Lassitarians sounds like a political party... maybe we should all write in Carlton Lassiter for the election this year! Lol, I digress. Let's get back to the matter at hand: Carlton Lassiter visiting this site.
Detective, I hope you aren't disappointed to see a lack of stories; you seem like the kind of man who would appreciate those. But my therapist said that living in the fictional realities of my writings wasn't a healthy mental environment.
Remember how I said I wanted to talk about your relationship status more? Carlton, I know this may sound odd, but those hours we spent together in the basement of my cabin, watching my homemade documentary on Shawn Spencer, connected us in a deeply spiritual manner. You're the only one I can see being with for the rest of my life.
I know there might be people in your life trying to convince you not to trust me, but I've changed! I promise! Right now, I'm just a single girl trying to find a good man. I'm sure you can understand.
"What does she mean by 'deeply spiritual'?" Gus was leaning over Shawn's shoulder and staring at the computer screen.
"It's probably the kick to the face I gave her when she tackled me on the stairs," Lassiter grumbled from his desk. He was leaning back in his chair, arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
As soon as Juliet had seen there was a new letter posted on the site, she had called Shawn and Gus down to the station. She was prepared to give Lassiter an intervention and block the site on the station's system since he didn't seem to be taking it seriously, but she wanted to be rational about the whole thing.
"What's the matter, Lassie?" Shawn glanced up at him. "Irritated that we're invading your own personal stalker site? Maybe Laura has a bedroom in her new house with pictures of your face plastered all over the walls."
Lassiter threw his empty Starbucks cup at the duo and then went back to scowling.
"Fine, I'm just going to call you Grumpy Smurf," Shawn smirked.
"Zip it, Spencer," Lassiter glared at the psychic.
McNab came over at that moment. "I don't mean to interrupt," he had an envelope in his hands, "but the chief wanted me to give this to you guys if you stopped by today." He handed the envelope to Gus.
"Our check for the gymnast case," Gus observed. "Thanks, Buzz," he gave the rookie a fistbump. "Now we can go see the traveling Irish step dancers next month."
Buzz grinned. "I forgot they were coming to Sacramento for St. Patrick's Day. Those guys are so cool!." He turned back to the front desk.
Shawn shook his head and placed a comforting hand on Gus' shoulder. "Gus, we can go to the Lord of the Rings show some other time. I hear it's magically delicious." He kept a straight face until he said the last line, and then he started laughing.
"Lord of the Dance, Shawn." Gus corrected his friend, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Irish step dancing is a revered tradition," Lassiter snapped at him.
"Exactly," Gus nodded. "Maybe I'll just take Lassiter with me; he appreciates talent."
"He doesn't appreciate me," Shawn protested.
"I appreciate you," Juliet put a hand on his shoulder, calming him down.
"You guys can have your weird dance date," Shawn rolled his eyes. "It's not like I wanted to go to Sacramento anyway." And then he froze.
"What is it, Shawn?" Juliet studied her boyfriend's face for any clues.
"I just thought of another reason not to go to Sacramento," Shawn half-laughed as he looked at Lassiter. "Laura Peters is currently living there."
"That city has almost half a million people living in it, Shawn. I doubt we'd run into Laura." Gus crossed his arms. "You're just jealous."
"Jealous?" Shawn repeated. "I don't want to get within a six-hour drive of a convicted psychopath, and that means I'm jealous? I hope we all remember what happens when you play along with Laura's schemes."
"People get hurt," Juliet whispered.
Shawn nodded. "Exactly. Lassie gets shot, and I find out more information than I ever needed to know about the world of fanfiction. I still have nightmares about those fake weddings." Shawn's voice was getting louder and louder. "So you guys go see your red-headed, tight-wearing prancers, and I will stay right here and eat Cheetos while watching The Voice."
"I haven't even accepted Guster's invitation to see the show," Lassiter mumbled. "Look, if you three are done with trying to meddle with my life, I'd like to get back to my job." He grabbed the stack of reports from his desk and headed for the peace and quiet of the conference room.
