Disclaimer: Not Mine.. no profit.
Acknowledgements: Mogs Universe - Thank you.
The Japanese Cherry Tree idea is not mine. I was given one and told exactly
the tradition that Chris relates in this story, I have no idea whether it
is actually true, but I like the idea. The nativity incident was taken from
something I once heard, I cant remember when or where, possibly on
the radio. It made me laugh.
The Shania Twain Song belongs to the singer and songwriter and I lay no claim
to them. I just borrowed the words for the characters to sing (and they
dont belong to me either, mores the pity!) I did think of trying to
write some lyrics (the music being unnecessary in this medium) but lack the
talent! Wheres Vin when you need him?
Love to hear what you think
Sunday 10th June
Rorie, do ya know what Fathers Day is?
It was mid afternoon and Vin and Rorie were cuddled up on the hammock stretched
between two gnarled old trees near Chris Larabees barn. Vin had one
denim clad leg hanging over the side, idly pushing against the ground with
his bare foot, making the hammock rock gently. Scattered around them was
the debris of an afternoons play, the remains of numerous non-Ezra
approved snacks and the bodies of Buck Wilmington and JD Dunne spread out
on the grass. The four had been working the horses and playing in the sunshine
while Chris and Ezra worked inside the house on the Revised Budget Plans.
Its like Mothers day, right?
Yep. Cept fer fathers.
Yahuh. Vin felt her gentle huff of air against his shoulder.
She was fast falling asleep, tired out by the boisterous games initiated
by the ATF Agents.
Well, its happening next Sunday. The little red-blonde
head came up and sleepy green eyes became serious as they studied Vin intently.
It is? I have to do something for Daddy! What should I do Uncle Vin?
I dont know. He looked over to Buck and JD who were now
sitting up and taking notice. Boys? Any ideas?
Spect they got some nice cards down at the mall, although I think Ez
would like one you made yourself better, Short Stuff. Buck smiled at
the little girl who nodded.
I can do that. What else? She sat up, throwing one bare leg over
Vins stomach so she could straddle his body. It was hot and they had
stripped the sweaty child down to her shorts in an attempt to cool her off.
Thisll be our first one. We have to do something special.
She plucked at his grubby once white t-shirt with small fingers.
It wasnt an occasion the three men present had much experience with.
Not one of them had actually known their own father. After an extended silence,
JD replied to the question.
I think we need to get together with everyone and see what ideas we
can come up with. That Okay with you munchkin?
Sure, Uncle JD. Do you think everyone will want to help?
I think you can count on it Darlin. Itll be fun.
Buck hoped he spoke the truth. He had no real idea of how Chris would react.
Fathers Day was one of those occasions when he was mired in his grief
and best avoided. Perhaps Ezras child could help him cope with it.
Either that or it could get ugly. Buck Wilmington hated ugly.
Sunday 17th June
Ezra rolled over onto his back and yawned. He stretched his hands above his
head and sighed in pleasure at the audible crack from his spine. Peeling
open his eyes he realized that the day had progressed much further than he
expected. He had become accustomed to being awoken early since Rorie had
arrived. He still didnt much care for mornings generally but seeing
her happy face usually improved his humor. He looked over at the clock.
He fumbled for his wristwatch. That couldnt be right surely.
The Rolex confirmed it.
With a sense of panic he started to throw off the covers to check that everything
was as it should be. Even knowing Vin was in the house did nothing to allay
his apprehension. The two together could be worse than the mischievous four
year old alone. They seemed to get into even more trouble as partners.
His movement was arrested by the sight of the curly mop of bright hair and
glowing green eyes peeking at him through the crack in the partially open
door adjoining their bedrooms.
He raised his brows at her and she vanished. Oh Lord. That probably meant
He could hear whispering and then the door was pushed open and Rorie and
Vin was carrying a tray laden with a continental breakfast, he could smell
the rich aroma of the imported coffee mixing with that of the warm croissants
and pain au chocolat. His stomach rumbled noisily.
Rorie clambered up onto the bed as Vin set the tray on the bedside table.
The silent Texan then winked and vanished back the way he came.
Ezra grinned at his daughter. Hello Honeybee. This is a nice surprise.
A lie-in and breakfast in bed. What brought this on?
Its your special day Daddy! She leant over and kissed his
cheek, wrinkling her nose as the stubble made her lips tingle. Happy
? Oh. Ezras dimpled grin got bigger as he twinkled
at her. He felt a rush of pure pleasure at the thought of the first
Fathers Day hed had the opportunity to share with his child.
