I was walking on the fields the next day in mid afternoon when I met him. I had decided to take a stroll in the fields to clear my head. I just couldn't find any ideas for my manuscript! Okay, lying to myself is a little weird, so I admit I was slightly disturbed by the fact that my charming horse rider probably had a snobbish girlfriend.

Only, he wasn't just a charming horse rider now. He was also a charming truck rider, so charming that he was about to drive over me with a humongous tractor. I suppose it's not a very creative way to die. What? I am a writer I do have an overactive imagination!

So I didn't die if you didn't figure it out yet because he stopped the vehicle once he heard my yelp.

He poked his head out from the window and hissed, "What are you doing?"

"Taking a stroll," I said acting casually.

Rogue rolled his eyes and sighed and pointed towards a signboard which happened to go unnoticed by me. It read 'do not walk on the fields.'

I grinned a bit sheepishly, "My bad," And quickly walked off making my way towards the barn. I wacked myself mentally. Why do I seem to mess up so badly!?

He probably thinks I'm the biggest fool in the entire universe. From the bull to the drunken dudes in the club, my clumsiness has only resulted in frowns and rude remarks. How would looking after the barn animals make me feel any better about how stupid I am? Why did anything he did affect me so much when he doesn't even mean anything to me?

I was suddenly wishing I never came here.


"Can we talk? Please?" I asked Rogue when he was feeding the horse. I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to talk about, but I was determined to clear things up.

Rogue wordlessly beckoned me outside the stables. He arranged the hay stacks so that we could sit. Once he was done, he crossed his arms and placed one leg over the other and stared at me.

"Well?" He asked.

"Okay, I won't take much of your time. Firstly, I really didn't think I would provoke an animal with my perfume." I waited for him to react but he simply stared at me so I continued, "Secondly, if you think I was trying to pry in your life, it was never my intention to do so. I don't have the right to do that, so I apologize for having offended you in any way. And lastly, I'm grateful that you came to my aid yesterday even though you think I'm an idiot and a real piece of work. I know I'm kind of clumsy which makes you feel really angry at me and-"

"I wasn't angry at you. I was angry with the drunken b-" he stopped himself. "The drunken men." He looked at me in the eye, "And I do not think you are an idiot."

The last line just threw me off the track. I was so stunned; I forgot what I was going to say next.

"However," he looked at me sharply, "Your clumsiness does irk me. It would be better if you do not bother yourself with any of these lowly tasks." He abruptly stood up and turned his back to me. "Hope you have a nice stay."

Before I knew it, the words spilled out of my mouth, "Stop ordering me around and shut up, you jerk!"

He turned and his usual mask of nonchalance was now replaced by an expression of surprise. "What did you say?" He asked.

"I said, shut up, you jerk. I'll do what I like, whether it's taking care of the animals or playing with them in the mud." I think it was the continuous feeling of being underestimated that was talking.

"I may not be perfect, but I try. You can look down on me, be angry or whatever. That is all." I turned and walked away but I had the satisfaction of seeing a dumbstruck expression written all over his face.


The realization of what I said yesterday struck me when I changed into my pajamas, said my prayers, turned off the lamp, pulled over the covers and lay in bed.

I think I was a bit too savage.

I guess I should sleep with a chilly spray under my pillow. Just sayin'.

The next day, I was slightly dizzy due to lack of sleep (I was busy admiring the chipping ceiling.)

"Ah, maybe I should go and take a nap." I said aloud stretching over my hay-desk. From the window I could see the blue summer sky and birds flying overhead. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a meowing cat, which was odd considering that I never saw cats anywhere around this place.

But there it was again. The sound of the cat. I poked my head outside the window and saw a cat clinging to a branch of the great Oak tree.

"Oh poor kitty! Wait I'm coming." I rushed downstairs immediately to help the kitty.

This was easier said than done because from ground level the cat was pretty high up.

"Well, here goes nothing!" I said kicking my boots off. I did have some experience climbing trees about...7 years ago. Luckily, I only tripped on one or two branches but I got a hang of it and finally I reached the cat. I coaxed the cat to come to me but it just continued meowing. I stepped ahead holding the trunk only with one hand, dangerously balancing my foot on the branch and reached out my arm as much as I could and somehow I was able to scoop up the cat. However, the cat was really terrified so it scratched my arm, causing me to lose balance.

