I’d spent many an hour scanning the papers for a sound of the robbery. Like the toll of a bell, it struck nine days after the heist. Although rather intending to publicise a quiet issue, the small box of black text loudly bled out. There would be trouble, I expected, as the world frantically tried to regain its famed jewel.
I’d placed the Leonaise in the safety of my house. Not on display, no, as that would have been pure silliness if the few visitors who came had recognised the beauty, but in a special, secret place known only to myself. Even if they knew about the place, no one would think to look there, for it just seemed too ridiculous, too obvious in the bland way that clues can seem.
It was about now, every day at twenty past nine in the morning, after I’d finished scanning through the daily paper delivered in a mess of two sides to my front door of my English country house, I went to see her, tucked safely in her space. At first I had thought the curators and diamond experts mad for giving the Leonaise a female quality, but now she had won me over. With her sharp facets and that gleam she gave from every angle, she almost had a tongue to talk and eyes to watch me with. In fact, even in her secret hiding place, she did watch me, and only I knew it.
It was mad to call her reprimanding, but sometimes she would spit out words as sharp as her corners, asking me why. But I kept her comfortable, and that was all that really mattered to her.
The day continued as usual once I had seen to my prize. I ruffled my hands through my dark hair and tucked the Leonaise away. I went back to my simple (yet often tedious) work: travel-writing. Now that story was one of how I had started my journey to the jewel capital; after many days slaving away, the company I worked for had seen it fit to give me a grant to make my way to old- and new- settlements that might make a good brochure; learning of a diamond worth more than death itself had just been luck, and the icing to my travel-cake.
Sure, it wasn’t that I didn’t expect the police to find my home after some investigating, but then the diamond and I would be gone into the fog. I needed time to discover all the mysteries of the Leonaise before I decided what I needed to do with her- though I might have just keep the gem beside me forever; even if the rumours of everlasting life did not turn out to be true, it might have fetched a grand profit for my distant relatives one day. I didn’t have much family, not close family anyway, but that little point didn’t matter. It was solitude that I enjoyed the most, and with the Leonaise my enjoyment of being alone just seemed increased twofold.
For now, however, amateur thief or not, seeing as the publicity of the robbery had been slight, my plans were safely tucked into my mind and things seemed to be on the right track, especially as I had not spent years designing such a grand robbery as other thieves might have done; my spur-of-the-moment skills had been, frankly, incredible.
It really seemed strange to address myself as a thief, as common a person as I was, but the Leonaise, she did that to men. She had changed all my perceptions of time already, having only had her a week in my possession, and I could already see that everything was going to be spectacular, as long as her shine remained near me.
As the days stretched on, surprisingly, I did not become unsettled. I remained working from my home in the usual routine, sitting in wait for every move the police dared to make. For there would be more, I knew, as surely as my name was Mark Rufus the Second.