From Chapter 8
Jesse asked, "Any ideas how to deal with Junior?"
"Yeah, a couple, depending on what he does next."
Want to tell me?"
Ray shook his head. "Depends on what the creep does. Besides, it's better for you not to know too much. We need to give you what's called plausible deniability."
"Ray, I don't want you to get in trouble over this. I'd rather deal with Junior myself than have that happen."
Ray reached across the table and put his fingers on Jesse's lips. Jesse shivered. Even though they'd had sex, Ray had never done anything that . . . intimate.
"Don't worry about it." He stood. "Now, let's go get your tire changed, and then I'll be on my way. I assume you've got a donut."
"Yeah, a little spare."
"Oh! I don't know. I never paid any attention."
Ray grinned. "Did you have a car in New York?"
"No one has a car in New York. I bought the Corolla when I moved here."
"It's not new, is it?"
"No, it's two years old."
"Do you know about things like changing the oil and other routine maintenance?
`Um, no. It didn't come with a user's manual."
Ray grinned. "Looks like you're going to need some help adjusting to life outside the big city. Come on, let's go have lesson one."
They got the jack and the donut out of the trunk, jacked up the car, changed the tires, and put the flat in the trunk. Then Ray said, "Tomorrow, stop by Conrad's. That's the big tire store on the left between here and Colby. You can drop the tire off and pick it up later."
"My class is at 8:00. Will they be open that early?"
"Yeah, there's usually someone there by 7:30."
"Okay. You wanna come up and wash your hands?"
"Yeah, guess I'd better."
Upstairs in the apartment after they'd both washed away the dirt from the tire and tools, Jesse put his arms around Ray's waist and pulled him close.
"Thanks, Ray. I don't know what I'd do without you." Then he gave him a long kiss. Ray didn't seem to mind.
When they'd finished, Ray said, "If you hear anything from the creep, call me. Don't wait. Call me. You have my cell number."
"The creep's name is Harold Benford Sloane, Jr. I call him Junior because it pisses him off."
"Whatever. Just call me. "
"Right. And, Ray?"
"I meant it. Thanks!"
"Just doing my duty to protect and serve." He said it with a grin.
"And here I thought I was getting some special protection and service."
"Oh, you are, babe. You are."
"Babe," huh? That sounds nice.
Ray was at the station by 8:00. It was surprisingly quiet. He spent a while at his computer. At 9:00 he told the dispatcher that he'd be out of the office for an hour or so but that he'd keep his car radio unit and his cell phone on if she needed him. Then he got in his car and drove to Higgins.
Twenty minutes later he pulled into a parking slot in front of Petal Pushers, one of the two florist shops owned by the Cox family. Inside he was greeted by the good-looking young woman behind the counter. Her light brown hair was shorter than he remembered it, but her dark brown eyes flashed as much as ever.
"Well, Ray Stonesifer. Or, I hear it's Sergeant Stonesifer now. What can I do for you this morning?"
Ray had known Sheila Henderson forever, at least to say "hi" to. She and Brody had been freshmen or sophomores when he was a senior. It was a consolidated school, and kids were bused in from all over the place. But the ones who'd lived in the town of Higgins all knew one another.
"Sheil, it's good to see you. How've you been? How's the family?" He knew she had at least one kid.
"I'm good. Jeremy's good. And Susie starts to kindergarten next fall."
"I can't believe that!"
Still smiling, Sheila said, "But you didn't come here to check up on the Hendersons, did you? Need some flowers?"
"No, I'm here officially. Or semi-officially."
"Oh! How can I help?"
"Brody delivered flowers a week or so ago to the guy who lives in the apartment that he used to live in, Jesse Crofts."
"Yeah, he mentioned that. Said the place hadn't changed much even though two guys had lived there since he moved in with Dave."
"I need to know as much as you can tell me about who sent the flowers." He knew how prone people in small towns were to gossip, but he felt he should let Sheila know something about his request. "Jesse's being stalked."
She frowned. "How awful."
"So, could you check your records?"
"Sure, but unless the purchaser called us directly, I won't be able to tell you anything about her. Or him. When we get an order either online or over the phone from another shop, they take care of collecting from the sender. So they'd have credit card records unless the customer paid cash."
She went to her computer and began punching keys. Then she took a small pad of paper and wrote on it.
