To those that have been with me since the beginning, I thank you kindly. To those that I've met along the way, welcome back to another chapter. I regret to say that college has been unkind to me but it is safe for me to say that I have time to write another chapter! Thank you all for waiting. Enjoy.

Scipio's nap was violently jarred by a loud noise of something hitting the wall, which caused him to stir and fall off his perch. He had developed a habit of finding isolated places to sleep and his choice for the night ended up being one of those private viewing boxes that you'd see in those opera houses. His bed was just two of the plush chairs pushed together, but even with such a low distance to the ground, He still felt slightly sore from the impact.


Scipio didn't even bother to get up at first, he just ran his hand over his face and tried to listen what was going on. The faint sounds of crying caught his attention and he rose to his feet to peer over the edge of the viewing box, attempting to zero in on the source. His eyes turned to where the Queen was staying for the night in Hornet's room and without so much as a second thought, Scipio walked off to see what was going on in his Stella.

The years of practice that he acquired from the little jobs he was given from Barbarosa had helped greatly with his stealth. He used to just steal from his father to give to the gang here, but when his step-sister came into the picture, it was like a whole new rose started to bloom. He grew from petty thieving from his father and became the thief that he was today. Sometimes he'd steal food (though it was no longer needed since he taught Prosper) or sometimes he'd nick an item off of Barbarossa when he was not looking but with competition from the Queen of Hearts, the Thief Lord could not simply pass up such fun.

Once Scipio had made it to the Queen's temporary room, he silently pressed himself against the wall, right next to the curtained door. He was still tired but that did not stop his efforts for listening in on the low conversation between her and the recently discovered Bo.

"Queenie, you are a very pretty lady. Please don't cry bout the nightmares. You have your friends here! So if you ever feel this way, you should come to me, Prop, Hornet or even the Thief Lord."

The 'Thief Lord' felt the pang in his chest from what Bo had said. It was true that she had friends, true friends. The Queen of Hearts had wiggled her way into their hearts and home much faster than he ever could. Scipio could remember the early days when he first discovered Hornet, Mosco and even Riccio. There was such hostility towards him, and it took quite some time for any of them to see that he was no threat.

There was shuffling of feet walking closer to the door which caused Scipio to simply pressed himself flatter against the wall so he wouldn't be seen. His paranoia of getting caught had the upper hand but was for naught, since the steps of Bo walked right by and off to bed, hopefully. Now it was his chance.

' "Queenie, You are a pretty lady" is what Bo just said, so does that mean..." Scipio had the gears click in his head before he made the split decision to peak inside with the hopeful outcome of seeing the Queen's face. He had plenty of dreams of the Queen's body while growing up and when he said plenty, he was not exaggerating that little known fact. From the way she ran in front of him when they would go after the same items, to the slight slip of skin she'd show when she jumped the roofs to avoid the policia. It was the seductive dance of red she gave him that would send his mind into pirouettes of lust. He was not sure if she meant to do so, but that was not the issue of the moment. No, as Scipio glanced inside the room all he saw was the darkness which bled the room.

His eyes strained for any sliver of light until, that is, a slight gasp came from his left where Hornet's bed was. His eyes had yet to adjust but that did not stop him from seeing the glimpse of flesh as the Queen threw her covers over her body to hide herself.

"What the hell are you doing here? It's rude to not knock-" Scipio slipped inside the room but kept his distance from the talking bundle on the bed. The constant wiggling it was doing was probably her just trying to put the mask back on. But failing. So, the Queen just held her mask to her face and finally popped her head out to look at the Thief Lord who was shrouded in shadows, "-I could of been naked you pervert."

"Is that how you normally sleep? Nel nudo?" From under his mask, Scipio smirked at the Queen's flustered state and his eyes glanced over to the table where her tattered dress was folded neatly. Must have been Hornet's doing.

The Queen shook her head while holding the mask with one hand and pulled the covers around her tighter with the other. Of course she didn't sleep in the nude, something like that just did not seem comfortable to her, but while in the presence of a very attractive man, even she could not ignore the goosebumps her body were having or the fact that she was in her bra and underwear.

"State your business and leave." Her words may of been harsh, but after quite a nightmare such as hers; she just simply could not help it. The Thief Lord's eyes seemed to melt away her blankets, the intensity and fire that he held within those orbs sent the coldest shivers down her spine sometimes...

