Chapter 26 || A Caucasian Asian...
Finn spoke to his friends and told them that we belonged to the staff as they were blocking our way when we tried to enter the museum.
Walking through the door I was mildly intimidated by the sumptuousness of the main hall. It’s not that I’m not familiar with hall at all but the splendid decoration really did make a difference.
It was almost dark outside, only a few blood orange sunrays managed to light up the hall but vanished below the horizon a few minutes after.
The lightning in the hallway was really breathtaking because it reflected on the golden gems on the chandelier, making the whole museum look like a fairytale castle.
“From now on, you’re on your own.“, Finn nodded at both of us. “By the way, the staff room is on the first floor. If somebody asks, I fell for your lie that you were waiters and we have never seen each other before.”
“Thanks for the backing, protecting and serving is not really one of your specialties.“, I huffed at Finn, causing him to just roll his eyes in response.
“I’ll call you.“, he whispered in my ear before he vanished back through the door.
Nico and I approached the stairs, being confronted with a lot of rich people. It was pretty much like the gala all over again.
I was really exhausted, mentally and physically, but eager to find out the truth about the robbery no matter what.
“What’s that thing between you and Finn anyway ?“, Nico asked me after we successfully had climbed up two thirds of the stairs.
“Nothing of importance. I just had a crush on him but that happened long time ago and I really don’t want to talk about it right now.“, I hissed more than I intended to, but I’m just really tired of people asking questions to which I don’t have a ready reply.
“You don’t have to.“, he gave me a warm smile. “I’m just happy that you are moving on, although you were my first choice as Alex’ wife but it’s okay I’ll get over it.“, he added dramatically and I rolled my eyes at him. “It’s like a second Kyle is talking to me.”
As we had reached the last step of the stairs, we examined the floor to see if we could find anything that could guide us but it looked like any other museum.
On the opposite side of the stairs were old artefacts being placed in glass cabinets on the wall. According to the description on the bottom of the cabinet, they had been found in the grave of Tutankhamen a few years ago.
One cabinet showed a royal blue scarab which was of the size of a small apple. The golden decorations on it made it look even more magnificent aside from the ruby red gem in the middle of it.
“We don’t have time for treasure hunting.“, Nico said quietly as he grabbed my arm.
We had no idea which way to go which led us to wander around the museum like idiots when a woman looked at our direction from the end of the corridor, yelling something at us.
As she was approaching us, her silhouette became more evident, revealing her neat clothes and her perfectly braided auburn hair.
“You must be Brian Long and Li Chang. I’m so glad that you made it. Some of the waiters got sick and you need start working as soon as possible.“, the woman greeted us friendly, before eyeing me up sceptically.
This was the perfect chance for us to sneak around the museum without attracting any attention.
“I didn’t expect you to be...”
“What ? White ? If you must know I’m adopted and just because someone has an Asian name, it doesn’t mean they have to look like that.“, I huffed at her, having no idea what I just said.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.“, she said nervously. “My name is Ophelia and I’m the manager of the staff. If you have any problems just come to me.“, she led us to a room down the hall way.
As we entered it, there was only one guy in the room who was sitting on a metal table in the centre of the room. Silver locker rooms had been stringed together, starting from one side of the room to the other.
I was really anxious that she would find out what was going on, although there was no real reason to be afraid.
“You’ll find your uniform in your assigned locker with your name on it.“, she pointed at one of the lockers in the middle. “You need to hurry because we are understaffed and a lot of rich and stuck-up people hate it when their champagne arrives a degree to warm than they’re used to.“, she commented sarcastically and left the room.
“You played the racist card ? Really ?“, Nico whispered as we walked over to our lockers.
“Not only is it really effective, but I had no other choice. She would have probably realized that I was lying if I had stuttered while replying to her question.“, I defended myself, buttoning up the white blouse which laid in the small and rusty locker.
“So ? What’s your plan.“, Nico slammed his locker shut, revealing his fully dressed self.
“What plan ?”
“Well, you can’t just go to him and ask him if he robbed a museum, just saying.”
“I haven’t thought that we would actually make it inside.“, I answered as we exited the staff room. “Maybe I’ll just hit on him or anything like and if he is gay, I still have you as a backup plan.“, I grinned at him cheekily.
“I’d say that I’m not that type of boy but that would be a lie, so I’m down.“, he said indifferently. When he looked at me, he started eyeing me up as if I said that I voted for Donald Trump.
“Your blouse.“, he pointed at my chest. “A little more cleavage would make it easier for us to convince him to tell us the true.
Why opening the fridge if there are no oranges inside.“, I shrugged as we walked down the broad and shiny stairs.
I had no idea what to do so Kyle and I decided to take a the black trays with champagne glasses and separated to scout out the enemy turf. There was no sight of Rafael Moreno or anything that could hint at his presence.
I was starting to think that this could never work out but on the other hand there was no plan that could not work out, so improvising was pretty much my only chance.
The hall was full was well-dressed and wealthy people who couldn’t wait to throw their money out of the window. Paintings of famous painters like Rembrandt, van Gogh and Monet hung on the wall, being lightened up by glaring, white light.
It took me a while until I spotted Rafael Moreno, standing in the back of a corner and talking to a guest. Taking a deep breath, I exhaled slowly and moved into his direction.
My thoughts circled around the things I could possibly say to him, but I couldn’t decide what to choose.
“Enjoying the party ?“, I said sarcastically, deciding to go for something causal.
“Definitely.“, he replied. “I love it when people from the high society boss me around.“, I smiled at his comment, when he lowered his eyebrows. “Do I know you from somewhere ?”
His questions made my inner alarm bells ring excessively. “I don’t think so.“, I hoped that my reply was casually enough to not make him suspicious. “I’ve just moved to LA a few days ago.“, his piercing ice blue eyes made it even harder for me to lie.
“How do you like it here ?”
“A lot of people.“, I laughed. “I’m from a small town in Missouri, so this a huge change for me.“, I continued, totally surprised of my lying skills.
“I understand.“, his gaze didn’t leave my face and my heart rate sky rocketed to nowhere. “It’s hard to survive here in LA, but I’m sure you’ll gain a foothold soon.”
“By the way.“, a added after a few seconds. “Ophelia told me to get the wine from the cellar. Would you mind helping me ? It’s a lot to carry and too much for one person.“, he asked me politely.
I wasn’t sure what to say because I didn’t trust him that much, but there was no excuse I could you use. Reluctantly, I followed him to the back of the museum to a black, old wooden door.
I had a bad feeling, really bad, but there was no chance of escaping and I knew that if something happened I knew I had to improvise.
Rafael Moreno opened the door which revealed stone steps leading to a filthy ground. I gasped in shock when I saw Nico lying on the floor, being tied up with a taped mouth. My eyes wondered to my left side to see that Moreno’s facial expression was as dark and scary as it could get.
“Did you really think I didn’t recognize you ? I saw you talking to a cop, did you really think I’m that stupid ?“, he hissed at me, pushed me inside and locked the door.
He hadn’t pushed me strong enough to make me fall down the stairs but I struggled with keeping my balance for a second.
There was absolutely no source of light in here. The darkness was so deep that it felt like looking at a black wall which caused one to lose their orientation immediately.
As I said, I’m really bad at making decisions...