Thief in the House

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saren, Nov 2, 2013.

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  1. ((It's supposed to be a play on 'thief in the night' and it's so baaad. x.x))

    They were gaining on him, and despite all of his twisting and turning, he couldn't avoid them forever. He was good, very good, in fact. But ducking and weaving only went so far. He ran, finding that he hadn't even gotten what he'd been trying to steal.

    He had slipped up by allowing a man to scream as he took him down. Locke hadn't killed him, but the man had gotten off a rough cry, ruining the serenity of the night and alerting everyone else to his presence. Without his prize, Locke had fled, not sauntered out of the house like he normally did.

    It seemed that was going to catch up to him. The footsteps stopped, and Locke made his second mistake of the night by stopping. He was just in time to see one pursuer loading up a pistol before he shot, the sound shattering the night. Locke, with little time to react, was only able to duck, but the man hadn't been aiming for his head. He was worth just as much dead as alive, and most wanted to see him dead.

    The bullet slammed into Locke's shoulder, taking the thief to one knee. The policemen whooped and ran to catch up to the fallen Locke, but he wasn't being caught like that. He preferred not being caught at all. Dizzy with the increasing pain, Locke took off again, swinging his arms despite the numb feeling creeping into his shoulder. His dark eyes scanned the residences on each side, searching for no light in the window. He spotted one, and he took that chance, diving to the side and slipping through the door. If it had been locked, he certainly broke it from the force of the impact. He slammed it shut, sliding against it and breathing hard.

    He was good, but even he couldn't run with an injury forever. He prayed to whatever cruel deity was watching him, also cursing that same deity for the bullet wound in his shoulder, peering around the room. His vision was fuzzy, and he really couldn't tell if it was in use or not. This all stemmed from his unusual sloppiness that night. He growled to himself, forcing his body to stand.

    What he didn't realize was that entering his house just might have been his third mistake for the night.
  2. (( Hehehe it's okay<3 ;D ))

    "I do hope you intend to clean up the blood trail you're dripping."
    Not exactly the words one would expect from a woman descending the stairs into the room, but they were perfectly fitting to the cool expression and mild annoyance that flickered firmly in brilliant green eyes. Lips pursed and one reddish brow lifted in clear displeasure, Harriet Hobbes stepped to the main floor and lifted her chin, nose crinkling at the mess as she tapped an annoyed tune on the top of a sleek black cane.

    There was no mistaking the temper of the Irish in her clear stare, nor was there any mistaking the firm pride in her straight back, shoulders thrust confidently behind her and an air of thoughtless strength radiating about her. She was clearly dressed for the evening, but likely the aftermath of it as she was lacking any hair accessory at all and the rumples in her dress indicated she had been in the process of removing her shapely gown but, hearing an intruder, had done it back up to tromp downstairs. There was obvious annoyance at that fact, and while she moved in the dress with the sort of familiar elegance of one accustomed to dressing nicely, it was not hard to imagine she being one who reveled in not dressing like a fancy doll at a market show.

    Hattie stared for a long moment, somehow managing to look down her nose at a man taller than her, before she gave a short huff of a noise and moved forwards, hefting her striped skirts off the floor and stepping firmly over the dribbles of blood--giving Locke a dirty look as she did--before, once on the "safe" side, dropping them down to the floor with a poof of air. She brushed them firmly in place as she whirled into another room, the click of her cane echoing in clear, purposeful announcement of her location. The woman rustled about in the room for a moment or two before reemerging, giving the blood another pointed, displeased look before her bright eyes were on Locke and she offered him a thick cloth. "I do not know who you are nor do I care, but you will sit there," she pointed firmly at a wooden chair in the corner, "and not drip for the next five minutes or I will remove this corset only to use it as a weapon against you, are we clear?"

    Not waiting for a reply she whirled again, skirts flying but accurately avoiding a single drop of blood, and made her way back up the stairs, not making another peep until--exactly five minutes later--she made her way back down in a pair of breeches with an old cream shirt tucked into them, the sleeves rolled up expertly and a first aid kit held loosely in the nook of her free arm. It was much easier to see her limp now, her right leg making a quiet tremble even with the assistance of her cane, but she didn't seem to pay it much heed as she wiggled her bare toes thoughtlessly and leaned heavily against her support, arching a brow. "Now...I believe I would like an explanation of why you have decided to threaten me with the wrath of my oh-so-generous landlord by staining his nice, only slightly rotting wooden floors before I even pretend to care enough to try and bandage that nasty looking hole in your arm."

