Alright so it has been a LONG time since I've written anything thats not for school. Please try to bare with me for this chapter and maybe the rest of this. However, someone recently left me a review asking me to continue and I couldn't say no. It feels good to know you guys like to read this stuff. Please leave reviews, I really cant explain how great it makes me feel and makes me want to continue writing. Tell me what I can fix too. ALL Feedback is welcome!So thank you very much. Welcome back to the world of Puck and Finn.
Ain't Nobody's Problem
I open my eyes slowly. The little morning eye crust cracks slowly and Im forced to sit up and rub at them. Memories and last nights tears have left my eyes and cheeks raw and sore. Everything feels a little more sore. Throat. Eyes. Cheeks. Heart.
Once I'm comfortable enough I lean back in the bed and sigh. The sun has barely risen now but I cant seem to tell if it is because the days have become shorter or if I am up at an ungodly hour. However, my answer is given to me by the birds that seem to float around outside my bedroom window. I can hear them wish sweet little "good mornings." to each other.
I decide to stand up and face my day.
The air is crisp in the house. Finn must have left a window open last night. He always likes this November air.
Finn's open window paints out the town for me. Its quiet in all of its grays. A few of the lights shine giving the town its tint of a soft orange. The lights, most likely those owned by the butcher, Father Mooneyham and maybe even those who are trying to get a early start to their day of training, force me to start my day. I reach for my own lamp and it joins in the soft glow of the others.
I see Sean Kendrick's light on.
There are many better ways to start a day then early, determined and with a hangover.
I have woken up in a barn covered in a hay next to a beautiful woman with long November hair. I have woken up on cliffs to find a sunset and small strong fingers running down my neck and up through my scalp. I have woken up for a good year feeling much better than this.
The Hangover leaves me groggy. I can still taste the sick and alcohol in my mouth. My eyes are a little red from the lack of sleep.
I try to forget the actions that took place last night at the bar and the night before here at the stables. However, the tea and November cake that have been left make it difficult.
I walk to the stall where the remnants of the fight are left. I do not bother to pick them up. The ants have gotten to them. Living their little lives in bliss. They've found their reason for life. These sweet sticky November cakes were meant to make someone else happy. Now ant picks up its piece to bring to the Queen. However some have become stuck in their current meaning of life. Just like I was stuck in my purpose of Puck they have become stuck and entrapped in the sticky syrup. However the ones that do survive and continue devour it and bring it to their most loved being on this earth and Island. Maybe their loved one wont throw the gift on the floor like mine did.
The ants continue and I allow them to live their lives. I simply open Corr's stall to let him in to his pasture and enjoy the day. Corr wobbles to his pasture and lifts his head to enjoy the cold November air that is on its way. Even with his left over wounds he is elegant and strong.
Corr and I could win this race with no problem. However, Corr has given me too much and to ask such a favor when he is in this state would be cruel.
With no Corr I choose the second best creature I have. A wild and young female named Nam that I picked from a trade in the Spring. Her color resembles that dark greenish blue of kelp in the surf. Every movement of hers causes her coat to take after the same shimmer as the sea. Thick waves, the ones filled with the mess of seaweed, crashing one by one.
Puck and I were strolling around the island. Fundamental had just been born and while Dove and him would rest Puck and I would explore. We knew and know every part of this island but we tried to make it our mission to step on every inch of it. From the beach, to the cliffs, and through town. Every day free would be a new exploration.
On one trip to the cliffs near Malvern's we found Nam. She had escaped from a trade Malvern was having with an American. She looked enough like a regular horse to pass inspections. They could have taken her wildness as the islands charms.
None of that was what made me interested in this Uisce. It was Puck that made me interested in her.
Puck and I walked on the cliff. She was wearing a red blouse, jeans, and brown riding boots. Picturesque. They could have used her for some brochure they send back to the mainland to attract the tourist. There she was, beautiful and happy, when all of a sudden we heard the sharp whinny that only can belong to a Uisce. Pucks head turned faster then anything I've seen.
There is a rule on Thisby that every child is told as soon as they can comprehend; Never look a Water Horse in the mouth. To do so equals certain death and not a quick one.
If there is one thing everyone knows about Puck Connoly it is that Puck has no comprehension of rules and simply does not care for them.
The horse with all of its speed ran straight at her. I reached for Puck believing that this one beast would steal her right out from under me. Just like my father. Nam should have slammed right in to her. She should have thrown Puck to the ground and sent the stubborn woman to the same grave as my father. Puck should have moved. She should have run off. However, Puck just stood her ground. The stupidest thing I've ever seen her do. She just stood and the horse stopped in front of her. Face pushed to hers and their breath intertwining. Nam's breath pushing the November hair back.
