Sorry for the delay in updating, life keeps interrupting. Between training every night, homework, and this weekend's events. (Date Saturday) and today, which I will explain at the bottom of this update. Trust me, it's a WIN!! Also, after practicing writing all week on my own freelance story, I'm applying the same style here, so expect a change in length! I may go back and rewrite the other chapters on a later date as well.

Do not own Sly Cooper!

Sometime during his intense thought, Sly had fallen into the wonderful land of dreamless slumber. Even though he couldn't feel himself dreaming, images still ran through his mind as he tried to piece together this mess. Never before had Sly had much contact with the Freemasons. Sure, once or twice he'd stolen for them or from a corrupt member of them, but this was bigger than that. Something told him that even thought he did not believe in their ways, he should still believe in their fears. The Freemasons, like many other ancient fraternities, believed deeply in a coming apocalypse.

As the sun rose on the new day, Sly's eyes shot open in realization: a cold sweat breaking on his brow. Though he didn't notice it then when he encountered the shadowy figure, he had felt a similar presence before in the Cooper Vault. A safe assumption could be made that perhaps a similar force was at work in there; not technological, but the same feeling of ancient malice. Perhaps a manuscript was locked away there that could explain a possible connection. He stood up and began to pace, mentally scrolling through what little he knew of the vault. Then, like the apple on Newton's head, it hit him.

The original vault had been in Egypt and Sly was willing to bet a paw that the Masons built it. He had read a little of it within the Raccoonus, but his grasp on ancient hieroglyphics was very rough, so instead, he just analyzed the drawings of it. He remembered Murray distinctly saying that the architecture looked more like it was to hold something IN rather than keep others OUT. Sly knew then that he needed to get the Raccoonus and find someone more fluent in Egyptian hieroglyphics to find out more. But before he could do that, he smirked.

He had a date tonight, and he wasn't going to miss it for the world.

Carmelita had awoken just prior to Sly and listened to him pace out in the living room. She could tell by his footsteps that he was lost in deep thought and she was slightly tempted to go out and question him, but instead, she decided to wait and see if he would begin to talk to himself like he usually did when he thought intensely on a subject for very long. Perhaps if she was lucky, she would hear some information he would not normally divulge into. However, nothing came of it as Sly began to mumble about making breakfast for his vixen. She blushed lightly and moved from the door where she had been eavesdropping. Even though they had had a few close moments, and kissed before, that was a bold declaration. He considered her to be his. This brought about her remembering that she had promised him a date and on the inside, she was positively giddy about the prospect of having an honest to God date with the ringtail. She looked down and realized in disdain that she had fallen asleep in the same clothes she had worn to the station, and then it dawned on her she didn't even remember falling asleep or being tucked into bed. She looked back to the door, more specifically, at the light coming from under it. As if on cue, it went black as Sly stepped in front of her door on his morning routine. His very presence confirmed what she had been thinking and she sighed. She had been vulnerable, and he had done naught to take advantage of her. He truly was a gentlefur, and she only wished she could give him the best. He deserved that in the least.

She took the side door into the bathroom from her bedroom and began to wash up. She heard a slight hesitation in the sounds coming from the outside room as Sly became aware of her consciousness, and then he returned to what he was doing before. She smiled and knew that as soon as she walked out of the room, she would be greeted by him.

After brushing her fangs, she slipped into the shower. The warm water's embrace felt good on her body which was still sore and weak from the previous day's anguish. She washed her headfur thoroughly while trying to distract her thoughts from the possible ramifications of yesterday's events. Finding it increasingly hard to do so, she let her mind trail to the one thing that would distract her; Sly. And though it did her good to think about him, it made a part of her ache. Though she was inexperienced in the ways of physical attraction, she knew what it was. She wanted Sly to touch her, not in a lude sense, but she yearned for them to hold paws, to kiss. She wanted to feel wanted; the aching feeling that terrorizes all who seek love.

