nineteenth: green

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"Mason. I don't feel right about this."

"Of course not. Isn't it thrilling?"

I shot Scarlett a wink as I led her towards the back of the building. She had told me that the warehouse was located at the end of the gardens in a massive shed. Rosalie's paranoia had meant that she wasn't willing to let her precious products be too far from her. "

"She doesn't have security cameras here I'm guessing," I said.

She shook her head. "No. She's too paranoid. Plus, no one knows this is actually where she keeps it." She rolled her eyes. "Reverse psychology. Minimum security means minimum speculations about its whereabouts." She raised an eyebrow. "Why are you so interested?"

"I'm just curious and I like to get in trouble." I gazed at her, biting my lip and giving her a flirty smile as her cheeks flushed. "Also, can you imagine how awesome it would be if on your first day of school your mom saw you wearing the stuff that she hasn't even released yet?"

She laughed. "She would flip out."

"She'll forgive you eventually. Plus-" I grasped her hand more firmly as I spoke, "I'm not going to leak her products or anything."

She sighed, "Of course I know that."

I led her towards the shed and gazed at her, raising an eyebrow. She sighed and walked over to the biometric system, using her index finger to open the shutter. My heart raced in trepidation. In attempts to comfort myself and her, I decided I should keep talking. "You come here often?"

She shrugged. "Sometimes I do. But this is mainly in case someone needs to urgently access the warehouse and mom or Martin aren't here. She will get a notification for this by the way. But she knows Martin is going to be here today so it's okay."

I stared as the shutter lifted, revealing a dark room too obscure for my eyes. I gripped her hand and pulled her inside, using my phone's flashlight. 

"There's a light-" she began, her voice carrying eerily in the room.

"Shh," I said, shaking my head and speaking in a whisper, "this is way better, don't you think?"

It would of course, have been much easier with the ceiling lights on. However, it was possible that the supplier guy was still hanging around and I didn't want to catch his attention when I wasn't supposed to be here.

The white beam of my phone flashlight fell on the hard floor. I spotted a massive truck which I presumed held all the new products of Atkinson Association. I had a nagging feeling about something I couldn't quite place.

"Come on." I pulled her towards the truck. She shook her head, her eyes wide.

"It's locked," she whispered. "Mason, I don't-"

"Come on, Scarlett." I grinned, whispering back. "Live a little vicariously."

I handed her the flashlight and lodged my feet on the base of the door, hoisting myself up. It was harder to maintain my balance, requiring a lot of my upper body strength. I reached into my pocket and fished out the Swiss knife I kept there.

I heard her gasp. "Why do you have that?"

"For situations like these."

"Are you a con or a spy or something?" she spoke in a scandalised whisper.

Just a sugar baby.

"Just an avid reader of spy novels." I touched the tip of the knife on the top of the window, bending it and wedging it in. I pushed it lower, using my hand to push it by just a few inches.

I jumped back down, slipping the knife back in my pocket. "You're going to have to open the door."

She shook her head, her eyes wide and face pale. "No fucking way."

"So you're telling me, this isn't even a little bit fun?" I raised an amused eyebrow at her, challenging her.

She smiled, shaking her head. "Alright, Mason. But if we're caught I'm ratting you out."

I grinned at her in victory as she lodged her feet on the base of the door and pulled herself up. After struggling for a bit, she managed to find the lock on the door and I heard the click of it as it opened. She pulled it before gasping. "Oh my god, Mason!" Her voice was high pitched. Panicked. "I forgot. They have that beeping thing and-"

She sucked in a breath as we heard the unmistakable sound of whistling.

"Martin is returning!" she whispered, her face pale in the shadows. "Oh my god!"

Before I had the time to react, I heard the soft rushing sound as she found the lever and the window rolled down. She gazed down at me, her eyes wide. "Maybe we should-"

The whistle sounded louder and I climbed after her, our bodies close together as I whispered, "Just get in. It's the only way."

She clicked the light off and sidled in through the window just as the footsteps entered the warehouse. The whistling sounded drunken and I realized that this Martin guy was intoxicated. I slid in after her, sitting quietly. My senses were on high alert, on the lookout for the smallest unwelcome sound. My heart thudded nervously. Subconsciously, I tried to picture the worst-case scenario. That if I were actually caught, even if I managed to maintain my cover, my relationship with Rosalie would definitely be over. 

There was a click and all at once, the light started flickering on in the warehouse.

Before I could react, Scarlett gasped and clutched my collar, pulling me down on top of her, her face inches from mine. Her eyes widened, her cheeks flushed. We remained still for several minutes, our bodies entangled awkwardly as finally, mercifully, the lights were switched off and Martin walked out, leaving the warehouse in utter darkness. We were quiet for a while before I lifted myself off Scarlett.

She blushed furiously, moving backwards till her back touched the door. I felt suddenly nervous, my hand resting on the window beside me and accidentally turning a lever I didn't know was there.

Scarlett yelped as the door on which she had been leaning swung open. With lightning-fast reflexes I reached for her, grabbing her flailing arm and pulling her strongly towards me, holding her firmly against my chest.

We were silent for a while before her shoulders started trembling and she burst out laughing. I joined in her laughter, relief flooding through me at the close brush. She smacked my shoulder playfully. "You're going to get me ousted from my home, Mason."

"You should probably tell your mom that her driver was fucking drunk by the way."

She giggled. "Yes. This time she will probably fire him."

I turned towards the back where a small latch separated the carrier from us. I grinned at her, "Time for the fruits of our labour you think?"

She grinned back, her eyes twinkling. "Sure."

I unlatched the door and swung it open, shining my flashlight into the carrier. We stared open-mouthed at it. My throat went dry, my heart pounding so loud I could hear it in my ears.

I gazed at Scarlett as she gazed back at me, her eyes wide with shock.

It looked like the end of this case was closer than I realized.

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