CHAPTER 3

They grabbed a lead line from the fence and went to get Salarylady; Blackgoddess looked up from snatching a stray blade of hay from the ground to watch the girl and father. Clipping the red lead line to Salarylady's purple halter they led her to Blackgoddess's pen. Blackgoddess pricked her small ears forward as they led the other mare into the pen.

Salarylady snorted warily, flicking her grey ears back'n'forth but she gave Blackgoddess a look that said, "Hi I'm friendly but not make me mad" Blackgoddess moved a pace or two around the other horse, Salarylady watched then she moved to inspect Blackgoddess. Then two animals stood sideways to each other and began to bond. Their teeth clicking softly as the pulled at one other's mane's.

Christina's father looked at her and said, "Well looks like we found a buddy for your filly." With that he walked away but then he stopped and hollered back, "and I want you to check on the yearlings Windsurf, Sunfire tomorrow morning for some people are coming in the afternoon to look at them" Christina hollered back, "I will, Dad!"

Turning her attention back to the horses Christina saw that Salarylady was eating sidebyside with Blackgoddess. "Now I can go get started on my report, bye Blackgoddess, Salarylady." Christina walked away back up to the house.

Christina finished typing her report when the phone rang, Christina pounced on the phone. It was Mandy.

"Christina how's the new horse?

"Blackgoddess is fine Mandy but how's Stormy?

"Stormy doing okay I think she misses you though" there was a pause as Mandy switched the phone to her left ear.

"Well tomorrow I'll be by since Rory asked me to come over and ride with him so I guess we will se each other."

The girls laughed at some joke that Mandy told Christina then a voice which sounded faint calling Mandy.

"Christina I got to go" said Mandy

"Bye" Christina replied and hung up the phone.

Christina glanced at the clock by her desk; gasping at the time for it read 5: 35 pm she then leaped from her chair and raced down the stairs to only run into her dad who said, "Don't worry Christina I already fed your horse."

Relief washed over Christina but then she froze turned on her heel and said, "Ross put that water gun down!" her brother looked sheepishly at their father who gave Ross a stern look and he put the water gun down. "Son how many times do I have to tell you not to harass your sister?"

"A lot dad, but-"

"No buts son and I mean it leave your sister alone when inside for you know how your mother likes her Persian rugs." Their father turned heel and went to their mother, gave her a kiss on the cheek, then went to sit in his recliner and turned on the news. Chris went to bed for it was going to be a long Saturday tomorrow

The next morning dawned clear but with little sun as Christina drove to Irishstream to pick up Stormy then drop off the truck and trailer. She thought of her friend Rory Wilson Lakin, is there more the just friendship between them? "No! There isn't!" Christina hissed to herself but there was a small twinge of squishiness when ever she thought of him. She pushed that thought away and focused her eyes to the road ahead. How would she know if Blackgoddess had if any training at all? "Well I guess I will just have to find out." But in two weeks atBriarwood there is a meet and last month she had entered Stormy in the advanced division. "Here to a lot of luck come next Saturday on the sixed of June." She told herself not to worry but it was just her nerves she guessed that where keeping her from relaxing every time she thought of that meet.

Soon the red 'green rooftops of the house and barn came into Christina's view. She saw a horse being worked in the training area by one of the stable hands, Christ also saw Mandy lead her horse Silentstar off into the woods the horse's grey coat gleaming from an hour of brushing. Soon Christina pulled up to the parking area of the massive farm; she backed the trailer up to the large shed where they kept the not-in-use-trailers. Christina got out of the truck, went to the back of it and began to unhitch the trailer. Sweat dripped from her black eye-brow as she struggled to lift the heavy trailer hitch when strong hands grasped her own small hands.

Christina looked up to see a young man about nineteen, with black hair and black eyes. He smiled at Christina and she felt her knees flip but she steadied herself, it was Rory Wilson Lakin!

"R-Rory thanks!" Christina cried, then she went on, "How come you didn't tell me you where coming early?"

Rory straighten up, smoothed back his long black hair and said, "I wanted to surprise you Christina and I wanted to ask if you want to go to the spring dance at the end of June with me." His raven colored eyes drilled into Christina's light amber ones. Time seemed to slow before Christina managed to say, "Sure Rory I'll go with you."

His eyes seemed to catch fire at her response. "Great! Now how bout we go for a ride with Mandy." Christina gave a shrug as if the idea didn't please her and began to walk back to the truck to put it with the other vehicles when Rory grabbed her arm, spun her around staring into her shocked amber eyes. "Wait Christina I'll come with you." He then let go of her arm and strolled to the passenger side of the truck got in and shut the door. Christina followed slowly.

Stormy snorted as the small ginger she-cat Leaffur pounced on a mouse and carried its catch to the other side of the barn where it began to eat. Moving restlessly in her very roomy stall the rose-colored chestnut mare pawed the deep straw. She threw up her red head and neighed again, suddenly a girl's voice filled her fine tipped ears. It was Christina! Whickering softly the chestnut shoved her muzzle through the bars of the fancy stall.

"Hey Stormy I missed you too!" she brushed her hand on her mares mole-soft nose, Rory came up from behind Chris and tried to pet Stormy but Stormy pinned her ears back and snapped at the teenager. "Stormy that was not nice! Be good, okay?" Rory chuckled softly and glanced at Leaffur trying to catch her shadow but failed and fell off the hay bale instead. "Rory did you bring your horse, Tallfeather?" She was referring to the very tall black-grey gelding that Rory rode.

Rory smiled his wonderful smile before replying, "Yes and Stormy will be most happy" he patted Christina on her small back and walked away. Snorting Stormy moved away from people to nock over her food bucket.

"Hey! Stormy "Christina cried then got the halter and lead-line and let her self in to bring out her wonderful horse.