Chapter 7 - Date and Bait
"What is this?"
"But… I shouldn't have money."
"It's a special occasion. Take it."
"Is it really necessary?"
"Of course it is. When was the last time you went out on a date?"
"Oh, I've never done that."
"Exactly. So go out and enjoy your day off a little. Stop being so anxious."
Sitting in the old rusty pickup truck, Sophie handed some paper money over to Morning Star, which was a first for the elite ponygirl. Her sweaty palms and twitching fingers betrayed her uneasiness about this unusual situation.
"There, she is over there across the street. You see her?"
"Yes, but can you tell her that I can't go?"
"Come on, Star! Ivory has been waiting for this moment for weeks. You promised her a date. I won't go tell her that you are canceling it while you are sitting with me in the car. That would be rude."
"Maybe she can't see me."
"Don't be ridiculous. Look. She is waving at you right now. Alright, that's enough. Get out of the car and go talk to her."
"Are you coming too?"
"Of course not, silly! It's a date between you and her. I won't go with you. Out! Out! Don't make her wait. It would be weird."
Having no other choice but to obey, Morning Star pushed her squeaky door open and stepped out of the vehicle. For the occasion, and since it was a warm day, she was wearing a pair of jean shorts, a cute green top, and a pair of white sneakers. Looking like a normal woman was not something she was used to.
On the other side of the street, Ivory wore this cute white summer dress with a matching round hat. She held her little purse in front of her belly and twisted her roman sandals on the walkway due to her apparent nervousness. Going on a date with someone so famous had not been something Ivory had ever expected to happen one day.
Morning Star turned to Sophie one more time, begging for mercy.
"Sophie… I think my ankle hurts. Can we go do some physio instead? Physio is very important, right? You keep telling me that."
"Enough, Morning Star. I know you hate physio. Come on! Ivory is nice. Go spend the day with her as you promise. That's the end of it!"
The elite pony sighed one more time, understanding that she had no way out, and started walking in the direction of the delicate girl. She crossed the road, making sure not to get hit by a car, and quickly arrived in front of Ivory.
"Hi, Morning Star!"
"I'm so glad you came! I was looking forward to spending time with you. I could hardly sleep last night. I must look so tired."
"You look… normal."
"Normal? Hehe. Well, that's good, I guess."
"Here, this is for you."
"For me? What is it?"
Ivory opened her hands, and Morning Star dumped the money Sophie had given her a minute ago in them, confusing the poor girl.
"Money? What… is this for?"
"Sophie said it was to pay for our date."
From across the street, Sophie had observed how inappropriate her clumsy pony had been right off the bat. So she honked a few times to catch her attention and yelled through the window.
"STAR! You idiot! Don't give her the money! Put it in your pocket right now!"
Fortunately, Sophie's scolding was enough to make her understand that she had done something wrong. She pointed at the pile of ragged money and asked Ivory the strangest questions.
"Can… Can I have the money back?"
With one hand, she grabbed the whole pile of green papers and pushed it deep inside her short's pocket. She actually put her other hand in her opposite pocket, lifted her shoulders, and looked aside, which caused Ivory to giggle.
"Hehe. So, are you going to compliment me on my dress? I'm wearing it just for you, you know!"
Ivory twirled cutely on one foot, making her dress float lightly in the wind, but Morning Star was not sure what to say. She thought her white pony outfit suited her better, but she didn't want to say that out loud.
"It's… It's fine."
"Yes. Sophie said I had to wear my street clothes too. But it feels weird."
"It's good to see you without your pony uniform for once. You look amazing!"
"It's… just shorts…"
"So, where are we going? Any good ideas?"
"Sophie said that we should go to a coffee shop."
"But, you are not Sophie. What do YOU want to do?"
In need of assistance, Morning Star turned around to look at Sophie again, but the car was gone. She was truly alone with the fragile ponygirl and didn't know what to do anymore.
"I… I don't know. Usually, Sophie decides for me."
"You are incredibly well trained. Haha. Right now, it's just you and me. But it's okay. Coffee seems like a good idea. Come on, give me your hand! I know a good place!"
Used to just obeying, Morning Star placed her hand in Ivory's, who pulled her toward the main street where most small shops were located. It would be an interesting day for sure.
"Where is Cassy? I wouldn't mind if she gave me a hand with my luggage. I'm paying her to help me, after all."
"Oh, she is in Hemlock and Nightshade's bedroom."
Stardust had just arrived at the stable with her pickup truck full of belongings, ready to move in, and had expected Cassy to assist. But she was nowhere to be found until Brittany pointed at the bedroom oddly annexed to the kitchen. The door was closed to allow Cassy some well-needed rest.
