Lilly smiled, “Well, David, you’re only here temporarily, I’m sure you can’t do too much damage.”
“You’ve only known me for a few minutes, ma’am.”
Sam threw his arm around David’s shoulder, “I like you already.”
“So, Bonnet, where exactly do you come from?” Sam asked, throwing him a staff.
David caught the wooden pole, “France, isn’t it obvious by the name?”
“The way you say your first name isn’t French and you don’t have the funny accent.”
“I’m grateful for that.”
“The one to hit the mat first looses. Go.” Sam swung his staff, barely missing the corporal, “You still didn’t answer my question, where do you come from?”
“New York.” he said as he dodged another attack, “Does that answer your question, sir?”
Sam smiled at the sarcasm in his voice, “Careful, corporal, I could have you court-martialed.”
“But we both know you won’t.” David said just before he launched his own attack.
The staves were everywhere, sometimes not in either of their hands. It was intense, there was no time for talking. At one point, Sam had both of the staves. Just moments later, David had them both. It continued for a while with one having the upper hand then losing it. Ultimately, Sam ended up hitting the mat.
“I guess you win.” Sam said still lying flat.
David could already tell by how Sam acted that it was very uncharacteristic of him to still be on the floor. He has something left. David thought, He wants me to help him up. I’ll give you this one, Sam, just this one.
He sighed and started to walk over to Sam with his handoutstretched, “I guess so.”
Sam took his hand, but didn’t stand up. He kicked David’s feet out from under him, using the momentum to throw him across the mat. The corporal hit the mat hard. He coughed thensat up. He wiped his hand across his face and got to his feet.
“Well, that answers that question.” David smiled and turned, “Brits are cheats.”
“I’d be a cheat if I didn’t already admit that you won.” Sam picked up the disregarded staves and put them away, “I usually spar with Lilly, but I would never do anything like that with her.”
“What’s the story between the two of you?”
“I’m just her Second.”
“The Second that she kisses.”
“You saw-” David could see that Sam was mentally yelling at himself, “You’re more observant than I thought.”
“Isn’t dating your CO against the rules?”
“When they weren’t even in the RAF before you started dating, no.”
“Wouldn’t they make you break it off?”
“They tried. It didn’t work out too well. They came to a compromise that Lilly would agree to: We don’t let our emotions get in the way of work, we’re just fine.”
“That’s quite an unusual arrangement.”
“So, if you’ve been dating since before she enlisted, how long have you been going out if she’s now a flight lieutenant?”
“Since she was fifteen… That would be, what, three years?”
“It’s just that she’s younger than you.”
“Nothing. It’s just a little odd.”
“Lilly’s a good CO, and her father is an air marshal.”
“Ah. Now I understand.”
“It doesn’t mean she didn’t earn the rank, she just earned it faster than most.”
“I wasn’t trying to question anything, Sam.”
“Sam? Where do you get off calling me Sam?”
“I could call you Samuel, if you would prefer.”
“I was more referring to your calling me by my first name.”
“Well, I am older than you.”
“Oh, so that gives you the right to call me whatever you want?”
“Yes.” David smiled.
Sam rolled his eyes, “In that case, David, let’s get to the mess hall before it closes.”