corral, and then I saw Johnny.  He must have gone down the outside stairs, so I wasn’t aware he was outside.  I started towards the corral and that was when the horse bucked Johnny off.  He went over the horse’s head and crashed into the fence.”

Murdoch moved to the side of the bed and gently caressed Johnny’s cheek.  He felt a little warm and Murdoch began to fear Johnny was already developing a fever.

” Has he woke up yet Scott?”

” No, he hasn’t moved either.  It’s beginning to worry me Sir.”

There was the sound of footsteps coming down the hall, and Sam and Maria came into the room.

” Murdoch, Scott out!  Let me see what the boy has done to himself this time.”

Murdoch got out of the chair and moved to the door.  Scott reached for his arm and softly said, ” Come on Sir.  Let’s give Sam room to work.”

                          ***********************

After the Lancers had left Johnny’s room, Sam and Maria got to work on the battered and bruised young man in the bed.  Sam saw that not only having new wounds, he’d torn open the one on his side.

” Damn!  I wish, Johnny, that you would follow my instructions just once.  You’ve really done a number on yourself this time.”

Sam and Maria worked at cleaning, restitching and bandaging.  Sam checked Johnny’s eyes, by lifting up his eyelids.  As he released the kids, Sam’s frown deepened.

The puncture wounds on Johnny’s chest were a concern also.  They were cleaned and checked to make sure that splinters weren’t in the open wounds.  They were rather deep and Sam didn’t think they would stop bleeding, so he stitched them up as well.

Johnny’s upper body, with all the bandages wrapped around it,  made him look like a mummy.

Sam and Maria stayed in Johnny’s room, tending to his body, for 2 hours.  Maria cleaned up all the evidence of their endeavours to tend to Johnny.  Sam checked Johnny’s eyes once more, and felt his forehead.  He was getting a bit too hot.

” Maria, could you stay for a bit longer, and keep Johnny cooled down.  He seems to be developing a fever, and he surely doesn’t need any more complications.”

After Maria agreed to stay with Johnny, Sam packed up his instruments into his black bag.  He walked to the door and as he reached for the door knob, he turned and looked at the silent man on the bed.  Sam lowered his eyes and quietly left the room.

                            **********************

Murdoch was leaning against his desk, arms crossed over his chest.  Scott was pacing by the fireplace.

” What’s taking so long?”

” Nothing now.”

Sam walked into the Great Room, placed his black bag on the coffee table and sat on the sofa.  He was very quiet and Murdoch couldn’t stand it

” Well, how is he doing?  Is he awake yet Sam?”

Sam took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes.  After he put his glasses back on, he asked for a drink.  Murdoch poured him a whiskey and waited for him to speak about Johnny’s condition.

” Okay, besides having to restitch Johnny’s side, he has a very deep gash in his head.  That also needed to be stitched.  What concerns me are the two puncture wounds on his chest.”

” Why Sam?  What’s wrong?”

” Well, for one they are rather very deep, and for another they are right over his heart.  His lungs could be compromised as well.  I stitched them up.  Johnny is also developing a fever.”

Murdoch rubbed his face and looked at Scott.  ” Okay, we keep him as cooled as possible.  Why do I get the feeling there’s more, Sam.”

” The fact is Murdoch, Johnny has not moved a muscle.  He is breathing okay.  Perhaps he is trying to heal, I don’t know.  But the longer he stays unconscious, the more it could be trouble for Johnny. “

As Sam got ready to leave, he told them to talk to Johnny, to stimulate his brain.  Perhaps that will lead to him waking up.

As they heard Sam’s buggy leaving the courtyard, Scott  walked to the bar cart.  He poured 2 glasses of Scotch, and handed one to his father.

” Okay, we have an additional problem Sir.  Cari comes back tomorrow morning.  How are we going to explain to her why Johnny didn’t come to town to meet her and why he’s unconscious in his bed?”

