The private eye decided against walking over and talking to his old friend. He figured he would just sit back, play the wait and see. For all John knew, he could be in the middle of a major police sting going down.

An hour later the band broke up and took a fifteen-minute pause. Two went through the door with Lt. Grimm and the others went over to the bar. "Be right back," John said to Tammy. "Get another drink when that girl comes back by. I'm going to go ask a few questions."

John quickly put a question plan together on the way to the bar. He would first approach the singer because they were usually the leaders of the band. They would know the most of what was going on. He drew up to her slowly, trying not to come on like a silly fan or some overly eager old man trying to hit on her.

She was straddling the stool and facing the bar. She had short-cropped fire-red curly hair and fifteen to twenty silver earrings in both ears. The thought entered John's mind that if he had a magnet he could make her head do whatever he wished. "You guys sound good," he said loud enough for her to hear him.

She turned to him and smiled with thin, black lips. "We suck," she shot back with vigor.

"No. I liked it. Really."

"You're being nice."

"You have a different sound. It's edgy."

She seemed to like his approach and quickly warmed up. John got the idea that she thrived on being different. If anyone ever took the time to notice her creativity then they were instantly in line with her plight.

John let the silence between them grow before he said anything else. "But all of Michael Gallager's bands are usually good."


She took notice. "You know Mike?"

"Shame he had to die the way he did," John remarked.

"How do you know him?"

John looked her in the eyes and lied. "He was a friend of mine. Business partner."

She did not give any indication that she felt any loss over the guy or not.

John pressed on not knowing how many more lies he could get away with. "I'd scout bands for him sometimes."

"He could have done a little better by us," she said and sipped from a bottle of water.

John leaned an elbow on the edge of the bar. He looked out over the crowd and said, "You're right. Shame the way he had to go."

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