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Monday, September 14, 2015

THE TEDDY BEAR DANCER -- Excerpt #11

Vic tried to pray, but it was hard. He was almost relieved when he went to work in the office and monitor the front of the gym that afternoon. Keeping busy would block his worries.

But he found out after only half an hour that the specters of the past and his worries didn't stay behind him in his apartment. Despite praying, he was still edgy. Vic prowled the perimeter of the gym, checking each piece of equipment every time somebody walked away from it.

Memories ran through his head, despite trying to push them away. He played scenarios until he had a headache. But he had convinced himself that no one he knew from the old days, none of their errand boys, would play petty tricks like sabotaging the gym. Rene knew about the alleged accidents from the beginning. Was it only a week ago it had started? She had suggested that a rival gymnasium was sabotaging them because they heard Gold Tone was looking into starting up a franchise. The theory had made them laugh. It wasn't a joke now.

A business rival with a childish, nasty sense of humor? Vic only hoped so.

Still, more memories tumbled through his head, taking him back to the old days. Back when he had another name. Another home. Another business. Another Family.

Baxter was the only remnant of that other life -- besides scars from fists, chains, and a trip through a car windshield. As always when the past hammered at the locked and guarded door in his mind, Vic had to go check on his friend.

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