The Double, Double Cross Job
It was about four o'clock in the morning and Eliot, Parker, and Hardison were working on kicking out the stragglers, who remained inside the club come closing time. It was around then, that Ray Lang and his friends, including Dan, walked in, hoping to talk with Nate, or Cooper, as far as they knew.
At first, Eliot blocked them from walking in any further than the entrance of the club, but Nate and Sophie walked down from the office and Nate said, "Go ahead and let them in, Todd. If they want to talk, we'll talk."
Ray responded, "Thank you, Mr. Cooper. Shall we?"
Nate and Sophie led them back upstairs to the same table where they spoke once before and Parker once again took their drink orders. This time they didn't order food, in case their negotiations fell apart as they expected them to. Ray saw Brant Copper as a foolish man, unable to see the bigger picture should he refuse their offer.
"Your associates, Mr. Carson and Mr. Raine are free to join us if they wish," Ray spoke up saying. "What I am about to propose concerns them as well."
"Very well, I'll have them join us," Nate answered as he motioned for them to do so when he saw that they were within eyesight. "If your proposal has something to do with purchasing my club from me, you're wasting your time."
As Hardison and Eliot pulled up a seat next to Nate and Sophie, Ray responded, "I don't plan on purchasing this club from you anymore, Mr. Cooper. I plan on taking it from you. You and Miss. Doyle are going to sign this club over to me and then you'll leave town, along with Mr. Carson. Mr. Raine, I am willing to pay twice the amount you're currently being paid to stay on. One of my friends was in here earlier scouting out the place and saw how you handled yourself against those moronic boyfriends. You've got skill. We could use a guy like you."
Eliot smirked as he replied, "Sorry, but my place is beside Mr. Cooper. He and I go way back."
"What makes you think that I am just going to sign over my club to you and then leave town?" Nate asked.
"Because this is what happened to the last two club owners, who refused to sell me their places," Ray responded as his girlfriend pulled out some photos they had taken the nights that the men had been killed and threw them onto the table. "We can arrange this to happen to each of you if that is really what you want. Going to the police will not help you. You won't be able to pin anything on me."
Nate played dumb as he asked, "You guys killed these other men?"
One of Ray's friends answered, "Let's just say that negotiations with them didn't go so well. We hope things will go better for you guys."
Hardison kept his eyes trained on the pictures and then slowly looked over at Dan with hurt in his eyes. Dan looked back at him as if pleading for him to wait until he could explain. Ray and his other friends didn't pay any attention to them, but Eliot saw the exchange between them and looked down in anger. It was then that Hardison stood from his chair and slowly walked away.
"What's up with him?" Ray asked.
"I don't really know," Nate replied as he held in his anger toward both Ray and especially Dan. "Now, to answer to your original request, no. No, we will not sell this place to you. Now, leave my place right now!"
Ray and his friends smirked as Eliot stood with his arms crossed and Ray responded, "Fine, we're leaving. I'd be sure to watch your backs though. The Den of the Five Thieves will be ours."
Ray, Dan, and the others stood from the table and left, as Sophie turned to Nate and said, "They could have asked to speak with just the two of us since we are the ones who own the club. Why ask Eliot and Hardison to join us too?"
"Because they know that we were a pretty tight group," Nate answered. "They figure, if we end up dead, then Eliot and Hardison would go to the cops with a story about them being the ones who killed us and even if the cops weren't to believe them, Ray Lang and his crew would be suspects. They want them dead too. Why not threaten us all at the same time?"
"What about Dan?" Eliot asked. "It's obvious that he knew about the two dead guys. How could he not? He played us."
Sophie replied, "I saw his face. He may have known about the deaths, but his face looked genuinely sad. I think he is stuck with them with no way out, but death himself. He came to us for help to bring them down and to save his life."
Eliot scoffed as he responded, "Maybe, but he is using Hardison to do it. I don't trust him."
"I'll go have a talk with Hardison," Sophie replied. "The two of you get working on the final step of our plan. I can't wait for this job to finally be over."
"I'm with you on that one," Parker said as she joined them.
Nate asked her, "Did you do it?"
She smiled and answered, "How long have we been working together for now?"
"All right, point taken," Nate responded as he chuckled. "Let's get to work."
About forty minutes later, Dan walked up to Hardison's hotel room where he was staying to try to talk to him. He knocked on the door and with hesitation, Hardison finally opened the door to let him in.
Dan spoke up first saying, "Listen Alec, I know I have a lot to explain, but please just give me a chance."
Hardison asked sadly, "You knew about the club owners deaths, didn't you? And you didn't tell us, tell me?"
"Yes, I knew, but it isn't what you think," Dan replied. "I didn't say anything to you because I was afraid that you and your team would back out if you learned how dangerous my friends have become. I need to get away from them and that doesn't happen without ending up in a body bag. I don't want to die, but I also don't want them to die either. They belong in prison, just like I said. I am sorry that I didn't tell you, Man. I promise you, that I had nothing to do with their deaths. I swear it. I could never do that to anyone. You know me better than anyone, Brother."
"No more lies or deception," Hardison responded. "I need you to be honest with me. I'll convince the others to keep up with our plan."
"You don't have to convince us of anything," Sophie said as she walked into the room. "We're already going to finish the job. I had a feeling that that is the reason why you came to us in the first place. I am sorry to have eavesdropped, but I came up here to make sure that you were all right, Alec. Are you?"
Hardison turned to face her as he replied, "I will be when this case is over. I need some time alone if you two don't mind. I need to think about some things."
As he left the room, Sophie turned back to Dan and said, "Listen, if we learn that you are lying to us about anything and you end up hurting Alec anymore, Eliot will make you wish your friends killed you, I promise. They don't seem to always get along, but we are a family. Eliot sees Alec as a brother. Do you understand?"
Dan answered, "Yes, Ma'am, I do."