Vince clapped his hands together to get everyone’s attention. “Why would these men come here to threaten you, Dean? Why not somewhere where there’s less potential for anyone to see them?”
“For the next few days I’ll only be at one of two places, here and at a safe-house, and I’ll have a police escort coming and going. This whole idea is police sanctioned to catch these men in the act of threatening me.” Which was not quite the truth but Dean wasn’t going to play with the semantics of the statement. “I wanted your input on how best to handle the announcement. And of course,” he looked at Frank and Vince since they were the powers-that-be, “your approval to do this.”
“And if we don’t give it to you?” Frank asked.
“Then I guess I’m back to square one.”
“Well you have mine,” Vince told him.
“And mine,” Frank stated.
“Thank you,” Dean said with a sigh of relief. “So…”
“So,” Carrie glanced at the others, “how about some of us hit the bars tonight and gossip about what’s going on at the theater. See if we can get the word out even more, and hope these men hear about how Dean’s now holed up at the theater until it happens. Or…” she glanced at Dean, “would that sound like a set-up?”
Jim shook his head, saying before Dean could reply, “With this group, gossiping is a way of life when we’re at a bar or the club. I think people would be shocked if we didn’t.”
“Hey,” one of the actors called out, “I resemble that remark.” Everyone laughed, easing the feeling of tension in the room.
“Does anyone see in major flaws in this plan,” Dean asked, regaining their attention.
“One,” Carrie said. “What happens when the men do show up? I really don’t want to find your beaten, bloody body behind one of the backdrops.”
Dean smiled tightly. “It’s not going to happen. That part we have covered. And now, thanks to all of you, the men will have to come here to get to me. So, unless anyone objects, we can bring this meeting to an end.”
No one did. Most of the people left, a couple of them stopping to tell Dean they were proud of him for having the guts to do the television interview in the first place.
When everyone else was gone Frank came over to Dean. “One question, and maybe I should be asking Detective Lasiter but he’s not here. He told me to beef up the security on the theater. Do you know if he still wants it? It could make it harder for these men to get to you.”
“We hadn’t thought of that. I’ll make a unilateral decision and say go back to what it normally is and I’ll let him know.”
Frank nodded sharply and walked quickly from the room.
Dean took a deep breath of relief. Well it’s done, and please God it works.