"Now is not the time to go overboard and tie myself into knots, or blame everything on waking up way too early," she told Gray. "Ready?"
Her companion nuzzled her shoulder, shifting to a definite shove with his head. Nikki laughed and roughed up his fur. She made sure of her keys, slid her phone out of the charging/connection station, tucked it into her back pocket, and opened the door. Gray leaped out after her and waited until she locked and closed the door. After all, what good would it do to be sweeping Brooklyn away to safety if the enemy managed to get into her Jeep during the ten minutes she was inside the house?
Nikki never got into the house. She rang the doorbell and heard it clearly -- several windows were open. She waited. No one came.
She rang the doorbell again. This time she pulled out her phone and watched the seconds tick by until a full two minutes had passed. She rang the doorbell, and then knocked immediately afterward. It wasn't like there was any music playing in the house that the doorbell chimes couldn't penetrate, but knocking would.
Besides, Brooklyn would be ready to go. She wasn't a late sleeper to begin with.
"Unless…" Nikki didn't want to give voice to the rapid montage of possible reasons why Brooklyn wasn't answering the door. She still had the phone in her hand, the screen turned on. Her hand didn't quite shake as she tapped through the menu to get Joan's phone. Was her sister at breakfast by now, or had she prolonged her morning run with Ulysses? Nikki couldn't remember if Joan had any early morning meetings planned. Wouldn't she be waiting for word that Brooklyn was safely out of Harper's Point?