The Cavallo and the Trainer XV

by Kanashii
- do not use without the author's permission.

Chapter 18: The Tables Are Turned

The next day I was awoken bright and early as expected. My first event was with Carlos and again I was tacked up and ridden out at the event. I did fairly well and walked out with a 3rd place. Also the Moradelli’s were nice and allowed me to watch Trevello/Lucky compete in his weight pull against Hassan… In fact it seemed like nearly all the trainers, grooms and owners as well as various ponygirls and boys were watching many of the events as well.

After nearly an hour of 10 different pull offs between him and Hassan, Trevello out pulled him on his final run, with a pull of nearly 6,000 lbs. Since us ponygirls couldn’t clap we all whinnied excitedly and pawed the ground at his triumph, and I was certain I saw Lucciola nearly leaping with joy at her husbands accomplishment. The only one who was nearly livid with hate was Amir Hazeem.

I felt bad for Hassan as he was led away exhausted and defeated, already some of the grooms whipping him harshly with short crops and quirts. I had a feeling it was not going to be a good day for Hassan. Poor Ribelle was growing more unnerved by leaps and bounds.

A few times I saw Furio on the outskirts talking discreetly and intently with Valerio. I had hoped he would come see me, but he seemed almost to avoid me entirely. This made me slightly nervous. Something was up, but I didn’t know what. I was led back to my stall and around lunchtime Valerio approached my stall with Rakasha in hand, the large Amazon like black woman with rippling muscles and long hair braided in cornrows. She was attractive but very tough looking.

Valerio opened my stall and led the woman in, who like me was wearing nothing but a collar. “Come here Allegria.” Val motioned to me and I obediently walked over. He glanced around as well, almost as if making sure no one could overhear him. “I know you thought your events were finished, but I entered you in one more. One that will run tonight, the Roman races.” He unclipped the leash from Rakasha’s collar and turned her loose, the large woman just glared at me with cold eyes.

“Kasha here is going to explain it to you; I will give you both permission to talk as long as you keep it low and discreet. I will be handling you both myself. Listen to what Kasha has to teach you, Allegria, Ok?” He glanced once at Rakasha and patted her a moment on the shoulder as he whispered something discreetly to her ear and then left, sliding the door shut behind him with a bang as he quickly strode off.

I gulped and glanced at the well muscled woman. She walked up to me, with her hands on her hips as if sizing me up. “Ok. Get down on all fours.” She nodded and together both of us got down on our hands and knees on the rubber matting in the stall. “I done got 2 hours to teach you this thing, or both Valerio and Mistress Chana will have my hide.” She eyed me, “So listen up and learn it.”

She crawled up to me until we were nearly face to face, “The Roman race is a pretty brutal event, not like nothin’ you ever seen before. Two horses race literally side by side on all fours around the ring with one rider standing with a foot on each ponygirls back. It’s our job to get around the 2 laps of the ring as fast as we can and win.”

I looked at her and whispered, “Just 2 laps? That doesn’t sound so hard.”

She shook her head at me a moment and rolled her eyes, “Maybe not if everyone was just trotting along nicely, ya know? But that isn’t how it works. See the other teams are trying to not only knock you down, but knock the rider off you as well. In order to win, you gotta run as a team across that finish line; two horses and the rider standing on top.”

“Oh,” I breathed deeply getting a hint now that this was not just a ‘simple’ thing.

“You ever done play Chicken?” she asked leaning even further into my space.

“You mean like in the pool?” I asked.

“Yeah like that. Where you got a rider on your shoulders and you are trying to unseat the other rider and knock their mount out from under them.” She explained. I just nodded.

“Well that’s how this works too. A lot of money is bet on these races see, a lot of training goes into them. Usually pairs are trained for months together, ‘cause you gotta be able to know how to run together, what to do, what to expect.” She explained looking at me even deeper.

