What If?

by Carole

Main Character: Vin

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven and its characters are the property of MGM, Trilogy Entertainment, and the Mirisch Corporation.

Vin walked away from the open door hoping no one had noticed him standing there. While he knew eavesdropping was wrong, it had been an accident. Now he needed a place to think things through.  It had to be a mistake . . . surely he had heard incorrectly.

The seven-year-old’s heart was racing, his mind whirling, as he retrieved Cat from his bed and headed outside. With Chris and Buck still in the study, talking in low, serious tones, and JD watching a dvd in the family room, Vin would have the tree house all to himself.

Ringo and Elvis joined him on his walk across the yard, dancing around his feet excitedly, but the preoccupied boy only gave them a distracted pat before climbing the wooden ladder.

With the dogs barking at him from the base of the tree, Vin pulled Cat close and curled up in the corner to think.

If it was true… If it was true, it would change everything.

Vin looked out over the yard. Pony and Peso were grazing in the field. Would he still be allowed to ride Peso now?

His gaze shifted to the house. Would he still be able to live there? Could he continue to call Chris his dad?

What about his name? His mother had told him that he was a Tanner. What did that mean now?

He thought about JD. Would the younger boy still want to be his brother, once he found out?

What about his friends at school? Would they want to play with him?


Vin looked up to find Chris at the top of the ladder.

“Can I come up?”

Vin shrugged, lowering his eyes as Chris climbed into the tree house and settled on the hard floor at Vin’s side.

“You want to tell me what’s wrong, cowboy?”

Vin shrugged again.

“You know you can tell me anything, right?”

Nodding slowly, Vin searched Chris’s face. He saw nothing but patience and acceptance. When Chris gave him a small smile, he made up his mind. There was only one way to find out for sure, and that was to ask.


Chris wrapped one arm around Vin’s shoulders. “Yes?”

“Chris? Is…” Vin took a deep breath. “Chris, is Darth Vader really my father?”