Murdoch sighed heavily and said, ” We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it Son.  Maybe Cari can be the one to get thru to Johnny. “

                             *******************

As Scott drove into Morro Coyo the next morning, he had a

Knot in his gut.  Johnny was still unconscious and he was on his way to get his fiancee, who was coming in on the morning stage.

I sat looking out the window of the stage, hoping to catch a glimpse of a pink shirt.  When the stage stopped, all I saw was Scott, leaning against a post.

Scott reached for the stagecoach door and helped me out.  He wrapped his arms around me and softly said, ” Welcome back sweetie.  Everything go okay with the lawyers?”

” Yes, everything went the way I wanted.  Where’s Johnny?  I thought he would be here to meet me.  I mean, 4 months is a long time to be without your fiancee.”

As Scott reached for my few pieces of luggage , I saw a look come over his face, that quite frankly, scared me.

” Scott?”

Scott walked to the buggy tied to a post and put my luggage  in the back.

” Cari, I think maybe I need to talk to you before we get to Lancer.”

 ” Scott, you’re scaring me!  Has something  happened to Johnny?  Is that why he’s not here to meet you?”

Scott walked me to the hotel and the restaurant inside.  He ordered us some coffee and reached for my hands.

” Cari, Johnny’s had a major accident.  He was already recovering from a knife wound to his side, which Sam stitched up.  But he wasn’t cleared to get out of bed yet.  About 10 days ago, he was breaking a horse.  This horse wasn’t going easy, and I guess Johnny dropped his concentration.  He sailed

over the horse’s head, into the fence railings and broke them.  He’s got a bad gash on his head, bruises everywhere, and 2 puncture wounds on his chest, that Sam is concerned about, but watching closely.

My hazel eyes closed and I took a deep shuddering breath.

” What else is wrong Scott? “

Scott dropped his silver blue eyes to his coffee cup and said very quietly, ” Johnny is still unconscious honey.  He hasn’t moved or said anything since it happened.”

” 10 days and Johnny hasn’t regained consciousness!?  That’s not Johnny, Scott.  He’s antsy after 2 days of lying on his back.  Take me home to Lancer, Scott.”

Scott paid the check and we walked to the buggy, where Scott helped me into the seat.  He dropped the reins on Zanzibar’s broad black back.

                     ********************************

As we left town at a good clip, I started to twist my hands together in my lap.  Scott looked at me from the corner of his vision.  His right hand left the reins and he gently grasped my hands.

” He’ll be fine Cari.  You’ll see.  He will wake up when he hears your voice.  I promise sweetie.”

I chewed my bottom lip and looked nervously around at the scenery.  ‘ Johnny, unconscious and hurt.  How can I help him?’

A little while later, we rolled into the courtyard.  I didn’t even wait for Scott to help me out of the buggy.  I was on my way to the front door, and it opened.  Murdoch stood there and he gently pulled me to his broad chest.

” Welcome home sweetie.”

I softly said, ” Thank you”, and moved to the stairs to the second level and Johnny’s bedroom.

I briskly walked down the hall, my skirt rustling against my legs.  I slowly opened the door and saw Maria look up.  She stood and walked to my side, gently kissing my cheek.  She left the room, leaving me alone with Johnny.

                         ******************************

I walked slowly to the bed and sat in the chair that Maria had just abandoned.  I saw the bandages all over Johnny’s body.  I reached out my fingers and I stopped just short of touching his cheek.

I caught a hitch in my throat and I felt my eyes silently filling with tears, and I felt them sliding down my cheeks.

I moved my fingers again, and this time I succeeded in touching his cheek.  I could feel the heat coming off his body, and I reached for the soft cloth in the bowl of cool water.  I wrung it out and gently wiped it across his face, down his arms and across his chest not covered by white gauze.

Day after day, night after night, I stayed by Johnny’s side.  Talking to him softly, wiping the sweat from his face and body.  Touching him to let him know I was there.

