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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in smithcrafter's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 25th, 2008
11:43 pm
Love's Triumph Chapter 19


Chapter 19


Finally the wagon was loaded and ready to depart, but Felipe could not stand the idea of making the trip at the slow pace that would be required by the wagon. Even though he had already recognized the location of the cabin from what Fuentes had told Maria and the vaqueros, he went through the pretense of signing to Maria and having her ask the lancer to draw him a map. As soon as it was in his hand, he leaped onto the nearest horse and took off at a fast gallop. Thanks to his knowledge of the terrain and the speed of his mount, he arrived at the hidden cabin only a few minutes after the doctor and the priest.  

              Padre Benitez looked up from where he was bandaging the arm of one of the wounded lancers when he heard Felipe’s horse pull up to the hitching rail in the front yard. None of the lancers had any injuries worse than a flesh wound, so Dr. Hernandez had left them in the care of the priest and the other lancers, and had gone on into the back room where Diego still lay on the floor. Excusing himself to the lancer as he finished tying the last knot on the bandage, the priest intercepted Felipe just outside the entrance to the cabin and pulled him off to the side.
He spoke slowly and quietly to the young man, being sure he made direct eye contact so Felipe could read his lips, after first glancing around to be certain no one else was within range of his voice. Even so, he barely whispered his words.


“Felipe, I know the truth about Diego. I know who he is, and I have a pretty good idea how much the people of Los Angeles owe him, even though I also know he would never look at it that way. I’m guessing that you know, too. It may be very hard to keep his secret after today, especially if he is delirious for any length of time, or if …. well … anyway, if you need my help for anything, just ask. It will be between you and me, if necessary.”


Felipe paled and also glanced furtively around before he returned the padre’s direct look. He sagged a bit for just a second, then straightened. Padre Benitez watched as what could only be relief flashed across Felipe’s face, followed by pride, but just as quickly replaced by the tortured eyes of a young man, barely more than a boy, obviously fearing he was about to lose his father…for the second time in his life. 

        Felipe gave the priest a short, unobtrusive nod, but his eyes flickered to the doorway of the cabin and he turned in that direction, visibly stiffening his shoulders. The priest let out the breath he had been holding, suddenly realizing he had subconsciously hoped Felipe’s reaction wouldn’t have confirmed his suspicions. But it did. Sadly, he squeezed Felipe’s arm, and leaving his hand on the boy’s shoulder, they went into the cabin together.







Author’s Note (smithcrafter): This is a very short posting, but I wanted this section to be from Padre Benitez’s point of view. It will be a few chapters before we get completely back to Victoria’s viewpoint, but we haven’t seen any way to avoid bouncing the viewpoints around a bit during this part of the story. Again, georgiamomma123 has LOTS of the basic plot finished. I’m the one still slowing down the postings, because I just don’t have that much time to work on the finishing touches. But, better short postings than NO postings. Right? (I hope!)


Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
7:14 am

Chapter 18


          Felipe de la Vega was more than a little worried. It had been almost sunset of the previous day when the messenger from San Pedro had arrived to ask why Don Alejandro and Don Diego had not shown up at the mission as they had promised to do. The housekeeper, Maria, had immediately sent for Sgt. Mendoza, and within a half hour of the messenger’s arrival, a full-fledged search was in progress. Both a large group of lancers, and a smaller group of de la Vega vaqueros had taken off to look for the missing men. Felipe was not too surprised when Sgt. Mendoza commented that Señorita Escalante had accompanied Diego and his father, and was also missing. He had suspected Diego was going to ask her to go along.


