The Search Ends

by Wgang

Disclaimers: I do not own Magnificent Seven I am just borrowing the guys and will return them when I am finished.

Summary: Chris has been searching for years for his kid brother, has he finally found him? This will be a series of stories about the lives of the Larabee brothers in the Old West as they try to make up for lost time.

Warnings: mild violence, language.

As they approached the fort both men were tired. One of them was hopeful that this time it would be good news but the other man worried that it was just his friend getting his hopes up for nothing.

It had been a long three days ride on the trail for Chris Larabee and Buck Wilmington. The two men had been friends since they were kids so constant conversation wasn’t necessary. However Buck felt that he needed to tell Chris how he felt about their trip.

Of course for Chris it wasn’t just a trip to the Fort to check out new information, it was about Chris’s obsession, an obsession that had driven him for years even when he had been married to Sarah he had followed every lead that had been handed to him. The leads had never panned out but Chris never failed to follow them.

Buck could understand his friend’s pain, it was never easy to lose someone you loved and when you blamed yourself it made it worse. The sad thing was Chris was not to blame though the blonde felt differently.

Taking a deep breath Buck said, “Stud you have got to quit blaming yourself for their deaths. You were back east; remember we were at war with the confederacy.”

Chris glared at his old friend despite knowing that it seldom affected him.

“I know where I was Buck. I should have been at home. I promised him that I would be there for him, that I would come back. I failed him just like I eventually failed Sarah and Adam. At least I still have a chance to bring to bring my brother home.”

“What are the odds of that happening? You know I loved that boy too, the way he smiled and the way he called me Bucklin with that little crooked grin of his. But it has been eleven years; he was just ten years old when it happened. Hell even if he is still alive he would have been assimilated into the tribe. Hell there is even a chance that he wouldn’t even remember you,” Buck tried to reason with his friend.

Chris jerked his horse to a stop.

“My little brother is still alive; he would not forget me anymore than I have forgotten him. You don’t know him Buck. Vin Tanner Larabee even at the age of ten was as stubborn as me, I just…I just have a feeling he has been waiting for me to find him and I will find him.”

“How are you going to know for sure if this kid is Vin? Kids can change a lot in eleven years.”

“Vin has the most amazing blue eyes; he could see right through a person, mom always said he got those eyes from her dad. Before you say anything yeah I know a lot of people have blue eyes, I’m not dumb. There is another reason I can determine if this boy is Vin or not though I still say I will be able to tell just by looking at him. The last week I was home Vin was real upset I leaving and heading to war. I took him hunting just the two of us. He said that he was sure I would forget him after a time. I tell you Buck he looked at me and I felt like I had beaten a puppy.”

Chris paused lost in his thoughts on the last day he had seen his brother.

“What happened?” Buck prompted as he looked in the distance. They would be at the fort in just a few minutes.

“I took out my knife and cut the palm of my hand then Vin’s. You know like you and I did when we were kids so that we would be blood brothers. I pressed them together and told him that we had exchanged blood and I would come back. I told him that no matter how long we were separated we would know each other immediately.”

Chris held up his palm for Buck to see and there was a small scar in the middle of it.

“I have this scar and I know Vin will have one. This should prove his identity for certain. Like I said I don’t think I will need to see the scar for proof but he might.”

Buck admitted, “Okay Chris you convinced me. However you still have to think about his wishes. If this is Vin he might want to stay with the people who have been with him for eleven years.”

Chris hissed, “Vin is MY brother, he will come home with me. I know you doubt the connection I have with him, but I assure you Buck it is there. Besides I am sure he will be glad to leave the people who murdered our parents and two sisters.”

Buck dropped the subject or he was sure Chris was going to really get pissed and just send him back to Four Corners and he didn’t want that. When they got to the fort and it was another dead end Chris would bury himself in a bottle, Buck needed to be there to take care of his old friend when that happened.

After entering the fort they were taken straight to the Major Harner’s office.

The Major was a tall thin man very business like but with kind eyes.

Chris and Buck took seats in his office thought Chris was dying to see the young man they thought might be his brother.

“I hope your search is at an end today Mr. Larabee,” The Major said smiling at the men in front of him.

“I do too Major, I have been looking for Vin for eleven years. I follow every lead I am given,’ Chris replied.

“It was a good thing that someone had the forethought to start making that list of people taken captive by the Indian. It was also fortuitous that your brother’s name was on it. The description that was given was very good, of course he was only a child when he was taken, but there is no denying those blue eyes of his, he is a very striking young man even dressed the way he is.”