” Oh please Johnny!  Please wake up.  I so much need to see your eyes, to hear your soft voice.  Please!  I can’t bear to see you so still and quiet.  

There was a gentle knock and I looked up as Scott came in.  I had tears hovering in my eyes and Scott pulled a chair next to me.

I felt his fingers softly wiping them from my eyes.

” Scott, he’s so quiet and still.  I just want him awake.  Saying he’s fine and trying everything to get out of the bed.  Why won’t he wake up Scott?”

” I don’t know sweetie.  But you need some rest.  And not in this chair.  You’re exhausted and not any use to Johnny when he wakes up.  Go to your room and try to sleep honey.”

I stood up and looked at Johnny’s still and quiet body in his bed.  ” You’ll come get me if he wakes up, won’t you Scott?”

” Of course.”

He stood and gently kissed my cheek and waited until I left the room, the door quietly clicking shut behind me.

                         ******************************

Days ran into weeks, and the weeks ran into months, and still Johnny remained still and quiet.  Sam was at a lose and it was wearing on us all.

I was losing weight and had dark sooty crescent moons under my eyes.  I wasn’t eating much, I was basically living on coffee and Maria’s biscuits.

After the 4th month had passed, I was leaning back in the chair, watching the world pass by and I heard a soft moan.  I sat up and moved to the bed.

” Come on Johnny, wake up baby.  You’ve been asleep too long, it’s time to wake up now.”

I saw the flutter of Johnny’s long dark lashes, and then his eye lids slid open, very slowly.  I saw an instant unfocused look and he seemed to move away from me.

” Who are you?  Where am I?”

I frowned and softly said, ” I don’t look familiar to you Johnny?  I’m Cari, your fiancee.  You’re at Lancer, your home.  You were hurt very severely Johnny, about 4 months ago.”

Johnny’s eyes focus a bit and he softly said, ” I don’t recognize you or anything here.  Why can’t I remember!?”

Johnny was getting too upset way too fast.  I ran to the door and yelled for Sam.  I heard a lot of footsteps coming down the hallway.  Murdoch, Sam and Scott came in the room.

The look on Johnny’s face was one of intense panic.  I took his hand in mine and cupped his cheek with the other.

” Shh Johnny, it’s okay.  That’s your family.  Don’t you recognize them either?”

I saw the unadulterated fear in Johnny’s eyes as he tried to remember.  He finally shook his head in defeat, and he closed his eyes.

I saw 2 tears slide from beneath his long lashes and they slowly tracked down his cheeks.  My heart broke into a million pieces as I watched Johnny try to remember even a sliver of something.

Sam moved to the side of the bed and gently said, ” Johnny, I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to take a look at you.  Okay?”

Johnny’s hand tightened on mine and he let Sam conduct a very quick exam.  Johnny seemed to do better when I was near him, but he still didn’t remember me.

After Sam was done with the exam, he said, ” Johnny, your wounds seem to be healing very nicely.  Your inability to remember anything or anyone is quite baffling, to say the least.”

Murdoch gently reached out to touch Johnny and he moved away and looked at Murdoch with a wary eye.

“Johnny, I am your father, I would never hurt you Son.  You will remember us and Lancer soon, you’ll see.”

Everyone, but me, left Johnny’s room.  I again, sat in the chair, after getting Johnny settled.  I picked up my needlework and stitched well into the night.

                            ************************

Days again went on and Johnny still laid in the bed.  He tried getting up to maybe sit in the chair by the window.  His legs buckled under him.  It was a lucky break his Brother Scott was walking by the door and heard Johnny hit the floor.

He rushed into the room and saw his Brother sprawled on the floor.  He rushed over and picked Johnny up and put him back into the bed.

” Johnny, you were in a coma for 4 months.  Your legs got a little weak from you not using them.  You need to go slowly and exercise them to get them to where they can hold you up.”

Johnny looked down at his legs and got this sad haunted look on his face.  Scott felt sad right along with his Brother.

