He couldn’t stop sweating, or get his heart rate under control. He sat down and turned on the desk lamp. His hands shook. What was he thinking? He just committed a crime. Breaking and entering, and if anyone had walked into the room, he was certain assault would’ve been added to the list. But it was worth the risk. Calm yourself. Focus. That was what the voice kept screaming in his head.
The key was weighty in his hand. Everyone thought it wouldn’t work, but he knew how to jimmy the lock. He jiggled it a little to the left, and a few times to the right, then tilted it upward slightly as he heard the lock click. Piece of cake.
She stood in the doorway. He’d failed. She was able to tail him. He had been too preoccupied to notice.
“Please don’t open that box.” It was barely above a whisper, but in the eerie silence, he heard her clearly.
He wasn’t sure what confused him more, her request or her presence. “I’m the sheriff. You know I have to open this. What if—“
Her arm flung in front of her. The antique pistol was heavy and she needed her other hand to steady herself. “Please don’t open that box.”
He took his hands away from the box and placed them flat on the desk. “Okay. Now you need to tell me what happened.”