The Need For A Father

"I can not think of any need

In childhood as strong as the

Need for a father's protection"

Sigmund Freud

Murdoch Lancer, rancher, that's all he was. Sitting in the dark of his

spacious hacienda watching shadows of what might have been. He

was also a father. Father, you needed children to be a father. He

was a good friend, boss, businessman, but a father? He'd had that

taken away from him, twice.

Looking into the past served no purpose, it only brought the pain and

hate and anger into the present. He married, brought his Boston bred

wife to this wilderness. They would have thrived, been happy; fate

didn't see it that way. Men tried to take what was his, so he sent

her, Catherine, away to safety. They were expecting the first-born

child of their love. Fate once again put her hand down. Catherine died

away from the ranch she called home, giving birth to the first son of Lancer

Catherine Garrett Lancer's father the successful businessman from

Boston came to help. Help himself to his only child's son. Taking

what was Murdoch Lancer's legacy. Harlan Garrett took, with no

regard to the devastation to his son-in-law. The son, Scott Garrett

Lancer would be raised in the lap of Boston society, wanting for

nothing, educated in the best schools. He would replace an old man's

loss.

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The loss was greater for the man Lancer. His heart was torn; no

more would he hold his love. Never to see the son he so desired.

Therefore, the big man sat alone. For almost three years, he bled,

labored to exhaustion and fought for every square inch of land and

cattle he owned. His need for a family began to grow in him.

Harlan Garrett was rich, had many lawyers and judges in his well-

lined pockets. Keeping the western barbarian away from his

grandson was easy. Guardianship would be tied up for years in the

courts.

Sitting back in his upholstered chair he watched the two-year-old

toddler stand on his own and walk towards him with small hands

outstretched. Nodding to the nanny, he watched as the child was

picked up and brought to him. Taking one small hand in his he

smiled, "That's a good boy. Go with nanny now." The older man

never saw or did not want to see the disappointment in the blue eyes

of the child.

Sitting back the old man smiled, Murdoch Lancer will never have his

son back. The man had taken his child, now he would take the lout

of a man's child. Revenge was a dish best served cold.

Boston and Morro Coyo, miles apart, days by travel, too expensive. One

day the rancher would travel east and bring his son home. One day,

closing his eyes he tried to sleep. Sleep would not come easily the big

house was silent and in that silence the house heard the weeping of a

broken heart.

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To keep his ranch afloat the rancher left the running to his friend and

manager, Paul O'Brien, and worked as a sheriff. Bringing fugitives

to justice, sometimes he traveled south of the border... It was in the

little border town of Matamoras that he saw her.

Honey kissed skin, eyes that flashed like dark crystals. And

beautiful, the high cheek bones, fine delicate lines of her face.

Murdoch felt something in the pit of his stomach. He felt other

things, heart-mending things. Could he have a second chance, after

all what was life but a string of second chances? He courted her for

just a short time; he had taken liberties he never would have taken.

Maria astounded him and took his will away as well as his good

sense.

It was too late to turn back now. He stood before the priest and the

lovely Maria by his side, glowing in the joy of her husband... She put

a hand to her stomach, and smiled at the life growing out of their

wild love for each other. She would love him and her child.

Murdoch smiled as he watched her pat her stomach. A family at last.

When things had settled down, he would go to Boston and fight for

his first-born son. His children would grow up together at Lancer.

He could be a husband, a father, and a successful rancher. With the

love of his wife and children, he could rule the world. However, he

only wanted his little piece of the world. Here at Lancer in this

valley, he called home.

Paul could only stand by as his friend saddled the big gelding,

sadness, pain, fear etched on the face. "Murdoch, take however long to find Johnny."

Nodding once the big man mounted his horse, without a

backwards glance he headed south. He would not look in the

faces of his housekeeper, whose sad eyes mirrored his, or that

of the many men standing watching their patron ride off so

alone in his quest. He thought only of his young two-year-old

son. The memories came flooding in.

Murdoch stayed beside his beautiful wife as the pains forced

her to cry out. The housekeeper, Maria, wrung out a clothe to

apply to the fevered brow of her patrons wife. They were

worried, and the doctor sent for.

" Lo siento mi esposo." Murdoch kissed the damp forehead of

his young wife. " Silenco, mi amor. Here take my hand and

squeeze all you want." She gave him a smile like no other.

"I love you my husband, I only want you to have this hijo to

carry on your name." He placed his hand on the hard stomach

of his wife, "Come on little one. It's time to see your new

world. Your Papa and Momma are waiting." Another pain

and a scream as the child decided it was time.

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The birth of a son to the patron was a glad day. Paul O'Brien

smiled. His friend had lost one son to a vengeful old man far

away but he now had a son to hold. He looked across the

room to the big man a small blanket wrapped bundle in his big

hands. The baby nestled in the security of those big, hard

working hands, but so gentle as he rocked the child.

Looking up Murdoch smiled at his friend. "There are no words

to describe how I feel Paul. He is perfect, and I am not saying

that because he's mine. Just look at him."

Paul came over to stand beside his friend looking down;

Murdoch opened the blanket, a head of black hair on top of a

round face, lips in a pout. Little hands began to thrash about

and the eyes opened, not really seeing anything, but

nonetheless staring at the face before him. What eyes they

were, the bluest Paul had ever seen. His breath caught in his

throat, his friend was right; the boy was perfect and

beautiful. If a boy child could be called beautiful, that would

be John Lancer.

Paul also knew a child of mixed heritage would have some bad

days ahead of him. Knowing Murdoch Lancer, those hurtful

days would be far and few.

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Holding his one-year-old son in front of him in the saddle,

Murdoch smiled as the boy laughed at the herd of cattle

thundering before them. Maria had scolded him for taking the

child on his horse almost every time he rode out. The rancher

took the lighthearted bantering; he loved the feel of his son

close to him. The delight the small boy had of being on the

large horse, and the thrill of the world around him gave this

father such joy and fulfillment.

Thinking, would his older son, Scott, have been this way. He

didn't even know what the boy looked like. Would he have his

mothers' coloring, would he look anything like him?

Holding Johnny up he waved his one free arm, "All this for you

and your big brother, Scott. One day mi pequeno vaquero, your

brother will come home, and we three will ride as far as the

eye can see."

Johnny laughed and turned that oh so beautiful smile on him

, Murdoch's heart fluttered with joy. One day his two sons

will be beside him. Lancer will continue. Of that, he was

sure.

That one day would have to wait. Harlan Garrett stole the

eldest child, and then Maria, his wife, stole the second child.

Time and money was spent on trying to find his younger son.

One day in a dirty border town, Murdoch Lancer turned his

horse north. He would return home, to his valley. With a

saddened heart the big man bowed his head and swore to no

one, to everyone, to God himself, he would find his son, his

heart, and bring both his sons home to Lancer.

He would work hard, he would push himself to exhaustion, he

would bleed if he had to, to build his empire for his sons, and

the future generations of Lancers. One day he would have his

sons back, the three would ride across their land a man with

two sons, one light one dark. All would be good in his perfect

world.

Sighing he kneed his horse north, to home.

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The End...

Or The Beginning?

Jan 24, 2013

solista