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Intensity Forty-seven

Paul's POV

I was in my office on Friday morning when my secretary buzzed me. "Mr. Lahote, Dr. Carlisle Cullen is on line one. Are you available to take the call?"

"Yes, Lorna. Patch him through."

"One moment, please."

"Carlisle, how are you?" I greeted, happy to be speaking to him. I really liked the vampire. The stories about his experiences during his lifetime were fascinating, especially because his life had spanned several centuries over several continents.

"Excellent. I have news from Jenks."

"Oh, yes, your attorney. What did he find out?"

"He's willing to fly here with the information this weekend so he can talk to us in person. Are you available tomorrow evening?"

"Even if I weren't free, I would make time to see him. It happens that I am wide open tomorrow evening. Would it be okay if the attorney handling the case was at the meeting?"

"I don't see a problem with that."

"Alright, then. Why don't we meet at my office? I'll have dinner catered in." I snapped my fingers. "I forgot you don't eat. Does Jenks eat?"

"He's human, so I'm assuming he eats. I generally meet him at a restaurant or a café. He's used to me not consuming food. Will your attorney think it odd if I don't eat?"

"Not at all. Jeff is a coyote like Roy is."

"Well, then, I don't anticipate any issues. Shall we say 7pm then? It should be good and dark by then."

"Sounds good."

"I'll see you then."

I called Jeff to see if he'd be able to attend the meeting. He was available and suggested Eric Yorkie accompany him since he was doing the research on Fuller on our end. With the discussion in place, I called Bella. I asked her to find a place that would cater a working business dinner for us on a Saturday night with just a twenty-four-hour notice. I didn't want to ask Lorna because this meeting had nothing to do with my company.

"For real, Paul? You must think I'm some sort of miracle worker."

"But you do work miracles, babe. Are you enjoying your day off?"

"Paul, I dropped off a whole load of stuff at the dry cleaner, and I'm currently on my way to Scottsdale to hunt for an evening gown to wear to that fundraiser we have to go to next weekend."

"Most women love to shop, honey."

"Fuck you, Paul. I'm missing a tennis match for this."

"And what time would you like to do the fucking?"

My wife chuckled on the other end. "How about tonight right before bed so I can fall asleep naked in your arms?"

"I'll be looking forward to it."

"Okay, let's get back to the catered dinner. What time do you want the dinner catered in? And how many people is it for?"

"There will be five of us, including Carlisle."

"So, dinner for four?"

"Yes, the meeting is at 7pm."

"Good and dark for Carlisle."

"Exactly. Make sure you put it on our personal credit card, not the company's."

"Obviously." I could picture Bella rolling her eyes and huffing on the other end. "Okay, honey, I'll take care of it. I'll text you when it's all done."

"Good. And don't cook dinner tonight. Crispy and Bab's invited us to try the new restaurant on Palo Cristi Road with them."

"I just drove by it the other day. I'm excited."

"Oh, and while you're in Scottsdale, would you mind picking up another pair of those dress shoes I like for work? The super-comfortable ones that feel bouncy inside."

"The Rockports?"

"Hang on. Let me check." I pulled my shoes off and checked the brand name. "Yep, I want the cap toes in brown and black."

"You're going to make me do more shopping? Just send a pic of the style number to me, so I don't screw it up. I'm going inside. I love you."

"I love you."

Sadly, she ended the call. I could stay on the line with my wife all day, but there was work that needed completion. I needed to look at blueprints of a few bridges that had seen better days in Washington State and figure out how to reinforce them. This would take the entire day, but I didn't mind. Working on engineering projects was my favorite thing to do. It's why I started this company.

Bella's new work schedule was perfect for her. She only worked three days each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, leaving her free to do her own thing for the rest of the days. It also helped tremendously that she was able to run errands for us. When we were both working full time, we didn't have time to run the seemingly unimportant but necessary errands. Now, she was handling what she could on her days off so we could relax on the weekends, tomorrow night being the exception.


"Mr. Paul Lahote, this is Mr. Jason Jenks, my attorney. He has been investigating Tony Fuller for us," Carlisle said after entering the room.

