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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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 I meant to do that, @montana sheridan
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion
Jade didn't always argue with her mother. In fact, most of the time they had a pretty good relationship, but it made those moments when they couldn't see eye to eye that much harder for her. If I have to hear one more time about how her father never would have let her even have a computer, let alone spend so much time on it, I think I'm going to lose it! She could feel her mother staring at her from across the room, but she refused to look up at her, or remove her headphones. If she acted like she didn't notice she was there, she might just go away. The whole issue had started when Jade had decided to use her computer for a school project earlier and got distracted. Her mom had caught her red handed in a chat service, and then the lectures had started. Thankfully, there were enough small children around the house to provide enough distraction that a promise that it wouldn't happen again seemed to solve the problem, at least until Sera started to make a point of entering the room and lecturing her about how the computer was a privilege and that if she wanted to keep it, she needed to make sure that she was doing the right things. Having finished her school work fifteen minutes ago, she wasn't actually doing anything wrong by playing on gothicat world. Unfortunately, that didn't change the twisting feeling in her gut when her headphones were removed from her head, taking her from the world of Rachel Platten music and transplanted her back in her living room with a mother that wasn't too pleased. "Didn't we just have this discussion?" The words were there so quickly that it took a moment to realize that while she was certain that just a minute ago her mother was staring at her from the kitchen, she was now behind her. "I already finished my work. It's in your inbox and I printed it out already! I swear!" The feeling that she had to defend herself was strong. It wasn't that anyone was yelling at her, but rather that look of disappointment that had her on edge. "And you would've known that if you'd bothered to even ask." The slamming sound of her own computer made even her wince, and she sighed. She needed space, and that was a feeling that was becoming more and more frequent. Before she could stand up, her mother started on her again. "Don't even think about running off. You didn't do your chores this morning, and now your Dad's out there working. I suggest you go help him, if you're done with your school work for today." It wasn't a suggestion and she knew it. The problem was, it wasn't her chores that weren't done this morning, and she was growing tired of picking up the slack of cousins that didn't like her (and on some days didn't even consider her family). It wasn't worth arguing with her mom about, and so she set her laptop carefully on the table and stood without a word before turning toward the back door. Anything she said at the point was going to be wrong. Part of her wondered if her mother was pregnant again, but she dismissed it with a shake of her head as she crossed the room, stepped in the kitchen and stopped by the back door to put on her boots. Sometimes it feels like the twins aren't the only ones who don't always like me. She'd been about to open the door when Willow bumped into her, dressed in a dance leotard. "Don't you like it? Momma made it for me." The way she spoke was innocent, and Jadyn smiled down at her, then patted her head. "It's perfect, Will. Be good in class today. Yeah?" Dance was something she missed, along with her tumbling, but she didn't bring it up -- she'd dropped it while her dad was overseas, and with so much on her parents' plates, she didn't feel right asking for it back. Her mother entered the kitchen, but she didn't say anything as Jade stepped away from her little sister and pulled down two water bottles from the cabinet then filled them with lemonade. It was hot out there, and something cold to drink would be nice. Of course, because the lemonade was out, Will had to ask for some. It wasn't really her question to answer, but before she could say anything, her mom was taking the pitcher from her hand and putting it back into the refrigerator as she explained to the six year old that she could have some after dance class. She didn't stay to listen to whether or not Willow tried to argue, but slipped out the back door with the bottles in hand, as quietly as possible. She'd been right, it was hot out. The sun beat down relentlessly, but there was obviously work to be done, so she headed toward the barn to see what it was that he needed help with. It wasn't often anymore that her dad was at home. He spent a lot of time at Brook Haven, and she couldn't blame him for it, sometimes she wished she could work there too. Her mom was a good woman, but most days she didn't feel like she really belonged, and part of her wondered if her dad felt that way too. "I come bearing refreshments." Jadyn didn't mind doing hard work. In fact, most of the time she did it not only without complaint, but also without even needing to be asked. She had a lot of privileges where she was, and she tried to show her appreciation by helping out, but her dad looked tired, and sweaty. She knew immediately what it was that he'd been doing -- mucking out Dream's stall. "Sorry, Dad. I was going to get it after I was done with my project." It wasn't like her to forget or neglect her horse, and she had done her chores that morning, except for that one. With her arm extended, she held out the green water bottle for him, and waited for him to take it. She'd finish the job if he wasn't done already, and if he was maybe they could go for a walk.
montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
Work, or so he believed, helped to keep Monty's mind from wandering too far. Idle time made for memories he didn't care for. When he worked, Monty could avoid thinking about the war, or the time that he spent captured. It didn't always work as well as it should, but it provided a respite, at least for a while. Mucking was the kids' responsibility. They took care of their own horses, and when they didn't, they faced consequences. He didn't mind doing the job, even if it was hot. But Jadyn and the twins had to learn how to take care of their own responsibilities. He'd be having a talk with all three of them later that evening, and there would be consequences. He straightened and leaned on the pitchfork, head turned toward Jadyn. "We'll talk about that later." Lemonade sounded good, and he rested the pitch fork against the wall to take a bottle. Thirsty, he tipped it back and chugged half the bottle at once. "I know you've got a lot to do around here, but this is your responsibility. I work and Mom's busy with the kids. Dream is your responsibility to take care of." She wasn't the only one who had been shirking her duties. Still, he wasn't comfortable addressing that with her. The twins would have their moment to hear what would be happening as a result of their absence from chores. Jadyn had been doing theirs. Sera had filled him in on the situation. It was complicated. Her chores needed to get done regardless of whether she was doing the twins' chores. That meant more work for Jadyn. He couldn't ask Sera to do it, and it wasn't fair to make Jadyn do it either. The twins were about to face some serious consequences. "I don't suppose you brought sandwiches, too?" His stomach growled. Days off didn't mean rest when one worked a farm. Theirs was small compared to the in-laws, but it still required him to bust his butt every day. At least it fed them, and fed the well. "Why don't we head inside and get something to eat?" He'd been back for months and still had weight to gain. "I'll even cook." He winked at her. Monty wasn't the world's best cook, but he was strong in the kitchen. Sera was better than he was, but he liked to take some of the pressure off of his weary wife. She worked too hard most days, and compared to what he did, he felt like she was super woman. Sure, he looked after a group of troubled teenagers, but he had more help than she did. That was another thing he ought to be talking to the twins about. It wasn't their responsibility, but they were part of this family. Before long Sera would be pregnant again. They needed to pull their weight and learn some skills. If they weren't careful, they could wind up at Brook Haven themselves. "Grab the wheelbarrow and dump it. I'll put the fork away and we can head inside for a snack."
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion, adoption issues
On a good day, they were busy. It was all a part of owning a homestead, or at least that was what her parents said. Most of the time, she was really grateful. She had opportunities to learn things other people didn't have a clue about, but other times, she did wish that things were just a little bit easier. With her cousins ditching their chores, she'd found there was a lot of slack to pick up every day. She was tired a lot of the time, and she cherished the moments that she could get away. Her rides with Dream. Her time over at Brook Haven. Even her long walks and swims. They all played a roll in helping her to unwind and find her happy. With school starting up, a lot of that had changed. Morning came earlier, and sleep came later with a lot less recreational time in between. Or at least that was how it felt to her. The smell of the barn always brought her such comfort. Maybe it was stupid, silly, or even just plain weird, but she loved to be out there with the horses. The smell of the hay and feed, the sound as they chuffed and huffed to say hello. It all made her feel like she belonged, and that was a big deal for her, especially lately. Her dad's response that they'd talk about it later had her dropping her shoulders. Part of her had hoped that he would take her apology and promise, and that they could move forward from there. Discussing it later didn't sound like all that much fun. She didn't argue though, she knew better. A simple nod of her head in acknowledgement was all that was needed. Tucking her own bottle of lemonade her arm, she stepped forward then grabbed the wheel barrel and started out of the barn to dump it. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't hungry. She was always hungry. Her grandmother said that it was because she didn't eat meat, and Jade's only response to that was that the fact that she didn't eat meat contributed to her not being fat. Since then, she and Saren mostly passed like ships in the night, aware that the other was there but never coming into contact. "Mom and I made some bread this morning, if you want sandwiches." It had been one of those early morning tasks that she'd stumbled through, but she hadn't messed it up this time, but part of that was because Sera had reminded her twice to check the recipe. She wasn't a horrible cook by any stretch of the imagination, but she wasn't as naturally gifted as Sera was or Willow likely would be. She tried, and it mattered, but it didn't stop the voice inside her head telling her that she wouldn't ever measure up -- no matter how hard she tried. Waiting by the door with her back against the frame, she pulled out her own bottle of lemonade and uncapped it while she waited on her father to join her. She'd been meaning to talk to him. She had questions that she needed answered, but had avoided asking because she didn't want to hurt anyone. The problem was, not asking was hurting her. She shouldn't have been eavesdropping that day, but it was a bad habit that she wasn't trying all that hard to break. If she hadn't been doing it though, she never would have heard, and if she hadn't heard, maybe she wouldn't be quite so uncertain. To this day, she isn't certain what exactly Sera had said in response, but she'll never forget hearing Saren suggest that maybe she should send Jadyn off. Adoption was 'difficult on a good day' according to her grandmother, and she'd thought Sera needed some space from her -- that she wasn't helping the situation. Since then, she'd tried hard to be there when she could, making sure to help with the kids, and that her chores were getting done. Granted, it had been a long time ago, back when they first found out the news about her dad, but the suggestion that she didn't do enough to be worth keeping around had hurt. Just thinking about it brought tears to her eyes. She could feel them welling up, but she refused to let them fall. Instead she took another sip of her lemonade then glanced over in the direction she expected her father to be coming from and plastered on a smile. "Ready to go in then?"
montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
Monty and Sera had committed from the outset to a united front. When one of the kids made a mistake, they corrected the issue together. Neither of them corrected the other or suggested changes to the way that they did things. If Sera assigned more work than Jadyn could do, it was up to Jadyn to make the point to her mother. He wouldn't go against what Sera had directed, even if he did think that the point of home schooling was to reduce the pressure on the kids. They already had a lot of work to do around the homestead, and social lives to keep up with. The twins, of course, had fallen down on the job. That irritated him, and he'd talk to Sera about figuring out what they would do next. At the same time, he sometimes wondered if Sera attempted to raise Jadyn the way that she had been raised, and if this was fair. It was good for Jade to learn to cook, how to keep the house, and how to take care of the animals. More than that, she needed to learn her magic. He'd meant to make sure that it was part of the curriculum, but he'd forgotten. Sera came from a brief line of kitchen witches, while Monty's heritage went further back than that. Jadyn would eventually want to know about potions, crystals, charms, and other forms of magic. You could cook so much into food, but if that wasn't where Jadyn's skills lay, she'd wind up like Grace. Not that winding up like Grace was such a bad thing. His sister-in-law was sweet, caring, and broken. His daughter had bucked up under some of the worst possible life circumstances. She'd survived what he wasn't sure that Grace could. Now that Grace was at Brook Haven, he imagined she had learned a new skill set. It just seemed unfortunate that she wasn't learning magic the way that he'd have had it taught to her. The ranch didn't teach that. It had no reason to, and it surely didn't push religion on its students. Thank goodness. "I'm glad you're helping your mom, Jade, but I you've got other chores to do. If it's too much, then you talk to her about it when she's available. Let her know you're struggling, figure out what you can condense. Some stuff might be better learned while you're doing your chores instead of before or after." She'd started to make some friends, and that weighed on Monty. Not only had Jadyn been so isolated for so long, but she had so many responsibilities at home. With the twins so focused on their social lives, it struck him that this left Jadyn without what she needed the most at this time in her life: A group of loyal friends. "When was your last test?" Monty asked as he pulled open the door and held it for her to go through. He wanted to know where she was at with her education to see if there were some concessions that they could make. it wasn't imperative for her to graduate early: just for her to graduate at all. The last thing that he wanted was for any of his children to become a stereotype or a statistic. If their social lives suffered too much because of home schooling, then he'd have to look at alternatives.
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion, adoption issues
It only took a few moments to get warm when it was over 90 degrees outside. The rush of cold air against her skin felt marvelous, and she was grateful. Letting out a deep breath she didn't realize she'd been holding, she relaxed, then moved out of the way of the door. She always felt strange standing in walk ways while taking off her shoes. It was a relief to come home to space that was ten times more comfortable that the heat. That was at least part of the reason that she didn't like to go visit her mom's parents. Lack of air conditioning definitely played a roll, especially when there was so much cooking. When you combined that with the fact that she wasn't even sure that she liked them anymore, you had the answer to why it's been a few months. There couldn't be all that many people in the world that wanted to spend time with people who thought they were a waste of space. Right? It was quiet. Too quiet for anyone to be home. Mom must've gotten everyone in the car. Even nap times weren't peaceful with five kids under the age of five. Someone was crying, yelling, or getting out of bed when they weren't supposed to. One of them would want a snack. Another would need the bathroom. And the babies were unpredictable, because they were infants. "Mom took Willow and the kids to dance." Now that she was thirteen, she didn't have to go run errands in town with everyone, and she appreciated it. She preferred to have some time to herself. And while running around with her mother on certain days of the week, that wasn't always possible. When these sorts of days popped up in the schedule, Jadyn tended to take advantage. She liked to take the opportunities to go for rides with dreams, or take walks by herself. She enjoyed being out, certain temperatures were preferable though. She wasn't avoiding his question, it was more that she didn't want to have to confront her mother. They didn't always get along. Jade felt like Sera didn't give her enough freedom, and Sera would say things that solidified those thoughts. She didn't want to have to tell her that it was too much. Too much work, too much pressure, sometimes too much expectation. She loved her sisters, but she didn't want it to have to watch them any time she was home. She wanted to be able to tell them no. And she wanted answers to questions that she didn't want to ask. "A month ago. Mom said I tested at 9th and 10th grade levels. It surprised her." It wasn't fair to put him in the middle of them. She knew from experience that he wasn't going to side against Sera. He was going to tell her that she needed to talk to her. They didn't do the whole talking behind one another's backs in their family. Or at least they didn't sometimes. Glancing up at him, she frowned. "Sorry." Her father towered over her, with the almost foot and a half difference between them. It had never intimidated before, and so it didn't in that moment either, even if she did have to step back to look him in the eye. "I don't mean to put you in the middle." It wasn't fair of her to do, is what she meant, but she wasn't ready to take that responsibility yet. She liked baking with her mom. It was more a matter of feeling inadequate when she stood next to her mother. Sometimes she wished that Sera would let her do what she wanted. Straying from the recipe wasn't the worst thing ever. Was it? What all of it came down to was that Jade was putting more of herself in than she had most days. And it all came down to her own feelings, even if she didn't see it that way. If you asked, she'd tell you that it was because the conversation she overheard, or because of the fights she had with her cousins about being "family". The moment passed and she dropped her gaze and headed further into the kitchen. Her feet were bare against the cool tile of the kitchen. The whole house smelled like a combination of fresh bread and sweets. She hadn't even noticed while she'd been arguing with her mom that she'd made one of her favorites. Opening the fridge, she began to scan it. Uncertain of what her father wanted, she let it hang open as her mind raced. "Do you ever think that I was a mistake?" The question was off topic, but it was what was weighing on her heart, and her mind. The words came out of her mouth before she had a chance to stop them, and she sucked in a deep breath, as if she was gasping for air. She hadn't meant to say it out loud. Closing the door, she turned around and pressed her back up against the fridge. Her heart beat thundered in her chest, as she stared wide eyed at her father. Then it all came flooding out of her mouth, one word on top of another. "It's just that I overheard Mom and Grandma while you were away. I try really hard to help out and not be a problem, but grandma said that adoption isn't the same. That I'm more of an obligation. That I can't ever be the same as everyone else. Not even as Hazel and Aiden. That maybe it would be easier if someone relieved you guys of me because I was a burden." She was anxious. Her hands shook as they held them out, palm out. She could feel her eyes tearing up. As much as she didn't appear to have a problem going off on her mom when she was upset with her, she did. She was almost always anxious, especially when it came to telling her that it was too much pressure. Too much work. She was half a moment away from tears. Her dad was her hero. He chose her when no one else did, and he gave her a safe place to land. He taught her important things about life, and he was comforting when she needed it. And when she'd needed patience, he had that too. Now she worried that she wasn't enough for them.
montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
Every time he stepped foot into the house he'd built for Sera, something changed. It was as though his soul put itself back together again. Here, he was safe, at home, comfortable, alive. The floor was solid beneath his feet, the kitchen smelled of yeast and lavender bleach. If he breathed with his mouth open, he could taste the fresh bread. This was why he had chosen to marry Sera, why he had agreed to the absurdity of arranged marriage. He could count on her, as they all could count on a Somers girl, to make a home. Every muscle in his back released the tension of the mucking. Monty sighed in contentment and closed the door behind him, waiting for it to click. The air was too low, a compensation for the baking. "Turn the air conditioner down, would you?" He sat on the bench by the door, started to work his boots off. "I mean make it less cold, not more cold." He tugged the laces open, then toed the left boot off. His toes cracked when he flexed them, and he sighed again, content. He'd never miss out on these moments again if he could help it. "When's the recital?" Jadyn would know. She kept track of these things, helped her mother more than she should. He tried, but there was always something to he had to do. Jadyn seemed to feel the same. "That's good though." He stood up and wiggled his toes inside the hand-knit socks. The air felt good. Soon enough he'd want to curl up by the fire. People were never satisfied, but the Northman in him loved the cold months. "I'm proud of you." Jadyn was intelligent, but intelligence wasn't enough to get her through the work. She worked hard. That was one of the reasons that he trusted her as much as he did. It was important for Monty to disconnect between what Jadyn said Sera thought, and what Sera said Jadyn did. They put him in a complicated situation. Sera had a lot of her mother in her, and Saren made snap judgments. Jadyn was thirteen, and assumed things about her mother that weren't true. He put his arm around his daughter and led her into the kitchen, where he gave her a squeeze. "Why don't you slice the bread and I'll see what we've got in here for sandwiches." He'd stand in solidarity with her, make them both something vegetarian. Monty turned to rummage in the refrigerator. Cold air blasted him from inside, the soft scent of summer vegetables. He sniffed and reached for a cucumber and a block of store-bought Swiss cheese. "If you want some sprouts, grab them," he said as he stepped back and turned toward her. Her question caught him by surprise, and Monty blinked. Sun streamed in through the window, haloing her head. The corners of his mouth pinched a little, tugged up in spite of the darkness of her words. "That's like asking if it's a mistake that the sun comes up every day. It's like asking if I did any good in the world when I served. Why would you ask me a question like that?" Concern crept into his voice, tickled his insides. A part of him had waited for this question, or one like it. He held up a hand. Her answer to his question was irrelevant. "No. Nothing about you is a mistake, Jade. I won't tell you to stop thinking like that, but I am thankful every day to have you in my life." He set the cucumber and cheese down on the counter and put his hands on her shoulders. When she turned toward him, Monty put his hand under her chin and directed her gaze up to his eyes. He'd never pretend to know his wife's mind, or that of her mother, but hurt reflected in his daughter's eyes. "You are one-hundred percent ours, Jadyn Sheridan. Whether by adoption or biology, you're ours. Nothing will change that. Understand?"
