Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chapter Seven: Reconnecting

This was the night. My night. Being promoted to thug was exciting. Of course I still wanted to be the person who made deals for Boss, but beggars can't be choosers. At least now, I would have the opportunity to break some noses. The restaurant was closing for the night. All the customers had finished their meals, and the parking lot was empty. I took out my binoculars again to look through the windows so I could see Rafael give us the signal that it was clear to enter the building. We knew there was a security company that the restaurant hired to come by once every night around 11pm just to make sure it was locked. The restaurant closed at 10pm, so we had exactly one hour to do our business.

The guy on our team who was going to delete the files, named Ginko, and I went around the back of the building, meeting Rafael, who let us in through the back door. He then proceeded to clean some tables and put chairs up on them, while Gingko and I headed upstairs to the office where the files were kept. The office was small, with only a computer, some bookshelves, and two filing cabinets filling it. He woke the computer up and proceeded to find the files for Dex's franchise.

Once he got settled in at the desk, I exited the office and stood by the wall near the door where I could get a clear view of the front door. Our intel had told us that the security guards don't usually enter the building unless they see a light on when it shouldn't be, or hear any noises, and that they also checked the front door before walking around the back of the building and then going back to their car. I saw the lights turn off downstairs as Rafael bent down to hide behind one of the counters in the kitchen to wait for me and Ginko. After a little while, I heard a tap on the office door and then it opened, revealing Ginko who had a grin on his face.

"Okay, I'm done, Elysium. No trace is left of any orders placed by Dex's restaurant franchise."

"How long do you think it will take before Dex's dirty money shows through?"

"Maybe a few months. We've got to go now though."

Ginko had finished the task and had let the computer go back to sleep, just as it was when we had originally found it. Everything was still dark and I checked my watch which said it was 10:45, which meant we had exactly fifteen minutes to exit the building. Ginko and I quickly made our way down the stairs to where Rafael was and then out the back door, me leaving first since I was the thug and had to make sure no one saw us. I looked around the back parking lot, and saw no cars, so I gave the all clear. Rafael locked the back door behind us and we all got into our getaway vehicle. Mission success.

A few months did indeed pass, and Rafael had been coming over to my apartment a few times a week. One night we were flipping channels when we saw a news story that made both of us sit on the edge of our seats with anticipation.

"In other news across the state, Ithaca business owner Tony Dexter has been arrested for numerous crimes, after it was discovered that his businesses weren't exactly legal. Dexter, owner of Ithaca's very own Bridgeport Cafe, was found to be using the restaurant as a front for money laundering, including covering for his cocaine, prostitution, and contract killer services. Dexter is due to be tried next week."

"Oh my god, Rafael, it worked! Dex is in deep shit now!"

"Of course it would work... Boss knows what he's doing. It's the ultimate punishment for him, and one less pain in the ass as well."


I jumped up off the couch and danced around, making Rafael laugh uncontrollably.

"Natalia, you have so much life in you."

I stopped dancing and straddled Rafael, putting my arms around his neck.

"You contributed to that, you know. Coming back into my life was something special. I had missed you so much, and I am so glad you aren't dead."

"I missed you too, Natalia, it was killing me that I couldn't let you know I was alive. There were so many times I wanted to call you or just send you some sort of sign, but I knew I couldn't, because it would put you in danger."

"You really do love me, don't you, Rafael?"

"With all my heart."

Tears welled up in my eyes at Rafael's words, causing me to lean in for a kiss. He kissed me back with incredible passion and I realized how much I loved him too. I thought back to our first meeting when he had come to my apartment, how scared I was, but also how much I had longed for a moment like that, for Rafael to walk back into my life. As we continued making out on the couch, I felt like I wanted to take our actions into the bedroom because having sex on my tiny couch was probably not going to be comfortable in the slightest. It was a little difficult however, because of how Rafael was positioned, with one hand on my inner thigh.

