Chet thumbed the safety off and gripped the pistol with both hands. He held it in front of him as he listened to the quiet, guiding noises. They had led him from his bedroom down the hall and toward the kitchen.
He stopped at the entrance to the living room. A half moon gazed through the bay window, affording just enough light to keep Chet from bumping into things. He stilled his breath and listened closely. Were there two intruders? The noise, or at least a noise, was now coming from the living room.
There … on the north … by the bookcase. Yes.
He swung into the room and fired. He listened after the terrible crash of the gun had died away. He heard nothing in that room. But now … back toward the kitchen, he heard something. And that one, naturally, had been alerted by the gunshot. Chet knew he was going to have to be even more careful.
Walking as lightly as he could, he entered the kitchen; a night light helped him to get his bearings, but it didn’t give away either his position or that of the intruder.
Chet stood motionless for a minute. Two. Then he heard it, over by the sink. He leveled the gun toward the sound and fired again.
The house was still. He waited but heard nothing else. Satisfied, he went back to his bedroom.
“There were two of them,” Chet told his wife. “I got them both.”
“You’re lucky,” Rhonda said, rolling over in their bed. “Lucky we don’t have any neighbors close enough to hear the gunshots every night. And lucky I haven’t divorced you for being insane. Why can’t you use a mousetrap like everyone else?”