"Here's the name of the florist in New York."
Ray looked at what she'd written. "Braithewaite Floral," it said, with an address in New York that meant nothing to him.
"You have a phone number for this place?"
"Yeah, should have." She looked again at the screen and read it out to him. He copied it onto the slip of paper.
He folded the slip and put it in his shirt pocket. Then he took out a leather case and handed Sheila one of his cards.
"This has my work and cell numbers on it. If you get another order for flowers for Jesse, would you call me before you fill it?"
"Sure. But I'm not here all the time. Is it all right if I tell my boss, Bob, and the others who work here?"
"Yeah, but don't tell them why, okay? No point in everybody knowing Jesse's being stalked. Just be sure someone calls me if you get another order for flowers for Jesse Crofts."
"I'll pass the word. But, Ray, you've got to tell me. Was Jesse really a big-time model?"
"Ooh, I've gotta get a look at him."
"Look at the Guess ads in the spring issue of GQ."
She smiled. "I'll have to make a trip to the library."
"Thanks for the info, Sheil. Say `hi' to Jeremy for me."
"Bye, Ray. Oh, and I'm supposed to say, `Have a good day.'"
Back at the station, he ran into Rachel, who was on her way out. She gave him a big smile.
"Hi, Rachel. You look happy. Things going well in Toledo?"
"Absolutely! I'm spending every free weekend with Tiffany."
"You aren't staying holed up are you?"
Rachel laughed. "There'd be nothing wrong with that. But we get out. We do things in Toledo and Detroit. It's easy to be anonymous in cities."
"Pity you can't bring her here. I'd like to meet her."
"Maybe some day you could bring a date and we could have supper together somewhere. We'd have lots of choices."
"Sounds like a plan."
"Great, Ray. Gotta run, or my partner will come looking for me."
Ray knew she meant her cop partner, not Tiffany, so he said goodbye and headed for his cubicle.
When he got there he took the letter Jesse had received out of the plastic kitchen bag he'd put it in, and, using his detective's kit, dusted it for prints. There were clearly at least two sets on the letter. Then he realized he'd have to take Jesse's prints for elimination purposes. And hope that Junior's were in the system somewhere.
When he was finished he put the letter in a proper plastic evidence bag, wrote on the label, and locked it in his file cabinet.
Then, after venturing out of his cubicle to get a cup of coffee, he returned to his desk. The Captain didn't seem to be in and, fortunately, Lieutenant Havers was away on vacation. Ray was conducting an investigation on department time, using department resources. Not a lot of either, but still . . . .
He called Braithewaite Floral in New York. The woman he talked with there wasn't as forthcoming as Sheila, wanting to be convinced of his bona fides. He'd given her his badge number. Then he'd given her the number of the Colby Police switchboard and suggested she call it and then ask to speak to him. She was somewhat less suspicious when she called back.
"All right, Sergeant, um, Stonesifer. Now, what kind of information is it that you need?"
He explained that he needed to know who'd placed the order for Jesse's flowers.
"I'm not sure I can give you that information. Our customers expect a certain level of privacy, you know."
"Yes, ma'am. I understand that. But we have a case of suspected stalking here. I won't ask you for the person's address, phone number, or credit card."
"If he or she paid cash, we couldn't give you that information anyway. Unless he or she was known to us, a regular customer, you understand."
"Could you check, please?"
"What was the date of the transaction?"
Ray gave her the date, after which he heard computer keys clacking.
"Well," she said, "it was indeed a cash purchase. Now that I see the order, I remember handling it. I remember thinking we've never dealt with a florist in Colby, Ohio before. But you must be mistaken about the stalking business. This order was placed by one of our longtime customers. He comes from a very prominent family."
"I'll tell you what, ma'am. I won't ask you to tell me the name. But if I give you a name, could you at least tell me whether I'm right or not?"
There was a pause. "Yes, I suppose I could do that."
"How about Harold Sloane, Jr.?"
"Yes, that's who it was. So you see how silly it would be to think anyone like young Mr. Sloane could be a stalker. He's so charming. And from such a fine family."
"Yes, ma'am. You could be right. Thank you very much for your help."
He took a sip of coffee and frowned. It was thick, sour, and cold. Putting the mug down, he leaned back in his chair, clasped his hands behind his head, and said, "So, fucker! Just come on out here! We'll take care of you!"
