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Sonora clamored back down the porch steps and ducked down behind it. She looked back the way she had come, the way she would have to return. Open yard all the way. Would whoever it was see her? Had they already seen her?

Maybe it was the police, but one policeman skulking around a dark house when he could turn on all the lights and really see?

It was more likely one of Uncle Devon's cohorts looking for research.

Sonora put a hand to her head. She had to get across that yard, back to her house, she had to.

Sonora geared herself up twice and failed to move before she heard a crash from inside the house. She shot a startled look at the window of the living room. Someone was moving around in the unlit room.

Sonora's stomach lurched. She crouched and ran for her house. Out of breath, Sonora panted as she reached for the kitchen door and quietly opened and shut it. She twisted the lock in place and leaned back against it, closing her eyes.

When Sonora opened them, she saw a shadow pass the one window she hadn't shuttered. She dropped to the floor and skittered across the room against the cabinets below the window as the shadow stepped closer to the opening, peering through it.

Sonora cowered on the floor, her breath coming in gasps. She peeked as far as she dared to see the shadow moving, walking toward the kitchen door.

Sonora exploded off the floor cursing all the lights she left on. The doorknob rattled.

In pure panic, she raced up the stairs to her parent's room and deep into their large walk-in closet, back under the clothes they no longer wore. Dust wavered in the air as she plunged deeper into the neglected corner. Sonora clapped her hands over her mouth as she heard a faint voice say, "Is anyone home?"

Sonora quivered as she held back a sneeze.

Wishing Ian could hear her puny efforts, she nevertheless called out to him. Ian! Oh, Ian!

Sonora gasped as she heard the squeak of the stairs and wiggled herself deeper in the closet until she felt the cedar wall at her back. Her ears strained to hear every small sound. Footsteps on the carpet were hard to keep track of, but she thought the person went from Sierra's room to her's before walking into her parents.

Sonora's heart thundered without letup. She held her breath, afraid even that small noise would give her away.

Every muscle cried out for her to move, escape. But there was nowhere for her to run to. Her freedom cut off by the man in the room.

She could tell that now, that the shadow was definitely a man moving around her parent's room. The little sliver she could see from the clothes in the closet was enough.

He'd stopped at their door and looked around, then come toward the closet and stood in open the door. Sonora strained to see who he was, but with the closet light out, the man was backlit and still remained only a shadow.

He made a sudden turn and walked out of the room. He seemed to skip down the stairs, then she heard the bang of the kitchen door.

Sonora didn't move. What if it was a trick? What if he waited down there in the dark, hoping she would give herself away? Oh, Ian. What she wouldn't give to have strong Ian by her side.

Sonora waited. Without a clock, she wasn't sure for how long. It seemed like forever, but she worried it was only a few minutes.

Then, as quietly as possible, she crept across her parent's room to look out their large window. Her mother always loved the view from here, not only did it include the ocean but it also included her sister's house.

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