Shawn pulled at the rope binding his wrists together and to the chair he was currently sitting on.
“Mr Burton, this is pointless,” he told the big man standing before him. “All you’ve done is earn yourself an arrest warrant for kidnapping.”
The guy leaned down, his hands on the arms of Shawn’s chair, his face close enough to Shawn’s for him to be slightly revolted by the man’s bad breath.
“You ruined everything,” Burton growled. “All you had to do was back off; she would never have told those lies in court if you hadn’t interfered.”
“Dude, you were stalking her!”
The moment the words came out, Shawn regretted them. His dad had always told him that he ran his mouth off before thinking. Now he’d just proved the old man right by provoking a lunatic who’d kidnapped him. Good going, Shawn.
After searching through his records, O’Hara could only find one address for James Burton; his former apartment. When he had been convicted, however, the apartment building he had been managing had been turned over to a new manager so that address would be useless. She looked for family and friends, anyone he could be staying and came up with his mother.
Lassiter got his jacket, the others following him to go and speak to the mother in the hope that she would tell them something that would lead to Shawn.
“OK, let’s go.” Lassiter turned to Patrick, Gus and Henry. “You are staying here.”
No matter how much the three men protested, Lassiter was firm on the subject and the three reluctantly sat down. Rigsby dropped into the chair next to Patrick.
“Shawn’ll be fine,” he said.
Patrick was glad of his positivity but it didn’t shake the feeling that things didn’t always turn out the way you wanted them to. He’d lost his family before and it had almost destroyed him; he didn’t think he could face losing someone else, especially not someone who meant as much to him as Shawn did.
That thought surprised him a little; he hadn’t really thought about it too deeply, simply enjoying what he and Shawn had. Now he realised it was a little more than just ‘having fun’, at least on his part.
“I hate this,” he said to Rigsby, getting up to pace to the window. “I can help, they know I can.”
Rigsby shook his head. “You’re too close to this,” he pointed out. “If were back at the CBI, Lisbon would tell you the same thing.”
Henry got up to lean against the window sill next to Patrick and they stood in silence for a while before Henry finally spoke. “That kid of mine has been getting into trouble since he was born,” he said. “Thing is, he always managed to talk his way out of it as well. Then he got mixed up in this whole psychic mess…”
“I know all about the psychic mess, as you call it,” Patrick said.
Henry smiled faintly. “I guess you do.” He studied Patrick for a moment. “I gotta admit, I was kinda surprised when I met you. You’re not what I was expecting.”
“That a good thing?”
“Definitely,” Henry told him.
Shawn came to with a crick in his neck and no feeling in his hands. He tried to move but the memory of exactly where he was came racing back. He flexed his fingers to get the feeling back into them and glared around the room. All around, furniture and boxes were piled high, making the space feel even smaller to Shawn, sitting in a cleared area on his chair in the centre.
It was dark in here, the only light coming from a small window high up on the wall. At least that told him it was daylight outside; when he’d last looked up the sky outside had been darkening. That meant he’d been here all night. The thought didn’t do anything to ease the gnawing worry in the pit of Shawn’s stomach. What if no one had even missed him yet? No, they would. Patrick would realise something was wrong or Gus would. Even Lassie would eventually begin to wonder why Shawn wasn’t there to annoy the crap out of him.
There was no sign of Burton, nothing since he had given Shawn something to drink… That must have been drugged, Shawn thought. He’d wondered how in the hell he’d managed to sleep in this predicament.
Burton hadn’t seemed to know what he was actually doing last night. To begin with, Shawn had thought this was about revenge for getting the man arrested but then Burton had started going on about Louisa Reynolds.
“I know why you made her tell those lies about me,” he’d said. “You just wanted her all for yourself, didn’t you? Had to get me out of the way…”
There was no way that Shawn could argue that. If he denied it, Burton would accuse him of lying to save his own skin and if he played along and confirmed it, Burton would likely hurt him. The thought of pointing out that Ms Reynolds was missing one vital part of the anatomy to be of romantic interest to him had been tempting but ultimately would lead to the same outcome.
Well, there was no way he was going to sit here and wait for that nutcase to come back. If he could get out of these ropes then he could find a way out of this damned room, he thought, trying to work the knots loose.
Patrick pushed off from the window sill and straightened his jacket.
“I’ve had enough of sitting around,” he announced, heading for the door.
Rigsby jumped to his feet and hurried to catch him up. “They told you to wait here.”
Patrick continued walking until he reached the car and climbed in, as did Rigsby. “Yes, and I did for a while. Now I’m not.”
He turned as Henry and Gus got into the back seat and smiled as Henry asked, “So, where are we going?”
Patrick took directions from Gus as they drove out to the apartment building that had been managed by Burton. It wasn’t the Ritz, not by a long shot, Patrick thought as he looked up at the four storey building. The whole place was in serious need of cleaning up, a view confirmed when they got inside the lobby.
“That’s the manager’s apartment,” Gus told him. “I hate to ask, but what exactly are we going to do? I mean, not one of us is actually officially meant to be here.”
He had a point. They had a CBI agent who wasn’t here officially, a consultant to the CBI, a civilian and an ex-cop.
“Let’s just hope he doesn’t ask for ID,” he told Gus as he knocked on the paint-peeling door. Gus and Spencer held back, not wanting to make them any more obvious than they already were.
The door opened a crack and a man peered out. “Who are you?”
Patrick offered a charming smile. “Jane and Rigsby,” he said. “CBI.”
Well, he’d never actually said that they were working on a CBI case; it wasn’t his fault if the man assumed that they did.
“Mr Wachowski? We need to speak with you about James Burton, the manager who was here before you took over.”
