18 Months Prior

Even though I had a long gotten used to the late nights working alongside Tristan, the weight of stealing was draining me. I was feeling further and further from the person I was when my dad was alive. Now I seem to be going against everything he taught me. It had seemed so long since anyone had cared about me that Tristan’s endearing eyes could convince me anything was possible.
I stood beside Brody and the invisible form of Tristan outside a newly remodeled craftsman in North Seattle. A list warm spring rain soaked slowly into my flannel. I could feel Tristan’s warmth intertwined with my delicate feeling fingers,
“This is our third house tonight. I’m tired and ready to drink,” Brody grumbles.
We have been waiting for our Que. for what was feeling like a lifetime.
Julian’s large body stepped outside the door that leads to a well maintain a garden. I wish I could worry about the condition my garden.
“Let’s go,” Brody whispers.
That’s how it was since Tristan introduced me to everyone. Him, Brody, and I teamed up everything including our r&r.
How random life is, circled through my head at the moments when I’d lay awake in bed before drifting off. One day I just stumbled on Tristan being somewhere I always am, and so shortly after I got my second family. I wasn’t alone anymore,
Tristan’s skin sparkled in thousand different little points, before slowly fading away until there was nothing left but his warmth.
Brody chose not to phase, but instead he walked beside me. I walked behind him into the house. Madison has been dragging us through such wealthy homes at such a steady clip I was beginning to become unfazed by the jetted tubs and the trim on the ceiling. I was starting to learn about how far you could stretch the adaptability of humans.
The first few times I robbed houses I felt awful during and after. Eventually, the guilt waited until after I’ve done the job. Then one day I stopped feeling guilty altogether—something that began to eat away at me, knowing I was doing something wrong but justifying it to myself.
“You come upstairs with me,” Madison hissed in my ear as she bumped her shoulder into mine.
Not one of us argues even though we want to. Fighting with Madison doesn’t do anything but get burn marks on your skin and less of the cut.
I didn’t like leaving Tristan and Brody downstairs, but I did nevertheless. My feet padded up the carpeted stairs directly behind Madison. Her shiny, unmoving black hair clung to her back. The smell of vodka and chocolate clung to her skin.
The upstairs is even fancier; art hangs on the hallway walls. Every piece the same about space apart. If we knew anything about art we;d probably take it, we took everything that we knew we could sell, and occasionally something just for us, a spoil, a token, a gut check.
The two of turn into the room on our left, an office of some kind. We open every drawer and check every corner. There was aa rhythm between us that worked. I was tossing a tablet and some other electronics that I wasn’t entirely sure what they were but looked pawnable, when Madison tapped on my shoulder with a solitary finger.
She found a safe.
“Think you can crack it?” Her voice slithers out causing chills to run up and down my spine.
The safe was a small back box with a trundle in the center of it that reminded me of a boat’s steering wheel.
I say nothing. My mind gears up my thoughts. Then slid out from my fingertips, traveling to the tiny crack when the door closes. The coolness of metal encloses my bones as I mental inspect the lock.
Gears and locks.
A rotating puzzle piece.
My thoughts gently move the dial, until every part folds back, being swallowed by the door.
“Stay back!” Madison yells.
A cry from a woman sent a thousand warnings through my body.
“I’m calling the police!” The woman cries.
My mind reaches out behind me, trying to split for the first time without me telling my brain to act in such a way. It was an instant reaction, just like pulling your hand away when something is hot. My heart was rattling around in my chest. As quickly as my tried to split in two different directions it was gone.
Madison says, “Well, that solves that.”
The lock clicks and the door pop open. Small black boxes and several stacks of cash sit and stare back us.
An emptiness sunk in through my feet.
“Nice work,” Madison says as she scarps the loot into a duffle bag. I look at the doorway. A lifeless body of a middle-aged woman blocks out an exit.
I did that.
“T was right you are pretty damn useful.”

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