(I was sort of curious about beginnings. If you've read my stories - thanks by the way - I sort of have a fascination with how the past influences who the brothers become. I am especially fascinated with Adam, who would have had to change all his plans for his future. When we meet him, he is comfortable with his new future, but I wonder how difficult a process that would've been. So this is my take on the past - the one I made up anyway.
I really appreciate all the reviews. I am excited about all the stories that are being added to this show. I love reading about the brothers!)
Adam McFadden rolled over trying to squeeze in just five more minutes of sleep. He knew if he waited too long, they would come looking for him. Sighing he threw back the covers, dressed quickly and rushed downstairs.
"Cutting it kind of close, ain't ya?" His brother Brian teased.
"Shut up!" He said.
"Junior!" His mother said coming in the room, holding his baby brother on her hip. "Whatever happened to good morning?"
"Mom!" He protested.
She sighed. "Good morning, Adam."
"Morning Mom." He said with a grin. Guthrie stretched his arms to him. For some reason, his baby brother was crazy about him.
"Give him a hug." His mother said.
"Mom! He's all sticky!" He patted his baby, brother's head.
"You'll be gone in a few weeks and then you'll miss him, sticky fingers and all." She put him in his high chair.
"I guess." He said unconvinced. He was leaving for school next month and he couldn't wait. Being the oldest of seven brothers was bad enough, but his father ran a cattle ranch, and the chores were never ending. He figured college would seem like a vacation.
"I see Junior finally decided to crawl out of bed." His father said coming into the room trailed by three of his brothers. "I'm going to need your help up by that windbreak, today."
"Yeah, I figured." He sighed.
"And then I want you to do an inventory. Round-up is in just four days. I need you to make sure we don't need anything else."
"Dad! That'll take hours! I was going to meet the guys in Murphys."
"I don't think that will work today and remember, I'm taking your Mom out tonight. I need you home. Besides, I need you to go over everything with Brian."
"Everybody moves up one spot!" His thirteen year old brother Crane said looking up from his cereal bowl.
"That's right!" His Dad said, pouring himself a cup of coffee.
"'Cept me." Ford said pouting.
"Hey, you know the rules buddy: no roundup until you are six. Next year it will be your turn. Besides, you need to look after your Mama and your brothers."
"I'll be waiting, Junior." His father said turning to leave. He wrapped his arms around his wife saying, "See you later, girl." Adam shook his head while they kissed. "Be good men, I'll see you all later."
Adam put his plate in the sink and looking out the window, sighed loudly.
"Something wrong, Junior. Too much work?" She grinned at him.
"Mom, we talked about this. I'm too old for it." He leaned against the sink.
"I understand, son. I'm not arguing with you. It's just confusing." She said.
"How?" He said. She studied him for a minute and then called out, loudly, "Adam!"
His father stuck his head in the door. "What is it?"
"See. How would you know I was calling for you, or for him?" She said looking at her son. "Nothing darling, I just wanted an extra kiss." She said with a smile at her husband. He leaned inside and she kissed him.
"Fine!" He grumbled. "But they sure as hell, won't call me junior at school.". He stormed out after his father.
"What's the matter with him?" Crane asked her.
"Wait til you are seventeen, honey." She said kissing his forehead. "It isn't easy to grow up."
"I'll be eighteen in twenty-four days!" He yelled from the front porch.
Brian watched his older brother with envy. He stood side by side their father, the two of them working without even speaking. They were just about the same height, though Adam Jr. was skinny and didn't have their father's muscular bulk, but he would soon. Adam lifted his head and grinned at his father. As far as Brian could tell, there wasn't a job on the ranch that Adam didn't already know how to do.
"You planning on working?" His father asked him.
"Yeah, I was just wondering . . ." Brian hesitated.
"Those bracing are loose." His father pointed. "C'mon, Brian. Think. You can trust yourself."
"Dad hasn't got time to tell you every little thing." His older brother said.
"That's enough, Junior. Every man is different. You just need to give Brian time."
