Necatia Alexander dangled from the vaulted ceiling of another thief's home, cursing the straps of the harness digging into her thighs.
It was times like these, she wondered why she insisted on having donuts. She knew better, and she'd have to pay for it with several hours in the gravity gym.
The beep in her earpiece signaled her team had disconnected the security feed. She scissored kicked her legs then straightened until she hung horizontally.
The rainbow jeweled encrusted vase shown under the glass and a flutter of butterflies filled her belly at the sight of the precious gems. With practiced hands, she lifted off the glass and substituted the heavy stone in her pack for the vase.
The thrill of handling precious things always made her giddy. She wrapped the vase in the black bag and secured both in her pack. Necatia used the ascension rigging to pull her back onto the roof of the building. She was pulling up the last of the rope when someone came up from behind.
"Stop, don't move."
The man's voice followed by the distinct crackling of a non-lethal made lift her gloved hands off the rope and raise them in the air. She'd been stunned once as a kid. It had left an unforgettable memory.
She didn't hear any alarms. This guy must have gotten lucky. Too bad for him, she didn't plan to stick around.
"How did you know I'd be here?"
"I just knew."
She pondered that a moment. Had the cops been tipped off?
"I don't want to hurt you but I will," he said.
"You wouldn't stun a woman in the back would you?"
Necatia kept her voice in a deep sultry tone with a hint of sweet like she'd been taught.
"Working for the Inferno gang won't get you any favors with me. But if you turn around nice and slow, I'll put the grav-cuffs on without my boot against the back of your neck."
He talked a lot for a cop. She'd bet money he was a newb. Necatia counted six paces to the ledge of the rooftop. She did a quick calculation of wind speed and the time to get out of the rope around her ankles.
It would be close.
If she was wrong, she'd be stunned going down and wouldn't have the strength to open the glider flaps on her pack. Death was preferable to prison but she wasn't ready to die. As if preparing to get on her knees she freed her legs from the rigging.
Necatia dashed off the roof edge propelling herself into the sky. His protest and the crackling of the stunner was lost in the wind. She pulled out her gliders and soared over the busy street below toward the alley as planned.
She had to dodge two airborne food carts but landed on her feet. Good thing, because at this rate she'd barely make it to dinner on time.
"You're late," Miki said. Her best-friend had dressed in gold and it seemed she'd colored her skin and hair to match.
"Sorry, I had work."
"I don't want details." Miki waved her gold-painted fingernails in dismissal. "Ian was on time what's your excuse."
"I had to do more than drive the get-away car," Necatia said between her teeth. Then she gave a significant glance down over the green gown and emeralds she'd worn.
She recalled the joy of donning the emerald and diamond jeweled set years ago. It had been in her first take, taken from an Italian broker who'd stolen them. The rest of the items she'd taken had been auctioned off, the proceeds going to one of her father's many charities. He'd been so proud.