The Double, Double Cross Job
As soon as Hardison announced that their newest client was his brother, Parker, Nate, Sophie, and Eliot looked back and forth between him and their friend. There was no resemblance between them whatsoever, the first and most obvious difference between them being their skin color.
"How can he be your brother?" Parker asked. "You're black and he's white. You don't look anything alike."
"That's because we aren't blood brothers," Hardison replied. "He lived with me and my Nana for a year. We were really close until one day he was adopted and I never saw him again. I tried to find you, Man, but adoption records were sealed and back then, well, let's just say I didn't know what I know now. They treat adoption records like they are Fort Knox. Anyway, time just flew by and I got caught up in a bunch of things."
Nate looked at Hardison and then at Dan and said, "All right. We will do everything we can to stop your friends from harming anyone else and without getting them killed. Go back to them and continue to do whatever you've been doing. Act like nothing is different. We need you to tell us everything, or the deal is off. All of the money they stole from the businesses will go back to where it was stolen from. Is there any chance that you have any books or paperwork as to how much was taken and from where?"
Dan answered, "Yeah, we have a log book that we kept track of how much we are getting paid, but the safe is heavily protected and my friends won't go down easily."
"That's not going to be a problem, Baby," Hardison responded. "You're looking at the best hacker and group of thieves in the world."
"Hardison's right," Sophie replied. "We are the best at what we do. You can trust us."
Dan asked, "What exactly is your plan? My friends aren't exactly looking at another place to take over right now and I am not sure when they will be."
Nate answered, "Then, we're going to have to introduce them to a place they won't be able to resist; the hottest new club in town."
"But there isn't a new club in town," Parker said. "What do you want us to do, steal one?"
"Exactly," Nate replied. "Let's go steal us a club."
One week later…
Flocks of people had gathered inside and out of a new club in town, called The Den of the Five Thieves. Within the first few hours, business was already booming. Tonight was opening night in downtown Chicago and people had already begun to spread the word to all of their friends and families.
Standing in the doorway was Hardison, now the club's manager, who was there to make sure that no one entered the club whose names were not on the list. Eliot, now the club's bouncer, was there to make sure that the guests remained in control. Inside the club were the club's owner, Nate, and his business partner, Sophie. Together, they stood on a balcony that overlooked the main room, watching and observing the guests as they drank, mingled, and partied. Parker walked around in her waitress uniform, while checking out the guests as she swiped their wallets, scanned their licenses and ids, and easily put the wallets right back. Nate wanted to know the kind of people who came and went.
Hardison watched as Eliot flirted with a group of women he had just allowed past the ropes that blocked them from the club and once they went inside he asked, "Man, why is it that all the fine looking women always fall for you? Just because of your long flowing hair and perfect muscles; it's ridiculous. I mean, I am attractive too."
Eliot replied, "I can't help it that I am more attractive to the women. What does it matter to you anyway? Don't you have a thing for Parker?"
"Well, yah I suppose," Hardison answered. "She's great and I like her a lot, but she's so wishy washy all the time. It's impossible to tell what she wants."
"A blind man can see the way you two feel about each other," Eliot responded. "Where on earth did you come up with the name of this place?"
Hardison looked at his friend and said, "I think it's catchy. My Nana used to read me the stories about Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. I loved it when she did. I figured that it was quite fitting, since we are thieves ourselves after all. My Nana must have had ESP or something. Those stories were one of the main reasons why I am who I am today. I wanted to be just like Ali Baba. Don't go mocking the name! What would you have called it anyway?"
Eliot looked at Hardison and smiled as he replied, "Now that you explain why you named this place The Den of Five Thieves, I think I understand. The name's cool, Man! Can I ask you something?"
"You want to know if I trust Dan, don't you?" Hardison asked.
"I mean, you haven't seen him since the two of you were kids," Eliot responded. "People change. We all certainly have."
"Dan is my brother, Man," Hardison said. "We were close then and I trust him with my life. He's a good man who fell in with the wrong crowd. It can happen to anyone."
Before Eliot could apologize, their newest mark, Ray Lang, and his crew walked up to them, along with Dan. Hardison and Dan looked at each other and then Hardison extended his right hand out to Lang, who returned the gesture. Eliot did the same.
Hardison was the first to speak up saying, "Mr. Lang, it is a pleasure to meet you. I have heard about all of your fine clubs and businesses. We are very excited to have a business man such as yourself join us here at the opening of our new scene."
Ray replied, "Thank you. I have heard good things. Let's hope that it is everything that they say it is. Who came up with the Den of the Five Thieves? Who are the five thieves?"
Hardison answered, "You'll find out soon enough."