A bit of background: this was my first-ever foray in DALLAS fanfiction, written all the way back in 2007 and posted here on the forum. I didn't back up my files or photos back then, so when my laptop, and the forum crashed, this story was lost to me forever--or so I thought. A kind, generous soul--and fan of good taste--saved the stories they enjoyed to Word documents, and now my story, which takes place the summer and fall after WAR OF THE EWINGS, is back for a new set of eyes to read. @Karin Schill @Ms Southworth @Mrs Bobby James Ewing @Ray's Lady *** June 1, 1998 He knew it was over. In ten years, the spirit of Texas had never left him, and the trip home had rekindled that spirit. He knew that he belonged on Southfork, not in Switzerland. He had planned to tell Jenna, but she had already gone, leaving him a letter. “She must’ve sensed something,” he thought to himself. They agreed to part amicably, taking away a few good memories from a complete mismatch. His brother had made sure that his ranch has reverted to him, and all that was left now was to return home. As he sat on the plane, images of his past life played in his mind. He thought of his days as ranch foreman, his entry into the Ewing family, his marriage and divorce to the most beautiful blonde in Texas, and the daughter whom he only saw once a year. Over the past decade he had had plenty of time to reflect on his mistakes, and to toss away his regrets. He didn’t expect his new life would be the same as his old one, although he longed wake up every morning as the bright sun came up on the ranch and streamed into his windows. He thought about what it was like among the Ewings, all those years ago. Their once large clan had dispersed to the ends of the Earth, and Southfork was no longer the vibrant ranch it had been during Jock’s time. He was glad that he had his own ranch to take care of, and didn’t have to take orders from anyone but himself. After being married with someone else’s children for the past eleven years, it seemed strange to be alone, but he welcomed it just so he could be back home, where he belonged. More than anything, he just hoped for some contentment. Most of his life seemed to have been full of self-loathing and missed opportunities. As the Dallas skyline came into view, he found himself thinking about her… June 1, 1998 She knew it was over. She didn’t have any choice in the matter. Her husband, the senator, had passed away last month in his sleep. While she had made her life here with him these past 11 years, she knew that she was done with the District of Columbia and was ready to raise her daughter in a place that wasn’t so fake…so unfriendly…so urban. She set her sights on returning home, to the place she had loved and left so many years ago. The school year was drawing to a close, and Margaret—with her daddy’s eyes and her mama’s smile—would start a new school in the fall. Even though she had grown up in Texas and called it home for most of her life, the widow Dowling hadn’t been there since leaving. This was partly by chance and partly by choice. She had no need to be there, as Margaret’s father came to visit them once a year. Many of her old friends had retired and moved away. Her husband had no ties there, other than her. But as she made the arrangements to return to the place she had left, she found herself full of questions. Would she re-enter the political scene, or withdraw from public life? There was already an offer to write her husband’s biography—her reputation as a best-selling author preceded her. She found herself thinking of days past. She sat in her Georgetown home, reflecting on the life she lived before she was Mrs. Dowling. She had been married to her soul mate; her husband was the kind of man with whom she always dreamed of growing old. Too many pressures and different dreams led them to part badly. They realized their dream of having a child together, but she was born in Washington, after the divorce was finalized. She had left the life and the people whom she had grown to love. She never regretted her marriage to the senator, but she always felt as though a part of her had been left with that cowboy, on that ranch, back in Texas.