Title: frosty autumn afternoons
Description: Bronx Equestrian - tagging Giles!
Hope Peterson - March 3, 2012 07:39 PM (GMT)
Hope shivered lightly, pulling her deep green scarf up over her nose. The weather? Not as nice as usual this time of year. She wasn't sure why the winter had decided to come so early, but she was wondering whether or not she would fair better if she just went home now and snuggled up next to Willa with a good book... that was when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and the wind died down. Well, then. That was much better. She blinked in the brightness, slightly snowblinded by the thin layer of white stuff for a moment before she realized someone was calling to her, lost in her slight disappointment at the lack of golden leaves and the overall warm feel of fall.
“Sorry!” she apologized, approaching the person and lowering the scarf again so she could speak clearly. The older woman she spoke to only smiled and shook her head. She was the owner of the Bronx Equestrian, and quite friendly. The two negotiated Hope's afternoon and she went to go pay for her stay. Horse riding was never cheap but Hope loved the animals too much to not go at least once in awhile... and it had been far too long! Hope hadn't gone riding since her move to New York, so she finally decided to search some out, unsure of what she'd find in a large city like this. The large city had two popular equestrians it seemed, and this one was the cheaper among the two, so here she was.
Hope didn't know the proper vocabulary or anything where it concerned horses. She only used to go with her brother, when she lived in Northern Maine with her parents. In fact, this was sort of melancholy for her now, as she did miss her family now and again. Fortunately she was used to going off on her own with an animal companion, and thinking of that, Hope's eyes crinkled as she smiled thinking of her pup most likely snoring at home. Soon enough she was out on a trail, the horse rooting around mostly of free will. Hope was really in no rush, she'd paid for four hours, which would be more than enough. The dark brown stallion she was riding was apparently named Craig. She thought it was a funny name for this sort of horse, but then, his mane was sort of messy and it could have been just her, but he gave the impression of a dry-humoured animal. He snorted softly and sniffed at the grass and she patted his neck before taking out a camera from her side bag and snapping a picture of the marshlands.
It was pretty. The sun was shining on the ice that froze over the tree branches, grasses and cat tails. Now that she was actually riding and not just standing around lost in her thoughts, Hope was content, humming softly to herself, just taking in the scenery. She was glad she'd decided to stay. Craig here was a good boy and the weather was warming a bit. The trails were quiet... it was a calm moment. “There, there,” she murmured when Craig snorted again, lifting his head and looking behind them. She moved them off to the side of the trail a bit, in case someone was coming up behind them, glancing backwards curiously herself before resuming her examination of the pretty scenery.
Rupert Giles - March 4, 2012 01:54 PM (GMT)
The weather was growing quite cold but that did not deter Giles from enjoying a relaxing afternoon doing something which he was rather fond of. Although a tin coat of snow was already covering the ground, Giles made his way to the Bronx Equestrian to spend a large part of the day in the company of Tempest, a superb pure breed stallion whom he had grown fond of from the moment he laid eyes on him, a couple of years ago. It was the most enjoyable pass time Giles had been able to find in New York, reminding him of the lazy, peaceful afternoons spent in England, in Westbury more than often, riding on the back of another favorite of his, Otto.
Giles loved all animals but horses held a special place in his heart. Until finding this particular establishment, they had been part of what he missed about England and his tranquil life there. When he happened to discover the Equestrian, he felt as if he had discovered a little piece of paradise. Running the Slayer Organization, as well as the cover-up business, was more stressful than it seemed like and the fact that the vampires were out in the open was a major stress factor in itself. Giles needed his moments for himself, in which he reconnected with nature and forgot, for brief moments, about vampires, Slayers and even about the fact that he was in New York city and not in his mother country.
Riding on Tempest's back, Giles always forgot his worries and managed to relax. The air was colder than the last time when Giles visited his favorite stallion but it was not making riding uncomfortable, especially since he was going at a slow pace. He let the reins lose, allowing Tempest to carry him along the trail as slow as it wished. In stark contrast with its name, the stallion was very gentle and calm and Giles often felt tempted to try and see if it was capable of raising up to its name. Not today, however. Giles enjoyed the scenery, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips when he caught sight of a woman that led her horse to the side, leaving the trail clear from him. Tempest lead Giles ahead, until he reached the other rider and it matched its steps with the other horse's. ”Good day”, he greeted with a smile.
