Thick as Thieves

Prologue 1 – The Initiation

Santana Lopez was furious. Her feet were sore from a whole day of walking around in 5 inch heels and she was fairly certain her pounding headache was caused by a lack of oxygen from her figure-hugging bandage dress restricting her breathing. Sure, she looked absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and oozed sex appeal from every pore of her satiny sun-kissed skin, but all she wanted at the moment was to curl up in the huge, luxurious bed in her hotel room and sleep. But no such luck for the stunning Latina today, because she was earning her keep. Well, attempting to, and her partner wasn't being exactly helpful. In fact, she hadn't heard a word from the smug bastard all day. So much for teamwork.

Santana put on her best smile and turned back to the man who had been chatting her up for the past half hour. (Of course, she hadn't been paying any attention to a single word he said.) The sudden intensity of her eye contact accompanied by her sultry smile was enough for the man's train of thought to waver. Not to mention Santana sliding her foot up and down his calf under the table.

" … so anyway, I told my business associate Steven that he could go fu-"

"Sorry, hot stuff, but I'm feeling a little tipsy and I think I need to head back to my room. Thanks again for the lovely evening." Santana leaned forwards and gave the seemingly unsuspecting and rather dazed man a kiss on the cheek. Standing up, she deliberately wobbled and pretended to sway, only to fall right back into his arms.

"Oh dear. I think I might need some help getting to the elevator… would you be a darling and assist me?" She laughed breathily, sliding her arms behind his neck and looking up at him through her long, curly lashes.

"S-sure. I could do that." He managed to choke out.

"What an absolute gentleman you are," Santana gushed. She lowered her voice to a husky whisper and spoke right beside his ear, letting her warm breath caress the sensitive skin "and I love a man who knows how to treat the ladies right."

Santana straightened up and bit back a smirk as she saw the man's dull brown eyes widen, his pupils dilating just the slightest. He fumbled to support both their weights as he jostled the two of them towards the lobby with poorly-concealed haste.

Santana rolled her eyes. These snotty successors. Always think they will get everything they want just because they've grown up leeching of daddy's inexhaustible Trust Fund. The one currently stabbing at the elevator button with unnecessary force while casting eager glances at her was first in line to take over his father's multi-million dollar electrical empire. Well, not if Santana had anything to do with it.

When the elevator doors opened at her floor, the man all but dragged her out into the landing, escorting Santana right to the door of her room. Concealing a deep sigh by ducking her head when rummaging through her purse for the card key, she turned back to her subject with a vibrant smile and threw her arms around him, kissing him full on the mouth. His reaction was less surprised than fervent, confirming Santana's initial judgment call that the self-righteous douchebag had been expecting this to happen all night. Stumbling back into the penthouse suite without breaking contact, she shut and locked the door behind them, pushing him back into the lavish four-poster king bed. Still keeping up the act, Santana straddled his chest and promptly undid his striped tie.

"Won't be a minute sweetheart, now just wait here like a good boy." She murmured seductively as she blindfolded him with the tie, securing it firmly in a knot behind his head. She rolled her eyes once again at the blissful, stupid grin on his face, features scrunched up in anticipation as he obeyed her orders without complaints.

Santana reached for her purse and pulled out a small wooden box containing a syringe filled with a clear, pale green substance. She stabbed the hypodermic needle into the conceited asshole's neck and emptied its contents right into his jugular. He barely even had time to yelp at the sting of the needle before he was knocked out cold on the sheets.

Wrapping the emptied syringe in tissues, Santana placed it carefully back in the box before slipping the box back into the purse. Checking her mobile phone, she noticed the four unread messages.

"About time, you idiot." She muttered to herself, reading through the texts.

She removed the stupid short wig she was wearing and shook out her long, dark hair, letting it fall in cascading waves around her face. Santana peeled of the red Herve Ledger dress and filled her grateful lungs with a deep breath of air. She changed into a pair of black cargo pants and a fitted black V-neck, trading her stilettos for a pair of sturdy boots. She stuffed the dress and heels into a duffel bag and hid it in the back of the closet.

The first part of her job complete, Santana walked out onto the balcony, slinging her black backpack over her shoulders. Clamping a hook around the railing and checking that the climbing rope was securely fastened, Santana nervously lowered herself into the balcony three floors below hers. It was nerve-wrecking, since it was a twenty seven storey plunge to inevitable death if she had failed to secure the hook properly.

Santana never told anyone because she hated showing weakness, but she was terrified of heights. Well, not of heights, per se, but of falling. So many times she and her partner had carried out this same routine to great success, but this was the part of the procedure she detested - having to put her life at risk by dangling precariously off a ledge. She had never got over the phobia, and she seriously doubted she ever would. But she had no choice. There was no way she could enter a room with her subject, often in a fit of passion, and exit several minutes later looking completely flawless and unfazzled. People would be suspicious.

So she had to exit from a different room, looking like a different person to the cameras, to prevent arousing suspicion. The part about teasing death was her partner's idea. He was right, of course, but it is easy for him to say when he wasn't the one in danger of plummeting to his death. However, Santana grudgingly agreed that it was the only way, and she was still alive after scaling numerous buildings.

She heaved a huge sigh of relief when her boots were firmly planted on the concrete floor of the verandah. Unhooking herself from the harness, she went through the sliding doors into the smaller, much less impressive state room. Santana extracted the garments from the backpack and laid them on the dingy double bed. Having some time to spare, she padded around the room barefooted, getting herself a glass of water and munching on a granola bar. She hadn't realized she was starving.

Too soon, she had to get ready - slipping into the floor-length chiffon gown, putting on the strappy heels and touching up her makeup. Before heading out, Santana gave herself a once-over in the floor length mirror by the door. She looked almost innocent in the floaty, pastel dress, but the drape of the material clung to her body all the right places and flaunted her curves. She gathered what she needed and headed out, ready to meet with her partner and execute Phase Two of their Standard Operating Procedure.