” You really my Brother Scott?”

Scott sat on the side of the bed and put his hand gently on Johnny’s knee.

” Yes Johnny.  I really am your Brother.  I’m 4 years older than you.  I’m 24 and you just turned 20 on December 23rd.”

Johnny lifted his eyes and Scott saw a little spark in those sapphire depths.

” I’m 20 and you are 24 and my Brother.  This is my room and Murdoch is my father.  Home, this is my home.”

Scott smiled and said, ” Yes Johnny, this is home. “

Johnny smiled back, a soft almost shy smile, and Scott’s breath caught in his throat.  Johnny was acting like his Brother.

Scott looked out the window and said, ” Looks like Sam is here.  Ask him what kind of exercises you could do to strengthen your legs.  I’ll be back later Brother.”

                     *******************************

As Scott was leaving Johnny’s room, Sam and I were coming in.  I saw the smile and the bright sparks light up Johnny’s eyes as I walked in.

” I was hoping you would come back Cari.  I like when you sit with me.”

I smiled and sat on the side of the bed.  Johnny automatically took my hand in his.

” I tried to get to the chair by the window, and I didn’t make it.  My legs kinda buckled.  Scott found me on the floor. He also said to ask you for some kind of exercises for my legs.

Sam just stared at Johnny and said, ” Well, I never thought I’d see Johnny Lancer asking for some medical help.  That’s a sure sign you want to get better, and you’ll do it with help.  Instead of saying ‘you’re fine’ and do it yourself.”

Sam began his exam and removed the bandages on Johnny’s head.  The scar would be under his long dark shaggy bangs.  And as Sam said, it would disappear after awhile.  I felt Johnny relax in the bed.

The wounds on Johnny’s chest healed nicely, and Sam listened to Johnny’s heart and had him breathe deep.

” Your heart sounds good Johnny, and your lungs don’t seem to be effected when you broke the fence.  The wound on your side may need a day or two more, just to make sure it heals correctly.”

” This is great Johnny.  Everything is healing good, and soon your legs will work and you’ll get your memory back.”

Johnny smiled at me and lifted his other hand to caress my cheek.  I felt a tremor run thru me when Johnny touched me like that.  It made my heart start to beat faster.

” Okay Johnny.  I’ll give you some exercises to begin with.  You will need to have Scott or Murdoch help you in the

beginning. “

Sam had me help Johnny to lie flat on the bed and Sam reached for Johnny’s leg.  Gently, he lifted it up and then down.  He did that about 5 times.

” When you do it this time John, push against my hands.”

When Johnny did it correctly, his whole face lit up.

” I felt the pull Sam.  That mean I did it right?!”

I saw the pure joy on Johnny’s face and I smiled at him with the same look on my face.

” Yes, you did Johnny.  When you do it with Scott or Murdoch, do a bunch of just raising your leg.  Rest a bit and then do the pushing ones.  Don’t over do it John.  Everyone will know how slow to go to work your muscles. “

After Sam left to talk to Scott and Murdoch.  I sat on the side of the bed again, this time a little closer to Johnny’s lips.

                            *************************

Sam walked into the Great Room.  Murdoch was at his desk and Scott was sitting on the sofa, a drink in his hands.

” Would you get me one of whatever you’re drinking, Scott.”

Scott stood and went to the bar cart.  He poured Sam a whiskey and topped his glass off.

” I gave Johnny some easy leg exercises to get the muscles to work again.  Start him out with 10 on each leg for a couple days.  I’ll check on him then and see how he’s doing. Under no circumstances is he to try to get to that chair by the window by himself.  Someone needs to help him.”

Murdoch stood up and walked around to sit on the edge of his desk, and reached for a glass to put whiskey in it also.

” How long before Johnny can walk, by himself Sam?”

Sam took his glasses off and rubbed his tired old eyes.  He took a rather large sip of the whiskey in the glass, before he answered Murdoch.