He hoped that this would be the first of many.
Fathers Day is it? Well, I cannot think of a better reason to
celebrate than being gifted with fatherhood to you Baby Girl. He swept
her up into a big hug, pressing his face to her tummy and lifting her t-shirt
to blow a prickly raspberry on her bare skin.
Agh! Daddy! Stop! Youve still got your furry face on! It
tickles. Rorie took a firm hold of her fathers chestnut hair
in both small fists and attempted to pull his head away, squirming all the
while with the mixed pleasure and torment of the sensation.
Ezra chuckled, enjoying being playful with his child. His was a dangerous
job. The practical jokes and teasing amongst the team provided a much needed
counter-balance to the stress and playing childish games with little girl
was an extension of that. He suspected Vin found the same relief in the outlet
for his tension.
Either that or he really did like playing with Barbie.
He considered that. There could be an opportunity for some payback there.
Barbie in the Office? He would have to give that further thought.
Furry face? Are you not supposed to be especially nice to me today?
He winked, taking the sting out of the rebuke.
I like your face. Even when its furry. Miss Robinson likes it
too. She says youre a handsome devil.
Your teacher thinks Im handsome? And she told YOU that?
He looked horrified.
No, she told Mrs Klineman, the Piano Teacher. I dont think Im
supposed to know the difference yet. She winked at him, or tried to.
She still hadnt quite mastered that particular skill. Somehow she made
it look as if she was sucking a lemon.
Ezra chuckled at the unconscious comedy. I should hope not.
Look I made you a card. She tugged at the card, set on the edge
of the tray. But for Ezras quick reflexes, the whole lot would have
ended up on the floor. Look. She handed it to him.
Ezra opened the envelope, addressed to DADDY and looked at the
construction paper card. The hand-depicted drawing on the front showed a
man in a suit, his head far too large for his body, holding the hand of a
little girl in a blue dress with a mass of curly hair.
Hey thats us!
At least I think its me but who is the little girl? He
raised his brows at her. I have a daughter to whom this picture bears
a striking resemblance but mine doesnt wear dresses. He laughed
when she poked out her tongue at him. Her dress sense, or as he termed it,
lack-of-dresses sense, was a constant bone of contention between them.
Daddy! Just cause Im a girl doesnt mean I have to
wear frilly stuff all the time. She shook her head at him, a stern
expression on the little face, presenting a comical contrast to her mussed
hair and youth.
Every once in a while wouldnt kill you.
Be nice to me or I wont give you your present.
I have a gift too? Thats very thoughtful of you Dahling. First
let me read my card. He opened it to reveal the note scrawled inside.
He studied the inscription with a serious face as Rorie watched him anxiously.
| To My Daddy,
Happy Faters Day.
I love you.
Love from your
Ezra felt the tears gathering and quickly
blinked them back, afraid the child might misconstrue the cause. He swallowed
the lump in his throat.
Thank you dahling. I love it. I shall treasure this. He smiled
at her grin of satisfaction and kissed her nose. Would you care to
share my breakfast with me?
Yahuh. I had some cereal but that was ages ago. Can I give you your
He nodded and she climbed down and disappeared into her room, reappearing
moments later with a small flat package wrapped in hand decorated paper.
This is very attractive wrapping. Perhaps we should just admire it
as it is for a while until weve eaten. He cast a look of longing
towards the beckoning caffeine shot. The smell was all very well but he needed
it in his bloodstream.
Rorie, who had all the patience you would normally associate with a four-year
old, shook her head. No. Now.
He laughed. Very well.
The present was opened to reveal a pewter picture frame.
The photograph itself was one he had not yet seen, a moment captured by Vin
on the day they had collected Rorie from the childrens home in Atlanta.
Tanner was a keen amateur photographer and his skill was evident.
It was a portrait shot, the background blurred and muted but obviously the
lush vegetation of the Georgia garden where he had first laid eyes on his
only child. Against the greenery Father and daughter were clearly depicted,
faces turned slightly towards the camera, nose-to-nose and scant inches apart,
staring into each others matching green eyes and wearing identical
dimpled grins. A delighted looking Rorie had her far hand on his hidden cheek
and her near arm around his neck. His own expression was unguarded, a mixture
of awe, pride and love. What Ezra had never noticed, until this moment, was
that her nose tilted up slightly at the tip, a miniature replica of her
Rorie, dahling, I love it. Thank you. His voice cracked as he
tightly hugged this precious child. What had he done so right as to deserve
There was a discrete cough.