On all fours there was only about a 2” difference between the tops of our back, but I could still see the massive shoulders and muscle definition on her. “I was supposed to run with another girl and Carlos atop, but things are changing now. You an’ me are gonna run with Val aboard.”

“Why?” I asked lamely, none of this was making any sense to me now.

“Girl, I don’t know.” She snorted almost fiercely, “Val just told me how it’s gonna be and now I’m telling you, got it?”

Again I just nodded lamely.

“Val done says you are strong but not very aggressive…” A slow dark grin now began to spread over her features. “We is gonna change that.”

I think she heard my gulp of fear and uncertainty.

For the next hour she worked with me like a bull, the two of us pushing against one another jockeying for strength like two elks locking horns for territory. With each hard shove of her shoulder she would growl, “Get mad girl, don’t let me get to you! Don’t let me knock you off yer feet! You gotta be resolute like a bull.” And while at first I feared her, I slowly began to not only respect her, but like her. She was rough and I was already getting sore from where we bumped shoulders or shoved one another across the floor, but she was teaching me. It was not done to be cruel. Constantly she would talk in her low whisper, instructing giving me snippets and slowly I began to follow exactly what she said.

“Now listen.” She said as we both finally flopped back on my mattress, both of us tired and coated in a sheen of sweat. “We are gonna have to be as if we are super glued at the shoulder. We gotta learn to move with one another perfectly. In order to win, Val has got to be able to stay atop us, when the other teams charge us or cut us off, or ram us; we got to be as one.”

Occasionally Falla would look over wondering who the newcomer in my stall was and why, but a hard look or fierce growl from Rakasha would send Falla scurrying back to staying away. Rakasha now told me to lie on my stomach and she leaned over me beginning to massage my shoulders and back. She was as good as Carlos and I soon found her bringing totally relief to my tired muscles as good as any massage therapist.

“Ok, now do me.” She said with a grunt and flopped down on my mattress taking it over.

I gingerly straddled her back and began to massage those iron muscles in her shoulders.

“Girl, I am not gonna break!” she chastised me with a half grin. “Loosen my muscles up good! I got more stuff to teach you!” I worked her with a vengeance then, trying to remember all the ways Carlos would massage me and she finally relaxed beneath me.

“You ain’t so bad, Allegria.” She said in a low groan of contentment. “I think I could get to like you.”

Valerio himself stopped by and dropped several protein and power bars in my feed tub and Rakasha made sure she was first to get what she wanted. But she did leave me about 4 of the 10 power bars. “Eat up!” she instructed as she was practically cramming the power bars down whole in her mouth, “Dis here is gonna be the only food or water we are gonna get before our event later. They won’t give us any dinner so we won’t be loaded down.” Soon I was chowing them down as fast as her.

After our break and snack, she now had me get on all fours side by side with her. “Ok, now we is gonna pretend you are glued to my shoulder and hip and me to you. Remember that!” she glared at me. For the next hour she and I did nothing but circle around my stall pushing, walking and even turning together; learning to keep our shoulders practically touching, learning to read one another’s movement, how to coordinate our hands and knees so we would be a smooth team. Any time I messed up she would butt me hard in the shoulder with her forehead or ram me hard with her shoulder.

Finally when she seemed satisfied with my learning she stopped and once again flopped down on my mattress. “Come over here an’ get some rest girl.” She half pulled me atop her chest like someone would cuddle a dog. Sore and tired I collapsed half atop her, my head resting on her breast, her arm around me. “Allegria.” She said my name almost so quietly I thought I only heard it through the barest rumblings of her powerful chest.

“Mmm?” I questioned sleepily. I never thought I would find sleeping in another woman’s arms ‘comfortable’ but yet after being as a horse so long at the Moradelli’s stables, I found nothing unusual about it at all.

“I’ve got your back.” She said, “You will be Ok. Just do as I’ve showed you, no matter what. I will take care of you.” And then a few moments later I heard the powerful woman snoring in contented sleep beneath me. A few minutes later surprising I fell asleep as well.

