This is a new experiment of mine. This is actually a collab between a friend and I. He decided he wanted to write and story and I decided to help him out and thus the story unfolded! Hopefully, the second chapter will be up within the next few says. So, for now you'll have to stick with one chapter. :/ I hope you find it a nice read and that you find yourself waiting for more!

~Please comment and review~


Lloyd leaned over the edge of the building, looking across the town at the window of another. The sound of yells could be heard below him. He was about three to four stories high. Normally, this would not have happened. He would have been in and out, maybe miles away before anyone would notice but things were not normal anymore. He didn't have any friends he could count on. Friends. They were more like partners.

He heard the yelling inside the house grow in volume, getting closer. They knew where he was now. There was no choice, he could not get caught. He looked down to the ground below and his eyes grazed over something. Maybe I just picked the wrong place. He thought. He backed up, and ran forward, timing his steps perfectly until he leaped from the edge of the building and passed right though the window of the next.

He hit the floor hard, but quietly listening to the sounds outside for signs of alarm. It was as quiet as the stars. Lloyd quickly ran down the stairs to the first floor and nudged the door open. He noticed a man standing right on the other side. He hurriedly slipped it shut and looked for another escape. They must know I'm not on the roof anymore; they'll start to search buildings nearby. Before he could decide what to do the door was opening, and he scrambled behind a rocking chair, still completely visible. Lucky for him, the man passed right by and headed upstairs, too distracted with something else to notice anything or anyone. Lloyd took this chance and walked outside, calmly. Sometimes it's best to act nonchalant.

An hour or so later he had traveled a good distance away from the building he had stolen from. He continued his way uphill until he reached the river. A thief. He thought. Not such an amazing life I'm living. But it's better then others. The government does not do much, they rule the world but I guess the world's just too big for them. World War Three, it started with what used to be called Korea, but it spread quickly, very quickly. Nations were afraid to use nuclear weapons so they sent in just about everything else they had. Many governments tried to stay out of it, even benefit from production; after all, most progress made in a nation is made during war.

Of course, describing it is pointless. What matters now is that O.U.O. rules everything. A place that didn't even exist before the war, won the war. O.U.O. does a very poor job of "caring" for us, as they put it. After the war became nonexistent people seemed to stop caring about the laws and rules, if any even existed. Towns and cities mostly fend for themselves now, driving off or killing anyone who came close to them. This was the reason Lloyd could get away with a heist and just go someplace an hour or two away and sell the goods without question.

He used to be the leader of a group of that was called a "gang." It was pretty simple, he was considered the best and many people admired him for his skills. Though, he soon wised up and left that life, as profitable as it was. He still had the reputation among people that knew him, just not the support he needed if he wanted to run a job.

Lloyd soon arrived at the town he was looking for, Eirene. It was a peaceful place, considering how most places were nowadays. On top of that he lived a good, unquestioned life. People had no idea he was a thief and everyone was kind to him. The town had a nice supply of farm area for food, and the river flowed nearby producing a source of clean water. If he had to choose a place to settle down, this would be it. Crime was small and people didn't live in poverty because everything was made equal.

Some families knew him and would even invite him for dinner. Sadly, this town was a lie to him or he was a lie to it. People thought he was a boy from a near-by town who sold items his father could not sell in his shop. He told people his father's shop was mesmerizing. It was a place people could buy whatever they needed, and sell things they had no more use for. He also had a mother, who worked at home, and a little brother who helped his father at the shop while he was out selling to people who could not get to the family store. Lying this way was better, he could pass through with whatever he could carry and without a doubt sell it with a smile. In this case, it was an old collection of jewelry and other little trinkets.

He felt bad about stealing sometimes. Especially items that could be family heirlooms, which could be a reason why he left his old life but it would not explain why he still lived part of it. However, money was money, and he needed some.

---

Lloyd walked through town, waving or nodding at people he passed. He was thinking about who to sell his things to, and what foods to buy with the money he received, but he had little time to think about it. The sun was beginning to set. He needed money to be able to eat tonight. He went into a store he knew well. It was mostly a store for selling foods. Canned goods, a little produce, mostly apples. He knew the owner and his family. They were sweet and oblivious people. He could sell his stash to them easily.

The process went smoothly. He had a short conversation with the owner, even asked how his kids were. Lloyd knew the guy would offer a low amount, but it was low even for what he thought he'd get. He sighed on the inside, predicting what he could possibly get and accepted the offer, taking the little amount of money into his hands. The owner noticed the boy's discomfort and called him back.

