Previously on Wildfire…
Kris (to Matt)"I don't want Junior! I'm with YOU!"
Todd (to Jean and Pablo) "You make a great team. Like chocolate and chips"
Dani (to Gillian) "Oh hey-you made it! I was starting to worry!"
Gillian "Can I chase you?"
Junior "Catch me."
[Kris getting bumped during the Bristol Stakes]
"There's no way to prove that Wildfire could've beat Avatar"
Sheik Omar "I have a group ready to finance a rematch between Avatar and Wildfire."
Kris "An illegal match race?"
Kris "Come on, Wildfire. Do it for Raintree!"
[Wildfire crosses the finish line]
Jean (to Kris) "The fact that you don't understand why I would never take that money is more disappointing to me than anything else."
Kris (to the racing board) "Here's the money. I'm the one who stole the horse. If I plead guilty, will you leave the Ritters and Pablo alone?"
"Your jockey's license will be revoked in all fifty states."
"What about them?"
"We won't pursue the matter."
Ken (to Dani) "They can't let us off scott-free, and Junior doesn't have a license, so you'll have to take one for the team"
Dani (to Junior) "My half of the farm is useless without a racing license. I'll sign my share of the farm over to you. Good luck."
Jean (to Kris) "The fact that you did this is why I love you. It's also why you can't stay here anymore."
Kris "Let go of me, Matt! I've hurt your family enough!"
Matt (to Jean) "You sold the horses without asking me?"
Jean "I did what I had to do."
Matt "I'm gonna rebuild this place. I'll get the horses back. I'll get Wildfire back. And I'll get Kris back because I need her!"
Kris (to person in car) "What are you doing here?"
Jean closed her eyes so that she wouldn't see her older son's disappearing back. "Obviously, some big changes are going to need to be made around here," she muttered to herself. "We'll have to come up with another business to open in place of horse racing, for one."
Todd blinked. "Mom, that's not funny."
"I wasn't joking," said Jean. "I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking that our best course of action might be to turn Raintree into a dude ranch."
Todd's eyes widened. "A dude ranch?"
Matt whipped around. "Mom, you did NOT just say that!" said Matt. "If Henry was here, can you imagine how he'd react?"
Jean closed her eyes for a moment. "Well, he's not here. And I have to do what's best for our family. And right now, I think that would be opening a Dude Ranch at Raintree. And Todd, you know that boarding school that you said your friends were going to? Maybe we should check it out."
"Okay, that does it!" said Matt. "First you get rid of Kris, then you get rid of the horses, now you want to get rid of Todd…what's next, you kick me out and decide to, oh, burn the place down and put up a gas station convenience store where the track used to be?"
Jean smacked her hand down on the table in front of her in vain. "Matt, we have to be sensible here!"
"Yes, we do!" said Matt. "And we're going to start by getting Wildfire back, and then Flame, and then some new horses. And hopefully some boarders. I'll train the horses, and Kris will ride them. Just like always. We are NOT sending Todd away, we are NOT giving up on horse racing, and we are NOT opening a DUDE RANCH! And about Kris…I love her! I won't let her go!" He started marching in the direction of his truck.
At Davis Farms, Gillian stood in the barn near Reliant's stall. "Guess we'd better get you ready for our trip back to England." Then she thought of the long treck that Reliant would have to make across the country and then across the Atlantic by ship. "On second thought, maybe you're better off if I find a home for you here." She sighed and put her head against the stallion's forehead. "I don't want to leave you. I don't want to leave my friends, or my jumping horse or…"
Gillian's head jerked up. Had she really just thought that. Had that really just gone through her head?
No, impossible. It couldn't be that she and Junior were meant to be together. There was a reason that Danni had stepped out just as he was about to get into the pool with her. There was a reason that the Janie Jumper doll had been so ugly. There was a reason that Kris had won the illegal match race.
"Hey, Gillian?" Junior called into the barn. "Matt just called. Have you seen Kris or Dani?"
For a brief moment, all Gillian could think of was about how much she loved the sound of his voice. Then she let herself realize what he'd just said. "No, I haven't seen them."
"I'm going out to look," said Junior. "Join me?"
Gillian paused again when she realized that was exactly what she had said to him the night of O's party right before Dani ruined the moment.
Get a grip, Gillian! she thought to herself. Dani and Kris are missing!
"Of course I'll help you," said Gillian. Together, they started off in the direction of his silver Porsche.
"Hey, Junior?" said Ken. "Can I talk to you for a second? It'll be brief. All I need you to do is go over about twelve different forms with me, give Kelly Farms a call about that two-year-old they've been trying to sell, and then look online for three new horse trailers for us to buy."
