Rhea sprinted down the street, dodging around people and carts. She could hear shouting behind her.
"Stop! Thief!" A guard yelled, his sword rose above his head. She dared a look back to see that reinforcements had come, and now a group of a dozen guards were chasing after her, closing in. She looked down at the measly piece of bread in her hands.
She jumped onto the tarp of one of the carts, startling passing civilians. She grabbed onto a window ledge, pulling herself into the hopefully empty room. A man sat by a fireplace, and screamed when he saw her.
"Sorry!" Rhea said, running across the room and out another window. She grabbed hold of the wall and started climbing to the roof. She jumped onto the roof, racing across, jumping over ledges to the next roof. The guards followed her from the ground.
She jumped off the roof, grabbed onto a log sticking out of a building, flipped around it, jumping off and landing behind the guards, who were oblivious that their target was gone.
She dashed into an alley to catch her breath, running into somebody. She shook her head and stood up, then realized who she had run into.
"Having fun?" Mouse asked her. She nodded. He was going to chew her out, spit her up, then chew her out again.
"How many times have I told you to keep hidden when stealing? You were putting on quite a performance out there. That's bad. We don't need to be noticed." He said, looking at her.
"Did you even get anything?" He asked.
"I kind of dropped it when I was running." She replied.
"Sorry doesn't bring food to the table."
Rhea dropped her head. He was right. How were they supposed to eat, if they didn't get any food?
"This is the last time this is going to happen. Tomorrow, you're going to follow me around and take a crash course in thievery 101." Mouse told her, annoyance in his tone.
Rhea nodded as Mouse turned and walked off, somehow blending in with the shadows. In a matter of a couple of seconds she couldn't see him anymore.
-the next day-
Rhea waited outside the building where the group lived. Mouse always left early to scout around for the good places, but he would be back any minute. She took a seat on the ground, drawing patterns in the dirt.
"Why are you on the ground?" Mouse called out, appearing from behind a building.
"Oh, I was just waiting." She said, standing back up, brushing dust off.
"Well we need to go. And stay on your feet, lesson number one." Mouse said, turning on his heels and walking off. She quickly ran after him.
"Lesson two, stay alert. Keep your eyes out for any guards, strong men, or someplace good to steal from." He said, walking out onto the road, blending in with the crowd, even though his looks didn't blend in.
He turned a corner and stopped, causing Rhea to run into him. He silently pointed at a stand filled with fruit, a few people around it. He pointed at her, held a finger up, then pointed at her eyes then pointed at him.
He walked up to the far side of the stand, picking up fruit, putting it down. He glanced around, picked up two oranges, and then stuffed them in his pouch around his waist. He nodded at the vender, said something, and then walked back to Rhea.
"That's how it is done." He said, walking past her. She sighed, following him. That's exactly what she does, but it just never works out for her.
"I try doing that, but they always catch me. Even if nobody is watching, they still catch me." She said.
"Maybe you're just unlucky." Mouse said, walking through the crowded streets.
"Let me see you do it."
"Ok. I'll show you how unlucky I am." Rhea walked up to a bakery vender. She nodded to him, looking through the different bread. She held up one, glanced around, then wrapped both hands around it, she turned to go when the vender yelled at her.
"Oh, sorry. I have some memory issues, forgot it was in my hands." She said, placing it back down. She walked back to Mouse.
"I told you. I have bad luck. I do the exact same thing as you, yet it never works out for me." Rhea said.
"You do have some bad luck. Why don't you try smaller, like, dig through the trash for your dinner?" He asked.
"Or I could try and try again."
"Just don't get caught. I'm going to go find dinner."
Mouse walked off, quickly blending in. In a few seconds he was gone from view. Rhea decided to go talk to Lucky.
She walked through the town, keeping her head down in case any of the guards noticed and recognized her. She walked to the outskirts of the town, to the river that encircled the village.
"Lucky." Rhea called, dipping her hand into the water, creating ripples. I head popped out of the water.
"Hey Rhea." Said Lucky. He swam toward the shore, putting his arms up on the shore and resting his chin on them.
"Mouse is doing it again." Rhea said.
"Doing what again?"
"Nagging me about my stealing."
"Well you do seem to get caught a lot."
"So, that doesn't mean I want to be nagged about it. He made me follow him around today and take 'lessons."
"Did you learn anything?"
"No. I do exactly what he does, yet my luck just isn't with me as it is with him."
Lucky nodded. He liked listening to her, even if she was complaining.
Mouse stood in a clump of bushes near the river. So she was mad about him giving her lessons? He noticed a look in Lucky's eyes. He seemed interested in it, maybe in her.
Mouse shook his head. No, he and Rhea were just friends. There was nothing else between them, but did he really believe that? No, he didn't want to ruin their friendship.
"He just doesn't know when to be quite!" Rhea said with a huff.
"Calm down. I'm sure he had good intentions. Besides, you know Mouse, he can be na´ve sometimes." Lucky said.
"I know, but he can just get so annoying."
"But do you really want to ruin your friendship over one disagreement?"
Mouse let out a sigh. So it was just a friendship. But isn't that a good thing? Nothing to think about. But….. still, she looked so beautiful sitting there, the sunlight reflecting off her hair. No! Don't think like that, he told himself. They were just friends, and neither of them wanted to ruin that.
He crept out of the bushes, heading back into town. Did Lucky see Rhea in that same light as he did? Did Rhea and Lucky have something going on? Maybe they were just good friends also, like Rhea and him.
"Why don't you take a dip with me to take your mind of things." Lucky said with a smile.
"You know I can't swim." Rhea said.
"I could teach you."
"I should probably get going. Find something for dinner." Rhea stood up and brushed herself off.
"See you later Lucky." She said, waving him goodbye. Lucky dove under the water and Rhea headed back to town.
"I wish Mouse just wasn't so thick headed." She muttered to herself as she went back on the path in town.
She silently moved up to a stand filled with assorted fruits. She thought back to what Mouse did differently than her. She picked up a bunch of grapes, looking it over. She waited until the merchant was facing another way before hiding it. She did another scan before leaving.
She did a mental fist bump. Finally! She decided to find some meat before heading back. She wandered around a little bit until she found a crowded stand.
She slid up, looking at the assortment of raw meat. Maybe some steak. They didn't get that often, and she saw two nice looking slabs of meat. She glanced around, but nobody was paying her attention. She picked up the two pieces of meat, looking them over. She did another glance around before hiding them. Nobody noticed.
She quickly scurried away, walking as fast as she could without looking suspicious. Today was turning out to be a good day. It may have started off bad, but it turned around. Maybe Lucky really was lucky.
She headed back to the house, heading into the kitchen. She put the food on the counter where a couple of other kids were starting dinner.
"Good job Rhea." One girl said.
"This is your best load yet. And is that steak? Possibly the best today!" Another girl said.
Rhea grinned and thanked them before heading into the main room where a couple other people lounged around. She picked up a book, flipped to some random page, then put it back down.
She had nothing to do. Normally she would still be out trying to find something to bring back. So what did these people do for fun? She leaned back in a chair, yawning.
She dozed off, and woke a couple hours later for dinner. Afterwards, she approached Mouse.
"Hey, thanks for the lesson today, I guess it did help." Rhea said.
Mouse nodded, then motioned for her to come outside. He lead her into the back alley. He didn't allow himself to think about it, but leaned in and kissed her. After a pause, she kissed back. She pulled back and looked at him in the eyes, trying to search them.
"Mouse." Rhea said.