Part Seven of Ten
Chapter Thirteen: dinner with friends
Valarie, Ashley and Chloe were all in the kitchen finishing up dinner, when the doorbell rang. Valarie and Ashley were the ones working on dinner, Chloe was sat playing with the kittens, with some help from Spirit.
“That will be Jenny, or Robert.” Valarie said looking at the time. “Chloe! Can you stop playing with them kittens and go let our guests in?” Valarie said as she frowned at Chloe, wondering if it was a good idea after all letting her get the two kittens.
“Do as you’re told sis, I’ll keep an eye on these two while you entertain.” Spirit said sounding all posh, just before she started giggling.
“Okay, but shout if you have any trouble with them.” Chloe said as she got to her feet and had one last look in the box with the two kittens in before running off to get the front door.
“Stop running in the house young lady!” Valarie’s voice shouted from the kitchen.
Chloe smiled at the use of the words ‘young lady’ but she still knew it was wrong to be doing it though. “Sorry mummy!” Chloe shouted as she slowed to a fast walk.
Jennifer and Robert were both stood on the other side of the door when Chloe opened it. Chloe wanted to thank Jennifer for giving her mother the number for Stacy and helping her get the two kittens she now had. “Thank you Jenny.” Chloe said throwing her arms around Jennifer’s waist and hugging her.
“Hello Chloe.” Jennifer giggled as she wrapped her arms around the child now hugging her. “Thank you for what?” She asked puzzled as to why she was being thanked.
“Thank you for calling with Stacy’s number, so I could go and get my new kittens.” Chloe said it like Jennifer should have known what she was on about from the beginning.
“So did you get a kitten then?” Jennifer grinned.
“No, I got two of them.” Chloe grinned back. “I didn’t want it to get lonely, so I talked mummy into buying me two.”
“That’s my girl. That’s why I have two cats as well.” Jennifer explained as she stepped into the house while still hugging Chloe.
“Hello again Chloe.” Robert smiled as he looked around Jennifer at Chloe.
“Hello Dr Kaufman.” Chloe said breaking the hug and straightening herself out again.
“Please call me Robert; I think you’ve earned that after what you did for me yesterday.” Robert smiled even more.
“I’m glad I was able to help you get better Robert.” Chloe said trying to sound more grown up than she was.
Before any of them had time to say anymore, they heard heels clicking on the marble floor and turned to see Valarie step out of the kitchen and smile at them both.
“Hello Jenny, Robert.” Valarie smiled as she stepped over and gave them both a friendly hug. “I trust you found the place alright?” Valarie asked as she looked at Robert, She already knew that Jennifer could find the new house, as she was there just the other day.
“Yes I found the place just fine, but I did cheat and pick Jennifer up on the way.” Robert chuckled.
“There’s a good chance Robert would have ended up in London if I hadn’t gotten him to pick me up first.” Jennifer giggled. “I swear he could get lost in his own home sometimes.” Jennifer added.
“Why do you think I became a doctor and not an explorer?” Robert said, not even trying to argue the point with Jennifer.
“I hope you both brought your appetites with you, I might have gone a little overboard with the meal.” Valarie pointed out as she led them all to the dining room where Ashley was just bringing in the last of the dishes.
“Hi Jenny, Robert.” Ashley smiled as she walked over and gave them both a hug. “Please take a seat and I’ll get you both something to drink.
“I hope you don’t mind, but Jenny said you both liked wine, so I bought this as a thank you for inviting me over for dinner.” Robert said as he handed Ashley a tissue wrapped bottle of wine.
“I’ve never been known to turn my nose up at a bottle of wine.” Ashley grinned as she unwrapped the bottle and saw it was a good make as well. “Do you want to share a glass with Val and me?” Ashley asked.
“No thanks, I’m driving, and I’ve never been a big drinker anyway.” Robert said.
Ashley wandered off to sort out some drinks and was soon returning to the table with a non alcoholic bottle of grape juice for Chloe, Jennifer and Robert to drink, while she and Valarie had a glass of wine. They all made a start on the food while Chloe told Jennifer and Robert about her day, and how much fun she’d had meeting Stacy.
