Graverobber went downstairs to find the liquor that had provided the mixed drinks. He finished the bottle and didn't bother to find any soda to mix it with. He had no idea what his intentions were with a 17-year-old girl, but he knew one thing-he was drawn to her. He was drawn to her in a way that didn't compare with how he was drawn to Amber.
Graverobber and Amber happened almost against his will. This girl was different. She was sweet, and pure, no surgery and had a capacity to possibly care for him. He didn't want to admit it, but he would love it if he had someone to care for him again. He missed his mother. Shilo was intelligent, and sweet, and did have a mind of her own-like Amber but different. As he neared the end of the powerful spirits he sat down on the steps, and rested his arms and head on the step above where he was sitting. Exhausted by the events of the day, thinking about the kiss in the alley, and a certain pale neck, he fell promptly asleep.
He awoke to sounds. Where in the heck? Oh, right, the Wallace home. Moans and whimpers came to his ears next. Groggily he looked around. The crick in his neck was killer. He staggered up the stairs to see what was going on. The kid. She was dreaming again, fitfully.
"Daddy," the words came softly from her lips. Poor kid, thought Graverobber, she is going to be so cracked up. Shilo had changed to a short nightgown, he realized. He was surprised she had managed to find one that wasn't torn up in the commotion from Amber's Repo Men. Moving from the doorway, he sat on the edge of the bed. He nearly didn't make it. He was still dizzy from the earlier intake of alcohol add to that he wasn't quite awake either. Graverobber made no movement to touch her, but instead lay down on the mattress next to the sleeping beauty. Much better.
Shilo was still struggling in her sleep. It wasn't wise to wake people like that. She could wake up disoriented. Not good. He turned his head to his right and had to dodge as Shilo almost gave him a broken nose in her struggles. She smelled like roses and bathroom soap, and talcum powder. In order to save himself some plastic surgery, he put an arm around her waist tentatively, under her left elbow where she still clutched the pink stuffed bunny. Shilo quieted. He pulled her close to his chest, moving his arm so that he now had her entirely by the waist. She snuggled back into him. Graverobber decided that he liked the feel of her, soft and warm. He kissed the back of her head.
"Good night, Sleeping Beauty," he murmured to her neck and fell asleep once again.
Shilo awoke a few hours later very warm and cozy. It dawned on her that she was pinned in place. She still had the muzzy feeling of sleep. Then she realized she wasn't alone. What the hell? She was in her old room, not the spacious bed in the apartment. And uh someone was snoring into the back of her neck. She felt something wet; drool.
"Ew!" she squealed and struggled. The grave robber had her around the waist by his arm. She hastily removed it, and wondered how he had ended up here in the bed. She must have been having nightmares again. Impulsively, she threw her bunny at him. This only served to have him roll over to his to his left side, hand under his cheek, still leaving her half of the bed in the clear- with the minor exception of a spot of drool on her pillow. He looked sort of endearing on her rather girly four-poster. He still had his clothes on, his surprisingly clean boots not leaving any marks on the mattress. He was on top of the coverlet, and she was underneath, so they clearly hadn't done the obvious.
"Oww," Shilo whined softly. Her head hurt. She felt a sudden nagging sensation in her body that meant nature was calling and got up to head to the bathroom.
When she came back the grave robber hadn't moved. She wondered idly when the last time was he had slept on a bed of any sort. She stood in the doorway of her room undecided.
Shilo had two choices. One-she could go back to bed, or two-she head run back to the apartment sans escort. The second option didn't really appeal to her. She had no way of remaining safe should the Repo Men come for her. On top of that, she didn't have an ally right now except for her sleeping 'friend' (she used the term 'friend' rather loosely). As hard as life was going to be right now, she didn't particularly want to be Amber Sweet's prisoner. Nothing had to tell her, she just knew, that should Amber Sweet find her life would be much, much worse.
