Authors: Paige Powers
Leap of Love Series,
Global Village Publications
(Leap of Love Series, Book 4)
Copyright 2015 Paige Powers, Global Village Publications
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Table of Contents
The train pulled into the station. Beau was almost out of his seat before the train came to a complete stop.
"Hold on. We have not even stopped yet."
Beau looked back at his brother Boyd.
"I know. There is just so much out there that I'm ready for. New life. New everything. Aren't you ready for all of that?"
Boyd watched his brother, who was full of anticipation.
"You are always so anxious, brother. Life still awaits us, even if you let the train come to a complete stop."
A whistle blew, the conductor announced the stop, and the sound of the gears grinding signaled the fact that they were now in the station.
"Arizona. This should be interesting," Beau replied.
"I'm ready to get sworn in already."
Beau came over to his brother, who finally stood up and got ready to get off of the train.
"Boyd, my brother. All work and no play. I hope that you find a reason to relax a bit more here in Arizona."
Boyd shook his head. Although he and his brother were twins, they were complete opposites.
Both had sparkling green eyes and blonde hair. Boyd wore his hair in more of a cropped cut, and Beau wore his hair slicked back in a ponytail. Beau was the adventurous free spirit, and Boyd was the thinker. They grew up in a house of ten boys, and their parents did their best to corral all of their behaviors and raise men who would be great contributors to society.
Boyd patted Beau on the back. "Thanks for that, brother. I know that your heart was in the right place when you called me boring."
"It certainly was," Beau joked.
They both hoisted their bags up onto their shoulders, and exited the train. Steam filled the platform as they stepped out of the car.
The heat immediately met them as they stepped outside.
"I feel like I'm going to melt into a puddle right here," Beau commented, as he took his handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his brow.
"Yes, this heat is brutal." Boyd squinted as he tried to see clearly. The sun was not only blazing hot, but brightly beaming.
Neither of the men looked forward to walking into town in the heat, but they had no choice.
As they began their walk on the dusty road ahead of them, a coach pulled up alongside them.
A burly man sat at the helm of the coach.
"Who's asking?" Beau replied.
"I am Don Brinker."
"Oh yes. You are the one that will be swearing us in as U.S. Marshals."
Brinker brought the coach to a stop. "I am." He tipped his hat to the both of them.
"Well, I'm Beau, and this is my brother Boyd. Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Brinker."
"Now I knew that the two of you were kin, but I had no clue that you were twins. That's going to be the talk of the town. I don't believe we have any twins around these parts."
Beau nodded and shrugged. "For some reason, twins seem to intrigue people. I really don't know why."
"Are those the only bags that the two of you have?" Brinker asked.
"Yes. We packed lightly. Not too much." Boyd pulled his bag higher on his shoulder.
Brinker did his best to slide down off of the coach bench. His body was too large and round to be nimble enough to get down quickly. He finally gave up, and just stayed put on the bench, waiting for the men to hop into the coach wagon. Once they did, the men were off on their way.
"I understand we have lodging in town," Beau said.
"Yes. From what I know, you will be lodging at the inn until the two of you get a wage to where you can afford to live somewhere else." Brinker had a drawl that was a bit unusual, making it hard to place his origin.
Brinker did his best to serve as a tour guide as they rode through. He yelled out the names of some of the town locales as they passed by. It was already midday, and the sun was relentless. Beau watched as people went to and fro, taking care of their everyday activities despite the heat. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, and tried to wipe the sweat away. It was of no purpose, however, because the beads just returned.
Brinker showed them the most important locations; the saloon, the hospital, the sheriff's office, and the bank. The town of Eagle Valley was growing and expanding rapidly, and it showed by the number of wagons riding up and down the main street in town, even so early in the day.
"Pretty nice sized town here."
"I agree," Boyd said in response to his brother.
Brinker nodded. "Yes. Population has exploded in the past year or so. More and more people moving west here. Got dreams of finding gold, or just plain starting a new life."
"Good to know that we are among many others."
"You certainly are. Eagle Valley has seen so much growth. It's a rightful good town. Nice place to raise a family. Stays relatively quiet. We get an occasional band of thieves or bandits riding through, but the law keeps it under control. Nothing has really happened to speak of in our history. We're proud of our town."
"Were you born and raised here, Brinker?"
"No. Born in Council Bluffs territory. Moved this way some years ago with the railroad, and then worked up to my position with the U.S. Marshals. Enjoy what I do. The two of you will as well. I take it that neither of you have a young family coming behind you?"
Boyd and Beau shook their heads.
"This may sound strange, but that is a good thing. Takes a lot to be a Marshal and concentrate on the job at hand. Once you move up the ranks, there will be more settling assignments, but right now, it's good to be wild and unhitched. If you know what I mean."
