This story, just for a head's up, is going to be told in first person. It won't be just Clary, and it won't be just Jace. They'll take turns telling about the races, the romance, and the rides of trouble that took place in Wyoming. So sit back, get some popcorn, and have fun in my new story, Riding with the Angels.

What some people don't understand is the connection that a girl has to her childhood pet. Whether it is a cat, dog, or in my case, a horse. Mine just so happens to be a horse, and she's the best friend that I ever could've asked for. My mother gave her to me when I was thirteen, to own, to train, to work with and to love. It meant everything to me. She was everything to me.

"Clary! Rise and shine!"

My eyes slowly opened as the sun shone through the barn window of Opal's stall. I whined, causing my best friend to wake up in the process.

"Whoa," I said instantly to calm her down, rubbing her neck. "Easy, girl. Easy."

You see, my best friend just happened to be a Thoroughbred, one of the fastest at that. I got her when she was about four months old. She was struggling to survive when we first got her, which is why my mom was able to forge up the money to buy her. Normally, we never would've been able to afford such a horse. But she was born with a bad leg injury, and my mom believed that it would "tame my inner spirit" to care for a horse like that.

Turns out, when Opal got better, it only made me more adventurous. My mom's plan seemed to backfire as I began riding out at the break of dawn for day trips around Wyoming. I didn't even have a clue where I was going half the time, but I knew I wanted to be somewhere other than the ranch. There was just so much more than what I knew about it, and Opal felt the same. We were explorers that loved the speed and freedom that came with our adventures.

My mom didn't really see it but luckily, Luke did. Thank God! If he wasn't on my side, I never would've gotten the okay to explore the ranch. I mean, we may not be rich, but we have a lot of land to travel on and discover. Sometimes, I feel like we've yet to even see it all.

I yawned as Opal made her way to her feet, shaking out her head.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I complained to the voice who woke me up, plopping back on the hay of the stall. "Five more minutes."

"Hey, now. There's no being lazy around here."

I popped up at the sound of Luke's voice at the stall door. He wasn't an older man, but he had some grey in his hair and his beard by now. His glasses, which were rounded and slightly crooked, never seemed to fall off in his hectic day-to-day activities. But he seemed like someone who always belonged on the ranch, especially in the hat and cowboy clothes.

He smiled at me and leaned against the railing. "What's the plan for the day?"

I shrugged. "A shower?"

"I mean after," he chuckled. "You go through the same routine, so I don't even know why I'm asking. You sleep, shower, and then disappear all day after the chores."

I shrugged and stood, walking over to Opal and stroking her as I spoke. "Do you need me for something specific?"


"Then it's probably going to be the same routine," I teased.

He shook his head with a smile. "Okay, but remember that Simon is coming by to check up on her, so make sure she's here at three this afternoon."

"Aye, aye, Captain."

Luke smiled one last time before leaving me to my horse. I turned to Opal and gave her a big smile. "One hour, and then, we'll head out."

Our secret place is a waterfall that leads off into a pool. That's where we always go. Turns out, I wasn't even the one that found it. Opal found it.

You see, she took off one day just after Simon said she was close to a full recovery. I guess she got a little too excited, and I woke up and headed to the barn, and she was gone. We searched from dusk until dawn and couldn't find her. But luckily, I rode out one morning and there she was, calling at me. After I chased her for a good, fifteen minutes, she stopped me at this very location.

I pulled my hat off as we neared the waterfall, slowing Opal to a trot and a walk. She made her way to the water once I slid off and plopped down on the stump by the edge. Walking to the horse saddle, I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil, and went to work.

"What should I draw today?" I asked Opal, biting the edge of my pencil.

She turned and seemed to nod at herself.

I chuckled. "That's no help. I've drawn you like a hundred times."

Opal stomped once, indicating she wasn't happy. Or maybe she was just being a horse. I like to think that she actually talks to me though. Call me crazy.

"Sorry," I shrugged. "But maybe we should change it up, you know? Get out of the same routine. Luke seems to be getting bored with it too anyway. Maybe we can go somewhere we haven't gone yet. We could head over the hills to the North side."

Opal shook her head, maybe just getting the flies out of her eyes or something, but…

"I'll take that as a no," I chuckled. "So, where do you want to go, then? All of my suggestions are shot down."

