favorite time of the day, and he was about to miss it. He had slept in his clothes the night before so there was no need to get dressed. He hopped out of bed and sprinted down the stairs, stopping short in the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. He hurried to the living room and leaned against the door. Sadie was in the middle of her first sun salutation: he hadn’t missed yoga.
“Join me,” she said when she noticed him lurking.
“I yawned when I woke up, so I’m good,” he said.
“Yoga is not normally a spectator sport,” she said.
“You know me—I need to observe a long time before I decide to join something.”
“You say that as if you ever have any intent of yogaing with me.”
“I don’t think you can use yoga as a verb, and I’m more than content to hang out here.” He sipped his coffee and smiled as she slipped into downward facing dog.
“Creeper, party of one, your table is ready,” Sadie said.
“Everyone needs a hobby,” Luke said.
“Come over here,” she commanded.
“Sadie, yoga is not my thing, okay? I know real men wear pink and all, but it’s just not me.”
“Luke, a good time to pretend to be too manly for yoga might have been before you screamed like a little girl when you saw a spider on the cereal box.”
“I swear it was a black widow,” he said.
“Captain Crunch is like manna to them,” she said. “Come over here and stretch with me, or I’m not going to let you watch anymore.”
Reluctantly, he set aside his coffee and went to stand beside her, mimicking the moves of the person on television. He would never admit as much to her, but the stretching felt good. His endorphins were beginning to flow when Sadie’s leg shot out, hooked around his, and pulled him to the ground. She jumped on him and pinned him.
“Exactly what kind of yoga is this?” he asked. “Because I think I like it.”
“This isn’t yoga; this is me proving to you that I can take care of myself,” she explained. “I took you down and pinned you, so there.”
“Oh, is that what we’re doing?” He flipped her and pinned her arms over her head. “Thanks for filling me in. And may I add, ha. ”
Somewhere along the way he had become freakishly strong, at least compared to what he used to be. Sadie struggled, but she was hopelessly stuck. Luke was enjoying her misery.
“I’m not even breaking a sweat,” he said.
She raised her head and bit his neck. He squealed and let her go. She grabbed his arm, wrenched it, and sat on his back. She would have gloated, but she was still out of breath.
“Really, Sadie, you’re going to tickle your attacker?”
“If that’s what it takes to win,” she panted.
He scissor kicked his legs to get some leverage and flipped again, pinning her beneath him. This time he kept his neck out of reach. Sadie fought furiously, but he was relentless. He pressed heavily on her, inhibiting her movements down to almost nothing. She writhed for almost fifteen minutes. Luke feigned boredom so she wouldn’t know how much energy it was taking to keep her pinned. Finally Sadie went limp, panting as she stared up at him. He watched the calculation taking place behind her eyes. When she raised her head again, he pinched his head against his neck to stop her from biting, but she bypassed his neck and went for his lips instead, kissing him. Now it was his turn to go limp—with surprise. Sadie used it to her advantage to flip and pin him.
When he realized what she had done, he tossed her off him. She landed hard on the floor beside him. “Sadie, why?”
“Because it worked.”
“Would you kiss an attacker?”
“If that’s what it takes to win.”
He said the words with her and sat up. “Do you want to know why I worry about you? It’s because of this, because you want to win no matter what. Do you know what a sensible person does?