A Season of Truth - RETOOLED

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the now defunct TV show Legacy. All characters, with the exception of John Wesley Stalls, Marilynn Grimes and other new personalities that may appear, belong to Chris Abbott and the Executives at UPN.

Summary: Similar to the show, this story picks up 10 years after Elizabeth "Libby" Logan died giving birth to Lexy. However, the Logans and Peters lives have spun off in a slightly different direction than the show. Sean and Vivian were never engaged, and Jeremy was not adopted by the Logans.

Author's Note: It's been over a year since I finished posting my first Legacy fic. I'm hoping that there are still fans of that story and the show around who can enjoy this new fic. Please don't hesitate to leave feedback. I always enjoy reading what readers have to say, but please be gentle.

Category: Sean, Marita and their families

Chapter One

Atlantic Ocean, 38º 16´N, 41º 43´W

Sean stood quiet, staring out over the ocean that was dark and intriguing under the night sky, thinking of the journey that was now ending and what awaited him back home. Europe had been a strange place, strange yet beautiful, so different from America in its cultures and beliefs. His business there had gone well. Surprisingly he'd had a fairly nice time during his stay, but now he was ready to return to America. Two years in Europe was more than long enough for him. Though it was a remarkable place, he couldn't escape the loneliness that stemmed from how much he still missed her. He denied it of course, rejected it with every ounce of his being how much he wanted her with him, to experience the amazing things he was seeing. It was really his family he missed. He told himself, and Boston, not her. Yet even with that reasoning and his busy schedule of business, he couldn't escape her. The days and nights became longer, lonelier until he reached his breaking point. He couldn't take it anymore. He had to return to Boston, where he knew he could refocus his life and finally get her out of his heart. So he'd concluded what business he could and booked a ticket on the first ship back to America. Sean closed his eyes, fighting the pain inside before returning his gaze to the ominous view ahead. He could now see the clouds rolling with fury, illuminated in the distance by flashes of lightning accompanied by rumbles of thunder and a strengthening wind. Sean breathed in the freshness and fierceness of the air, trying to clear his mind of the questions that so often plagued him. Tonight he had helplessly returned to the question of why. Why all this had happened? Why she'd walked away and never looked back? And like always he came to the same conclusion that what happened and his violent response had made their separation inevitable, had shattered all that she felt for him. The pain deepened in his heart, breaking him within, but one would never know by observing him. He remained strong, watching the wind and the waves become more fierce, pounding the side of the ship as the storm drew closer. What's done is done. He tersely thought. And they'd been done for a while, no need to relive what was no longer important. He told himself, like he always did, trying desperately to force the thoughts of her from his mind. I'm over her. I don't feel her. I don't want her. Hell I don't even know her anymore. He strongly recited to himself. She'd made her choice - a wise choice and so had he.

"I guess you'll make that outing with MaryLynn after all." Isaac said to his boss and friend as he walked into the barn to find Ned putting away his horse after returning from a trip to Winchester.

"Who said anything about me having an outing with MaryLynn?" Ned asked with surprise, briefly turning his gaze towards his friend.

"You said it." Isaac replied as he began to put away his horse in the adjacent stall.

"When? Where?" Ned inquired, now fighting the smile that was itching to grace his face.

"Well you didn't speak it." Isaac clarified. "But your actions say it all." He continued with a laugh. "Look Ned I know you love your children, but nothing but a woman could drive a man to conquer a trip to Winchester and back in one day to make it home in time for dinner." He said, then glanced at Ned who couldn't help but laugh at the truth in Isaac's words. "So..." Isaac pressed on. "Are things serious with MaryLynn?" He bluntly asked. For a moment the only sound between them was the horses' neighing, causing Isaac to briefly wonder if he'd asked a question Ned was not ready to answer, when the man then spoke...

"Yes. We're serious." He admitted, his smile brighter than before as he recalled the kisses he and MaryLynn had shared the night before and how he'd wanted so much more than her kisses and hugs. "I've never felt so happy..." He continued. "So alive, at least not since Libby...I thought those feelings were lost to me until MaryLynn came along and showed me different." He explained, his voice happy and sincere, thinking how he'd courted other women since Libby's death, but none touched him like MaryLynn.

