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“We thought they’d just want a little graft and service off the top–protection, you know, not unusual in these parts–but they won’t leave us alone.” Jay shakes his head. “They want more. They want too much, and the things they want to do with my boys ain’t right. So I get to thinking that for less than what they’re skimming–”

“You could just hire a gun hand,” Pimal nods.

“We can pay,” says Jay.

“Well, I have to say,” she says, split by a crooked smile, “that’s the first time I’ve ever had a whore say that to me.”