    (( Harriet Hobbes, sassafras extraordinaire. ))
  3. A young woman with a cane and an attitude strode toward him, and he wanted to run back outside. At least the police would just kill him. This was ultimate suffering. He could have picked any other house, and he got this one.

    Yep, definitely the third mistake of the evening.

    He was on a roll, and the fourth emerged as he actually listened to her, sitting down in the chair in the corner. Somewhere deep inside his mind, Locke felt like he was going to regret this. However, if he didn't, he would never get his wound cleaned unless he did it himself, and that wasn't going to happen. He pulled off a glove and slapped a hand to his wound to stop the blood from dripping down his arm and onto the floor. The woman limped her way back down, and he realized that she wasn't going to help him until he explained why he'd crashed into her house with the force of a steam powered train.

    He thought about making some kind of snarky comment about her leg, but it would have earned him a smack with the cane. It would have added further insult to injury in every sense of the phrase. Breathing out, daring to glare her in the eye, he spoke.

    "My name is Locke, and I was running from the police when they shot me. I had nowhere else to go, so I came in here. I see that was an improper choice. And I'm not sorry about bleeding on your floor."

    Normally, he would have relished the chance to regale someone with tales of his magnificent, illegal exporting of goods, but this woman, speaking less than one hundred words, had already rubbed him the wrong way. To be fair, he had been the one to ram into her house, but that was beside the point.

    "If you aren't going to help me, then I'll be leaving," he said, hissing in pain as he pulled his hand away from his shoulder. Fingers sticky with blood, he shoved himself from her chair (with his clean hand because gods above he didn't want another ten-word lecture), and promptly made his way to another exit. At least the pressure on his shoulder had clotted the blood enough to stop falling onto the ground. Locke wasn't worried about it anymore. He'd find a way to patch it up and be about his business.

    What concerned him was this woman. She now knew of his name, and he was in the papers enough to be heard of, even by hermits. She also had knowledge of his injury, and if she thought about telling anyone where he was, he'd be shot again, and again, and again.

    He didn't want to be shot again.
  4. Harriet had long been the queen of bland, expressionless looks, but the look she leveled at Locke was in a class all its own. She snorted, loud and definitely not ladylike, and probably would have started laughing on the spot if she wasn't too busy walking around her sitting room, moving with surprising speed for a crippled individual and stepping directly in Locke's way. She didn't bother to explain herself as she gave him a firm push in the ribcage with the butt of her cane, nudging him again if he didn't waltz his ass right back to the chair she'd put him in before. "You are in desperate need of a tutor in the ways of a lie." She retorted, her expression somewhere between amusement and embarrassment for his sake, "Although if you weren't bleeding I'd call you a liar in of yourself, so maybe you need to merely perfect the 'extraordinary truth' technique."

    She began to drag another chair over as she spoke, somehow balancing the first aid kit and her cane in one awkward armful and pulling the chair with the other hand, and swung it to face Locke's side a moment later, sinking into it gracefully. Without so much as asking for permission she swatted his hand away and began to inspect the clothing around the injury, finding it insufficient to be removed and pulling a large pair of scissors seemingly out of nowhere. "Before you whine like some lass about to lose her favorite bonnet, I will repair your shirt later." She announced loudly before, not giving the slightest care about his opinion on the matter, cutting through the sleeve efficiently. The scissors disappeared--apparently they were stored in a section of straps on her upper thigh--and she carefully folded the fabric down away from the bullet hole, her sharp eyes boring into the injury thoughtfully as she gave it a good once over. "You are quite lucky these aren't my floors, actually." She replied seemingly out of nowhere as she gave the injury a good poke, her eyes saying it was to be a pest rather than to serve any purpose as she grabbed her cane from where it was hooked around the chair and used it to drag over a pitcher of water she generally used to catch leaks from by the door. She gave the water a once over--more likely looking for floating insects than for impurities--and, finding it to be sufficient, dipped one of the several cloths she had brought with her into it and began the painful work of cleaning the injury.

