This fic is a direct sequel of The Reynolds/Bradshaw Connection. While it's not necessary to read that before this one, it's strongly suggested. A lot of the past will be revealed in this story, but if you're not familiar with the characters of Dr. Corleone (aka Alfonso Kavelek), Tiny, Smalls, or Chastity Red (Charitine LeFleur), I suggest you read the story, as you could be lost just a tad in the beginning.
You Only Die Twice
The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
A litte knowledge is a dangerous weapon.
As silent as nothing
Held in a frail wooden cage
Wating to be unleashed.
Evil is a shadow,
Dark and foreboding.
Following in our footsteps.
Evil is a wound,
Raw and bleeding.
A deep cut,
Walking hand in hand with pain
Evil is a blazing flame
Burning and consuming.
A flicker of destruction,
Evil is a cracked image,
The reflection in a smashed mirror.
A twisted reflection,
-Jez Wong What Evil Is
It was nightfall, nothing out of the ordinary. The setting sun splayed a brilliant aura of purple, orange and red against the darkening sky. The first stars, the three stars in a straight line that created Orion's Belt, were already visible in the sky, as was a hint of the moon. In the Paris marketplace, the smells of baguettes, quiche, and various pastries filled the air. No, it wasn't an ordinary nightfall…it was a perfect nightfall. And it would be the perfect night to pull off the perfect crime.
Robert Reynolds circled around the Musée d'Art de Paris, located in the heart of Paris. Tonight, the museum security wouldn't even know what hit them. This job was a bit of a stretch for Robert Reynolds, who, on the whole, preferred to operate in America. In the United States, there was such a plethora of activities to satiate a criminal's hunger that Reynolds usually had to look no farther than a three-state radius from California in order to determine the perfect heist. Tonight, however, was an exception.
He had been reading the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, eager to read the media's description of the latest skirmish between his family and the Shaffers, when one article in the Entertainment section had captivated his attentions. Lost and Found: Paris Museum Set to Display Patiala Necklace, the headline read. As one of the most feared and renowned jewelry thieves in the world, Reynolds did not even need to read the article, he already knew all about the famed piece of jewelry.
Throughout history, most of the priceless jewelry has served one purpose: a gift of love or affection to a woman. The Patiala Necklace was anything but. The necklace was made to adorn the chest of one of the most important men in India, Bhupindar Singh, the Maharajah of Patiala. On a visit to Paris, the Maharajah had visited a museum whose exhibition of a priceless DeBeers diamond had been causing quite a stir. Amazed by the amber-colored diamond, the Maharajah bought it from the museum and brought it back to India. The diamond weighed 234.69 carats and was the seventh-largest polished diamond in the world.
In a quest for a masterwork of jewelry that would commemorate his reign as Maharajah, Bhupindar Singh traveled to Paris. There, he found the company Cartier Paris, a jewelry store that catered specifically to the über-rich and famous. Dumping his vast collection of precious gems, and selecting his priceless DeBeers diamond as the centerpiece, Maharajah Singh commissioned the company to create one of the most exquisite and expensive pieces of jewelry in history the Patiala Necklace.
The Patiala Necklace, an Art Deco parade necklace, contained several giant gems and consisted of five rows of diamond-encrusted platinum chains; at the bottom of the necklace hung the brilliant DeBeers diamond. Completed in 1928, the necklace originally had 2,930 diamonds and weighed almost a thousand carats. The necklace grew in appreciation and became possibly the most famous piece of jewelry in the world.
Then it vanished for four decades.
As the British control over the Indian empire waned and the Indian princes were no longer tax-exempt, the princes began to sell many of their valuable possessions. The Patiala Necklace had been one of those casualties, having the most important stones, including the DeBeers diamond and the necklace's rubies, taken out and sold in 1951. Forever separated from the original piece of art.
More than four decades later, the platinum chains of the necklace showed up in London in 1998. The necklace was little more than a shell at this point, containing only the platinum skeletons that had held the stones in place. The new owner of the necklace, in junction with the Cartier Company, embarked on a quest to restore the necklace to its former glory. Many of the original gems were untraceable, but, working from pictures and the original plans, the two parties replaced them with newer rubies and diamonds. When the DeBeers surfaced in a Vienna auction, Cartier was able to purchase the diamond for $3.16 million and complete the restoration. The rebuilt necklace was worth upwards of $50 million.
