Chapter 5 - Together (part 2)
"That's it, Moonlight! You got it. Listen to Morning Star's hooves. Stay with her! Perfect!"
All day, Ivory showed Morning Star and Moonlight how to work as a team. After her little demonstration, which had been a game-changer, the two racers had acquired enough conviction to start listening and take the class seriously.
Ivory had made them do many beginner exercises to learn the basics, and now, they knew enough that they were both wearing a training harness and pulling a small cart together. A hay bale acted as a fictional driver for weight purposes. Sitting on the fence, Ivory directed them around, but she didn't have much more to say. The two ponies had learned quickly and were doing great.
Some trials and errors had helped Ivory determine the best configuration for them to practice with; Morning Star would be the leader, meaning that she would be the left pony who would dictate the pace. On her side, Moonlight would be the right pony who would focus on matching the gait and providing extra power.
Neither one of those roles was easy to fulfill, but practice would make it more comfortable over time. After a few hours with Ivory, they had made immense progress already, and their hooves pretty much hit the dirt in sync most of the time. The cart didn't jerk around anymore and didn't pull awkwardly on their harness either. Racing as a team was so much more fun than before.
Ivory, very satisfied with the training session, jumped down the fence and clapped her hands a few times to put an end to it.
"Alright! You got it! Let's call it a day. Anyway, we have to clear the way because the carriages are coming back. They are so big that they have to go through the paddock's gate. Come this way."
"Can we stay a bit longer and watch them?"
"Absolutely. I don't think Sophie is back yet. We have all the time in the world."
After putting the equipment away, Morning Star, Moonlight, and Ivory went back to the paddock to open the large gate. In the distance, the two large carriages, pulled by six show ponies each, were coming back from their trip. Six identical blue ponies pulled the first one, and the second one was taken care of by ponies of all colors.
"That's so cool! Why are they not all the same color, though?"
"Just variety. Some clients prefer to have identical ponies, while others want something different. I have to admit that we show ponies like playing with our looks a lot. It's really fun."
"Ah, that's neat. We have a limited color choice, and we have to keep it until we stop racing. Morning Star got black, so we are wearing black all the time. Under the sun, it's very hot."
Morning Star looked at Moonlight with a smile.
"It didn't prevent me from winning three Super Cups in a row."
"Alright, look at how synchronized they all are. If they had not been, it would have been impossible for them to pull big carriages like this."
As the two vehicles were approaching, the beauty of the scene hypnotized Star and Moon. All those small hooves beating the dirt road at the same time were so entertaining to watch. Never in a thousand years, the two powerful racers had expected to get a lesson from those small and delicate creatures. Working together as one was a winning formula; there was no doubt about it anymore.
After the two carriages passed in front of them and entered the barn, Morning Star whispered something in Moonlight's ear and got a nod back along with a smile.
Ivory was about to close the gate when Morning Star stopped her.
"Wait, Ivory! There is a little something we would like to give you. A thank you gift for all your help today."
"A little something?"
"Yes, bring one of the carriages back here."
"We want to pull it around with all of you inside it."
"Hahaha! A carriage with a dozen passengers in it? Forget it, Star, you two alone won't be able to do it."
"Oh, no. I'm not going to try to. My ankle is still recovering. Sophie would never let me tax it that much. So, Moonlight will pull it alone."
What Ivory had just heard was hard to believe; this proposition was madness. But Moonlight confidently confirmed that it was what she was going to do. Ivory walked to Morning Star and looked into her eyes. Their height difference was obvious; Morning Star was a head taller.
"You're joking, right?"
"No. We thought you would like a little demonstration of what we can do. Pulling heavy things is part of our training."
"I bet Moonlight can't! I know she is strong, but a single pony cannot pull a carriage with a dozen passengers. It's way too heavy."
"Okay, what do you want to bet?"
"If you do it, I'll give you free tickets to our show tonight."
"And what if we can't do it then?"
Having smelled a good opportunity to cause chaos, Moonlight jumped into the conversation with a firm proposal.
"Ivory, if I can't do it, Morning Star will go on a date with you!"
"DEAL! DEAL! DEAL!"
"WHAT!? Moonlight! Come on! You can't offer me as a price."
Ivory didn't waste a single fraction of a second before accepting that bet, leaving Morning Star in the dust.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
"Brittany, open the door!"
"Come on, please. I need to talk to you! It's important."
Hemlock just got back from the village and rushed upstairs to Brittany's bedroom. Her insistence had paid off. The door handle unlocked, turned, and the door cracked open just enough to see half of Brittany's face.
"What do you want? Insult me some more?"
"No, I want to fix this mess. Let me in! We need to talk."
"You are such a pain, Hemlock. Alright, make it quick."
The small trainer let Hemlock push the door open and went back to her bed on which she sat, hugging a pillow. Her elite pony stood in front of her bed with a determined look, but Brittany couldn't do anything else than frown when she noticed how dirty she was.
"Here, this is for you!"
Hemlock tossed five twenty dollars bills on the mattress, puzzling Brittany to a great extent.