” I have no idea Murdoch.  It depends on how Johnny does with those exercises.  Why do you want to know how soon he can walk Murdoch?”

” He’s a sitting duck as he is now Sam.  When the word gets out about Johnny being so hurt, gun fighters will come from everywhere to take him out.”

Scott stood up and faced his father.  ” Johnny doesn’t even remember being Johnny Madrid.  How can he defend himself now?”

” Your Brother will stay in this house, until he can remember he’s Johnny Madrid.”

                          **************************

I was sitting on the bed, looking at Johnny from under my lashes.

Slowly, Johnny leaned towards me.  His right hand went gently under my chin.  He leaned closer and I felt his lips gently caressing mine.  Johnny’s hand slid up my cheek, into my long hair.  As I felt his hand and his lips on me, I began to think Johnny was working his way back to me.

Against my lips, Johnny’s soft voice said, ” Cari, you are my fiancee, right?”

” Yes Johnny.  We were about to set the date, and I got a message I had to go to New York and settle my grandmother’s estate.  When I came home, it was to find you so hurt.”

Johnny’s lips brushed against mine again and he quietly said,

” This feels good Cari, it feels like I’ve done it before, and it’s right.”

I smiled against Johnny’s lips and I lifted my hands to go around his neck.  As my fingers slid into his long silky hair, Johnny’s tongue slid slowly along my lower lip.  I knew what Johnny was silently asking, and my lips opened.  I felt his tongue slide into my mouth, as Johnny deepened our kiss.

We moved apart sooner than I would have liked.  My breath was coming in little pants and when I looked at Johnny, he was breathing hard.  His eyes had gotten almost black, all I could see was a thin circle of blue.  I imagined my eyes were probably the same as Johnny’s.

” That felt right Cari.  My heart was pounding in my chest. “

Johnny got quiet very suddenly and lowered his eyes and his head.  I began to get worried, and was just about to ask him what was wrong, and Johnny spoke very softly, not lifting his head.

” Would you still marry me if I never walked again Cari?”

I was shocked, to say the least.

” I would marry you no matter what Johnny.  I love you and I hope you love me.”

Johnny lifted his head and I saw the sparkles, like diamonds, in his deep blue eyes.

” I feel love for you, Cari.  In my heart, I feel you belong with me.”

Johnny put his hands on my cheeks, and pulled my face to his.  His lips were now possessing and caressing mine at the same time.

” I love you Cari.  I know that’s true, in my heart, I know that’s right.”

” I love you too Johnny, I always will, no matter what happens.  Even if your memory doesn’t return, we can make new memories.”

Neither if us were aware that Scott had gently opened the door.  He saw us together, kissing and touching.  When Scott heard us declare our love for each other, there was a single silver tear sliding down Scott’s cheek.  Scott smiled at us and quietly shut the door.

                             **************************

Johnny and I spent a lot of time together, relearning what we felt.  Johnny asking questions and my answers lighting up his face.

Johnny’s exercises were going great.  He wanted to get up out of that bed and walk to the chair by the window.

Scott was working Johnny’s legs this day, and he sensed Johnny was getting antsy.

” Why are you so distracted Johnny?  You need to pay attention so your legs can get strong again.”

” When is Sam coming again?  Maybe he’ll say my legs are okay, and let me stand up.”

” Should be here this afternoon Johnny.  You need to relax and do your exercises.”

After a few more, Johnny very shyly said, ” Scott, would you help me up?  I have to know if my legs are getting better.”

” Are you crazy!”

” You’ll be there to steady me Boston!  Please, I need to know.”

Scott was floored.  ” How did you know you would call me Boston when you wanted something?”

” I don’t know, I just said it.”

Scott took a deep breath to steady his insides.  He never thought he’d ever hear that nickname again.

Scott reached out his hands to grab a hold of Johnny’s biceps.  He got Johnny to the edge of the bed and said, ” I’m gonna help you stand.  If it’s not gonna work, sit back down. “

Johnny had a fine sheen of sweat on his face and I watched the concentration take over his face and body.