“Stacy showed me her horses, and mummy said I could have one of them.” Chloe said excitedly. “A beautiful black one.” Chloe added.
“Do you mean Beast?” Jennifer asked looking a little shocked.
“I don’t know his name, I never thought to ask.” Chloe said with a thoughtful look. “Have you seen him then Jenny?” Chloe asked.
“Yes, I keep my horse at their stables, and I know all about Beast as well.” Jennifer warned. “He’s not a nice horse Chloe; I think you’d be better off letting your mother buy you another one.” She advised.
“Why do they call him Beast?” Valarie asked looking worried now.
“He doesn’t have a name, but I call him that because he won’t let anyone ride him, he barely lets Stacy touch him.” Jennifer explained her reasons for naming the horse, Beast.
“He’s not like that, and Spirit said he’d been waiting for me.” Chloe pouted.
“I don’t know anything about horses Jenny, so I’d be grateful if you’d come and check out what Chloe is saying before I agree to buy her such an animal.” Valarie asked her friend for help.
“I was planning on taking Tinkerbell out tomorrow anyway, so we can all go over and I’ll see just how temperamental Beast is with her.” Jenny offered.
“Will I be able to ride him?” Chloe asked.
“We’ll see, but dress for the part anyway.” Jennifer smiled.
“What should I wear? I don’t have any horse riding clothes.” Chloe asked.
“Jeans or some other form of trousers will be fine Chloe. And a good tough shirt or jumper, and a jacket.” Jennifer explained.
“Okay.” Chloe grinned excitedly. “Is Tinkerbell the name of your horse Jenny?” Chloe asked.
“Yes, but I don’t get to ride her as much as I’d like, but Stacy helps to keep her well exercised for me.” Jenny smiled. “So are you and Stacy friends now then?” Jennifer asked.
“I’d like to be, but I’m scared about what she might think of me if she finds out about my secret.” Chloe said looking worried.
“Which secret would that be? The seeing dead people or the other one.” Jennifer asked, not wanting to say the words ‘not being a real girl’ Jennifer thought Chloe was a girl, just not on the outside where it seemed to matter to the world.
“Both I guess, but she would just think me nuts if I told her I see the dead, and can talk to them.” Chloe shrugged. “The other one just makes me look like a freak.”Chloe looked down at the table in shame.
“Firstly you’re not a freak Chloe.” Jennifer snapped as she dropped into her headmistress mode for a second or two. “And secondly, I think you might find Stacy to be more understanding about your gender problem than you might think.” Jennifer added in a more friendly sounding tone.
“Is Stacy the other girl at the school like me?” Chloe asked, thinking she might have guessed right.
“No, Stacy is a girl through and through, but she has an older sister that used to be her brother. Not many people know about it, and I’m sure they would like to keep it that way, so please don’t go talking about it with anyone.” Jennifer warned.
“I’d never do that Jenny, but what about talking to Stacy about it, or about me?” Chloe asked.
“That is up to you sweetie, but remember that telling Stacy about your boy side, could lead to trouble down the line if she finds out that you’re pretending to be a dead girl.” “Jennifer warned. “See how your friendship grows to begin with, and then if you feel you can trust her with all your secrets, then sit her down and tell her.” Jennifer laid out the simple plan.
“Would that be okay mummy?” Chloe asked as she looked over at Valarie.
“I did like Dot, and I think you can trust Stacy, but like Jenny just said sweetie, let’s see how things go before you start telling them all our secrets.” Valarie smiled.
Once they finished the meal, Valarie. Ashley and Robert went to the living room, while Jennifer got dragged into the kitchen where Spirit was still sat on the floor playing with the two kittens in the box Chloe had brought them home from Stacy’s in. Chloe didn’t want them running around getting into trouble while they ate, and Spirit couldn’t stop this if they did, so the box was the safest option.
“I was hoping to find some time to talk with you while Chloe wasn’t in the room.” Robert said after taking a seat in the living room.
“Is everything alright? Did the tests show some sort of a problem?” Valarie asked looking worried.
“It’s a little soon to tell too much Valarie, but from what I’ve seen so far, I think Chloe was always going to be a small boy if he’d wanted to remain a boy, she might also be intersexed, but I need to get those other tests booked for her to go and have, to find out.” Robert explained, unable to keep calling the girl he’d just sat and enjoyed a lovely meal with anything but a girl.