Thankfully, O'Hara seemed to take the hint and didn't bother him for the rest of the day, and Lassiter was able to finish his work quickly. He picked up some Chinese on the way home and gave a sigh of relief when he unlocked the door to his apartment. He flipped the light switch by the door and immediately dropped the brown paper bag holding his food on the ground and drew his service weapon.
"Is that any way to treat a guest?" a quiet feminine voice asked from the couch.
"Miss Peters," Lassiter leveled his gun with the young woman curled up on his couch and reading one of the magazines from his coffee table. "This is definitely in breach of your parole."
"I know," Laura admitted. "But I tried doing things legally. Didn't you get all of my letters and website posts?"
Lassiter wasn't sure if the look on her face was pain or if she was trying to flirt with him. He lowered his gun, but just slightly. He'd let his guard down with her once before and had paid for itâ€”quite painfully. "I did get those posts. Miss Peters, I'm a married man. I'm not looking for a relationship right now."
Laura gave him a pitying look. "Married? To that criminal?" Her tone was patronizing, as if Lassiter were the biggest idiot on the planet. She picked up Lassiters' wedding photo from the table next to the couch. "Red is such a tacky wedding dress color," she sighed, shaking her head.
Lassiter could feel his headache from that morning returning. "How did you get in here?" He changed the subject. He wanted to avoid talking about Marlowe with this psychopath.
"Your super let me in," Laura smiled brightly. "I guess he thought I was your sister."
Lassiter holstered his gun. "Miss Peters," he began.
"Laura, please; call me Laura." She was sitting on the edge of the couch now, her attention fully on him.
"Miss Peters," Lassiter repeated firmly, "you need to leave before I have to arrest you for parole violation and unlawful entry."
Laura was immediately out of her seat and in his arms. "You can arrest me anytime you want, Detective." She gave him her best seductive face.
Lassiter fought the urge to handcuff her right then and there, but only because doing so would give her exactly what she wanted. He moved to the side, putting the overstuffed armchair between them. "I'm flattered that you find me attractive, but don't you think you're a little young?"
"Carlton," Laura looked hurt. "Age is just a number. Didn't you feel the connection we had when we first met?"
"The connection of the drugs you used on me or the gun you pistol-whipped me with?" Lassiter drawled sarcastically.
Laura just smiled, twirling a lock of hair in her fingers. "You're so sexy when you're angry." She gave a happy sigh. "I like your new haircut, too." She reached out a hand to touch him.
"Miss Peters," Lassiter was beyond concerned at this point. "I suggest you leave now. This is your last chance before I have you brought down to the station and booked for trespassing and harassment. I mean it. You can't come here. You can't contact me. You can't contact my wife."
Laura looked like she wanted to protest but then took a deep breath and smiled sweetly. "Oh, Carlton, you'll learn." She headed for the door. "I guess I should respect your wishes, though." She paused with her hand on the knob. "It was nice seeing you."
Once the door shut behind her, Lassiter lunged for it and flipped the deadbolt as quickly as he could. He checked the peephole to make sure she wasn't standing outside. He probably should call O'Hara and tell her about Laura's visit, but the last thing he wanted was another intervention with Spencer and Guster in tow.
Looking at the Chinese food spilled all over the floor, Lassiter swore under his breath and went to the kitchen to scrounge up something else for his dinner. If anything, he supposed he should at least be thankful Laura had left without much of a fight, but it worried him that she had been able to get into his home so easily. Then he remembered how scatter-brained his new building super wasâ€”and Laura did sound an awful lot like Lauren, who was on his emergency contact list.
Laura Peters was not a criminal mastermind, he reminded himself; she was just a disturbed young lady with a weird sense of humor. And more importantly, she was also gone, and he had given her an ultimatum. Marlowe would be home tomorrow, and everything would go back to normal.
"Do you think Lassiter would actually go to the show with me?" Gus was browsing through the website for the Lord of the Dance tour. "Tickets are going fast, and I don't want to buy two tickets and then have no one to go with."
