Weekly Check-In #32
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Welcome to Brook Haven!
Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
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8/25/2017 - Revamp Executed! 11/3/2017 - Holiday Event Launched!

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 Destiny's Door, @cade thompson
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Grace is wearing dress and shoes R.
Grace ran in thumb over the embossed letters on the card. It was part of the mystery of this day, wasn't it? Part of the set-up, intended to put her in the frame of mind for a masquerade. Her cheeks flushed, the corners of her mouth tugged up. She'd let herself worry that it was a trick, but only for a few minutes. One of the things she'd learned on the ranch was that she couldn't let anxiety rob her of a good night. Someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to make this attractive. She'd even taken it to Helen to ask her to look it over. The other girls hadn't gotten one. This card was for her. Special. The group leaders claimed not to know what it was about, but Grace had a suspicion they knew. A secret admirer? She'd never had one before. She'd never dated before. Daddy would never have allowed it. Here, the rules were unclear, but she had the sense that romance was alright: Sex forbidden. Now the smile faded, the heat on her cheeks brightening hotter. Nobody had told Grace about sex before she'd come to the ranch, and she'd arrived pregnant. Everything had changed when she understood what had happened to her. A chill made its way down her spine, and she took a deep breath. It was time to get moving. She set the invitation down on her bed, then straightened to adjust her dress. For the first time since she'd found out that she was pregnant, it was obvious. The dress did little to hide her swelling abdomen. Staff had known for some time so that they could watch her activities and her nutrition. Some things students did on the ranch weren't safe for someone who was pregnant. She'd even switched to driving classes from her standard dressage. At least Soul had been cooperative with that. She adjusted the waist band of her dress. It came to just below her bust, the satin draping down over her hips and the slightest swell of her belly. At four and a half months she could have continued to hide what her body was doing, but it was pointless. People would find out sooner or later. Her group mates probably already suspected something. Other students didn't likely care. Grace slipped her feet into the flats that she'd chosen for the evening. She'd write a thank-you note to Mr. Vanderbilt for the costume later. Her own parents never would have splurged on such finery. Fingers trembling, she grasped her mask and, with the other hand, the invitation. Her lips pursed, and she hesitated, then turned to leave the cabin. The last one out, she closed the door behind her and moved down the steps. At least she didn't trip. At the bottom, she put the invitation under her arm and put the mask to her face, tying its strings at the back. She was ready. Was she ready? The truth was Grace wasn't sure. Her steps were small as she picked her way down the path, careful not to trip on her dress. It was the first she'd worn since leaving home. Before the ranch she'd never worn pants in her life, so why did the dress feel foreign again? Should she have chosen a suit? No. Those were for the boys. The boys and the people who were somehow in between. She rubbed her fingers over the lettering on the card again. The air smelled of autumn. If she closed her eyes, she could pick out the scent of apples picked the previous weekend, pumpkin spice. Even the faintest scent of coffee, forbidden on the ranch. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and she opened her eyes. The barns where the dinner and dance would be held loomed ahead. Grace gripped the invitation in both hands and glanced down at it again. He'd be wearing a blue tie and mask. She wet her lips and battled tears. What if he wasn't there? What if another boy wore a blue tie and a blue mask? It was harder, now, to shut down the "what ifs." She stepped through the doors. It wasn't magic, not like Cinderella. She'd never been the ugly duckling (like Brieley), only ugly. Heads didn't turn in her direction. A girl somewhere to her right grunted. Her cheeks blazed hot and she straightened her back. At least they're not looking at my body in this dress. It's tighter than it was at the last fitting. In spite of her misgivings, Grace raised her head. There he was. Blue tie, blue mask, and a black tuxedo. Her breath caught in her throat, and her fingers gripped the card tight. She glanced down at it, her eyes examining the text to be sure that she understood it. Hew as taller than she expected, broader about the shoulders. Not a boy: A man. For a moment it felt that her heart had stopped beating. Then it began to hammer. This was her husband, her betrothed. Her father had arranged it, as he had for Brieley and Sera, without telling her. She bit down hard on her lower lip, battled her breathing. Without a word, Grace extended the invitation to him. Finally, she raised her brown eyes to meet his behind the mask. Nobody had taught her how to act in a romantic relationship. She'd only seen her parents, madly in love. They would have broken half a dozen school rules in the first five minutes the way they acted together. She could hardly kiss a stranger, besides. So what did she do? Anxiety prickled in her belly, and Grace lowered her eyes again.