Felipe had tried to convince the vaqueros to let him accompany them, but they insisted he stay behind. Not only was he the only de la Vega still safe at home, but they didn’t really want to be held back by the presence of the young man they thought to be both deaf and mute. Even though most of them had known Felipe since he was a young child, and were well aware of the intelligence hidden behind his silence, they felt he would be more hindrance than help in a search such as this. Of course, they had no idea the young man not only could hear perfectly well, but had also been trained by Zorro himself and was probably a better tracker than all of them put together. After the scene Felipe had made when he wasn’t allowed to go along, Maria had barely let him out of her sight. He’d had no chance to slip into the hidden cave and depart on his own search. All he could do was pace, and bite his nails, and pray.


‘Felipe de la Vega.” The name still seemed strange to him. For so many years he had just been ‘Felipe’, the young boy with NO true name whom Diego had found long ago on a deserted battlefield, terrified into deaf silence, curled up into a fetal position next to the bodies of his dead parents. Diego had brought him home, given him the name Felipe, and then spent months trying to find out who he really was and whether or not he had any family still living. Finally giving up on the fruitless search (so many innocent peasants had been killed during that senseless uprising), Diego had kept Felipe with him. Although he had technically been considered a servant, Diego had always treated him more like a son; and just a few short months earlier, Diego had made that relationship official.


Felipe was now legally Felipe de la Vega. Diego was truly his father now. Don Alejandro was his grandfather. And Victoria Escalante, although she didn’t know it, was the person he thought of as “Mother.” If and when Zorro and Victoria finally had a chance to be together, she WOULD be his mother. Felipe occasionally snickered to himself when he thought of that. He wondered how Victoria would react to the idea of suddenly finding herself with a nineteen-year-old step-son.


He wasn’t laughing now, though. Even though he was well aware of Diego’s ability to get out of almost any situation … as Zorro, that is … he felt deep inside that whatever had happened to the three people he loved so deeply, if Diego could have corrected it on his own, it would already have happened. They had been missing for over twenty-four hours, now. He just KNEW something was badly wrong.


At that moment he heard horse’s hooves pounding along the road and saw the approaching dust cloud gradually visualize into a rapidly approaching lancer. Standing straight and watching the wildly galloping horse turn into the lane toward the hacienda, Felipe’s heart sank. If the lancer was bringing good news, Felipe didn’t think he would have been lashing his horse into sweaty exhaustion just to get there a few minutes sooner.


Felipe took off at a run to find Maria. He dragged her from the kitchen, gesturing wildly, just as the Private Fuentes pounded on the front door. Maria opened the door, crossing herself in a silent prayer as she did so.


The lancer quickly explained everything he knew, and told Maria what was needed from the hacienda. Maria crossed herself again and yelled to a couple of vaqueros who were approaching from the nearest barn. They had also seen the lancer’s arrival and were just as anxious as Maria and Felipe to find out if their dons had been found safely. She instructed them to quickly hitch the fastest team of horses available to the spring wagon, and bring it around to the front of the house.


Despite himself, Felipe released a deep sigh of relief when the lancer’s first sentence assured them that Don Alejandro and Victoria Escalante were safe and well. His mind reeled, though, and he fought not to show his panic as the lancer went on to explain that Don Diego was badly injured and the doctor was hopefully on his way to the cabin as they spoke.


Don’t react! Whatever he says, I mustn’t react. I mustn’t let them see that I understand everything they say.


Finally, Maria turned to Felipe and spoke slowly to him, gesturing and explaining the basics of what Fuentes had told her. Felipe nodded his understanding of her instructions and left to help get the supplies together that he knew would be needed. He also took time to dart into the study, making sure no one else was in sight, and to make his way through the secret door into Zorro’s lair.


Diego kept quite an extensive chest of medical supplies in the cavern. Felipe had made use of it all too often to treat the inevitable injuries Zorro had received during his years of battles with both lancers and bandits. Felipe would add that chest to the supplies going to the cabin.


Although no one else knew where it was actually stored, the existence of Diego’s stash of medicines was no secret. After all, Diego made no secret of his love of the sciences. He and the doctor had spent many an afternoon at Victoria’s tavern, discussing the latest medical techniques and theories they each heard about through their correspondence with people back in Spain. Diego had even occasionally provided first aid and basic medical care for quite a few different people in the pueblo, on occasions when the doctor was out of reach or busy elsewhere.


