Disclaimer: I do not own any of Bonnie Bryant's characters. But I do, how ever, own my OCs.

Author's Note: Reviews are appreciated!

Stevie walked into the barn, she looked at the clock hanging on the wall. It was ten minutes until her lesson began!

She ran to the tack room and in one big armful, grabbed all of Belle's grooming supplies and tack. On the way she was Abigail walking her horse Bubbles out to the riding ring. An odd streak of dislike ran through her.

Once she had groomed and tacked Belle up she walked her horse as fast as she could over to the mounting block where she touched the horse shoe on the wall and sung up onto her black mare.

She was three minutes late and Max wasn't very happy.

The flat class had already begun. Carole was demonstrating a figure 8 at the canter. Stevie trotted Belle over to the line up. Once Carole had finished Max asked Betsy. Then Kristi, then Abigail, then Lisa to try. It was then Stevie's turn.

She turned Belle into a large circle then pressed her heel into the black horse right behind the girth, Belle burst into a canter.

"Heels down Stevie. If your heels aren't down you could lose your stirrup. Stay in the center of the saddle; don't pull on Belle's reins. Stay in the center of your saddle!" Max shouted directions from the side lines.

Stevie threw her heels down and straightened herself in the saddle. Then she cantered Belle through the middle of the arena and started her smaller circle at the top of the 8.

Each student in the class did the exercise once more before walking their horses out.

Stevie pulled out a riding crop. She had the bottle cap. Therefore she had to get everyone in the lesson a soda.

Stevie gave Belle to Carole, because since she was getting sodas Carole would un-tack and groom Belle for her.

Stevie went to the lounge and took eight cans of soda out of the mini fridge.

She gave on to Kristi, who was riding the spirited old gelding Barq.

"Thanks," Kristi said taking a soda from Stevie's hand.

Next Stevie went to Betsy, who rode Diablo, the pretty bay gelding that Carole used to ride.

Then she walked over to Lisa's stall and handed her a soda.

"Hi Lisa." Stevie smiled.

Lisa walked over the stall door. "Thanks, I'm really thirsty."

The Thoroughbred chestnut mare whinnied at Lisa. "Gotta' finish grooming Prancer. Hey, do you want to go to TD's after we're done? We can ask Carole if she wants to come too."

Stevie nodded "Sure."

The next stall belonged to Veronica. But she wasn't in there, Red was. So Stevie gave the soda to Red.

"Thanks Stevie." The stable hand laughed taking the soda from Stevie's hand.

Next was Sam, he rode Stevie's favorite school horse. Comanche.

Stevie now had to go to the other end of the stable where Carole and the new girl's stalls where.

She looked over Carole's door. "Carole."

The pretty African American walked up to meet Stevie. "Hey Stevie."

Stevie handed her best friend a soda. "Lisa and I where wondering if you'd like to come to TD's with us when your done."

"I'd love to, but I've got plans with someone else." Carole sighed.

Stevie frowned, "You could bring them to TD's and we could all hang out together!"

Carole beamed "Sounds great!"

"See you then." Stevie smiled.

A few stalls down was the new girl.

"Here," Stevie forced a grin.

"Thanks, er… Stevie." Abigail said grasping one of the cans. "Oh, I was that Max was giving you grief in the lesson today."

Stevie raised her eyebrows. "I can handle it."

"Oh, well, I could help you with the figure 8 in a canter a bit. Bubbles and I have done a lot of routine riding like that." Abigail offered.

Stevie's face went red, "its okay, like I said. I can handle it."

Abigail shrugged, "Suit yourself."

Stevie grimaced, "Bye, Abigail."

"I don't like being called Abigail, I prefer Abbey." The brown haired girl said in a sing song voice as she turned back to her horse.

Stevie rolled her eyes once her back was turned and she walked away.

Stevie skipped over to the tack room, and took off her boots. She grabbed her street shoes and clothes and left to get changed.

Stevie left the stables wearing a light blue tee shirt and cut-off jean shorts. Her hair was still in a mess ponytail that swung back and forth across her back as she walked down the driveway.

She heard her name being called. She turned around, Lisa was running toward her.

"Stevie wait up!" Lisa called.

Lisa was wearing a white long sleeve lightweight shirt with a green vest over it. She was also had on white pedal pushers. Her light brown hair was tied back in a braid with a white ribbon.

Stevie smiled and stopped until her friend caught up with her.

Lisa smiled.

The two girls walked into the 'mall' and sat in their favorite ice-cream store Tasty Delight or TD's.

They waited for about ten minutes. Then started guessing who Carole would bring.

"It's probably a boy," Lisa giggled.

They saw Carole and her friend outside. They where looking in the jewelry store window.

Lisa looked out the window to observe them.

"Carole's friend is shorter than Carole, but not much. She has brown hair, it's layered. Oh, it looks pretty." Lisa smiled.

Stevie rolled her eyes, she didn't care what the girl's hair looked like, "Who is it?"

Lisa shrugged "I don't know." Then she kept commentating on how the girl looked. "She has on a red striped shirt, but it's fitted. It looks kind of designer! She has on light blue jean shorts and red sandals."

Then Lisa was speechless, her mouth hung open.

"What? Who is it?" Stevie growled.