    "For future reference, I would not announce to the lady of the house--even if she is as open minded and tolerant as I am--that I was on the run from officers of the law." Green eyes flicked up from her work, made all the more vibrant thanks to the bloody cloth she was casually using, "Especially not if I had been shot by one. I do not know if you know this town very well, but I have only been here for a week and already I can tell you with some reliability that the women are flaky at best and are generally 'faint of heart'." She huffed, rolling her eyes, and tossed the dirtiest cloth aside, inspecting both sides of the injury. "Hmm...I do wonder if you have bullet shards. Those would prove quite unpleasant later."
  5. Locke might have said her cane smashing into his abdomen hurt, but the bullet wound still pained him far worse. To save his ribcage another beating, he turned and sat back down, elbow balancing on his knee to hold his head up. He had the appearance of a pouting child, and it was accurate, because he didn't want to be there. If she would just let him go, she wouldn't have to worry about him and he could go back to stealing.

    He was going to replace his hand on his shoulder when she batted it away. He glared at her before he went back to the same position as before. The flash of scissors caught his eye, and there was little time to protest. He could have just taken the shirt off, but she was going to make it difficult by cutting a hole. Huffing, he looked down at the ground, intently studying the floorboards that weren't hers. It kept him from thinking about the digging pain she was inflicting on his skin while she cleaned the wound.

    He hated guns with a passion.

    At her next words, he rolled his eyes, though he did give her a sideways glance. "I'm sure I can escape once you've finished," he waved his hand up and down at her, "...this. I'm sure you would have asked anyway, because 'running and accidentally being shot' isn't an excuse you would seem to believe either." It wasn't a jab at her injury. It was confidence in his own abilities to run away. He was good at that. He was capable in other areas, but endurance and agility were his prides. Apparently, that wasn't true with how the night was progressing. However, he did manage a humorless snort at her description of the women. It was one thing they could agree on. He'd been stealing from this place for a few months, and the ladies were normally the screamers when he infiltrated their homes. He'd never killed one, even if their screeching drove him to insanity. Silencing them was simple enough, since they couldn't fight back. In fact, the woman sitting at his side inspecting his wound was the only one who hadn't screamed or that he hadn't rendered unconscious. It was a change, and not a welcome one.

    Locke started to get up again before remembering the poking of her cane on his chest and he kept himself seated. "If you're finished, I'll be going. I have other things that need to be done, and I don't need to be wasting time sitting around."
  6. Harriet gave another scoff, arching a brow as she peered up at the other, blinking, "You say that as though I would attempt to stop you." She retorted with a snort, laughing quietly at the concept, "While I am quite confident I could stop you far more efficiently than our dearly supportive officers of the law, without using a gun, I assure you I will make no such move. I have been on the foul end of their displeasure time enough to allow a like soul to slip away unnoticed." She poked around the injury for a moment more, sharp eyes trying to pick out any metallic shapes, but eventually shrugged and began to sort out a sort of bandage, wrapping his shoulder with quick, familiar motions. Unlike many such dressings, she made certain that hers was 100% usable, a flexible and manageable twist of lines of cloth. It was a type of bandage made for those in the circus; not even injury would pin them down and it was better to patch them up in a way that wouldn't hinder them further than the hurt itself.

    Finished with her job she straightened and gave it a harsh look before giving a curt nod to herself. "You are so very impatient." She rolled her eyes and knocked at his knee gently, pulling a string and needle out to stitch the sleeve shut with the terrifying speed of a true seamstress before tucking that too away. "I assure you, if there were going to be men banging at my door in search of run away range targets they would have already done s--" A sharp rapping noise interrupted her and she arched a brow at the irony, straightening efficiently and putting the remaining bandages away before making her way to the window, pulling aside the curtain to peer out curiously.

    "You are in luck." She announced with a grouse, "Its just Mrs. Whitlan from down the road, likely thinking I'd like to hear all about the nonsense of a shooting her husband is chattering about." She rolled her eyes and moved away from the window, leaning again on her cane, "She knows me to be awake late, but likely won't stay in any attempts to 'wake' me so if you would like to sneak out the back like a gentleman staying far too late in a lady's abode, you are quite welcome. It would give the dear some lovely gossip to spread on the morning and, as I shan't be here for the next evening, it will not be my problem."
  7. She was letting him go. If he wasn't happy about that thought, he might have been surprised. Only one week and the police were already pinning her as a potential troublemaker. He almost respected that, if it hadn't taken him less than two days to do the same thing. Their professions were quite different, but the reaction was always the same for the police force. His thoughts were broken by the poking she was putting on his wound. When she was apparently satisfied that the bullet hadn't splintered in his skin, she wrapped it up. It was quick and efficient, something he could enjoy. He flexed his shoulder, finding pain still abounded in his muscle, but it was able to be worked with.

