|"So how did it happen?" asked one of the men as he strolled round the pool table, lining up his next shot.|
"How did she do it, you mean?" replied the other man, leaning against the wall, pool cue held idly between his hands.
"Exactly." The man took his shot, missed.
"I'll tell you. This is exactly how she did it." He took aim at the 9-ball and began to speak.
She crouched in the darkness, examining the complex lock before her. Her fingers reached out and traced the numbers on the dial, getting a feel for the job at hand. She knew just by looking that no dynamite or heavy handed tactics were going to get through this door. It was too solid, too well prepared, too strongly defended. No, to get at the contents would require finesse.
Carefully, she pulled the black roll-bag from her pack and laid it flat on the floor. Unhooking the small penlight, she turned it on and placed it between her teeth, allowing her to see more clearly. Once more she caressed the door with her fingers, outlining the dial, stroking the handle. She loved this part. She loved what was inside more, but she loved the defences as well. Getting through them was almost as good as the reward.
She removed the stethoscope from its holding place and put it in her ears. Placing the round metal disc to the safe, just to the right of the spindle she spun the dial. Good. She could hear the clicks as the right numbers passed. Slowly and gently, she turned the dial. At each click she reversed the turn. After an hour or so of hard listening and trial and error she heard a louder click and knew the lock was finished. Excitedly, she yanked the handle on the door. Nothing. She knew it wouldn't have been that easy, she didn't know why she was surprised.
Standing and stretching her stiff legs, she walked around the sturdy safe, examining it from every angle. There didn't seem to be a chink in its armour but she KNEW it must exist. Using the penlight she looked closer at its edges. There! A small raised panel. She was sure it hadn't been there before.
She pulled away the cover with a small hook from the roll-bag and was faced with a series of complex tumblers. She sighed. This was going to take some time. She unpacked her picks and tension tools and set about unlocking each of the nine locks.
For hours she sat cross-legged in front of the panel. Sweat dripped from her long hair, her shoulders ached and her eyes became weary but she would not give up. She blew a stray lock of hair from her eyes, rolled her shoulders to loosen them and went back to work.
After what seemed like days she made it to the last lock. Her hands were trembling with tension and effort and she took a moment to calm herself. She was so close now. She feared discovery, feared that she would be locked out for good but she pushed the thought to the back of her mind. Placing the penlight between her lips once more she leaned in and pushed the tension bar into the lock. She felt every edge of the lock through her fingers, knew just what was required. Selecting the right pick, she worked it in beside the bar and began to unpick the lock.
More than once she nearly slipped and reset the whole thing. Eventually though, the last lever gave way and she heard a louder click. She exhaled heavily, excitement coursing through her. She crawled round to the door and placed her hand on the handle. Holding her breath she turned it.
The door opened and she was bathed in light. Lookng into the safe, her eyes sparkling, the most beautiful smile spread across her face.
"That's how she did it," the man said, sinking the 9-ball and turning to face the woman who had just entered. She was 5' 1", long dark hair, olive skinned. The most desirable woman he had ever seen.
"That's how she unlocked my heart and won it for herself. Isn't it, darling."