"Money? What do you want me to do with money? And where did you get it?"
"No! It's not money!"
"It's not money?"
"Well, it is, but that's not what I want to give you. Oh!...Right!...I forgot to show you this too."
She pulled a pamphlet from the back of her shorts; it was all flimsy because it had absorbed so much sweat.
"Ew! Gross... Why are you all sweaty anyway? What's the big deal?"
Brittany pulled open the moistened document from the tip of her nails and attempted to read it.
"A Chinese buffet? Is this a bad joke? I think I'm banned from that restaurant too."
"What!? No! Not that! Look at the bottom... the ad."
"Yes! Show ponies! It's tonight. You love those, right? I found some money, but I don't know how to buy tickets. You always buy everything for us. So I give you the money, and we can go together! You can get us tickets with the money, right?"
The innocence of the ponygirl forced Brittany to take a long breath in and exhale slowly, appreciating the gesture but not its purpose.
"... Hemlock... Why are you doing this?"
"Because I care, and I don't want to leave Paul's stable. Nightshade will leave tomorrow if you don't let her be with me. I don't want that to happen. I will follow her if that's what it takes, but I don't want to lose you. That's not what I want! So, I'm trying to fix this! Nightshade gave me twenty-four hours."
"I know you love show ponies! Please! Just drive us there and buy us tickets. I know I hurt you badly with the harness thing, but I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. I want you to give me a chance to apologize. I care about you."
Brittany let another long sigh out in her pillow. Hemlock could be so stubborn sometimes. She looked back at the sweaty pamphlet; she did like show ponies a lot more than she cared to admit. When she was little, she wanted to become one, but it never worked out. She was way too bossy to listen to anybody, and probably not pretty enough, at least that's what she told herself at that time.
"Fine, let's go watch a show."
Hemlock jumped on the bed and started hugging Brittany, who couldn't fight back!
"Get off me! Get off me! You are all sweaty! Let's go clean you a bit first. I don't know what you did to get that money, but you reek!"
"Sorry I can't do it! It's too heavy!"
"AH! Morning Star, we are going on a date!"
"Hey! A bet is a bet!"
"Mmm... It seems fishy..."
"Hey! We had a deal! You can't say no!"
Ivory was ecstatic when Moonlight announced that she couldn't pull the carriage containing the twelve small show ponies despite a series of attempts. But something was off... Morning Star didn't believe Moonlight gave her all.
"Moon... You are going to pay for this. You failed on purpose."
"What? It's too heavy. What do you want me to do? Maybe if I had my real pony boots with my horseshoes, but those pink thigh-high boots are just not made for that."
Morning Star grumbled and looked back at Ivory, who had constellations in her eyes, and her hands cutely squeezed up to her chest.
"Fine, Ivory, deal. You have my word. We will go on a date."
"YAY! It's going to be so fun!"
"Alright, ponies! Did you all hear them? They are going on a date. Now hang on to your hat!"
"... wait ... what? MOON! I KNEW IT!"
As soon as Morning Star promised to honor her lost bet, Moonlight had a mysterious surge of energy and got in position to pull on the large carriage again. Morning Star had apprehended this; she knew Moonlight was full of shit and had been playing her. She had that gut feeling that she should have listened to.
The powerful ponygirl engaged her massive leg muscles, and immediately, the cart got moving as if it was not even that hard. The cute pony passengers who were sitting on top of each other all started cheering in awe in the face of this feat of strength.
"You are amazing!"
"Moonlight, you are so strong!"
"We love you, Moon!"
"Are you single, Moonlight?"
"I hate you so much, Moonlight!"
Among the cheers, there was only one dissonant voice, and nobody wondered who it belonged to.
"This place is packed!"
"Yes, but we have money, so we will get good seats, right?"
"It doesn't work that way, Hemlock. If there are no seats available, we won't be able to buy tickets. From what I see, it's a full house."
Brittany and Hemlock were waiting in line at the tent entrance, where the show ponies would perform, in an attempt to buy their tickets. As promised, Brittany gave her pony a good bath and then disguised her with a hoodie and sunglasses; if the crowd were to find out that Hemlock was here, it would be enough to turn this place upside down. If that were to happen, that would be yet another building from which Brittany would be banned.
It didn't look good. The line up was slow-moving, and everybody who had talked to the cashier so far had retreated, either angry or disappointed. Show ponies enjoyed a regain of popularity recently, mainly because of ponies like Hemlock and Nightshade, who were teaching people that it was not a crime to be beautiful and good at the same time. Most girls couldn't become racers because it required a particular genetic, but they could still have fun being show ponies. Only the best ones were able to perform in front of a big crowd, though.
With a bit of patience, Brittany and Hemlock finally reached the ticket booth and were greeted by the friendly cashier. The rumbling of the excited crowd almost made it hard to understand her.
"Welcome! Do you have a ticket reservation?"
"No, but do you have two seats available? Any sections would be okay."
"Sorry we are full. I can put your name on a list, and if some people are not showing up, we can reassign the seats to you. That said, we already have twenty-five people in the queue, and only seven people didn't show up so far."
