Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(14)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(14)
Author: Ally Carter

“Art,” Kat said.

“Private collection,” Hale added.

Simon glanced up from the table. “Yours?”

Hale laughed. “I wish.”

“Is it our objective to make it yours?” Simon’s eyes grew wide.

Hale and Kat exchanged a look. Hale’s grin seemed to admit that the thought had crossed his mind. Then he leaned closer and said, “It’s not exactly a typical operation.”

Simon wasn’t fazed; his mind was too full of theories and algorithms and exponential alternatives for typical to have any meaning for him anymore.

He studied the blueprints in silence for ten minutes, before looking up at Kat. “In my professional opinion, I’d say it’s a pass. Unless this place is Fort Knox. Wait a second.” His eyes shone. “Is it Fort Knox?”

“No,” Hale and Kat said in unison.

“Then I wouldn’t hit it,” he said, pushing the blueprints away.

“It’s already been hit,” Kat confided.

“Your dad?”

“Why does everyone keep saying that?” Kat exclaimed.

Hale took off his sunglasses to look Simon in the eyes. His voice barely carried over the sounds of the laughter and splashes from the pool. “We would like very much to know who hit it.”

“Who hit this?” Simon jabbed his finger at the center of the blueprints. “It’s not a big list, I can tell you that.”

“The smaller the better, my friend,” Hale said with a pat on Simon’s back. “The smaller the better.”

“Can I keep these?” Simon asked.

“Sure,” Kat said. “We’ve got a spare set. And, Simon . . . thanks.”

She was already standing and starting to walk away, when Simon asked, “This is why you’re back, isn’t it?”

Kat squinted against the bright sun. She felt a million miles from the gray-skied campus of Colgan.

“Yeah.” She glanced at Hale. “It’s kind of . . .”

Simon waved her away. “I don’t need to know. I was just wondering if it had anything to do with those two guys who have been following us since we left the lecture.”

Of all the people Kat expected to see on the Las Vegas strip, Arturo Taccone’s goons were not on the list. They hadn’t tried to blend in among the tourists and high rollers— hadn’t taken a place at the tables, or positioned themselves by the slots—and that, more than anything, infuriated her. Together, Goon 1 and Goon 2 were five hundred pounds of European muscle.

And yet Kat had missed them.

She worried what else she might be missing as she rushed Hale and Simon away from the pool.

When Kat looked back, she saw Goon 2 raising his left arm, pointing at his watch.

“Kat?” Simon asked.

“Keep walking.”

“What time is it?” Kat wondered aloud as she and Hale walked across the tarmac to the Hale family’s private plane. “Let me think . . . Twelve hours in the air . . . That’ll put us there—”

“High noon,” Hale answered. “Give or take.”

“Okay, first thing tomorrow we hit the streets around Taccone’s place. Somebody saw something.”

“I got it covered.”

“The DiMarcos might be in town.”

“Actually, they’re in jail.”

“All seven of them?”

Hale shrugged. “It was an interesting October.”

Kat shook her head and tried to tell herself that not everything had changed. “Okay, then we should call—”

“I said, I’ve got it.” Hale’s voice was firmer now. Kat stopped in her tracks and stared at him.

“Define got it.”

“Hey, I’m more than just a delightful travel companion, you know.” He grinned. “I’m not exactly friendless.”

“Who?” Kat asked.

But Hale kept walking. “A friend.”

Kat reached for his arm and stopped him. “A friend of yours? A friend of mine? Or a friend of ours?”

He broke free of her grip and stepped away, hands in his pockets and a dark smile on his face. “Are we going to have a problem, Katarina?” he asked, sounding eerily like Uncle Eddie.

“What?” she asked, feigning innocence. “I’m just wondering who he is? Someone you and the Bagshaws used in Germany?”

“Luxembourg, actually.” Hale paused and turned around. “Technically, the Bagshaws and I did a job in Luxembourg.” Kat started to say something—wanted to say something—but the words didn’t come. “You were gone, Kat.” Hale wasn’t teasing anymore.

“I know.”

“You were at Colgan.”

“I was only there three months.”

“That’s a long time, Kat. In our world, that’s a long time.” He took a deep breath. “Besides, your heart left a long time before the rest of you followed.”

“Well, I’m back now.” She started for the plane. “And there’s a really small list of people who can do this thing, and an even smaller list you can trust to do it, so—”

“Your dad and Uncle Eddie weren’t the only people you left when you went away, you know.” Kat heard the words fly toward her across the tarmac. She turned, remembering the stale air of Hale’s mother’s room, and she knew she was looking at the one person in her life who was more used to being left than leaving.

He looked away, then back again. “Either we’re a team or we aren’t. Either you trust me or you don’t.” Hale took a step toward her. “What’s it going to be, Kat?”

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