He left the office at 5:30. When he was outside the building, he called Jesse's cell phone number.
"Hey, Ray. What's up?"
Ray chuckled. "You sound like a college kid with your `what's up.'"
He could hear Jesse return the chuckle. "Hey, I gotta try to blend in. Casey rags on me because of my New York accent, even though I tell him I'm from Connecticut. So when I'm around the college crowd, I try at least not to talk like an old man."
Ray heard someone laugh in the background.
"Yeah, some old man you are. Did you get your tire fixed?"
"Yeah, I'd picked up a nail. They plugged it, whatever that means, and claim it's good as new. And it didn't cost much. So I guess I got off easy. Thanks for helping me change it and suggesting Conrad's. They do oil changes and stuff like that, too. It's good to know about them."
"Always glad to help. Now, how about meeting me someplace for supper? Or are you back in Higgins already?"
"No, Casey and I are at Ruby's. We're having a beer. Want to join us for supper?"
With Casey? Always fucking Casey!
"Sure. Be there in fifteen minutes."
His mind was busy as he made the short walk to the restaurant, which was on the edge of Colby's downtown. He thought about Sloane, the stalker and about Jesse using pot. The subject of pot was tricky because Ray, like most other undergraduates, had occasionally smoked weed when he was in college. But as a cop he couldn't sanction it. They'd have to talk about that. And then there was Casey Shaw. He had the impression Jesse spent a lot of time with Shaw.
Just as he was nearing the restaurant, his cell phone rang. He didn't recognize the number.
"Ray, this is Brody Cox."
"Hey, Brody. Sheila must have told you about my visit to the shop this morning."
"Yeah, she did. Can I ask what's goin' on?"
"This is all unofficial, Brody. The Department doesn't know anything about it yet. But I've been thinking about talking with you anyway. I'm about to have supper, so can I call you back later, say about 9:00?"
"Sure. I'll be home with Dave. But you can use this number. I'll leave the cell turned on."
"Okay, talk to you later."
Then he went inside, where he experienced a feeling he wasn't proud of when he saw Jesse and Casey in a booth having an animated conversation.
Both Casey and Jesse greeted him enthusiastically, Jesse sliding over so Ray could sit next to him.
When they caught the eye of the female waitperson, Ray ordered a beer.
Their dinner went pleasantly enough. Ray had to admit that Casey was good company, upbeat, fun to chat with. He couldn't see any evidence that Casey and Jesse were anything more than friends. Still he was surprised when he felt Jesse's hand on his thigh. So surprised he almost choked on his beer.
"You okay, Ray?" Casey asked.
"Um, yeah. Swallow tried to go down the wrong pipe, that's all."
The hand on his thigh began to move slowly toward his crotch. He nudged Jesse's knee with his own. The hand was taken away. When he glanced at Jesse, he saw a faint grin.
I'm gonna get you for that, babe! he thought.
When their meal was over and they were putting money into the folder for the bill, Ray said to Jesse, "Can you come back to my place for a minute before you head for Higgins?"
"I've still got a lot of reading to do."
"It's about, um, that New York thing we were talking about."
"Oh, okay. Sure."
Outside the restaurant Jesse offered to give Casey a lift back to his dorm, but he said that he'd walk since it wasn't far.
Ray, who had walked to work, rode with Jesse the few blocks back to the apartment. While Jesse was driving he put his hand in Jesse's crotch, leaving it there long enough to feel a response.
"Ray, what are you doing? You want me to lose control?"
"That wouldn't be so bad."
"I meant control of the car, dimwit."
"Well, you started it back there in the restaurant!"
"And how childish does that sound?"
Ray laughed. "Okay. I'll quit for now."
"Did you ask me back to your place so we could make out? I really should study tonight."
"Yeah, like you were having a pop quiz tomorrow."
"With my soc. prof, I could."
"I'll let you decide how long to stay. After I've taken your fingerprints."
"Yup. There are two sets of prints on that letter you got from Sloane. I need to rule out yours so I can see if his are on file anywhere."
"Oh. So you didn't really want to fuck my brains out."
When the fingerprinting was done and they'd cleaned the ink off their hands, Jesse got a strange look on his face.
"Do you still have a uniform, Sergeant Stonesifer?"
"Yeah. Sometimes I have to wear it. For special occasions. Why?"
