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"I mean damn, what the hell man? What was I supposed to say? Here we are sitting in the restaurant in front of her parents and she wants to spring that shit on me?"

After listening to him for the last twenty minutes, Dylan was convinced it was for good reason. He said nothing, tapping his right foot furiously on the carpet while he counted to ten.

Calm down.

Even if whiny ass Bennett annoyed him, it wasn't an excuse. He just wished he didn't always have to deal with the guy.

Damned nepotism.

"Yeah it sucks." Dylan flipped papers. "I gotta get back to this," he added in an apologetic tone.

"Cool. We'll talk later," Bennett said with a wave.

"Yeah," Dylan muttered as the man walked out the door.

He sat back in his chair, trying to ignore the squeaky wheel while he looked through the files on his desk.

This temporary office suited his purposes even if the brown walls and worn, gray carpet were outdated. He looked through the stacks of files while he absently rubbed his left thigh. Still some pain.

A knock sounded before someone else peeked his head around the door.

"Hey. Just me."

"'Sup, Jeff." Dylan smiled at the bald, hulking man more suited for the front door of a nightclub than the Bureau. "Need something from me?"

"Where's the report?" Jeff asked. "You were supposed to look over it one last time before we turned it in."

Shit. Between the case and seeing Alessandra again he'd completely forgotten about it. Given the choice, he'd take swimming in women over drowning in paperwork. Still, it wouldn't finish itself.

"I'll look at it tonight," Dylan assured him.

"It's gotta be on Jay's desk in two days. Cutting it close, man," Jeff said.

"What can I say?" Dylan asked with a shrug.

Jeff shook his head. "I don't know about you sometimes, D." He walked to the door. "Good luck with that case."

Dylan thanked him, then nodded and went back to the papers. Interviews with the family and ex-boyfriend. Done. An interview with her roommate was scheduled for this afternoon. Employee records hadn't arrived yet. The cyber crimes unit would report back on any questionable social media or other online activity. It didn't have to do with terrorism, so he didn't have high expectations.

A look at the financials had proven a little more useful. Only two transactions stood out. One was a payment for $2500 deposited by Mann Enterprises. The other—five hundred dollars—came from Hansen Pharmaceuticals. The forensic accountants would have to uncover anything more hidden.

None of that told him what he needed to know. Dylan turned his attention back to the computer screen when his phone rang.


"It's Healey. Where are you?"

"FBI building."

"I know that, Jameson. What floor?"

"Sixth. If you get lost, the trail of moldy wallpaper will help you find me."

That got a laugh out of her. "See you in ten."

It was always great when he could get along with the lead detective. Made everything easier. Once she occupied the seat across from him, Healey dropped a thick folder on his desk.

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