Stage West - Dalton

       Annie Pelle / Romance & Love / Western
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Stage West - Dalton

Annie Pelle


Published by

Copyright 2012 by Annie Pelle

This is book one of the Stage West series. The second and third stories will be published shortly. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the series.

Chapter 1

Graduation Day
Meadow University

As she watched her best friend Lindsay walk across the platform to receive her degree, Sarah wondered what was in their futures. Sarah’s degree was in Corporate Management and Lindsay had graduated with a degree in Ranch Management. We are done, we made it to graduation. We are going home! Sarah thought to herself. Well, Lindsay is going home and I am going to visit her home for a couple of days.
David, Dalton, Lindsay and Sarah arrived at Stage West after the graduation ceremonies. The view from the plane as it is circles the ranch is breathtaking. The house is a multi-wing style building that affords the siblings some privacy. The property surrounding the house is lush and filled with desert landscapes. There are several outbuildings including multiple barns, an exercise corral for the horses to be trained and a corral for the injured livestock to heal. Sarah loved the ranch almost as much as the Matthews. She had visited there many times since their freshman year in college.
Lindsay’s family ranch, Stage West, is in the ranching community of Peacock, Arizona. The holdings of the ranch were vast and varied, including livestock, real estate, and breeding programs. The ranch had been in the Matthews family for many generations and was now being managed by Lindsay’s two brothers. David manages the daily operations of the ranch and Dalton manages the businesses that had grown from the family ranch as well as any other holdings the family might acquire. Lindsay is going to take over some of the daily business at the ranch so that David would have more time with the breeding program. Sarah had known Lindsay since their first day at Meadow University. They were roommates their freshman year and had been best friends since then.
Sarah’s task was to now find a job and get established. Her dream job would be a personal assistant to a top executive but as a fresh graduate she supposed she would have to work her way up to that dream position.
“Shouldn’t we have a party to celebrate our graduation?” Lindsay asked. David laughed and then turned to Sarah and asked “Do you think you need a party to celebrate your graduation?”
“No” Sarah replied, “I am just glad to be done, that is my celebration.”
Lindsay frowned but agreed. “Anyway, Dalton’s birthday is coming soon and we have to have big party then” Dalton grimaced at that thought.
As they arrived at the house, Gabby greeted them with a smile and hug of congratulations. “Sarah, I am so glad to see you again.” Gabby was the Matthews longtime housekeeper, cook and general in charge of the household. She had been with the Matthews since Lindsay was a child and helped the siblings when their parents died. Gabby had “adopted” Sarah the first time she had come home from college with Lindsay. Gabby’s husband, Nathan, was the horse wrangler and their sons, Nick, Travis and Colin work in various capacities at the ranch and at Matthews International. Nick helped David with the ranch’s breeding program and he was also Dalton’s best friend since childhood. Travis the computer genius and headed the IT team at Matthews. Colin was in his last year of training to be a veterinarian.
Gabby sent everyone to freshen up from the trip and then told the travelers to come to the dining room for a special dinner to celebrate two new college graduates. As they ate that night, David and Lindsay started discussing the ranch business that Lindsay would begin assuming. Dalton barely sat down at the table before his cell phone rang and he had to go attend to Matthews International business. Sarah was so relieved to be done with school that she enjoyed the fact that she didn’t have to rush to finish studying for any courses. School was tough for Sarah, she got good grades but she worked hard for them. Lindsay got good grades but school was easier for her.
The day had been a busy one so Sarah excused herself to head to her room to go to bed. She could hear the family talking as she prepared to go to sleep. It was enjoyable listening to them and was slightly envious that she had not had any brothers and sisters. Sarah’s only remaining relatives were an aunt and uncle in Tucson. They were not a real close family but they did keep in contact.
Sarah would leave Stage West the day after tomorrow. Thanks to Gabby’s nephew, John, she had an apartment in Phoenix. Gabby and Sarah had picked out household items during spring break and they were already in the apartment. Sarah was ready to get started on her dreams.

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