“Wooow,” Krystal drawls. “You must be doin’ mighty well for yourself with an office like this.”
“I get by,” the man says. Robert Landry. 47 years old. CFO of Nautilus Pharmaceuticals. Wife and two children.
“I bet you do, darlin,” Krystal says with a cheeky smile.
She slinks around the desk, running her finger across the surface while her other hand hangs out of sight. She finds the computer and quietly slides the drive in.
Landry meets her at the other end, pressing himself close. She catches his hand halfway down her back.
“Hey now,” she says. She tilts her head to the small shelf of bottles in the corner. “Not even gonna offer me a drink?”
His eyes narrow, but he quickly recovers, flashing something resembling a smile.
“Of course,” he says, then pulls away.
“I’m in. Keep him busy.”
“So,” Krystal says. “What exactly do you do around here?”
“Oh, I won’t bore you,” Landry says. He pours one generous glass of scotch, then another. “It would probably be over your head anyway.”
“I reckon you’re right,” Krystal says.
“Let’s just say I help sick people,” he says with a self-important grin.
“You’re a good man, Mr. Landry.”
Landry hands her her glass, then raises his own.
“Cheers,” he says.
She tilts the glass to her lips and takes a sip. It burns.
“Whew,” she chokes.
“Can’t handle it?” Landry says, taunting.
Krystal looks up at him, setting her jaw.
“Oh, sugar,” she says. “There ain’t nothin’ I can’t handle.”
She raises the glass again and takes down a large swig. Landry chuckles.
“Glad to hear it,” he says. He reaches up and takes her glass, then sets both on the desk.
“Done. Get out.”
Landry’s hand slides behind her neck and pulls her closer. He tilts his head and leans in.
“Little girls’ room?” she says.
He lets out a frustrated groan and practically shoves her away.
“Find it yourself,” he snarls and turns away. He walks to the window and stares out over the city, fuming. Oh, this is almost too easy.
“Mmkay,” Krystal hums. She moves quickly around the desk, reaching down and snatching the drive, and out into the hall. She rounds the corner and turns to throw up two middle fingers, then pushes through the door into the stairwell. She pops her heels off and takes off down the stairs.
“Coming out,” she says. “Uh, west exit.”
“There is no west exit.”
“The one across from the Starbucks, okay?”
She reaches the bottom and shoves the door open, cold night air rushing in to greet her. The car screeches into view and then stops in front of her. She pops open the back door and hops inside.
“Go,” she says, and the car takes off.
It’s only once there are a couple of blocks between her and Landry that she dares to exhale. She lets out a laugh of relief, delirious from the adrenaline, and collapses against the back of the seat.
“You did great,” Mika says, and the words buzz in her ear.
“You too,” Krystal says, pulling out the earpiece.
Mika’s face falls. She shakes her head.
“I was slow,” she says. “Something could have happened to you. I should have—”
Krystal puts a hand on Mika’s shoulder. She jumps, just a little bit.
“Don’t,” Krystal says. “You were so fast. He like, barely touched me. And you don’t have to worry about me, okay? Look.”
She digs through her bag until she finds it, then holds the canister up to the rear view mirror.
“Okay,” Mika says.
Krystal reaches back in.
“Too much?” Krystal says..
“No, that’s… that’s good,” Mika says, and her body does seem to relax a little.
“How’s the wig?” Krystal says. She leans forward over Mika’s shoulder, catching herself in the mirror. She brushes back a couple of stray brown hairs. To her left, Mika swallows audibly.
“It looks good,” she says.
“Yeah?” Krystal says with a smirk. “Is it doing it for you?”
“What?” Mika says. She sets her eyes back on the road, laser-focused. “No, that’s not what I… Anyway, what was that accent?”
Krystal flops back into her seat.
“What’s wrong with the accent?”
“It’s bad,” Mika says flatly.
“Fine,” Krystal huffs. “I’ll work on it.”
“You could just not do the accent.”
“I’ll work on it.”
Krystal sighs, the night’s events finally catching up with her. Her head lolls to the side, watching the streetlights whip by overhead.
“How much did we get anyway?” she asks.
There’s a long pause before Mika answers.
“One point four,” she says.
Krystal’s brow wrinkles. When she looks back to the mirror, she sees Mika smiling to herself.
“One point four…?”
“Million,” Mika says. “1.4 million dollars.”
Krystal blinks once. Twice. Then she screams, and she doesn’t stop screaming until they’ve reached their motel.
Mika puts a finger over her mouth when Krystal steps out of the car still shrieking, but there’s a smile underneath it.
“Sorry,” Krystal whispers. “It’s just, you know… 1.4 million dollars.”
“I know,” Mika says. She pulls the key out of her pocket and moves to room 104.
“What?” Mika says, slipping the key into the lock.
“Is what we’re doing bad?”
Mika freezes with her hand on the knob.
“Oh,” she mutters. “Well, I think we’ve been careful choosing the people we target. And Robert Landry has money to burn. His family will be—”
She stops short when she looks back and sees the wild-eyed expression on Krystal’s face.
“Yes,” she says. “Very bad.”
When Krystal grabs Mika’s face and kisses her, it surprises them both. But it feels right. As right as 1.4 million dollars.
She pulls away, leaving Mika red-faced and babbling.
“Come on,” Krystal says. She slips past Mika, brushing a hand over her arm, and pushes open the door. “Get your computer out. Let’s find another one.”