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
The staff that Mr. Vanderbilt had hired in to transform the barns for the night event had done a remarkable job. If he didn't know where he was, he might have even mistaken the venue for someplace else. In place of the rustic feel that often took over the space, even when used for parties, was a whole lot of white. It was perfect really, and he was glad to be officially meeting Grace in the capacity that he planned tonight. Arranged marriages weren't something often practiced in 2017, and the fact that Archer Somers did try to arrange the matches of his daughters said a lot -- both in a positive and negative way. Cade could understand what Grace's father was trying to do, and in some ways, it was really loving. If you looked at it just a little bit differently, it came across as incredibly controlling. Maybe that was why some people in towns had their own quiet objections. At the end of the day, it didn't matter. Archer was going to do what he wanted, and if anyone was going to marry Grace Somers, he wanted it to be him. It was the little things about her that really got him. It was the way she moved, her generally sweet disposition, but what really got to him was that fire that burned in her eyes -- the same fire that had started to spill out on more than a few occasions, according to his mother. "I'll see you later, Uncle Logan." It was always nice to see family at the ranch's events, but this day was a special one. So, he clapped his uncle on the shoulder and excused himself from the conversation. They could catch later on, or even on another day -- he was expecting someone. Ever so slightly anxious, he transferred his weight from one foot and then another as he waited. He'd attempted to imagine how she'd look what felt like a million times, but never had he done her justice. He didn't need the invitation he'd sent her to know who she saw, but he didn't mention it. Extending his hand he took the card and dropped his eyes to read it, face intentionally blank as he pretended to read, then pocketed it. Smiling, he watched as Grace dropped her gaze, and as a result his smile slowly began to drop as well. "Don't do that." Taking her chin in hand, he tilted her face up and took a step forward. His grip wasn't harsh, but he was aware of how close he was, and how demanding what he was doing was. He wasn't going to apologize for it. This was Cade. "You don't need to drop your eyes like that. They're beautiful. I want to see them." His heart was beating fast. He knew the rules, and that meant that he was aware that he was breaking them, but he wasn't going to apologize for it. Running his hand up for face, he leaned down for a kiss. Slow and gentle, sweet, but also demanding he took what he wanted straight from her lips, very aware of her and her discomfort levels so that he could pull back if necessary. After a moment passed, he stepped back, then smiled. "I have something for you." Because she participated in the program on the ranch, he knew she wouldn't be able to keep the present, but it was hers, none the less, and would continue to be when she exited the program. Extending the aqua box, which was wrapped in a white ribbon, he waited for her to take it. Most girls would know what that color meant, but somehow, he figure that Grace Somers didn't have the slightest clue what the trademark blue meant. How many times had he heard his mother tell his father that she loved getting Tiffany boxes? It wasn't anything too extravagant, and maybe he was wrong, but he thought that *pearls suited her perfectly. *click the word pearls
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Grace's heart climbed to her throat as he took the invitation from her. He studied it for a moment, and for an instant dread filled her belly. What if she had the wrong man in a blue tie and mask? There had to be more than him. Her eyes turned below her lashes, scanned the room. Were there others? None appeared in her field of vision. No, this is the right one. This is the one that I was looking for, who sent for me. Papa had something to do with this. She was sure, a gripping certainty that took her breath away. Deacon had wanted Brieley before they wed. Monty had wanted Sera. Had someone negotiated for her? Her eyes brimmed and she bit back the tears. Men didn't want little girls. They wanted women, and women didn't cry when they didn't get their way. Besides, she couldn't be sure. Brieley loved Deacon, and Sera loved Monty. She could be standing before the love of her life. She swallowed, wet her lips with her tongue. They tasted of wax, the texture of her lip balm. Her toes curled inside her shoes. She waited. He'll tell me what to do. That's what Papa always did. Told us what to do and when to do it. Mama had her place in the home, but it came down to what her father allowed, what he wanted from them. He was the one who made the rules, just like Deacon or Monty. Her husband would make the rules too. Was this him? He touched her, and Grace instantly stiffened, then recoiled. "I don't like to be touched." The words came fast. Her cheeks blazed with heat, a fire beneath her flesh, and her eyes danced away from his. His were a shocking shade of green that might have been hazel in a certain light. It surprised her, a little kick in her belly. She'd not seen eyes like that before, so clear, so emerald. The line of his jaw reminded her of someone, though her mind raced too fast to tell her who. I know him from somewhere, but where? It's hard to tell with the mask. They would remove the masks at the prescribed time and not before. For now, she had only the clues she could see, and it wasn't much. His voice was unfamiliar. I've seen him, but not talked to him. Her mind fought to put the pieces together. And he was dominant, the sort of man her father favored. The type of man her father was. She quivered and raised her chin slowly in spite of the broken contact. "Yes Sir." They were quick words, the words that she was supposed to say to her father when he corrected her. Is that what I'm supposed to say? Nobody's made me say it since I've been here. It feels wrong. She swallowed again. "Okay." That was more normal, more typical for her age. It seemed right, though she wasn't sure. He moved, and she tensed. A moment later, a box. She didn't recognize the shade of blue-green, but the name on the lid picked her heart rate up a bit. A girl had to be living under a rock not to know the branding. She gasped, a sharp breath, then glanced up at his face. "This is for me?" Her hands trembled as she took the box and opened it, her fingers slow. Inside, a string of pearls surprised her. This time the tears filled her eyes, and she couldn't blink them back. "I'm not allowed to wear jewelry." Her eyes rose to his, confused, concerned, and frightened.
