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White collar

By Dayreader

Drama / Adventure

The louvre heist

Neal laid on the ground, his body cold and heavy. His weak pulse kept his heart pumping, blood flowed down his chest and Neal’s eyes flickered as he got blinded by the light. Keller smiled to look down at the defeated now ex-conman, he had won.
There was no goodbye or no nothing, Keller just needed to escape. So he left Neal to bleed out to death as he ran out of the underground cellar and out to the corridor to flee the scene.
Moments later, when the footsteps faded and complete silence reached Neal’s attention, he opened his eyes and took a deep relieved breath. It was finally over, at least soon.
Neal fished out a pill from his right pocket and swallowed it. New footsteps appeared to be on the way to the room so the plan needed to be set in motion.
Neal wouldn’t lie, getting shot hurt like hell; but it was necessary if he wanted to be free.

The pill kicked in and he felt the effect take on immediately. Neal closed his eyes and his heartrate slowed down. Paramedics he realized as he felt himself being lift up unto something comfortable. 
“We’re losing him!” a familiar voice yelled, yes, Carmen. Carmen was the one that had paid for the container, Neal had met her along his adventurous life and she had owned him a favor.

 Neal Caffrey was, by paper and law; utterly dead. New York’s Newspapers page 4 had announced that he had passed away by receiving a bullet in his chest.
Alex couldn’t believe this- it was Neal Caffrey after all. Giving him the beneficial of a doubt, she had visited the morgue to calm her nerves.

But when she had conned her way into the morgue by dressing up as a doctor, she had found a body- but in her relief not his body. Caffrey was still out there and Alex couldn’t help but smirk; she was going to find him- and she was going to get whole damn story of why he had scared her like that.

  Peter reached for the door knob with shaky fingers. He had lost his partner, hell, why not partner in crime and friend.

Neal Caffrey was free.

Those words were meant to be happy, but the sentence left a big dark hole in Peter’s heart as he stomped into the living room. He was greeted by Ellie who immediately realized that something was wrong.
“Hon what’s wrong?” she wore a worried expression and Peter dabbled his way through darker to find his way back to her.
“He’s free.” the words weren’t louder than a whisper and Ellie wrapped her arms around Peter who accepted her embrace.
“Free as in?” Ellie gained even more worried and she stroked her hand down his back.
“Neal got shot, he’s gone and this time he isn’t coming back.”

Neal Caffrey sat by a small round table at a nice café sipping some fine wine as he watched the museum. Neal hadn’t lost his taste in fashion, because how could he? He was Neal Caffrey. He wore a dark suit along with a grey tie that made him look excessively handsome.
A waitress passed his table asking him if he wanted something else; in return he smiled, it was a smile that you could trust.
“I’m good”, he returned his look back at the museum. All he needed to do was to get inside it and steal one of their most expensive pieces- because then he would have enough cash to get away. But was this his last heist?

 Oh no, this wasn’t the end, not really.

  This was just the beginning. The chase was on and Neal, who was more confident than ever before, hoped to see agent Peter Burke once again.

One year later

Neal strolled around in his luxury, not to mention, overpriced apartment with his hands clasped together behind his back.

  The floor was covered by a quiet and smooth dark oak floor and the walls wore a titanium white color. There were three big white windows along the wall facing the streets. Red curtains covered the windows, stopping the moon and the stars to illuminate the room.

Neal walked over to one of the red cushion chairs and placed his elbows against his knees while resting his chin against his palms.

  He was intensively thinking, so the apartment was silent, the big flat TV was off and so was the radio.
Neal felt like waiting forever, what if something had went down wrong?

His “what if’s” where stopped in the second there were six knocks on the door.

  Neal was quick on his feet as he walked over to the door to open it. Neal’s smile grew wide as he saw Mozzie carrying two big plastic bags.

  “Yeah, a little help would be appreciated.” He said while dropping the bags unto the floor.
“You got all of it?”
“Are you trying to insult me?” Neal gestured Mozzie to get inside and then Neal picked up the bags.
“Nice upgrade Neal”, Mozzie commented as he walked over to the fancy wine collection. Mozzie picked up a bottle or two and inspected its names.
“Yeah, I felt like moving out of the old one, but hey listen…”
“A Bodegas Roda Cirsion? Sweet”, Neal couldn’t help but roll his eyes as Mozzie helped himself by pouring a glass of expensive wine. Neal went to pack up the bags while shaking his head.
“Okay, so if you don’t mind me asking Neal, why do you need a diamond and why do you need old paint, as in 1450 century old paint?” Neal’s smile was back on as he studied the jars filled with the three primer colors.
“Give me one week and I will tell you all about it,” Neal said with a smirk as he picked up the jar containing blue color and studied it closely.

