Confliction: Chapter Nine
Carmelita stared at the museum. It was large with stone walls and all kinds of security. She swallowed hard. There was no turning back now… not if she wanted to find her baby sister.
‘Lacienica,’ the very thought of the girl gave back the vixen the courage she almost lost. Carmelita took a deep breath. She cleared her mind and ran towards the museum. Clinging close to the wall allowed her to avoid some spot lights, but it was difficult to do. ‘How does Sly-‘ she halted her own thoughts, dispersing the raccoon from her mind. No, she wouldn’t think about him.
Once the light passed, she went around and found an opening in the back of the building. She let out a sigh of relief. The first step was done. But the worst wasn’t over yet. It would only get harder from that point on, she knew, but there was no backing out now… right?
She hesitated for a moment. Finding her resolve, she went inside. She would never forgive herself if she quit. She hid herself as best she could and looked around the museum. There were a few skeleton guards… but even one cut her chances of getting through this unseen.
Carmelita jumped but managed to withhold the urge to yelp.
“Roxy!” she scolded in a hush tone.
“Sorry,” she said in a somewhat cocky tone. “So, ya gonna go or not?”
Carmelita gave Roxy a glare that clearly stated, “Just wait until we get back to the hotel,” before she looked back down the hallway. She took deep breath and ran for it, avoiding the lasers on the floor and the spotlights from the ceilings. She was doing rather well until she got to the end… where one of the guards heard her. She jumped out of sight and hid in the shadows, almost not making it in time.
‘How does Cooper do this?’ she wondered briefly. She shook her head again, trying to rid him from her thoughts. ‘No! I won’t think about him. I hate him and he hates me. Thinking about him will only distract me!’ She damned Roxy for bringing the thief up in the first place.
Carmelita went into the main exhibit. She looked around. Where would they put a priceless ruby….? Ah! She ran over and jumped up to the second floor and smiled some.
“Predictable...” she muttered to no one.
She blinked at herself. Sure, she did things like this, but that was only to catch criminals. Now… she was a criminal--the realization still has not worn off her shock no matter how many times she thought about it--and her years as an Interpol officer had allowed her the skills to become one. Criminals and law enforcers… maybe Sly… She shook her head.
‘No! I said I wouldn’t think about him! Damn it!’ she cursed in her mind, once again mentally condemning Roxy to Hell for speaking of him to her.
“Hey!” softly shouted a rather irate voice.
Carmelita blinked and looked down. There was Roxy.
“Ya gonna give me a lift or what?”
Carmelita sighed some. She was going to kill the feline when they went back. She looked around and found a computer. From the way it was wired, even she could guess it was linked to the security on the stairs. Great… she never was good with computers. She began to press buttons, trying to figure out how to shut down the security. After almost fifteen minutes of fruitless efforts, Carmelita lost her temper, growled, and slammed her foot into the computer. Little bits of electricity sparked out and the lasers blinked three times before disappearing. The fox stared at the machine in disbelief.
“Guess ya don’t need to be a computer geek to get the job done,” Roxy commented as she made her way up the stairs.
The women looked at each other and then headed down the hall. It didn’t take them long to find the safe with the ruby in it. It was supposed to go on display tomorrow. Roxy cracked her knuckles. “Leave this to me,” she said with a smirk and she started working on the combination lock.
Carmelita watched as her partner fiddled with the lock until it eventually gave way in Roxy’s apparently skilled hands. Carmelita raised a brow as the cat looked at her, grinning, “What can I say? The briefcases usually had locks on ‘em.”
Carmelita grinned, rolling her eyes. Okay, maybe she wouldn’t kill her. Roxy opened the safe door and pulled out a perfectly cut ruby nearly the size of Carmelita’s fist. Roxy gave the gem to her and Carmelita stashed it in a black plastic grocery bag, wrapped it up and held it to her chest as the two ran off in the direction they came.
“Freeze!” shouted an officer… wait Carmelita knew him. It was Wes! She inwardly groaned. She should have guessed that computer would set off a silent alarm. This was one of the last things she needed to happen.
She looked at the shock pistol in his hand and swiftly kicked it out of his grasp. Right on cue, Roxy grabbed the gun and pointed it at him. Carmelita laughed, “I don’t think so.”
Wes’ eyes widened, “Carmelita?”
Carmelita brought one of her hands to her head, “Oh, no…”
“What do you think you’re doing?” he asked, accusing shock evident in his voice and his face.
“Wes, you know what they did… my sister’s alive. I know it, but… I have to save her. I have to do this.”
Wes shook his head, “You realize they’ll find out about you.”
Carmelita nodded her head; she’d no doubt that if it hadn’t happened already Chief Byrd would contact Chief Barkley. Then Interpol would know that both she and Roxy were no longer in New York, and then they’d assume—correctly—that they were in Paris. She lowered her head, looking at the concealed gem, “I know.”
He sighed, “Look… just go.”
Her head snapped up, “What?”
“Just go. I won’t tell them about you… I’ll handle everything here.”
She smiled underneath her mask; he was risking a lot by helping her, “Thank you.”
“It’s the most I can do for you. I can’t keep them from finding out, you know that. And after they do, I can’t help you anymore. I wish I could but-“
“I know. And it’s enough.”
Wes watched as Carmelita and that other one—who he assumed was a she—ran off without delay. He thought about Carmelita as he made his way to the security room and took out the security tape that held the evidence of him talking to two criminals. While he was expecting her return, what she’d done had come as a complete shock to him.
He knew her; he felt that he knew her better than most people. But this… this wasn’t in her character and—though he sort of understood why she was doing it—he wasn’t quite sure how he was supposed to handle this. He knew he would help her, he had to. She was his friend and… his boss had plans for her.
He crushed the tape and threw it in the garbage.
“You let them get away?” shouted the chief.
“It was Cooper and his gang, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again,” the detective told him.
Barkley rubbed his temples, “It better not, but we have more important problems right now. Inspector Fox has disobeyed orders, she left her post and we have reason to suspect she and another officer, Roxanne Blue, are here in Paris.”
‘What gave you that idea?’ he thought cynically. “In all due respect, Chief, didn’t you think Carmelita would come back for her sister?”
“It doesn’t matter; she ignored the direct order to stay there! It was for her own good! If you find her, arrest her and her partner and bring them here!”
Sorry for the shortness but I have to leave soon and I really wanted to post this before I did. I’ll update soon, promise. Hope you like it, please review.