A Rocky Start
Despite her foot dragging, the week of the move came and she ended up in Hungary, jetlagged and cranky. After a two-hour drive to the new stables, her hopes of going home became smaller and smaller. Upon arrival, Victoria reluctantly climbed out of the rental car and looked around. She had to admit it was some beautiful countryside. A river wound around the far side of the property, and beyond the house mountains rose to meet the sky and extended into a coniferous forest to the west. She could hear livestock lowing off in the distance as she went to the trunk and grabbed her luggage out.
“Wow… this is great.” Serge breathed, ending up behind her as he waited to grab his own luggage. “It’s so similar, yet different from back home.”
“Sure.” Victoria grunted, dropping her bag onto the ground to drag to the low one-story building in front of the car. “Whatever you say.”
“Alright then.” He muttered. Man, she was cranky. Granted, she was always irritable with him for some reason. Whatever. He grabbed his bag out and turned around once more, taking a breath and looking out towards the river. “…This is gonna be awesome.”
“Yes, it is. But you can take it in later.” Lark commented, coming up beside him, papers in hand. “I’ve sent a text to Chase letting him know we’ve arrived, and he told me that the owner is going to meet up with us in about half an hour. So, you’ve got about that much time to find your room, unpack and get back into the kitchen to meet him and go over the game plan. It’s going to be a rough week while we adjust to the time difference, get the horses settled and introduced to their new surroundings and get a new routine set up.”
“Ugh… Are we really going over all of that tonight? I’m so tired Lark. I just wanna look and nap. We’ve spent the last 14 hours either on a plane, or in an airport, or in a car. Please… can we do that tomorrow?” Stefan groaned, having been hit hardest by jet lag. He was in the process of dragging himself out of the car, having fallen asleep on the two-hour drive from the airport. He sleepily pouted at the woman as he yawned and straightened up. “… I just wanna sleep…”
Crawling out the other side, Katrina blinked tiredly at Lark, not saying a thing, but her general haggard look pleaded the same.
“Just get yourselves inside.” Lark sighed, waving her hands at them. “Go find your rooms.” Admittedly, she was suddenly feeling the same way. Maybe, after meeting this Gavin fellow, a quick ‘this is what we’re doing tomorrow’ talk, then straight to bed.
Thirty minutes or so later, the ragged team was assembled in the kitchen. Stefan was basically draped over the counter on a stool, while the others were in various stages of sitting or leaning around the room. Within minutes, footsteps were heard outside of the building and the side door opened, letting in a dark stranger. He surveyed the room silently, tucking his hands into his pockets.
“I assume one of you is Lark?” He grumbled, dark eyes fixing on each one of them slowly. Great. A bunch of young idiots on his property and they were probably going to mess everything up. He’d probably end up babysitting the bunch. Damn Serina and her ideas.
One petite woman stepped forward and offered him her hand. Gavin took it and shook it firmly. Let’s get this over with.
“I’m Gavin, your boss sent me all the information. Now, you know that the fenced in property is yours to use and take care of, as are the stables. As part of the agreement, your people will clean my stalls. There are some things that you will need to know about the horses before any of you steps foot into the stalls, but that can wait for tomorrow morning. You can also ride out in the open plain, but I suggest you ride out in pairs. There are some wild animals about that are not to be trifled with. But my house is off limits. No questions.”
He paused. “Also, there is no hunting allowed. No guns. No bows. My property is a protected reserve, and no one hunts without my express permission.” Surveying the room once more, he stepped back. “I will meet you in the stables in the morning with the instructions on my horses.” With a curt nod, he stepped out of the room.
The staff listened in silence as his footsteps receded and looked at each other in disbelief. “Well…” Lark finally said. “I guess we will find more out tomorrow. Meet here at 7 am guys. We’ll debrief and then go out. I suggest we all get a good night’s rest in the meantime. “
After everyone had shuffled out of the room, she sighed and put her head in her hands. Well. She hoped that wasn’t a sign of their relationship with their landlord to come. Chase hadn’t said anything about his curt exterior and none of her staff were good at walking on eggshells. This was either going to be a fun six months, or the most stressful 6 months in her career. And only time would tell which one.