AN: Hello again! This plot bunny has been jumping around my head for ages now, demanding to be written and so finally, here it is! This is going to be set in the Victorian Era because it's my favourite era (I just love all the pretty dresses and fancy balls) and I hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth or its characters (though I wish I did—I so want Four to be mine).
Chapter 1 — The Beginning of the Heist
Christina curls my hair and pulls it back in a low elegant bun. Loose pieces of hair frame my face and she applies a light coat of makeup.
"Now we need to catch his attention." She murmurs handing me a dark blue ball gown with lace sleeves and a white sash.
"This is a really bad idea." I say.
"Which part of the idea? Conning your way into a ball where all the élite lords and ladies sip wine and eat caviar? Or trying to charm the coldest, richest lord so that we can pull off a huge theft in order to gain access to his fortune?"
"Both." I wince as she tightens the laces on my dress. Despite her brutal honesty, Christina and I have been friends ever since we met on the street nearly ten years ago. When we were recruited by Dauntless, the brilliant group of criminals who rob the rich and famous, we helped each other through initiation and we always have each other's backs.
We also are usually partners in crime. We've been taught to charm the men and then steal their fortune. After every crime we commit, we always have one question: who is our next target?
Right now it's Tobias "Four" Eaton, the lord of Eaton Abbey. He was born in Chicago and he owns a massive railway company that brings in millions of dollars each year and coupled with his equally large inheritance from his English father, it makes him one of the richest men in the world.
Max, the leader of Dauntless, was practically drooling as he listed Four's accomplishments.
I shuffle through the papers on my desk. They contain every tidbit of known information on Four's life. I need to know everything about this man, but unfortunately, he's a bit of a mystery.
Christina smiles reassuringly. "Relax. This is going to be fun."
"What's going to be fun?" Our friend Will pokes his head into the room.
"Will! This is our room!" Christina screeches, throwing her shoe at his head. He ducks easily, grins and stretches down on Christina's bed. She scowls, but I can tell that she's secretly pleased; she's fancied him for ages, but she'll never admit it.
"Twirl for me Tris." He drawls, waving his hand. I twirl and the dark blue skirt flares around me and makes a soft rustling sound.
"Beautiful. I must say Christina, you certainly know how to dress her."
"I do try." Christina rolls her eyes and hands me a silk wrap. "I think we're ready Tris."
Will frowns, "how are you going to get out of compound?" The Dauntless headquarters are located deep underground and the easiest way out is to walk along the narrow pathways in the Pit wall.
"We'll climb out. Just like we'll jump into the net when we get back."
"Our dresses are going to be ruined." I say.
"And if you succeed with Lord Eaton we can buy new dresses."
"I'll come with you." Will sits up and follows us out of our room.
"Not all the way." Christina scowls.
"Relax." He says, repeating her earlier words.
We begin to walk on the narrow pathways and Will silently follows us. As we step into the cold air outside, we can hear the distant sound of the train. Will bows. "Good luck, my beautiful ladies."
"Goodbye Will. Now go inside before we have to run for the train."
"Because have to hike our skirts up so we can run, that's why." Christina snaps.
"So you're saying I could get a glimpse of your knickers?"
"Not mine." I say, "I'm wearing trousers underneath my skirt."
"What?" The train comes closer and I change the subject. "We need to go now!" Will smiles and gives us another bow. Christina waits until he's disappeared before we pull up our skirts, take off our shoes and begin to run. We swing ourselves on the train with a bit of difficulty and crouch against the wall.
We wait until the train moves into the classier parts of London before we hop off. I pull on my shoes and Christina does the same. She fixes my hair and we walk towards the imposing building. I can hear faint strains of music drifting into the street and I clutch our fake, but very realistic-looking invitations in my gloved hand. Before we enter, Christina turns to look me in the eye.
"It's show time." She says.
The doorman gives us appraising looks as we pass him and I realize that we don't look like street urchins—we look like ladies. Though the thought is comforting, I still can't help but nervously fidget with the hems of my gloves. Our heels click on the marble floors and I'm so used to the dim underground lights of the compound that the bright chandeliers nearly blind me.
Christina picks up two flutes of champagne from a nearby waiter and we continue to walk around the room.
"There he is." Christina nods towards three gentlemen standing in the corner, away from the rest of the dancers. Four is easy to distinguish because I've spent many hours memorizing his face. The other two men are both dark-skinned and muscular. "They are the lords Uriah and Zeke. They're brothers and friends of Four." Christina says. We move closer and I can catch parts of their conversation.
"I love this time of year!" Zeke exclaims.
"I think I love it more." Uriah says, adjusting his jacket. "What about you Four?"
Four grimaces, "I'd rather be back home."
"I can't imagine why. You're the most eligible bachelor. Don't you just love to be swarmed by young and beautiful debutantes looking for a wealthy husband?"
Zeke looks over at his brother, ""Uri, I think our dear friend needs to find a wife."
"Yes, I agree. Uriah says wickedly, "He needs someone to waste that all of his money on the latest fashions from Paris. How else will he use up that huge fortune?"
Four begins to back up slowly as the other two begin to list off all the attractive ladies in the ballroom. I realize too late that his broad back is making a direct path for me. We collide and I stumble, sending my drink flying out of my hands and shattering when it hits the floor. I fall and land on my side with an unladylike "oomph!"
"Well done Four!" Uriah's voice is sarcastic as he walks over to help me to my feet. "My name is Uriah and the man who just sent you flying is Lord Four Eaton and he owes you a dance Lady . . . ?"
"Beatrice." I mumble.
Uriah places my hand in Four's unwilling one and leaves. He huffs and I look uncertainly into his deep blue eyes. "Would you like to dance Lady Beatrice?"
AN: What did you think of the first chapter? Let me know! If you have any ideas about this story, concerns about where I've been historically inaccurate or ideas for a different title (I know the Heist Society is the title of a book by Ally Carter), please feel free to PM me!
Over and out,