Chapter 1 'Meeting You.'
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters except the ones I make up!
A/N: BTW, I changed it to 2009. I know the series was written in the 90's, but I changed that for my story. I'm finally posting the first chapter though I've probably been working on it for a month. Haha. Enjoy!
August 14th, 2009 6PM
Bree Wilson Pov
I watched out my window as the plane landed on the runway at the Lexington Airport in Lexington, Kentucky. I was moving to Lexington, Kentucky to live with my Uncle Gene Reese and his son, my cousin Mike Reese. Gene and Mike had a Thoroughbred breeding and training farm called Whitebrook, in Lexington and my father was sending me to live with them. It would do me good, he had said as he helped me back, get away for awhile then maybe later on I could come back home to South Carolina.
I sighed as I got up when it was time to exit the plane, it took me a few minutes to get up because I had fractured my knee when I was playing soccer and I had it wrapped right now. I walked slowly(with the help of my crutches) trying not to cause too much pain in my knee, I had pain medicine but I hated to taking them because it made me very sleepy and I just hated taking them. I could handle the pain.
Once I got off the plane, I looked around the Lexington airport for my Uncle Gene, who would be picking me up. After a few minutes of searching, I finally saw him standing by the baggage claim. "Uncle Gene!" I called,trying to quickly get over to him. But with crutches you couldn't really hurry, well not me anyways, I was still getting used to them.
"Hey there Bree! Glad to see you made it safely." Gene hugged me tightly and kissed my forehead. Then he looked down at my knee and whistled softly."Your dad told my about your knee but I didn't think it would be that bad."
I shrugged. "It's not as bad as it seems." I said.
"Well do you have any bags with you?" Gene asked putting a hand on my shoulder.
"Just one duffle bag." I said pointing it out, Gene grabbed it for me and we headed towards the parking lot.
20 minutes later..
I sucked in a breath as we pulled up the lane of Whitebrook Farm, Uncle Gene's farm. I could see the two barns they had, their old farmhouse, Len's-who I knew was their faithful groom and basically part of the family-cottage, the training track they had put in after moving here. I knew they only had a couple of horses right now so it was small operation at the moment but it was still pretty amazing to me, I always loved it here whenever I visited them.
Now I would be living here, temporarily I hoped, with them. As we parked by the farmhouse I saw Mike coming out of the barn at a run towards the house, I got out and was totally unprepared when Mike picked me up and spun me around in a circle. I laughed as he sat me back on the ground and grinned at me.
"I'm so glad you're finally here!" Mike said grabbing my crutches for me out of the truck.
"Yeah, well it seems like it." I grinned back as we walked into the house. Mike pulled out a chair for me at the table so I could sit down. "Thanks."
"So how was your flight?" Mike asked politely, I rolled my eyes.
"Well let's just say I got myself stuck in between some unpleasant people." I told him, my southern accent coming out in my voice a bit.
"Well at least you seem to have had a way out of that." Mike gestured to my blue iPod that was hanging from my pocket, only staying up because of my headphones.
I smiled and half-shrugged. "It helped a bit."
"I have so much I want to show you!" Mike exclaimed getting up off his chair and handing me my crutches. "You have to see how Jazzman is doing! And you have to meet Ashleigh, she's the girl I've been telling you about..She lives right over at Townsend Acres maybe we could go see her?"
Mike said it so excitedly I couldn't say no. "Sure, that'd be great." I told him while walking out the door with him. Mike kept talking to me about the horse and Ashleigh until we got to the first barn which held Jazzman, Indigo and 2 other horses of Mike's.
"Well hello Miss Bree! It's good to see you again." Len greeted me with a quick hug.
"It's good to see you too Len!" I hugged Len back, smiling at him.
"Well now what did you do to yourself now?" Len asked, chuckling looking at my leg. I had hurt myself many times before, some times from my sometimes clumsiness and other times from soccer.
"I fractured my knee during one of our games." I told him sadly. Len shook his head.
"Looks pretty bad." Len commented, I shrugged.
"It's really not that bad...gives me a little bit of trouble and pain so often but I get through it." I felt uncomfortable when people talked about my leg. I just wish they didn't notice it.
"Do you think you are healed enough to get up on a horse?" Mike asked as we all walked down to Jazzman's stall. Jazzman had his head out of his stall and was neighing to Mike.
I smiled as Jazzman nuzzled Mike's chest. "I think I am."
"Well I can put you on one of our geldings that we use with Jazzman and Indigo. He's really calm and dependable, doesn't spook at anything really." Mike told me, as I patted Jazzman's neck. "We could do that tomorrow."
"That'd be cool, I mean I haven't been on a horse since I last seen you."
"Do you want to change or anything before we go to Townsend Acres?" Mike asked, I looked down at my jean shorts and light blue t-shirt.
"No, I think I'm fine in this."