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
The ranch had rules. Cade knew what they were. After all, it was where he grew up. Even though he didn't work the program, and while the rules weren't exactly the same for him, he was plenty aware of what they were for the teenagers on the ranch. Like that one time he let a friend he'd made have a cup of coffee. It had been a pretty big deal, since the students weren't allowed any. Cade, personally, didn't understand how the students could make it through the day without it. Coffee had been his life support since he hit fifteen. This time he cleared it with his uncle before making his personal exception to the rules. Jewelry wasn't allowed, but this was special occasion, and the pearls were a gift. He'd looked for something special for her, that he thought suited. Grace didn't strike him as the type of girl that wanted gaudy jewelry. She was simple in that beautiful way. She connected with the earth, animals, and people that surrounded her in the most basic, yet complicated, of ways. And so, he'd settled on the pearls, aware that it would be her first set. His mother had once said something about about a girl and her first set of pearls. "They're yours." Not every girl would get a gift because of the masquerade, or not one like Grace had. That didn't bother Cade. He wasn't concerned with "fair", his concern was with the one whom he'd arranged to marry. "You can wear them tonight." It was a backward custom, arranged marriage. An idea that a lot of people thought didn't work, or was a little too controlling. Reality was that it had worked out well for two of the Somers girls that had agreed to participate in something as backward as an arranged marriage. And Grace was pregnant. The latter of the two facts didn't bother Cade a bit, in part because he knew the kind of girl Grace was. Sometimes it amazed him how much he knew from watching her and standing in the sidelines. He hoped that didn't make him too much of a stalker. Holding out his hand, he waited for her to hand them over. A quick glance around the room told him that people weren't focusing on them, which was good. "Let me help." With her standing before him, he knew he'd made the right choice. The pearl bracelet would beautifully compliment her outfit in an appropriate way. It wouldn't attract the attention that diamond ring would. Besides which, as romantic as that sort of an engagement might have been, he wanted her to get a chance to get to know him. If she didn't know what the plan was yet (which he doubted), she'd figure it out soon enough. Eyes focused on her, he allowed his gaze to travel down her body, noting the way the dress hugged in all the right places. He couldn't help but smile. He was a lucky guy. Whatever her mother was going on about, Grace was a real winner; beautiful, smart, and kind -- not something that was all that easy to find.
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
"I mean I'm not allowed to wear jewelry." Saying it again didn't help. Grace cleared her throat and raised her hand, held it to her chest for a moment, debated. It was her father's rule before it had been the ranch's rule. She had grown up to fear his rules, to dread disobeying them. He wanted his girls pure, untouched by makeup or gaudy jewelry. The solution to ensure that their choices weren't gaudy was to not let them wear it at all. Her brow tightened, a furrow forming between the brows. Even tonight, when the ranch had allowed the girls to paint their faces a bit, she'd resisted. Makeup can't hide ugly. It was a reminder that echoed in her mind, something her mother had taught her. Makeup couldn't hide the ugly, and the beautiful didn't need it. She bit down on her lip again, hard enough that her mouth flooded with the metallic taste of blood. Whose rules was she meant to follow now? Her parents'? The ranch's? His? After a moment of hesitation, she extended her hand in his direction. His eyes, beneath the mask, were green, and they were locked on her. She wet her lips, drawing the blood away from them. Her cheeks flushed, and she looked down again, this time to see his hands. They were rough and large, with long, gentle fingers. Young. His hands were young, but scarred. She'd learn his identity later, see his face when the time came. Then she'd know. Was this someone she'd met before? Her skin sang where he touched her, and her heart beat a little faster. The question hung in her mind, drifted, and then settled. She left it unasked. Did my father send you? One thing she knew: He wasn't one of the students. She felt sure that she'd know his voice if he was, recognize his build. "I don't know you." It took her a moment to get the courage to say it. She wasn't sure this was the truth, but it felt right to probe. The room -- the barn -- felt small, closed in, like she couldn't breathe. If this was the moment, her moment, it felt right, like she had imagined it. Voices carried through the barn, the louder sounds echoing from the rafters. Food wafted an aroma of warmth and comfort in spite of the theme. A shiver went down her spine, and her stomach tightened, then rolled with hunger. She'd been over the menu, would only have to miss one course. That as good for a pescetarian. No doubt her group mates would devour the lamb, but not for her. Had her parents told him? Had they even sent him? Her fingers on her right hand ran over the smooth surface of the pearls. "They ward off evil spirits," she said in a quiet voice, cautious, probing. Does he know that already?