I fell to the earth but instead of landing on the earth (no, I did not die nor did I land in outer space), I was caught by none other than our charming horse/truck driver Rogue.

Cliché right? I know. But I was really relieved because that fall could have led to some broken bones.

"Are you okay!?" He asked me and what surprised me was his tone. He actually sounded worried.

I just nodded and he set me on the ground.

"Thanks," I said, feeling embarrassed all of a sudden. All along, the cat was my clinging to my shirt with all its sharp claws.

"Hey, you're safe now," I muttered to the cat. Slowly, after a lot of patting, it loosened its grip on my shirt. I held the cat close to me. The cat had brown fur, with black spots at some places.

Rogue coughed and I noticed he was staring at me. He pointed at the cat and finally declared, "She is my cat."

I could only say, "Oh."

"Frosch, come here." He said spreading his arms. The cat immediately pulled away from my arms and jumped to Rogue and began purring loudly.

"But...you don't seem like a cat person." I said softly and then immediately regretted it. It seemed like all I could do was pick a fight.

"Then what do I seem like?" he asked.

"Um…more like a dog person…?" I said fidgeting with my shirt and avoiding eye contact with him.

"I get that a lot." He said, his lips curling into a small smile. There he goes again, caressing the cat and smiling like that, making my heart race like a sports car on the rush. "Thank you," he said and the sound of his deep voice made me blush.

"Ahaha it was nothing! I shall take your leave then!" I quickly turned to take an exit before I said anything more stupid and also before he made my heart burst out of my chest.

"Wait." He said sternly which made me stop in my tracks.

"Yes?" I looked back at him.

"There's something I'd like to show you." He said.


When I agreed to go with him, I didn't consider the fact that he might be trying to kidnap me. The thing is, I neither had my cellphone, nor any cash on me. When I searched into my pockets all I found was a small packet of Choco pie and a pen. I didn't think a pen would be an effective weapon, but I had read accounts of how a man had been murdered and the prime weapon was suspected to be a pen.

We walked further and further until the mansion and the barn were out of sight, towards the forest. The fact that it was becoming less sunny was making me feel nervous as the number of trees around us increased. I noticed that we were going slightly uphill. I could hear the distant sound of flowing water. I didn't want to sound irritating or whiny so I remained silent all along the way.

He carried the cat along with him which was somehow reassuring. Frosch was settled on his broad shoulders. I wasn't sure for how long we were walking but finally, we reached into a clearing. It was a breathtaking sight. There was a flight of shallow but very narrow wooden steps and beside it was a series of cascading waterfalls. The sunlight pouring from the trees was making the water glow and the smell of the wet mud was maddeningly intoxicating. The atmosphere was cool and serene like it was autumn and it felt very much alive. It seemed like the entrance to a magical garden.

"It's beautiful," I said, unable to take my eyes off the inviting water. I bent down to touch the water which was so cool. As in cool to touch, but it was cool too…you get the feeling right?

"If you climb up and walk further it leads to the town," he explained. So much for the feeling of a magical garden.

"So that's how you reached the club so quickly yesterday!" I observed.

Rogue nodded, "It's a long walk but it's a calming place and has faster access to the town." He said further.

"I should tell Aunt Ur and Gray about this then," I said smiling sheepishly.

"Yes, that would make things easier for them." He replied. My mind was bubbling with questions and I desperately wanted to ask him why he brought me here. But the silence which followed was so comfortable that I decided to be silent and admire the beauty of the place. He continued standing while I seated myself on the ground. Soon, I realized that the sun was setting. Frosch the cat was chasing a butterfly, which was quite amusing.

"I'm sorry if I hurt you." Rogue said softly, almost in a whisper. His words touched the bark of the tree, the blade of wind, the blue waters and my vain little heart.

I didn't reply immediately. To be honest, I couldn't think of anything to say at all.

"Would you like to have a Choco pie?" I asked randomly. He gave me a incredulous look.

