No copyright! You know what belongs to Stephenie Meyer, and I claim none of it :)
Some of you know my writing, and how I dish out the sad, then move on. This Bella WILL be very different from our, Shattered Hearts Bella. I swear!
Lately I had been finding myself pondering about writing a book. A book of my life would be in the self help section, no doubt. When did it all become so foreign? My routine was the same, day in and day out, and yet I did nothing to change it. Therefore, I suppose I'm not allowed to complain. Although, how do you change a routine into something you love when you don't know what you want?
I sighed and leaned back into my rocking chair. The crickets and frogs sounded loudly amidst the dark night. My husband was out late working. It was a usual thing, but I wasn't stupid. What kind of environmental lawyer works late? He's working something I knew. I rolled my eyes. We had been married for ten years. Riley Summers proposed fresh out of high school and I was quick to accept. I loved him. Looking back, would I change anything? Absolutely, but not the being with him part.
We married then went straight into college. I graduated after four years in animal care while Riley had to continue on for his law degree. Once we moved away from campus, things began to change. I had my work opening a new riding stable on our property, and Riley was buried in schoolwork and internships. The less time we spent together, the farther we grew apart. He was a stranger to me, just as much as I knew him completely.
What about a divorce? I couldn't deny that I had thought about it once or twice in the past couple of years. I saw divorce as a weakness, a way out, a tremendous failure. If I couldn't handle a marriage, who said I could handle any other relationship properly? Riley was against divorce even more than I was, but being in the South, that was how a lot of people viewed it. Especially our families. We had parents who had been together since the dawn of time. Plus, I didn't want to get divorced; I wanted a happy marriage again.
Sex may not be the key to a successful relationship, but it sure didn't hurt anything either. How terrible I was for being unable to recall the last time he and I were intimate. I cringed and took another sip of my tea. By the end of the day I was too exhausted for sex. Riley made no comment after a while about the lack of intimacy and I figured he had found it in someone else. A woman knows. A strong woman confronts it, a woman who couldn't care less, doesn't. I couldn't care less.
Over time I, Bella Marie Summers, had become a hardened shell. A ghost drifting through her days in a fog. I thought about seeking my way out through drugs, affairs, or anger, but what would I gain? Not myself, that's for certain. I needed a savior: a hero. I laughed at myself. I read too many books. I decided to leave the porch and go to bed alone and sleep until my husband came home. That is, if he came home at all.
The morning light poured through my windows waking me. As I stirred, I could smell fresh coffee. Riley had come home. I smiled slightly and got out of bed.
"Morning, sleepy," Riley said as I came into the kitchen. He sat at the table with his coffee and a newspaper. I yawned and went to the coffee pot.
"Morning," I mumbled sleepily. I poured creamer in my cup and stirred the coffee until it was a light brown color. I sipped it and instantly felt better. Glancing out of the kitchen window I could see the barn.
"When did you get in?" I asked.
"Oh, late. Fell asleep on the couch," he replied nonchalantly. I rolled my eyes.
"I've gotta get going, though," he said, standing from the table.
"Oh?" I replied glancing to the clock on the wall. "It's only eight."
"Early court case," he assured. "The DA is on my ass." He kissed my cheek and left without another word to me, or me to him. Another routine filled day laid before me. I sighed and went to shower.
Horses are the most magnificent animals. I thought of them as sacred, and something to be cherished. They're companions, loyal like dogs only better, I think. If you treat them right, they'll take care of you. I owned two horses of my own. The day I brought them home was like bringing home your first child. Diane was a Line Back, my mare and main riding horse while her son, O'Ryan took more after his dad being all black with white socks. We had plenty of land, and two horses didn't seem like enough, so I opened a boarding business. I now care for six horses, not including my own.
After the first three came to stay here, I decided I needed some help, so I hired a college student who was majoring in Equis care. Her name was Alice and she would graduate this year at the top of her class. She was my mini-me in every way, and well beyond her years in knowledge, so it was easy to relate to a twenty year old. Of course, I'm only twenty-seven, but I felt much older mentally. I sighed and opened the bay doors to the barn. I lit my black and mild, the only time I smoked all day, and took a long drag.
All of the horses had been let out to pasture and Alice was just pulling into the driveway. She would stay to feed them all and prepare those who would be ridden today. I had a list of riders that came each day, and it was my favorite thing to teach people how to ride a horse. Most of the clients I had were young children. They were much easier to teach than adults because they soaked up the knowledge, were eager for more, and their level of fear was much lower. The people that boarded their horses here would come and ride, having me teach them, too.
My own two horses were for people that didn't own a horse, but just wanted to learn. Alice bounced up to me and I put my thin cigar out.
