Summary: (First of many?)
Word Count: 550
Two months had passed since Scott and Johnny arrived at Lancer to join forces and fight off Day Pardee and his gang of land pirates. And in the following weeks as Johnny recovered from the bullet wound in his back, the two men grew to know each other better and found themselves enjoying each other’s company. In fact, if pushed, both would have admitted, albeit grudgingly, they were actually starting to feel a brotherly love and respect for the other.
However, all that was to change late one evening when, after a short heated discussion in the kitchen, Scott saw for the first time Johnny’s expression change towards him, his eyes narrowing first in disbelief and then in anger as he stared over towards his elder sibling. “I tell you it belongs to me, Boston,” Johnny whispered in a menacing tone. “So back off now!”
Scott now could see a different man behind those steely blue eyes. This was not Johnny Lancer, his brother, his friend. Now he was looking at Johnny Madrid, the gunslinger, his enemy. But he wasn’t to be denied. “And I tell you it’s mine,” came Scott’s equally threatening reply.
As they both faced each other with nerves stretched to breaking point, the impersonal expression on Johnny’s face didn’t change; his eyes icy and cold. “I’m warning you, Scott. I mean to have it and if you try to follow this through, you won’t stand a chance against me.”
Scott’s lips moved slightly and he allowed himself the faintest of smiles. “I don’t scare easy, brother…you should know that by now.”
The coldness in Johnny’s eyes seemed to harden. “Very well, Boston; you’ve been warned. On the count of three…right?”
Although he knew what he was taking on and the odds against him beating his gunfighter brother were long ones, Scott couldn’t stop another thin, almost imperceptible movement of his lips and there was a slight twinkle in his own blue eyes as he gave a slight nod. “Three? You reckon you can count that far, brother?” he teased provocatively.
Forcing himself not to lose his temper or concentration at the well-timed taunt, Johnny took in a deep breath. “I can count just fine,” he murmured, swallowing hard and his gaze never leaving his brother’s face.
Hands hovered by their sides.
Fingers flexed, both men tensed like mountain-lions about to spring.
There was movement a millisecond before Johnny finished calling out the last number. It was an inconceivable amount of time, but it was just enough to give the elder Lancer the unfair advantage on the lightning fast younger as his arm and hand stretched out.
Momentarily surprised by the unsportsmanlike action, Johnny remained rooted to the spot as he watched his brother take hold of the last piece of chocolate cake from a plate on the kitchen table.
And with no sign of regret or fear, Scott stuffed the portion quickly and neatly into his mouth, managing to smile under his little brother’s despairing and mouthwatering gaze.