Elysia - March 29, 2012 10:52 PM (GMT)
Hope smiled friendlily in return to the man who'd greeted her. “That, it is,” she agreed with a small nod, idly stroking Craig's mane as they trotted along. The sound of the horse's footsteps along the trail were steady, blending with the noises of various birds that endured the cold, the wind rustling icy cattails, the calm waves of open water faint, against all the ice and snow. Hope's thoughts wandered, not ignoring the stranger, only rather immersed in memories of home and childhood. She was easily distracted after all, when she wasn't in her work place. This was relaxation time it really was doing some wonders for her. She squinted, eyes watering slightly when a gust of breeze came.
“Do you come here often?” she asked curiously, looking sideways at the man riding next to her with a curious smile. Hope wasn't one to withhold conversation unless she was given the impression she should. Sure, the man could have easily just meant to pass by, but his horse was travelling at the pace as dear Craig was. She didn't think it would be intrusive of her to make some idle chit chat now. It was a lovely day if she ignored the minimal discomfort of the chilled air. And with it cool and crisp like this, the clarity showed up in the pictures she took with the camera too – or at least, that's what she liked to think. And the imagination was a powerful thing.
“I didn't think I'd see anyone else out today,” she added as an afterthought, though her tone remained perfectly open and unoffensive. It was true. Hope was unaware riding was popular this time of year. She didn't know anything about it after all, only enjoyed the past time. Funny, how she could be so enquiring about certain things, yet she'd never really investigated this hobby at all. Maybe she just liked the... simplicity of it. The comraderie between horse and rider, the nature in general. Without knowing all the proper terms, it was just her, her stallion and the trail. It was a nicer concept maybe, to just not think about some things, sometimes. And now it was just her, Craig, the gentleman beside her and his own horse, hopefully about to embark on some friendly conversation to pass the time. Though he hadn't yet said much, there was a lot to be said about the way a person carried themselves and maybe it was presumptuous of her, but Hope also thought the way a person dressed said something. So far the gentleman was giving her a good impression, which was why she'd bothered in an attempt to make conversation. The small smile never leaving her lips, her eyes did wander, taking in the lovely sights to be seen.
Rupert Giles - April 15, 2012 09:10 PM (GMT)
“That, it is”
Giles gave a warm smile at the woman's words, taking a few moments to glance at the scenery and admire the nature. Such a stark contrast from the sights Giles had to see on a day to day basis – tall buildings made of glass, steel and concrete – the air so fresh, unlike the one in the streets towards the heart of the city, so heavy with the exhaust fumes of all the cars that commuted from people's homes to their work places, or towards places of entertainment. Giles appreciated the fact that such spots of nature still existed in this big city and, most of all, that the person that owned the land had put it at such a good use and that they did not chose, instead, to allow for another residential area to be built. If he closed his eyes for a few moments, breathed in and focused on the sounds of nature, Giles could almost believe that he was back in England. At the moment, however, Giles kept his eyes open and glanced back at the woman riding beside him, because he didn't want to seem like a ridiculous and nostalgic old fool to her.
”I am afraid that I don't come here as often as I would like to”, Giles admitted. He really wished he had more free time on his hands, to spend here, in Tempest's company. Giles enjoyed the calm and the small communion between him and his horse. It helped him relax and set aside all the worries that piled up between two visits – unfortunately, the visits being so rare, the worries he needed to take a break from were also numerous and Giles could never claim that he left completely relaxed, as he would have wished. ”What about you?”, he returned the question. Giles tried searching through his memories of his visits at the equestrian but he could not recall having seen her before. Perhaps their schedules simply did not match, he supposed. She seemed to be at ease with her horse – and her horse also seemed to be at ease with her – therefore he drew the conclusion that this was not the first visit, that there had been a number of occasions in which the younger woman spent her time admiring the nature on the back of the stallion that was carrying her now.