"What is she doing in that bedroom? I thought she said she would sleep on the couch."
"Well, she probably didn't know how twisted my two ponies were. They dragged her to their bedroom last night and had intense sex with her. Hemlock and Nightshade definitely have good stamina. It will probably take Cassy half a day to recover."
"Oh, great. I don't want to tell Cassy what to do with her private life, but if this is hindering my ponies' performance, I won't allow it."
"Believe me, Stardust. Hemlock and Nightshade were fired up like never before. I don't know what Cassy did to them, but they are so ready to race now."
"So, you don't mind?"
"Absolutely not. A short while ago, I would have cared, but now, I'm kind of happy that they had some fun. If they do well today, I will be able to use Cassy as a reward to motivate them."
"Alright. Whatever Cassy can do to help, she should. That's her role, after all. She is a helper."
Brittany, too, was in a good mood. When she woke up this morning, she entered Hemlock's room to wake her ponies up, but when she discovered Cassy crushed between two massive pairs of boobs, she noticed that something in her heart had changed. Something good.
Since Hemlock had closed the door to a romantic relationship with her, the small driver always had trouble digesting this rejection. She had kept her feelings bottled up until recently, when she confessed her problem to Hemlock after the pony show. Hemlock showed her resolve to stay friends with her, no matter how hard it was. The blonde pony was convinced that time would make things better between them.
So, this morning, when Brittany found the three naked girls piled up on the bed and that a sex odor still floated in the warm air, she felt some joy. In the past, she would have raged and yelled, but this time, she had accepted that it was time to move on.
After waking up her two ponies, seeing how energetic they already were, it was a good sign for the training to come. As for Cassy, Brittany didn't give a damn about her. As long as Hemlock and Nightshade were happy, she couldn't care less about that new helper's health status.
Brittany grabbed her racing hardhat and exited the house. Yes, today would be a good day. She would push her ponies to their limits, and they had better to work hard if they wanted to sleep with their new toy again tonight.
"Let's sit on the terrace, Morning Star. It's a beautiful day today."
"Oh, I don't think Sophie would let me do that."
"Aww… Again, Sophie isn't here to tell you what to do. Just sit with me, okay?"
After a short walk along the main street, Ivory had selected a cozy coffee shop where they could sit and sip a warm coffee outside while getting to know each other. It would be a warm day, but this early in the morning was the perfect time to get some fresh air before it became suffocating.
Ivory sat down first on one of the four chairs surrounding the small cast iron table, leaving the onus of the next move on Morning Star, who chose to sit on the one facing her.
"You… You don't want to sit next to me, instead?"
"Oh, I didn't think about that."
"It's okay, don't change seats just for me."
"So, were you looking forward to going out on a date with me?"
"OH MY GOD! ARE… ARE YOU MORNING STAR!?"
The awkward duo didn't even have time to engage in a basic dialogue before a woman who was passing by recognized the elite pony and started screaming in excitement. She quickly jogged around the terrace's railing and kneeled next to Morning Star.
"Oh my God! It IS you!"
"Can I get an autograph?"
Usually, Sophie was the one handling the excited fans. It was not something Morning Star was remotely comfortable doing. She had never understood why people adored her this way; she was just a regular pony. The only thing she had ever wanted was just to run and win, not become famous.
Not knowing what to do, she looked at Ivory, who was more than likely better at dealing with people.
"It's okay, Star. It's important to take care of your fans. You can do it."
The woman dug out a piece of paper from her bag along with a pen and placed it on the table.
"My name is Sammy. Can you write something with my name in it?"
"Yes. How do you spell it?"
Morning Star had never received a big education and barely knew how to write. But Sophie had taught her how to do the minimum; signing her name and memorizing a few messages that would match the everyday situations she would encounter when mingling with her fans. In this case, the woman wanted her name included in the message. The first step was to ask how to spell it. If it was too complicated, she would ask for a shorter nickname. Then she just had to include it in the generic message she had written a thousand times during autograph sessions. Sophie had also told her to say out loud what she was writing so the fan would feel more important.
"Thanks for being my #1 fan, Sammy! Yup! Yup! Morning Star!"
"AWWW! Thanks so much! It's adorable!"
"Can I give you a hug?"
The fangirl stood up and leaned forward before wrapping her arms around Morning Star's neck.
"Awww! Thanks so much! You are the best! Good luck at the Triple Crown! I'll make sure to watch your races!"
