Philips hesitated, looking at me. I nodded, telling him, "If you don't, the big guy here or his partner will try to take the bag and I really am not in the mood for a fight at the moment. This is a brand new shirt."
"May I ask something?" Philips said as he opened the bag. "Do you have a buyer for the book, Mr Eber?"
"Of course. I wouldn't have gone to all this trouble to get my hands on it if I didn't."
"And that's a wrap," I said as the door burst open and Tom and two more officers came into the room, guns drawn.
The goons, of course, weren't too happy with the situation and went for their weapons. I got a bit of my own back for the beating they'd given me when I sank my fist into the burly one's gut. He should have known better than to take his attention off of me. He didn't go down, but he didn't get to his gun either. One of the officers took care of goon number three while Tom strode across the room in time to stop Eber from pulling a vanishing act. With burly still gasping for air, the second officer had no problem cuffing him.
Eber paled when Tom put handcuffs on him. "I don't know what you think you're doing. We were having a friendly discussion about a book I want to purchase from Mr Philips," Eber whined. "And you have no proof otherwise."
Tom chuckled dryly. "I beg to differ with you. We have your words on tape, so to speak."
"Impossible. We got rid it their wires," number three spat out.
"There are other… Nevermind." Tom rolled his eyes, looking at me. "Some people are so dumb they're only good for one thing. Being hired muscle."
I snorted. "That better not have been aimed at me."
"Not this time," he replied with a smirk. "We'll see about next time."
By then, the two officers were escorting Eber and his goons out of the room, Eber shouting that he wanted his lawyer "Right now!"
I think it finally sank in with Philips that it was over, because he dropped down on one of the chairs, trembling with relief. "Can we go home now?" he asked.
"Not quite yet," Tom told him. "The two of you will have to come down to the precinct to make your statements."
Philips nodded. "A guess I should be glad the shop's closed on Monday's." He managed a smile. "A bit of a non sequitur I know. Okay, if I must, I must."
"You must," I said. "And when we're finished, I opt we go out and have a few stiff drinks to celebrate."
"Now that I can definitely live with," he replied.