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Amsterdam, and she was fighting a wiry little blonde American in a blue dress for Van Caane's attention for all of ten minutes before she caught on. Twenty minutes after that, the party effectively ended for Sophie when she realized that the IYS man from Paris was watching her from the corner.

"You're working my mark," Sophie said, when she ran into the blonde in the bathroom not long after that. Rather, when she followed her into the bathroom and made sure to lock it behind her so that she could get a moment.

"Yeah, well -- takes one to know one," she answered, crossing her arms over her chest and offering a look that suggested it was a far better line than it really was. The delivery sold it.

"The diamonds?" Sophie asked. "Because what you've got on is just lovely." She reached out with that, inspected the drops hanging from her ears more closely, and unless she was very much mistaken she heard the woman's breath catch a little. "Anyway," she added, "I wanted to warn you off it, one player to another. IYS has a man here, and I've run across him before. He won't give up easily." She won't go much deeper than that, but she gave her that much, up-front, because there was something about this woman that was steel at the core.

The woman stared at Sophie hard for a few moments -- trying, as anyone with two brain cells to rub together would, to determine if Sophie was playing her -- and finally she must have seen something that she liked, because she nodded. "Okay," she said. "So how were you planning to get out?"

She had a very elaborate plan laid out, but decided she'd prefer this. "I thought we might go out the front door," she said, and stroked the woman's arm a little.

Her mouth was sweet and warm and just that right combination of soft-but-strong (that steel at the core, maybe) that made a really good kiss. Admittedly, Sophie may have had something to do with that herself; she was a fabulous kisser. Any self-respecting con artist would have to be, after all. And then, after they've made their way down the stairs and out the door -- well, that fellow she sees for a split second from the back could be him, so they may as well make it convincing, and console themselves over the lost job by taking Van Caane's limo.

She wakes up on the couch in her suite, only half-covered by the blanket, and discovers a diamond tucked neatly into her navel. Upon inspection, it's definitely one of the dozen she had intended to steal last night. Even less surprisingly, Buffy is nowhere to be found.

A flash of blonde hair at a fundraiser in Vienna, and Sophie found that here, too, her plans had a little flexibility to them. She strongly considered trying to get the painting and take it first, but she settled for taking the girl instead. And her own flexibility is rewarded with Buffy's, which is much more literal than Sophie's, including being able to pin Sophie's wrists down while kissing her way up Sophie's inner thigh, and all the while move with a smoothness that's more than respectable given the way she's got Sophie's hips bucking by now.

Of course, Sophie ended up taking the painting as well. It turns out that Buffy slept very heavily after sex. Those gorgeous antique swords tucked in the chest with the painting, though, she left alone; the lack of care and the fingerprints all over them suggested that they were a little more personal, and Sophie would never take another player's real treasure.