"I wondered if you'd model it for me."
Jesse licked his lips and grinned. "Uh huh."
Ray caught on. "Do you want me to get out my night stick?"
"Which night stick would that be, Sergeant?"
"I was thinking of the long black one."
"Oooh, yes indeedy. And while you're doing that, I'll slip into the bathroom."
Ray was a little surprised by Jesse's interest in role playing, but he wasted no time getting out of the short sleeve blue shirt and khakis he'd worn all day. He put on his summer blues, including the black socks and shoes. He was just taking the black baton from the closet shelf when Jesse came out of the bathroom.
He couldn't see that Jesse looked any different. He certainly hadn't removed any clothing.
"Oh, a big, tough copper! Is there a problem, Sergeant?"
"Yeah, I think you're a faggot. And I'll bet you're a slutty faggot."
"Please, officer, I can't help it. Are you going to throw me in the cooler so I'll be raped?"
"I suppose I could do that. But if you want to make other arrangements . . . ."
"Anything, officer, Sergeant sir! I'll do anything."
Both were trying hard not to laugh.
"Okay, slut, take off your clothes. Slowly. And do a little dance for me. I'll bet you wiggled your ass when you were on the runway, didn't you?"
Jesse lifted his eyebrows at that, but he didn't say anything. Instead he crossed his arms, grabbed the hem of his tee, and pulled it off with one slow, continuous movement. Ray's breath caught as Jesse revealed his lightly-haired chest, his flat pecs, and his hard-earned abs. His shorts seemed to be held up by his hip bones . . . and perhaps by the prominent bulge in the front.
He draped the shirt over his right shoulder and held it so that his right hand was beside his right pec. Cocking a hip, he said, "You like what you see, Sergeant?"
Ray was surprised by the huskiness of his voice when he said, "Shut up, boy. Turn around."
Jesse turned his back to Ray and arched his back slightly so that his ass was pushed toward Ray.
"Like this, Sergeant?"
"I said shut up!" He ran the tip of the night stick up and down the crack.
Jesse didn't say anything, but he hummed and slowly began to wiggle his ass.
"You really are a trashy boy, aren't you?"
When Jesse didn't respond, Ray said, "You can answer me."
"Oooh, yesss, officer, sir! I love it!"
"You'd like it even better if you weren't wearing those shorts, wouldn't you?"
"Yes . . . Sir."
"Okay, drop the shorts. Slowly."
Using his thumbs, Jesse slowly pushed the shorts down over his slim hips, revealing black bikini briefs which were so small they didn't quite cover all of the crevice between his buttocks.
Ray was salivating. And his own cock was painfully hard as it stuck down the left leg of his uniform trousers.
"Lose the briefs."
Jesse pushed those down, stepped out of them and the shorts, and then remained standing, butt protruding slightly.
"Hands on knees, slut."
When Jesse complied, Ray once more began rubbing the tip of the baton slowly up and down the hairy crack.
Jesse cooed, but remained motionless.
When Jessie pulled his cheeks apart, Ray poked gently at the exposed pink hole.
Jesse gasped and began wiggling his ass.
Ray noticed that the hole and the area around it were shiny. Jesse had obviously lubed himself while he was in the bathroom.
"What do you want, slut?"
"Please, sir, fuck me with your big, black stick!"
"Okay. Move over to the bed, bend over, and put your hands on it."
While Jesse was doing that, Ray took a condom packet from the night stand, tore it open, and rolled it down the stick. Then he put lube on the condom.
"You're gonna love this, aren't ya, boy?"
Jesse looked over his shoulder, batted his eyelashes, and said, "You're not going to hurt me, are you, sir?"
Ray laughed. "I doubt it. You've had bigger things than this up your hole."
"Then fuck me, officer. I need it! Please!"
Jesse held still while Ray gently eased the stick into his ass. Once it was in about six inches, however, he began to wiggle his ass from side to side and then in a circular motion.
Ray's throbbing cock was leaking badly as he watched the beautiful gyrating butt impaled on his night stick, but he wasn't going to hurry things since Jesse was obviously enjoying the experience.
"You're a slut, boy. Tell me what you are."
"I'm a slut, sir."
"Whose slut are you, boy?"
"I'm your slut, sir."
"What do you want now, slut?"
"I need you to fuck me, sir."