"Che bellezza..." He whispered as he stepped closer. The Thief Lord's eyes finally adjusted to the darkness and his breath was almost taken away. There the Queen of Hearts sat on a cot, with multiple covers laying around her form. With her mask behind held with one hand, he could see her other trying so hard to clasp the blankets closed in front of her as to not give a peak; but even with that, he could see the slight edging of her strapless bra poking up from the blanket's edges, giving him a nice view of black and red lace. What a captivating sight to see.

The Queen was turning redder with each passing second as the Thief Lord kept staring. It was as if his gaze was setting her arousal on fire and their wasn't much she could do for the way he was staring. His eyes were of a predator and the Queen was his meal.

Without a word, the Thief Lord crept closer- with caution. His eyes never left hers as he took each step, he wanted to know if she was uncomfortable with the distance, but she had yet to say or do anything and before he knew it, the Thief Lord was sitting on his knees directly in front of her.

"Queenie, I've heard what Bo said and he is right, you are not alone in this world and I just want you to know that you can count on me too..." His voice was just a whisper for her to hear, but that did not conceal the true meanings.

"I know Thief Lord, and thanks. But having you say that does make a difference too"

"I know this would sound silly but I want to cheer you up. I can still see sadness in your eyes so I'll tell you a joke. The only catch is that if you laugh, I want a kiss."

"Seriously? That's kind of redundant. It's like saying if I cheer you up, I want a kiss."

"Exactly." His grin was infectious because even the Queen had to bite her lip to keep from smiling.

"Aaannndd, if it's not funny?" The Queen sat up straighter and leaned in slightly.

"You can shout and scream and have me thrown out of the room. I'll be embarrassed and everyone would think I'm a pervert."

"But you are a pervert."

"Just shut up and listen to my story.

Once upon a time there was an Englishman, a Irishman and an Italian man running from the Nazis. They came across a warehouse and decided to hide inside three barrels within the factory. Once situated, a Nazi soldier made his way in but could not find them. Only a barrel wiggle did his attention turn to them. He goes to the first and taps the barrel with his shoe and the Englishman inside goes "meow-meow hisssss". The Nazi believes it to be a pissed of cat and leaves it be because he is allergic. Then the Nazi goes to the second barrel where the Italian man is hiding and taps it with his foot. The Italian man goes "woof-woof grrrrr" and starts shaking the barrel a bit. The Nazi is scare because he thinks the dog has rabies and chooses to go to the last barrel. Now inside the Irishman has been panicking because he could not think of an animal to mimic so when the Nazi taps his barrel all that comes out of his mouth was, POTATOES."

Moments turned into seconds and seconds to minutes as the Queen just stares blankly at the Thief Lord. She was stunned for words but as the story began to replay in her head, it became funnier. She bit her lip and tried pinching herself but nothing worked as her head leaned down and a snicker came out. That snicker turned into a giggle before becoming a laugh. That was the lamest, cheesiest joke she's ever heard in her life!

"What the hell?! Seriously, potatoes?!" She slumped forward and wrapped her only free arm around herself to stop her sides from hurting.

With the sounds of her laughter, the Thief Lord smile but when she wrapped her arm around her sides, that meant that the blankets hanged loosely around her form and was opened in the front, giving him a nice view of her naughty red and black laced bra with matching underwear. His smile melted into a smirk as his eyes danced across her flesh. He wanted to remember everything he was seeing because such beauty would of been a crime to not appreciate.

The Queen quickly noticed her fault and squeaked,
"Don't!" She said. Her embarrassment was growing at her own stupidity as she used her free arm to cover up her bra. She tried to move away but the Thief Lord simply placed a hand on her thigh.

"Please," he whispered to her, "I promise to not do anything bad."

Her mind was shouting at her to listen to reason and logic, but the deeper, instinctual part whispered to take a chance.
'It's dark. He can't see that well...'

Slowly, her posture uncurled and she sat up to face the Thief Lord once more, only to have the covers fall around her. Her gaze held worry and a slight bit of fear to what might happen but the Thief Lord only stared, as promised. She worried her lip as her only free arm pressed closer around her chest, hoping it would hide her more. It really didn't but there wasn't much else she could do. She was frozen in fear.