We were wakened up later on, night had fallen outside and I was surprised that we had slept so long. Rakasha was already up and when she felt me wake up she got to her feet and paced around the stall, her eyes glowing like two hard obsidians. Occasionally she would mutter or snort to herself as if getting herself worked up, mad.

“Go empty out.” She pointed to the trough and ordered me. “You don’t wanna be full when you go in that ring, trust me.” As if to confirm this rule she went to the wall and squatted in the trough herself. I just obeyed her advice.

Again she would walk around the stall, occasionally her massive shoulder would bump me, and at one point she hissed under her breath, “It’s like football girl! You gotta get me mad! I wanna be mad; I want that adrenaline movin’ in my veins. Now get over here an’ piss me off!”

And after that there was no more talking between us. I would ram her, knock her a few times even hit her, but she didn’t use the same tactics on me. She would bump me with her own shoulder or slam herself against the stall but always she was gentle to me.

I could feel a change over the stables now; it didn’t feel like the same excitement that had been in here before, now it seemed sinister and foreboding. Supposedly the show was over, the events were done. Some of the Master’s and mistresses were preparing to leave tomorrow morning, so I had no idea what these Roman Races were.

Finally Valerio came in with Carlos and they began to prepare me and Rakasha. We were dressed in nothing more than a very lightweight harness, with what resembled a short leash that connected from our necks to what the rider would hold and the standard leather knee pads and leather mittens.

Carlos seemed mad, “Valerio, are you sure about this?” he glanced at his boss, “I was supposed to be the one up, and Allegria wasn’t even supposed…”

“Carlos!” Valerio just shot the Spaniard a withering look. “No. No… We are doing this my way. There are reasons for things, just trust in them Ok?”

Carlos muttered something under his breath but nodded his head ‘yes’ at Valerio.

Rakasha and I were led out to the ring and as soon as we entered past the main door into the ring I felt the atmosphere even more. Before it had been cheerful, competitive but cheerful. Now the crowd that was here seemed darker, almost bloodthirsty. I felt my heart begin to pound in my chest like a trip hammer. I glanced around trying to see anyone I recognized, but the lighting in the stands was dimmer now, almost so the audience couldn’t be seen, but the ring was illuminated brightly.

I could here the buzzing and whispering of the crowd like an angry nest of hornets. Next to me Rakasha was looking even more agitated and angry. Valerio was dressed in jeans and a shirt but he was completely barefoot and now Carlos was helping him put some kind of cream or sticky substance on the bottom of Val’s feet.

I glanced around and saw other ‘teams’ of ponygirls being led in. All of them seemed fairly matched in size and strength. There were two teams from that English stable, the one that had the nearly identical and almost militaristic ponygirls; two of them were dressed like Rakasha and me in a light harness with studs on it. Near them were a team from some other house I didn’t recognize, and a team from house Carpathia. Now entering the ring were two tall ponygirls with cruel harsh looks from Amir Hazeem. Like Ribelle, these women bore many scars on their body, but their eyes looked like two very cruel fighting dogs. They were practically frothing at the mouth on their bits.

All of us were being ordered down now to our hands and knees. We were next to the team from Amir Hazeem, one of his bodyguards helping a boy who could not have been older than 12 getting the racers ready. The boy was dressed in nothing more than a robe, and barefoot like every other ‘jockey ’and he now nimbly leaped up with one foot on each back of the female ponygirls as the suited bodyguard handed him two very hard and long leather whips.

Valerio now mounted us in the same fashion. I could feel his bare foot on the middle of my back, as he leaned back and pulled tight on the small leash, his only way to keep balance on us. Carlos handed him a long, hard leather whip as well.

I tried not to look at the other teams and their jockeys as I glanced nervously around the ring, hoping I would see Furio. All I could see was Dr. Warrington and Sasha Warrington with a large medical cart off to the side. That began to worry me. Squinting a bit into the darkness over the crowd I was sure I could see Amir Hazeem and his entourage of bodyguards as well as the English gentleman Leland Walker and some of his cronies.

