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The Thief's Heart

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Rex Glass quite literally wears his heart on his sleeve.

It’s a cheerful looking thing, beating along quite contently. It jumps a few times, races a little when its owner finds himself temporarily trapped in an outdated torture device, but for the most part it seems healthy. Its host doesn’t seem to mind being such an open book. Why would he, when his words and his gestures and the long, lingering glances he sends the detective’s way are just as open? Still, wearing his heart so brazenly is a bold choice, especially for a secret agent. Or perhaps not.

Not when one considers the other, real, heart, tucked away carefully and secretly in an impossibly spacious back pocket.

 

 

Duke Rose’s heart is a little more guarded.

His sleeves are unadorned, instead the precious cargo is merely hinted at through the presence of a fine silver chain that drapes artfully from his breast pocket. The heart itself may be hidden from view, no need to give the opponent such an easily avoidable advantage, especially with the stakes this high, but that doesn’t mean it’s ignored entirely. Though the contact could almost be construed as accidental, every time its owner shifts the heart feels, for a brief moment, the warmth of its host’s faux-wife through the crisp fabric of its temporary home.

Or at least, it would have, were it in any way real.

 

 

Perseus Shah keeps his heart in an undecorated pendant with an unbreakable lock.

It seems the thing to do, what with private detective being so potentially dangerous a profession. Of course, hiding it away altogether would have undoubtably been even safer, but the heart’s host knows that a visible indicator of sincerity goes a long way in convincing a person of one’s trustworthiness. Not that he needs anything more that his words and a disarming smile for that of course, but when someone is paranoid enough to hire a private detective in the first place they’re bound to appreciate the additional reassurance. This particular client barely gives the pendant a first glance, never mind a second, her mind concerned far more with possessions of her own. She may have given it a little more consideration, perhaps, had she known the heart shaped pendant didn’t actually contain a heart at all. And if she had given it a little more consideration she may, perhaps, have seen the pendant’s owner slipping a few small, yet inordinately expensive, pieces of all too familiar jewellery inside.

For even if the detective’s real client notices his haul is minutely lighter than it could have been, that pendant is the last place in the galaxy they’d dare to check.

 

 

Monsieur Dauphin’s heart catches the light every time he moves his hands.

No one who lays eyes on it, even for the briefest of moments, can help but comment, and oh, what comments they are. How bold its owner must be to display such an intimate part of himself so freely; how it seems almost impossible there exists a jeweller so skilled as to set so fragile a thing into so delicate a band; how the Monsieur must hold such an immense and encompassing love for his wife to allow his heart to be touched by another pair of hands, even those of so talented a craftsmith. The heart’s owner merely smiles in response, linking the decorated hand with the wife he must love so very, very much, and allowing the ring that holds his heart to rest against his Madame’s matching wedding band as they dance. And if, in a truly committed attempt to convince a certain enamoured trillionaire of a spur of the moment fabrication, the heart is subtly brushed against the hidden blade of a plasma cutter in order to corroborate a story of a love that isn’t all it seems with scratches and scrapes, then what of it?

The heart is as much the Monsieur’s as his name, after all.

 

 

And Peter Nureyev?

Well, Peter Nureyev had once been foolish enough to think he’d never see his real heart again. He’d left it behind, tucked securely between the cushions of a worn down detective’s couch, with nothing accompanying it but a note and a name, and its owner had expected that to be the end of it.

And it had been, right up until the moment the nameless thief had awoken to nothing but a disappearing shadow and a tiny, broken, barely beating heart left behind on the dresser.