Darcy as he had last seen her filled his mind. Her long, dark hair was held back in two ponytails. She wore her favorite green sweatshirt with the roaring lion on it, and scurried through the swinging door into the kitchen, carrying a tub of dirty bowls and spoons almost too heavy for her. Roger had hurried forward to help, and they laughed as they stumbled over to the huge sink to put the tub down.
"Thanks. Rescued me again," Darcy had said with a breathless laugh. Then her smile had faded. "I wish you and the rest would stay. You built this place. We're the newcomers."
"That's why you and your folks are considered innocent. We need all of you to stay and carry on the work until we can clear our names. Be a good little girl and keep safe, okay?"
"I'm not a little girl," she had said with a sigh -- and a flicker of humor in her eyes. "I'm nearly twenty. I can vote. I can drive. And I can go three rounds with you before losing my sword."
"I'm the best swordsman in England," he had interrupted, deliberately thickening the Cornwall accent he had worked hard to lose, so the bullies in his Detroit neighborhood wouldn't bloody him every time he opened his mouth.He had followed his favorite childhood tales and took up fencing and then mastery with other swords to ward off the bullies -- many different kinds of bullies. He had held onto the swords, only selling them when the Center needed a boost of financing. Three of his precious swords had provided the funding he needed to start his dojo. If he didn't have his dojo and his students, he didn't know how he would hold onto his peace of mind -- and keep busy -- while he waited for the scandal to be unraveled and the accusations proven false.