Chris suddenly became aware of roaring engines. Cars fast-approaching his office. More than one. Tires squealed on pavement, and gravel pinged off metal as the vehicles entered his parking lot. Lights glared menacingly through the window. “Down!” Chris yelled.

As soon as he hit the floor, a barrage of automatic weapons fire riddled his office. The windows exploded. Glass flew everywhere, stinging as it struck bare skin. Diplomas on the walls and books on the shelves danced to the staccato rhythm. His world was being shredded.

Chris didn’t have time to dwell on the loss. He crawled across the floor to the safe that he’d installed at the bottom of the bookshelf. He ripped away the false façade, punched in the access code, and popped open the door. He reached for a bundle of bills, his Sig Sauer .45 caliber automatic, and three spare clips.

After slamming the door shut, he glanced over at Sandra. Bullets still flew over their heads and chewed up everything in sight. She had her Beretta clutched in her hand. He pointed to the back door and then started crawling toward it. Sandra followed him.

They reached the door. Chris hesitated. He had no idea how many men had arrived. Had they covered the back too? He didn’t know, but he did know that the bulk of the force came from the front of the building. Any chance they had for escape was through the back door.

Chris crawled close to Sandra. To overcome the noise, he spoke into her ear. “Stay low. When I throw open the door, and dive through, I want you to open up on anything that moves. Give me some cover!”

Sandra nodded. She might have grown timid in the last months, but now she was coming to life, and she understood his strategy.

“On three!” he instructed. He counted down from three with his fingers. Fingers lowered, and fear in his throat, Chris jacked the door open. Sandra fired several times, laying down cover. When she paused, he dove through the door, firing as he did, and rolled behind the low garden brick wall. A few errant shots pursued him.

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