Outside in the hallway beyond the closed office door was a sound. Soft and almost unheard. The three women looked at the door and listened. A human sound. Almost imperceptible, but it was there. Footsteps. And they were coming this way.
“Shhh,” said Mary Lu.
Mary Lu, Megan, and Holly all moved behind the VP’s large mahogany desk and away from the door.
Mary Lu could hear Holly’s heart pounding against her chest. Holly placed her hand over her mouth and closed her eyes. Megan squished herself low. Mary Lu could hear each footstep press into the carpet as they came closer and closer.
They squatted as low as they could, trying to become small and invisible. Mary Lu tried to breathe quietly, but her breaths came in shallow, tortuous movements. Her body wanted to take a deep gulp of air. But she couldn’t. She had to be quiet, but trying to breathe soundlessly almost hurt.
The soft padded footsteps stopped. The door creaked. In her mind, Mary Lu could see the person taking hold of the doorknob. She heard the sound of metal on metal and knew someone was turning the knob. The bolt in the door was drawing back.
She felt a jolt of electricity run through her when Holly reached up and placed a hand on her shoulder. Oh my God.
Mary Lu reached out her right arm and wrapped it around Megan and Holly and pulled them into her. They listened and waited. The office door squeaked as it opened. Light from the hallway swept into the room. A dark shadow of a person was cast into the room.
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