"Well I guess I don't have to ask if you're going to continue calling on her." Isaac said, his own smile growing due to the happiness of his friend.

"No, you don't." Ned confirmed. "In truth, I want to do more than just 'continue calling on her.' I want something a little more...permanent." He confessed his tone becoming serious.

"Are you saying what I think you're saying?" Isaac questioned incredulously as he immediately turned his full attention on his friend.

"Yes, I am." Ned verified, meeting Isaac's stunned stare. "Isaac I feel like lightning has struck twice for me." He continued as he again tended to his horse. "I feel as if I've been given a second chance at happiness, and I'm not going to let it pass me by."

Isaac slowly resumed tending to his horse, softly brushing her mane thinking before he replied. He never thought he'd see the day when Ned would actually consider remarrying. The man had loved Libby so much. He couldn't imagine him fully opening his heart to someone else again. "Are you absolutely sure you're ready for something more permanent so soon?" He finally asked.

"What do you mean by 'so soon?' " Ned questioned with a hint of defensiveness.

"You've, only known her for a few weeks." Isaac cautiously stated.

"How long do you think I should know her?" Ned stiffly asked. "A year? 10 years?"

"No." Isaac replied, knowing that he had little room to judge considering his own quick marriages to Emiline and later Marita's mother Lenora. "I guess... I'm just thinking... that you don't know much about her or her family, and then there's Lexy, Alice and Clay...they're really having a ...difficult time with MaryLynn being in your life."

"I appreciate your concern, but I don't need to know MaryLynn's family to know her." Ned strongly countered. "She's shown me who she is." He continued. "And that's a sweet, gentle woman who makes me happy." He said. "And as far as my children go...they're only rejecting MaryLynn because they've never seen me this close to any woman except their mother." He explained, now thinking that even Beatrice didn't get as close to him as MaryLynn. "But they'll come around. With time, they'll accept her as my wife. I'm sure of it."

"Well...I guess, congratulations are in order." Isaac tentatively stated, not knowing how else to respond to Ned's comments.

"Don't congratulate me yet. I still have to propose and receive a yes."

"When do you plan to pop the question?" Isaac asked, his tone less heavily in attempt to lighten the mood.

"Soon." Ned nervously replied.

Something was drawing her here, drawing her to her former home, drawing her to the past. Her new home that was hundreds of miles away was missing something, leaving her unfulfilled, leaving her searching for something more. Her Aunt Barbara and Uncle Charles had all but begged her to stay. But she couldn't, even if she wanted too, which she didn't. She couldn't remain in Toronto any longer. So she left, believing that returning to the only real home she'd known – Lexington, would somehow resolve the disquiet in her heart. Marita stood on the small porch noting the chipped paint and the worn floor boards that made up its décor. Did it look this way three years ago, before her accident? She sadly wondered, wishing she could remember. Though she couldn't remember, she logically deduced that it did. Marita smiled to herself pushing the sadness aside. She couldn't help but be happy and excited to be back home, that soon she would see her pa. She walked up to the door, set her bags at her feet then knocked. Her pa would be surprised to see her. She thought, her excitement steadily growing as the sound of footsteps drew closer to the door. He would worry that she was here without warning after so much time. But she had to be here, she knew. Already, after only being there for a short while she felt a change within her. She felt that what was here, what she was seeking was her destiny.