Ivory, across the table, just smiled, being patient while her famous date finished with the stranger. Only one thing had bugged her, and it was that she had not received a hug yet. So, seeing Morning Star not hesitating to give one away to someone else stirred some strange feeling in her stomach.
As the fangirl walked away, all proud of her signed piece of paper, Morning Star returned her attention to Ivory.
"I'm sorry about that."
"Oh, it's all good… I mean, you are famous and…"
"WOW! IS THIS REAL!? YOU ARE… MORNING STAR!"
Another woman passing by noticed the elite pony and walked around the railing while pulling a marker and a magazine featuring Morning Star on the cover. Ivory rolled her eyes this time and crossed her arms.
"Can… Can you sign my magazine? I'm a HUGE fan! I'm so lucky."
"Yes. No problem."
"My name is Liza."
"How do you spell it?"
"Thanks for being my #1 fan, Liza! Yup! Yup! Morning Star!"
"Awww! That's awesome! Thanks so much! Can… Can I get a hug?"
Ivory started to have regrets for having chosen to sit outside. Today was supposed to be her special time with her special date, but she had not managed to place a word so far. Yet, she knew she had to be patient because Morning Star was not an average person. Her fame was limitless, and accepting that fact was the right thing to do. Asking her to reject her fans would just be selfish.
Once Morning Star finished with her fan, they attempted another discussion.
"Sorry. That's why Sophie says we can't sit outside when we go out."
"Oh, so that's what you meant earlier."
"Well, it's okay. It's nice to see that your fans love you and…"
"MORNING STAR! OH MY GOD!"
Ivory's fists and teeth clenched when a group of three excited teenagers ran to the railing to talk to Morning Star.
"So… sorry, Ivory… I'll… I'll be quick…"
"No… no problem, Star… It's… It's okay. Maybe we should go inside after."
"Yes. That's what Sophie would do."
The cart was flying on the dirt track, pulled by the two racing machines that were Hemlock and Nightshade. Brittany's intuition had been spot on. Her two ponygirls were blazing today. A stopwatch in the small driver's hand showed that they had just achieved their best 3000 meters time. And not only was it their personal record, it was also a very competitive one.
Hemlock and Nightshade, after weeks of hard work, had almost fully adapted to their new reality. They had learned to pace themself and perform well on the longer track instead of the short and insane 800 meters used at the Super Cup.
"Way to go, girls! That's amazing! You would have won a race with that last lap time.
"That's right. I'm proud of you. You went from useless to amazing in such a short amount of time. Okay, let's go back to the barn and take a break. I'll go get you some food."
Elite racers like those two could eat a large number of calories in a day. Brittany precisely knew how to balance their diet so they would not run out of juice in the middle of a race.
The small driver guided the cart back to the barn. It was only 11 am, but it was scorching outside. There was no cloud in the sky, and the temperature had risen to a cooking temperature already. It was essential to find some well-needed shade to prevent the ponies from overheating.
After untying the cart, she gave her racers some water and let them rest in their stall before heading back to the house to get their lunch.
"Woah, it's so hot today. It's rough."
Sweat pearled on Brittany's forehead and fine dust clouds stayed still in the air behind each of her steps. The dirt didn't contain any more water to weigh it back down to the ground. While racing, at least there was a bit of wind, but staying still or just casually walking was more than unbearable. Nobody in the right state of mind would remain still in a temperature like that. Fortunately, it only took a minute to reach the house's front door.
Coincidentally, as soon as she stepped into the house, Cassy exited the bedroom, visibly still very asleep. The ponies had drained her lifeforce in the most immoral way. Brittany's first reaction to mock her was well-deserved.
"Ah! That will teach you to flirt with my ponies!"
"Oww… I didn't flirt with them… Nightshade didn't leave me a choice."
"Right. Poor you. I have to feed them. Give me a hand instead of complaining."
"Oh, I think I'll stay here instead… maybe take another nap. I'm exhausted."
"That won't be acceptable!"
That last voice was from Stardust, who entered the kitchen with a pile of documents in her hands. There was so much paperwork to take care of and get familiar with that she would be swamped for the next few days. Seeing her helper, who didn't want to help because of an erotic night, wouldn't fly.
"But, Stardust… I'm really tired and…"
"That's your own doing, Cassy. You are going to do everything Brittany tells you to. Everything! Getting our ponies ready for the first Triple Crown race is our absolute priority. Don't forget that. If there is something you can do to help, you will. Is that clear?"
"Aaaalright! Alright! Let me have my breakfast at least, and I'll meet you at the barn after, Brittany."
Brittany smirked again and shook her head.
