The soft rays, of the morning light, warmed Diego's face, as he slept. A warm smile, graced his lips, as visions of him, making passionate love, to his beautiful wife, drifted through his mind. He wondered if it was all a dream. As he held her in his arms, he could feel, the steady beating, of her heart, as she lay, against him. He slowly opened his eyes, and looked upon, the tranquil features, of her face, as she slept. He gazed in wonderment, at this enchanting woman, who lay beside him. He loved, everything about her. Every gentle curve, every line, every little crease, was now ingrained, in his memory, forever. Even the scent of her perfume, she wore, and the softness of her lips, as they kissed, would never, be forgotten. A slight smirk, fell across his lips, as he thought of how ironic it was, that someone, who was determined, independent, and tenacious as Victoria, would be the one, who would finally unmask, and capture, the heart and soul, of the infamous, Zorro.
"My Victoria." he whispered, gently running his fingers, through her dark silk tresses, as they fell, about her shoulders.
Victoria briefly stirred, then slowly, opened her eyes. She lifted her head, and looked into the deep blue eyes, of her handsome, and loving husband, and smiled.
"Good morning." Diego greeted softly, as he looked, into her eyes, and smiled.
"Good morning." Victoria replied, softly smiling. She sighed, as she looked at him, thoughtfully. She sat up, and pressed a tender kiss, to his lips. When they parted, they gazed into one another's eyes, and smiled.
"I hope, it will always be, like this." Victoria said, warmly.
Diego smiled. "Don't worry, Victoria. It will." He replied, as he pressed, a tender kiss, to her lips.
They held each other, in a warm embrace, and kissed, once more, then rose from their bed, and dressed, for a leisurely day.
Felipe, had been awake, for several hours, as he lay in his bed, and silently, said his rosary, giving thanks to God, for returning, his voice. When he finished, he rose from his bed, and quickly, dressed. He decided, to put on, his finest, clothes. He couldn't wait to see the look on Diego's, Alejandro's, and Victoria's, face, when he spoke, his first words.
As he neatly tied, his black silk tie, he looked into the mirror, and practiced saying, 'Thank you,' until he could say it, without hesitation. He adjusted his vest, straightened his tie, then smiled, as he looked, in the mirror. "Thank you!" he said, in an amiable tone.
Michaela, Sully, Diego, Alejandro, and Victoria, sat around the table, drinking their morning coffee, and juice, as they waited for their breakfast. They briefly looked around, as they saw Felipe, walking into the room. Diego smiled, as he saw how handsome, Felipe looked, in is white ruffled shirt, black silk tie, his dark blue vest, and pants, and brown boots.
"Good morning, Felipe!" Diego greeted, amiably. The rest greeted him as well. Felipe nodded, and smiled.
"I must say, that you look very handsome, this morning. In fact, I would say, that you are a picture of sartorial elegance!" stated Diego, warmly.
Felipe wasn't sure, what 'sartorial,' meant, but he was sure, that it was, a compliment. He smiled, as he looked, at Diego.
"Thank you!" he said, warmly.
"You're wel ... " Diego's mouth suddenly dropped open, as he looked at Felipe, in amazement. Everyone's eyes, were as big as saucers, as they too, gazed, at Felipe.
Diego and Alejandro, slowly rose, from the table, and walked over, to Felipe.
"Madre de Dios! Felipe, you spoke!" said Diego, grasping him by the shoulders, and smiling, as he looked into his eyes. "Say it again, Felipe!" he said, excitedly.
"Thank you!" Felipe said, smiling.
Diego, put his arms around Felipe, and hugged him tight. Tears, came to his eyes, as he held him close.
"Felipe, I can't believe it! You spoke!" he said, tearfully, and smiled. He pulled him away, from his embrace, and looked at him. Alejandro, wiped the tears, from his eyes, and smiled, as well.
"Felipe, can you say, my name? Say Diego, Di ... e ... go!" he said slowly.
Felipe looked at Diego, and opened, his mouth.
"Dd..ii..ee..ggo." he said, slowly.