Despite that, I pulled away a little bit from him and put my hand on his side.

"Is something wrong, Natalia?"

"No... I mean, yeah. Sorry, I just mean this couch isn't comfortable, and if we're going to go any further, I'd like to be on the bed."

Rafael got a mischievous glint in his eye and kissed me again, then picked me up and headed towards the direction of my bedroom.

"Sounds good to me, sexy."

I felt so nice and safe in Rafael's arms as he carried me into my room and gently set me down on my bed, where we stayed up for entirely too many hours not sleeping.

Author's Note: Over the course of this chapter, Natalia progressed from a Level 3 Thug to a Level 5 Bagwoman in game.

After Chapter Outtakes

So I decided maybe instead of making a separate post for outtakes, I would just put some at the end of my chapters, if I had any, while I happened to be playing and writing said chapter. 

Sorry Natalia... I had to snap this picture of you...embarrassing as it is for you and your stinky armpits... LOL. She had gone to jail one night, and I made her work out while she was in city hall, but I guess she had too tiring of a night, or worked out too much because when she was released, she immediately passed out. XD

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chapter Six: Revelation

Author's Note: A really short chapter, but I didn't feel like the other stuff I wanted to do would fit in, so I decided to just leave it out and cover it in the next chapter. Thanks for your patience while waiting for this chapter. LOL. I know I took a really long time in between updates.

Imagine my surprise when I showed Boss the pictures of Rafael on my phone, and he said these words to me.

"Wow, Elysium. You initiated a stake out of your own, I'm impressed. Nothing I didn't already know, though. Who do you think set Ossini up with that job?"

I stood there in front of Boss' desk dumbfounded. When he saw my obvious look of confusion, he explained some more.

"Ossini came to see me. He told me all about his time away and having to work under contract with penalty of death. That asshole, Dex, in the other town, keeping my team member, making me think he was dead for two fucking years, threatening Ossini's life if he didn't work for him?! I thought about it though, and I asked Ossini if he had made sure to pay attention to that other team's secrets while he was stuck there. He didn't disappoint me when he said yes... so, we are going to set an operation in motion that will severely deplete our enemy's resources, as punishment for him stealing Ossini. Having him work at that restaurant is the first step."

"You're not upset at me?"

"No. After we finished the discussion of him being back, he asked about you, so I told him where you were. I know you guys were close before his supposed demise. Truthfully, I had wondered how long it would take you to get suspicious of Ossini. I know it's in your nature, which is something I love about you. So, I also told Ossini not to tell you that he'd already been to see me. I was testing you to see when you would suspect him, and see how you would handle it. Orchestrating your own stake out was impressive. I'm guessing you wouldn't be here if your stake out had been unsuccessful, right?"

I nodded, still in a very large state of shock from the words I had just heard come out of Boss' mouth. I still felt like I couldn't breathe, almost as if I'd been holding my breath this whole time. Everything felt surreal.

"You trusted him after the first night he was back?"

"No, of course not. I didn't know if he was back because he'd switched sides and Dex was now trying to use him against me, or if he truly was back. That's why I waited for these two months before I gave him a job. I did the routine surveillance on him, finding out that he had just been staying at that hotel, watching tv, and texting you. I didn't want to tell him anything about our operations yet, of course, but I knew it in my heart that he wouldn't hurt you based on how you guys acted when I first hired you, so I felt comfortable telling him where you were on that first night. I hope you don't mind."

"No, I didn't mind, I liked seeing him again. I thought he might have been sent to kill me because of what had happened that night, though."

"Of course you would. That's your mistrusting nature coming out again. Anyway, good job, Elysium. I'll see you back at work tomorrow. Also, I'm giving you thug privileges on your next shift, due to you impressing me."

"Thank you!"