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
"No. You don't know me yet." It was a statement of fact. Grace hadn't met Cade in an official capacity. No one had taken her by the hand and introduced him as the man that she would marry. It was his responsibility, according to Archer, to move forward. Her father could have pulled her from the program, and given her the news, but he didn't want to. There was something in the older man's eyes. A pain. It was obvious when he spoke about Grace, that he loved her, worried about her. There was something about his insistence that she stay at Brook Haven. It wasn't relief in the way you might think you'd see it on a person's face. It was almost as if he didn't have to worry as much with her at the ranch. Cade had a feeling that he worried more about Grace when she was with her mother, than when she was away from their home. And that too, was confusing. He'd met Saren, and he'd heard whispers people in his family thought he didn't. But he'd yet to put all the pieces together in a way that made sense. What he did know about Grace's mother, was that she was stubborn, beautiful, and hard on her girls. Especially Grace. "You're father said these would fit you." If this wasn't what she wanted, then he would accept that, but before they moved forward, he wanted to know. Was she even interested in marriage? What about one arranged by her father? Could she be happy with that? Would she be? He had quite a few questions. Smiling, he stared at her face, noting the slightest cut on her lip. His hand itched to reach out to wipe it away, but he held back. She'd said she didn't like to be touched. And it wasn't any real wonder. Anyone who knew Grace, or knew of her, had an opinion on the situation she was in. But as far as Cade was aware, no one had moved to press chargers against the man who had assaulted her. He didn't attend the ranch, not as a student. It was his family's. No, it was his uncle's. While he did volunteer, he had other projects going on -- some of which would effect her, should she decide she was interested. The food smelled great. The event's purpose was to give some of the students opportunities. So many of the teenagers on the ranch never had a chance to attend a formal dinner and dance, so it was a special occasion. The night's menu was elegant, and sounded exquisite. Each dish came with it's own drink pairing, and already, the aromas from the food were making him hungry. Glancing toward the door, he smiled as he noted his parents entering together, arm in arm. Then he noticed that it wasn't only his parents near the entrance, but Saren and Archer Somers as well. Extending his arm, he locked eyes with Grace. "Why don't we go sit down? I can answer any questions you have." He knew where they were sitting, because he'd made sure of it. Most people were standing and socializing. Taking a seat at the table would give them a bit of added privacy.
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
The room spun, light reflecting at odd angles. Grace caught her breath and, a moment before her mind could black, reached for her partner's arm. Her breath came fast, ragged, anxious. "My father said?" He'd never allowed her to wear jewelry before. No matter how far she searched, she couldn't comprehend whether there had been a moment with Brieley or Sera, either. He surprised Brieley with the wedding. She didn't know where we were headed until we got there and she found out it was her wedding. It would be impossible for Grace to know whether Papa had allowed Brieley to wear jewelry after he had promised her. "I should sit down." Her dress choice seemed a poor choice. It fit tight at the top with plenty of room for her growing belly. She hadn't had to have it altered, which had seemed good at the time. Now she wondered. Does he know that I'm pregnant? I'm not sure if they told Mama and Papa. Men don't marry girls who are pregnant, do they? What little she knew about sex came from knowing men preferred to marry virgins, and she ought to hold out for as marriage. Grace's cheeks blazed a hot crimson; The barn was crowded, bodies crushed in everywhere. People stood, chatted. Sitting seemed a good idea. She nodded her head. "Yes. We should sit down." Grace swallowed her anxiety, squared her shoulders, and released his arm. She'd accepted enough help during her lifetime. It wasn't as though she had chosen to wear heels. Other girls teetered on them, unaccustomed to their height. She had chosen, instead, to wear sensible flats that suited her condition. I don't want to fall flat on my face and I'm worried about turning an ankle. These shoes are fine. Not as comfortable as my boots, but at least I'm not tripping about. A girl in a blue dress proved her point and stumbled into a boy in a black suit and red tie. It was nice to have had the choice, but Grace had considered the number of girls who had never worn heels in their lives. Every girl at this party wanted to be pretty, and most of them spent their days dirty and sweaty. It's a nice treat to come out dressed up like this, but some of them didn't think it through so well. The corners of her mouth twinged, and she gave a small, merry laugh. When was the last time she had felt pretty before tonight? Even if she thought about it and concentrated, she couldn't remember one occasion when she'd felt pretty. Tonight was different, new, exciting. Her heart hammered, and she took his arm without looking in his direction. Whether she liked to be touched or not, she would behave. "My father sent you." She him to lead her to the table where their numbers waited for them. It told her nothing about his identity behind the mask except that he probably lived on the ranch. [i]He belongs here, one way or another, but I doubt he's a student. Papa married Brieley and Sera to older men, I suppose. Deacon's only so old, but Monty's a lot older than Sera. He could be a staff member. But wouldn't I know him?"[/b] That gave her pause. She reached for the chair to pull it out.
