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Rangers Lodge Saga - Frisbee Fun

Breakfast conversation centered around the singoff. Logan seemed to know all the behind the scenes details…how many entries there already were, that the south lawn would be converted into an outdoor concert venue complete with stage and dressing rooms, that contestantss would get a say in the lighting and props for their selected songs, that auditions would be held the following morning. Despite her nervousness, Kristen loved singing, found the idea of singing on a stage exciting.

“No singing for us,” Raven was giggling to Brooke after breakfast as they waited on the cabin porch for Kristen to change for their workout in the poolhouse. “But we could definitely help out with hair and makeup.”

“Hey, make sure you tell my brother to contact Mom and Dad when he finally drags his ass from bed,” she yelled to Kristen through the ajar door, secretly hoping to rouse Adrian.

Kristen emerged. “Why? I’ll be back here to shower and stuff after.”

“Take your clothes with you,” Brooke insisted. “Shower in the poolhouse. We’re walking up to the ponds afterwards. Adam says it’s a nice easy walk, lots of scenery. I’ll take Bel in the stroller, we’ll have a picnic.”

“God, Adam’s yummy,” Raven gushed and laughed when her cousin cut her a look. “What? I can still appreciate prime meat when I see it and Adam Ranger is definitely prime meat.”

“Anyway,” Brooke said to Kristen, giving her a shove, “just tell Adrian to get in touch with them when he gets up.”

Kristen told herself it was perfectly okay for her to do her own thing without Adrian. He wanted to sleep. He would only get annoyed at her for constantly disturbing him with invitations she knew he’d refuse. So she threw herself into the exercise, enjoying the throbbing music. All the activity she’d done so far had her feeling amazingly energized. And, all right, Adam’s grin kept sneaking into her head and making her smile. Raven was right, he was prime.

“Tell me again why guys were banned in there?” Logan jutted his chin to the poolhouse as he, Ollie, Jackson and Adam joined the girls an hour later. Ollie pushed a stroller where Bella banged away on a toy piano.

“’Cause we didn’t want you leering at us,” Brooke told him, falling into step beside her husband as the group started along a trail bordered by towering willow trees. “Grab my arm or the stroller, Kristen,” she offered as Kristen flipped open her cane.

Put that away and come walk with us.” Logan pulled her between him and Adam before Kristen could answer. “That way you can save me if Adam starts talking flowers and shit. Or worse yet,” he snorted, “when he stops to take photos of flowers and shit.” Adam and Kristen exchanged an amused glance.

“I won’t tell you what I did this morning, then,” Kristen said dryly. “Did you do the flowers around here as well?” she asked Adam, admiring the clusters of blue and yellow blossoms encircling each tree.

“How do you know they’re not wild?” Adam countered even as Logan groaned.

Kristen considered Adam’s noncommittal tone, his blandly professional demeanor and decided to keep her real answer to herself. “Just a hunch.” She turned her attention ahead as the trail opened into a wide clearing punctuated by ornamental ponds. She suspected Adam was behind this landscaping gem as well.

“God, wouldn’t this be the best place for wedding photos?” Raven pulled Jackson ahead of the group, her head swiveling to the ponds, the mountains that rose as a backdrop, the stretch of lush green grass beyond. Rangers could make a killing in the wedding market.” Kristen could almost see the wheels in Raven’s promotional designer head turning.

“We do,” Adam confirmed. “Event rentals bring us a lot of business.”

With the Ipod turned up full volume, Kristen watched the six of them spread out and engage in a few practice Frisbee throws as she spread a blanket on the grass a safe distance away, set out Bella’s toys and liberated the squirming child from the stroller. Bella’s avid eyes tracked the brightly coloured disc soaring through the air as the game heated up. Kristen could all but see her tiny pink-sneakered feet itching to chase it.

“Here’s Bel’s Frisbee!” she chanted and Bella hopped with delight as Kristen produced a pink mini version out of the stroller. Kristen went down to her knees and laughed as Bella mimicked her mother’s catcher’s stance. “Ready, love? Here we go!” She tossed the Frisbee and Bella clapped as it floated towards her. Gingerly, the child plucked it from the grass and tumbled it back to Kristen.

“Higher!” Bella demanded and giggled madly as Kristen hummed like an airplane and zoomed the disc just beyond the reach of her grasping fingers. They chased each other in circles until they both collapsed breathless from laughter onto the grass.

“N-A-P time, Aunty Kristen!” Brooke called as she whizzed the Frisbee to Ollie. When Bella waved to her, Brooke blew a kiss then pivoted to catch a throw from Logan and zip it back to Adam in a low pass.

Still on her knees, Kristen gathered Bella into a hug and smoothed the child’s rumpled red-brown hair. She looked at Bella’s beaming face, big hazel eyes shining in her pixie face, and knew she was absolutely content right here in the moment. It was an odd feeling for her outside of the classroom. Too often, she found herself overthinking and second guessing herself. Not since I’ve been here, she thought idly. She had found it remarkably easy to be herself at the dance and then this morning with Adam…well, she wasn’t quite ready to analyze that just yet.

“Come on, baby,” she grinned at Bella and took the little girl’s hand. “Let’s go for a walk in the forest.” She caught Brooke’s eye and nodded to the strand of willows. Bella’s eyes tracked over the flowers and birds as Kristen pointed them out but Kristen knew Bella was battling drowsiness. “Shall we sing for the birdies?” she suggested, scooping Bella up and the child nodded.

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