"Aaah... Too bad. Thanks!"
Hemlock pulled her hood off, revealing her bright blond hair, and took off her sunglasses... and got closer to the employee!
"I'm Hemlock! Surely you have seats for us, right?"
"Sorry, I don't know who you are... but there is nothing I can do. I'd love to give you tickets, but we have none!"
"Hemlock, hide your face right now! If someone recognizes you, it's going to turn into a riot. I told you already."
After groaning in disapproval, Hemlock put her cheap disguise back on, and the two girls walked away, heading toward the exit.
"I'm so disappointed... I really wanted to take you to this show."
"It's okay... Let's go back ho... OWW!"
Looking down because of her disappointment, Brittany wasn't looking where she was going and headbutted a girl about her size; they both fell to the ground. Of course, having a very short fuse, Brittany started yelling at her victim.
"YOU MORON! WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING!"
"What the ... SOPHIE? What are you doing here?"
"What do you think, dumbass? We are here to watch the show! Morning Star won free tickets today."
"You... You have tickets?"
While the two enemy trainers were busy insulting each other, Hemlock still had her mind set on obtaining tickets at all cost.
"If we give you a hundred dollars, can you give us your tickets?"
"Hemlock, stop it! We are not buying anything from this rat face."
"But... we need to get in... It's important."
"Shut up, Hemlock! Let's go home! This place smells!"
"You are the one who smells, Britt the turd!"
The invectives fused from each side, and people started to mass around the three women. Then a small show pony entirely covered in white latex and leather pierced the human wall to inquire about the chaos.
"Hey! What's going on here? Why is everybody screaming? Hey! Sophie!? I was looking for you! Morning Star and Moonlight are seated already. You can't sit with them, but we got you a seat at the top. You'll see well."
"Sure. That works. Let's get out of here before I punch that turkey brain on the nose."
Sophie attempted to walk away from the scene, but Ivory refused to follow after recognizing the other girl who was still rubbing her forehead.
"Wait... Aren't you... Brittany?"
"Yeah! So what? If you are Sophie's friends, it means you are stupid, and I don't want to talk to you."
"Aww, you came here to watch our show?"
"Yes, but now we go home because we can't get in."
"We... Oh... my... God! That girl with you... is she...?"
"Ivory, come! They are not worth it! Let's go!"
As Sophie tried to drag Ivory out of there, but the white pony had a strong suspicion about the identity of the weirdly dressed woman who accompanied Brittany. She approached her and pushed the sunglasses hiding her eyes up with her delicate finger, revealing the famous elite pony.
"Oh my god! You... you are... HEMmmpph!"
"Would you shut up! Are you an idiot or what? You are going to get us in trouble. And yes, it's her."
Brittany had slapped her hand on Ivory's mouth to shut her up. When she removed her hand, the white pony was seriously pumping air.
"Oh... my... God! What a day! I'm so happy right now!"
"Ivory, let's go!"
"No, no! Sophie, wait! Brittany, you guys didn't get tickets?"
Brittany just looked away, not wanting to discuss this anymore by fear to grow her disappointment, but Hemlock was still determined to get in.
"We have a lot of money, but we have no tickets. Can you find a seat for Brittany? Even if you don't have one for me, it's okay. I can just wait outside."
"No way I would allow you to miss the show, Hem.... Oops... Sorry. I mean, of course, I'll accommodate the two of you! Follow me!"
"Ivory, you can't be serious?"
"Why? Sophie! They did nothing wrong to me. All the show ponies are huge fans of Brittany and Hemlock. If they can get a chance to meet them, it would mean so much to them. Here, Sophie. This is your ticket and seat number. I will let you go there by yourself. I need to take care of those two, okay?"
"Whatever. It's your show, so suit yourself. All I'm saying is that you should take the garbage out instead of bringing it in."
Brittany started to have some remorse for having insulted Ivory just because she was Sophie's friend. The little white pony seemed to be determined to accommodate them so that they could watch the show.
"Okay, sorry about Sophie. You two have a fun history."
"Yeah... That's pretty obvious."
"So, it's full house tonight. There is not a single seat left for you, and there is nothing I can do about that."
"Awww, but you just said you would accommodate us."
"Oh, sorry, Hemlock... What I was about to ask was... Would you mind watching the show backstage?"
Hemlock clapped her hands frantically, and Brittany's shell cracked... She did love show ponies A LOT, even if it was hard for her to admit. The thought of watching a professional performance from backstage was not something she had ever expected to experience one day.
"Okay, then. Follow me!"
Ivory grabbed Brittany's arm and pulled her through the crowd. They reached a locked door, and after punching the code, they entered the restricted area, destination backstage. Brittany couldn't utter a word so much she had conflicting emotions about what was happening to her. While walking, Ivory turned to them and asked for a favor.
"Hey... You don't have to, but... Do you think you could meet the girls in the dressing room?"
"Sure, Hemlock can go meet them. It's not a problem. We do social events all the time."
"Well... That's nice, but I meant you, as in the two of you. Many of my friends are huge fans of you, Brittany."
