A Nightcat's Prowl
The Cat is known for her cleverness and skill. On silent paws she lets herself into the most secure company headquarters to steal their business secrets. The only trace she leaves is a card reading "You've been fined by the Cat". And fining is what she does; she steals from companies that exploit the poor and vulnerable. But one fateful meeting interrupts her well-exercised routine. In the middle of a heist, she meets a distractingly good-looking stranger who seems to have the same profession. They soon fall into a thrilling pattern: meeting on the job and denying their attraction until they give in to it. But as with every workplace relationship, things don't always go smoothly. Soon the two burglars find themselves in serious danger. The only way out: a seemingly impossible coup.
Autor: Robyn Gaynor
Illustration: shutterstock/Alex Emanuel Koch + Eric Isselee
ca. 212 Seiten
2 female and 4 male roles
Cassie Fitzgerald, or "the Cat", thrill-seeking cat burglar; formerly a photojournalist; fast, agile, flexible, good-looking, perceptive, independent. She steals from corrupt companies to donate to the suffering in warzones and clashes over this with Jason, who believes that charity begins at home. Simultaneously irritated by and intensely attracted to Jason, she has several sexual encounters with him. They rob Argus Gull, who sends the hitman Claude Gascoigne to pursue her and almost succeeds several times. Eventually she realises she is in love with Jason, marries him and gives up burglary.
Jason Kerr, cat burglar; handsome; impressive abs; taller and broader-shouldered than Cassie; grew up in a poor area; has a brother (mentioned once in passing). He steals to donate to the suffering in Britain and clashes over this with Cassie, who believes the money is needed more overseas. Simultaneously irritated by and intensely attracted to Cassie, he has several sexual encounters with her. Like Cassie, he is pursued by the hitman Gascoigne after robbing Gull. He gets angry with Cassie when he mistakenly thinks she slept with Heidegger and realises he is in love with Cassie when he believes Gascoigne to have killed her. He fights with Gascoigne and ends up throwing him over a bannister in his rage, killing him. Jason eventually marries Cassie and gives up burglary.
Mollie Martin, Cassie's friend and fence; keeps the world's least organised shop; slightly rundown-looking if you don't look closely She is a bit eccentric; leaps wildly from topic to unconnected topic when speaking; takes most things in her stride; likes Picasso, junk and cheap tea. She is not fooled by Cassie and Jason's protestations that they aren't in love.
Inspector Henry Laidlaw, detective in charge of the Cat's case; privately thinks the corrupt companies from which Cassie steals are getting what they deserve, but does believe firmly in the importance of the law. He dislikes Gull intensely and eventually puts him in prison on the basis of evidence acquired by Cassie and Jason.
Argus Gull, violent criminal and gang leader turned corrupt businessman; short, squat, ugly; harsh, irritating voice. He hires the hitman Claude Gascoigne to pursue Cassie and Jason after they rob him; eventually he is sent to prison by Laidlaw on the basis of evidence acquired by Cassie and Jason.
Claude Gascoigne, hitman; lean, well-dressed, smooth-voiced; polite but disconcerting manner; has an ex-wife who does not appear; perfectionist; deeply concerned with preserving his reputation as a professional. He attempts several times to kill Cassie and Jason on Gull's orders; eventually he is thrown over a bannister by Jason and killed.
The following characters are not personalised:
Michael Conroy, head of Conroy International; Cassie and Jason break into his home to steal a statuette and end up having sex in his bed.
Colin and Warren, security guards at Michael Conroy's home; see Cassie and Jason's sexual encounter on security cameras.
Big Ralphie, underworld acquaintance of Mollie's, only mentioned once
Heidegger, designer of secure houses for criminals; narcissistic playboy; Cassie seduces him (one brief kiss, no love scenes) in order to create a distraction while Jason robs his office.
A different turn to workplace relationships emerges from the story of these two unconventional burglars. An exciting and funny adventure that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last.
“Bingo.” Cassie often wondered from where she had picked up that habit, but “bingo” was practically all she said while on a job.
Inside the safe there were, as per the form book, no bundles of cash, no small velvet bags of uncut diamonds and no gold bars. There were just papers, neat folders of papers. But the words on those papers were potentially worth more than if the little safe had been stuffed with cash and lined with gold.
Cassie popped the pen torch into her mouth and leafed through the files. There was no sense in weighing herself down with stuff she didn’t want and she had a shopping list of proprietary documents for which Maximus Industries’ nearest competitor would pay handsomely.
This was the folder she had come for. She put it in her bag and neatly replaced the other folders in the safe. From her pocket she took a card and placed it in the safe on top of the pile of folders. The card read, “You’ve been fined by… the Cat”. Giving herself a nickname had seemed a little self-aggrandising, but on the other hand she wanted people to know they had been robbed, she wanted them to know by whom (God forbid some poor secretary should be fired over the missing file) and she wanted them to know why. The word “fined” was important to her.