Brian sighed. There was no way he'd ever be able to fill his oldest brother's shoes.
"Don't let Guthrie stay up all hours. And both Ford and Evan already had two cookies, so don't let them sucker you into giving them more." His mother said.
"Mom!" Evan said. "You're ruining the whole night!" She leaned down and kissed the six year old.
"Sorry, pal. You are son number five, so I've caught on to all your sneakiness, already."
"Man! I knew I should've been born sooner! C'mon on Ford, lets go play trucks." He dragged his little brother away. "Night Mama!" He shouted.
"Katie, if you have any hope of seeing that movie, we need to go!" His father said coming into the room and tucking in his shirt.
"Next time we go out, you won't be here." She said looking at Adam.
"Oh, Mom, you aren't gonna cry, are you?" He moaned.
"Maybe. A mom's got a right to cry now and again." She put a hand to his cheek. "It seems just last week, you were as small as Guthrie." She sighed. "I don't like it. I like all my men, here with me and safe. Now, you are gonna leave me, find some pretty girl and stay away forever."
"Mom!" He said, embarrassed.
"Katie, seriously. We gotta go." His father said winking at him. "You can cry about Junior . . ." He caught himself. "About Adam, here, growing into a man tomorrow."
"You boys be good." She said, and they all said in unison, "Yes, Ma'am."
"Don't go Mama!" Ford said abandoning his trucks, and wrapping his arms around her legs. "Stay and play with us."
"I'll be back." She said kissing the top of his head.
"Promise?" He said looking up at her with his wide blue eyes.
"Promise." She winked at him. "You boys be sure and clean up. Listen to Adam, alright?"
Adam followed them out to the porch.
"We'll be home by eleven, but if I can convince your Mom to go out dancing, it might be later." His father said as he walked down the steps. He turned back and held out his hand to his wife.
"Come on, girl! I thought you said you have been waiting all week for this! Let's go!"
"Adam! Quit rushing me!" She said grabbing a sweater.
"You are just so beautiful. I wanna show you off!" He said grinning at her.
She blushed, and Adam felt a sudden wave of homesickness even though he hadn't even left yet. He would be away from them in just a few more weeks. He couldn't imagine not being under their loving gaze. His parents were a source of joy and embarrassment to him. They were forever kissing, hugging, holding hands, and all around communicating to the world around them that they belonged to only each other. He would turn purple with embarrassment when his father would say in public, "You can take a glance fellas, but this girl here belongs to me! You just wish you could spend a day in my shoes!" But at the same time, it brought a great peace and contentment to him. He hoped someday, he could find a girl who would love him the way his mother loved his father. He watched the truck disappear into the setting sun, his mother sitting close to his father.
"Adam!" Crane yelled from inside. "Can we play football in the house, now?"
He sighed and came in the door. "Are you outside your mind, buddy? Mom would kill us. If you wanna play football, go outside."
"You play with us." Daniel begged.
"I'll watch." He sighed, and looking down at Guthrie who clung to his legs, he said, "Come on little buckaroo." and lifted his baby brother up into his arms.
He awoke suddenly. A persistent sound pulled at the edges of his consciousness; a knocking. Opening his eyes he realized he'd fallen asleep on the couch. Glancing at the clock, he saw that it was nearly three. He was surprised that his parents hadn't sent him to bed when they had come home. He rose as he realized that the sound was someone knocking at the door. He rubbed his face, and walked to the door. Swinging it wide, he was surprised to see the sheriff standing in front of him, with his wife beside him.
"Sheriff Hawkins." He said still groggy. "What . . ."
"Adam, I'm going to need you to come with me. Mrs. Hawkins is going to stay here with the boys, alright.
"What?" Adam asked overwhelmed with fear.
"Son, there was an accident. I need you to come with me to the hospital."
"What do you mean?" Adam asked suddenly filled with a sinking fear.
"Just come with me." He put a hand on Adam's shoulder. "We should hurry."
Adam nodded his head and followed Sheriff Hawkins out his front door.