Author: kepc PM
This story is set in the years after Alex and Stevie return to Kilarney from their Honeymoon in Argentina. The story is mostly about Stevie and Alex and their children. Tess and Nick leave Argentina and return to Drovers Run. They have babies strengthen freindships and form strong bonds that will hold them all together for years.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Alex R. & Stevie H. - Chapters: 153 - Words: 288,970 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-25-13 - Published: 03-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7951849
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alex, Marcus and Matt have strolled around the camp area and spotted the boys and chatted to them for awhile.
Georgia, Meggy and Gemma are just at the next camp and Marcus and Alex give them another fifteen minutes and then they need to be back in camp.
As all seems well they've headed back to camp and settled down for a few beers and a chat.
They hear Nick and the girls long before they see them and as they move into the light Alex spots Jim.
Rising he holds out his hand and says "G'day Jim how in the hell are you? It's been a long time since I've seen you. How's Belinda?"
Jim smiles and replies "I'm good thanks Alex. Bindi and I divorced over ten yen years back she got tired of following the circuit. We're still mates though."
Alex says "I'm sorry to hear that mate next time you're talking to her tell her I said hello."
Jim smiles and says "I will mate she'll be surprised and thrilled that I caught up with all of you."
Meggy, Gemma and Georgia show up and Grace introduces them to Jim.
Each girl shakes his hand and he offers up something about their riding.
Grinning he looks at Alex and says "You didn't get a look in with this one did you Alex she's all Stevie."
Alex grins and says "Yeah she is Jim and she's got her Mother's temper too."
Georgia looks at Jim and then back at her Father and says. "It's called DNA Dad and I think when it came to temper the pair of you gave me the double whammy so technically not my fault."
Jim throws his head back and laughs "She's as quick as her Mother too."
Charlotte, Keira, Stella, Beth, Belle and Clare return to the camp with Harrison and Adam.
The group sits down and joins the conversation.
Jim is a really interesting guy to talk to and the younger members pick his brains about riding and roping technique.
He's been around a long time and knows so much.
Bull and Jake turn up and Stevie watches them closely.
Beside her Alex is watching too.
She gently pushes her elbow into him and he rises and moves over to them.
"What have you two been up to?"Alex asks.
Bull keeps his head down and says "Not a lot."
"Don't lie to me Xander."Alex says softly.
Without lifting his head he replies "I just got tangled up with an angry brother."
Alex grins and offers. "I warned you."
Jake chips in and offers. "We were just talking to them Dad."
Alex says "Look at me the pair of you. Blokes don't hit you for just talking to their sisters."
Both boys look at their Father and Bull has a graze near his eye.
Alex asks "Was it the girl from last night."
Bull replies "No."
"Mate I think you need to stay around here for the rest of the night. Come and meet an old friend of mine he's followed the circuit for years. You might both learn something that will help tomorrow." Alex states.
As the night rolls on the younger members head off to bed as they have tiring days ahead.
Jim, Nick, Alex and Marcus are sitting together and Jim comments "You fellows must have a terrible time keeping the young bucks away from your girls."
Nick laughs and says "No not at all mate they're McLeod's they can take care of themselves. Stevie and Alex's girls won't take any crap either plus they've got the body guards looking out for them. "
Jim asks "The body guards?"
"Bull and Jake! Rose isn't here this weekend but watch them around Georgia no bloke is getting anywhere near her." Nick offers.
Jim chuckles and says "She's so much like Stevie isn't she what is she fifteen? Sixteen?"
Alex looks at him and states "She's thirteen Jim."
Jim grins at Alex and says" Poetic justice really Alex. You were a major player as a younger man and now you have a stunning daughter that young blokes are going to pursue. You're going to have fun in the next few years."
Alex chuckles and says "Yeah and I appear to have boys that attract girls like moths to a flame so I'm trying to deal with that side of it all from a Fathers point of view too! I had a chat earlier with them about being respectful to women."
They all laugh when Nick quips. "Do as I say not as I did Alex?"
"Shut up Nick." Alex says grinning at him.
The following morning everyone is up early and ready for the day's events.
Everyone chips in to get riders and horses ready for each event and the day rolls away quickly
Charlotte, Clare, Belle and Beth have all done well and between them have a brilliant day and Charlotte has won the most ribbons and the other girls ride well too.
Harrison and Bull have drawn smaller bulls that aren't as seasoned as some which Alex and Nick are clearly relieved about although neither mentions it.
Standing with the boys before the ride the two brothers offers last minute advice.