Two judges or ringmasters motioned for the teams to line up near a line in the ring. Rakasha nudged me and I locked my shoulder against hers as we crawled towards the line on the arena floor. It was a lot easier to move with Valerio standing astraddle both of us, but my unease was still growing by leaps and bounds.

“Ladies and Gentlemen! Masters, Mistresses and Houses! We are about to run the 20th running of the Roman Races, courtesy of the Black Pine Stables.” A man on a loudspeaker announced from somewhere within the darkened bleachers. “Teams are coming up to the line; you have only 30 seconds left to place any final bets with the windows. Once the race is underway no more betting action will be taken.”

Valerio moved us to where he wanted by shifting on his legs or moving his foot against mine or Rakasha’s backs. Next to us the team from Walker’s stable fell into line, they had a slim but strong looking female atop their two horses who reminded me a lot of Lena. Dark and dour, she too had the ever present long cruel looking whip. Some of the jockeys were now swinging those whips around crashing them down next to the other teams unnerving and agitating ponygirls and jockeys alike.

I was just to unnerved to look around to much more; all those whips crashing around were beginning to make nervousness and adrenaline course through me.

“Stay with me girl.” Rakasha hissed quietly through her bit, her shoulder bumping mine as if somehow ‘gluing’ her self to me.

“Ok, all betting windows are CLOSED.” the anonymous voice of the announcer echoed eerily around the arena.

“Once again we have the Roman Races ready to start. At the pole position #4 is Black Pine stables, as noted before; there has been a change in their horses and jockey. New weight aboard 156 lbs, new horse Allegria in place of Raven’s Pride.

“In the Number two spot we have #1 from the Walker Stables LTD, total weight aboard 107 lbs, horses Black Strike and Nicoletta.

“In the 3rd position, wearing #1 is House Carpathia, total weight aboard 122 lbs, Starlight and Daniella.” The announcer paused a moment as the ponygirls shifted, now I was getting bumped from the other side by one of the Walker’s mares. Her eyes glared at me like two dark flames. The whip from the Walkers female jockey crashed down just inches from my face and unconsciously I nearly bolted backwards with a terrified squeal until I felt the harsh foot of Valerio digging in my back and his own whip tapping me back into place.

“Finally at the far side, we have our undefeated champions…” the announcer continued, “Wearing #2, from the stables of Amir Hazeem, total weight aboard 89 lbs, Azzah and Samira.”

A great applause went up throughout the crowd and the two ponygirls from the Amir reared up nearly in unison, as their young boy jockey easily stayed atop them and lashed them back down harshly into place. More tension and bumping was going on up and down the line, vicious hisses and snorts from the ponygirls at one another. Some were biting or kick at one another as their jockeys lashed at them. “Steady! Steady!” Val drove his heel in our backs, “Keep focused” he ordered us.

The Announcer was now going on and on about the rules, which basically were what Rakasha had told me earlier. That both ponygirls and the jockey had to finish as one in order to win, but I was too nervous to listen to him. One judge had come up and was watching the line to make sure we were all behind it, a starter pistol in his hand.

Suddenly an explosion filled the small arena from the starter pistol and the team next to us shot off as did the others. The sound of the gun so reminded me of that dark day in the woods as the assassins and Furio had the shootout that I nearly froze, but between Rakasha’s hard bump and Valerio’s lashing that harsh whip across my ass I bolted forward. These whips were not the softer whips like the lunge whips, they were hard, vicious and they hurt!

Already the other teams were ahead of us, their jockeys now whipping each other and each others horses, and I now began to shudder when I remembered Rakasha’s words. This was no ordinary race, but a very cruel and dark race. Already I could see one of the ponygirls from house Carpathia had a cut on her shoulder that was bleeding, but it didn’t slow her in the least. I could see why this would not be an easy task, it was every team for themselves, and apparently a lot of rough cheating went on.