"No no no! You just had to wake up at a reasonable time like everybody else. Help me with the ponies first, and then it will be lunchtime."
"Aaah! Come on. Stardust, you'll let her make me skip a meal?"
"Yes. Brittany is right. It's your own doing."
As Cassy grumbled and leaned against the wall to sleep a bit more, if only for a few seconds, Brittany rummaged in the fridge and pulled out two food baskets that she had prepared the previous day for her two ponies. This meal would be tuna sandwiches, cheese, and fruits—proteins for their muscles, carbs for energy, and fat to keep them happy and pretty.
"Alright, let's go, Cassy. The ponies are starving. Oh, since you have a free hand, can you grab the rope on that hook for me."
"Sure. I'm a helper, after all… That's what I do… I'm helping!"
The two girls exited the house and walked down the crackling wooden steps. This house was quite old, and it still annoyed Cassy not to know why a rich man like Paul had not indulged in something more luxurious.
"Tell me, Brittany. Why did Paul never buy a better house?"
"What's wrong with our house?"
"Well… Look at it. It must be over a hundred years old. It doesn't really fit your needs anymore."
"You only say that because you don't have a bedroom, Cassy."
"Seriously, Paul was rich. Couldn't he have improved it?"
"Yes, Paul was rich. You are right. But do you know why he was rich? Because he didn't improve the house. Say what you want about that rat face, and I won't give a damn, but don't argue with his financial management. He was ready to sacrifice his comfort to build wealth. Many people don't get that and are poor, like stupid Sophie and that almost-dead Penny. If they had not built that nice interior paddock, I bet they wouldn't be on the verge of bankruptcy. Crushing them at the Triple Crown will teach them the lesson they deserve."
"Even if it's a bit harsh… You got a valid point."
"Damn right I do. Alright, we are here."
Curiously, instead of going to the barn, Brittany led Cassy to the only tree of the complex, the one sitting in the middle of nowhere between the house and the barn.
"Uh? Are you going to feed your ponies under the tree?"
"Are you nuts, Cassy? It's way too warm. You'd have to be a fool to stay outside in the middle of the day when it's hot like this. Give me the rope, and put your wrists together."
"… my wrists?"
"Yeah… Give me your wrists."
"But… why? What are you going to do?"
"Look, Stardust said you had to help me. Do you want to help or not?"
"Well, yes… but…"
"So, stop arguing and give me your wrists!"
Quite puzzled, Cassy reluctantly obeyed and placed her wrist together. As expected, Brittany started winding the rope around them tightly enough to prevent an escape and ended her work with a strong knot. She then tossed the bundle of rope over the biggest branch and pulled on it, forcing Cassy's arms above her head to the point where the cute girl had to get on her tiptoe. She then proceeded with tying the remainder of the rope around the base of the tree.
"ACK! Brittany! What are you doing?"
"I'm setting up a bait."
"A bait!? What are you talking about!?"
"You'll see later. Thanks for your help!"
"Wait! Hey! Come back! Don't leave me here! It's super hot outside! I'm sweating already."
Ignoring Cassy's complaints, Brittany emotionlessly headed to the barn with her food baskets. Her ponies were starving, and it wouldn't be a good idea to make them wait.
"Hehe. That wasn't a good place for a coffee, it seems."
"I'm sorry, Ivory."
"No, not at all. It just means you are popular, that's all. So, what do we do next?"
"I don't know. Sophie gave me money. I think she wanted me to spend it."
"Aaah. Sophie again, uh? Why don't you forget about her just for a day? It's our date. Not hers."
"I'm… I'm sorry. It's just that… she is the one taking care of me and…"
"It's okay, Star. I get it. You are not used to being on your own."
"No. But, Ivory…"
"Do you have to hold my hand when we are walking?"
"I like it. Don't you?"
"I… I don't know."
"You don't know?"
As much as the small Ivory tried to stay positive about her special date, it was hard not to admit that things weren't going as smoothly as she had expected. Despite her awareness of Morning Star's sheltered attitude, she had hoped that the elite pony would have been a bit more joyful. Instead, Star had been anxious since the first second they met. It was as if she had never learned to have fun. Was her training so strict and harsh that she had never been allowed to smile or enjoy life? Did she receive this rigorous training regimen since she was a young teenager? Had Penny and Sophie turned her into a perfect racing machine purged of all joy?
Those were obviously not questions she could ask, but she sure would have liked some answers, not to satiate her curiosity, but to find a crack in Morning Star's armor so she could reach her soul.
Determined not to abandon so easily, Ivory was willing to give her date more time to express herself. But at the moment, something caught her attention; Morning Star was looking around as if she was searching for something.