Alex says "Remember these bulls will feel where you are and if you're off balance they'll now, stay focused and react quickly. "
Nick offers "Ride over your hand and try not to lean back because he'll whip you forward and that can hurt. No matter what happens if you're coming off for Christ sake don't fall into the well, if the bulls spinning and you fall in the direction he's going you're in big trouble .If you come off the other way he's big and it'll take him a second to flip back to get you."
Bull looks at Nick and asks "Uncle Nick did you go into the well."
Nick smiles and says "Bull you do not even what to think about that right now! Get out there and remember you're Ryan's and people will be watching the both of you."
Alex chuckles and looking at both boys states "Girls love successful bull riders."
Nick laughs and quips "Well you'd know all about that."
Harrison and Bull have both been impressed by Alex's success when he was younger.
Nick is a little jealous until Alex tells the boys. "Have fun boys but never think you can't get hurt. Nick was a far better bull rider than me but he still got hurt. I had skill and I was gusty but luck was on my side."
Bull rides first and everyone holds their collective breath.
The bull is young and strong as it thrashes about and spins Stevie crosses her fingers and Alex smiles.
Hearts pound and thoughts rush.
Six seconds later he's off and the rodeo clowns are there and divert the bull's attention.
The crowd cheer the young man for his efforts and Bull raises his hand.
His smile is wide and before he reaches the family they all know he's extremely pleased with himself.
Harrison has to wait until after the next rider before it's his turn.
Nick is beside himself but doesn't show it.
It was different watching Harrison riding little steers as a smaller boy but he's all but a man now and these bulls are big, mean and deadly.
Harrison isn't scared at all he's actually excited to ride the big bulls, he's waited a long time to do this.
He hasn't told anyone but this ride isn't for him.
It's for his Dad.
The chute opens and he's focused and hears his Father's words ride over your hand, don't lean back.
The bull thrashes, spins, twirls and Harrison holds on.
Time like his Father's breathing appears to stop and then it happens.
The horn blows.
Nick and Alex hug each other.
"Eight seconds Alex!" Nick shouts his heart pounding.
"Mate that was awesome he rides like you!" Alex tells him.
Nick's proud, thrilled and in awe.
Harrison's smile shines through his eyes.
He's done it, ridden a big bull.
He's waited his entire life for this.
Nick moves quickly and is at the gate when Harrison walks through.
"Harrison that was brilliant! Point perfect. I'm so proud of you."Nick gushes.
Harrisons hugs his father and softly says "From the minute I got on, all I thought of was you. I wanted to stay the eight seconds that you didn't. Every second, every buck, twist and turn you were with me. That ride was yours Dad. My gift to you."
Nick hugs him tighter but offers nothing in reply.
A new understanding passes between Father and son.
They stand for a moment then Nick offers. "I didn't think I could love you anymore than I already did Harrison but I do. You are the man that every Father wants in his son. Thank you."
Nick and Harrison rejoin the family and after huge congratulations, Harrison and the family wait for Jake.
Bull, Harrison and Adam are full of adrenalin and will Jake onto Victory.
Bull has no doubt Jake will do very well.
His riding is instinctive and he melds with the horse.
As he comes out of the chute he's clear, he didn't miss the mark out.
They can all see he's drawn a fiery animal it bucks, twists and throws itself high into the air.
Everyone inhales and the crowd gasps as he looks like he's off balance but regains his balance quickly.
He moves his feet in the correct way and Alex is pleased he'll score very highly for his technique.
He's stuck the time and the crowd roars.
The horsemen ride up beside him and help him off.
With a huge smile on his face and his hands in the air he stands.
Jake is thrilled with his ride and effort, he'll have to wait for another two riders to compete to see if he wins but as far as he's concerned he already did.
By the end of the weekend everyone has had the best time.
Harrison is the man of the moment and girls flock to him.
Nick loves all the attention his son is receiving, his heart is full and somehow he feels like the scars on his body fade a little more.
Jake came third overall for his brilliant bare bronc ride and his confidence in himself soars, he loves his big brother very much but it's nice to move out of the shadow of his success for a change.
Bull has been very successful both in and out of the arena and decides he's going to enter a lot more rodeos in the very near future.
Old friendships have been renewed and new ones made.
The next generation of McLeod's daughters have made an impact on both the judges and the male population in attendance at the rodeo.
All round a brilliant weekend.
But the farms wait for no one.
So everything is packed away.
Trophies, ribbons and winnings safely stowed and they all return to the farms and all the work that is waiting for them.