Felipe lifted the chest into the front of the wagon, as Maria and a couple of the housemaids added their armloads of supplies to the rapidly growing load. Felipe gnawed on his lower lip, fidgeting from side to side as the servants finished their tasks and the wagon prepared to leave. 


He suddenly realized, though, that he was no longer worried about Diego. He knew that however badly Diego had been injured, he would have done everything imaginable to keep his father and Victoria safe, and to get them away from Ramiro and his gang. The fact that he hadn’t accomplished this … that, according to Private Fuentes, Diego and Alejandro had both allowed Victoria to go for help … on foot, directly toward a location where there was an obvious battle just ending, and no real way to be certain of who had won that battle … that Don Alejandro had stayed behind to take care of his son (not the other way around!) … All of these things told Felipe far more than he wanted to know about the seriousness of Diego’s condition.


No, he was no longer worried about his father. Now, he was just plain terrified.




Current Mood: worried
Monday, September 1st, 2008
12:38 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 17
Author's note (georgiamomma123 at yahoo dot com):

I didn't set out to adopt or take over “Love's Triumph". It was such a wonderful story it was a shame it was sitting idle. I had originally written to Joyce telling how great her story was, which then led to us brainstorming. In June, one night on vacation and unable to sleep, my mind started working on a storyline which I sent to her when I returned. The ideas originally were to help break her out of the writer’s block, but have since progressed into the story you now read.

I have never written like this, but this awesome story deserved a finish. With her guidance, I hope that it will grow to be a happier version of its predecessor, "A Father's Love".

All feedback is welcome.

Mary Beth

Author's note (smithcrafter):
I'll probably get most updates posted on fanfiction.net before I get them here. Please remember you have to go to the drop-down ratings menu to see the updates for the MATURE rated stories.      Joyce

Chapter 17

     Mendoza gasped and stopped in his tracks as he took in the scene in front of him. An obviously shaken, exhausted, filthy Don Alejandro de la Vega sat on the dirt floor, cradling his son’s head in his lap. Diego’s open shirt was covered with dried blood, and the lurid, deep purple bruising across his entire chest was all too obvious. Diego’s ragged breathing echoed through the room.

     A relieved smile broke over Alejandro’s face as he saw the sergeant. “Mendoza, old friend, I am so glad to see you!”

     Tears fell unashamedly from his eyes as Sgt. Jaime Mendoza knelt beside the battered, unconscious form of his best friend. He swallowed back the nausea that threatened to force its way up his throat.

     “¡Madre de Dios!” His voice came out as a raspy, shocked whisper. The shock on his face transformed into grim determination, and the sergeant stood, turning to yell back into the main room for one of his men to bring some canteens of water and the blankets from their bedrolls.

     Victoria resumed her place at Diego’s side. Diego briefly opened his eyes, searching for her. Seeing that she had returned, he weakly grasped her hand before unconsciousness again claimed him. Even then, his hand continued to hold tightly to hers, as if it were a lifeline holding him to this world.

     A lancer arrived with the canteens, and handed them to Victoria. She took one and started to pour the water onto the rag they had been using to wipe Diego’s face. Mendoza silently reached out and stopped her. His hand shook as he handed her his own relatively clean handkerchief. Victoria immediately drenched the handkerchief with the water. Pulling her hand out of Diego’s grip, she cupped it around his cheek. As his father held his head, she squeezed some of the water slowly into his mouth. She repeated this process a few times as he swallowed reflexively, then gently began wiping the perspiration and dried blood from Diego’s face. Diego grimaced and mumbled a few incoherent words, but that was all he did.