Buck started to ask what he meant when he realized that the officer was talking about the kid being dressed like an Indian.

“Yes a friend of my late fathers, Eli Joe Cullenson when he realized the bastards had taken Vin gave the detailed description. I was and am very beholden to him. I hope to someday thank him for all the help he gave to me and tried to give to my brother,”

“Well Mr. Larabee I am sure you are anxious to check this young man out so I will have Sergeant Phillips take you to the stockade. I am afraid the young man was none to happy about being taken from the only family he has known for many years and put up quite a fight. However once my men saw those blue eyes they knew the boy didn’t belong with the tribe. There is no need to worry. They didn’t hurt the boy just subdued him. The stockade is just a precaution.”

Chris stood up, shook hands with the Major and left with Buck following close behind him.

The Sergeant didn’t say a word to them just took them straight to the stockade. The man had a frown on his face and didn’t even try to make conversation with them.

Buck noticed that the man seemed to be walking very carefully just like a person did when they were hurting and didn’t want to let it show.

However since it was none of his concern he let it go concentrating instead on Chris and the excited on look in the green eyes.

Chris wanted to push by the big burly Sergeant but he contained himself, he just knew he was about to lay eyes on the brother he had not seen in so long.

The Sergeant just handed Chris the keys to the cell door and left them alone with the unmoving figure in the cell.

Chris with shaking hands unlocked the door and went inside. Buck waited just outside the open door he didn’t want to crowd anyone.

The blonde quickly noticed that the boy didn’t look up at them he sat on the cot looking down at his hands.

Hesitantly Chris said, “Vin…Vin its Chris your big brother. I’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

With bated breath Chris waited until the head slowly raised the waist long hair falling back from the expressive face.

Easy-to-read blue eyes looked right at him and they were filled with suspicion and wariness.

Chris caught his breath; it was Vin it had to be. The boy looked like his mothers youngest brother the last time Chris had seen him which admittedly was several years ago.

Chris slowly and carefully sat next to the unmoving figure but he didn’t get to close not wanting to send the boy bolting for the door.

“Vin, I’m sorry I wasn’t there when those Indians attacked, I didn’t get back until several months later. I never stopped looking for you…Vin please say something,” Chris pleaded.

Buck wondered if he needed to intervene. Sure those blue eyes looked like the Vin he remembered. And that face sure looked like Vin but hell that was a lot of years ago.

“Chris…no…Chris is dead. The…the bad man probably killed him like he killed the rest of my family,” came the soft response.

Chris furrowed his forehead as he thought, ‘what the hell was Vin saying, the Indians killed their family or did they?’

Chris held out his hand palm up then as Vin looked at it Chris said, “Remember how we exchanged blood and I said no matter how long we were apart we would know each other. I know you are my little brother…come on Vin, I know you remember me.”

Vin looked at Chris’s palm then he slowly put his own palm next to the blondes, the marks were identical.

Vin raised his head and looked into the green eyes staring back at him. This was his brother, this was Chris, and his brother had found him.

“Chris…I…Hunting Buffalo and Flower Eyes said you would find me one day,” Vin said.

Chris felt tears fill his eyes he stood up and pulled Vin into his arms holding on so tight it wouldn’t have surprised him if he had squeezed until his brother couldn’t breathe.

Vin hesitantly put his arms around his brother…his brother it was hard to wrap that thought around his brain. He had all but given up hope years ago that his beloved older brother would find him. As he felt the steel strong arms tighten around him pulling him close, he rested his head on one broad shoulder smiling as he realized he had finally come home.

Buck felt tears prick the back of his eyes as he watched the reunion. He had never thought they would see the kid again figuring that Vin was either dead or so immersed into the Indian way of life he would have forgotten his previous family.

Buck cleared his throat and took a step forward causing Vin to pull away and stare at him as though checking to see if he was dangerous.

Buck stopped and made a mental note, ‘Vin was very aware of his surroundings and a mite skittish.’

Holding up his hands to show he wasn’t someone to be fearful of he smiled and said, “Well, I had given up hope of ever seeing that pretty face of yours again, kid.”

Chris held back a laugh even as he kept one hand on Vin’s arm. He didn’t want to completely let go of his brother now that he had him back. Chris knew that Buck was trying to lighten the atmosphere by teasing Vin about being pretty. It had aggravated Vin as a kid when Buck had picked on him about having such pretty eyes and such a pretty face. Of course Buck did it to tease the younger boy.