"Star? What's wrong?"
"You can tell me, you know. Are you looking for someone?"
"No. I'm okay."
"Okaaay. So, what's next, then? Oh, I know. Do you want to go to the theatre and watch a movie?"
"Do they have food over there?"
"Well, they have popcorn… Haven't you been to a theatre before?"
"No. Sophie never took me to a movie."
"Well, Sophie is not here, and I am. So let's go there together."
"And you know what? You can pay for me with your money. Hehe."
Ivory grabbed Morning Star's hand back and pulled her in the direction of the theater. Perhaps the darkness and freshness of the room would make her date relax a bit, and it would be another great opportunity for more hand-holding. Maybe it could be the spark that would start a fire.
After a five-minute walk, the two women arrived at the destination and headed toward the ticket booth.
"Alright, Star. I will let you decide on the movie."
"Hmm… I'm not sure that's a good idea."
"Tsk! You can do it. I believe in you!"
"No, please… I'll give you the money, and you can pay for us."
"Star! That's enough. Do it for me. It would make me happy!"
At that point, Ivory was willing to rough up Morning Star a bit to feel like it was a date and not just an obligation. The elite pony, trembling a little, approached the window where the smiling clerk waited for customers.
"Hi! Welcome to the Reflector!"
"Hello. We would like to watch a movie."
"Haha. You are at the right place, then. Which one would you like to watch?"
"Oh, I don't know. Any movies, I suppose."
"Hmm… We have American Graffiti that is starting in fifteen minutes if you are interested. It is really funny."
"Perfect, that will be 2 dollars each. So 4 dollars."
Morning Star plunged her hand in her pocket and pulled out a handful of bills that she placed on the counter under the clerk's confused gaze.
"Well, that is way too much. I just need 4 dollars."
"… Is there a 4 dollars bill in there?"
Embarrassed, stuck in an apparent dead end, Morning Star turned to Ivory, who quickly understood why Morning Star had been reluctant to purchase the tickets herself.
"Ivory. I don't have the right money. Do you have a 4 dollar bill?"
But before Ivory could even open her mouth to answer, the clerk solved Morning Star's embarrassing issue compassionately instead of judging her.
"No, no! Look! I will take this 5 dollar bill, and I will give you 1 dollar back. Do you understand?"
"You can do that?"
"Haha. Yes. It's okay. Don't worry about it. We do it all the time. And here are your tickets. It will be Room number 3 at 11:30 am."
"Hey! Come back! You left all your money on the counter!"
Morning Star collected her money and stuffed it back in her pocket before returning to Ivory, who looked down, saddened and shameful.
"Hey… What's wrong, Ivory? Did I do something wrong again?"
"You… you could have told me, you know."
"Told you? Told you what?"
"That you didn't know how to use money."
"You said I shouldn't talk about Sophie anymore. She usually buys everything for me."
"I'm sorry for having forced you to embarrass yourself like that, Morning Star. I didn't mean to."
"It's okay. It was way worse when I tried to attack another pony on the track, and I got whipped in front of a huge crowd."
"Hehe. Alright, then. What movie did you choose?"
"The clerk has chosen for me. It's called American Graffiti. She said it's funny."
"Perfect. Let's go inside. I will help you buy popcorn this time."
After feeding Hemlock and Nightshade, Brittany had reattached the double cart to their harnesses and led them outside the barn. The temperature had quickly risen to an almost unbearable level. This next session wouldn't be too long as she didn't want her ponies to get a heat stroke. Their shiny pink latex suits would protect their skin from the harsh sun, but they wouldn't do miracles. They had a good day so far, and having a pony faint because of dehydration would hurt their self-confidence.
"Damn, I almost forgot. Before we go back to the track, I want to show you something."
On a trot, the team headed toward the only tree of the stable. Brittany parked her cart right in front of Cassy, who was still suspended like a criminal and trying to stay up on her tiptoes so the rope wouldn't pull as much on her wrists.
Right away, when Hemlock and Nightshade saw who it was, they got all excited, remembering the terrific time they had with the pretty girl the night before. Hung on the branch like this made her look like a delicious ripe fruit. The small driver jumped out of the cart and walked to her victim.
"Aaah! Brittany, it's so hot! My calves are hurting, and I'm very hungry! Please, untie me before I pass out!"
"Shhh! Just do your job as Stardust asked you to. Don't whine in front of ponies, or else you are going to ruin my whole plan. Just endure it a bit longer."
Brittany turned to Hemlock and Nightshade and told them about the game.
