Chapter 11 – Head over heels

McGrover Ranch

Few hours after the encounter with O’Cauly, Ralf and Rachael sat in her office. Both not discussing the event, went over the business partnership deed Barbara had drawn up the last evening.

“Everything looks in order. Barbara has not lost her touch.” Said Chris grinning at Rachael

Smiling at his trial to make small talk, Rachael filed the papers and walked towards the cabinet across the room. “She is very good, I agree. So now that the deed too is signed, looks like we will be working together as you wished.”

“Hmm, Rachael, I can I ask you question?”

“Sure, what is it?”

“Well, you see what I want to ask, I don’t mean to intrude on your personal life, but you know I wanted to ask…” just then the shrill ring of telephone filled the room

Excusing herself, Rachael picked up the phone. “Yes, this is McGrover ranch. May I know who is calling?”

“You got the owner, now what is it you want?” her tone changed suddenly.

“Yes, you are late by a week in delivering them. Now when I can expect the delivery to be made?”

“Ok. I will see you then.” She banged the phone on the receiver

“Who was that?” asked Chris and Barbara together

 “The dealer, saying that he will need few more days to deliver the horses”

“Few more days, John had paid him off almost five months ago in full”, said Barbara

“To whom, did papa pay the money?” asked Chris

“Buzz Barton”

“I will talk to him.”

“Mr. McGrover, I can handle my business. I would appreciate if you didn’t interfere” saying Rachael walked out of the office

“Chris, don’t take it wrong, but she is very nice. She may sound rude, but she doesn’t have mean bone in her body.”

“And how do you know this Barbara. You have known me much longer than her?”

“I may have known you longer Chris, but I understood Rachael in few days she is here. She is trying to make up for something she didn’t have or she lost, I am not sure. She takes care of everyone on the ranch as an extended family of hers. You know there is something very familiar about her, but I am not quite able to figure it out yet.”

“Me neither Barbara. Me neither.”

Chris’s Ranch

Chris drove back home wondering what was it about Rachael that was so bothersome. There was something very familiar about her and at the same time something unknown. He reached his porch to find Karen cozying up with Sean.

“What the hell is happening here?” I shouted coming to halt

“Hey Chris, I was just asking Sean when you would be back. I brought you dinner.”

Chris tied his horse to porch ending and climbed up the stairs, taking a deep sigh; he lifted the bowl from the swing and placed it in Karen’s hands. “Karen, I meant what I said. I do not want you cooking for me. I do not want you cleaning my house. There was never any future and there never will be.”

 Chris walked into the house followed by Sean, leaving fuming Karen on the porch. Everything was silent for few seconds, before both brothers heard the loudest scream of their lives and crashing of dishes.

“She really wanted to snag you.” Said Sean whistling and looked out the window at retreating figure of Karen

“What are you doing here Sean? Why didn’t you call me when found dad sold the ranch or that my moving away had caused so many problems at the ranch?”

“Wo wo wo, one question at a time. Well I am here because I want to talk to you about Rachael Burns and I didn’t know until the last-minute that Pa sold the ranch. He kept me also in the dark.”

Walking into the kitchen Chris pulled out two beers from the refrigerator and sat down at the dining table sliding one beer across to Sean. “I fail to understand why dad would sell the ranch to an outsider.”

“Well you walked out got your own ranch and I decided to continue my education. Pa didn’t want to burden us and he found the easiest way out I think.” Said Sean gulping the beer

Chris was silent for few minutes just sipping his beer and lost in his thoughts. Sean placed a second bottle in front of him and took his seat across him wondering that there was something different about his brother. He had never misbehaved with any woman, but today he seemed more than irritated with Karen.

“What’s going on with you and Karen, I thought you were going to ask her in few months time.”

Chris smiled and said, “I was a fool to think I could forget Rach and move on.”

“Chris, Rach is gone. You need to move on.”

“You don’t think I know that. I was ready to move on with Karen, but things have become complicated now.”

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing, you didn’t tell me yet why you are here?” said Chris walking towards the refrigerator to pull out his dinner to heat.

“You could have eaten a warm dinner if you didn’t throw Karen out.”

“Ya I know, but I don’t want to eat dinner made by her. Jeb is good at cooking. Now tell me.” Saying Chris took out his dinner from microwave and placed two plates on the table

Serving a spoonful to chilli Sean replied, “I was wondering if you are planning to enter the Cody Stampede Rodeo happening in three months time.”

“You know I don’t do any rodeo events anymore.”

“Ya, I was hoping you might have changed your decision.”

“Now why would I do that?”

“Well, I don’t know you tell me. Burns and Joshua think it will be really good for ranch business.”

“What does Rachael know about rodeo events?”

“Oh it’s now Rachael” said Sean laughing out loud at Chris’s expression

“Just eat you dinner and go Sean. I will think about the rodeo.”

“Hmm, oh by the way Pa called, said he will return for in few months.”

“I was angry initially about him for selling the ranch without letting us know, but after seeing it I believe he did well. Rachael has been done good job.”

“I will have to agree with that. She is really one of a kind. Who would have thought a model will run the ranch so well.”

“Sean, did you know Rachael from before? I mean have you heard of her?”

“Well initially when I met Rachael I didn’t recognize her, but aye I have seen her in many magazines and advertisements.”

“Don’t you find her similar to Rach?”


“Never mind, you were very young and wouldn’t remember her.”

“Remember who?”

“No one, finish up your dinner. Are you staying here and heading home?”

“I am thinking I better bunk here, what with Karen throwing a fit at your rejection, you would need a hand.”

“I don’t need any help; am going to put sultan in stables.”

Seam watched his brother walk out the house. He wandered around into Chris’s office. His table was strewn with Rachael’s clippings. He found a shoebox full of photos of Chris during his days in the rodeo. He shuffled through photos until he found one of Chris and Rachael, during their younger days.

“Oh this is awesome, finally going to see my brother fall in love head over heels.” Laughed Sean walking to the bedroom

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