“Andiamo! Andiamo!” Val growled in Italian as he shifted his feet and hit the ground with his whip.

I remembered Rakasha’s words to me of protecting me and watching my back, and while I had no idea why Furio would allow me into such a bloody and cruel race, I had to trust that there was a reason for all this. Even Val’s words to Carlos came back to me…

“…There are reasons for things, just trust in them Ok?” and at that moment I felt almost a strange sense of calm come over me, almost as if some hand of fate had pressed down on me.

Now taking a deep breath and getting over my fear I moved out strong and saw Rakasha nod to me slightly next to me. Slowly we began to catch up to the pack. It was utter chaos near the front; Jockeys trying to stay standing atop their mounts as they and their horses pushed and rammed into one another. The whips that were to be used to actually keep space around one another were often used on opponents both jockey and ponygirls.

Val was now leaning and pulling on the single leash moving us over to the far outside, so that Rakasha would be near the ramming and fighting pack and I would be more safer.

As we caught up with house Carpathia and the young jockey from Amir Hazeem, the young lad who seemed almost glued to his mounts backs reared his whip and bought it down across the jockey from Germany, at the same time his two ponygirls rammed theirs and house Carpathia’s team went down in a tangled heap. We would have hit and gotten tangled up in them, but Rakasha incredible strength just muscled through the mass of humanity taking a strong kick to her shoulder from one of Walker’s downed ponygirls. It didn’t slow the big powerful black mare one iota.

As we gained ground to the now 3 remaining teams, I could see Val using his own whip to try and keep the others out of our path, but still he kept moving closer and closer to the Amir’s team. I could not understand why he was almost heading straight for them instead of trying to go around them. But I was just a ponygirl, it was not my place to try and second guess my riders.

Rakasha nearly slammed into the rear of the first horse from the Amir’s team. That 12 year old kid atop them seemed like the most nimble thing I had seen. He nearly spun around and his whip came down fast across Rakasha’s shoulder. Again Rakasha moved in closer as if trying to knock them over. It seemed like for a heartbeat I saw the young Arab jockey meet my eyes, he was looking for the weakest link in our team, and he knew I was it. He now circled both his whips the other way with lightning fast speed and accuracy aiming one straight for my face, the other for Valerio. I could feel the hair rising on the back of my neck, Rakasha suddenly moved a few inches further forward and nearly bolted up, almost as if throwing herself into the whip from the opposing team the way a secret service man throws himself into an assassin’s bullet.

A spray of wet salty blood flew across my face blinding me and I felt Valerio’s foot slip, his knee come down hard on the back of my neck and then there was just the thud of flesh upon flesh as the three of us went down in a bone jarring heap.

My head was ringing and my left rib ached with a dull thud where Rakasha had fallen into me. There were people around us now, Dr. Warrington and his wife as they were quickly untangling us and helping us up. I glanced over at Valerio and saw a harsh cut to his arm that was steadily dripping blood, his eyes like to razor sharp knives of anger. I could hear him cussing and ranting in angered Italian.

I saw Dr. Warrington and his wife trying to calm down Rakasha who was still revved up and mad, she was the worst hit of all. The left side of her face was laid deeply open from eyebrow down to her jaw line, blood flowing in massive amounts as she kept struggling to be free from Dr. Warrington’s grasp as if she wanted to run after the Amir’s team and kick all their asses.

“Settle down!” Dr. Warrington’s own power as a dominant Master shown through as he grabbed hold of Rakasha’s collar and tightened his hold on her. “Settle down mare, that is a command, you understand?”

Rakasha finally settled then, stopped fighting and stood stoically by as we were led limping out of the ring for medical care. Amir Hazeem’s team would go on to win the race yet again, as Rakasha and I were bought into the clinic along with Valerio, where both Dr. Warrington, his wife and Carlos were dispatched to fix us up.

