Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(3)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(3)
Author: Ally Carter

“So since there is evidence that you did it, that should prove that you didn’t do it?” Even Ms. Connors sounded skeptical.

“Well,” Kat said, “I’m not stupid.”

The headmaster laughed. “Oh, well, how would you have done it?” He was mocking her—baiting her—yet Kat couldn’t help but think about the answer:

There was a shortcut behind Warren Hall that was closer and darker and completely void of cameras. . . .

The doors wouldn’t need an I.D. to open if you had enough Bubblicious to cover the sensor on your way out. . . .

If you’re going to pull a prank of that nature, you don’t do it the night before a morning when the maintenance staff will be awake long before the students. . . .

Headmaster Franklin smiled smugly, relishing her silence, as if he were so smart.

But Kat had already learned that people at Colgan were frequently wrong—like when her Italian teacher had said that Kat’s accent would always make her stand out on the streets of Rome (even though Kat had already passed for a Franciscan nun during a particularly difficult job in Vatican City). She thought about how silly her History of Art teacher had sounded when she’d waxed poetic about seeing the Mona Lisa (when Kat knew for a fact that the Louvre’s original had been replaced with a fake in 1862).

Kat had learned quite a lot of things before enrolling at the Colgan School—but the thing that she knew best was that this was the kind of place where she could never share them.

“I don’t know about Trinity or Bern or any of those European schools, young lady, but at the Colgan School we follow the rules.” The headmaster’s fist banged the table. “We respect the property of others. We adhere to the honor code of this institution and the laws of this country.”

But Kat already knew about honor. She’d grown up with her own set of rules. And the first rule of Katarina Bishop’s family was simple: Don’t get caught.

“Katarina,” Ms. Connors said, “do you have anything to add that might explain this?”

Kat could have said, That’s not me or There must be some kind of mistake. The great irony was that if this had been an ordinary con, she could have lied her way through it without a second thought. But the truth? That, she wasn’t so good at.

Her I.D. badge had been duplicated. The license plate had been planted in her room. Someone had dressed like her and made sure they were caught on camera.

She’d been framed. And Kat didn’t dare say what she was thinking: that whoever had done it, they were very, very good.

Kat’s bags were packed in twenty minutes. She might have lingered, saying her good-byes, but there were no good-byes to say. And so, after three months at Colgan, Kat couldn’t help but wonder if the day she got expelled from boarding school might become the proudest moment of her family’s long and colorful past. She imagined everyone sitting around Uncle Eddie’s kitchen table years from now, telling about the time little Katarina stole a whole other life and then walked away without a trace.

Well, almost, Kat thought as she carried her bags past the once-perfect lawn. Ruts still tracked to and from the mangled fountain in the center of the quad: a muddy reminder that would no doubt last until spring.

She heard laughter coming from behind her, and turned. A group of eighth grade boys was standing together, whispering, until one bravely broke away from the pack.

“Uh . . .” he started, then glanced back at his friends, summoning courage. “We were wondering . . . um. How’d you do it?”

A stretch limo pulled through the ornate gates and up to the curb. The trunk popped open. As the driver started for her bags, Kat looked at the boys and then back at Colgan one final time. “That is an excellent question.”

The bells chimed. Students hurried between classes, across the quad. And as Kat crawled into the backseat of the limo, she couldn’t help feeling slightly sad, or as sad as anyone could feel about losing something that wasn’t rightfully theirs to begin with. She leaned back and sighed, “Well, I guess that’s over.”

And it would have been . . . if another voice hadn’t said, “Actually, it’s just beginning.”

Chapter 2

Kat jumped. In the dim light, she hadn’t noticed the figure sitting at the other end of the limo’s bench, smiling back at her.

“Hale?” she asked as if the boy might be an imposter. But then a very different question crossed her mind. “Hale, what are you doing here?”

“I thought you might need a ride.”

“The headmaster’s office called me a car.”

He shrugged, indifferent but amused. “And here I am in a submarine.”

As the limo pulled out of the school’s circular driveway, Hale turned and looked out the window. Kat watched him take in the grounds, a faint smile on his lips as if there were no place on earth he really had to be. Kat sometimes wondered if that kind of self-assurance was something only very old money could buy. Then she wondered if it was something you could steal.

Hale waved as the gates of the Colgan School faded into the distance. “Good-bye, Colgan!” He turned to her. “Hello, Kitty Kat.”

“Hale, how did you know I was . . .”

But Kat didn’t finish. Suddenly, she wasn’t in the back of a limo—she was sitting on a hard chair, staring at the black-and-white surveillance footage of someone in a hooded sweatshirt running across the quad. She was looking at the image of her own student I.D. magnified on a TV screen. She was watching Headmaster Franklin hold a crumpled vanity plate above his head for all to see.

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