"Now, now, don't make a face like that. It's really tasty!" I said pulling it out from my pocket and handing it to him.

He didn't take it. "Come on, I insist!" I said smiling.

"In that case, we should divide it into two." He said.

"For you and Frosch?" I asked jokingly. I have no idea where I was getting all this courage from. He mustered the mildest form of glare while I broke the pie into two pieces.

Rogue looked at his piece and said, "You are something, Heartfillia." That for some reason seemed to boost my confidence.

We ate it, again, in silence, though I did feel like saying 'Cheers!' Or something like that. And it was all the hope that it was the beginning of something new.

Finally, I got up and smiled at him, "Shall we head back then?"


When I returned home, it was already dark. Rogue dropped me at the porch of the house. He turned to leave wordlessly, and I still filled with adrenaline and excitement shouted, "See you tomorrow!"

I don't know whether he heard me or whether it was completely stupid, either ways I didn't seem to care at all. Thankfully, Grandma Mavis wasn't sitting on the porch tonight otherwise I would have plenty of questions to answer.

At dinner, Aunt Ur seemed to think there's something odd about me. Particularly when I offered to wash the utensils and how I was humming silently to myself all along in a task I don't take much excitement in. Even Gray thought I was acting different, but I completely denied it. Grandma Mavis didn't bother with me and continued watching soap operas. I mean, it's not like I was totally elated okay?

I didn't mention a single word about the waterfall stairway to either of them. I felt like what he revealed to me today was a secret and I wanted to keep it to myself. Call me selfish or whatever, but I never really had the intentions of sharing it with anyone in the first place.


I woke up late the next morning.

It's just that I was so distracted because of the previous night, I forgot to set the alarm and the old barn hen did not wake me up. Damn it.

I heard the whinnying of the horse as I hurried to the barn. Quickly, I picked up a rake and began sweeping. Almost immediately, Rogue entered the barn.

"Miss Heartfilia? When did you get there?" he frowned.

"I've been here since morning," I said casually, wiping the sweat off my forehead. I cast the rake aside and picked up a bucket, "I'll go and get some water for the horses!" and made an exit.

"Ugh, what am I doing?" I muttered as I made my way to the well. Attaching the bucket to the hook, I let down it down into the well. Pulling the bucket full of water back up was really a task. I couldn't do it at all in the beginning. But practice makes perfect.

I noticed there was a lot of junk at the back on the barn. There was really a need for throwing it away. However, while I was passing, there was something that caught my attention. It was a thick wooden plank with holes in it. On further inspection, I realized that it was the swing that used to be on the Oak tree. Cue the nostalgic days of childhood when I would sit on the swing all day long and laugh and enjoy with Mum and Dad. It filled my heart with warmth and I had the sudden urge to put it together again.

So I quickly replenished the water, patted the horse nervously and then hurried to get the swing from the junk. The wood seemed to be in a good condition but the rope was old and was starting to tear.

Rogue, who was currently examining the hen coop, upon asking him for rope first said, "Why do you need rope?"

"I want to put this swing up again." I said grinning, almost jumping with excitement. However, he did not seem to be catching my excitement. "There's some in the basement…" he said.

"Okay!" I turned but then I couldn't recall having a basement at all. "Wait we have a basement?"

"Well, it's not been used for ages, so you might not know." He walked to one of the windows of the barn, pushed some hay stacks apart which revealed a trap door. It opened to a flight of stairs leading into a dark room. It seemed more like a secret hiding place than a basement.

"A-Are you sure there's good rope down there?" I asked.

"The last time I checked, yes." He confirmed. "Off you go, then. Oh, you might need this," he handed me a mini-torch.

I thought he was going to get it for me or at least, accompany me. That basement looked like bad news. And Rogue, instead of leaving, continued watching me like I was a specimen of bacteria to be examined under the microscope. I hated it when he did that.

The stairs creaked as I stepped on them. Who knows how old this was. I didn't think even Grandma Mavis would know of this secret room. There was one of those pull-the-cord-light switches which revealed an old room with a big picnic table, carpets, vases and all sorts of things you would find in the attic. It wasn't quite dusty as I thought it would be, and it certainly didn't look like it would collapse. There was a sound of something rattling which gave me a fright, but then it was some rats scurrying about. I found the rope hanging on the wall along with cowboy boots and hats and stuff like that.