Vin squinted while he thought about what this man had said. You could almost see the gears moving as he tried to place where he had seen the big man before. With a small smile he calmly said, “Well…Bucklin I might have a pretty face but I never got caught in the hayloft with the…ah…preachers daughter.”

Chris and Buck were both struck silent. Not only had Vin remembered the nickname he had called Buck but he remembered an incident that had occurred just a couple of weeks before they had left for the war.

Then it hit Buck, “You little brat. I always wondered who tattled on me about taking that little lady to the hayloft and it was you…but I forgive you now come give old Buck a big hug.”

Vin looked at Chris who nodded his head; clearly Vin was uneasy about getting close to people.

Buck grabbed Vin in one of his patented bear hugs then gently set the much smaller Vin back down on his feet.

Buck looked Vin up and down then whistled.

“I never would have recognized you in those clothes though I have to admit they fit you real good.”

Vin looked down at his clothes and just then realized how much his life was going to change. There was no doubt he was going with his brother and Buck. Hunting Buffalo had always told him that he was part of the tribe but to never forget his white family and the brother who he was sure was hunting for him.

Vin hated to give up his clothes they were so comfortable and they had been made for him by Flower Eyes and the sisters of Hunting Buffalo so they had been made with love. The leggings he had on were decorated with quillwork designs and had fringe like the buckskin jacket he wore. The tunic was made of the same material and also was decorated with colorful patterns. The knee high moccasins were nice and formed to his feet so it almost felt like he was barefoot.

Shyly Vin said, “I guess I will need to start dressing like the two of you and…and cut my hair.”

Vin fingered the long strands of slightly curly hair hating to have it cut as short as his brother and Buck.

Chris didn’t want Vin to agitate over things, he wanted to get Vin out of the cell and leave the fort as soon as they could and head home to Four Corners and his…no their horse ranch.

Vin however blew that idea out of the water when he asked, “Can I…I mean can we stop so I can say goodbye to the tribe, they did save me you know.”

Chris put his hands on Vin’s face as he said, “We can do whatever you want too. I have to ask though what did you mean by the bad man killed our family?”

“It wasn’t the Indians Chris. It was white men who came and…and killed everyone.”

Vin glanced around as he added, “I don’t want to talk about it here, and the blue bellies don’t like me because I lived with the Indians.”

At that comment Chris looked at his brother very closely he noticed a bruise at the temple almost hidden by the long hair no wonder he had not seen it before. Chris reached out and when Vin didn’t flinch away he raised his brother’s tunic. The sight of bruises on the slender body sent his temper through the roof. If his brother didn’t have broken ribs then it would be a miracle.

“Who hit you?” Chris hissed his voice dropping to that deadly tone that made most people run for cover.

Vin’s eyes flickered almost subconsciously to the sergeant still standing outside the cell.

Buck jumped to the side and Chris stalked past him fury written on his face as he headed straight for the soldier.

The sergeant turned around just in time to get a fist planted in his face. Chris pulled his gun and pointed it at the man.

Another soldier ran over not sure whether to pull his gun or not after all this was THE Chris Larabee.

Chris glared at the man stopping him in his tracks.

“You go get your Major and tell him I need to see him,” the blond snarled.

The sergeant lay still on the ground to afraid to move it was very apparent that the irate gunslinger would have no problem putting a bullet in him if he so much as moved.

In just a few minutes the Major hurried up with several soldiers with him.

“What is the meaning of this Mr. Larabee,” he demanded.

Vin had come up behind his brother silently waiting to see what would happen. Buck stood right behind the younger man ready to move him away from danger if the need arose. In the back of his mind Buck figured Vin was quite capable of taking care of himself but he still wanted to be close at hand.

Chris holstered his gun now that the Major was present he didn’t want to escalate the violence with them being outnumbered. Besides from what he could tell the Major was a decent man.

“This bastard beat on my brother. Now I ask you Major, how is the action justified? This man is more than twice the size of my brother and he is armed.”

“Beaten…I need to see the proof,” the Major demanded. Secretly it wouldn’t surprise him though. Sergeant Phillips had a reputation for brutality and he particularly loathed Indians and their sympathizers.

Chris turned and pushed Vin’s hair back so the bruise was clearly seen. Then he nodded to his brother. Vin frowned at him but pulled his tunic up before quickly putting it down.

The Major was livid. The boy had no meat on him to speak of and while he was sure the boy could fight the Sergeant clearly had everything on his side.

“Sergeant can you tell me why did you beat this boy?”

