By: Girl Bard
Disclaimer: Please see Part 1.
Authors Note: I cant apologize enough for the length of times in-between posts. I could give you explanations, but it would just keep you waiting for a longer time before reading the update. So please accept my deepest and most sincere regrets in not getting the update done sooner.
If it makes any difference at all, Im working on a full-length novel that has been taking up all of my time. Ill post it soon .
"We won!" I shout, practically jumping up and down in my stirrups. "Holy shit, we won!" I slap Babys neck and the filly blows hard in response. Shes exhausted, and all I want to do is ease her burden by getting off of her back.
Im in total shock. More from when I won the Derby. This is like, its a dream, pinch me hard shock.
Immediately the newscaster on horseback rides up and shoves a microphone in my face.
"Gen, youve just won the Triple Crown! What are you thinking at this moment?" She asks, and I can only think of one thing.
"I have the best horse and best trainer anyone could want. This is unbelievable!" I answer as we ride over to weigh-in.
The rest of the ceremony is a blur; I recall being asked a thousand questions by what seemed like millions of reporters along with Dena and posing for countless pictures. I kind of remember Baby kicking out in frustration at the over-zealous crowd and lowering her head to crop at the infield grass during the trophy presentation.
I remember being interviewed while watching the incredible stretch drive and becoming choked with emotion at witnessing her run her very heart out for me just to win.
I definitely remember crying, a lot.
But most of all, I remember Dena. I remember the way the hazy sun peeked through the heavy clouds, making her raven-colored hair shine. I remember how she picked me up when we arrived in the winners circle and twirled me around in utter joy like I was a weightless child.
I could never forget the way she smiled at me before pulling me close to her body. Her heartbeat, frantic and irregular against my ear almost made me believe it was beating just for me. When she kissed me in front of the reporters who were busy snapping pictures, my heart just knew.
Knew that we were meant to be together forever, whatever we ended up doing.
Stretching, I climb out of the soft bed before carefully placing the covers around a slumbering Dena. She is so exhausted, spending every spare moment off of the track in interviews and ceremonies.
Foxfires Triple Crown win has seemed to boost the sport of Thoroughbred racing back into the limelight. Suddenly every main news station, magazine, and newspaper want pieces of our little story to re-write, re-hash, and extensively dissect in front of the world.
Dena doesnt seem to mind, she actually is enjoying herself a little too much. Now she has the opportunity to speak about every controversial aspect of horse racing many in the business despise her for. She has made statements about the mistreatment of horses, trainers who run injured horses, the use of illegal substances and equipment in order to prep horses to race, and so on.
She has probably managed to offend everyone in the business in the past few weeks, and she loves it.
One thing about Dena, she is always fair. While she has spoken passionately about the negative aspects of racing, she is quick to defend the trainers and jockeys who are involved in the sport for the love of the horse, not just money.
I am proud of her. I would never have the courage to speak as freely as she does. I cant lie and say that it doesnt thrill and scare me to know shes making so many more enemies that she already has.
It doesnt help that she has been very open about our relationship to the press. Pictures of our embrace after the Belmont were on every front-page of the Sports section, along with more coverage of our relationship than the race itself. Shes been getting hate mail, Ive been getting hate mail, and there are more dyke jokes already circulating that I even care to admit.
The filly is resting comfortably at the farm. We were worried about her after the Belmont, she ran so hard and so fast that we thought it would take her a while to really bounce back.
And it did. It was almost two weeks before she showed her old spirit again. She has been given some time off, and we plan on keeping her running until the Breeders Cup in October. Then shell get the winter off, and Dena will decide if we should retire her or bring her back for her 4-year-old career.
Everyday the farm receives pounds of mail, from interested buyers, to fans, to people offering free stud fees if we decide to breed Baby. Some of it is pretty funny, but other offers are dead serious and from owners of phenomenal stallions.
We had to hire two full-time guards for the filly; her net worth is unbelievable at this time. Shes a shoo-in for the horse of the year award, even if she doesnt run in the Breeders Cup.
But to us, shes still Baby. She still is silly under saddle, still feisty yet controlled on the track. She still annoys the crap out of Elmer and makes his life difficult at all times.
Grinning, I roll over in bed, suddenly missing my two favorite horses. Dena frowns and scoots closer to me, one long arm wrapping itself around my waist and securing me to her side.
This is a pleasant change also. Now that the press knows exactly how close the trainer and I are, shes felt more freedom about showing everyone that were together. We share the same room at the farm now, and are pretty inseparable.
Not that I would ever mind. I fell in love with her so long ago that it physically pains me when shes not around.
But a little free time is good for every couple, and absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. So we spend a few hours a day apart, and get to have a big smoochy reunion when we meet back up.
I slip out of bed, enjoying the warm salt-scented air and stretch my muscles, tired and lazy from a weeks worth of rest.
