Girl Takes Up Her Sword

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Book: Girl Takes Up Her Sword Read Online Free PDF
Author: Jacques Antoine
Tags: thriller, Young Adult
paused, her voice a little shaky, looked at his uniform, and began again. “She’s as tough as she needs to be,” she said. And then, after a heavy breath: “She’s also a good friend. I owe my life to her.”
    He nodded, and tried to adopt a friendlier tone.
    “Forgive me for asking, but what happened to your nose ring?”
    Wendy looked at him warily before replying.
    “The piercings were supposed to annoy my parents,” she admitted. “But, you know, hanging around with Emily, they just started to feel ridiculous.”
    Crichton nudged him and gestured to the mat. “Calder’s up,” he said, as a large, muscular man positioned himself opposite Emily.
    Jenkins watched as she deflected, dodged and blocked, then delivered one decisive blow after another. Calder was unable to lay a glove on her. After losing five straight points, he stepped to the edge of the informal circle formed by the rest of the team seated around the mat.
    “This is bullshit,” he said, as he paced the perimeter, his frustration palpable.
    “Being stronger and faster is important,” she said, her eyes fixed on him. “But it isn’t the most important thing.”
    “Strength has nothing to do with this... this... game of tag. In a real fight, what you’re doing would be worthless.”
    “I thought we were preparing for a tournament, not a fight.”
    Emily stared at him for a long moment. A wan smile played across her lips as she took off her head gear and pads, everything but her gloves.
    “Fine. You want to make this a real fight? Okay. Show me what you got.”
    “Yeah, right. Like I’m really gonna hit you. You’re just a kid.”
    “Suit yourself, big guy. But I promise, you won’t hurt me. I’m tougher than I look. Take your best shot.”
    Calder paced the other side of the ring, clearly afraid to back down, but uncertain what would be permitted. Jenkins turned to Crichton.
    “What the hell is she up to?”
    Crichton shrugged. Finally, Calder looked like he was ready to fight. He stepped to the middle of the ring. Parker stood between him and Emily.
    “I think we need to put a stop to this,” Jenkins told Crichton.
    “Don’t,” Wendy said. “Unless you’re worried about your boy. Emily knows what she’s doing. She’s faced a lot tougher guys than him.”
    Parker stepped back. Calder peered over his gloves at Emily. Jenkins took a deep breath. Emily looked like she wasn’t paying any attention to Calder, as if she was lost in thought.
    “Oh, crap,” thought Jenkins, and stepped out of his seat, ready to stop the fight. Just then, he got a clear view of Emily’s face. Utterly placid, as if she were folding laundry, or comforting a child, she was the picture of repose. Except for her eyes, which were on fire with an intensity he had not seen the like of before. She stared at Calder, but to Jenkins it felt like she was pushing him back into his seat. He reached back to find the bench. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” he thought.
    Calder led with a left jab, followed by an overhand right hook and a left uppercut. These were real punches. He clearly meant business. Anyone of them could have laid her out on the mat, if only they made contact. But none of them did. Emily leaned out of the way of each one, but didn’t strike back.
    “That was a good combination,” she said. “But it’s nowhere near fast enough. You’re not taking the initiative. That’s just aggression. What else you got?”
    A quick front kick initiated a new combination, but Emily kicked Calder’s foot before he could fully extend his leg, then hooked his foot with hers and pulled it out from under him. He tried to roll out of the fall as he lost balance. A quick step and Emily gently placed the heel of her foot against his nose. It was the first thing he saw as he came up out of the roll. The look of surprise on Calder’s face was unmistakable.
    “Her technique is outstanding,” Crichton blurted out. “And her composure, she’s just like her
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