Phillips got to his feet glaring at everyone but in particular the blond and that bastard Indian lover.

“The Indian lover started it, I was just having some fun,” then the Sergeant stopped realizing he had said too much.

“What kind of fun,” Chris hissed itching to put his hands around the animals neck.

The sergeant clammed up though refusing to speak. The corporal however looked at the ground he had been there and knew what happened. However the sergeant was a bully and was feared by a lot of the men.

The Major looked at the corporal and noticed his reaction.

“Corporal, tell me what happened?”

“Ah…well sir we were at the Indian village and ah…the sergeant started to ah…feel up a squaw. When she slapped him he hit her, then…ah this boy tackled the sergeant and that’s when the sergeant beat on him. That is when we saw he was white… and well on the way back to the fort the sergeant decided to have some fun; he…ah touched the boy’s hair saying how soft and pretty it was. Then he commented on the boys blue eyes, how pretty he was and well he was just harassing the boy…you know scaring him,” the corporal stammered through his explanation.

The Major turned to the Sergeant who was no glaring at the hapless corporal.

Just then Vin spoke up, “He didn’t scare me, and I just figured he behaved that way because he couldn’t get it up no matter who he was with.”

The sergeant growled and launched himself at Vin.

Buck grasped Vin and yanked him backwards out of the line of fire.

Chris met the sergeant in mid lunge and the two grappled in the dirt. The sergeant didn’t stand a chance as he was beaten unconscious.

The Major finally had Chris pulled off his man. Secretly he was pleased to see the sergeant beaten down the man was a bully and deserved it.

“I am sorry Mr. Larabee, there have been complaints about the sergeants well…advances towards some of the men but unfortunately when it came to down to actually going through with a court martial the men refused to testify. This time with the corporal as a witness and I am sure others the man will be kicked out of the Army. I apologize Mr. Larabee for the injuries you sustained as the hands of one of my men.”

It took Vin a minute to realize that this time the Mr. Larabee meant him.

“There are good men and bad ones in all races. This one just happens to be bad,” Vin replied his chin held high as he met the Major’s eyes.

The sergeant was dragged by the men and dumped in the very cell that Vin had been sitting in.

Chris wiped the blood off his lip which was the only injury that he had sustained in the fight, but damn that had felt good. It had been a while since he had been in a good fight.

In just under an hour the three men were riding out of the fort and headed for the Indian village. The Major had given Vin the sergeant’s horse as the man would not need it for quite some time. Besides the Major figured Vin deserved it.

Chris was anxious to talk to this Hunting Buffalo or this Flower Eyes his brother had mentioned. Surely they could shed some light on who had killed his family and taken Vin from him for so many years.

As the three men rode up to the Indian village they were met by several warriors. While Chris and Buck were looked at with suspicion there were smiles on their faces when they saw Vin.

Vin got off his horse and was immediately grabbed up in hugs of joy as they saw he was unharmed. Chris and Buck smiled at each other it was nice to see that Vin had been so well loved in the village and had made many friends.

The braves parted as an older Indian walked forward, it was apparent he was the chief as he was accorded the utmost respect by those around him.

Chris surmised this was Hunting Buffalo.

Hunting Buffalo walked up to the young man he had unofficially adopted so many years ago. Framing Vin’s face with his hands he smiled and then hugged him close whispering words into his ears.

Chris and Buck slowly got off their horses not wanting to make any sudden moves. After this was an Indian village that had been searched and treated so badly not very long ago by the army.

Vin hurried over and grabbed Chris by the arm pulling him forward.

“Chris this is Hunting Buffalo, he took me in as his son, he saved my life,” Vin introduced Chris first.

Turning to the chief he said, “Ugidali, this is my brother Chris, you were right he did find me.”

Chris knew some of the Indian language and easily translated that his brother had called the chief father. While he felt a pang that Vin had called another man father for much of his young life he realized that their father would not have minded he would have been glad that his youngest son had found safe haven with these people.

Chris nodded respectfully to the chief who smiled back at him.

“It is good that you have found the young one. I told him that you were not only brother by blood but of the heart. He missed you greatly,” the chief solemnly stated.

“I missed him greatly, I never stopped looking for him,” Chris replied glancing at Vin wanting to make sure his brother heard him clearly.

Vin smiled ducking his head as his cheeks turned red.

“I did not think you would stop. I remember seeing you with Vin when he was but a child. You had a tight hold of his hand and never let him venture from your side, you protected him as a big brother should,” Hunting Buffalo said.

