Breaking Character

“Wait… wait.  This wasn’t in the plan.”

He had not broken character through the whole ceremony.  Through the reception, the cake, the photos.  Through the limo ride.  Through the helicopter ride that followed that.  Through embarking onto the little yacht.  Through getting into international waters.

In short, until there was absolutely no chance that anybody was going to catch them, he had stayed 100% in character.

Magdalina had to admit she was impressed.  When Shadi had suggested him for the role, she’d been…  well, doubtful was a good word for it.  Dubious.  Uncertain.  The man was barely out of college, barely shaving, barely at all familiar with the criminal underbelly.  How was he going to pull off a lynch-pin role in a complicated, three-stage heist?

He’d done it.  He’d done every single stage perfectly.  Here they were, now, safely on a boat – yacht –  owned by one of Magdalina’s favorite aliases; the mark just now realizing that he’d not only been fleeced of all his criminal earnings (plus 10% “damages”), he’d been made in the press and on several major web sites, and he had no legal recourse (not that Magdalina’s heist had been legal, but there’d been enough legality that a lot of money was now legally in the right hands, and a nice chunk (“damages”) was now in her hands); the seven of them celebrating the way Magdalina loved to, with a good bottle of wine and an even tastier gloat.

And now the handsome young man was breaking character, even though he’d looked at the wedding license back at the church.

“I have to hand it to you.” Magdalina saluted him with her drink. “You didn’t flinch once.”

“This – this is my legal alias. The one I use for everything. And that’s your most common identity. The one Shadi introduced me to. Magdalina… those aren’t the names we booked the ceremony under.”

“Aren’t they?” She smirked as she sipped her drink. “Oh, dear. I guess we’re going to have to keep working together for a while, then. At least until we can untangle this mess.”

Magdalina liked heists that were solid multi-tasker.  Get the money from the mark, check.  Embarrass the mark, check and check. Humiliate the mark, even better.

Get someone new into the organization at the same time?  Now that was what she called a really, really good heist.

She glanced over at the young man – the one who was more or less legally married to her at the moment.

He looked at her for a long, long moment.  Then he smiled, a rueful little smirk that was nothing like the expression he used while he was in character, and lifted his glass to her.

“Well.”  He sipped his drink.  “Shadi did tell me that you were the best.”


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