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion, adoption issues
Her eyes were wide and misty with unshed tears, while her lips trembled, at any moment she might fall to pieces. Holding it together hadn't been easy over the last few months, but she'd tried. The conversation had cut deep, but until that moment, she hadn't had the courage to ask her questions. After all, one of her deepest fears was her parents telling her "yes", that she was a mistake. She tried to work hard, please everyone in an attempt to hold onto what she loved the most; her family. Without them, what was she, other than some little orphan girl that no one had ever wanted as anything more than an ash tray? Sometimes her dreams haunted her, waking her in the dead of night, while she struggled to come out of the fog. She didn't scream out anymore, or no one heard it, if she did. They'd gotten worse while her father had been away. Not only did her own past haunt her, but the horrors of what might happen to him as well. She worried about the people that mattered to her, sometimes so much that it kept her up at night. Not typical for a thirteen year old, but also not something that she could change. Her dad had always been so strong, so steady, but something bad had happened overseas. She'd had a ominous feeling prior to the casualty officers showing up on their door step. She hadn't felt comfortable going to her mom about it. There had been no real reason for it, and until that moment, she hadn't had any evidence of something being wrong. After the officers had shown up, it'd been the wrong thing to say. Her mom didn't need her saying "I had a bad feeling". One of those moments where if you don't improve the silence, you don't say a thing. At the end of the day, what had happened was bad. She knew it, but she didn't ask. Like he hadn't asked her to go into details about her past. If he wanted to talk about it, he would, but it all worried her. People said that sometimes that sort of stuff changed a person. As selfish as it might be, she worried that all the things that happened might have changed how he felt about her. Looking back, it seemed to stupid. Shame filled her, and her guts twisted. Pulling her gaze away from his eyes, she dropped her head and fixed her eyes on the floor, right by his sock clad feet. "I'm sorry." Jadyn had no way of knowing that some of the conversation she'd heard wasn't about her. She didn't have the slightest clue that her Aunt Grace wasn't her grandmother's biological child. It had been so easy for her to assume that what they were talking about was her, and not anyone else. If she'd known, it might have opened a whole other can of worms -- one that wouldn't close with ease. All she knew now was that she'd felt guilty for asking in the first place. And a little relieved, if she was honest, now that she knew that she didn't have anything to worry about. Biting her lip, she glanced back up at her dad and nodded her head. "Yeah, I understand." She tried to smile, but it didn't feel right, and so it morphed into an awkward half smile sort of a beast. Laughing shortly, she shook her head and tucked a strand of hair behind her neck. She'd need some time alone for it all to sink in for her. What her dad said had lightened her load enough that she'd almost burst into tears. What she would have done if he'd said he did, she didn't know, but that wasn't something that she had to think about. Reaching out, she wrapped her arms around his torso and held him tight. He was warm, and with her head on his chest, she felt added relief as she breathed in his scent. It was a comforting smell, a mix of pine and bonfire, with a hint of sweat and residual odor from working in the barn -- one that for while she'd worry she'd never smell again. "I love you, Dad." With that reminder, she held on for a little longer, this time not holding back her tears. They burst forward like water from a dam, staining her cheeks as they traveled down her face, wetting her father's shirt at the same time. A few moments later, she pulled back and used the heels of her hand to wipe away the tears that had stained her face. "The recital's September 23rd." It was easier to focus on the question he'd asked earlier than to keep talking about something that didn't matter in the scheme of things. "Mom said she'd remind you closer to then." It took a long time to coordinate a group of girls six and under into specific choreography with timed movements. Jade didn't envy Willow's teacher. Turning around, she opened the refrigerator and scanned it for the bean sprouts she'd want on her sandwich. Locating them, she pulled the air tight container out, then closed the door and turned to her father, handing them over to him. "I'm starving." Jade was always ready to eat, so that at least, wasn't surprising. Eyes scanning the kitchen, she caught site of a bowl full of tomatoes and reached for one of those as well. Sometimes, her mom accused her of throwing anything she liked together. She wasn't wrong. If it tasted good, and Jade thought it would go well together, she was more apt to include it than not. And most of the time, it didn't prove to be a poor decision. Which she had reminded Sera of while she'd been pregnant with the Junior and Daisy. Setting the tomato down, she pulled out a couple cutting boards from the lower cabinet, and set them side by side on the counter. Curious, she opened the wooden cabinet door again and cocked her head to the side. She couldn't stop herself. "Is Mom pregnant again?" The words came flooding out before she could hit the brakes. It was more of a question than an accusation, and it had to do with the salt and vinegar chips that were strangely hidden. It wasn't likely, but you never knew. Surely, her dad would though. ** Shrugging her shoulders, she reached for the chips and pulled them out, then opened them. Salt and vinegar were her favorite, and it was rare that they kept them in the house at all. She didn't say anything before she popped one into her mouth and crunched down. The salt burned her tongue and the vinegar scent took over as the sweet taste also invaded her senses. Glancing over, she set the chips on the counter, then took a few steps away so that she could grab one of the fresh loafs of bread they'd made together that morning. Her mom didn't only keep the chips in the house when she was pregnant. It was actually one of those things she and Jade shared some days when the littles were napping. They talked and ate chips, and it was silly, but comforting all at the same time. Sometimes a girl needed a bag of chips. "Pass me a knife, yeah?" **Sera is not pregnant. That's just Jade jumping to conclusions based on a series of things that happened.
montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
It was difficult not to worry, and sometimes Monty worried most about Jadyn. She was the oldest of his children, the one who had been with him the longest. The twins had their own struggles, but Jadyn was the center of his concern. She's been through so much, even before she came to live with us. She doesn't need anybody putting pressure on her to be something that she's not. Adoption was its own sort of pressure. He could imagine that she battled every day with the sense that she didn't belong with them. Kids often felt that way in their natural families. How much harder could it be for a child who had already been rejected? Monty sighed and reached for his daughter to pull her into a quick, hard hug. When he let her go, he brushed the space beneath her eyes with his thumbs, then kissed her forehead. "Here." Monty reached into the drawer for their sharpest knife and handed it to her. "There's not much better than eating fresh vegetables." As much as he liked his meat, Monty had to admit that the vegetarian lifestyle was not only acceptable, but tasty. The heavy work of the day had caught up. I want to sit down, drink a beer, and rest. When did it get so hard to do that? It had nothing to do with having children or being married. The harder he tried to relax, the more difficult it became to get his body and mind to cooperate in the matter. Beside which, he was famished. "You got this?" They didn't both need to be involved in the same task. It would only serve to crowd both of them and make it more difficult to accomplish anything. "I'll take whatever you're having. Mind if I sit down?" His back ached from the work, and he only now noticed it. I'm not getting enough rest. I should sleep more. Maybe I'll take a sleeping pill tonight. Sera won't mind. Monty didn't wait for an answer. He lowered himself into one of the kitchen chairs and settled his weight against its back. "I'm only going to say this one, Jadyn, so I want you to hear me. Whatever your mom and grandma were talking about, I doubt it was you." His wife's family had their own set of troubles. He hated gossip, but from everything he'd heard, the tension involved an unresolved affair. He'd never asked Sera about it, and never would. If Jadyn was curious, or if she had to know, then that was for her to ask. Some things weren't his business, and he wouldn't interfere in theirs. Besides, there's some bad blood there. The last thing that Jade needs is for me to open up a can of worms I can't close. Let it be. He wondered, of course, because Sera wondered. When she wondered, he worried. "My advice to you, girl, is to let the sleeping dogs lie. And get me a sammich." He chuckled and gave her a wink to show that he was teasing her. "How long have you been doing Hazel and Aiden's chores?"
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion, adoption issues
There was something about vegetables that made her mouth water. Meat had never been something she'd shown any interest. She couldn't relate to some of the cowboys in the area that talked about steak. For her, it was always about the veggies. You could do so much with plants and get a wide array of flavors that she didn't understand why meat appealed. She wasn't the type to campaign against anyone, even if she did call her cousin an ass the one time he waved bacon in front of her face. As she recalled, her mother hadn't even bothered to correct her in that moment. Instead, Sera had shrugged a shoulder and told Aiden that he should be mindful of others. It was one of those memories that never ceased to make Jade smile -- because her mom had been on her side. Later they'd talked about calling people names, but it was a conversation and not a correction. She expressed that she didn't like the teasing, and they left it there. That had been a while ago, and there wasn't any reason to bring it up. She'd forgiven Aiden since then, even if she hadn't forgotten that he'd done it. Organizing the food in front of her, she tried to come up with a system. The sandwich she planned to make was fresh, and generous with the vegetables. Most of what they kept in their house came out of the garden right there on the property. When there wasn't enough on anything, her mom supplemented with stuff from the store. It wasn't often that they had to though. Even the little girls could help in the garden. Mentally, she went over what she had. Cucumber, tomato, cheese, sprouts ... oh yeah! She'd chive and onion spread she'd made the night before. Turning toward the fridge, she pulled that out of the door, then reached for the tub of green spinach as well. Turning back, she raised a brow as she processed what her father had asked. "Pretty much forever." It was honest, though it did occur to her a moment too late how much that honesty might impact others. "It's fine." It wasn't, but the work had to get done and she didn't trust them to do it. Her mom was busy with the little kids, and all the other zillion things she did around the house. Her dad worked outside the home, and worked hard. That meant the only person left to pick up the mess the twins left behind was her, and it frustrated her. Every day she had to do their chores was a day she had to write off something she'd wanted to do with her time. What else was she supposed to say? It wasn't her dad's problem to fix. He couldn't make them change who they were, and no one wanted sullen Hazel and Aiden bound to the house. That would punish everyone who lived there. "It's not that big of a deal. I wish they were more responsible though." Setting the additional supplies down, she opened a drawer, and pulled out a butter knife as well. Sometimes it felt to Jadyn that the only things the twins cared about was what was going on in their lives. She knew that wasn't fair though. She had no clue what was going on in their heads. The problem was that she only saw what it was that they were doing (or weren't, in this case). Slicing the bread and vegetables didn't take long at all. The aroma from the fresh honey wheat made her stomach growl, especially when you combined it with the fresh smell of generously sliced veggies. She popped a slice of tomato in her mouth, then smiled. "They've