Unearthed Treasure

Unearthed Treasure by Elizabeth Lapthorne

Book: Unearthed Treasure by Elizabeth Lapthorne Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elizabeth Lapthorne
corrupt the security system permanently. Balancing the success of the mission with causing the least damage, she’d originally been reluctant to truly have the Gallery offline and in need of major repair. If someone with better skills than she was there and threatening the mission, however, she’d do whatever was necessary.
    As she delved deeper into the code, she noticed time stamps on some of the systems and folders she scrolled past.
    “Damn, someone is here, upgrading the system,” she explained as the situation became clear. “Hurry up, Philippe, our small window just closed. I’m good, but I’m a grafter, an inside person. Hacking is just an interesting hobby. If this guy is a professional I can only delay him, not stop him.”
    “Do it,” Kent grunted as he lifted the painting down from the wall. Chelsea didn’t know if he meant shut the upgrade guy down, or corrupt the system, or something else, and in part she didn’t care. Clearly his attention remained predominantly on the artwork.
    Dividing her attention between holding off the man trying to get the alarms and cameras back up and running, and Kent, she winced as he destroyed the gorgeous antique frame surrounding the painting. Wood splintered with a crack that sounded eerily similar to breaking bone.
    With a care she hadn’t seen him use with anything else, he removed the canvas from the frame and transferred it into his folder. Chelsea tried to shut down the surveillance as soon as the sections were up and running, but she knew it was a losing battle.
    “He’s reached our section,” she warned. “If we’re unlucky they can see us now.”
    “Then it’s time to go,” Kent said, his tone far friendlier now he had what he wanted. “We’ll go back through the amateurs and section two—is that still down?”
    “For now,” she nodded, understanding what the bastard was doing. “But section five is up and that’s the only other—”
    “You said the reason you wanted to come along was distraction, so go be one,” Kent said.
    Chelsea sighed as Kent and Luke hurried out of the room. Snapping her laptop shut, she then shoved it into her bag, pulled out her gun and spare ammo and zipped her pack tightly shut. Grateful for the pockets in her jeans, she crammed spare clips front and back, checked her gun and looked at her lover with a wry grin.
    “This is fun, right?” she asked dryly. “Shooting our way out of the National Gallery, hoping to not kill innocent people who have every intention of killing us while that backstabbing arsehole takes the coward’s way out?”
    David chuckled, seeming cool and not fazed in the least.
    “You wanted excitement, darling,” he pointed out. She threw her head back and laughed, chambering a round in her gun. She felt better with a hand free, the balance of her small pack an easy, almost comforting weight.
    “Come on, let’s go kick some butt and finish this,” she said. “I’ll take point, you watch our arse, and no heroics this time. We’re going to have a long discussion about you putting yourself between a cocked gun and me.”
    “Instinct,” David replied blithely as they left the room and turned in the direction opposite to that from which they’d come earlier. “My mother bred a gentleman, don’t you know.”
    “You’re a chivalrous man to your fingertips,” she agreed as they ran hard. “But I’m not some quivering, virginal innocent untrained in the fighting arts. Besides, I want to protect you with an equal intensity.”
    The sound of gunfire came from a neighbouring corridor, distracting her. Chelsea dropped the discussion and swore.
    “This way.” David took her free hand and tugged her down a different hallway. For a second she baulked.
    “That leads to the main gallery—”
    “I think the quickest route will be best just now,” David insisted. “Chances are our friends have all the internal systems back up and running. Faster is better right now.”
    Realising he was

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