"... What!? Nobody is a fan of mine."
"Yes, they are silly. You make Hemlock and Nightshade look so good, and your photoshoots are the best. We are big fans of you here. Well, outside our Asian ponies... they are a bit sad. They loved you so much, but after what you said to Tiantang Zhi Ma... you know."
"... yeah... I know."
The discussion took an awkward turn. Brittany was well aware of the racist comments against Asian competitors that got her banned from the NRPA. This topic quickly turned this special night into something uncomfortable.
Ivory then suggested something troubling.
"... Maybe you could just apologize? That would make them feel better. Three of our performers are Asian. They would love to continue to be your fans, you know."
"Wait, Ivory, give us a minute, would you?"
"Oh... okay... but hurry, the show is about to start."
Hemlock pulled Brittany aside for a quick chat. This situation was getting a bit too heavy, and she knew her trainer. If she weren't taking a step back, she would blow a gasket and leave while insulting everybody. Hemlock needed to calm her down.
"Hey, Brittany. Everything is fine, okay."
"Stop thinking. Tonight you are not a trainer. You don't have to be in control. Ivory seems smart, so let me talk to her. She needs to go easy on you."
"Is... is there a way to make it easier? Apparently, what I told Tiang was racist, but I'm still not sure I understand what was offensive. And now this ice cream pony wants me to face three more yellow people and apologize. I'll mess up."
"First, don't call them yellow people. That won't fly. And don't call Ivory ice cream pony either. Okay, let me chat with her. I will fix this for you. Then we will watch the show from backstage! Is it not amazing?"
"... okay... yeah! Whatever."
Ivory led her three Asian friends to the small lounge. They were very puzzled as to why their friend had interrupted their preparation minutes before the show. The white pony stopped in front of the door and turned to them to explain what would happen next.
"Okay, we have a surprise guest who really wanted to meet you personally. I'm freaking out myself. We are so lucky!"
"Really? Who is it? Why just the three of us?"
"You'll see, but before we go in, just understand that it is tough for her to be here, and you have to let her talk first, okay? She has something she would like to tell you."
"Okay, but this is weird. Ivory. You always make us do strange things."
"I know, sorry. But you are going to be so happy in a second. Ready?"
The white pony pushed the door open and walked in.
"Hello! We're here!"
The three Asian ponies wearing sparkling blue tack froze as soon as they saw who was in the room.
"Hehe, Hemlock, this is Lee, Ushi, and Emma. They are huge fans."
"Nice meeting you, but someone else would like to meet you as well."
Hemlock slowly stepped aside, revealing a Brittany who had a face red as a tomato and on the verge of a panic attack. She had accepted to do this only because Hemlock and Ivory had insisted so much.
The three blue ponies immediately understood what was going on. Their role model was in front of them, carrying a humiliating burden that was way too heavy. Ushi was the first to say something.
"Brit... Brittany... We are huge fans... but... Is... Is it true, what you said to Tiantang?"
Hemlock poked Brittany in the ribs, making her sway a little, like a young tree that hadn't yet developed strong roots.
"... Yeah... I mean... I... I said things..."
"What she is trying to say is that she is very sorry, and she wanted to tell you that in person. Right, Brittany?"
"Yes... I am very sorry... and I wanted to tell you... personally..."
Ivory happily clapped after Brittany parroted the words Hemlock had put in her mouth. It was not the most gracious way to express remorse, but it had seemed to be enough. The three Asian ponies rushed to her and hugged her.
"Hey! Wait... What are you... Get off me!"
"Brittany... endure your punishment!"
"We knew you were nice!"
"We love you, Brittany! You are so amazing!"
"It's okay to make mistakes, Brittany! Just learn from them, okay?"
It was a very odd scene to witness. A rude little girl who barely understood the meaning of the word racism was now surrounded by three adorable Asian ponygirls, who had decided to give her a path to redemption despite their awareness of the gravity of what had been spoken in the past. There was not a chance in the world that this would be sufficient to rehabilitate Brittany, but it was surely one good step in the right direction.
Then it was Hemlock's turn to face the challenge of popularity. Ivory led everybody back to the main dressing room where all the other girls were getting ready for the show. There was no time for introduction before Hemlock got swallowed by a rogue wave of cute screaming ponies!
"Think about it, Brittany!"
"... I will... Thanks."
To avoid the crowd, Ivory let Brittany and Hemlock out through the back door; it was safer that way. Hemlock was grinning from ear to ear after such an amazing evening, but Brittany was still struggling to do the same.
"Ah, come on, Brittany. The show was fantastic, the small ponies were incredible, and we got to watch everything from backstage. What else do you need to be happy?"
"What? Love? You know we love you..."
"Mmm. You told me that I was unable to love."
"Aaaah... Yes... I did... I was angry. I didn't mean it, and I'm sorry."
"You didn't mean it, but you were right. Everybody hates me. I hurt people like Nightshade all the time because I'm heartless."
"Nah... You are rough on the edge, but you are not heartless. When you take care of us in the morning, you are always so nice. We know you like us."
