Chapter 3: A familiar name

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Max muted the radio, allowing him to talk to his colleague.

"What are you doing? I was listening to that," Grant revealed with anger in his tone.

"I need to chat to you about something."

They were both seated in Max's car, waiting for the traffic to ease. The inter-state was like a car park today due to an accident a mile ahead. People were beeping their horns and yelling obscenities all around them. The frustration reached a fever pitch when a hoon behind them revved his engine. He nudged his car so close to their bumper bar that it felt like a vibration was tickling the steering wheel.

"I wanted to talk ..." but Max's voice was cut off by a beeping horn behind him. He looked into the rear-view mirror, noticing a large man yelling and cursing with his fingers.

"Just give me a second," Grant suggested, while opening the door and disappearing. Max trailed his movement in the rear-view mirror, noticing his colleague reach the car behind and remonstrate with the man. A fight could break out at any moment, so Max tensed his fists, waiting to act. He noticed the interaction behind him suddenly ease, after the large man bowed and shook his head. Whatever Grant was saying to him had rendered him speechless?

"That will do it," his colleague admitted, while activating the handle and re-entering the car.

Max's skin was bubbled, waiting in anticipation to hear everything.

"What did you say to him?" he asked, desperate for an answer.

"I just said a few choice words which made him change his attitude."

An aggravated twinge hit Max's lips.

"What did you say? Don't leave me in suspense."

"I never give away my trade secrets," his colleague revealed, "I'll let you deal with it next time. You're the one busting out of your shirt. Have you been hitting the gym lately or something?"

Max directed attention to his own body where his business shirt was strangling his new physique. The buttons were nearly popping open due to his large barreled chest and his sleeves were pressed tightly against his engorged bicep. This shirt used to swarm on him, but due to his new reliance on martial arts, his physique had changed drastically. His body was now a temple, a finely tuned mechanism, complete with a six pack and deadly range of skills. He knew deep down that no one, not even Grant could be privy to his new hobby and he wanted to keep it that way. He shifted attention away from himself by changing the topic.

"I need to chat with you about something, before we get to the office," he stated.

"So you said before, what is it?" Grant asked.

"Have you found anything that we can use against my targets yet?"

These words caused his assistant to stir in his seat, mildly uncomfortable with the question, knowing his answer would not please his boss. Both Jamie and Grant had spent two months searching for evidence against Max's list of targets. They had exhausted all of their resources and came up relatively empty. These men they were chasing were smart, clever and cunning. They had left no trail of their devious, unlawful actions and it was disappointment after disappointment. Grant had to be covert and discreet which did not pave the way for torrents of useful information.

The previous week had been the most successful, however. They had found evidence implicating the DA in some dodgy dealings involving his re-election, but it was a small victory. The Mayor, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Justice had avoided suspicion so far. They had found nothing tying them to anything unlawful or criminal. It was smoke screen after smoke screen.

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