Disclaimer – I own nothing of RENT or the rights to the movie/book The Horse Whisperer, although I have both the movie and book. They belong to their respected owners. I do own my original characters and the plot. 'Nuff said.

Italics are flashbacks and thoughts.

A/N: I got this idea while re-reading The Horse Whisperer for the 10th time. Also, watching the movie Buck inspired me – it's about a horse trainer, similar to Tom Booker in the movie/book The Horse Whisperer.

Summary: AU: Takes place in 2012. Mimi is a single mother raising sixteen-year-old Sierra. When Sierra and her best friend Katie go riding one snowy afternoon, it turns terrifying – Katie and her horse lose their lives while Sierra survives with half her leg. Her horse, however, turns vicious and untrusting because of the accident. Mimi drives Sierra and her horse to Montana where famous horse trainer, Roger Davis, lives. Slowly, Mimi falls in love with him. Rated T because I'm paranoid and for character deaths.

Genre: Romance/Drama

Rating: T

(chapter title – Prologue)

It was a cold blustery day in January and sixteen-year-old Sierra Marquez was on her way to her favorite place in the world – the horse stable where her horse, Hercules, was kept. Hercules was a bay Thoroughbred gelding with four uneven white socks and a broad blaze that ran down his beautiful face. Sierra placed him between sixteen and eighteen years of age. She had bought him over the summer and he was a loyal companion.

"Hey Sierra!" a familiar voice called. Sierra smiled and stepped away from Hercules' stall to greet her best friend, Katie Hawn. Katie had shoulder-length blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and stood at least five inches taller than Sierra. Sierra and Katie had been best friends since birth – their mothers shared a hospital room.

Sierra was the opposite of Katie – she had dark skin, hair and eyes like her mother. She didn't know anything about her father, other than he left when Mimi had been expecting Sierra.

"Who do you plan on riding today?" Sierra asked, tugging on Katie's ponytail. Katie shrugged her shoulders and walked down the row of stalls until she came to her favorite horse – a tall chestnut Thoroughbred mare named Hershey.

Katie had decided to put her horse, Faithful, down over the summer. Faithful was old and Katie's mother – a big animal vet – thought that Katie was doing the right thing. Sierra had been with Katie on that tragic day. Now Katie was in the process of buying a new horse – she had her heart set on Hershey, but Hershey belonged to the stable owner, Mrs. Parker, and both girls knew that Mrs. Parker would never sell any of her horses.

"Have them back by one – I have a class to teach and Hershey is in the class!" Mrs. Parker yelled after the girls as they exited the barn.

"We promise Mrs. Parker!" Katie called over her shoulder.

The girls guided the horses to their favorite trail, talking and laughing the entire time.

"Heard from your dad at all?" Sierra asked Katie. She shook her head sadly, her eyes straight ahead. The trail cut through a busy intersection, so both girls had to be extremely careful when they got there.

"Not a single word. The last we heard from him is that he's in Florida, working at Disney World." Katie huffed. Katie's dad had left her mom, Katie and Katie's younger sister, Rosie, for a younger woman.

"I have no idea where my dad is and nor do I care. Mom doesn't seem to care, either." Sierra put in, hoping that would help her friend.

"How's your mom doing?" Katie wanted to know.

"She's busy as ever." Sierra answered. Mimi worked as a lawyer, so she worked long hours, often leaving Sierra to fend for herself.

"That's right – she has that important case coming up, doesn't she?" Katie inquired. Sierra nodded, not wanting to talk about parents or their jobs anymore.

"You wanna trot to the bridge?" Sierra asked, motioning with her head where the bridge was. They were near the intersection, so they had to be careful now.

Suddenly, Hercules reared and as soon as his feet touched the ground, he was off like a rocket, headed for the busy intersection.

"Ow! My foot's stuck!" Sierra complained as she was thrown from the saddle. Katie guided Hershey over to grab Hercules' reins, but they were ten inches out of reach.

Without the girls knowing it, they were in the road and a truck was headed right for them!

The trucker tooted his horn to let the girls and horses know he was coming, but it was too late.

Everything happened so fast – the truck killed Katie and Hershey, Sierra was thrown from the saddle, her left leg crushed by Hershey's heavy body.

Hercules took off and headed for the woods. He was bloody and bruised. Something about the accident changed his sweet-nurtured personality and nobody knew how to turn it back.

"Yes, tell Judy to get those files to me right away. Also, tell Melany that I still need the notes from the Knight vs. Munroe case. Hold on, Frank, I'm getting another call." Mimi told her assistant, putting him on hold so that she could answer the other line. "Hello Mimi Marquez speaking. Oh, hello Miranda. Yes, I was aware that Sierra went riding this morning. What do you mean she's not back yet? Katie's not back either? They're what? Okay, I'll be right there. Uh huh. How's Hercules? Dear God. I'll be right there." Mimi wiped the tears out of her eyes as she spoke with her assistant. "Frank, I just got called to the hospital – my daughter is in critical condition, her best friend is dead and her horse has turned into a wild man. Thanks. Talk to you later."

Mimi hung up the phone and drove as fast as she could to the hospital, hoping that Sierra would be okay.