Tour’s Books Blog

June 13, 2014

Carly and the Tango Instructor – Part 5 & 6

Filed under: Adventures of Reacherfan Groundhog — toursbooks @ 8:32 pm
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Part 5

Trey Dupress was no fool.  He had enough experience with his difficult partner to know she would wake up hungry and grumpy.  To forestall the worst of her attitude, he’d left the house early and found one of the many bakeries that had left an invitation for her to visit.  While he would not inflict a cranky RF on anyone, he would feed her their goodies and let her thank them later.  Without telling them he was there for RF, he got boxes of assorted pastries, donuts, croissants – plain and with fillings (including ham and cheese for him), and a nice quiche – spinach, country ham, and onion.  That should hold her.  They had everything they needed for coffee and tea at the house, so breakfast was set.

He arrived back just in time.  He could hear Rupert and RF yelling at each other about his taking off without them.  They had reached the ‘finger-pointing’ stage when he walked in.


“Here you go, and kindly say, ‘Thank-you you Trey for being so thoughtful as to run out and get some fresh pastries and quiche for my breakfast.’”

“Whatever.  I smell ham and spinach.”

“That’s the quiche.  Shall I warm it a bit while you eat a Danish?”  Without waiting for an answer, he stuffed a bearclaw in her mouth, turned the oven on and popped the quiche in as girl at the counter told him to do – just before she asked for his autograph.  He would be so glad to get the hell out of California.

Rupert was opening all the boxes and apparently deciding where to start.  He could eat like a small army at times.  He chose a cheese and streusel Danish, then grabbed an apple custard tart, and three different donuts.  He added two ham and cheese croissants to the top of the pile and sat down.  “You should have gotten me up.  I would have gone with you.”  The croissants had disappeared and he was eating the cheese Danish.  Maybe pastry for 20 wasn’t enough.  “I figured you could both get some sleep and I’d get the food.  Coffee or tea?”

Rupert looked a bit abashed.  “Actually, I’d like milk, or even some of that half-and-half, though I’m not sure what that is.  It does taste good.”

Trey got out the half-and-half – Big Daddy saw to it the fridg was well stocked, and he automatically made tea for RF, good whole leaf black tea that he thought smelled pretty good, even to a confirmed coffee drinker like himself.  Good thing his mama taught him how to make tea.  He glanced at RF and she was on her third pastry, one with a cherry filling.  “This came from one of the shops that sent you an invitation to stop in.  Maybe we should swing by and you can thank them, RF.”

She shrugged.  “After I try the quiche.  Give me two of those tomatoes and I’ll start cutting them up.  I like them with quiche.”  She lifted her head and sniffed, scenting the warming quiche.

“You’re like mama.  She won’t put tomatoes in the fridg either.”

“Of course not.  It kills the flavor and you can never get it back.  Now is the quiche warm or should I have a donut?”  Her head was already half buried in a donut bag.

“You can’t keep avoiding my questions from last night, you know.”  She stared at him as she bit into a jelly donut.  “And don’t bother saying ‘What questions?’ because you know perfectly well what I asked you when side-stepped them then.  Now I want some answers.”

The doorbell rang, surprising Trey – but apparently not RF.  He answered it, expecting the detectives from last night, but finding a FedEx delivery man instead.  “Package for RF Groundhog.”

“Thanks, I’ll sign for it.”

Trey walked back in the kitchen to find the quiche on a hot plate half gone.  “You two are absolute gluttons.”  He set the box down and promptly helped himself to the quiche, tomatoes, ham and cheese croissants and several Danish – watching his food carefully while getting his coffee.  “Now, start talking.”

“Let me open the package first.”

“No!  Package second.  First you tell me two things.  One – what did you do to the cops who caged you?  And two, how did you come to the conclusion that a woman supposedly from the mid-west knew a guy from Brooklyn?”

“I can answer that if you let me open the box.”

“You don’t need this box, or any other box, or a crystal ball to tell me what you did to those cops who caged you!”

“You know shouting at me rarely does any good.”

“Maybe I should just call Lula Mae and have her ask you.”

RF smiled sweetly, “You don’t have an iPhone.”  She gloated.

“I took the one you had hidden in you port-a-bed.”


“And a damn good one, if you’ll recall.  Now, answer me, or deal with Lula Mae.”

