Part Seventeen

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Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
                                        -Sincerely Shark (Shawna +
Mark)


                "Nice shot, man!" I cheered, as another ball slipped passed me into the hockey net I was supposed to be guarding.

                Evan looked proud of himself as he held his hockey stick up over his head, "Yes!" he grinned, running back to high five Ryder who was on his team.

                "You suck," Ty laughed at me, running forward to try his own shot on Cynthia, who was in the opposite net.

                I don't know why it had never occurred to me to get Ryder to hang out with Shawna's siblings, Ryder was the same age as Cynthia, but he still got along great with Evan and Ty. We were currently on the Reed's driveway playing a little game of road hockey.

                Shawna was inside hanging out with Allison. Shawna hadn't been at school since the accident, and they hadn't seen each other since Allison stopped by the hospital one day for a visit. I had been in the room the whole time and they 'hadn't been able to get their girly talk time'... whatever that meant. So they were inside girly talking, and I was outside with the kids to give her parents a bit of a break.

                Even though nobody had been seriously hurt in the accident, Shawna's parents were still a little shaken up about it. They hadn't really had time to just take a break because they always had to be strong for the kids. I knew how bad that could be for you so I offered to hang out with the kids for the afternoon. Thomas and Jessica had looked really grateful, so I guess they really needed the time to themselves.

                "Mark, focus, you doorknob!" Ty complained, as Ryder shot another goal passed me while I had been stuck in my thoughts.

                "Doorknob?" I raised an eyebrow at him. "You must get all your insults from Shawna."

                "He also gets his butt kicking skills from her, too," Ryder taunted, making Shawna's siblings giggle as well.

                "You guys think that's funny?" I asked, pretending to sound mad.

                 "Yeah," they all beamed, knowing I was just playing.

                "Aw man," I shook my head, dropping my goalie stick and taking a few menacing steps towards them. They automatically took steps back, their toothy grins all showing. "You are all going to get it. I suggest you run."

                And then I lunged at them.

                They all screamed and started to run off in different directions, laughing the whole time. I tried grabbing at them, always missing them just barely before trying to get the next person closest to me. When I did catch them, I would scoop them up in my arms and turn them upside down, or spin them around, or tackle them to the ground and tickle them mercilessly.

                We were all laughing hard and running out of breath by the time we realized we had an audience.

                Shawna and Allison were standing on the doorstep of the house watching us with an amused expression.

                We all froze mid action.

                 Unfortunately for me, at that very moment I had Evan upside down, holding him by one leg and was smacking him with a hockey stick. We both froze, me with the hockey stick in mid-swing, "It's not what it looks like."

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