The Cube Heist (BWWM Interracial Romance and Crime)

BOOK: The Cube Heist (BWWM Interracial Romance and Crime)
11.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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CHAPTER ONE             

Lisa looked at her boss in disbelief. How could he think that they could work with the Oldz? They were their biggest rival, had been for more than a decade. What had changed now?

She shook her head and threw her mane of jet black hair back and began to pace impatiently, thoughts quickly forming in her brain. The subdued click of her heels was the only noise in the eerily quiet plush office. She stopped suddenly and locked eyes with her boss.

“Have you met him?” Before he could answer, she fired another question.

“What if they play us?”

He held his left hand up and Lisa involuntarily fell silent. Nick had that effect on people. When he spoke people listened.

“I wouldn’t ask you to take on this job if I weren’t sure of Harper and Mark.”

Lisa took a moment to contemplate Nick’s words. It was true that in all the jobs they took on, the boss ensured that she worked with professional people, the best in their fields. This job she knew would be no different.

“What’s in this cube anyway?” Lisa said.

The boss waved a hand away. He wasn’t telling. Lisa sighed. Nothing new there. Her job was filled with secret rendezvous and really the contents were none of her business. The bonus for this job was bigger than all the others combined. That’s where her interest lay. The dollars. She imagined her bank statement and smiled. Amassing money was a hobby of hers. Only one thought marred her excitement—working with Harper.

“Is he as arrogant as his reputation?” Lisa asked.

A loud laugh broke the silence as the boss threw his head back and laughed. When he finally stopped laughing, he took a handkerchief and wiped off the tears from the edge of his eyes.

“You’ll see. He’s waiting for you in the back room.”

Lisa inhaled deeply and picking up her oversize suede bag from the carpeted floor, she threw a wary glance at her boss and left. The walls inside the bosses’ office were lined with reflective glass and Lisa glanced at her reflection as she walked. She looked at her figure hugging jeans and waist high leather jacket and wished she had worn something a little more sophisticated.

She caught the train of her thoughts and snorted in disgust. She had not reached this far in the organization to impress men with her looks. She waved a friendly hand at the bosses’ secretary Linda and took a left towards the back room.

Reaching for the doorknob, she turned it as softly as she could and sure enough, Harper did not turn away from the window. If indeed that was him. She shut the door softly behind her and stood still observing his silhouette. He appeared to be flooded in yellow light and the only detail she could make out was his broad shoulders.

“How long do you intend to stand there for?”

Lisa jumped. She shut her eyes briefly to regain her composure. All along the bastard had known she was there. He turned and walked towards her. When the light fell from his face, Lisa looked into his eyes and gasped. They were the darkest and iciest eyes she had ever seen, and against her will, she felt the hard thump of her heart against her chest.

Her eyes fell to his full lips until he moved and she realized that she was staring. He came to where she was standing and circled her like a predator sniffing its prey. Lisa stood absolutely still and waited for him to have his fill.

“Let’s get one thing straight.” Harper said standing right in front of her, so close she could smell his cologne. “I’ve heard your reputation and just so you know, you don’t interest me as a woman. This is business and it shall remain business. I have no time for the kind of games you’re famous for.”

Lisa’s brain saw red. She felt a wave of anger and humiliation at the instant judgment. Who the hell did Harper think he was?  He wasn’t even her type. Standing close, they were almost the same height, even if she was wearing six inch heels.  She loved tall guys she could look up to, not average height men with attitude, she thought with a scowl.

“As if—” Before she could say it, Harper had turned round smartly and gone to sit at the table in the center of the room. Lisa had no choice but to follow him and with a groan she went to sit at the only other chair opposite Harper.

Lisa’s irritation abated, distracted by a scaled down model of a building which she knew housed their target bank. The boss had given her a quick overview of the job and she recognized the metallic grey building. She whistled when she saw the modeled figures of the security men and immediately her brain went into overdrive.

She loved a challenge; the harder the better and this one looked like it would test all her skills.

“It’s protected by live guards?” Lisa asked.

“Yes, and also CCTV, not to mention the police patrols every hour.” Harper said, his voice laced with discernable excitement.

“Where’s the target located?” Lisa said.

“Now that’s the fun part.” Harper said. “You see this corridor that leads away from the bank hall?” he asked trailing a finger along the modeled building. “It leads to the bank vault right in the middle of the building. But it’s inaccessible, surrounded by cameras and lasers, all which must be deactivated before we even think of getting to the vault.”

“Which is where you come in?” Lisa said, her voice betraying the fact that she wished they were not doing this together.

“Look, I’m sorry we didn’t start off well. Whether we like it or not, we need each other. You need my tech skills to access the vault and we need your slippery hands to steal the box.”

Harper stuck out a hand. Lisa thought for a moment and decided that they did need each other. She wasn’t’ getting anywhere near the vault without Harper’s talents in disabling alarms and computer systems. She slid her hand into his, feeling her slim hand swallowed in his large hairy one. A lump of saliva stuck in her throat and she forced it down.

They called an uneasy truce and got down to business. Lisa loved her job, and it wasn’t hard for her to forget the animosity between them as they sparred, exchanging ideas and shooting down others.

“This will be at night?” Lisa asked.

Harper nodded, “Yeah, too many people during the day.”

“Distractions.” Lisa murmured.

“Exactly.”