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
The fact that she took his arm made him smile, but he was quick to drop it as he guided her toward their seats. It was quieter, the chatter of the crowd dissipating with each step they took. Sitting at the table would give them a few moments of privacy, and him a moment to address the question left unspoken. He was grateful that she'd chosen to attend without any make-up. While he wasn't the sort of guy to say that girls shouldn't wear it, he had to admit that he was more attracted to those that didn't need it. Grace was one of those girls. I doubt she had any clue though. She wasn't confident on a good day, that was something he'd picked up between observing her and speaking with her father. Whatever went on at home, she'd yet to express any sort of confidence on the ranch, and that worried him. She ought to have something she was proud of. But she tried. She tried harder than a lot of teenagers on the ranch, and it seemed go unnoticed more often than not. He hadn't missed the fact that she'd chosen not to wear make-up or heels. Her dress was designed not only for practicality, but suited her. That was something he could appreciate. So many of the teenage girls at the event had chosen items that didn't suit, or that they didn't have experience with. In Cade's opinion, that only made those that chose more suited options stand out even more. Not that he could point any of them out -- his attention was on Grace. As they reached table, he noticed that she reached for the chair, then shook his head. "I've got it." Taking the chair in his own hand, he pulled it out for her that gestured at it. "Have a seat." The problem was that now that they were in private, he didn't know how to say what he'd wanted. "You look beautiful." It was a start, though not much of one. Tell her already. There's no use dragging her out. She already suspects that something's up. Self-talk wasn't enough to shake the nerves he'd attempted to hide. Careful not to make noise, he pulled out the chair next to her and took a seat after her. Her question was more of a statement, but he didn't pay that much mind. "Sort of." It was a true answer. Her father hadn't told him what to do, but he had given him permission to marry her after he'd requested it. "He gave me permission to marry you, but the masquerade was my idea." It was Cade's opinion that Grace needed a bit of magic in life, and not the sort that she was accustomed to. He owed it to her, in his mind, to woo her. He wanted her to feel special, because to him, she was. There would come an official time for him to take off his mask, but damn if he didn't want to do it right in that moment.

grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Grace's upbringing had never trained her to deal with boys. Dating, sex, these were things that waited for marriage. She knew her parents together. They teased, they laughed, they played, they touched. That was what a marriage looked like, but how did one court? Brieley never had and Sera's courtship had happened outside of the home. Grace had never observed it. I don't know if I'm supposed to touch him, how to talk to him, what I should say to him. Am I supposed to let him touch me, or should I ask him not to? His hands felt better than The Pie Man's. That, at least, was a comfort. She stood back, her eyes on his hand as he gripped the back of the chair. It scraped the wooden boards beneath it, dragging its unshod feet over the distressed surface. That's going to leave a mark on the wood. They should have put shoes on the chair's feet. That way it wouldn't damage the wood. It's kind of sad to think of it that way. Her eyes fell to the wood beneath, a small moan in her throat. The barns fascinated her with their rustic beauty. A scrape somehow managed to enhance the wood more than detract from its beauty. Sometimes scars make a thing more beautiful. Look at the Curry twins. Oh! How she admired those girls! Not because of their scars, but because it somehow enhanced them. Their anger, their righteousness. Grace would have loved to be more like them. It took a moment to clear her mind, and when she did, Grace blew out a slow breath. "Thank you." At least she could be polite. She slid into the seat and settled her weight down and back. The right hip ached, and she shifted until she had found some comfort. It's getting more difficult to be comfortable. It's hard to imagine Mama going through this every time she got pregnant. If this is what it's like, I'm not sure that I can pop out the seven girls she expects. The thought made her giggle, and she covered her mouth with her hand to suppress it. Everything about their family was archaic. Or maybe the right word was "arcane." It could be it was a combination of both. "I don't eat meat." She offered this as an apology, a tone of embarrassment in her voice. "I won't be able to eat the meat course. They gave us all a menu ahead of time." Does he already know this about me? How much does he know? What did Papa tell him already? Her father would have prepared him for her, told him the things he needed to know. Does he know that I'm clumsy and that I put the wrong ingredients in the food? That I might embarrass him? That I'm 'the worst cook at Brook Haven? Worry washed through her, but she straightened and put her napkin on her lap. "Did you ask him, or did he ask you?" Were these the right questions to ask?