I don’t know how Rakasha stood there so stoically and almost calmly as the Doctor was cleaning her deep wound and shaking his head. “She is going to scar bad period. To be certain no bad nerve damage was done, I would really want to see her in the hands of a good plastic and neurosurgeon.” He was saying to Valerio.

At that moment Amir Hazeem, Mistress Chana, Furio and Don Turi Pontecorvo all came into the cramped room. It seemed already the Amir had been losing his temper with someone. “I already told you Mistress Chana, I would compensate you for the scar to your mare! Besides…” the Amir seemed to sneer with a self satisfied grin. “It will cover the Moradelli’s putting a scar on Rebel who was under their care. And as to this other one…” The Amir pointed at me almost distastefully, “Her scars are minor, maybe a cracked rib. What would cover it Furio, 5 grand? 10 grand? Paltry pay.” He seemed to smirk at Furio.

“I’m afraid that is no good, Amir.” Mistress Chana crossed her arms over her chest, and glared calmly at Amir Hazeem. “You see, Rakasha is no longer mine. I sold her to Don Pontecorvo earlier this afternoon and…”

But the Amir’s face’s was now falling, his self satisfied grin drying up as he glanced at the quiet elegant form of Don Pontecorvo. Don Pontecorvo was motioning to Furio to translate what the Amir was saying into Italian and then speaking his answer back to Furio to have him speak it in English to the Amir.

“I sorry.” Furio said his own eyes with quiet rage and that malevolent look he was famous for. “The Don, he is how you say, not feeling that you are offering a fair compensation. He wants what is rightfully owed him. Besides, you see, I now work for him as well.” Furio dropped this last bombshell, “Therefore that means Allegria,” he pointed to me, “Is also under the protection of Don Pontecorvo.”

My head swung around and I had to keep my own mouth from falling open. Furio was now working for Don Pontecorvo?!? Across the room I saw the slightest grin on Valerio’s face for a moment as he too stood up next to the Don, Furio and the four other dark henchmen that had accompanied their Don.

Very little could scare Amir Hazeem with his vast amounts of money and wealth. But the one thing he did not have was the tendrils of dark power that Don Pontecorvo had on so many continents. He knew if he angered Pontecorvo, his life may very well be ended by some hitman’s bullet, his life made quite miserable.

“What does he want then?” The Amir tried to sound strong, but his resolve was fading fast and it amused me to no end to see this man now unnerved and groveling. “What would be fair compensation, Don Pontecorvo?” he tried to reason.

Again, the Don and Furio consulted a moment, even though I knew the Don could speak some English, had heard him before. He was just screwing with the Amir, messing with him psychologically.

“Is simple,” Furio said as he cocked his head again in that way that always reminded me of a guard dog about to eat someone alive, “Don Pontecorvo say, he will consider compensation in the form of Rebel and an additional 30grand.”

“But, but…” the Amir stammered a moment, “I was going to sell her in the upcoming auction for…”

Furio, Valerio and Don Pontecorvo just stared at the Amir and said nothing, their dark looks back and forth speaking for them. Furio just shrugged his shoulders good naturedly, but as he did the move, it opened his leather jacket discreetly revealing the butt of his 9mm. “I am just relaying the Don’s wishes.” He said humbly.

“Ok, fine. Fine!” the Arab now was turning beet red at being outmaneuvered and trampled over, but he had no want of a bullet in his head either.

The Don whispered over to Furio a moment in Italian and Furio nodded and looked back at the Amir. “He says, ah, he take the paperwork now on Rebel. You give to him.”

The Amir was now cursing rabidly in Arabic as he motioned one of his bodyguards to get the paperwork on Rebel and hand it to Don Pontecorvo.

The man handed the paperwork out, but it was Furio who took it at a nod from the powerful Don. “He say’s all debts are repaid now. You leave the 30grand with Valerio Moradelli here.”