RF hissed at him.  He was unmoved.  Rupert sat watching like he was at a tennis match, head turning back and forth – and eating everything in his reach.  Trey sat well away from him and made note of the fact that the djinn was becoming addicted to jelly donuts.  He seemed fascinated by them.  His attention focused back on his evasive partner.

Finally RF shrugged.  “No big deal.  They might be a bit ……. Itchy today.”

“Itchy?  Mosquito bites?”

He got another shrug and a muttered, “OK.”

“That wasn’t a yes or no question.  Do they have mosquito bites?”

“ummmmm ……… I’m not sure if they were bitten by mosquitoes.  I’m not the mosquito police.”

“Did you cause them to be bitten by mosquitoes?”

“ummmmm …………. no.”

“Any other kind of insect bite – that you caused, not an incidental one?”

Damn him.  “ummmm ……… no.”

Trey stared her for a long moment, then quietly said, “You didn’t give them chickenpox or some other disease, did you?”

RF looked insulted.  “Of course not!  I wouldn’t do that.  Besides, I’m not sure I could, well not without some heavy-duty spell work.  There was no time for that.”

He thought about what RF had done prior to getting grabbed.  She’d leapt from his arms and raced around the porch into a pile of greenery and ……. “Oh you did not cover yourself with poison oak before they picked you up, did you?”

“Is that what the green stuff was?”

“You evil little ……… You gave them poison oak!”  She sat watching him with a bland expression as she bit into cruller.  “Wait, why don’t I have it or Rupert?”

She sat quietly munching, but Rupert spoke up, “Djinn are immune.  She asked me to protect you.”

“How many people got it?”

“Depends.  Some are naturally immune.  Others aren’t.”

“You rubbed all over those cops!”

“Damn right I did.”  An evil smile crept over her face.  “I don’t like cages!  That was just plain rude – and that one cop said I was FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I made sure he got covered.”

Trey sighed.  There was nothing he could do about it now.  “What about the restaurant and the people there?  That oil sticks to everything.”  Trey stopped, realizing what he just said.  “You rubbed yourself all over the table where those detectives sit, didn’t you?”  He sounded resigned.  She was so damn vindictive.

“They deserved it for cuffing you and Rupert.”

“You can’t go to Vista Knoll or see Carly with that oil on your fur.”

“Relax, I already showered, shampooed twice, and conditioned.  I’m clean.”

“You better be and Mrs Kim better not get any suspicious rashes.”

“Oh please, I wouldn’t do that.  Besides, we have a contest!!!!!!”

Trey checked the time as his cell phone rang – or more correctly, RF’s phone that he confiscated rang. “Dupress”

“It’s RJ.  I have the kimchee and 1000 year eggs.  We set for Vista Knoll at 1 PM?”

“Get there a bit early.  I think we have something you might have pass onto the detectives.”

“12:30 be early enough?”

“Should be fine.  See you then.”

RF sat watching him and Rupert looked curious.  “This box has the answer to how Raul and Alyssa know each other, doesn’t it?”  Trey asked.

“I’m hoping it does, yes.”

He ripped it open and gave the contents to RF.  “Yearbooks?”

She nodded.  “Once I knew who Raul was, I found out where he graduated by getting a PI in NYC who likes my apple crumb slices to do me a favor and run him down.  Didn’t take long and he found the right high school.  I’ll bet Alyssa went to the same school.  Just in case, I asked for the middle school yearbooks too and for 1 year either side of his expected graduation year.  They’ll be harder to recognize middle school, though, so let’s start with high school.”

The three of them scrunched together and began turning pages, checking team photos, especially the ones for the theater club and any dance photos.  There was Raul/Ricky.  He was in a play and in a several photos of the junior prom.  The next year he showed up in the senior class photos and once again he was in the prom.  He date was not Alyssa, but she was there, or a girl who looked like Alyssa – before a new nose and world class hair lightening job.  Next year, she was in the senior class – Alice Baumgartner.

“OK, go ahead a gloat.  You earned this one.”  RF grinned at Trey’s resigned tone, then did a little victory dance on the counter, before getting serious again.

“Well, I can’t really gloat till Carly can tell us if she saw or heard something that might suggest they had reason to worry about her.  I hope she can remember something because I think it will be key to the prosecution’s case.  They sure don’t want a groundhog or a former thief for a star witness.”