"Dude, no one cares about Michael Flatley," Shawn looked over from his desk. "Besides, if you want to see real Irish Step Dance, you just have to watch The Luck of the Irish when it's on the Disney channel."
"That movie is terrible," Gus protested, making a face.
"I didn't say it wasn't," Shawn shook his head. "But that bad guy leprechaun could dance pretty well."
"That was a double, and then he was tricked by a seventh-grader into living in Lake Erie for the rest of his life." Gus argued.
Silence fell over the two of them. Then Shawn asked, "What do you think Laura sees in Lassie? I mean, I know she's crazy, but stillâ€¦"
"It is kind of weird that she's so focused on Lassiter now," Gus agreed. "She was about ready to kill him last time."
Shawn sighed. " I guess we'll never know. The fangirl's mind is a scary place that I would much rather not venture into again."
"When did you venture into one before?" Gus frowned.
"You knowâ€¦ that one time when I wrote NCIS fanfic."
"You mean when you wrote a story about Lassiter dating the goth chick, and he almost sued you for libel? Yes, I remember that."
"But he didn't," Shawn clarified. "And I currently have thirteen reviews on that little piece of creative writing."
"Lassiter told you to pull that off the internet!" Gus looked panicked. "If he finds it, he could still sue you. And by you, I mean us, which would end up just being me because you have no assets."
"I do too have an asset!" Shawn pointed to his backside indignantly.
Gus made a face. "Are we going to IHOP or not? Because I've been craving waffles ever since Lassiter didn't give us any."
"You know that's right." Shawn was out the door. "Shotgun!"
Lassiter still hadn't been able to shake the unsettled feeling in his stomach that Laura Peters had been in his apartment. The first call he made the next morning was to his building super with strict instructions that no one be allowed inside his apartment unless they had a warrant or his death certificate and a notarized letter from the state confirming his demise. He was running on three hours of sleep and his second pot of coffee when he finally made it to the station just after seven. He was hoping it would be a quiet day where he could go about his routine without any spastic psychic visions or any peep of Laura Peters.
Laura Peters was quickly becoming the ugliest of swear words in Lassiter's vocabulary. He had managed to keep all thoughts of the night before out of his head as he filed paperwork and reports. Juliet had taken the morning off for a doctor's appointment, and everyone else in the station thankfully left him alone. It was lunchtime before he bothered to look up from his computer. The mail had come, and there was a postcard from Laura in his pile. It had a picture of downtown Sacramento on it and a short inscription.
Carlton, isn't the city nice? I bet you'd make a great addition to their police force if you decided to move here with me. <
"I promise to be home tomorrow," Marlowe assured Lassiter over the phone as he locked the car after getting home from work. "The tow truck just took his sweet time getting me back to the repair shop." Her voice washed over Lassiter. He was feeling more relaxed than he had been since Shawn had found the Laura Peters file in his desk.
"I know, baby," he sighed. "I just miss you."
"And you'll see me tomorrow." She reminded him.
"I need you." Lassiter wanted to tell Marlowe about everything that had happened, but it definitely wasn't a conversation to have over the phone.
"I'll see what I can do," Marlowe could hear the soft and squishy Carlton she knew and loved. "I love you."
"Love you too," Lassiter started to unlock the door as Marlowe ended the call. He was so distracted hanging up with Marlowe he didn't realize his door wasn't locked to begin with.
Lassiter barely had time to register his living room lights were on before his world went dark.
Good to hear everything is running ship-shape in Santa Barbara. From what I read in the papers, you've got your hands full with that psychic. I can't believe Karen is actually letting him hang around.
I did swing by that address you gave me. Honestly, dude, it looks abandoned. There's three weeks' worth of newspapers on the steps, and the curtains are all drawn. What have you gotten yourself into?
Susan and the kids are all doing great. Eve is going to high school in the fall. Time sure flies! Hope things are going well in your personal life. I hear you married a con. You'll have to fill me in on that story when we have time.