“Remember the Miss Highway Patrol Pageant?”

“Ugh, don’t remind me. Misty Jennings adding another trophy to that dusty old shelf she’ll mope over when her looks finally go,” said Tess. “You and I both know that she buys those things by blowing the judges that swing her way and bribing the ones that don’t with half the prize money.”

“I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t feel that the Miss Highway Patrol Pageant wasn’t in keeping with the dignity of the station and the officers thereof,” said Greer.

“What she does is never in keeping with anything but her own vanity,” sniffed Tess. “The only thing holding her back is all those pretty college girls in Cascadia, with rich parents and plastic surgery. She knows she could never beat them in a fair fight, so she gets to beat all us here in Deerton in an unfair fight.”

“What if I were to say,” Greer drawled quietly but amiably, “that the state patrol is in possession of something which might tip the balance away from our favorite poster girl?”

Tess was quiet for a moment. “I’d ask what it is, and how much it would cost to let it off the leash.”

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