The Manor; chapter 4

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I'm dedicating this chapter to FeverSeries for bugging me until I write because she(I assume she) likes it every so much. xoxo~Ash

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Clayton McMillen

He got sent out to find Jailbait on a horse. A goddamn horse. Apparently they were all considered "high risk" for trying to escape the Manor, and as such were not allowed to drive their own cars. Instead, if they wanted to wander around, they could either walk or would be given a horse. Clayton was awkward on the animal at first, he hadn't ridden since her, but soon enough the rhythm came back to him.

As he rode, the sun beat down on him, hot, and after about thirty minutes of wandering about the property he tugged his shirt off, the material sticking in some spots where sweat had built up. His stomach growled, but Clayton ignored it. He was used to ignoring the hunger. It seemed harder today, though. Perhaps it was because there was no one around to beat him if he gained weight, lost his position in his weight class. Here, he could eat what, and how, he wanted without being hit.

Yet, even as he told himself this, the cuts and bruises stung on his firmly muscled, tanned body. His ribs were still smarting every time he made even a minuscule movement. He knew he should tell somebody his ribs were possibly broken, but when he got out, if his dad so wished, he could sue his son for false accusation. If he got even an extra couple months because the police found out Clayton's injuries were more extensive then they first knew, his situation would be even worse. And that was the last thing he wanted.

The sun seemed to get stronger as he rode on, becoming uncomfortably prominent. Clayton could feel his skin burning under rays, but couldn't bear to put his shirt back on. It was just so damn hot. He reversed direction, again. He'd gone North, West, and South, now he turned East. After about twenty minutes, he saw a shape under a tree. Clayton kicked the horse into a trot then a canter. The shape was Amber, curled under the tree, her dark hair tangling around her head and neck.

"Jailbait."

"Go away," she whispered in a hoarse voice as Clayton dismounted and landed lightly next to her.

"Sorry, can't do that. I've been given the blame for your stupid stunt, and have to take you back to the Manor." She gave him a feeble glare then put her head back on the ground.

"Say you didn't find me," she told him in a dead voice. "Then just leave me here. I'll be dead before they find me anyway, I'm sure." Clayton straightened out, hands on his hips, and laughed at her.

"Leave you for dead when I don't get the same courtesy? Oh, hell no. You, my dearest Jailbait, get to come with me." He bent over and picked her up, carrying her like one would carry a toddler. The action, which previously would have been more than easy for him, was a challenge. His ribs screamed in protest, fire seemed to lick the heavily bruised muscles in his arms. He hoisted Amber up on the horse, then mounted up behind her, resisting a groan of pain.

"I hate you," she spat at him. He laughed.

"You'll live through it Jailbait."

Amber Manet

She sat up on the huge horse trying not to hyperventilate. 'I'm safe. Clayton won't let me fall. I'm safe' she repeated in her mind over and over. When she was younger she'd ridden a lot until she fell off a horse and broke her arm and an ankle. Since then, she avoided horses at all costs. They still scared the shit out of her. And obviously, her day hadn't been horrible enough because now here she was, on a fucking horse.

"You okay, Jailbait?" Clayton asked. Amber closed her eyes ad tensed up slightly.

"I would be in you would stop calling me 'Jailbait,'" she ground out through clenched teeth. Clayton didn't laugh.

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