Monte Vista Stories,  Stories

Monte Vista Stories | 2.2. Lockpicking for Beginners

002 (1).png

She spent the entire day feeling like she’d drunk too much coffee and swinging between being excited and sure that none of the boys were going to turn up. By the time she walked across the square, legs wobbly, she’d convinced herself that she was going to be stood up.

However, one of the boys – the tall, gorgeous one that the other had called Enzo – was there. He stood under a lamp post, fidgeting with the fabric of his shirt and he looked around nervously. It was hard to say if he was just looking for her, or worried about being seen. At least he was here.

She did a mental fist-pump and kept her cool walking up to him, but she couldn’t help a wide smile when their eyes met.

“I didn’t think you’d be here,” she said. “Your friend didn’t make it?”

“He didn’t think it was a good idea, and I can’t say I’m sure myself.” He reached out a hand to her. “I haven’t introduced myself properly. Vincente Cavalcante, though you can call me Enzo.”

“Regina Mancini. Gina.”

She waited to see if there was a light of recognition in his eyes at her last name. That was often the case, even this far from Monte Vista, but she saw nothing.

“Ever picked a lock before?” she asked then.

He ran a hand through his hair. “No, and I still don’t believe that you can do it.”

002 (2).png

“Well, I can, so just keep your eyes peeled, and maybe you’ll learn something. Let’s do the library.”

She nodded her head at the turquoise building to her left. He laughed.

“How thrilling, going to the library in the middle of the night.”

“It’s the easiest to break into in town,” she told him. “This is perfect for baby’s first break-in.”

He rolled his eyes and followed her, but there was a smile on his face when they rounded the corner to the back of the building. She waved him over to the door, crouched down, and began to root through her pockets for a few hairpins. When she had them, she held them out so he could see.

“We use these.”

She started bending one of them into an L-shape and the other she opened wide; the latter would be used to hold the tension on the tumbler, and the other to push on the pins. His eyes were trained on her hands.

“Hairpins? Isn’t that a little cliché?”

“Nope. They’re pretty decent when you’ve left the proper tools at home,” she said and nodded at the standard pin tumbler lock on the door. “A lock like that, it’d be kind of silly to get something better. There isn’t even an alarm on this.”

Enzo looked at her, his face somewhere between disgust and… almost admiration.

002 (4).png

“Who exactly are you?” he asked.

“Told you, Regina Mancini. You seriously haven’t heard my last name before?”

He shook his head. “I’m just as surprised you haven’t heard of me.”

“Should I have?”

“If you’re from around here, yes.”

“Well, I’m not. I’m from Monte Vista.”

Enzo suddenly went quiet and then took in a sharp breath.

“Mancini. As in Carlo Mancini, of Good Guys Inc.?” When she nodded, his whole demeanour changed. “Huh, I guess it would make sense that you know what you’re doing. It’s… kind of cool.”

“It’s very cool,” she said. “Don’t worry, though, I’ll teach you so you won’t suck so much next time you try and commit a crime. Do you know how locks work?”

He shook his head.

002 (5).png

She invited him to crouch down next to her and once she had the familiar tools in place, muscle memory took over. While she worked, she told him what she did – about pins and binding pins and the tension on the tumbler that she held with the open hairpin.

“We need to find the binding pin and you can feel which one it is, because it’s harder to push up. I push on it, and when you hear the click…” As she said it, there was a small click from the lock. “You’ve got the first pin up and then you can do the others.”

Gina asked Enzo if he wanted to try it out, but he preferred to watch for now.

Is he getting cold feet? she wondered.

For a moment she worried that the whole thing was getting too real for him, or that he thought it wasn’t cool anymore. However he never stopped watching her hands, and he seemed decidedly not-freaked out.

Once the last pin clicked into place, she looked up triumphantly and he beamed at her.

“Okay, fine, that is cool.”

“I know.”

002 (6).png

Gina held the door open and she saw him take a deep breath before stepping over the threshold. They entered to the breakroom, and Gina found a lantern in the maintenance closet before they headed into the library proper. A little light wouldn’t hurt, but she also didn’t want to turn on the ceiling lamps and alert the townsfolk to their presence.