” Let me stand by myself Scott. “

Scott very slowly let Johnny’s arms go, a little at a time.  When he wasn’t holding Johnny up, I saw the look of great satisfaction on Johnny’s face.  I exhaled the breath I had been holding.

Johnny took a few steps towards the chair and as he got closer, I saw the confidence take over.  He got to the chair and slowly sat down.

” I did it!  My legs work again! “

” That’s wonderful Johnny. “. And I leaned over and gently kissed his cheek.

” You did it Brother.  But I don’t want you to try again if me or Murdoch aren’t here.  No sense taking chances.  Okay? “

” Oh sure Boston.  It’s like I’m just waking up. “

We all laughed.

” Do you think I can get dressed Boston and eat dinner downstairs with you all?  Please! “

Scott looked at me and then to Johnny.  He had his little boy look on his face, and Scott knew he couldn’t say no.

” Okay Johnny.  But you take it slow and don’t show off to the old man.”

I excused myself and left the room, and Scott helped Johnny to get dressed.  He put a soft pair of fawn colored pants and a blue and white shirt on Johnny.  Scott just put white socks on Johnny’s feet, saying he wasn’t going to tackle his boots.

The three of us walked very slowly downstairs, me in front and Scott by Johnny’s side.

When we got to the Great Room, Murdoch turned around and saw his youngest standing in front of him.  I saw the shimmer of tears in his old blue eyes.

.Murdoch wrapped his arms around Johnny and just held on for a few minutes.  Johnny allowed the contact too.

We all turned and went to the big table and Murdoch called to Maria.

” Please bring in a place setting for Johnny, Maria.  He is joining us for dinner tonight.”

I sat next to Johnny and his hand slid under the table and I felt it resting on my thigh.  I didn’t move or say anything.  I just was so thrilled that Johnny was healing.

                          **************************

After dinner, I took Johnny’s arm and said, ” Let’s go out on the porch and look at the stars Johnny. “

The second we sat down, a loud whinny came from one of the fenced in corrals.  I turned and saw the golden head of Barranca, as he leaned it over the fence.  He had spotted Johnny the second we came out onto the porch. “

” Come on Johnny.  I want to introduce you to an old friend. “

We walked to the corral and the golden horse was practically dancing.  As Johnny got to the fence, Barranca leaned his head over and laid it on Johnny’s shoulder.

” Johnny, this is Barranca.  He’s your horse and he has sure missed you. “

Johnny slowly ran his hand down Barranca’s strong neck and he softly said, ” He’s mine?  I have such a beautiful animal. “

” Yes Johnny.  You broke him 5 years ago and you two have been inseparable.  Scott’s been riding him every day for you. “

” I’m sure Sam will let me ride you soon boy.”

Johnny ran his hand up under his white mane and looked into those big brown eyes.  Johnny laid his head against Barranca’s head and I thought I heard a sniffle from Johnny, as tho he were pulling tears back inside so I wouldn’t see.

” Johnny?  You okay?”

Johnny wiped at his face and then he turned to me.  I saw the glitter in his eyes, and it gave his face a look of devilment I’d not seen in a long time.

Without a word, Johnny reached for my hand and we walked, quickly, towards the barn door.

Johnny walked us past all the stalls, and we went into the back of the barn.  Along the walkway, Johnny snagged a soft blanket from a stall door.  We got to an empty stall that you could smell had fresh straw on the floor.

My head started to spin from the smell of the straw.  It was almost causing a hypnotic feeling inside of me.

I watched Johnny spread the blanket on a small mound of straw.

                       ***  ALERT  ***

Johnny slowly walked towards me, and I felt Johnny’s touch on my cheek.  I trembled as I stood there.  Johnny’s head lowered and I felt his lips on my neck, my cheek and my lips.

