The Double, Double Cross Job
The next morning, Nate, Sophie, Eliot, Parker, and Hardison walked into their club like they normally would in case they were being watched on the outside by Lang and his friends. Once they were inside, they were able to talk freely and began to fix up the place, knowing it would be at least two days before they could reopen.
Nate and Sophie walked into the office to find that it had been just as trashed as the club itself, but as they expected, the safe was not broken into. Parker assured them that it was impregnable, except for those who were as good of thieves as they were. If the thugs tried to break into it, she was right. Together they began to pick up the office.
Eliot and Parker began to clean up the club's main room and the kitchen area. The tables had all been overturned, the décor throughout the room that Hardison bragged so much about making had been torn down, all the dishes had been smashed, the walls had been covered in graffiti, and there was toilet paper draped throughout the room. Truth was, it looked like a group of immature teenagers had broken in and tore the club apart as a prank.
Eliot began to put the tables upright, tear down the toilet paper, and clean up the broken glass from the dishes, as well as sweep and mop up the floors. Parker grabbed the paint that they had hidden and began to paint over the graffiti on the walls.
Hardison walked over to the music station he had set up and cleaned up the broken technology. After that job was done, he would begin to set up his backup music players, then go to help the others with their jobs. So far, Hardison refused to speak with any of his teammates, except for anything that involved the job they were working on. He was still angry for the things he had overheard them say about Dan.
The team had a lot of work cut out for them. It was around one o'clock that afternoon when Ray, Dan, and the other thugs walked to the club and knocked on the door for someone to let them in. Eliot looked to Nate for the approval and when he nodded, Eliot walked over to the door to let them in.
Nate and Sophie walked over to them and said, "Gentlemen, we aren't going to be open until tomorrow night thanks to what looks like some gang bangers breaking in and trashing the place. Truthfully, it looks like a bad Halloween prank. I'm afraid we're a bit too busy to talk about a business deal that I already assured you isn't going to happen."
Ray chuckled as he replied, "I warned you that this would happen, Mr. Cooper. I also told you we could have prevented this. Are you really refusing to take us up on our offer after you've seen what can be done to you?"
"You will miss out on making money tonight," one of Ray's other friends added. "Imagine if something worse happened, such as a fire. Do you really want to risk that?"
"I am beginning to think that it was you guys who did this," Sophie responded. "Are we right to assume that you are threatening us?"
Eliot continued, "I've heard about thugs like you, Mr. Lang. You and your pals go around scaring other clubs and businesses into paying you from protection from thugs, like you, and when you see that the clubs and businesses are continuing to do well, you threaten them into handing over the ownership papers so that you will own them and have the money all for yourselves."
Ray chuckled again as he replied, "You are pretty smart, Mr. what was your name again?"
"Todd Raine," Eliot answered.
"We'll be back when you guys reopen tomorrow night," Ray said. "You should get back to work. I look forward to seeing your new renovations. Until then."
Nate responded, "Yes, until then, Mr. Lang."
As they left the club, Sophie spoke up saying, "Dan only stood there as Ray and who I assume is Ray's girlfriend spoke. Either Dan is really who he claims to be just as Hardison said he is, or he is a very good actor. He looked worried."
"That doesn't matter right now," Nate replied. "We need to focus on bringing Ray and his friends down. Let's get back to work. We still have a lot to do before tomorrow night."
Nate and Sophie walked off to do whatever they were working on, while Eliot walked over to the back of the room where Hardison was still struggling with setting up his sound system. Normally, the hacker had fun setting up a new project of his, but Eliot could see that he was clearly upset. He assumed it was because everyone was against him on their feelings about Dan.
"Hardison, listen I…" Eliot began.
"This system is taking a bit longer than I expected it to," Hardison interrupted. "I think I outdid myself this time, but don't worry. It will be ready in no time."
Eliot tried again saying, "I just wanted to apologize about last night. We didn't mean for you to find out that way about how we felt toward Dan. I know how much he means to you. I hope I am wrong about him and if I am, I'll let you gloat about it for a month. I won't even beat you unconscious in order to get you to shut up."
Hardison remained quiet for a minute until he finally replied without turning to face him, "In time I'll be able to forget about the things you guys said and maybe we'll be all right again, but I am still leaving when this is all done. I don't belong with you guys. I thought I did, but I was only fooling myself. Please just go away for now. Besides, there's a lot of work still to be done. When I'm done here, I'll help Parker finish painting the walls."
Eliot was about to say something until he saw that Hardison was no longer listening to him. So, he walked away to finish what he was doing before Ray and his friends arrived. The work continued and they all finished just in time for The Den of the Five Thieves to reopen the next night as planned.