Her fingers traced the shell of her ear awkwardly, trying to tuck a ghost strand of hair behind it. Even if he didn’t, she sure did. ”Great,” she groaned, slouching her shoulders. ”That’s just what I need, now.” But, really, she didn’t have much to complain about. Another kiss. Granted, a small one and in the same way, probably the same place, her father had kissed her, many a time. Didn’t stop it from feeling different, though. Wouldn’t prevent her from getting that same-as-the-first-kiss jolt of electricity dancing down her sides.
“Hey, hey…” he said, still smirking, “I believe I said that I didn‛t mind.” He reached out and ran his hands over the side of her head, inwardly marveling at how smooth it was which then, of course, kicked his brain into the thought process of curtains and carpet, or the lack of both, matching… which, in turn, sent his brain on a whole different line of thought that he figured was really better just to halt immediately unless he made it twelve million potential children lost on his pants, instead of just the six that had been there previously. “I said you were beautiful, didn‛t I? I know you heard me… I meant it.”
Well, as it turned out, the carpet did match the drapes, but if he’d said anything and used that particularly terminology, Shilo would have pointed out that her room had hardwood flooring and been thoroughly confused. And slightly horrified when properly explained to. Luckily, with the two of them trying so hard not to think of those sorts of things, they wouldn’t have to worry. ”I heard you,” she confirmed, squirming, but not out of discomfort. ”I just didn’t think you…I don’t know. I thought you were just being nice. Or silly. Or…something.”
“Grave-robbers are not nice or silly,” he said in a very mock-serious tone. “We‛re brooding and mysterious and very, very dangerous. Remember that.” He gave her a pointed look and then started wandering around her room again, hands in his pockets. He wasn‛t really moving with a purpose, just moving to… well, move; to have something to do with his feet. It was the product of never having a stable place to rest for long, for always dodging or hiding or running from something… Graverobber wasn‛t sure if he knew how to be still. Finally he turned on his heel and looked back at her. “You should probably sleep, kid. Tomorrow you can try to start fresh… we‛ll get this medical crap moved out of here and downstairs and explore the house a bit, yeah?”
Whereas she could pinpoint the last time she ate (lunch, yesterday), Shilo couldn’t remember the last time she wasn’t feigning sleep to fake her dad out, get him to leave her alone. Or being forced to sleep by her…pills and, even then, there was nothing relaxing or restful about her episodes. Although she didn’t want to, wanted to latch onto Graverobber’s long, thin scarf and trail after him the whole night through, she knew she wasn’t exactly in a position to do anything else. ”Okay.” She beamed, focusing on the two words: tomorrow and we. They were enough to lift her off the piano bench and carry her to her bedside. Where she paused to scowl at the plastic curtains and gave the heart moniter’s rolling cart a soft, but swift kick out of the way. What did that do, anyway, she wonderd. Not much, she’d bet. A machine that goes ping!, she remembered, Monty Python. From when her dad let her watch movies in his room. …That was when she realized she was hesitating. ”Are you staying?”
He shook his head, “I have to run out for a couple of hours, take care of some business, sell the last of my stock before it goes bad, grab some things fr—” he almost said ‛from my alley‛ and then stopped himself, “and then I‛ll be back,” he said, offering her a smile. “Two, maybe three hours tops. And I‛ll uhm… crash downstairs,” he added almost hesitantly and then, “unless you‛d rather I…” he lifted his brows suggestively.
“Okay,” she said again, kicking off her slippers and pushing the curtains open so she could take a seat on the edge of the mattress. At first, the smile she settled him with looked rather matter-of-fact. ”Crash upstairs,” she instructed, turning her head only for a second to peel back her covers. ”That’s where the beds are.” Then, as if to illustrate her next point, she slipped under her blankets, but stayed propped up on both elbows behind her. The little grin may have lost some of its innocence. (He was a bad influence, after all.) ”I take up less than half of it, you know.”