All she did was continue drinking, being no help at all.

"Alright," I mumbled.

I was about to go to doodling when I realized that my phone was buzzing in my pocket. Now, working on a ranch, a phone call only has so many reasons.

I didn't have a boyfriend, so that wasn't a very expected option. I didn't have a doctor's appointment, and it wasn't time for Opal's yet. I didn't miss school since it's the start of the summer after I graduated. School is not important anymore. And I sure as hell know that I turned the stove off after making my omelet this morning. So that meant either something was seriously wrong at one of the fences or…

"Which horse got out?" I asked as soon as I answered the call.

"Robin Hood," My mom answered quickly. "Meet us with Opal in the Northern part of the property, right by the old oak tree that grandpa used to take us to. We'll rendezvous with you and make up a plan to find him then."

"Okay," I said as I stood. "I'll be there in thirty."

As always, Opal seemed to read my mind and started to back away from the water's edge, sliding over towards me as soon as the call ended. I checked the saddle, jumped up on Opal's back, and we were off within a minute.

Something I love about riding Opal isn't that she's the fastest, even though she was. But I like the fact that I don't have to force her to be the fastest. The speed that I love is the speed that she loves just as much, if not more.

It's like she knows that her ability to run is a gift from God. She shouldn't even have survived, much less become one of the strongest thoroughbreds we've ever had on the ranch. So I'm glad she doesn't take advantage of it, but she embraces it.

"Come on girl," I encouraged as we made it to one of the flatter parts of the pasture. "Let's see what you got."

I moved into my jockey position, something that I've attempted to perfect without actual training. I don't know if I'm any good at it, but I try. Opal took off though, speeding through the plains at a lightning speed. It was like we were meant to be racers, but never got the chance. Either way, I always thought liked free running anyway. I didn't want to run circles around a track when there was an open world I had yet to see.

We made our way to the Grandpa's Oak Tree around eleven in the morning, a few hours before the sun started to reach its highest peak. My mother, Luke, and Sebastian were already there, all saddle up and ready to go.

"So what's the split?" I asked.

"Slow down, Speedracer," Luke teased. "Take a breather, you just got here."

Sebastian shook his head. "She's all-go, all the time. You shouldn't really expect anything less." I gave him a look of discontent and annoyance, which he just shrugged off. "I'm only kidding."

"Okay, here's the plan," my mother, Jocelyn, said from her spot aboard Mistress. "Luke and Clary know the lands better than anyone. But Sebastian and I know the horses. So we'll split into groups of two. All of the other ranch hands are handling the west, east, and south ends of the lands. When you find Robin Hood, call it in on the radio."

The groups were split with Luke and my mom taking off towards the north-east, and Sebastian and I heading to the north-west. I dreaded it, naturally. Don't get me wrong. Sebastian is nice and all but he's just… it's uncomfortable for reasons that are a little obvious.

"So," he said as we walked through the forest about twenty minutes later. "You've been avoiding me for the past three days."

I nodded. "Yes, I have."


I ducked under a branch and turned around, giving him a weird look before facing forward again. "You kissed me at a party when I was drunk. It was kind of uncalled for."

"Sorry," he said with a shrug. "But you were flirting with me."

I rolled my eyes. "Where would Robin Hood head to? He doesn't just head home like most of the horses. Every time he got out, it was for a purpose. He'd have a destination in mind."

"My guess is he'd head somewhere flat, green, and open."

"Narrow it down," I ordered. "We're on a ranch. Almost everything is flat, green, and open."

He hesitated and actually thought about his answer this time. "Um, he normally goes where bad things happen. Whenever something breaks at the ranch or someone gets hurt, he breaks out and runs towards it, like he just wants to help, even if he just ends up making things worse most of the time."

I thought about it, wondering where the hell he could've gone. There wasn't really anything that would've struck his fancy around the ranch lately. Not that I had heard of at least. And I normally know everything that happens on this land. He already had the meltdown back at the ranch after my grandfather -

Then, it hit me.

"Winchester," I gasped, pulling on Opal's reins and bringing her to a stop. That's where Robin Hood would go. They were best friends. They showed up at the ranch together two decades ago, like brothers…

"Come on," I said with no explanation, kicking Opal until she took off.

