Chapter 1 'Drizzle'
Summary: Pepper is going home again, but this time it's different. Before he left he had a neighbor who he was friends with, her name was Savannah James and she was 14. Then he ran away, what happens when he comes home and sees her again?
June 29th, 2009, 5pm
Pepper Samson Pov
I listened to my boss Wyatt Forster and my friend, also co-worker, Ross McBaine talk about cattle prices. I gently folded the letter my mother had sent me.
She had asked me to come home to visit for a week or two. Mentioning that she really wanted me to be there for the Fourth Of July, it was Savannah's birthday. Savannah...I felt a sad ache in my chest when I thought her name. Why would she want me to come back then? I hadn't seen Savannah since I left, after I ran away her parents had moved her away so I didn't see her any of the times I went back. It had been almost 3 years since I had seen her, I was 19 almost 20 now and she would be 16, turning 17.
"What do you think Pepper?" I heard the voice of Wyatt's daughter 17 year old daughter, Sam. She must have come into the barn while I was thinking.
"About what?" I asked embarrassed that I had been out of it.
"About having a bonfire sometime this month!" Sam smiled understandingly at me. She often got lost in her thoughts too.
"Oh, um...that'd be nice, I guess. Actually Wyatt, I was going to ask you if I could take off for a couple of days around the Fourth Of July. My mother has been urging me to come home for a week during the summer." I said half embarrassed. How did that come out of my mouth?
"That's fine Pepper, I think we can spare you." Wyatt nodded.
"Thanks Wyatt. I better go call my mother and let her know so we can get everything arranged." I was about to walk to the bunkhouse to use the phone when Sam threw something at me. It turned out to be her cell phone.
"Use that, instead of having to walk back to the bunkhouse." Sam offered. I nodded my thanks and dialed my mother's number.
"Hello?" I heard my mother's voice.
"Hi mom, it's me, Pepper." I looked down as I talked.
"Oh Pepper, you got my letter!" My mom's voice had changed to excited.
"Yeah...Wyatt doesn't mind me coming home for the week you want me to." I said.
"Oh that's great! So when will you be leaving?" My mom asked.
"Um...I can try to get a flight tomorrow?" I said uncertainly, looking at Wyatt for permission. Wyatt nodded, giving me permission.
"That'd be great! I'll get you a room ready!" Get a room ready for me? Where was my room? "Oh well I have to go Pepper, call me later with your flight information!" My mom sounded nervous as she hung up.
I handed Sam her phone back. "Thanks Sam...Now I better go make flight arrangements." I rolled my eyes as I walked towards the bunkhouse...
Savannah Pov(same time)
I silently rode next to Roger Samson as we were going home. For once, Drizzle, my horse, was just walking along not doing anything. Drizzle usually was so hyper I had a hard time staying on him, but maybe he was tired because we had been out since 5am this morning and it was 5pm now and it was 89degrees.
I felt myself drifting into my thoughts about today. Roger had asked me to ride out with him today because the boys who usually helped him were both sick today, so I rode out with him to check his cows and make sure they were okay. It had taken all day because they had stampeded sometime during the night and we had to round them all up again! Luckily no cows or calves had been missing.
Before we had left this morning Missy, Roger's wife, had mentioned that she had sent Pepper a letter a couple of days ago asking him to come home for this week. Roger had smiled at his wife and asked "Has he responded yet?"
"No, but he probably only got it today or yesterday." Missy had replied. Then she had smiled at me and I had blushed, I knew she was inviting him home this week because on the 4th, I would be turning 17. Missy insisted that I have a big seventeenth birthday 'bash', I had tried to talk her out of it, telling her that all I wanted for my birthday I had already gotten.
Which was Drizzle, when I had come to live with Roger and Missy they had given me Drizzle. Drizzle was a white appaloosa gelding, well he also had black and brown spots on him, black legs, a white mane and a black/white tail. Drizzle was only five years old and technically still in training to be a cow horse, while he had a lot of what Roger called 'cow sense', he would not listen to his rider and was really hyper being ridden out. Maybe that's why we got along Drizzle liked to test his riders skill and I liked challenging horses.
I felt Drizzle tense up a bit as the ranch came into view. Drizzle started to prance a bit and tossed his head, I knew he was just eager to get home to his feed. "Let's go ahead and run 'em to the barn." Roger suggested and I nodded, getting Drizzle to run. He responded eagerly, breaking into a fast run towards the barn.
A few minutes later we pulled up next to the barn, I dismounted from Drizzle and tied him up to one of the posts by the barn so I could untack him. I took his saddle and blanket off, took it the tack room and came back to Drizzle standing there, surprisingly, patient. "Okay Drizz, let's get you cooled down and into your stall so you can have your feed." I patted Drizzle's neck then untied him and turned him towards the fields. I currently rode Drizzle just in a halter with 2 leads since I didn't really want to use a bit on him yet and he hadn't tried to run off with me yet or anything.
20 minutes later
I shut the door to Drizzle's stall and leaned against the door, Drizzle was eating his dinner happily. I smiled tiredly as I watched my beautiful horse eat, I could of watched him a lot more but I heard Roger calling for me at the end of the barn. "Come on Savannah, let's head in! Missy has dinner ready!"
I ran to meet him at the barn door and he put his arm around my shoulders, I leaned into him. "You and Drizzle did good today with the cows." Roger complemented.
"Thanks, Drizzle is really coming along good and he is starting to listen to me a lot too." I replied as we walked into the mud room, the room right before the kitchen where we took off all of our barn clothing/shoes. I took off my boots and walked into the kitchen with Roger following me. Missy was at the stove, probably finishing up some cooking, Missy turned around when she heard us and gave us a smile.