"Bo is right Queenie. You are a pretty lady."

Scipio was thankful for the night, for he could feel the blush across his cheeks and neck at the sight before him. It was like a dream come true to him!

"So, are you a man of your word?" He stills his thumb from rubbing her thigh and looks up into her eyes. That hitch in her breath meant she remembered what he was talking about. The kiss.

"You're serious?" She tilted her head slightly in question, being in utter disbelief at such a thing.

Izzy rarely kept her promises, Scipio could vouch for that; she could remember the times she promised him that if he past one of her home made tests, she would bake him something yummy and delicious- like cake. Of course he'd believe her and would receive high marks, but in the end, the cake was always a lie.

"I'm not going to be a brute about it either. You're going to have to make the move. That's why I'm sitting on my legs." He finally took his hand off of her leg long enough to place them behind his back so he could prop himself up. He didn't care if she could see his smile, or how toned his body was becoming. Leaning back just gave her a nice view of everything, and he was right. He caught that slight flicker of her eyes glancing down at his chest.

"Just a kiss? And I'm good?"

"Just a kiss Queenie. It's not like I'm going to eat you like the big bad wolf."

"Okay fine. Just shut up and hold still."

The Queen of Hearts sighed in defeat and tried to lean forward for a kiss, but proved unsuccessful because the Thief Lord was leaning back on his hands. A growl of frustration crawled from her throat as she wiggled closer and placed her legs on either sides of his knees and leaned in.

"I'm not kissing that mask Queenie." His voice deadpanned.

"Oh come on!" She exclaimed in a huff, "you never said otherwise!"

"I'm not kissing that mask." The Thief Lord was stubborn to hold his ground. He would not move on something like this, "If you want to, you can cover my eyes or something."

The Queen thought for a moment and groaned. That would mean she would have to use her free hand that wasn't holding up her mask.

Scipio closed his eyes as the Queen placed her hand to cover his mask's eye holes. She was actually going to follow through. The Queen looked around the room just to make sure, then slowly lift her mask to look at the Thief Lord.

Finally she could look at him safely. Her eyes flicked from his mask, downward. That jawline, his shoulders and chest where all things that she would secretly stare at when he wasn't looking. Whenever she was out, she had hoped that they would meet and she'd get her dosage of sexy thief; but since recently, the simple glance was no longer enough for her. She wanted more. Subconsciously, her hand reached out to touch his chest.

Such a workout he must have.

She ran her hand up to his shoulder and circled around, feeling the muscles react to her touch. She then trailed her fingers along the dips and curves of muscles that connected his collarbone to his neck, and she slowly traced her way up until she cupped his jaw within her hand. All of this sent goosebumps along the Thief Lord's arm, his reaction without his sight had a huge effect on him.
He could feel the heat within himself burn with every touch she made. The tiny sensation that her fingers were giving were like electricity through his veins, but he promised he wouldn't do anything. This was all going to be at her own pace.

The Queen could not help but smile at the scene before her. She was in control of everything, just the way that she liked. Her hand helped to guide his mask out of the way and slowly she leaned forward. She knew he could feel her close proximity, the anticipation was easy to see; but as she leaned, she went past his mouth to his ear and nipped it with her teeth. Such action earned her a shudder from the Thief Lord, but still he did not move.

"Good boy." She whispered in his ear, her hand crept into his hair to tilt his head to her liking. She was done teasing the poor boy and decided now was the time before anything else happened.

The Thief Lord felt the smooth press of lips on his and a sigh escaped them both.

Without much thought, one of the Thief Lord's hands rose to encircle the Queen's waist to move her closer so she could sit on his lap, making her more comfortable and she complied thankfully. She straddled his waist and smiled into the kiss and when he tried to deepen the kiss, she pulled away slightly.

"Do not open your eyes."

His nod allowed her to remove her hand over his eyes to finally wrap them around his neck and to weave her fingers through his hair. He simply loved when someone played with his hair, it drove him mad and it was one of his hot buttons. The Thief Lord held her close with one hand on her back while the other slowly trailed up her thigh, admiring just how soft and smooth his little Queen was.