Diego looked at Alejandro, and smiled. "He said my name, father!" He looked back, at Felipe. "You said, my name!"
Victoria, Michaela, and Sully, all gathered around Felipe. Alejandro, and Diego, smiled.
"How did this happen, Felipe? This is a miracle!" Diego said, shaking his head, in surprise.
Felipe looked at Diego. "Mo..ther." He said, slowly, pointing to himself.
Diego looked at Felipe curiously. "You said mother! Your mother? I don't understand?"
Felipe, pointed to his eyes, then pointed away from himself. Diego, looked at Felipe, thoughtfully.
"You saw, your mother?"
Diego looked at Felipe, and smiled. "You mean, you dreamed about, your mother?" he asked.
Felipe, wasn't sure, if it was a dream, or not, but he nodded, just the same. He signed, that she had told him, that she was with God, and that he didn't, have to worry, about her, anymore.
Everyone smiled, and hugged Felipe. Diego, looked at him warmly.
"Your mother is right, Felipe. Everything, is going to be, all right, from now on. You don't have to be, afraid, anymore. Victoria, and father, and I, will always, be with you. We'll help you, learn to talk. With the education, you have, and the knowledge, of the English language, it won't be long, until you're saying, full sentences." Diego said, smiling.
Felipe, slightly shrugged, and smiled.
"It will take time, I know! But now, we have all the time, in the world!" he smiled.
Soon, the servants came in, with their breakfast. They all sat down, and said a prayer of thanks, at the miracle, of Felipe's, new-found, voice. Diego, said a special prayer, in thanks, that Felipe, had finally resolved, his issue, with the past, that had kept him silent, for so long. He surmised, that, maybe it was like, the dream, he had, about his mother, when she told him, not to be afraid, to show his true self, to Victoria. In a way, he felt that he, and Felipe, both had to let go, of their past, in order, to get on, with their lives. Now that they had resolved, their conflict, with the past, they could both, concentrate, on the present, and the future. Diego, briefly looked over, at Michaela, and Sully.
'If I don't get them back, they won't even have, a future!" he thought.
Michaela, and Sully, looked at Diego, thoughtfully.
"Diego, Sully, and I, have been talking, and we have decided, that we want, to go home." stated Michaela, earnestly.
Diego nodded. "I know. I don't know how, you came here, but one thing I do know, for sure, is that, whatever brought you here, I'm sure, it can take you, back." He stated, resolutely.
Alejandro, looked at him, oddly. "What are you talking about, Diego?" he asked, with curiosity.
Diego, looked at Alejandro, in assurance. "It's a long story, father. I'll tell you all about it, later." He said, with a slight smile.
Michaela and Sully, went into their rooms, and gathered their things, that they had arrived with, and packed them, in their bags. Diego, asked Maria, to put some food, in a sack, for Michaela, Sully, and himself.
As Diego, was helping Maria, gather their provisions, Alejandro, and Victoria, came into, the kitchen.
"Diego, where are going?" asked Alejandro, earnestly.
Diego, looked at Alejandro, decidedly. "I have to take them back, to where they arrived, father. If I don't take them, they'll never, get back." he stated.
"Back to Colorado?" Alejandro asked.
Diego sighed. "It's not just Colorado, father. I don't know, how to say this, but they came here, from another, time." he stated.
Alejandro, and Victoria, looked at him, in amazement.
"Another time?" Victoria asked, with a surprised look.
Diego nodded. "Yes. It was a dream, I had, when the epidemic, began. I dreamed, that she and Sully, were going to come here, and help us. The came, from Colorado, but from a different time, than ours. I can't explain, how they came here, but I know, if we go to the same place, where I met them, I have a feeling, that they will, be able, to get back." He stated.
Alejandro, slightly shook, his head. "I'm not sure, if I understand all this, or even believe it, but if this is something, that you have to do, then be, careful! Make sure, that you don't, accidentally, go back, with them!" he stated, anxiously.
Diego, put a reassuring hand, on Alejandro's shoulder, and smiled. "Don't worry, father, I'll be careful."