    He snapped his leg away as she knocked his knee, but he held still as she fixed his shirt. It didn't look good, but then again, no one was inspecting his attire. He stood as she packed her kit back up, ready to finally be on his way. Patience was never one of his strong suits. He was better at going fast, not waiting around.

    The knock on the door almost made him bolt for the door, but he couldn't go that way. He'd have to find another exit. He turned to leave when he heard her speak. The thief paused, foot stepping lightly on the ground in thought. He was free to go, and go he did. Without a thank you, of course. Locke wouldn't have such a fierce reputation if people knew he'd thanked someone for their (unwanted) hospitality.

    Her last words caught his ears, and he only got a step forward before he considered them. While it wasn't wise for a thief to tell someone he was running, it wasn't wise for someone to tell a thief they wouldn't be home. He smirked, but then his feet picked up and he was gone in a flash. Scrambling up the side of her house, he perched on her roof, finding he could see torchlights scattered about the streets. They were still wondering where their missing criminal had gone.

    Sticking an arm out for balance, Locke jumped onto the next roof, peering down at the woman who was chatting with his helper. Maybe he would do something. She had asked, or rather told, him to clean the blood from the floors after all. Of course, if he was caught doing it while she was there, he would never hear the end of it.

    Locke, a master thief, stooping to the ground to clean a woman's house after he nearly broke her door down. "Hmph, maybe I won't," he said to himself as he jumped along the houses.

    Or maybe he would.
  8. It took Hattie a good ten minutes to finally find an excuse to weasel away from darling Mrs. Whitlan, giving a tired expression as she leaned heavier and heavier on her cane and feigned pain. Mrs. Whitlan, doll that she was, allowed Hattie the excuse and quickly ushered her along to go and rest her leg and she would see her again tomorrow. Harriet, ever polite, made a point to correct her, that she would be leaving alongside the circus the day after tomorrow and thus would not be returning to the house, and Mrs. Whitlan made a sorrowful thing of the moment before Harriet assured her they would return in six months or so on their way back up the country and the woman seemed to find that enough and went along her way. Rolling her eyes and rubbing her temple, Hattie shut the door and leaned on it, flicking her eyes absently to the cooling, staining splatter of blood. Her eye twitched, but despite knowing it would be harder to clean in the morning, she decided that her leg was hurting her enough that she just didn't care and made her way back up the stairs for bed.

    In the morning, bags packed and dressed for a day of work, Hattie was exponentially pleased to find her floors nice and tidy and clean and she gave a smug little smirk, green eyes crinkling, as she opened the door to allow her brother and a couple of the carnies in to help her with her baggage. The cart was loaded, the gypsy horse giving a pleased sound to be working in such a manner as he anxiously awaited the go ahead, and Harriet gave the house a last, amused look before she tugged herself to sit between the Strong Man and one of the jugglers, allowing herself to be pulled into their animate conversation as her brother urged Bess on and the black and white draft surged into eager motion.

    The evening would find the house abandoned completely and Harriet would be dressed in the guise of a man as she helped to manage the three rings of their circus for the last show of the evening, their usual manager breathing fire in the absence of an injured sword swallower. With a reddish mustache to match her strawberry blonde hair and a cap hauled over her mass of curls, Hattie seemed quite content as the evening wrapped up, barely using her cane at all as she waltzed from performer to performer, keeping up a steady stream of communication between the lights and the band with the marvelous invention that was a hands free radio. The headset rested firmly on her head, its large shape and bronze microphone further disguising her feminine features, and Harriet pointedly spoke in a low, clipped tone over it, not for the sake of her comrades but in case of any ears that might overhear. Still, as the show came to a close, the lights cutting out on a daring dive of a trapeze artist only to cut back on with him balanced delicately on the bent arm of the Strong Man and the performers traipsed out in their circular finale, Hattie was distinctly pleased.
    It had been a good show and this was, without a doubt, a town of...unusual people she would be sorry to see go.
  9. Locke hadn't stuck around to see her reaction, because even master thieves needed to sleep. He stole a bedroom from one of the bigger hotels, ones used for travelers. In the morning, he spotted the paper for that day stacked in a pile outside the door. He swiped the one on the top of the stack, making sure the paperboy didn't notice one was missing. He flipped through it, expecting to see yet another report about himself on the front page, like there always was. However, he wasn't mentioned until... the sixth page?