She closed the safe and made for the door. Just the Picasso to pick up, a short stroll back to the window, a zip wire to the nearest rooftop and she was home and dry. But as Cassie entered the outer office, pleased with how smoothly everything had gone, the night took an unexpected turn.
“Who the hell are you?!”
The man who had just finished removing the Picasso from the wall froze at the sound of Cassie’s voice from behind him. For a moment he clearly thought that he had been caught in the act, but when he turned to find that he was being addressed by a woman who was, like himself, dressed in uniform black and wearing a mask, he realised that she had as little legitimate right to be here as he did. He drew himself up to his full height, reached into his pocket and drew out a badge which he flashed solemnly.
“Police. Who the hell are you?”
You had to admire the balls, Cassie considered, of someone wearing a mask, obviously stealing a picture, and carrying a very fake police badge, who was still prepared to play this bluff. Not the brains perhaps — since British police don’t carry badges — but certainly the balls. And that was not the only thing that Cassie, indignant though she was about this interruption, found herself unconsciously admiring in her opposite number. Though the mask hid most of his face, it could not quite hide the fact that he was a handsome individual, and it did nothing to dull the impact of his blue eyes. Likewise, she couldn’t help thinking that his chosen attire was just a shade tighter than it needed to be, delineating the contours of the man’s body in a way that Cassie considered narcissistic, but also found quite mesmerising.
But Cassie was not about to let the man’s physical attributes, manifest though they might be, distract her from the point. She too drew herself up to her full height.
“I’m the Cat. Perhaps you’ve heard of me.”
Well, that was irritating. Being the hottest new thing in cat burglary was one thing, but getting the word out was something else. You couldn’t exactly hire a press agent. Cassie forged on regardless.
“Look, bottom line, I was here first. Buzz off and leave the painting.”
The man scoffed. “I got to the painting first.”
“No, I got to it first. I was coming back for it.”
“Well, that was a bad decision, wasn’t it? I actually had it in my hands. I only just put it down.”
“Well, that was a bad decision, wasn’t it?”
As they snapped at each other, keeping their voices low, they were slowly, almost unconsciously, approaching one another.
“Look, there may be no honour among thieves but there’s a definite pecking order.” The words were reasonable but Cassie edged them with steel. “Finders keepers; losers weepers. And you are just so clearly the loser.”
The man shook his head. “I never lose.”
“Prepare to learn.”
“Well, I’m guessing you’d be an expert.”
“The painting’s mine!”
“I don’t see your name on it. Unless your name’s Picasso. Is it?”
“No, it’s ‘Bite me’.”
They were nose to nose now, or would have been if Cassie had been a bit taller.
“I’m done with warnings; leave the painting and get out!”
“Or nothing. This isn’t a warning, it’s an instruction. Get out!”
“Who’s going to make me?”
And then they were kissing.
It occurred to Cassie, as she felt the man’s hands heading in a direction that was over-familiar but not entirely unwelcome, that there must have been a moment between them not kissing and kissing; a decision, a look, a spark of instigation. But she would be damned if she could recall it. One moment they had been arguing, the next they were locked in each other’s arms, almost biting each other in their furious passion. It had been like a snake strike, requiring a high-speed camera to see the details and ascertain if one of them had moved first or if the energy between them had simply built up to such a point that it had nowhere else to go.
The man pulled Cassie around, never breaking the kiss, so he could press her against the office desk, and Cassie responded instantly, pulling him hard against her, tearing off his jacket and flinging it to one side. There was not a conscious thought in her mind, only desire driven by pure instinct. It was as if the heat of the moment had burnt away anything remotely human about her and left something primal, something animal, and something rather wonderful.
Usually in cases like this something will happen before it goes too far. One or both of the participants will back off as the temporary high of the initial moment dies away. But the instantaneous electric shock of attraction that had passed between Cassie and the man was so powerful that it brooked no interruption. Even once common sense and rational thought had filtered back into Cassie’s head she remained absolutely certain about where this was going. The only question was desk or floor?
Then the burglar alarm went off.
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|The Cat's first name is||630 x|
|The Cat's last name is||3 x|
|The Cat's hair colour is||2 x|
|The Cat's eye colour is||1 x|
|The Tomcat's first name is||329 x|
|The Tomcat's last name is||1 x|
|The Tomcat's hair colour is||1 x|
|The Tomcat's eye colour is||2 x|
|The Tomcat's shoe size is||5 x|
|The Eccentric's first name is||197 x|
|The Eccentric's last name is||6 x|
|The Inspector's first name is||8 x|
|The Inspector's last name is||57 x|
|The Crook's first name is||45 x|
|The Crook's last name is||94 x|
|The Hitman's first name is||26 x|
|The Hitman's last name is||88 x|
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