got a lot going on." It was the only excuse that she could come up with. As much as she didn't want to have to keep doing their chores, she didn't want to be the person that got them in trouble either. The only solution was that they started, and somehow, that seemed unlikely. "I figure they're having a hard time, and the work's gotta get done. Mom's busy, you're busy, and the girls are too little." Willow helped with things like laundry. She didn't complain because she thought it made her "big", and Jade appreciated the help. Sometimes Willow or Holly "helping" with something made things take longer too. It depended on the day, the task, and how much there was to do. In the scheme of things, there wasn't anything to complain about. Even doing her cousins chores, she got everything done and often had time to spend doing other things. It wasn't like they were doing it so that she'd have sacrifice more of her free time for them. They didn't want to do them. Turning toward the window, she opened a cupboard and pulled down two plates. She turned and shrugged a shoulder, then set them down next to the cutting boards she'd pulled out. Pushing the boards forward, she made room to assemble the sandwiches. They'd be huge by the time she finished piling everything on. "Want some chips, too? Momma made some lemon blueberry bread too." Sera's quick breads were one of Jade's favorites, and her mom knew it. She'd eat them any time of day, and what was great was that she could. When her mom didn't want her to eat something, she left a not or card near it, letting her know that anyone know that it had a purpose. Most of the stuff on the counters or in the fridge was up from grabs -- something different than her grandparents. At the end of the day, there was always something to eat in the house. Something good at that. Laying the bread out on the plates, she nodded, then reached for the chive and onion spread. It had cream cheese, Greek yogurt, chopped onions, chives, onion power, and garlic powder all mixed together. Like mayonnaise on steroids, but better. After putting some on each slice, she began piling on the slices of swiss cheese, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sprouts. "You're good with sunflower seeds, right?" She didn't wait for his response. After all, he'd said to make him whatever she was having, and this monster sandwich was it. Reaching across the counter top, she pulled the canister labeled "sunflower seeds" close. Using the measuring cup, she pulled some out, then sprinkled them over top of the sprouts. The sandwich was huge, but also vegetarian. Adding meat to sandwich would only serve to take away from the flavors. People who said a vegetarian couldn't get all the nutrients they needed weren't looking at things with an unbiased eye. Jade got plenty of nutrients eating the way that she did. She topped each sandwich off with a second slice of bread, then wiggled her brows as she lifted it up to show her father. Each sandwich had to be at least three inches tall. Setting the plate down, she lifted the knife then cute them in half before putting the knife back down. She took each plate in one hand, and walked them over to the kitchen table. "You're gonna need a napkin." After putting each plate down, she went to to fridge and pulled out the lemonade. Lemonade was one of those summertime staples. She grabbed to glasses, then headed back to the table and sat down. Passing over a cup, she shrugged, then set her own down and reached for the pitcher. She didn't waste any time digging in.

montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
When he'd come back from overseas, it had struck Monty that Sera seemed to have it all put together. Not in the "I didn't miss him at all" sense, but in the sense that she had run the household in his absence so that he had a home to come home to. He'd appreciated it then, and he appreciated it now. He hadn't given much thought to how much she might have struggled prior to that point, however. His brow furrowed. I appreciate that Jade helped Sera out, but what about the twins? There are three teenagers and an adult woman in this house to keep it running in my absence. I can't imagine anybody not pulling their weight. We work together on a homestead. Monty worked hard at the ranch. At home he pulled his weight by working in the garden, mucking out stalls, feeding the animals. And he still consulted with the fire department when they needed a fire scientist. "Why is this the first I'm hearing it?" He crossed his arms over his chest and raised his eyebrows at Jadyn. "If you've been doing their chores all this time, don't you think that's something you should have told me, Jade?" It seemed off. I thought we were over this. It's been years since we had to have a talk about withholding information or lying about something important. This is pretty important, isn't it? It was possible, of course, that she didn't realize how significant this was. People who eat in this house contribute to the food that we eat. It's always been that way. I'm going to have to have a stern talk with the twins. From that night onward, they would pull their weight or they wouldn't benefit from the hard work of other family members. It was as simple as that. "I'll take care of the dishes when we're done here. What did you want to do this afternoon?" It sure sounded as though Jadyn could do with taking a break from all the work that she'd been doing. If her grades were so good, then it seemed to him that she had been over extending herself between school work and doing the twins' work as well. It's time for her to relax and be a kid. How much time did she spend holding her mom up while I was away? It's not fair to put that kind of pressure on her. I wonder if Sera is aware of the twins not doing their chores. If she did, he would be cross. Punishment in his household was usually swift and fair. Most of all, it was meant to correct the problem. This problem persisted, and therefore something had to be done. Monty accepted the plate from Jadyn and turned so that he faced the table. [b]"Thank you. I appreciate you making me a sandwich. I'll never know how you manage to make vegetables taste so good to a meat-eater. He gave her a wink.