I extended my hand out to him. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your hard work." I gestured to my team. "This is my attorney, Mr. Jeff Redbird, and our computer analyst, Mr. Eric Yorkie." Computer analyst is a nice way of saying 'hacker,' right?

Everyone shook hands, and I motioned over to the table. We were meeting in the board room where I frequently held working dinners. After everyone was seated, I suggested, "This will be a fairly casual meeting. We can get started now. Please feel free to interrupt if anyone has anything to add to the information Mr. Jenks apprises us of. Also, I took the liberty of having dinner catered in. It should be arriving shortly."

Security was going to let the caterer into the building and lead them to us. Bella was able to arrange everything with Mina and Penny. She said she bribed them with some of my olive oil. It was a wise decision to contact them because, as Randy and Manny's wives, they were part of the pack, so we could speak in front of them without any worries. Kim was their only employee, and she, too, was a part of the pack.

"Mr. Jenks, why don't you begin?"

Jason Jenks was a heavy-set man with a bald spot on his head. He was dressed professionally in a dark suit and carried a handkerchief to wipe beads of sweat off his forehead. He seemed to be nervous about meeting with us.

He removed some papers from his briefcase and placed them on the desk. He sorted through the documents, which were clipped together, and handed each of us a set. I saw Jeff, who was sitting on his left, slide a bottle of water towards him. The man thanked him and gulped down half the bottle before taking a calming breath and beginning.

"Per Mr. Cullen's request, I investigated Tony Fuller and was able to find information on his assets and daily activities. He has one wife—Brenda, and four sons—Brady, Kurt, Logan, and Blake. Brady works at Lahote Engineering Design Concepts and Construction here in Phoenix. Logan has recently enlisted in the US Marines, and the third son, Kurt, is currently incarcerated in Washington State. Blake, the youngest, was an honor student at Forks High School. It should be noted that since Fuller's incarceration, the guardianship of Blake was transferred to his brother Brady as both parents were deemed unfit to care for him. The boy has recently started attending Camelback East High School. I'm sure you're aware that Brenda Fuller is currently residing at a women's transitional home in Phoenix."

It was true. Brenda Fuller had been discharged from the hospital. Rather than have her return to Washington, Bella arranged for her to receive assistance in Phoenix—citing that returning to her home state would physically threaten her. At the same time, when Fuller was arrested, Blake's guardianship came into question. Billy Black actually suggested the teen be removed from La Push to a more stable household. So, Brady flew to Washington to pick his brother up and brought him to his house. By all accounts, the teen was adjusting well. And we all knew Brady ran a tight ship with his kids.

"As you have already been informed, he has been offloading his US assets. The home in the Clyde Hill neighborhood has been sold, and he has been speaking with a buyer for the newly built townhomes in Forks, Washington.

"The Clyde Hill home was acquired over twenty-five years ago. Oddly enough, Fuller was still a college student working towards his master's degree during that period. At the time, he had two small kids and a wife, and his permanent address was listed in La Push, Washington. He purchased the Clyde Hill home in cash for roughly eight-hundred thousand dollars, which was a good deal of money in those days. It has gone up in value and has sold for over two million dollars."

Jeff whistled through his mouth. "Eight-hundred thousand dollars even now is a lot of money. How did he come up with the cash to purchase that as a college student?"

"The house was purchased using money he earned manufacturing and selling illegal substances," replied Jenks.

"Drug money. How did you find that out?" I asked. I knew Charlie had been trying to find dirt on him and had taken to interviewing prisoners.

"Let's just say I have many contacts who are not in the mainstream." He paused for effect, looking straight into my eyes. "Tony Fuller has many enemies—most of whom have been in the prison system or are still there. These enemies live up and down the West Coast—not just in Washington State. Fuller has a particular MO—he seduces his lackeys by promising them big money if they would just do a couple of favors for him. In the beginning, these lackeys make money, but then they become addicted to the very drugs they're peddling for him. These small-time dealers generally have families; in other words, something to lose. Fuller isn't above raping the wives and girlfriends to keep the dealers under his control, nor is he averse to using women and children and prostituting them to make a deal."

