Chapter Twenty-Five

1.7K 141 9

"It's taking too long."

Poppy and Tiffany watched the apartment building from the far side of the park, using their ridiculous twin ninja suits to blend into the shrubbery. Heavy rain clouds obscured what was left of the setting sun, replacing the gray sky with an encroaching, inky blue.

At least that's one benefit to dressing up like kids at Halloween. Unless someone was looking explicitly for them, they were hard to spot.

"Maybe he had a hard time getting into the apartment or something," Tiffany suggested. She scanned the park, and Poppy could see the other woman's doubt in the small opening where her eyes peeked through. "We haven't seen any cops or heard sirens yet, so no one has called the police. That's a good sign."

Poppy shook her head and ripped off her mask. It was getting suffocating in there anyway. "Cindy will be home any minute—we can't risk her walking in on him in the middle of the job. I think I should go in. The doorman knows me. I might at least be able to get up to the floor, find out what's going on."

"No way." Tiffany tore her mask off too, offering Poppy an apologetic smile. "Asprey made me promise that no matter what else happens, you're not allowed to go inside. I'm supposed to use force to restrain you if I have to."

Poppy couldn't help laughing at the thought of Tiffany overpowering her. "What kind of force did he have in mind?"

"He didn't get that far. But I'm pretty inventive. I think I saw some poison ivy over there."

"I'll be good and save you the trouble," Poppy promised. "I just wish there was some way to know if he was still inside or not. I'd try calling his cell, but for all we know, he left the ringer on. That wouldn't go over well in a compromising situation."

"Well..." Tiffany's face flushed and she wrinkled her nose. "There might be one thing we can do."

Poppy grabbed Tiffany by the shoulders, stopping just short of shaking her. Maybe she was more wound up than she realized, but she hated being so ineffective. The last time she'd let her partner go in on the job alone, things hadn't ended well—and Bea was a professional.

"What is it?" Poppy asked, reining herself in.

"You know how you got all mad the other day and said we couldn't bug you anymore without your permission?"

She didn't like where this was going. "Ye-es."

"Well, Asprey might have asked if maybe I'd do it one more time. Just to keep you safe during the heist. You know, in case something happened."

"Where is it?"

Tiffany pointed at Poppy's wrist. "He had me sew it into the hem of your ninja suit."

"Fucking Asprey." Poppy ripped at her sleeve, not stopping until a tiny round piece of metal not unlike a watch battery fell out. She was about to drop it and crush it under her heel when Tiffany plucked it out of her hand.

"It's a really nice bug. Please don't."

Poppy crossed her arms and did her best to look intimidating. "I can't believe you let him talk you into that—I thought we were friends. And how is my being bugged going to help us right now?"

Tiffany smiled and inclined her head to the back entrance of the park, where they'd parked Poppy's car with all their equipment. "I thought it wasn't very fair, us keeping tabs on just you—especially after you asked us not to. So I planted one on Asprey too. To make it even."

Poppy could have kissed her. "Are you serious?"

Tiffany sprang to her feet and began climbing out of the bushes. Poppy followed suit, and they both tried to appear normal as an elderly couple took one look at their strange, unmarked clothes and veered the opposite direction.

Confidence TricksWhere stories live. Discover now