Perilous
serious.”
    “Fine.” I got up and walked over to her. I jerked my chin at the coffee maker. “Is that thing done?”
    “Yeah.” She took a cup, filled it, and handed it to me. “There’s creamer in the fridge.”
    I opened the door, grabbed the creamer, and added a little to my cup. Then I heard footsteps upstairs. Callie was awake.
    “She’ll want a cup, right?” Melissa asked.
    I nodded and made her one.
    Callie walked down a few seconds after it was ready.
    “Good morning,” she said and kissed my cheek.
    “Morning, babe,” I said.
    “Good morning,” Melissa said.
    I slid Callie’s cup of coffee over to her.
    “Aww, thanks. I need this. I think I have jetlag or something. I couldn’t get up this morning. Actually, I’ve been tired a lot lately.”
    “That’s called being pregnant,” Melissa said.
    Callie smiled. “Probably. I think I read something about that. I about wore out the keys on my computer researching every weird feeling you could imagine. Being tired seems like the least of my worries to come.”
    Melissa smiled. “It’s not that bad.”
    I looked at Callie’s coffee. She hadn’t taken a sip. “Oh, sorry. Creamer?” I asked.
    “Please,” she said.
    I walked to the refrigerator to grab it. I pulled the handle of the door, and I heard a faint pop, followed by the sound of glass shattering, and the refrigerator door pulled from my hand.
    “What the hell was that?” Melissa asked.
    I looked at the other side of the refrigerator door. Above a photo of Tommy attached to the door by a magnet, was a hole—a bullet hole. I heard another faint pop and dropped to the floor. Another bullet plugged into the refrigerator where I’d stood.
    “Mel, Callie, get on the floor!” I yelled.
    “What the hell is going on?” my sister yelled.
    “Just get down!”
    Callie stared at me and slid from the kitchen chair to the floor. Melissa ducked down behind the other side of the kitchen island.
    I crawled over to Callie. “Are you okay?”
    “I’m fine.”
    I pulled her to the side of the kitchen island that my sister was crouching behind. “Mel, do you have your phone?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Call 9-1-1.”
    My sister fumbled her phone from her pocket and dialed. She looked at the screen. “There’s no signal. It just keeps beeping.”
    “Forget it. Does Jeff own a gun?” I asked.
    “Why? What the hell is going on, Carl?”
    “Someone is shooting at us from the back of the property.”
    “What? Who would be shooting at us?” She tried to stand to look.
    I grabbed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her back down. “Keep your damn head down. It doesn’t matter who is shooting at us right now. Where is the gun?”
    “There’s a hunting rifle upstairs. It belonged to Jeff’s dad.”
    “Are there bullets?”
    “I think so.”
    “Show me. Stay low. Be fast.”
    The three of us kept our heads down, ran to the stairs, and then went up.
    In the master bedroom, Melissa opened the closet and dug a rifle in a bag from the back. “Here.”
    I unzipped the gun, a Remington 740 with a scope. As long as we had usable ammunition, it would work.
    “Where are the shells?”
    “I think they’re in there,” Melissa said.
    I jammed my hand into the bottom of the leather bag and pulled out a box of .30-06 shells. At a quick glance, they appeared fine. I dumped a bunch into the pocket of my black hooded sweatshirt and loaded the rifle.
    I jerked my chin toward the house phone in the bedroom. “See if there’s a dial tone.”
    Melissa pulled it from the nightstand and placed it to her ear. “Nothing. What’s going on?”
    I knew what it was but couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. No cell-phone signal, no dial tone on the home phone, and someone shooting—the bullets were for Callie and I. Someone was trying to kill us.
    The window across the bedroom exploded into shattered glass, and a round entered the wall a few feet from me. My sister screamed, and Callie held her head in her

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