Chapter 5: Bye bye Dover

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The red lining of the carpet was now second nature to Max. His feet had trod on it so many times of late that it now had an indent of his Windsor Smith shoe. He had trepidation the first time that he had entered this building, but now everyone knew him. The gangs who guarded it now failed to even notice him. In neighborhoods like this you strive for anonymity and despise attention. It could often mean you were only seconds from death.

The kids who played hockey in the halls were now his greatest allies. They had been gritty at first, almost confrontational, but once Max had met their aggression with his own and proved his worth, things had changed drastically. His presence was now greeted with respect. The puck stopped and sticks dropped the moment that he entered. Their game only continued on when Max had passed and all welcoming high fives had been exchanged. These kids were tough, brought up in a neighborhood where weakness got you killed. They did not yield to anyone, not even the local drug dealers, but they now considered Max brethren. The fact that they stopped their game spoke volumes for their respect for him.

The twisted number forty-one stared back at Max once again when he reached the door. He hit the wood three times, before stepping backwards, waiting patiently with Grant for it to open. They both heard a scratching sound followed by a deadlock shifting, before Jamie's beaming smile greeted them.

"Hi fellas, how are you doing?" he remarked.

"We're good," Grant responded, "what are you so happy about?"

This question was ignored for a second, as Jamie instead walked off towards his desk. He grabbed some papers, before presenting an even broader smile after he turned back towards them.

"I've done it," he admitted with pride, "we can strike our first target off the list."

These words hit Max, like a warm hug. His mood instantly lifted and a river of excitement flooded his body.

"Who is it? What did you find?" he queried, almost stumbling his words.

"It's your boss! We've got him."

Max's patience was non-existent. His associate was taking too long to disclose the information, so he ripped the papers angrily from his hands. His eyes settled in and shifted through the words like a scanner. He saw crime reports mixed in with mug-shots, among banking reports and business prospectuses. Even though he was a smart, experienced DA, he found it impossible to decipher what was valuable or not, among this sea of paper.

"What's this? I don't see anything," he stated perplexed.

"Let me explain," Jamie suggested, grabbing hold of the papers, "it's an intricate plan that he has had going on for years. It's quite clever actually."

An internal impatience nudged at Max's skin, trying to surface, but he relented and took a seat. His mood now matched Grant, excited but restrained, waiting to hear it all.

"You know how I found those payments?" Jamie revealed, busting to get the words out, "the ones Dover received to fund his re-election."

"Yeah, we know that," Grant responded, "but they weren't enough to bring him down. We needed more. We told you that already."

A weighted bomb was suddenly released.

"I can now tie those payments to illegal acts."

Jamie paused for a second, waiting to see Max's reaction. He was enjoying being the centre of attention, because his words were so valuable at the moment and both men were desperate to hear them.

There was no smile, however, instead his boss greeted the words with a vexed grin. The information was coming far too slow for Max. He shook his head, trying to calm his raging impatience. His mind drifted to the past, almost feeling like he was waiting for his final school results, but the postal service was late on purpose.

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