Their eyes met and they both recognized the perfect unison of their brains. Lisa felt a growing respect for this man who was known as the best brain in Chicago.

“This is what we are working against.” Harper said. “A solid granite wall, heavily armed guards, a 25 ton door and a bomb proof vault door in case you’re thinking of bombing it.”

Lisa was not surprised by the security. It was expected. Tons of gold were stored in the vault as well as many other valuables. Including the cube.

“Who else is on the team?” Lisa asked.

“Nobody else. Just me and you.” Harper replied, locking his eyes with Lisa’s.

“What? Just the two of us? That’s crazy.”

But even as she said so, the beginnings of a plan were slowly forming in her mind. She looked at the scaled down building again.

“How many people work after hours?” Lisa said.

“None. We have a lot of work to do starting tomorrow. We need 24 hour surveillance for at least a week and it can only be done by us. We only have three weeks to prepare.”

 

Lisa’s stomach muscles tightened with anxiety. This was a huge job and it needed a lot of time to prepare. Three weeks! She almost backed out, and then she remembered the payoff. She would be closer to retiring after this job. Probably only need a couple more jobs and she could retire and live the rest of her life without looking over her shoulders.

As if he knew that she was contemplating backing out, Harper asked her: “Are you in or out?”

“Of course I’m in, I’m here aren’t I?” Lisa snapped then felt immediately apologetic.

“I just need to know that you’ll give it a hundred and twenty percent otherwise we’ll both be toast. If you need time to think it over, please do. There’s not much time but I can give you till tomorrow.”

Lisa shook her head. “I don’t need to think it over— I’m in.”

“Alright.” Harper said and smiled for the first time since they had met. He had white even teeth and a smile that lit up his entire face, warming even his cold eyes. Lisa knew without a shadow of a doubt that this would be no ordinary bank heist. She and Harper would go down in History as the smartest robbers or the dumbest.

* * *

Lisa could feel the slowing down of her brain as she ran on the spot outside her apartment block. It was one of the reasons why she loved running. Her brain was on overdrive and only when she ran, went to the gym or rock climbing, did it slow down. She loved the stillness of early morning, when it wasn’t quite light but it wasn’t bright yet. You could make out figures of people as they hurried to work, but you couldn’t see the details of their faces.

She looked up and down Chestmate Street, before pulling her hood closer and taking off. She could feel her muscles unclench as she ran. This new job was giving her sleepless nights. Banks and museums gave her the shivers and while the challenge was great, Lisa knew she’d be a fool not to consider the possibility of being caught.

Harper needed to do his job of getting them into the vault really well. It felt odd and a little scary to have to trust someone with something so huge. Lisa herself was great at scaling walls, given a mansion, however secure and she’d be in there within minutes without setting off any alarms. But bank security was another level of security and every time she thought about it, her stomach dropped to her feet.

It was while rounding off the last corner, that Lisa noticed a movement from the corner of her eyes. By now, the darkness had lifted and she could make out a white van inching slowly on the road. Lisa wracked her brain for anyone she knew who owned a white van and came out with zilch. She swallowed hard and continued jogging at the same pace.

Rather than continue jogging all the way to her apartment building, she suddenly changed gears and took off at a great speed. She turned off the street into a back road, which she knew would take her to the other end, almost back to the middle of her jogging route. It was a half a mile, and when she reached the end, her heart was beating wildly from the strain of running fast. She leant across the wall and to her relief; there was no sign of the white van. 

Lisa tried to think about it logically. What were the chances that whoever it was in the van had been following her? Sure she worked for the Grey Network, but most of what Lisa did, rarely ever hurt anybody. Nobody would be out to get her for revenge purposes. She liked her line of work because unlike some of her colleagues, she never confronted anyone. In fact, the success of her jobs depended on her stealth and lack of detection.

She never questioned the rightness or wrongness of her chosen career or her colleagues. It was what it was. Lisa never questioned why her life had turned out the way it had, what mattered to her was achieving success and that she had. Her reputation in the business of burglary was solid and her boss trusted her completely, look at this new job?

There were many more skilled people he could have picked; there was Mike, who probably had been a cat in his other life, so soft and quiet that he even crept past sleeping dogs without waking them up. Then there was Martin, so fast that before you knew anything was missing, he would be long gone. Her mind returned to the van. She felt sure that she’d overreacted.

Feeling foolish, Lisa threw her head back and laughed. This new job was making her paranoid and she couldn’t wait for it to be over. She retraced her steps, this time jogging slowly. She checked up and down and on seeing no sign of the white van, she continued jogging to her apartment block.

As she turned to enter her apartment block, a white van slid right next to her. Lisa squinted at the darkened windows and knew without a doubt that it was the same van. It was too late for her to run, besides even if she did, what next? She had to leave the house in an hour. Sweat clinging to her body, she walked casually to the driver’s side and tapped the window.

It wasn’t the smartest thing to do but Lisa figured if the intention was to shoot her, he would already have done so. The window rolled down slowly. Lisa could feel the tremble in her legs. When she saw who it was she almost cried of relief before irritation replaced it.

“Harper, what’s wrong with you? You scared me to death!” Lisa said.

She left him there and stomped off towards her apartment. Moments later, heavy footsteps caught up with her before the door swung shut.

BOOK: The Cube Heist (BWWM Interracial Romance and Crime)
11.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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