Shortly after Mister Prick burst into the kitchen, I overheard Suzie arguing with Brad on who gets to have dibs on the wish bone. Funny, we're not even having anything relative to chicken. Let's just say I didn't hesitate to seat myself between the bickering non-couple. Someone could get seriously hurt.

Riccio grabbed a nearby knife and started murdering his piece of the meatloaf. I winced as sloppy ketchup covered dinner almost hit me square in the face. Earl seemed to think that was all so amusing, for he was smirking behind his napkin.

Ida glared at the hungry hedgehog, "Don't eat before Grace!"

"Since when do we have to say Grace at dinner!" His mouth was full of mashed potatoes. Lovely. Though he does have a point. When did Ida start caring about her religion? She always independent.

Victor twirled his fake facial hair before asking, "Who wants to say Grace?" Ah, so it was him who convinced Ida to start making it a habit. That's religious brainwash! When no one stepped up to the plate, (haha get it? PLATE? Dinner? Forget it), Bo calmly placed his fork on the cloth table and stood on his char.

He announced, "I'll do it!" Prosper grinned widely at his little brother.

Suzie whispered, "This should be interesting." I had the urge to stomp on her foot, however I decided against it. Do I really have a death wish?

Scipio smirked lightly, "What a lovely idea." Yes, having a child say Grace is quite amazing. In my eyes Bo saved the day. If he waited any longer, Earl might have just said something embarrassing making me turn my cheek and run out of the house. I've watched too many soap operas. You see what the bird man does to a American girl like me?!

Bo finally settled down and closed his eyes, "I would like to thank God, Prosper, Hornet, Riccio, Mosca, Ida, Victor, Penelope, Earl, Suzie, Brad, Mikayla and SCIPIO for providing this yummy food today. AMEN!" Now that was something.

Earl wrinkled his nose, "Why did Scipio get extra praise and NOT me?"

"That's simple, Earl. hot. You're not!" Suzie. You would think two redheads would get along. My best friend frowned at the volley ball player and returned to his untouched dinner.

I started a conversation, "'"

"Not so great! I was just called ugly and---." Shut up Earl. I searched for anyone else to talk to, but they already started small talk amongst themselves. I despise that. Finally, my eyes rested on the cocky adult like figure across from me. Remind me why he sat there?

He smiled, "My dear Penny, you seem distressed!"

"What gave you that idea?"

"Because whenever you get frustrated you bite your lip and start fidgeting." Thanks for pointing out my flaws. You're a doll.

I rolled my eyes, "I'd like you pay attention to your food than me." That came out harsh.

The detective took a bite of his meatloaf before glancing at me with victory, "There you go!"

"That's not what I meant."

He raised his eyebrows, "Then what did you mean?"

"I meant I hate you."

Earl erupted in a fit of slightly girlish giggles, "That doesn't even make sense!" Mikayla was on the verge of smacking her head on the table, I just know it.

Scipio was almost scowling, "Not to be rude, but, did we ask for another opinion?" That just made Earl crack up even more, making Ida glance at us every so seconds. I want this dinner to end already. Brad finished his plate, probably searching for leftovers. Guess what? There isn't any. Riccio is indeed a hungry boy.

Suzie grabbed her meatloaf and plopped in on his plate, "Here. You can have mine."

Brad stared at it a minute before looking up, "I don't know if I should thank you or throw this possible death trap out of the window." Ida definitely heard that.

"What's wrong with my meatloaf?!"

Brad blushed a million shades of red, "Wait! That didn't come out right! I meant----."

Bo was obliviously curious, "How come everyone can't say what they mean today?"

Scipio eyed the little boy, "Love."

Victor barked out in pure laughter "What do you know about love boy?"

"You'd be surprised, Boss."

Suzie smirked, "Inform us then! Who do you like?"

Scipio looked amused, "Didn't I say love?"

I interrupted, "Stop saying love, it's making me sick." This is where Mikayla and Earl go against me by silently chatting the four letter word. Just because it cannot be heard, doesn't mean it's not there!

Ida drank her last drop of wine, "I think dinner's over!" THANK GOD! I did my best to slip out the back, letting the fresh italian air hit me like a ton of bricks.

"Hey! Miss Storms! Wait up!" Why can't he leave me alone? That's simple, you don't want him to leave you alone. I hate that voice inside my head who is always right. I turned to the familiar voice and stared in silence. Maybe he'll get the hint that he is making me panic every minute of the day and slowly back away with caution. It's too bad reality hates giving people what they want, for my future husband decided to advance closer.

I gulped, "Hi."

"Why so nervous?"

Now how should I put this? You're a stalker? You're annoying as heck but your amazingly handsome looks cancel them out. A little.

I tried to sound as casual as possible, "I'm not nervous."

He seemed to see right through it, "Then why can't you look at me when talking?" I just noticed I was staring at two bumble bees fighting over a flower for the past five minutes. Alright, maybe I am nervous. Scipio plays unfairly.

"I feel more awkward than nervous. Like, I haven't seen you since last definitely got used to your adult features."

I don't think I ever saw Scipio grin any wider in my life, "Are you saying you fancy me?"

Suddenly, a head popped out from the kitchen door, scaring us both have to death. No, it was not Earl or Suzie. All hail Mikayla. Her dyed black hair was messy and she had ketchup stains all over her clothes.