     Sergeant Mendoza raised his head and glanced behind him as approaching hoofbeats heralded the arrival of the rest of the lancers with their own wounded men. He excused himself and went back into the other room to begin organizing the new arrivals.


     Meanwhile, Lancers Rodriguez and Fuentes raced back to Los Angeles. Rodriguez flung his horse’s reins over the hitching post in front of Dr. Hernandez’s home and pounded on the door, calling loudly for the doctor. He pushed his way past the servant who opened the door and went directly into the office where the startled physician was working at his desk.

     Used to unexpected interruptions, Dr. Hernandez wasn’t really startled by the lancer’s abrupt arrival. As Rodriguez quickly summarized the story Victoria had related to them, though, his lips thinned and he began quickly gathering the supplies he would need. Interrupting the hurried narrative, he asked some specific questions about the type of injuries Diego had, but it was obvious the soldier didn’t really know that many details. Rodriguez also told him that Private Fuentes had gone to the de la Vega hacienda to notify them, and to bring a wagon, supplies, and more help back to the cabin. As Dr. Hernandez turned and gave his servant instructions to saddle his horse, Corporal Rodriguez left to go find Padre Benitez.

     He found the padre in the mission’s sanctuary, in the middle of his morning prayers. As the lancer again quickly explained the situation, Padre Benitez paled. The padre and Diego had been penpals for quite some time, drawn together by their shared scientific interest in the flora and fauna of California, even before the priest came to the New World and took over the parish of Los Angeles. Since his arrival in the pueblo, their friendship had only grown. 

     The good padre was also possibly the only person in the entire pueblo who was fairly certain he knew the identity of the outlaw Zorro. Theoretically, in the privacy of the confessional, a priest’s parishioners were supposed to be anonymous. However, it was impossible not to occasionally recognize the voice of an individual whom you knew well; and Diego’s quiet, cultured tones were impossible for Padre Benitez to mistake for anyone else in Los Angeles. Don Diego de la Vega also came to confession rather more frequently than most of the parishioners, and his whispered confessions were often quite enlightening as to the true nature of the young man. Though he never came out and said, “I’m Zorro,” many of the sins he had confessed since Benitez came to Los Angeles were NOT at all what one would expect from the quiet, peace-loving, non-violent persona Diego put forth in his everyday life.

     The padre quickly called to one of his assistants to bring his mare to the front of the mission, and then ran into his quarters, where he grabbed the case which always sat next to his bed, ready to be used at a moment’s notice. As he picked it up, he whispered a quick prayer for Diego, dreading the thought that in a few minutes he might be required to perform the last rites for his brave young friend. He hesitated for just a second, then picked up a second, larger bag that sat in the corner of the room. He gave a slight sad smile as he thought of the days he and Diego had spent together, hiking the hills and forests of the area with an old Indian guide, gathering the herbs and other medicinal ingredients used by the local tribe’s medicine man as healing remedies. Dr. Hernandez would have his own medicines with him, of course, but it never hurt to have extra options available.

     Ten minutes after Private Rodriguez first burst into Dr. Hernandez’s home, the three men met back at the fountain in the center of the plaza, and aimed their mounts toward the distant cabin at a full gallop.


Current Mood: content
Thursday, July 31st, 2008
3:35 pm
Love's Triumph Chapter 16
Chapter 16

Author’s Note: First, I would like to apologize for the obnoxiously long time since the last story update (two years plus!). Real life set in with a vengeance. We moved. I started a new job with really confusing hours. Most of my previous writing had been done late at night when my husband was working out of town and only home weekends. With the move and his new job, he’s home every evening, and I have almost NO uninterrupted quiet time for brainstorming and writing. Add in the fact that I had never originally planned for a “happier ending” for this story, and you have the makings of a two-year-long writer’s block!

