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“I’m the one who’s lucky,” he said, looking down at her with a grin. “You ready?”

She pushed the stroller down the driveway, getting the feel of the blade on concrete while Luke sat on the bike and walked alongside her.

“How’s it feel?” he asked.

“Good. Stubby is good,” she said. “That’s my only concern. If it gets hurt, I’m out of commission.”

“Take it slow.”

They walked for five minutes, reaching Main Street where the sidewalks were level and even.

“I’m going to give it a try.”

“Go for it,” Luke said, steering out into the street.

He biked along while she jogged, taking her time, keeping an eye out for the pavement in front of the stroller. At one point, she stopped and walked around to the front of the stroller to check on Emily who was shaking a toy elephant around, making raspberries.

“She’s fine,” Bridget said, laughing.

Picking up speed, she switched from jogging to running. “I’m going to go to the park,” she called out. Luke had to watch out for cars now that they were in town.

“I’ll be right behind you,” he said. “Don’t overdo it.”

“Okay, I won’t,” she said, pulling back a little bit. “It feels good to give it my all.”

“I know,” Luke replied, laughing. “But if you go too fast, I can’t keep up and watch for cars, too.”

“Uh, sorry,” she said. “I didn’t think I ran that fast.”

They reached the shopping district and she ran past Spencer’s Grocery and Casson’s Hardware, past the Old Hotel and the Cypress Cove Day Care Center. Across the street were Café Delphine, the post office, the community center, and the train station.

“I love it here,” Bridget said.

“You do? I’m stunned,” Luke replied. “It’s so Podunk.”

They waited at the corners of Main, Marina Drive and Bayou Truck Trail for a car to pass, then crossed. It was nearing lunchtime and the dockmaster’s shack was closed. A man on horseback came into the village via the trail, removing his hat and wiping his arm across his forehead.

“It’s warm for this time of year,” Bridget said. “But I like it. I can feel the difference with the breeze off the water.”

They reached the park and Bridget checked on Emily again, who had fallen asleep. “I’m going to take off,” she said.

“I’m right behind you,” Luke said.

She ran to the end of the Riverwalk, a full two-mile course. “I feel like I could keep going.”

“You need to go back,” he said. “Do you want to go all out or take your time?”

“I’d better take my time,” she said. “Now I can feel it in my hip flexor. If that cramps up, you’ll be carrying me home.”

“Anytime you want to switch, let me know,” Luke said, pointing to the bike.

“Good thinking. You’re pretty amazing.”

“Thanks, but this was Randy’s idea,” Luke said, laughing. “His exact words, ‘Get a bike unless you’re a runner. She’s fast.’”

“He’s nuts. Anyway, Stubby feels great. I’m ready to head back.”

They returned to the house within forty minutes. “I have to go to Saint John’s Parish to shop for the party. Do you want to come?”

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