“You can call me Fairburn.” The voice was even, cool, but somehow familiar.”

“Well, Mr. Fairburn, you’ve got my attention,” Sexton said. “Go on.”

“I’ve been keeping an eye on you for some time, Mr. Sexton, and I have to say I’m impressed. You’ve managed to con your way into, and out of, places one might think were nigh impenetrable.”

“I appreciate the vote of confidence.”

“And you’ve played with the digital landscape masterfully to hide your cash from the authorities,” Fairburn continued. “I know all about your accounts.”

“Well, it seems like a country that won’t go after its own president-for-life for tax evasion isn’t about to squeeze someone like me, does it?”

“Maybe not while the authorities remain blind, but if I alert them, they surely will,” Fairburn said. “Unless you care to keep listening.”

“Blackmail?” Sexton said. “Do you really think someone who’d walk away from everything in their life is able to be blackmailed so easily?”

“The threat of blackmail is just to get a foot in the door, so to speak,” Fairburn said. “All I ask is that you listen to my proposal. I’ll text you an address, a date, and a time. Let me put something to you there and then. I’ll pay you for your time.”

“No thank you,” Sexton said. “I think it’d be more fun to let you do your thing and see how long I can elude the authorities.”

“Do you now?” Fairburn said. “Aren’t you interested in how I spoofed this number, learned which burner phone you were using? I could sweeten the deal by throwing that information in for free. I know you’re curious.”

Sexton bit his lip. “And you say I’ll be paid?”

“Given what I’ve seen of your earnings, you’ll receive fair recompense in both cash and information.”

Sexton waited a moment subtly shifting his weight from foot to foot. “All right,” he said. “Tell me where, and when.”

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