All the time he was kissing me, his hands were caressing me, touching my body over my clothes.  

” Touch me Cari.  Let me feel your touch on my body.”

I lifted my hands and I ran them over his muscular arms, feeling his muscles twitch under my fingers.  Across his hard muscular chest and belly, even feeling his washboard belly thru his shirt.

I ran my hands up into his silky hair.  I pulled my lips from Johnny’s and I softly said, breathlessly, ” Johnny, I want to see you, all of you.  I want to feel you inside of me, like you did before I had to go away.  Please Johnny, make love to me!”

My fingers frantically were unbuttoning Johnny’s shirt, and I heard the soft laugh and Johnny’s soft voice.

” Querida, easy baby.  We have all morning.  I want to explore you all over again.”

Johnny began, slowly, to open the tiny buttons on my dress and I heard his mumblings about hating tiny buttons.

” You used to say that Johnny. “

 ” I remember Cari.  I remember saying that!”

As Johnny pulled my dress from my shoulders, my fingers were busy opening his shirt.

As my chest became visible to his eyes, I pushed his shirt from his arms.  I touched his bare skin and I felt the trembling beginning again.

Johnny slid my dress to the straw and I stood there in my lace chemise.  I saw how dark Johnny’s eyes were and we both were beginning to breathe hard.

Johnny reached for the ribbons and slowly opened my chemise.  As he pulled it from my body, I stood in front of him, naked.  I saw desire flare up into his dark eyes.

Johnny leaned over and I felt his lips capturing mine.  His warm hard chest pressed against me and I felt the evidence of his excitement, wanting to be released.

Johnny gently laid me down on the blanket and I felt so vulnerable as Johnny stood above me.  He looked at me and a slow smile began on his lips, as his hands moved to his belt.  He slowly slid his pants down his long muscled legs.

Johnny slowly sank to the blanket, and began to touch and arouse me.  I could feel his touch sliding down my chest, my belly, up and down my thighs.  He moved one of his legs in between mine, and slid my legs apart.

I felt the cool air caress my private place, and as Johnny looked at me, I could feel an excitement in me building.

Johnny, while locking his eyes on mine, slid his fingers from my thigh to gently slide inside of me.  As my eyes slowly closed, my lips opened and a soft moan was released.

I heard Johnny’s soft whispery voice next to my ear, as he softly kissed my cheek.

” You like that baby?  Have you missed my touch Cari?”

Johnny’s fingers drove me absolutely mad, and I arched against his touch.

Johnny’s body moved over me and his fingers slid from my body.  He moved both legs in between mine and slowly raised my legs.  I found myself holding my breath as Johnny’s body came down on mine.

He moved to a rhythm that I tried to keep up with.  I found I just moved on sheer will and matched Johnny’s body in movements.

When Johnny finally collapsed next to me, I could feel the sweat on his body mingling with mine.  His head laid close to my neck, and his warm breath slid across my skin.

                         ****  END ALERT  ****

As we laid in each other’s arms, covered by another soft blanket, my head moved to Johnny’s shoulder.  His arms wrapped around me and I could feel his caresses in my hair.  My fingers were gently travelling  thru the thick dark hair on his chest.

I could feel my eyes closing and just before I fell asleep in Johnny’s arms, he very softly said, ” Cari, making love  to you like I did, I’m saying I remember everything now.”

I sat up and looked down at Johnny.  

” You remember Johnny? “

His smile was a cross between his shy smile and his mischievous smile, and I saw the sparks in his eyes growing brighter.

Johnny caressed my cheek and he said, ” I remember everything, and I think we should set a date to get married.  I can’t wait to make love to you in my bed.”

We laid in each other’s arms for a bit longer and then we got dressed and headed to the hacienda.

Just before we got to the front door, Johnny pulled some straw out if my hair.  We laughed as we walked in.

                        ******************************

Murdoch was walking to the kitchen for lunch, and Scott was walking down the stairs.

” Wondered where you two got too, but I guess I know.”