”I admit that the weather is rather unfriendly today”, Giles started with a soft smile. ”Nonetheless, winter is right around the corner and I wanted to take this opportunity to ride with Tempest one more time. It might very well be the last time I can do this until spring comes.” As much as he enjoyed horseback riding, Giles was also conscious of his age and he didn't want to do something ridiculous such as riding during an extremely cold weather, when he might be an easy target for pneumonia. Careful not to tug at the reins, Giles shifted slightly in his saddle, to extend his hand towards the young woman riding at his side. ”Rupert Giles. It's a pleasure to meet you.” His eyes lingered on her face, perhaps a little too much than it might have been proper. She was a very charming woman.
Elysia - April 25, 2012 10:04 AM (GMT)
He commented that he didn't come here as often as he'd like and Hope found herself wishing she'd started visiting earlier in the season. This place was a nice little haven from all of the noise that made up New York City – not that Hope was one to avoid noise at all times. She liked being a busybody, liked the bustling streets (so long as she wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere) and definitely loved all the opportunity for sight seeing, trying different foods, witnessing some of the local talent. New York was certainly a city like no other. The man then asked her the very same, noting the chill in the air and that he'd wanted to ride his steed, Tempest, once more. A tiny smile of amusement twisting her lips at the differing names between their horses, she then shook her head with a small regretful sigh, glancing around at the scenery once more.
“This is my first visit out,” she confided, looking at him from the corner of her eye. “I wish I'd found this place sooner. You're right, it may be closed soon for the holidays.” Time really did fly this season. Halloween, then all of a sudden, Christmas. It just seemed to be how the inner clock worked, at least for her – and it probably wouldn't help that the wintery weather had arrived a little earlier than the norm. Nonetheless, she was really happy to have come at all.
Hope grinned and shook his hand when he introduced himself. “Lovely to meet you,” she returned. “I'm Hope Peterson.” She patted Craig's mane again when he snorted quietly, flicking his ears. “And this is Craig,” she added with a small chuckle. A frozen flower – what kind, she couldn't say – caught her eye and she quickly reigned in the stallion for a moment, snapped a picture with the camera hanging around her neck and resumed the pace. She didn't think much of it... her mindset was very different from when she was at work after all, easily distracted. Besides, Hope was wondering if she could use these pictures for homemade cards, now that she was thinking a little of the holidays. Hope was just lucky Craig was patient and a good listener and put up with the stop and go rhythm.
Rupert Giles - June 4, 2012 05:28 PM (GMT)
“This is my first visit out"
"It is? That is quite a shame", Giles commented to the younger woman's answer to his question. He believed that she had missed plenty of opportunities to see sceneries far more breathtaking than this early winter one. Especially during spring, when nature started returning to life and trees, bushes and flowers were in bloom, it could be quite an extraordinary experience to let the horse slowly carry you along the trails while you opened your senses to the beauty of nature. ”I hope you enjoy this visit then, so you feel motivated to return when it opens again in spring. I believe you would adore the sights,”, Giles commented with a smile on his lips, a huff coming from Tempest, as if it was confirming what the man on its back was saying. Another thought, which Giles kept for himself, was that he would have liked coming back in the spring to meet the younger woman on one of the trails again. She was pleasant to the eye and the conversation, so far, seemed to be going well. This random meeting was certainly spiking the head Watcher's interest.
“I'm Hope Peterson.”
”Hope?”, Giles repeated, straightening himself in the saddle again. ”That is such a beautiful name”, he complimented her from the heart. Judging by the name, one would have thought that the woman was the very optimistic type but Giles had his doubts. He noticed a certain something in her eyes that intrigued him, making him believe that there was something in this woman's life that upset her. Perhaps he would learn what, perhaps he would not – it was close to impossible to tell if they would meet again and how things would go on between the two of them. ”Craig?” Hearing the horse's name made Giles chuckle softly. ”That is such an unusual name for a horse”, he commented. Rather... human, the kind of name which he would have expected someone's father or big brother to have. Tugging gently on the reins of Tempest, Giles stopped by Hope's side and watched her as she took her time to take a photograph – or more – of one of the flowers on the side of the trail. While Hope's attention was stolen by the flora, Giles' attention was stolen by her. He found himself watching her features with a small smile spread on his lips and he quickly pulled himself together, hoping that she didn't catch him looking too intently at her. ”Are you a photographer?”, he asked after clearing his throat, eager to restart conversation.