“Just let me know where and when you want me and Chloe, and we’ll be there.” Valarie said looking determined to help Chloe fix whatever defect she might have.
“I’m just waiting to get the date back from the clinic, so we can take Chloe and get them sorted out.” Robert explained. “I’ve booked her in under the same name as the other girl at school we spoke about yesterday.” Robert added.
“And you’re sure no one will find out about it?” Valarie asked.
“I’ve been as careful as I can, but things like this are never foolproof.” Robert shrugged. “All the bills will be getting paid through me, so that will cut down on the number of people seeing that it’s a third party paying the bills for Chloe’s treatment.” Robert explained the way he’d set everything up.
“Are there any pills or shots Chloe needs in the mean time?” Valarie asked.
“I’d like to get the test results back before I work out a course of treatment for her, just to be on the safe side Valarie.”
“I can understand that Robert.” Valarie smiled at the fact Robert was just as worried about keeping Chloe healthy as she was.
“Once I know she’s fit and healthy, then I’ll get her started on some testosterone blockers to stop any more male changes from happening, not that it looks like any have happened so far.” Robert explained. “We can then look at getting some female hormones into her, so she can start to develop as a girl should. I’ve also written a letter for Jennifer, telling her that due to a medical problem, Chloe is not to do any kind of sports while at school.” Robert added.
“So none of the other girls will get to see something they shouldn’t while in the changing room?” Valarie asked.
“Yes, that would be the one place this whole plan could fall apart on us, and we’d all be in trouble then.” Robert said looking worried.
“How long will it be before she’ll be able to have the surgery to remove her defect?” Valarie asked as she pointed down at her groin area.
“I wouldn’t recommend her having the surgery until she’s around sixteen, that will give her time to develop a little more, and for the surgery to give a better result later on in life.” Robert tried to explain the reason for them having to wait so long before they could remove the thing causing Chloe so much heartache.
“She’ll have to wait that long to be happy?” Valarie asked looking a little shocked.
“Chloe will look and act like a girl long before then, but we risk doing more damage than good by rushing her into having the surgery any sooner than that.” Robert said with a pained look.
“I’m sure Robert knows best sis.” Ashley pointed out when she saw the cogs turning over in her sisters mind as she tried to think of a way to make it all happen faster.
“I’m sorry Robert, but I just want this to be done with, so Chloe can live a normal life.” Valarie said with a sigh.
“I can understand that Valarie, but do you think Chloe will ever have a normal life with those gifts she has?” Robert asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I guess not with regards to her being able to talk and see the dead, but as far as being a girl, yes I do hope she can have a normal life and fall in love.” Valarie said with hope in her voice.
“She will have as normal a life as the next girl, it will take a little time to achieve, but it will happen.” Robert promised.
“Thank you for all the help you’re giving her Robert.” Valarie smiled.
“Think nothing of it; I’m glad to be able to help.” Robert smiled in return.
“They are just so cute.” Jennifer cooed as she looked into the box and watched the two kittens pawing at spots on the inside of the box like they were trying to catch something that was too fast for them. “Is spirit playing with them?” Jennifer asked as she looked around the room like she’d be able to see Spirit if she looked hard enough.
“Yes, she’s right here.” Chloe said as she reached out and took Spirit’s arm in hers so Jennifer could now see and speak to her.
“Hello Jennifer.” Spirit smiled as she sat back and let the two kittens get some fuss from Jennifer and Chloe.
“Hello Spirit, please call me Jenny like Chloe does.” Jennifer said as she reached into the box and lifted out the two kittens, one in each hand to get a better look at them both. “I’d say just remember to call me Miss Scott at school, but I think the last thing the other students would be worried about is my name if they saw you.” She added with a giggle.
“You could have a point there Jenny.” Spirit giggled as she thought of her causing panic if students at school saw a ghost, not that there weren’t ghosts at the school anyway, but no one could see them or hear them.
“And what might your names be then?” Jennifer asked as she looked at the two kittens as they meowed at her.