    Someone had stolen his spotlight, and he didn't like it. The someone in question wasn't just one person; it was an entire band of people. A circus had been floating around, and tonight was going to be their last performance. A crowd of people loaded in money... it was every thief's dream come true.

    So he decided that even though the circus had taken his spot on the front page, he would go visit them. Without paying to get in, of course. What kind of thief was he if he couldn't slink into a circus?

    The night arrived, and Locke thought he would pay a visit to his helper before he made his way to the festivities. Swinging to the door he'd broken into the night before, he clicked the knob open, only to find the house completely empty. Well, that was no fun. It occurred to him that she may be a part of the circus, or her departure was convenient. Either way, he was still going to see them.

    Descending from a roof to the ground, Locke slipped through the open entryways, blending in with the people who had already purchased their tickets. The price of the tickets hadn't cut into their wallets, because that was his job. He was able to pick the pockets of four different onlookers before he got smart and switched to a different group. He had just taken a fifth one when he actually decided to sit back and watch the circus. Their acts were good, and it was a nice distraction, even if he did scoff at the trapeze artist. Even with his wounded shoulder, he could do just as good, if not better.

    The ringmaster caught his eye. He was short for a man, with red hair that was a little uncommon for his area. He had a cane as well, one that looked oddly similar to his helper's walking stick. Locke moved around so he could have a better spot, eyes locked on the performers and moving down every so often to watch everyone else. As the show ended, he took the time to snatch the purses of several others while they were clapping and cheering. They started to file out, but he stayed. It was dark, and people ignored him as they left. He wanted to see if his helper was among the performers, though it was doubtful with her leg, and he hadn't seen any fiery women poking at onlookers with a cane. Still, curiosity kept him stationary.
  10. As soon as the show was over, the majority of the customers filed out, the performers began to arduous job of packing up. The animals were moved to another section of the fairgrounds, watched by the sharp eyes of one of the stable hands perched on the back of one of two elephants. Hattie spared enough time to be sure that her brother's favorite horse was safely settled in the group--after they had had a pair of trained monkeys and a horse stolen from them a year back they'd been a bit obsessive about their animals--before she meandered back into the main tent, pulling the hat from her head and flopping it onto the short fuzz of brown hair that belonged to the hat's actual owner before she pulled off her fake mustache, tucking it into a pocket and settling to work.

    Her voice boomed loud and proud as she leant on her cane on the edge of one of the three rings, moving out of the way of a couple workers who were dismantling the ring itself without removing her eyes from the men dangling high above. She directed them seamlessly as the acrobats began to take down the tight rope and trapeze, her sharp eyes directed firmly on the newest of their tumblers to make sure he didn't mess anything up. As soon as the ropes were dropped and the trapeze lowered Hattie moved forwards, inspecting it with a critical eye before okaying the individual pieces to be packed away in full storage or into the trailers where it could be easily found and repair.

    So enthralled was she into her work that she didn't bother to look at any onlookers that may have remained. Occasionally there would be a few who would linger to watch them dismantle and she trusted that one of the men and women tasked with keeping an eye on them would do just that. Her job was to keep the acrobats moving smoothly. Fuck if she cared if someone messed up their job.
  11. Once the disguise was gone, Locke could see that the ringmaster indeed had been his helper. However he wanted to approach her, it wasn't going to work. She was busy, and he had things to do, namely relieve his pockets of the lovely cash he'd just gotten. He pulled out one of the wallets, thumbing through the money. There was quite a bit, and he'd gotten eight in total. He weighed the wallet in his hand, contemplating what he could do. One passing thought was that he could give some of it to his helper.

    Since when did I become generous?

    It was laughable, even though it invaded his mind several times after that. He hadn't paid his way in like everyone else, which wasn't fair, but he didn't really care about fair. He sighed, tossing the wallet a few times. Finally, after about five seconds of debating, he pulled out some of the bills and folded them between his fingers. He supposed he could share just this once. After all, she'd be gone after tonight, and he wouldn't have to see her again. Locke moved to a corner, leaning against a post as he watched the continued dismantling of the show. They were quick about it, but he supposed they'd been doing it long enough to figure out a system.