Rogue's voice called from up, "Did you find the rope?"

"Yes I found it!" I shouted back. I was about to climb up when suddenly, I heard the sound of faint music. It made my heart jump and I bit back a scream. Curiosity got the best of me, so I turned to look the source of the sound. It was coming from a box. Inside, there were old parchments, photographs and letters and a fancy box from which the music was flowing. It was a music box. The scurrying of rats must have shaken the box and awakened the sound. I carried the box up with me along with the rope.

After cleaning up the animal coops and eating lunch, I sat down to work with the rope. I had been working for the past half an hour without any success.

"That's not how you do it." I looked up and saw Rogue watching me.

"What?" I was trying to create a knot to tie the swing to the tree. Well, I think I was doing a pretty bad job because even though I looked it up on the internet, I couldn't make it without the rope ending up into several tiny knots.

"You hold one end with your right hand and then twist into a loop and pull the other end into it after crossing it from the left and pulling the other end in." He explained like it was the law of gravitational force.

I twisted the rope a few times and it ended up as weak knot, "Like this?"

"No, it's the other way round." He said trying to demonstrate with his fingers in the air. "It's easier if you have a rod to hold it."

"A rod? How will I free it without creating a hole? And where does the wooden plank come in then?" I asked.

"Look, I'll show you." He walked over and took the rope from my hand. And that's how we spent a lovely afternoon, creating knots out of rope. Rogue really sucked at explaining, so he ended up typing the knot through the wooden plank. It was nice really, I couldn't even figure out how time went by. I learnt a lot about how durable knots were very essential. He also told me that since the wood was old, it needed polishing. He helped me in that as well and once that was done, he agreed to help me hang the swing on the Oak tree.

"I'll climb up the tree, you wait down." I ordered.

"Why?" Rogue asked.

"Because I'm good at climbing trees." I explained.

"Miss Heartiflia, you don't even know how to tie the knot. How are you going to do that once you climb up?" he asked skeptically.

"Hey, you gave me a two hour free lecture about knots, and I did catch a few things okay? Trust me a little!"

"And what do I do waiting down?" Rogue raised an eyebrow.

"Well, I do need someone to catch me if I fall." I winked. There I go with my lame and shameless attempts and flirting. In reply, I heard a snort from Rogue, which was unbelievable, really. I began climbing when I remembered Frosch. "Where's Frosch today?"

"At home." He replied, fixing his eyes at the horizon.

I was about to trip on one branch and a little gasp escaped me, but I caught the branch quickly and regained balance. I looked down to see Rogue already holding his arms out. "Sorry!" I said apologetically, but the sight of him being ready to catch me made my heart jump with joy.

I tied the knot of the swing by carefully balancing myself by using the support of a branch and let the plank fall free. It shook a bit and then stood still. Then I climbed down. Rogue offered me his hand before stepping down at last, which I accepted gratefully.

"I didn't fall after all," I smiled. "Now let's see if you've been a good teacher," I lightly seated myself on the seat and then put my full weight. I swung slowly and then there was no stopping. I swung so hard, my hair flew all over and my feet were facing the sky. It felt like I had gone back in time, in the carefree days of joy, when laughter echoed in the air, the birds chirped above the Oak tree, the warm sun rays hit my face along with the cool air that followed the swinging. Lost in all the childhood fun, I forgot that Rogue was still there. I stopped immediately.

"Ah, I'm so sorry! I got a bit carried away." I apologized, feeling embarrassed.

"It's fine," Rogue replied, still holding his stoic expression. "Please continue,"

I wasn't sure if he was being sarcastic or what, but I continued swinging slowly. "You should bring Frosch along sometime. I would like to play with her. I've always longed for a cat."

He leaned against the bark of the tree, "I will." He simply said.

"How long have you been working here?" I asked, trying to be conversational.

"Since Autumn." He replied.

"Are you a student?" I asked.

He made a half-amused face, "Yes."

