Electric light was so unfamiliar that Shilo still opted to use her candles and hurricane lamps. Electricity was useful only for the renewed convenience of appliances such as the microwave or refrigerator. She had used neither today, and had instead made a perilous trip outdoors in the sunlight to retrieve freshly baked sweet treats that were mainly chocolate in nature. Indulgences intended to impress as well as to cater to her own private 'addictions'.

She had dragged out the fine china from a box under the stairs, dusted off the little plates and polished the silver until it gleamed. The activity had left her light-headed, fumes from the decidedly old fashioned polish going to her head and making her giggle hysterically over the stupidity she had insisted upon.

Shilo made certain to wear her most modest outfit, forgoing her eyeball necklace for the string of pearls that had once belonged to... well, not hers, but somebody's grandmother. She had guests to impress. Guests that needed to be shown how well she was handling things without the guidance of a parent to help her. Guests that may question her judgement when she introduced them to the man who she still wasn't entirely certain she was in a relationship with.

Shilo took a deep breath, patted her wig one last time, and picked up the tray of sweets. She forced a smile onto her face as she carried them out into the living room and hoped that the evening wouldn't be too awkward.


"So you're a graverobber...?" The question was so painfully polite that you could almost miss the awkward strain in the woman's voice. Almost, but not quite.

"The Graverobber," he corrected with a smile, frankly delighting in how uncomfortable the lady was. He was no dabbler, the job was his name as well as his title, something that made his introduction to these people even more trying (and fun) than it could have been otherwise.

"Oh." She paused, uncertain. Floundering a little. "And, er, how long have you been..?"

"Years," the Graverobber replied in a drawl, plucking a chocolate chip cookie from the tray on the table and taking a bite. He spoke with cookie-crumbs sticking to his painted lips, making a point to lick them away in the most lascivious way possible. "I'm the best in my business, king of the underworld scalpel sluts." There was a rustle of fabric. Shilo kicked him.

"So you would say that you could provide for Shilo?"

Graverobber raised his eyebrows, breaking the illusion by looking directly at Shilo. "What kind of question is that? What century are you living in, kid?"

"Ask her, not me," Shilo told him, pointing at the woman on the couch opposite them. A pleading look filled her eyes. "Come on, please? Just play along... I told you. This matters to me. I really wanted you to meet my parents."

Graverobber looked back at Shilo's mother, the dessicated corpse in the rotting lace dress that he had carried into the living room for the purpose of this meeting. Shilo's father sat next to her, or what they could dredge up of him - a Repo man suit that was propped up against the back of the couch to resemble sitting. He sighed. "I make a decent enough income," he told the corpse, then looked back at Shilo, a dry expression on his face, as if asking whether that was good enough.

"Ok," Shilo gave in, accepting that he had played along as much as he was going to and trying to force him would only make things more difficult. "Just one more question, I promise."

"Make it a good one, kid," Graverobber replied, polishing off his cookie. "So I can put your mother back to bed."

Shilo thought about it for a moment or two, a slight frown creasing her brow. When she spoke, she had pitched her voice lower, which meant the question came from Nathan and not Marnie. "What are your intentions towards my daughter?"

"I intend on corrupting and preserving her girlish innocence." The flippant remark rolled off his tongue so easily that it almost sounded rehearsed, or like a bad joke. Too quick to catch whether or not he was really serious. Graverobber smiled, making it one of his more dangerous looks. "I intend on keeping her."

Shilo suddenly began to wonder if she'd made a terrible mistake letting this man into her life. Somehow she couldn't make herself care.