Just like he did with my parents. Fuller was depraved, and hell was too good of a place for a guy like him.

"So, he sells the drugs and keeps all the profits for himself."

"Most of the profits," Jenks corrected.

"And because he manufactures the drugs himself, he has a high-profit margin."

"Yes, but a big-time dealer like Fuller needs a couple of right-hand men on his payroll. One of the men is your uncle, Malcolm Blackcrow. He mostly handles Fuller's operations in California and Oregon. He has been in his employ the longest. The other is…."

"Let me guess: Travis Johnson," Jeff stated.

"Very good. These two men don't take drugs, at least not anymore. I understand Blackcrow was in rehabilitation for a time but successfully stayed clean. Apparently, he proved his loyalty to Fuller about twenty years ago and was promoted to be his trusted deputy."

My mind was utterly blown. I hadn't thought about Uncle Malcolm in a long time. So much of my memories of my childhood had been suppressed. My early childhood in Tacoma had been unstable, riddled with poverty and violence. If I can recall, I lived in an apartment with my parents and Uncle Malcolm. All three of the adults were always strung out on drugs or drunk. The only time I got to eat regular meals was on weekdays at school, where I qualified for free breakfast and lunch. I would get at least one meal a day on the weekends, but there was never a guarantee of more. I remember looking forward to school because I knew I'd be able to eat. A man visited our house from time to time, and whenever he came by, my mother always locked me in my room and warned me not to make a peep. I wonder now if the visitor was Tony Fuller.

Jenks continued speaking. "What works to our advantage is Tony Fuller has many enemies, many of whom are willing to testify against him now that your father-in-law has put him in jail. When I checked earlier today, Fuller is in solitary confinement because there have already been multiple death threats against him by fellow inmates. I have a list of people who are itching to tell their story on page two of the documents."

We were interrupted by the delivery of our dinner. Mina, Penny, and Kim wheeled in two service carts—one filled with four choices of piping hot food, and the other with dinner rolls, butter, several dessert selections, coffee, and tea. They set up quickly, so the interruption was minimal.

"Excuse me, Dr. Cullen," Kim approached Carlisle with a large thermos. "This is from Mrs. Lahote. It's 'tomato' soup that she made especially for you." Jared's wife winked at the vampire as she handed the thermos to him.

Carlisle seemed to be at a complete loss for words. He opened the thermos and checked the contents when his eyes widened in shock. Jeff and I knew immediately what it contained—we could smell the animal blood. Eric and Jenks seemed to be blissfully unaware. Finally, we all turned to Kim, who had a proud smile plastered on her face.

"Please thank Mrs. Lahote for being so considerate of my needs," Carlisle told her.

"She said you can keep the thermos. It might come in handy."

"I will absolutely do that. Thank you again. You're Mrs. Cameron, correct?"

"Yes, I am. My husband helped Bella make the soup."

"Ah, you'll have to thank Mr. Cameron for me." How the hell did Bella persuade Jared to go and collect animal blood for Carlisle? I'll have to ask him later. Leave it to my wife to figure out a way to make it so the lone vampire wouldn't feel left out.

"I will tell her, for sure."

Mina turned to give me a set of instructions. "Mr. Lahote, the Sterno cans will burn out in two hours, but there are extras in the drawer underneath should you require them. We will send someone on Monday morning to pick everything up."

"Thank you, ladies."

The three women left the office as soon as the set-up was complete. Then, we all went to grab some food. After dinner and after seeing us eat, Jenks seemed much more relaxed. The lawyer mentioned how surprised he was that he wasn't eating alone. "It's good to see you enjoying your tomato soup, Mr. Cullen."

"Yes, Mrs. Lahote is a very thoughtful woman."

"It appears so," Jenks said with an insightful nod. "Now, back to what I've found out. On page three, you will see a photo of his home on Clyde Hill. There was a bidding war on the home, and it sold for 2.3 million dollars. The proceeds of the sale were transferred to a Canadian bank account belonging to Ms. Angela Weber of Forks, Washington, previously known as Mrs. Angela Black of La Push, Washington. Ms. Weber is Fuller's mistress and is due to give birth to his child in a few weeks. You will see from surveillance photos that, before his arrest, the couple had been sighted shopping in Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington. Presently, that's all the information I have on her."