“The gray one is a boy called Smoky, and the other one is a girl called Angel.” Chloe pointed out as she took Angel off Jennifer to fuss her.
“They are two very beautiful names for two very beautiful kittens.” Jennifer said as she held Smokey close to her and listened to him start to purr like a sports car ticking over.
Chloe and Jennifer were soon taking the kittens into the living room for Robert to meet, and he was as big a cat fan as Chloe and Jennifer, but he’d never been able to have any because of Tanya being allergic, and it wouldn’t be good having cats running around the surgery, due to it being part of his home.
They were all entertained as they watched Chloe run around trying to keep the kittens out of trouble. Chloe was having fun, and Spirit was helping where she could to stop the kittens from knocking things over and causing trouble. Chloe was soon looking tired and yawning, so she was taken up to bed with a kitten in each arm so they could find a place to sleep in her bedroom.
“I’ll see you at Stacy’s in the morning, so I can see just how good Beast is with you, and whether or not I think it’s safe to let your mother buy him for you.” Jennifer said as she kissed Chloe on the forehead before leaving the room and letting Valarie tuck her in for the night.
Both kittens had crawled under the covers and settled down cuddled up to Chloe. Valarie tucked her in and then kissed her on the forehead before leaving the room and turning off the light.
Chapter fourteen: Shadow
“I don’t believe what I’m seeing.” Ashley said as she saw both kittens using the litter tray Chloe had set up for them the day before. “How can they be using that tray already?” She asked as she looked at Chloe eating her breakfast on the other side of the kitchen table.
“Spirit had a word with them.” Chloe said in a matter of fact way, just before putting another spoon full of cereal in.
“Spirit can talk to animals?” Ashley asked with her mouth hanging open.
“Yes, that’s how I know Shadow will be fine when I ride him later today.” Chloe smiled.
“Shadow?” Ashley asked looking puzzled for a couple of seconds. “Do you mean Beast the evil black stallion?” Ashley asked in a dramatic voice that she added an evil laugh to at the end.
“No! I mean Shadow, my soon to be new horse.” Chloe pouted. “I don’t like the name Beast. There’s no wonder he acts up with a name like that.” Chloe added just before putting more cereal in her mouth.
“Sorry.” Ashley said as she raised her hands in the air to let Chloe know she surrendered. “I like the name Shadow more as well.” Ashley added just before she took another sip from her mug of coffee.
Chloe finished her breakfast and rushed up stairs to finish getting ready to go over and see Stacy, so her mother could have a word with Stacy’s mother about them buying Shadow off them and then renting a stall at the stable to keep him there with the other horses. Chloe was also looking forward to meeting Tinkerbell, Jennifer’s horse.
“Remember to keep an eye on the kittens for me Aunty Ash.” Chloe said as her mother tried to lead her out the house and over to the car.
“Will you please just go and buy another pet, and let me keep an eye on Smokey and Angel.” Ashley said as she closed the kittens in the kitchen so they couldn’t get out in the garden and get lost.
“Don’t let them get outside!” Chloe shouted from the car, just before Valarie pushed her into it and then closed the door before she had time to shout anymore orders.
“I’ll call you later sis, and let you know what happened!” Valarie shouted to Ashley just before she got in the car herself.
Ashley stood giggling as she waved to the car as it drove down the drive and then out onto the main road, then she went back into the house to see what trouble the kittens were getting up to while her back was turned.
Valarie pulled into the gravel yard outside Stacy’s house alongside Jennifer’s car and they both got out. Chloe was getting excited about being able to ride a horse. She was dressed in jeans, boots and a sweatshirt ready for her first ever ride on a real horse.
“Don’t forget to tell Stacy the truth about never having been on a horse before, and a donkey ride still doesn’t count.” Valarie said just as it looked like Chloe was going to point that out again.
“What if Stacy doesn’t want to be my friend because I lied to her?” Chloe asked with worry in her voice.
“What if you fall and hurt yourself because Stacy thinks you know more than you do about riding, which is nothing.” Valarie argued. “Stacy will understand if she’s a real friend sweetie.”
Jennifer must have said something about Chloe and Valarie coming over, because they were only halfway to the house when they saw a grinning Stacy open the front door and run over to Chloe squealing with excitement.