Surreptitiously wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, he looked up to
see Vin leaning hipshot in the doorway, Tanner style, one thumb hooked into
the top of his jeans and the other hand holding a cup of coffee. He wore
a huge smile.
Kin I come in?
Certainly Mr Tanner, Vin, please, join us.
Vin ambled over and took a seat on the mattress, leaning against the footboard.
I do not recall seeing this particular snapshot
We were savin it fer a special occasion werent we
Yahuh. Today is a special day, specially for Daddies. Rorie grinned
at Ezra. Are you going to drink your coffee Daddy or can I have it?
No, you may not. Its mine. And so saying he picked up his
mug. You may have some of the juice and a pastry. Try not to get crumbs
in the bed.
The three sat around making quick work of Ezras breakfast, most of
which seemed to go into the Texan, and discussing how they would spend their
Chris called, wants ya ta call him back soon as ya can.
Any idea why Mr Larabee is desirous of conversing with me?
Very well. If you both remove yourselves, I will carry out my ablutions
and return his call forthwith.
Vin and Rorie exchanged looks.
That means scram Uncle Vin.
Yep. I reckon. Cmon pumpkin, ya kin help me tidy the kitchen.
Vin picked up the decimated tray and left, Rorie following at his heels.
Ezra sat for a few more minutes, re-examining his treasures before climbing
from the crumby bed and disappearing into the bathroom.
The card and photograph stood in pride of place on the dresser.
A Little Later
The undercover agent appeared, surprisingly, in a suit. Surprisingly, because
they had planned to spend the day at home and he was usually far more casual
when it was just the three of them. He even wore jeans on occasion, although
they also sported designer labels.
Daddy you arent going to work are you? Rorie looked
crestfallen. He crouched before her where she sat on the chair, rapidly swinging
her legs like little pistons. He grabbed her feet defensively as she came
perilously close to ensuring she would remain an only child.
Im sorry, Rorie. I have to go into the office for a couple of
hours. There is a problem with some of the financial arrangements I made
last weekend with Uncle Chris. However, if you and Uncle Vin would like,
you may go up to the Ranch and take the horses out, he glanced up at
Vin who nodded, Mr Larabee has invited us for a barbeque this afternoon
and I will meet you there later. He lifted the pouting chin.
Im sorry, sweetheart. I will be as fast as I can I promise. Be
good for Uncle Vin Okay?
Okay Daddy. She accepted the kiss and walked to the door to wave
goodbye as the Jag roared away.
There was a moment of silence.
The sharpshooter tugged gently on the braid he had so recently tied.
Lets go kid, times a wastin.
The pout miraculously vanished. Yeah. We got things to do and people
to see! You dont think he suspets do you Uncle
No Pumpkin. Your poker face is nearly as good as his! Vin laughed
as he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder in a firemans carry.
The child giggled as she was borne over to the battered old jeep and dump
unceremoniously into her spare safety seat, a permanent fixture in the Jeep
since she went out with Vin so often. They had a busy time ahead.
When the Jag pulled up in the driveway, right behind Chris in his black Ram,
Ezra was surprised to see the cars of his remaining team members already
crowding the area.
He climbed out of the car as Chris approached.
We are having a team barbeque Mr Larabee? It was a question rather
than a statement.
Yeah. Seems everyone was at a loose end today so I just invited the
whole crew. Or to be more precise, Bucks date cancelled at the last
minute and he invited himself and everyone else. Chris chuckled.
The whole team treated the Larabee Ranch in much the same way as College
Students do their parents houses and he wouldnt have it any other
way. He just hoped they didnt start bringing their laundry home. They
already called him Dad which was irritating enough.
The front door opened and JD appeared with Rorie on his hip.
Daddy! She wriggled and JD set her on her feet so she could run
to say hello.
Ezra accepted his hug and then released her so she could give Chris an equally
enthusiastic greeting. Hey Uncle Chris.
Hello Shorty. Have you been riding this afternoon?
Yahuh. Uncle Josiah and Saviour took me and Cleo up to the top of the
hill and back and then we brushed all the horses and gave them lunch. Peso
has decided my hair is food and keeps trying to eat me.
I dont blame him. You look edible to me! Chris leered at
the child who giggled and ducked behind Ezra, gripping his thighs just above
his knees and nearly bringing him to the ground.