True, she had made an ultimatum, but she hadn't been thinking clearly. She had no one left. If he was the best she could do for herself, even if he didn't stick around, wouldn't it be ok while it lasted? Just for a little while until she could find someone else? Did she want to find someone else? She probably should. His bad influence was bound to rub off on her at some point. Hell, he was already starting to grow on her. She had to have an aunt, uncle or cousin somewhere.
The day was beginning to dawn, cloudy and gray. Days like that always made Shilo want to climb into bed and sleep the rest of the day through. Sighing, she figured she could make the decision later, when she was better rested. She walked over to the bed and removed a few strands of multi-colored hair from the grave robber's face.
"Good night, Sweet Prince," she uttered and dropped a kiss on his cheek, despite the smell of alcohol he still retained. She had always wanted to say that. It was a line from a play somewhere; she didn't remember it at this early hour. Graverobber had stopped snoring, and hopefully, drooling. Shilo flipped her pillow over to the completely dry side, and lay facing away from him. She listened to the raindrops against her window and was lulled back to sleep nearly instantly.
It had been some time since Graverobber had awoken next to anyone. It had been even longer since he'd actually slept in a bed. There was a tiny hand on his thigh that was waking more than his mind. The kid must have shifted in her sleep, probably guided unconsciously by the warmth of his body. Her head was buried against his shoulder. He got up softly. Shilo whined a little at the loss of warmth. Delicately, he replaced the coverlet yet again up to her chin, making sure her bunny was next her on her pillow. He chided himself for the sentimentality. He carefully stepped around the flotsam of things in the room and crept down stairs. There was nothing he could do about the intermittent creaks coming from the old wood, but it didn't seem to wake the kid.
The gray and cloudy day didn't promise to produce many customers, but there was work to be done anyhow. He shivered mildly. Where was that freaking thermostat? Shilo could catch cold in this weather. He caught himself again. He reminded himself of the mother birds incubating their eggs. Either way, he was freezing, and he was sure that the kid must be, too. Graverobber walked downstairs and found a fireplace instead. Aha! The thought was triumphant. It must be a gas fireplace, surely. He started touching things looking for the starter switch. Nothing.
Suddenly, the whole wall swung outward, leading to a secret passage. Well that was definitely unexpected thought Graverobber. He continued down the narrow passageway until it opened out into a yellow tiled room. The thought struck him that this is where Shilo's father must have come to literally do his dirty work. The floor was cement with a drain in the middle. Probably for easy clean up, came Graverobber's grim thought. There were a few instruments hanging on the wall. A side table held other surgical instruments in a metal tub and a stained gurney stood in the corner. The floor was completely clean as though it had been hosed down and bleached. He shook his head in horror. He was used to dealing with the corpses after they'd already gone through this shit. Unashamedly, he retched in the nearest corner. On the opposite wall were French double-doors leading out into a gated garden, as though it were the most normal house on the block-unbelievable!
Without a second thought, he turned and went back down the passageway, and fled the house through the front door. The secret chamber glided to a close behind him. He had work to do, valuable instruments be damned. He might go back and pilfer a couple now that he knew what was down there, but in all honesty, none of those instruments were pertinent to what went on with his line of work. He hoped his mind would stay far away from the room he had recently discovered. He would be back in any case to check that the kid was safe.
The evening and early morning hours were busiest, but the cover of a dark, damp day might just be enough to lure some customers out for just one more fix. He worked most hours of the day if people knew where to find him. Seeing how he slept through the darkest hours of the day, he was curious to see what the lighter hours of the day would bring.
Shilo awoke for the final time probably sometime around noon. The day looked the same at all hours on a dark and drizzly day, like this one. The first thing she noticed was that she was now alone, a shallow indent on the mattress was the only thing indicating that the grave robber had been there. She wandered the house thinking he might be near, but he was most definitely gone. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. She had told him to go. She was sure that she didn't want to get involved with him unless he was going to stick around for a time, but it seemed that would most likely be the case. She couldn't seem to shake him, so it was foolish to warn him back. He was going be back no matter what she said. She just had the feeling. He was like a little lost puppy dog looking for someone to love. It was probably a too cute, if accurate, analogy.