“What about me?”  Rupert sounded insulted to be left out.

“Rupert, when they ask what you do for a living, what would you say, ‘I barter with people for their immortal souls.’?  Or ‘I grant wishes – for a price?’ Come on.  They’ll try and ship you to the nearest asylum!”  Then again, this was California.  “Or every wanna be actor, director, and producer would sell their soul for a hit.”

OK so RF had a point.  Maybe avoidance was better here.  Besides, most of those people already cut deals with the demons.  “Let’s let Carly do the testifying.”

“Good plan.”

“Then let’s go to the bakery and you can say thank-you to the owner there for all this wonderful food and we’ll go to Vista Knoll and give this to RJ and let him get it to the police.”  Trey began cleaning things up, surprisingly with eveyone’s help.  Then he put the year books in plastic bag and they headed out.

“Maybe we can convince RJ to take Carly as a client.  That way she’ll be covered.”  Trey looked at RF.  “Covered for what?”

“Well, we never did talk with Caryn.  I wonder just how much she knew or guessed.”  Trey sighed again.  They had to stay till tomorrow for another police interview before they could leave.  Maybe they could squeeze a chat with Caryn in the schedule.  “OK, we’ll try that tomorrow before we meet with the detectives again.”

“Good.  Let’s get moving.  I have a contest to win today!”

Crap.  He’d forgotten about that.  Rupert thought it was funny.  He wouldn’t be laughing so hard when he was stuck in a room with RF after she’s eaten eggs.  Pickled eggs.  Dear lord, this was going to be a disaster.

They all stopped walking when they saw the ring of skunks between them and the car.  “You know what this is about, RF?”

“Not a clue.”

A loud *POP* sounded and there stood Ralph the ifrit in all his punk/Goth glory.  “What the hell are you doing here?” yelled RF.

“I had to bring Cleatus.  Lula Mae’s orders.  Better feed the skunks before they get upset.”

“Hey Cousin RF.  Brought some ‘shine for us.”  Cleatus greeted RF with his usual nod, but looked a bit ….. stiff.

Trey went in the house, Rupert hot on his heels.  “This can’t be good,” muttered the djinn.  Trey figured that was the understatement of the century and he piled all the leftover pastry and an entire bag of cookies on paper plates, handed one to Rupert and they went back out – just in time to hear RF scream, “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN COUSIN ESME CLAIMS I’M BETHROTHED TO HER NEPHEW RUBEN RAY OLIVER!”

Oh crap.  She just scared the damn skunks.  This was really bad.


Part 6

The second the skunks cut loose, Rupert and Trey dropped the plates.  The djinn and RF threw up some kind of wall that protected them from the skunk spray itself, but not the smell.  Eyes watering, Trey grabbed Cleatus and RF and ran inside followed by Rupert and Ralph shoving to be first in the door.  Finally, they slammed the door, then ran to far side of the house and open the sliders – a disappearing glass wall really – to the pool and the ocean air and took a breath.  Panting from their wild retreat they just stared at each other a moment.  The quiet didn’t last.

“I’m killing Esme and Ruben Ray on the way back to the UK.  That will end this nonsense once and for all.  This is the third so-called ‘cradle contract’ those idiots have tried and there will NOT BE A FOURTH!”

“Have some of Uncle Horace’s ‘shine.  You’ll feel better.”

“I’ll feel better when I’ve wiped that branch of the family off of the tree – all of them!”  She had a slug of ‘shine.  Trey started to worry.  He did NOT need a mad, drunken RF on his hands right now.

“Now Pansy ain’t so bad, and Bobby Lee does ok.”  Course, the whole Barton family was always a bit ……. strange in the head.

RF was pacing.  “Maybe I’ll turn them into bait fish and dump them in the lake with all the bass.  Or drop them into a school of sharks.  Their bodies will never be found.”

“Sounds a mite extreme, cousin.  You could probably jus’ beat the crap out of Ruben Ray and settle the whole thing.”  Cleatus saw Trey take the shine and hide it.  Might be a good idea.  His cousin was sounding a mite blood-thirsty.

“I’d have to beat the truth out of Esme too, or the she’ll have that whole damn clan on me about not fulfilling a contract.”

