"Here you go," Tammy said. "Check and see if I did it all right."

She dropped the contract back on the desktop.

Suddenly a fraction of wood from the doorframe splintered as John was turning to go back inside. The wood buckled inward with a sudden thump-pop sound. After the first one hit, three more came and quietly ripped holes at lightning speed.

As Tammy walked up beside him, she asked, "What's that noise? Hear it?"

John's eyes widened in slow motion realization. For an instant he was in shock and could not move a muscle in his body. His brain was screaming at him to get down on the ground but his legs weren't listening. Processing the situation for survival within a split second, he lobbed himself back inside the doorway and down to the floor. He kicked the door shut behind him, but the brick doorstop was just far enough in the way to stop the door from closing. Tammy fell back as he pulled her down with him in a panic. A high scream came from her more out of surprise than fear.

When they were both on the floor, John crawled back and shoved the heavy brick out of the way and slammed the door shut. Nobody out on the beach noticed a thing. There were no screams and no lifeguard whistles blew.

"Stay down," John said, crawling back to Tammy. She was still holding the position she landed in when he pulled her down to the floor. Her legs were twisted under her. They were eye to eye now and John could clearly smell her perfume. It smelled awesome.

She looked from side to side with only her eyes and asked, "What do we do now?"

The thud-pop sounds seemed to have stopped. John rolled to his side and got himself up onto his feet. He offered his hand and pulled his new client up as well. He drew in a deep breath and gave his dry lips a swipe with the back of his hand. "I got to see something," he told her.

She followed him over to the door he had just struggled so hard to slam shut. He opened it and began feeling along the doorjamb. His fingers slid over a group of small holes in the wood. "Come here," he said. "Check this out."

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"What is it?"

"See this." He pointed to the holes in the wood and ran his fingers over them again.

"There's something in these little holes," she told him. "Silver. It looks silver."