POV #1: Jesseca took a scene from the new book, Thick as Thieves, and rewrote it from Mitch's POV. It is where Taffy is a runaway, due to some malicious mischief on Macy's part.
Mitch walked slowly down the boardwalk. It had been another long, hard night of trying to track down the rustlers without any luck. We’d better find them soon. Chad’s just about gone crazy!
He was just about to open the door to the Mercantile when the shout “runaway” was heard echoing through the town as everyone scrambled to get out of the way. One look at the horse and Mitch felt his heart drop. It was Taffy, and Andi was still in the saddle hanging on for dear life.
Without a second thought, Mitch ran to the post where he had tied Chase and leapt onto his back. By the time he pushed Chase into a gallop, Andi and Taffy had disappeared around the corner.
We’ve beat Taffy before, we’ll be able to do it again. Mitch thought as they galloped through Fresno. Yet a small doubt crossed his mind. Taffy had never run like this before. What happened? Taffy’s always listened to Andi before. Why would she run like this?
By this time, Mitch heard the hoof beats of horses behind him and realized there must be others going after Taffy as well. He didn't glance behind to see who they were; his mind was fixed on Andi. Another few strides and I’ll have her. He realized that having Chase running alongside had slowed Taffy down. Instead of the breakneck speed she had been keeping before, she had slowed to a gallop.
“Hang on, Andi. be ready,” he yelled as he Chase caught up with Taffy. In one quick motion, he leaned across and wrenched Andi from the saddle, pulling her onto Chase. Andi wrapped her arms around him and held on for dear life. He pulled slowly and evenly on the reins, bringing Chase to a stop.
“You can let go now,” he exclaimed as he tried to catch his breath. Chase was breathing hard as well, but didn’t seem any worse for the run Andi didn’t seem to hear him as she continued to cling to him. Mitch slowly unclasped her hands and helped Andi to the ground where she collapsed in a heap.
“That way you took off, I reckoned you’d soon be in Oregon.” he said, grinning as he dismounted Chase and joined her on the ground. “That was quite a ride. You’re white as chalk.
Andi burst into tears. Mitch, realizing she was still terribly frightened, took her into his arms and patted her back just like he’d used to do when she was little. “It’s alright, sis. You’re safe now. I’ve got you.”
At that moment, the other riders rode up, looking relieved to see that the chase had ended. “You alright, Miss Carter? It’s a good thing Mitch was in town. Don’t think we’d ever have caught up the way that horse took off.” The man laughed and pointed to Chase, “If you sign up for the Fourth of July race, Mitch, I’m withdrawing!”
Andi managed a polite smile, but Mitch could sense that his sister didn’t want them around.
“Thanks fellas.” he raised a hand and waved them off.
“No need for thanks. A runaway is dangerous. Of course we would’ve done whatever we could to help.”
They mounted their horses and rode back toward town.
Mitch turned back to Andi. She had managed to stop crying, but she still was shaking. “I heard them yell runaway. When I saw it was you and Taffy, my heart nearly stopped. Speaking of Taffy…” he looked around and saw under a clump of oaks about fifty feet away. As soon as he had pulled Andi off her back, she had settled down and was now waiting for her owner. Andi out her finger to her lips to whistle, but she was shaking so badly she couldn't manage.
“Here, I’ll call her, little sis.” He put his fingers to his mouth and blew a shrill whistle. Taffy obediently trotted over to them. She was still breathing hard, but she was no longer fighting for every breath of air.
Andi shuddered as she looked at her.
“It’s over now,” he reminded her as he stood and took her hand. “Let’s go home.”
Suddenly Andi pulled herself to her feet and hurried over to Taffy. “It’s not over.” she yelled back at him over her shoulder.
“What do you mean?” Mitch asked, a puzzled look on his face as he followed her. “Careful, she still may be spooked.”
Andi took off the saddle, and let both it and the blanket fall to the ground, she then began to search the blanket.
“What in the world?” Mitch stood, dumbstruck as Andi pulled out a small, but sharp tack. She dropped it into Mitch’s hand, then mounted Taffy and reached for the rains.
“Wait now, Andi. Where are you going?” She didn’t answer as she hurried off.
Mitch groaned. Andi had quite the temper and this would set her off. He picked up the saddle and blanket she had left behind and walked over to Chase.
“Well, what do you say we go after her again?” He patted Chase’s sweaty neck. He swung the saddle and blanket onto Chase, then mounted and set off in an easy canter toward town. “I’m just hoping she doesn’t do anything before I can get there,” he muttered. Chase nickered, casing Mitch to grin. “You know what I’m saying, don't you boy?”
In no time at all, he turned into town. Now where would Andi have gone? he chuckled to himself. If he tried the place he thought Andi would have gone, it would be the one place she wasn’t.
Pausing to think, he heard a ruckus in front of the saloon. If she’s by the saloon, I don’t even want to guess what Mother will say. He hurried over and dismounted, then began to walk down the boardwalk to the saloon. Andi was there, but the noise was coming from a girl, no older than Andi, who was being held by a scruffy looking man.
It must be the Walkers. Macy and one of her brothers, he thought. No doubt, Andi realized Macy was the one who had planted the tack and was now planning to give her a piece of her mind. He approached slowly. The man was holding Macy, and actually asking Andi to punch her.
Mitch shook his head in disbelief, How could a brother treat his sister so? His attention then turned to Andi. She had taken a step back, and was now holding Taffy’s bridle. Turning to the Walkers as well as the other men who had come out of the saloon to watch Andi said in a calm voice, “I came to ask Macy if she’d like to ride my horse.”
Mitch swelled with pride as he watched his little sister control her temper and offer good in return to all Macy had done to her.
Macy stopped squirming and her brother threw her out into the street. “Go get her, Macy. Show her what’s what.” All the men around cheered as Macy pulled herself to her feet.
Mitch, feeling it was time to intervene, stepped forward behind Macy’s brother. A relieved look washed over Andi’s face as she caught sight of him. Once again she turned to Macy and asked if she’d like to ride.
Macy nodded, and at that moment Rudy, Macy’s brother, started forward. “Why you little--”
Mitch grabbed Rudy’s arm and held him back. “I suggest you let the girls be. Why don’t you go buy yourself a drink?” His voice was soft, but held a dangerous edge.
Rudy swore and once again started forward, but he held him back.
“We won’t have any of that in this town, and I don’t think you’d appreciate the sheriff getting involved.” Mitch released his hold and shoved him toward the saloon. “Our jail has a fine number of cells. Mind your manners or you’ll occupy one.”
He turned to Andi. “Enjoy your ride. I’ve got some errands to run. I’ll meet you at Blake’s in half an hour.”
With that he turned and left. The surprised look on Andi’s face had told him that his sister expected a scolding. He chuckled to himself as he once again started toward the Mercantile. He wasn’t about to scold her for holding her temper and showing love to an enemy. Little sister, you made the Carter name proud today!