Chapter 4: No Leads
It was 8:00 AM, which was ridiculously early for a client meeting according to Shawn, but Gus had set up the meeting, stating that the client had requested the time and that he and Shawn couldn't afford to be picky. Business had been a little slower than usual and they could use the cash.
Shawn was tired. He had been tossing and turning all night, trying to wrap his brain around the recent events. He couldn't stop thinking that if someone were targeting both himself and his Dad, it likely had something to do with the cover-up of Veronica Towne's murder at the Blue Derby. With Henry's former colleagues Gamble and Atwater dead and Jerry Carp behind bars, it seemed that there was nothing more to it. But perhaps there was something he overlooked…a piece of evidence that either he or his Dad might have that would indicate someone else was involved or that the case wasn't as clear-cut as it seemed. He couldn't for the life of himself imagine what that could be, though.
And then there was the probably more likely explanation that the break-in at his Dad's was completely unrelated to both the Towne case and to the supposed attempted break-in at the Psych office. After finding out that attempted break-in was filed by a young mother who reported that her 7-year-old daughter was the only eye witness, he had to wonder if there really was anything to it. Maybe Gus had scratched the lock just trying to insert the key. But really? How hard was it to put a key in a lock? Of course, Gus always had trouble pushing pegs into the right holes on his Lite Brite, ruining far too many of their glowing masterpieces - once the peg poked through the wrong part of the paper pattern there was never any going back. - He wouldn't put it past him to miss the lock.
"Did you get those new locks yet, Gus?" Shawn asked his partner through a yawn.
"Someone is coming by to install them this afternoon," answered Gus. "And just so you know, Shawn, locks only work when you actually use them. We were lucky I was the last to leave the office yesterday. Otherwise the door would have been unlocked and the guy just would have walked right in."
"Ok, Gus, I got it. Lock the door when I leave. But why with the third degree so early in the morning? Huh? We haven't even had our morning coffee yet," complained Shawn.
"You don't even like coffee," argued Gus, "And I've been up for two hours already."
"You're right. I don't like coffee," said Shawn. "But I do like muffins, and muffins usually go with coffee. Who is this guy that we are meeting with anyway?"
"His name is Pinkerton," answered Gus.
"Pinkerton?" said Shawn, guffawing at the silly name.
"Yeah. A Mr. Neville Pinkerton," said Gus succinctly. "He wants us to look into some missing jewelry, family heirlooms."
"Neville?...Pinkerton?...poor dude," said Shawn shaking his head and chuckling. "And, missing jewelry…?" He couldn't help but notice the irony.
"Yeah. He thinks it was stolen by his uncle and wants us to look into it," Gus continued.
"Hmm. Sounds boring," said Shawn.
Gus rolled his eyes just as they both heard someone enter the office. A very formal looking man walked in. He was pale-skinned, thin and lanky with black hair that was parted too perfectly to the side and plastered to his head with shiny hair gel. "Misters Spencer and Guster, I assume?" he asked in a foreign accent that neither Shawn nor Gus could place."
"Yes. Indeed. We are they," said Shawn, subtly mocking his accent. Gus elbowed him in the gut. "And you must be Mr. Pinkerton," continued Shawn, dropping the mocking tone this time.
"Yes. I am," Pinkerton replied. "What an interesting establishment you have here," he continued while starting to wander around the room. He picked up a Happy Meal toy from Shawn's desk and inspected it as if he had never seen such a thing in his life. He looked around at items on the shelves, posters and photos on the wall. He pointed to a photo of Shawn and Juliet that was sitting on Shawn's desk. "Your wife?" he asked.
"Girlfriend," corrected Shawn starting to feel a little uneasy.
"I see," Pinkerton said with an awkward impression that he was making a mental note of Shawn's answer.
Shawn wanted to interrupt the awkwardness and get on with the meeting. "So...um…what can we help you with Mr. Pinkerton?"