"To be honest," the owner began. "I have not been selling as much as I would like lately. I know I turned you short. Do you have a place to stay tonight? It's late and I can gladly offer some dinner and a bed."

Lloyd turned around, a simple turn of the lips on his face. His façade had worked perfectly. Located upstairs was the owner's house. The building had three stories. The store being on the first floor, a small kitchen and living room on the second, and three small bedrooms and two bathrooms on the top floor.

The dinner served was delicious. He was even given the chance to eat apple pie. Lloyd extended the time of dinner just so he could savor every bite he took. Afterward the store owner, his wife, and two little kids prepared for bed. There was not much conversation after dinner. Lloyd was good at staying off the topic of money and food, and the little kids liked to ask him questions about the place he was from. He could not tell them much or else the parents would know he had lied to them, which would be a nightmare. After a few minutes, everyone headed to bed leaving Lloyd to sleep on the couch. As he laid there thinking about things he heard a small thump but ignored it to the thought of that it was just the night life.

The noise became repetitive and eventually he could not stand the curiosity tugging at the back of his mind. So, he jumped up from the couch, the covers falling to the ground, and wondered to the door of the kitchen where he felt the noise was located. He looked through the small window on the door and noticed that a kitchen window was open. He instantly felt paranoid and made a quick survey of the room for things that he would steal. He noticed that certain items were missing and narrowed his eyes. Right then and there he knew that it had to of been a thief.

He thought about surprising the person but he decided against it. He didn't want the children to get involved or see anything they shouldn't. As he reached for the door it creaked open. He sucked in the breath and dived to the side, standing right behind the door. The figure moved around quickly, the only noise to be heard was an occasionally squeaking of the floor boards. Wait! He thought. I'm not the one getting caught here!

He smiled at his idiocy and closed the door behind him as he stepped into the kitchen. The thief turned around so fast they almost tripped over themselves but was able to catch themselves before they fell to the floor, a sliver of brown hair falling from the hood in the process. Then, the figure jumped up pulling hood tight around them and headed towards the open window. He ran after the stumbling thief and roughly pulled their hood down; their hair was lengthy and flowed out behind them just like the nearby river. The figure turned their head slightly showing feminine features and cat-like eyes and quickly turned back around.

Lloyd was surprised and stumbled himself, putting just enough distance between the two of them for the thief to escape. They'd jumped right out the window, grabbing the side for momentum, pushing their self to the right. He assumed there was a ladder there, or the roof to another building. He decided to go for it and jumped out himself.

His first assumption was correct, it was a ladder but it had been moved to where it would hit the ground. Without realizing the fact until it was too late he fell to the earth, landing harshly. He looked up, wincing, to see the thief running away. They turned around and looked at him with an expression of slight guilt and turned the corner, disappearing.

After he could no longer see the thief he stood up and went to the door to go back inside only be greeted by the end of the gun. The owner screeched nearly blasting Lloyd's face off with a shotgun before his wife stopped him. Lloyd shivered at the thought of his near death experience.

Once everyone settled down Lloyd explained what had happened. He told about how he had jumped after the thief who had moved the ladder and made him fall. The families, not knowing his true self, were very happy he tried so hard, stunned, and a bit worried about his fall. The owner's wife kept feeling is head and asking if he was okay.

"Honestly, I'm okay! It wasn't that far of a fall," Lloyd said.

The owner disappeared for a few minutes to see what had been stolen and soon came back. The man said not much was taken, in fact, the only the items stolen were the trinkets Lloyd had recently sold to them. Out of kindness Lloyd offered the money back and thanked them for the food but the man refused to take it. He said that the food was a gift and if he hadn't been there the thief would have made off with even more and that by the time they figured it out it would be too late.

---

Lloyd left as soon as he could the next morning, with thanks, waves, apologies, and goodbyes. He went on his way not knowing his destination. An entire day was spent walking. He didn't know how far he went and didn't know why he was going in his general direction, but he began to get tired and decided to stop in a tavern off the side of the road. He didn't drink; anything that would cloud his mind was just a dumb idea to him but he ordered a large glass anyway. He was feeling especially sad these last few days and thought that if he had a little it would numb his feelings. He could pretend to pass out as well so he could stay warm and sleep in the semi-soft chairs and booths all night.

