Thomas Sweet walked into the FBI briefing room with a manila folder under his arm. Having transferred from the Savannah office, this was his first day. He had been with the Criminal Investigative division for four years, and this, his latest promotion, had taken him from being a Supervisory Special Agent to being a SAC, Special Agent in Charge.
Remaining in the field, however, he still had a partner. Bill was already in the briefing room when Tom got there. And since this was Tom’s first day, Bill told Tom that he would handle the day’s briefings.
Tom entered and headed to the front of the room. Instead of taking any of the seats behind the three long tables, he sat on the edge of the closest one to the front. With him in place and everyone else settled, Bill began the briefing.
“I would like everyone to meet Tom Sweet. He was brought in from the Savannah office to be our new S.A.C. I know many of you didn’t see the need to bring in someone from the outside, but I can tell you that Tom’s arrest record is the best in the country. And having gotten a chance to get to know him a little as my new partner, he’s a good guy.”
Tom turned to the group giving them a nod and a tightlipped smile. Bill went on with other internal business then turned the conversation to their biggest pending case.
“Our source in Columbia has confirmed it. The Santanos family’s distributor in Miami is a man by the name of Teo Domiguez. As you know, we’ve been getting a lot of pressure from the Mayor and upper management to make progress on this case and it remains our focus.”
“Actually, it isn’t,” Tom interjected.
“Isn’t what?” Bill asked caught off guard.
“Isn’t our focus. At least not anymore. From this point forward we will be directing this department’s resources to this case.”
Tom tossed the manila folder towards the center of the long desk. Bill stepped towards it and read the folder’s tab.
“This is bank robbery case,” Bill said confused.
“Correct. Three months ago, four men entered a Tampa, Florida bank and walked out with all of the day’s receipts, shooting two people in the process. The case falls under this department’s jurisdiction and as far as I can tell, it has barely been followed up on.”
Bill looked at Tom defensively. “That’s because orders came down that the Santanos case is our priority.”
“Fair enough. But it isn’t our priority anymore. Now, it’s this case.”
Bill looked around the room. “I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I ask, why?”
Tom took a deep breath and stood up facing the room. “Gentleman, when was the last arrest any of you’ve made?”
The men looked at each other before Bill answered. “Woods made an arrest on an identification theft case two months ago.”
“And how many do you think this division has made so far this year?” Tom continued.
“Four or five,” Bill said.
Tom stepped to the front of the room drawing everyone’s focus. “During that same period, my previous division made twenty-two arrests.”
Bill looked as his new partner incredulously. “With all due respect, Tom, Savannah isn’t Miami. We get the big cases here.”
“And yet management chose to bring me in instead of promoting from within.”
Bill bristled at that comment. Tom noticed Bill’s reaction but expected it knowing that this division would need a firm shake to get them on board with his new directives.
“Listen, I know that no division likes it when they bring in an outsider. I’m sure I would be feeling the way you’re feeling right now if it happened to me. But I wouldn’t be here if the guys upstairs were liking what they were seeing.
“Sure, they say they want one thing, but what they really want is an arrest record that will get them promoted. That’s what we’re gonna give them. We’re gonna give them four arrests in the next month. And those four arrests are going to be on this case right here.”
Tom walked to the folder and pinned it with his finger.
“Gentleman, we are going to turn people’s head so fast, it is going to make their heads spin.”
Sam Bitter sat at a table in a dive bar in Gainesville , Florida. He was a little nervous. Ever since his last bank heist he had felt unsure of himself. He had made a big mistake choosing his team the last time and it resulted in two bank employees getting shot.
After the money was split and everyone went their separate ways, Sam couldn’t help but second-guess himself. How had his plan gone so wrong? He decided that the problem began when he brought Louie onto the team. But what had he missed about Louie that should have told Sam that Louie could shot someone unnecessarily? Not being able to figure it out, Sam decided to proceed carefully on his next job.
The one person Sam knew he could trust was Handsome Jack. That wasn’t his real name, but he did live up to his billing. Having Jack around had stirred up feelings in Sam that he thought he had a grip on. Jack’s looks weren’t the only reason Sam decided to call Jack first, but it didn’t hurt.
Sam liked being around Jack. And if Sam wasn’t mistaken, Jack liked being around him too. Sam decided that if he and Jack could get together, they were either going to coming up with a plan for their next heist or they were going to end up naked. Sam would be happy either way.
Sam looked up at the front door when the dive bar was suddenly flooded with light. It was him. In spite of the heat, he was wearing a well-worn leather jacket and his hair looked like it was either lightly tussled or precisely quaffed. In short, Jack looked good.
Sam smiled and waved Jack over. Jack gave him a nod, detoured to the bar to get a drink and then approached Sam’s table with a pint of beer in hand.
“If it isn’t our illustrious leader,” Jack joked.
“If it isn’t Handsome Jack,” Sam replied.
“Still making big plans?” Jack asked.
“Always. Still being handsome?” Sam countered.
“Yes. And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t help it,” Jack said with a smile.
Sam stared at Jack’s smile wondering if Jack had any idea what he did to him. He couldn’t, could he? No one in Sam crew knew about what he did when he was out of town.
Sam hadn’t been with many men, but it had been enough to know that he had a type. Handsome Jack was definitely that type.
“Did you give any more thought to what we talked about?” Sam asked.
Jack looked around to ensure no one was listening. “Another bank job? You know, the last one didn’t go so well.”
“I told you, this time we don’t use Louie.”
“Then who’s gonna be the heavy?” Jack asked.
“We can find someone. We could see if Lamar wants an upgrade.”
“From driver to heavy? I’m not sure if he’s gonna want that. Besides, I haven’t been able to get a hold of him for a few days.”
“Is he traveling?” Sam suggested.
“Where’s he goin’? Everyone he knows is within ten miles of his house.”
“So do we wait for him to come back or find someone else?”
“You know, I actually have someone in mind for the driver,” Jack said with building excitement.
“I’ve been seeing this girl for a while now and she’s exactly what we’re looking for.”