the phone is leaving a bad taste in my mouth,” Ray said.
    “I’m serious,” Dupold said. “The money is in there. Just go look.”
    “Nah. You know, you were right about something, though.”
    “About what?”
    “I’m not going to shoot you in here. Not really because of the noise, but more because I always wanted to try something.” Ray reached down and grabbed Dupold’s chin with one hand and the back of his head with the other.
    Dupold jerked his head back and forth, trying to break Ray’s hold. He screamed for help.
    Ray flexed his muscles to stop Dupold’s fighting. Ray placed his mouth by the agent’s ear. “Before I do this, you’re going to give me one more piece of information. Where does your boss, Faust, live?”
    Dupold didn’t respond.
    Ray moved his right hand and pressed his thumb into Dupold’s eye. “Give me the address, or I’m going to dig it out.”
    Dupold remained quiet.
    “Suit yourself.” Ray twisted his thumb into the agent’s eye socket.
    The sound of Dupold’s screams were silenced by Ray’s other hand over his mouth. Ray jabbed, twisted, and scooped with his thumb. The agent thrashed back and forth in pain.
    “Address!” Ray shouted. He scooped with his thumb, freeing the eyeball from Dupold’s head. He pulled his thumb from inside the now-empty orbital socket and his hand from Dupold’s mouth.
    The agent moaned in pain but didn’t give up an address. Ray stuck his finger back in the hole and pulled Dupold’s head to the side.
    Dupold screamed the address.
    “Thanks,” Ray said.
    Dupold moaned in pain. “Just kill me,” he said, his words barely above a whisper.
    Ray smirked. “Ask and you shall receive.”
    From behind, Ray grabbed Dupold’s chin with his left hand. He placed his right arm around Dupold’s face and grabbed him at the back of the head. Ray ripped his hands in opposite directions. The sound that filled his ears was like popping bubble wrap, but it wasn’t bubble wrap—it was Dupold’s neck snapping. Ray pulled Dupold’s head harder in the same direction and then back the other way violently. Ray continued twisting back and forth. He put his back into it, lifting as he twisted from side to side. After a few more snaps and pops, the agent’s head became loose, severed from his spine. Ray let go, and Dupold’s head collapsed to his chest.
    “One less pig,” Ray said.
    Ray walked from the front of the condo and headed for the stairwell.

Chapter 9
    Hank and I watched Ed wheel the body of the agent from the front of the house. I’d spent the last twenty minutes talking with Becky Brumfeld, the agent’s wife. The time was mostly spent consoling and reassuring her that we would bring to justice whoever had killed her husband. I walked to Ed, who was opening the back doors of the coroner’s van. Hank followed.
    “Hey, Kane,” Ed said. “I should have an autopsy report for you by tonight. Not that you need it. You saw the guy. One in the computer, one in the ticker.”
    I immediately remembered Ed reciting the exact same phrase at the scene of the freezer murders at Tamboro’s. The thought percolating in my head, that Ray was behind the murder, inched toward certainty.
    “Okay, Ed. Give me a call when it’s ready,” I said.
    My cell phone buzzed in my pocket, a call from either the station, the captain or Callie. I slid the phone out, looked at the screen, and clicked Talk. “Yeah, Cap.” I walked toward the end of the driveway.
    “What are we dealing with there?” he asked.
    “DB was an FBI agent that was working on the thing with Azarov.”
    “How do you know that?”
    “Faust was here.”
    “What did he say?” Bostok asked.
    “He gave me everything they’ve been working on. I’ll fill you in on that later, but without this guy, Faust’s meeting he was trying to get done is blown. He gave us the green light to go after Azarov.”
    “Does this homicide come back to what Faust was working on?”
    “We’re not sure right

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