The park was surprisingly empty, considering that the younger kids had let out of school about a week before. But Arian didn’t let that thought stop her from grabbing one of the fallen tree branches and aiming it at Mike’s chest.

“En garde, fiend!”

He threw his bag across the park, and it landed almost expertly next to hers. He grabbed two small branches and held them – one in each hand, lowering his stance.

“Let’s go, twinkle toes!”

They play fought for a while, snapping branches in half with the force of their hits at each other and picking up new ones every time that happened. They finally stopped when they couldn’t find anything else to use as weapons, and Mike thought that throwing a pine cone at Arian would have been a bit too much.

He flopped down onto the grass, putting a hand to his forehead and closing his eyes. “Woo! You sure know how to make a man work out, Ar.”

“I do what I can to help,” she jabbed back, sitting down next to him and staring up at the immaculately blue sky, welcoming the breeze floating against her cheeks.

“Did I ever tell you that this is where I brought Kendra on our first date?”

“The park?”

“Yeah.”

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