Phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. Even with all hell breaking loose, Davidson had to deal with shit. His lawyers, his mother, even Nicky in London. He had to arrange things with people. The gang did that while watching the news trying to get information. Davidson even called Sergei to tell him the change in plans.
“Don’t worry, my next call is to Demetry to inform him, Mike told the capo absolving him of responsibility. Sergei was grateful as the boss was “busy” right now.
The burner phone was hot to touch- living up to its name as Mike pushed buttons for the Brooklyn area code.
“Mr. Roybokov it’s Michael. sir.”
“Yes, Michael I am very busy what do you want.” The boss sounded irritable on the phone.
“I understand that sir, but I can’t seem to get a hold of Feydor and I need to go over some logistics with him about the proceeds.”
“Feydor is dead, boy. Roybokov said quietly and with ice in his voice. He betrayed me.”
Davidson feigned ignorance. “I didn’t know that sir. I never liked the guy anyway,so…” he plowed ahead establishing what he needed to get done.
A grunt sounded from Demetry. That could be taken a lot of ways.
“Sir, we have a slight change of plans in that I am going to London in a day to deal with the alarm, but I need to know how you want me to get the package to you. I can’t ship to the pawn shop, now obviously.”
That was both items dropped on the man. Mike waited him out.
’Da. Send them to the tea house,” the Bratva head decided.
How should I respond? If I was playing this straight no way would I agree to that. Davidson decided on a mild protest after a pause to think it thru.
“Sir, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Geological samples coming to a teahouse? A ware house or office would be much better.”
The quiet tone again sent shivers down his spine. This was Demetry’s killing voice.
’Yes, sir. Look for them about three to four weeks after the job.” “At the teahouse,” he confirmed.
Mike knew that Sergei was going to be following up his call with one of his own. He would do nothing but tell Roybokov that the jobs were on track and the gang was proceeding normally with slight modifications. Good.
The next call was fun of a different sort.
“Lt. O’Rourke how are you today?” “This is Michael Davidson.”
“Is it? Who the hell are you? Where is Sydney Devereaux, where are you? What the hell is going on?”
Davidson let the cop get out some of his frustrations.
Michael sketched out a highly edited version of what was going on.
’Are you admitting to being a part of the Russian Mafia?”
“Brotherhood, Lt. They call it the Brotherhood. And I’m not a part of it, just the Thief in Law.”
James O’Rourke let that part slide.
’Demetry Roybokov is responsible for the four floaters you just pulled out of the east river.” “Talk to the FBI.”
“Where is Ms. Devereaux?” The cop repeated in a more normal voice.
Mike sketched out Mary’s killing and Sydney’s kidnapping without adding in minor details like what he was doing and why.
“Sydney is not involved with this. She is just a victim. Demetry killed those guys after I busted her out.”
“How in the hell did you do that?”
“I’m a thief LT. No one steals from me.”
“Davidson I have to report you to Interpol you know?”
“I realize that, man. The flying squad can’t catch me.”
But they could. He knew that and took precautions.
The full costume took him hours to put on at the villa. The bald cap was the sweatiest thing he’d worn in a while. The glasses and the mod clothes allowed him to walk right by Vladimir, one of the Russian muscle, at the Dubai airport without a second look by the man. Sergei was probably under strict orders: “Track them at all times.” Roybokov need to know where they all were in order to kill them.
He knew the disguise was good when Sydney gasped as she opened the door to the Rosewood hotel room where she was staying at his knock.
’Syd, it’s me..”
“Michael?” She grabbed an arm. “What is going on?”
The Rosewood is an old style hotel in London. Smaller rooms but very tastefully decorated, the suite had a small couch with a coffee table and desk. The bedroom was off the small door in the corner of the room. The heavy curtains blocked out the puffy white clouds and actual sunshine from outside. Spring had finally come to the British capitol.
Davidson sat on the couch next to her and showed Sydney the news story from the Post: ’Four bodies pulled from the river!”
She read the ipad in horror and guilt and fascination with a frozen look on her face.
“Syd, honey? You okay?” He asked after a while. Just like the first time, that “honey” just kind of slipped out.
’What does this mean?” she asked the air in general.
“It means that Demetry has punished the people responsible for losing you.” “Lt. O’Rourke says hi by the way. He’s going after the two cops who killed Mary.” He told her all this to get to stop dwelling on the murders.