"Alright well let's head out!" Mike led me towards his truck.
15 minutes later
We pulled up to a beautiful farm. It hard at least six barns, I saw a big almost mansion looking house, then a regular farm house and a big building farther back that seemed to be a small apartment building. I know Mike had told me Townsend Acres was a big farm and I had certainly read their names in the racing papers a lot but wow!
As Mike helped me out of the truck, an auburn haired girl came towards us. She seemed pretty short, probably only 5'3 and very small-weight wise. By the way she smiled at Mike as she stopped in front of him, my guess was this was Ashleigh Griffen.
"Mike! I'm glad you were able to make it over." The girl gave him a quick hug and turned to me with a smile. "You must be Bree, Mike's cousin! Mike's told me so much about you."
I smiled back, she seemed so nice already. "Yes, I'm Bree and I hope he's only been telling you good things." I laughed. "You must be Ashleigh, I have also heard much about you."
Ashleigh blushed. "All good, I promise. Mike told me he was going to bring you over and introduce you. I thought I'd show you around—the grand tour."
"That'd be great."I said looking around everywhere.
"I'm sorry about what happened to your leg, Mike said you injured it in a soccer game?" Ashleigh started as we walked towards the first barn.
"Yes, one of our final games. Bad game." I gave a half-smile. After that we walked around, Ashleigh showing me Wonder-the filly that won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont!- Townsend Prince, some of the Townsend's stallions then after telling them I would be fine for a few minutes while Mike helped Ashleigh with something, they left me at Wonder's stall. "Wonder you're such a beautiful horse."
I kept petting Wonder until I heard footsteps behind me. A short blonde girl walked towards me(on crutches!)with a smile. "You must be Mike's cousin, Bree." She called. Did Mike tell everyone about me? "I just passed Mike and Ash on my way down here and Mike told me you were with Wonder." She said as if reading my thoughts.
"Oh." I smiled. "And yes, I'm Bree. You are?"
"Jilly Gordon." Jilly held her hand out and I shook it. "I'm a jockey and exercise rider here at Townsend Acres. Used to be Wonder's jockey. Until the Travers Stake." Jilly grimaced.
I winced. "Yeah, I watched. She freaked." (Okay, it's after the Travers Stakes in book 4 but before the Breeders Cup Classic)
"We're thinking it was because of a whip was in her face. Wonder is really whip-shy and I guess when she saw that whip it just reminded her of bad times." Jilly said giving the mare a kiss on her cheek. "But I'd never blame her."
"I've read a lot of articles about her-especially the ones Mike sends me- and I remember them mentioning that none of her jockeys ride with whips."
"She had some bad experiences before Charlie and Ash took over her training." Jilly said sadly.
"Poor Wonder." I said rubbing her ears. Then I looked down at Jilly's leg. "Looks like we're kind of in the same boat."
Jilly gave a half-amused smile. "Yeah. I broke my leg when Wonder threw me, what did you do?"
"Playing soccer, fractured my knee."
Jilly had a sympathetic face on. "That sounds way worse than mine."
"Well it's probably close. But I may have to wait awhile longer before I can really do anything."
Someone called Jilly's name from the end of the barn and she gave me a smile. "I'll see you later, nice meeting you."
"You too." I called after her. I patted Wonder one more time then walked down to Townsend Prince. "Hey pretty boy, I read about you a lot. I actually can't believe I'm standing here talking to you. "
I heard someone behind me clear their throat and I gasped then turned around so fast I lost my left crutch. Standing there was a handsome man, well boy really probably about Mike's age, he had dark brown hair, a handsome face which looked familiar, fit body as if he rode a lot and was holding a saddle, bridle and a helmet in his hands.
He sat down the saddle and handed me my crutch looking amused. "May I ask who you are?"
"I'm Bree Wilson, Mike Reese's cousin." I choked out.
The boy gave me a smile. "I'm Brad, Brad Townsend. This is my family's farm." I knew he looked familiar. Brad Townsend, wow.
"It's a really great farm you have, amazing setup." I said, blushing.
"Thank you, I think so too." Brad said, grabbing Townsend Prince out of his stall. "I saw you admiring Wonder and Prince. I wanted to know who you were."
"Oh. Well yes, they're both beautiful horses, I've read lots about them and watched them race. Mike brought me over to meet Ashleigh Griffen and Mike went to help her with something so I stayed with Wonder then came to pet Townsend Prince if that's okay."
Brad shrugged. "Perfectly fine." Brad eyed my leg. "Riding accident?"
I shook my head. "Soccer accident. I don't really ride."
Brad look surprised. "You live in Kentucky, and you don't ride?"
"Well I don't really live in Kentucky, I live in South Carolina, but I'm coming to live with my Uncle Gene and Cousin Mike. I ride sometimes when I'm in Kentucky with them."
