Word Count 755
He always thought he knew what The Eyes of a Gunfighter were like.
No matter what the color: blue, brown, hazel, green. . .
The Eyes of a Gunfighter were cold. . .
Emotionless. . .
Impersonal. . .
Uncaring. . .
Void of even a trace of compassion.
At least, that’s what he thought. . . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never laughed at a joke, or smiled at the beauty of a sunset. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never winked at a pretty girl, or twinkled at the innocence of youth. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never glowed with excitement at a stand of wild horses, or filled with tears of wonderment at the birth of a foal. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never gleamed with mischief as he playfully teased a friend, or dropped with sorrow at the misfortune of another. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never fluttered with restlessness when told to “lie still,” or sighed with contentment at a warm, cozy fire. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never grew weary after a hard day’s work, or beamed with satisfaction in a job well done. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never paled at the first sign of sickness, or shyly blinked thankfulness at being cared for . . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never masked the pain as a bullet tore through him, or concealed the fear as a fever ravaged him. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never danced with pride at the words said to him by a brother, or closed with hurt at the words said to him by a father. . .
He thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never grew frustrated as he tried so damn hard, or narrowed with anger as he wondered ‘why bother’. . .
And he thought The Eyes of a Gunfighter never expressed. . .
And Murdoch Lancer was right. . .he knew that the minute he first looked into the eyes of his youngest son. The sapphire eyes that, in those first few seconds, showed more emotion than the eyes of 100 men.
And the Old Man knew then that those eyes, so full of fire, yet so pleading, did not belong to a gunfighter. . .
And as that first turbulent year went by, he saw the eyes of his son. . .
He saw the laughter and the twinkle in them; the excitement and mischief. He saw the wonderment and the sorrow in them; the restlessness and contentment. He saw the weariness and satisfaction, and the sickness and the thankfulness.
And all too often he saw the pain and the fear in them. . .
He saw the pride, the hurt, the frustration, the anger. And he saw the
The love in the eyes as they watched Teresa work in her garden.
The love in the eyes as they watched Jelly fuss at everybody about nothing.
And the love in the eyes as they watched his older brother. . .with awe.
But in that first year, Murdoch Lancer felt empty as the most beautiful eyes in the world showed love toward everyone. . .but him.
They showed many things toward him, though.
They showed respect. And maybe some fear.
And always, they showed guilt and shame toward him.
But would those beautiful eyes ever show LOVE to him. . .his father?
He prayed they would.
Then tonight, on the first anniversary of their Homecoming, as Murdoch proposed a toast to his two sons, proclaiming that having them in his life was the greatest gift he could of received. . .he saw two sapphire eyes meet his.
And they showed happiness, contentment, trust, hope, thankfulness, and above all. . .
The eyes of Johnny Lancer showed love toward his father, and the gruff but secretly sentimental man knew that was truly the greatest gift he could receive.
And now, Murdoch Lancer knew for sure that what he had always thought about The Eyes of a Gunfighter was true.
Because his youngest son, his lost boy, had the most expressive eyes of anyone he knew. . .
And everyone knows The Eyes of a Gunfighter are cold. . .
But not The Eyes of Johnny Lancer. . .
They possessed warmth. . .
Compassion. . .
Life. . .
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