"I was able to find a little information on Angela as well," Eric offered. "She lives in a waterfront home purchased in her name in North Saanich, a suburb of Victoria in British Columbia. The home was purchased in cash for two million Canadian dollars."

"What about the townhomes on the property I sold him?" Carlisle asked. "Was that purchased using drug money, too?"

"I think what we need to do is backtrack a little bit. For example, I mentioned how Fuller was able to purchase the house on Clyde Hill using drug money as a college student," Jenks suggested. "Keep in mind that he was not yet the tribal comptroller at the time. Now imagine what an unscrupulous man like Fuller can do with control of tribal government funds over the course of twenty years as a tribal elder?"

I knew precisely what Fuller could do. My wolfpack is living proof of the devastation caused by this despicable man. He didn't deserve to walk the earth.

When no one said anything, Jenks continued, "It appears Fuller first became comptroller due to his education—a bachelor's degree in accounting from Seattle University and an MBA from Stanford. He is clearly an intelligent man but sadly chooses to use his education for nefarious purposes. He was a criminal before he became a comptroller. However, after he became a tribal elder, he became unstoppable. Mr. Cullen apprised me of your suspicion that Tony Fuller has been stealing funds from the Quileute Nation for personal gain."

Eric added to Jenks' information with his own. "Angela has a bank account in Port Angeles, Washington, where she has received regular infusions of cash for about three years. This is wholly separate from the account she had her paychecks deposited into while working as Fuller's secretary before her divorce. Ironically, Tony Fuller also banks at the same institution, which is where we suspect the stolen funds from the tribe are being deposited."

"With his arrest, we were able to order a search and seizure of Tony Fuller's property. As his main home is on tribal lands, the BIA has first dibs on the evidence. Of course, Mr. Yorkie was able to uncover much of the information already, but we'll be going through his files with a fine-toothed comb for new evidence. Sometime next week, we will be flying to Washington to manage this case." Jeff turned to Jenks. "If possible, I request that you work with us on this case until it resolves."

"It's not a problem at all. Mr. Cullen has already requested that I leave no stone unturned in uncovering the truth of Fuller's crimes and deceptions." Jenks continued, speaking with me this time, "Mr. Lahote, I know from recent media reports that you had unpleasant dealings with Joel Vandenberger. I can tell you that Anthony Fuller is one hundred times more dangerous than that cretin." He paused and addressed everyone. "I mentioned earlier that Fuller has two trusted deputies: Malcolm Blackcrow and Travis Johnson. I mention these men because they would probably have more information on Anthony Fuller's dealings than we would. Now that Johnson is incarcerated, he will most likely be willing to talk, especially since his ringleader is in jail. The issue is discovering the whereabouts of Malcolm Blackcrow. His residence is in Oregon, the address is noted in the files I've given you, but my contacts have been unable to sight him. It might be prudent to send one of your own men to locate him."

"I can have Jasper seek him out."

It was odd because as soon as Carlisle mentioned Jasper, Jenks started sweating. He drew his handkerchief out and dabbed at his sweat.

"Mr. Jasper is actually perfect. He's a very intimidating man." Jenks trembled, his hands shaking.

I wonder what Jasper did to intimidate Jenks. The poor guy was literally shaking in his boots.

"Why don't we all have a bit of dessert?" I suggested because Jenks looked like he wanted to crawl into a safe space and never come out. Besides, dessert always made things better, right?

"That sounds like a wonderful idea, Mr. Lahote. Thank you."

"Don't mention it. There's coffee and tea as well."

Over dessert, Eric and Jenks compared notes on the information they were able to discover. For the most part, the rest of us stayed out of it. They seemed to have a handle on everything. One thing was for sure, we needed to find my uncle, Malcolm Blackcrow, and get him talking. Hopefully, Jasper will be able to discover his whereabouts.