Conrad reached the rope ladder one step ahead of the snarling Rottweilers. Getting over the wall had been easy, just as he had planned. But the ferocious guard dogs were a new addition since he had taken this assignment. He hated surprises.
As he climbed toward the second-floor window, Conrad uttered a silent prayer of thanks for Carmen, his beautiful assistant who was attending the party inside the mansion. She had managed to unlatch a window and lower the slender ladder. Without her, he'd be dog food.
Safely inside, he pulled up the ladder and sighed with relief. Gliding quietly to the bedroom door, he opened it the slightest bit and listened. Two men, talking in hushed tones, were headed his way.
"Relax, man," the first voice was saying.
"Something made those dogs start barking," said the second voice," and you know the Chief doesn't like to take any chances, so get serious. We need to check every room on this floor."
"I'll take this one," said Voice Number 1, from right outside the door where Conrad stood.
"Meet me at the stairs," ordered Voice Number 2," and keep your eyes open."
Conrad crouched behind the door as it swung open. The owner of Voice Number 1—a hefty guy, maybe 250 pounds—stuck his head and shoulders into the room. Conrad let him enter, then silenced him with a sharp blow to the back of his neck.