Gwen had always known about Eve. Their grandfathers were friends, their uncles were friends. It was impossible for the two girls to not have met at some point during their family visits to Flower Bud Village. They never met outside of the little tucked away town though, not with both girls living in too-big cities.
The first time they met they were just children, no older then Tim or Meryl, on trips to see Woody and Terry. While they did play and talk, Gwen preferred to explore and wander, while Eve stayed near her fathers’ or grandfathers’ knees. The majority of visits were commonly random misses, not really meeting again until their teenage years. Doug had noticed Gwen’s ‘horse-phase’ as a child never faded, and as a treat took her along with him to one of the villages’ races. She fell so deeply in love with the festival and the animals that she almost missed Eve’s presence, the other girl seemed so much older and mature and contained compared to Gwen’s younger giddy excitement.
They talked between races, Eve admitting less interest in the animals. She had come with Duke in the promise of seeing her grandfather, but the people who had gathered for the festival had caught her eye. Gwen hadn’t thought of it before, but looking around she could see a fair variety in the crowd, people in different clothes with different mannerisms, including herself and Eve.
Since then they both came out to the biannual races when possible, Gwen for the horses and Eve for the people. They’d chat if they saw each other for a few minutes until a race started or Eve would excuse herself to visit with others, nothing more beyond that between the like-eyed blondes.
At near the same time Doug and Duke opened their businesses, with Gwen following along her Uncle at the opportunity to visit and help at the inn. The three main ranches in town provided her plenty of horses to look at, even riding the odd time with Bob on free days. The elation continued when she realised Eve had moved out of the city to help with Duke at his bar, and the two girls were free to talk more than ever. In Eve’s ever-polite way she agreed when Gwen mentioned this, and the two made plans to meet every other day off at Duke’s for walks around town. They didn’t have much to talk about in common – most topics covered the village, or stories their grandfather’s told of the mountain’s history and legends. They never really talked about the cities they were from, though Gwen didn’t think that was on purpose. Other things around them seemed to take up their few scheduled hours together, and events in the village seemed to happen fast enough for them to discuss, regardless of how rare they actually seemed.
A few evenings Gwen would walk Eve to work, staying for a drink if she saw her grandfather there. For those nights she and Woody would keep to themselves at the far side of the bar, chatting easily with Hank or Duke. Until Eve would come around the bar and begin making her rounds to the other patrons. Then the ponytailed girl would watch in silence as the young woman worked the room, easily gliding between the tables with a gentle smile and grace Gwen felt she could only imitate on the back of a horse.