Annie was sitting at the end of her strip. Rune could tell she had completed a bout, as the edges of her hair was plastered with sweat against her scalp; the thin layer of persperation on her skin caused her face to glow in the dim light of the field house. What a babe, Rune thought not for the first time, and never more beautiful than now.
She looked up at him suddenly. “Hey.” Her smile warmed his heart.
“How’s it going?” He handed the water bottle, and crouched next to her after she took it.
“Five – two, some guy from Woolford.” Rune knew she only gave the score when she won. She began thrusting the bottle forward with her right arm, her face frowning like a disappointed teacher. “Jab jab jab. That’s all the Woolford fencers know how to do. Keep your distance and lunge.” Decapitating the water bottle, she drank quickly.
Two fencers Rune didn’t recognize continued their bout, swift footfalls and the recoiling of cables and the song of colliding metal. Several yards away from the strip, the blue-jacketed referee watched the action, his body still and quiet like a diligent sentry, until the sharp command to halt that followed each sharp interrupting buzz of the scoring machine.