"Yeah, but Nightshade hates me now..."
"She doesn't like what you've done, but you can fix it. You have to. She is not as patient as I am."
Brittany's current thoughtfulness was unusual. The love bath she had received tonight had managed to reach her little heart somehow. She was ready to fix her big mistake by freeing Nightshade from her prison and apologize properly.
But Hemlock knew this wouldn't be enough; deep down, she knew Brittany had a root problem more significant than just being an occasional bitch. There was a reason why she did horrible things, and tonight while the small driver was vulnerable, it was a good opportunity to dig a bit deeper.
"Why did you do it?"
"Uh? Do what?"
"You know, separate me from Nightshade like that? It was beyond cruel."
"I said I was sorry."
"I know, I'm just asking why you did it in the first place. I know it was not just because I took her harness off without permission. You can tell me."
'Come on, Brittany, you'll feel better if you talk to me."
Brittany stopped in her tracks. Her fists tightened, and she looked at the ground. Hemlock, facing away from her, just looked up at the night sky, waiting to hear something that would certainly hurt.
"I loved you, you know!"
"You choose someone else over me."
"Love is not something we choose, Brittany. We talked about this."
"Still, it really hurts."
"I guess wounds like these never really heal. But trying to hurt me back won't make you feel any better."
"I know. I know that now. I stabbed you in the heart, and you just showed me more love. I made myself feel even worse."
"The fact that you understand this means that you'll be able to heal faster."
With her eyes fixated on the full moon, Hemlock could hear Brittany sobbing and suffering behind her. Back when Nightshade was not around, Brittany and she had slept together. Brittany had developed feelings behind friendship back then, one-way feelings. But what was done was done. There was no way to go back to the past and change it. They could only move forward and try to make things better.
"Hemlock... You really want to be my ponygirl, right?"
"Yes, very much so. I would be very sad to lose you as a trainer."
"... and Nightshade too?"
"Nightshade will stick around as long as you don't pull the same crap again. She thinks you are a great trainer, but she won't tolerate it if you try to separate us again. She wants this to work. We know you are a winner, Brittany, and we want to win with you."
"... Okay... Then I will try to endure a bit longer..."
"I told you, you'll learn to love me as a friend, as your dedicated ponygirl..."
"Wait... You were not referring to our relationship just now, right?"
Hemlock turned around and found Brittany kneeling in the grass, with rivers of tears flowing down her cheeks. Something was hurting her, something much more painful than a broken heart.
"Brittany!? What were you referring to? What do you have to endure in order to stay with us?"
"Wait, Star, wait!"
"Morning Star! Can I talk to you before you go?"
"Sure, what's up?"
As Sophie and Moonlight climbed in the pickup truck, Ivory, who was glowing in the dark because of her white latex suit, pulled Morning Star aside and brought her two delicate hands on her chest; she smiled quite a bit.
"I just wanted to say thank you for today."
"No, no. Thanks to you, Ivory. What you taught us will definitely get us started and make us better runners."
"Right! And you'll come back for more training, right?"
Morning Star scratched the back of her head while looking sideways.
"Aaah, I really don't know about that. Sophie is the one managing our activities. We don't have a word to say."
"Okay... But... Will she still let you go out for our date?"
"Oh, right... About that..."
"If you don't want to, that's fine. Moonlight kind of tricked you, after all. But I think we should go on a date anyway."
"I...I'll think about it... I never really considered... well... you know."
"I don't, but I'm good with the, I'll think about it, part. And if you are not sure, I have a great trick to help you figure it out."
"A trick? What is it?"
The cute ponygirl wrapped her arms around Morning Star's neck and tiptoed herself up just high enough to plant a small kiss on her favorite ponygirl!
"Mmm! That was good! Did you like my trick?"
"I... It was... unexpected."
"Alright! Goodnight, Morning Star! Let me know about our date, okay?."
"Good... night... Ivo... ry."
Ivory ran back toward the arena, giggling and leaving Morning Star in a confused state and waving like an idiot behind her.
"Hey, Star! I like your new girlfriend!"
Sophie poked her head out of the car as she threw an embarrassing comment at her flustered elite pony, just for fun.
Brittany entered the dark barn alone and headed toward Nightshade's stall with her noisy keyset in hand. She stopped in front of the dented metal door.
Brittany's heart skipped a beat, and she jumped away from the door as her prisoner ponygirl added a new dent to it.
"I'm... I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry, okay. I had a long chat with Hemlock tonight, and everything is good. I understand that what I did was very wrong. I'm here to set you free. Just let me do that, okay?"
"I know, I know... Just don't attack me, okay. I'm leaving tonight."
"Give me a sec here. I'll open the door. But, please, don't hurt me, okay?"
Laboriously, in the darkness, she inserted her key in the big padlock, and it clicked open. After throwing the metal piece on the ground, she used all her strength to slide the damaged door open.
"You really bent it bad. If you hit me like that, you'll kill me."
