A/N: Hi, so this is my first Heartland fanfic following the tv show. I was actually going to post it before season 4 started, obviously that didn't happen. So, I tweaked a few things and I'm posting it now. Please read it and tell me what you think.
Summary: [Takes place after season 4, before season 5, with the only exception being, there is no Peter, it's Lou/Scott instead.] There's a new girl in Hudson, who says she's only here for the wide open spaces and country air. But what connection does she have to Ty? Ty almost seems horrified at her arrival, but he won't tell Amy anything. Who is this mysterious girl? And what effect will she have on Amy and Ty getting back together?
The New Girl
The black gelding huffed a long sigh as he plodded into Heartland ranch, carrying his rider- eighteen year old Amy Fleming- after a long trail ride. It was their first ride in a little over a week. Things had been hectic at Heartland, the horse rescue ranch Amy's mother had started several years back. Although, her mother was no longer with them, due to a tragic car accident, her legacy still lived on at Heartland, in Amy herself.
Everything was almost back to normal, the barn was at about half its' capacity now that most of the problem horses that had come in were now back with their owners. The sudden influx in horses had left Amy little time with her own horse, Spartan. Amy stopped the gelding by the barn and sighed. It wouldn't feel normal again, until the hollow, empty feeling inside her went away. And there was only one person who could fill it.
Amy sighed again and dismounted. Spartan nudged her arm affectionately. Amy smiled at what Spartan seemed to be telling her, live in the present (like the horses do) and don't stress over what might or might not happen.
"You're right, boy," Amy said to the gelding, scratching his ears. "We just have to trust each other again. Things will work themselves out."
"Talking to the horses again, Amy?" Amy turned around to see the young blonde, known as Mallory standing just inside the barn with a lead rope in her hands. "Hate to break it to you Amy, but that horse will not answer you back."
"Don't mock," Amy laughed, leading Spartan into the barn. "I've heard you talk to Copper before."
"Yeah, but I don't talk to him like he's going to talk back," Mallory contradicted. "There's a difference."
"Okay," Amy said as she took Spartan's saddle off from inside his stall. She placed the heavy western saddle on the stall door and that's when she noticed it. A dun gelding stood in the stall across the aisle. "Is that the horse Grandpa said was coming this morning?" she asked Mallory.
"Yeah, you totally missed it," Mallory said. "When Jack tried to get him off the trailer, he went totally crazed. He didn't stop until Jack backed away. The girl who brought him had to do it and he was like a different horse."
Amy took the saddle and bridle and left the stall, the whole time she didn't take her eyes off the new horse. The gelding stood at the back of the stall, dozing. Which was strange because it usually took most horses who came here a day or two to settle into their new surroundings. But this horse was perfectly content to be in a place he's never been before.
"What's his name?" Amy asked walking up to the stall. The gelding lifted his head and looked at her.
"Duke," Mallory answered and then she headed out of the barn to the pastures.
The bell over the door rang as a young girl around the age of eighteen walked into Maggie's Diner and Tack. She had medium-length cocoa brown hair and startling green eyes. The girl scanned the small diner and then walked up to the counter. A girl about her age came up to her as she sat down.
"What can I get you?" Soraya asked.
"Coffee, please," the girl answered, taking out her wallet. "This is exactly what I needed."
"What is?" Soraya asked pouring coffee into a cup.
"This town," the girl explained sliding money across the table. "It's so quiet here, I can actually think, even breathe. Hudson is so much different than Calgary."
"You're from Calgary?" Soraya questioned.
The girl took a sip of her coffee and nodded. "I've lived there my whole life," she said. "And I couldn't stand it."
Soraya nodded and moved off to help another costumer. That's when the brunette noticed a flier hanging on the wall behind the counter. It can't be this easy, she thought to herself.
"Hey, where do I sign-up?" she asked.
Soraya turned to look at her, then at the flier and then back again. Soraya walked over and pulled another sheet of paper off the wall with a pen. "Right here," she put the paper on the counter. "You sing?"
"A little," the girl smiled, picking up the pen. She scribbled her name on the sheet. Then she put the pen down and stood up. "See you Friday night,"
"Bye," Soraya said, as the girl left the diner. She looked down at the sign-up sheet and a look of shock crossed her face as she read the girl's name.
Duke, the dun gelding who arrived this morning, nuzzled Amy's neck affectionately. She had just finished a join-up session, which had gone rather quickly for a new horse. As elated as Amy was she was beginning to wonder if the horse had a problem at all. So far, he had shown what a kind, gentle, easy-tempered horse he was. Maybe what Mallory told her was a one-time occurrence from the stress of a long trailer ride or something triggered the reaction, but what?
Amy clipped a lead to Duke's halter and led him out of the round pen. Once inside the barn, Amy hooked the gelding up to crossties and grabbed a body brush. The horse hadn't even broken out in sweat. Duke snorted and turned his head, as far as the crossties would allow, and looked at her.
"Well, you're just a mystery, aren't you?" Amy said stroking the gelding's face. Suddenly, Duke swiveled his head around and stared out the barn entrance, ears pricked, nostrils flaring, and muscles trembling. The next moment, Jack Bartlett, Amy's grandfather, appeared in the entrance. Duke's entire demeanor changed. He stood rigid, eyes wide, his legs tense, ready to flee. Amy noticed the change in the horse just as Jack spoke.
"How's it going with-"
He didn't get to finish because Duke exploded, the gelding shot backwards, snapping one of the crossties off the wall. His nose was in the air and he was threatening to rear. "Easy boy," Amy soothed walking slowly over to the frightened horse. "Easy, you're alright," When she was close enough, Amy grabbed the broken crosstie.
After Duke was calm and in his stall, Amy went outside to find Jack. She found her grandfather by the woodpile, chopping wood. Jack looked up when he heard her approach.
"How's the horse?" he asked her.
"Better, but he's still a little antsy," Amy answered. "By the way he just blew up at the sight of you, he must have had some kind of trauma involving men in his life. And now he had developed a general fear of men."
"Certainly explains everything," Jack said.
"Do you think the owner knows something about-" She was cut off by her cell phone ringing. She looked at it and then at Jack. Jack nodded for her to answer it. Amy took the phone out and saw that it was Soraya.
"Hey, Soraya," Amy answered, walking a few feet away.
"Hey, are you busy right now?" Soraya asked, getting straight to the point.
"Not really," Amy said. "Why?"
"I need you to come to the diner right away," Soraya told her best friend. "It concerns Ty."
"So what's so important that you couldn't tell me over the phone?" Amy asked when she sat down at the counter of Maggie's Diner.
Soraya turned to her best friend and slid a vanilla milkshake across the counter. "When she first came in I didn't think anything of it. But after I saw her name, I realized that there was some resemblance between the two of them."
"Okay, stop," Amy interrupted her best friend, after she took a sip of her milkshake. "What are you talking about?"
"How much do you know about Ty's family?" Soraya asked, getting to the point.
Amy shrugged, stirring the straw around the glass. "His dad left his mom when he was young. His mom remarried to that Wade guy, who abused both of them. That's it."
"What about a sister?" Soraya questioned.
"Ty doesn't have a sister," Amy told her, shaking her head.
"Then explain this," Soraya slid a piece of paper across the counter. Amy looked down at it. It was the sign-up sheet for the karaoke night this weekend. There was only a few names written on it, but the last name caught Amy's eye.
A/N: So, what do you think? Please review and tell me what you think.