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   Chapter 15 Fifteen

Beauty and the Bad By Aubrey Wolfe Characters: 20748

Updated: 2019-05-25 01:26

Reece and Nathan tried effortlessly to call and text Thomas, but his phone has been disconnected. Wherever he has gone, he doesn't want to be found.

Could he have gone to them? The other crew?

No. He would never betray his brother's like that. I don't know Thomas as well as I know Reece, or even Athena, but I know he cares deeply for his brothers; that is why he never wanted Reece to find out about his feelings towards me.

That is also probably the case this time. He knows eventually I'm going to tell Reece about the kiss, and he doesn't want to face the look of betrayal I can see Reece having when he finds out.

Hell, I don't know if I can handle that, and I don't feel I have done anything wrong. He kissed me, but I never responded, or even had the chance to make that decision. In my heart though, I didn't respond because it's clear there are no feelings for Thomas on my part.

What I said to Nathan is true, and I was spoken without much thought. I spoke from the heart.

"I'll give father a call, let him know what's going on, " Nathan says to Reece, then gathers everyone's attention again. "We have another job from the Alliance, this job is a little riskier than the other's Reece and I have performed."

"Why is that?" Ethan asks.

Nathan takes out a stack of papers and photos, dropping them on the work table in the middle of the room. Ethan and Kyle are the first to run up and inspect them, Athena popping her head over their shoulders.

Kyle's eyes bulge out of his head. "These are blueprints for the latest McLaren GT models, these haven't even been released to the public yet."

That gets Athena's attention, seeing as her car is a McLaren 570GT. She snatches the photos out of Kyle's hands and examines them, her eyes glazing over as they dart across every detail.

"What are we supposed to do with this?" Ethan asks, raising a brow at Nathan.

"We're going to steal one, " he says bluntly. Everyone in the room goes silent, waiting for the catch.

But there is none. He's dead serious.

"How in the hell are we supposed to steal something that doesn't exactly exist?" Kyle says, mouth hanging open.

Nathan points to a set of blue prints and a map. "There is only one model in creation as of now, and it's being manufactured in New Zealand as we speak, it's preparation date set for this day next week. It will be put in a shipping container, and put on a cargo ship headed straight for here." He pulls the map out, and points to Brisbane.

"The ship will dock here, where the shipping container will be removed and stored over-night, to be picked up and carried across the country to another shipping port in derby, and we can no longer get a hold of it."

"What happens to it after that?" Kyle asks.

Nathan shrugs. "I'm not entirely sure, I assume it's then taken to India and flown the rest of the way to Britain, where the showcase for it will take place a few days after. We need to steal it, before it leaves the island, and makes it out of Brisbane."

"What do you have in mind?" Reece asks. He has stood stiff beside me for the last hour, consistently checking his phone. I know he is hoping to hear from Thomas, and it breaks my heart a little. If this is how he feels now, how is he going to react when he knows the reason why he left?

I want to reach out and comfort him in some way, but I have no idea how, knowing in a small way, I am the reason Thomas left. I hope to god that isn't the case, and he ran off for a completely different reason.

"We steal it when it arrives, that night. It has to stay overnight; it will be arriving too late for anyone to be able to pick it up. They will store it on a shipping container dock not far from the port, that might be our only challenge besides the security they're going to have posted around it, " Nathan continues, pulling out more papers of detailed drop off times and addresses.

"Why is that going to be difficult?" I ask.

Nathan frowns, but there is an excited glint in his eyes.

"We have to find out which container has the car, before sunrise – or before we get caught – whichever comes first." He is now grinning maniacally.

This man is truly insane.

"What about getting it to start? You want to tear apart that poor car to hot-wire it? I don't think that's possible, " Athena pipes up, finally taking her eyes off the pictures scattered before her. "This car has the latest technology, complete hands-free dashboard system, hands-free auto start and unlock, and the best malware system. I don't think even Karl can hack through this."

Nathan walks over to a drawer by the desk, coming back and tossing a device at Athena, then throws a different kind of device at Ethan.

"What the hell is this?" she asks, turning the bulky device over in her hands. It looks like a receiver of some sort, with a small screen at the

"You're going to attach it underneath the steering wheel, it will help hack into the auto-start system, and will then copy it over to that key there, " he says and gestures to what Ethan is holding.

He continues explaining when everyone else still looks confused.

