Needing To Let Go

Working Hard On The Farm

A/N: So, thank you all for reading and enjoying this story so much. Also, just a heads up there may be some Bella/Edward action later on in this chapter ;) Not much else to say other than please keep the reviews coming, I love reading your thoughts, and one of you agreed that you liked "Sweet" Maude over "Grouchy" Maude, and I'm going to have her be a mixture of both, but nicer to Bella :)

Now on with the story!

Previously On Needing To Let Go

"You still know the way to my house city boy, or do you need to follow us?" I said with the most playful grin I had. I was starting to surprise myself. I usually never flirted like this, but Edward brought the 'Izzy' out in me, and I was starting to like it.

Bella POV:

"So you mean to tell me that you and your brothers do this every morning and every day?" Alice asked me as she attempted to carry a single bale of hay over to the outside the last stall, which belonged to Buttercup, one of the three horses we were still boarding here.

I still couldn't believe that Alice and Edward actually followed through with getting their hands dirty on the farm. I mean, I'm pretty sure that he told me they had previously lived in Chicago or somewhere that didn't have barn yard animals. I say this because when good 'ol Rocket crowed Alice and Edward about jumped out of their skin and looked around with terrified looks on their faces.

"City kids…" I heard Kaleb say under his breath with a chuckle. I just rolled my eyes and told him to behave and to cut them some slack.

"I would, but it's more fun to give them a hard time Bells. I mean, who hasn't heard a rooster crow or done a few chores in their life?" Ok, he had a point there I suppose, but at the same time, we were being a bit biased. We are a farming town, and we all have some chores that other kids from other places may not have to do. Like I have to clean out the horses' stalls and make sure they're all fed and cleaned. I even have to make sure their hooves are trimmed and clear of thrush or rot.

"I can't believe that you and your brothers do this every morning Bella. I will never complain to my mom and dad about cleaning my room or taking out the trash ever again."

I just smiled at Alice, because she is the most honest and loving person I have ever met. I mean, I barely have gotten a chance to know her, and I feel this 'sisterly' connection with her almost immediately.

I was about to say something when we all heard this loud scream coming from outside the stable. It was coming from the barn. We all ran to the doorway and what I saw nearly knocked the breath out of me I was laughing so hard. Edward had apparently met 'Grampa' the stubborn old billy goat. I say this because Edward ran as fast as he could across the yard and leaped over the fence just as Grampa was about to head butt Edward in the butt. Once he was clear of Grampa, Grampa proceeded to charge the fence one last time as a warning then trotted off back wherever it was he came from.

"So how's that 'good ol fashioned farm work' coming Eddy boy?" I say as I try my hardest not to start cracking up laughing. I knew for a fact that Edward wasn't cut out for farm work, but I guess he had some male ego thing going on.

"Yeah, looks like you have everything under control over there don't you brother dear!" Alice jeered as she twittered with laughter. I liked spending time with her and I loved that she even thought Edward was too big for his britches.

"Yup, I'm just fine thanks for asking…Just taking the goat out for some exercise…" Edward said as he tried to regain some of the air he seemed to have lost from getting the crap scared out of him. He wouldn't admit it, but I'm pretty sure that he was legitimately scared of Grampa. I don't blame him though; Grampa is a very grumpy and ornery goat.

"Sure you are; why don't you take a break and come help us in the horse stable. We're about to start the best part, and that's brushing the horses and cleaning their hooves." I could tell that Edward had no idea what I was talking about, and that he wasn't looking forward to this.

This city boy is in for some hard labor.

I decided to ease him into the whole cleaning the horses by letting him work with Rainbow, she's the most laid back horse ever, mainly because she knows me, and I've had her for so long.

"So do you know how to brush a horse and clean their hooves? It's pretty easy, but I'm sure a city boy like you have seen plenty of YouTube videos about grooming a horse." I couldn't help but give him the biggest smirk. His face was all but priceless; he had no clue which end to start at with Rainbow. He's lucky that I told him the basics of dealing with horses: Don't ever stand behind a horse, come towards them from the side, that way you don't appear as a threat, and if you must go around them, you keep a hand on them at all times and keep talking to them. It lets them know that you're not a predator coming for a snack.

"So, yeah, no pressure here…are you sure that Rainbow, here, isn't going to turn around and try and attack me?" Rainbow just snorted and shook her head, allowing the hair between her ears settle down on one side of her face.

"Yes, I'm sure Edward, don't be such a baby. Here, just make long strokes like this." I took his hand and jerked my hand a bit when our hands touched. It was that darn spark of electricity between us we shared; well either that or maybe I need to learn to pick up my feet better. But something told me that this wasn't static electricity, it had to be something else, and I just couldn't put my finger on it.

