"What did I tell you about going near her?" The old mother whispered to the young foal with a threatening tone. "She is not the influence I want you to have!" The mare snapped as she bit at the flanks of the youngster, wanting to get away from the others. It didn't matter. The young mare still heard. She still felt the pain stinging again. But she new the old timer was right. She was a bad influence. The other horses lifted their heads and watched silently, like vultures eyeing their next meal, as she walked through the herd. She kept her head low and her eyes on the ground as she passed everyone. She meant no harm. Every so often she heard a snort or irritated grunt escape the mouths of her watchers. Now the pain stung even more. She walked out of the midst of the herd and into the open meadow where no one could accuse or make fun of her. She had only been with the herd for a month. Before she joined, her past was filled with darkness and things she desperately wished she could forget. But she couldn't. The herd constantly reminded her of them. "What is it worth? Nothing." She whispered to herself as she closed her eyes and swayed in the chilling breeze, gently rocking herself to sleep. ~-~-~-~-~-~ The young mare slowly opened her eyes. Her coat had been warmed by the early sunlight and everything was peaceful. She shook out her coat then looked over at the awakening herd. She snorted then turned and began grazing on the luscious grass at her feet. "What are you doing by yourself?" A deep voice gently called from behind the mare, causing her to jump in shock. She twirled and look up at the stallion with a frightened expression. "Um, I-I....I....Sorry...I just thought I could...." She stuttered nervously as she avoided eye contact. "Thought you could escape." He finished, unchanged. She looked back up at him with questioning eyes. "Yes...." she whispered, barely loud enough to hear. The stallion nodded then turned and looked at the herd. "Don't worry, I understand." He turned and looked back at her. "If you ever need someone to talk to, I am always open for it." He added, with a comforting smile. The mare looked him over carefully before nodding and smiling slightly. "Thank you." The stallion nodded then turned and walked back to the herd. ~-~-~-~-~-~ The teasing and shunning continued for days on end, driving the young mare farther and farther from the herd. She'd stand on her own, day in, day out, hating herself. She'd relive her past and pushed her over the edge. One day, she snapped. She ran away from the old mare, away from the taunting girls, and just ran. She ran into the forest, never stopping, even as the light faded. She ran into dangerous territory. She finally ran herself to exhaustion and collapsed on the forest floor. Little did she know, she was being followed. ~-~-~-~-~-~ A howl echoed in the night wind. It was close. Too close. The mare's eyes fluttered opened and she sat up quickly. The forest was dimly lit by the moon, which was nowhere to be seen through the dense trees. The mare perked her ears forward as she listened to the snapping of twigs and crumpling of leaves beneath feet. She quickly jumped up and watched the forest before her. The sounds ceased and everything went silent, except for a low growl. The mare snorted and reared, whinnying and thrashing her legs in the air, warning the beasts before her. She stamped the ground and snorted loudly. But it wasn't any use. She was flanked. Red eyes began appearing through the darkness from each and every side. The beasts crept closer until they could be clearly seen. Wolves. The mare whinnied and twirled, doing her best to frighten the wolves. But all for not. The wolves snapped at her exposed legs and body, drooling hungrily as they played with their food. One finally got bored and lunged, landing on the mare's back. He sank his claws into her soft tissue and lapped up the fresh blood. The mare screamed and kicked, causing the other wolves to attack. They brought the mare down and began fighting over the first bites. The mare panted, blood streaming down her face. She gave in to the wolves, knowing it was over. Maybe it was for the best. She slowly closed her eyes and waited for her death. But something happened that no one planned. A loud whinny echoed through the trees, causing the wolves to spin and look up the hill. Standing at the top was the young stallion who had approached the mare days before. He reared then charged down the hill, the wolves charging towards him. The mare slowly closed her eyes a s her wounds took their toll and slipped into darkness. ~-~-~-~-~-~ "I am not worth it." "No, you are worth everything. You're worth life itself." "I am a bad person." "One mistake doesn't make you evil." The mare slowly opened her eyes. She was looking straight into the red eyes of the stallion, her savior. "Why'd you risk your life for me? You should have left me, it would have been better without all this earthly suffering." The stallion looked into her soft purple wonders. He gently touched muzzles with her, moving closer to her limp body. "Because.....you are worth the risk, and if you had died, I would have died with you." He whispered with passion into her ear. The mare smiled then nuzzled closer into his warm body before falling asleep under his watchful and loving gaze. ~-~-~-~-~-~ Fanart for of her two characters, Oki and Cheyenne. (They are actually wolves but I liked this lineart too much to pass it up XP) I hope she isn't mad at me for the story and kind of taking control of her characters DX Sorry, I just had to get some tension out and this is how I did it.