Way Home

by Amelia

He sat back on the ground against his saddle and stared out across the night sky. It had been a rough couple of days, and he hadn't meant to withdraw from his friends, but he felt all sides closing in on him after getting to the bottom of the truth. His friends had let him be for two days until their worry took control. Showing up at his apartment earlier that day, they gave him no choice or even a chance to say a word, when two of them had grabbed him and ushered him out to Chris's waiting truck, while the others packed what they thought he would need and want.

He had an idea what they had in mind when he saw the horse trailers hooked up to Larbee's, Buck's and Josiah's vehicals when he was shoved into the truck. Two hours of driving later and another two hours of riding up high into the Rockies, they had finally stopped and made camp.

“Mr. Tanner, I must commend you on our fine dinner. I wasn't sure when you came back with all thoses rabbits you shot quite what you had in mind. But I must admit roasted over the open fire and basted with what ever that concoction you made, was very delicious,” Ezra exspressed.

“Weren't nothing Ezra, just some of Chris's whiskey and some wild onions and sage. But glad you liked it,” Vin softly answered.

“Feeling any better?” Chris, who was leaning back agasint his own saddle beside Vin, quietly asked.

“Don't feel so hemmed in, but ain't sure what I'm feeling yet inside,” Vin honestly answered, his eyes never leaving the night sky.

“Is there anything we can do to help you brother? Sometimes talking it out at least lightens the feel of the trouble,” Josiah suggested.

Although they all knew what it was about, none of them was sure what Vin was thinking.

Vin let out a tired sigh, “I don't know what I'm thinking to be honest. A piece of me is mad as Hell because he knew all this time and didn't say a word. Part of me is angry at them for stealing my chance of knowing them. But mostly I just keep thinking on my mom, wonderin' what she would think I should do.”

“You know whatever you decide to do we'll back you. But in Travis's defense, he gave his word to the man as he was dying. And the fact he was dying because of him had to make that promise even more sacred to him. You know he didn't do it to hurt you,” Chris stated.

“I know he had reasons, and truth is I understand them, too. It just shook the belief I had in him finding out he had known me since I was born, had known my mom and dad,” Vin said honestly

“Well, with your father's cousin going to jail, you're the sole heir to that fortune now. Have you given any thought or decided what you're going to do?” Nathan asked.

“Yeah, Vin, are you going to quit the ATF?" JD wanted to know. "With that much money you could travel or buy the biggest ranch and retire on it.

Vin took his eyes from the sky and looked at JD as if he had grown a second head or something, “What the hell you talking about?

“Well shoot Vin, you're rich. You could buy yourself a ranch and hire all female staff and enjoy yourself for the rest of your days.” Buck grinned, though there was something in his eyes that Vin noticed.

It finally dawned on him what his friends were trying to find out.

“Well, Hell, like I ain't got enough circling around in my head, you lot think I'm going to add more by leaveing the one place I feel right and belong. Look up into the night sky, see all those stars? They look big and bright because they're where they're surpose to be. And if you get lost they'll lead you home because they are where they're surpose to be. That's how I see us - we're together 'cause that's where we're suppose to be. And if one of us gets lost, the others will show the way home, just like ya did for me today, right now,” Vin explained, letting them know in his own way he had his home here with them.

“But what ya going to do with all that money?” JD couldn't help wanting to know.

“I thought I'd ask Ezra....”

“Why of course Vin, I'd be more than happy to help you invest and mange your inheitence,” Ezra sat up smiling with excitement.

“I thought I'd ask Ezra and Chris to help me give half to different charties and set up several trusts for kids who can't afford to go to collage, so they can go, and have a better chance at life.” Vin finshed what he had tried to say the frist time.

“Be happy to help Cowboy,” Chris smiled.

“As will I Vin. I'll be more than happy to lend you my services. But I do think you should keep just a little portion of your inheirtance for your retirement. Though that is far down the road for you as it is for all of us, one never knows what the future holds and I think I could do wonders with.......”

Vin leaned back letting Ezra's voice fade from his hearing as he once again stared up at the stars. Knowing that he had been drowning in emotion and heartache from the truth of Travis having known all along that his father was murdered by his own kin and hadn't run out on them. He hadn't been able to stop the spinning in his mind until his friends had brought him here and shown him with there actions, that no matter what, his stars - all six of them - had shown him the way back from being lost. Back to his home with with them.

The End

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