Nightshade stepped back in the darkest corner of her stall, eyes almost glowing red of anger, not sure what to do. Knocking Brittany off and running away to reunite with Hemlock sounded like a good plan, but she had a gut feeling not to do that. Brittany said she was leaving the stable? How was this even possible?
"Come, Nightshade. I'll take your tack off. Trust me. It's over. You won't have to deal with me anymore."
Brittany removed all the small padlocks she had added to Nightshade's bridle and body harness. One by one, she just let them fall to the ground, which was unlike her to be sloppy like this, another sign that something was going on. The first gear to go was the bridle and bit, and after a good jaw stretch, Nightshade spat some harsh words.
"You are insane, Brittany! You had no right to do this to us!"
"I know. I'm sorry."
"Well, being sorry won't cut it. You were lucky that Hemlock convinced me to stay until now."
"I know. Give me your wrist."
"What is your problem anyway? Why are you doing such mean things?"
"You should have a chat with your girlfriend. I don't have any good answers to give you. Every time I open my mouth, I mess things up. I'm done talking."
"Yes... and I'm sorry. Roll your shoulders for me, please. The harness can come off now."
"Where is Hemlock?"
"I suppose she is having a chat with Paul... Come, we need to go to the car."
"Because... Because Hemlock said so. Come."
"Brittany? Why... Why are you crying? What's going on here?"
Hemlock rammed her powerful foot in the door, which slammed open upon impact.
"WHAT THE HELL? Who's there?"
"Get up, you piece of shit."
"HEMLOCK? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"
Paul jumped out of his bed and walked up to Hemlock, who had erupted savagely into his room in the middle of the night.
"What are you doing here? Is that about the money again? ... OOF!"
Just as he was about to put his hand on her, she struck him hard in the chest, which sent him flying across the room and crashing into the dresser before falling on his butt. It really hurt.
"A fist holding a horseshoe is quite efficient. If you dare stand back up, I'll make sure to hit your face with it next time."
"What... What the hell! Are you nuts? That's it! YOU ARE FIRED! And I'll make sure nobody else hires you again! EVER!"
"Listen to me, attentively, and don't make me repeat, you piece of crap. I know you only care about your own words, but try to make an effort this time."
"Would you shut up and get the hell out of my... AAaagh!"
Hemlock placed the blade of her foot on Paul's throat and pressed hard enough to make him stop talking for once. There were enough muscles in that pony leg to prevent him from doing anything about it, no matter how hard he tried to get her foot off his neck.
"Brittany told me everything! You are the worst! What did she do to you to deserve this? You blackmailed her! You forced her to have disgusting sex in exchange for letting her train us. You KNEW she would never abandon us, and you took advantage of that. You are a criminal of the worse kind! Brittany is not an angel, far from it, but she is still a human being. And you, in a position of power, what do you do? You abused her vulnerabilities for your benefit. What is it? Are you too socially incompetent to get a woman who would tolerate your ugly and selfish behaviors? You abused Brittany during all that time, making us believe that you two had some sort of consensual relationship. YOU MAKE ME SICK!"
"Aarrr! She could have left a long time ago!"
"And she stayed to take care of us, you moron! Unlike you, she has a heart! Tonight, we are all leaving. Think long and hard about what you have done, because tomorrow, I don't know what Britt will decide to do. She could send you to jail for what you've done to her."
"She has no proof! Aarrr... Let me go!"
"She has me... and you have nobody. It's going to be our word against yours if it comes down to it. Anyway, it's up to her now. I hope she won't have a glimpse of feeling left for the pathetic person that you are."
Hemlock got her foot off Paul's throat and tossed the horseshoe on him before turning around and leaving.
On her way out of the house, she stopped by her bedroom and unpinned a few pictures from the wall, including the one she got from her idol, Stardust.
"I'll be fearless and resilient."
Once she had collected her most precious belongings, she ran out and got to the car where Brittany and Nightshade were waiting for her; the engine was already running.
Hemlock opened the rear door and sat next to Nightshade.
"Go, Brittany! Let's leave this place!"
"Are... are you sure about this? You are abandoning everything... because ... of me?"
"Not BECAUSE of you... FOR you. I have Nightshade, and I have you. That's all I need. Now, let's put some distance with this cursed stable."
"Aaaanh! Finally, being able to cum with you is such a relief!"
"... to cum ten times."
"Hehe... Maybe more if you keep licking me like this."
"I missed you so much! I'll lick you for as long as you want!"
Hemlock and Nightshade were laying down on a haystack in Tiantang Zhi Ma's stable. Late last night, they had managed to reach Xiuying on the phone and had asked for hospitality, just for one night. After flatly refusing at first because Brittany was with them, Hemlock explained what had happened exactly and, out of pity, Xiuying accepted to accommodate them for a single night. Brittany was a bitch and a racist, but Paul was even worse than her. Knowing what he had done to Brittany officially classified him as a dishonorable lifeform.
While Tiang and Xiu slept inside the house, Hemlock and Nightshade were in one of the barn stalls, and at the far end of the interior paddock, Brittany was to stay out of sight. Xiu made sure that Brittany wouldn't have any visual contact with Tiantang.