"No." Puck simply stated. With one word she pushed the Uisce back. Nam took a few steps back and the two just stood there.
No matter what I have done I can not get the same from this Uisce. She will listen some days but Puck was the only one who has ever made her listen or do much. I imagine their stubbornness is the language that binds them.
I'm lucky that I am not trampled on my way to the beach. Everyone is rushing and on some sort of Uisce. The tourist are being thrown off and before I can even get all the way down to the sand I see 3 of their beast lost to the oceans grip once more. Less competition.
"Good Morning!" I hear a cheery voice call out. I turn and am met with none other than the American, Holly. "How you feeling this fine morning?" He asks but doesnt seem to wait for answer. He's an American, they move too fast sometimes. "You know the air is just so fine this morning. Fresh and clear. Sure would like to enjoy it somewhere other than this terrible place" He says and eyes me and pats me on the back.
I understand now what hes doing. Hes apologizing in his own way for my loss he caused. Hes getting my mind off of it all.
I study him "Yes, quite..." I pause and look around to see what he might be hiding me from ",fresh" I admit when I see her.
Shes looking beautiful and confident today, she looks like that a lot. Her hair is up in that ponytail of hers. The freckles dot across her nose and the tops of her cheeks. Why is she here? Why is she standing next to another man.
Its the same man that flirted with her the other day. He's uncomfortably close to her but Puck pretends she doesn't mind, or perhaps she no quarrels with the close proximity. She is smiling and seems to not have moved from her spot next to him. He's looking as brutish as ever with some smart sneer. Laughing at whatever shes got to tell him. What could ever be so funny? Puck isn't funny. She's not the best at jokes. Her skills are sarcasm and morbid statements. Those two always make or made me laugh anyway.
"Listen, they're just talking about horses." Holly attempts to pull me out of my stare. "I decided to check them for you." he says as if he has done me a favor.
I glare at him "She wouldn't be talking to him at all if you hadn't opened your mouth." Its true. Puck would be with me at this moment if Holly had kept quiet. I would be making her smile and she'd be making me laugh with her sarcasm and her stubbornness. She would be comfortably laying on the cliffs with me watching these men be throw from their Uisces. Especially that one who has now touched her shoulder. Didn't she tell him that she was engaged to me?
Holly looks sideways at me, as if he's questioning whether to take pity or give me the true scolding I deserve. " I didn't choose to disobey my woman." he says as an attempt to get both. He could have something much more hurtful, I know he could of. It still stings. none the less.
"Fuck off, Holly." I spit.
I'm done with the beach for today. I have better places to train the water horse than here.
I thought they'd be interested in some older horses, as a gift from the island. I was wrong. All are interested in the water horses.
As I walked down the only thing they seemed to be interested in was me and my body. The tourist all seem to eye me, then turn to their other tourist friends. They're asking if they should pluck up the courage to talk to me. The short answer is no. The longer answer involves many words my mother said I am was not allowed to men who aren't tourist, the locals, they look at me with pity. They know what the story is. I can tell they do. It shows on their faces and they all seem to nod their heads in respect to me as if someone has died. At this point I cant tell which one I hate more. The flirting or the pity.
A voice pulls me out of my thoughts all of a sudden. " Oh Miss. Connolly!" the American from the other day calls.
I've decided which one I hate more. The flirting.
"Hello," I answer flatly not in the mood for this annoying conversation. "Washington, right?" I ask remembering it was the name of some American Founding father.
"Hamilton." He corrects me but I cant care less than I already do. This man just wants me in my bed. He offers me nothing and these days I have become quite selfish. I am not looking for a relationship where I don't benefit.
He is not what Sean was. He is not a friend. He has no understanding of my life or this island. He doesn't tame the beast he wants to ride. He is simply looking for a good time. My Sean wouldn't look to a girl for a night at dinner and then some sexual advance. Sean can be quiet but their is nothing he loves more than a thought provoking conversation and stories. Sean and I's relationship romantic and friendly gave me its fair share of benefits. I received a confidant, a riding partner, an adventure, and a person with a mind almost close to mine. Sean, well I don't know what he earned. Might not have been much in his eyes if he chose the winnings of a race over it.
"I know that those young foals are not for sale. But well... my niece is just horse crazy. Shes turning sixteen soon. You have any other horses for sale. Not the water horses of course." he assures me. Hes not as horrible in this moment and I decide that Ill stick around to listen.
"Well..." I start thinking of the older horses that were given to me. They're not all so old but they're not in their racing prime and they live on an island of water horses that could have beat the best of them when they were the right age.
" I have a few. Youngest is 10." I explain. " A little mare. Shes a spitfire. She'll need a loving hand if your niece wants her ridden."
Hamilton smiles "Oh she'd love that. Shes a spit fire herself." He laughs.
