<WES> Croton Gorge Park - Westchester
Situated on the east bank of the Hudson, this large park offers events year-round and a plethora of activities for nature lovers. With playgrounds, facilities for camping and swimming, boating and fishing, plentiful trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cliffs for rock climbing, grounds for winter sports, and ample ground to just sit and enjoy the weather, these park grounds are a great place to relax year-round. The grounds are well-tended, and with a host of avian and herpitological life, early mornings often find animal lovers scoping out the grounds in search of a glimpse of some rare bird or lizard hiding in the trees or rocks as well.
It's around 4:45 in the afternoon and the weather is warm despite the winter season, creating an excellent day for exercising outside. Although some snow lingers on the roads, the trails have been mostly cleared for hikers and joggers. A few dogs are being walked, mostly in groups and not by their owners at this time of day. Two teenagers, in particular, have been running for quite some time now. Sweating, Dakota starts to slow down from her jogging pace to pull to the side of the pathway.
Enjoying the nice weather, and a pleasant run with his young companion Nicodemus carries along down the path. The pace is a little bit slower than he's used to, maybe because of Dakota's shorter legs... well that and there's no trainer riding next to him egging him on. Noticing he's starting to leave her behind the teen moves over to the side of the path to join her "Gettin tired hun? We've been at it for a while... sorry I tend not to realize most people take this a little slower. Nadia says roadwork is serious business." he wipes the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand then holds two fingers to his neck just under the jaw. "I have to learn running's not always serious training I guess."
Dakota leans against a tree as she bends over to start stretching. After a moment's hesitation, she admits, "Yeah, a bit tired. But not super tired. I don't run as much as you and I don't do it for sport - just to get rid of my stress." She turns her head in such a way that she can see Nic from her downward position. She seems about ready to say something before a blush spreads across her face and she looks towards her feet again. A minute of silence passes before she asks, "Are we dating?"
"Oh I know, I end up running quite a bit... it's a good way to both warm up, and cool down after a workout. I just have to get used to running with someone who's not pushing me to keep up with their bike." Nic looks towards the shorter girl as she stretches and smiles "It's nice, and a nice day out here, maybe I'm getting used to the cold." He starts stretching as well, and pauses when he hears Dakota's question "Hmm? you mean like is this a date? Well I hadn't really thought of it that way, but I guess it could be, not real romantic though... If I'd have known I would have sprung for the classic dinner and a movie I think."
Dakota finishes her stretching and places her hands on her knees, still bent over. Shaking her head, the younger girl explains, "No, I mean...are we -dating-? I'm not asking if -this- is a date. I'm asking if we're -dating-. Like, you know, when people are like more than friends." It's obvious that the short teenager is blushing now even though she hasn't looked up. "Are we more than friends?" There's an extended moment of silence and she reaches up to brush some hair out of her eye. "-Can- we be more than friends?" This is asked more softly.
Nic stretches watching Dakota with her eyes turned down seeing her face colouring more and more. He stops and slowly lowers the leg he was stretching back to the ground, starting to understand what Dakota's getting at. He hadn't really thought about it, but it was a fair question, they'd been seeing quite a bit of each other. Nic doesn't answer right away, maybe he's thinking about it. A moment after Dakota's soft question he says "Hmm, I've never been asked out before, I guess I'll have to stop hitting on all those -other- girls." He moves over closer to Dakota and leans down to try to look at her face "Well if you'll have me, I think I'd like that."
As Nic catches Dakota's gaze, it locks onto him and she searches his face with widened eyes. Her breath catches at his response almost as though she did not expect it. The short girl stares at him wordlessly for a minute before her expression softens and she breaks out into a smile. She lets out a small burst of laughter, the tone of it containing a mixture of disbelief and relief. "Yes," she answers simply and enthusiastically. "I would have you if you would have me." Some more laughter soon follows.