Cory introduced Kevyn to the other horses. She showed him Allegra, who was now visibly pregnant, and Pressman, explaining she was to ride him in a show next month to get some experience. She threw more hay in to horses that had eaten theirs and dropped treats in their buckets with the ease of someone familiar with a task. Kevyn brushed the stray wisps of hay off her coat and picked a strand out of her hair.
“You really like it here, don’t you?” he said, more like a statement than a question.
Cory shrugged. She really did, but it was difficult to explain why. When she was at the barn it felt as if nothing else existed. She loved the feeling of sitting down after the work was done and listening to a barn full of horses munching on hay. She especially liked it when it was raining outside and everyone was inside and warm and . . .”It makes me feel safe.”
Kevyn’s brows slid together. “From what?”
Cory looked away. “I don’t know. Safe.”
She envisioned her mom sitting at the table with Bucky. Even if he weren’t there, she knew the atmosphere in the house would be dictated by her mom’s mood. Every time Cory opened the door at home, she sent out invisible feelers to sniff for danger or a volatile situation brewing. Every time she could feel the tension in her shoulders and every nerve standing ready to fire at the sound of a cabinet door banging or an angry shout upstairs.
Cory gave what she hoped was a reassuring smile. “It’s just quiet here. Safe’s probably not the right word.”
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