He was a thing of time and stone, and quick wits simply confused him. Thus, the less Cyphus had to interact with their nosy landlord, Lys thought, the better. Billy Reed had his share of wits, but also a lean hunger. Lys’ mother had possessed both too and Lys remembered more of her than she liked.
People like them became dangerous if they ever figured out you might have something they want. The landlord’s growing interest in apartment 2-F may not phase her guardian, but it sure as hell set her nerves writhing.
This interest, Lys suspected but never voiced, was in large part due to her. Alone Cyphus would have been ignored, but he’d taken her as a ward years ago and felt no reason to explain her presence with something more conventional. They were odd, and therefore exploitable. It would have been best to move, simply leave Billy Reed with his probing questions and watchful gazes unanswered. But she didn’t give ground. Lys might not be a predator in the way many were, but she wasn’t prey either.
Cyphus ignored attention until it went away, Lys stared it down until it behaved in the manner she wished it would. That was the plan anyway, and the reason she was currently picking her way up a firescape and wishing she’d worn pants.
Not that anyone would be in the alley to get a show or wonder what she was doing. People didn’t settle or even loiter in the alleyways around this block. Human instinct was still worth something. Thus she was able to crouch and pry open the rotted wood of a third story window without an audience.
She slipped inside and crept slowly hand over foot across the writing desk set in front of the window. The floorboards creaked softly as her toes touched them, settling unhappily with the rest of her diminutive weight. Even the best apartments in the building had seen better days. Lys didn’t worry over the occasional sound as she moved slowly around the apartment, Billy Reed was off dealing with the dmv as someone had lifted his wallet yesterday.
Their landlord wanted their secrets, and he’d find them eventually if they stayed here. Lys accepted that. Everyone had their weaknesses, she wasn’t an exception, but then neither was Billy Reed. When their landlord moved against them, Lys would be ready.