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Ridin On The Range...

Ridin on the range...
D'Alaire — 15 Sep 1998, 4:16 PM

The speed felt good. The rush of air around her and through her hair, the throbbing steed beneath her and they rounded the course, and the jumps and inclines on the dusty trail that made her heart leap in excitement. There was nothing more thrilling to B'Elanna Torres than to expereince herself the product of her care and joy.

She glanced quickly at the man riding by her. Oh, he loved a good horse, too, she knew. He knew how to ride better than anyone she knew. He could leap a gorge without blinking, traverse any incline without letting his horse get its feet tripped up -- somehow knew how to coax his horse, especially his stallion through any situation. And he respected that too, respected the steed's service and nobility.

It was a thrill to ride with Tom Janeway, all right.

Even if she didn't like losing to even him -- though it was still but a test run. And for that love of a challenge, she clicked in her cheek and rapped her horse's sides with her boots. "Come on, Liberty!" she shouted.

Tom turned back a quick grin to the woman behind him. A fine woman, knew a horse better than the back of her hand, every itch and ail, every way they liked to be treated and trained, and never a negligent day, either.

But it wasn't just her skill with horses he so admired. Her skill in roping in his heart, despite how much they bucked and brurred, was nothing to spit at, for certain. He was glad she knew it, too...Even if those bandanas he had to wear to cover his neck were getting pretty hot.

But he shrugged the complaint off even as he thought it up. It was worth the extra beads of sweat for the reminder of where she'd been. He wouldn't take back her feisty style for all the gold in Nevada.

Even so, or maybe because of that, he wasn't about to *let* her win. He threw his boots into his horse's sides. "On, Intrepid!"