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The dog obeyed slowly, growling softly. Stan walked over to the bundle.
“What is it, Stan?” Lorri came back to the doorway. “Where did that come from?”
“You don’t know? It was right there when I got here.”
“Nobody’s stopped by all day; I took to working by the window after tending to the shed.”
Their eyes met. Mystified, Stan reached for the bundle. It moved just as he was about to touch it. Stan looked over his shoulder.
“Into the house, Lorri.” She didn’t move.
“Lorri, we don’t know what it is, or how it got there. If it’s safe, you’ll know it soon enough; if not, I won’t have you here when it’s free. Now, go on! And take the dogs with you!”
“Stay here,” he said, striding over to the door and seizing Ranger’s collar. Sensing rather than hearing Lorri’s hesitance, he turned back. “There’s something on the porch. I don’t know how anyone got it there past the dogs, but I want to investigate alone. I’ll be right back if it’s safe.” He smiled lightly, trying to reassure her even as a shard of uncertainty and fear twisted in his stomach. “I’ll have Ranger with me – but I want you inside.”