The two black-suited enforcers ushered John Fortuno, a man in his forties, into the Boss's darkened office, then closed the door behind him.
"Come closer," said the older man, who sat at ease behind the large oak desk.
John took a couple of steps forward, his feet making no sound in the deep, dark pile of the carpet. Heavy drapes covering the windows deadened even the whispers in this room. Only the curtains behind the desk were open, just enough to give a twilit glow around the Boss.
"Please, sit down."
John sat, perching himself on the front edge of the upholstered chair.
The Boss steepled his fingers in front of him. "It is good of you to come so promptly. I have a proposition." He smiled as he noticed the sweat forming on John's forehead. "The police have been giving us a hard time lately, and I am ... displeased. Do you know who controls them?"
John cleared his throat. "The government, I suppose."
"Indeed, and that is where you enter into the plan."
"Me? I don't understand." He loosened his tie a little.
"Elections are coming up soon. I have ... friends in the Labour Party, and they can pull the strings to make you a candidate in this riding. My boys at the newspaper have been making Labour look pretty good here, so you should be a shoo-in at the polls."
John relaxed. "Sure, I'm game. But what can one man like me do once I'm elected?"
The Boss smiled as he leaned forward. "That shows what you don't know, my friend." He pulled out a cigar from a box on his desk. "I do not work alone. Our ten-year plan is to get enough power that the police will be working ..." He leaned back and lit the cigar. "... for us."
Sunlight poured in through the windows of the donut shop, giving a warm welcome to the customers gathered around the small tables.
"Hey, I ought to know how much politics influences the police," said Jerry Van Weil, heavy-set, with close-cropped grey hair. "I was chief in this city for five years, before I retired."
"Exactly," responded Dave Gosnell, the younger man sitting across from him. "You're a good man, and a God-fearing man as well. Just the sort we need to have in government."
"Wait a dog-gone minute. You're up to something, aren't you?"
Dave laughed. "You know an election could be called any week now. The president of the Democratic Party riding association here in town asked me to talk to you, because this city--no, this country--needs somebody with the backbone to stand up for what's right."
"But I'm just one man; what'll I be able to do against all that ...?"
"A lot, as long as you don't forget one thing: if you're standing up for what's right, God is standing with you."
"There you go." Jerry sipped his coffee, then smiled. "Okay; let my name stand. Maybe me and God'll be able to make sure the police are free to do what they were meant to do: uphold justice."
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