“Now RF, you can’t beat up an elderly cousin like Esme Willet.  It wouldn’t look good, especially since she’s less than half your size to start with.”

“Ruben Ray isn’t much bigger!”

“Yeah, but he’s young, and male, and no one much cares if you beat him up.  Esme’s different.  She’s an elder.”

“She’s a conniving, deceitful, lying, sack of …..”

“Now RF, you and Esme never did get on.”

“Did you miss what I just said – or tried to say before you so rudely cut me off?”

“No.  But some would say you’re much the same, jus’ a whole meaner and more dangerous.  And a better cook – which is why she really hates you.”

“Huh?”  RF looks confused.  Trey was too.  What did some ‘cradle contract’ have to do with RF’s cooking?

Cleatus sighed.  “Momma told me that before you started cooking for the clan, it was Esme who ruled the kitchen.  Her only rival was Aunt Lula Mae, but they sort of avoided each other as Lula Mae was a spellcaster and she mated a Watkins.  The Watkins’ really like Lula Mae and they always made it real plain that if you messed with her, you were messing with all of them.”

“You’re a Watkins through your momma.”

“I am, and that’s why no one messes with me.  That and the fact you and Lula Mae both like me.  And I’m real good at demolition.”  Cleatus grinned.  “Fact is cousin, Esme wants the status you’d bring.  Everyone knows she faked that document she claims to have ‘discovered’, but they’d side with her if you went after her too hard.  I know you could wipe them out, or call up a demon and force the truth from Esme, but she’d just say you cast a spell to make her lie and put it all back on you.  That’s what she does.”

Cleatus took a breath.  This was tricky part and why Lula Mae sent him and didn’t come herself.  “You should tell her you’ll see them after you’re done with your business in Europe.  Then when you DO see her, make it real plain, she wouldn’t be head of that clan no more, you would be.  You got the money, the power, and the position to force that on them.”

“You sound like Lula Mae, Cleatus.”

“Well, we talked about this before she sent me over here to warn you.  She didn’t want you sending half the clan to Hell ‘cause you were mad at Esme.  You go in mad and raise Hell, that won’t work near as well as going in like the Queen herself and talking to Esme like she’s nothing but a lowly subject.”

“You two have spent way too much time watch the BBC.”

Cleatus grinned.  “Yeah, it gave us the idea, but it would work.  Esme would go nuts.  Especially if you brought in the Watkins boys as your ‘retainers’.”

“You mean Billy Bob and Groundhog Motorcycle Club?”


“I might be able to work with that.  I could say Esme needed ‘protection’ and they were staying with her at her place.  It will look like a sty in no time.  She’ll go nuts. ………..  Or I could tell Esme she had to go stay with my cousins in Minnesota since they have room.”  RF hated her cousins as much as she did Esme.  They kind of deserved each other.  An evil smile spread over RF’s face.

Cleatus hoped he and Lula Mae didn’t unleash a demon groundhog on those idiot Bartons and Willets. Their families would never be the same.   Neither would the rest of the clan if RF really decided to take over.

All his life, he knew RF tolerated some of her relatives, disliked more than a few, ignored most, and never took an ounce of crap from anyone, but she’d never once been interested in power over any of the clan.  He hoped it stayed that way.  Knowing RF, all she really wanted was to be allowed to be what she already was.  He and Lula Mae were betting she wouldn’t run amuck.  Oh, she’d get her pound of flesh and then some for this stunt by Esme.  Not that anyone liked the Bartons or the Willets, but they would notice if they just disappeared after crossing RF.  At least the plan he and Lula Mae cooked up with Marilyn, Greta, and Johann was better than the shark plan RF had – or at least left them alive.

What was that old saying about a bell couldn’t be unrung?  Well, Esme rang a bell and now she’d have to live with what it called.  All he and Lula Mae could do was keep the damage down.  But if push came to shove, he’d throw Esme to the sharks himself if she didn’t back off.

Trey broke into RF’s evil plotting against this Esme (he and Cleatus would need to have a talk about that), because they had to get moving.  He sniffed.  A shower and change of clothes was needed.  “OK, we need to move.  We all stink a bit, so a shower and a change of clothes.  Ralph, you and Cleatus can stay here while we see Carly.”

“Is Carly the lady who got hurt?”  RF nodded yes.  “And she has information?”, asked Cleatus.

