by Grasshopper

Darkfall Interim/McLaren, Wyoming

In the five years since Wesley had gone away and Luc had been born, there had been several changes and yet some things stayed the same.

Callie had been as good as her word. She left for Belize and, in truth, never came home again. She was going to school with Lily in Paris, paid for with Lily's pocket money. They would get a postcard or a note every once in awhile, saying she was great and life was fun. She never remembered Luc's birthday or Christmas. She never asked after Wesley.

Mercy and Craig had gotten married in the Spring and by now had two pretty little girls named Katherine and Violet. Craig had finished law school with Mercy's love and support and his brand new law office was on the corner of main Street and Taylor Avenue in McLaren.

Life went on in McLaren. People had stopped asking if there was any news from Wesley Straihan. The old Straihan place stood empty and was becoming the stuff of urban legend with the teenagers.

Cole went to visit with Wyatt every few months. He felt like Wyatt was the only person who would actually understand what he was feeling. They would walk in the woods and talk about Billy and Wes and, after awhile, other things. Five years was a blink of the eye and an eternity.

Wyatt gave Cole the painting of the red tailed hawk. It hung in Cole's bedroom at the farm. Albert and Cole had knocked out the center wall between Cole's and Callie's rooms and made it into an apartment for Cole. Luc's room was right across the hall. At night, Luc would only go to sleep if Cole's door was open, the light above the painting was on and he could see the hawk's eyes.

........... And, in the five years since beautiful Luc had come into this confusing world, he had never spoken a word.

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