"No can do, Dad," said Junior. "Dani and Kris are missing.
"They'll turn up," said Ken, as if he were talking about his car keys. "Now, about this horse, he's high-strung, but I think he has real…"
"Dad," said Junior. "I'm going out to look for Dani and Kris."
"Oh great, you're not still thinking about her, are you?" said Ken.
"Not at all," said Junior. "I just want to make sure they're ok. Don't you?"
Ken smiled as if he were talking to a little kid who was worried about something ridiculous. "I'm sure everything's fine. But if you really want to look, go right ahead. But don't forget, Junior. You have a horse farm to run."
"Don't worry," said Junior. "I'll be back soon. I hope." With Gillian at his side, he hopped into his car and turned the key in the ignition.
Somewhere along the highway, Pablo was driving along in his truck. He was supposed to be thinking about what new horse shoes to buy for Avatar, but he couldn't seem to get Kris out of his head. "I was way too hard on her", he thought. When you stole this horse, you turned back the clock. How could he say that to her? She had only done it because she loved Raintree and the Ritters so much. And as mad as he still was about the match race in it's own right, it wasn't fair that most of the reason he'd yelled at Kris was because she'd upset the woman he was in love with. Jean hadn't noticed how she felt about him when he'd tried to make her jealous by leaving his door unlocked the nights that he spent with Carrie, she hadn't noticed when he'd threatened to leave Raintree if she married Ken Davis, and she certainly wasn't going to notice now. Kris hadn't noticed either, but she knew more about him than anyone else in his life did. Now that he thought about it, Kris and Wildfire were the closest thing he had to family.
"Pompous morons," Dani muttered to herself as she drummed her fingers on the wheel. "Complete and utter pompous morons. I hope I never see any of them ever again. Especially not Matt. Kris can have him. Hell, she can have all of them! Matt, Junior, Gillian, Wildfire, Jean and Pablo, my Dad…not that he'd want her anyway…" Dani's rant was interrupted by the sound of her pathetically cheerful generic cell phone ring tone and wondered what moron was calling her this time. It wasn't Junior, because she'd made his ring tone "It's My Life". It wasn't Matt either, because she'd given him a ring tone of "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" the day she saw him making out with Gillian in the elevator, and thought it fit even more now that he was with Kris. The only other person who Dani had even given their own ringtone in their phone to was RJ. His ring tone was "Cowboy Cassanova" even though he wasn't one. She had been planning on pretending to lose her phone in his trailer sometime and asking him to call it for her so that he could hear it and they could laugh about it. Now that was never going to happen.
"I HATE YOU!" Danni screamed to her cell phone. "I hate EVERY SINGLE LIVING PERSON on this fucking contact list!" Then she rolled down her window to throw her cell phone out onto the high way, but her hand froze when she recognized the number up on the screen.
"Well," said Dani. "I never expected to hear from you again as long as I lived."
The person on the end of the line didn't waste any time. "What the hell is wrong with you? You called the police to stop an illegal match race and hide it from the racing board? Are you out of your mind?"
"Maybe," said Dani. "I'm also out of Davis Farms. I signed my shares over to Junior and left. What do you want, O?"
"I want to know exactly what happened," said Sheik Omar. "I think you still owe me that much. What did the racing board do after you called them?"
"Dad talked them into dropping all the other charges if they took away my racing license," said Dani. "Junior and Gillian both got off scott-free, even though I wasn't even there."
"Okay, Dani, calm down," said Sheik O.
"And you know what else?" said Dani, her voice rising. "You know what dad's exact words were? 'How dare you two pull a stunt like this behind my back?' Okay, we didn't! Junior did! Behind both our backs! What's more, I'll bet that if Dad had known what was going on, he would've totally been on board with it! Yes! This is exactly the kind of thing that he likes to get involved in! Did I ever tell you that he drugged a horse of mine right before a race that Kris was riding in and didn't even tell me? They both could have died."
"Okay, okay, I get it, you're pissed at your dad," said Sheik O. "What happened at Raintree?"
"Who cares?" snapped Dani.
"I do," said Sheik. "And if you can't tell me, I'm about to go find out."
Dani sighed. "I honestly don't know."
"Okay," said Sheik. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," said Dani. But he had already hung up on her.
"What are you doing here?" said Kris. "Don't you realized that by listening to you, I just lost everything?"
"I know," said Sheik Omar. "I'll help you if you get in."
Kris eyed him suspiciously. Why in the world should she trust his man? Because of his plan, she had just lost her home, her family, her horses, Matt…
"Come on, Kris," said Sheik. "What have you got to lose?"