Rasmus got Seriah settled into a horse ranch rather close to his father's farm. Seriah had never ridden a horse before, but instantly took a liking to the friendly horses on the ranch. Rasmus wasn't sure he liked her living so close to him, since he wanted to avoid her. Seriah was thrilled to live near him, since she thought she could become friends with Rasmus. She was attracted to him as well, but she was so stressed from all the excitement that had been happening lately that she wasn't really thinking about things like that.
Seriah stopped helping her uncle once she learned how to ride (it took her about a week to get the hang of it). She didn't see much of Rasmus during that time, just passing him on the road while riding. She was still learning when she saw him, and when she took one of her hands off the reigns to wave her horse decided to try bucking her off. She hit the ground pretty hard, but wasn't injured. Rasmus was concerned at first, but quickly started laughing once he saw she was fine. Seriah grumbled and dashed off to get her horse, her face turning a bright shade of red.
The next week after that, Seriah decided to ask Rasmus if he wanted to help her saddle-break a young horse. She knew he wouldn't visit her on his own, and she wanted to spend some time with him. He was the only person (other than the older couple who owned the ranch) that she had any kind of friendship with. As she walked up the dusty path to the front door of his farm house, she wondered what she would say when someone answered the door. She hoped it would be Rasmus, since she really had never met his parents and had no idea what kind of people they were.
She stepped onto the porch and knocked on the door a few times. She heard a muffled yell, then footsteps coming towards the door. Her heart raced with fear and excitement as she watched the door open. Then her eyes widened when she saw a huge man towering over her with a cigarette in his mouth. He had the same blank face as Rasmus, but much shorter hair. He took a puff of his cigarette and asked in a thundering voice, "What's your buisness here young lady?"
Seriah could feel herself shrinking away from him, but murmured nervously, "Um, I was looking for Rasmus... is he home?"
The man nodded, and shouted something back into the house. He turned back to her, and after staring for a few moments a small smile formed on his face. He asked, "Would you like to come in?" Seriah nodded gingerly, then followed Rasmus' father through the door.
She found herself in a very typical farm house. There were stains on the carpet, shoes and socks strewn about the room, and the place had a faint odor of livestock. Rasmus' father invited her to be seated, so she sat in the chair farthest away from him. He laughed a few times and said, "No need to be so scared. I won't bite or anything." Seriah noticed a similar gentleness in his voice that she found in Rasmus' voice, and she finally relaxed.
Rasmus wasn't sure what he should do. Knowing his father, he had invited Seriah inside, and was now talking to her. He had to talk to her, but what would he say? He couldn't just send her away, what if she needed something important? He paced around his room, trying to work out what he should do. His father yelled at him again, and he swallowed hard. He took a deep breath, and muttered under his breath, "Just treat her like a friend, it'll be ok."
As he entered the room, when he saw Seriah he furiously fought the urge to smile. He sat on the couch, closer to her than to his father. He asked neutrally, "So you two getting along down here? Or did you call me to break up a fight?"
His father laughed, and exclaimed, "Why haven't we met Seriah before? She's a gem! Where did you find this girl?"
Rasmus glanced at Seriah, who was obviously uncomfortable and nervous. He realized that she probably wasn't used to people being friendly to her, so she had no idea how to react. He shrugged, "On the road coming from town, she was walking at night and I walked her home. There were soldiers crawling around, so I figured she could use some company."
His father raised an eyebrow, but before he could say anything else, a shout from the kitchen made him leave immediately. Rasmus explained, "My dad may seem scary, but he really is harmless. Anyway, what brings you here? Did something happen?"
Seriah shook her head, and replied, "No, I was just wondering if you wanted to help me with something on the ranch. There's a colt that needs saddle-breaking, but Deine and Markson were drafted to train cavalry a few days ago. They may not return for months, and by then it will be much harder. Want to help me?"
Rasmus immediately felt a sense of uneasiness come over him, and he wondered if it was a good idea to spend that much time with her. However, he knew if he didn't help her, she would be breaking the colt by herself. His past experience with horses told him that she could get seriously injured if she tried to do it alone. His fear for her safety was greater than his uneasiness, so he said, "Sure. I'm not busy tomorrow, I'll come over after lunch."
Seriah smiled, and added, "I should go, before your dad comes back and tries to keep me longer. See you tomorrow!" She dashed out the door, and Rasmus tried again to think over what he had just done. He realized something at that moment: he couldn't avoid her. No matter what he did, he just couldn't bring himself to avoid her. She needed him, and he refused to abandon her when she needed him. He decided he didn't care about what could go wrong, he just wanted to be with Seriah.