The Ordinary Lives of Everyday Thieves

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Chapter 11

Michael decided that maybe they should have this tense conversation after Ashton was in some dry clothes. He figured that was good idea as he saw that Ashton was already shaking in the cool fall weather. Michael slipped off his coat, wrapping it around Ashton's shoulders.

“Come over to my house, we can talk there.” Michael said, beginning to walk back to his truck. Once it was started, Michael turned up the heat, knowing that Ashton was still cold. It was only a ten minute drive at the most, but with the silence in the car, it seemed like an eternity.

When Michael pulled into his driveway, Ashton quickly jumped out of the truck. Waiting at the front door, wanting to get this over as soon as possible. Michael unlocked the door and lead Ashton inside. He grabbed a towel out of the cabinet before bringing Ashton to the bathroom.

“Go ahead and take as shower, I'll get you some of my old clothes, and then we can talk.” He said, stepping into the room next door, which Ashton assumed was his bedroom. He waited a moment for Michael to come back out and give him clothes, but when he didn't, Ashton just went into the bathroom and turned on the shower.

The young boy waited a minute until the water got warm before getting in. When he finished, he dried off with the towel, and peeked out the door, looking for clothes.

Still he didn't see any, so he slowly made his way to the room that Michael went into. He saw Michael sitting on the bed, a set of close at his feet, and his face buried in a book. Ashton couldn't help but smile at the small pair of glasses placed on his nose.

Michael looked up, noticing Ashton. “Oh god, please don't tell anyone that I actually like reading, it'll ruin my cool guy rep.” He said, smiling back at Ashton.

“Um, can I use those?” The small boy asked, pointing at the set of clothes on the bed. Michael nodded.

“But first, let me see your side.” Michael said, looking at Ashton with a hard stare. Ashton's blood ran cold, how did he know about that?

“M-My what?” He asked, hoping that if he played coy he might just let it go. No such luck.

“Your side Ashton, I want to make sure that it didn't open again when you were struggling in the water.” Michael said, not backing down at all. “I know that you got shot there about a week ago, I was there, I'm the one that helped you.” He finished, pulling on Ashton's arm.

Ashton let himself be sat on the bed and let the towel slip a little, showing the scar on his left side. Ashton blushed a little at how close Michael was to his exposed skin, but tried to keep himself calm.

“It looks like a little of the water got in, so I'm gonna clean it out a little.” Michael said, reaching over to his night stand, opening the bottom drawer and pulling out a medium sized first aid kit. Digging through it, he pulled out some rubbing alcohol and a few cotton balls. He pushed Ashton further down so that he was lying on his uninjured side.

“I'm not gonna lie, this is gonna sting a little.” Michael said, putting some of the alcohol on the cotton ball and placing it on the wound. Ashton jumped a little, but other than that made no movement to stop him.

At first Michael was kind of impressed, he had had his fair share of this stuff and it burned like hell on cuts. Then he remembered that he was doing this to a kid that had been shot and insisted that they not take him to the hospital. It only took a minute to clean out the wound, and after that, Michael put some gauze over it.

“There.” He said, nodding to himself and helping Ashton back into a sitting position. “Now that that's done we can start talking.”

“Okay, but I ask first, why were you in that alleyway last week?” Ashton asked, looking Michael dead in the eyes.

“I heard a commotion and I figured I would check it out. Good thing I did or you would probably be dead right now.” He said, looking over Ashton, noting that the other bruises and such had healed. However he was still as skinny as he had been a week ago.

“Okay, my turn!” Michael exclaimed, then his eyes grew serious again. “Ever since that night, I've been wondering, why were those men trying to kill you? Why were you even there in the first place?” He finished, searching Ashton's face for answers.

“Well, they are pretty much both the same answer. I was there on a mission. I had to get some proof that that club was up to something illegal. Which they were. I got the proof, but on my way out I was spotted and they chased me through the alleyway. And, well, you saw what happened next.” Ashton finished, reaching for the shirt and slipping it over his damp head.

“Well, that's interesting.” Michael mumbled, putting the pieces together slowly. Ashton was there to steal the same evidence as he was, they had both been in the park. “Ashton, what are you?” Michael asked, looking at him, his eyebrows furrowing.

Ashton searched his eyes, looking for some hint of disdain or anger, but all he found was understanding.

“I'm a thief.” He answered finally, biting his lip. “The shadow thief to be exact.”

“Well, that's actually kind of reassuring.” Michael said, smiling.

“It's nice to meet you Ashton he Shadow Thief, I'm Michael, the oncoming storm.” He said, holding out his hand. Ashton was too shocked to do anything for a moment, but he eventually took it, shaking it carefully.

That was not what he was expecting in any way when this conversation started.

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