"Clary!" Sebastian yelled when he couldn't keep up. "Clary! Slow down!"

It didn't take long until Sebastian was out of ear-shot, and then out of sight. His horse, Paris, wasn't anywhere close to the fastest on the ranch, much less being fast in general. Paris was a horse we kept for the chores, not for the speed.

I knew the land better than anyone, just like my mom had said, so it took me about fifteen minutes with the shortcuts to make it to the location: the grave-site.

And there was Robin Hood. His old, black stallion glory was hard to miss and could be felt for miles. He was just standing there, hovering over the place where we dug Winchester's grave, the wooden cross above it recently. I couldn't tell if he was actually looking at it or not, or even if he knew what it meant. It had an eerie feeling to it though, like he really did know. My heart went out to him.

I slowed Opal to a stop, slipped off, and grabbed her reins, walking her over and tying her to one of the trees. Then, I made my way over to Winchester quietly and wearily.

"Hey, buddy," I said calmly, reaching my hand out. He didn't move or even acknowledge me, so I took my time and slowly tried not to spook him. "Robin Hood, hey, you okay? Look at me."

Still nothing. And it was at that moment that I realized he wasn't looking at Winchester's grave. This was where we buried all of our horses and the family gravesite. And Robin Hood was staring at my grandfather's.

I froze when I noticed that, dropping my hand that was reaching out. "I miss him too," I said slowly. "It's been a week and a half. Winchester lasted three days without Grandpa." I looked up at Robin Hood and touched his mane, stroking the hair. He leaned towards me, barely, but enough for me to notice.

With that, I just hugged him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him.

Winchester and Robin Hood were sent here together, born around the same time around twenty-two or twenty-three years ago. They were old by now, extremely. They weren't even expected to last this long, but Grandpa never had a doubt in their abilities. Just like I never had a doubt with his to fight the cancer until the accident.

Something was wrong with Robin Hood though. I could feel it in the way he stood and the way he was just staring straight ahead. Winchester had the same look before he passed.

"You can let go," I said softly, stroking his neck. "You've lived a long life, done great things. Robin Hood, you can let go." I kissed him softly and pressed my forehead against him. I felt a small tear try to break through. These moments are the ones I hated. A horse's pain is ten times worse when you feel it too. "I know you miss him but–"


I pulled back as Sebastian finally made his way over, slowly. If I wasn't so… distraught at the feelings and vibes from Robin Hood, I would've laughed at his delay.

But this wasn't the time for laughing. I held my hand up and warned him to stay back, which he did. But then I realized, what the hell am I doing? If anyone can really help Robin Hood, it's Sebastian. He was the only other one that really did anything with the horse before and after my grandfather died. He knew these horses like I knew the land.

So I waved him over again. He tied Paris to the tree next to Opal and walked over, running his hands slowly over Robin Hood as he made his way to the horse's snout.

"Hey, big guy," he said affectionately, taking the horse's face in his hands and forcing their eyes to meet. "Why don't you lie down, okay? Come on."

To my surprise, Robin Hood seemed to understand started to make his towards the ground. Sebastian followed suite, taking the spot by the horse's face when he flopped on his side. He was still whispering small things in a quiet tone and it was hard for me to hear. But this interaction, this is what I loved.

Because it always reminded me of how Opal and I are. But where I'm only like that with Opal, I only have a true, strong, and powerful connection with Opal, Sebastian has it with all of the horses. He just knows what they're going to do, knows their moves and their thoughts. He's a horse whisperer. He's almost better than my mom, I think.

I made my way back to Opal, taking my spot at her side. "What do you think, girl? What's going on?"

She just snorted and shook her head.

"That's about how I feel about it too."

It seemed like they just talked for hours. It might have only been about fifteen minutes, but Sebastian and Robin Hood just sat as Seb talked until finally, after the longest time, Sebastian stood.

But Robin Hood didn't move.

My eyes went back and forth between the two as Sebastian made his way over to me.

My mouth turned dry at the look on his face. "Seb?..."

He shook his head. "Call your mom and Luke." He turned back to Robin Hood and when he looked at me again, I saw the pain in his eyes mixed with unshed tears. "Tell them to bring the shovels."