According to the article, the necklace would be displayed in Paris, at the Musée d'Art de Paris. $50 million behind glass for people's amusements…such a waste. Soon it would make Reynolds a much richer man. $50 million would make the difference in the war with the Shaffers and would provide quite a nice piece of insurance for his daughter's future.
After the loss of his wife, Loretta, the only meaningful thing Robert had left was Lucy, his daughter. It had pained him to send her off with Dr. Alfonso Kavelek, (Dr. Corleone, as he was known to the crime world), but it had been a necessity. After revelations sprang to life that the Shaffers had been behind Loretta's murder, Reynolds had deemed the action of protecting his daughter de rigueur, and the best way he knew to do that was to basically cut her loose from the family, for just a bit of time. If she was out of the way of the war until the Shaffers were dealt with, she would be able to survive the bloody war, and perhaps emerge as head of the family eventually. Still, the only thing that pained Reynolds more than sending her off had been lying to her about the reason. If she had known the truth about her mother's death…well, Lucy was a passionate and vengeful young lady. She'd have found a way to jeopardize her safety and perhaps her life.
After the sky transitioned to the pitch black of night, Reynolds parked his car on the side of the street outside the museum, grabbed a few items from the contents of his bag, placing them in the pockets of his black outfit, and walked to the back entrance of the museum. Pulling out his lock-picking kit, he selected one of the larger pins and inserted it into the keyhole above the door's handle. In only thirty seconds, he was granted access to the museum. Just as Reynolds opened the door, the museum's security systems cut in and a wailing siren began.
Pulling out what appeared to be a pen, Reynolds twisted the top and, just as quickly as it began, the alarm system stopped. Inaudible to the human ear, the pen emitted a pulsating high-pitched beep that served as interference to the security system. No one would be able to see or hear him as he executed his plans. Walking casually through the museum like a tourist, Reynolds surveyed the artwork and artifacts, placing a value on each item in his mind. Ascending the stairs, he found what he was looking for on the second floor's Precious Gems exhibit. In the center of the room, encased behind glass, was the awe-inspiring Patiala Necklace.
Reynolds slowly crept towards the necklace, momentarily stunned by the brilliance of the elaborate jewelry. It was like nothing Reynolds had ever seen before. Pictures did not do the necklace justice—it was fit for a king. But wait, as Reynolds became more aware of his surroundings in the room, something definitely didn't feel right. He didn't know quite what it was, but an eerie feeling pervaded the room.
Abruptly, Reynolds turned and, drawing his gun, fired a swift shot towards the dark corner of the room. From the shadows, a loud grunt was audibly exhaled as a body slumped to the floor. It's a setup, Reynolds realized, possibly too late.
He ran as fast as his legs would allow out of the room, retracing his steps back towards the entrance. There was only one thought running through his mind - Fuck the necklace, my life's at stake. His only wish was to see his daughter one last time.
Two men stepped out of the shadows into the hallway in front of him and fired two quick shots. One bullet was completely off its mark, but the other came scarily close to Reynolds, who contorted, narrowly avoiding its sting. He drew his Glock and fired a shot, hitting one of the men in their shoulder area, which was enough to put him down for the count. Running past the other man, Reynolds stuck out his leg and pushed the man's back forward, tripping him and knocking him to the ground. Reynolds barely lost a stride. The entrance loomed before him, he was almost home.
He never made it, as a large hand stopped his momentum and an arm snaked around his body, holding an ammonia-soaked rag to his mouth.
Robert Reynold's world went black.
Reynolds woke up in a strange room, his body splayed and his wrists and ankles cuffed to a metal slab. He couldn't remember what had happened, but he knew that the strange room he was in now wasn't the museum.
Gaining cognizance, he recognized many of the faces surrounding him in the room. He clenched his hands in tight fists, questioning himself and cursing his stupidity…he knew the Shaffers had a death decree on him, and, from the looks of it, they had discovered his plans.
The figure of a man, not three yards ahead of him in the center of the room, turned to Reynolds. Instant recognition set in, and Reynolds felt the hatred course through his veins. "Well, well, well. Robert Reynolds in the flesh!" Nathan Shaffer taunted, "Never thought I'd see the day."
"Nathan, how the hell did you know about the museum?" Robert asked angrily through clenched teeth.
"We had a little help."
As if on cue, two people entered the room, a male and a female. The female was well-built, with radiant red hair, and she appeared to be about Lucy's age. He didn't know her, but Reynolds knew the man…he had been one of the people he had completely trusted.
The man spoke in a deep, raspy voice and a thick Eastern European accent. "Hello, Robert."