After an hour of nodding off in the noisy building he saw a card game being played off on the other side of the place. He didn't know either of the players, but he was good at games and cheating from people. The man that was playing person in the cloak was cheating. He was good at hiding too. Losing when you'd think he'd win, and winning when it looked impossible. He walked over and leisurely took a seat.

"How's about you play me?" He offered to the man.

Now he was closer to the man and was able to notice some very...fine details. The man answered that he couldn't and that he was just collecting and leaving. Lloyd noticed the winnings the man had were the very same trinkets he'd stolen yesterday. He looked over at the cloaked figure, who was obviously hiding their face but not attempting to leave the room. Interested in what might happen, eh? Lloyd thought.

"How about this?" Lloyd asked the male walking off, holding up the bag of money he had collected over time, his life savings all in one place. It was more than enough for the man to sit back down.

Lloyd didn't know why he was going to play this guy, but he knew he had to win now. If he lost, he was screwed. He started to slur his voice a bit and spill more of his glass onto the floor and even a bit on the table to emphasize the fact he was drunk. The man's expression turned from rough to "OhSHI- I just hit the jackpot. "

"Where did you get all that money?" He asked moving his bulky frame.

Lloyd replied, "Well, my dad's a trader and this is my share of what we made today!"

The man laughed and started shuffling cards. For a while the man didn't cheat at all, but after Lloyd started to win naturally he changed tactics. Lloyd lost a good amount after that, all the way to the point that the man's total evened that of his.

"Okay!" yelled Lloyd, tipping back in his chair and nearly falling off in what looked to be an accident. "I'm all in!"

The bulky man was a little taken back by this, and Lloyd was worried that he would not follow through and also go all in. His worries became reality when the man reached out to grab his pile of jewels and coins but Lloyd would not have that. He slammed down his glass that was now completely empty.

"Just fill me up again will you?" He asked with a smile full of shining teeth.

So the man did, and started shuffling too. He was really stacking the deck this time, no way was he going to take a chance at loss. The man passed the deck to Lloyd so he could cut it, but as he picked up half the stack he slipped and dropped them all. He said sorry and grabbed the cards stuffing them back into place just as the man would have wanted, but slipping in cards he collected the last round so he would have a winning hand and a winning hand it was.

He quickly pulled in all the winnings to his now heavier bag and jumped up with applause from bystanders but the man, filled with rage from being beaten by a mere kid, tackled Lloyd, grabbing his neck beginning to yell profanity. Soon a bartender stopped the music, pointing a gun and the two of them.

"What the hell happened here?" The bartender asked, her pony tail jumping around with her arm movements.

Before either of them could answer one of them men who was applauding said that the man had finally lost a game and was a very poor loser. Others followed this statement and began to chant at the man who then let go of Lloyd. I guess. Lloyd thought. People aren't as bad as I thought. The bartender walked up to him and asked if he was okay.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Lloyd replied, stuffing his bag into his pocket.

The bartender apologized and said her thanks for getting rid of the man. She gave him another brimming glass telling him it was on the house. Lloyd smiled and said thanks, but really he was just wondering how he was going to put it down without someone noticing he didn't take a sip. Lucky for him he had a target, and that was the cloaked figure. He wanted to know how the person received the items he had stolen, and find out who the thief was. The figure was still present in the room. They had just situated themselves in a different part of the room, hoping to be ignored.

He slightly smiled and sat by the person, tossing the money and the trinkets he previously stole. Right when the items clanged in front of the person he had thought about selling them again but knew it was too late after it was snatched up. After a while, the silence between the two bothered him to the point where he began to talk. No matter if they paid attention.

"I want to know where you got these, and I want the truth." No answer. After a few more minutes the figure headed upstairs without a single word.

Well then, I guess it's lock pickin' time. He thought to himself setting his cup down and returning to his original self, surprising a few others around him. Lloyd followed the figure upstairs rounding the corner as they disappeared. He took a few steps forward but heard movement behind him, as he jumped backward he knocked the cloaked figure against the wall with the hood falling off.

Lloyd's eyes widened with surprise. It was the thief from the night before and it was a girl. She grunted her cheeks glowing a slight pinkish hue with discomfit.

"I was in the house first," she said with a whine answering Lloyd's question vaguely. "You just stalked me there. I don't know how though!"

Lloyd smiled with amusement which only made the girl's attitude worsen. He then corrected the girl explaining what had actually happened she only responded with a huff and the stomp of her foot and turned around to walk into the room that was behind her, slamming the door harshly. Lloyd chuckled. He had found some new entertainment for the next few days.