Now for the good news. “Georgiamomma123 at yahoo dot com” has adopted this story. We have been brainstorming back and forth for a few months now, and the last message I had from her said she has 37 pages typed (and more written). So the rest of the story will be co-authored by the two of us, and most of it will be hers. All I am doing is going over her story and making the styles match up. So hopefully there will be fairly regular updates from now on. There may be a week or two between them, but if it’s any longer than that, she’ll be kicking me in the rear (virtually speaking) to get busy or else. So please, when you review, send a copy to her, too.

This first update isn’t very long, but it’s SOMETHING! YEAAAAA!

Disclaimer: remember, we don’t own the characters (except for the bad guys). We’re making no profit from this other than a lot of ego boosting from all of the nice reviews, for which I sincerely thank all of you. The story is written purely for the enjoyment of Zorro fans and intends no copyright infringement to those who do own the Zorro characters.

Summary of story to date: Diego, Alejandro, and Victoria are being held prisoner by a group of bandits who believe either Victoria or Alejandro know Zorro’s identity. Diego, who was shot during the capture, is tortured by the bandit leader in an attempt to get Alejandro or Victoria to give them Zorro’s identity. During the long hours after the torture ends, while they are trying desperately to keep Diego alive, Alejandro comes to the realization that his son isn’t at all the coward he had believed him to be. Both Alejandro and Victoria realize that Diego is in love with Victoria. Victoria is stunned when a delirious Diego mumbles about an event that only Victoria and Zorro would have known about, and then she looks for and finds an old scar on Diego’s side from a wound she had once treated on Zorro. Diego is Zorro! The bandits eventually leave, and our Victoria and Alejandro are alone with Diego, whose condition is worsening as more time passes. They hear gunshots in the distance, and Alejandro recognizes them as military muskets. Victoria goes for help, and finds Mendoza and his men, who had just captured/killed Ramiro and his gang. Mendoza sends two of his men back to town for help, and takes Victoria onto his horse.

Chapter 16

Victoria pointed in the general direction of the cabin, and then grabbed for the saddle horn as Mendoza spurred his horse into a gallop. Within just a couple of minutes, they were coming to a stop directly in front of the cabin door. Mendoza lifted Victoria down from the saddle and she took off at a run, calling out to Don Alejandro as she disappeared through the doorway.

Mendoza swung down from his horse and tossed the reins haphazardly over the hitching post. He paused for a second in front of the closed door and took a deep, shaky breath before pushing it open.

He froze as he took in his surroundings. There were two empty, overturned wooden chairs blocking the path to the only other doorway from the room. Frayed ropes hung from the back of one chair, and from the legs of the other. In the middle of the room a discarded length of rope dangled from a ceiling rafter. On the floor below lay the remainder of that rope, soaked by the dried blood that was pooled beneath it. The puddle was huge …at least three feet in diameter …and there was also blood splattered everywhere for several feet around the puddle. Flies swarmed over it, buzzing loudly. Mendoza’s head swam as he realized that was probably Diego’s blood he was staring at.

He spun around as he heard hoofbeats rapidly approaching, and realized that the first of his men were arriving. The two who came running into the cabin to report to him reacted in much the same way as their sergeant. They froze into place and their eyes grew big as they stared around them.

Sergeant Mendoza sighed and his hand flapped weakly toward the gruesome mess in the center of the room.

“Corporal, assign a couple of the men to get this mess cleaned up as quickly as possible. Have someone bring in the medical supplies and bed rolls as soon as they arrive. I suspect we’re going to need everything we have, and more.”

He then took a deep breath and started toward the doorway to the next room, from which he could hear Victoria’s and Don Alejandro’s voices softly murmuring. After listening to Victoria’s rather graphic descriptions of Diego’s condition, he did not look forward to stepping into that room.

Current Mood: productive
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
1:38 pm
Love's Triumph hiatus
Well, now it's been almost TWO years since I've updated. I'm SO sorry. Same problems still exist. I've been able to think out a little more, but I just can't seem to get the details the way I want them, and I have NOTHING on paper...uh pixel...uh hard drive...WHATEVER!

