Romance Fiction posted January 22, 2022 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 


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Alexandra has her first horse riding lesson.

A chapter in the book Quiet Lawyer

Quiet Lawyer Chapter 3a

by barbara.wilkey




Background
Nothing mends a broken heart, like someone wonderful giving you theirs. Will Cord give his heart to Ali? If he does, will she accept it? Will Ali discover if she's the girl next door?
Cordero and Alexandra met 4 days ago.

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Cordero checked his ringing phone and clicked it off. "I'll call him back later." He glanced toward the house. "Do you think the brownies have cooled?"

"Are you hungry already?" asked Alexandra.

"Boss is always hungry," teased Jim.

Winking at Alexandra, Cordero answered, "Especially if there's ice cream."

"Go ahead. I'll put Dolly in her stall."

Alexandra faced Jim. "Can I?"

"Of course. Do you think Boss can keep from starving for a few more minutes?"

She studied Cordero. "Maybe, but we'd better hurry."

After Dolly was put away, Cordero put his hand in the small of Alexandra's back. "Ready for a brownie sundae delight?"

"Sounds delicious."

"Good we can eat at our favorite star glazing spot."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 3a


Friday morning, Alexandra walked into the kitchen at the same time as Rosa. "Ali, you're up early. Is everything all right?"

"I'm excited about my first riding lesson." Alexandra turned as the front door opened.

Cordero, Jorge, and Bob walked in, as Cordero said, "After breakfast, I'll ride toward Marfa and look around. It'll take most of the day."

When Alexandra swallowed and went toward the kitchen, Cordero followed.

Alexandra stared out the glass sliding door. Hearing footsteps behind her, she turned. "I understand priorities. I can learn to ride another day."

"I'll rearrange..."

"Please don't."

Cordero stepped toward the hallway. "Dad, do you have time..."

"Already got it covered," interrupted Jorge and then chuckled. "All I had planned was to drink coffee and wait for Klaus' and Otto's return."

"Please don't change your schedule because of me."

Rosa hooked her arm through Alexandra's. "I think it's been settled. Help me with breakfast."

"But..."

"But nothing. Come on."

*****
After breakfast dishes were taken care of, Alexandra walked to the front door donning her cowgirl hat.

Cordero touched it. "I see you're ready." He pointed toward the barn. "Dolly's been asking for you."

Her blue eyes twinkled. "Really?"

"Of course," he teased as he cupped her elbow and led her outside.

Jim had Dolly already saddled. "Good morning. Are you ready to lead Dolly to the corral?"

She faced Cordero. "Can I?"

"Sure." He took Dolly's reins and handed them to her. "Repeat what you did last night."

Taking the reins, Alexandra walked Dolly from the back barn door to the corral.

Once outside, she smiled. "Now what?"

"Stand in the middle of the corral, hold the reins, guide her around you."

When a van parked in the lane and barking was heard, Cordero adjusted his cowboy hat to shield the sun.

Jim shook his head. "I'm guessing Otto and Klaus are back."

Dolly stopped, stared, and walked to the fence.

"What just happened? How do I stop her?" asked Alexandra.

Cordero took the reins and Dolly returned. "Like this. Otto and Klaus set you up."

Alexandra scrunched up her nose. "Who or what are Otto and Klaus?"

Two large German shepherds jumped the fence, wagged tails, and jumped on Cordero. "Whoa boys! I'm excited to see you, too, but you know jumping on people isn't allowed."

Alexandra's eyes widened. "Are these Otto and Klaus?"

"They are. They're Dad's pride and joy. In a herding competition, Klaus won second place and Otto third. Neither of them can beat LeRoy, a border collie. Don't you see how heartbroken they are?"

Alexandra tilted her head. "They look happy to me."

Chuckling Cordero continued, "They couldn't care less. By the way, they're always around but you may not notice them." He gave each dog one last pet. "Let's get you on Dolly."

Cordero adjusted a gel seat cushion. "This is so your rear end doesn't get sore." He handed her gloves. "Put these on. They'll help your hands and those fancy fingernails." As she did, he stood on Dolly's side. "We mount horses on the left, so stand here." He held out the stirrup. "Place your left foot here and pull yourself up by the saddle horn. As you do, swing your right leg over the horse."

Alexandra did but struggled getting her leg over Dolly.

