Sophie teaches ballet too
On their latest job Sophie was to be the instructor for the drama class. Something she was going to love doing. At least she thought she was. Right up until the time they told her that she was going to be doing a ballet production.
But that wasn't the worst part. She had Parker in her class. So that meant Parker would.. oh no it was to awful to put into words. Parker, ballet, production, stage, audience. God she hoped there were no forks or knives in this ballet.
The first day of class they were to pick out the ones who were the best at ballet. That took all day long. They could only find six that could do ballet and one of those was Parker, and she was as good if not better than the other ones too. How she knew ballet, no one knew. But you can bet she'd be asking as soon as they got out of class and back to their sort of office,6 back at the hotel.
But when she got back to the hotel Parker wasn't there. She wasn't anywhere. Her phone was turned off. So was her ear bud. She even had put it in Sophie's pocket so she couldn't be found. She'd gone off the grid as Hardison liked to put it.
Sophie was beginning to worry. That caused Hardison to worry.
Now, that caused Eliot to get pissed. So off Eliot went to find Parker. His first stop was the roof. She loved roof tops. Being in a foreign town it was the likeliest place to find her. Or on the roof of a hundred taller buildings. But he hoped this one was it.
After he got to the top floor he looked for a roof hatch. When he finally saw it, he noticed it was unlatched. Thank god she was here and he wouldn't have to search the city for her.
When he got on the roof he saw her sitting with her legs dangling over the ledge. He hated when she did that. He sat next to her and asked "Are you alright darlin?" She turned to look at him and said "No, I'm not alright. Now leave me alone! Please."
But he simply said "Can't do that sugar. You've got everyone in a tizzy wondering where you are and if you're alright. So if I go down, you go down too. Unless you want everyone up here. I can arrange that too." Her reaction was "God no I don't want that. Okay you win." While talking a mile a minute Parker told him what her problem was.
"I don't want to do ballet. Sophie has to do a ballet thing at the school we're working on. I'm in her class keeping an eye on that cheery girl. So now I have to do ballet. I don't want to do ballet. Now do you understand?"
"Whoa whoa there girl. Slow don't a bit and take a breath. Yes I think I understand most of that. But one thing i don't understand is what's the big deal about doing ballet? If you don't want to do it that bad, and for a good reason, I'm sure Nate will change your job. So what gives? " Well... I don't like to do ballet because... we'll because the foster mother, that I actually liked, took me to ballet lessons. I was like 5 I think. She was old, but really nice. We went every week and then got an ice cream on the way home. After a while we started going twice a week. I guess cause I was doing so well. They said I was very good and my foster mom would give me a hug and say how proud she was of me. Then she got sick and they came and took me away. I didn't want to go away just cause she was sick. She could get better, and then where would I be. But what I wanted didn't matter, never did. So doing ballet makes me cry. Cry a lot. I can't do ballet. I just can't."
"I thought you didn't remember things from your childhood". Eliot said. When she'd finished talking. "So how do you know that you don't like it?"
"I said I don't remember a lot of thing. It's no one business but mine what I do remember or what I don't. But this I remember. Remember like it was yesterday. It was one of the few nice things that happened to me. I don't want to ruin this memory by doing it for a job. For a bad guy" Parker shouted.
Eliot noticed she had tears running down her cheeks. So he leaned her head into his shoulder. Kissed the top of her head then told her. "I'll talk to Nate. We'll work it out. Okay darlin?"
Parker nodded her head, but didn't say a word. They sat like that for a few minutes more then Eliot asked her "are you ready to go back down now?" Again she just nodded her head but didn't say anything.
Eliot stood up put out his hand to help her up. Then they went downstairs.
As soon as they entered the room they were bombarded with questions.
Eliot shouted "STOP!" They all just stopped and stared at him.
Now that he had their attention he continued.
"Parker, you go ahead on into your room and lay down a while to calm down. I'll come get you when dinners done." Okay? She nodded yes and went on.
Then he turned to the rest of the room and said "while I cook dinner I will explain everything and answer any questions I can. But no one, and I mean no one , goes in to bother Parker. Deal?"
They all looked at each other, then said deal.
So Eliot started with, "Nate Parker needs to be pulled out of the ballet class thing, like today". Looking at Nate he said "I know you run the show, but this isn't a question. It's a this will be done. But I'll explain why." Nate nodded okay.
This left Sophie upset and disappointed, so she said "no, not okay. Parker is very good at ballet we need here".
Eliot said "you weren't asked. You'll need to find someone else. As I told Nate, I will explain why". He looked at her until she too nodded her head okay. Then she said "I guess you wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't important". "It is." He said Then he started to tell them the things Parker had told him on the roof. By the time he was done there was hardly a dry eye in the place. But that meant that they all understood and that there would be no working on getting her to change her mind. He had one last request of everyone before he was done. "I don't want anyone asking her about any of this. It's her memory. It's probably the only good ones she has. So don't go messing it up for her. It's bad enough we messed with it today". They all agreed.
By then dinner was almost ready so he went to get Parker to eat. She was sleeping. All the stress from the day had wore her out. He left her sleeping. He'd make her a plate so she could eat later.