Victoria, looked at Diego, worriedly. "Diego, I'm going, with you!" she stated, earnestly.
Diego, shook his head. "No, Victoria. Stay here, and take care, of father, and Felipe. I promise, that nothing, will happen, to me." he stated, earnestly.
Victoria, shook her head. "Diego, your father, can take care of himself, and so can, Felipe. I'm not taking any chances, on loosing you, to some mysterious force, or accident. If you go, then so, do I." She stated, firmly.
Diego, looked at Alejandro, pleadingly. "Father, ... ."
Alejandro, shook his head. "Don't, look at me! This is between, the two, of you." He said, holding up his hand.
Diego, looked at Victoria, and sighed. "All right, you can go. I guess I could, use the company, coming back." He stated, warmly, as he smiled. "I'll help Miguel, saddle some horses.
Victoria nodded, and smiled. "Thank you, Diego!" she put her hands, on his shoulders, and kissed, his cheek.
"You're welcome!" he smiled.
They finished gathering, enough provisions, for their long, and unusual, journey. Victoria, quickly changed her clothes, then gathered, some extra things, for Diego, and herself. Diego went to the stables, and helped Miguel, saddle the horses. They brought them, to the hacienda, and began tying, their provisions, to the back, of the saddles. Sully, and Michaela, fastened their provisions, to their horses, as well. Victoria, brought out, the extra things, that she had, collected for Diego, and herself, and helped him, pack them, on their horses.
Finally, everything was ready, for their trip. Alejandro and Felipe, walked out, with them, and said, their last minute good-byes, to Sully, and Michaela.
"Seņora Quinn, you'll never know, how much, we appreciate, everything, you have done. You helped save, many lives, with your medicine. I wish, that there was some way, that we could, repay you!" he stated, warmly.
Michaela, opened up her medical bag, and took out her microscope, and some extra medicine, she had, and gave it, to Alejandro.
"There's no need, to repay me. I only did, what I had, to do. I took an oath, to help people, who were in need of, medical, attention. That's, what I was trained, to do. I have always, wanted to help people, in some way, or another, so I just felt, that being a doctor, was the best way, that I could help them. By the way, give my regards, to Doctor Hernandez. Please give him, that microscope, and medicine. I'm sure, that he could use, them both." she smiled.
Alejandro nodded. "You are a dedicated woman, Michaela! I truly admire you! I'll make sure, that Doctor Hernandez, gets these. I'm sure, he'll be very, grateful." He replied, smiling.
Michaela nodded, and smiled. "Gracias, Alejandro!" She gave Alejandro, a warm hug, then hugged Felipe. She looked at Felipe, warmly.
"I'm glad, that you got, your voice back, Felipe. I'm sure that, Alejandro, Victoria, and Diego, will make sure, that you will get, the proper training, to help you, with your speech." She stated, earnestly.
Felipe nodded. "Thank you." he smiled.
"We certainly will, Michaela." Alejandro stated, earnestly, and smiled.
Michaela nodded. "Good!" she said, warmly.
Alejandro, hugged Victoria, good-bye, and told her, to be careful, as well. At least, he could take comfort, in knowing, that she, was in good, hands. He knew that Sully, and Michaela, were too.
Diego and Victoria, took a couple of pistols along, in case they happened, to run into, bandits. Diego, even brought a sword along, just in case. Inwardly, they were hoping, that they wouldn't meet, any. But, it never hurts, to be prepared. They said good-bye, then rode off.
They kept the horses, at a moderate pace, as they rode. It was a long ride, but with the provisions they had, there was plenty of food, for the trip. It was a three days, ride to their destination. On the second day, they had stopped, at a small tavern, and stayed, all night. The next morning, they left, just as the sun was rising, over the horizon.
It was beautiful, crisp morning. The sky was a pale blue, with an occasional white cloud, dotting the sky. As they rode, they passed the time, by reflecting upon, all the events, that had happened, and what they would do, when they returned, home. Soon, they were nearing, their destination. Sully, and Michaela, looked at Diego, with curiosity.
