Bonded By Crime
By Robina
Chapter Nine

Dutchess finally collapsed in the park some ways from the Pond and her brother. The tears that had started while she was “talking” to her brother finally exhausting themselves.

Duke doesn’t need me. How could I have been such an idiot? He’s got a new life that I can’t understand… he’s got her. She’s more important to him than I am now.


Dutchess jumped and turned at the sound of the breaking twig. Someone was coming! Her saber was in her hand and ignited instantly.

“Hey! Easy there! I just want to make sure you’re alright, Dutchess.” Nosedive spoke up, stepping into view. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Dive?” Dutchess deactivated the saber and placed it back on her hip. “Don’t worry about it. Instant reaction.”

“From making sure the cops wouldn’t catch you?” Dive asked while pulling out his wallet.

Dutchess discovered something new about herself. She felt guilt. “You know.” Her voice was soft and dread filled. I don’t want to have this conversation.

“Yeah. You and Duke aren’t only siblings, you both were full members of the Brotherhood of the Blade.” Dive stated as he watched her. She wouldn’t look at him, but he wasn’t sure why.

“And, unlike Duke, I’m not willing to give up my life. It’s all I’ve ever known. Besides, look at how he’s changed.” Dutchess tried to sound like she didn’t care, like she was cold, but she couldn’t quite pull it off. What’s wrong with me?

Dive considered this, walking up to the distraught female. He had to be careful here. Duke had apparently struck out with her twice now. If he, himself, struck out this time around, Dutchess might actually be gone forever.

His time on the ice after discovering that Dutchess had lied showed him that he still wanted to get to know her, know her side of the story. Even if she was a thief, she was…

her. He had to get to know her better. Why she had kissed him, why she was a thief, whether or not she could go at least straight enough to stay with the ducks. If she took off again, it was hopeless. He felt it How to approach her without angering her though?

“So…” he hesitated a second, planning his question carefully, “People aren’t supposed to change?”

“He betrayed me. So worried about you guys finding out that I’m a thief too, making sure I knew not to let anyone know so no one would be suspicious of him, then he turns around and tells Tanya all about it.”

“Kind of confusing, huh? Brothers can be like that, especially the older ones.” Dive paused, gazing at the stars. “You could have told me. You weren’t going to though, were you?”

“Duke didn’t-”

“We spent the day together. That was before Duke said a thing to you. You could have told me.”

Dutchess sighed, unable to look at Dive. “I’m a thief, Nosedive. I steal things. If I told everyone I stole from that I did, I’d be in jail. What would you have done if I admitted that I stole your wallet?”

“Known you didn’t lie.” The words were spoken plainly.

Dutchess felt her eyes burn. “You’re making it sound too easy Dive.” She rubbed her neck, looking everywhere but at him. Gah! As many crimes as I’ve committed and I’m upset over stealing some guys wallet? “I had to eat, so I had to steal. I’ve stolen before, so it’s not as if my conscious was wearing me down. I really didn’t think about it.”

“Am I?” Dive hesitated a moment before continuing. “You didn’t have to kiss me. That wasn’t an act.” He said. The lasts four words were more of a plead than anything else. If she could fake that kiss….

“Dive, I’m sorry ok? I stole your wallet before I knew anything about you besides what they published about you all during specials. And with all the destruction the Saurians caused, it was hard to find anything. Even the Brotherhood lost members, people I considered family. How was I supposed to know you’d-“ she stopped before admitting what was in her heart. She didn’t trust it’s decisions enough to reveal it’s secrets.

Dive watched her, wondering what she wanted to say, wishing she’d finish. Cautiously, he slipped an arm over her shoulders to pull her close. He was mildly surprised when she relaxed against him, curling slightly into his side. He liked the feeling of her pressed against him. He looked up to look at the stars and just offered silent comfort.

Dutchess rested her head against Dive’s chest, listening to his heart beating steadily beneath her ear. With a small smile, she closed her eyes in exhaustion from the fighting and running she’d been through.

It took Nosedive awhile to realize that Dutchess had fallen asleep against him. He grinned at her as carefully stood and lifted her into his arms, carrying her back to the pond. Hope Duke won’t mind her being in my room…

Part 8

Part 10 (Coming Soon)