"Morning!" She said brightly.
"Hey, Ali," I told her. "How was that science test?"
"I got a B, but Mr. Green said I could do some extra credit." I laughed at her kindly. Alice was obsessed with her grades.
"Good. But I'm proud of you, anyway." Alice smiled and went to the tackle room to begin fixing food for the horses. I was about to join her when a dark SUV pulled into my driveway. Alice stuck her head out of the small room across from me.
"You have an early lesson?" She asked.
"No. Must be a walk up." Alice nodded and went back to her task. I stepped out of the barn towards the SUV.
The driver's door opened and a man wearing old hiking boots stepped out. I walked closer and my breath caught in my throat at the sight of his face smiling at me politely. He was tall, but not too tall, lean, but not incredibly thin, and he had beautiful hair the color of rich copper. I smiled back to him.
"Good morning," I said through a dry throat. His beauty was intimidating to say the least.
"Morning," he replied in a thick Southern accent. His t-shirt was fitted black and he wore old jeans. He ran a hand through his hair and approached me with an extended hand. I took it cautiously and shook politely. His skin sent a shock through my hand that went up my arm. I pulled away quickly, thankful that he hadn't noticed.
"My name is Edward Masen. Are you Bella Summers?"
"I am," I replied.
"Good. I'm at the right place. I was suggested to you by a friend of a friend. You give riding lessons?"
"I do," I replied proudly. I noticed his eyes look me up and down quickly. I flushed. My clothing was old and worn, perfect for horse work, but bad for trying to impress someone. I wore an old gray t-shirt, loose enough to hide what little breasts I had, and my favorite pair of skinny jeans. My boots smelled like horse manure. I groaned inwardly.
"Excellent," he said happily.
"For you?" I asked.
"Yes. Sort of." He chuckled nervously. "Actually, not so much. I promised my niece that I would take her somewhere to continue learning. Her last trainer retired. I used to ride as a kid, but it's been years."
"Oh, I see. Well, I have horses here, or if you would like to learn on your own, you're welcome to bring them here. I board horses as well."
"I actually don't have any horses anymore, so we would need to use yours."
"That's fine. When would you like to start?"
"Are you busy tomorrow?"
"Friday? Let me check." I dashed back into the barn to my office. I picked up my planner and went back to him.
"I have a lesson at one, but that's it."
"Great. Can we come in the morning?" He asked hopeful.
"Is ten, okay?"
"Ten is perfect." I wrote down his name.
"It's forty dollars for an hour," I explained.
"Alright. My niece is only twelve by the way. Is that too young for you?"
"Not at all," I informed. He smiled showing his perfect teeth. My knees shook.
"Great. Her school lets out for summer today, so we plan on summer lessons. She wants to compete eventually."
"I give a wide variety of lessons, including competition styles," I replied.
"You do it all, huh?"
I laughed kindly. "Not hardly," I replied. Edward extended his hand to me again. I took it, preparing myself for the shock. It came, and he noticed it, too. We parted. His golden eyes sparkled in wonderment.
"See you tomorrow," he finally said. I smiled and gave a small wave. He left me in shambles. I watched him drive away and my breathing returned to normal.
"Who was that?" Alice asked from behind me.
"A guy wanting lessons," I replied distantly.
"He's so hot," Alice noted. I turned and rolled my eyes at her.
"Oh, please," she furthered. "As if you didn't notice!" I laughed and went back into the barn.
Never before, not even with Riley had a man ever affected me sodeeply at the first meeting. I needed to keep my wits if I was going to be a good and professional trainer and not drool all over him. I felt a small twinge of shame, looking down to my plain gold wedding band, but it passed quickly. I felt like maybe my routine would begin to change for the better. Apparently I needed to change something in order for my routine to become more exciting. I decided to start taking bigger risks, and not asking so many questions. Dwelling on my life wouldn't get me very far anyway. It was time to start living again.
And I'm back again! Welcome to Swinging Love.
The first two chapters are what get the ball rolling into the "good stuff," so hang tight! They're also the shortest chapters so after 2, be ready for much longer ones :D
This story is rated M for a reason as it will be filled with lemons, language and adult situations.
Come on over to Stories by Greye Granger on FB for pic inspirations, update news, teasers, and more!
Thank you Beffers87 as always for being my rock, pre-reader, and banner extraordinaire!
Thank you Roniangel85 for the beta work! I look forward to working with you.
Those of you who read Ride to You, I am doing an epilogue for that story for the Fandom for Oklahoma!
Thanks for reading! And I will post chapter 2 sometime towards the end of the week. I'll let you know my "set scheduling" as soon as I know it ;)