Together the laughing group approached JD who had taken up a position at
the top of the porch steps. We set up the barbeque in the back yard.
Buck is just heating up the grill so we should be good in about 20 minutes
if you wanna change.
Rorie followed her father into the house and into his room off
the kitchen, chattering all the while. Ezra murmured in reply whenever she
seemed to expect a response and within a few minutes they emerged, with the
Undercover Agent turned out in clothing more appropriate to a barbeque. He
had learned the hard way to be prepared for greasy fingers and ketchup mishaps
when dining al fresco with his daughter.
Surprise! There was a noisy chorus as they stepped out onto the
Ezra stood transfixed.
The whole area was festooned with streamers and a homemade sign wishing him
Happy Fathers Day. This time shed even spelt it right.
The table was laid out with all the paraphernalia associated with grilled
food as well as a large box with a wide red ribbon tied into a bow on the
top. At one end, right in front of the beribboned box, was a
throne. One of Chriss teak outdoor chairs had been covered
with red cushions and had numerous red and silver helium balloons tied to
It was incredibly gaudy.
He loved it.
Wow, thank you Dahling! Youve gone to so much effort to make
our first fathers day special. Thank you.
I had help.
Indeed. Gentlemen, thank you. They all nodded and grinned at
his stunned expression. It was worth all the work just to see their verbose
Undercover Brother at such a loss for his usual five-dollar words. It
Would I be correct in assuming our sojourn to the Office this morning
was merely a distraction in order to prevent me from discovering the planned
secret celebration, Mr Larabee? Chris just raised his brows and smiled
enigmatically. Ezra snorted. Hed had a suspicion that Chris was wasting
his time this morning. This confirmed it.
Come and sit down an open your present Ez. Buck ushered him forward
into his seat, fixing a home made glittery crown labelled Daddy
on the neat chestnut hair. Ezra sent him a wry look but did not protest his
unusual headgear. This was exactly the kind of primitive event he usually
despised, loudly and at great length, but being on the receiving end of his
little daughters good intentions reversed his opinion. He wouldnt
change it for all the poker chips in Vegas. He could tell by the expressions
of amusement on his colleagues faces that they knew exactly what he
was thinking. Vin had the audacity to wink at him.
He gazed at the huge box on the table but didnt touch it, instead accepting
the ice cold beer handed to him by Nathan.
Arent you going to open it? Rorie climbed onto an adjacent
Knowing your propensity for practical jokes I will admit to experiencing
some trepidation at the prospect. Ezra grimaced at his captive audience
Daddy! I have to be nice to you today, remember?
Are you admitting that your jokes are not always pleasant for the
victims? He arched his eyebrow.
Can I plead the number that says if you open your mouth youre
going to get into more trouble?
They all laughed.
Atta girl pumpkin. Ya have every right ta remain silent. Vin
grinned, unwilling to own up to his part in the recent practical joke bonanza.
He got a grin from Rorie and a scowl from Ezra in response.
Mr Tanner, do not think I am unaware of your culpability in said
pranks. Ezra shook his head at the sharpshooter. I am biding
my time. My retribution is at hand.
Cmon Daddy. Open it. I promise it wont bite. Or jump out
at you. Or explode. She looked thoughtful. You know Uncle Vin,
we havent done exploding yet.
Oh lord. You would be wise not to even consider it, Aurora, or I shall
be forced to ground you for the rest of your life.
And if Im your victim, that wont be very long. Chris
glared in warning at the sharpshooter who held his hands out in mute surrender.
Just kidding. I dont think Uncle Vin would let me do exploding
anyway. Would you? She gave him a speculative look.
Not on yer life pumpkin pie. Yer dangerous enough as it is. He
winked at her.
Ezra released the ribbon on the box and gingerly lifted the lid, waiting
a breath before peering inside. He reached in and pulled out a videocassette.
Flipping it over he read the label, instantly recognising Celestine de
Auroras First Birthday. He reached in and pulled out another.
Aurora, 6-8 months. Each of the cassettes was similarly marked,
with events from Rories first four years. He turned to her.
Dahling, where did you get these? He was in awe. He would be
able to see her growing, filling in the gaps for the years he had missed,
following her progress until the moment she came into his life.
Aunt Mealie sent them. She picked up a tape. This
one is when I was Mary in the school tivity play last Christmas. I
got into trouble for changing my words. She grinned in pure devilment.
There was a collective shudder from the seven men as they recognised the
What did you do Darlin? Buck was tossing hamburgers and
steaks at the grill.