Love. The very thought brought back to mind Sly's confession at the beginning of this mess. He damn well loved her and she knew it not only through his words, but his actions. They spoke volumes. She turned off the water and stepped out the shower onto the carpet and wiped condensation off the mirror with a towel and stared at it for a moment before nodding and smirking.

Once this was over and done with, she was going to be Sly's girlfriend, one way or another. She'd see this through to the end with him, so they could have their happily ever after. She smiled at the thought and dried herself off whilst returning to her bedroom to find some clean apparel for today. She opened her closet with intent, seeking out a specific outfit. She found it easily, for she always left it on the upper rack, far left side. It was a simple outfit, just faded blue jeans and a black T-shirt with a white phoenix on it that proudly proclaimed "Music Rising." She had picked it up in New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina. She had been sent there on an assignment to arrest a con man who had been stealing from the poor there. It was one of her favorite missions because of the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and good she felt when she slapped those cuffs on him. Unlike Sly, he was a true criminal and deserved every moment he was going to get behind bars.

This train of thought only brought her back to Sly. The shade of grey that denied her instituted laws of black and white and was the neutral in her life: the neutral that made her smile no matter what.

And that very same neutral was politely rapping on the door at this moment trying to garner her attention.

"Carmelita. I heard you up. Are you hungry?"

Carmelita thought of a devious plan. She knew that Sly probably had written a book by now on all the romantic things he was going to do for her tonight, but she decided to blow the lid on them all right that second.

In a moment of sheer boldness, she slammed open her door, grabbed onto the frame and hung out it slightly and responded quickly.

"I am hungry…for you." And let go, falling forward. He caught her quickly, only to have her throw her arms around his neck and use her momentum to bring him down into a powerful kiss that made her tail curl in delight. Part of Carmelita wanted to open her eyes to see the sheer look of shock on his face, but she was too preoccupied enjoying the wonderful feeling of their lips melding against another. The more she leaned into it, the more Sly pushed back into it. His arms found their way around her back and he straightened up and crushed her against his chest, lifting her slightly to better the angle.

And then he broke it off and back away, panting as if he had just run several miles.

"Wow. What'd I do for that one?"

Carmelita just smiled the way only women can do when they hold all the cards in their hand. She walked by him with a slight swagger and let the tip of her tail just barely tickle under his chin as she went by.

"You earned it over the past day. And you're not getting another one like it 'til tonight."

Sly licked his lips and savored the slight taste on them and nodded slightly.

"I can live with that…I think."

Carmelita looked back over her shoulder with and mustered all the lust she could into a single look. The second their eyes met, Sly froze in place like a drop of water in the freezing cold.

"Something to say there, Sylvester?" Carmelita cooed, saying his full name slowly and in a low, hushed whisper. Sly felt his body's temperature increase drastically.

"I…um…duh…um…"

"Go take a shower. A cold one, perhaps? I'm going to enjoy this wonderful breakfast my male has made for me." She turned and sat down on the bar, opening the newspaper and biting into a piece of toast that was prepared next to a bagel and hash browns. She glanced subtly at what was once the stoic and ever calm Sly Cooper. He had put his back against the wall and was breathing deeply. She had to stifle a laugh as he pinched himself, trying to make sure this real, before sliding into the bathroom to take that well advised cold shower.

Once safely in the confides of the bathroom, Sly bashed his head on the counter and stared at the floor in amazement. The past three minutes had been not only the scariest, but the most intense and amazing in his life. He had been planning out how to kiss Carmelita tonight, but she had just gone and laid out a whole new set of rules. And then that little part when she said 'my male.' Like she was acknowledging him as hers. What if she was? Sly smiled softly. He peeled his head from the cold counter and turned on the shower and waited for it to be mildly luke warm before hopping in and trying to cool himself off. Sly began to contemplate if he wanted to ask Carmelita to be his girlfriend as soon as he got out, or wait until tonight, or more wisely, wait until this situation was over. The threat of being discovered as accomplices to murder and being sent to prison still very well loomed over them. He pressed his paws against the shower wall and let the water cascade down his back as he looked down solemnly and as he realized that he had brought her into this. Everywhere he went, something would happen because of the Cooper name. It was both a blessing, and a curse. Perhaps what the shadow said was right. The world would be better off without a Cooper.

