Disclaimer: Unfortunately I do not own any of these characters or places in the story!! They belong to Terri Farley who I highly recommend!!

Sam Forster rose earlier than normal on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Quietly Sam wrote a note to the still sleeping family and slipped out of the house into the cool morning air. After flying through her chores, she hurried to tack up Ace, her frisky gelding mustang. Sam's plan was to ride to War Drum Flats and spend the morning exercising Ace on the range. Hopefully, when she went back to River Bend Ranch Jake would come and help her continue gentling her filly, Tempest. Sam hated to think Jake would be leaving for college in about two weeks; however she felt honored that he trusted her enough to leave Witch, his black mare, with her while he was gone.

A breeze picked up bringing Sam's mind back to her ride and she realized Ace was pulling at the bit. She spun him in a circle to bring him under control and then sent him on a gallop across the range. Suddenly, Ace gave a loud nicker and came to a jolting trot with his ears erect and head high. Recognizing Ace's behavior as a friendly greeting to her now grown colt, Sam scanned the range searching for signs of Blackie now called the Phantom, a stallion of a herd.

She spotted him on his lookout ridge above his watering herd standing tall with his silver mane blowing in the wind. Rearing on his haunches, the Phantom acknowledged Sam and a nicker escaped his throat. At the sound of a rattling truck passing on the highway, the mighty stallion signaled his herd and disappeared on an unknown path through the mountains. In an instant her colt had disappeared and she was again alone with Ace smiling at her mustang connection.

Sam allowed Ace to wander toward Mrs. Allen and Preston's wild horse sanctuary. Abruptly, Ace came to a halt twitching his ears nervously. Nearby Sam heard the sound of two quad engines navigating in her direction. Before she had time to ride Ace to safety, a gunshot erupted from the tall brush. Ace spun from the sound and started loping toward home; however the quads broke through the grasses revving their engines and panicking Ace. Unfortunately, Sam did not recognize either man that was now chasing her with their loud machines. They aimed their guns at the racing horse and rider shooting twice barley missing Ace's small body.

Sam's mouth went dry at the nearness of the bullet and she screamed at the men to leave her horse alone instead the riders rode circles around the terrified horse and began firing shots into the air. Finally, Ace had had enough; he reared tossing his head high. Sam desperately tried to stay in the saddle and slammed her weight forward. Grappling for the horn, Sam tried to keep her seat, but she missed and fell from the saddle. Sam hit the ground with her hands and knees, her teeth clacked together at the shock of hitting the ground. Rolling away from Ace's hind hooves Sam covered her head and waited to feel the impact. Surprisingly the pain did not come and she heard the motors fading into the distance. She lifted her head, wincing at the pain in her wrist, which had taken most of the impact. A look down told her that her knee was gashed by a rock since blood was seeping through a rip in her jeans and her body started to ache from the fall. To her dismay she saw Ace fade into the desert toward home and a wave of nausea hit her thinking about trying to walk all the way home.

PLEASE read and review. I will right the second chapter when I get at least 3 reviews or so. I do not want to write it for no one to read..

Also if anyone has suggestions for my writing format and technique please share because I am new at this!! Thank you for reading…Chapter 2 coming soon….