I left Boss' office and got back into the rental car. I could finally be at peace about this whole thing. Boss wasn't mad at either Rafael nor I, and Rafael was on our side. I felt the weight I had been carrying on my shoulders lift itself up and disappear. I slept soundly and went to work the next day, as normal. Boss told me some stuff about the operation we were doing at the Bridgeport Cafe & Casino where Rafael was working. He said that Dex owned a franchise location of the Bridgeport chain of cafes, which he was using as a front for money laundering. Bridgeport Cafe was a chain establishment, and their franchisees got a certain portion of the proceeds from all the cafes in the chain. Since we were in Bridgeport, the headquarters for the company was in our town, and Boss was planning to have delete the information off the computer for Dex's franchise orders, so that he wouldn't get any of his supplies for the week, effectively screwing him over so that his cafe wouldn't run properly. After that, the plan was for Dex's dirty money to start showing through, once his cafe was no longer making any real money. My part was to be the lookout for the person who was going to delete the files and make sure no one got in. This was sure to be an exciting night.

Natalia's Progress: Natalia is now a Level 3 Thug. She gets to be the lookout for the team, and take out any people who try to get in the way of their operations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pillow Fighting

I don't normally put the pillow fighting the Sims do in my stories. Natalia got a wish to pillow fight Rafael, so I thought why not. I had just dressed Natalia in her stake out clothes, and Rafael in his apron, so it made me laugh because they look ridiculous wearing those things while pillow fighting.

Chapter Five: Stake Out

Lunch with Rafael went well. He told me his adventures of how he hitchhiked his way back to Bridgeport. and how it was a fun experience getting to see things he might never have gotten to see had he not had that experience that landed him in the different town. After lunch I had to go to work, so we parted ways with a hug. Work went pretty normally, and when I was done, I went home to start my stakeout plan. I had the next day off, so I planned to get up early and go to the hotel where Rafael was staying. He had told me his room number, so I looked up the floor plan of the hotel online, and made a note of which direction his window faced. I had decided I would rent a car and use that to follow him wherever he went. Not going to lie, I felt pretty confident when it came to my stake out plan. I hoped that I would be able to pull it off without a hitch, or that I would be able to think on my toes if something did happen.

The next morning, I got into my rental car and drove to the hotel. I parked the car in a spot across the street facing Rafael's hotel room, and sipped on my coffee that I had picked up from the drive through. I didn't know how long I'd have to wait before Rafael actually went anywhere, but I figured most honest jobs started in the morning or afternoon, rather than the evening or at dusk, like a lot of illegal jobs did. After about one hour, I saw someone leave the hotel, a man with long hair the same shade of brown as Rafael's. I took out my binoculars to get a closer look, and sure enough, it was him. He was wearing a nice crisp shirt, black pants, and an apron. So far, he did look like he had an honest job, perhaps something in the food industry.

I watched as Rafael got into one of the many cabs that drove by the hotel. In the past hour, I'd seen at least six stop in front of the building. With my binoculars, I made a note of the license plate of the taxi cab Rafael was in, and then started my car. The taxi drove for about forty-five minutes, until it pulled up in front of the Bridgeport Cafe & Casino, in the fancy part of town. I was impressed with Rafael because it appeared he had managed to get a job in a really ritzy place, that looked like it paid their employees well.

By now, it was about 10am, so I stayed in the car at the parking lot across the street from the restaurant, getting out some snacks I'd brought and stashed in the back seat. I figured a typical eight hour shift would put Rafael's time of departure around 6pm. I read a book, while eating my food, and drinking some soda. This part of my stakeout was pretty boring, but I wanted to be diligent. Some of the jobs that Boss had the senior team members do involved overnight stakeouts, so in my mind, I figured this was me training myself in patience and observation skills. I got my MP3 player out and listened to some music, which made the time pass a little quicker. Finally, 6pm rolled around, and I was right about his shift ending because I saw him leave the building.