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
There was something about her. He never could place it. Was it the way she laughed out of nowhere, or the sparkle in her eye? It could have been the way that she had compassion for everything, especially everything living. Or the way that her hair seemed to almost sparkle in the right lighting. Was it the way that light almost haloed around her body, as if she was an angel on earth? Saying these things out loud might sound silly to some, but that didn't change the way that he felt about her. As he'd mentioned to his mother on more than one occasion; beauty was so much more than skin deep. Those with good, kind, and sweet souls stuck out. That was Grace. Too bad she didn't know it yet. Fidgeting in his own chair, he finally found a comfortable position facing her direction. His lips pulled up into a small smile, he listened her question before he shook his head and chuckled. "I asked. He doesn't put a want ad out in the paper." He couldn't help it. Her innocence was sweet, and refreshing, if he was honest. "I work with him over at the station." He did know that she was vegetarian, and that was something he planned to talk to her about. He wanted to know where she stood on the issue and why. While Archer had given him some information, he hadn't given everything he needed to know, and some of that was best coming from Grace, herself. "He loves you, you know." It seemed silly to say, but the way that Archer had grilled him, then taken his time thinking about it and put him through hell until the moment that Cade told him what was what, said so much. It was all a test to see how patient, kind, and firm he was. And evidently, he passed. He swore he'd never forget Archer's words. I needed to know that you were patient enough to be able to handle the rough days, because they happen. Kind enough to deserve her. And firm enough to be able to handle her in trying moments. Those are the qualities that make a good husband, and without them I wouldn't have given you permission. Without them, you wouldn't deserve her. The way he spoke of any of his girls said so much about them. What he wouldn't do for any of the women in his life. And he was one of the first at the station to speak up when one of the guys was out of line complaining about theirs. They either had work to do in their relationship, or they needed to forfeit it and work on themselves until they started another one. Sitting with Grace, he understood the look that Archer got, because he had it too. He was smitten. "You're dad mentioned that you were vegetarian. I was glad to see that so much of the menu tonight was meat free. You eat fish, right?"
[/QUOTE]
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Heat rose to Grace's cheeks, a slow, escalating burn that increased her sense of exposure. Brieley had married first. Deacon works with Papa. Monty used to too, before... Well, before. She'd never spent much time at the station. That, too, had been Brieley's domain. Papa loved her more than he did me. It was easier for her to be there, to be around him. Besides, she could cook for the men. I have nothing to offer. Mama had impressed upon Grace over and over again that she wasn't as good as her sisters were. The food she cooked tasted wrong, her methods needed improvement. Her sewing technique was terrible, and she'd never been given the opportunity to learn how to knit. Grace was, in every way, only average compared to her exceptional sisters. How was she to know how her father had found them husbands? And shouldn't it be different for her? They were remarkable, and she was nothing. I belong in the discount bin next to them. They're showcase pieces, I'm nothing important. Nothing special. Maybe he could put an ad out in the paper. I bet he wouldn't get any responses, anyway. She bit down on her lower lip again, this time her tongue exploring the gash where she'd bitten it before. Her stomach churned with nerves. The things in her head were inappropriate to say, so she kept her mouth shut. It was better to stay quiet when you didn't have anything worthwhile to say. When was the last time Grace had anything worthwhile to say? "I didn't know anyone thought of me." It seemed an innocuous statement, and she only hoped it was right. If not right, at least not the wrong thing to say under the circumstances. "I've never visited the station. The only place Mama wanted me to go was on my runs, or to the farmer's market. I don't suppose you've had one of my pies." He'd have led with that if he had. Grace's were the worst pies that her family brought to the farmer's market. Only one person had ever bought them on purpose, and this wasn't him. She was sure of it. His hands feel different, and he's taller than he was. Her heart picked up a beat. It was a hard thing to think about, something which she would prefer to ignore. Every body who looked in her direction, every man who gave her attention, she wondered. Even David made her uncomfortable, and Jack before him. The color drained from her cheeks, leaving her chilled. I've never told anybody about it, though I'm pretty sure that's how I got pregnant. Mama and Papa didn't want me to know about those things. Does he know I'm not... pure? Grace shook her head and smoothed the napkin down over her thighs. "My dad doesn't know me. I'm not his favorite daughter." For years Grace had believed she could do more, be more, work harder and her parents would love her. Since she'd come to the ranch, she had discovered that some of it wasn't her fault. She could have been more obedient, more respectful (though it was hard to see how), and that might have changed the way that her parents saw her. But their love for her was up to them. There's nothing that I can do to make them love me more. If they don't, I can't change that. I'm not responsible for that. In a lot of ways, Grace had been unraveling the cord that her friends were braiding. They had to learn to accept responsibility while Grace had to learn to give it up. She twisted her fingers together in her lap and stared down at them for a long moment. "I'm pregnant." The words came fast, uncertain, her voice trembling. "Four months. I'm not showing so much yet, but I will be soon. Men don't like to marry women who're pregnant or have been touched by another man." Grace cleared her throat. "I eat fish, yes."
