A/N: I'm sorry for the super duper long wait, but I'm getting back into a rhythm with all my stories and they will all be updated regularly. Thank you to everybody who reviewed, I really appreciate hearing what you have to say.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. All characters, places, etc., belong to all the wonderful writers on the Heartland production crew, CBC and Lauren Brooke.
Rebecca slid onto one of the stools at Maggie's, her guitar case next to her and her duffel bag on her other side. She pulled her earbuds out when Soraya came up to her with a smile.
"Nice to see you again," Soraya greeted, she nodded at Rebecca's stuff. "Going somewhere?"
Rebecca pressed pause on her ipod and said, "Actually, I'm moving into my new place today."
"Oh, that's great," Soraya replied. "What was that song that was playing on your ipod?"
"Oh, just something that I wrote," Rebecca answered, stuffing her ipod into her pocket. She glanced at the menu in front of her. "I'll have a tea and french toast, please."
Soraya scribbled the order down on her notepad and handed it off to the kitchen staff. When she came back she asked, "So you're a songwriter?"
"Struggling songwriter and singer," Rebecca corrected, laughing. "It's a lot harder than everybody thinks it is."
"You two pretty ladies wouldn't happen to be talking about me, would you?" a voice said from behind Rebecca. Rebecca turned and saw a very good-looking cowboy standing there. He had curly blonde hair underneath a black stetson and soft brown eyes that pulled you right in. He also were plain jeans with a belt buckle and a white and black striped-collared shirt, but he looked like he just stepped out of an equestrian magazine.
"Hey, Caleb," Soraya greeted and then went to greet another customer who had just walked in. Caleb sat down on the stool next to Rebecca and smiled.
"I don't think we've met before and I'd remember a pretty face like yours," Caleb smiled. "I'm Caleb."
Rebecca blushed a little at his compliment and said, "Rebecca, I just moved here from Calgary." She saw him glance down at her guitar case. "I'm also a struggling musician. Interested?"
"I think I am," Caleb admitted. "But I have to be honest with you, I am divorced."
"Well, I just got out of a bad relationship, who says I'm ready for a commitment," Rebecca replied. She said a quick thank you to Soraya when the other girl placed her food in front of her. She took a sip of the tea, not caring that it burned her throat on the way down. It felt good.
"I would love to hear you play sometime," Caleb spoke up.
Rebecca looked up and smiled at him. "Come back here tomorrow night and maybe you will." Rebecca told him.
"You're playing at the open mic night tomorrow night?" Caleb asked. Rebecca shrugged playfully and took a small bite of her french toast. "Then put me down for one ticket."
"You don't have to pay, it's free!" Rebecca exclaimed, laughing.
"Well, then, I'll just drop it into your guitar case when you're on stage," Caleb replied, laughing along with her. They laughed a little bit longer and then it was quiet between the two of them. Caleb cleared his throat. "Where are you staying?"
"A place called Heartland Equestrian Connection," Rebecca answered. "I'm actually headed there now. Though I have no idea where it is and no way to get there."
"Really," Caleb beamed. "You're in luck. Because I happen to work at the ranch and I'm on my way there right now. I can take you if I want."
"That would be great," Rebecca said, and they smiled at each other. Caleb ordered a coffee for himself while he waited for Rebecca to finish her breakfast.
The dun gelding lowered his head onto Amy's shoulder from where she stood in the center of the round pen. Duke had joined up easily, he really had no problem trusting people, well female people. Amy walked over to the fence with Duke trailing behind her. She picked up the saddle pad and turned to face the gelding. Duke's attention was on her, he sniffed the pad she was holding out once and put his head to the ground, sniffing. Satisfied, Amy placed the pad on the gelding's back.
Duke's head came back up when Amy picked up the western saddle. He stared at her unmoving and snorted cautiously. Amy held the saddle still so that Duke could get a good look at it. The gelding sniffed it all over and when he was finished, he looked up at Amy with pricked ears. Moving slowly and talking to him the whole time, Amy walked to Duke's side and carefully swung the saddle onto the horse's back.
A minute later, Duke stood all tacked up, awaiting Amy's next task. Amy picked up the reins, put her boot in the stirrup and swung herself up into the saddle. Duke didn't move, he just turned his head to look at her.
"Good boy, Duke," Amy told the gelding, patting him on the neck.
They started walking around the round pen at a nice, steady pace with Duke's head low and even, listening to Amy's every signal. Duke's trot was bouncy and hard to sit to, but Amy was glad to see just how respondent he was. Amy had just asked him to canter when Caleb's truck bounced down the driveway. He parked by the barn, jumped out and hurried over to the round pen.
Amy didn't have time to warn him; Duke was faster. He let out a frantic whinny and broke into a gallop, bucking every other stride. Amy fought to get the gelding's head up, but Duke was stronger and soon Amy was flying over his head and landing on the ground with a thud.
"Amy!" Caleb yelled.