Rafael hailed another taxi and I once again followed, making sure to keep my distance, just as I had the first time. I smiled to myself when I saw him arrive at the hotel and go inside. He had been telling me the truth! He was going straight, and he was back in my life. I was excited, but terrified at the same time. My earlier thoughts of why I hadn't yet told Boss I knew Rafael was in town came back to me... I didn't know what Boss would do, and I had probably already screwed myself by waiting this long before spilling the beans. Now that Rafael was just working in a restaurant, he wasn't even going to be a problem for Boss because he'd used the opportunity of him 'dying' to change his life. Would me telling Boss about him now screw up Rafael's life? Shit. I sat in the car, at a loss of what the fuck I should do now, chance losing my job, or chance losing my friend, whom I had just found again?

I pondered my next move, staying across the street from the hotel as I did, and soon the sun set over the horizon. I pursed my lips, finally deciding that honesty was the best way to go. My next decision was do I leave Rafael alone, or do I tell Boss the results of my stakeout? I hoped that Boss would leave Rafael alone if he heard he had gone straight. I doubted Rafael would feel the need to turn our group in to the police, but I couldn't lie and say that I was 100% certain Boss wouldn't want to kill him because he might be a loose end who knew too much. The thought of cutting Rafael out of my life to save him made me want to cry. I had no idea I still had such feelings for him until now, when thinking of losing him again threatened to break my heart. On the other hand, I had no idea what Boss even thought. Sure, he was ruthless, but he always had a purpose for crimes he committed. He wasn't the kind of criminal who would just mug a random person on the street. If he mugged someone, it was because they were a small piece to a bigger puzzle. He paid people off too, for their silence, and I had a feeling Rafael wouldn't mind taking money from Boss to keep quiet. Finally, I made my decision. I started the car, and drove off in the direction of Boss' headquarters.

Author's Note: Natalia is a Level 3 Thug.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Criminal Headquarters

Here's the headquarters where Natalia's boss does his criminal activity. It's a small house that I remodeled, and her boss lives upstairs just so I can find him when I need him. LOL.


Heist Discussion Area

Team Vehicle

Jail Cells

Boss' Office

Torture Chamber/Interrogation

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chapter Four: Forming a Plan

I loved living in Bridgeport. Most of the things that a lot of people hated, I loved. The sound of cars honking, or whizzing by didn't annoy me, it soothed me. I didn't mind that there was hardly any grass, and just a few smattering of trees, at least in the downtown area. I really liked living in a concrete jungle. I was out for a jog today because I had a lot on my mind, mainly concerning Rafael, and how I hadn't told Boss about him. It had been two months now, and the secret was making me crazy. I don't even know why I wasn't telling Boss. It's not like I needed Rafael as leverage... or did I? I wonder if I could say I had a secret to tell Boss that could threaten our whole organization, but I wouldn't tell him unless he let me go out on drops again. I smiled to myself, then scowled, as realization hit me. As much fun as that sounded, it would be stupid of me to bite the hand that fed me. Boss was the shit around town, no one fucked with him, and he was the one who got all the good deals. I'd be dumb to threaten him with leverage in the position that I was in because he could easily have me killed.

So what was keeping me from telling Boss? Was I afraid of what Rafael's fate would be if Boss wasn't understanding of why he had been gone, or didn't believe him? Did I believe him? I had let Rafael off that night, and he had texted me a few times saying he was glad we were back in touch, and asking me how my days were. He had never asked about work though, so it wasn't like he was prying and trying to get information. As I turned the corner, I passed my favorite fountain that was in between a few buildings. I liked the shape of it and how large it was... snickering to myself that I probably just had a phallic reference thought. I giggled to myself. Some days it paid to have a dirty mind. Guiding my thoughts back to Rafael, I wondered if I should start a stakeout mission of my own. I had the skills to successfully track someone without them noticing... maybe if I was able to track Rafael and see what he did all day then maybe I could gather some information and show it to Boss. Regardless of what Rafael did, if he was just innocently back in town, glad to be alive, then maybe he would get his old job back. If Rafael was hiding something, and I figured out what it was, maybe I could get my promotion quicker.