"Oh. Yes. Of course," Pinkerton said, strangely like he had forgotten why he was there in the first place. "Well you see, I have for some time been in possession of some very valuable family heirlooms...most of it being jewelry that belonged to my late grandmother…Oh, my sweet Nana," he interrupted into his own narrative. "I loved her so! Do you have a grandmother with whom you are close, Mr. Spencer?"
Feeling that the question was out of place and a bit personal, he reluctantly answered that he had been close to his Grandma Spencer, who had passed away when he was nine.
"Oh. I am so sorry to hear that Mr. Spencer. So you are familiar with the special relationship between a boy and his grandmother," Pinkerton said with a satisfying smile on his face, which then turned back into a frown. "So you will understand that these heirlooms, though they do have quite a bit of monetary value, are immensely more valuable to me sentimentally."
"I understand," said Shawn, though he was so weirded out by this strange man that he was having a hard time finding his sympathy. Gus's silence and the look on his face suggested that he found Pinkerton creepy too.
"Good. Good," said Pinkerton smiling again. "You see, the heirlooms have gone missing…just disappeared from my safety deposit box."
"And you want us to find them," implored Shawn, eager to get to the point.
"Indeed," Pinkerton responded, "though I can tell you now that I suspect my uncle may have something to do with it. He was always jealous about the heirlooms coming to me when my mother…his sister, passed away. I just can't get him to admit it, and I can't find any proof. Can you help me?"
Shawn really did not want to take this case. "Um. I'll have to discuss it with my colleague. Please excuse us." He pulled Gus into the other room. "What do you think?" he whispered.
"That guy gives me the jeebies," answered Gus.
"Me too," said Shawn, glad it wasn't just him that thought so. "But you said we can't be too picky. We could use the cash."
"I did," said Gus "But…" Gus made a sound like he had just seen a ghost.
"You're right," agreed Shawn. "We don't take the case."
Gus agreed and they returned to Mr. Pinkerton to break the news.
"We're sorry to say…" began Shawn
Pinkerton interrupted. "I'll pay you $5000 plus 5% the value of the heirlooms if they are returned to me."
"We'll take the case!" answered Shawn and Gus in unison.
Meanwhile at the station, Henry was having a discussion with Chief Vick in her office concerning the break-in at his house.
"It just doesn't make any sense…" said Henry. "I know there is more to this case than what it seems. I've been a detective for a long time and I can tell when something isn't quite right. I am certain this guy was not at my home by coincidence. I just can't figure out what he was after." Although Henry was now retired (for the second time), he couldn't help himself. He was a detective to the core, and knew he couldn't rest until all of the clues made sense."
"I'm not doubting your instincts, but I'm sorry Henry," apologized the Chief. "I am afraid our hands are tied. Nothing of significant value was taken. We have no description of the guy, aside from his unusual attire. No finger prints. No reports of similar occurrences other than the one at your son's office, which is a shaky report at best. There are just no leads."
"Did you at least check into Carp?" Henry was referring to the wayward cop who covered up a two-decade old murder and had shot Henry last year in order to keep his secret hidden. "Maybe…I don't know why or how…but maybe it had something to do with the Towne case," pleaded Henry.
"Lassiter and O'Hara are looking into that," said the Chief. "But, I think there is no reason to think that Carp or anyone else involved in the Towne cover-up had anything to do with the break-in."
"Yeah…yeah…you are probably right," agreed Henry. "I know you're right… I know you have done everything you can, Karen. It's just hard not being able to do anything about it."
"I know the feeling," she said compassionately. "Just…hang in there. Go home. Enjoy your retirement. And if anything else suspicious happens, give us a call."
"Thanks Karen," said Henry, a little dejectedly but understanding her position.
Outside the Chief’s office, Juliet and Lassiter were settled into their desks trying to find any leads or clues they could from all of the photos taken at Henry's home, and coming up with very little. Shawn and Gus were at the Psych office meeting with their client and Shawn had made plans to bring lunch to the station later for Juliet.
"Are you sure you're ok, O'Hara?" Lassiter asked again noticing Juliet slumped drowsily on her desk.