It takes me minutes to quickly use the bathroom and put on clean riding clothes. I run my fingers through sleep-tousled hair, knowing that it doesnt matter how messy it looks because it will soon be hidden under my helmet.
Putting on sun block and ChapStick, my preparations are almost complete, save for one very important detail.
"Ill be back in a while." I whisper to the trainer before planting a quick kiss on her full lips. She nods sleepily in response, never once opening her eyes. I give her a fond smile before pulling on my boots and heading downstairs.
Making a loud clopping sound on the hotels honed marble floors, I head out of the lobby and down to the stables. I roll my eyes as several members of the paparazzi trail me, and when I reach my destination I turn and give them a wave. Im almost used to it by now, but it seems pretty silly to me that anyone is interested in the fact that on the eighth day of our vacation Im going down to the stables to ride at 6:00 am.
After enduring over a month of constant hounding by the press at the farm, Dena suggested a vacation. We both knew it would just be a matter of time before the interest in Foxfire and us waned, and were hoping no one would care enough to follow us to Hawaii.
No such luck. But we just ignore them, for the most part, and are having a wonderful vacation. Dena has been sleeping late, and I head for the stables. By the time we meet up with each other for breakfast we are more than ready to make plans for the day.
We have done everything from parasailing to windsurfing, and today are going deep-sea fishing. Its been a wonderful time away for just the two of us.
"Hello." I greet the native islander girl softly and she blushes in response. The hotel has a wonderful staff and pleasant riding facility and they have been very accommodating to both Dena and myself. We basically are allowed to ride anytime we want and go as we please. The trails are beautiful and scenic and the perfect way for me to slowly clear my head in the morning.
"Good morning." She answers, her eyes looking down. Her name is Jessie, and she has definitely been the shyest of the girls here. Ive seen her ride and shes a natural, always kind and soft with the horses. She works here on the weekends to save up enough money to get her very own horse and every time Im here so is she. All of the workers in the barn are horse-crazy teenage girls, much like myself at that age. We have been signing autographs for them and all of their friends this past week, and Kali, the head mistress of the stable has told us the girls are thrilled that people of our prowess are riding their simple horses.
That made me smile; there are no simple horses. All of them are special in their own way.
"Ill take Luna out today." I tell her and she beams in approval. I know she has a soft spot in particular for the big mare.
"Shes my favorite." She answers and I nod at her, grinning.
"Mine too." I tell the girl, her dark eyes lighting up in approval.
Taking Lunas tack, I quickly brush the tall mare before saddling her. When we first arrived at the hotel and toured the stables, the black and white horse immediately caught my attention. Shes a tall mare, probably mixed with some draft horse, with flowing white feathers around her legs and a perfect crescent-moon shape on her forehead. Luna is a gorgeous mare, headstrong and spirited with nice gaits.
After warming her up quickly in the small ring, I head for the trails. My feet are relaxed in the comfortable Western stirrups as Luna and I head uphill. I dont miss Jessies expression as I wave goodbye to her, dark eyes filled with longing and respect as she watches Luna and I fade into the sunrise.
Ill talk to Dena about seeing what we can do for Jessie. Obviously she would love to have Luna as her own, and I think the horse and rider would make a nice combination. She would love the mare and take very good care of her.
Turning my attention to the trail ahead, I watch the sun rise above the clouds and the beauty that surrounds me overwhelms me.
I never thought Id be here vacationing in Hawaii, as my beautiful lover peacefully sleeps.
Life sure is different after winning the Triple Crown. In fact, things that really used to bother me dont seem so bad anymore.
Every time I get frustrated with myself for making a mistake in a work or race and end up not placing on a mount, I just remind myself that we won the Triple Crown.
Or other, more important things; like past memories of being told I would never amount to anything, or every smug trainer that said I wasnt good enough to be a jock dont seem to be as big of a deal now.
Not that it can ever truly heal past hurts, but it does help.
So does the money.
Besides the hefty $5 million Visa Triple Crown bonus Dena received for Foxfires accomplishment, we are making enough in interviews and public appearances to last us a lifetime. Dena is putting all her money away for the future, she says.
She wants to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, and buy more horses. She wants to give Charlene her own string of horses to train and hire more jocks, good young riders who ride because they love horses, rather than just to win.
Most importantly, Dena wants to house a Thoroughbred rescue that takes in mounts bound for slaughter to give them a second chance and find them good homes. She wants me to head up the program and help train the horses for use in regular homes.
To me, it sounds perfect. For once in my life, I am looking forward to the future.
As we reach the ascent of the hill, I find myself on horseback looking out over the Pacific. The view never ceases to amaze me.
Luna waits patiently as I try to take in every detail, committing this morning to memory. Funny how the more good memories I have, the less room the bad ones take up.
I hope you enjoyed this little tale. I am unsure as if I should continue with these characters, or leave this a stand-alone story. What do you all think? Do you have any interest in the future of Dena and Gen? Let me know.
Im a feedback addict .email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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