Despite all the drama, the two ponies were extremely happy to be reunited. They didn't sleep at all, too busy kissing as deeply as they could and spending a lot of time having sex after being denied for so long.
"Aaanh! I love when you do long, slow licks like this... It's almost burning!"
"AAAH! Yes! Keep... Keep going... MMmm!"
Nightshade squeezed her legs around Hemlock's head to keep her in the right position, making the victim giggle. Hemlock wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway, but this instinctive reflex from her lover was very cute.
"I'm close... again... slow... slow down... AAah!"
"Please... I... I don't want to cum again just now... It feels too good."
"Hemlock! AAAAH! Don't nibble on my clit! AAanh! Oh, my God! Aaah"
"Hehe. Yes... AAah! Mmm... Aahh! Don't stop!"
"So now, you want me to continue?"
"Y... yes! I'm... so close... It feels... different... Aaaah... Go, go! Make me cum now!"
Happy to oblige, Hemlock pressed her tongue much harder on the throbbing clitoris, alternating with some powerful sucking.
“AAAH... Oh YES! YES! AAAAANH!”
Nightshade started thrashing around again as her climax enveloped her with ecstasy. Her crotch uncontrollably convulsed as she bounced around in her haystack. After being forced out of sex for so long, cumming so often in one night was just what she needed.
Hemlock pulled her face away from Nightshade's pussy and crawled back on top of her to collect her reward, another deep kiss.
"Nightshade, you came so hard."
"I... I know... I missed you SO much!"
As they celebrated love with more little kisses, a familiar voice interrupted them.
"You really never stop, do you?"
"Brittany! You shouldn't be here! If Xiu sees you, they will kick us out!"
"So what? It's morning already, and I want to leave."
Hemlock got off Nightshade and grabbed Brittany's arm.
"Come, let's go back to the paddock. Nightshade, go see if Xiu is up already, maybe bring back some food for Britt."
"Hey, I'm the trainer here, not you!"
"Come on, Brittany, you know we all left the stable last night. We were officially fired. Come, I'll stay with you until we figure out what our next move will be. You have an important decision to make."
What Hemlock was referring to was whether or not Brittany would press charges against Paul. If she did, the pony racing world would catch fire, and things would never be the same. On top of that, there was no guarantee that Paul would be convicted due to a lack of evidence. There were risks involved; it could be a long and bloody battle.
Hemlock and Brittany walked together all the way to the back of the paddock where the latter had installed her pillow and blankets; there was no doubt about it, Xiu wanted Brittany to keep as much distance as possible from her pony. They were there out of pity more than hospitality.
"My career is over, right?"
"I don't know, Brittany. But you are the victim here. You did nothing wrong."
"It doesn't matter what I am... He could very well sue me for defamation, plus we stole his car."
"... That was his car?"
"One of his cars, yes. But it's okay. We could just abandon it in a ditch."
"Hehe... We could do that."
Nightshade came back a little bit later with a basket filled with bread and fresh fruits and a plan. Xiuying and her would go to town and try to figure out if Paul had taken any actions yet. Perhaps they would also try to meet with a lawyer to figure out what to do about all this. It was a unique situation, and they would need as much advice as possible. Until they returned, Brittany would be confined to the paddock, and Hemlock would have to keep an eye on her, not only to keep her company but also to prevent her from doing something stupid.
"Xiuying, the lawyer said he could meet with us in an hour or so."
"Good. Let's go wait at the coffee shop then. Nobody will care about us over there."
"Sure. Oh, hey! What's this?"
Nightshade pointed at a pile of newspaper sitting on top of a magazine stand.
"It's called a newspaper..."
"I know that... but look at the picture."
She grabbed the one at the top of the pile and walked away. The merchant gave her a suspicious stare, so Xiu immediately pulled a dollar out of her pocket and gave it to him. It was not evident to Nightshade that she had to pay for things since ponygirls never handled money.
Nightshade turned around so the sun would hit the front page better, and when she understood what it was, she gasped. It was a picture of Hemlock hugging a small girl.
"That's... That's Hemlock! ... What the hell was she wearing? And look at the title!"
"Is the NRPA suspending the right ponies? Superstar Hemlock caught hugging a young fan after naming her. Athena, of her new name, runs from door to door to collect signatures for a petition demanding the NRPA to revert Hemlock and Nightshade's suspension."
"No waaay! Xiu... That's amazing! I have to show this to Hemlock!"
"That little girl probably doesn't realize you attempted to murder Morning Star."
"HEY! I'm just a pony. I just did what I was told."
"Whatever... Let's go get a coffee while we are waiting for the lawyer. And put that hoodie back on before people recognize you."
The blonde ponygirl was not Xiuying's pony, but it almost felt like it; paying for things, bossing her around, reprimanding her... Clearly, it wouldn't be a good idea to leave Nightshade on her own; she wouldn't be functional in society by herself.
They walked alongside a row of small shops when Xiu suddenly pushed Nightshade against the wooden wall. Out of the blue, she kissed her while hiding the side of her face with the newspaper.