I was supposed to say, Please Sir, I need to rest, my baby is
going to be born but when the innkeeper told Joseph there was no room
at the inn I thought it would be funnier to act like it was a real hotel
and we were real guests. She shrugged and chuckled.
I plan to watch all of these at the first available opportunity, Honeybee,
but humor me and appease my curiosity. What exactly did you say?
Rorie grinned and stood up on her chair, placing one hand on her flat belly
and the back of the other on her forehead and assuming a put upon expression.
What do you mean NO ROOM? We Booked!
There was a stunned silence, followed by snorts of amusement.
Yahuh. She nodded. Mummy got it all on tape. She thought
it was funny but the innkeeper cried. That was Quentin Dunwoody. He was a
I do not care for the term Wuss Aurora. Ezras
words were stern but he was laughing.
Daddy, he was wearing a DRESS!
You were too were you not?
Yeah but girls are supposed to wear
Oh no! Not fair! You tricked
me! Rorie looked horrified to realize shed admitted it was Okay
for her to wear a dress, making all the men laugh.
Gotcha! Ezra chuckled and tugged her braid.
Chris sniffed. Buck, were you intending to cremate that
I mean, Oh dear. Buck glanced quickly at the child,
sending an apologetic look at Ezra, before dashing back to rescue dinner.
After theyd sawed their way through the charcoaled meat, washing it
down with large amounts of beer, Josiah brought out a cake, which, he informed
the guest of honor, Rorie had helped to bake and decorate.
JD produced a disc, which he handed to Rorie to give to her Father.
Its all the photos Mummy took. Uncle JD put them on a disc so
theyre easier to see and he says you can choose one as a screensaver
if you want.
I already chose one. JD grinned at Ezra.
Thank you Mr Dunne. The computer whiz nodded.
They were drinking coffee when Nathan pulled out his guitar. Rorie,
Buck and I also got together to fix something for you Ezra. You ready Sugar
The trio gathered on the porch step, slightly elevated from the table, Rorie
sitting on Bucks knee. Nathan strummed the strings and they broke into
From this moment
Life has begun
From this moment
You are the one
Right beside you
Is where I belong
From this moment on
Three voices sang out the words to Shania
Twains From this moment. Ezra smiled softly at the picture
From this moment
I have been blessed
I live only
For your happiness
And for your love
Id give my last breath
From this moment on
I give my hand to you with all my heart
Rorie hopped off Bucks knee and approached
Ezra. She gave a clumsy curtsey and held out her hand. Grinning Ezra took
her hand and lifted her into his arms, giving her the dance shed silently
asked for. The little soprano continued to sing along with the deeper voices
of the duet on the porch as her father twirled her round in the yard.
I give my hand to you with all my heart
I cant wait to live my life with you
I cant wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true
Because of you
From this moment
As long as I live
I will love you
I promise you this
There is nothing
I wouldnt give
From this moment on
Ezra found himself joining in, his rich baritone
in harmony with the husky soprano coming from the child. The others fell
silent, but for Nathans guitar, watching as they danced around together
on the grass.
Youre the reason I believe in love
And youre the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
Because of you
From this moment
As long as I live
I will love you
I promise you this
There is nothing
I wouldnt give
I will love you
As long as I live
From this moment
There was a loud round of applause as they
faded out. Rorie gave Ezra a big hug.
That was wonderful Dahling, Gentlemen thank you. He saluted Buck
and Nathan with his trademark two fingers.
Ezra touched his forehead to Rories and whispered, It was I who
was blessed Baby Girl, I love you. He stroked her back as she cuddled
against his chest. A chest constricted with emotion.
Vin and Chris exchanged glances. This was a side of the tightly controlled
Southerner they had always suspected existed but had all but given up hope
of ever seeing.
Theres one more thing. She smiled up at him and kissed
Yahuh. Uncle Vin and Uncle Josiah helped and Uncle Chris says you can
keep it here.
Ezra looked confused and a bit apprehensive. He had visions of becoming a
dog owner. What?
Josiah and Vin appeared round the side of the house pushing a wheelbarrow
containing a small tree.
Uncle Vin says the tree is about four years old, like me. We can plant
it here and visit it whenever we want. It will be our special tree. Uncle
Josiah says it sindarises
She shot Josiah a
Yeah singalizes the love we have and we need to make sure
it grows straight and strong.
Ezra smiled, fingering the pine needles on the little evergreen. Thank
you dahlin, Mr Sanchez.
