Shawn stared at the door, it was only open a crack. His immediate thought was that he had forgotten to lock the door the last time he was there, but he immediately dismissed that thought. Yes, perhaps at times Shawn was a bit scatterbrained – certainly no one at the station would put forgetting to lock the door past Shawn – but he knew he hadn't done that. So his next presumption was that someone had broken in. He knew he should be afraid, after all a murderer could be behind those doors, but Shawn felt oddly calm. He cautiously entered the office and did a quick sweep of the office. He could see nothing out of place so with a shrug of his shoulders, he moved moved to his desk. He immediately opted not to tell Gus any of this, figuring his friend would simply overreact.
Several hours passed by without incident. Shawn had received several texts from Gus, explaining that he was busy with his route. Shawn complained but ultimately, with no imminent case, there was little to be done. Shawn was just about to call it a day when he heard a sneeze coming from behind him. He jumped out of his chair and quickly turned around. The only thing behind him was a closet. Shawn remained silent and listened intensely and could only faintly hear breathing. Chills ran up Shawn's spine and for a moment he was scared. He had to reason with himself quickly; he had been in the office for hours, after all. If his intruder wanted to hurt him they would have done so already.
Just then the phone ringed. Refusing to take his eyes off the closet, Shawn reached for the phone on his desk.
"Shawn Spencer, psychic detective, how can I help you?" he answered.
'Mr. Spencer,' Chief Karen Vick's voice said on the other end. 'We have a case that we would like your assistance on. That is… if you and Mr. Guster are finished with your break?'
"You know it, Chief. Psych is back on the market and the spirits, particularly, are keen to impress," Shawn assured her.
'Great,' Chief Vick said, opting to ignore Shawn's psychic talk. 'I want you both at the station in fifteen minutes for a debrief. Does that sound reasonable?'
"Like four types of cheeses on chili fries."
The chief hesitated on the phone. 'Good,' she said at last, though she sounded unsure. 'We'll see you soon then.'
Shawn said a quick goodbye and hung up the phone. He continued to stare at the closet, still debating what to do. Finally, after a few seconds of thinking, he decided. He fished his cell phone out of his pocket and called Gus. His friend picked up after two rings.
"Hey! Gus, buddy, chief wants us at the department in fifteen minutes. We've got a case!"
'Oddly enough, good timing,' Gus said, strangely calm and willing to go along with the scam. 'A couple clients cancelled last minute anyways.'
"Glad Psych is always your number one priority, man," Shawn said with a smile. "Hey, listen, you think you could pick me up. I'm just at the Psych office."
'Yeah, I guess so. You are on the way. I'll be there in five minutes.'
"Cool, see you in five," and with that, he hung up the phone. Shawn tucked his phone back into his phone and looked back up at the closet door. "Whoever is here," Shawn announced to the closet. "I have no problem with you. You haven't done anything to me, I can't notice anything missing, and I know damn well you didn't steal money because we don't have any here. I'm going to the bathroom. When I finish, I'm walking out and locking the doors. I suggest you be gone by the then." And with that, Shawn did exactly as he said he would.
Shawn stayed in the bathroom for exactly four minutes before walking back out. He noticed the closet door slightly open, certainly more so than it was when he had gone to the bathroom. Shawn nodded his head and inspected the building one more time. Nothing was missing, nothing was where it shouldn't be. So Shawn checked the back door was locked, walked out of the front door, and locked that too, before waiting for his friend to pick him up.
Shawn and Gus arrived at the police department three minutes late. Chief Vick met them at the entrance and did not look impressed. That was the first hint that the case they were being called into was not just a standard one. Shawn and Gus exchanged a glance but followed the chief as she led them to her office. Inside, detectives Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O'Hara were sitting down.
"Oh, sweet lady justice, Chief, did you have to call in tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum?" Detective Lassiter asked, his usual scowl particularly strong.
"Carlton," Juliet warned. In just one look, Shawn could immediately tell that she was stressed. Her beautiful blonde hair was pulled tightly back and he knew she hadn't had the time to shower in a while. Plus, if those bags under her eyes were anything to go by, she wasn't finding enough time for sleep either.