She wandered into the kitchen and found the glass bottle of vodka on the counter. He had finished the rest, she assumed. It had probably been awhile since he'd even had any of the real stuff. She looked around the kitchen and couldn't mask her surprise at how much of an improvement he had been able to make in such a short time. Most of the rotting food and trash was in a corner by the door that led to the patio and garden. She had never been out that door, so it was just as well that he piled all the trash there. Shilo's preferred route was to go by her mother's mausoleum. At least her mother hadn't lied to and betrayed her.
Checking around in the cupboards, she found an old package of Twinkies. It would do for now. She took two for now and two for later. If Graverobber wouldn't take her with him to 'work' willingly, maybe she could follow him and learn that way. She'd hide, natch, but if there was any trouble she could always holler. All it would take would be staying within earshot.
She nodded to herself and went to the bathroom to shower and change. 30 minutes later, she affixed her wig, reapplied some make-up and packed her bag. Shilo walked down the passage that led to the mausoleum, this time without her mask. She never knew how freeing it could be. The last time she had come through here it was to meet Rotti Largo, now dead. There was so much death that night. She was still having a hard time coping with it. Rather than dealing with it, she put it to the back of her mind and relegated it to a spot that she dared not visit for quite some time.
Shilo peeked around the corner from the cavern entrance. What she saw made her gasp in surprise. She could see shadows. Cautiously, she peered through the window in the mausoleum door. Two Repo men had been stationed outside of it. Damn, damn, damn, she cursed inwardly. Amber must have had access to her father's videos and knew she'd come down here. Damn! She cursed once again for good measure. It's a good thing Amber didn't know about the passage. That at least was not on film. Damn Rotti Largo to Hell, for everything. Shilo got a hold of herself. This wasn't accomplishing what she wanted to get done. The grave robber was right. Amber Sweet was most definitely looking for her.
As quietly as she had come down the stone passage, she crept back up it. She checked the window out front and was surprised that there were no Gencops or RepoMen at the door. Probably figured they covered that ground already, she mused quietly to herself. Graverobber was making himself pretty scarce. She went through the streets they had come the night before, wandering and trying not to get lost. Mentally she cursed her father for keeping her indoors for so many years. It was damp out and starting to fog, she kept wiping the drizzle from her eyes. Suddenly, across the street she spotted him, and ducked back into the alley way. From behind, she heard a familiar voice. No way! She retraced her steps and peeked around the corner. None other than Amber Sweet and her brother Pavi loomed before her at the other end of the alley way.
"You better make this quick brother. Just because Daddy died doesn't mean I'm not ashamed either," she garnered her opinion on him and made the statement all at once.
"Pavi-a has needs. She will just-a be a street urchin," his sing-song voice began to lure Shilo in. Mentally she shook herself. If she went back to Graverobber right now, he'd be ticked. She was caught between two decisions she'd rather not make. Then she heard
"This is-a the wrong street. It's-a no wonder." They moved off.
She went back to her original position watching Graverobber, playing 'lookout'. Little did either Shilo or Graverobber know that the girl that Graverobber was supplying this instant was Pavi's rendezvous. Shilo saw the Largos come out from behind the alleyway onto the main road, opposite to where Graverobber currently stood. Her mind began to race. Was this the? Couldn't be. . . In an instant the transaction was finished and Graverobber was moving on to another corner. Shilo breathed a sigh of relief. He had NO idea how close he had come to running smack-dab into Amber Sweet. If she grew in any gray hairs because of this, Shilo had no one to blame but herself.
A/N-sorry I didn't mean to leave this hanging, but it was getting long, and I wanted to post. I'll update again soon.