“Miss Scott said you were coming to buy Beast, is it true?” Stacy asked as she threw her arms around Chloe and hugged her.
“I’m hoping to, but I need to tell you the truth about something I said yesterday.” Chloe said looking nervous as she broke the hug with Stacy and stepped back to look her in the eyes.
“What’s wrong Chloe?” Stacy asked looking just as nervous now.
“I lied when you asked me if I’d ever ridden a horse and I said I had. The most I’ve done is ride a donkey at a school fair.” Chloe said as she hung her head in shame. “I’m sorry for lying to you.” Chloe mumbled.
Chloe was soon looking up at Stacy again thought, when she heard her start to giggle. “I’m sorry, but don’t let Beast hear you compare him to a donkey.” Stacy giggled some more.
“I wasn’t!” Chloe tried to point out. “I just didn’t want to sound like I didn’t know what I was doing when I got on him.” Chloe added.
“Don’t you think I would have noticed how little you knew when you tried to ride him?” Stacy asked with a raised eyebrow. “Miss Scott wants to see if you can handle Beast before she’ll let your mother buy him for you anyway.” Stacy warned as she led Chloe and Valarie into the house and through to the kitchen where Jennifer was sat with Dorothy having a cup of coffee.
Jennifer looked very different to how she’d looked the past couple of times Chloe and Valarie had seen her, she was dressed in boot’s, riding trousers and a sweatshirt, and her hear was up in a bun style on the back of her head to keep it out the way while she rode.
They all greeted each other and then Dorothy gave Chloe a serious look before she spoke to her about the horse she wanted. “Jennifer and Stacy have been talking to me about the horse you wish to buy, and I have to say that I’m not sure you’ll be able to handle him.” She warned.
“I know what you’re trying to say Dorothy, but I know that I can handle him, and he will behave himself for me.” Chloe argued, putting all her trust in what Spirit had said to her the day before about the black horse wanting to be hers.
“Well we’ll soon find out when you saddle him and then ride him for the first time.” Dorothy said, but still looked far from being convinced. “If I’m happy with what I see, then we can talk about you owning him.” Dorothy added.
“Don’t look so worried sweetie, I’ll show you what to do.” Jennifer said when she saw the worried look on Chloe’s face.
“I’ll be helping as well.” Stacy grinned as she took Chloe by the hand and led her out the back door and in the direction of the stables. Valarie, Jennifer and Dorothy were soon following close behind, so they could see how the black horse reacted to Chloe.
Chloe looked a little happier when she saw that Spirit was stood with the black horse they all called Beast. “Don’t forget to grab him some mints on your way over!” Spirit shouted to Chloe.
“Hello boy.” Chloe said as she stepped up to the horse and held out her hand with some mints in it for him to eat.
Dorothy went to warn Chloe to be careful, but stopped and looked on with her mouth open as she saw the normally angry black horse eat the mints from Chloe’s hand while Chloe stroked his head with her other hand. “I don’t believe it.” Dorothy finally said as she turned to look at an equally shocked looking Jennifer.
“That’s a good boy, did you miss me?” Chloe asked as she pulled some more mints out her pocket where she’d stuffed a couple of handfuls out the bag that was hanging at the end of the stables.
“Is this a good sign?” Valarie asked, not having any idea just what was normal for this large black powerful looking animal.
“I’ve never seen Beast act that well for anyone before.” Jennifer explained.
“If I can have him, I want to change his name to Shadow.” Chloe said with a smile as she fed him more mints. She was soon giggling when the horse let her know he liked her choice of name for him.
“He likes that name a lot Chloe.” Spirit said as she heard the animal’s thoughts. “He said he wants mint lady to ride him now; he said he’d be very gentle with you.” Spirit added.
“I’ve never been on a horse like you before, so I hope you will be gentle with me Shadow.” Chloe said as she talked softly to the large black animal.
Shadow started nodding his head up and down like he could understand what Chloe said, and was agreeing to be gentle with her.
Chloe was soon doing as she was told by Stacy and Jennifer, as she sorted out getting Shadow ready for their first ride. Neither Stacy nor Jennifer could believe how easy it was for Chloe to get Shadow ready for their ride. Jennifer got Tinkerbell ready, and Stacy got her horse Buttercup saddled up.
