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"Not bad Twerp" Liz nodded as he threw the five wallets he had managed to collect onto the kitchen table. "You got about half of what I expected."
Soul's mouth dropped, "Half?"
"Yup, big city like this you should have been able to nab ten to fifteen easy. But for a first try, you did alright."
"Oh really?" Tsubaki asked as she entered the room and sat down at the table. "Maybe we should tell Soul what happened the first time you tried to pick pocket someone."
Liz's face when Red as Patty began to cackle. "I don't think we…."
"If I remember correctly, you got caught, and ended up having to hide in a dumpster." Tsubaki smiled, winking at Soul.
Liz shot her a glare before picking up the first wallet. "Whatever, now look, everything in here is unimportant except this" she pulled out the currency, tossing it on the table. "Credit cards, debit cards, anything with a name are useless to us."
"Why?" Soul asked. His parents sued cards for almost everything."
We use those, we get flagged, we get caught on cameras, and then we get caught. So we ditch em." Liz informed him, already pulling the next wallet. "If you're ever in a hurry, grab the cash and drop the wallet as soon as you can, trashcan is your best bet. Got it?"
"Don't keep the wallet…don't keep the cards" Soul repeated, looking at the growing pile of cash. "And this is how you make money?"
Liz shook her head, nodding to Tsubaki as she began to count the money. The Japanese beauty began to explain. "A lot of times we steal jewelry, it's not hard to find someone will to pay for something they can melt down to resell. They don't ask questions, we don't give names. Same thing with cars, chop shops are very welcoming of new merchandise as long as you can keep your mouth shut."
"And then we leave" Patty chimed in.
Tsubaki nodded, "We try not to stay in one city for very long, gaining a reputation is how you get caught. But normally we have to do a big job for that."
Soul cocked his head to the side. "A big job?"
"Contract" Liz cut in, dropping a neat pile on money onto the table. "If you know the right places to look, theirs always someone who wants a job done. They want information, they want a certain heirloom, hell, one person wanted a dog back. You be surprised how much a scorned ex-husband or wife is willing to pay to get something back."
Soul laughed before asking "So, when are you moving again?"
"Soon, we have to leave the city very soon." Liz stated with a shrug
"You" She reached out and tugged lightly on his hair. "Even with black hair you still are recognizable, given enough time. Don't want to risk it. So we'll move soon."
"Oh" Soul frowned, eyes casting downward. "I'm sorry."
"Ah don't worry about it twerp" Liz waved his apology off. "Moving is no big deal, we've been here too long as it is."
"But we do have to find a score!" Patty replied thoughtfully, tapping her chin.
Liz Shrugged, "Yeah, but business has been slow lately. No one around here has heard of anything big going on. We might be stuck here a while if we can't find something that'll pay, which I don't want to do."
Across the table Tsubaki nodded quietly, a small frown on her face that quickly spread to the other two girls as they too realized the problem they could possibly face. But the fourth table member thoughtfully ran his hand through his hair, a mad idea going through his mind. Clearing his throat softly, he drew the attention of the room to himself.
"I know a big job you could pull"
Liz snorted, "Oh yeah? Who do you know that needs something done?"
"Me" Soul stated simply. "I have a job for you. And it will pay extremely well."
The three girls stared at him in silence before Tsubaki finally leaned forward. "What are you planning Soul?"
He smirked, crimson eyes gleaming.
"You have got to be kidding me?" Liz breathed as the quartet moved along the edge of the properly, cloaked in shadows of cast by the immaculately manicured trees. It was easily one of the biggest homes she had ever seen. "This is your home?"
"Was." Soul replied softly, forcing his voice to remain steady as he gazed up at what used to be his home. "We can enter through the greenhouse, it's never locked. Then I can turn of the alarm from there." He paused as Tsubaki laid a hand on his shoulder. Turning, he glanced into her worried eyes.
"Are you sure about this Soul? We can leave now. We can always find another job."
He shook his head, strands of black hair falling into his eyes. "Nothing in there is important anymore. It's just going to get sold anyway." He added bitterly.
Tsubaki still looked apprehensive, but Liz nodded. "Alright, go make sure the alarm codes haven't been changed, then give us the signal."
Soul nodded, breaking away from the group and bounding across the dimly lit grounds, noting how fast the grass was already begining to grow without upkeep. Reaching the green house he groped around in the dark before finally finding the door handle. With a slight push he slid the panel back and slipped inside. Sighing, he took in a deep breath, taking a moment to appriciate the frangrent flowers his mother had worked tirelessly to keep alive. Shaking his head he drifted past rows and rows of local and exotic flowers until he came to his favorite. A simple white rose bush.
Sighing again he trailed his finger gently along the stem of one, careful to avoid the thorns until he came to the soft white flesh of the petals. His mother had planted the bush from him and his brother, a perfect match for their white hair. Shaking his head slightly, he wiped away a stray tear. Sliding a small knife from his pocket, he sliced the flower free from the bush. Without a word he slipped both items back in his and continued on towards the house.
"Do you think we should be doing this?" Tsubaki asked softly as Soul disappeared into the greenhouse. "It was his family."
"If Soul wants to do this, we do it." Liz sighed, pulling on a pair of black gloves. "Look, anything Soul doesn't want us to touch, we don't touch. And if he changes his mind, we drop it, okay?"
Tsubaki nodded, but still a frown persisted on her face. Settling back into silence they waited for Soul to give them the signal.
Soul softly pressed thumb against the scanner that barred the door from entry. There was a moment of hesitation before the device gave out a gentle beep and the indicator light switched from red to green. Letting out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding, Soul pushed the door open as he pulled a small penlight from belt. Shining the light towards the waiting girls direction he flashed it on and off three times. After a few minutes of waiting, they slowly appeared form the darkness.
