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She thought about it for a moment, what it would be like to be out in public. Running was different; she wasn’t aware of anything but the pavement in front of her.

“Sure. I forgot what it was like to shop.”

“Let’s leave the baby with Margaret,” Luke said. “She’s not thrilled with Walmart.”

“Ha! Okay, you know best.”

Margaret waited on the porch when they returned.

“Look at you! Already running. I’m inspired,” she called out, waving.

“If you want to come out with me, you’re welcome to,” Bridget said. “Luke has to go back to work one of these days.”

“Ha! I’m going back on Monday,” he said. “I’m all caught up, anyway. Almost. Sort of.”

“I’ll ride the bike,” Margaret said, unbuckling the baby and getting her out of the stroller. “I haven’t walked farther than from my car to the house in a year.”

“We’re headed to Saint John’s Parish for party food,” Luke said. “Emily can stay here with you. Do you want to make me a list of what you need around here?”

“I’ll get cleaned up while you do that,” Bridget said, going inside.

Margaret took the baby and Luke parked the stroller in the hallway.

“Bridget, before you go up, do you want to see what we’ve accomplished down here so far?”

“Sure. I thought I smelled plaster dust and cut lumber.”

“It smells like a construction zone; that’s for sure.”

He took her hand, leading her around the bright, sunlit space, pointing out where the new kitchen would be, asking for her input.

“I’ll put your ideas into the design,” he said.

“What would you have done if I hadn’t had gotten injured?”

“We’d stay upstairs until you had enough, I guess,” he said. “I only started this after you returned to the States.”

“Wow, you got a lot done if you’re doing this on the side.”

“Your cousins are helping,” he said, pulling her over. “It gave me something to do. I’m so glad you’re home.”

She laughed, letting him grab on to her. “I’m glad, too.”

“You want to get ready to go?”

“Yes. I’m getting excited about a Walmart shopping trip,” she said, chuckling. “You can tell I haven’t been out much in the past year.”

“We’ll fix that,” he said as she left for the elevator.

Watching her walk through the corridor to the elevator, the desire to protect her rose in him and he almost followed Bridget to act as her elevator man, but lagged back. She faced him, waving when she pushed the button, smiling as the doors closed. The impulse was to do everything for her, but he knew that was detrimental and that she wouldn’t allow it.

Fifteen minutes later, Bridget came down in the elevator, ready to shop.

“Aw, I was kinda hoping you’d still have those little shorts on so I could pinch your thighs while I’m driving.”

“I don’t think so,” she replied, snickering. “Don’t want to call any more attention to myself than Stubby and the eyepatch will provide.”

“Well, you look great.”

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