Boyd shook his head. It made perfect sense. There was no way that you could look to raise a family until you had time to commit to doing so. He watched his parents work so hard to do their best to raise ten boys. It took time and commitment and dedication. Those were not things he wanted to focus on at this moment. The right thing to do was get himself together long before he would find a wife.
"Here, we've made it to the inn. You will find decent lodging. Come to the sheriff's office around three. We Marshals receive all of our assignments from there."
Brinker pulled the coach to a stop. He tipped his hat as Boyd and Beau jumped out of the coach and gathered their things.
Brinker drove off, leaving the brothers standing there in front of the inn. Beau opened the door first, and motioned to his brother that they should enter.
A woman with wild red hair stood at the front behind a counter. "How can I help you?"
Boyd stepped forward. "Checking in. Boyd and Beau Abbott."
The woman seemed to give them both a second look after she glanced at her ledger.
"Welcome to town. Looks like you both are the new Marshals."
They both nodded. The woman's words filled Boyd with a sense of pride. The way she suddenly regarded him now was different than when they first walked in. She passed both of them keys and, with a smile, welcomed them to Eagle Valley.
The entire trip was unbelievable. A whirlwind was happening in Boyd's life. So much change so quickly. He was not sure how to take it all in.
Arizona. One of the last places that he expected to be. But when the opportunity presented itself to make a move, Boyd was the first to jump on it.
Living in South Carolina, the Abbott clan had been at the forefront of the Great War. Being one of ten brothers, Boyd knew that enlisting would make his parents proud. They were getting older when the talk of the war starting began and by the beginning of the war, the patriarch of the Abbott clan had passed away.
While dealing with the loss of her husband, the matriarch of the Abbotts endured one of her sons going off to war, and ultimately becoming a prisoner of war. When the family did not know his whereabouts, and he was all but assumed dead, Boyd's brother Bryan returned home after several years being missing in action. It was like seeing a ghost materialize out of thin air. They were all happy to see him come walking down the path toward the home they had all grown up in.
After seeing the perils of war, Boyd had no interest in enlisting, so he opted for going into being a lawman, at the advice of his brother Brent, who was now a Texas Ranger.
Bryan had since moved to Texas and started his own family. Another brother, Brent had also moved west and settled in Texas. One of the oldest Abbott brothers, Ben, lived with his wife Amelia in San Francisco. None of them had thought too long and hard about moving away from the place where they were reared, especially after their mother passed away. The more and more that Boyd thought about it, he felt like their poor mother had died from a broken heart more than anything.
Boyd would have stayed in South Carolina had his mother still been alive. The two had been relatively close and when she passed away, he felt a solemn melancholy mixed with relief. She would have wanted him to move away and find himself.
That chance came when Brent sent word from Texas that there were openings in the government for U.S. Marshals. Boyd looked into the lead and found that if he did take the opportunity, it would mean that he needed to move to Arizona to be sworn in and take his first assignment.
He was not aware when he sent the application that he would get a response so quickly. The only catch was that he did not have much time to make a decision. The other thing he had not known was that his twin brother Beau had also applied and gotten word that he too should report to Arizona.
The subject had come up over dinner, and it was a relief to Boyd to know that he would not be traveling across the big open country alone. It would be the very adventure that he needed to make a difference in his life. As much as he was a thinker and a philosopher, there was also a streak in him that desired adventure and change. A part of him that wanted to find out what else life had to offer and what else life had in store outside of all that he had come to know.
So there were no second thoughts when the response came back that there was a spot available for him on the new team of Marshals building out of Arizona. Boyd did not know much about what life was like out west. He only knew what his brothers told him. They spoke of wild, open lands, Native Americans, and a lawlessness that was both helpful and hurtful. It was part of the reason that Boyd wanted to get into the business of being a lawman.
It was respectable. It was the kind of work that would help him live out his need for exploration and a completely new journey in life while he worked and made a living.
He was happy for the free room and board at the inn, although the accommodations were simple. A room with a bed, a table, a chair, and a small wardrobe with enough room to hang a few things. The washroom was down the hall, and would be shared by the four rooms on the hall.
It would be enough space for Boyd to make due. He figured that at some point he and his brother could rent a house if they decided to make Eagle Valley, Arizona their home. There would be time to decide whether or not this would be a place of permanence. Once he washed up and unpacked to make the room feel a little more like home, it was time to be on the way to find out their assignment. He considered a nap, but did not want to take the chance on being too late.
He and Beau made it down to the lobby at the same time.
"Imagine that. Beau Abbott, surprisingly on time."
Beau patted Boyd on the back. "First impressions make a heck of a difference, brother. Shall we get on with it?"
They both put on hats and walked out into the arid summer air.