    Eventually she would notice the dark figure that wasn't a part of her show. In this, sort of a surprise in his mind, he could be patient. He liked surprises, mostly because they ended with him getting what he wanted. In this case, he wanted to see how long it would take for her to spot him.
  12. The trapeze and the tight rope were tucked away, the silks being carefully folded as well, when Hattie looked up from her work again, working her jaw absently as she stared up at the half of the net that hadn't been lowered yet. For many shows they wouldn't even use a net, but the size of the town had encouraged them to use the larger tent and the higher poles, and while the new height and range made for some amazing additions to the stunts, the net had to be used for those top-line performances. No one was willing to risk the death of a key performer in a circus this small and tightly knit. The net posed its own particular problems to the break down, however, the least of which wasn't the fact that it covered the entire three ring area and required a minimum of three people to fold. While it was being inspected and packed away everything else had to practically come to a halt. On the plus side, even the youngest of their members couldn't fuck up folding a net, and so Hattie didn't have to pay a lick of attention to the nuisance that was the net...and so she didn't!

    Smirking in relief, she turned her gaze to the sides, watching as carnies moved too and fro pulling cargo out of the tent and stacking everything away. By the time they were finished there would be several trucks full of props and costumes and vehicle closer in size to a rail car for the tents themselves. Luckily these days the supports were self collapsing. They still weighed a ton and a half but at least they didn't stick out of things and make travel virtually impossible. Hell, if engineering kept up the way it was, they might have self transporting ones one of these days. The net was packed away and the cargo free of the tent. The last of the onlookers were being ushered out, and preparations were being made to break down the tent. It was the most dangerous part of the operation and there were loud voices urging loiterers to keep well and away from the structure. Hattie herself was on her way out with the last of the crew, making sure that everyone was clear. They would wait for her call to start the dismantle--it had been long established that her eagle eyes would spot even the nosiest of eyes poking underneath the brightly colored flaps.

    She was actually moving towards one of those such things--an onlooker leaning in a corner and apparently completely ignorant of all the yelling--when a cry out that no carnie wanted to hear echoed: "Weak Rope!" A snap echoed, and Hattie's eyes went wide. The sound of people scrambling to grab it echoed, but before the fastest of them could get a finger on it the strain hit the others, and another weak rope began to creep. Harriet didn't think as she bolted towards the lingering male, not registering him as Locke until she was grabbing at his arm, her attention moving towards the exit before she doubletook and stared at him with surprised eyes, "You--!" Whatever she might have said disappeared in the groaning of rope and wood as the center poles began to lean towards them and the tent imploded around them.
  13. Well, Locke could have hoped for a worse reintroduction, he supposed. Circuses weren't new to him, but the dismantling was. He was strangely fascinated with the process, and the yelling didn't seem wrong or right to him. He was the only onlooker to have escaped being shoved outside, and he was happy for that until he heard the important shout. That, he knew, was wrong. He fixed his belt with his cash stashed away and started to run, and then he felt a hand on his arm. He whipped to find his helper to be the one leading him. However, it required a double take before she noticed it was him.

    The bending wood rumbled from above, and he was tired of going at this woman's pace. Switching their grips so he had a hold on her arm, Locke pulled her beside him. With the new stride, they were able to skirt and avoid some of the falling poles. The exit was near, and then one pole slammed down right in front of them, causing Locke to skid to a halt, still holding his helper. He wasted no time jumping over the fallen pole, yanking her with him, even if his muscles protested the movement. The last of the support poles fell behind them as they burst from the exit, the wind from the toppled poles whooshing out from the flaps and almost knocking Locke on his feet. It was quite the event, he had to say. Rushes of adrenaline pounded through his blood at the running, something he loved to do. Maybe not in the 'if you don't run, you'll die' fashion, but the idea was still there in his head.

    Releasing the woman, he looked back at the grounded tent, shrugging his good shoulder. "Guess that's not how that's supposed to go," he said, mostly to himself, though it was out loud. He shook his head, the tips of his black hair flipping about his face wildly.

    Well, it wasn't his fault, at the very least, as far as he knew.

    ((I'm assuming you didn't want them to be crushed 'cause that would be kinda bad. xD))
  14. Harriet had all but ditched her cane in the running--she could deal with a bit of pain to survive but she still wasn't apparently going fast enough because just as she hesitated, realizing that the man with the worst excuse for breaking into a woman's home she had ever encountered had been eavesdropping on their work, she found that he had switched their positions and was now yanking her along at a pace she could hardly keep. Gritting her teeth and ignoring the cramping strain in her leg, she allowed him to steer her and concentrated on moving forwards at a rapid pace, only for them both to skid to a sudden stop. She found herself stumbling into him, startled at the stop, but as she peered around him and moved forward, he surged ahead and she found herself yanked unceremoniously and awkwardly forward, landing on her bad leg with a full body flinch. Again she found herself pressed more against him than away from him, and flushed a bright red from being rescued--partially against her own will, thank you very much, as she was quite capable of rescuing herself and his shot-by-the-cops arse!--she took a great big step away from him as soon as she was released and promptly sank to the dirt with a glare.