Valarie followed Dorothy back into the house once she knew that Chloe was in safe hands with Stacy and Jennifer. Jennifer had said she’d drop Chloe off at home later in the day and that Valarie should go and sort out things at the house. Valarie wasn’t sure about doing any of that, but she didn’t want to stop Dorothy from getting her jobs done around her home either.
“I’ll have a word with my husband, and work out a fair price for the horse and for boarding Shadow here at the stable.” Dorothy said as she walked Valarie out to her car.
“Thank you for everything Dot.” Valarie smiled as she gave the woman a hug.
“I’m just glad your daughter has the magic touch with that animal. Tom was talking about having him shot with how nasty he had become, but you would think he was a different horse looking at him today with your Chloe.” Dorothy said with pride for Chloe’s skill with the horse.
“She is turning out to be quite special indeed.” Valarie agreed as she gave Dorothy another hug before she got in her car and headed for home to carry on helping Ashley get the place sorted out and looking more like a proper place to live that didn’t have boxes stacked up everywhere waiting to be unpacked still.
Chloe got up on Shadow’s back after Stacy showed her the best way to mount and dismount, and they were soon leaving the stables and following a path through a wooded area that led out behind the property. Jennifer led the way with Chloe and Stacy following behind.
“This feels really good sis.” Spirit said as she sat on the saddle behind Chloe with her arms wrapped around Chloe’s waist and her chin resting on Chloe’s shoulder.
Chloe just nodded in agreement as she couldn’t answer her without Stacy thinking she was a little loopy and spoke to herself a lot.
“I love you Shadow. You’re a beautiful horse.” Chloe grinned as she leaned forward and patted the side of Shadow’s neck.
Shadow made a noise that sounded like he was trying to say something back to her, but Chloe couldn’t speak horse, but she knew a girl that could. “He says he loves mint lady very much as well.” Spirit translated.
“He sounds happy to have you riding him Chloe.” Stacy said after hearing Shadow make the noise. “I still can’t believe he’s the same horse that I’ve fought to keep clean all this time.” Stacy added as she shook her head like she was trying to wake up from a weird dream.
“Maybe he just didn’t like the name you all gave him, or I have a way with animals.” Chloe shrugged. She didn’t want to tell Stacy that her dead sister whose life she was now living had told her to trust the horse. Chloe knew that would be the quickest way to lose her new friend, but part of Chloe did have a feeling that even that wouldn’t stop Stacy wanting to be her friend. Chloe was going to give their friendship a little more time before she brought up her ghost whispering though.
“You could be like a horse whisperer or something cool like that!” Stacy said all excitedly.
Jennifer shouted to Stacy before Chloe had time to think of some response to what Stacy said. “Stacy! What have I told you about your silly daydreams?”
“I wouldn’t call it silly Miss Scott.” Stacy pouted. “How else do you explain Chloe being sat on the back of him?” Stacy added as she pointed at Shadow.
Shadow made a noise that sounded like a growl when Stacy referred to him in that way. Spirit giggled at something, which Chloe took to be Shadow replying to what Stacy had just said. “Sorry sis, but Shadow and Stacy have a love hate relationship. He says he likes her, but not the way she sometimes talks to him when she goes into his stall to clean him.” Spirit explained.
“I’m sure if you spoke to him nicer and called him by his new name, he’d be much nicer in return Stacy.” Chloe said it to Stacy, but at the same time asked it of Shadow.
“I’m sorry Shadow, and I’ll try harder to speak nicer to you.” Stacy said as she looked at Shadow’s head. Shadow made a happy noise to let Chloe know he would try as well.
“Shadow said he’d be nicer to sad lady.” Spirit translated.
“Sad?” Chloe whispered, hoping that Stacy wouldn’t hear it.
“Yes, he calls her sad lady because sometimes she goes out to the stables and sobs for some reason. He says that the other ladies that leave their horses at the stables call sad lady other names and she go away to be sad on her own, that’s when she cries.” Spirit explained.
