A trust destroyed is a trust that is hard to recover…
Brendan Matthews is happy training racehorses for a living. He thinks he’s hit the jackpot when a wealthy orthopedic surgeon, Adam Ahmadi, sends six yearlings his way. Not only are the horses a cut above the rest, their owner isn’t too shabby either.
But not everything is as it seems. Adam has many secrets, most of them dark and deadly. When Adam’s past returns with a vengeance, he disappears, leaving Brendan confused and hurt.
If Adam survives, will his past destroy their future?
What a fucking racket.
Brendan wandered along the stable block, wincing as Bertie, his yard man, sang in tuneless disharmony with a song blaring from the tinny radio. Horses, equally offended, nodded their heads over stable doors, their ears twitching at the onslaught of bum notes and falsetto warbles. Bertie swept on, marshaling errant wisps of straw into a tidy pile.
“For fuck’s sake. Give it a rest, Bert. You’re scaring the horses.” Jerry, one of the stable lads, staggered past under the weight of a laden muck sack.
“And I don’t want you scaring off Dr. Ahmadi.” Brendan paused to rub the nose of one of the new arrivals, a Galileo yearling fresh from the sales and, arguably, one of the best-bred horses ever to grace the yard. All thanks to his newest owner, who was due to arrive at any moment.
“We’re ready, boss.” Wahid carried a leather lead and chain. “All the babies are clean, rugged-up and ready to be shown off.”
Brendan glanced at his head lad. Wahid was the only one who hadn’t staggered into the yard earlier nursing a hangover. The rest of his staff, having celebrated Bertie’s birthday the night before, were a sorry collection of pale, stumbling wraiths. He sent a prayer of thanks to the gods that they were just leading Ahmadi’s purchases out for his perusal, rather than riding them. Hangovers made this lot ride like sacks of shite.
“Yeah, make it happen.” Brendan patted the yearling’s neck absently then continued toward the tack room to rouse the rest of the troops from their stupor. “He’ll be here in a minute or two and I’d rather not keep him hanging round. It’s fucking cold this morning.”
He found Mary, Naz and Yuri huddled around the oil heater clutching mugs of coffee and looking miserable. They glanced up when Brendan walked in, then set their drinks down.
“Sorry, boss.” Mary stood. “Rough night.”
“Thank Christ you lot aren’t riding out this morning. You couldn’t stay on a seaside fucking donkey. Can you all, at least, tidy yourselves up? Yuri, you look like you spent the night under a haystack.”
“He probably did,” Naz suggested, tipping the rest of his coffee into the sink.
Yuri, having scrambled to his feet, raked his fingers through his tousled hair, sending a shower of straw to the tack room floor. “Yes, boss.”
“Go check your horses, and get them ready to be led out. He’ll be here any minute. When he’s gone, then you can thank your lucky stars that your boss is taking pity on you and not making you ride a third lot. After you get back to the yard and feed the horses, you can call it a morning.”
“Thanks.” Naz shuffled past him, offering him a smile. “It won’t happen again, sir, we promise.”
“Pull the other one, Naz.” Stable lads and monumental piss-ups went together. “Anyway, I might make you all start breaking in the yearlings tomorrow. Wouldn’t that be a great way to spend a Sunday morning?”
Of course, he had no intention of doing such a thing. The week of the October sales was always a fraught affair. They all needed a rest before the breaking-in began.
The clang of the main gate ripped Brendan from wistful thoughts of bacon butties and a mug of builder’s tea. The good doctor had arrived in a gleaming black BMW which he was currently parking in front of the house. The second clang of the gate heralded the arrival of Sam Mason, Ahmadi’s bloodstock agent. The one who’d attended the sales on his client’s behalf and filled half a dozen of Brendan’s boxes with an impressive collection of very expensive horses. Beautiful, well-bred creatures.
Brendan brushed a stray bit of straw from his jacket and strode out to meet them.
“Brendan! Good to see you.” Sam seized his hand in his usual bear-like grip and shook it. “Meet Dr. Adam Ahmadi.” He grinned and turned toward his client, who had emerged from his car.
Fuck me. Please…
About the Author:
S.A. Meade lives in deepest Wiltshire with her son, a dog and two cats. She is still partial to gin and tonic and loves to cook. When she’s not working, she stares at her laptop and waits for inspiration to strike, preferring that to mowing the lawn or weeding. When parked in front of a computer, she can be found wandering the streets of her village, dog in tow.