“Look,” Cappy said, “we don’t have time to babysit you. You wanted on this crew, that means you pull your weight.”
“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Eyes added with a grin. “You weigh, what, a hundred pounds, soaking wet?”

Sparrow flushed, but stood her ground. She’d learned that Eyes’s jabs was half-joking when he teased her, and the other half was a test.

“I’d kick you, if you weren’t in a wheelchair,” she snapped.

Eyes’s grin only grew. “That’s discrimination.”

“Can it,” Juggler said. The crew of criminals looked down the table to where the boss sat. “Cappy’s right, Sparrow. You sought us out, you asked to join us.”

“Because you needed a hacker!” she protested.

“Field hacker,” Eyes corrected.

She gave him a ‘not now’ look. “I’m not an actress.”

Juggler gave her a compassionate look. His hair was graying, but a few streaks of brown stubbornly remained. If you met him on the street, you’d think he was just a friendly old man. No one would guess he was infamous for pulling off some of the most complicated heists in the last few decades.

“I’m not asking you to perform Macbeth, Sparrow, but I told you, I need my crew to be versatile. You just need to flirt with the mark. Get him to ask you out.”

“I’m not… I don’t have a lot of experience with flirting.”

Cappy groaned. “We should just hire Mist.”

Juggler shook his head. “Mist is too good. He’d never believe someone like her was interested in him.” Turning back to Sparrow, he added, “Just try your best, and you’ll be fine. We want him to think of you as a kindred spirit. A little awkwardness will only help seal the deal. Eyes, go over it with her.”

Eyes pressed a few keys on the computer built into his chair, then rotated the screen so she could see a picture of their mark. “This is Johnny Doyle. Started out with Sarah Aaron – yes, of Aaron Solutions. They had ‘creative differences’ about ten years ago and split. Landwave Software has been trailing in Aaron Solutions’ shadow ever since. This is a major sore spot for Doyle.

“He’s a romantic, too. Wants to find love, and doesn’t want to use his money to do it, either. He’s hit up just about every dating site out there. Lots of first dates, very few second ones.”

“Which is why you’re perfect for the job, Sparrow,” Juggler said. “You’re cute enough to stroke his ego, and nerdy enough for him to think you’re ‘the one.’”

Cappy suddenly started laughing. Everyone turned to face him. Smiling, he held up a picture of Sarah Aaron.

“Doesn’t she look a bit like Sparrow here? We dye her hair red, and Doyle won’t be able to resist her.”

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