"Ethan and Athena will look for the car, we are being given high tech to help us get a sense of what's in the containers without opening them, but that doesn't guarantee it will be precise. When they find the car, Athena will attach this device, where it will send a signal back here, where Karl and Kyle will monitor and hack into the system."

"Then what? Ethan can start the car from where he's sitting?" Kyle asks.

Nathan nods. "The rest is pretty simple. We drive the car back here, or there is a back-up rendezvous point in case we're tailed by police. Once we have the car safe and the heat is off, we will meet with a member of the Alliance and make the trade off."

He sounds so confident in every word he says, but I can't help feel my stomach twist at the plan. It seems simple and well laid out, it's almost too perfect. This 'Alliance' crew has thought out every step for us, even as far as getting the shipping information, which I can't imagine was easy to obtain.

How did they get all this information in the first place? Are they really that

p and radio set up on the table in front of it.

I smile thankfully at him and take a seat at the other end of the couch next to Kyle, while Karl takes his other side, playing around with the radio.

"What is all this?" I ask.

"The computer will tell us when they've hooked up the transmitter, then a screen will pop up, and from there we will try and hack into their security system for the auto-start, " Karl says, then gesture to the radio. "This is to communicated with Athena and Ethan, when they finally locate the car."

I nod and look back to the computer, the screen filled with green writing I can't even begin to comprehend. It looks like code of some sort, which is something I only got a glimpse of once in computer class, back in my hometown.

Even that didn't look this complicated.

The radio crackles and comes to life, Nathan's voice coming through the other end. Karl picks up the microphone, ready to speak.

"Karl, can you hear me?" Nathan asks.

"Hear you loud and clear, " he replies, a grateful smile spreading across his face. "What's your position?" he asks.

"Almost at the shipping dock, how much longer until the boat arrives?"

Karl takes the laptop and taps on the keyboard for a few seconds, speaking into the mic again. "Should be arriving in 15 minutes."

"We'll be there in a half hour, we might catch where they put the container if we're lucky, " Nathan says, and I hear the roar of his engine as he accelerates. The radio goes dead, and silence takes over the room again.

I keep glancing at my phone, hoping Reece will text me, but I know he won't, until this is all over. I kept help but turn the screen on and off, my anxiety getting the best of me.

The gut feeling has grown stronger, even though everything seems to be going well. I still can't shake the feeling.

I try and distract myself by playing phone games, looking at the computer screen and radio every now and then, waiting to hear anything from Reece or Nathan, even.

My phone goes flying out of my hand when the back-door pounds open, and Dustin rushes in, and look of pure panic on his face. His eyes immediately find mine. "Chloe, run!" he cries and makes a move towards me, but someone comes in from behind him and hits him over the head with the butt of their gun.

A scream leaves my mouth, my body frozen with fear. A masked figure dressed in all black emerges, followed by two others, and start shouting at us. I can't hear what their saying, my ears ringing.

Kyle shuts the laptop and dives behind the couch, just as one of the black figures lifts their gun, and points it right at me. I'm still too frozen with shock to comprehend what is happening in time.

Before I know what's happening, I hear a bang, just as someone throws their body in front of me. I hear the sickening sound of the bullet hitting their body, nuzzling deep, as blood starts to seep my shirt and pants.

I snap out of it and look up to see Karl slumped over me, his breathing already starting to become ragged. The radio starts to crackle, and Reece's voice comes through this time.

"Karl, how is everything back there?" he asks, his voice sounding calm, but there is an edge to it. I try to reach the mic while the figures crowd around me, Karl barely holding on.

"Guys, what's going on? Talk to me, " Reece says again, just as my fingers graze the mic. I quickly press the button and scream into it.

"Reece, help, please!" I cry, but the mic is ripped away from me, and so is Karl, who is now completely unconscious. "Wait, please take him to a hospital!"

The figure ignores me and roughly grabs my arm, hauling me off the couch. I can faintly hear Reece's voice on the radio through the roar of my pounding heart in my ears.

"Chloe? What's going on? Chloe!"

I struggle effortlessly against their hold, but a clothes hand soon covers my mouth, and I pass out.

My eyes close just as I see Kyle sneak out from behind the couch and reach for Karl, his eyes meeting mine.

Please, help him. I silently plead, before darkness consumes me.

The last thing I hear, is the desperate calls of Reece.

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