Drabble that popped into my head. If people like it, I will write more. Not Beta'd.
One. Two. Three. Four.
It was a five stride line, but Killian Jones took it in four, turning his mount mid-air and clearing the rail with ease. An almost complete turn on the haunches, and a sprint towards the last jump and he was through the timer.
The board flashed as he moved to the top of the leaderboard with the new fastest time, and unless anyone else dared to take the same line in four strides, he felt he had it in the bag.
He leaned over his mount and gave him a hardy pat on the neck. "Good boy Rog!" he praised loudly, and black stallion gave a huff of approval as he broke from an easy canter down to an energetic trot, tossing his head as they passed through the gate, and past a scowling older gentleman.
"Gold," Killian nodded curtly, touching the top of his hunt cap.
"Jones," he said through gritted teeth.
Killian's eyes twinkled as he looked away from the man and up to the stables. A smile broke through as he saw the dark mane of hair from behind, ducking around a corner. He dropped his stirrups and swung down, giving his mount another pat and handing the reins off to his groom.
"Give him a good walk down Smee, and then sponge him off. Make sure to add some liniment in for those legs ok?"
"Aye aye sir," said the chubby older man, leading the still prancing stallion back towards the barns.
Killian's pace quickened as he turned the corner, following the woman who had ducked through a few moments ago.
Running smack into her, his smile melted into laughter as he lifted the woman, spinning her around. "Milah!" he said with giddy excitement, "Did you see us?"
The woman nodded excitedly as her lips met his.
She pulled away from the kiss, "Not here Jones, you know my husband is here."
"Fuck him," he whispered against her lips, and pushed her against the wall, running his hands through her hair, moaning slightly.
"Killian," she said between breathy kisses, "I have to go warm up. Killian!" The woman giggled and pulled away from him, while Killian slapped her playfully on the ass, ducking under his arm and around the corner. Killian leaned back against the wall with a smile, before he heard her talking to her husband.
"Why are you smiling?" his voice asked.
Killian could feel her scowl. "Oh, I can't smile now Rumple? Nice."
"Milah, you need to focus," he started, before she snapped back at him. "I am focused. Wendy and I will do just fine. Relax."
"I will do no such thing. Unless you focus and start winning, that horse is worth more to me dead than alive."
There was quiet after that, and Killian heard the familiar jingles of the bit and bridle going on the white horse that he knew almost as well as he knew Milah. Neither belonged to him, yet both had his heart. The familiar sound of horseshoes leaving the concrete stables signaled that it was safe for Killian to come back out, but as he turned the corner, he ran into the older man from earlier.
"Listen up Jones. I know what you're doing, but you sold me that horse, there's a signed contract, and a deal is a deal. And that woman that you have been kissing, she belongs to me too," the man spat at him, striking his cane down with force.
Killian leaned down slightly and looked the man in the eye, "They may belong to you, as you say, but that horse listens to me, and that woman loves me. Not you!" he spat back.
"But whose name does she have Jones? Hmmm? That's right. Gold. My name, so sod off," the man fired back, before turning and walking away with a heavy limp.
"She's going to leave you, you know," Killian yelled behind him, and the older man stopped and turned, looking him right in the eyes, before a slow smile spread across his face.
"No, she's not," he said back quietly, and every hair on Killian's body stood on end. Milah. Killian's heart dropped and he sprinted to the warm up ring. The white mare was cantering along, but something was off. He knew that horse like the back of his hand, and her gait was wrong. Killian ran as fast as he could. Milah went to take a warm up fence, and the white mare balked. Don't push her Milah. Killian begged her in his mind to notice something was off. A quick crop smack and circle later, and the duo approached the jump a second time. Killian watched in horror as the mare took the jump, but as her front legs landed, her right leg snapped and crumbled. The horse flipped, and Killian watched the 2,000 lb. animal land on top of the woman he loved.
"Milah!" he screamed, as stewards held him back, and the horse thrashed about on the ground, several people trying to restrain the mare, and get Milah out from under her. Dust flew through the air, and Killian could vaguely hear the announcer ask for everyone to stop their horses, and dismount. The blood rushed through his ears, and all he could hear were his screams, that sounded of echoes. Gold hobbled to the ring, voice thick with false tears and grief. Killian fought off the stewards, and leapt over the fence before Gold could get to her. "Milah!" he cried, falling to his knees. She was coughing up blood as people around him yelled for medics. "Oh Milah," he whispered softly, vaguely noticing the mare to the side, struggling to get up.
