Mentee Name: Alessa Hinlo
Title: THE HONEST THIEF
Word Count: 82,000
When her twin goes missing, Sabina Delacruz is dragged back into the criminal life she left behind and forced to take over her sister’s heist — only to discover she’s the mark of the biggest con of all.
Leilani Pukahi walks back into my life the same way I left hers: quick and with a smile on her face.
It begins with a chill, prickling down my spine. My shoulders tense like they’re bracing for a hit. The reaction makes no sense. Not in this store anyway. Tourists and road-trippers aren’t a threat. I lift my gaze from the information tags I’d been studying. Nothing jumps out at me, but the hairs on the back of my neck rise. My mental alarms blast in my ears. Warning! Danger! Duck and run!
A bright splash of blue moves in my peripheral vision. It’s a familiar riot of wind-tossed hair.
Time freezes. My breathing hitches. I turn to catch what my eyes glimpsed, but my mind refuses to accept. Could it be her?
Shit, she’s gone. How did she move out of view before I could spot her? When did I get so slow?
No, wait. She’s still here. I can feel her watching me. My eyes sweep the store. Dammit, I used to be better than this. Sharper. Quicker.
After rotating a full three-sixty, I see her. Like she’s been standing there the entire time, waiting for me.
Embarrassing. Eight years ago, I would’ve mocked this same lack of awareness in another person. The hell is wrong with me? Maybe it serves no purpose in the life I lead now, but I have my pride. I can’t believe I’ve let my hard-won skills go like this.
Amazing how things change.
I no longer do the targeting.
Today, I am the mark.