“I don’t remember seeing you around the town we grew up in?” Chris said as Buck came up behind him. The big man had held back at first not wanting to intrude.

“We did not attract attention to ourselves but we are very observant. A child with such beautiful eyes as your brothers is not one we would forget or the big brother who watched over him.”

Chris looked up but Vin had wandered off to visit with some of his friends.

Chris quickly introduced Buck who told his friend that he would water down the horses before they left. Buck was told to find Morning Dove and she would make sure they had plenty of food to take on their travels.

“We will miss Vin; he has been a joy to our tribe. I knew that one day you would arrive and he would be leaving us. It is a sad day for us but a joyous one for you and your brother.”

There was a brief silence then Chris asked, “What happened to my family? I was told it was Indians who attacked and killed them.”

Hunting Buffalo led Chris over to some trees where they sat down in the shade.

“What I am about to tell you is what we saw and the little that Vin told us. Please keep in mind he has not spoken of it for many years though he would bring his brother into conversations many a time.”

Chris nodded his head, “I understand. I won’t push him to tell me what happened.”

“We were looking to do some trading and a man in town told us your father might be interested. I realized after the fact that we fell right into their trap. As we approached your farm we saw riders yelling, the barn was already burning and the house was set on fire as we approached. I was with three of my braves and we rode quickly to see if we could help. They men saw us and fled across the field, but I saw one man head for the woods as though chasing someone. I am sorry but your parents and your sisters were already dead. I left my braves there to put out the fires and do what they could while I went after the man in the woods. I heard a young child cry out and on foot quietly headed that way. The man had Vin by the arm and was shaking him with one hand the other hand held a gun. He was threatening your brother, describing the vile acts he intended on doing to him. I stepped forward reaching for the man to pull him away from the child. Vin saw me and his reaction told the man there was someone behind him and he turned and fired the gun. It only grazed me, but Vin got away. I think the man heard my braves approaching and he took off. I went after Vin.”

Chris sighed, “Damn it I should have been there, and maybe I could have stopped it from happening.”

“I do not think so, they had it planned well. I manage to catch Vin, he was very upset, and I kept him in the woods as my braves headed back to the house. In just a few minutes they came back shaking their heads and I knew that there was nothing back there for your brother; I had hoped that something in the house could be salvaged for him but it was not to be. I did not feel that he should see the bodies of his family; my braves told me it was…it was not pleasant. We thought about taking him to the town but were afraid that the men who had killed his family would come after him. He could of course recognize them. We took him with us, it was to be only for a few days but we were told by a hunter friend of ours that the town thought Indians had done the killing and were going to hunt them down. We left that night with Vin and Flower Eyes.”

Chris looked puzzled, “Flower Eyes?”

“Yes there was another ranch attacked before yours, she wandered into our camp with a bad head wound. When she was able to talk her story was like Vin’s. When we left she also came with us, she wanted too, it seems they had killed her husband and mother when they had attacked leaving her for dead. They also…well they were animals to her, I am surprised she survived.”

Just then a soft voice said, “I survived because you took care of me and gave me a home.”

Chris turned to see a young woman probably around thirty standing there. She had long light brown hair and pale blue eyes. He could see over her eye an old scar probably the one Hunting Buffalo had mentioned.

Coming forward she placed her arm in Hunting Buffalo’s and Chris realized they were together.

“If it had not been for Hunting Buffalo and his tribe Vin and I would be dead. I am glad you are here for your brother, he never forgot you.”

“What about you?”

“This is my home; I have a loving husband and two wonderful kids. I will miss Vin though.”

“Was it you who taught him to speak so well? I was just wondering because I figured he would have trouble with English. I always thought he would be speaking the dialect of his the tribe he was with,” Chris asked.

Flower Eyes smiled, “Yes I taught him. Vin is so smart he picks up things so fast. I made sure we spoke English every day, I even got some books and we read them together. I guess you could say I was a teacher and he was my only student, though I will admit that some of the other kids would wander over and picked up some words also. I didn’t want him to forget how to speak and read English, I like my husband felt you would find him one day and he would need to be able to function in the white mans world.”

“I want to thank you…thank you both for saving my brother, taking care of him and teaching him,” Chris said humbled by their generosity.

“It was our pleasure although a warning, Vin has a wicked sense of humor and is very stubborn,” Hunting Buffalo warned with a grin.

Just then Vin and Buck wandered up; they were followed by an older woman who had several bundles in her arms.