Thanks to everyone for the brainstorming ideas. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't even checked my livejournal comments for several months. I'm leaning toward keeping Diego where he is for at least a few days. Although I may use some divine intervention somewhere along the line, I know I won't use the "Don Fernando" style of divine intervention. As a Christian myself, and a firm believer in the power of prayer, I would tend to go with a more realistic approach to answered prayers.

I agree that Victoria should NOT tell Don Alejandro the truth, at least not at this time. But remember, Diego is likely to keep mumbling incoherent comments for quite some time. It's likely some of them may eventually start his father wondering about things. And I'll have to keep the soldiers, etc., from hearing them, too.

I still have the same real-life issues getting in the way of my writing. And now, I'm getting ready for a wedding, too. My BABY lives 120 miles from me, and is getting married at the end of May. She and her fiancee are both 20, and both in college. They've had a really rough winter. His mom died in Dec., and her funeral was three days before Christmas, leaving him, his dad, and a 14 yr old brother. It's really hard to plan a wedding long distance (it'll be down where they both live - where we used to live), esp. when the bride's mother is so far away and the groom's mother isn't available, either. They're pretty much trying to do the planning on their own. Can you spell "budget-breaking disaster recipe"?

Current Mood: embarrassed
Saturday, March 10th, 2007
6:51 pm
Lack of story updates-please don't kill me
Hello, everyone,
I'm so sorry "Love's Triumph" has been stuck in one spot for so long. I realize it's been almost a whole year since I've updated it. Real life just kicked in with a vengeance. After our move last spring, I found out that having my husband home every evening has just about ended any chance I have to spend more than a few minutes at a time alone to even think about what I want to write...let alone getting anything actually done. Add in a new job that has me working during the hours Dave is NOT at home, and a huge long-lasting writer's block and I just haven't gotten anywhere with this story. I can't even picture the next chapter in my head!
I'm having knee surgery next week and will be off work for at least a week or two after that. MAYBE I'll actually get something written. I really DO want to finish this story. I could use some brainstorming help, though. Does anyone have a suggestion on the best way to get Diego home without killing him during the move? I'll take any help I can get here. That's what has gotten me so stumped. I really am not sure how to go from here to get to that promised happy ending! HELP! Also, send me some e-mails to give me a kick in the rear. Maybe that will help! My new e-mail address is <doradoaguilla@yahoo.com>. That's the only address that's currently active.
Joyce Smith (smithcrafter)

Current Mood: blank
Saturday, June 24th, 2006
6:42 am
slow updates
Well, I just tried to write you all a note and managed to erase it instead of post it! So I guess I'll start again.

Honest, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We're almost done moving. Another week or so and I'll be done going back and forth between Christopher and Effingham every few days. Finally! Maybe I'll be able to get back to finishing this story then. But I'm also job hunting, so....

I hate to be reading a story and have the updates just stop coming. I'm so sorry I've had to do that to all of you. Seriously, though, I'm finding that now that my husband and I are actually in the same house, together, all the time (remember, he'd been 100 miles away at his new job most of the time I've been writing), I'm finding it almost impossible to get any uninterrupted "private time" to even think about the story, let alone WRITE the rest of it! It's driving me crazy! He's a people person and I'm a loner by nature. He can't comprehend why I prefer to spend my relaxation time off in a room by myself, with the door shut, and gripe whenever someone comes in "just to be social". AGH! BUT...in our new house, I have a "project room"...all MINE, where I can set up a craft project and leave it out on the table for weeks, if necessary, without anyone griping that they're tired of looking at it...or I can set up the laptop in there and close out everyone else!...at least, I'll have that as soon as we get a table in there...which I can't do until we get the last of our furniture up here, hopefully next week. All we have left are the biggest items (piano, china cabinet, secretary) that we can't move by ourselves. And hopefully, the movers will be able to get them this next week! I WANT MY PIANO!

