FRIDAY, 6:00 A.M.
HALF-PAST DAWN, THE WORLD slowly came to life. The sun crept along the freshly cut grass, over the scattered toys on the back lawn, and through the rear windows of the modest colonial house, the country kitchen filling with morning light as it danced over cream tiles and a wide-plank oak floor.
A tall man walked into the kitchen, his black hair mussed and astray, his lean, muscular body wrapped in a blue robe. His face was strong and intelligent, but carried a certain toughness, while his dark brown eyes had the appearance of seeing far more years than the thirty-nine he had lived.