1. complete in every detail : perfect
2. extremely skilled and accomplished
3. of the highest degree

The light streaming through the Louvre seemed to charge the hall with a tangible sense of magic, bringing every work to life. Groups of young children rushed from one piece of artwork to the next while international tourists, and strolling couples filled the entire museum with the ongoing hum of conversation

Amid the statues and the paintings, Nina felt like a child on her first visit to Disney World, only better. She didn’t need the rides or the entertainment. For her, gazing upon art that had survived wars, regime changes, and the flippant nature of humanity was more than enough to thrill her.

A consummate art lover and trained art historian, Nina had started collecting two years ago. It had started with one Van Gogh, that led to a Renoir. Maybe she should of been satisfied with those pieces, but they only whetted her appetite for more.

The thought of having a greater masterpiece had begun as a small whisper of a possibility within her. It was just a random thought that occasionally crossed her mind until it wasn’t. Soon it was all she could think about– it had become her singular focus.

Attaining the Van Gogh had been nearly impossible, and Renoir’s Girls at the Piano had taken months of preparation and planning before it had become hers. The idea of having Da Vinci’s work seemed slightly crazy, but she had planned for this.

Nina walked toward her goal, blending in with a tour of Americans to avoid a  kenspeckle approach. She casually brushed strands of the blonde wig over her shoulder as she took a second to admire the master’s craftsmanship–his use of light, the contour of Mona Lisa’s hands, the faint smile on her face.

Electricity crept through Nina’s veins as she surveyed Da Vinci’s workmanship.

The tour guide’s script matched her own thoughts.

“The Mona Lisa is one of the most highly-respected works of art for good reason,” the tour guide explained. “She is a masterpiece, therefore she is also heavily guarded for good reason.”

Nina laughed along with those in the tour, but for a different reason.

In eight hours, later tonight, she and Mona Lisa would be leaving together.



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