“Fine, fine.” The Amir now was livid and skirted around the powerful Don and his dark henchmen. “Let’s go! Get our stables together and tell the pilot I want to lift off tonight!” he was hissing at his grooms and bodyguards.

For a few moments no one spoke, then Don Pontecorvo grinned and began a deep and soft chuckle within his throat. He had Furio bend down and he whispered something into his ear a moment. Then Furio and the Don embraced briefly as did Valerio and the Don.

Then with a simple nod of his head, Don Pontecorvo and his other four henchmen left.

“Good move!” Mistress Chana gave both Furio and Valerio a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Listen, I will be taking off tonight as well. I gotta get Firefly and Lucky back to the west coast by next week to renew their contracts.” She smiled sweetly. “Goodnight gentlemen.”

“No, thank you.” Valerio came over and hugged Mistress Chana tightly, “Without your help and agreeing to do this it would have never come to be.”

“Are all you Moradelli’s so smooth and elegant.” She smiled and then departed with a happy wave.

“Carlos…” Valerio stood up and faced the stunned man. “I want you and Allegria to follow me.” He then walked over to Rakasha, “You my dear, did wonderful.” He gave the powerful black woman a friendly kiss on her uninjured cheek, “You will get the best of medical care, and that additional 30 grand will be your compensation for all this.” She smiled at Val a moment. “So tell me.” Val continued to Rakasha, “You want to hang around here some more? Compete in some upcoming competitions? I need a good ponygirl, now that Trevello is leaving.”

She nodded and was going to nuzzle against him when she decided she didn’t want to get blood all over him. But Val didn’t care, he caressed her gently anyway, “Thank you Mare. I am honored to have you here.” He patted her powerful shoulder and then moved us out of the exam room.

Although stunned by all this news and excitement, my brain was already beginning to see where this whole thing was leading up to. I could only look at Furio with tears of joy, happiness and respect in my eyes as he walked with me down the aisle, his hand caressing my shoulder as we all made our way to Ribelle’s stall.

Valerio swung open Ribelle’s stall door and motioned her out. “Ribelle…” he looked at her and then Carlos. “I have your papers and contracts here. You no longer belong to Amir Hazeem.” He said with a grin on his lean face. “Your contract has been cleared and free, and a certain distinguished gentleman wanted me to hand these papers to…” he handed the papers to Carlos Delgado. “Carlos. I told you things happen for a reason my friend.”

Carlos crossed himself again and began to go on and on in Spanish grateful to his benefactors. Ribelle blinked in astonishment for a moment then looked at Carlos. “You, cara mia, are free.” Carlos took the papers and shredded them up in front of her. “You will never be harmed by anyone, ever again. In fact, I would be honored if you would be at my side, let me take care of you for awhile.” He reached up stripping the Amir’s collar from her throat and tossing it down.

Ribelle could say nothing, she was to overcome with gratitude and just threw herself into Carlos Delgado’s arms as he caressed and soothed her.

I tuned out my ears as Carlos and Valerio talked for a few minutes among themselves. I was nuzzled up tightly against Furio, my heart filled with such love and want of him.

“You are full of so many surprised my dear Furio.” I whispered under my breath.

He just shrugged and held me tighter. “And many more, mi amore. Remember what I told you. Be patient for a few more months eh?”

“I will be patient forever if you ask it my Master, my love.” I snuggled him back.

That night would always live on in my soul and psyche forever. To see that respect among these dark men, the honor and even the love for those of us who enjoyed this thing, this desire of being a human pony. The freeing of one who did not want to be here, and giving her the one gift, the last chance she had for happiness and life.

The next several weeks would bring great changes to the Moradelli stables… Falla left back with house Carpathia for Germany the next day, but in her place, Greta left a handsome lean German ponyboy named ‘Maximillian’, for training in Western Reining events. Lucciola and Trevello left, but Rakasha stayed behind to stay with the Moradelli’s where she was quite happy. She left twice for reconstructive surgeries on her scar, but she was a tough woman and didn’t seem to mind at all. Luciano Moradelli was pleased to have this new strong mare to compete in the female weight pulls with.

