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Meet Me Tuesday

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Mozzie's day took a distinct turn for the worse when he turned away from the shaved-ice hut window and found himself face-to-face with Peter Burke.

It was remarkable, he thought, how a man as big as Peter -- a man, moreover, who was easily spottable as a Fed at a hundred yards -- could sneak up on you. Once he was in front of you, it was obvious.

It was also obvious what he wanted.

"No," Mozzie said at once, gesturing with his blue-raspberry snow-cone, "no. I am not doing the Clandestine Meetings About Neal thing again."

"We could do the Official Meetings About Neal thing," Peter said, without a trace of humor. "Would you like that better?"

Definitely a turn for the worse. "Is that a threat?"

"I don't do threats," Peter said.

"Or promises either," Mozzie said, sourly.

"Or promises either," Peter agreed.

Mozzie sighed heavily and hopped off the snow-hut platform, heading away. It was too much to hope that Peter would take the hint and go away, and he didn't. He matched Mozzie's stride down the sidewalk and out of the park. Mozzie nibbled at his snow-cone and ignored him long enough to make his point.

Peter said, "You obviously know what I want to talk about."

"And as Moriarty said to Sherlock Holmes," Mozzie said, "then possibly my answer has occurred to you as well."

"You've got it backwards," Peter said irritably. "It was Moriarty who said, 'All that I could say has already occurred to you,' and Sherlock Holmes who said, 'Then possibly my answer -- ' never mind." He made an impatient gesture as if sweeping it away. "I won't let you distract me. And since when are you Moriarty?"

Mozzie gave him a seraphic blue-raspberry smile. Peter pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Look, fine," he said. "I get it. You're not going to talk. So I'm going to talk to you. I know that what was destroyed in that warehouse was not the treasure."

"And how do you know that?" It was possible Peter was just fishing, but Mozzie wanted to know what he knew.

"The debris," Peter said. "It was from Neal's reproduction projects. I recognized it. I'm telling you now: I'm going to find out where the treasure is, and I'm going to find out what Neal has to do with it. That's not a threat, and it's not a promise. It's just a fact."

"You think he stole it."

"Mozzie," Peter said, stopping, and reluctantly Mozzie stopped to face him. "I shot a man. And I didn't do it so that Neal could make off with billions of dollars' worth of blood-soaked loot."

Peter was starting to piss him off. "Do you really think Neal is that venal?" he said. "You think that after Adler killed Kate, and tried to kill me, you, him, and Alex, that he'd just shrug it all off and walk away with a cache of loot he can't even do anything with?"

"This is what I think," Peter said. "I think that Adler knew perfectly well that to wave a treasure like that under the nose of a man like Neal is too much temptation to put in his way. I think Adler thought he could outplay Neal. I think he was wrong."

"So are you," Mozzie said, and started walking again.

"Mozzie -- "

"If you haven't discussed it with Neal, then you're not discussing it with me," Mozzie said. "And that's official."

"I'm going to find out," Peter said, not following. "With you or without you."

"You could try listening to him for a change," Mozzie said over his shoulder.

"I will," Peter said, "when it's worth my time."

At this Mozzie stopped again, and half turned. "And when it is?"

Peter shrugged. "There could be a meeting."

Mozzie looked him over for a long moment, and finally said: "May I suggest Tuesday?"

"I don't think things are going to change that soon," Peter said.

Mozzie gave him a disparaging look. "Not Tuesday the day. Tuesday the place."

Peter rolled his eyes. "Oh, that Tuesday. You scrapped it when I soiled it with my federal presence, remember? It doesn't exist anymore."

"Of course it still exists," Mozzie said, patiently. "It just belongs to you now."

"Just what I always wanted," Peter said. "A hideout with a sandbox."

"Don't knock what you got," Mozzie said, turning away. "Text me," he said, picking up his pace.

"I'll do that," Peter said.

When Mozzie glanced back over his shoulder, Peter was gone.