"Chief, O'Hara and I can handle this! We're already have a couple leads – "
"Lassiter, it hasn't even been a week and there's already another body! I'll take all the help I can get, and so should you," Chief Vick interrupted. Lassiter folded his arms in annoyance, whereas Juliet just looked relieved.
"So, what's up, chief?" Shawn asked, trying to get into the loop.
"Shouldn't you already know that, psychic?" Lassiter asked with venom.
"Lassie, Gus and I, along with the spirits, have been on a break. We'll need a second to regroup, but worry not! We're still sharp as a truck!"
"Sharp as a tack, Shawn," Gus corrected.
"What?" Shawn asked
"The expression. It's sharp as a tack."
"Well that just doesn't make any sense. Tacks aren't very sharp. Plus, they're short."
"And how does sharp as a truck make sense?"
"Well, get the right truck, and you'll be looking pretty sharp – "
"Gentlemen," Chief Vick interrupted. "Can this wait?" Lassiter shot her a look, the idiots in the office proving his point. The chief waved him off.
"Right, the case," Shawn moved on. Suddenly he gasped and his hand flew to his head, his middle finger resting on his temple. "There was a murder that took place last night… it involved the neck; strangled victim?"
"Please," Lassiter muttered, rolling his eyes.
"No, that's not right… I'm seeing blood, lots of blood pouring out…" with another gasp, Shawn opened his eyes and moved his hand back down. "Our vic was stabbed in the neck."
"Gruesome," Gus commented, but he also already heard of the case having seen the news report this morning, as he assumed Shawn had done. They had speculated on the news that it was connected to a similar crime committed a week ago.
"Yes, that's right," the chief said. She pulled out a file and handed it to Shawn, speaking as she did, "Her name was Sofia Swanson-Brookes. She was found dead in her bed this morning at 5:32 by her neighbour who noticed her front door was open. Her husband of two years, Richard Brookes, was found dead in his office five days ago, also stabbed in his neck, the difference being his murder weapon was hidden in plain sight, Sofia's was not. As of this moment, we are still looking for Sofia's murder weapon."
"And we're sure they're connected?" Gus asked.
"Come on, Guster, use your brain," Lassiter retorted, already fed up with the duo on the case. "Richard Brookes found dead stabbed in the neck and five days later his wife is found murdered the same way? That's too much of a coincidence, don't you think?"
The others stared at Lassiter for a second. That level of talking down and malice was usually reserved specially for Shawn, rarely did the head detective turn on Gus. Juliet offered an apologetic smile, but other than that did nothing. This was clearly a tough case.
"Any suspects?" Shawn asked, moving on.
"None that count anymore," Lassiter grumbled.
"What Carlton means is that all of our suspects had motive to kill Richard, but none to kill Sofia," Juliet explained. "Either that or they were under surveillance when Sofia's murder took place."
"Ah, so we're back to square one," Shawn noted. Juliet nodded sadly.
"Woah, wait, what's this?" Gus asked, reading ahead in the file. "Their son is missing?"
"Not their son, Sofia's son," Juliet explained. "From her first marriage. And according to the neighbours, he's not entirely missing. They keep saying he's with his Aunt Maria. The problem is he doesn't have an Aunt Maria."
"So you think he's kidnapped?" Shawn asked, not understanding why they weren't more concerned.
"No, the neighbours say he's been at his Aunt's house for over a week, definitely before any of the murders took place," Juliet said. "And he's been to this Aunt's many times before in the past, so she's certainly not a stranger. Regardless of that, we need to find him. He's only eight and his parents are dead."
"What about his biological father?" Shawn asked. "Maybe he knows where the son is."
"Unlikely. He's been in jail for the past four years, for domestic abuse. He's responsible for several hospital visits made by Sofia and her son, Daniel. He's on parole now, let out just over a month ago for good behaviour. Sofia filed a restraining order for herself and Daniel the minute she found out."
"Well maybe he's our killer, then. There's definite motive there, trying to get his kid back?"
"We've had him in the interrogation room all day. His alibi checks out."
"Okay, so, square one with no suspects, no murder weapon, two dead bodies, and a missing eight year old boy…" Shawn looked up at Juliet, who had pressed her lips into a tight, stressed out tight line, her eyes apologetic and desperate. Shawn offered her a reassuring smile, "Nothing a psychic can't handle."