She nodded.

"They conveniently pay off or somehow hook up with someone in authority in the city they pick to set up shop. They then bump off the head person running the local talent and have it covered up by the local police. All that's left is to take over and rake in the money."

"Like what happened with me. I'm right in the middle of this."

"Exactly," John said.

"How did you find all this out?"

"For starters, I was able to drop a few questions on Jason Taylor during our short phone conversation. He told me some of the cities where his brother had operations. I then started checking and found what I needed."

Tammy digested the load of information as she walked to the back door. She opened the door and listened to the ocean. "Don't ever let this office go," she remarked. "The view is worth a million dollars."

"I hate to tell you but I might have to let it go."

"Rent high?"

"No. You know, bills and everything. No work. The usual thing that shuts down a struggling business," John told her. "However, I do have a dog case in the works. I'll tell you about it later."


She closed the door and came back into the office. "I'll help you. I told you that."

John shook his head. "Don't want any handouts."

She dropped her chin and gave John a critical look. "I know. No handouts."

"We'll see."

"Can I ask you something?"

John motioned with his hands for her to bring it on.

"Why didn't you tell me about all this?"

"I was afraid that it might affect your meeting tonight. I know it sounds dumb, but I thought if you knew what his answers were going to be you might not be able to bring what we needed out of him. I wanted to tell you and get your help. Believe me."

"I do."

John took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm tired already. Been a long day."

"I got another question before you start nodding off."

He opened his eyes wide and looked at her.

"Of what you just told me, how does Frank tie in to the action?"

"What I've been wrestling with is that the lieutenant, my old friend, was cut into the deal for stalling the investigation. He might have been paid to do something while Hank cut the brake line on Michael's car. With Michael out of the way, Hank and Taylor Time could take over Virginia Beach with Frank in their back pocket."

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