Chapter Ninety-Two: Delicious
TJ was sat at his desk at work, when suddenly he was surrounded by Officer Wallace Dingbat and three officers.
“How can I help, boss?” TJ asked.
“Well Jacobs, I think you can be very, very helpful indeed.” Dingbat sat on the edge of the desk, making it groan ominously. “You see, a little birdie tells me that you might know a thing or two about the Knights of the Last Order.
TJ did his best to look surprised. Inside, he was seething. He knew this was probably payback from Richard Dickson.
“Don't give me that look Jacobs. You're the one who gave them to Dickson.” Dingbat sneered. TJ groaned inwardly. Damn! “Mayor Jones is giving us a lot of heat to get the Knights under control. If you know where they are, and you're holding out on us, then we have a little bit of a problem.”
TJ stood up. “Sir, if I really knew anything about the Knights, don't you think I would be the first to talk? I have a reputation to uphold.”
“Oooh, he's playing the Daddy card.” Dingbat chortled. The other officers laughed. “Well Jacobs, if you really don't know anything, maybe you can help us another way.”
“And?” TJ was starting to get irritated.
“Your friends. The Masters.” Dingbat leered.
TJ might have looked calm, but inside he was piping hot. He was being backed into a corner and he didn't like it.
“Mayor Jones wants them out of City Hall. You're going to give us the evidence to do that.” Dingbat told him.
“And if there is no evidence?” TJ snapped.
“Find some.” Dingbat got up off the table, his eyes laughing in victory. He and the other officers went back to work.
“You're not the only one who's been recommended to dob us in.” Belle assured TJ after work that day.
“Yeah, today at work we had a big staff presentation about doing the right thing and speaking up if you think anything is wrong.” Petunia scoffed.
“You too? We had one at the school today.” Sammy told the group as they walked into Bills restaurant. “Spent the entire day listening to kids dobbing on each other for the stupidest of things.”
“Maybe I should give the same talk to my staff.” Charlie mused as they sat down.
“You? Lecture?” Belle teased. Charlie cuffed her, sending her sprawling to the ground.
“I see you two have as strong a friendship as ever.” Bill walked out of the kitchen just in time to see his niece flying to the ground.
“BFFs.” Belle groaned as she got up.
“So, what are we all having today?” Bill asked, pad ready.
“What's the newest dish?” Daniel asked.
“Thai Basil Fish.” Bill replied.
The group thought for a moment.
“Chips.” Was the consensus.
“You lot…” Bill grumbled as he went back to the kitchen to get their meal.
“So, anyone see the latest from the Brisvegas Leos?” Charlie poured himself and Belle some water, raising a few eyebrows.
“I give it another week before Matthew Boss is gone from the coaching job. Peter Kanga has been sniffing around.” Sammy replied.
“No way, he's off to the Sportsbourne Devils.” Sunny shook her head. “No way would the Leos dump Boss.”
The bell on the restaurant door tingled. No one really noticed who walked in, except Belle, who went exceptionally pale.
“Good evening Mr. Masters.” Mayor Jones said in his slick, deep, oily voice.
Sunny heard that voice and hugged Melody close to her. Jones turned to look at her.
“It would be nice to sit with my daughter and her friends tonight.” He said.
Bill clutched his pad. “Very well. Let me get you a seat.”
Jones smiled pleasantly as Bill got his seat for him. Bill looked apologetically at Sunny, who sighed.
“What do you want?” She asked her father accusingly.
“Now, now. Is that any way to speak to your father?” Mr. Jones looked down his nose at his daughter.
“It is when you're a crap parent.” Sunny muttered.
Jones pretended he hadn't heard. “I just want to reconnect with my daughter, get to know my grand-daughter. Is there anything wrong with that?”
Just as Sunny was about to tell him everything wrong with that, Mobster Marion and Master Revolver walked in.
Belle shared a Look with Charlie. Jones frowned, but continued to talk.
“It would be nice to talk to my employees too. Miss Masters and Mr. Jacobs.” He smiled politely.
“Nothing like work on your personal time.” TJ muttered.
“Nonsense! This is just a friendly dinner together!” Jones beamed at them all, making them all want to vomit and giving Sunny severe violent urges.
“I think it would be nice to sit with the Mayor and his friends, don't you?” Master Revolver asked Marion as Bill arranged their seating.
“Hmm? Of course.” Marion seemed distracted and twitchy. Daniel noticed. Her mental health was definitely on the decline!
Jones flinched slightly as the pair sat down, but maintained his impossible smile. “It's nice to see you both.” He said.
“Nice to see you too.” Revolver said roughly, not meaning it at all. Belle and Charlie gripped each others hands. There was definitely tension between Demon and Master Revolver!
“Even though you should be in gaol.” Jones growled under his breath.
“Shoulda, woulda, coulda. There's nothing you can do about it, unless you want more blood and secrets spilled.” Revolver shot a glare at the Mayor.
“So much for a friendly dinner.” Petunia groaned.
Then, JUST to add more fuel to the fire, Crusader Roger walked in with three of his henchmen…one of them being none other than the former Ruby Warrior Daryl Jones!
“Okay, which one of you walked under a ladder with a black cat while smashing a mirror?!” Sunny glared accusingly at her friends as the new group came and sat down at the table.
“As much as I don't like sharing a table with murderers and snitches, I believe I shall.” Roger sat down next to Belle, who nearly backhanded him furiously.
“You liar! Everyone knows it was you pretending to be my father that got the…government…involved.” She tried not to giggle.
“Oh?” Roger looked down his nose at the young Masters. “And your proof is?”
“We went to Brisvegas and saw the communication for ourselves. It came from the town of Fallsville. You know, where March Hill is?” Charlie narrowed his eyes at Roger.
Revolver, Marion and Jones all turned to stare at Roger. He brushed it off.
“Very clever.” He admitted.
“So we wasted our time going after the Masters brat after all.” Revolver grumbled.
“I'M SITTING RIGHT HERE!” Belle yelled.
“Please Miss Masters, this is a fine dining establishment…although it looks otherwise.” Jones frowned at the décor of the restaurant. Charlie had to restrain Belle from retorting.
“Forget it Gangster, you've lost Pleasantville.” Roger gloated.
“I wouldn't be so sure after the last stunt you pulled that nearly cost me!” Jones fired.
Roger growled. Darn it!
“I'm not entirely happy with anyone at this table.” Jones continued. “You're all either vying for power or keeping secrets.”
“Pleasantville was built on secrets.” Marion said, making everyone jump. “Secrets all over the place. One day all the secrets will come undone.”
“Sooner rather than later I hope.” Charlie said.
“If wishes were trees, the trees would fall down.” Revolver said. Belle eyed him warily.
“The fact is, I have no reason to work with any of you.” Jones continued.
“Except that most of us know too much.” Roger smirked.
“That may be the case, however I think I could deal with that.” Jones said. “If I had the right people behind me.”
Belle winced in pain as Charlie squeezed her hand tightly.
“Whomever can bring me the Lions Claw Blade and the Lucky Seven Gun will help me rule Pleasantville.” Jones declared.
Thankfully everyone at the table looked shocked, so Belle and Charlie didn't look too out of place with their looks of terror.
“Oh hey look, the Haunted Maze Troupe are here.” Sammy pointed to a window, where two Troupers were peering in. Because of course they were.