"Listen to me, pony heads! I know you fucked Cassy hard all night, and that's why you were so pumped this morning. So, my question to you is… Do you want to have sex with her again?"
Hemlock and Nightshade briefly looked at each other before nodding energetically. There was no question about it, Cassy was a premium fuck, and they wanted more of it.
"Good. So, here is the deal. We are going back to the track. It's going to be very hard because of the heat, but we will do two laps, and then we will simulate a real race. If you run faster than this morning, we will call it a day, and I'll let you do whatever you want to Cassy until tomorrow. But if you run slower, I'm going to let her hang there until dinner time. Deal?"
The two ponies nodded again, bouncing in place. This was an amazing reward, and they wouldn't waste that golden opportunity. Only one person didn't think it was a good idea.
"Oh, come on, Britt! You can't use me like that!"
"I just did! You are a bait."
"How long will that practice take? I'm dying of heat here. I'm all sweaty."
"It will take the time it takes. Alright, I'm not that cruel. Let me make it more comfortable for you."
"Wait… what are you doing?"
Without warning, Brittany pulled down Cassy's shorts, exposing a cute pair of sweat-soaked pink panties, and then opened her shirt before tying the ends into a knot behind her back, exposing her cute perky breasts to the ponies and the elements.
"Aaaah! You can't leave me like this!"
"What? You want me to take off your panties too?"
"Good. I'll see you soon, then… or at dinner time. And keep quiet, or else I'll make you squeeze a cactus between your buttcheeks."
"Alright, girls… YUP! To the track!"
It was not surprising to see Hemlock and Nightshade drooling that much. They would certainly give their all so that they can get this womanly reward.
"You should have told me."
"I'm sorry. Sophie usually feeds me four or five times a day. I was very hungry."
"You didn't watch the movie because you were too busy devouring your popcorn… and mine."
"You didn't seem to eat it, so…"
"That's not it, Star. It's just that… I was looking forward to our date. But so far, everything went wrong. You have to be honest and tell me how you feel when you are around me, okay?"
The movie turned into a nightmare. A starving Morning Star who had almost skipped two meals in a row had not been able to endure it anymore and wolfed down her very unsatisfying bag of popcorn before sneakily stealing Ivory's. Even that second bag had not been enough to calm down her hunger. Halfway through the movie, not being able to cope with the pain anymore, Morning Star confessed to Ivory that she really needed to eat something else before passing out.
A very frustrated Ivory led her out of the theatre, and they went to buy a bunch of hotdogs from the nearest stand. Now, the two women were sitting behind Pony Exchange to hide from all the fans who repeatedly interrupted their date and to get some needed shade. The heat was just unbearable today.
"Did you even want to go watch a movie with me, Star?"
"… Well… Not really… The reason I have never been to a theatre before is that I never wanted to go. I don't like watching TV. I prefer reading magazines."
"Aaah! You are missing the point! The goal is not just to do the things you like. The goal was to have fun with ME!"
"… I'm… I'm sorry, Ivory. I've never been on a date before. I don't know these things. I'm not very smart."
"Don't say that! You are smart. It's just a different kind of smart."
Ivory hugged her knees for a moment as Morning Star ate her fifth hotdog, nothing too ladylike. It was not her fault, she was an athlete in serious need of calories, but still, Ivory would have liked this day to be a bit more romantic, like in her dreams. She concluded that it wouldn't happen today.
"Alright, Star… When you are done eating, I'll call Sophie, and she will come to pick you up."
"It's okay… Don't worry. I guess it's my fault. I expected something that wasn't there. I thought you would have been happy to spend the day with me. I shouldn't have forced you."
"But… I am happy. I just don't know what to do."
"Yes, you do. It's easy. You just do what you want to do, and I'll follow you. It's simple, right?"
"I don't like many things… I like magazines… and running… and… and…"
"You don't want to date me, do you?"
"You can tell me, you know."
Ivory's heart sank as she received this last blow. This date has been a total disaster, and it was entirely her fault for having insisted so much to make it happen. She should have spent more time with Morning Star to get to know her better before trying to pull off something like that. Their first one-way kiss after the show had been precipitated, and she should have known that it had meant nothing to the elite racer. All Ivory had managed to do since she met Morning Star today was to embarrass her and herself. Thinking that there could have been something more to it had been a foolish little girl's dream.
"Maybe later, Ivory."
"Yes. I'm sorry about today. I'm very anxious. More than I have ever been in my life. In fact, I'm terrified."
"… But… why?"