"We have a problem in here!"

"What happened?" I was really afraid to ask.

Mikayla answered, a slight smile appearing on her face, "Earl accidently spilt a whole bottle of ketchup on the floor, making me slip. Basically, if the kitchen was a hamburger, I would totally eat it." For some reason, it doesn't sound that bad. At least the house isn't on fire.

I glanced at Scipio who just nodded his head in a business manner, "Go on. We'll continue our discussion later." Mikayla's eyes widened with glee after hearing the statement. She dragged me in the slippery kitchen and shoved a mop in my face.

"We need all the help we can get!" Ida shouted from the other side of the room. I noticed Mosca and Riccio had sponges on, skating in the red goo. Something tells me they weren't trying to reenact the scene from Pippi Longstocking.

Rolling up my sleeves, I got down to business, gagging in disgust every time my fingers touched the dirty food topping. In the middle of the process, Earl suggested that we get dogs to lick up the ketchup. That earned an eye roll from both Ida and Hornet. It was very silent after that.

A voice brought us back to reality, "Excuse me?"

Ida looked up confused, "Yes, can we help you?"

"I was wondering if I could speak to Scipio Fortunato?" One question, what did he do now?

Victor must be on the same wave length as me for he crossed his arms and grunted, "What has he done?"

The visitor was hidden behind a huge black cloak, "He hasn't done anything wrong, I would just like to talk with him about something rather important." Boy, this person is REALLY short!

Scipio entered the kitchen, unaware to what was going on, "Hello all!"

Victor motioned to the unknown stranger, "You have a visitor." It was as if he was jealous Scipio may be getting more business than he is.

Mister young detective seemed very flattered that someone would take the time to see him, "Yes, what is it?"

The stranger sighed in relief after catching sight of Scipio, "Thank god I found you Thief Lord---." He quickly threw off his hood, making everyone in the room gasp, "You have no idea how long I have been searching for you."

One word, Conte. Five words that form a question, what is he doing here?

Scipio blinked several times before responding, "You look well, Conte." Indeed he does. It looks like the old boy hasn't aged at all.

The magically young boy was about to step forward, however Earl stopped him, "I wouldn't do that if I were you! Your shoes looks awfully expensive!" That's his way to prevent Conte from slipping so he wouldn't sue Ida for all she is worth.

The Conte smiled at his advise and stalled near the front door, "Scipio, may I speak to you outside then?" Scipio nodded quickly, probably curious on what this was exactly about. He jumped onto the counter and slid his way to the door, smoothly making his exit. A thief and now a ninja?

We all wanted to know what on earth the two could be talking about, however Ida forced us to finish cleaning her kitchen before doing so. Let's just say I never want to see ketchup again.

Earl slammed down his mop, "Done!" Mikayla glared at him and placed the mop in a nearby bucket. She seems more of a mother than a girlfriend. Though, Scipio seems more of a stalker than a love interest. Rephrase; a stalker who is a love interest.

Suzie was slumped in a chair, in her own dreamworld. Should I mention that she didn't help us at all? Brad seemed more annoyed by that than anyone else, for he grabbed a wet towel, about to squeeze all the water onto her dry head.

I scowled, "Don't start any trouble!"

Brad protested, "But she didn't do anything!"

"That's not true! She helped me get the mops and buckets from Ida's closet earlier." Mikayla defended. Earl always takes Mikayla's side. God knows what would happen if he didn't. I reached over and threw the dirty towel in the trash, sometimes my friends can be immature. Yet, sometimes I can be too mature. Earl just has to remind me that everyday, making me feel like I have a stick up my butt. Which I most certainly do not.

Suzie cracked open her eyes, "Did you forget that Scipio is having a very interesting conversation with the little boy outside?"

Brad glared at her, "You're awake!"

"Yup. If you guys thought I was sleeping, then you wouldn't bother me to actually work."

Earl muttered, "Evil...brilliant but evil!"

Now that the floor was officially clean, I tiptoed over to the door and peered outside. There was Scipio, sipping coffee with the Conte. What could they possibly be chatting about? The nice weather? Economy?

Mikayla whispered, "What do you think they're talking about?" Scipio turned his head sharply and smirked. Uh oh. Did he hear her? My assumption was right when he let out and laugh, "Why don't you come outside and find out?" The Conte seemed to think it was amusing as well. When none of my friends moved a muscle, I decided to be the one to leave.

Earl clapped at my bravery, "You go girl!" I shot him a glare as I moved outside. Hopefully eavesdroppers don't get the electric chair or something equally horrible. Scipio gestured me to sit down.


"I'm not much of a coffee fan." The presence of the Conte was making me uncomfortable. I mean, the last time we saw him, he was practically crying that his magical merry go round was destroyed.

Scipio returned his attention to the wise boy in front of us, "Please continue, old friend."

"Yes...yes, as I was saying. I have some very good news for you. A few months ago, the merry go round was stored back to it's magical state." Woah! What?

The Thief Lord did not seemed phased by the Conte's news or my surprised expression. He calmly placed his cup of coffee down on the small table and stared hard at the boy.

"What makes you think I want to ride the merry go round again?"

A/N: Sorry I had to end this chapter on such an awful cliffhanger! I bet you're wondering why I haven't updated this story for awhile, well the answer is, because I suck! But now you know I'm back and running for business on this sequel. Reviews are nice!