Whoa, wait a minute! Did he just call her his little Queen? Scipio felt his body relax at the flashback of when he first met the Queen. She was defending a girl against two drunks. She held her own quite well but he did end up whisking her away. He'd guessed that was when he first wanted her to be his.

The slight chuckle from the memory had the Queen inquire what was so damn funny. Maybe she thought she was doing something wrong?

"It's nothing, just remembering the first time we met. Feisty."

With that said, he pulled her back to him and laid down with her on top of him and their lips quickly came back together. Like a starving animal, he devoured her- tasting her. Her scent was intoxicating and he just could not get enough of her. His hand slid up her back to her neck and into her hair. Oh how he wanted to open his eyes and see her face, but he just couldn't. She finally trusted him to keep his eyes closed. Plus, if caught, he believed her threat from the beginning would come true.

He rolled them over so he was on top and straddled her waist. With his head downcast, he could feel his mask get in the way.

"Now it's time for you to close your eyes." She saw his smirk from under his bird mask and she drew her eyebrows together. Should she trust him?
"Please." With the beak of his mask, he traced a line over the skin of what he hoped was her shoulder.

Precious seconds ticked by before she made up her mind. Her fingers danced up his stomach and chest, until they stopped at the edges of his mask.

"Okay, I promise I wont look either." He could hear the smile in her voice which had him mirror the expression as well.
"Do you trust me?" She asked softly. The Thief Lord did not even have to think before he said yes to her.

With that said, his mask was peeled from his face. Carefully, her thumbs caressed his eyes and felt that his eyelids were closed. He still had yet to open them and she was doing the same.

In a blind shuffle the Thief Lord used his hands to see and was soon planting sweet kisses everywhere. He started on her hip bone and worked his way up, kissing around her bra and through the middle until he reached her neck. When he nipped the junction where her neck and collar connected, his little Queen arched her back at the feeling he was giving her and squeaked. Her nails dragged down his back at a snails pace that drove him mad with pleasure.

'Nothing could ruin this.'

When she could not take it anymore, the Queen tugged him back up and sucked on his lower lip. The slight tug sent the hairs on his neck standing, but it was when she flicked her tongue across his lip did he notice some discomfort down below.


Apparently she felt it too and gasped. That was the perfect window to wrap his hand in her hair and finally have a taste. Their mood was cut short by a quick tap-tap on the wall by the curtain of the door.

"Don't come in, I'm indecent" her voice squeaked. Her full attention was to the door and that gave Scipio the idea he wanted to try out. While she talked, he took his time to memorize her in any way he could while being silent as a mouse. His fingers traveled up her thighs and along the edges of her underwear at an agonizing pace that he could tell she was having a hard time concentrating.

"Sorry to wake you but the Thief Lord is gone." Said Prosper. The Queen could feel the Thief Lord smile against her stomach while his fingers trailed along her sides from her hips to very edges of her bra in a slow, constant motion. "I think he might of left for the night."

"Uh, thank you for telling me Prop. I eh-!" She squealed as the Thief Lord dipped a thumb under the fabric of her bra.

"What's wrong?!" Prosper was just about to fling open the curtain when the Queen cuts him off,

"Don't! I'm naked!" From outside Prosper blushed at the thought of a women being naked behind the flimsy curtain that separated them, "I just said a bug that's all." There was a quick 'thwap' noise and a grunt. Prosper just assumed that was from her.

"Oh, well... Did'ya get it?"

"Yeah. It was just a roach." She giggled. Inside the room, the Thief Lord was holding his head with both hands and biting his lip. She had walloped him on the head.

"I'm sorry to keep you up. I'll get Mosco and Riccio to put bug traps up in the morning. G'night."

"Sleep well Prop." She smiled even though she knew no one could see. Then she looked down where she could feel the Thief Lord and flicked him in the ear.
"You're such a pervert."

"Yeah," he agreed. "But you think it's sexy."

"Oh I do."

With her hands she guided them both to each other and they kissed before falling asleep with one another in each other's arms, the Thief Lord's head on her chest and her legs wrapped up in his. They both pulled the covers up and drifted away into slumber.

Finally finished writing, and I have an exact idea of how I'm going to write the rest! Oh, that's right, translations:

Nel nudo: In the Nude
Che bellezza: What beauty.

Thank you all for lighting the fire under my butt! Reviews are like chocolate and I'm a choco-holic.