Chloe and Spirit both wanted to give Stacy a hug when they found out Stacy was looked down on and thought to be an outcast by the other girls at the school, or a group of them that thought they were better than the rest. Chloe knew that every school had them, so she wasn’t shocked by this news, but she was by the fact that someone like Stacy would be a victim of it.
“He sounds happier with you already Stacy.” Chloe grinned, not wanting to say anything about Stacy being upset. She knew it wouldn’t help to stop Stacy thinking her a horse whisperer if she said anything about Stacy going into the stalls of the other horses and crying.
“I hope so, because I fought tooth and nail to stop daddy getting rid of him.” Stacy said with a sigh like it had been a lot of hard work. “I like to believe that all angry things have some good in them.” Stacy added.
Chloe wondered if Stacy was referring to the mean girls from school that made her cry, but once again she couldn’t ask her to talk about it until she saw her go through it. Chloe decided to ask Stacy about her older sister instead. “I hear you have an older sister, do the two of you get on okay?”
“Who told you about Stephi?” Stacy asked looking worried.
“Jenny was telling me that you had an older sister.” Chloe said, leaving out the part about Jennifer saying that she used to be Stacy’s brother. “I take that look to mean you don’t get on with one another.” Chloe added.
“No! Stephi and I get on great together.” Stacy quickly corrected Chloe’s misunderstanding. “I was just worried someone had been saying bad things about her.” Stacy added looking nervous about saying too much.
“It must be so cool to have an older sister to learn from, and go to with all your secrets.” Chloe said as she thought about how her life might have been better had James had an older sister. “How come I haven’t seen here around yet, does she not live at home anymore?” Chloe asked.
“She kind of lives at home still, but also goes to college quite far away, so she only comes back for weekends.” Stacy said looking a little sad about it.
“Do you miss her then through the week?” Chloe asked.
“Yes I do, but I hope that we can become good friends, so I will have someone to talk to.” Stacy said looking hopeful.
“I can’t see that happening.” Chloe said trying to keep a straight face as she said it.
“Oh, I see.” Stacy replied looking heartbroken at the news, but she was soon looking up and grinning when she heard what Chloe said next.
“It’s hard to be a good friend when you’re already my best friend.” Chloe started grinning.
“That was just mean.” Stacy pouted as she air slapped Chloe on the arm just before she also started grinning and giggling.
Jennifer smiled when she heard the two girls playing around and getting on so well together. She also found it hard to believe that Chloe wasn’t a real girl; she looked like one acted like one, and hoped that one day she would be one on the outside, like she knew her to be on the inside.
“How old is your sister?” Chloe asked as they followed Jennifer along a trail.
“She’s twenty, but due to a medical problem, she was late starting college, so she’s a little behind for her age.” Stacy explained looking more relaxed about it now.
“I thought the colleges always shut down when the schools did, so why isn’t she home with you now?”
“She normally would be, but she has a part time job that needed her to keep working over the break, so she has to stop there during the week, but she will be back this weekend coming.” Stacy looked excited as she said the last part. “I think you’ll fall in love with Stephi when you meet her Chloe.”
“I hope she likes me, or things will be difficult for us as best friends.” Chloe pointed out.
Chloe was eager to see what Stacy’s older sister looked like and whether or not you could tell she used to be a boy. Chloe also had a head full of questions for Stacy and Stephanie her sister, but had no way to ask any of them until she revealed her secret and hoped Stacy still wanted to be friends with her.
Stacy just started to giggle, which made Chloe look at her oddly. “I’m sorry Chloe, but once you meet my big sister, you will see what I’m giggling about. Stephi loves everyone, and she will just love you to bits.” Stacy giggled some more.
Before Chloe had time to say anything else she saw the trees give way to a beautiful view of the ocean and a small enclosed area of beach that was only accessible from the path they just entered from, so there was no one else around.
“Wow.” Was all Chloe could think to say as she took in the view.
They let the three horses run around for half an hour while they sat on some rocks just enjoying the view. Chloe had never realised just how much horses loved the water. She giggled as she watched the three horses splash around in it. Jennifer had been worried about Shadow making a break for it, but he stayed with Tinkerbell and Buttercup, and then came running over to Chloe the minute she called his name.