"Mind if I help?" After she shook her head, Cordero lifted her by the waist and sat her in the saddle. "I'll adjust the stirrups to fit." When he finished, he said, "Now, you're in charge."

"That's scary."

He took the reins and led them around the corral. "I'll see how you do."

After watching for a few minutes, Cordero stopped and handed her the reins. "Sit straight. Posture's important. Hold the reins in one hand by your hip bone."

He watched as he said, "Learning to keep balance takes muscle memory and a lot of practice. You'll build muscle memory in your core and to hold your rear-end steady."

"I can do this."

With a grin, Cordero said, "I know you can. You're already doing great. We'll keep this up this morning. When you want to turn Dolly left gently pull back on the left rein. That puts pressure on the left side of the horse's mouth. Do the same if you want to go right."

She nodded. "How far back do I pull the reins? I don't want to hurt her."

"About an inch. As much pressure as you would pet a dog. Practice that and then we'll move on." Cordero walked alongside.

A little later, Cordero said. "We're ready to practice stopping." After a few moments, he said, "Pull back on the reins, saying, 'Whoa'. When the horse stops, release the pressure on the reins. Now you try."

The horse riding practice continued through the morning. Finally Cordero said, "Stop Dolly." After Alexandra stopped the horse, Cordero reached up to lift her off. "It's getting close to lunch. Maybe after lunch we can take a ride."

Alexandra's eyes widened. "Outside the corral?"

Cordero grinned. "Maybe."

*****
As they sat at the table Cordero asked, "Mom, have you heard anything from Dad?"

"He checked in about an hour ago, but hasn't seen anything."

Alexandra's eyes met Cordero. "If you're needed..."

"Dad's been doing this long before I was old enough to help," interrupted Cordero.

Rosa set food out for all three dogs. "Come on, boys. I know you're hungry."

Watching the three eat, Alexandra asked, "Samson has decided to sleep with me. Where do Klaus and Otto sleep?" She hesitated. "Are all three going to be in my bed? If so, could you put another bed in my room? I don't think we'll all fit."

Cordero chuckled. "Good point."

Rosa eyed her son. "Klaus and Otto are better trained than Samson. Samson's owner spoilt him rotten."

Alexandra eyes widened. "Cord, aren't you Samson's owner?"

He sipped his iced tea. "I plead the fifth."

Samson walked over and nuzzled his large furry head under Cordero's arm. "I know, big guy. Mom said bad things about you. Don't worry. I don't believe a word."

Passing Cordero a dishtowel, Rosa said, "Please wipe his mouth before he slobbers his lunch all over." She faced Alexandra, "His large jowls tend to hide food."

Smiling Alexandra said, "I see how trouble seems to follow him."

"See Mom, all Samson needs is a good lawyer," teased Cordero. "Ali, are you applying for the job?"

"I'm not sure even the best lawyer could keep him out of trouble, but I promise to try."

Rosa laughed. "Being his lawyer would be a full time job. All of us tend to overlook his many faults. Are you sure you're up for it."

Alexandra ruffled his ears. "I think maybe I can. His heart's in the right place."

"That's right his intentions are good." Cordero set his napkin beside his plate. "Ali, ready to practice some more?" His eyes widened and sparkled. "Maybe you can leave the corral."

She jumped. "Yes. Let's go."

"See you later, Mom." Cordero grabbed his hat and Alexandra's. He placed hers on her head, before he put his hand in the small of her back, and led her to the barn.

At the barn door, Cordero said, "Jim, we're ready for round two. After a few more rounds in the corral, we'll go for a short ride. Can you saddle Chip?"

"If he'll let me, Boss."

Cordero shook his head and chuckled. "No lawyer could keep him out of trouble."

Jim's eyebrows rose. "What Boss?"

"Never mind. Ali, lead Dolly to the corral."

Once in the corral, Alexandra led Dolly around a few time, before Cordero stopped her. "Ready to mount?" When she smiled, he nodded.

She went to the left side, put her left foot in the stirrup, and pulled herself up, partway.

Cordero grabbed her waist and lifted her. "I guess lawyers don't need much upper body strength."

"It'll come."

He adjusted his hat. "I'm sure it will." He grinned as he watched her ride around the corral. Finally he called, "Is Chip ready?"

Jim walked out and threw down his hat. "Boss, I'll watch the lady. You get your own horse. Are you sure you don't want to ride another one? We have plenty."

