We went back to Gordon’s shop first. And I actually enjoyed myself! We had adjoining rooms, and it felt like we tried on the whole store. There were so many things I liked, I really had to restrain myself or I would have spent every dime I had. There was one dress that Savvy and I both liked, though I liked the rose pink and she liked the champagne yellow. The sets of school uniforms were comforting to see, but I didn’t want to buy one if I wasn’t going to school here. They had the nautical clothing like I had seen at the docks. I know I didn’t need another helmet, but I went ahead and bought the blue and white striped one.
Now we got to look at different equipment for the horses. I didn’t want to buy anything without Evening, he was proving to be far too picky. But they had the entire sailor set here too. I heard Savvy getting Heart’s purple and pink set, making me burst into giggles. If she was going to, though… I asked Alyx about the sailor set. I thought she was going to do a little dance right there in the store! I gave her Bright’s measurements, and she had them in stock. With a lip wiggle, I not only used most of my shillings but some of my star coins to just buy it outright. It would make Bright’s day, and if Evening complained, well, it was a lesson in not being so particular! Alyx said she would ship it out, and it should be at the winery itself before I was, so I didn’t have to try and carry it with me.
I looked at the decorations in the store with Savvy, but I wasn’t about to buy anything for my geldings just yet. She didn’t seem to find anything either, so that signaled us being ready to go. The janitor seemed a little sorry to see us leave, even inviting us to come back (though honestly, like I needed reminded to wipe my feet). We talked about our purchases today on our way back. I definitely wanted to wash everything, since it had been in my saddle bag all day, along with a brush covered in horse hair and a hoof pick.
We managed (somehow) to get all of James’s order back to him. And then the little git almost didn’t give us the reward he promised us! I huffed, more than a bit annoyed, but he did go digging through the boxes and came out with this pink riding vest that I liked. Savvy was less than thrilled.
Before we went back to the horses, I grabbed Savvy’s hand and begged her to at least go look at the pets. She let me drag her along, and we went into the pet store first. (No reason to buy new saddle bags with a pet compartment if we didn’t have a pet!) I cooed over the kittens, but I was just not a dog person. As cute as they were, though, thinking of a kitten in our dorm room with the lofted beds was the sort of thing that would give me anxiety attacks all day.
You could actually sit and hold the bunnies, which I gladly did. The shop owner brought over a big white one with floppy ears first. I expected her to be rather timid, but she just looked up at me and settled in my lap, happy as could be to be cuddled and petted. I beamed at the store owner, not needing to meet the others, and gladly handed over the star coins expected. Savvy was a lot more leery about the rabbits, but I watched as a brown one with white spots did some tricks to win her over. I was thrilled that she’d found herself a friend too! (And one that wouldn’t harass mine…)
We both walked out, giggling over our new pets. I named mine Snow Belle, Snow for short, as a nod to the horse I’d left behind at school. Hopefully she will understand when I show up with Evening at the next term! At the saddle bag stall, I dithered a bit. Bright was easy, they had a bag that matched his new gear perfectly. I didn’t even mind spending my star coins on it, since I was completely out of shillings in that high of amount. Evening was the problem. I didn’t know what he would like. There were a couple of green bags, and even more black ones, but I didn’t know his preference.
With a sigh, I told Savvy I needed Evening or else he would refuse what I bought just out of principle. She laughed, and we went to fetch the horses. He sniffed at Snow, but seemed pretty indifferent. I told him that he needed to come pick out a saddle bag for her to be in while we rode around. Snorting and whuffling, he reluctantly followed me back to the booth. He considered a very expensive black bag for a second, but finally settled on the green plaid one. With relief, I purchased it and managed to loop it with his current bags so Snow could sit in her compartment for the ride back to the winery.
We chatted on the ride back and over dinner some more, both of us feeling much more relaxed with each other. The gossip didn’t stop when Nikki joined us, and she eagerly wanted to meet the bunnies. So we crowded into the Mountain Song room, Savvy and I doing laundry and sorting clothes to make outfits while exchanging gossip with Nikki, who was content to pet the bunnies.
I don’t know how we got on the subject of Josh, but we did, and I quickly busied myself with getting my helmets and beach hat to sit on my shelves just-so. And then Nikki said something that made me almost shake, though with what feeling I couldn’t tell you.
Loretta is Josh’s sister.
Sister! My emotions untangled themselves, and I was utterly livid. Why didn’t he say something? I mean, I know we haven’t known each other long, but surely he would have expected me to notice he was closer with her and pinched it in a bud early! Oh, I was so angry, I could have… I didn’t even know! I couldn’t think of anything adequate. It made Savvy giggle, making me give her a dirty look. It wasn’t funny. And then she mocked my accent and said how absurd the whole thing was, and just… I threw a pillow at her.
Which set off a whole fight between the three of us. We laughed and squealed, having so much fun and it helped me forget my anger, at least enough that sleep would be possible tonight. We had to find the rabbits again, who had found favorite hiding places, to put them away for the night lest they chew their way through everything in the room. Nikki went to bed, and Savvy and I went to bed, the rain just beginning to fall outside in a gentle patter like a lullaby.
Our holiday had been a good one.
Money: 3208 SC, 312 JS
Have a question for Misty about her experiences at Moorland or before? Ask her over at Ask Mountain Song over on tumblr.