  One week later, Mozzie was back in Neal’s apartment, only when Neal told him what he wanted to do, Mozzie’s eyes grew wide along with a growing dismay.

“Okay, first of all, you’re going to steal the freaking Mona Lisa?”
“No, I said that we’re going to steal the Mona Lisa.”
“You’re seriously going to pull a Vincenzo Peruggia?”
“Hey, we’ve done way worse.”
“But you do have a plan right?” Neal leaned his head to the right and put on a smug smile.
“Mozz… you can trust me.”
“Said one conman to another”, Neal laughed and then rose from the wine red sofa.

“But Neal- ­let’s say that we hypothetically manage to actually steal the Mona Lisa, tell me; how are we going to sell it? If we sell it we’ll get caught.” Neal arched his eyebrows and his playful smile was back on. Neal walked over to something that was covered by a brown cloth and he pulled it off, revealing its content.

“Nice work Neal.”

The both of them took a moment to look at the Mona Lisa that was flawlessly painted. No one could recognize the difference if you pushed the both paintings together to inspect their flaws.

Only problem was that you needed to be real discreet to sell the painting because a painting like this would raise flags around the world. The only tricky part about this would be that the world wouldn’t notice that the painting was missing. But then again, the challenge of stealing Mona Lisa was just too tempting for Neal to turn down.

“Neal, what are you not telling me? Do you even have a lined up buyer?” Neal’s smile fell and he sighed as walked back to the sofa. 
“I promise that I will tell you in time, it’s not just safe right now to tell you.” Mozzie was not amused, and neither was his gaze that he kept sending towards Neal.

“Mozz, I know what I’m doing.”

“Really? No matter of how grateful I should be about you disappearing, in order to ‘protect’ us from the panthers,”
“I honestly thought that you were dead Neal. Well, until I found that storage unit.” Mozzie’s satisfaction about the Mona Lisa flooded away and was followed by a sigh. This wasn’t really the talk that Neal wanted to be engaged in right now, but he knew that he couldn’t escape it.
“I just wish that you would have told me”, Mozzie looked so disappointed and Neal… he just felt guilty.
“I know, but I couldn’t Mozz. They would have known.”
“I suppose that you’re right.” The both of them looked at each other, waiting for the other to speak up. But when the silence finally gained to be awkward, Neal shot up from the chair and clasped his hands together, about to change the topic.
“Okay, so this is the plan…” Mozzie seemed intrigued at the switched topic, but he didn’t seem to be quite finished with the talk. 

After Neal explained the basics, Mozzie began to question the fragile parts of the plan.

“How do we break through the glass? It’s impossible Neal.”
“Yes, I know. That’s why we are going to use the diamond to make the painting move into another room with less eye witnesses.” Mozzie’s eyebrows shot to the roof.
“The storage room?”
“And in the storage room we will make the swap, I see. Neal, I don’t know how to say this, but this might actually work.”

Neal flashed a cocky smile, “Oh I know it will.”

  Mozzie walked down the corridors of the Louvre Museum, leaving a squeaky sound as his heals slammed against the wooden parquet. He chew some gum as his eyes were pinned on the Mona Lisa in front of him, Mozzie still couldn’t figure out why Neal would want to risk all of this just to get his hands on the Mona Lisa. Well, why couldn’t he just steal a Monet? Why go this far?

“Mozz, are you with me?” Mozzie heard Neal’s voice over the earpiece.
“Yeah, yeah, everything’s under control.” Mozzie stopped in front of the Mona Lisa, looking around the room that was half full. It was brood daylight and yet they were going to steal the Mona Lisa. Mozzie wore an empty black bag over his shoulders and a brown coat. 
“Neal, go.” Mozzie returned to reality and picked up the small diamond from his pocket. They could just have evacuated the building by pulling the fire alarm, but the police would probably be too quick on the scene before Mozzie and Neal could escape.
“Have you seen my mom? Dad?” a kid asked on the other side of the room. Mozzie whirled the diamond between his fingertips and waited for the moment.

The kid started to whimper, a couple, the two guards and the people drew their curious looks toward the kid that was walking around the room puzzled. The kid had gotten 50 bucks to stall, or rather, to make a scene.

