The Unknown

Be amazed, I posted a Phantom Stallion fic! Actually, I found it sitting in my 'In-Progress' folder only a few lines away from completion. So... ta da. I'm planning to reread the series over Winter break to get my plot bunnie sup and running again. Hope you like! Characters aren't mine.

Jake Ely absolutely hated the unknown. Especially when it came to not knowing something about her, his Sam.

It was why he as so over-protective with her. Why, despite the fact that she'd inadvertently rope him into something dangerous, he would go along with her simply to make sure she was safe if something were to go wrong.

One time, when Sam needed him, he hadn't known what to do to help her. The guilt of being the reason it happened, the reason he'd spent two whole years without her, ate at his mind whenever he thought about her.

Since then, there had been numerous occasions when he hadn't been there for her in time. And she'd gotten hurt because of it.

The cougar attack stood out the most for him, he'd been the one to find her and it made him think of the accident several years ago. He hated that one more than anything since she'd come back. Their run in with Flick over Dark Sunshine made him realize how far he'd go for her. If that man had done something to hurt her, he would have indeed, used the rifle.

There were smaller ones, too, but scares none the less for him. The barn fire, the earthquake, many face-offs with the Slocums, trying to provide emergency vet care for a wild, unpredictable stallion, riding that same stallion several times - though she denied it, he could see it in her eyes, almost being arrested. The fact that this list could go on for a while longer was quite sad, he thought to himself.

Not to mention the tables had been turned when he'd almost drowned on Teddy when the La Charla River had swept him into the current, he'd walked away with a broken leg, but inside he was terrified of not having a chance to tell her what he felt. Despite that fact, he had yet to do that.

Just last month for example, fate had been tested yet again when Sam was once again held at gun point by Flick, this time because of illegal rooster fighting. If it hadn't been for Ace's desensitizing class and the retired officer with her she probably wouldn't have gotten out of it.

Right now, though, his only question was: Where is she?

Sam had told him to be here at dawn so they could take Blaze out and look for his coydog pup. Admittedly, Jake was ten minutes late, but she wasn't outside like he expected she would be, waiting impatiently for him to show up so she could chew him out for being late.

As he'd pulled across the bridge to River Bend he noticed she was nowhere around. "Not again…" He sighed, turning Witch toward one of the nearby trails, looking for hoof prints in the dirt.

He wasn't sure if he could take seeing her hurt again.