“A thief always starts his career by stealing wallets. Money is the greatest motivator in the world and even a wad of bills can change your life. Never believe someone who calls himself a thief that has never stolen a wallet in his life.”
“With enough practice, a thief can even learn to tell how much you carry just by the weight of it. A bill could change the course of a theft. One bill less and the wallet will fly out of a thief’s hand, one bill more could leave you stuck inside a mark’s coat. It’s an art to master, just be careful on who to practice on.”
It was a Friday night.
The beginning of the weekend therefore the whole family is celebrating the end of a long, hard week of work. Fridays meant the endless flow of alcohol, throwaway cash, and every single vice that existed in the city.
They decided to hold it in one of the calmer Bae casinos, one too far from the ports but easily accessible by the rich and famous. As soon as the watchtower clock struck 10, all guests were politely thrown out to make space for the conjoined gangs of the Bae-Kang.
In no time, a party of their own comes alive, with someone hacking into the jukebox and playing a mismatch of tunes that had everybody singing along. The bartender opened their better bottles of alcohol and intoxication is a common theme among the members.
In which only a drunken decision can lead to this standpoint between the gangs’ leaders.
In a bet on who is a better thief.
Wendy started the conversation, betting on Seulgi who already mastered the art of pickpocketing before she had turned the age of five. Joy rebutted that Irene learned how to steal before she could even walk.
The two were simply debating but it was due to Yeri overhearing the conversation and immediately asked the crowd their own opinions.
“Bets on Miss Irene. Heard she stole a Rembrandt when she was in Canada.”
“That’s no match for Miss Seulgi! Did you know she stole one of the statue heads at the Parthenon? It’s in their living room, I swear.”
“What about the Scarlet Letter? Didn’t Miss Bae steal that too?”
“Yeah. Someone told me that Miss Seulgi attempted to steal it back then, but it was already gone.”
The crowd quiets down to reveal a red-faced Seulgi who has an arm around a snickering Irene. Her other hand is holding a bottle near-empty that she sets down as she stands.
Seulgi is drunk and has something to say.
“I don’t want to hear anything more about who’s the better thief from hearsay. Let’s settle this once and for all!”
She turns to Irene, albeit close to stumbling, and reaches for her hand.
(Irene just lets her take it, settles in Seulgi’s grip warm and gentle).
“I challenge you, Irene Bae, to a challenge on who is indeed a better thief. Do you accept it?”
(This moment felt very sentimental, almost close to the day Seulgi asked her if she loves her).
“I do, Kang Seulgi.” Irene says with a smirk, standing up as well as she gives Seulgi’s hand a firm shake.
With that, the crowd roars and settles down, putting the pair in the middle in some kind of stand off only they can compete in.
“What is the challenge, wife?” Irene asks, a hand propped on one hip.
“A pickpocket's challenge, dear. All we have to do is to take each other’s wallet without being caught by anyone, by me or the audience.” Seulgi gestures to the crowd, taking a few steps back that Irene follows with her own until there is ample space in between them.
“A novice’s challenge then. You sure you don’t want to back out?”
“Why would I? I know I’m going to win.”
“Then you should also know that I never lose.”
“Well, there is a first time for everything. Let’s start!”
Something static crackles in the background before Yeri’s voice fills in the casino air, even catching everyone’s attention with a bell.
DING! DING! DING!
“Okay folks! The match is on so place your bets! Will the charismatic Kang leader Seulgi win over the forever talented Bae heiress? Only one way to find out!”
The crowd is in uproar, bill after bill pouring out of wallets and purses and hats into the hands of both Joy and Wendy. Someone managed to makeshift a scoreboard with the help of an old playing table propped up and written on with billiard chalk.
“Let’s go, Team Kang!”
“Team Bae never loses!”
“Betting is now done, so on with the show! Contestants, raise your wallets to the sky and slowly place them in your right pocket. Gently please!”
Seulgi looks at her, a