A lightning bolt of panic tore through Darby when she came home for lunch the next day, opened the back door, and saw red paw prints leading from the mud room into the kitchen.
“Casper? Sammy Jo? Tucker? Sheba?”
All four dogs came running, almost knocking her down, licking her, wagging their tails, so happy to see her. She quickly checked each dog’s paws. Nothing cut or hurt, but red streaks dotted Casper’s white hair.
She bent down and touched one of the paw prints with her index finger. Sticky. She sniffed her fingers and rubbed them together.
Someone had been in her home, violated her privacy.
Seething like a crazed velociraptor protecting her young, Darby raced to the stairs, but stopped short when she remembered Brianna was at school.
Anguish gripped her, and she slumped down on the bottom step, her head falling into her hands, tears flowing. Her fur babies surrounded her, nuzzling her, wagging, and making soothing doggy noises.
What if Brianna’d been home?
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