Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 2

Satisfied, she releases the backpack from the harness and quietly sets it on the ledge outside the window. For now, all she will need is in her pockets on in the specially designed pouches on her belt.

As silent as a cat she reaches the door and gently turns the handle before cracking it open. The hinges don't creak and a few seconds later she's slowly opened the door sufficiently to allow her slim body to slip through the gap. Again she stands still, taking in the sounds around her, looking for movement sensors or other security systems in place. She finds herself in a long hallway, almost two thirds of the way down, a faint glow of light coming from the far end where she can make out what looks like banisters.

Eventually she moves to her right towards the end of the hallway closest to her. There is a door here, similar to the one she's just used to enter the hallway. Her observations over the last three nights have shown her that this room's occupant is erratic in so far as bedtime is concerned, but tonight she has seen the lights go on and eventually be turned off some two hours previously. Even from outside the door she can hear gentle snoring from inside. Again she waits, learning the rhythm and cadence of this occupant's sleep before cautiously opening the door and slipping inside.

She stands still again, breathing even and shallow until she has gained an idea of the room's layout. There is a bed to the left of the room with the sleeping occupant barely visible under the bedcovers. Next to that is a bedside table, against the right wall is a dressing table, a door to either side. One is slightly ajar and she thinks she can make out a sink through the gap, the other she guesses is a cupboard or clothes closet.

Like a shadow she crosses to the dresser, checks the top and looks at the couple of pieces of jewellery there, even in the dark and only from the weight she guesses they aren't more than costume jewellery, but she checks none the less, using her body to shield the thin beam of light from the occupant of the bed.

It's in the second drawer down, on the left hand side, that she finds the jewellery box. The contents are a mix, some very nice modern pieces which she slips into the empty pouch at the back of her belt, but most of it, like the items on the top of the dresser are of no interest to her.

There's a pause in the rhythm of the snores, a sort of snuffle and she can hear the occupant of the bed turning over. She silently drops to the floor and freezes. For several moments she concentrates her hearing on the occupant of the bed, the deep, slow breaths are once again prevalent, the snoring seemingly stopped by the turning over. She waits, hears the first small snort which eventually becomes the gentle snoring of before.

Slowly she climbs back to her feet, stands still as she checks the rest of the room, moving only her eyes. There is nothing more for her here, so like smoke in the dark, she makes her way out to the hallway, quietly closing the door behind her, muffling the snores which had now returned to their previous volume.

She heads back along the hallway, past the open door to the room she had used to access the property. She stops at the next door, once again repeating the millimetric and cautious opening of the door. It's a bathroom, with a feminine touch to it … nothing here for her. She closes the door as quietly as she opened it, the sound of the catch settling home no louder than a pen being clicked, but even so she stands still, allows the ambient sounds to register once again. The next door she opens is another bedroom, this time she can make out the form of a young girl in the bed, covers down by her waist, the curtains are slightly open and the light from the street outside allows her to see details which don't require the pencil torch.

She has few rules, but those she does have are ironbound and strictly adhered to, and one of those is that she does not steal from kids and especially young girls. Without knowing why she does it, she moves towards the bed and pulls the covers up over the girl, quietly and carefully tucking them in around her. Then she slowly retreats from the room, closing the door silently behind her.

She reaches the end of the hallway and crouches at the top of the stairs, carefully surveying the scene below her. The glow of light she had noticed previously comes from the myriad electrical appliances, each with a display, clock or some other led emitting sufficient light for her eyes to be able to make out details. The fridge, the microwave, the oven, the dishwasher, the TV … all added to the street lighting that made its way through the un-curtained windows are sufficient for her previously acquired night-sight to easily make out the layout of the room.

Glancing down at the staircase she can see they are wooden steps though the balustrade railings are metal. Placing her feet on alternating ends of the steps, as close to the balustrades as possible, she makes her silent way down into the sitting room. To her left is the kitchen, open plan, with a table and chairs off to one side and the windows at the back tell her they will look onto Crosby Street and that there is nothing of interest to her there.

Turning to her right she surveys the room, the four pillars which support the open plan, the couch just in front of her, what looks like the front door to her right, a piano in the far corner along with the windows giving on to Broom. Her curiosity however is piqued by the faint glow of light which seems to filter through the wall before her. Carefully skirting the furniture, it is only when she's close enough, she realised that what she had taken for a wall, is in fact a set of bookcases and that it is light from the next room that is filtering through the books and bric-a-brac that fill the shelves.

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