"Because I'm a racer. At the moment, that's all I am. That's all I must be. If Moonlight and I fail to win the Triple Crown, I will lose everything, and I'll make everyone lose everything. Penny will have to sell our stable, Sophie will be out of a job, Moonlight will return to Tiantang Zhi Ma's stable, and I don't know… I might retire."
"Morning Star! Don't put all that pressure on your shoulder. You can only do your best."
"No… You are wrong, Ivory. I must take all the pressure and stay silent about it. That way, Sophie will be able to focus on her work, Moonlight will be able to race without worrying, and Penny won't feel guilty. Nobody else can do that… but me."
"… So, this is why I'm too much for you right now?"
"Yes. I am saturated. I cannot breathe anymore. When I flip the pages of my favorite magazines, I can't even read anymore. I spend all my free time controlling this big ball of pain in my chest, so it doesn't explode or consume me."
"But… How long can you keep going like this? You are hurting badly, Star. It's not fair."
"I will keep it until the right moment. I can feel it… I can envision it… in the upcoming weeks, on the road to the Triple Crown, I will need to release everything I have in order to go beyond what I'm capable of. I cannot fail. I won't allow myself to fail. I won't let my owner down, I won't let my trainer down, I won't let Moonlight down. I won't allow it. I can't!"
"Hey, give me your hand."
Ivory's delicate fingers sneakily forced their way between Morning Star's ones. The elite pony was trembling as if containing her pain was so difficult. Racer or not, she was just a woman, a powerful one for sure, but a woman nonetheless. She would have loved to love. She would have loved to be happy. She would have loved to feel free. But none of this was possible at the moment.
It was not Ivory's place to decide what was morally acceptable or if Star's attitude was excessive. Ivory didn't know how it was on the race track. What mattered was that Morning Star had expressed her deepest desire, and it commanded respect. There was no room in her heart for love since the pain and self-imposed responsibilities took all the space.
"Do you know what, Morning Star?"
"I love you even more now than before, and I want to give you a little gift."
"… A gift?"
"What is it?"
"You'll see… Open your hand for me."
2900 meters completed… 100 to go. The cart exited the last turn, drifting slightly on the dusty track. If they wanted to beat their best lap, they would have to give all they got… More than all they got.
"YAAAAA! YAAAAAAA! COME ON! YAAAAA!"
Legs burning like molten lava, lungs unable to absorb any more oxygen, almost spitting blood, eyes itching from all the abrasive dust in the air, it was as if Hemlock and Nightshade were racing inside an apocalyptic scenario where everything was dry and yellow. The undulating atmosphere rising from the overcooked dirt was all they had to go through if they wanted to have a chance to win their prize. The harsh crop hits they received and Brittany's yells were more than ever desired and welcomed.
This was Brittany. Her racing style had more in common with a western action movie than a typical race show. The violence of her energy and her ability to push beyond what was possible allowed her to accomplish incomparable results. She was a winner, and her ponies became what she was. Precariously standing on her cart, which would have been an automatic disqualification during a real race, she wanted to give her ponies the best chance possible to break their record. There were no rules here on this damaged track, only speed and madness. Using her legs to let the cart float freely above the bumps, she put her life on the line; a nasty fall was probable, and the consequences would be serious. But she had no fear. What would a few broken bones feel like in comparison to the euphoria of victory?
The ponies and their cart flew over the finishing line, and immediately, Brittany pulled on the reins to slow them down.
"WOaaaah! Slow down… slow down… Walk… Walk…"
Without their bit, Hemlock and Nightshade would have screamed in pain. The race was over, but it would take a moment for their body to calm down enough and their panic to subside. The only thing that felt good was Brittany's words bossing them toward recovery.
"Good girls… walk… You're okay.. You're okay… Okay… stop, stop."
The ponygirls stopped but kept their legs moving to prevent them from ceasing. Brittany quickly jogged to the side of the track and returned with a large bucket of water. It certainly was lukewarm by now after being heated by the harsh sun, but when she splashed her ponies with it, destroying their good look and turning the dust covering their body into mud, it saved the day.
Hemlock shook her head to remove her long wet hair from her face, and Nightshade basked in the cooling feeling that the water had procured her body.
One side at the time, Brittany unhooked the cart from their harness and uncuffed their hands from their waist. Immediately the two ponies let themselves fall on the burning ground to recover a bit.
"Tough one, uh? That was fucking intense. I LOVED it!"
"Oh, you want to know if you beat your best time?"
"Haha… Well… I'm sorry, I reset the stopwatch by mistake. I don't know what your time is. We will just do the race all over again."
Both Hemlock and Nightshade stood up and rushed to Brittany. If this was a joke, it was not funny. They pushed her to the ground and tried to steal her stopwatch.
