"Wait for my signal," Jax had whispered into Christa's ear before slipping away into the night, leaving her to ponder the meaning of those words. He was long gone before she realised that she had no idea what ‘the signal’ was.
Ever since they were orphaned and left to fend for themselves on the streets, Christa and Jax had become no strangers to danger. They had learned to survive by their wits, and stealing was just another means of keeping themselves alive. But as they grew older, their ambitions grew as well. Survival alone was no longer enough, they dreamed of a life where they could enjoy the simple pleasures that most people took for granted: a warm bed, a roof over their heads, and regular meals.
Despite the risks, they continued to take on increasingly daring jobs, honing their skills and building their reputation as cunning and fearless thieves. They stole from the rich and powerful, knowing that they had the most to gain and the most to lose. And now, even as teenagers, they found themselves tasked with a mission that would either make them legends, or leave them hanging dead.
Christa was standing outside a prison block, her heart pounding with fear and excitement. The block was connected to a sprawling estate that belonged to the Tressa family, one of the most powerful in the country of Emberia. It was a family that inspired fear and respect in equal measure, and Christa knew that they were not to be trifled with.
Despite the stark contrast between the luxurious estate and the prison block, Christa knew that they were connected in more ways than one. The Tressa family had a reputation for being ruthless, and the fact that they had a prison block on their estate was a testament to that fact.
The imposing structure of the prison loomed over her, casting deep shadows across the cobblestone courtyard. The walls were made of rough, grey stone and were lined with thick iron bars. The gates were locked tight, and the only way in or out was through a hole in the wall that her and Jax had created.
Christa waited anxiously by the hole in the wall, watching as the moon slowly made its way across the sky. The air was thick with anticipation, and every sound seemed to echo through the night like a warning. She knew that Jax was out there somewhere, setting things in motion and all she had to do was wait for the right moment to strike, wait for the signal.
But as the minutes turned in to what felt like an eternity, doubt began to creep into her mind. What if he had been caught? What if something had gone wrong? What if the whole plan was nothing but a trap?
She knew that she couldn't just sit there and wait any longer. She had a job to do, and she would see it through. Her and Jax’ dreams weren’t just idle fantasies, they were the driving force behind their thieving operations, the reason why they were willing to risk their lives. And so, she struck a match, the flame casting eerie shadows across the wall, and threw it to the ground.
The fire burned bright, illuminating the darkness and signalling her intent. There was no turning back now. Christa took a deep breath and crawled into the prison block; her heart pounding even harder than before.
Jax crouched on the roof of the Tressa estate, if the schematics he had pored over were to be believed, the Tressa family treasury was just beneath his feet in the room below. He gazed out over the sprawling city of Cineres out in to the distance. The lights of the city twinkled like stars, and the sound of carriages and carts could be heard in the distance. Tressa estate stood at the top of a hill, with a river that ran alongside it in the valley towards and through the heart of the city, dividing it in to two.
Though Cineres looked grand from his high vantage point, he knew the reality of living there was not even close. He knew that the city was a harsh and unforgiving place, where the strong preyed upon the weak, where the wealthy lived in luxury while the poor struggled to survive. And he knew that he was a part of that system, whether he liked it or not. This estate offered a glimpse in to what it might look like to be on the other end of that system.
The estate was luxurious, with a large mansion made of white marble that glittered in the moonlight. The gardens that surrounded the mansion were perfectly manicured, with fountains and statues that seemed to breathe life into the very air around them. The stables for the horses were made of the same grey stone as the prison block, but they were much larger and more ornate.
Despite the fact that he was in the heart of the Tressa estate, Jax couldn't help but feel a sense of freedom as he admired the view. A portion of the freedom that he wanted for his little sister. But that sense of freedom was quickly replaced by a feeling of dread as he noticed a fire near the prison block.
Jax was a guy of precision, a planner who prided himself on executing each step of his schemes flawlessly. He had instructed Christa to wait for his signal, and yet she had gone ahead and started without any indication from him. He seethed with anger as he gazed down at the fire from the roof, his eyes fixed on the tiny figure of his sister crawling into the prison block.
"That damn fool," he muttered under his breath, his hands clenching into fists. He had worked tirelessly to craft the perfect plan, and now she had gone and ruined everything. But he couldn't afford to lose his temper now, not when his target was just meters away.
He took a deep breath and composed himself, his mind racing with the possibilities. Though this was a mission to free a prisoner, there were also treasures to be had, riches beyond their wildest dreams. And Jax was just as greedy as he was meticulous.
He lowered himself down from the roof, his hands gripping the parapet tightly. He had planned to enter quietly, to avoid detection so he could take what he wanted before causing a distraction. But that was no longer an option. Christa's impulsive actions had forced his hand, he needed to distract the guards from the prison block now. Jax swung himself down from the rooftop, his body slamming into the window of the treasury with all the force he could muster. "To hell with the plan!"