"Arent all sixteen year old girls?" I ask and it makes me smile. It gives him a good chuckle.
He nods a little and smiles "Well Miss. Connolly when would be a good time to see this horse. Id like to see if I can get a few pictures to send back home to my sister. They'd have to prepare for her and all." he smiles "She'll be just thrilled." He chuckles and it shakes his chest.
Prepare. I like that word for this horse. It means someone cares. I'm not sending her off to a glue factory, Im sending her to a real home where a girl will ride her and love her just like I love and ride my Dove.
I dont have to think over times. I have time to kill now a days. "Tomorrow? Ten or so sound right to you?" I ask
He nods gratefully. "Yes, that sounds just perfect." He looks at me though and his puffy cheeks seem to redden. "Miss Connolly I would just like to apologize for the other day," He begins and I think I've caught it. I believe hes about to bring up Sean in a way to invite me to yet another date. This man has bated me and here is the sinker he wishes to real me up with. However, he surprises me. " I was left from a hangover the other day. I was uh... quite ridiculous when I acted the way I did. Not that asking out a beautiful woman like you is ridiculous. But well I sounded creepy and I still do, " he stammers nervously. "God I really am just digging the hole deeper. Just please forgive me ." he says and sighs, never making eye contact.
Its quite fascinating watching this. Hes the bug and I hold the magnifying glass. No, I don't hold it. I'm not wielding it. I am the light that makes him squirm and stammer for the right words. Its endearing honestly. He's tried.
"Don't worry yourself over it ." I state wishing that the holder of the magnifying glass might end his torment.
"You can call me Tommy." He nods "Have a good day " He states one last time and suddenly takes off back down the beach.
What a strange man.
I decide Ive done my work for today.
I never like the beach like this. I hate the smell of this place during the races. The fresh sea air is overwhelmed by the musty smell of men and their blood. It reeks of stupid bravery and the consequences of said bravery. Not to mention the Uisce don't add anything positive when it comes to the smell.
I look up to the cliff where I hope to watch the madness. Its taken. But by none other than Sean Kendrick. Hes looking strong and statue like as always. I wonder if he truly does notice this loss of me. Perhaps not. Perhaps I read Sean wrong. He cares nothing for me and foolishly I care all to much for him.
I am not in the mood to fight and especially not here in front of all these men. I will take myself home and go about my regular business.
The next day Hamilton arrives and promptly on time. It is exactly 10 in the morning when he pulls up the drive way. Finn points him over with a hand covered in grease just like his shirt and face. This is the picture perfect example of my island and the world in my eyes.
My brother. A young man covered in grease and sweat from hard manual labor. Wild and truly not tamed as much as Gabe has tried. He's the island just like me. Then you have this other man. Tom Hamilton. He's clean and smells like that tourist store in town. They sell polo's with gaudy prints, khakis, and white shoes. Always the white shoes. It looks at if Tom has stolen every item from that store. He looks ridiculous on an island like mine.
I have Roisin in the pen. Her coat fresh, thanks to me this morning. She trots around and keeps her self busy by playing around. I smile and watch her happily.
"Well she's a beauty." Hamilton states as he makes his way from around the corner of the barn. "My niece will be ecstatic." he beams with excitement. "How much are you looking for Miss. Connolly?"
I shrug and look at her "To get her to America will be a small fortune in its own right. However, she has the proper shots. Shes trained well enough to calmly be shipped. Shes healthy and shes fast to boot for a girl her age. Shes jumped huge hedges with a rider and all." I state pointing out her attributes.
Bargaining is my skill. It is one Ive been taught since I was young. However, the American in front of me has no experience in the subject. I can feel it and I can hear it in the amount he moves down the price and how high he starts. He doesn't understand the horse he is buying is not one of the fancy Uisces or race horses from his land.
I should have mercy and I do. I give him a fair price. I do not need a greedy amount of money from this man. I am quite happy with my belongings and lately Ive found myself with more belongings and money than I know what to do with.
"Deal." he states with a smile and shakes my hand. "You're good at this." Hamilton chuckles as he pulls out a checkbook.
I smirk but decide to stay humble. "There are many better on this island. You'll meet some men down by the shore that could sell you seaweed as shoelaces." I states and its true. There are many shrewd men and women on this island. Part of the reason I love this home.
"You're up there with them Miss. Connolly" he continues his funny little chuckle and rips the check from his checkbook.
I have no idea where this conversation is headed. He's going to ask me for my number after this and with good reason. I'm boarding his horse now. This man has just spent over five thousand dollars for a phone number.
"Puck..." Finn calls for me from in front of the house. "Hey Puck!" he calls urgently. It causes Hamilton and I to turn our heads and I'm met with Sean Kendrick.