Carlos and Ribelle, whose real name was Terri now got engaged and she actually opted to stay at the stables as a Trainer and groom and help him train the new ponygirls and stallions that came through.

As the Holiday season descended on the Black Pine Stables it seemed so empty and different. Rakasha, Max and I would get some training from time to time, and after my rib healed I would occasionally be ridden by Valerio or Lena or even Carlos, but mainly they pulled back and just worked on keeping me trained and in shape. I didn’t see Furio much and although Valerio would tell me messages from him, I still would miss him and worry about him.

I saw him once early in November and once again right before Christmas. “I will give you your Christmas present next month.” He would say to me with those piercing eyes of his, that Italian accent seeming to caress my vary soul. “Soon we will leave, I have much to get ready, much to do for Don Pontecorvo, but soon…” he would smile and I knew I would hang onto that smile and patience. After all, he was my Master, my rider and the man I loved. And I was his Cavallo and lover. I would always wait for Furio.


The ocean breezes lifted and caressed my red hair as I faced the blue grey Mediterranean and glanced out at the fishing boats far out on the horizon. I glanced up and saw him walking towards me, just wearing a pair of jeans and short white tank top, a few gold chains around his neck like many Italian men wore. “What are you doing my bella Sarah, eh?” he smiled at me, and his eyes so perfectly matched the blue waters of his homeland.

“Well you did say you would ride me naked on the beach sometime.” I grinned at him, playfully.

“You get me so sessualmente eccitato, so aroused you know that?” he grinned and ran over to me, grabbing me up in his arms as he swung me around briefly. His strength always could amaze me. He placed me back on the Sicilian beach and now turned me around. “Ready?” he asked with a playful laugh. I braced as he hoped astride my back piggyback style.

“It’s a lot harder to carry you this way!” I squealed with delight as he squeezed his legs around me.

“Ha!” he laughed, “Maybe you break beneath me then. I ride you into submission, eh?”

Furio rode me a few more steps until he could tell it was hard for me to carry him in the soft sand and he slid off. “Ah, I ride you on all fours later on at the villa.” He swung me around again so I was facing him. He tilted up my head and I could see those eyes seeming to sear through mine, as powerfully as that first day we met that seemed so very long ago.

“Ti amo.” He said with a serious look, “I do so love you so. You be with me?” he asked.

“I AM with you, my handsome Italian.” I tried to smile back lightly.

“No, no.” he grabbed my face tighter, his eyes like living lie detectors digging into the deepest parts of my soul that only he seemed to be able to see into. “Forever, I want you to be at my side forever. You be mia moglie.”

“Moglie?” I asked, not familiar with the Italian term.

“How you say... Mrs. Furio, wife... That is the word, yes? Wife. You be my wife. My ponygirl and wife.” He grinned and now he picked me up, carrying me in his arms as if I weighed next to nothing. “You no can say no.” he said, “You bear my mark, gave me your loyalty. And I would want no other at my side.”

I knew he was both deadly serious and also being sensually playful.

“Yes,” I nuzzled against his neck, breathing in the familiar scent of him, always it washed over me like a comforting blanket, the embrace of a true and long lost lover as though we had always known each other through ages past. “I will be your moglie.”

“So what do you think of Italy?” he asked as he swung me back down and we walked hand in hand now.

“I love Italy,” I smiled out towards the Mediterranean Ocean again, “And I love you.”

He smiled broadly a moment, the run reflecting off his face. “Wait until I take you to see Avellino, up near Napoli…” he chuckled as if enjoying a fond remembrance. “I think I want to ride you in the farmlands of Avellino.”

And I knew someday he would; for I was his lover, soon to be his wife. But I was also his cavallo, and he was my one true trainer and Master.

Finito - The End