"It's Abigail!" Lisa nearly shouted.

Stevie gaped at Lisa "What! What is Abigail doing with Carole?"

The two girls walked in.

Stevie had to admit, Abigail did look very stylish.

Carole and Abigail sat down.

"Hi Stevie, Lisa. You know Abbey right?" Carole smiled oblivious to her friend's glares.

"Yes, we know her." Stevie said through gritted teeth.

"Oh, you're Stevie. And you are… Lisa, right?" Abbey half smiled.

"Right." Lisa smiled. "I love your horse, she's so well trained and pretty."

"Thanks, Prancer isn't so bad herself." Abbey smiled back.

"So your horse is so well trained. Who's your trainer?" Stevie asked.

"My dad and I trained Bubbles." Abbey laughed, blushing.

Stevie's eyes widened in surprise, she was impressed in spite of herself.. "You trained her?"

"Well, my dad did most of it, but yes." The brown haired girl flushed a bit.

Stevie was really very impressed, but she wasn't about to let "Abbey" know that. "So your dad's a horse trainer?"

Abbey sighed, "He's a retired horse trainer. Until recently he worked for some international computer company. Now he's working from home."

Stevie raised her eyebrows.

Lisa smiled at Abbey. "That's so cool! But how did you get to be so good at riding?"

"I learned most of it right here in Willow Creek, at Pine Hollow." Abbey said.

"Which horse did you ride?" Lisa asked, she put her arms on the table.

"I rode Comanche most of the time. But one summer we had an experienced new student who wanted a more 'advanced level' horse. In that time I rode Diablo." Abbey smiled her eyes became a bit unfocused as if she was remembering the summer.

"I remember that!" Carole exclaimed smiling.

The two girls smiled to each other as if they shared a secret. Then they burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?" Stevie snapped. She didn't like that Carole and Abbey had a secret that she didn't know.

"Oh, it's nothing." Abbey smiled airily.

"What happened? Who was the student?" Lisa asked her eyes widening with curiosity.

"Well the student really wasn't an experienced rider-" Carole smiled.

"At all-" Abbey smirked.

"What so ever." Carole added.

"So, what? What happened?" Lisa asked.

Stevie had to stop herself from rolling her eyes. It really wasn't that amazing that they had a bad new student.

"One day we where on a trail ride and the new girl was riding between Abbey and me." Carole looked at Abbey.

"She kicked Comanche as hard at she could because he was falling behind Delilah." Abbey said.

"Comanche took it as a signal to speed up obviously."

"He started cantering-"

"The new girl actually held on-" Carole remembered.

"As soon as we saw her we cantered off after her-"

"Abbey, cantered Diablo, up the side of the hill to cut Comanche off-"

"Carole cantered Delilah straight after them-"

"We caught Comanche, and the new girl-"

"Once we where walking the new girl fell off."

Lisa frowned, it could have been a bad fall.

But the two others started laughing, and soon Lisa had joined in.

Stevie barley stopped her self from glaring at them, "So who was the new girl?" She asked quite irritated.

Abbey looked up at Stevie she stopped laughing, "Mistress Veronica Antonia DiAngelo herself."

Lisa gapped at the brown haired girl.

Stevie looked taken aback, "Veronica?"

Abbey nodded.

Carole sat back up with her back on the back of the booth, to admire her friend's faces.

Lisa frowned, "Veronica!"

Stevie shook her head, "Veronica rode a school horse? Comanche?"

" 'fraid so doll." Abbey said with a mock southern drawl.

Carole laughed, "She was in hysterics, a week later her parents bought her-" Carole choked up.

"Cobalt." Abbey finished her sentence, suddenly very quiet and serious.

"Oh," Lisa's eyebrows went up, "You knew Cobalt?"

Abbey looked up at the thirteen year old girl and nodded. Her brown eyes glistened with remorse.

"I'm sorry." Lisa said in a very sympathetic tone.

"It's okay, I- didn't really know him, not like Carole, she rode him and stuff." Abbey said her voice slow and deep with unshed tears.

"No, you knew him way better than I did." Carole said suddenly.

"I didn't." Abbey protested.

"You where the one looking after him, way before I did. You groomed him every day after lessons, and rode him on days where Veronica didn't ride. He was practically yours. It's like you only loaned him out to Veronica once or twice a week" Carole said giving Abbey a gentle nudge with her shoulder.

"No, he wasn't mine, he was- he was Ver-Veronica's." Abbey stuttered.

Carole looked at Abbey, confused.

Lisa looked concerned.

Even Stevie, who didn't particularly like Abbey, was worried about the brown haired girl.

After that the girls dumped the subject of horses all together. Instead they talked about school. Stevie found that very boring.

As the three other girls talked aimlessly about classes and new teachers and annoying boys. Stevie figured out a plan in her mind. She would find out why Abbey was being so weird about Cobalt, and why her story was so different that Carole's. No matter how much she disliked Abbey, she was a curious girl and there was a mystery to solve.

She thought about asking one of the Saddle Club members to help her figure it out. But Carole wasn't going to go snooping about in her old friend's private business and Lisa would say that Abbey was just upset because she knew and loved Cobalt.

Stevie would have to do this by herself.