"Savannah, why don't you go wash up then come back and set the table?" Missy suggested. I nodded and walked down to the bathroom we all shared. I quickly washed my hands, splashed water on my face and walked out of the bathroom, back to the kitchen.
I grabbed three plates out of the cabinet, grabbed the silverware and glasses and brought them to the table. After I did I sat down with Roger and Missy, who had sat our dinner down on the table and poured water into our cups. It was a simple, but nice dinner it was steak and mashed potatoes.
"So how were the cows today?" Missy asked as she handed me the bowl of potatoes.
"Sometime last night they must of stampeded and Savannah and I had to round 'em up." Roger replied taking a drink of water.
"How was Drizzle?" Missy asked me, looking me over...probably trying to see if I had fallen today.
"He did fine, really, he was having so fun chasing all the cows back he forgot to act up and by the time we were on our way home he was too tired to give me any problems." I told her taking a bite of my potatoes.
"That's good, maybe he's decided he'd rather just deal with the cows then try to give his rider problems." Missy smiled at me.
I laughed softly. "I doubt it. He was just having fun today."
Roger and Missy talked about cows and their prices, what had been happening around town...but I stopped listening to and got lost in my thoughts.
Roger and Missy had taken me in a couple of months ago, just in April. I had been living with my father and step-mother until then...I was pulled back into a memory.
…...(Memory in Italics)
I woke up to shouts, it was dark outside..I looked at my clock and it said it was 11 pm. I could hear my step-mother Jen, screaming at my father. I winced, knowing what that meant...he was drunk and they were now going to fight.
I pulled the covers over my head trying not to listen to them...then suddenly they stopped. I heard my stepmother yelling at him to stay out of my room. Oh God, not now. I begged silently. A minute went by and my door flew open, hitting the wall loudly. I felt a hand pull down my covers and grab my arm, I tried to stay on my feet as I was abruptly pulled out of bed.
I looked up to see the face of my father, rage was all over his face like it always was when he had been drinking. I knew what was coming before he even moved.
Still I cried out when I felt his hand hit my face. "Dad!" I screamed at him as he raised his hand again, I jerked back before he could hit me again and ran to my bathroom, locking the door behind me. I sat against the door, sobbing and holding my right cheek where he had hit it.
I took a washcloth and wet it with cold water then held it to my face. My father had been doing this for years, ever since my real mother had died-which had been when I turned 12. "Savannah open this door this instant! Open it now!" I heard my father shouting and I closed my eyes. Go away, I silently begged.
I started when I heard my name being shouted—and this time not in the memory. It was Roger, he was standing above me with a worried look on his face. "Are you alright? You're crying."
I put a hand up to my face and realized it was wet. I really was crying. I cleared my throat. "Oh, I was remembering a bad memory."
Missy and Roger looked at each other then me with a sympathetic look in their eyes. Missy grabbed my hand. "Was it of what your dad did to you?" Missy asked, I nodded and looked down.
Roger and Missy were always understanding when I got lost in a memory like that. I could talk to them if I wanted but if I didn't want to that was fine too they told me. They were like perfect parents, really they were.
"May I be excused?" I asked, trying not to cry anymore.
"Of course." Roger said and I got up, putting on my boots then headed down to the barn. Drizzle looked up and whinnied to me as I got closer to his stall.
"Happy to see me are ya?" I murmured as I opened his stall door and walked in. I sat down by his hay net as he started eating his hay. "Drizz, what can I do to make these memories stop? I hate them, they're terrible and it's really taking a toll on me."
Drizzle snorted softly and nudged me as if to say 'I have no clue'. "Thanks for the help Drizzle." I said sarcastically then smiled at him, I was slightly feeling better already just being by him.
I stayed in Drizzle's stall a little bit longer than headed up to the house as it started to get dark. Wow I must of stayed out there longer than I thought..I realized.
Missy looked up from her book when I entered the front door with my boots off. "Have a nice time with Drizzle?"
"Yeah, he made me feel way better." I sat down next to her on the couch and then layed my head on her shoulder. Missy put her arm around my shoulders.
"I'm sorry all that happened to you Savannah and I wish I could take all the bad memories away from you." Missy whispered to me.
"I know." I nodded slowly and I knew she would if she could. Missy pulled her arm back and then she clapped one time.
"How about I make us some hot chocolate before it's time to head to bed?" Missy suggested, getting up.
"Sure." I agreed eagerly, Missy's hot chocolate was the best hot chocolate ever!
20 minutes later
I told Missy and Roger goodnight then headed to my own room. As I closed the door I took a deep breath, my room was really Pepper's old room. I hadn't changed much except for putting in a bookshelf, a computer desk and a few things of mine. I knew it kind of hurt Missy to have to me in Pepper's room but they only had 2 bedrooms in the house. So I hadn't changed it much at all to keep Missy from feeling guilty or hurt not that I had wanted to change it anyways, it was the last thing of Pepper I had, since he was gone now.
I changed into a pair of shorts and a big t-shirt and slipped into my bed. I could feel my eyes getting heavier and heavier, I knew I was going to fall asleep very soon.
After a few minutes, I was out.
A/N: Hi readers! Some of you may know me from my other PS stories Ripped Pictures, Juliet's Moon and Jillian's Miracle. I mentioned that I was writing a new story about Pepper and here it is! Did you like it? Should I continue? Please review and tell me if you like it and think I should continue or not :)
I promise the other chapters will be longer! This was just an intro chapter. So I hope you liked it and please review!
BTW my title probably will change!