Chapter Four

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A slow week had passed since Leigh started her new job at Donne farm and she was already feeling the tension creeping into her muscles from the long and hard days work. It had been a while- twelve years- since she was seventeen and working a job where she'd leave the house early and return late with only a few green bills to her name. Working at Donne farm was different to anything she'd ever known, at least in her later working life. There was an element about the job which told of the hard work needing to be put in at all times and there wasn't a single moment for slacking. Since the age of eighteen, after writing the catchy theme song for 'At The Top', Leigh had worked in the business for such a long time that she'd almost forgotten what hard work and manual labour meant- but sure enough, the pain in her shoulders and legs was enough to remind her and never to take her previous jobs for granted no matter how frustrating it became.

Even though there was a constant throbbing pain between her shoulder blades and her muscles were tight in her calves, Leigh didn't want to quit- not even for a second. It was her first real slither of freedom in such a long time and there was no way she would ever look back, not now and not ever. Her feet dragged along the dirt track leading up to the farm shop which she could see in the distance and it was at that moment Leigh wished she hadn't sold her car before moving to Oak View. If there was anything Leigh regretted, that was it but she could never have anticipated quitting the job she had once loved to go and work at a small farm shop in a rural town.

The sound of hoofs pattering down the track behind her grew closer and closer until Leigh could hear the heavy breathing of the horse to her right. "Mornin' Miss Danvers," Jamie Donne said in greeting. "Can I give ya a ride to the shop?"

Leigh shook her head almost immediately. "No, definitely not. Thank you," she said with a small, pathetic laugh and shuffled to the left away from the horse.

"You're not scared of horses, are ya?"

Leigh hesitated before answering. "Nope, not scared just weary."

"You ever rode?" Jamie asked and she considered telling him that she had, once before but that would have been a lie considering all she did was sit on the saddle for a couple of seconds so that the camera crew could capture the shot and then she was back on the ground where she felt safe. Jamie trotted ahead a little and then waited for her to catch up. She shook her head. "It's settled then, I'll teach you."

"I don't think so."

"Come on, it's fun," he circled around her on the horse.

"Maybe one day," Leigh lied and picked up her pace walking in the direction of the farm shop. It was nearing 8:30 and despite the sharp pains in her legs she pushed through and walked a little quicker with Jamie still at her side riding his horse and acting as if he were a showman.

"Would you look at that," Jamie said and nodded in the direction of the farm shop. Standing outside, half an hour before opening was a line of customers waiting to purchase their goods. "I'm tellin' ya, since you started workin' here we're gettin' more and more customers. My Mom's gonna love you. Not that she didn't already, we really appreciate your help around here."

Leigh gave a half smile trying to fight through the pain in her body. "Well I really like working here. It's very different to what I'm used to but in a good way."

"Tell you what," Jamie said. "I'll take you to lunch on your break and we can get to know each other."

Leigh was a little taken back at his forwardness and stumbled on her words; "I uh, I..."

"God, that's not what I meant." Jamie cracked a smile. "I wanna know about your last job. The TV and music industry interests me. Don't ask me why though because I ain't a clue."

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