She headed up the stairs with Enzo trailing behind her. As always, she loved being here after dark. It wasn’t that she cared much for books or reading, but she had always liked being places where she shouldn’t be, and the library was as good as any place. She hadn’t lied when she told him that it was the easiest spot in town. Her dad had taken her here to practice lockpicking when she was little and begged him to do it.

On the upper floor, she nodded to the sofas and she threw herself into one, while he took a few moments to look around hesitantly.

“How often do you do this?” he asked.

“Just now and again, when I’m bored.”

He nodded and sat down next to her, looking around the empty room. When he leaned back, she could tell that he was trying to look relaxed, but a slight tremor in his hand gave him away. She pretended not to notice.

002 (7).png

“Why did you want to steal a car?” she asked once he had settled down.

He rubbed the back of his neck and shrugged. “I don’t know. Guess we were just bored.”

“Makes sense. You guys are like bored rich boys, right?”

She motioned to his watch; she knew it was expensive because her dad had one of the same brand, and he never wore cheap watches. Of course, his usually weren’t bought at a fancy store, but stolen somewhere else and smuggled into the country. She didn’t think Enzo’s was.

He touched the watch. “My family is wealthy, so I suppose we’re bored rich boys, yeah. You seriously don’t know who my family is? The Cavalcantes? We go way back – we’re descended from old nobility and make a big deal about it even though it doesn’t matter anymore.”

Gina shrugged.

002 (8).png

“Nah, I haven’t heard of you. Oh, but your name does sound kind of fancy.” She said it out loud, trying out the syllables: “Vincente Cavalcante.”

He snorted. “Want to hear something dumb?” When she nodded eagerly, he smiled and said: “My name’s actually Vincente Edoardo Luigi Cavalcante VII.”

Regina put a hand over her mouth and bit back a laugh, but he told her to just let it out, so she did. By the time her laughter died down, she wiped away tears that had formed at the corners of her eyes.

She said: “Sorry. That’s a… cool name.”

“Nah, it’s not.”

“No.”

“Not even a little.”

Another fit of laughter came over her, and this time he joined her. It took minutes before she was coherent enough to say:

“You wanna pick some more locks? I’m free tomorrow night, as well.”

His face was still flushed after laughing when he said: “Yeah, okay. Just promise not to murder me because I know too much.”

002 (9).png

Gina sighed. “You think I go around murdering people?”

“I mean, you’re kind of in a gang, right? Isn’t that what you people do?”

She shook her head. “My dad wouldn’t kill anyone, unless they hurt my family or his men. He’s a criminal, but he’s a really good guy.” She bumped his shoulder with a fist when he looked at her with an eyebrow raised. “He’s a good guy! Anyway, you’re the one trying to steal my aunt’s car, rich boy. And you’re kind of rude.”

Enzo looked taken aback at that.

“Rude? You think so?”

She nodded. “A little bit, anyway. You’re not as bad as I thought, but still a bit.”

He bit his lip. “Nobody’s ever called me that before. I guess it is rude to imply that you’re a murderer. Sorry about that.”

“Eh, it’s not like you’re the first…”

A sound from outside the building made Gina hold up a hand to quieten him before he could talk more.

“We should probably go now,” she whispered. “I don’t think anyone’s coming in, but just to be sure.”

They left without being seen and before parting, they agreed that they would do it the next night as well.

Author’s note: Hi guys. Welcome back to Monte Vista… well, Collesena. And the chapter that had me researching lockpicking 😛 It’s a really interesting topic and anyway I felt less scared about researching this than car theft! That’s what you get for writing about criminals.

Not much blabbering from me today, just a friendly reminder that if you missed it, I’ve added a family tree and a chart showing the characters’ ages in this and the previous generation. Obviously they contain spoilers, though if you’ve read up to this point, you should be cool. And well, that’s about it from me 🙂

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend, and I’ll see you for the next post!

