CHAPTER SIXTY-EIGHT

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER SIXTY-EIGHT:
SEPARATE WAYS

     AFTER ESCAPING FROM THE ARMY SURPLUS with their newly obtained weapons and armor, the group took a pit stop at a large, deserted field in the middle of the forest where no one would find them

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     AFTER ESCAPING FROM THE ARMY SURPLUS with their newly obtained weapons and armor, the group took a pit stop at a large, deserted field in the middle of the forest where no one would find them. Breaking off into small groups, each member began to prepare their own weapons for battle. Seated a moderate distance away from the van, Mike Wheeler and Cassie Harrington focused on sharpening the blades of wooden spears.

"This is really nice," Cassie sighed, looking out at all of her friends in the field. "You know, all of us here...together."

"Yeah," Mike replied, following her gaze as he studied the large group. Taking a deep, shaking breath, the boy then turned to his girlfriend and asked, "Are you really sure you want to do this, Cassie?"

"I'm sure, Mike," Cassie told the boy, nodding her head. "I've already made my decision."

"I know, it's just..." Mike paused, biting his lower lip in thought. "I don't want you to have to go through that again. I can't lose you. I can't."

Shifting her gaze back down to the spear, Cassie Harrington clenched her jaw. Of course, she knew that there was a great risk going back into that house. The terrifying possibility of her death was lingering in the back of her mind every time she thought about it. But, Cassie Harrington couldn't let those intrusive thoughts take over her mind. Not yet. If she did, she would spend the rest of these final hours in utter paranoia.

Letting out a sigh, the girl shook her head and answered, "Let's not think about that right now, okay?"

"Okay."

Smiling, the girl stood up from her seated position and tossed the sharpened spear over to the boy beside her, "Come on, let's go for a round."

"Yeah?" Mike Wheeler asked, following her actions as he grasped onto the spear in his hands. "You got it."

Setting herself into a comfortable stance, Cassie Harrington held up her spear as she circled around Mike Wheeler with a grin. After sharing a momentary gaze, the girl advanced toward Mike and playfully swung her wooden spear at him like a sword. Blocking her attack, the boy spun around and threw several light swings at the girl, to which she quickly defended.

"Not bad," Mike hummed, nodding his head as he spun around the spear. "But can you take this?"

Racing toward the girl, Mike hit her with another attack, to which she almost lost. But, thankfully, she ducked down at just the right time to dodge his swing. Now underneath him, Cassie smartly bent down and kicked the boys legs out from underneath him, sending him down onto the grass.

Raising her arms triumphantly, the girl loudly announced, "And Cassie takes the win!"

"Not yet!" Mike Wheeler called to the girl, shaking his head as he tossed his spear on the ground and pushed himself up. "We haven't started round two!"

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