26: So She Shot You?

“Okay, boys, you can get out of here,” Brimsnod said.

“What else we doing?” Graydon said. “Could be interesting.”

“Data privacy,” Brimsnod said. “Confidentiality. Fatman isn’t buying a billboard here. Get lost. That goes for you, too, Duke.”

“I’m his lawyer.”

“I don’t care if you’re his mother. All of you, out of here.”

“I have to ob…”

“Object all you want, but nothing happens until the client and I are at the table alone.”

Duke gave her a look.

“You know I mean it,” Brimsnod said.

Duke sighed. He gathered up the contract, rolled it into a baton and pointed it at me. “You’re done, let me know, I’ll take you back. Brimsnod, how long?”

“As long as it takes.”

Duke sighed again. Pimlipper and Graydon exchanged a look. “You’re in good hands, Fatman,” Graydon said.

“Yeah,” Pimlipper added. “If you want to get strangled.”

They found that hilarious.

“Just stay with the program,” Duke said.

He and the underworld’s legal team kicked slowly through the dust. I blinked and they were gone.

“You want to stand or sit?” Brimsnod asked.

“I don’t know. Sit?”

“There’s a rock over there. Come on.”

I followed in her tracks, which gave me time to examine the back of her power suit. What looked like three bullet holes were spaced closely between her shoulder blades.

“Natural death?” I asked.

“Sudden,” she said.

“Disagreement?”

“One way to put it.”

“You want to talk about it?”

“That’s my question.”

“Two way street.”

“One of your lovers’ triangle situations. So-called open marriage? Turns out his wife wasn’t completely on board.”

“So she shot you.”

“Four times.”

“I’m only counting three bullet holes.”

“The first two pretty much lined up. Point blank.”

“On the street?”

“Her bed, actually. Otherwise, maybe I could have talked her out of it.”

“You had the suit on?”

“That part, yeah.”

A boulder appeared in what was otherwise a sea of dust and twilight.

“Here,” Brimsnod said. “This is as good as it gets. Have a seat.”

Monday: Data for the Nerd in Chief

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