27 Comments

  • socallucyfan

    Let’s hope the government doesn’t hack your browser history. Or else you may have some explaning to do. 😂😂
    I love this friendship that is brewing between these two. They certainly have a very interesting chemistry between them.

  • loladiamond01

    So a girl from the criminals family and a rich guy? Almost cliché, isn’t it? 😛
    Anyway, loved how you’d done your research beforehand. It was great to read about. Just do not get around saying what your search history consists of 😂 People may be looking weirdly at you, even if you claim it’s for storytelling xD
    I wonder who Enzo’s family really is and how it is Regina’s not heard of them.

    • NotJustaBook

      It’s probably pretty cliché… I tried 🙁
      He, he, yeah, I’d probably have some explaining to do 😛
      Oh, it wasn’t even supposed to be a great mystery. His family is who he says he is, but because Gina’s from elsewhere, she doesn’t know them. I can only repeat: I tried 🙁
      Thanks for commenting, though <3

      • bmitjessesue

        Cliche is one of those words that over the years in social standing that now is only used in a negative connotation. But did you know it was also used to mean true? If you think about it from this stand point, we are biologically engineered to seek out the man who can take care of us (dang genetics) so hey, why not the guy who is maybe less desirable to social standing. Who would you want keeping you safe in an alien attack? LOL We women like the who bad guys thing. Even I did that in my story. Little bit of a twist but essentially the same thing.

          • bmitjessesue

            Then we shall say, you my dear have evolved beyond us! But in all honestly, I’m not sure who I would pick in real life either. My choice between Matthieu and Dax was always Matthieu, so I guess that says I’m truly not into bad guys either. Although I did marry a farmer sooooo…LOL

          • loladiamond01

            Ha, ha. Yeah, bad guys get me annoyed, I can’t deal with them. I don’t think Dax was a bad guy, though. He got some problems, but wasn’t a stereotypical cliche. Mainly a vulnerable, artistic soul. And he was my choice, of course.
            I think you’re biased, lol.

          • NotJustaBook

            I don’t mind a bad boy, sometimes I like them, but I get annoyed with the ones who are such douchebags that there’s no way a real life person would fall for them. A little jerkiness is fine, so long as their good qualities make up for it!

          • socallucyfan

            There is a difference between a bad boy and a douchebag. My husband races motocross, and those guys are stereotyped as bad boys. But in reality they are the nicest people you will ever meet. They are in a very physically demanding sport, so needless to say they don’t do drugs or drink excessively.
            So, I guess I am a cliche because this good girl fell in love with a bad boy. 🙂

          • NotJustaBook

            This is true as well, of course 🙂 I think the bad boys get lumped in with douche bags a lot. Hence you get the whole ‘nice guys finish last’ garbage that goes around (ugh).

          • socallucyfan

            That is another one that annoys me. Nice guys don’t always finish last (and despite what anyone else thinks Carlo is for sure a nice guy) 🙂

          • NotJustaBook

            They really don’t. ‘Nice guys finish last’ is always said by guys who are NOT nice when they’re whining about how the girl they’ve been harassing doesn’t want them.

        • NotJustaBook

          It’s true that clichés are clichés because they have a kernel of truth to them 🙂 Truth be told, I like a bit of a bad boy myself, though my ‘bad boy’ characters tend to be kind of not bad at all, so who even knows 😛

    • Lila Remonn

      Chiming in on the cliche conversation! I agree with everyone about the difference between ‘bad boy’ and ‘douchebag’. I cannot stand any guy who has even a little douchebag in him in real life (actually I can barely stand men at all LOL) but in stories I do like a bit of bad boy, as Louise said, seeing I’m guilty of Luc 😛 In my opinion, the bad boys who have solid reasons/background for their behaviour (though this doesn’t excuse it all the time) + some good in them, can be one of the most likeable character types. I think what makes a character a douchebag is when they just don’t have any reason (or good reason) for it — they are assholes because why not. Those douchebags are the characters I just really can’t get behind.

