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It's a Gift (5/?)

This part is a little slow, mainly talk, and we get to see Henry.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four




Shawn stretched out dejectedly in the back seat. There had been nothing feminine in Corman’s apartment at all. And as it had been so long since the mysterious Janine had used a glass or utensil, they’d all been cleaned. All-in-all, a wasted trip.

“Lassiter is gonna be in an even worse mood now,” said Gus.

“You mean he can be worse?” Alan asked.

“Oh, yeah. I’ve been trying to teach him to loosen up a bit more, but it’s not working,” Shawn stated.

“Not a good student?”

“He’s better than Shawn was a most subjects.”

“C’mon, when am I going to need to know about two trains meeting?” He was saved from Gus’s know-it-all answer when his phone rang. “Hey, Jules! We’re on our way back. The whole thing was a waste of time.”

“I know. Carlton told me.”

“You already spoke with Lassie?”

“He’s my partner, Shawn. I had to tell him what I learned first.”

“So what did you learn?”

“The other manager is Christina Rogers and she was approached around the same time as Corman.”

“Nice work, Jules. You got a name?”

“Anne Wright.”

Shawn’s imagination began to conjure pictures.

“Shawn?”

“Sorry, Jules. I was…”

“Don’t try to explain.” She sounded a little exasperated.

“We’re on our way in. We can stop for Chinese on the way.”

“No, that’s all right. There’s nothing for you to do here right now, so you might as well call it a night.”

“’Kay. You call if you need anything.”

“Bye, Shawn.”

“Bye, Jules.” He ended the call. “That was Jules.”

“Never would have guessed,” said Gus. “You only said her name four times.”

”What news?” asked Alan.

Shawn relayed what Jules had told him. “I was thinking it was just a man and woman, but this puts a new spin on it.”

“It’s getting late. We’d better get you back to your hotel,” Gus told Alan.

“I don’t have one.”

“Where did you stay last night?”

“I made arrangements.”

“Well, I know where there’s a bed you can have for the night, free of charge.”

“What’s the catch, Shawn?”

“You’ll have to put up with my dad.”

*

The house was dark when they pulled up. “If I timed this right, we should have a couple hours before he gets back. Once we get you inside and settled, it’ll be hard for him to kick you out.”

“If your father’s first inclination is to chuck me out, why did you bring me here?”

“Because neither one of us has the room.” He unlocked the kitchen door and still couldn’t believe how neat his dad kept this place. He went straight to the fridge and grabbed some beers. “He doesn’t even have any decent leftovers.” He closed the door and reached for his phone. “How about Indian?”

“I haven’t any since that night at Raj’s,” Gus told him.

“Thai?”

“I bet you have the number of every takeaway on speed dial,” commented Alan.

“All the good ones.”

“Move over.” Alan opened the fridge and pulled out some chicken breasts, ketchup and yogurt before moving on to raid the spices and produce. “We’ve all the makings of a quick, nutritious dinner.”

Together they prepared the dinner and then Alan put it in the microwave. It beeped just as Shawn heard his dad pull into the driveway. “Okay, let me do the talking. Dad can be a bit of a bear at the best of times.”

Just to prove his point, the senior Spencer entered already complaining. “Shawn, I am not cooking for your--” He stopped when he saw them at the table. “What’s this?”

“Curried chicken,” answered Alan as he served up a fourth plate. “I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Spencer. I’ll be glad to reimburse you for the groceries.”

It wasn’t that often that Shawn saw his father stunned at something he didn’t do. “Who are you?” he finally said as he took the plate and sat down.

“Col. Alan Kelly.”

“Your new houseguest,” Shawn added as his father took the first bite. “He’s here to observe me for a potential job opportunity.”

Henry looked at Alan. “You want Shawn?” Alan nodded. “I guess you could do worse.”

“Thanks, Dad.” Shawn watched his father eat with gusto. “I take it he can stay?”

“It depends.” Henry looked at Alan. “What do you do for breakfast?”

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