"Is Wendy, is she ok?" Milah asked, her voice barely a whisper, tears streaming down her face. Killian brushed them away, and lied, "Lass she will be fine, as will you. Stay with me ok?" he clutched at her hand, his own eyes threatening tears.
Milah's eyes fluttered, and Killian urged her to stay awake, kissing her hand. "Milah, love, Milah…stay with me," he begged, choking back tears.
"I love you," she whispered before her eyes closed. And Killian's head fell, sobs racking his body. Gold stood silently a few feet away, a vet slowly approaching him. "I'm sorry sir, but the horse, she's suffering and I…"
"Take care of it," he said curtly, before turning and walking from the arena. A few moments later, after a tarp was placed over Milah's cold body, the white mare stopped struggling, and closed her eyes.
And Killian was alone.
"Again Emma," a strong Irish accent yelled, and a petulant ponytail flipped in response, matching the tail of the horse she was on.
"It feels fine Graham," she yelled back, and the dappled gray Andalusian effortlessly switched leads as it crossed back across the arena towards the man.
"It may feel fine because you don't know what it feels like when it looks right," he scolded her, and she brought the horse down to a walk. "He's behind on his transition, and he's not collected enough going into it. It's not going to matter now, but when you need him to do those turn on a dime lead changes, it will matter. Do it again, and collect him up this time. Make him listen to your leg," the man instructed, giving the horse a pat on the neck, and knocking the woman's boot affectionately.
The woman sighed deeply, and took the gray horse back to the rail, collecting him up and asking for a transition to canter, before attempting the lead change again.
"There you go Emma! Beautiful! Did you feel the difference?"
"No," she yelled back, but the smile on her face said otherwise.
"Ha. Ha. Let's end it there on a good note. Go ahead and cool him out, ok?"
The blonde laughed and dropped her stirrups, letting the horse have his head before leaning down to give him a hug and a pat. She cooed to him as she draped herself over his neck and he moseyed around inside the large arena.
"You always did like the pretty ones," said a voice from behind Graham, and he turned to find a dark headed man leaning up against the gate to the arena.
"Holy shit it's Killian Jones. You actually emerged from the bottle long enough to come visit little old me," the Irish man joked, and headed to embrace his friend over the top of the gate.
"Har-dee-har-har. I came to see what the world famous Graham Hubert was up to. What do you have now… two gold medals?" Killian asked.
"One and a bronze, and you know that too you little shit," he goaded him, elbowing him in the side.
"Whose that?" Killian asked, watching the blonde woman chat to the horse, and braid a little bit of his mane close to the pommel of the saddle.
"That, is Gunthery III," said Graham with a coy smile, "I'm hoping to have him keyed up for Prelim before long."
"That's not who I meant," said Killian, and Graham rolled his eyes.
"Yeah I know it's not. That's my rising star, and you will stay away from her Jones," Graham said, before calling out to Emma, "That should be good lass. Bring him on in, and we'll get him hosed down."
"I'll hose something down," muttered Killian, and Graham turned to him with an annoyed look. "Did you leave those manners in the bottom of the bottle when you emerged from it?" he asked, to which Killian replied with a huff.
"I'm always a gentleman," he said with annoyance.
The blonde woman dismounted in front of the two men, and brought the reins over the head of the now relaxed stallion, whose demeanor was much more gelding.
"Beautiful," said Killian, before extending a hand to shake towards Emma. She rolled her eyes and held up a dirty hand.
"Sorry, hands are dirty. But yes, yes he is," she commented, before Killian took her hand and softly kissed it, dirt and all.
"I don't mind getting my hands dirty, love. Killian Jones, at your service," he offered, looking into her eyes, to which she burst out laughing, taking her hand from him, and walking away with the horse.
"Clearly a friend of yours," she called behind her to Graham, "Where do you find them?!" Her laughter echoed off the walls, and Killian frowned as he watched her jodhpur covered ass sashay away. She glanced back at him and shook her head with laughter, before turning the corner and heading towards the barn.
Graham chuckled softly, "Yeah Killian, she's a handful. Leave that one alone. Let's go see who you really came to see." He patted his friend on the back and they headed to the mare barn, with Killian glancing over his shoulder for a glimpse of a blonde ponytail.