I wonder if his life rule is speaking in not more than 10 syllables. He's like a bit like a robot.

"Thank you, Rogue." I said suddenly, which made him look at me. "For helping me put this together," I quickly added.

However, his reply was kind of unexpected. "How do you know my name?"

"Eh?"

"I don't recall mentioning my name to you," he said raising his eyebrow.

Crap. Basically Gray had introduced me to his entire history even before I talked to him. I remembered that at the club there was that girl who had called his name.

"I heard it from your friend the other day at the club!" I said quickly.

"I see." He bought it! Yes! Nice save, Lucy! I mentally patted my back.

"Oh, would you like to try the swing?" I asked generously.

"No thanks." He said pretty bluntly which made me a bit sad.

"So how do you know much about knots and polishing wood and stuff?"

"I have done a course on carpentry."

"Oh, of course." I fixed my eyes at the horizon as well. After a few moments, I asked, "So what level have I reached?"

"What?"

"You know, beginner level, apprentice level, or maybe level 2 or 3 or 5?" I turned to see him giving me a confused look. "You know in games, how to win the game you have to pass through different levels, so I asked which level did I reach? Let's say, on a scale of levels 1-10," I smiled jokingly.

Rogue remained silent, as I predicted, since it was meant to be a joke. I was about to call it for the day when he unexpectedly said, "Level 6.5 I guess,"

Suddenly, my game crashed. Literally. The swing fell and I dropped to the ground, probably looking like a complete oblivious dork, since I couldn't really process what happened. And he wasn't lying about level 6.5, really, because I heard him laugh. He continued laughing which really did some tricks to my heart. Before I knew it, I joined in the laughter from the ground level.

"I thought you would catch me when I fall," I said as he gave me a hand to get up. He shrugged in a funny way, so I had to restrain my smile. I decided to pretend to be angry.

I pouted and turned away from his amused face. ""You're not only a bad teacher, but also a bad helper. And I thought you were a good guy," I waved my hand and started to walk away slowly, "Bye then. Hope you have a nice day." I imitated his line from the other day.

"Wait, Lucy!" Rogue called.

"Getting on first name basis, are we?" I smirked. "Besides, I don't recall mentioning my name to you." I used his line again. Now it was his turned to be stumped.

Rogue cracked a smile, and I was really beginning to consider this as a game, with me scoring a point for opening up Rogue, the mysterious dude.

And I wasn't going to lose this game.


We continued working together, doing the odds jobs in the farm. So much so that it soon became quite synchronized. We talked quite a lot too, and I slowly realized that we have similar interests in books, movies and music.

"I think that the girl was overreacting. It wasn't such a shocker that her boyfriend's father was behind all the black money."

"Yes, I agree. It was quite obvious that his father was up to no good!"

"But we can't really tell until the next book comes out," I sighed. We were sitting by the lake behind the barn. It was quite hot today, a full summer day with the sun in the top of the sky. There was no wind at all.

"By the way," Rogue said, "They are screening the movie of the second book this weekend. Do you want to see it?"

"Are you asking me out on a date?" I smirked.

"Maybe," He said indifferently.

Rogue always did that. He would say something nice, but it didn't reflect on his face at all. He really was like a robot.

"I'll take up your offer then!" I grinned.

"Because it's not a date?" Rogue asked.

"Because I want to see the movie." I replied back. The corner of his lips slightly turned up. It was a slow process, to make him open up but I wasn't giving up any sooner.

I got up, stretching a bit after sitting for a long time, followed by Rogue.

"I think I will do horse-riding for a bit." Rogue proceeded to make his way to the barn.

"Me too!" I said cheerfully.

"Do you even know how to ride a horse?" he stopped to look at me suspiciously.

"Of course I do! It's been a while though! Is there any old Black Beauty around here?" I lied right through my white teeth. I'm not even going to tell you I tried horse riding when back in the past, because I was terrified of ponies and likely, horses. To be honest, even Dad was, so I'm suspecting I got it from him. From all the stories and photographs framed on the living room mantel, I learned that mother was a good horse-rider. She even took part in the Country Club Horse riders Competitions, which was a real shocker.

