A/N: Sorry it's been so long since I last updated. Been so busy lately. I don't own the Thoroughbreds series or any of the characters. I'd like to own a real racehorse someday though. :)

Chapter Four

Ashleigh remained silent through the truck ride. What happened to Mike? Since when did he get into going to all the big racing parties? What's he going to do next? Take me to one of the big Townsend dinners?

"So, we got invited to the Townsends' for a party this weekend," Mike said. Ashleigh tried to gather her thoughts to form a reply. She'd been staring out the window, wondering what was up with Mike's strange desire to attend these big dinners. They were little more than the big-shots discussing horses. And while horses were Ashleigh's favorite subject, she'd rather be riding them than talking about them.

"Sorry, what?"

"I said the Townsends are throwing a party this weekend and we're invited."


"And we're going."

"But Mike! I need to work with the horses this weekend! Prodigy was just born and I need to visit Princess…"

"You can do that another time. You can work with Wonder's colt Friday and visit Princess Sunday."

Ashleigh stared at her boyfriend in amazement. "When did you become so eager to go to those parties? You used to be on my side. You always helped me come up with an excuse when I ran out."

"I just think it's important for you and I to get acquainted with Wonder's half-owners."

Ashleigh turned back to the dark landscape that surrounded their truck. I miss the old Mike. The one that helped me think up wild plots to crash the Townsend parties. The one that always talked me out of them when we were done. What happened to that Mike? "When are we going to stop at DQ?"

"Sorry Ashleigh. We don't have time tonight."

I never thought I would hear Mike say there was no time for DQ. That's like me saying there isn't time for horses.

That Mike (or, as she had come to think of him in her head, her Mike) never returned. It was probably ranked one of the top ten worst weeks of her life. Mike was rarely around the farm anymore. When he wasn't away on his secret errands, he was in the office. Not once did he take Ashleigh out to dinner, or to the movies, or even invite her to eat dinner with him, and she just followed his lead. If he didn't want to spend time with her and show me that somewhere deep inside he was still her Mike, than who was she to argue?

By the time Saturday rolled around and Ashleigh was dressed in a lavender gown that stretched almost to floor, she was really missing her Mike. Her Mike wouldn't have forced her to wear a dress and matching lavender heels. He wouldn't have asked her to curl her hair and spend an hour in the bathroom doing her make-up. He certainly wouldn't have ordered a limo to take her to the party. But this Mike did all of those thigns. And it disturbed her far more than she allowed him to see.