Mozzie reached the glass with the Mona Lisa, spat out his gum and plastered it over the glass. He put the diamond on the gum and then he gently pressed it in further so that the diamond was stuck in the gum and in contact with the glass.

“And here goes for nothing,” Mozzie exclaimed as he hit the diamond with the nearest extinguisher.

The glass shattered, and that’s when all hell broke loose.

“Neal, go.” Neal walked fast down the corridor until he reached the end of the hallway where the ventilator shaft was.

 Neal picked out a screwdriver with a pair of black gloves from his black bag and started to screw loose the bolts. The ventilation shaft wasn’t big, but Neal was fit enough to slip through it.

 When he finally took the bolts down, he removed the grid and helped himself into the ventilation shaft. Well inside, he took the grid and put it back in place so that no one would suspect anything. Neal wouldn’t lie, the ventilation shaft wasn’t the most hygienic one; dust was all over the place.

 Neal crawled through the ventilation shaft that didn’t seem to end.

 “Mozz, you okay?” Neal asked through the earpiece.
“I-I could h-have b-been b-better”, he sounded exhausted, which was good cause it meant that the guards were chasing him.
“And the painting?”
“It’s b-been moved.”  Neal smirked as he finally reached his destination. There was a grid beneath him that allowed him to take a glance at the room. The room was neat and tidy and there were countless of paintings and sculptures around the room. Neal waited patiently until he heard the sound of a door opening.
“Neal, hurry; my stamina is finally catching up with me.” Neal didn’t answer as he saw a guard drop off the Mona Lisa on one of the tables. It was three meters to the floor from the shaft.

  This was just too easy. The guard left in a hurry as someone called him over the radio to catch a “forty something year old” with a black cap and a brown coat.

 Neal removed the grid and he slid quietly down onto the floor. He ran over to the Mona Lisa and he put down his bag. Neal picked up the fake one and placed it on the table. He turned the real Mona Lisa around and he started to peel off the frame. Seconds later he put the fake one in the frame and he took a look at the real Mona Lisa that was turned around unto its back.

 There it was, the message Neal had been looking for. Neal pulled out his phone and took a photo of the back.

 There was a sudden noise of people out in the corridor so Neal took that as his cue to leave. 

He picked out a dark bag and put the Mona Lisa in it and then he pushed the fake Mona Lisa a bit to the left so that the guard wouldn’t suspect the swap.

 Panic seized in Neal’s eyes as he heard keys rustle on the other side of the door. He took a fast glance around the room to be sure that he hadn’t left anything behind and then he ran to the ventilation shaft.
“Mozz, get out of there.” Neal said strained as he now jumped up to grip the edge of the ventilation shaft. He managed to do that and climb up just to hear the door open.

 Neal’s heart was throbbing and the adrenaline kept him going in a fast pace as he quickly put the grid back in place.

 That was close. But Neal cracked a smile as he couldn’t stop but to love the adrenaline rush.

 Neal crawled back from where he had entered and then he took off his grey jumpsuit, Neal was no longer dressed as a cleaner. Neal left the jumpsuit back in the elevator shaft and then he walked out as a police officer.

Mozzie promised himself that he would never run ever again because this was just too exhausting. His shoes slammed violently against the wooden floor as he was on his way to the lobby. There were about five guards hunting him and Mozzie hated to be the distraction.

“Mozz, get out of there.” In that moment, Mozzie loved those words.

 When he finally managed to reach the lobby that was surrounded by guards, he couldn’t help his panting as he looked at the exit doors that were blocked by guards. Unfortunately they couldn’t have stolen the Mona Lisa in a more discreet way.

 Mozzie rounded the cashier desk and he could feel the guards breathing down his neck as he rounded the corner. In that exact moment the guards had lost their visual on him and Mozzie was relieved as he saw Neal just meters away. Mozzie dumped his bag in the nearest garbage bin and Neal quickly slid off his black, identical bag and helped Mozzie put it on.

 When the guards rounded that corner they saw the person responsible for the vandalism handcuffed by a police officer in dark sunglasses.

 “It’s okay, I’ve got him. I will bring him down to the station.” The guards seemed a bit surprised that the police had been so quick to get to the scene, but they shrugged it off, letting the conman’s slip right through their fingers.

The guards by the exit doors stepped aside and let them pass. Neal grinned as he led Mozzie out of the Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa. 

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