  • Kymber

    I like how Enzo and Gina’s friendship is developing. They might get into a lot of trouble, though. LOL I like how Gina taught Enzo about locks and the use of hairpins. LOL I myself would choose a library just so I could read in peace. 😀 😀

    • NotJustaBook

      Thank you, Kym <3 It's why I have like five intro chapters instead of one prologue – just couldn't fit a developing friendship into one chapter!
      There's definitely potential for a lot of trouble, lol 😛
      I know right? It would be a great place to break into. Vittoria's probably done it a few times with her newfound bookwormishness!
      Thank you for your comment <3

  • twinsimskeletons

    “I guess it is rude to imply that you’re a murderer” I mean, you’re not wrong, that is pretty rude xD
    Lmao I can see why he goes by Enzo. That is a big mouthful of a name. Plus there are already seven of them?! I mean, people, stop naming your sons after yourselves. It’s the sign of a douchebag.
    I am loving Gina and Enzo together by the way. They have good chemistry.

    • NotJustaBook

      Ha, ha, it really is! 😛 Fortunately for him, Gina is kind of used to people assuming stuff about her.
      Yup! It’s quite the mouthful. And yeah, I’m inclined to agree – it’s rarely good when you name your son after yourself.
      I’m really glad you like them – I had a lot of fun writing them together 🙂 <3
      Thanks so much for your nice comment <3

  • Lila Remonn

    I like this blossoming friendship between Gina and Enzo! It has a sort of casual vibe to it — Gina’s confidence with Enzo’s quieter, slightly nervous (at least what it seems to me) personality has nice chemistry. I can see them getting up to all sorts of fun hijinks together.
    It was great to learn more about Enzo. Bored rich boy, huh? Shaking my head at how he steals from less wealthy people because he’s bored. I do still like him though, because despite his sort of patronising attitude in the last chapter, he appears to have respect for Gina’s prowess. It was cool to read about picking locks with hairpins. I’ve always seen it mentioned but never really knew how it worked!
    Great chapter <3

    • NotJustaBook

      I’m so glad you like it <3 I think they really click as well 😀 it's why I couldn't help but turn my prologue into five chapters… I just didn't have space to do what I wanted in just one!
      Yeah, bored rich boys aren't always paragons of morality, though deep down he's not a bad guy 😛
      Lockpicking is actually super interesting! And indeed, using hairpins is possible. There are tons of kits you can buy online, as well as lots of instructional videos. It seems people sort of do it as a hobby.
      Thank you for reading and for the nice comments <3

  • sempreviva

    I’m so sorry I’m so late! I wanted to comment since yesterday but I was always out and I couldn’t leave a proper comment 😕
    As others already said, I love the chemistry between Gina and Enzo <3 He seems like a nice enough guy (although Gina has already been surrounded by enough "good guys" in her life, lol)..! But I'm not sure why he and I suppose his brother(?) were so inclined to steal her mom's car. Were they so bored with their lives? Or does this kind of life intrigues Enzo deep down? I bet Gina has already intrifued him though! 😉
    It was nice to learn about lockpicking – you never know when this stuff is gonna prove useful, haha!
    I can't wait to see more of those two! 😀 <3

    • NotJustaBook

      Don’t worry about it <3 There's no hurry at all 🙂
      He, he, a girl other than Gina might be put off my his criminal tendencies, but we know she's nothing like that!
      The other guy is a friend of his, Lorenzo. He'll come into play later, though he chickened out on the lessons with Gina 😉 Enzo is a little more intrigued than his friend.
      Some day, you might lock yourself out, so it's good to learn this stuff, ha, ha 😀
      Thank you very much for your comment <3 🙂

  • amyqueen

    The whole time I was reading that lockpicking part with all the details I was like either Louise has an interesting side hobby or her search history is probably filled with how to pick a lock searches 😂 Definitely a milder topic to research than other simlit themes, haha. Just like everyone’s mentioned, the developing chemistry between the two is amazing, no surprise there though as your character chem + tension are always top notch 🔥 Enzo’s full name is hilarious and the fact that he’s had six predecessors with it is even more so, lol. I’m looking forward to seeing them get to know each other more on their next late night criminal venture 😏 Great chapter!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: