“The most important thing for a band of thieves,” Gavin had said on the day we finally found a suitable location for our Den, “is a sense of community. The moment we abandon each other we abandon everything, and then we're no better than the animals they think we are. So I'm going to lay a few ground rules. We have to trust each other here. There can be no hiding, no double-crossing, and above all, no secrets.”
He was right. We had to trust each other. Especially with something that could get us killed.
“On the other hand,” I said, between bites of a delicious rose pastry, “We don't really know what we have here, do we? I mean, we don't know what it is, we don't know what it does, we don't know where it came from and we certainly don't know if it can hurt us.”
“We know it's forbidden.”
“Our whole lives are forbidden, Gavin! Face it – everything we do could get our heads on the chopping block six ways to Sunday.”
“I couldn't agree more,” Gavin said. “That's why we need to keep a low profile, watch out for each other, and not take any unnecessary risks.”
“But this could be important!”
“Our necks are important!” Gavin snapped. “Keeping this band together is important! Keeping faith with the people who trust me is important. That's the priority here.”
I took the last bite of my pastry and stared at my friend, willing him to back down.
Gavin sighed. “You've got jam on your face.”
“Look – look,” I said, following him through the trapdoor that led to our underground home. “I'm not asking you to keep a secret. Just don't mention anything tonight.”
“Tonight? What happens tonight?”
“Tonight, I figure out exactly what this thing is and what it does.”
“You can do that tonight?”
“I'm pretty good at this kind of thing.”
“No, I mean -” Gavin stopped in the tunnel and looked at me. “You're going to fiddle around in the dark with a strange metal device in a bed with four other notoriously light sleepers?”
“Well..” I thought a moment. “I could always request an arrangement.”
“An arrangement? With who?”
“You, silly. How else could I fulfill my curiosity for this glorious new toy?”
“I see,” said Gavin. “There's only one problem.”
“I don't want to spend all night staring at clockwork.”
And that's how I ended up taking apart the old man's device from a private room in the Den, on my back, while Gavin slurped away at my pussy.