Sunday night, Johnny was visiting Sateria. He planned on making love to her before he left her for a week or more. They sat in her cramped living room and watched a movie on her tiny television. At least to Johnny it was tiny. Sateria’s television had a nineteen inch screen. It seemed to him that she’d had it for a while, because it was not High Definition. Johnny’s largest television was huge. Sixty-five inches and high definition. It hung in his great room. A room that he deemed his, “man cave.” A room where he could sit around in his underwear alone and watch his favorite sport. The room also served as a play place for him and his male friends. They often played video games, shot pool, and threw darts all in the same room.
Sitting in her small apartment, there were several things going on in his head. He wondered how she was going to feel about her birthday present. He hoped he was going to be able to get her to move. Sateria didn’t live in the safest neighborhood, and he wanted her away from it. He thought about how she hadn’t been to his house yet and wondered how she was going to react when he finally invited her. He also wondered why she didn’t ask to go to his place. She was a woman after all, and most women were naturally curious. Knowing he was wealthy, she should have asked to see his house as soon as she knew they were exclusive. But she didn’t, and he wondered why.
He thought about the condition of her moving into her new place. He was ready to show Sateria off at the swanky parties he and his crew often attended. There was no way he was going to tell his associates his gorgeous woman was a waitress. He decided if she wanted to live in the condo, she was going to have to quit her job. Knowing she really didn’t have any real interest in his money, that was going to be hard.
He pulled her close as they watched her little television. He kissed her on the neck to let her know that he tired of the movie they were watching.
“I’m gonna miss you,” Johnny whispered in her ear.
“Well, don’t go,” Sateria replied and continued to watch the movie.
“I have too,” kissing her on the neck again. “I have a very important meeting to attend.”
Sateria turned to him. “Well then. You do what you have to do. I will be fine.”
“You aren’t going to miss me?”
Johnny pulled away shocked. “No?”
Sateria did all she could to keep from laughing aloud. “Nope. You’ll be back.” Johnny continued to stare at her. She had to be joking. Finally she laughed. “Of course I’m gonna miss you. But I’ll be busy. I’m gonna pull a half a shift for Kyra a couple days this week. So I will get some overtime in.”
Johnny thought of brining up her quitting the restaurant. “About that.”
Suddenly he decided not to ruin the mood. “Never mind.” He kissed her on the ear and began to suck on her earlobe. Sateria’s body lit up. She felt wetness between her legs, and moved closer to him. “I have a very early flight in the morning babe. Why don’t we go to bed?”
Sateria thought he would never ask. She stopped the movie and rose from the couch. She held out her hand and Johnny rose and took it. She led him to the bedroom and there, he became the man in charge. Sateria found herself falling for someone else. Johnny was removing the memories of Brad from her heart, and she couldn’t decide if it was a good thing or not.
At three the next morning, Johnny rose from her bed to go home and get ready for his trip. He was on a ten after six flight and he had to get going. He stood and stared at the mesmerizing woman lying in the bed still asleep. Her hair messy, and barely covered up, he decided he was definitely going to keep her. Johnny pulled on his pants, gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. He didn’t want to wake her. He decided to leave her a note. He went to the notepad that she kept next to her phone and wrote:
I will miss you while I’m gone. I hope you will miss me. Be good. Try not to give Charlotte hell. I will see you when I get back. I love you. Johnny.
He put the note on his pillow. He walked out of the door and locked it behind him. Once he got home, he had time to shower and dress. His suitcase was already packed. He picked it up and made his way to the airport. There he would meet the rest of his team, and they would go from there.
They made it to Las Vegas by ten that morning. All five of them dressed to the nines, they attracted a lot of attention in the airport. It seemed as their “We are on a mission” attitude, caused folks to take a second look when the five of them passed.
They picked up their rental cars and they were on their way. The first meeting was in Johnny’s suite.
The women kicked off their pumps and crossed their legs. The men pulled off their suit jackets and threw them over the back of the couch. All of them prepared to listen to their leader.
“Today is gonna be long,” Johnny started. “Survey.”
His team nodded. They prepared for the job of the day and headed out. Apollo teamed up with Johnny. Jayden alone, and the sisters, paired up. They watched the outside of the museum for the entire day. All of them made the same discovery.
“God, there are a lot of tourists,” Jayden said.
They all agreed.
The next day, Johnny gave them the same order. They went out on an all day mission. This time noting peak hours. When did the most people visit? Apollo kept this data in his head. He worked for Johnny a long time. Jayden did half and half. If a particular time of day struck his interest, he wrote it down. The others he kept in his head. Pheonix and Troya wrote down everything. That night they compared notes.
“Eleven,” Jayden said. “Two hundred people entered the museum by eleven.”
“I didn’t get that many,” Apollo replied.
Pheonix shook her head. “Two hundred and fifty at eleven. Peak is an hour later.”
