Chapter 16 - The Opportunity

I stared at the note, reading and rereading it, willing the words to change. They remained the same. Skye… what are you planning?I fell back into a chair and spread the note on the table. He wasn't just going to steal something; he was going to do something to Rock, but what? I couldn't even begin to guess, but I knew it couldn't be good. Stealing is bad enough, but if he attacked Rock, then I would never be able to cleanse his reputation.

Sighing, I smacked my head on the table. I immediately brought my head back up when the cut on my forehead reopened. Swearing in frustration, I ran to the bathroom to clean of the blood and cover my wound. I sighed, glaring at the large bandage in the mirror. When I dropped my bangs, they covered it mostly, but I could still feel it there.

I rubbed my forehead around the wound, still trying to figure out what I would do tonight. Skye said not to get involved, but I had already promised Ruby and the others that I would help. If I don't go, what will Skye do? But if I do go, what can I do to stop whatever Skye is going to do? How can I be there and not and stop both Rock and Skye from doing whatever each was planning to do to the other?

"I can't do nothing!" I said out loud, scaring my pets. "But I can't do everything either!" I groaned loudly, clenching my fists. "So what am I supposed to do…?" I said softly. Zara nudged my ankle gently, looking up at me with sad eyes. I smiled a little, patting her head. "Guess I'll figure it out, right?" Zara barked excitedly and jumped up. I reached down and caught her in a hug. "Alright, well in the meantime," I began, opening the door, "Let's get to work!"

The sun had set far before I finally returned to my home. I stumbled into my house, dropping my heavy rucksack, now filled with the lumber and material stone I had been collecting during the last few hours. Zara bounded in after me. She shook the cold out of her fur and trotted happily to my bed. I glanced at the clock. 9:45 it read. I decided to get there early. Maybe I could learn what their plan was, and then I could figure out what to do.

After a few quick preparations, I set out, walking with purpose to the Inner Inn. At 10 o'clock, I entered the Inner Inn. "Hey guys! I'm here!" I closed to door, glancing around. No one was in the lobby. "Ruby!" I called, approaching the counter. I checked in the kitchen with no luck. I knocked on her bedroom door, but when I didn't receive a reply I opened it slowly. She wasn't there either.

"Nami? Rock?" I cried, running up the steps. I knocked on each door, opening the ones that were unlocked. Behind every door was the same thing; furniture, but no people. I quickly went down the steps, back into the lobby. Where was everyone?

I opened the door, and a distant voice reached my ears, "It's the thief! It's Phantom Skye!" I raced out of the inn and up the path towards the bridge. The voice I had heard was coming from beyond there. My heart pounded hard in my chest and I struggled to stay calm.

As I was running up the path, a familiar silver color caught my eye. Halfway up the path, I ran into Skye. We barely avoided colliding because we had both been sprinting towards each other. His eyes were wide with surprise. "What are you doing here?" he whispered, surprise burning in his emerald eyes.

"I could ask you the same thing," I retorted quickly, not wanting to deal with the slight anger behind his words.

He smiled a little, but his face was quickly drawn back into a slight frown. "Hehe. I don't have much time tonight. Could you sort of look the other way?"

I stepped away from him. Skye looked at me cautiously. He seemed to be preparing to use his Chick Beam if I tried to stop him. I looked into his eyes, and barely whispered, "I never saw you."

His eyes widened questioningly, clearly not expecting me to say that. "Really? You'll cover for me? For a thief?" he asked. I nodded. "Hehe. Much thanks, Jill. You're glowing with a vibrant beauty on this night." He started to run past me, but he stopped for a moment to gaze deeply into my eyes. The sound of approaching footsteps drew his attention away from me. With a quick wink, he turned and disappeared down the path towards the beach.

"Jill!" a hoard of voices called to me. I turned to face a surprising amount of people.

"Oh, hi guys! I went to the Inner Inn but I couldn't seem to find you guys. Guess this is where you were!" I said, trying to act unknowing and enthusiastic. Rock was leading the group, with Nami and Ruby beside him. Vesta, Celia and Marlin were right behind them. "Did something happen?" I asked, sounding as innocent as possible.

Ruby looked at me with sad eyes, and I almost cracked right there. "We had everything planned out! Vesta, Marlin, and Celia even came to help with the ambush! And then..."

"Phantom Skye slipped right by us!" Rock intervened loudly.

"We think he went this way!" she said confidently. The others nodded and mumbled in agreement. "So, uh... did he?" she continued unsurely.

I shook my head. "I just came from the Inn when I realized you weren't there."

"You didn't see him? Are you sure? Because-" he started to interrogate me, but Nami hit him and he fell silent.

"That thief's awfully slick..." Marlin muttered. His eyes were narrowed in frustration. He must have been thinking about how Skye had escaped him. Marlin had tried to attack Skye, but he had slipped away from him with ease.

"But he couldn't have gotten too far!" Celia chirped optimistically.

"Well, maybe he went on over there!" Vesta bellowed, pointing in the direction of Lumina's mansion. They all began to run in that direction together. I sighed with relief as they disappeared.

I began to walk home, but stopped, turning in the direction where Skye had left. Should I go make sure he's okay? I knew he was fine, but I was trying to find and excuse for why I wanted to go see him so badly. Nothing else came to mind. I kicked myself mentally as I took off down the path Skye had traveled.

AN: S'up chicas? :D So I've finally started getting some reviews and that makes me super happy! But I really wish some more people would tell me what they think... I really want feedback, criticism, SOMETHING DANGIT. Eh hem. Seriously, I'd really love to hear what people have to say about my fanfiction. I worked super hard on it and I just want to know that my effort was worth it. I don't like to beg but pleasssssssssssse please please review! I know that there are some chicas out there that have followed and favorited my story... well I wanna know why! PRETTY PLEASE?! Alright, I'm done groveling for now. Adios!