The man frowned. “I thought that psycho was locked up?”
“May we come inside?” When the man removed the security chain, Patrick and Rigsby followed him into the lounge and took a seat.
“I was wondering if you had a forwarding address for Mr Burton,” Patrick asked.
Wachowski looked at him as though he were crazy. “Yeah, jail.” He eyed them thoughtfully for a moment. “He’s out, isn’t he?”
Patrick’s expression didn’t change, giving nothing away. “Who collected his belongings? I assume that he wasn’t given the time to clear his apartment himself.”
“No. When I got here they just told me to box all his shit up and they’d have it sent to his mother,” Wachowski told them. “Thing is, she wouldn’t take it. Told me to put it into storage, so I sent it there instead.”
“Would you still have the address for that storage facility?”
Henry read the piece of paper in his hand one last time and then the number above the metal shutter of the unit.
“This is the place.”
Gus hung back near to the car as the others got out and headed for the unit. “Maybe we should call Lassiter,” he said. “He told us to keep out of this.”
Henry glanced back at him and rolled his eyes as Patrick pointed out,
“Actually, he only told us to wait at the station. You’ve already broken that rule so you might as well come with us.”
“You’re as bad as Shawn,” Gus grumbled. “He never listens to a damn word I say either.”
Ignoring him, the other three turned to the storage unit. The front was almost completely taken up with a metal shutter, a smaller door to the left for easy access. Both had heavy padlocks on them.
“Up there.” Henry pointed to a tiny window about eight feet off the ground and then looked around at the others. “Well I’m not climbing up there.”
They looked between each other for a moment before, as one, they turned to Gus, seeing his eyes widen comically as he realised that he had just been volunteered.
“I’ll give you a boost,” Rigsby told him. “Sorry, man, but you’re the lightest so, up you go.”
Still protesting that they should leave this to the police, Gus reluctantly balanced on one foot in Rigsby’s laced hands and pulled himself up to the window.
“I can’t, no, hold on,” he leaned a little further to the right before turning back to speak to the others. “I see him! He’s in there!”
Unfortunately, in turning around to speak, Gus upset the precarious hold that Rigsby had on him, knocking them both over. They landed in an undignified heap on the concrete, Rigsby cursing like crazy as Gus apologised.
Shawn frowned, concentrating on the commotion outside. It sounded like an argument but he couldn’t hear much more than muffled voices. Or maybe burglars. Great, he thought; how pathetic would that be, for robbers to find him tied to a damn chair in a storage unit. The sounds outside stopped for a moment and he strained his ears to listen for them, jumping at the loud crash.
“Shawn? It’s OK, we’re here to get you out.”
No, he had to be imagining that; the voice sounded like his dad. Another voice chipped in just before two men rounded the corner of the pile of boxes.
“Patrick? Dad?” OK, so he hadn’t imagined it. “Damn, I have never been so glad to see you.”
Patrick quickly cut the ropes on his wrists and pulled him to his feet. He’d been sitting for so long that his legs had gone to sleep and so Patrick supported his weight as they made their way to the door.
His best friend beamed happily when he saw Shawn, his attention quickly turning back to the phone he held to his ear and listening.
“Rigsby is in the car,” Patrick told him, telling the others to get in as well. He wanted to be as far away from here as he could before James Burton noticed that his captive was missing.
They all bundled into the car and headed back to the police station. Patrick sat in the back with Shawn. The other man had curled up against his side, refusing to let go despite the fact that his dad was sitting on his other side. He was so quiet, something that Patrick wasn’t used to; usually Shawn talked non-stop about anything that happened to come into his head whether it was relevant or even made sense. This silent Shawn worried him. Of course, despite his usual ‘I don’t care’ façade, Patrick knew that something such as this would affect him. No that he would let the others see that, however.
“I knew you’d come and find me,” Shawn told Patrick eventually, reaching up to pull him down for a kiss.
There was a dramatic sigh from his other side. “Just because I know what you two get up to, don’t mean I want to sit next to it,” Henry grumbled. Shawn actually smiled as Patrick’s face pinked slightly. “Besides, it’s not like he came to get you on his own.”
Shawn could see Gus nodding in the front seat. “I know. Thank you.”
Lassiter was not a happy bunny, Shawn thought as he watched the Detective getting madder and madder as Patrick and the others told him what had happened. Well, not Gus; he had chosen to back himself out of the line of fire and was waiting until things calmed down again before re-emerging. Agent Rigsby was keeping quiet as well but his dad was on top form.
“Maybe if you’d bothered to listen to Mr Jane here you’d have been with us when we found my boy,” he pointed out. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m taking Shawn home.”
Henry walked out, the other three following, to collect Shawn from his seat in Lassiter’s office. Shawn looked up at Patrick and his dad noticed.
“Come on,” he told Patrick and Rigsby. “Since I don’t guess you’ll be going back just yet, you better come with us.”
It wasn’t until they reached the house that Patrick realised how exhausted he was. He was used to not sleeping much and it didn’t really bother him. In the last day, however, he’d spent nearly the whole time worrying about Shawn and now it caught up with him. He could see that the others were in a similar state, Henry announcing that he was going to bed as soon as he was sure his guests were alright.
As Rigsby dropped onto the couch, leaning back comfortably, Patrick followed Shawn up to his old room, getting him settled into bed before standing to go back downstairs.
“Don’t go.” Shawn grabbed his hand to stop him. “Come to bed, please.”
Patrick nodded, quickly shedding his suit draping his clothes over the back of a chair, and slid beneath the covers. As soon as he did, Shawn snuggled closer.
“You will stay, won’t you?”
“I’m not going anywhere, Shawn,” Patrick told him softly. And he meant it.