He watched them. The boy was preoccupied. The little girl was hidden from view by the large boxes. If he were to walk up now and take her, no one would see. He’d left the engine in his pick-up running just in case he had to make a quick getaway.
Perspiration broke out on his forehead and his heart was pounding. They had promised him that he wouldn’t hurt another child—that he had responded well to the therapy but here he was watching his next victim.
He reached into his pocket for the lollipop and other goodies to lure her. Getting down on his haunches, he called out to her in a low voice. “Hey, little girl.”
She turned, smiling when she saw him. He showed her the candy and her face lit up. She moved closer.
Then he heard the siren. Too late, he thought as he was hoisted to his feet and handcuffed.
The child’s mother ran out and grabbed her. “What’s happening?” she asked the officer. “Who’s that man?”
“A sex offender, ma’am. Someone saw him hanging around, got suspicious and called us.”
“Thank God!” She hugged her daughter tightly as the squad car drove away.