"Like this?..." Edward asked as he trailed off into dual silence while he and I brushed Rainbow. We remained in uncomfortable silence for the next couple minutes. I turned to Edward to tell him what we were going to do next, and was surprised when we were apparently inches apart. I felt my breath catch in my throat as mind went a mile a minute, trying its hardest to make sense of things and say something that wasn't completely stupid. But as we stood there, that same feeling came flooding back to me. It was the exact same feeling I had back at the Halloween party with him, and I had a feeling history would repeat itself. As we inched closer and closer I got a good whiff of his cologne, and the scent was intoxicating. Just as our lips grazed one another's we were shaken to reality when Emily and Raven shouted that they were done and weren't sure where to start next.

Way to go guys, way to kill the mood for us.

"D-do you think you can handle things while I go deal with Emily and Raven?" It took everything I had to ignore the wanting need to jump on Edward and kiss him like there was no tomorrow.

Edward nodded and I quickly left to go deal with Emily and Raven, plus I might even murder them and bury them where no one would think to look.

OK, I am exaggerating a bit, but they both know how much I secretly like Edward. Yes, I haven't come out and actually said that I like him, but from the looks they would give me in school I knew that they knew I had strong feelings for Edward.

I walked down the center of the stable, and on my way down to them I saw that Alice was brushing and talking with Nico, a Palomino gelding, he's one of the horses being boarded. He was more calm and laidback than the other horses. And it looked like Alice had found his sweet spot; behind his left ear. If you massaged there you could get him to do anything you wanted with little to no fight.

"He is such a sweetheart, what's his name?"

I pointed to the nameplate on the front of his sliding stall door that had a nameplate with "Nico" on it. Alice nodded and added that she liked the name, and asked where we got him. That's when I went into describing the whole small horse boarding business we have, and that Nico is one of the boarders. I went on to say that he happened to be staying here for as long as it would take the owners to be able to move down here from Washington State. The horse belonged to the son of a friend of Charlie's. Apparently the kid was about my age and really into horses as well. It would be interesting to meet him when he finally would get down here in a few months. Too bad that it would be too cold for riding for pure fun when he would finally move down here, I mean you can still ride a horse in the winter, but with all the clothes you would have to put on thee would almost be no point in it.

"That sounds amazing! We don't have a lot of room where we moved to in town, if my parents agree; do you think we could board our horses here?" Alice asked as she bit her bottom lip, hoping that I would give her the answer she was searching for.

"I'm not sure, maybe we'll have to play it by ear. There are some months where we are completely full, and others when this is almost a ghost town." When our boarding business is slow we only have Rainbow, Rocky, and Gizmo. Those were each of our horses. We would've kept mom and dad's horses, but what with the bills piling up we had to sell them to keep a roof over our heads. I still miss Rosebud and Victory, but we made sure they went to a good farm where they will be well looked after.

"Earth to Bella, what do you need us to do now? We cleaned the stalls and put down fresh dirt and hay bedding and water for the horses." Raven said as she put a hand on her hip. I went down the check list with everyone, and turned out that with all the extra help we finished way ahead of what I thought we would. I let everyone know that we were all done and that we could relax. I could tell that Alice didn't want to stop working with Nico, so I asked her if she wanted to learn how to ride a horse. You would've thought, by her reaction, I asked her to take me shopping for the most expensive clothes ever. She squealed and jumped up and down in excitement.

Since she was new, and even though she loved Nico, he was still unpredictable to me, so I let her learn to ride on my horse, Rainbow.

First I taught her how to approach a horse, then it was teaching her how to put on a saddle. Alice was actually a quick study, and picked up things pretty quickly. As I had her get Rainbow's bridle and showed her how to measure to where the bit needed to be on Rainbow then helped her put the bridle on. Rainbow has done this millions of times, and stood there like a champ. After we got the bridle on and saddle on I gave her a couple sugar cubes as a treat for being so good and calm.

Once that was all done I showed Alice where the riding helmet was and let her borrow my riding shoes I kept in the barn. The shoes she had on were closed-toe, but they weren't good for riding in.

"I'm going to walk Rainbow a few times around the riding pasture while you get ready." Alice nodded and scampered off to go get herself ready to start riding. Edward took this as an opportunity to get some alone time with me, because he followed me outside and made idle chit chat. He even brought up the 'almost kiss' and asked if we could continue where we left off. I was a bit taken aback by this. I felt myself blush a bit as I looked anywhere but Edward's face.

"You know, you're adorable when you blush…" He said as took me by the hand and turned me gently to make eye contact with him. Our eyes locked again, and I got that same feeling I did at the Halloween party. It was the feeling that nothing else mattered at that exact moment; I didn't care who would see, what they would say, or what they thought. I just wanted Edward to kiss me.

And kiss me he did.

Oh my god, the kiss was almost ten times better for some reason. There was so much passion and wanting in the kiss. I gasped for breath as he deepened the kiss and pulled me hard against him, making it almost impossible to form any comprehensible thought. As we kissed I couldn't help but latch onto him as if I were going to fall at any moment. I grabbed a chunk of his hair and pulled him into me.

Then all at once he pulled away, both of us panting to catch our breath. I could feel that my lips were swollen; I even touched them and could still feel the heat of his lips on mine.