"I'm fine! Stop asking me that!" she answered, annoyed and sitting herself up straighter so as to look better than she was. In truth, though, she wasn't fine. She felt the nausea that had troubled her for the last few days returning. She was starting to worry and made a mental note to see the doctor if she wasn't feeling back to normal in a day or two. "Let's just get this paperwork done, please, so I can keep my lunch date with Shawn." Lassiter's eyes rolled slightly at the mention of Shawn.
Juliet got up from her desk to bring some files to the filing cabinet and felt a wave of dizziness that caused her to spill the files all over the floor. "Damn it!" she said as she leaned over to gather them up. Lassiter wanted to say something but held his tongue. Upon standing back up, Juliet felt her stomach lurch.
Before Lassiter knew what had happened, Juliet made a run for the ladies room and he looked after her, concerned. The Chief, who was just passing by, also noticed O'Hara rush suddenly toward the restroom and furrowed her brow at Lassiter, expecting him to explain. He shrugged as did the Chief who returned to her office. When Juliet returned looking woozy, Lassiter interrogated her. "You threw up, didn't you?!"
"That's none of your business!" she snapped.
"Yes you did! O'Hara, you are sick and I am ordering you to go home now and get some rest!"
"Oh. You're ordering me now. Well, I'm sorry but as long as my boyfriend and his dad are in danger, I am going to stay here and keep working on this." She hated the thought of sitting at home when she knew there was something she could be doing to help the case.
"O'Hara!" he yelled, giving her a look that said, "This is final!" Then he softened his tone. As much as he hated it, he knew that Spencer was important to her and he would do anything to keep his partner from getting hurt. "I'll take care of it. Don't you worry. Just rest up."
"OK. Fine," she responded grudgingly, and packed up her things. Before she left, she sent Shawn a text….
"Not feeling well again. Lassiter sent me home. We should probably cancel lunch. Sorry sweetie. See you later at home. XOXO!"
…then hopped into her lime green Volkswagen and started the short drive home.
Despite being bitter about feeling sick and having to go home, Juliet was looking forward to spending another quiet evening with her boyfriend. They had had their issues recently, but she knew she was lucky to have him. It was still difficult for her to understand why he had lied to her for so long about who he really was or why he could be so childish and irresponsible sometimes. But she knew that he loved her and would always be there for her. She knew he had never lied to her about his feelings for her.
Her mind wandered back to that night about a month or so ago. It was about a week before they officially got back together…that night that he disappeared to help Gus, but ultimately destroyed a crime scene at Gus's office….
She had allowed him to spend the evening with her…just an innocent night out. At the time she still wasn't sure how she felt about Shawn's lie, but she was starting to cool off around him. He had been unrelenting in trying to win her back and begged that they at least go out to their favorite dinner spot. Dinner was followed by ice cream and a round or two of mini-golf, and by that time being with him was starting to feel normal and comfortable again.
They ended up going out for a drink at Tom Blair's Pub and then escaping the noisy atmosphere to the nearby beach. At first they just walked and talked about random things; work stuff, Shawn's favorite episode of the A-Team, the pros and cons of seeing Kenny G live – innocuous things, which then led to sharing some of their favorite memories of each other. The gentle swishing of the ocean and the cool breeze and starry night sky combined with that irresistible crooked smile and a touch of intoxication was enough to make her knees weak. And when he leaned in to kiss her she didn't stop him. His warm breath and soft lips that still tasted like pineapple even though she knew he hadn't eaten any since breakfast, if he even had any that day at all, gave her such a pleasant and safe feeling. It was so familiar but somehow long forgotten during all of the drama….the drama that suddenly didn't seem like so much of a big deal anymore. Next thing she knew she was inviting him home.
Making love to him was not like anything she had ever experienced with anyone else, and this time was one of the most incredible. He was so gentle, yet passionate. She had missed his touch so much that she couldn't help but be so uncharacteristically…impulsive…so…unprepared! The Bug screeched to a halt. "Oh God," Juliet exclaimed out loud. "I'm late!"