I Love You, Anyway, No Matter What They Say

"Honey, I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with you," Stevie's father said quietly. She raised her eyebrows, signalling for him to continue. "You know Maura?" "Your girlfriend?" she smiled. Maura was sweet, perfect for her father. "She has a son; Niall."

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"Easy, now, boy," Stevie murmured as Mars pulled. He wanted to canter, but the trail was still too rocky. He trotted onto the sand track and she dropped the reins, putting her arms out to each side. The wind whipped her hair back as the stallion galloped.

 Stevie sat back into the saddle and gathered up the reins as a jump came nearer. The log was only about a meter ten high, but she still collected him back to a bouncy canter. He cleared it easily, flicking up his heels. 

 Niall came out the back door as Mars walked back from the trail, his reins loose. Stevie gave him a pat and jumped off. 

 "He got some workout," she laughed. "A pheasant flew out in front of him and he bolted for about a mile." 

 Niall rushed over. "Are you okay?" he asked, checking her face.

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