Johnny nodded. “Okay. So we can’t hit in the middle of the day.”
Jayden shook his head. “Nope.”
“Okay,” Johnny said. “Tomorrow we visit.”
They nodded and went to bed.
The following day they actually entered the museum. There were not a lot of children which made Johnny happy to a point. Too many children and he would call off the heist. For what he had planned, there was a chance one could get hurt, and he didn’t want to hurt the children.
Usually on the first day inside of a museum they were planning to rob, was a field trip to all of them, though they would never admit it to each other. All of them appreciated fine art, historical or otherwise. The joy they got from their visits, they all kept to themselves. None of them would ever admit they were having fun during a time that they were supposed to be working. Johnny’s team knew he would throw a fit.
“The guard at the main door is very happy,” Pheonix said.
“And he should be,” Johnny replied. “He is the greeter. Did you feel like he would shoot anyone?”
Pheonix shook her head. “Nope.”
Johnny nodded. “What about the guards at the other doors?”
Apollo, Jayden, and Troya reported the same. “All business.”
Johnny nodded. “Okay. Tomorrow I want you all to watch shift change. Tomorrow we will have a morning break. When we go on site, we will switch doors. Sleep in. Enjoy it. Tomorrow night is gonna be long. Both inside and outside the museum.”
The team nodded, and went to bed.
The following afternoon they went in through different entrances, and hovered closely around the guards, trying not to bring suspicion to themselves. They meandered around several exhibits, taking a longer look at each one each time they passed. Every now and then, they would meet up and pretend to be strangers. They would discuss what they saw and move on to the next. The guards had no idea what was really going on. Each of them witnessed the same things going on in the museum on a daily basis.
The day shift guards were happy. Besides the guard at the main entrance, the others seemed to be well prepared to protect their jobs as well as others. The night shift was a different story. All four of them, business to the extreme. They seemed to be a bored, disgruntled group. Happy they had a job, but not happy about the job they had. As Johnny’s team watched, all but one came to the same conclusion. The night shift was dangerous. If they struck at night, there was a chance that one of his team would be hurt. Johnny didn’t want that. Even Troya who was not his favorite, yet thrust upon him. Pheonix would be pissed if her sister were hurt. Johnny didn’t want to risk it. Pheonix was his second on the team. He trusted her and she might set his house on fire out of spite, if her sister was hurt. Knowing that, he respected her as much as he did Apollo.
“We are gonna have to do this close to closing,” Johnny said.
“I don’t like it,” Apollo started. “There is still too much going on then.”
“After close,” Apollo said.
Johnny shook his head. “And risk one of you getting hurt? No way. We have to do this right before shift change, and I do mean we will have to cut it close.”
Jayden tilted his head to one side. “How close?”
“Are you asking about the window?” Johnny asked.
Jayden nodded. “Yeah. How long will we have?”
Apollo rolled his eyes and clicked his teeth. “There is no way in hell we will be in an out of there in fifteen minutes. Johnny it’s impossible.”
“It is. Though the security system is not as elaborate as some we have faced, it is still adequate enough to implicate any one of us. I don’t like it. I want to do this under the cover of darkness.”
Johnny stared at Apollo. “You must not have heard me. I don’t want any of you hurt. The dayshift is more people friendly than the nightshift. We have to hit before the nightshift comes on or at least one of you is gonna be seriously hurt. We do this my way or we don’t do it at all.”
Apollo rolled his eyes again. “And we all know you are not going to leave any diamonds behind.”
“You’re damn right.”
“Okay Johnny, we do this at dusk, but I still don’t like it.”
“Shut up. When you are in charge, then we can do what you like. Until then, I call the shots.”
For the first time ever, Apollo was offended. “Johnny, don’t do that.”
“Don’t do what?”
“Talk to me like that. I understand, but I’m only looking out for all of us.”
“The cover of darkness is not always the best route to take, Apollo. Especially in this case. We have all seen the night shift will shoot first. I don’t want any of you to take a bullet. We have to do this just before closing.”
“So, innocent people may be involved?” Troya asked.
Johnny nodded. “Yeah. But no hostages unless we get trapped. For this job we will be armed, and we will have to threaten people. But like I said before, we only have a fifteen minute window. In and out before the nightshift comes on. No children. Touch one and you will find yourself with a bullet in you. They will be upset about their parents, but do not lay a single hand on one kid. I’m not playing.”
The four in the room looked around and agreed.
“No kids.” Apollo said. “I still think we need to do this when the museum is closed.”
“Have you ever been shot?” Jayden asked.
“I’ve been shot. It hurts.”
Brad rolled off of Venus sweaty and out of breath. “You have got to be the best lover I have ever had.”Venus rolled over and ran her hand down Brad’s chest. “I know that,” she replied with a grin.