"HAHA! Stooop! I'm kidding! I'm kidding! Get off me stupid ponies!"
Of course, there was not a chance in the world that she could have stopped them. They snatched the stopwatch off her hand and read the needles.
1.3 second faster. Hemlock and Nightshade had beaten their record and now wanted their reward.
"Yeah! You nailed it! Come here. Let me take your bridle off before you go see her."
Lying flat on her back in the dust, Brittany extended her arms and reached behind Nightshade's head to undo the buckles. And then it was Hemlock's turn.
The two ponies helped each other wipe their drooly chins after spitting out their bit, and then they looked at Brittany, waiting for something very specific.
"Ahhh… yeah yeah… That's fine. Go get her!"
Leaving only a cloud of dust and a small driver behind, they were gone, as if rest wasn't even necessary. Brittany looked at her dirty stopwatch and mumbled something that didn't have a chance to reach the ponies' ears.
"Good thing I stopped the timer a bit before we crossed the finish line, or else they would have been pissed."
Estimating how much time should be added to reflect the real result, she resumed the stopwatch for a brief moment.
"1.8 seconds slower… That won't do. They gave it their all, but they need to do better… much better."
When Hemlock and Nightshade arrived at the tree, Cassy was just hanging limp, covered in sweat, overheated by the afternoon sun, and no longer strong enough to stand. Her head hung over her chest, and she barely reacted when Hemlock called her name.
"Cassy! We made it! We can play together for the rest of the day."
"Oooh… Niiice… I'm glad… to hear."
"We can't wait. Nightshade, let's lick her all over like last night. She loved it, and now she is all sweaty too. She is going to be delicious."
"W… wait… can you… untie me first. I'm… kind of… exhausted. Maybe we could go get… some water?"
"Don't worry about it, Cassy. We will do all the work for you!"
"That was… not exactly… what I meant… but okay."
Not having enough strength left to argue and knowing that the rest of the day would be out of her control, Cassy just gave up. A set of wet tongues slid along her ribcage, all the way up to her armpit. A faint smile appeared on her face. This treatment felt very good.
Nightshade, being a boob lover, quickly switched to Cassy's nipples. She nibbled and sucked on them, making sure to pull gently with her teeth, something her squirming victim seemed to appreciate a lot. Of course, when Hemlock saw that, she hurried and did the same to the other one, but she also took the initiative to slide her hand inside Cassy's drenched panties, the same ones she wore last night.
Since the pretty helper had woken up this morning, she didn't have a second to herself for a shower or minimum maintenance, and it was unlikely that the two gorgeous ponies assaulting her breasts would allow her to have any break until the next morning, though.
When Hemlock penetrated her with her strong fingers, Cassy stopped caring and let the pleasure course through her inanimate body.
She was a helper… and if letting them do such things to her body while dangling from a tree was helping… then she would have fulfilled her role.
"Aaaah! Hemlock… If you… do that… I'm going… to cum…"
"I love it when you cum, Cassy! You are so cute."
"Well, that was a short date."
"Yes. Here… That's the remainder of your money. The clerk exchanged a 5 dollar bill for a 1 dollar bill. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what she did exactly."
"Haha. That's alright. So, did you have fun with Ivory at least?"
"Hey… are you okay? You look sad."
Morning Star looked at the scrolling scenery through the car window. She and Sophie were heading back home, where a lot more work awaited her. She would have to endure a bit longer. Endure everything she had confessed to Ivory, things she had not told anybody else. Only she and Ivory knew what burned inside her chest and how difficult it was to cope with it.
She looked at her right hand, the one she would hide from Sophie and Moonlight until the Triple Crown was over.
Using a little pen, Ivory had written four words very discreetly inside her palm.
"You are not alone."
She had told Morning Star to refresh the writing every day using the same pen she would hide in her stall. And every time she would look at those words, it would be a reminder that her burden was not hers alone to carry and that everything would end well, no matter what would happen. Because she wasn't alone.
Morning Star had firmly believed Ivory's reassuring words.
"Hey, Star? You okay?"
Morning star looked at Sophie and then smiled.
"Yes, actually. I am."
"Good. Want to tell me about your date?"
"Alright, then. Let's put on some music and head home."
"Yes. Can we go run tonight?"
"No, we will do physio. That's what you asked this morning."
"Nooo. I hate physio! I want to run."
"Hahaha. Sure! We will go for a run.
Sophie pushed a cassette in the reader, a music album she had purchased recently, but since she had not rewound the tape, the first song that played was Rock 'n' roll suicide.