"I was about to work him on the track, would you like to watch?" Brad asked as he finished saddling Townsend Prince. (a/n:I know it's way too late to be working a horse on the track but it's fiction..lol)
"I'd love to!"
Brad bowed. "After you Ma'am." He said winking.
So we both walked out to the track, Brad telling me how he was going to work the Prince and his upcoming races.
Then Brad smiled mischievously. "I probably shouldn't be telling the competition this."
I raised my eyebrows. "Competition? I don't think Mike has any horses the age of Prince and I'm certainly not going to go back to Mike and tell him everything you said." I smiled at him.
"Good to know." Brad kept the smile on his face as we reached the track. "See you when I'm done."
Ashleigh and I were walking out of the barn Wonder and the Prince were housed in, when we saw a surprising sight. Brad was walking and talking with Bree. By the way they were smiling, it seemed to be a good conversation.
"Wow. That's quite a sight." Ashleigh commented. Terri, one of the grooms, came up beside us and nodded at Bree and Brad.
"Is that Brad's new girlfriend?" Terri asked grinning.
"No!" I said, crossing my arms. Ashleigh smiled. "He's still dating Melinda Westwood as far as I know."
"That's Mike's cousin, Bree. She just arrived in Kentucky today." Ashleigh told Terri.
"Sorry Mike, you might want to keep an eye on her around Brad. They seem to be enjoying their conversation too much." Terri teased me.
"Bree could never fall for someone like Brad Townsend." I said, totally serious. Bree was too nice, Brad was a mean snob, it wouldn't work.
"I don't know...Brad has quite some charm." Terri winked.
I rolled my eyes. "Bree is way too smart to fall for him." I argued back.
"You two are getting worried about nothing. They're just talking, that's all."
"Well you know Brad, he's never nice. But he's being plenty nice to her." Terri commented back to Ashleigh.
"Let's just go over there and stand with her." I said, walking towards the track.
I watched in awe as I watched Townsend Prince's workout. I had to admit to even my amateur eye, Brad was a good rider, even though his riding seemed a bit rough. But the Prince was working beautifully for him.
"Great horse isn't he?" asked Ken Maddock, who I knew was Townsend Acres head trainer.
"He's amazing." I agreed. "Brad and him are quite the team."
Ken nodded. "Yeah, Brad gets a little rough with some of his mounts but Prince and him work well together." Ken eyed me for a moment. "Mike's cousin, Bree, right?"
I laughed. "Yes, I'm Bree. How does everyone know me?"
Ken laughed with me. "I heard Mike talking to Charlie earlier and saw you. I know you're not one of my exercise riders, jockeys or a groom so you had to be Bree."
I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see Mike and Ashleigh. "Hey Mike, Ashleigh. Did you guys get that something done?"
Ashleigh nodded. "Yep. I see you found your way out to the track."
"Yeah, I was petting Wonder then I went to pet Prince and Brad showed up. We started talking then he said he was going to work Prince and asked if I wanted to watch so I decided not to pass up the chance."
Ashleigh smiled. "I wouldn't pass up the chance to watch a racehorse workout either."
Mike didn't seem so happy right now. It kind of seemed like something was wrong, I told myself to wait until we got in the truck to talk to him about it. I had a feeling it had something to do with Brad Townsend.
A few minutes later, Brad rode off the track. Ken and Brad talked for a couple of minutes then Brad rode over to where Mike, Ashleigh and I were standing.
After nodding at Mike and Ashleigh, Brad turned to me. "How did you like it? How did we look?" Brad asked me, looking excited.
"I loved it, it was amazing. You two were amazing, you and Prince are such a team." I told him, honestly.
Brad looked like he was going to say something but before he could speak we heard another voice. "Brad!" I heard a girl calling his name, and we all looked to where the voice had come from. Coming towards us was a blonde girl, wearing a short red dress and high heels and sunglasses. "Oh Brad, we're supposed to meet Daddy at the Club in 20 minutes and you're riding?"
Brad looked angry for a moment then calm spread over his face. "I thought we were supposed to meet him at 8?"
"Brad, it's 20 minutes to 8!" The girl told him, sounding distressed. Brad looked at his watch, cursed and dismounted Prince and looked around.
It seemed Ashleigh took pity on him—or the Prince. "I could put him away Brad."
Brad looked relieved. "Thank you Ashleigh. Thank you very much." Then he turned to me after handing her Prince's reins. "It was nice meeting you Bree. I hope I see you again."
"You too. Have fun, Brad!" I waved as he left.
"Want us to stay around while you cool him out?" Mike asked, finally speaking.
Ashleigh shook her head. "I'm gonna cool him out then help feed. It's probably time for you to feed too, so go on home, I'll see you later Mike." I watched them kiss—so adorable!-and Ashleigh blushed. "I hope I'll see you again soon too, Bree."