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex), broken family
Cade hadn't expected the meeting to be perfect. In his mind, the whole event was a lot more romantic than it was turning out to be. Her distrust of him was obvious, and part of him damned her parents for making her feel so inadequate that she thought no one could have an interest in her. Weren't they supposed to be more progressive than that as a Pagan family? Sure, Archer could be a controlling man, but hadn't he and his wife wanted to build their children up? It hadn't occurred to him that it was possible for them to be that backward. He might have expected it from the Malcolms, the family that ran the Holy Trinity Church, but with the Somers it felt out of place. Cocking his head to the side, he stared at her for a moment. He was having a hard time understanding. Some of it didn't fit together the way he'd like. He'd spoken with both Deacon and Monty. Both men had expressed that it had taken Brieley and Sera, both of whom were quite bold in that family, some time to come into their own. Some days they still struggled. He knew going in that Grace came with her own issues, but he hadn't expected this. Her self-confidence was so far down the toilet that he wondered how it was that she got up in the morning. According to her, her father didn't care about her. Everyone knew her mother was harsh with her. She didn't see her own beauty, and she couldn't see what she would bring to the table. Add all of that to the fact that she seemed to think she'd committed some immortal sin by being pregnant, ant it was an almost impossibly heavy load. For a moment, he narrowed his eyes on her. Watching as she fidgeted, as if she thought he'd lash back at her in some way. Feeling it on his face, he relaxed, softening his gaze and his voice as he spoke. "I know." It seemed like a simple answer, but it was honest. He already knew that she was pregnant, and so did her father. There were some blurred lines about whether or not her mother was. Given the dress, and the way it hugged Grace in an appropriate but attractive way, she'd likely figure it out, if she hadn't already. Was it his place to tell her that her father knew too? He didn't know. It might cause more problems for her. More fretting, and that wasn't something she needed on top of everything else going on in her life. "I can't imagine why it would've put me off. Unless you had someone else in mind to marry?" The ranch knew about her pregnancy, which was how both he and her father had found out. They also all knew enough about Grace to deduce that it hadn't been an act of rebellious young love. She hadn't spoken to anyone about it, but given her confusion on how she came to be in the state she was, one could assume. Another thing that baffled him. If she wasn't interested, he'd respect that. He didn't want a wife who married him out of obligation.

grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Grace jerked. Her eyes blinked rapidly several times. She put her hands up, each gripping its opposite shoulder. Behind her mask her cheeks colored, then drained. "No!" Only one man had ever touched her the way that a husband ought to touch a wife, and he smelled strange and wore one of those caps that golfers wore. Flat cap. It's called a flat cap. I used to like the way that it looked, but now I hate them. Sometimes Mr. Logan wears one, and I hate that hat. No word could possibly be too strong for how she felt about that look. A shiver went down her spine and she shook her head. "No. I don't want to marry anybody, and there's nobody who wants to marry me." The irony was lost to her, at least for the moment. She'd never given much thought to marriage. Her mother didn't like her. How could she expect her father to find someone who was willing to put up with the train wreck that was Grace Somers? I can't even bake a pie right. I'll never be able to cook him dinner, or sew his buttons on. Everything I do is a mess. Is Papa so eager to get rid of me that he'd lie about what he's getting if he chooses to marry me? Her eyes burned, and Grace turned her head away, dropped her hands back into her lap, and gazed down at them. "I don't understand. Why me?" If she'd had some time to think about it, she might have had a different series of questions, but this had happened quickly. Is this what Brieley felt like at the altar, without any choice? At least he's asking me, right? The trouble was that she still didn't know who he was. For that matter, she didn't know who she was. It took her a moment, but Grace shook her head. "No. I trust my father's judgment." Did that mean obligation? No, she felt sure it didn't. Brieley and Sera have some of the best marriages I've ever seen. In town people are always fighting and bickering and yelling at one another, but they've both been married a while and they still hold hands. That was important to her. Grace wanted that sweet romance, but she'd never dreamed that she'd have it. "I just don't understand why you'd choose me." He was clearly older than she was. "Why not Layne, or Della, or Carter?" They were prettier, more talented, did the right things. Carter even had a good social life and had gone to a good school. Not everybody could make it into Interlochen. There were only so many ways to ask the same question, and she clenched her jaw and sniffed. "No. No I want to." It didn't matter if she knew who he was. If this was what her father wanted -- and he had asked for her -- then it was what she wanted, too. And I know he's not the pie man. He didn't wear the flat cap. This time her eyes rose to the top of his head, and she smiled, a slow, quirky grin that spread to her eyes.
