Chapter 1 – Deed’s in Hand

The sun was climbing up when Sean  found his father tending to a new mare in the far corner of the stables. As Sean reached the stable his father looked up smiling at his second born and said “What happened to you? You look pale and aged 10 years?”

“When Chris finds out about the sale, you will be the one to age by 10 years or maybe more pa?”

His father started laughing at his son’s expression and said “Well my boy this ranch isn’t Chris’s and I am more than capable of taking decisions knowing full well their consequences.”

Sean wouldn’t back down and said “But pa don’t we have any say in this. It is not like the ranch was going out of business now, is it?”

“No no Sean. I have been taking care of this ranch for a long time. After mom left us last year I have been thinking of closing it but whenever I thought of sale I felt it needed someone who would love it just as much as I did. This is where I built my family with your mom.
She was a good woman.”

“You miss her pa.” Sean stated “Yes son. I do and that is why it
is hard for me to stay here and run this place.” Sean’s father said looking far away into the distance.

Knowing his father’s pain Sean tried to lighten the mood “You know pa you should take that trip to California you always wanted to take now that you are a free man.”

Smiling at his son he said “You are right Sean, but it wouldn’t be as it would have been if your mom was with me on the trip. You know she always wanted to see Hollywood and give a mouthful to the men who made cowboy movies.”

Laughing at the incident when Sean’s mother had bantered at dinner table in teaching a lesson to the directors about ranch life, both of them walked towards the office. McGrover said to his son “Listen to me my dear boy; I know Chris will be furious when he learns, but you have to understand why I did it in his absence. This ranch feels empty without your mother and doesn’t hold the same appeal as it had before. Chris already has his own huge ranch to run and you are busy helping
Chris there and as well as working towards your degree in medicine.  Do not worry; the new owner will take very good care. If I was not convinced I wouldn’t have signed the papers.”

“Yes Pa, but you should tell Chris when he returns. I don’t wish to face him when he learns of this. You know well enough how angry he will be.”

“He has a bur up his behind. He needs a girl in his life who will set him straight and always on his feet running behind her.”

“Hahahaha.. that would be the day worth more than anything comparable to all the pranks Chris played on me and I am going to make sure I am around just to see him running behind a girl with
puppy dog face.” Sean said laughing loudly imagining his hulk of a brother going all weak in front of a slip of a girl.

“Do not wish so my boy, because your turn will come too and Chris will make sure he is around then” saying McGrover smiled at his son.

Two Days Later in New York City

Rachael was finally able to sleep late into morning as the final photo shoot was done and the excitement knowing that deed would be in her hands soon was enough to keep up her spirits and to enjoy the night out with all her girl friend after a long time.

As she was walking along the pasture lands looking at her herd, a insisting ringing made her turn back to find only blackness. Worrying what happened to her ranch she looked around frantically but again the same ringing disturbed her and brought her out of her stupor.

“Oh my.. never had been this dream so real before.” She said to herself when the bell rang again.

“Alright alright I am coming” saying she grabbed her nightgown over her night dress and walked to the main door. Staring from the door cam was Roxy her usual bubbly, impatient self about to ring the bell again. Before her fingers touched the switch Rachael opened the door to invite her accountant and best friend in to her plush condo.

“What took you so long Rach, I have been out your door forever.”

“I was asleep. So what you brings you here so early morning?”

“Early morning? My dear it is after 12 in the afternoon. Anyway here you go sleepy head.” Saying Roxy handed an envelope to Rachael.

“What is it?”

“Open it”

“Hmm, ok.” Rachael opened the envelope. She pulled out a stack of papers all neatly arranged and she could see her name right on the top in front of buyer. She couldn’t believe her eyes. So many years of hard work and finally the moment had arrived for her to set the wheels running towards her destiny and all she could do was look at papers

“So what next Rach? You have announced your two year break from the modeling world and got the deed you have been trying to get your hands on.” Roxy asked settling on the sofa with her coffee.

Grabbing a cup of coffee for herself Rachael settled opposite Roxy looking out the window smiling.

“Hey do not give me that goofy grin, I know what it means. You are up to something and this time it is not small prank of yours. It is different.”

“You are right Roxy, it is not a prank. This time it’s about getting back what belonged to me and I am going to do everything to get it back.” Rachael said looking Roxy taking a sip from her cup.

“Care to explain further dear. This is the first time I have ever seen you so intense and aggressive. The ranch owner was not ready to sign the deed, but one call from you was all that took him to sign it. What did you say to him?”

“I will explain all of that when the time comes. I have to get  ready and go shopping before I take my vacation.”

“Is that you telling me to shut up and get out of your house?”

“For now. You know you are the only friend I trust and you also know you are welcome to my house anytime.”

“Ya ya I know. Anyway drop your keys at my place once you go off on your vacation so that I can water all your plants and feed your fish.”

“Thanks Roxy, have I ever told you are the best?” Rachael said hugging Roxy

“No, but you can tell me now.”

Walking Roxy to door, Rachael said her goodbye with promise to keep in touch. Once alone she immediately showered and called the flight booking agent to get her tickets to Hot Springs, Wyoming. Once the tickets were confirmed two days from now, she called Uncle John to tell him about her travel plans. Once all travel arrangements were
settled, she left to purchase few necessary items needed for her trip to check out the ranch.

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