So I figured that I would have at least some genes that made a decent horse-rider. Please Mother! All I'm asking for right now is horse-riding talent! And maybe some smart pick-up lines.

"Really?" Rogue bought it again. "Let's horse ride together then."

I know, I'm an absolute genius in getting myself in shitty situations.

Rogue chose his usual white horse called Gabriel while I selected a brow stallion with lovely black hair.

"Are you sure you want to ride that one?" Rogue asked.

"Um…yes! Why?" I asked, confused.

"Well, Rose can be a bit…impatient." That didn't even make sense.

"I think I'll be able to manage. She's really pretty and she looks like she could run a mile without breaking a sweat!" I said cheerfully.

"Is there any particular reason you ride Gabriel?" I asked as he mounted his horse.

"I like her very much. Now don't laugh at me, but I feel I can understand her somehow." He said, but I understood what he meant. You could really feel so much underneath when you touched an animal. I figured I should become a volunteer at the local animal shelter back in the city.

"Are you going to mount the horse?" he asked.

"Oh…oh yeah!" I picked up the saddle and adjusted the reins. "You go ahead! I'll catch up." I laughed nervously.

"Okay then." The horse galloped outside the stables.

"Ugh, can I really do this? This is giving me a really bad feeling…" I muttered to myself, uneasily.

The horse whinnied and stomped its foot in impatience, like, 'Hey girl, move on with it, will ya?"

"Okay! Here goes nothing! The worst possible thing would be that I get publicly shamed right?" I said cheerfully to the horse.

It seems I was right. I was after all, publicly shamed and Rose did run for a mile, without breaking a sweat with me holding miserably and helplessly, Rose's neck and screaming my head off until probably the whole Vermillion Manor was gathered on the porch, watching in terror, my public execution.

Well, almost a public execution. Rogue came to the rescue as he speeded along Gabriel and stopped before Rose, both neighing loudly as my brown horse Rose came to a sudden halt. I was on the verge was crashing to the ground as Rose stood on her hind legs and then settled down.

Grandma Mavis was screaming from the porch, "Somebody call the ambulance!" I don't know whether for her or me. I'm sure I'm not dying of heart seizure. Yet. The other workers in the Manor ran to me and helped me unmount the horse. They offered me various things ranging from water, milk, orange juice, glucose, cookies to bubble bath, free hair wash coupons at the Parlor and a therapist.

Yeah, I don't know how it reached to free hair wash coupons and a therapist.

You'd think that I enjoyed the attention, but I was getting flustered by every minute. I just wanted to scream, "AH, MY LIFE AND REPUTATION IS RUINED!", but I said silently that I'm totally okay and I even ran in circles and waved to Grandma Mavis in the porch from the field to show them that I'm fine. I guess they weren't fully convinced, because they handed me a glass of milk with cookies and a coupon to the local hair parlor.

Rogue was leaning against the fence on the field with both the horses reined on the stump.

"Ha-ha, looks like I've gotten really rusty huh!" I laughed loudly. "I could do with some practice I guess."

"You could have just told me you've never ridden a horse." He said.

I didn't deny it any further. "I'm sorry." I inspected my boots, full of dirt and gruel. Now Rogue would give me another dose of his disappointment and I'll have to pack my bags and move to the asylum.

"I'm a bad teacher, but I guess I'll have to give you a good lesson." Rogue said. He was looking at me very seriously, and I couldn't tell if he's being sarcastic or sweet.

"Come on, get on." He urged me to mount the white horse Gabriel.

"But what about Rose?" I asked who was harbored at the stump and eating yummy grass and not really caring about us.

"We'll take her back with us later." Rogue said dismissively. "Now, hurry."

I blinked, and then followed his orders. I thought he was going to just stand by the side and give me orders, but then he mounted behind me.

But then it was too late to back out.

"Now, hold the reins and give it a slight tug. Not too hard okay?" Rogue instructed. I followed, and then we were steadily moving ahead. While moving forward I became too conscious of how close his body was and how he was breathing down my neck. I was concentrating so much on that fact that I didn't notice we were reaching the dead end of the fence.