I smiled. "Of course, I had fun today. I'd love to come back, maybe when you're working Wonder or maybe you could come over to Whitebrook."
"That'd be great." We said goodbye to Ashleigh and got in Mike's truck.
As we pulled out of Townsend Acres, Mike looked at me. "I just think you should know, Brad Townsend is not a good guy."
I stiffened up. Where did this come from? "Brad seemed perfectly nice to me."
"He probably was only being nice because you are cute and kept complimenting him and Townsend Prince." Mike snorted. "He's definitely not your type of guy, for a boyfriend or a friend."
I looked at Mike in disbelief. "We were just talking about horses. We've known each other for like 5 minutes, I've never even thought about him in that way!"
Mike sighed. "I'm just warning you, he can be a real jerk. You don't know what's he done to Ash and Wonder. We can tell you about it sometime, I just don't want to see you get hurt."
I felt my anger drain away. "Thanks Mike, but nothing is going on...And I'm a big girl, I can protect myself. I'm 15, I think I can handle Brad."
Mike nodded and then conversation switched to horse racing. We talked about races he was thinking about entering Jazzman in, Mike told me Chad was talking about putting Indigo's racing career off for awhile so he could mature a bit more.
By the time we pulled into Whitebrook we both had forgotten about Brad Townsend and our conversation in the car. Our focus was on the horses who probably wanted their feed.
"Can I come with you to the barn to help feed?" I asked Mike as I got out of the truck.
"Sure, since you're going to be living here, you might as well learn our routine, then maybe you can start helping out and riding." Mike said. I saw my uncle Gene and Len coming out of the feed room with a couple of buckets as we entered the barn.
Uncle Gene smiled. "Hey, you two are back just in time!" Uncle Gene handed me a bucket. "That goes to Coffee, that black mare over there, She's really gentle and calm so she will be easy to feed with your crutches."
I nodded and headed towards the stall. Coffee, backed up as soon as I opened the stall door and politely waited until I had dumped her feed and walked away to walk over to her feed bin.
I was smiling as I came out of Coffee's stall. "That mare has some serious manners."
Mike grinned at me. "Yeah, Coffee is a real gentle mare, and very polite. Dad and I were thinking that if you wanted to learn to ride, you could learn on her because she's such a good horse. She's trained English and Western, she neck reins and she'll do anything you ask her."
"When can I start riding her?" I asked, excited at the thought. Mike eyed my leg.
"When your doctor gives the okay." I sighed.
"But my leg is fine. I feel great."
Mike and I continued to argue about when I could ride after we made sure all the horses were okay and bedded down for the night, and were heading up to the house.
Finally Uncle Gene stopped us. "Okay you two, calm down. I'll settle this, Bree you can ride when the doctor says you can and thinks you'll be fine on a horse."
I sighed in defeat and disappoint. Len patted my back(he's joining us for dinner). "Don't worry Bree, you'll be up on a horse in no time."
Uncle Gene made us all cheeseburgers and fries. "Junk food for tonight."
"Dad, it's pretty much junk food every night." Mike laughed.
"Hey, Len and I can make good dinner meals. Right Len?"
Len nodded. "I make a mean spaghetti." Len winked at me.
I laughed. "Uncle Gene this is just fine. Dad didn't know much about cooking either, if you want, I could start cooking. I mean I learned early on how to cook after Dad kept burning all our meals."
Uncle Gene smiled. "Did I mention how good it's gonna be having a female in the house?"
I rolled my eyes and ate my dinner.
After dinner, Mike showed me up to my room. "We just left it white because we figured you might want to paint it and decorate it. Plus your dad is sending all your furniture here in the next week or so."
I nodded. "We're definitely painting it, Mike. Maybe like neon blue or green...or orange!"
Mike chuckled. "You always did like bright colors."
"I got that from my mom." I smiled at him even though I felt sad. I didn't like to mention my mother. And Mike knew it.
"Well I'll see you tomorrow bright and early, Bree. So I hope you rest good. Night." Mike gave me a hug.
"Thanks Mike for today, it was fun. Night." I returned his hug. After Mike had left I shut my door and grabbed the bottle of water on my nightstand. My knee was starting to bother me now and I think I was going to take a pain pill. I grabbed my bottle of pills and took one.
I started to feel drowsy within a few minutes so I turned out the lights, got under the covers and fell asleep, so excited for tomorrow morning.
A/N: Hi readers! This is my first Thoroughbred Series fanfiction so I hope it's good. I've read most of the series and once I saw the Thoroughbred series on here, I wanted to write my own story. So here it is!
I'd love reviews to know if you like it or want me to continue. Anyways I hope you like it and want me to continue.
I'll try to post the next chapter soon.
PS: I've changed somethings as you may notice and Mike, Ashleigh and Brad may be a little out of character..Sorry I'm trying my best :) lol.