“Half-way crook”

“It’s fun for you isn’t it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb with me!” Shane snapped. “You get a thrill from it don’t you?”
Grinning mischievously Michael grabbed Shane by the waist and nuzzled the back of his neck affectionately.
“Let me go!” Shane muttered half-heartedly while pouting.
“Aww. Don’t be like that.”
“I just want you to be safe Mike.”
“I am! That’s why I do it at night. Besides, you can’t expect me to live off food stamps forever. You still mad?”
Feeling himself growing tighter Michael pulled Shane’s hair to one side and began sucking on his neck. Shane let out a weak moan and worked his left hand into Michael’s pants and with his right he gently pushed Michael’s head harder onto his throat.
“Im not mad….condoms.”

Michael woke up and found himself vibrating. His phone’s alarm had just went off which signaled that he only had a few hours before people started waking up. The clock read 1am and Shane was long since in a deep sleep. Carefully Michael got up and dressed quietly. For a moment he stood by the bed gazing at Shane wondering how in the hell he had gotten so lucky. Michael knew he wasn’t gay but when he first laid eyes on Shane at the drag show he couldn’t help but feel immediately attracted. Shane was androgynous and despite his agnostic views Michael always associated that trait with…well…divinity. After the show Michael had boldly walked up to Shane all awestruck and blabbering incoherently but somehow Shane got the message. They went home together that same night.


The first couple of days together was pure bliss. Yet as time went by frustration set in. Michael was homeless and living at a local shelter while Shane had his own place. In a desperate attempt to provide Michael resorted to theft. The idea was simply to go around checking car doors late at night. Since he wasn’t going around breaking the actual windows to get in there was less chances he’d be caught. It worked. He soon found himself coming up on electronics, clothing and cash which people had carelessly left in their vehicles. It was a matter of time before he started coming across personal information. Somehow he managed to siphon money from fraudulently opened accounts and got himself a place to stay. Shane was unaware of all this at first but when he found out Michael had had a close call one night he went ballistic.


On the night in question Michael had been experiencing no success. He had pretty much checked over a hundred cars with no luck. Although the sun was coming up soon Michael was determined to check a couple more cars intent on not going back home empty-handed. Despite finding nothing in the last car Michael noticed a beeper-shaped device clipped to the driver’s sun visor. Realizing what it was Michael grabbed the object, pointed it towards the house the car was parked in front of and pressed all the buttons until he heard a rumbling noise. The garage door had opened. Michael waited a moment to see if anyone would come out and when no one did he strolled in. His eyes immediately fell on a couple of expensive-looking bikes propped up on the garage wall. He reached for one and at the same time a door opened. “Hey!”


In an instant Michael pivoted and sprinted out the garage and ran full speed down the street. What terrified him most was the sound of the man’s footsteps behind him. He was actually being chased! In one sickening moment Michael fell forward and landed face first on the pavement. On getting up he tasted blood but realized the man had given up. Quickly he dashed to the nearest building which turned out to be another house. He hid behind a trash bin and tried calming down. After a few minutes he checked himself and his heart stopped. He had dropped his wallet! Leaving it behind was out of the question so Michael retraced his steps. One block. Two blocks. On the third he saw the familiar leather fabric and picked it up. In the distance he heard the roar of an engine which meant only one thing. Police.


With nowhere to go Michael ran up a nearby porch. Not a minute had gone by until a police cruiser shined it’s light back and forth. The light landed on Michael and in that instant he desperately willed himself to be invisible. Somehow the cruiser drove on. Michael immediately got up and sped down the street. When he had walked a decent bit he called a cab and headed to Shane’s place.
Shane had realized something was wrong and when Michael reluctantly talked about the close call he exploded.
Though they argued into the early morning Michael stood firmly by his decision to keep up his late night escapades. Shane eventually gave up but pleaded with him to be more careful.

So now as Michael looked onto Shane’s sleeping form he promised himself that this would be his last run. Shane was right in a way. He had made so much money he didn’t have to steal anymore. So this night would be it. Afterwards he’d start on the small business he’d been saving up for. Geared up, Michael leaned down and kissed Shane lightly on the cheek. He stirred and mumbled something which sounded like “you weren’t safe”. Michael grinned and darted out the door.


An hour later Michael’s rucksack was bulging. Tonight was his best haul ever. He was about to call it a night when a pale white Audi caught his eye. Michael wasn’t too familiar with car models but this one looked like it had come out this year. Knowing the car was probably locked and had an alarm Michael still walked up to it and pulled the doorknob just to see. Surprisingly the door popped open. Shocked- Michael slid in smoothly and shut the door. The car was a gold mine! A phone, a purse and a heavy pouch which ended up being filled with dollar coins. After stuffing it all into his sack Michael was on the verge of leaving until he spotted something that made him pause. Another garage door opener! Michael’s mind started racing. Would he risk being chased again? The device beeped as he pressed it and the garage door of a nearby mansion opened. This time Michael waited half an hour. When no one came out- he went in.
Though he found nothing worth taking in the garage Michael prepared to leave until something obvious dawned on him. The garage led into the mansion! After climbing a flight of stairs Michael ended up in a dining room. Though the lights were off Michael noticed an item lying on a dinner table that had him questioning if this was even real. A wallet. And sure enough when he walked towards it and picked it up it was practically bursting. He stuffed it in his pants and flew down back the way he’d come and out the house. A few blocks away he opened the wallet and nearly shouted with happiness. There were at least four credit cards, cash an i.d and social security card. Since it was now dawn he headed back to Shane’s place. Excited he grabbed Shane and hugged him close. Oddly Shane’s face seemed vacant.
“You weren’t safe.”
“What?” Michael asked confused. “I’m alright, see? Nothing happened this time. You won’t believe what I came up on!”
“You weren’t safe.” Shane repeated
“What do you-look I’m fine babe. Yeah, I came across this one house again but I was in and out. They even left their god-damned wall-“ Michael stopped short. “What babe? What?”
“Mike…oh Mike. You weren’t safe!”
“What?!” Michael shouted angrily.
“Oh Mike…the house…the house Mike…you never made it out!”
Slowly Shane faded from view and before Michael could utter another word darkness creeped in.