The sudden, crushing power of my grip on my boyfriend Liam’s hand caused him to glance over at me. I didn’t turn to meet his dark eyes, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of even a twitch of response. Instead, I riveted my gaze to the uneven surface of the path we were traveling towards our stabling area.
She raised her voice, obviously wanting to be sure I heard. “It’s so crazy what you can buy these days.”
Your new boobs, for one, I smirked. If I hadn’t been representing my family’s riding stable, Hope Creek, at the horse show, I would have said it out loud. Her reaction would have been worth the catfight that was sure to follow.
“But I guess I’d be winning all of my classes, too, if daddy dearest bought me any horse I wanted.” The others giggled, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to identify them. Celestine (though everyone on the circuit knew her as “Tini”) Lowenstein and her her stuck-up shadows Ariana Llewellyn and Maria Gaudio.
I couldn’t stop the laugh that burst from me at the sheer craziness of her statement. Tini, of all people, was in no position to point fingers and accuse anyone else of being spoiled rotten. She was practically the poster child for privileged children. And, besides, I knew for a fact her horse, Sloan, cost more than most of the homes in my hometown. I knew that because her daddy waltzed into my family’s place, Hope Creek Farm, and plunked down a small fortune--Sloan’s purchase price--without so much as batting an eye... but who was keeping score?
“Yeah, “ one of the other girls offered. “Claire could be dead and Tally would still make her look amazing.” The three of them giggled.
Even though it was meant to be an insult, I nodded my head in agreement. Finally, they’d gotten something right. My Thoroughbred mare, Tally, could make anyone look like they knew what they were doing. Too bad for Tini and her henchwomen, I guess. As long as Tally was around to make up for my atrocious riding skills, they would continue finishing behind me in the rankings.
Before Tini could spout off anything else ridiculous or hateful, I steered Liam to the right, down the long row of temporary stalls that led to Hope Creek’s stabling area. The three girls kept walking, but I could almost feel the burning from their demonic eyes on my back.
“What’s their problem?” Liam asked when he was sure the girls were out of earshot. The thickness of his Irish accent made him sound way more irritated than I knew he really was, and I found it completely adorable.
“There’s no problem. That’s just Tini,” I sighed, releasing my grip on Liam’s hand so I could recapture the wayward strands of sandy brown hair with a ponytail holder. At least, I didn’t think there was a problem. With a petty girl like Tini, it was hard to say. The fact I was currently breathing the same air was probably enough reason for her to be ticked off.
Until last week, Tini and I didn’t need to worry about each other. Last week I changed all of that by standing up for myself. After 18 years of riding and working for my parents and their clients, I decided that it was time for me to compete and make a name for myself in the horse world. It’s a funny thing about following your dreams--most people would rather you didn’t because it messes with theirs. People are selfish.
Felt like sharing a little bit from the first draft of my second [untitled] book. It's rough because it hasn't yet been edited, so forgive its imperfection! Hope you enjoyed it! <3