~ The Ride ~ pg 9

Slowly Fiora finally began to let go of the tension in her back allowing herself to rest against his chest. It did not take long for her to pick up on the subtle shifts he made to accommodate Clover and mimic them. The riding started to become much easier and Alex relaxed himself, holding the reigns loosely in front of her. 

He was so relaxed, his riding instincts took over. It was the only time he ever allowed it, but it was a guilty riding pleasure; Alex opened himself up to his element… Water. Cursed as the element was, he could not deny how it aided him in sensing and anticipating Clover’s movements. Now, though, he could also sense the pulse of Fiora’s blood in contrast to his own, their heartbeats alternating. As Alex listened to them, the gap between their beats shortened. Closer, closer, until they were just a thrum apart. Alex let out a slow breath and Fiora did as well, they both breathed in at the merge and Alex felt something lock into place. 

Fiora must have felt it, too, as she breathed an ‘Oh’ of surprise. He could sense her heartbeat increase with her excitement and his beat matched hers perfectly. Alex was also surprised. The sensation was not a completely new one, but he had only ever accomplished it with Clover before, usually on long runs. Syncing heartbeats with a horse was different, though. A horse’s blood could pump much slower than his when at rest or much faster when at a gallop. Clover’s heart always beat at double time when Alex had felt his own blood pulse in sync.

With Fiora it was more than just a heartbeat; it was emotion. This was a deeper sense of connection… another layer he had not experienced before. Her wonder at whatever she could sense from it was contagious. Too contagious… Alex did not trust it. He did not want her to know he had reservations about it, though. While he stayed on guard with his own emotions, he went on with her lesson as if this were supposed to be part of it. “We are one rider. Now we must be one with the horse, move as Clover moves.” 

He could feel her attempt, sense her concentration, but she was anticipating the wrong things. Alex knew how to shift her focus. “Close your eyes,” he instructed, “don’t anticipate Clover’s movements by what you see. Instead use your other senses to feel his muscles as they tense and release. Let his body tell yours what to do.” Alex waited a few ticks as she tried but she wasn’t using all her senses. The one sense that would help her the most was the one she had forgotten. 

The End

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