This story is SO much harder to write than the original one. I hadn't planned on a "happier ending" version, and hadn't really thought about all of the steps it would require to get there. I DON'T want the ending to be too trite, or too sudden. I detest "overnight recoveries" from major injuries. They're so unrealistic. I'd like to make this story go for several more chapters, at least. At this point, I could really use some brainstorming. I've got a major writer's block on how to proceed from here.

H E L P !!!!!!!!!
Joyce (smithcrafter)

Current Mood: drained
Monday, May 8th, 2006
8:00 pm
moving progress
Well, obviously I haven't been finding any more time to write. We found a house, and are in the middle of packing, trying to be out of this house by the end of the month. So I probably won't get any more posted for a while. Sorry. Amy, when are you going to finish A Bachelor's Dilemma and get back and finish Invisible? Oh, wait a minute. My daughter has college finals going on this week. I bet you're busy with end of school things, too, aren't you. I think everyone must be, because no one is posting much.

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, April 18th, 2006
1:33 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 15 reposted
Note: Sorry about the formatting when I updated last night. I checked the journal page to see that it had posted and USED the lj-cut, but I didn't open the LJ-cut itself to see how it had shown up. The original manuscript had been "justified" . That's the reason for all of the formatting commands that showed up. Sorry again.   Smithcrafter

Chapter 15


Victoria tripped and fell, scraping her knee painfully on a rock. She barely noticed the injury as she pushed herself to her feet and ran on.

Current Mood: relieved
Friday, April 14th, 2006
12:04 pm
Well, we spent my vacation and my husband's spring break house hunting 80 miles from our present home. We found a house, so we are officially moving within the next couple of months: basically ASAP. I'll be giving 2 weeks notice at work this Monday, and we hope to ALL be in Effingham (IL) by the beginning of June. Note the emphasis on "all". My husband has been there since last August, stuck in a scrunched little 3 room apartment, coming home about every other weekend.

Obviously, I did NOT get any writing done while I was on vacation. It's really hard to write much when you're with someone else in a 3 room apartment, and that other person's idea of relaxation is to find something "just to make conversation" ALL THE TIME! (Don't worry. We've been married 31 years, so I should be used to it by now.) Our new house has an office/den that I plan to make MINE!...at least most of the time. Dave's a teacher, so he needs a quiet place sometimes, too.

My updates are probably going to be very slow for the next couple of months. We've lived in this house for 25 years, so you can imagine how much junk I have to go through, pack, downsize, clean out, etc.....

I PROMISE to get something posted by Monday night at the latest. I'm really sorry about the long delay. That last couple of weeks before my vacation, I was really burnt out. All I could really concentrate on was "x # of days and I'm OUT OF HERE for a while".

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
8:42 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 14
Chapter 14
 Victoria winced as she attempted to find a more comfortable position on the floor. Alejandro immediately noticed her discomfort, and insisted that they exchange positions again. Even that carefully guarded movement sent Diego into a spasm of agonized coughing. For several minutes, Alejandro and Victoria were both kept busy, just trying to hold Diego still, yet keep him elevated enough to ease his breathing as much as they could. Once the coughing let up, though, there was nothing. No gasping, no moaning. No movement. Victoria found herself holding her own breath as she stared fixedly at Diego's chest, watching for the almost invisible rise and fall that was the only thing that told her Diego was still breathing.

Current Mood: numb
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
12:05 am
Love's Triumph chapter 13

Chapter 13


Jose Ramiro and his men were gone. They left just before sunrise. Alejandro and Victoria had heard them moving around in the other room, but couldn’t quite catch what they were saying to each other. Just before they left, Ramiro came into the lean-to, with Pablo and Tomas flanking him.  










