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“I know you want to run again and this is supposedly the best stroller available for running.”

“Can I try it now? Not to run, necessarily, but just to get the feel of it.”

“Of course. Why don’t you put your blade on?”

“Really?” Bridget asked, trying not to get her hopes up.

“Why not? You’ve been running on the treadmill for weeks. Give it a shot.”

She hesitated, grinning.

“Randy said you were ready to try anything,” Luke continued, encouraging her. “Get out on the pavement.”


She talked to Emily about the stroller, figuring out how to buckle her in. “Mama,” Emily said, grinning at Bridget.

“She calls me mama now all the time.”

“She surely does,” Luke said, pleased. “It hasn’t taken her long at all to figure out who you are.”

“I’ll be right back.”

Bridget disappeared down the hallway that led to their bedroom and five minutes later, she came back wearing the blade runner.

“It feels good,” she said. “How does it look?”

“Totally cool,” Luke said, giving her the once-over and meaning it. “Let’s take the elevator down.”

She stepped in and he rolled the stroller in, punching the first-floor button and slinging his arm around her shoulders.

“I have another surprise,” he said when the door opened again.

“I love surprises.”

“It’s not all that,” he said, laughing as he pushed the stroller out.

Standing by to see how she did, Luke’s pride soared. “You’re walking like you own that thing.”

“I feel confident,” she said. “Holding on to the stroller when I run is going to help my balance, too. It’s still a little off. I think because of the eye.”

“Gotcha. I keep forgetting the impact of the eye.”

She held on to his arm, walking down the ramp. “This is going to be so helpful for the stroller.”

“Good. I figured you wouldn’t need it,” he said.

“I think I might use a wheelchair when I want to give Stubby a rest and I’m playing with the baby. I’m not averse to it. So, what’s the other surprise?”

“Stay here for a minute. I have to get something out of the shed.”

She waited with the stroller while Luke walked over to a small wooden shed he’d built on the side of the stone garage. Emily called out “Dada,” when he disappeared into the shed. “What’s Daddy doing?” In half a minute, he came out, pushing a shiny bicycle.

“Ha! You’re going to be my street sweeper?” she asked, referring to a vehicle which rode behind a group of cyclists, picking up stragglers.

“No, if you decide to run, I doubt I’d keep up with you,” he said, laughing. “So I’ll ride.”

“All for me,” she said, then kissed him. “Wow. I really lucked out when I picked you up at Bayou Cottage, didn’t I?”