Fiona tried to hide her disdain when Michael drove her to the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, about 90 minutes north of Miami.
"When you said we were getting out of town, Michael," she said, "I envisioned us going to Palm Beach, not West Palm Beach."
"Fi, did you really think I was taking you to the Breakers for a romantic getaway?"
"Well, that would've been out of the ordinary for you."
"Come on, Fi. We can have fun at the fair. We can buy Polish sausages and ride the Ferris wheel. That's romantic, right?"
Fiona sighed and exited the Charger.
While walking around the fair's midway, Fiona and Michael passed a crossbow target booth.
"Look, Michael, it's a crossbow game. Can we play?"
Michael shrugged. "Why not?"
"I bet I can hit the target directly in the middle."
"I bet you can. They don't teach operatives how to shoot crossbows in the Army anymore. But what if you don't hit the target in the middle?"
"We can still ride the Ferris wheel together, like you wanted." She winked.
"What if I hit the target in the middle?"
"We both get those stupid stuffed animals, and we still ride the Ferris wheel. I'll just up the ante if you hit the target when we get home. Let's play, Michael. It's much interesting than hearing pigs oink in the agricultural exhibit."
Michael paid for both Fiona and himself to play the crossbow game. Fiona did hit the target in the middle—that wasn't surprising. Michael also hit the target in the middle.
"Wow, you're better than I thought you'd be at this game," Fiona said as the game operator handed her a prize.
"We haven't played the rifle range yet."
"There's also the dart games."
"Are we including the water gun games in this?"
Fiona shrugged. "I guess. I mean, as long as we're not playing that guess your weight game. The guy running it's going to say 'You're 42, about 5'3" and weigh around 125 pounds ' before I even head in the direction of the booth."
While the crossbow game was evenly matched, Fiona easily bested Michael at the rifle range. Michael beat Fiona in darts, and, much to their surprise, the balloon and darts game between the two was evenly matched. The tie breaker was a water gun game. In this particular game, the objective was to shoot water in a clown's open face to get stuffed toys on a platform to rise.
Michael paid the game operator money to play the game, and the two leaned against the counter, waiting for the game bell to start the official game.
"Oh, look, Michael, we're the only ones playing this water gun game. It'll be more embarrassing when you lose on the midway and you're forced to carry all our stuffed animals."
The bell rung. Michael and Fiona aimed for their respective clown targets. In the end, Fiona was able to maintain constant pressure and a steady hand towards her clown target. She ended up winning the water gun game and the bet.
She smirked at Michael. Michael smiled uneasily at her.
"Michael, I think it's time we hopped on the Ferris wheel now. I can see your ego's a bit bruised. But don't worry. I'll make you feel better when we get home. I promised." She raised her eyebrows.
"I know you will, Fi."