"Sam, how long are we going to keep at this?" Quinn asked when it started getting really dark.
"Until we find her," Sam snapped she was tried of him whining, she was tired of the cold, and she just wanted to find Witch.
"We might not though," Quinn complained.
"Well, then we might not be going home," Sam exclaimed.
"Jake's probably the only one I can find her," Quinn pointed out.
"Shut up and look for something that will lead us to her," Sam huffed. He sighed and pulled out his Ipod. He swayed in the saddle as he hummed along. Sam scanned the area around her and felt her frustration mounting. She knew where she'd be but she couldn't lead Quinn there. She had been hoping the phantom and his herd would be doing something outside of the valley. "Quinn, we're splitting up," She told him. He looked at her with a questioning look before pulling out and ear bud. "We're splitting up,"
Quinn laughed before looking at her seriously. "Do I look like I want my butt beaten?" He asked. It was Sam's turn for a questioning look. "Jake will kill me if I let you go off alone." He rolled his eyes.
"Well, Jake doesn't have to know," Sam looked at him pleadingly.
Quinn snorted, "No, I'm not letting you go off on your own,"
"You sound like Jake," Sam pouted.
"Yeah, well, too bad," Quinn shrugged. Sam glared. "Don't glare at me like that!" He snapped at her.
"Quinn, I need to go by myself or we won't find Witch. I know where she is, but I can't take you there. I need you to stay here. I'll get her. Please Quinn," Sam begged. Her eyes were huge and he heart swelled with hope. Quinn could never say no to Sam and she knew that. He tried to be rash annual, but he knew if he said no she'd just get stubborn on him and only Jake and Wyatt could handle that.
"Fine," Quinn sighed. Sam fist pumped victoriousally. "but if your not back in 20 minutes I'm coming looking for you." He warned. She nodded and took off at a gallop toward the secret valley. It took a while to convince Rose that it was safe going in the tunnel. When she got on the other side though it toook her breath away like usual. She saw The Phantom racing toward her from the other side of the valley. She felt her heart flutter as he did a reining stop in front of her. He puffed air in her face and she giggled. Sam pet his nose as she looked for Witch. I didn't take long to find her. She sill had her saddle on, her bridle in, but the reins were gone. She was getting into a fight with the lead mare. It didn't look like it had been the first time those to had gotten in a fight either, by the looks of them. They both had some gashed on the rumps and the looked like they had a few welts.
"Zanzibar, I need to take Witch home okay? Please? She looks like she's been causing trouble anyway," Sam glanced back at Witch she had caught sight of Rose and Sam. She nickered to them. She actually nickered. At them. She started trotting over. The lead mare bit Witch in the rump and she squealed before kicking the lead mare. The Phantom sighed as if he was sick of their bickering. Witch galloped over to Sam and Rose. The lead mare raced after them. "Shoot, Zanzibar," She stopped petting the Phantom as Witched did a reining stop that sent dust flying. The lead mare stopped when she saw Sam. Sam smirked at her. "Hi girl, I'm going to take Witch and you can stop worrying about her, 'kay?" Sam started backing Rose to the tunnel. Witch got the hint and barreled out the tunnel. Sam spun Rose on her heels and followed. She heard a horse following her. As they got to the other side of the tunnel she turned to see what horse it was.
It was the Phantom. Sam looked at him and was torn between telling him off and just letting him go. He didn't seem mad. He just seemed to be enjoying the run, so Sam just kept riding. Soon she saw Quinn. Witch was heading home as fast as she could and Quinn was just watching the Phantom chase after Rose and Sam. Chip nickered to the Phantom and the Phantom returned the call. The Phantom turned when Sam was about 20 meters from Quinn. He raced back toward the hidden valley.
Sam pulled up by Quinn. Rose was puffing and Sam was too. "He just let you go?" Quinn asked after letting Sam catch her breath. She nodded. "Wow," He turned Chip and Rose followed after him. "Witch looked a little beat up," He said when they were close to home.
"Yeah, she and the lead mare didn't get along," Sam laughed.
"Figures," Quinn scoffed. "She didn't like being bossed around, must have been new to her," He shook his head.
"Guess not," Sam smiled. They rode the rest of the ride in silence. When they were untacking the horses Sam looked at Quinn her face grave. "Where's Witch now?" His face blanked.
"I don't know," They put Rose and Chip in the pasture and looked around the house. It didn't take long to find her. She was by Jake's window. He had the window open and was stroking her ears.
"Thanks," He said as he looked up. Quinn nodded before walking away. Sam walked toward the window.
"Do you want me to put her away?" Sam asked.
"No," He said. "not yet," Sam nodded.
"I'm just going to take off her saddle, or try," She smiled when Jake patted Witch's rump and her ear just twitched. She moved to undo the cinch and Jake started talking in a low voice to Witch. She slide off the saddle and was surprised by the weight. No wonder Jake had such big biceps. She started to the barn half dragging half carrying the saddle. She set it on the saddle tree and crept back toward Jake's window. This time she pressed her back against the wall. She peeked around the corner to watch the boy and his horse. Jake had is forehead pressed to Witch's and he was just looking in her eyes. Her ears were perked like she was listening to a really interesting conversation. Then she realized that Jake was talking to his horse. She couldn't make out what he was saying, but she was still touched. She wished she had a camera, but at the same time if she got a picture of it she'd never share it with anyone.
After a minute Sam stepped around the corner. "Do you want me to put her away now?" Jake nodded before kissing Witch inbetween the eyes before handing Sam Witch's bridle.
"Be good, girl," He said before turning away and hobbling to his bed. Sam led a surprisingly obident horse to the barn. She put Witch in a stall, removed the bridle, and gave her some grain.
"Sam!" Sam spun on her heels and saw...