Feeling quite pumped from my plan to get myself back into Boss' good graces while solving the mystery surrounding Rafael, I amplified the intensity of my jog and sprinted for a few feet. As I slowed myself down, I spotted a food truck across the street. By this time, I'd worked up a nice sweat, so I thought it might be time to call it quits. I grabbed myself two tacos from the food truck and sat down at the little table in the plaza.

The crunch of the tacos and the juicy tomatoes were a delight for my hunger. The cool Bridgeport breeze touched my skin and calmed me down, which felt nice after I'd worked up all that energy jogging. It felt good to just relax and be by myself. For my job, I always had to be around a lot of people, mind my surroundings, and be alert, so I greatly appreciated the times that I felt at peace, and didn't have to do that as much. I mean obviously, I never dropped my guard completely, as that would be a bad thing to do when living in a city, I just meant that I didn't have to be as stressed about it as I was when I was trying to perform perfectly for Boss. I was almost done with my dinner when my phone buzzed.

I looked at it, seeing that it was a message from Rafael.

Do you want to hang out tomorrow?

I smiled to myself, deciding to use our hang out time as the start of my covert operation to figure out what Rafael did all day. I felt kind of bad even thinking of spying on my childhood friend, but I needed to know more about him now that he was back in town. My job was at stake here, and my job was incredibly important to me.

Yes. Meet at The Fountain around 12 noon?

Sure. See you.

Perfect. I hoped that hanging out with Rafael would reap good rewards. It had been a while since I'd had a good friend to talk to. I didn't date much considering what I did for a living. I didn't really want to know too many people, lest they figure out and disapprove of my activities, and report me to the authorities. I could lie my way through a relationship, but I didn't feel like it would be fair to string someone along like that, especially if they fell in love with me. I may enjoy the thrill of criminal activity, but I liked to think I wasn't a cold-hearted, callous individual.

The next morning, I got up as usual, and got ready for my outing with Rafael, after which I just relaxed around my apartment till I needed to leave. When I arrived at the fountain, Rafael was already there. He saw me from a few feet away, and smiled, waving at me. I waved back, and exchanged my own smile.

"Hi Natalia. How are you? Are you hungry? We could grab some lunch."

"I'm good, and yeah, sure, lunch sounds good. What about Cafe Dyrrios?"

Rafael came towards me, and we started just casually walking at a regular pace to one of the coffee houses in town that had great sandwiches and soup, in addition to coffee.

"So how have you been, Rafael?"

"Oh, not bad. I got a job."

"Really? Like an honest to goodness job?"

"Yeah, I was getting bored just sitting at the hotel, and I am supposed to be dead, so... yeah, I guess I decided to start over, or whatever."

"Wow. I can say I'm shocked. Did you have to use a different name to fill out your application since you're 'dead?' "

"I know. Probably not what you expected of me, and no, I didn't use a different name. I have no record, so a background check wasn't going to reveal anything shady. No one's looking for me either, so I just went with my actual name. I'm only 'dead' in Boss' and the team's eyes. I kind of figured changing it would raise more suspicion? I'm not sure, but for now, that's how it is."

Rafael smiled at me, and laughed. I seriously was not sure how to process what he just told me. I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but I figured my plans to stake him out would answer any questions I had on the situation, so I just let it go. The fact that he got me into petty theft made me somehow believe that he would just always be a criminal, but then I got to thinking about why he stole stuff when he was a teenager. His parents never bought him anything, and his dad often wasn't home to make sure he got fed. He probably stole out of necessity, for survival. My heart went out to him with that thought.

"Well, that's okay. Life choices are just that. Choices. If you want to go straight, who am I to stop you?"

"Thanks, Natalia. You're a good friend, even after I gave you the shock of your life with my return."

"I was surprised, but I did miss you, so part of me was happy you were back."

"The other part of you was..."

"You know, wondering if you were sent to kill me."

