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Shiny, Sparkly Things

Shiny, Sparkly Things

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Shiny, Sparkly Things

140 pages
2 heures
Dec 10, 2013


They worked together once, to bring down a crime boss. Now, Gina asks for Nick’s help on another job: find out who’s stealing gems from necklaces and bracelets. And what do these thefts have to do with an antique royal crown?

She’s a thief. He’s a security expert. One thing they’ve learned from working together is that sometimes even the good guys have to bend the law to get the job done.

This book is 35,900 words, and is a follow-up to It Takes a Thief, in which Nick and Gina first meet. It is not romantic fiction.

Dec 10, 2013

À propos de l'auteur

I'm a native of upstate New York, but now live south of the Mason-Dixon line. I've been writing all my life, and enjoy various genres. Oh, and big surprise-- I like cats.

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Aperçu du livre

Shiny, Sparkly Things - Jean Louise

It Takes a Thief

Shiny, Sparkly Things

Jean Louise

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Copyright 2013 Jean Louise

All Rights Reserved

Published by J. Y. Harris Books

Smashwords Edition

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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Gina asks for Nick’s help on behalf of a friend. What does the theft of individual diamonds mean, and how is a local businessman involved? More importantly, what does any of it have to do with an antique royal heirloom?

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Author’s Note

Chapter One

An adventurous cat. He was losing sleep—literally—over a frisky feline. A plucky pet. A tenacious tom. A meandering mouser. A—

Nick shook his head to clear his thoughts. This was the third night in a row he’d been awakened for a security ‘emergency’ at this location, and lack of sleep was starting to make him punchy. But as he stood in front of the warehouse in his tennis shoes, jeans, and hastily-donned t-shirt, he felt relieved that at least they finally had their answer to the recurring security breach, and the culprit was even now cowering behind a dilapidated wheelbarrow in the corner of the lot, luminous eyes reflecting the beam of a security guard’s flashlight.

A friggin’ neighborhood cat! Well, now that they knew what was causing the problem, they could solve it easily enough. But not now, not right this moment. Now, Nick just wanted to get home and catch a few more hours of sleep before the work-day began. He spent a moment talking to his client and the security company rep and gratefully headed for home.

Owning a security consulting company had its advantages, but middle-of-the-night emergencies were definitely not one of them. Nick sighed as he got behind the wheel of his hybrid car and started home.

In another part of town, Angelina Carr was also looking forward to sleep. In her case, the issue wasn’t that she’d been awakened from slumber, by a phone call or otherwise, but rather that she hadn’t yet gone to bed. She’d worked the late shift that the movie theatre, and then gone for a drink with friends. Now, she was home and had just changed into her sleep shirt.

But even though she was physically tired, Gina was pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep anytime soon. Something she’d heard that evening had got her thinking, and wondering if she might be able to help someone. The least she could do was pick up the phone and get Nick’s opinion.


Gina looked to her bedside table, where she charged her phones overnight. Yes, that was phones, plural, as she had four of them, all in a row. She let her hand run idly over the third one from the left. It was the phone Nick had given her a few weeks ago, while they were working together. When their job was over, he told her to keep the phone, and it had occurred to her that if she discovered someone who could use their help, she’d give Nick a jingle.

So... jingle.

Of course, she’d wait until morning to call. Like any sane, responsible person, Nick was probably fast asleep at this time of night.

Chapter Two

It was almost nine-thirty when Nick got to his office at Aston Security Consulting. He’d already checked his mail and taken a few calls before leaving home, but he still felt as if he was slacking off after allowing himself to sleep late. You don’t build a successful business by lounging in bed every morning. But then, it was a unique situation, and there were extenuating circumstances. Now, at least he could look forward to getting a good night’s sleep tonight.

His three employees were all hard at work as he walked past their cubicles to his own office. It seemed like a quiet morning so far, which was always a good sign.

As soon as Nick settled into his chair and opened his laptop, his cell phone rang.


He hadn’t expected to see her name pop up on the display. It had been a few weeks since the two of them had worked together to bring down Volpin the vulture (or should that be fox?), not to mention Rico Coker, head of the noted criminal organization.

When Nick and Gina had parted ways after that... project... they’d joked that at some point they could get back in touch if one of them came across an issue that needed to be corrected.

And here she was, calling him.

Hey, stranger, he said by way of greeting. Long time, no hear from. What’s up?

Not much, she replied. How ya been?

He smiled. Just the daily grind. Been woken up the past three nights with a bizarre glitch with one of my clients.

Same client all three nights?

"Yep, but I think we can fix the glitch. And the mystery that surrounded it. So with luck I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep—a full night’s sleep—tonight."

Always a good thing, she agreed.

After the slightest pause, Nick said So... what’s up? You been keeping busy? He realized he’d repeated the what’s up question, but it had slipped out before he could think of something else.

Well, I’m still working at the movie theatre, so I’m up to speed on every film out there.

Yeah? What else you been up to? Nick knew she was leading up to something, and he was subtly trying to prod her along.

Actually.... She paused, and Nick was afraid she’d digress again. But she apparently rallied. Well, other than working—at the theatre, that is—I’ve come across something kind of interesting.

Yeah? Interesting how? Interesting as in fun trivia interesting? Or interesting as in... well, I don’t even know how to finish the analogy.

Gina laughed. How about this: interesting as in ‘challenging.’ To be precise, it’s something that I might consider a challenge.

That word, ‘challenge,’ was a dead giveaway. After completion of their joint operation a few weeks ago, Nick had asked Gina why she’d chosen her particular hobby, risky as it was. Because I enjoy the challenge, she’d said; the challenge was what made the hobby worthwhile for her.

And now she found another challenge.

Which meant... she found a ‘job.’

A challenge, huh? Yeah, I think that qualifies as interesting.

I thought it might. You wanna hear more?

Not now, he said. Not on the phone.

This evening? Say, seven? At the bar where you first tracked me down.

Nick agreed and they hung up.

* * * *

Well, she’d done it.

Gina let out a breath. She had no idea why she’d been nervous about calling Nick, but she had been. At least now it was done. Now they could begin to work on the problem.

Chapter Three

Nick arrived about six-fifty. He wanted to get this meeting over with as soon as possible, so he could go home and get a good night’s sleep. At least, that’s what he told himself; why else would he make a point to get there early?

As luck would have it, he was able to snag the booth he and Gina had sat in last time, where he’d first pitched his plan to her. He’d needed someone with her unique skills, and it turned out she needed something to keep her occupied.

Gina’s ‘skill,’ her particular hobby, was picking pockets. Since that was illegal and could get her in trouble, it was best that she somehow divert her instincts... or at least employ them for a better purpose.

She needed a challenge.

Nick’s ‘job’ had provided that challenge, and for the next week or so he and Gina had worked closely in carrying it out.

It had been fun, and then it was over.

And now she’d called him.

Nick ordered a beer.

* * * *

She found Nick in a booth—the same booth they’d sat in the first time they’d talked. Somewhat ironic. And fitting.

She hailed a waiter and gave her drink order, and then slid into the seat across from Nick.

Thanks for meeting me, she said.

Sure, anytime. So, you said you came across something interesting? Interesting in the same way that Jane Everidge’s situation with Volpin Credit Resources was interesting?

Gina nodded. Exactly. I’ve found another Jane Everidge. Except, with a different problem, of course.

Yeah, I figured that.

She looked at him.

Nick’s eyebrows rose. So... your interesting problem is...?

Oh, right! Gina shook her head a bit and forced herself to focus on the topic at hand. Well, here’s what happened. She waited while the server brought her drink, and then resumed. I was out with some friends recently, and one girl mentioned something that had happened to her mother. Her mother was awfully upset about it, but there doesn’t seem that there’s anything she can do. She can’t even prove when or where it happened. But she knows it happened, with or without proof!

Okay, Nick said, putting his hand up to slow her down. So what exactly is it that happened, that this woman doesn’t have any proof of?

She thinks two of her diamonds have been stolen.

"Two of her diamonds, Nick repeated. You mean she had a ring or necklace stolen? Isn’t that a matter for the cops?"

Gina shook her head and made a dismissive motion with her hand. No, no, not like that; it wasn’t a robbery.

Then what was it? And how is it ‘our’ kind of interesting?

Sighing, she said, Okay, I guess I should start at the beginning.

That would be helpful, he agreed.

Gina made a face at him. "Yeah, yeah, pretty boy, you’ll get your facts. So here’s the story from the top: my friend Cassie’s mother has a necklace, a family heirloom, apparently with a bunch of diamonds in it and very valuable. A few months ago she took it to be appraised and cleaned, as she wanted to wear it to some fancy event she and her husband were attending. Afterward, she felt something was ‘off’

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