Jade nibbled a piece of bacon, then excused herself. She bundled up three strips and two muffins in a napkin, stepped into her paddock boots, and slipped outside. Jeremy had been busy that morning, and she wondered if he might have been driven from the house by all the “bed-thumping.” The horses were out; the stalls were clean; the aisle swept; the hose rolled up neatly by the spigot. He was in the tack room, buffing beeswax into his saddle with a gummy strip of rag. He was a musical tack cleaner: the radio was always blasting and he was usually whistling and talking to himself. This morning he was silent, glaring at the saddle flap, oiling in fast, angry circles.
She propped a shoulder in the doorjamb. “I brought you breakfast.”
He didn’t comment.
“You have to eat,” she urged. “Otherwise you’ll get all swoony and fall off Rebecca Green’s horse. Then I’ll have to bust out the Hartshorn and revive you Jane Austen style.”
“Austen didn’t need Hartshorn,” he said, without looking up. “That’s just in those bodice ripper novels you read.”
She grinned. “Is that the problem? Your bodice too tight?”
~From Whatever Remains, summer 2013