Just Once - Page 15

Annika pointedly ignored the Captain's hand as she stood. “Arthur,” she addressed to Art. “One might say meeting you has been a rare pleasure,” she said while smoothing her dress out, the very picture of decorum, but her eyes sparkled with hidden meaning.

The Captain pierced the veil, however, and transfixed Art with a baleful glare. “Emphasis on the 'rare,'” he hissed. “As in singular!” The “helping hand” that had been offered to and rejected by Annika, now rested meaningfully upon his weapon.

Annika rolled her eyes. “Yes, yes, Captain, you've made your point,” she sighed, before commanding, “We can go now.” She began to move without bothering to see if the Captain was planning to comply or not.

The Captain kept his mouth shut, but his expression, carefully hidden from Annika, promised murder. With a nod of his head, he gave the order of “move out,” to his men, and they quickly caught up with the departing girl, spreading out protectively about her in the process.

Art remained silent and still until he couldn't even hear the whisper of their departure, then he further waited for the sound of birds and other animal noises to return to the woods.

“What the FUCK just happened!?” Art asked no one in particular. “I mean, what the FUCK, man!?”


“How eloquent of you,” Caleb commented with a chuckle.

“What can I say?” Art retorted with a shrug. “Automatic weapons being pointed in my direction brings out the poet in me.”

Caleb nodded sagely, then favored his brother with a sly grin. “Hey, you never mentioned what you were wearing!”

Art shot Caleb an annoyed glance. “Why do you care?” he asked.

“I don't,” Caleb admitted, “but you were so specific on everything else, it just struck me as odd that you didn't mention it.” His grin got bigger. “It wasn't because, perhaps, it's the same thing you're wearing right now, was it?”

Art did a guilty double take at his worn jeans and white t-shirt before snarling, “Shut up!”

“You are!” Caleb chortled. “That is hilarious! Even after all this time, you're still mooning over a girl that you only got to see once!”

“I said I only talked to her once,” Art corrected stiffly. “I saw her a lot!”


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