The Candy Shop

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Peters knocked on the hotel door at 6:30am and darted inside the moment Rocco swung it open. He was already showered and dressed and carrying his laptop. “You won’t believe this!” He blurted. Rocco yawned and walked slowly toward the coffee maker to begin brewing a pot.

“This couldn’t have waited until a decent hour?” He complained.

Peters ignored him and dove right into his findings. “I did what you said,” Peters began. “I started at the beginning, with the connection between Parker, Sullivan & Bates and Lucas Coronado.”

“Okaaaaaay,” Rocco mumbled, as in, get to the point.

“Tony Coronado, aka Iceman, was iced in prison, right?”

“Uh-huh.” Rocco yawned again.

“Guess who put out the hit on him?” Peters raised his eyebrows into the top of his forehead and grinned. “Lucas Coronado.”

Rocco perked up. “Lucas put out a hit on his own kid?” Peters nodded. “How do you know?”

“Because the guy who iced him is still in prison and singing like a frickin’ canary, asking for a deal with the Feds. They call him Trick Malone, though his real name is Timothy.”

“And you want me to believe a guy named Trick?” Rocco smirked.

“Not yet, man, I haven’t told you everything.” Peters followed Rocco to the couch and sat down next to him. “Shortly after Iceman was iced, Mrs. Coronado up and died. They say it was a suicide, like she couldn’t bear losing her son and did herself in. According to inside FBI sources, her death caused Lucas a lot of stress and he blamed the whole thing on the fact that Parker, Sullivan & Bates lost his son’s case. So he put a hit out on Landon’s wife and Frank’s wife. An eye-for-an-eye kind of thing.”

“That’s right,” Kira peered over the balcony from the bedroom. “That’s when the firm hired private security for our family,” she added.

“Wow. I knew Tony’s death was a mob hit but I wouldn’t have figured Lucas would have ordered the hit on his own son,” Rocco quipped.

Peters shrugged. “Obviously Lucas would rather have him dead than risk him spilling the beans on what really goes down in the mob? The point is we’ve got motive.”

“Why wasn’t a hit put out on Bates’ wife too?” Rocco asked.

“Because he doesn’t have one,” Kira interjected from the loft. “Leon Bates is Audrey’s ex-husband and Leon never had anything to do with the Coronado case. He and Audrey were in the middle of a bitter divorce at the time.”

Rocco got off the couch and poured himself, Kira and Peters a cup of coffee. “Okay, let’s go with this theory for a moment.” He took a sip of coffee and then paced across the room. “Parker, Sullivan & Bates lose the Coronado case because of my testimony, causing Lucas’ son to go to prison where Lucas has him killed so he won’t talk to the Feds. This results in Lucas’ wife committing suicide presumably due to grief or maybe she found out that Lucas had ordered the hit…” Rocco paused and shrugged. “So, Lucas goes back to Parker, Sullivan & Bates and threatens them?” Rocco threw up his hands. “For what purpose? What would he gain?”

“Let’s go talk to the Feds who are working on the inside. Maybe they can answer that question,” Peters suggested.

While Rocco showered and got dressed, Peters brought Freddie over to stay with Kira. “He likes tuna and chicken best,” Peters said, handing Kira two cans of cat food.

Before leaving, Rocco set the 9mm gun and the Taser on the kitchen table and reminded Kira to keep them with her at all times, and then he shoved the .45 in his holster and the 357 magnum into the back of his pants. He jotted down the cell number for the phone he was carrying in case she needed to reach him. “I’ll be back in a few hours,” he told her, planting a quick kiss on her cheek. “Keep the door locked and don’t go anywhere.”

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