Sarah blinked back the sweat that rolled from her forehead and into her eyes. Her hair was sticky and wet and clung to her cheeks. Her breath was hard and fast as she did whatever she could to keep up with the man she was fighting.

He had about thirty pounds on her but he was wiry and fast. She’d never seen anyone as fast as this guy.

Her arms were flying through the air and still could not make contact with any part of him.

His years of training and experience in hand to hand combat were obvious.

The sun beat down with a steady beam of 102 degrees. Each breath was like taking a drag off a bonfire. The elements wore her down and Sarah slid into a reactive, defensive mode where her movements were automatic. She knew she couldn’t win this way but the bright sun lulled her into no longer caring.

He was smiling a wicked smile. His eyes sparkled like the millions of grains of sand around them. He knew the sun and heat were slowing her down and he made the most of it. “Come on, sugarlips. Is that all you got?”

The pain of a powerful blow to her right shoulder woke her from her daze and she felt a surge of adrenaline.

His teeth glistened as he grinned. “Papa’s gonna take you to school.”