Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(5)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(5)
Author: Ally Carter

Stepping toward it was like approaching a window into another country, another century. She studied the rich colors and strong brushstrokes. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, staring at the work of an Old Master in the moonlight.

“It’s Vermeer.”

Kat turned to the boy who lingered in the doorway. “It’s stolen.”

“What can I say?” Hale eased behind her and studied the painting over her shoulder. “I met a very nice man who bet me that he had the best security system in Istanbul.” His breath was warm on the back of her neck. “He was mistaken.”

Kat stayed perfectly still as Hale walked to the desk in the far corner of the massive room, picked up a telephone and said, “Marcus, we’re home. Could you get some— Yeah. The library.” He held his hand over the receiver. “Do you like corned beef?” Kat glared at him, but he only smiled. “She loves it!” he exclaimed. He hung up and collapsed onto one of the leather sofas as if he owned the place, which, Kat had to remind herself, he did.

“So,” Hale said with a slow, easy grin, “did you miss me?”

A good thief is always a great liar. It’s part of the skill set, the tools, the craft. And at that moment, Kat thought it was probably a very good thing she’d walked away from the life, because when she said, “No,” Hale just smiled wider.

“It really is good to see you, Kat.”

“You might want to remember who I am before you try to con me.”

“No.” Hale shook his head. “You might want to remember who you are. You want to go back to Colgan, is that it? After I saved you from that place?”

“Colgan wasn’t so bad. I could have been normal at Colgan.”

Hale laughed. “Trust me: you would never have been normal at Colgan.”

“I could have been happy at Colgan.”

“They kicked you out, Kat.”

“Because you framed me!”

Hale shrugged. “Fair enough.” He stretched his arms over the back of the couch. “I sprung you because I’ve got a message for you.”

“Doesn’t your family own a cell phone company?”

“Only a little one.” He held his fingers an inch apart to illustrate his point. “Besides, it’s more of a face-to-face kind of message.”

“I thought my dad wasn’t speaking to . . .” She trailed off. Hale shook his head. And suddenly Kat understood everything a little better. She dropped onto the couch opposite him and asked, “So how is Uncle Eddie?”

“He’s good.” Hale nodded. “He sends his love. He says the Colgan School will rob you of your soul.” She started to protest, but Hale stopped her. “But that’s not the message.”

“Hale,” Kat exhaled, growing weary.

“Kat,” Hale mimicked. “Do you want to hear Uncle Eddie’s message or not?”


“He says he’s got to give them back.”

“What?” Kat was sure she hadn’t heard correctly. “Uncle Eddie’s got to give what—”

“No. That is the message. And I quote. ‘He’s got to give them back.’”

Kat shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

“There was a job, Kat. A week ago. In Italy.”

“I haven’t heard about any jobs,” Kat insisted before remembering that she’d been out of the world. The loop. The life. She knew what the Colgan cafeteria was serving every day this month, but this . . .

“Private collection,” Hale continued. “Very high-end paintings. Very high security. Very high risk. Two—maybe three—crews in the world could have done it, and—”

“My dad’s at the top of the list?”

Hale shook his head. “There is no list. There’s just—”

“Dad.” Kat sat for a moment, thinking, then sighed. “So?” she asked. Suddenly it all seemed preposterous. “So what? This is what he does, Hale. This is what we all do. What makes this time any different?”

She stood and started for the door, but in a flash, Hale was standing; his hand was around her wrist.

“It’s different because it’s different, Kat. This guy—this guy with the paintings—he’s a bad guy.”

“I’m Bobby Bishop’s daughter, Hale. I know a lot of bad guys.”

She tried to pull away, but Hale’s chest was pressed against hers. His hands were warm against her skin. There was a new urgency in his voice as he whispered, “Listen to me, Kat. He’s not a bad guy like your dad and Uncle Eddie are bad guys.” He took a deep breath. “Like I’m a bad guy. This guy? His name’s Arturo Taccone, and he’s a whole different kind of bad.”

In the two years since she’d met him, Kat had seen Hale wear a lot of expressions: playful, intrigued, bored. But she had never seen him scared before, and that, more than anything, made her shiver.

“He wants his paintings back.” Hale’s voice was softer now. The hard edge had left him, and something else had settled in its place. “If he doesn’t have them in two weeks, then . . .” Hale obviously didn’t want to say what came next, which was just as well. Kat didn’t want to hear it.

As she dropped back onto the sofa, Kat couldn’t remember the last time she’d been speechless. Then again, she also couldn’t remember the last time she’d been framed for a crime she didn’t commit, kicked out of a boarding school that it had taken her three whole months to con her way into, and then, technically, kidnapped by a guy who could buy a Monet and yet couldn’t resist stealing a Vermeer. Speechless seemed okay under the circumstances.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)