Enhanced (Chapter 2, page 1 of 22)

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Chapter 2

Later that Sunday evening the dark clouds returned. Wayne Browner parked his maroon sports car in the driveway of one of his family's many houses in Bluff City. Today was his birthday. Earlier he had been celebrating out on the Mississippi River in a big pleasure boat with sixteen of his high school friends. They had been drinking homemade wine and he knew he reeked of it.

The hailstorm forced them back to the marina but that didn't stop the partying. Wayne and the other revelers kept at it inside the private clubhouse at the marina all afternoon. Right when he picked out a suitably intoxicated girl, the man everyone thought of as his father sent an encrypted text message ordering him to report to this house immediately.

The house was located in the largest town in Moreau County. Bluff City was an old river town, the county seat, and the man who summoned him had recently been appointed the chairman of the county board.

Wayne entered the house quietly. He had to stay on guard around this man. The two-hundred-year-old house was just used as a business office now. The rotund man with the shaved head and big sideburns did not look up from his desk when Wayne creaked the door shut.

"I trust the boat and four jet skis were adequate for your needs," Dean Browner said.

"Yes, they were," Wayne said without a smile. "The river was a little cold but everybody had a good time."

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