Through the doorway stumbled none other than Bob. At first glance he was still suffering the effects from the previous night’s bacchanalia, before the ordeal turned sour. His eyes were haggard, but there was a focus in them. The same focus he had seen in so many eyes last night.
“You really ought to bolt your door tighter,” he said. “A lot of… passionate… people live in this town.”
Harry quickly got to his feet, putting himself in between the man and his wife.
“I don’t know how you found out where we live, Bob, but you better leave before I notify the authorities.”
“The authorities? That won’t be necessary.” Bob replied. “Not today, at any rate,” he added with a sneer. “Besides, do you think they would believe you were innocent bystanders?”
“Bob, please,” pleaded Anika. “I didn’t intend for any of that to happen last night. I thought it was…”
“…just a joke.” Bob finished her sentence. “Yes, I heard you last night, dear Annika.” The mispronunciation was intentional, and Anika winced all the more. “You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into. Everything is a game to people like you.”
Bob had a hard time thinking it wasn’t—that the entire affair wasn’t just some cruel joke played on newcomers, like the hazing he had experienced in his fraternity at Princeton. Only now did he begin to realize the full ramifications of that day when his employers had decided to transfer him to Waco. As for Anika…
“I still don’t understand!” she said loudly. She was bordering on frantic. Sweat beaded on her forehead. “We really only thought it would be funny.” She would have to redo her makeup.
Bob glanced over at the piano, then looked back at Anika. “That is as much of a weapon as any knife.”
He spun around to leave and took a step, then stopped and spoke over his shoulder.
“Mark my words. The true ‘authorities’ are not who you think they are. And you will be the ones to answer to them, not I.” Then he strode out the doorway and down the stairs.
For some time the two stood there in stunned silence, the smell of bewilderment slowly fading, being replaced by fear.
“So it really did happen.” Harry whispered softly. “It wasn’t just a dream.”
“Harry, what are we going to do?” Anika said.
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Go on to Part III