Milla stood in the hallway and closed her eyes, listening for any sound in the house. She stepped slowly to the bedroom door and stopped again, cocking her head to the side and drawing her pistol in a two-handed grip close to her chest. She bent low and peered in the open doorway.
A bare foot stuck out from the sheets. No sign of anyone else. Milla crept in and laid a hand on the foot, then tapped its bottom with her pistol. It’s me. Danger.
She felt Andra’s foot flex in acknowledgment and pulled away. Andra sat up with her pistol already drawn. Milla shook her head. She didn’t sleep with hers under the pillow anymore. She thought Andra was over that too. Maybe not such a bad thing today though.
She held up two fingers and Andra nodded as she pulled a t-shirt over her head. She climbed out of the bed without so much as a creak and met Milla at the door. Downstairs, Milla mouthed.
Andra pointed to the hall window. Milla nodded and pointed to the stairs. Andra climbed out the window—she’d meet Milla downstairs, and hopefully take their intruders by surprise.
Milla stepped carefully down the stairs. She froze, hearing a sound in the kitchen. Sounds. She frowned, trying to get a fix on them. Two more steps to the floor, five to the kitchen door. She stood tall and took a deep breath, preparing for a fight. The coffee grinder almost startled her into squeezing the trigger. She swung into the open doorway, feet wide, pistol out.
A young man sat at the bar counter, watching an older man with the grinder. He turned the lid to stop it and shook the grounds into the coffee maker.
Without turning around, he said, “Hello, Milla.”
Milla glared at the young man, who smiled and tapped his fingers to his brow in a mocking salute. She pointed her gun at him, and his smile faded.
The older man, still not looking, said, “Milla, there’s no need to be rude. I’m making coffee. And John isn’t here to kill you.”
“Oh no?” she asked. How about you? After coffee?”
He laughed and turned around. “After coffee, I’m hoping you’ll give me a hug. It’s been a long time, darling. You look good.”
“You too, Dad.” She was gratified to see the surprise on John’s face. Oh yes, they did love their secrets. Some things never changed.
Still eying her, her father said pleasantly, “Andra, please don’t shoot John before you hear why we’ve come.”
Milla nearly snorted at the look on John’s face as he belatedly reached for his gun. Andra stepped in from the open patio door.
“How about after. Can I shoot him after?”
Andra stepped around John and rounded the counter. She lifted her gun again, pointing at the other man. He and Milla said in unison, “Andra!”
She lowered her gun. “Hi, Dad.”
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