"Oh, right, that."

I laughed, and so did Rafael. I felt a little wierd that he got a legit job, but I was also sort of relieved. Once I did follow him to see what he was up to, and if he was telling the truth, I could quit worrying about that part of my life. Rafael didn't seem like he would rat me out or anything like that, so even if he did go straight, I didn't think I'd have much to worry about. I'd just be able to continue going on as I did, and enjoying life the way I wanted to. I smiled at Rafael again as we arrived at Cafe Dyrrios, happy that the day was going so well, and glad I had a plan in place.

Author's Note: Natalia is now a Level 2 Cutpurse in game. She gets to not only bump into people, but now she gets to swipe something off of them, like ID badges, wallets, that sort of thing. LOL.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chapter Three: Facing Boss

Getting out of bed this morning was not something I was entirely excited about. I had to face Boss today and tell him what had happened last night. I knew that he would be glad I wasn't dead, but he would no doubt have some sort of obnoxious discipline awaiting me. I kept myself in tip-top physical shape for my job, and I turned on my television to put in a workout DVD. I usually worked out four times a week, splitting my workouts between both cardio and strength training. I needed to be able to run far and hard as well as take people out when the job called for it. My apartment wasn't very big in terms of ample workout space, so I often just did the stretching part of my routine at home and hit the gym for the other part.

There are some days when I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't started down this life of crime, and if I had been the typical girl who wanted to be popular, who cared about her grades and looking good in the eyes of society. My conclusion was always the same, which was that my life would have been boring as fuck. I had always enjoyed thrills of any kind, and it just so happened that nothing beat the thrill that came with illegal activity. Before I met Rafael, I was always a daredevil, so it's not like he changed me in that sense, but he definitely amplified my tendencies. The first time we went into a gas station and shoplifted food, I got so excited when we successfully walked out the door with two bags of chips and two sodas. We had walked back to his house that day, munching on our stolen goodies. His dad was at work, as usual, and his mom had barely even noticed we were gone. To be honest, I think she'd killed most of her brain cells from the meth she kept taking, since she barely talked and her eyes always looked empty. There was nobody home in her head, and it left Rafael and I time to get away with anything and everything.

When I finished stretching and doing a bunch of things that got my heart rate and energy level up enough to start my day, I shut off the television and got ready. I was a bit nervous to go to work today because of what happened last night. I had no doubts that the client probably called to complain to Boss about me. I wasn't perfect of course, no one was, but I had never screwed up this badly before, so I didn't know what Boss was going to do. I hoped it wasn't anything too terrible. I looked at the time, realizing I was going to be cutting it close to catching the bus I needed, so I headed downstairs and raced to the bus stop that was across the street from my building. Luckily, just as I got there, I saw the headlights of the bus approaching. The last thing I needed was to be late in addition to me fucking up last night. Granted, Boss might have thought I got killed last night, but I somehow figured he had more faith in me than that.

The place we met at was a large concrete building. I think it had once been a factory of some kind, and in stereotypical criminal fashion, when it became abandoned, Boss had it remodeled to suit our needs. He placed the entrance of the building in between the walls of the garage and the side of the building so it wouldn't be easy to find. In fact, even though it faced the street, it didn't look much like the front entrance of anything. This street faced away from the brunt of the city, anyway, so it was very inconspicuous. I pondered whether I should tell Boss about Rafael, knowing full well that Boss hated secrets, but not sure about how much he would care that Rafael was alive. On the one hand, I was sure Boss would like having his two best workers together again, but on the other, he and I had gotten used to me being either with another person on our team, or me being out on my own.

I unlocked the door using the copy of the special keycard Boss gave to all of us, then locked the door behind me. Our headquarters wasn't fancy by any means, but it suited our needs. When you walked in the front door, there was a table for us to discuss plans and heists, and a garage that held the truck we used when we were casing a joint.

