Two figures, dark cloaked and masked, diligently scanned their surroundings as they guided a boat toward the sandy strip of beach ahead. The tang of the sea hung heavily around them in the humid air, leaving the approaching boat shrouded in mists.
The sea was calm and glassy in the faint light of the crescent moon, only the surge of the waves against the shore and the faint sloshes of water against the bow of the boat breaking the silence.
The keel of the boat barely scrunched into the sand when the figure in the front of the boat, the leaner of the two, swung over the edge and leapt to dry land. The person moved with a quick, silent efficiency to pull the stern closer to the beach, allowing the other cloaked passenger to disembark without stepping into the water.
Both figures then pulled the boat through the sand toward the hill rising above the beach, aiming for a tangle of driftwood and assorted flotsam pushed up against the hill by the relentless and frequent storms that pounded the region.
Upon reaching the tangle, the lean figure pulled away a section of nailed boards, which likely came from a boat wreck, revealing a carefully excavated hollow in both the tangle and the hill. The void was conveniently of a perfect size to house the boat that the pair now pushed inside.
After concealing the boat in the hollow, the stockiest of the pair replaced the boards while the leaner took up a branch and moved back along the path gouged in the sand by the keel of the boat and the feet of those dragging it.
The one figure moved up the hill, leaving the sand and loose dirt behind in favor of the grass-covered rise, while the other expertly erased all evidence of both boat and passengers from the sand.
Their tracks covered, both now lay at the crest of the hill, watching and listening for any evidence that they had been observed. With patience born from years of practice, both lay silent and motionless for a quarter of an hour, until they were sure the way was clear and they were unobserved.
Their eyes roved over the building, an old design that looked more like a fortress than a manor home. Constructed entirely of stone, it was flat roofed and sported gargoyles on each corner of both floors.
No word or signal passed between them, but they rose to a crouch simultaneously to creep amidst the swirling fog toward their objective. They moved directly toward the corner of the manor, knowing that the blind spot created by a lack of windows with a direct view of their approach would help mask their movement toward the structure, should anyone glance outside.
Once again, they crouched in silence upon reaching the stone wall of the building, waiting for sounds of alarm or movement.
The leaner of the two knelt to remove a pair of dark boots, before climbing the wall. The stones were closely fit, and well mortared, but it proved to be little obstacle to the climber. The figure ascended quickly, as if able to stick to the wall like a spider. Reaching a landing upon the roof where the second story sat back from the first, the climber stopped. Once more, they waited.
A rope dropped to the climber's cloaked partner, who shinnied up the wall and then pulled the rope up after. The pair carefully crept along the roof toward a nearby window, listening for any sounds before moving to peer inside.
Seeing nothing, the more muscular of the two stepped aside while the other worked a tool through the crack between the windowpanes and disengaged the latch holding the portal closed. Once the tool was secreted back inside its owner's dark cloak, both figures climbed in through the window and stepped into the floor of the hallway. Each checked to the left and to right.
They carefully picked up the tiny slivers of wood that dislodged during the break-in, closing and re-latching the window. The evidence of their entry now concealed, they began stealthily exploring the manor house.
Every door they passed was wide open, the rooms curiously windowless. The numerous windows of the manor only opened into hallways and sitting rooms on the seaward corners of the each floor. Every room was dark, revealing no evidence of anyone within.
Upon reaching the entrance foyer of the place, Victor Kaoten pulled back the cowl of his cloak and whipped off his mask, stuffing it into a pocket of the cloak. He scratched at his cheek where the mask had irritated five days worth of unshaven beard, and then ran his fingers through his dark brown hair. "Not a fucking soul."
His partner, Catherine Vata pulled off her mask as well. The face that the action revealed belied her nature. She had a face you could trust, seemingly innocent, naive — and beautiful by any standard. Only a spark of mischief in her emerald eyes betrayed the truth of her. "Something doesn't feel quite right."
Victor shrugged his broad shoulders. "Just makes things easier. We don't have to tie up anybody while we take what we want."