Nightshade's eyes became big and round, and she didn't know what to do. Why was she kissed by this trainer from the competitor stable all of a sudden? She always thought Xiu was nice, but she was the enemy, therefore being friends with her wasn't supposed to be an option, let alone kissing each other.
The ponygirl wasn't very smart about relationships, though. What she knew was that Xiuying had been nice enough to let them sleep at her stable last night, and now she was trying to help with their conflict with Paul. Nightshade had no right to be rude or ungrateful, and if Xiu wanted a reward for all she did, and that a kiss was what she had chosen, she would let her have it.
Based on her extensive kissing experience accumulated with Hemlock, she knew what was pleasant during a makeout session. It wouldn't take a lot of effort to give Xiu a bit more since that was what she apparently wanted.
So, Nightshade placed her hand behind Xiu's head, pulled her closer with the clear goal to insert her unusually long tongue inside her mouth, and provide the Asian trainer with some extreme sensation. Since her spontaneous partner was much smaller than her, Hemlock managed to reach much deeper inside her mouth, making sure to rub her wet tongue everywhere.
Xiu started to fight back and whacked Nightshade on the head with the newspaper until she managed to push herself away from the drooly pony. She then began to scold her.
"STUPID PONY! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Are you nuts?"
"Why would you do such a thing? Bleeeeeh!"
"But ... you kissed me... so... I kissed you back..."
"YEAH! Because PAUL was right there, and I had to find a quick way to hide you, stupid equine girl!"
"Oh... Really? I thought you just wanted to kiss me."
"What? NO! Why would I want to do that? Anyway, is that how you kiss people? Plunging your snaky tongue inside people's throats?"
"Hemlock likes it a lot."
"God... You two are gross. Come on, throat licker, let's find out where Paul is going."
The two girls began following Paul from a distance, and Xiu kept rubbing her tongue with her sleeve, still disturbed by how deep Nightshade went inside her skull. She had almost licked her brain.
It didn't take long for Paul to arrive at his destination. He sat at a picnic table next to the coffee shop. He placed his briefcase on the bench and clicked the locks open before laying down some documents in front of him.
"What is he doing?"
"Shhh! Nightshade, keep pretending to read your newspaper..."
"I'm not pretending. Look at this. They say my favorite oat is half price. Can we go buy a few bags after? You have money, right? Brittany always has money."
"Don't believe all you read. Oat is always that price."
"Oh, but they say it's my favorite oat."
"I don't know... That's what the newspaper says, so it must be true."
"Stop it, Nightshade! Wait... Who is this woman over there?"
"I don't know. His wife, maybe?"
"Seriously? Nightshade, you need a brain scan."
It was indeed suspicious. The woman sat at the same table as Paul and even shook his hand. For the next little while, they looked at different documents and even signed some of them. Xiu frowned, having a bad feeling about this.
"This is not a coincidence... not after you ran away from his stable last night."
"What do you think they are doing?"
"I'm not sure. I think she might be his lawyer... Maybe he is taking action against the three of you."
"Well, that's not good. What do we do?"
"Nothing for now. I think they are done. They are shaking hands again."
Paul put about half of the documents back inside his briefcase, and the woman gathered the other half and placed it in a binder. Then, just as they were about to part ways, Paul dropped a huge keyset on the table before turning heels and walking away. He didn't look happy at all.
When the woman picked up the keys, she threw them in the air just to catch them back while smiling in a way that betrayed a certain satisfaction.
"Okay... I'll go ask her what this was about."
"WHAT? No! Nightshade! Come back! It's a terrible idea!"
"She looks friendly. She won't recognize me with my hoodie."
"Come back here, stupid pony! Of course she is going to recognize you if you talk to her."
Nightshade had decided it was a good idea, so it must have been a good idea. Xiuying wasn't her trainer or owner, so there were no obedience reflexes imprinted in her brain. To her, Paul was not around anymore, so it was safe to talk to the strange lady. She waved her arm in the air.
"Excuse me! Lady!"
"Mmm?... Oh, Nightshade! What a good coincidence. That's going to make my life so much easier."
That comment stopped Nightshade right in her tracks. How did she recognize her so quickly with that hoodie on? She was still 10 meters away from her.
"Nightshade, come back here, you pink moron!"
"Oh, Xiuying? That's unexpected. I didn't know you two were friends?"
That stopped Xiuying in her tracks as well.
The mysterious woman smiled some more and walked up to the paralyzed duo. They both had no clue who that woman was and how she had found out who they were so quickly. There was something special about her; she emanated such charisma, so much self-confidence, and she was stunning too. With her long jet black hair trying to resist the light wind and those piercing eyes reflecting the light of the sun, she was no ordinary citizen.
Nightshade squinted her eyes... something looked very familiar... She reminded her of... a picture... Hemlock's favorite photo, to be precise. The one pinned on the wall of the bedroom where they had so much hot sex together. Then she gasped...
"That's right, Nightshade, you know who I am, don't you? My name is Stardust, and I'm your new owner. Now, be an angel and tell me where your two little friends are hiding."