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It's a Gift (9/13)

Yep, it's done (and I've already begun a sequel) The title is tentative so if you can come up with something better, perhaps more Psych-like, let me know.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight




That night, after dropping Alan off at his dad’s, Shawn made excuses for not staying for dinner. He had to keep his mind clear so Alan wouldn’t pick up any stray thoughts.

Gus then drove him home. “You’re not planning anything stupid.”

“No, just some Chinese and a Judd Nelson marathon. I feel I’ve been neglecting him recently.” He threw in a yawn for good measure.

Gus looked at him as if he didn’t believe it. He didn’t say anything, but just shook his head as he drove off.

Shawn ordered a #5 dinner special from his favorite Szechuan place and set up the DVDs. He grabbed a beer, flopped into his favorite seat and prepared to kill a few hours.

Dinner arrived partway through The Breakfast Club and was done around the same time as the movie. He then started St Elmo’s Fire and listened as he got changed for the evening.

He drove the Norton into town and parked it in a location central to the bars and clubs. Janine was still a girl who liked a good time and, as it was Friday, she would still be out. If she knew her life was in danger, she might change her ways. He didn’t exactly feel comfortable using her this way, but at least he wasn’t tethering her like a goat to lure a tiger.

He found her at the fourth club and tried to act as if he was working up the nerve to talk with her. He pretended to be shy, looking away when she turned to look in his direction. It worked because she walked over to join him.

“Hey there,” she said, slipping onto the stool next to him. “I don’t think I’ve seen you in here before.”

“It’s not my regular scene.”

“Why don’t you join my friends and me?”

Shawn could see her nervousness as she constantly moved her fingers; tapping them on the glass or fiddling with the straw. She was smart in not wanting to be alone.

“Do I know you? You look familiar.”

Do I continue or tell the truth? “Shawn Spencer. Janine, I’m here to help you.”

“I didn’t give you my name.” She broke their intimate tête-à-tête.

“I work with the Santa Barbara Police as a psychic. You’re in terrible danger.”

“If this is a come on line, it’s pretty poor.” She tried to be light but Shawn knew he hit a nerve.

“I’m not here about the burglary. I’m here by myself because I think you can help us get the man who blackmailed you.”

“Look, I never met the guy. It was all done over the phone.”

“Then that’s how we’ll catch him.” He smiled. “You still have his number?”

“Yeah.” She took her phone out of her purse and searched the contacts. “This is it.”

“OK, now when you call, say you’re nervous with the police search, and, with Christina dead, you’re going to meet up with friends in, say, Boston.”

“Chris is dead? Oh, my God. What—“

“She was murdered.” He put a hand on her wrist. “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you, but you needed to know how serious this is.” Shawn pushed forward, hating to mislead her. “The police believe it was a mob hit because of what you took.”

She lifted her tear-stained face. “But we only opened the boxes he told us to.”

“That’s why he hired you, so none of this would get back to him. If you call him and say what told you, then there’s a chance we can catch him.”

She swallowed and regained some of her composure. “Okay.” With trembling hands, she selected the number.

Shawn listened as Janine spoke to the killer on the other end of the line. Her sniffles and fresh sobs added to the story. This so wasn’t one of his better moments.

She ended the call. “He tried to talk me out of leaving but I told him I was already at the airport. Was that enough?”

“It was great. Now get yourself to the police station so they can protect you.”

“Thank you, Shawn!” She rushed back to her friends and he hoped one of them would take her to the station.

Shawn finished his beer and left the club to head over to Lynch’s place.

*

Shawn rested the Norton out of direct sight from Lynch’s apartment—and the undercover police car. Having the police see him would ruin everything. He’d follow Lynch, catch him with the loot from the heist—that is such a great word—and then have a vision for the police, giving Jules her smoking gun.

Twenty minutes later, Lynch came out, strolling casually to his car. Granted, if he acted as if his carefully laid plan were falling apart, that would make the police suspicious.

Shawn followed at a distance, passing the police once they had stopped outside Lynch’s office. Why would he be here this time of night? Maybe he forgot something earlier. There was something about his manner that made Shawn know this wasn’t his final stop. He rode around the block to the other, lesser-known entrance to the lot. A silver Toyota was just pulling out and Shawn saw Lynch’s face as he drove past. “Gotcha!”

He followed the Toyota to the warehouse district where they were converting the buildings into offices and apartments. There was less cover, so he pretended to be having engine trouble. It gave him a reason to be there for any amount of time. He took off his helmet and bent over the bike, hiding his face from Lynch. He watched the man’s reflection as he entered two buildings down. It seemed the ideal place as no one would associate one of the ADAs with this area of town.

Having delayed as long as he could, Shawn stood and prepared to get on the Norton, planning to go around the back of the building and sneak in. The blow to his head would remind him that plans didn’t always go they way they were supposed to.

*

Shawn came to with a pounding head and discovered he was tied to a chair placed in the middle of an open floor space. The interior renovation hadn’t even started yet. Lynch was packing the more fragile items into cloth bags. “Do you need a hand?”

“It’s nice of you to offer to help me move, but there’s no need.”

“If I had known how in need you were of interior décor, I would have brought something, but it’s really hard to find a secret lair-warming gift.” He winced as he cocked his head to the side. Concussion. He’d had enough to know.

“Ah, there’s that famous Shawn Spencer wit. I’m surprised you didn’t see it coming.”

“Yes, well, I think the spirits purposely don’t show me my own future. I guess they think I’d use it on the lottery or something. Looks like you don’t have that problem. And they say crime doesn’t pay.”

“This isn’t crime, it’s justice.”

“I know why you’re doing this, I do, but, as a lawyer, did you even think that since they got off on a technicality, you could catch them on one? C’mon, they got Capone on tax evasion.”

“This hurts them more, Shawn. Getting their wrists slapped in a white collar prison doesn’t get to them as much as sealing their prized possessions.” Lynch sealed another box.

“I gotta say, using people who pass through the system was a smart move. Telling them you’ll commute their sentence if they help you. How did you keep them from turning on you?” Janine only had a phone number. She didn’t know who it was. “You approached through phone calls. If they didn’t know it was you, they couldn’t turn you in. You told them that you had a member of the DA’s office in your debt and they would handle everything. That’s quote a scheme.”

Lynch stopped his packing. “Too bad you figured it out, Shawn. You know what happens now.”

Crap, I should’ve kept my mouth shut. “Well, I guess it can’t hurt if you tell me why you killed Christina.”

“The execution-style didn’t fool you, hunh?”

“Not me, no. The police on the other hand, believed it. Why?”

“I didn’t want to, but she was getting jumpy and was going to back out of the deal. I tried to talk her out of it…”

“But shot her in the back of the head instead.”

“You’re not in a position to taunt me.”

“In this position, taunting is all I have left.”

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