Once back at the stable, Chloe got stuck in and helped to get the horses cleaned up and brushed down before settling them into their stalls for a well earned rest. Chloe gave Shadow another hand full of mints before she left to go home. Jennifer was going to drop her off and let Valarie know that Shadow was a much different horse now he had Chloe to look after him.
“Will I see you tomorrow Chloe?” Stacy asked just before Chloe got into Jennifer’s car. “I could use the extra help sorting out the horses.” Stacy added as a reason for Chloe to come again tomorrow.
“I’d love to Stacy, but I’m not sure if I can get a lift over here, and it’s a long way to walk.” Chloe pointed out.
“It’s not as far as you think, but do you have a bike?” Stacy asked.
Chloe had no idea if she had a bike or not, so she was just about to make up some story about the moving people might have misplaced it when she heard Spirit tell her to say yes she did. “Yes I have a bike, why do you ask?”
“I can come over in the morning and then show you a short cut, so it will only take you ten minutes to get here on your bike in the future.” Stacy explained.
“Ten minutes? But it takes longer than that in the car.” Chloe said looking confused.
“I know, but on a bike you can use the footpaths which are quicker than having to drive all around the forests we have in the area.” Stacy giggled. “I’ll be over at your place around ten in the morning.” Stacy added as she gave Chloe a hug.
“See you in the morning then.” Chloe grinned back as she returned the hug.
Chloe waved to Stacy as Jennifer pulled out the gravel yard and headed off towards Chloe’s house. Chloe stopped waving once they had driven out of view, but she was still smiling and feeling happy to have made a best friend so fast.
“I’m glad you and Stacy have hit it off so fast.” Jennifer smiled. “She’s a nice girl and will do anything for anyone, but sometimes people take advantage of her, and then call her names when they think she’s not listening.” Jennifer said the last bit with some anger in her voice.
“Shadow told Spirit that Stacy will go and hide in the stalls and cry sometimes. He calls her sad lady.” Chloe said with another sigh.
“What does he call you then, if he calls Stacy sad lady?” Jennifer asked.
“He calls me mint lady because I give him mints.” Chloe giggled.
“That’s because everyone else is too scared to try feeding him any mints.” Jennifer pointed out. “I tried once and he almost took my hand off with it, so I never tried again after that. Stacy is the only other person that can get close to Shadow like you can, but not even she could have done what you did with him, never mind trying to ride him.” Jennifer added looking impressed with what Chloe had managed to do.
“Spirit helped me a lot, so I can’t take all the credit for taming him.”
“Maybe so, but we can’t go telling anyone that, so you will just have to live with the credit. I’m sure Spirit will understand.
“I do, and I want you to enjoy the credit sis.” Spirit said from the back seat of Jennifer’s car.
“She doesn’t mind, she says I deserve the credit for once.” Chloe smiled.
“Hi Spirit. Nice work with Shadow.” Jennifer said as she kept her eyes on the road.
Not wanting to keep passing on Spirit’s replies. Chloe reached over her shoulder with her right hand so Spirit could take hold of it and speak to Jennifer direct.
“Thanks sis, and thank you Jenny. Shadow is a nice horse, but he was treated badly by a previous owner, so finds it hard to trust anyone, but I told him that Chloe was nice and had never been near a horse before. He fell in love with her when she fed him lots of mints.” Spirit giggled.
“I hope mummy will let me buy him.” Chloe said sounding nervous.
“If your mum won’t buy him for you, then I will.” Jennifer said trying to help Chloe relax again. “I’d like to try breeding him with Tinkerbell in the near future. I think Tinkerbell would have some fine offspring if they did.” Jennifer explained when she saw the shocked looked on Chloe’s face.
Chloe had nothing to worry about though. Valarie was happy to buy Shadow for her, and she made a call to Dorothy later that night, so they could sort out a deal for the horse and lodging at the stable. Chloe went to bed very happy that night. She now had a horse and two cute little kittens that were now curled up against her body fast asleep under the covers.
To Be Continued Next Tuesday
Story by SaraUK
Edited and Posted by SamanthaK
EDITORS NOTE: Please Comment and/or leave Kudos and let Sara know you like her work please, Any comments on spelling, grammar or the layout of the story please PM me “Samanthak” not Sara. Thank you
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