Current Mood: guilty
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
9:39 pm
Love's Triumph Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Don Alejandro de la Vega was sitting on the dirt floor. His back was against the wall, his arms around one flexed knee providing a head rest as he tried, not very successfully, to get some sleep. Every time Diego moved or moaned, his father would jump awake and reach for his son's hand.

Current Mood: indescribable
11:29 am
Love's Triumph Chapter 11


Note: This is a LONG chapter. I hope it makes up for some of the ones that have been so short.






Diego’s whole body stiffened as his head fell back against his father’s chest. Alejandro’s arms tightened around his son before he could start flailing around, but he couldn’t completely stop Diego from struggling against his hold. Victoria attempted to grab Diego's arms, but he pushed her away. The expression in his eyes was more terrified than Victoria had ever seen it. And this time the panic-stricken gaze didn't go away.


Current Mood: contemplative
Monday, February 27th, 2006
12:23 am
Love's Triumph Chapter 10
Chapter 10
            One of Ramiro’s men finally brought them another bucket of clean water. Victoria sponged Diego’s face off again. Even his bandages were soaked with sweat after the bout of nausea, and there was fresh blood showing again around the bullet wound. Not a lot more, but Diego couldn’t afford to lose it, anyway.

Current Mood: determined
Thursday, February 23rd, 2006
8:25 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 9
Victoria and Alejandro took turns sitting with Diego for the next half-hour. Don Alejandro was sitting on the dirt floor with his son's head in his lap. Victoria was standing at the tiny window, trying not to think about anything, when she heard Diego moan again. She spun around and dropped to her knees beside him, just as his eyelids fluttered and finally opened. His blue eyes, normally so full of life, were dulled by pain and fever, but they fixed on his father with an intensity Victoria had never before seen Diego express.
“F-father? How-how long have I been out?”

Current Mood: confused
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
8:56 am
Love's Triumph chapter 8
Chapter 8
There wasn't a lot more they could do for Diego with the little they had to work with. They took turns sponging his face and trying to dribble a little water between his chapped lips.Over the next hour or so, they could tell he was beginning to develop a fever. His condition wasn’t likely to improve as long as that bullet remained in his shoulder.

Current Mood: determined
12:06 am
Love's Triumph Chapter 7


Victoria looked worriedly down at the pale face that rested in her lap---if you could call unconsciousness "resting". She reached out a trembling hand and pushed a lock of hair off Diego’s forehead. That lock NEVER stays in place, no matter what Diego tries to do with it. How many times have I watched him sitting in the tavern, reading a book or talking with Mendoza, reaching up to push his hair off his forehead. Most of the time he never even realizes he's doing it.


Current Mood: confused
Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
8:44 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 6
Note: This is the last chapter that will closely resemble A Father's Love. After this, although there will still be some overlap of events and conversations,  the thoughts, reminiscences, and discoveries will be from Victoria's point of view, and the story will eventually lead toward that happier ending that everyone seems to want, and I'm still trying to figure out how to provide!

Chapter 6
For the next half hour, Victoria and Alejandro were interrogated about Zorro’s identity, while Diego’s blood continued to drip onto the floor in an ever-growing puddle. Over and over, both Victoria and Don Alejandro repeated that they had no idea who Zorro was.
Ramiro was becoming more irritable as the interrogation proceeded. Several times, when he was especially displeased with their replies to his questions, he turned and slammed Diego with the stock of his musket. The first couple of times this happened, though it was obvious the pain had to be excruciating, and sweat broke out on his forehead, not a sound passed Diego’s gritted teeth.

Current Mood: distressed
Friday, February 10th, 2006
2:07 pm
Love's Triumph chapter 5

Chapter 5


            They couldn't have ridden for more than fifteen or twenty minutes, but it seemed like hours to Victoria. She knew Diego had regained consciousness at least once during the ride, because she heard him moan when the horses were goaded into a canter, and then swear softly when the ropes on his wrists wouldn't let him sit up enough to keep the saddle horn from poking him as his horse moved.



Current Mood: scared
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