Your character’s an extremely talented pickpocket. He learned the skill when he was young and poor. Now he has a good job, a healthy bank account, and a respectable lifestyle, but he thinks it’s a shame to let such remarkable talent go to waste.
I see him the moment I step into the ballroom. A blonde in a red sequined shift is draped over the left arm of his tux.
His right hand moves up, smoothing over his already slick hair. The raise of his arm reveals the weight hidden in his inner right jacket pocket. A wallet.
It’s been a long time since I’ve lifted one. There is no need to lift one now. But I am tempted to test my skills, see what I can win.
A smile flirts across my lips, my hands slipping down over my hips, straightening the cream-colored silk that flows from my shoulders.
I move through the room, establishing myself as a hugger. He smiles when he sees me, disentangling the blonde from his arm at my approach. “Julie, it’s been a long time.” He closes the distance between us.
I slide into his embrace, my hands skimming the surface of his shirt and jacket. He lingers a moment longer than he should. As I pull away, his wallet falls into the small clutch around my wrist.
I smile up at him, then look over his shoulder, moving on to my next admirer. “It is good to see you, George.”
I quickly work my way across the room, eager to escape and see what I have. Safely locked in a bathroom stall, I open my clutch and lift the worn brown leather laying inside. I flick past photos, ID, credit cards, and cash. A small haul, only eighty dollars. The payoff is the adrenaline still coursing through my veins.
A plastic card slips from my fingers and falls at my feet. Emblazoned in gold foil are the words ‘The Royal Palms.’ The number 903 is etched on the back.
I close my eyes, imagining what I might find in the hotel room. A safe to pick. Jewelry left laying on the counter. Cash tucked into a suitcase. But I will have to move fast, before George notices he is missing something.
I tuck the card and wallet back into my clutch and head for a taxi. The drive to the hotel is long, my adrenaline surges with every mile. Deep breaths hold me together.
I skip the elevator, dodging most of the security cameras. Nine flights of stairs is too much for heels, so I slip them off and hike up my skirt for the climb.
I pause outside room 903, my hand resting on the surface of the door, my ear pressed against the smooth surface. I listen. I hear only the soft sound of forced air. I scan the key card and slip into the room.
I push the door closed behind me and drop my shoes to the floor. My eyes enter the room and I freeze. George is sitting on the bed, tossing popcorn into his mouth. “Julie. I was hoping it would be you.”
I keep my face calm, steady, the jumble of thoughts inside my head safely tucked away.
“This is a bit awkward, isn’t it?” George sets his bag of popcorn aside, and stands. “What do you think it’s going to cost you?”
I reach into my clutch for the only item I started the evening with. “Only another little piece of my soul,” I answer George as I pull the trigger.