Over his shoulder, Cordero said, "Chip will do fine." Under his breath he muttered, "I hope."

After a while, Cordero hit his hat against his thigh getting the dust off, as he led Chip from the barn.

Jim chuckled. "I see he did the same hat trick with you. Sure it's a good idea to ride him while training somebody?"

"He'll behave or I'll send him to the meat market."

Chip neighed.

"You heard me, the meat market."

Alexandra rode over. "Does another one of your animals need a lawyer?"

"No lawyer can help this one. Not even a fancy, big city one," said Jim.

Cordero mounted. "Let's do this before he changes his mind." He faced Jim. "Will you open the gate?"

When they left the corral, Chip did a little dance. Cordero pulled his reins and calmed him down. "Thought so."

Alexandra's eyes widened. "Are you sure about this?"

"Yes, he's testing me. He'll be fine."

They rode for a few minutes in silence before Cordero pointed. "We're going over there. It's one of my favorite areas on the ranch."

"It's so peaceful out here."

"It is, but don't let the quiet fool you. It can be dangerous."

They continued until they reached the desired area.

As they sat on their horses overlooking a valley, Alexandra shielded her eyes. "I can't get over how beautiful it is.

"I have a few other favorite places I like to go just to get away."

"Would you share them with me?"

"I think that can be arranged. You've caught on to this horse riding pretty easy."

"I'll work on getting on by myself."

Before he could answer, his phone rang. "Sorry, I need to take this. I'll be right back." He got off Chip, secured him to a tree branch, and stepped away.

Alexandra watched him pacing and heard his raised voiced, although she didn't understand Spanish. She leaned over and petted Dolly's neck. "He's got business that needs his attention, not teaching me to ride. Come on, Dolly, let's go back."

*****
When Cordero glanced up from his phone, he noticed Alexandra and Dolly were gone. "No!" He untied Chip, mounted, and galloped to catch up. They must've headed back.

He caught up, grabbed Dolly's reins, and jumped off Chip. Reaching up, he lifted Alexandra from the horse and yelled, "What are you doing?" Before she could answer, he continued, "I told you to wait!" He glared at her. "You're cowering." He took a breath.

Alexandra swallowed. "You're angry."

"Yes, no! I'm not angry. I'm scared. Maybe a snake scared Dolly and she bucked. You haven't had enough experience to know how to handle it." He realized he still had his hands on her waist from lifting her down. "Sorry." He hesitated. "I'd never strike you. Why would you think that?"

She turned away.

"I'll give you a few minutes." He led both horses away.

Time passed before Alexandra walked up to the rock where Cordero sat. "I'm sorry. It looked like you were angry over your phone call. I thought you should've been taking care of business instead of teaching me to ride. Maybe if you had been there things wouldn't have been so bad. If I went back to the ranch, you'd be available ...."

He scooted over. "Have a seat. To start with I wanted to teach you to ride and was where I wanted to be." He breathed. "We have a rustler who's stealing our prize breeding bulls. We don't know who or how it's being done."

"That's a real thing?"

Cordero chuckled. "Yes, it's a real thing. We have some bulls that have great bloodlines and are really good at impregnating cows. When it's time to sell the offspring, we get top dollar. Bulls are coming up missing."

"Could it be wild animals?"

"There's no evidence of that. Dad rode out to the site to see if there are any tire marks or animal tracks. So far we have nothing." Cordero took her hand. "Promise me when we go riding again, you won't leave. You really scared me."

"You mean if we go riding again?"

"No, when we go riding again."

"I promise."


Thank you youtube for the video 'God Bless Texas'



CHARACTER LIST:

Cordero Ortiz Hero, runs his parents Texas ranch

Alexandra Black Heroine, New York City corporate lawyer, is junior partner in huge family law firm

Jorge and Rosa Ortiz Cordero's parents who own a large West Texas Ranch

Jim One of the ranch foreman's and good friend of Cordero. He takes care of the main house and surrounding ranch area.

Bob One of the ranch foremen and good friend of Cordero. He works the entire ranch.







Recognized


thank you google images for a photo of a West Texas landscape. I'll probably post this novel on Saturday's until I complete Football. It's posted on Sunday. Chapter 3 was 4000 words so I broke it into two smaller posts. I learned from my mistake with Football. LOL Thank you for the review and encouragement.
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