During dinner everyone looked to Nate. From Hardison he got "So now what are we going to do"? From Sophie it was "Whose going to cover what positions now?" Then finally Eliot said "Do we bail and come back another time, or call in help?" That was too many questions at one time. So he answered "Slow down. First, no we don't bail or call in help. At least not yet. We all will keep the positions we had today". At this Eliot stood up ready to pummel Nate, but he quickly said "all but Parker." Eliot sat back down. Then he continued. "Sort of anyway." With a glare from Eliot he held up his hand implying give me a minute to explain. Then continued. "Parker can't do ballet with a broken leg Right?" They nodded yes. "They do have helper buddies for students on crutches or in a wheel chair right?" For this one he looked to Hardison. Who quickly went to his computer checked and said "yup sure do".
"Okay then. Parker will have a broken leg. Broke so bad she needs a wheel chair to get around. Causing her to need a helper. Sophie you make sure your student is her helper." She nodded, "yes I can do that."
"During your class, first is that girl any good in ballet?" Sophie scoffed and said "please. That girls got three left feet. She can't even do regular dancing." "Okay then during your class you'll have them go to the library and write papers or such on ballet for credit. Get her close to Parker. Trusting Parker. Yes. Yes that will do." Looking up he said, "this just might be better than plan A." Parker came out about half way through dinner. Eliot made her a plate and got her up to speed on the new plan. Then asked her, will that work for you? " She said "yeah that's fine. Yeah that will work out good. No class, no ballet no watching ballet. I like it." With the decisions made and everyone happy they finished their dinner. Then they retreated to the living space. Every one told of what they had learned that day. Which to be honest wasn't much.
They were trying to find out which of the student council members in charge of their scholarship fund was draining it. Now the scholarship fund they were in charge of was the student council one. Donations and scholarship awards were strictly theirs to make. There were four student that made the decisions and had access to the fund. One of which was their client. She found the shortage and was concerned that the students who needed it wouldn't be able to get it. But on the other hand she was concerned that it was made to look like she had made the withdrawals. Which she hadn't.
When doing the background search Hardison hadn't found any funny stuff with any of the student. There was also no large deposits made in any of their names. But their client. So back to school they went.
The girl Parker was in charge of befriending was named Paula Stone. Beautiful girl. Full figured, long blonde hair, just like Parkers. Same height and and almost could be Parkers sister. She seemed nice enough from a distance. But starting today she would be pushing Parker all around school. Yea! For me Parker thought. But it had to be done for the job.
Hardison was in charge of a guy named Peter Peterson. Boy did his parents have a sense of humor. Five foot seven, blonde hair, and skinny as a twig. Your typical looking nerd. Which fit at least in Nate's mind as he was a computer whiz, so the match was a given.
Eliot was in charge of the only person on the council that Nate thought he wouldn't beat to death. A girl called Susie Daily. Very lovely personality, smooth beautiful pale skin and a luscious full head of red curly hair. Just his type.
Now Sophie was in charge of getting the written information from each of them and passing it off to Nate.
Nate was working in the office as a guidance counselor. This gave him access to any files or paper work they might need on some one.
By the end of the first week everything was still a bust. No one had gotten a single piece of evidence on any of them.
Nate thought about something he'd seen at the school today and asked Hardison "does anyone at the school ,not just the council members, had a larger than normal deposit to their account." "Yes boss there was. The dean, a Mr. Roger Millet. But why would one of them girls give him a chunk of their money?"
"I don't think they did. I think the reason we can't get anything from these students is because they didn't do it. Call everyone in."
So once everyone got there, Nate explained his theory.
Some paperwork he'd come across at the office. He'd been looking for anything he could find on the scholarship program. One thing caught his eye.
The startup papers for the fund. It stated that there would always be four people in charge of the fund. Four students. However in case one of the four students couldn't fulfill their part, the dean would take their spot until another student could be chosen.
Eliot said "it would of been nice to know this last week. We wouldn't of been wasting our time this week. Why didn't some one tell us this?" Everyone looked to Hardison. Who said "hey man don't be looking at me. No one asked me to look up the bylaws of this thing. Only background and financials on the students. So don't be hating on me." After a little more bickering Nate said "enough! It's no ones fault. The information we got was faulty. I think it was that way on purpose. The dean didn't want anyone to know, or remember, he had access to the funds. He's been siphoning fund off the account. Probably for quite a while. If our client hadn't noticed it he would have kept on doing it. Now all we need is to do is to catch him in the act".
After everyone was given their new assignments they called it a night.
Once they knew he had a weak spot for artwork, all they had to do was sell him one that he would need more cash for than he had on hand. But it would be such a deal he wouldn't be able to turn it down. Since they were in the same state Nate call Bonanno in on this one. Two days later detective captain Bonanno was arresting the dean. Most of the funds had been replaced with what was still in the deans accounts and the rest plus a little more would be put in after the sale of the artwork he had acquired with the funds.
The client was happy that the scholarship would be able to provide for more students now that they had found out how much was missing.
The team was happy because they got to go home. Plus they didn't have to go to class any more. Not that they were not able to do the school work. But really those three sitting in classes all day. Parker must be bouncing off walls by now.
The only one not happy was Sophie. She really was enjoying teaching that class, even if it was ballet.
So Parker surprised her with a little bit of her own ballet. They all just watched as she danced. It was beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch. She got a standing ovation from the team when she finished. Smiling shyly, she said "thank you all for not being mad that I didn't want to be in the ballet class."