Turning right from the front door, there were two more rooms, the first being a small interrogation room with lots of torture tools, and the second being Boss' office. I gulped hard as I made my way towards it, passing the three cells we had in our headquarters. Usually they were for people we captured from rival groups, but occasionally, if one of us pissed Boss off enough, he'd throw us in there for a few hours to give us something to think about. I approached the door... and knocked.


Walking into Boss' office timidly, I positioned myself in front of his desk, nervously holding my fingers against my palms and placing one of my feet on top of the other one. I was even more uncomfortable because Boss didn't have any other chairs in his office besides the one he was sitting in, and boy was it effective in causing one to feel like they were going to throw up.

"Well, well. Elysium. You're not dead. What do you have to say for yourself?"

Boss was young, well built, and kind of smoldering, but holy fuck, was he intimidating when he needed to be. I found myself unable to talk as his green eyes stared me down, burning a hole into my core, feeling like he was going to light me on fire if I blinked wrong.

"I- fu- I'm- sor- ugh, I know I fucked up. I'm sorry."

"This is why you work for me. I tell you terms that you should stick to when you go for the drop. You're not supposed to just go off and say shit you think might be better because then they fucking chase you down the streets of Bridgeport at 2 fucking am. Naive, Elysium. I thought you were ready for this level of deal, but it doesn't look like you are."

Dammit. I had a feeling he was going to say I wasn't ready. Ugh, but I was. I had wanted so much to be one of the people on the team who made deals for Boss. They got paid more, and this was the first one I had screwed up, but it had only been the second job of this kind I had gone on.

"Please Boss, I can do this, just give me another chance. I did the first one flawlessly!"

"No can do, sweet-cheeks. You can't fuck up your second job and expect me to let you continue. You need to learn more. However, you managed to run away from those thugs, you didn't get arrested, and nothing got traced back to me, so all in all, I'm not that mad at you. You may think you're the shit, but you're still a noob, Elysium. I like you, so I'm still going to let you go out on today's job, but you're being demoted to Decoy."

"Ugh, no, not Decoy! I hate Decoy... it's so boring."

"Tough luck, babe. You're lucky I ain't throwing your ass in the cells for the rest of your shift. I can do that instead if you don't shut your trap and accept my generosity. I know you like the thrill, and that's what makes you such a valuable asset to me, but you got to continue to prove yourself."

As much as I disliked being Decoy, which was basically the person who caused a distraction while the others did more important things, I nodded my head, knowing Boss was actually being generous. He could throw me in the cells all day, and that would be even more boring. If I was able to go out, which he was letting me, then at least I would be contributing to the mission. After I accepted, Boss told me to go change into my outfit, and meet the rest of the team at the briefing table. I wondered who he wanted me to be today. We always wore different clothes on a job than the ones we wore to work because it was harder to track us if we switched outfits constantly.

I went upstairs to the locker where the outfits were kept, and found ones labelled Elysium, which was my last name. It was a pair of blue jeans, a woman's football jersey, and a pair of blue jogging shoes. I quickly put them on, then got a short briefing from the team. My part was, as I figured, super easy. I was supposed to pretend I was a new student who was lost on the university campus, and bump into our mark, who was a balding, middle aged, heavyweight man that usually wore a really ugly plaid shirt and was one of the last people in the world to still carry a briefcase. Since I was only Decoy, I didn't get any more information than that, which was all I needed to know, according to Boss.

I sighed as I walked into the garage to get in the truck with the rest of the team, trying to suck up my bittersweet feelings. I needed to just be okay with it. Boss was right, getting to go out was better than the alternative. With how hard I worked, I knew I would get promoted in a matter of no time. As I climbed into the truck, I realized that I had forgotten to tell Boss about Rafael. Oh well, waiting another day couldn't hurt, right?

Author's Note: Natalia never actually got demoted in game. In the first two chapters, I hadn't yet had her join the Criminal Career because I had just placed her in town and she was "arriving home." Her progress now is Level 1 Decoy.