The day had shaped up to be a rather average one. Overcast skies, just a bite of cold in the air and nothing too exciting happening on Aoife Callaghan's farm. Jackson had noticed the waning of day lengths. Dusk was creeping in just a bit earlier every few days, like the sun was being forced to retreat in the face of the oncoming winter. Before the sun could disappear entirely, Jackson decided to muck out the tuddles' stall by the light of sunset, even though he was tired from his long day and ready to retire to his bed and have dinner.
Mila was dozing contentedly on a shelf high up in the stall, paws tucked under her body and eyes slanting shut. For her part, Maggie had tired of mucking about and getting in the way of Jackson's bang up cleaning job, and had passed out in a puddle of puppy just beside the wheelbarrow. Jackson felt exactly how his pets were apparently feeling. Tired, but in a content sort of way.
It wouldn't be long before he was done.
((OOC note: I can edit if need be and since it's longer feel free to skip the background/intro stuff and just read the last paragraph. I can shorten it up but wasn't sure if you enjoyed the extra, background stuff or not...))
Nausea twisted her gut, a familiar sensation by now although Zoey still couldn't be sure if it came from hormones or nerves. Likely both in this case. After this latest revelation she knew she needed to talk to Jackson but she was again terrified. This news would not be welcome to him she was sure. He had been unsure enough of her divided heart before but now this? On some level she would be very, very surprised if this wasn't the final nail in the coffin of her relationship with him-and she still didn't want him to go. If he chose to though could she really blame him? Would she really try to stop him? No...he deserved better and she knew it. He deserved to be loved wholly and completely by someone and if she couldn't give him that he should not have to settle. That didn't stop her stomach from rolling at the thought of being without him though...
Ugh, why did she have to wait so long to talk to him? The day had seemed to drag by at a snail's pace, each hour making her more anxious and all the sicker. Waiting was horrible; she wanted to just find Jackson and get this over with! She had to wait however; his work at Aoife's farm would only get done so soon which she knew better than some was not soon at all. At a farm that size work was near constant even with all the hands helping. It was a miracle Aoife and the others got enough sleep!
In the meantime she focused on her farm. Surely after work Jackson would come over for dinner? It wasn't an uncommon arrangement but...shoot! Why did she have to go ruin everything over and over again?! They had just begun to relax and enjoy one another's company once more and now-
Zoey could not stop the prick of tears even as frustration with herself for crying welled up inside her. Now it was getting late; Jackson was not coming to dinner this evening. If she wanted to talk to him she would have to find him. It was possible of course that he simply had to work late but Zoey feared she would lose her mind if she sat around trying to wait for him longer. Vaino I know you want to sleep but can you please keep an eye out for Jackson? Just until he shows up or I find him.
Normally the Merrisxoia would tell her to shove off. He'd been working hard all day; he was tired now and had earned his rest. But he knew, could feel, how important this was and how it ate at Zoey. The stallion sighed to himself before answering: he grumbled tiredly as he plodded towards the farmhouse. Zoey would want him watching the door of course because where else would Jackson try looking for her if he came by? A bit unfair of him to ask perhaps, especially since he knew Zoey wanted this over sooner rather than later just as he did even if for different reason, but that was sort of the point. It was as much for her sake as his although he swore he'd go crazy if he had to feel her fretting much longer!
I'm trying, was the only answer Zoey gave as she quickly saddled Kalia. Normally the horse was used for pulling the farm cart. Normally Zoey would ride Vaino now that the Merrisxoia was thinner and stronger. He would always be a bit of a pudge but he could move himself and she could ride him. Both enjoyed it even. This was not a normal evening though. Someone had to stay in case Jackson came back while another went looking for him at the place he currently called home. They both knew it wouldn't be Vaino doing all that running around! Thankfully Kalia was trained and knew how to be ridden, not just cues given from the front of a cart.
A sad whicker below caught her attention and she smiled at Tilly. "Sorry girl but I think even you would be tired by the time we got back," Zoey told her, kneeling to hug the tuddle close for a moment. Tilly nuzzled her and lipped at her hair. She wanted to go, wanted to see Jackson's two tuddles and be there if Zoey needed her...but she would listen and stay home this time. That didn't stop her giving Zoey an affectionate send-off though! The young woman laughed as she pulled away and mounted her horse. "Yes I'll miss you too. See you soon." I hope, she whispered silently. Her stomach fluttered as she urged Kalia out onto the road that would lead them into town.
From there she went to the little area behind the blacksmith where she knew Jackson was staying. Kalia was left tied a little ways off just in case Jackson's latest pet decided to try playing with her and spooked her. She wasn't the spookiest of horses but one never knew. As she finally reached the stalls Zoey slowed and listened, smiling when she picked up the sounds of activity. "Hey you silly oaf, you're going to make yourself sick again if you push too hard!" she called, teasing him. Assuming it was Jackson she heard but who else would be here?