"I've never been kissed before."

The words flew out of her mouth so quickly Shilo barely had time to register what she had just said. She felt a blush creep on her face as Grave Robber raised an amused eyebrow at her. "Really?" He chuckled. "What brought this on?"

Trying to keep some form of dignity, Shilo merely shrugged. "I don't know. I was watching your clients and I saw some of them becoming quite…uh…intimate with you. One thought led to another…"

Grave Robber chuckled again but kept silent as a woman stumbled up to him. She wordlessly shoved a few precious credits into his hands and Grave Robber shoved the Zydrate gun into the fat of her shoulder. There was a soft hiss as the blue liquid entered her blood stream and her eyes glazed over.

"They believe if they flirt with me they can get Zydrate for free," Grave Robber explained after the drugged woman silently drifted away.

Shilo drew her legs up to her chest, feeling uncomfortable as she always did when watching Grave Robber do his work. "Does it work?"

He threw her a smirk. "Not always."

Shilo fell into silence after that. It was strange, she mused, the way Grave Robber allowed her to hover over him. He has not demanded anything from her, money or otherwise, and at the same time, does not deny her answers to her many questions.

A few days ago she had never bothered to think of such things. Boys, kissing, sex. It wasn't until she entered that used book shop and bought an armload of romance novels. They were so different, than the romance books she was used to: Romeo and Juliet, Ivanhoe, just to name a few. In every single one, barely a few chapters into it, the woman and man suddenly found themselves in bed with each other and lost in the throes of passion. Frankly, Shilo found it all very ridiculous.

Yet at the same time, she couldn't help but be fascinated with them. The girl has spent the last seventeen years trapped in her room, her only companions her school books, her father, and the occasional stray bug. Now that she spent time around other human beings, she had found herself being stared at by the opposite sex. It was frightening and exciting at the same time.

After a few minutes of watching Grave Robber administer Zydrate to a few more clients, Shilo shyly asked, "What does it feel like?"

"What does what feel like?"

He also liked teasing her, she could tell. "A kiss. What does it feel like?"


Shilo's head snapped up. "Really?"

He shrugged. "A lot of these ladies don't bother brushing their teeth."

"And you prefer women with clean teeth?"

Grave Robber then smiled at her, showing her all of his pearly whites. "I may sludge around with corpses my dear, but I do have a high standard of cleanliness."

"Oh," Shilo muttered, embarrassed for herself. "Does that mean you haven't kissed somebody who is…clean?"

Grave Robber threw her a look. Seriously, it said, you're asking me this?

Her embarrassment came off of her in waves. Shilo waved a dismissing hand. "Nevermind," She muttered, gathering her things to leave. "Forget I said anything."

As turned to leave, Grave Robber's voice stopped her. "It helps if you like the person."

Shilo paused, considering his words. "And?"

"And I suggest you don't take advice from these romance novels. They tend to exaggerate everything."

Shilo felt the bottom of her stomach fall out as she twisted around and saw Grave Robber happily skimming through one of the novels she had brought with her. It must've fell out of her bag.

Her face exploded in heat. Shilo dashed forward, snatching the book out of Grave Robber's hands. She wordlessly shoved the book back into her bag, refusing to meet his eyes.

Go home, find a hole and bury yourself.

Fully intending to do just that, Grave Robber's hand suddenly clamped down on her shoulder. She almost jerked away until he spoke. "If you like the person, then a kiss is… nice."

Annoyance filled her. "Nice? That's it?"

"Hey, it's not the earth shattering experience your books often say, but don't take my word for it. Find yourself a guy and experience it instead of reading about it."

Another woman demanded Grave Robber's attention. Shilo waited till the druggie stumbled away when she admitted, "I don't know any guys."

He smacked her on the shoulder. "I'm a guy."

"You?" Shilo huffed. "Me kiss you?"

Grave Robber grabbed his chest and gasped. "I'm insulted!" He dramatically posed. "I'm sorry that you think I'm not good enough for you."

"You aren't. I mean- you are! I mean- dammit!"

Grave Robber laughed. Shilo glared at him as she realized he was teasing her again.

"Sorry," He whispered, wiping away tears of mirth from his eyes. "I couldn't resist."

Honestly, Shilo didn't know why he allowed her to hover around him. Was it because he enjoyed her company? Something told the girl if she asked him, he wouldn't give her a straight answer. He reminds her of the Cheshire cat, with that enigma smile and strange use of words.

And frankly, she didn't care much playing the role of Alice.

Grave Robber sat on a loading deck edge, mutely counting the credits he's made so far. Shilo sat next to him, folding her arms across her chest. "Well?"

He looked up at her, then back down, stuffing his earnings into his coat pocket along with the vials of Zydrate. "Well what?"

"Aren't you going to kiss me?"

His hand jerked. He cursed quietly as he picked up the various credits he dropped. "What?"

She threw him her own look. Don't act stupid, it said. "You offered."

Shilo was pleased to see his eyes growing wide, that teasing demeanor slowly melting away to a slightly flustered one. "Yeah, but I didn't really mean-"

"I'm offended!" She gasped. "How dare you play with the emotions of a young girl's heart!"

Grave Robber gawked at her. Blinked, then suddenly threw his head back and laughed. He clutched his stomach and slapped his knee, fresh tears pouring down his face. Shilo, amused by the sight, started giggling herself.

A few passing prostitutes and Zydrate addicts threw an offending glare their way but relatively ignored them.

"Well played," Grave Robber gasped, wiping away the tears. "That deserves a reward."

"Oh yeah? Like what-"

Shilo wasn't given a chance to finish. Grave Robber grasped her chin, turned her head towards him and kissed her full on the mouth.

He pulled away only a second later. His mouth was twisted upwards in a satisfied smirk.

Shilo's eyes were wide as dinner plates. It wasn't until Grave Robber moved away from her did she snap out of her stupor. "You jerk!" She seethed, anger consuming her. "That was my first kiss!"

Grave Robber shrugged nonchalantly, moving his way down the alley. "And it won't be your last, trust me." He ducked around the corner and did not reappear.

Later that night after Shilo found her way home, she spent almost an hour staring up at the ceiling of her bed. The tingles from her lips had long left her and she wasn't entirely sure if she liked it or not. It happened too quick for her to assess.

Too quick? She moaned, flipping over in her bed.

Her first kiss was with a grave robbing, Zydrate selling, pale fugitive who was easily twenty years older than her.

Yes, her father would have not approved.

The End.