Day Nine: New friends are awesome…

We got down to the business of playing poker. Since I wasn’t that good at it, I know I was probably being too conservative with my bets. I was always a gut instinct player anyways. It didn’t matter what the cards were in front of me. If my gut said bet conservative, I did. Linda seemed content to watch behind her glasses. I kept my eye on her. She was probably forming a long term strategy. This could be worrying. So, the play was kept lively by Nikki, Alex and Misty. Misty, who kept batting her eyelashes, losing on small bets and raking in on big ones.

I smelled a rat. I knew what one of my truths was going to be, getting the truth about poker out of Misty!

Of course, with the light on and there being windows in front of the shop, we were pretty exposed to the village. I didn’t think anything of it, until the door opened and the bell chimed and, oh dear God, Derek walked into the shop.

Oh no, no, no and no.

He grinned at me. “Savvy!” And crossed the room before I could even find my feet.

My face felt hot and I knew I had to be red as a beet. “Derek!” I shoved away from the table to head him off. He stopped, looked at the table and his eyes lit up. I could just see the gears turning. “No.” I said.

He took his hat off, put it on backwards and ran his fingers through his bangs. “Oh, come on.”

“This is a girl’s night. No.” I said and pointed at the door.

He had the gall to pout at me. “But I like poker and pizza rolls.”

I felt too many eyes on me. Oh dear god, this was way too embarrassing. Next girl’s night was at the winery. Period. I pointed at the door. “Out.”

He smirked, sure I wouldn’t do anything, reached down and snagged a couple pizza rolls off my plate.

I wanted to make tea kettle noises. I stepped forward and hit one of his shoulders. He stumbled back and I smiled at him. I’d had a few self-defense classes. “Out.” I said and shoved at him again.

He jumped back. “I’m going!” He raised his hands.

“And give me back my pizza rolls!”

He grinned at me and stuffed them in his mouth, waving at me and turning about.

“Oh,” I growled, and put my hands on his shoulders and helped shove him out the door. I slammed the door behind him and leaned against it. “Boys!” I huffed and eyed my boots to hopefully hide my red face behind my bangs.

There were some giggles.

Alex was no help at all. “Now I know why there is the rule against truth or dares about boys.”

I don’t know how I could be redder diary. Boys are such a pain! I slumped back into my chair. Harold came over with a fresh plate of rolls. I restocked my plate. Derek owed me food, dang it.

Linda gave her a pointed look and said one word. “Justin.”

Alex flushed and shut up.

My eyes widened and I peered at Alex. Did she have a thing for Justin Moorland? Well, that would explain why she’d been so distraught over his departure!

Misty reminded us we weren’t discussing boys. I eyed her pile of truth or dares and suddenly felt a tad worried. Maybe the truth or dare thing hadn’t been a good idea. We should have probably put down a rule about no streaking and… no kissing. I turned back to my cards. Maybe I needed to trust my gut a little more and hope it was accurate.

The last two hands went pretty quickly. Misty lost both of them, one pretty blatantly. In one ear I heard Linda talking about trick riding with Nikki. I guess trick riding was a circus staple or something. Of course it was Misty and Alex battling it out over the last hand. But in the end Alex won. Fortunately for us she was a graceful winner and it didn’t even seem to bother Misty that she’d lost. Instead, she turned to Nikki and asked if Nikki would show us some of these tricks she was going on about. Somehow, something about her attitude told me that this had been planned.

I pocketed my little pile of truth or dares. No one it appeared was totally cleaned out. I also grabbed the last pizza roll on my plate to snack on as we watched. We all waved to Harold, thanked him profusely of course for being such a good sport about this. Nikki brought Dragon around and showed us some of her tricks. Dragon held really still for her. I mean, they were pretty impressive and all, but it was dark and hard to see. After a few more tricks, we all agreed it was time to head back to the winery.

Alex offered Linda a ride. I’d just gotten settled onto Heart when Nikki shouted out, “Last one to the winery is a rotten tater!” in a fair approximation of Misty’s accent and just took off. That was totally unfair! She was already mounted. I gave Heart her head and Heart went after her. Alex whooped behind us. Of course, with her head start, no one was going to catch Nikki. Heart’s hooves rang hollow on the wooden bridge as we skidded around the curves. There had to be a faster way.

She laughed at us all when we reached the gates. I broke and laughed with her. That’d actually been fun. We walked the horses around the winery a few times to get them cooled down. The four of them goofed off, snorting at each other and trying to have little goes at each other. I finally grabbed Heart’s bridle by the base under her chin and told her to knock it off. If we were going to be friends, they were going to have to learn to be a herd and be friends. She was much better behaved after that.

Once we got back to the room, I pulled out a truth token and confronted Misty. She reached into her pocket, but instead of countering with another truth, she handed me some sort of note and darted for the bathroom. I read it and started to swear. That little brat. She was actually really good at poker. I resisted the urge to crumple the note and put it on the vanity.

I worked on this entry while she was in the shower and when she came out, I muttered my way past her to get my own. Just, the nerve! The absolute cheek! I muttered to myself the whole shower and only towards the end consented that she had played somewhat fair. She’d used her skills to lose after all. Which meant that she probably had a long term strategy in mind. I paused, and so did Linda. Now, this could get interesting.

I was grinning when I got out and finished getting ready for bed and writing this entry. Man, the whole last week or so has been really intense. It’d be nice to get a little bit of a breather before something else happens. But hey, it looked like we’d made friends with Alex and Linda and that was pretty awesome.

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Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.

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