Ray chuckled. "I guess that comes under `serve' rather than `protect.'" Leaving the night stick in place, he continued, "Don't go anywhere."
He unbuttoned his uniform shirt but didn't remove it. Then he unbuckled his belt, undid the button on his trousers, and unzipped the fly. He pushed the trousers and his boxers just far enough down his thighs to allow his hard cock to spring up. Reaching once more into the nightstand drawer, he retrieved and put on a condom and lubricated the sheathed cock.
Keeping his legs apart so his pants wouldn't fall, he sidled back behind Jesse, who was apparently squeezing his sphincter to keep the night stick from falling.
When Ray slowly eased the stick out, Jesse made a disappointed-sounding groan. But as Ray eased his cock into the twitching hole, the groan turned into a purr.
The noise level went up a bit as first Jesse and then Ray began to vocalize their pleasure with the coupling.
Some time later, they were lying side by side, arms and legs touching. Neither had spoken since their orgasms.
"If I put a fresh condom on that billy club, would you . . .?"
Jesse laughed. "Now who's a slut?"
"I am. Will you do it?"
"You bet your ass. Speaking of which, I'll take care of the club. You slick up your chute."
After giving Ray a good workout with the night stick he slowly removed it.
"I'm not stopping. I'm just changing tools. Now I'm gonna fuck your ass, copper."
"Yeah, fuck me!"
With a slight pause for the acquisition of a condom and lube, Jesse put Ray on his back, mounted him, and slapped him smartly on the side of his ass.
"Oh, yeah. I needed that."
"Big, tough policeman, huh?"
Knowing Ray's hole had been well opened by the stick, he wasn't too gentle when he shoved his cock in. He began long, slow strokes, Ray groaning his approval.
"You think you're a big, tough cop, don't ya? Well I think you're just a pussy."
When Ray continued to moan but didn't say anything intelligible, Jesse slapped his left cheek, thrust his cock in forcefully, and said, "I asked you a question."
Tossing his head from side to side, Ray responded, "Yeah, I'm just a pussy. I need to be fucked."
And so the game went. They'd never played it before, but when it was over, Ray, spent and very happy, realized this had been some of the best sex he'd ever had. Who said two bottoms couldn't have fun? It was the playfulness that had added that extra bit of spice.
They did minimal cleanup when it was over, and Ray fell asleep in Jesse's arms.
They both got up when Ray's clock radio came on at 6:30 the next morning. After they showered together Ray fixed scrambled eggs, bacon, and English muffins, but Jesse wanted only juice and cereal, reminding Ray that the fatty stuff would kill him.
As they ate, Ray said, "Last night you, um, said that you were my slut. I know you're not really a slut, and we were just role playing, but do you . . . I mean, are we . . . ?"
Jesse finished chewing his Kashi, put down the spoon, and dabbed his lips with his paper napkin. He appeared to be thinking.
Ray waited nervously.
"I've been assuming we are. I just haven't wanted to bring it up for fear of jinxing it, you know?"
"Same here. But would it be jinxing things now if I asked just what it is we are?"
"No." He paused. "That's a good question. Boyfriends? That sounds a little silly. Life partners? Who knows at this point? I think of you as more than a fuck buddy, Ray. I'm willing to try the monogamy thing if you are."
"Let me get this straight. We're not talking forever, are we?"
"That would be unrealistic. But I believe in serial monogamy. I promise not to have sex with anyone else while we see what it is we have going on. If you'll do the same."
"Would it fuck things up if I asked about Casey?"
"Casey's just a friend."
"You and he haven't been, um, fooling around?"
Jesse took a swallow of his OJ and set the glass down.
"You're jealous of Casey?"
"Well, yeah. You two spend a lot of time together during the week. Face it, you and I are together mostly just on weekends. And the kid's a fucking stud."
"He is that. I don't deny I've thought about getting it on with him. And, just so you'll know, he asked about it."
"And . . . ?"
"I told him I wanted to see how things worked out between you and me."
Ray heaved a big sigh and stood up. He held out his arms. Jesse stood up and walked into them. They held each other for a while and then began to kiss. The kiss continued for a while, and then Ray eased Jesse away, saying "I've got to get to work, Jess. And your class starts at 8:00."