The woman scanned the landscape around her, making sure that no one had seen her. She then pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders and proceeded forward. It was a risk for her to be going to meet him when there was still an hour to sunset. Someone could see her sneaking off, but she had to leave now in order to make it to the south pasture by dusk. With Ned being away from the house until late evening and his children busy with their own activities, this was as good a time as any to sneak out of the house. Now all she had to do was make it to the meeting and back without anyone seeing her. She thought as she made her way through the east gardens. If someone caught her wandering the ranch at night, they would certainly become suspicious of her being there and that was a wrinkle she didn't need. So far, she'd done a good job at infiltrating the Logan home. With the exception of Ned's disapproving children, the plan was going well. The set-up had been perfectly planned. While she was being groomed to become a lady who Ned Logan would find charming, his daily routine was being studied. When the time was right, her "accident" had been arranged, and just like it had been predicted the Logans had come along and helped, taking her back to the ranch. From there she'd worked her magic on Ned, being open, yet somewhat shy, wanting to keep him curious and thus drawn to her even more. The deduction about Ned had been correct. For all these years he'd been lonely and was now ready for companionship which had worked to her advantage. She'd gotten close to him quicker than expected. She just had to push things a little bit further to accomplish what she'd come there to do. Then she'd finally be done with her whoring for good. At least she hoped. She'd been told that this job was going to make a fortune, that she'd get a sizable cut of the profit and could start a new life when it was over. But was she being told the truth. She questioned within, remembering how the man had betrayed her in the past. She sometimes dreamed of turning this job around to benefit only her. She mused as she now walked past the stables, heading south. Ned Logan really fancied her and had more money than he needed. She could just forget about the scheme she was in, take her relationship with him as far as it would go, then take him for all she could before running away to start a new life. But would it actually work? She wondered. Could she actually get away, when there was more to be considered than herself...

"MaryLynn!" A voice called, startling the woman, prompting her to immediately turn and face the voice she'd come to know well.

"Ned!" She exclaimed, feigning excitement, successfully covering her annoyance and shock.

"What are you doing out here?" Ned asked as he walked up to her. "You should be resting."

"I'm fine." She assured, struggling to keep the irritation out of her voice. "I just felt like taking a stroll." She continued. "Your land is so beautiful."

"I'm glad you like it." Ned replied with a smile as he gazed at her with tender eyes.

"I do." She lied. She hated the Logan Ranch. She thought. Well hate might be too strong a word. She'd actually gotten used to the many perks the ranch had to offer, like being constantly attended to by servants and the plush accommodations. However, she had yet to get used to all of those horses stinking up the air, the flowers that attracted an ungodly amount of bees, the mosquitoes that never seemed to quit attacking due to all the trees and the Negroes who were around every corner. She might be trash. She thought, but she was not used to being around so many of those lowly people. She was a city girl through and through. Thus she hated the abundance of Negroes and the slowness and the invasive nature that was country life. "So...what are you doing here?" MaryLynn suddenly asked turning his inquiry back to him. "I thought you weren't going to be back until late."

"I finished up early." Ned explained "Are you disappointed?" He asked his eyes still fixed on her, admiring her beauty.

"Of course not." She fibbed with a coy smile. "Your timing is perfect." She said, turning up the charm, knowing that her planned meeting was now a bust. "You can give me a quick tour of your land before we lose the light."

"Are you sure you're up for a stroll?" Ned questioned with concern, worried about her over extending herself and thus hampering her recovery.

"Absolutely." She replied with a convincing sense of happiness as she looped her arm in his. Ned's smile broadened at her response, amazed by the happiness he was feeling as he led MaryLynn away from the barn, in the opposite direction of where she was going.

The man walked about the Logan Ranch, obscured by the darkness of the night, and thus unnoticed by anyone who might by be roaming the property. The ranch had grown in the 24 years since he'd last seen it. He fumed, noting the new stables, barns and houses scattered about the property. Ned had really out done himself. He thought with ire. He'd grown his father's ranch into one of the most successful in the south. He'd secured one of the top positions on the city council, and he'd earned respect and admiration from the people of Lexington. Ned Logan had given new meaning to the word success, and he hated him for it. The man seethed as he now reached his only stop before he'd continue on to the south pasture. The man looked down, rigid with wrath as the moonlight lit her grave.

Loving Wife and Mother
Elizabeth "Libby" Heisenberg Logan
March 15, 1850 – September 5, 1882.

"They all love and admire him." He scoffed with rage. "But that's about to change." He vowed, now thinking of his vengeful plan. "Ned Logan is going pay. He's going to pay for destroying our lives."