"Bella, if you're not doing anything…one of these days would you like to go out to eat with me?" Edward was actually struggling to form a simple sentence. He rubbed the back of his neck as he waited for me to decide whether or not I would take him up on his offer.

"Ok Bella, I'm already. Let's get this started!" I couldn't help but giggle when I saw Edward's gaze turn to that of complete annoyance and anger. Alice managed to break up the moment for us both, but when I caught his attention I nodded my head and wink letting him know I would take him up on the offer.

"Ok, so watch me as I get up into the saddle, then I'll let you try, don't get frustrated if you can't pull yourself up. I can help you up if need be."

I showed her the different ways she could use to get up in the saddle, and to show off I jumped up and swung my right leg over the side of the horse in one movement. Alice was really impressed, and I blushed a bit when I saw Edward giving me his damned crooked grin at my attempt of showing off.

I even showed her how to get down, and that since it was her first time I would be there to help if need be.

Alice was able to get her small foot into the stirrup, and was able to lift herself up and halfway over to the other side, but being only five-foot-three she had a bit of a hard time of lifting her leg up and over the horse. On the third time once she got to the last step I gave her a slight shove to give her the extra 'oomph' she needed to get both legs on either side of the horse.

"I did it! Ok, let's get this show on the road!" Alice cheered as she bobbed up and down and accidentally kicking Rainbow's ribs. Thankfully it was Rainbow, and she knew better, but I had to warn Alice not to make such movements unless you're truly ready, as that would alert the horse that you were ready to start riding, and other horses would take off in a canter if you weren't paying attention.

It was a few times around the pasture, and I asked Alice if she was ready to go a bit faster and she nodded. I told her what all she needed to do and she was a complete natural at it, and Rainbow seemed to respond well to her too. I took the lead off of her and let Alice go a couple more round around the riding pasture.

We all cheered Alice on, and she seemed to be doing alright. She had her feet where she was supposed to, she was doing everything right.

The Sun was starting to come out, and beating down on us, causing a couple of shadows. Rainbow is usually pretty good at not being spooked, but something happened, something spooked her so bad that she reared up on her hind legs. Only thing that made sense was that Rainbow saw her shadow, and she had been in a trance, which caused her to get spooked.

"Alice, lean all your weight forward and let go of the reins!" I yelled to her and slowly attempted to approach Rainbow while trying to say calming things to Rainbow. She was still rearing up, so I calmly instructed Alice to gently pet Rainbow's neck and try and soothe her.

It seemed to help some, but just when she was starting to calm down, the old pickup truck came down the gravel driveway, and parked next to the barn. The truck has been known to have a loud backfire of exhaust sometimes, and sadly this time was no different. This caused Rainbow to start rearing all over again.

"Bella, get me down from here, I think I'm gonna get sick!" Alice screamed as she hung on for dear life like a taught her. Thankfully Emmett and Jasper came home with Charlie. I told Edward to go get Jasper and Emmett for help. Edward hesitated for a few minutes, so I had to shove him to get him started. I wasn't sure what was wrong with Rainbow, she wasn't like this. I knew that once Alice was safely back on the ground I would try and figure out what was wrong with her.

Just then Jasper and Emmett came running over to us. And Jasper, being the horse whisperer he is he asked that everyone back away, and give Rainbow some room so she doesn't feel cornered. He slowly waked toward Rainbow while holding out some sugar cubes he must've grabbed on his way out here.

He continued to say soothing things to Rainbow and after a few more minutes Rainbow was back on all four feet and calm. I wanted to run to Rainbow and hug her, that whole thing could've gone completely in a different way. Either Alice hurt, Rainbow hurt, or both of them would be hurt.

Once we were sure that Rainbow was back to her normal self, Jasper helped Alice off the horse and I quickly took off the bridle, and saw that the bit wasn't in the right spot, it was a bit off center. This could've been a factor in what happened today. The saddle was fine, so it was decided that the bit not being in the correct position and her getting spooked with the shadow and backfire of the truck she got spooked.

"Wow that was intense! I'm just glad Rainbow is alright… I think I'm going to wait a while before I ask my mom and dad for a horse." Alice said as she giggled a bit. I could tell that she was still a bit shaken from what happened, which is understandable, and I couldn't help but notice how Jasper and Alice acted around each other. It may be the whole incident that happened just now, but I'm pretty sure my brother and Alice had some sort of connection between the two of them.

"Don't worry; you're done with riding lessons for the time being Alice." Edward ordered. I could tell that he was a bit shaken by what happened as well.

The city boy had his work cut out for him if he wanted a relationship with a farm girl like me.

A/N: Ok so what did you think? I have some knowledge of horse handling from when I took a large animal class for vet tech school, but some things I had to look up. I hope I described things accurately enough for you all!

Also, just FYI Jasper is 19 and Alice is 17 like Edward. Bella is almost 17 her birthday will be a few days before Christmas in this story. Yes Jasper has to be careful about 'jail bait' but he is a complete gentleman and won't do anything to get Alice or him in trouble ok?

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