"Diego, how did you know, about, this place?" Sully asked, with a discerning look.
Diego smiled. "A very close friend, of mine, told me." He replied, with a smug look.
Sully smiled. "You mean, Zorro?" he asked.
Diego nodded. "Yes. He told me, to tell you, that he apologized, for not bringing you, here, himself. However, he did, extend his gratitude, for all, your help, and hoped, that you had, a safe, journey, home." he stated, warmly.
Sully smiled. "Well, tell him, 'you're welcome,' and thank him, again, for saving, my life." he replied, amiably.
Diego smiled. "I'll be sure, to do that!" he replied, warmly.
As they rode closer, to the place, where Sully, and Michaela, had arrived, suddenly, the sky began to grow dark. Victoria, gave Michaela, a hug, as if, she knew, Michaela would soon, be gone. Diego, and Sully, shook hands, then both couples, said, their last, good-byes, to one another.
As the sky grew darker, the ground beneath them, began to tremble. Diego, grabbed the reins, of his horse, and Victoria's horse, as well, as they began, to grow, nervous, from the shaking. Victoria held the reins, tightly, and steadied, her horse, calming it, with her voice.
The moment Sully, and Michaela, rode on, a brilliant flash of light, bolted, from the, sky, enveloping them, in blinding, white light. Victoria and Diego, shielded their eyes, as the light, became intense. Suddenly, there was a loud roar, of thunder, as the light, began to fade. As sun came out, and the sky began to clear, Diego, and Victoria, uncovered their eyes, and looked around. To their amazement, Sully, and Michaela, were gone.
The town of Colorado Springs, was bursting with people, as everyone, went about, their daily, business. Sully, and Michaela, opened their eyes, and looked, around. They were finally, home. They gazed, at the people, in amazement, as they noticed them, going on, about, their business. No one, seemed to notice, that they had just arrived, in town. It was, as if, they never, left. Friends, and neighbors, occasionally, waved to them, then walked on. They looked at one another, and slightly shrugged, then trotted their horses, over to, Michaela's clinic.
No one asked, where they had been, or even, where they had come, from. Everything, was just, as it was, before, they had left. Nothing, had changed. They quickly dismounted, then gave each other, a warm hug. They were finally home, and that was all, that mattered.
Victoria, looked at Diego, with curiosity.
"Diego, do you think, they made it, back home?" she asked, with concern.
Diego, glanced up, at the pale blue sky, then looked, at Victoria, and smiled.
"I know they did!"
They looked, at one another, and smiled. Diego, took Victoria's hand, and pressed a tender kiss, to her palm, and smiled.
"I'm glad, that you, came with me. Let's go home!" Victoria nodded, and smiled.
Thanks, to a legendary masked man, named Zorro, and a brave, and courageous, woman doctor, named, Michaela Quinn, and her strong, and compassionate husband, Sully, the pueblo de Los Angeles, not only survived, a deadly epidemic, but acquired a new Alcalde, as well. An Alcalde who would govern them, fairly, and wisely, and not by tyranny, and oppression. As for Ignacio DeSoto, he did in fact, return to Spain ... in chains!
Now, their bad times, were finally over. No one, could explain, how Michaela and Sully, arrived, or even, how they left. Maybe, it was fate. The same fate, that finally, gave a young man, named Felipe, his voice.
Sully, and Michaela, were home. Diego, and Victoria, had finally married. And Felipe, not only found his voice, but Alejandro, gained a son, as well. The bad times were gone. The good times, lay just ahead!
Personal Thanks: Thanks to everyone, at JDB Onelist for reading my story. Thanks so much for all your praises, and encouragements. Without them, I never could have finished this story! Is this a Great List, or What! Thanks to Robin and Christina Smith, for posting my stories on their websites. You two are GREAT! Thanks again to Robin, who posted this story, faster than I could write it! I still think, you're Amazing! Last but not least, to Kathy Green, and Nikki, for giving me some helpful hints, on writing this story, and for your encouragement, as well.