Syd was silent a while and then got up to look out the window. Mike gave her a moment to adjust. No more tears, he saw. She was done crying over this situation. Tough woman.
Michael came up beside her and watched the clouds drift by. “I know you did not want those men to die, Syd,” he started.
She shook her head starting to say “No”, when he continued. “You may have thought you wanted them dead but the reality is far different.” “You are not responsible for their deaths Sydney.” She seemed grateful for that statement so he went on. “Let me finish my work and let the FBI take care of Demetry.” Then you can go home.”
She absorbed that and seemed to agree. The woman went back and sat on the couch. “I was beginning to enjoy my time as an international jewel thief.” “Fancy hotels, first class flights, excitement.” She risked a smile at him.
He sat and grinned right back at her.
“Yeah, my gang would be happy to have you on board!”
“Those people really do love you don’t they?” she said watching him while she spoke.
“I guess so. We’ve been together for so long now we are like a family.”
“They are. They are your family,” she agreed.
Mike found himself sitting next to her regaling her with tales from his jobs. How he met Graeme. Forteazza, The Harry Winston job. KLM.
“I’ve read about those!”
He nodded. “We found Rick in 08 kind of hanging around the neighborhood and…”
“That young man thinks the world of you, Mike.”
Davidson nodded and was silent until he said, “I’m probably not the role model he needed.”
“Mike.. she started and then stopped as a confused look bloomed on her face.
“Its messed up huh? “You want to say, No Mike- You are a fine role model for that boy.” But…”
She did not have any response to that because that was exactly what she was thinking. He was a fine role model. He was a thief.
He was trustworthy but he was a thief.
He didn’t lie but he was a thief.
It was hard to wrap her head around the contradiction.
This happens all the time, he thought at her telepathically while he let her come around.
It seemed to work. A slow smile grew on her face and she relaxed.
’Why did you get involved with me in the first place,” she asked.
’Have you seen yourself naked?”
That thought slipped thru his mental guard and her defenses and made both of them laugh.
“I couldn’t help it Syd. I can’t stop thinking about you and I’m miserable when you aren’t around. Course I’ve been miserable when you yell at me lately..”
“I was mad at first and then scared and then miserable too.”
He held his breath and looked at her.
Michael Davidson said the only three words he could think of. Just three little words that embodied the trust and love he felt for her.
She smiled and tentatively reached a hand to his face. They kissed, and it turned passionate as she clutched at him.
“Are you sure? “Syd, I’m s…”
“Shut the fuck up.” “And stop saying that word.”
Davidson started undressing.
She ran a hand down his flat chest and stomach as the shirt came off. The abs standing out and the V muscles in his groin rippling as he moved.
“What the hell have you been doing?”
He laughed and picked her up to take her to the bedroom. She only weighed a little over a billet box.
His last clear thought for a long while was: She still might kill me at the end of this. Well, thats okay.
Wednesday the 4th of April was a hot windy mess in Dubai. Graeme and the rest of the team chaffed at the villa and tried to keep the stooges from going over to London.
’We are going over in two days any way” “The squad is on to us. If they see us hanging about the place…” He left the rest unsaid.
Sergei growled and left. He was plenty pissed Mike had given them the slip but could not openly vent lest the gang know they were being watched. Which they did anyway.
“I should be the one doing this,” Ira complained. “I’m the alarm expert.”
“Sydney and Mike can clip the fucking gear onto the lines just fine, shammer.”
“It was more fun when Sydney was here, Rick chipped in.
“Jesus, you need to get laid!”
Gretchen had nothing to add, thank god.
Meanwhile in London, the other two members of the group, slept in late, ate room service and made love. The perfect sunny weather held true as they prepared for the work.
It was the most relaxed Michael had ever been to start a job. It was more like a date than an an op.
The evening crowds on Greville and Hatton Gardens street were taking advantage of the weather to swarm around and shop. After the full work day and the pre Easter rush, the pubs and restaurants filled up quickly. The smartly dressed couple were obviously fresh from work as briefcase and messenger bag occupied a third chair at the table at the pub diagonally across the street from the Hatton Gardens Safety deposit company.
The bald dude looked like Professor Xavier from X Men and the woman like a brown haired Reese Witherspoon.
