It was quieter then any night in Chicago should be, almost as if it was holding its breath.

I circled the rim of my cup of coffee absentmindedly as I tried to resist letting out an exasperated sigh.

I saw one of the officers sitting in the back of the van with me stifle a yawn and attempt to glance at his watch without letting me see.

I pretended not to notice, I felt the same way. We had been outside this same building every night for weeks, the only reason we were still here was because my intuition could usually be counted upon.

Even though I hadn't been an FBI agent for as long as the others, it was no secret that I was good at my job; good enough to convince the captain that I didn't need a partner. My name had been gaining recognition with every criminal caught. I had been handed case after case, handing them back with the criminal in cuffs. But I wasn't satisfied; they wouldn't give me the one case I wanted. I had watched for years as senior FBI agents rubbed their heads in puzzlement every time a diamond, a painting, or some other large amount of money was stolen. After they'd tried everything they could to catch them, they would pass it on to another agent. I started gathering information on my own time just because I couldn't resist. It was only after I had gathered as much information available and had mapped out each of the locations that I began to see a pattern. Many in the Chicago bureau thought it was ridiculous, that the scarlet thief didn't have a pattern, but the captain decided to give me a shot.

That was eight months ago.

Every time I came close, the scarlet thief would slip through my fingers, taking priceless paintings and jewelry with them. I was going to need some kind of break in the case if I was going to keep it. Otherwise, my chance at catching the uncatchable thief would be over, and I doubt that I would get another shot.

I shook my head to clear the thoughts and took a sip of my now cold coffee and grimaced at the bitter taste.

After another hour or so, I felt like I was rubbing my eyes constantly to keep them open.

I lifted my coffee cup to my lips; almost spilling it on myself when alarms started blaring all around me. I immediately shot up, throwing my coffee somewhere, and forced the sliding door of the van open.

I was sprinting as fast as my legs could carry me towards the sixty story building in the busy nightlife of the downtown streets of Chicago.

The building belonged to the CEO of BYS Insurance, a very very rich man; and the owner of a very very expensive painting.

I could already hear the sirens coming in from the distance as I, and several police officers, rushed inside the building, past the empty security guard post; pulling out my gun in the process

They re-started the elevator, which had been shut off for the night, and we started heading our way up to the 57th floor.

It was difficult to contain my impatience.

I had set multiple police officers up on the 57th floor where the painting was.

The plan was to wait for the thief to try and steal the painting, and catch them in the act. I handpicked the men to guard it while waiting for the thief to fall into the trap.

I squeezed through the elevator doors once they crept open, much too slow for my liking. The blaring of the buildings alarms pounded louder in my ears outside of the sanctuary of the elevator.

I ran down the hall and bursted into the corner office.

I stopped in my tracks.

The feeling of achievement that I had felt since the alarms first started ringing was instantly gone.

There, handcuffed to the desk and to each other, were the police officer I had previously set up. They had tape over their mouths.

My eyes widened in astonishment and horror.

I quickly spun around, my eyes shifting to the spot where the painting should have been.

Instead, in its place, was an empty frame, cracked open and hanging off its hinges, with a piece of scarlet silk hanging from the frame.

The scarlet thief's calling card.

I strode over to the tied up men in rage and disappointment. I ripped the tape off of one of their mouths; he winced.

"What the hell happened!?!" I yelled.

He was breathing heavily when he answered, "He came out of nowhere. 'Wasn't even in here for a minute." He sounded frustrated and ashamed.

"How long ago did he leave!?!" I shouted.

"'bout ten seconds before you came in." He told me, nodding towards the door.

I bolted out the door, yelling to the rest of the police to untie them then get down to the bottom floor and cover all the exits. I was not about to let them get away.

The police were covering the lobby; there was no way the thief could get through; maybe hope wasn't lost after all.

My finger was an inch from the down button for the elevator when I heard it.

A door slamming shut.

My gaze snapped to my left, my eyes catching the door that read 'Stairs, Up'.

My eyes widened, I abandoned the elevator and wrenched open the stairwell door and started sprinting up the stairs.

I rounded a corner on the stairs and just caught sight of a boot heel slipping out the roof's door.

'Where could they possibly be going?'

Holding my gun firmly in one hand, I chased after the thief.

I bursted onto the roof, letting the door slam against the outer wall.

There, casually standing in the middle of the roof, was the thief.

He was wearing a hood casting a shadow over his face, disguising himself.

"Freeze!" I yelled over the wind, pointing my gun at him with both hands.

My words seemed to have no effect on him, for he just started walking towards the opposite end of the roof.

"I said freeze!" I yelled louder.

He just kept walking further.

He raised something from his hand and slung it over his back. It was a tube-shaped container.

My eyes widened.

'The painting'

"Stop! There's nowhere for you to go!" I yelled again, inching closer, my gun still firmly pointed at them.

Again, they didn't even seem to hear me, just edged back further until they were standing about a half of a foot away from the ledge.

"Sir! Stop and hand over the painting!" I inched closer, keeping my eyes on them. There was no way he was getting away.

What I said seemed to finally get their attention.

He picked up his head and looked in my direction as if noticing me for the first time. I watched as his gloved hand came up and pushed the hood back off his face.

I felt my jaw drop as I saw tendrils of silky brown locks tumble out.

'Holy shit'

The scarlet thief was no man.

My gun lowered of its own accord, I still couldn't see the exact features of her face because of the darkness, but that didn't stop me from noticing that she was attractive.

She unzipped the trench coat she was wearing, revealing a pair of black tight-fitting pants and a black wife-beater.

Over that, she was wearing what looked like a harness with many straps and carabineers.

With the painting still strung across her back, she bent down and retrieved a carabineer with rope, which she promptly hooked to herself with precision.

The wind was whipping her hair across her face, as I saw her glance up at me again; the only feature of her that I could make out was the small amount of light that reflected off her teeth as she grinned.

Everything came rushing back to me.

"Stop!" My voice, and mind, seemed to finally start functioning; I started sprinting across the rooftop towards her.

When I was only about fifteen feet away; she gave me a crooked grin, saluted me with two fingers, and stepped backwards over the side of the building.

"Shit!" I yelled, narrowly stopping myself from tumbling over the edge as my hands grabbed where she had been just a moment before.

My eyes searched the dark night below me, seeing nothing but the rope she was using to jump as it kept turning through the pulley she had set up on the roof. There was no way I could stop it.

"Damn it!" I cursed, but the wind muffled it.

I whipped open my cell phone to call and see if any of the police had been able to grab her when she reached the street, but then remembered that I had set everyone up in the lobby to stop the thief when they went down.

The rope stopped running through the pulley.

The scarlet thief was gone.


A/N: Hey, so here is the start of another story. Those of you who have read Guardian Agent, my other story, are probably starting to notice a theme to my stories. However, if you liked my other story, then this one is going to be just as action packed and exciting. Feel free to ask questions, I'll answer them as long as they don't give too much away. Hopefully this one will be just as, if not more, successful then Guardian Agent because I've got tons of ideas and I'm really excited about writing this one. :P