"All good?" Liz asked softly, peering into the dark house.
"All good" Soul affirmed, stepping inside. "You think we can turn on the lights?"
Tsubaki and Liz exchanged glances before shaking their heads. "I think it would be better if we kept them off, just incase anyone passes by."
"I'll show you where my parents kept all the jewelry then." Soul nodded, flicking his flashlight back on and venturing into the house. Silently the girls followed him, eye's lingering over the pure richness of the interior.
"Soul was loaded!" Patty whispered as they passed a large library filled with rustic looking volumes. Liz could only nod in agreement as Soul came to a set of wide double doors. He paused for a moment before squaring his shoulders and pushing ahead.
The trio of females let out a collective gasp as they entered the master bedroom, a giant bed dominating the room. In front of them, Soul continued on his way, opening yet another door to lead them into a large walk in closet.
"Jewlery and stuffs in here" Soul stated as he pointed to a large ornately carved chest, his voice slightly dead. "It's never locked." He glanced to a large dresser, "And my dad keeps…he kept money in that second drawer, a lot of it." He started to speak again but his voice cracked and he went silent, shoulders starting to shake. Silently. Tsubaki wrapped him in a gentle hug.
"We can leave Soul."
"No" he voice out firmly, pulling out of the embrace. "It would all be mine anyways…I'm the only Evans left. And this is what I want."
"Alight" Liz sighed, pulling the pack from her back and already opening the chest. "Patty, you go check out the dresser. Tsubaki, you go check the house for anything else of value that we can carry. Soul, go grab some clothes and anything else you want to take, alright?"
Soul nodded, already setting off with Tsubaki in tow. When the reached the center of the house, he raised his hand. "We have a bunch of silverware and platters in the dining room, if you think it's worth anything."
She nodded, "I'll go check it out. Are you gonna be okay?"
"I'm alright. I'll meet you back with Liz and Patty." Soul flashed her a half-hearted smile as he started away and up the winding staircase. "I'll just go pack up some stuff really quickly"
But he was lying. Soul didn't head to his room, instead of veered to the left, going down a different, but familiar hallway. Coming to the end he rested his hand gently against the doorknob before slowly pushing the door open. He cringed when the silence hit him. The overwhelming silence that inhabited a room that once housed his loving brother. Swallowing down the lump that formed in his throat, he forced his legs work as he moved into the room. Ignoring the still unmade bed from the night he had died, the clothes he had left strewn on the floor, Soul made his way towards his brother's desk. Taking a calming breath, he gingerly reached out and touched the case that still lay there, waiting. He felt an evil smile flit to his lips as he picked up the thickly padded violin case and strung it across his back. The Stradivarius was one thing he would not let them take from him. Wes had loved the instrument, spending hours on end playing for Soul, and teaching him anything and everything about music. Soul would be damned if he would let anyone take it away from him, dead or not.
Without wasting another moment Soul stole from his brothers room and headed into his own. Opening his pack he quickly grabbed as many clothes as he could, careful not to disturb the room much. Liz and Tsubaki preferred if no one noticed anything was missing for as long as possible, it lessened the chance of them being caught. Pushing in a final pair of pants, he stood up and glanced at the watch Patty had loaned him. Ignoring the face that it was pink, and had a giraffe wristband, he checked the time. They had been inside for ten minutes. They only had five minutes left. Taking one final glance around his room, he nodded and head back downstairs.
"That everything Soul?" Liz asked as she softly closed the lid the chest, pack now heavy with precious metal.
Soul nodded, glancing as Tsubaki and Patty, both of which also had bulging packs on their backs. "I guess we should probably get going then."
Liz nodded, standing up and heading off with Patty, leaving Soul and Tsubaki behind.
"Are you sure there's nothing else you need to do here Soul?" Tsubaki asked quietly, "I don't think you'll be able to come back."
Soul shook his head. "I...I think I got everything."
"How about this?" Tsubaki asked, holding out a small picture frame to him. Taking it he saw the smiling faces of his family as they sat on the piano bench, Wes' violin held lightly in one hand while his arm went around his little brothers shoulder, their parents on either side.
"Oh." Soul replied softly, feeling tears begin to well up again. Taking in a calming breath, he gently slipped the picture inside his pack. He couldn't help but feel slightly less empty as he felt the rose in his pocket, the violin across his back, and the added weight of the picture frame. But still… "There's one more thing I have to do, I'll meet you outside?"
Tsubaki nodded, giving his a quick squeeze on the arm before floating away into the darkness, leaving Soul alone. Wiping his damp eyes, Soul followed after the group before veering off once again. Following the memorized path in the darkness, he soon found himself in his favorite room. The hard wood floors creaked welcomingly as he slipped across them and towards the large grand piano that dominated the room. Sitting down on the bench, he flipped open the fall with practiced ease and let his fingers fall to the keys. Shaking slightly, he felt the urge to play start to overwhelm him. Truly, he had never wanted to play so badly, to pound out his emotions, to make the instrument scream his pain away.
But he couldn't. Not now. And he doubted he ever would. Letting out a shaky sigh, he carefully let the fall slide back over the keys and began to rise when a mad thought crashed through his mind. Slipping under the piano he quickly located a small flat space of unblemished wood. Pulling the knife from his pocket, he carefully scratched out his name into the hard flesh before pulling up his hand. Wincing slightly, he sliced open his thumb and pressed it against the signature, staining the wood his blood oath. Taking in a deep breath, he made a promise.
Soul Evans would not play again until he found his way back to this piano, back to his own life.
So Soul is officially a thief now with his new family. But he hasn't let go of the old.
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