"Push your left calf against his side when turning right, and your right leg when turning left." Rogue explained. "Ah, use the inside, not the back of your leg. Like this," he demonstrated it, though I couldn't see it clearly, I understood what he meant. We continued taking a round of one patch of the field while he instructed and corrected me. I was starting to get a hang of it now and I wasn't feeling nervous about Rogue sitting and watching me from behind anymore.

Whoops. I spoke too soon.

"Now, let's go a bit faster shall we?" he said as he placed his hands over mine, holding the reins and yanked them to speed the horse. His hands were bigger than mine and they were so warm and comforting. The touch was so gentle I wondered what it would be like to hold hands properly with him.

Ah, the torture and the pleasure. I just hoped he couldn't hear my hammering heart.

I mentally gave myself a slappie. I was losing sight of what was actually in front of me. The beautiful fields and trees and the sparkling waters of the lake along which the horse ran and wind blowing in my face was so amazing, so magical, I could go on forever. It felt like I was in a different world all together. My heart was fully ecstatic and bouncing with excitement (which seemed so easy for it these days).

"What was I doing all along?" I laughed. "I should have done this long ago!"

"I know right." Rogue said. With a swish of the reins we turned back to where we had left Rose. Rogue was still held his hands over mine. On reaching closer, we slowed down. Rogue unmounted first, then lent me a hand while I got off.

"We should do this more frequently!" I grinned excitedly. Then I realized what I said and immediately added, "I mean, now that I've learnt horse riding, thanks to you, I can ride a horse alongside you. Ah, I think I'll choose another horse, not Rose. No offence of course!" I nodded to Rose who neighed in response.

"It was fun today." Rogue smiled.

That made my heart skip a beat. Ugh, seriously, Rogue is giving me serious heart problems. I think I should ask Miss Spetto for the therapist's number, or preferably, a cardiologist.

"Yes." I replied, smiling back.

"I hope we can spend more time together." His eyes were reflecting this weird sort of shine, which I couldn't read for some reason.

Now I was starting to get suspicious. Was this really the Rogue I knew? The same robot guy who hated me some days back? Okay, hate is a strong word, but you get it right? I couldn't help but blush.

"I wish for the same." I avoided his eyes because I thought that if I looked in them any more I might actually sink.

He bowed in a gentlemanly fashion, "See you tomorrow, Lucy." My stomach made many flips when he said my name.

"See you tomorrow…" He took the reins of the two horses and walked towards the barn, where the sun was beginning to set.

Another thing about hanging out with Rogue was I couldn't tell how the time went by.


I thought this was one of the best days of my life before my fears became true. I was not publicly shamed, I was globally shamed. Apparently, Grandma Mavis recorded a video of me screaming my head off on the horse and posted it online (Don't ask me how and when she did that).

I must say, it gave me an idea of how I looked, that is, a complete idiot. I think I might go down in history for the best lamest video in the history of videos. It made me cringe so much I couldn't stand it. When I got off the horse, I noticed my hair was fully swept off to one side as if it were permanently gelled that way. No wonder I was offered free hair wash coupons.

I wasn't angry with Grandma Mavis (mostly because I was feeling too elated to give invitation to any negative emotions); I was just worried that this video did should not reach Dad or other people, especially, in my school. Gray took it in good humor and by that I mean he totally laughed his ass off. Aunt Ur, on the other hand, was furious with Grandma Mavis for posting something like that online and immediately ordered her to remove it. That was some good news.

Rogue must have taken pity on me since my life was so pitiful, such a kind guy. Sob, sob. But that doesn't explain why he would want to spend more time with me.

Well, jokes apart, I was really looking forward to hanging out together.

After supper, I was so tired, my body felt heavy. My limbs were hurting from the continuous activity, which I was not used to. I changed into clean clothes and collapsed onto my bed. Within a few minutes I was asleep, and before I went into a deep slumber, all I could think of was horses and Rogue's handsome smile.


So yaaay things are progressing! How'd you like this chapter? Do let me know because I worked really hard on this chapter x-D
Rainaaa hope you had a lovely birthday party! Keep rockin' gurl! :-D
Shout out to Sachiko Saki, the best proofreader! 3