Scott pulled a piece of straw from my hair.

” Murdoch, Scott I have great news.  I remember everything.  Well, the important stuff.”

Murdoch looked at Scott and then to Johnny.  He saw the huge smile on his youngest son’s face.

” That’s wonderful Johnny.  I’m glad you remember things now.  Let’s go and have lunch, I can smell that homemade bread Maria made.

                        **************************

Things got back to normal at Lancer.  Johnny worked with Scott on fence mending.  Maria and I began making lists for the wedding we were having at Lancer in 3 months.

As Johnny and Scott came in for lunch, I noticed Johnny had his gun once again on his hip.  Johnny sat in his chair and leaned over and his lips covered mine.

” How’s the planning going Querida? “

” Slow Johnny.  I hope everything will be perfect for that day.”

Johnny’s hand caressed my cheek and his hand slid up into my hair.  I felt his fingers caressing my curls.

” It will be perfect Chica.  You’ll see.”

Maria came in with huge beef sandwiches for the 3 Lancer men.  I had a smaller version of the sandwich, but it was still a lot to eat.

” Scott, I need you and your brother to go to town.  Need to pick up payroll, mail and check on that order for the roof

shingles. “

” Alright Sir.”

Johnny turned to me and softly said, ” You want to go into Morro Coyo too Cari?  You haven’t been off the ranch since you came home. “

” Yes, I would Johnny.  I think Maria has a list.  I can get her grocery list and look at material and things.”

Johnny rolled his eyes and Scott and Murdoch laughed.

” Get used to it, Brother, women love to shop.”

                     *****************************

After lunch was thru, I ran into the kitchen, and came out with a rather long list.  Scott and Johnny both said, ” This will take us the better part of the afternoon!”

Murdoch laughed deeply at his sons and turned and walked into the Great Room.  He reached for the bank note to get cash from the bank, and handed it to Scott.

When we all walked out, the big wagon was hitched and waiting, and Scott’s horse Remington was saddled.

Johnny helped me up into the seat and then climbed up as well.  I scooted closer to his left hip and we started out for town.

It was a long ride, but we finally got to town.  Johnny stopped the wagon by the mercantile and he jumped down and then reached up to help me.  His hands around my waist held me tight.

Johnny kissed me and then the Brothers headed to the bank.  I went into the mercantile and greeted the tiny woman.

” I have a rather large list, I hope that’s okay?”

” It’s fine for you Miz Cari.”

I started towards the material stacked on the tables.  I found a couple bolts I liked.

After awhile, the Brothers came to the store, and began to load the things Maria had on her list.

Everything was loaded and Johnny said, ” Do we have time for some pie and coffee at the hotel restaurant.”

Scott laughed and said, ” That sure sounds like Johnny Lancer!”

We had our pie and coffee, and then started back across the road to the wagon.

Suddenly Johnny stopped.  He pushed me into Scott’s arms and looked at the roof tops.

” Johnny?”

” Shh, don’t disturb him.  You’ll get him killed!”

There were 2 shots, both by Johnny’s feet.  He crouched and shot rapidly.  2 men fell from the roof over the livery.

Scott told me to stay on the walkway.  He slowly walked towards Johnny.

” Johnny, it’s me, Scott.  You okay Brother?”

Johnny slowly stood up, his gun still in his hand.  Johnny turned to look at Scott, and Scott stopped.  He was staring at Johnny Madrid.

Johnny’s eyes were very dark and he was breathing hard.  He holstered his gun and then too a deep cleansing breath.

”  I guess I’m back Scott.”

Johnny walked to me and wrapped his arms around me.  I laid my head on Johnny’s chest and I listened to his heart beating in his chest.

” It was kind of spooky being a man who couldn’t remember his past.  But when those shots landed in front of me, Johnny Madrid came out to say hello.”

Scott looked at his Brother and very softly said, ” The man without a past, I hope that never happens again.”

End

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