It wasn't until he got to the office that Ray remembered he was supposed to call Brody Cox at 9:00 the evening before. He grinned, remembering what he and Jesse had been doing. And he was greatly relieved to know that Jesse returned his feelings. And that Casey wasn't a rival. Of course, there was the matter of the pot, but they could discuss that after the whole stalker thing was cleared up.
Not wanting to call too early, he waited until 10:00 that morning before he began trying to track down Brody. When no one answered at the house where Brody and Dave Cromer lived, he tried Dave's office.
"Cromer Landscaping. This is Britney. How can I help you?"
"Good morning. This is Ray Stonesifer. I'm trying to track down Brody Cox. Is he there by any chance?"
"Yes, Mr. Stonesifer. I'll connect you."
"Hi, Ray. How are you this morning?"
"Embarrassed. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you last night. Something came up."
Brody chuckled. "Things have a way of coming up."
Ray felt himself blushing, thinking back to what had `come up' the evening before.
"Well, I do apologize. And I still would like to talk with you at your convenience."
"I'm pretty much office sitting right now if you're free."
"Is there somewhere we can speak privately?"
"Yeah, Dave's with a client all morning. If you can come over, we can use his office."
"Be there in ten."
Ray was somewhat in awe of Brody Cox. He'd known Brody in high school, but Brody had been a couple or three years behind him. He remembered the skinny blond teen with big hands and feet. When he returned to Colby after leaving the Marines, he was a real hunk, lean and muscled with the kind of presence Marines often had. Since Brody had come home, Ray had seen him play baseball for the Hammers occasionally, and they'd seen each other at CQ gatherings once or twice since Ray had been included in that group.
But Brody was a hero to most of the locals who knew him. He'd served valiantly in Iraq and, though he didn't talk about his experiences there, everybody in Higgins knew about it. Not only that, but he'd had the guts to come out. How many ex-Marines had done that? And now, though he wasn't taking courses this summer, he was working on a degree in landscape design or something of the sort. Besides that, he was helping his lover, Dave, in the business. Helping meant, so Ray had been told by Jim Grant, anything from mowing lawns to schmoozing potential clients.
Dave Cromer is a lucky guy! Ray thought. But then so is Brody. The two of them could be poster boys for happy, hunky gay couples.
Soon Ray was sitting facing Brody in Dave's office with a mug of coffee. He tasted it.
"Mmm. This is great coffee."
"Thanks. I usually make it when I'm here." Even though the office door was closed, he lowered his voice. "Brittney's skills don't extend to making decent coffee."
"What's your secret?"
"Well, use fresh coffee. And, something I learned in the Corps. Sprinkle just a little salt over the grounds before you turn on the machine."
Ray lifted his mug in salute. "Well, it works."
"So," Brody said, "are you gonna tell me what you're investigating?"
"Uh huh, but this is confidential, okay?"
"I don't keep anything from Dave, but he's very discreet. And I won't tell anyone else."
Ray took a deep breath, followed by another sip of coffee. Then he set the mug down and told Brody everything about Harry Sloane and his activities vis-a-vis Jesse.
"I didn't realize you and Jesse were together."
"We've been seeing each other for most of the summer. But we've only recently become `an item.'"
"So what are you gonna do about Sloane?"
"If it becomes a police matter . . . so far we've got his voice on a recording and what I'm pretty sure must be his fingerprints on a letter he sent. If we can establish those are from him, we also have a growing bunch of emails and IM's."
"But Jesse doesn't want to involve the police?"
"I'm pretty involved. But he wants to keep it unofficial."
"And you think this Sloane guy is gonna come here?"
"He's on vacation from his job in New York. And his messages lately have alluded to seeing Jesse soon."
"So what are you gonna do?"
"I was hoping you'd be willing to help."
"Sure. Guys like that are douche bags. What do you want me to do?"
Jesse explained what he had in mind.
When he was finished, Brody grinned. "Sort of a covert op, huh?"
"Exactly. Hopefully no one but you, Sloane, and I will ever know what happened. But if it gets out, I could be in trouble. And I don't want to bring anything down on your head."
"We'll just have to see that it doesn't get out, then, won't we? Though, like I said, Dave will know. In fact, I'm pretty sure he'd come along if you want him to."
"I think the two of us can handle it. Let's not let Dave incur any risks."
"And you're sure you won't mind being involved?"
Brody grinned broadly. "I wouldn't miss it!"
To Be Continued
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