jadyn sheridan
homeschooler • 13 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
homeschooler
Nickname
jade
Pronouns
she/her
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
not allowed
Riding Style
Western
Dream
is
Unbridled Dreams

Breed
AQH
Gender
Gelding
Age
9
Disciplines
Trail riding
Application
is Offline


Age
26
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
gmt-5
Contact
pm me! | discord
25 Posts
325 Points
Brook Haven
volunteer
8/25/17 for @montana sheridan
TW: parental argument, pregnancy suspicion, adoption issues
Jade didn't believe in speaking up or asking for praise for something expected of her. The twins were family, even if they didn't always get along. The homestead was a family project, and that meant that if they didn't pull their weight, someone had to. Saying something to either of her parents had seemed wrong, and so she hadn't. Shrugging a shoulder, she took another bit of her sandwich. She didn't have any of the answers that her father wanted. It hadn't occurred to her to say something about it. Sure, she knew the rules about everyone pulling their own weight. She also knew the rule about helping family members in need. They'd struggled since the loss of their dad, and then with the news about her dad. For a moment, she understood their pain, and it hit her pretty hard that they were having to deal with it again. She wanted to lessen their burden. It seemed like the right thing to do. "Want to go down to the creek?" It was hot, and the creek that ran through their property would be cooler. She liked the way that the water made her feel running over her feet, and she never ceased to see the same thing twice. It was a good place for firefly catching too, but not so early in the day. Going back to her dad's other questions, she shook her head and reached for her cup of lemonade and took a sip. "It didn't seem like that big of a thing. They were having a hard time, but I'm starting to feel like they expect it now." And that was honest. "Like I don't register on their radar unless I'm doin' something for 'em." Sighing, she looked for the chips, then remembered that she left them open on the counter. "And I get that they're busy. They've got "social lives", and all, but ... it wouldn't take them that long to do them themselves." It took a lot longer for her to do her own, and each of theirs. Now she was complaining, she needed to stop. Standing up, she reached back and snagged the chips. She'd need to put away the remainder of the veggies when they finished eating. And wrap up the bread too. Popping one into her mouth, she smiled. It didn't occur to her that her dad might get upset about her not going to him. It hadn't occurred to her that she needed to. She hadn't complained to her mom either. "I don't want anything special. If they'd do their own work, that'd be great. 'Cause then I could spend more time with Dream or Bella." One was a girl on Brook Haven Ranch, and the other was her horse. She valued them both. She popped another chip into her mouth, and crunched down as she she took a seat in the chair, folding one leg underneath her as she did. A pinching sensation caused to to have to adjust her position. Her jeans had caught the sensitive skin on her feet, skin that hadn't been abused since she quit dance and gymnastics. "Maybe even pick up dance again." She didn't want to be a ballerina, unlike Willow, who's current dream happened to be that, a doctor, and chef. She wanted to take some modern dance and pom classes. She'd already spent years in technical classes. She hadn't admitted it to her parents yet, but she was thinking about going out for the DCC, in addition to pursuing her degree in naturopathic medicine.

montana sheridan
Fire Scientist • 37 YRS
ISFJ
Occupation
Fire Scientist
Nickname
Monty
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
married
Partner
seraphina sheridan
Riding Style
Western
Sheila
is
Up to No Good

Breed
TWH
Gender
Mare
Age
15 Years
Disciplines
Trail Riding
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
37 Posts
335 Points
Pathfinder
Leader
25 August 2017 for @jadyn sheridan
TW: ptsd, mental health issues, matters of war
Monty took a deep, slow breath through his nose. Alright. I'm going to do something about this. She doesn't need to know what the plan is, but the twins are going to kiss that social life goodbye until their behavior at home is under control. If she says she's been doing their chores, I believe her. He'd double check, of course, talk to Sera when they were alone. Either way, Jadyn needed a break. It was too much for her, and the stress had made her uncomfortable. Kids needed discomfort sometimes. It worked well to direct their behavior. But Jade had been putting in long hours. She'd experience the consequences of not mucking out Dream's stall, but he'd make sure there was less pressure on her to do the chores for her cousins. He offered her a smile and stood up, his long body rising to its full height. "Sounds good. We can pack up some more lemonade and take a break down there. No riding for the rest of the weekend though." The talk about consequences could happen later, but for right now he wanted to make it clear that she would take care of her own chores. It hurt him every time to discipline one of his children. And it's worse when I realize too late how angry I was when I punished them unfairly. Better to think things through than to lash out that way. The purpose of a family meeting was to give him time to think, but he didn't always have the time to step away. A weekend without riding seemed a reasonable consequence for having "forgotten" the chore. She'd gotten his attention, at least. Monty polished off his sandwich and rose with his plate, dipped to grab Jadyn's, and headed for the sink to drop them off. I'll do the washing up later on. Sera's got enough going on and she's had enough to do without me. Starting tomorrow the twins will have enough time to do their own chores, and I won't have to worry about them skipping the important stuff. Dishes piled up fast, and they were among the most important tasks on the homestead. With so many people living under one roof, things got messy -- no, dirty -- fast. He gave the dishes a quick rinse and gestured for Jadyn to come to him, one arm open for her. "You can talk to me about anything. You don't need to feel like it's complaining if you have something you want me to know." A difficult early childhood had led Jade to lie. It's not just that she lied a lot -- or lies a lot. She keeps things inside when she needs to be able to talk about them, too. Sometimes it's easy to get overlooked with so many other people in the house. I want her to know that she has a rock if she needs it. "Mom, too. No matter what you think, even on your worst days we love you."
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Skin coded by Devin exclusively for Brook Haven Ranch.