Josiah nodded, pleased to see that the Southerner understood the message
behind the gift.
Vin gestured to Rorie and the two vanished again behind the house.
Chris responded. As far as I know thats it Ez. How about we move
inside and watch the little she-devil dress down the innkeeper? He
There were murmurs of approval for this plan.
Hold on Cowboy, Rorie has one more thing she needs ta do. Vin
arrived pushing another small tree, the child skipping along beside him,
getting in the way.
Pumpkin? Ya wanna tell Uncle Chris about this one?
Uncle Chris, this ones for you. Its Adams tree.
Chriss face dropped into a blank mask.
Fathers day hurt enough as it was, he didnt think he could take
a further reminder of his loss.
Ezras tone was softly warning.
Let her finish Ez. Cowboy, hear her out. Vin gave Chris a look
of appeal and he nodded abruptly in response, kneeling before Rorie.
What do you mean Rorie?
Its what he wanted you to have. I dont really understand
it but it was something about having a tree to shout at.
Chris gaped, speechless. All the color drained from his face.
How did you know about that? He gripped the little shoulders,
easing off slightly when she winced.
I dreamed it. Uncle Vin didnt want to get one but I talked him
into it. I think he was worried you might be upset. Youre not upset
No, Im not upset, Shorty. He took a deep breath. Rorie
can you tell me about your dream?
Mummy was there. I dream about her a lot. This time there was a little
boy with her. He said his name was Adam and that you needed your yelling
tree. She shrugged and looked at him uncertainly. He said youd
know what if was for.
Thank you Rorie. He was right. I know exactly what its for. Why
dont you go see if there are any ice pops in the freezer? You may help
Okay, Thanks Uncle Chris. They all watched as the child disappeared
into the house. Chris, still on his knees, turned to his team who were regarding
him with expressions of sympathy.
Mr Larabee, Im sorry if... Ezra broke off as Chris shook
Its fine. His voice was choked. He hung his head and took
a couple of deep breaths. Vin placed his hand on the black clad shoulder.
Cowboy? Chris turned to Vin. I didnt wanna let her
do it but she was determined. Had me checkin all over the state fer
the right tree. It had ta be a Japanese Cherry. I didnt even know there
was a difference.
SOkay Vin, really. It was just a shock, thats all. And
kind of creepy. This caught the interest of all of them. Chris rose
to his feet.
In what way creepy, Mr Larabee?
Not long before Sarah and Adam died we went on vacation to San Francisco.
Theres an ornamental Japanese garden there and Sarah was determined
to see it. When we were there, while I was supposed to be minding him, Adam
climbed a tree and got caught by the park keeper. He was an old Japanese
man, filled with stories of the traditions and culture of his homeland. He
told us in broken English that the tree Adam had climbed was a Cherry, a
Japanese Cherry, and that it held special significance to families in Japan.
Apparently, when one person in the household got mad with another, instead
of taking their fury out on their loved one, they would go outside and yell
at the tree until their anger was under control and they could be reasonable.
It was supposed to maintain the harmony of the family unit. Adam decided
that I could do with a whole forest of those just to myself and told me
hed get me one next fathers day. He died before he could. Id
forgotten about it.
How did Rorie know? JD shivered. Chris was right. It was creepy.
Their leader shrugged. I have no idea. I never told anyone before and
only the two of us were there. Even Sarah didnt know.
There was a silence as they all digested this. Finally Josiah spoke.
Some things are not meant to be explained, brother. Just be grateful
for the gift you have been given.
Yeah. He paused. I guess to Adam, Im still a
father. Chris smiled at the sense of peace that settled over him.
Uncle Chris, Phone! The shrill cry from the house broke the
atmosphere and they all rose to go inside.
It was late evening when everyone left the ranch. Chris stood on the porch
and watched them go.
When it was quiet again he headed round the house to the side yard where
he settled on the step and regarded the little Cherry tree. He sat for long
minutes in silence. Just looking.
Adam had kept his promise.
A long while later he ran a hand through his hair and sighed as he climbed
to his feet and headed inside, switching off the outside light as he passed.
As the screen door started to close behind him he stopped, halting its progress
He turned his head and nodded to the tree.
Thanks Adam. I love you too. Say Hi to your mom for me.
His voice echoed loudly in the stillness.
He smiled broadly at his sentimentality and vanished into the house.
To Atlantan Legacy XI - The Date
Back to Atlantan Legacy Index
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