Catherine pulled her long, blonde ponytail out of her cloak, letting it fall to swing at her waist. "Vic, we've been watching this damn place for three weeks. Nobody has come in or left the whole time, until the freaks left this morning. There's no way those two could keep up with this place. We should have had to knock out or kill a half a dozen people who keep up this place."
He furrowed his brow. "Forget it, Cat. You're just upset you didn't get to earn another bloody tear for your tattoo. They're fucking freaks. They probably spend all their lives cleaning up the place and do nothing else. Let's just pick the place clean and get out of here."
He walked over to toward the door, avoiding passing directly in front of the windows, and picked up a candelabra near the front door. Walking toward a beam of moonlight, he examined it. "This is pure silver — I'd bet my left nut on it. This is going to be a good haul."
He pulled a large sack from his concealing cloak and stuffed the candelabra in, "Let's split up and start checking all the rooms. We'll save that one with the double doors near where we came in for last. Looks like the Master Bedroom, and there's a good chance the crazy bitch's jewelry is there. Small, light, and valuable. We want to get as much shit out of here in as little space as possible."
Catherine nodded, pulling out a lantern as Victor did the same. The burglar's lanterns would let them shutter or direct the light emitted wherever they wished, helping to avoid detection as they rifled the dwelling for valuables.
Every room seemed rife with treasure, and the two practiced thieves quickly filled their bags. Whenever they would find a smaller item of greater value, something large would come out of the bag and be deposited on the floor. Nevertheless, both bags were extremely heavy by the time the pair met at the door of the master bedroom.
Victor had a bright smile on his face, knowing he had a fortune in precious metal, jewels, ivory, and art in his sack, picked up and pried from everywhere in the house. He had no doubt that Cat's bag was the same. By his guess, they could live well off what they carried now for three or four years.
Catherine's smile was a reflection of his, as she understood the same. They would have no need to spend long nights of boredom out in the elements casing targets for quite some time.
"Now, the real prize — I hope. If we can stuff our pockets full of jewelry in here, we'll be set for a decade," Victor said, sitting his bag down in the hall.
Catherine did the same, and then blew out a long whistle of surprise as they opened the shutters on their lanterns and beheld the room. Everywhere there was the glint of silver and gold. It trimmed the dressing tables, chests of drawers, and even the bed.
In addition to the precious metals, the woodwork was of the highest quality. Each piece of furniture was a work of art, shaped to look like animal heads and plants, and every flat surface had scenes carved into it. Expensive carpets covered nearly the entire floor. Tapestries that incorporated gold and silver threads obscured the stone walls as the carpets did the floor.
The bed dominated the room — huge and canopied. It could have easily let four people lie upon it comfortably. The curtains and bedclothes were obviously of high quality, as was everything else in the room. The entire place was opulent, but this one room put all the rest to shame.
"Nice fucking bed," Victor declared with a snort.
Catherine walked up and pushed on the mattress. She then sat down her lantern on a bedside table and flopped onto the bed with a sigh. She sat back up and said, "Nice bed for fucking," licking her lips and twitching her eyebrows.
"We've got work to do, Cat," he argued, but didn't take his eyes off her. This was something that often came up whenever they felt they had plenty of time to pilfer a place. It excited them both — especially Catherine.
She pouted for a second, and then her crooked smile returned. She shrugged off her cloak, revealing a blouse and tight pants that clung to her every curve. The blouse was nearly transparent from the sweat that had dampened it, and her nipples pressed hard against the material. "There's nobody here. They were packed up like they'll be gone for a month. I want to fuck in their bed until the wet spot covers half of it and let them smell our sex every night. It's such a wonderful bed. It's a shame to waste it. Come fuck me, Vic. Fuck me and make me leak pussy juice all over."
Victor walked over and grabbed her by the ponytail, jerking her head to look up at him as he stood over her. "You are one sexy fucking bitch — you know that?" He growled in arousal and then ground his lips into hers.
.... There is more of this story ...