Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(12)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(12)
Author: Ally Carter

“I’m here,” Kat said in a softer voice.

She didn’t say, I can hear you.

She didn’t tell him, I came home.

She didn’t promise, I’m not going anywhere.

There were at least a dozen things that she might have said to reclaim her place at the table, but there was only one that really mattered. “Taccone wants his paintings back.”

Uncle Eddie studied her. “Of course he does.”

“But Dad doesn’t have them.”

“Your father isn’t one to ask for help, Katarina, especially not from me.”

“Uncle Eddie, I need your help.”

She watched her uncle take a long serrated knife from a block by the stove and slice three pieces of warm bread. “What can I do?” Uncle Eddie asked in his I’m just an old man tone.

“I need to know who did the Taccone job,” Kat told him.

He rolled back to the table, handed her a piece of bread and a plate of butter. “And why would you need to know that?” he asked. But it wasn’t a question—it was a test. Of knowledge. Of loyalty. Of how far Kat was willing to crawl to get back to where she’d been last summer.

“Because whoever did the Taccone job has Taccone’s paintings.”

“And . . .”

Kat and Hale looked at each other. “And we’re going to steal them.” Kat felt a surge of strength as she said the words. Like confession, it was good for the soul.

“Eat your bread, Katarina,” Uncle Eddie told her, and Kat obeyed. It was the first meal she’d had since Paris.

“This is a serious thing you’re trying to do,” Uncle Eddie said. “Who, may I ask, is this we of which you speak?”

Hale looked at her. He opened his mouth to answer, but Kat cut him off. “Hale and I can do it.”

“Then this is a very serious thing. I’m afraid it might be difficult to accomplish from the Colgan School. . . .”

If the stories were to be believed, Uncle Eddie had once won a million dollars in one weekend playing cards in Monte Carlo. Without cheating. For the first time in her life, Kat believed in the power of her uncle’s poker face.

She lowered her gaze and told her uncle what he already knew: “It turns out the Colgan School and I have had a parting of ways.”

“I see.” Her uncle nodded but didn’t gloat. He didn’t have to.

“We need a name, Uncle Eddie,” Hale said.

“People genuinely like your father, Katarina.” Uncle Eddie thumbed his nose and muttered, “Although why, I do not understand. But he has friends.” He placed a rough hand on top of hers. “Let me make some calls. It might take a day or—”

“We don’t have a day or two.” Kat felt herself growing angry. “We know you can find out who did the Taccone job, Uncle Eddie.” She stood up, towering over her uncle for the first—and probably last—time in her life. “If you can’t or won’t tell us, we’ll find someone who will. But it has to be done.” She drew a deep breath. “I have to do it.”

“Finish your soup, Katarina,” Uncle Eddie said, but Kat didn’t sit; she didn’t eat. She watched her uncle stand and walk to the pantry; but instead of some rich dessert, he pulled out a thick roll of long paper.

Hale glanced at her, his eyes wide as her uncle pushed their meals away and laid the roll on the end of the table.

“The man who did the Taccone job . . .” Uncle Eddie began slowly. Maybe it was fatigue or habit, but his accent seemed thicker than normal as he leaned over the scroll. “We don’t know who he is. We don’t know where he is.” Kat’s heart beat faster while her spirits fell. Then, Uncle Eddie gave a flick of his wrist and, in a flash, the scroll unfurled on the long table, and Kat’s eyes settled on the most elaborate blueprints she’d ever seen.

Her uncle smiled. “But we know where he’s been.”

The street was dark by the time they left the brownstone. Maybe Kat had been too long in the hot kitchen, but without the sun, the air really did feel like winter, as if they’d been inside long enough for the season to finally change.

Hale walked beside her, buttoning his heavy wool coat.

Kat shivered, and when he put his arm around her, she didn’t push him away. They blended into the scenery—two kids out for a walk to the library. Maybe a movie or a slice of pizza. Just a boy and a girl. Just a couple.

Heavy drops of drizzle landed on Hale’s dark coat and shone like beads of silver.

“You ever seen that much security on one set of blueprints before?” he asked.

Kat shook her head. “No.”

“So whoever did it was really smart,” Hale said.

Kat thought about the cool indifference with which Arturo Taccone had threatened her father’s life, and added, “And really stupid.”

Hale was silhouetted against the streetlamp’s yellow light, but the glint in his eyes was unmistakable. “Remind you of anyone we know?”

12 Days Until Deadline

Chapter 7

There are a lot of reasons people come to Las Vegas. Some come because they want to get rich. Some come because they want to get married. Some want to get lost, and others found. Some are running to. Some are running from. It had always seemed to Kat that Vegas was a town where almost everyone was hoping to get something for nothing—an entire city of thieves.

But as Kat and Hale rode the escalator from the casino floor to the conference rooms above, she realized those reasons probably did not apply to the International Association of Advanced Mathematics and Research.

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