“So, basically we’re a man short,” Eliot summed up for them all when the silence of them thinking had stretched into more than two minutes.
“The only thing we can do is send Sophie in alone,” Hardison pointed out yet again.
“No, it won’t work,” Nate argued, having a feeling from this mark. “Without anyone to back up her cover story he won’t buy it, this guy’s too paranoid. Hardison, there’s no way you can go inside with her and just have your computer automatically do, whatever?”
“You really think this is just like a magic trick I do, don’t you? I can just wave my fingers and all your technological wishes come true? It ain’t like that, computer doesn’t just do what I ask it to. I ain’t Mikah!” Hardison pointed out loudly.
“Who the hell’s Mikah?” Eliot asked.
“Watch some television!” Hardison snapped, hating when Nate asked him to do stuff he couldn’t do.
“So,” Sophie brought them all back to point. “We’re a man short.”
“Or a woman. Don’t be sexist,” Parker requested.
“Well then, let’s get one more,” Nate suggested.
“You got an extra con-artist sitting in your back pocket?” Eliot asked sarcastically.
“No, but you do,” Hardison answered, eyebrows going up in realization. “Well, in your phone anyway.”
“What?” Eliot asked, brow furrowed.
“That guy, in Santa Barbara, gave us the heads up about the cops. You said he was a con-artist.”
Eliot cringed while Sophie looked incredibly interested, “Eliot?”
“No … we can’t … no, just no. It’ll be like having two Parkers, except this one’s ADD and always on a sugar high,” Eliot warned. But now Parker’s attention was fully gained.
“I want him!” she demanded. “I’m intrigued … and hungry.”
“Can he pull it off?” Nate asked seriously.
Eliot sighed but had to nod, “Yeah, he can do it. He’s pretty good once he gets focused.”
“Call him,” Nate decided then got up from the table, his work done.
“Do not say I didn’t warn you, all of you,” Eliot reiterated, standing from the table to pull out his cell phone. It rang three times.
“Shawn Spencer, Psychic Detective. I divine that my cousin Eliot needs my assistance,” Shawn answered confidently.
“Yeah that’s a real impressive use of caller ID you got there Shawn. You interested in working a job with me and my team? We’ll pay ya and it’s for a good cause,” Eliot explained briefly.
He could imagine Shawn thinking it over, “Hmm, that depends. Would I get to break the law? Can I have a gun? An expensive suit? A pair of finely tailored trousers?”
“Sure, any of the above, except the gun, just don’t tell your dad. When can you be here?”
Shawn hummed, thinking it over, “Well, I have to pack, make up some lies about where I’m going, refuel the bike, maybe get a pedicure, my cuticles are just the worst lately …”
“Four hours. Approximately. I can’t vouch for any unprecedented roadside incidents or natural disasters, or cute waitresses at diners,” Shawn answered, always enjoying getting a rise out of his cousin’s temper.
“Be here in four hours,” Eliot grumbled then hung up without waiting for Shawn’s response. He sighed and rubbed his face – this was going to be a long job. He looked back at the others knowing they had no idea what they were in for.
In Santa Barbara Shawn snapped his phone shut and actually skipped into the main office to grab his keys, giddy with excitement.
“Gus, I’m going to LA for the weekend, maybe longer. Don’t wait up, hold my calls but not if they’re heavy and uh, give yourself a raise,” Shawn called out as he headed for the door.
Gus scrambled to his feet with incredible speed, blocking his way, “Whoa! Whoa! Tell me I did not just hear you say you were going to LA for the weekend.”
“I can tell you that but it won’t be the truth. Do you want me to say it anyway?”
“We have a case Shawn! You can’t go anywhere!” Gus pointed out.
“Oh, right the case,” Shawn said dramatically like he might have forgotten. “Yeah, uh, there is no case. There was no robbery.”
Shawn tried to leave again but Gus side-stepped him, arms filling the doorway, “What do you mean there was no robbery? Mrs. Feldman’s jewelry was gone and the window was broken.”
“First of all, the glass was mostly on the ground outside, meaning the window was broken from the inside out, which no burglar would ever do unless he’s just a total a-hole. Secondly, there’s not really a robbery because the jewelry was ‘stolen’ by the person who bought it.”
“Mrs. Feldman robbed herself and then came to a psychic to report the crime?” Gus said in a tone indicating how ridiculous that theory was.
“No, she wore the jewelry but she didn’t buy it. Her husband’s having some financial troubles, hell, who isn’t, so he pawned off some of the jewelry he’s given her over the last few years. Couldn’t bear to tell her so he staged a robbery. It’s kind of sweet in a way. Okay, see you Monday,” Shawn finished, slapping Gus on the back as he finally stepped by him to get to his motorcycle.
“What are you doing in LA anyway?” Gus asked, following now but not trying to stop him.
“Visiting my cousin.”
Gus halted, “Your cousin? Shawn, you can’t possibly be visiting your cousin, you’ve only got one cousin and he’s … no. No Shawn, you can’t.”
“At this point you probably know too much so I’m going to go,” Shawn said with finality as he hopped on his bike.
“Shawn, he’s a wanted international fugitive. If you know where he is and don’t tell the cops that’s a felony,” Gus reminded him.
“Guess what Gus, I lie to cops for a living, which is also considered a felony so I think I’ll be fine. Besides, I already told Eliot I’d go. Do you really think I should disappoint him? I’m kind of fond of having all ten of my fingers, and I think you are too,” Shawn joked since he wasn’t actually scared of Eliot at all.
“Hey, don’t bring me into this!” Gus demanded at which point Shawn actually sobered slightly.
“I won’t. That’s why you’re staying here and I’m not going to tell you anything else about where I’m going. I’ll call you when I get back.”
“Shawn!” Gus yelled in frustration as his friend started his bike and drove away. “What am I gonna tell your dad!?”
“That his shirts are ugly!” Shawn shouted back, waved and was off to LA to break the law with his cousin. He’d never been more excited for a family outing in his life.