Two leisurely drinks and some bar snacks allowed the crowds to thin and no one took notice as they walked the blocks to the back of the alley way. The junction box still stood next to the shop buildings, away from the eyes of shoppers.
As he worked the pad lock Syd resisted the urge to give advice. It took him 45 seconds to unlock the device.
“What?” he asked to her secretive expression. She stayed silent.
The cover flipped open and the leads clipped on just as easily. The door closed back with a bang.
’Okay, lets do this.”
The pair moved back to the front of the street and Sydney reached into her briefcase and activated the remote.
She stared at the street waiting for the explosion.
“It didn’t work,” she complained out the side of her mouth.
’Hang on a moment. Give it time.”
Michael was concentrating on the man hole cover at the intersection of Greville and Hatton Garden. The round metal lid was less than 30 yards from the entrance to their target.
A puff of black smoke seemed to burp up from the manhole.
30 seconds later a larger belch of smoke went up as the heavy cover lifted off its seat before settling back down.
Sydney noticed that all along the street now, covers were bouncing up and a set of indian smoke signals was issuing into the darkened sky.
’Here we go!” Mike’s eyes were alight with fascination.
The pair watched as traffic was affected now on both streets they could see in the panorama. First one then another cover was permanently blown off its foundation to make the cars swerve around the smoke and a small shot of flames.
’Why is it doing that?” Syd asked.
’Heat, smoke and gas from the fire, Mike said. “Its going to get going now.” So should we.” They made their way back to the junction box. Unnoticed as the crowds started watching the fire.
The “it” he mentioned was the fire and he was right. The tunnel system acted as a sideways chimney as the gas and flames had exit points. This caused air to rush into the void from other ends of the tunnel system.
The fire roared to full life as fresh air fed the flames. Within minutes the fire achieved flashover as temps hit 1800 degrees.
Everything in the utility tunnel burned. Trash, insulation, newly placed wood fiber material, pipes. Everything. Most importantly for the thieves, the alarm lines for the whole system along the diamond district melted into a slag pile.
Ira’s equipment was also burned into lumps of electronic waste.
Crowds watched as the fire men poured water down the tunnels trying to extinguish the flames.
Hundreds of people were on their cell phones taking pictures so Mike being on the phone with Ira in Dubai was perfectly normal.
He read off the monitor values to Levinson.
’You sure Mike?”
“Line one is set high. Line two is ground, three is open and four is blinking.” How did you know?”
’Wrap it up, Mikey we are golden!” Or should I say, Diamond certified.” Ira crowed, very happy.
The couple detached the gear and closed the box and picked their way carefully down the street. The Rosewood was only a few short blocks.
Turned out to be one of the worst fires in London in a long time. The late BBC news program detailed the damage to the utilities tunnel.
’The diamond district shopping centers will be closed on Thursday. Officials are hopeful to reopen on Friday which coincidentally is the date of the last diamond site for the venerable DeBeers company in London…” The BBC late news program gave the particulars on the consortium’s move.
Davidson clicked off the TV in the room. “Jesus sometimes we are too smart for our own good.”
“Whats wrong? Its not a coincidence that site thing is Friday- right?”
“No it is not,” he told her. We set the fire to defeat the alarm system but if the safety deposit company can not open then the whole thing is moot.”
“Pretend for a second I’m a doctor not an International jewel thief and only vaguely aware of what a site holding is and why its important.”
“International jewel thief?”
That got the look from her, so he went into detail about the way DeBeers operated. The whole story of the convergence of diamond distribution and moving to Africa along with Easter weekend and the deposit company came out.
Sydney was incredulous.
“Yeah its kind of messed up.” Like so many things he thought. “So Hatton Gardens has to open up in order for the job to work.”
A series of tense emails and phone calls criss crossed the world all day on Thursday. Demetry, Sergei, Graeme,Trevor, Lloyds and even Nicholas Roybokov were all queried and consulted one way or another waiting for word.
The early news at 5:00 pm confirmed the competence of the British working class and the can do attitude that won the empire.
“The district will be open Friday with little impact to shoppers. Other businesses along the streets will be open as well.”
“Thank you, Nigel, that is excellent news,” the female presenter said.
Sweetness you have no idea, Mike agreed in his head, clicking off the program.
The follow on texts to his contacts all said one word: Go.