“Yes,” said Trey on the way to the shower.

“I’m having a fart contest with her roommate!”  RF cheerfully announced, Esme momentarily forgotten.

“I’m coming,” announced Cleatus and Ralph in unison.

“The car really only seats two humans, Ralph.”  RF did not want the ifrit coming with them.

Ralph would not be denied.  “I’ll be a ferret ….. no, no, I’ll be a MONGOOSE!  I’ll go shower in Rupert’s room.”

“You will not!  Go find your own bathroom and be done in 10 minutes or we leave without you.”

“Wouldn’t you be happier here?  You can use pool or go down to the beach and play and pick-up girls.  I’ll even give you money to use in the bars.  You can have all day to enjoy the beach house.”  RF gave the ifrit her very best smile.

“NO!  Miss a fart contest?  Are you kidding?  Hey, can I play?”

NO!!!!”  RF shouted.  She stood glaring at the ifrit.  “You cause ANY trouble and you will be a mongoose for the next thousand years while working as manager of Hell’s Home Depot.  Are we clear?”

“Yes,” Ralph was sulking, his lower lip (it had several piercings) was stuck out in a pout.

“I want a vow, Ralph, or I’ll turn you into a hamster and lock you in the freezer to die.”

“All right, all right.  I Ralph, ifrit of Clan Nomescu do hereby swear to abide by the following terms:  1. I shall obey all orders from Reacherfan Groundhog and Trey Dupress.  2.  I shall stay as a mongoose for the duration of the trip and upon return to this house will I will immediately transport back to Edinburgh.  3. I shall cause no disruptions, use any powers, or annoy ANYONE between now and when I return to Edinburgh.  4. If I fail in any way RF, is free to extract revenge without threat of reprisal from myself, my clan or my clan allies or anyone else.”

“Sign in blood.”

“Jeeze.  How does Rupert put up with you and your rules?”

“He behaves, or he goes back to work for a very angry Hell Lord – who by the way, would be thrilled if I sent you down as his replacement.”

Ralph signed and ran for the nearest bathroom to clean up.  RF went to her own and used a special shampoo, white vinegar, and baking soda.  She came out rather fluffy, but clean and sweet smelling.  She let Cleatus do the same and she used the dryer on her fur.  They were both back and in the living room in exactly 10 minutes.  Trey had everything ready, he even put the car top down, airing it out.  The skunk smell was mostly gone and the goodies were missing – even the plates they’d been on.  Skunks are not gourmets.   Ralph the mongoose bounded out and Rupert put him firmly in the rear seat.  Cleatus went in next to him.  A quick stop at the bakery was a bit hectic and they left with a pile of goodies.  Ralph and Cleatus dug in.  Rupert ate ALL the jelly donuts.  His new favorite food.

Trey’s patience was frayed by the time they reached Vista Knolls.  A very casually dressed RJ was waiting in the shade of a tree in the parking lot.  Introductions were made, and Trey gave him a quick rundown of what they discovered.  “Can you act as Carly’s attorney?  I don’t want the police or defense investigators bothering her while she’s in rehab.”  RF sounded worried.

“I’ll be happy to help.”  He got a Cheshire cat smile.  “It will be interesting to help the police for a change.”

They entered the reception area and Rachel-the perky-soon-to-be-gerbil gave Rupert and Trey star struck smiles.  “Back to see Miz Carly?  She’ll be glad for company.”  Then she spotted Cleatus and Ralph.  “Are they her pets too?  We don’t usually allow more than one therapy animal at a time.”

“They’re not animals.  They’re puppets.  I’m a ventriloquist.”

“Wow, you’re good.  I could have sworn that ……. thing in your arms just talked!”

Trey cleared his throat to cover RF’s hissing noise, while RJ shook with silent laughter.  “We’ve brought Ms Cady’s lawyer with us and he needs to speak with her.”

“R. Jason Rutledge for Ms Cady.”  RJ Handed over one of his heavy business cards kept in an antique solid silver card case.  He saw RF checking it out and winked at her.

“Oh, Mr Rutledge!  I saw you on Court TV!” Then she realized they had a very high profile attorney here.  “I’ll just call the director.”

“That fine.  The director can meet us at Ms Cady’s room.”  He moved off through the doors like he owned the place.  On the other side he turned to Trey and said, “Lead the way, because I have no idea where I’m going.”  He gave them an unrepentant grin.