"Caleb, no!" Amy called to him, but it was too late. Caleb was already climbing over the fence and running to her. Duke whinnied again and suddenly charged right toward Caleb. Caleb threw up his hands and shouted. Duke immediately reversed direction getting as far from Caleb as he could.
"Are you alright?" Caleb asked as he helped Amy to stand. Amy nodded, but winced when she touched her right hip. "No, you're not. You're hurt." Caleb started steering her towards the gate, but Amy stopped and twisted out of his grip.
"It's just a bruise, really," Amy told him. "I have to take care of Duke."
"You should at least get some ice on that," Caleb said, gesturing toward her hip. "I'll take care of Duke."
"No!" Amy replied sharply. "That's why he reacted the way he did. He was abused by men. I have to do it." Amy started to walk over to where Duke was now standing, watching them, but then turned back to Caleb. "Why were you in such a hurry anyway?"
Caleb's face broke into a grin and he said, "I met a girl today,"
"So, if you need anything at all, please just let me know and I will be happy to get it for you," Lou said as she finished showing Rebecca the dude ranch. "Is there anything I can get for you right now?"
"No, I'm fine," Rebecca answered gazing at the inside of the cabin. "This is a lovely place."
"Thank you," Lou replied. "Well, I'll let you get settled in." With that, Lou left Rebecca alone in the cabin. Rebecca sat down on the bed with her guitar case in front of her. As if making a decision, she snapped open the case, and lifted the lid, her gaze going straight to the picture on the inside of the case.
The guy in the picture had sandy-blonde hair, a few stray strands falling into his dark brown almost black eyes. He was lounging on a couch with an arm thrown behind his head and his other hand was poised on the remote as he stared at the television. He hadn't known she'd taken the photo until the flash alerted him to it. She had paid dearly for that. He had ended up chasing her around the apartment until he had tackled her onto the bed and started tickling her. Then tickling turned into kissing. A photo of a once happy memory.
Rebecca started to pick up the acoustic guitar when her cell phone started to ring. She dug her phone out of her pocket and stopped when she saw the caller id. She stared at it for a moment longer, then shut it off and tossed it onto the bed. Taking a deep breath, Rebecca ran her hands over her face, willing herself not to cry. She was done crying. That's why she was here, to move on.
Picking up her guitar, Rebecca carried it outside and sat down on the porch step. Rebecca watched the horses in the pasture as her fingers started strumming the strings of the guitar.
"We were two of a kind,
Once so close,
Now so far away,
Love was everything,
Now, you're gone, gone, gone."
"Did the owners tell you anything else about him?" I inquired as he and Amy watched Duke mingle with the other horses in the paddock. Ty had just finished his classes for the day when Amy had called and asked him to come over.
"Nothing," Amy answered. "They just couldn't keep him anymore. But judging by his reactions to grandpa and Caleb, he went through some kind of abuse involving men."
"Well, he seems fine now," Ty mused as Duke playfully nipped at Copper. The two geldings broke away from the other horses and started trotting around, nipping at each other.
"Yeah, I'm surprised," Amy agreed. "He hasn't even reacted to you being here."
Right at that moment, Duke had come to close to Ty and shied away from him. But still it wasn't a violent reaction like his previous ones. Together, Amy and Ty turned away from the fence and started walking toward the ranch house. Ty reached for her hand and Amy entwined her fingers with his.
"So," Amy said, smiling and squeezing Ty's arm with her free one. "Do you have any papers or vet calls to make this weekend?"
"No, unless Scott gets an emergency call and needs my help," Ty answered. He looked at her. "Why?"
"Well, there's this open mic night thing tomorrow night at Maggie's. I was thinking we could go." Amy explained. "It would be fun. Caleb said he was going. What do you think?"
"I think it sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday night with you," Ty replied. "He stopped and wrapped his arms around her. "Were you going to sing me a song?"
"Maybe, if you ask nicely," Amy teased.
"I'm asking," Ty grinned leaning close to her until their lips were only inches apart. "Nicely." And then his lips were on hers and Amy was surrendering herself to the kiss. The world around them seemed to dissipate and it was just the two of them in their own sacred place.
"Ew, seriously," came the young, female voice also known as Mallory. Amy and Ty broke apart and looked at her. "I know you two are in love and everything, but must we all watch it. Just get married already!"
Amy and Ty just laughed as they followed Mallory into the house. "Besides I have major news and I have to tell someone before I explode," the younger girl said as she sat down at the kitchen table.
"What kind of news?" Ty asked her, accepting the water bottle Amy offered him from the fridge.
"There's a new guest at the dude ranch," Mallory blurted out in a rush.
Amy and Ty stared at her.
Mallory continued, "Her name is Rebecca Borden." Ty didn't say anything, he just turned away and stared out the window.
"Ty?" Amy said.
"Did you know she was here?" Mallory asked.
There was a moment of silence and then Ty spoke. "I haven't seen Rebecca since my dad left. We've never tried to contact each other," he explained to Mallory. "She's not here for me. She's here for something else."
A/N: I love to hear what everybody has to say about my story, so please hit that little button at the bottom and review.