“You really need to learn to play nice,” teased Ginny. She was still laughing over the idea of a cop/terrorist taking out Luc.
“Why? You get to chew butt every day and no one stops you,” he answered back.
“She does not. I’ve chewed more ass lately than she has,” quipped Meg. “I’m the one handling the clients while she runs the office. As it is, the clients have been pains in the ass.”
“Oh? What haven’t you been telling me?” Luc asked.
Ginny and Meg looked at each other. Patrick cleared his throat and gave them both the crusty eyebrow look. “Fess up you two. What haven’t you been telling us?”
“Um… we hadn’t said much because we weren’t sure if what we were seeing was a one off thing or just coincidence.” Ginny ran her hand through her hair as she spoke.
Luc leaned forward. “Tell me,” he growled.
“About three weeks ago, we started having a run of damage repairs. We weren’t sure if it was actual wear and tear or if someone was deliberately damaging computer systems and the networks. A few clients had repeat issues and were blaming us for not fixing the problems. Then last week, Cal swore that he smelled the same aftershave at two different sites. Granted, it was Axe, which half the male population bathes in, but still,” Ginny said.
“Cal has a pretty good nose. Was it just the same ‘flavor’, or was it the same scent combined with Axe?” Patrick asked.
“Same scent. I started doing some analysis to see if there were any other patterns,” said Meg.
“What patterns did you find?” Luc was tapping his rapidly growing fingernails on the table.
“Stop that!” Ginny flicked her napkin at him. Luc stopped.
“What we discovered is that the repairs are all over the city. However, they are also all affiliated with anyone we’ve done business with in the last five years. That includes the newspapers that had to pay out damages in that court case,” said Meg.
Luc stood up and grabbed his phone off of his hip as he walked to the back porch. He shut the door behind him.
“Why didn’t you two say something earlier?” Patrick asked.
“We didn’t see the pattern. Didn’t think that we were being targeted. Plus, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been just a bit busy, what with school starting, work and oh yeah… trying to get ready for a trip to Canada?” Ginny was beginning to get a little peeved.
“How about we clear the table and get some coffee?” Meg said. She knew that things were going to get a little tense, but she didn’t need everyone snarling at the dinner table. “Patrick, would you check on the kids?”
He nodded and headed for the front room where the children sat watching cartoons. Sara was sandwiched between Linsey and Elliot, with Joe and Ivan on either side of them. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, but who made Unky Wolfy huff and puff and growl?” asked Sara. The four other heads nodded.
“Well, we were discussing business, and Aunty Ginny and Mama Meg gave him some information that made him a little upset. You don’t need to worry.”
“Uhuh, yeah.” Sara gave him a look that told him she thought he was full of bull shit. She also knew better than to say anything else. “We’ll just watch TV. We sleepin’ here tonight?”
“I don’t know.”
“Okay. If you guys aren’t done talkin’ by 8pm, we’re gonna go to bed.” Sara then turned the sound back up and ignored Patrick.
Patrick walked into the kitchen as Ginny was pouring coffee. “You know, Sara is going to be one scary bitch when she is older.”
“What’s this when she’s older bullshit?” laughed Ginny. “From what Rose says, she’s the spitting image of her many great-grandmaman Celia. And from what I’ve heard, she was the Queen Bitch.”
Everyone in the kitchen laughed. “You have that right, from what we’ve read,” said Patrick. They sipped their coffee and waited for Luc to come back into the house.
Luc walked back into the house. Meg handed him a cup of coffee and the four adults sat down around the kitchen table. “I’ve talked to Cal, David, George, and Andrew. Cal confirmed what you said. Someone is trying to cause us trouble. On top of that, someone has been trying to feed Buttercup and Fezzik meat at night. Luckily, those two dogs are so spoiled, that they haven’t touched it.”
“Cal never mentioned the meat,” said Ginny.
“No. It happened twice, and he didn’t think about it until I asked if those two had been acting strangely. David said vandalism is up, but he hadn’t noticed any patterns. He’ll check things out from his end. George hasn’t had any trouble up at the Bed & Breakfast, and Andrew said there’d been a break in at the Mall, but put it down to kids. No issues at home.”
“So, what next?” asked Patrick. “The firm I work for hasn’t had any issues.”
“Unfortunately, all we can do is wait.” Luc drank his coffee and sighed.
“They keep fixing things faster than we can break them. What next?” asked the man as he walked in the door of the office in back of the shopping center.
“Well, they haven’t figured anything out yet, so we just keep attacking their clients. We have to do something to drive them out into the open. Make them react. Better yet, make them shift, so we can shoot them like the wild animals they are,” said the man at the computer.
“You know, I don’t think this is gonna work as easy as you thought. They been hiding for how many centuries?”
“Too damn long. Besides, I refuse to be humiliated by an animal.”
“We’re all animals.” said the first man.
“No, we are humans. We don’t turn into wolves and run around at night.”
“That reminds me. That Luc guy, he’s working for the school districts over in the Heights.”
The man at the computer turned. “How’d you find that out?”
“Well, my sister works as a substitute cook there. I was picking her up the other day and saw him. So, I asked if she knew who he was. Said he was some kinda computer tech, called Luke Moro. Took me a few minutes to realize she meant Luc Moreau. Same guy. He had two little kids with him. So, maybe he has kids in the school too?”
The man at the computer smiled.