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"Sorry," said Bobby the Bug.

Damn it. Their crap covering was dripping on my throw, leaving a mark that I knew would never ever come out.

"Let's have it," I said retreating to the kitchen for some water. I wasn't wasting any more time on these idiots than I absolutely had to.

Bobby started talking right away. Well. His version of talking. What it really was was a stream of unbroken syllables that sounded a little like words if you had the time and patience to wade in and decipher. I had neither.

"Shut up," I said to Bobby. He did. Then I turned to Queen Babs. She was quaking too; enough to make her look like a blurry TV picture. "You. Talk. And make it quick."

"We need to see Grim," she said. "Bobby says you know him."

"Bobby talks too freaking much," I said, shooting him a look that told him I'd be discussing his fat mouth with him later.

"We got this thing," she said. "This box. We opened it and Vinnie–"

"Vinnie?" I said, cutting her off. I thought I knew who she meant but I wanted to be sure.

"Vinnie D," she said.

Vinnie D– D for Dietz– Big Vinnie to his friends of whom he had none. That's who was missing from this picture. Vinnie was one of those wannabe Wiseguys who was always looking for and never finding the angles. He was also a total half-wit but, compared to these two, he was like Hawking and Chaucer in one chubby rat-like body.

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