    "No, that is not how it is supposed to go." She snapped, letting the fire of her temper flare before she thought better of it, all the while attempting to sooth the twitching cramp that was currently making a mockery out of her right leg. Her tone was piercing and somewhat blaming, but even as the pain refused to recede she took a curt breathe and turned her attention back to him, "Excuse my manners. I am afraid being pulled around like a rag doll makes me a bit persnickety." Nostrils flared in a huff of air, but she didn't say anything else as she ran her fingers firmly down her limb and, deciding that was good enough, made a grab for her cane to push herself up. Leaning a bit heavier on the support than she usually would, she gave Locke a firm, distrustful stare as the scurrying of carnies getting back to work echoed around them. "Well. Hello again."

    (( Damnit! You figured out my evil scheme. -snaps fingers- ))
  15. Despite the near-death experience, a smirk crossed his lips at her words. He watched her rub her leg in an attempt to roll the pain away, though it didn't appear to be working. She finally stood up, but his gaze was elsewhere again. Dark eyes studied the commotion around them, but no one spared them a second glance in their work. It was better that way. When she greeted him, he looked down, snarky smirk still tickling the edges of his lips. He pulled the money from his belt, folding it in such a way that when he held it out, the edges were barely held between her fingers, preventing any sort of contact with their hands.

    "I didn't pay to get in," he said, the bills flickering in a slight breeze. "I did... relieve some of your guests of their purses." He wasn't normally so choice with his words, but if he admitted to stealing (which wouldn't be such a big admission considering his reputation), she might decide she was annoyed with him for jerking her around inside the tent as well as still breaking her door open and turn him into the police. He didn't want that. The police didn't have so much as a rough sketch of him, which was the way he preferred to keep it.

    The money he was giving her was triple the price of the ticket, but it was miniscule compared to the other amounts he'd alleviated from the circus-goers. "You can use it to get some better trapeze acts. Even I can do better than them." Having walked on ropes and flipped through the air before, Locke was (overly) confident in his ability to perform better than her current act. Even if he did so to avoid being caught by the authorities.
  16. There was some serious sass in that obnoxious little smirk of his, but Harriet held her tongue and didn't comment on it as she arched a prim little brow, giving a sassy look of her own before she flicked her eyes to the money...then back up at his face. "Ah, so you seek to embellish the reputation of carnies as thieves, I see." She answered, giving him a bland look but at least lowering her brow so she didn't look quite so judgmental. Despite her words there was no shame in her stare as she reached out and plucked the bills from his hand, not bothering to count it as she immediately slipped the money into the unbuttoned section of her shirt, tucking it away between the bandages of her chest binding so that if he was bold enough to try and steal it back, she'd have a magnificent excuse to clock him in the face with the business end of her cane.

    Hardly surprised at all that he'd snuck in, she hadn't bat an eye at the payment, but there was clear bemusement in her expression at his commentary of the trapeze and she levelled him with a pleased stare and a glare all in one. "Insulting my trainees happens to be my responsibility." She retorted at long last, although she gave a flash of a grin despite her false annoyance, before she tilted her head and regarded him thoughtfully. Hattie took her sweet time as she knit her brows and legitimately seemed to be studying his weight distribution and body language, and even went so far as to circle around him, making hums and clucking her tongue from time to time. "Well you aren't horribly built for one who claims to be acrobatic," She gave a long suffering sigh of a noise and shrugged her shoulders elegantly, "..but I'm afraid all the hot air in your head would make you a bit too buoyant for our acts."

    Smirking a bit like the cat who got the canary, Hattie turned away and seemed to be intently observing the large group of carnies currently folding up the tent, a smaller set to the side currently arguing about the poles. "Unfortunately it appears we shall never know. As much as I would enjoy watching Victor dropping you right on that handsome face of yours, the show is closed for this town." She looked over her shoulder with a smug expression, arching a brow. "So unless you intend to tag along and pull your weight around on the road, I do believe I will call you a fibber and go along my way."
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