In response to Rex’s question, Miles said no, he didn’t have his fencing equipment with him. Annie broke from the circle around Miles, her movements as swift as a messenger delivering a word from on high. She knelt down next to the large olive sack that contained the team’s fencing jackets, began sifting through its contents.
Miles lifted his head, chin pointing in Double-J’s direction. “What’ll it be? Foil, epee, sabre? It’s been a while, like I said, but I think I remember the differences.”
Double-J snorted. “I don’t do foil no more. And don’t even talk to me about epee.”
“Ha!” Annie turned quickly at the sound of Miles’ exclamation, a jacket in her hands. Miles shook his head. “Good to see you haven’t changed, Double-J.”
Kassie said she thought they should do foil. Miles turned to her — “why’s that?” — then turned to Annie, studied the jacket she had found. Kassie continued. Because you haven’t fenced in a while, and foil’s the weapon you use when you’re learning.
Miles turned back towards her, his body suddenly tensing. Annie looked up at him in surprise. Miles narrowed his eyes. “Who — are you, again?”
Annie shook the jacket that she held along with Miles, hoping he would respond to the tug. “She didn’t mean — ”
Miles released the jacket, turned fully towards Kassie, who stepped back as he approached. “If I’ve forgotten half of what I used to know about this sport, that would still be more than twice what you’ll ever learn.”
Coach Dan intercepted Miles’ advance, placed a cautious hand in front of the teen’s chest. “Kassie was just repeating something I’d told her last week, when she asked about epee. No need to take offense, my friend.”
Miles flicked his head quickly. Made eye contact with Coach Dan. Smiled. “Take offense? How silly would that be. How about, want to fence instead?”
Coach Dan pursed his lips. “Sounds like a good idea to me.”
“YES!” Miles turned quickly towards the team, his arms thrusting wildly into the air. “Let’s all fence today.” He walked briskly to Annie, snatched the jacket from her hands.