"Maybe I shouldn't have kids…" Sly mumbled to himself. "I inherited not only the wealth and power of my ancestors, but their enemies as well. That is a burden that I cannot, in good conscious, place upon unborn children who have done no wrong." He began to wash his headfur while still thinking out loud.

"Sure, I never got to make that choice; it was chosen for me by my father, and his father's father. It's a cruel never ending cycle until someone breaks the chain by ending it." Sly bit his lip. He could drive Carmelita away, or just leave entirely. It'd heartbreak her, but in the long run…would it be better? The possibilities were quite clear, but then Sly laughed heartedly and turned the shower off.

"I'm getting my hopes up waaaaay too high. I doubt Carmelita and I would last that far anyways." But even thought he said it, there was a nagging feeling in his heart that told him every syllable of that line had been pure, unequivilated bullshit.

Sly had just finished drying off when he came the realization that he didn't have a change of clothes. He sighed and wrapped a towel around his waist and stepped out of the bathroom. With his peripheral vision, he saw Carmelita looking out from over the paper at him and he blushed slightly.

"I was in a bit of a rush, and forgot my clothes."

Carmelita, who was in an equal state of redness, nodded and lifted the paper back up.

"You're safe, just make it quick." She said, pretending to be engrossed in an article. Sly waited a moment, then satisfied that it was safe, he sped over to his pile of clothes and picked out a clean pair. He took a deep breath and bravely dropped his towel.

Carmelita heard the towel hit the floor and temptation began to nag at her. Just a quick, small peak: a little teaser of what is to come. God, she wanted to look, but she couldn't. Sly would never do that to her, but her she was being…sluttish? She tried to focus on the words on the page, but they were nothing but scribbles on paper. Finally, grace came in the sound of his voice.

"It's safe."

She dropped the paper almost too quickly and looked at him with a genuine smile. He returned it and strode over to her, placing his paw on hers that was on the paper.

"Carmelita?"

"Yes Sylvester." Sly shuddered. He usually hated his full name, but when she used it, it effected him.

"Want to go out on that date tonight?"

"Very muchly so."

"Usually this is where I'd make some clever remark about when and where to pick you up, but seeing as to our living arrangements…"

"You know, I could fix that. Just simply kick you out on your ass for a couple of hours."

"True, but then I'd just be sitting against the door, waiting to be let back in. That, or I could let all your neighbors know who I am by breaking in through a window. I'm quite good at it you know."

"Yes, I know all too well."

Sly leaned against the counter and moved in close, his muzzle dangerously close to hers. Carmelita inavertedly backed up, before becoming entranced in Sly's deep brown eyes. She leaned in simultaneously with him and they kissed once more. Soft, and short, but it meant so much to the two confused adults who had never had a dating life ever. They both pulled away and looked in opposite directions, neither willing to make eye contact.
Sly finally pulled away from her and took the dishes from her breakfast with him and started to clean them. Carmelita couldn't help but watch as he worked. He was a fur who knew who to keep a tidy house, something she truly appreciated.

And speaking of appreciating, she knew she was going to be getting and doing a lot of that tonight with the plans she knew he had.

Okay, not too bad. I'm cutting it a bit short there because I want to work on the date separately and I'm pretty tired and I have a photo shoot tomorrow with my best friend (and crush) who made me my fursuit. She needs me to wear it for her so she can put some shots of it online so she can try to get commissions.

Anyways, the promised news. Today, we cleaned out my late greatmother's house. A lot of her stuff was placed in this pile to be put in a yard sale, mostly her oriental stuff. I, being the oriental fan, saved it all and boxed it all into my car. I got home and googled some of it. Just some of it. I walked away with over five digits. All I can say on that subject. I'm very happy and may she rest in peace knowing her precious china men are in good hands.