Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(8)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(8)
Author: Ally Carter

“So who are your friends?” She turned back and sighed. “Local cops?”

“Interpol, actually.”

“Nice,” Kat said, drawing out the word.

“I thought you’d be impressed.”

“It’s every little girl’s dream,” she said. “Interpol surveillance. And kittens.”

The church bells started to chime again. A bus pulled to a stop in front of them, blocking their view of the square, sheltering them from prying eyes, and in that split second, Kat’s father reached for her, gripping her shoulders. “Look, Kat. I don’t want you to worry about this thing—this Italy thing. No one’s going to hurt me. This guy doesn’t care about me. He cares about his paintings, and I don’t have them, so . . .” He shrugged.

“He thinks you have them.”

“But I don’t,” he said in that no-nonsense kind of way that all good fathers and great thieves are born with. “I’ve got a twenty-four-hour tail and a solid alibi. Trust me, Kat. Taccone isn’t going to come for me.”

She almost believed him. She wondered if he believed it himself. But Kat had learned at a very young age that thieves live and die based on perception—her whole life was a lesson in sleight of hand. If someone thought her father had the paintings, then the truth wasn’t going to save him.

“You’ve got to talk to him,” Kat pleaded. “Or hide, or run, or—”

“Give it till the end of the week, Kat. He’ll turn over enough rocks, and enough things will crawl out that he’ll figure out the truth.”

“Dad—” she started, but it was too late. The bus was moving and her father was already pulling away, his lips barely moving as he said, “So where does your school think you are right now? Do you need me to write you a note?”

“You already did,” Kat lied. “It was faxed directly to Headmaster Franklin from your London office yesterday morning.”

“That’s my girl,” he whispered, and the previous unpleasant conversation seemed a million years ago. “Now go on, get back to school.”

Kat stalled, not knowing whether she should admit to him that she’d been kicked out—that the biggest job she’d ever pulled had just blown up in her face—or whether to let the con live on.

“Do they give you a winter break at the Colgan School?” His gaze was locked on the guide at the front of the group. “I was thinking about Cannes for Christmas.”

“Cannes for Christmas,” Kat echoed softly.

“Or maybe Madrid?” he asked.

Kat held back a grin and whispered, “Surprise me.”

“Kat.” His voice stopped her. She even risked looking at him, framed by the ancient church and cobblestone square. “I don’t suppose you can help your old man out?”

Kat smiled and started through the crowd, clutching her camera, just another tourist. When she saw a pair of Paris cops and shouted, “Excuse me!” she sounded like an ordinary girl on the verge of panic. She had a death grip on her purse and looked utterly helpless as she rushed toward them. “Excuse me, officer!”

“Yes?” one of the cops said in accented English. “Is something wrong?”

“Those men!” Kat screamed, pointing at the two plainclothes Interpol officers who had left the café and were now chatting with their colleague on the bench. “They tried to get me to . . .” Kat trailed off. The cops looked impatient but intrigued.


“They . . .” Kat gestured for one of the cops to come closer, then whispered in his ear. In a flash, both men were pushing through the crowd.

“Vous là!” the cop called to the surveillance team in rapid French. “Vous là! Arrêtez!” The Interpol officers were almost to the fountain when the cops called again. “Arrêtez-moi disent!”

The men tried to pull away, but it was too late. People were staring. The cops were bearing down. French obscenities were flying. Pockets were searched and I.D.s were studied, and through it all, the pigeons kept scavenging, the bells kept ringing.

And Kat knew that her father was already gone.

She turned her back on the chaos, ready for a taxi and a long, quiet plane ride over the Atlantic. But suddenly, someone grasped her arms. She heard a car door open behind her, and for the second time in two days, she found herself in the back of a limo, greeted by another unexpected voice.

“Hello, Katarina.”

Chapter 5

The only person who consistently called Kat by her full name was Uncle Eddie, but the man in the back of the car could not have been more different from her great-uncle. She studied him—his cashmere coat and matching suit, his silk tie and slicked-back hair, and she remembered Hale’s warning: He’s a different kind of bad. Her first thought was to fight, but two men were settling into place on either side of her, and Kat knew it wasn’t an option. So instead she asked, “I don’t suppose you’ll let me go if I ask nicely?”

The man’s thin lips broke into a smile. “I was told you had your father’s sense of humor.” His dark eyes remained cold as he studied her. “And that you have your mother’s eyes.”

Despite the circumstances, that was what caught Kat off guard. “You knew my mother?”

“I knew of her,” he corrected. “She was a very talented woman. I’m told she too was like a cat. That is what you prefer to be called, is it not, Katarina?”

His English bore a faint accent she couldn’t place—not entirely Italian—as if he were a citizen of the world.

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