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 Me And My Daddi 

Season 5

Episode 7

She raced around and around the corral before she jumped the animal over the few obstacles that she and the guy that worked in the stables had set up in the middle. Together, they’d made them from boards and barrels and hay bales.


“Jesus,” Noah exclaimed as he watched Riley.

The barn manager, Stanley, grinned over his shoulder at Noah. “She’s something, isn’t she?”

Noah folded his arms on top of the fence. He felt himself flinch a few times when she took a high jump, or when the horse became stubborn, and he thought it would try to throw her. Even though his stomach was twisted, he smiled when she laughed about the fit the horse was trying to make with her on its back. She froze when she caught sight of him.

He crooked his finger at her.

She sighed and walked the horse to the fence.

“Hello, Mr. … Noah.”

“Stanley, will you take the horse? I need a word with Riley.”

“Sure, boss.” The man grabbed the bridle and held the horse steady while Riley jumped from its back.

Noah cringed. She looked small when she was on top of the beast, but standing next to him, it seemed like with one wrong step, the horse would squash her.

Riley unsnapped and pulled off the riding helmet she wore and handed that to Stanley.

“Come with me,” Noah said as he opened the gate and held out his hand, which she took immediately. He pulled her along until they came to the office. After he drew her in, he turned and locked the door. Then he sat on the edge of his desk, spread his legs, and pulled her closer.

He grasped her hips when she tried to step back. “Do you want to tell me why you ran at breakfast?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged as she looked up at him. “Maybe it’s because I didn’t get a lot of sleep? I also feel shaky or nervous around you, and I’m not sure why, because I also feel safe. I know I got mad when that woman sat close to you.”

“Don’t worry about her, baby girl. I’m trying to get her out of here. Now tell me, is it just around me you feel shaky or nervous?” he asked.

She thought about it for a moment. “Sometimes, but in a different way. When I’m with you, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.” She shrugged again. “I know that sounds funny.”

“No, it doesn’t.” Noah’s heart softened. He had thought she’d run from him, and it made him extremely upset. “Don’t ever run from me again.”

“I didn’t,” she exclaimed.

“I called your name, and you still left.”

She placed her hands on his waist and leaned her head against his chest. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. I can’t do anything right. Just ask my dad.”

He tilted her head back and cupped her face with his hands. “That’s not true. It’s the people around you who mess up because they don’t understand you.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

He didn’t know how to talk about it, and he didn’t want to scare her. We’ve only just met. He needed to give her time to grow as a person and meet new people.

“How about we concentrate on the campers for now? They are going to need all of us, and I think you will connect with most of them because you’re so sweet.”

“I’ll try my best.”

“Good. Let’s get out there. The kids are going to be showing up here soon.”

She nodded and turned.

He stopped her with a hand on her arm. “It’s going to be fine. Give it a chance, and just remember, you’re not alone. You’ve got me.”

She smiled at him. “You have no idea how much that helps.”


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