“This is Morning Dove, Hunting Buffalo’s sister,” Vin introduced her to his brother.

Chris nodded at the lady who smiled shyly at him.

“She has a lot of food for us to take and…well some things they made for me and I really want to take them with me,” Vin said in a rush clearly worried that he would not be allowed to take anything from the village.

Chris smiled and hugged his brother enjoying the fact that after all this time he could do that.

“You can bring anything you want, kid.”

Vin beamed at the words so the next few minutes were spent packing the horses with food and tying the bundles on the horses so they wouldn’t fall off.

Chris looked up as a brave brought up a prancing, head tossing black horse.

“This is Peso, my horse. I have to bring him, he…well he doesn’t like just anybody,” Vin said.

Hunting Buffalo snorted, “Like anyone…he hates everyone but you my son…that is not a horse it is the devil in disguise.”

Vin frowned at the man.

Chris reached out his hand to pet the horse and almost had it snapped off.

Vin reached up and wrapped his arms around the horses neck fearful that he wasn’t going to be allowed to keep him.

However he figured wrong, Chris was not about to deny his kid brother anything.

In fact as Buck watched he decided that Vin could ask for just about anything and if it was within his power Chris would make sure the kid got it.

“Okay but you keep him away from me until he learns to play nice,” Chris instructed.

Chris had thought about spending the night at the village but there was enough light left that they could get a few more hours down the road. Besides he had to admit that if they left he would only have to share Vin with Buck not the whole tribe.

As Vin went around saying good bye Chris asked Flower Eyes the question that he had wanted the answer too since he realized it was white men who had killed his family.

“Do you know who the man was behind our families deaths?”

Flower Eyes glanced at her husband who solemnly nodded his head.

“Yes I do though I only know his given name. I had hoped to see him brought to justice but that was not meant to be and no one would believe an Indian over a white man anyway.”

“You aren’t an Indian,” Chris gently stated.

‘Yes I am, I married an Indian, and had kids, and they would never believe me. Besides if I had gone to town after the attack I would have been dead before the next day.”

After a brief hesitation she said, “His name was Eli Joe.”

Chris paled then he flushed with anger, his green eyes sparked with fury.

“That fucking bastard, he lied to me. He fed me false information that kept me from hunting for Vin in the right area. I could have found my brother years ago if not for him,” he fumed.

Buck hurried over after glancing at Vin who was chatting with several of his friends not seeing that his brother was so upset.

“What’s up Chris?”

“Eli Joe…the guy who was so helpful in my search for Vin, he is the bastard that killed my family,” Chris hissed.

Chris remembered his manners as he apologized for his language to the people around him.

Buck thought of something, “Ah…Chris he is the guy that gave the description of Vin, if he finds out you found him…well Vin can identify him. Eli will hang for murder.”

Seeing the scared looks on Vin’s adopted parents Chris assured them, “Don’t worry, I won’t let him get Vin. I will see to it that he faces justice one day though.”

As Vin approached Chris put a smile on his face though it was hard.

Vin hugged Hunting Buffalo and Flower Eyes then mounted his horse. He had decided to ride the horse that he had gotten from the fort and let Peso follow. Peso wasn’t happy but he decided to be a good boy until he got the lay of the land.

Vin waved at everyone until they were just little dots in the distance.

Buck rode a bit a head to give the brothers some privacy.

“Vin, I told them where our ranch is and that they are welcome anytime.”

“Thanks Chris that means a lot to me.”

Vin bit his lip as he nervously rubbed his hands on his thighs.

Chris reached over and stopped his brother horse.

Placing his hand over Vin’s Chris waited until the blue eyes met his.

“You have nothing to be nervous about. The guys we work with will love you. Believe me I have talked about you enough over the years. Buck and I can use the help on the ranch and if you can control that horse of yours you can control anything we bring in to train.”

“I haven’t ever been away from ho…I mean the village for more than a night and that was when we were hunting. I…I think I should change clothes before we get there and…”

Chris interrupted, “Tell you what we will stop in a little town called Silverthorne before we get to the ranch. We can get you some other clothes and we can cut your hair but not as short as mine if that would make you feel better.”

Vin smiled and nodded his head.

Chris held out his hand, Vin took it in what would become their special handshake hand to elbow.

“Let’s go home, Chris,” Vin said his chin lifting slightly.

Chris smiled back, “I was home the second I laid eyes on you.”

Then with a whoop they galloped past a surprised Buck who only took a second to follow them as they headed towards a brand new future.

The End