In the City of Sthapan, Tuesday Evening, Orion Five Star Hotel, 6.45 p.m.
The kiss was long and deep and it left a lingering smile on Aaditya's lips.
He pushed himself back as he studied Kritika's gray eyes who were looking like they always did – with absolute mischievousness. Her curly hair was dancing like it had life of its own and her oval face took his breath away.
It took all of Aaditya's will power to break his gaze from her as he turned his attention away from her gray eyes.
"That is for luck, Mr. Raik. Are you sure you do not want me along with you on this 'trip'?" Kritika's husky voice was as usual teasing him as Aaditya was still struggling to focus around him. God, this was so not going to work out... Aaditya told himself. If Kritika was anywhere there in the vicinity, Aaditya was finding it impossible to focus on anything. And considering what Aaditya really did for a living... that was very dangerous. To put it mildly.
Aaditya adjusted the ear-piece properly in his ear as he shook his head at Kritika. "Sweetheart, the Queen is my steal. Just mine," Aaditya said as he was studying the building schematics of the hotel. "This one steal needs to be done only by me."
Aaditya looked at the picture of a beautiful green flawless diamond and smiled at it.
Both Aaditya and Kritika were sitting inside a car as Aaditya was hunched over the schematics and studying the building before them again.
Kritika was silent for a few seconds as Aaditya suddenly looked up. "Exactly, who owns the Queen, Kriti?"
Kritika sighed as she shook her head. "I cannot find the real owner, Aaditya." She sounded peeved. Understandably so.
In all the ten years that she and Aaditya had been thieves, Kritika was the one who got Aaditya his information about the various jewels. Agreed, Aaditya was the one who made the plans, but then Aaditya just could not do it without Kritika – her rock solid research into the jewels, the security, everything – that was what Aaditya relied on – heavily.
But this time, Kritika had hit a wall. She just could not find out who owned the Queen – the nearly flawless emerald which had earned its nickname. Kritika just knew that the Queen was right now in the high class Orion hotel, because the owner wanted to sell the jewels to the royals in the city of Sthapan.
Kritika just could not get any other information about the jewels.
But then Aaditya was contacted by his fence – an aging Shailendra Nath – a man who ran an antiques shop in the city, as a front.
It seems Shailendra had a customer who wanted the Queen.
Shailendra had naturally contacted Aaditya.
Aaditya had agreed to get it.
So right now, when Aaditya had found that the jewels were in the city he had decided that now was the time to strike.
The Orion's security was not something over the top and Aaditya wanted a go at it before the jewels went to the royals.
Aaditya knew that the museum of the royals of Sthapan was far too well guarded for a clean theft.
Besides Aaditya would hardly be the best in his business, if he let an opportunity like this miss.
Aaditya slowly nodded as he heard Kritika. That was the problem with this entire venture. It was too easy and with too little information. Aaditya's nerves were not exactly ok with that. Call it stupidity, but Aaditya genuinely believed that if anything was too easy, there was probably something far too wrong with it.
Aaditya sighed as he folded up the schematics and he handed it over to Kritika. "Guide me through the security."
He was dressed like a waiter of the hotel – that was not a problem. The only odd thing was the ear-piece. But then it was too tiny for it to be noticed.
Aaditya wore his thick glasses and studied himself and realized that absolutely no one was going to look at his heavily wrinkled face and weird make up and know that beneath all this, Aaditya was actually a twenty nine year old extremely athletic thief with laughing brown eyes and a broad forehead.
"The range of your ear-piece is around 500 meters." Kritika said slowly. "I have hacked into the cameras of the hotel. I can warn you in case of anything. The Queen is in the third floor. 354 Room. Keep your head down. At the beginning of every corridor at every floor there is a camera – on both sides. Room 354 is right at the centre of the corridor. Get those cleaner trolleys as soon as you get inside the hotel and just to shake off suspicion visit the other rooms and then come to Room 354. The jewels mostly should be kept in the safe there. Or in the luggage. It is not with the hotel guys." Kritika said taking a deep breath.
Aaditya nodded as Kritika continued. "The lift is huge and it should be completely easy for any person to walk inside the reception without suspicion as long as he looks like he belongs there. You, Mr. Raik," Kritika said quietly. "You will be entering through the kitchen entrance at the back and you will come to the main reception and get inside the lift. I just checked with the hotel guys and I know that the man in Room 354 just left about fifteen minutes back. The staff of the hotel change in another seven minutes and that is when you must get in. Because then the staff would not pay too much attention to you."
Aaditya nodded absently. "Did you know that Shailendra told me that Rik was also making a play for the Queen?"
Kritika stiffened as she heard Aaditya and for the first time a worried look shot through her face.
This was the reason, Aaditya had not told this information to Kritika until the last minute.
She would worry and that Aaditya just could not bear.
"Why...?" Kritika's words died in her throat and Aaditya knew that she was really worried. Her gray eyes went a darker shade of gray.
But it was natural.
Rik was a yesteryear thief and he and Aaditya had a complicated history. Aaditya had started his journey as a thief by being part of Rik's gang. But then Aaditya had found Rik too prone to violence and worse on their very first joint work, Rik had cheated Aaditya out of the share of the proceeds.
Aaditya had just broken away and moved on. And there was absolutely nothing Rik could do to Aaditya after that, because Aaditya was better and smarter and Aaditya's plans involved absolutely no violence. In fact, most of the times, no one even knew who was behind the theft, when Aaditya did it. Rik had already served a five year prison sentence when he was caught for armed robbery.
So in very simple terms, neither of the two thieves liked the other.
"Sweetheart!" Aaditya smiled as he kissed Kritika on her cheeks again. "Do not worry. Nothing is going to happen."
Strangely Kritika handed over a stethoscope to Aaditya as he put it inside his waiter's inner coat. Aaditya did not let Kritika say anything else as he walked out of the car and walked towards the hotel. "Check." Aaditya said as he tapped on the ear-piece to activate it.
"All the best." Kritika's voice on the ear-piece sounded annoyed but Aaditya knew that she would not say anything. Not as he was walking towards his steal.