"He's not going for it," Tammy mumbled.

John noticed her smile as she turned her head from him. He wondered not for the first time how she could be in such good spirits after losing Michael, but then he remembered what she had told him. Maybe she was right. Maybe they weren't that close. Or she was covering up her true feelings with light hearted humor. It was something John was guilty of doing himself. "He will," John told her.

The big guy came back, shoving his chair out of the way and moving toward the door behind them. "Follow me," he grunted. His black shoes squeaked against his weight.

Tammy leaned toward John and whispered, "Get the feeling we're keeping him from something?"

"Another dozen doughnuts, perhaps?" John whispered.

Tammy snickered and then quickly covered her mouth. The big man shot her a cold glance.

They followed him across a graveled lot to a ten-foot high chain link fence. The man unlocked the gate and told them to be sure to lock it when they left. He turned and ambled back to the shack, adjusting his belt as he went.

It was unusually hot and John was already starting to perspire. His underarms were wet and he hoped he used enough deodorant to cover any possible smell. He knew he had, but around Tammy he was overly self-conscience.

"Bunch of junk," Tammy remarked as they walked into the sprawling yard.

Most of the cars were placed around the perimeter. The center of the dirt lot was empty. It was like a huge round parking lot. They started at the right, looking over every car and truck as they went. "Should be easy to find. A bright red Corvette," John said. "And there she is."


The corvette was backed in and sideways. The entire front portion of the car was smashed in and crumbled like an accordion. Plastic cars, John thought. Cheaply made, but expensive.

"You better not get any closer," John told her. "There might still be some blood on the steering wheel or on the seat. They usually park them just as they find them."

Tammy put a hand to her mouth. John stopped to lightly touch her elbow. "I'm all right," she reassured him. "Just the last time I saw this car it had Michael in it and he was perfectly healthy and happy."

John pulled her to him and they tightly embraced. She tucked her face into his neck and started to sob. He gently stroked her hair and whispered, "It'll be all right," into her ear. She trembled against him.

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