cade thompson
EMT • 19 YRS
ISTJ
Occupation
EMT
Nickname
Cade
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
promised
Partner
Grace Somers
Riding Style
Western
Apple
is
Apple Jacks

Breed
quarter horse
Gender
mare
Age
9
Disciplines
reigning
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is Offline


Age
26
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she/her
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GMT-5
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13 Posts
200 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
15 Oct 2017 for @grace somers
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex), broken family
The more people that showed, the louder the hum of chatter became. It wasn't so loud that any one person was louder than the other, but the group as a whole seemed to increase their volume. Watching Grace stumble over her own words, and try to piece together her thoughts, he was grateful he'd had them come sit. This was a private conversation; not something he needed other overhearing. Her answers left him confused. He wasn't sure what she wanted or what she was saying, so he chose to remain silence, allowing her to continue. When you don't understand something a girl or woman says, give them a moment. They'll either explain themselves or talk in circles until they realize what they said made no sense. That was something his dad had taught him, when he'd found himself frustrated with his mom. Leaning back, he stared at her for a moment. Her smile was infectious, he couldn't stop himself from reciprocating. "I chose you because I like who you are. You're different from Layne, Della, or Carter. It wasn't any of them I wanted." No one had to sell her to him. It wasn't like Archer had pushed her on him like unwanted trash. Cade had gone Archer, and he hadn't expected him to say yes. He didn't have a clue as to what her father had done to marry Sera or Brieley, but he hadn't had to work on getting Grace matched up with someone. Cade had grown up in the same town as her, years ahead, but he knew who she was even if she didn't know him yet. One of those perks of being able to stick to the sidelines and observe. lo "You're sisters are great." Placing his hand on the table, he sighed as he looked her head on, refusing to drop his gaze. "But they aren't you. Carter adventurous and theatrical, and that's never been my thing. Della is sweet and has a kind heart, but there's something under the surface with her. She's going to need to work on figuring out what that is before she's ready to settle down. And Layne isn't ready, and certainly isn't right for me." It was okay that none of them were right for her. At the end of the day, the reasons her had chosen Grace were numerous. The list included but wasn't limited to her kind soul, giving nature, and the fire that burned beneath the surface. One day, she was going to come into her own, and he wanted to be standing by her when she did. She was going to be one hell of a woman. Of course, that was what he'd observed, there was always a chance that he might be wrong. His gaze settled, eyes locked on hers. "I think it's time you stop holdin' your sister's on pedestals an' puttin' yourself in the dirt." She wasn't helping herself. Her daddy had mentioned something about her mom being hard on her at home, but as far as Cade was concerned, she was the best of the bunch of them.
grace somers
Student • 17 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Gracie
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Single
Partner
Riding Style
English
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.

It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.

Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.

This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.

Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.

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anam
is
slánaitheoir manam

Breed
Irish Cobb
Gender
Gelding
Age
6 Years
Disciplines
Dressage
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
450 Points
Wellwader
Mustang
15 Oct 2017 for @cade thompson
TW: arranged marriage, references to psychological and emotional abuse, references to rape, teen pregnancy (by rape), tension with (abusive) parents, romeo & juliet relationship (no sex)
Grace would never recover from a lifetime of comparison in a single evening. Her mother could compare every mistake she made in the kitchen or garden with her sisters. Each one of them was remarkable in her own way, while Grace was plain (if not downright ugly, in her own opinion). If her mother was to be believed, she was also daft. She swallowed and twisted her hands in her lap. Tonight's costume had left her with nothing to do with her hands. If she still lived at home, she would have carried a bag. I had that old canvas bag that I took with me everywhere so that I could store things. It's weird to think back on it because I never had anything to store. The ranch hadn't been so different for Grace in most ways, but tonight she wanted the strap in her hands. It would have given her something to work with, to tangle with her hands, to twist. Anxiety left her wanting something to occupy her attention. Without a tool, she was forced to focus her attention on the young man sitting next to her. Perhaps that was what they would have wanted from her if she'd been living at home. The words "you don't understand" clung to her lips. She bit them back, chewing on her lower lip instead of releasing them into the air. I can't tell him what it's like at home. People don't understand what it's like to live in their shadow all the time. I'm not the one making the comparison: They are! And now, in a way, so was he. At home she couldn't hold a candle to their greatness. Here, things were different. Most of Grace's talents stood out among the other students on the ranch. She was a better cook than most. She had incredible skill in the gardens. Things grew around her. Her horse responded better to her than he did to anyone else. These were things that made her remarkable. Yet at home, she was the worst cook, a fool in the gardens, and she couldn't sew on a button. How could it be so different here than it was there? Grace blinked in surprise and raised her head to look at him, examining his eyes more closely. "You know me from here, not from in town. Then how do you know my sisters?" If her mother had any influence on what he thought of her, his opinion would, no doubt, be different. It hadn't crossed her mind (though it might later) that her sisters had both married men who worked with her father. Deacon was a firefighter, and Monty was a fire scientist. Not that her father went looking for the men who would marry his daughters. They often came to him. Hadn't her companion already said he sought her father out? She tugged down hard on her skirt, fingers knotting in it. The garment felt strange and unfamiliar. She'd grown up in skirts, but felt more at home on the ranch, in blue jeans. "It's different here." This time she held his eyes, examining the parts of his face she could see beneath the mask. "I'm nothing special here, either, but I'm not worse than everybody else." Some of the people here could cook. A few were okay in the gardens. At home, Grace was terrible. At Brook Haven she was, well, average.

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