"I'm so sorry that had to happen," Simon said as he held the stethoscope to Opal's chest area. "Last time I checked him, he seemed fine. He didn't have any health issues other than age."

"It was a will thing according to Sebastian," I said as I brushed Opal's hair. "Robin Hood grew up with Winchester. They were best friends. They were practically brothers. And my grandpa raised both of them. So losing his brother and his father was too much for Robin Hood to handle in his old age. He just lost the will to live and wanted to pass on. Sebastian just seemed to help him do it."

Simon nodded. "How is your mother dealing with it?"

"Not good," I admitted. "She and Luke took off after the burial. They said they'll be back tomorrow so Sebastian is running the barn at the moment."

"I can't imagine what she's going through."

"I can't either." I sat down on the stall seat in the corner, leaning forward on my elbows. "Simon, she lost my dad three years ago. She lost my older brother five years ago. She just lost my grandfather. And now two of the horses that she's known for over twenty years have passed. People can only take so much pain."

I clenched my eyes shut and felt like crying but I held it back with everything I had. Simon made his way over in his trousers and boots and took the spot next to mine, fixing his glasses.

"You know I'm not good at the sentiment things but I'm here if you need me. She's not the only one losing things she loves. You are too, and you don't need to handle it by yourself."

I nodded. "Thank you, Simon. It means a lot." But before the tears came, I decided to change the subject. "So how is the vet thing going?"

"Good," he said with a small smile. "I'm not out of school for another two years, but I'll be twenty with a vet degree by the end of this, specified for horses."

"I guess that's what you get for graduating high school at fifteen," I teased. "You tend to fly through school."

"It's one of my only talents."

"Well, your talents have saved more of our horses than I could ever repay you for," I admitted.

And it was true. Since Simon was a younger teenager, he'd started helping us and studying the vet techniques for horses on the side. He'd birthed quite a few, had to treat a rattlesnake bite, broken bones. He really was incredible at what he did. And around here, he did it for free.

"Speaking of, Opal seems to be fit as a fiddle," Simon said. He grabbed a clipboard and started writing some stuff down. "You keep her in top shape, so I don't foresee any problems. Just be careful of the terrain. If she steps wrong on the mountains or in the forest at full speed, it won't be pretty with her leg. It may be stronger, but the fact that she has the issue makes me nervous."

I nodded. "Thanks, Si. It means a lot to us that you help us out."

He shrugged casually. "Don't worry about it."

"And I promise that one day, we will eventually pay you back."

Simon sighed. "Clary, you know you don't have to worry about the money. Helping you guys gives me experience and saves you money. You need it for the ranch. Don't waste it on me."

I sighed but didn't comment. He was right. We did need the money for the ranch. And we needed a lot more money for the ranch that we didn't have. Although no one actually told me this, I had a feeling that we weren't doing so hot in the money department. If anything, we were kind of falling behind. By how much, I didn't know.

He looked down at his watch. "Shit," he mumbled. After I gave him a look of confusion, he explained. "I have to be over at the Lightwood's ranch in thirty minutes. They need me to check a couple horses they got in."

"They got in more?" I exclaimed. "Are you serious?"

Simon nodded and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Yes, a couple from Nashville just came in. Isabelle is supposed to be training them for some jumping competitions coming up in a few months."

"Typical," I said as I rolled my eyes. "The rich and the famous, naturally. How many does that bring them to?" I asked harshly.

Simon gave me a sympathetic look. "The others don't matter," he said, but it didn't really cheer me up much. "They're only training them for people. It's Ithuriel that matters at that ranch."

"He's on his way to the Breeder's at this rate, isn't he?" Simon nodded in answer. "Did they ever find a jockey?"

"Not that I know of. Isabelle hasn't mentioned anything."

That was the only good thing about that. Lightwood has a lot of money, a lot of horses, but not a lot of jockeys. Actually, that's a lie. They did have a lot of jockeys, but they never kept them around for multiple reasons. And one boy specifically was to blame for that.

Jace I-will-use-you-and-break-your-heart Lightwood.

And the trouble begins. Let me know what you think of the idea so far. I'm guessing that this story will be a bit shorter than my others, but still long at the same time. Maybe not as graphic. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it probably. But review what you think! Thanks for reading, especially those that have stuck through all my stories.

Stay tuned :)