Word Count 790
Scott slipped through the backdoor, conscious of the late hour, and grateful for the small light that was left on for occasions such as this. He toed off his shoes, picked them up and it was then he spied the other occupant of the kitchen.
“Hope you had a good time.” Johnny’s voice was dry as dust.
“Wonderful. What are you doing up so late?”
“Just got in myself not too long ago. Need to wind down before I sleep.”
“Hope you had a good time.” Scott mimicked his brother’s tone and saw the smile flashed his way.
“Guess it was about as good as yours.”
Scott gave an inward wince at the thought and hoped that wasn’t the case. He joined him at the table, sitting in the chair Johnny nudged out with his foot.
A bowl of corn chips and salsa, no doubt homemade, sat on the table. Scott sniffed and the appetite that had deserted him earlier returned with a vengeance. He dipped a chip and sampled.
“Maria is some kind of cook.”
Scott chewed with appreciation and swallowed. “One of the best I’ve ever experienced.”
“Think I’m getting spoiled.” Johnny reached over to dunk a chip. “She makes up for the experimentation that Teresa likes to call food.”
Scott grinned. “Teresa does that on purpose, you know.”
“I know. She has a way of making a point.”
“And making a man dress in a hurry.”
Johnny waggled a dripping chip at him. “She does that on purpose, too, you know.”
Scott plucked the chip out of his hand. “I know.”
“What do you think of the ol’ man?”
There was no mistaking the challenge in Johnny’s eyes, but there was something else too. It was the something else that prompted Scott to answer, but it took a minute for him to find the words.
“I think he’s a good man, and that doesn’t add up to what I grew up with.”
“Thinking your grandpa lied?” At Scott’s hard look, Johnny shrugged. “I’m thinking my mama wasn’t as honest as she could’ve been.”
That explained the something else. Scott deflated and sank into the chair. “The truth might be in the middle somewhere.”
“Yeah. Maybe.” Johnny took another chip and made furrows in the chunky salsa. “But I’ve got two social security numbers and birth certificates.”
“My grandfather knew about you. He never said a word.” Scott didn’t know why he mentioned it; somewhere down the line it was becoming important that Johnny knew he wasn’t alone in all this mess.
And maybe it was important to Scott to know he wasn’t either.
“You never looked Murdoch up?”
Scott shook his head and crossed his arms. “I figured if Murdoch didn’t want me, why should I bother?”
Johnny let out a soft laugh. “Thought the same thing. I can’t quite wrap my head around it now that he always did.”
“I’m not there yet and there hasn’t been an explanation as why he didn’t come to Boston. He knew where I was.”
“Finding out the whys of that might not be very pretty.”
“I suspect not.”
“Well, I’ve got a plan.” Johnny’s eyes lit up with humor that had been missing since Wes’ funeral.
“And that is…?”
“Not to poke at it too much now. I’ve got time and I want to see who Murdoch is. Lancer is overwhelming enough without tossing family drama into it.”
“For awhile. I need to see how I fit into all this, ‘cause right now?” Johnny twirled his hand in the air. “All this stuff is beyond me and staying in one place isn’t something I’m used to. You?”
Scott nodded. “I want answers, but I can wait to get them. They’ve waited this long and there’s something about this place that draws one in.”
“And you don’t want to disappoint Teresa.”
Scott shuddered at the thought. “God, no.” Something seemed to let go in Johnny when his brother stood up, heading for the fridge.
Rummaging around, Johnny’s voice floated back to Scott from the behind the refrigerator door. “So, Brother, you collect spoons.”
That surprised a laugh out a Scott.
Johnny returned, handing Scott one of the Coronas he carried. “I liked the gifts you left.”
Scott twisted the cap off his beer. “What gifts?”
Johnny paused with his beer half way to his mouth. “The needle point and the Elvis thimble…”
“I thought – ” Scott stopped at the realization on Johnny’s face as he came to his own.
“What’d you get?” Johnny’s voice was as eager as a kid at Christmas.
“Six pack of Bud Light and Vermont and Idaho spoons. My collection is complete.”
Their beer was warm by the time they stopped laughing long enough to drink it.
~ end ~
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