Earlier when he was farther away up on that cliff he looked much better. Right now he looks like a complete mess. His hair is pushed to one side of his head like it does when he wakes up. That dark hair of his is greasy from lack of a shower. Hes got dark circles under his eyes and dried blood under his nose from a past nose bleed. He looks like death and an angry death. Its shocking to see him this way. He hasn't looked this messy since before me.
"You're selling a horse?" he asks with a groggy and husky tone. He sounds horrible too.
Hamilton clears his throat and he's obviously become incredibly uncomfortable with the situation. I am not losing this sale because of Kendrick. I wont.
"In the middle of it." I say and turn to Hamilton in hopes of finishing out conversation. "Ill have her ready for pick up after the games. Give me a call about a day before you're heading out of here and I'll make sure everything you need is with her." I state and he hands me the check and I hand him the house phone number.
Hamilton coughs and tips his hat. "Thank you . Have yourself a good night." he states politely. He makes his leave and tips his cap to Sean. "Kendrick."
"Hamilton." Sean simply says but never takes his eyes off me.
We stand in silence and watch each other. Squaring up for some type of fight in a way. Hes searching my eyes and I search his for what I'm going to tell him when Hamilton is out of earshot. Its like the races again in this way. We both stand ready to let the words fly across the distance between us like the Uisce on the beach. All we wait for is the flag of this race, the close of Hamilton's car.
With a loud thunk, were off.
"Get out of my yard." I say quickly. Connolly starts with a lead.
Kendrick shakes his head. "What so you can call him back? You move on quick." he states and it stings. With the trip of Connoly's horse Kendrick is given a slight lead.
"I'm not dating some American." I can only exclaim. Connolly falls farther behind.
"You're supposed to be dating me." Kendrick exclaims
I cant believe how ridiculous hes being. Its as if I'm some prize to be won. "Maybe I still would be dating you Kendrick if you weren't a liar." I state and decide that Im over with this race and this fight.
"You never listen to my real reasons. You didn't stick around long enough!" he exclaims and that cool and collected Sean is gone. He's fighting to keep me and using all the tricks hes got.
I refuse to continue and hear his stupid reasons. " I don't care about your reasons, Sean. None of them are reason to put your life on the line. To go off and die."
"I wouldn't die." he refutes calmly.
It forces a laugh out of me. Not a laugh of amusement but one of utter disgust. "You haven't. You've been lucky. But if you take this one race you'll go on them all." I argue back. He tries to speak but I wont hear anymore of it. I can feel the tears begin to prick my eyes and I curse myself. "No! You will die in one of these games. Maybe not from a horse. Maybe not from the sea or yourself. But perhaps someone else? So warped by jealously. In some way, if you continue down this path you will die like your father and all those other men. I wont have it." and the tears are beginning to push through. " I will not have you and then suddenly lose you. I wont have that. Because if you're mine and you suddenly die from those beast or the money and violence that surround them, then I will hardly have a future. I am not going to have that taken from me." I take a deep breath pushing on to finish this. "I will choose what I get. So I choose to lose you instead of having it chosen for me suddenly." I state and close the back door to the house in his face.
The world has chosen enough of my pain in the past. I will choose what hurts me and I don't want to choose Sean's death. I will pull myself away so maybe it'll hurt a little less when it happens. I choose my pain.
What did any of that mean? Choose to lose me? Not be taken?
In some ways I understand it.
But I am not scared of losing anything. Being scared equals death. Its not the horses that killed my father or any of those men. It was fear. Fear of the Uisces killed them but it wont kill me. I'm not afraid of this. I'm not afraid that I'll lose this race or lose Puck.
Fear will kill me. I won't let it.
Training starts now.
Its key that I train this Mare by the shore. 150 years by the shore. So I do. Its not the shore where all men train. Its my shore, a little beach I found with Puck on one of our adventures. The beach where I imagined why I needed the money.
I'm sad to find some other men by the shores Puck and I called our own. However, its nothing compared to the crowds that would await me on the cliffs.
Nam, is anything but still. She is the opposite of Corr's cool calmness. She heaves back and force on her front legs to her back slowly trying to inch me off of her. She hates to be controlled and she doesn't want to have this saddle on her back. Shes stubborn, but not as violent as the others In my eyes. She just wishes to be free. I promise her she will be after races. But for now I need her.
The day is filled with Iron and charms. Its all I can use to control her need for freedom for some time. Even then these tricks don't work as well on her as the others.
Shes too much like Puck. Maybe in some way this is her revenge.
Note From Author
I know it was a shaky chapter. I'm really looking for someone to reread these in order to pick out spelling and punctuation. If you are capable of this please feel free to PM me. Also... where is everyone on this site? Is this place still used? Anywhere else people are putting their fan fic? I wanna know.