Disclaimer: Do I look published? Pah, I wish. Borrowed Characters, for no profit. Gah!

Please leave constructive criticism, hugs or chocolate in a review. I do quite enjoy them all.

"The Thief Lord Stole My Heart"

"Scip! What do you… what do you mean, you're leaving?" Bo shouted, terrified, hanging from Riccio's arm as they stood on the stage of the abandoned theatre in a line, Scipio facing them like an army sergeant about to run drills.

"It's only a little while, and I've set something up so you're safe," he paused, "So you have money."

"Where're you off to, Scipio?" Prop offered, voicing the question on four sets of desperate lips.

"Nowhere important." A pause, "and you'll find out when I come back. Is that alright?"

Nobody spoke. There was a moment of silence and Scipio smiled slowly.

"Good. I'll see you in a week." He moved to Hornet, hugged her loosely, and moved along the line, shaking Prop's hand, Mosca's and Riccio's, then ruffling Bo's hair. The tiny boy pouted, looking as though he would cry. "I'll bring you a present, "Scipio grinned, and the angel haired boy matched his expression, "I promise."

He was gone within seconds, pulling on his mask and drawing his black coat around him. Hornet watched him cross the Rialto Bridge and disappear into the night.

He held his suitcase in one hand, his mask safely hidden within. She knew who he was, what he was, nobody else did, but there was no pause as the woman answered the door.

"Scipio, Buongiourno!" She swept him into a hug, "Happy 17th birthday. I am sorry we never saw you last month. Here, let me-" she took the case from him and let him into the house.

The foyer was larger than the one in his father's mansion, though it was not in proportion to the rest of the house. He smiled as he removed his jacket and yawned. It was good to be home.

"She'll be down soon, I know you've had a long day, too much travelling across Venezia in one day is a hardship. She doesn't know you're coming, by the way." His reply was cut off before he could begin, by the loud bark of laughter from the top of the stairs.

"And he never called! It was my birthday and everything. Anyway, I must go, Mamma says we have a visitor. Si, si, mwah!" She hung up and stepped lightly down the stairs.

She was already in a nightgown, though it was only seven thirty, an extended black camisole that nipped in at the waist with a soft belt and came to rest on her thighs.

"Buongiourno." Scipio said the single word and she looked up.

"Scipio! Scip! What?!" She jumped down the stairs and ran into his arms.

"Well, I was going to call, on your birthday, but I didn't want to spoil your surprise!" He kissed her cheek and laughed. "The Thief Lord has bought you a birthday present" he whispered, "Legally acquired, of course…"

"You're the best present." She smiled at him.

His arms quickly found her body; he slipped one around her waist, one around her neck, and bent his head down to kiss her, softly and sweetly.

"Bella Rosa. My beautiful girl."

He sat down on her bed, raking his hands through his dark hair. The grin on his face hadn't been wiped away since dinner, and as he waited through those long moments for her return, he tapped the present which lay in his lap.

"Rosa!" He called, "Rosa, come on, your present!"

"Scip, you didn't need to-" She returned and stood before him.

"It's your 17th, and it's only a small thing for you. " He giggled cheekily and she began to laugh with him.

He offered her the box and she sat down on the duvet. He turned, sat facing her with his legs crossed on the sheets, watching her pull the thin black ribbon from the box.

She looked up at him and smiled as she pulled the black and gold mask from the velvety soft padding. She twisted it onto her face and tied it up around her features.

"I shouldn't have bought this for you." he said suddenly, his face creasing into a frown.

"Why not? I love it; it's beautiful."

"But it obscures your beautiful face." She sighed happily and he smiled, "Although, it gives me grounds to do this…" he reached up and untied the ribbon, pulling the mask from her face and kissing her gently on the lips, pushing her back onto the bed.

"Scip!" she yelped as he pulled away, slapping at the hand that was resting… no, snaking up her thigh. He withdrew it, but kept his gaze on her long, slim legs, his mouth hanging only slightly open.

"What?" He grinned mischievously as she rolled her eyes at him.

"Just… Thank you." he kissed her again in reply, she smiled and watched him for a few seconds, finding his eyes staring, unafraid, back into her own. "You're coming dancing tomorrow with me?"

"Perhaps. I may be swayed by the quality of your dress." He smirked slightly and she blushed, looking down at her feet resting on the duvet, then back up to look at him. "Let me see it then?"

Grinning, she pulled it from the wardrobe, and draped it across her as though she was modelling it on the hangar. Scipio stood from the bed, stepped towards her and gripped the silken fabric between his fingers.

"We may not make it dancing, Tesoro." He grinned, looking at her with wide eyes and a bright smile.

"Why?" She frowned slightly and let out a small giggle. He tugged the fabric from her hands and set it back in the wardrobe, before turning back to look at her and sliding his arms around her waist, tugging her to the duvet and falling on top of her with a wide and inane grin.

There was a pause, a moment's soft silence.

"What?" Scipio sat up and looked at Rosa. "What have I done?" he asked, confused.

"Have you got your mask in your pocket… or are you planning to play Thief Lord with my Heart tonight?"

"What would you rather?"

"Oh! Most definitely Number two." He grinned and winked at her, pulling off his shirt and abandoning it somewhere in the corner. She grinned and let her hands rest either side of his heart as he bent his head down to kiss her and his hair fell all over his face.

"In that case," He murmured against her skin, his lips making the soft spot just below her ear tingle and twist, "Scipio, Thief Lord, at your service."

A/N: Review? They're like Scipio playing Thief Lord with you in the Darkness haha