“You brought the kimchee and eggs, right?”  RF was look at the bag he was carrying.

“Of course.  And I wore clothes that I can just throw away.  This isn’t my first fart contest.  Though after graduating law school, I never thought I’d see another one.  But shouldn’t we speak with Ms Cady first?  We need to get the police business settled.”  He looked concerned, “Perhaps we should have brought in some of those extra pastries.”

“She can’t have sugar right now, so I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

Carly smiled widely when she saw RF.  “You’re back!”

“I said we would be.  Carly, this is R. Jason Rutledge ….”

“OMG, the lawyer!  Did I do something wrong?”

“Oh course not, but Trey and RF have uncovered some information and they need you to think back over all the times you saw Raul and Alyssa at the same time.  If you can recall something, I’ll be your go between with the police, if not, I’ll still represent you in any capacity you need, pro bono, of course.”  The lawyer had a wonderful soothing voice.  No wonder he got the big bucks and high profile cases.

“Pro bono?  This won’t cost me my life savings?”  Carly clutched the blankets a bit.  She couldn’t afford some $1,000 an hour lawyer.

“Not a dime, now just relax and let Trey and RF ask you a few questions.”

Carly blinked, realizing the lawyer held a small groundhog.  “Is that Cousin Cleatus you’re holding?  OMG, I am so thrilled.  I’m a huge fan of yours!  RF talks about you and Lula Mae, and Greta and Johann and Marilyn all the time!”

“Pleasure to meet you ma’am.  Aunt Lula Mae and the others stayed in Edinburgh, but they’ll be pleased to know you’ve heard of them.”

“HI!  I’m Ralph and I’m an ifrit, but I have to be a mongoose right now.  Have you heard about me?  I’m here for the fart contest!  This will be GREAT!”

Before Carly could say a word, Mrs Kim butted in with, “You have kimchee?  You promise kimchee!”

RJ dug in his bag and extracted a tightly sealed container of homemade kimchee, South Korean style, spicy, garlicky, and served cold.  He then handed the eggs to RF.  He looked sternly at Mrs Kim and RF.  “You will not eat anything till I say start, so put the food down.”

“You no order me around.  I eat if I want.”

“You eat that kimchee before I say ‘GO!’, you forfeit the contest and RF wins!”

“Evil round-eyed lawyer.  I wait and beat the fat demon rat fair and square.”

“I AM NOT FAT!  I AM ZAFTIG!  ZAFTIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

A knock sounded and in walked the Director of Vista Knolls.  “Mr Rutledge, I’m Gardner McKay, the Administrator of Vista Knolls, and this is Mrs Nagouchi, head of our nursing staff.  I hope everything is going well with Ms Cady and she’s happy here.”  He looked a bit twitchy and gave RJ a nervous, smarmy smile.

“I’ll let you know after my client and I chat.  Alone.  At the moment, we’d like the room cleared of all but Ms Cady and her friends for a private conversation.”

“Of course.  Mrs Kim, it’s time for your afternoon in the common room.”

“NO!  I stay.  Watch evil rat demon and big blondy demon.”

McKay laughed uncomfortably.  “I’m sure everything will be fine while you’re in the common room.”

“I no like common room.  Full of peasants.”

Mrs. Nagouchi sighed deeply.  Mrs Kim was a difficult patient.  “Then you shall sit with the peasants like the rest of, Mrs Kim.”  The orderlies lifted her into the wheel chair and pushed her out – complaining all the way.  McKay turned red faced to RJ and said, “I’m sure you understand some of our patients are …… less than pleasant to deal with.  She’s usually quiet, but rather uncooperative.  I think she secretly enjoys attention.  I do apologize for any insult to your guests Ms Cady.  She had no call to be accusing people of being demons.  Elderly people can get funny ideas.”

Carly bit her lip to keep from laughing and nodded politely.  Once they were alone the giggles started and grew to full blow laughter.  After she settled down, she asked, “How are we going to hide the fart contest?”  That started her laughing again.

“Will have to work that out, but before we get to those – festivities, there are some questions that we have and we’re hoping you can help us.”  RJ gave her a reassuring smile.  This lawyer was slick as ice.

“Of course.  Ask away.”





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