His lips curled into a sneer as Johanna stared him down. She wanted to flee upstairs into the apartment, to escape his piercing grayish-blue eyes.
The SS officer glared at her and repeated his question, "Fraulein, where is Herr Hueber?"
Johanna swallowed and lifted her head boldly, "Herr, I don't know. My uncle went on a business trip. He doesn't tell me where he goes."
The officer looked around. He made a low sound deep in his throat as his lip curled higher, his eyes searching around the shop for something. Johanna found herself wondering if the officer's lip would vanish if he curled it any more.
His eyes focused on the glass display case and his hand reached for the gun holster on his hip. He unsnapped it and rested his hand on the butt of the gun.
Johanna spoke up again, "Herr, my uncle is a simple watchmaker. He goes away on business on a regular basis. Perhaps I can help you find a watch?"
He growled, let out a distasteful hmph, and drew his weapon, smashing the butt of the handgun against the glass.
Johanna screamed, knowing that a protest against the SS would be futile. He swung his arm the gun butt moving down on another display case.
"Fraulein, my patience is wearing thin. Where is Herr Hueber?"
"Herr, I told you, I don't know!" Johanna flinched as the butt came down again, shattering another case.
The officer sneered at her, before finally asking in a silky voice, "Tell me, Fraulein, are you a Juden?"
Johanna flinched, staring at the SS officer as if he were dense. Her hand flew up, palm forward, singing through the air to strike his cheek at such a suggestion. Only with the sound of flesh meeting flesh, did Johanna realize exactly what she had done.
A red hand print was blooming on the soldier's cheek and she gasped. Johanna closed her eyes, hearing the low growl in the back of his throat followed by a low chuckle.
She dipped her head, trembling as his hand touched her chin. His voice becoming smoother with each passing word, "Ach, now that is how I had hoped you would react; would be a pity to arrest such a pretty young lady because of being a possible Juden."
Johanna took several deep breaths, forcing herself not to be repelled by the man's touch.
Without saying another word, he spun on his heels and left the shop. Johanna let out her own soft growl. That was too close. She waited several moments, working on cleaning the shop before finally checking out the door and securing it as she worked her way upstairs. The shop was closed until she could replace the display cases anyways.
Plans had to be modified. Johanna knew for sure, that the shop wasn't a safe place to hide anyone now. The SS officer was confirmation of that—the question now lingered, where would they hide them?
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