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Another Chapter of "Stormed Tossed Treasures"

Title: Storm Tossed Treasures 2/?
Fandom: Original
Relationship: Memories of m/m
Author: SunnyD_lite
Prompt: Non-Sequiturs
Word Count: 993

"Is it all locked up tight? The news is making it sound like last days are arriving."

Justin looked over to his second in command. Susan might only be jockey sized, but she had the heart of a Clydesdale. And the stubbornness of a mule, least ways when it came to the care of the horses. "Locked up tight as a drum, and you know the news is always overselling disasters."

"H'mph," was her only reply as they retreated to the farm house. He knew she'd rather wait it out with the animals. Some might think it lacking sense, but it was his inclination too. Race horses weren't known for their calm dispositions.

"Look, let's get some supplies from the house. Once I know Mom's set up, we can go back to the barn."

That chased her clouds away. If only everything was fixed so easily.

They made it into the house as the first buckets of rain began to drop. Justin shook his head like a wet dog, letting his long brown hair splatter water across the wood floors.

"And you'll be mopping that up before you're back to the barn, won't you Justin?"

The fact that his mom was standing there, mop in hand, merely meant she'd resigned herself to his habits. "How did you know?" he started to ask.

"If I couldn't keep you out of the bar while you were in your teens, why would I think to now? Neither of you would leave those animals alone through any storm, let alone a hurricane. I've packed up some food and water, for you two mind, not the animals. Your sleeping bags are there as well."

He tried to look after his mom, she just rarely gave him the chance. And he didn't want to think of reasons other than the horses that he'd spent so much time in the barn. Or its hayloft. He gave his head another shake, to rid it both of those thoughts and the rain and then embraced his mother in a damp hug. "You are the best, you know that."

She fussed briefly with the hug. "Quick before you really become a drowned rat, but not before you mop that floor."

He tossed off a salute and then turned to the mopping. He noted that Susan did a quick check of all the windows, which they'd spent the afternoon boarding up. On top of the sleeping bags were two sets of foul weather jackets. His mom really did think of everything. In a matter of minutes, they were heading back into the gale.

The new barn was a few minutes walk from the house, further than the original one. But his breeding had been doing so well that five years ago Justin had been able to build a larger one with the modern conveniences. It was funny how the bank was willing to lend money after Stormy Seas won the Kentucky Derby. He'd thought that he might have heard from Carl after that. Carl's grandparents had joined the town in celebration but...

"Why didn't you just put an apartment in here?" Susan's question broke him from a too often run track of thoughts.

"While I'm willing to give up sleep for the beasts, I don't need to make it so easy the owners expect it as a normal service," he replied easily. "Doesn't mean we're not using the cots." It wouldn't be the first time they'd over-nighted it, and Justin was one to learn from his mistakes. He dumped the cooler of food in the office.

"Unwrap those sleeping bags would you?" he asked Susan. Then as he started to walk the stall added, "Plus, not everyone loves horses like we do. If my apartment was in the barn, it might limit my dates."

"What dates?" Susan asked with a snort."Plus you'd never go for a guy who didn't love horses like you do."

Susan had been with him nine years. Had it been ten, she'd have realized how wrong she was.

"Building a business takes time, and horses aren't a nine-to-five job," he countered. Not waiting for an answer he clucked outside of Stormy's stall. The stallion was long past his racing days, but everyone wanted a piece of a winner. Stormy poked his head out of the stall, ears twitching against the noise of the storm. Justin ran a hand down Stormy's long nose, calming as much as the horse from the touch.

"Doesn't mean you can't have a little fun – if you can find anyone who can follow your non-horse conversations that is." Susan was working the other aisle.

Justin gave Stormy a final pat, then moved down the stalls. Stormy might be his favorite, having raised him from a foal, but Justin would reassure all the horses stabled with him. He'd ask Susan what she meant, but he already knew. Horses were his main passion, but when he did have free time, he immersed himself in sci-fi tv shows and movies. This was easier to do with the advent of TIVO, but even as a teen he'd gorge on seasons at a time on DVDs.

There had been someone who'd been able to keep up with his references. And why was his brain coming back to Carl again? Seems the horses weren't the only ones unsettled by the storm.

"If I could just get you to watch Firefly," he offered. "It has horses."

"And spaceships, no thanks! There's enough to worry about right here. I'm not wasting thought on things that don't exists."

"And what about things that shouldn't exists, like that Toddlers in Tiras?" A strong gust of wind smacked the side of the barn, and they both focused on their animals. It was an old argument, one they could pick up anytime.

Things were about to change, he could feel it in his bones. But would the luck this wind blew in be for good or ill?


I was expecting chapter 2 to pick up where chapter 1 left off, but I really liked this picture of Justin's life before the meeting at the tree.
It's not just Carl who feels the loss, then. Not just Carl who thinks of could-have-beens.
Justin has a good mother and a good lieutenant in Susan. He has a good life. I love that it is enough... most of the time. *g*
Very nice.
I'm glad that I was able to properly depict Justin's world in this short piece - thank you so much for reading & commenting I do love your comments! *hugs them*
Hey hon!
I just popped by to wish you a very happy birthday.
May you have cake and presents and joy of the day.
I do really like this. All of the characters seem very three-dimensional in such a short period of time.
praise from you for characterization is golden! Thanks for reading & commenting.