Bethany: Better Make the Best of It.

"Hey I found these on the guy I shot back there. Perhaps they are just plants, but these guys have some fancy guns, they need a place to store em and buy, so we could search the records and find where this guy get his mail. What do you think?" Drake asks me.

"I think that's a good idea." He's quick and smart, I'll give him credit for that. I take the cards and examine them. "Quite a selection here...  Several of these places I know deal off the black market. No one's gone after them though; too afraid. These here," --I pointed to 3 of the cards-- "are in cahoots with the local mafia. The 'baron's' suspected to be associated with several, including this guy, Vincent Romano."

"And look, his number is circled." Drake pointed.

"Yup, I figure that's as good a place to start. Me and Vinny go way back. I figure we could get him to 'blab' if ya know what I mean," I used my worst Italian accent. Drake laughed. Just the reaction I'd hoped to get. Break the ice, so to speak.

"Yeah, if he don't roll over on those thugs, he'll be sleepin' wit' da fishes..."

I laughed. "Yeah, you got it right... just, don't- don't make fun of his accent; he hates that!"

We got the in car and headed to Vinny's place, a small gun shop on the outside of town.

"Um, Drake?" I said.


"I just... just wanted to apologize for how I treated you. I've been kinda freaked out about this whole case, you know, with my brother and all. I reacted wrongly when you came in. I'm sorry."

He surveyed me momentarily. "I understand completely. I accept." A smile crept across his face. "Does this mean that I'm sole leader?"

I chuckled at him. "Not a chance, buddy, not a chance..."

We drove along in silence for a bit.

"So," Drake said suddenly, "you said that you and Vinny go way back?"

"Yeah, we dated once-- or at least that's what he thinks."

Drake laughed as we pulled up.

"Let me handle Vinny," I got out and headed toward the barred windows of Vinny's shop, "I can take care of him just fine..."

The End

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