"Oh, really Alexandros? How interesting! Tell me more!" Amber Sweet gushed obnoxiously. Anyone with a working pair of ears would be able to hear the sarcasm dripping from her mouth like venom, but Alexandros was deaf to it because of how deeply entranced he was by his own voice. He could not hear anything else except his own self-praise and therefore missed Amber's sarcasm completely.
"Oh! I would be glad to!" Alexandros responded with an equally pompous but far more serious tone in response to Amber's false question of interest. Since he thought it was genuine, he stood a little taller and a little straighter.
Alexandros prided himself upon being one of the most powerful people in Sanitarium, behind the Largos of course. It was his hope, though, that he would one day be able to join this practically royal family. To be more specific, he hoped that he would enter the family through marriage with Amber. The shallow, callow young man hero-worshipped Amber to an almost unhealthy level, seeing her as little more than the female version of himself. They were both beautiful and powerful, after all. In his mind's eye, they would be perfect for each other. They were destined to be. No one would make a better pairing than they would. They didn't just mesh well because the press was already starting rumors or because both of them were socialites or because both of them were GeneCo spokesmen. It was because their personalities were so similar, both of them interested in the same thing. Alexandros knew this well. They would be a power-couple for the history books!
Amber just needed to see it because, for some reason, she had spurned all of his previous attempts at wooing her, even though he'd gone to every single one of her concerts and performances and always clapped and cheered the loudest of all. But now? Well, of late, the young woman seemed to be paying him more attention, especially during these GeneCo Fair thingies. Maybe she was finally warming up to him? Alexandros sure hoped so! Maybe he ought to wear his party suit more often... Or maybe Amber had loved him all along but wanted to play hard-to-get to test him and he was finally nearing the end of that test! Oh yes, Amber's newfound interest in him was definitely not going unnoticed. So, with great verve, Alexandros continued to extol all of his many, many virtues, since Amber seemed to finally be growing impressed with him. He was quite proud of himself and wanted to make very sure that Amber knew what a godlike man he was. On and on and on he chatted.
Amber, meanwhile, wasn't even hearing a single word he said. Alexandros was physically attractive for sure, Amber wouldn't deny how much she might've liked to take him to bed, but despite Alexandros' own thoughts about what a perfect pair they would be, Amber couldn't disagree more. Common sense did admit that Amber and Alexandros should've been a perfect power-couple, but for some reason, the idea of having to stay with Alexandros forever disgusted Amber like nothing else. But why? Alexandros was just as addicted to drugs, sex, surgery, money, fame and power. So why did Amber find him so repulsive? And it's not like she'd never stretched the truth when extoling her own virtues in the same way Alexandros stood before her now, bragging about the fact that he'd quadruple-majored in three different types of sciences and business and managed to graduate in only three years on top of that. So why did Amber want so badly to slug him right then?
To be honest. She didn't know. She didn't really know why she felt nothing but contempt for Alexandros. So why was she hanging out with a guy who pretty much was her equal in every way even though she despised him? Well, that question was one she could answer. Graverobber. That stupid, selfish, stubborn street rat, cloaked in a stinking rag loaded with little glass vials, was the answer. In the same way Amber couldn't quite place why she hated Alexandros, she couldn't quite place why she was so attracted to Graverobber (she did not like him, ok? Just to be clear, she didn't believe in using that term. Especially not about him. It was attraction, not affection. Got it?) but she was. Try as she may to understand both of these men and her feelings for them, she really had no clue at all.
But what she did know was that a small part of her relished having Graverobber's attention. Amber liked thinking she was Graverobber's favorite Zydrate customer. She liked to think she was special to him. Not in a sappy way, mind you, just in a way that reaffirmed her position as top dog in every situation. Including shooting up on street drugs. So to see him sometimes treating other customers in ways that were originally reserved only to Amber was starting to really piss her off.
She and Graverobber were NOT an item, but since they had made a silent vow, stating that they were partners in crime, understanding one another better than anyone else as illogical as that seemed, Amber wasn't sure what to make of Graverobber's changing attentions. It seemed to fly in the face of that silent promise, even though loyalty was not either of their strongest suits. She just supposed that although she and Graverobber were both manipulative liars, she was still Graverobber's undisputed favorite and would, thusly, gain some level of attention from him that the common street whore would not. Apparently, she was wrong. Now, she wasn't asking for a bargain price on Zydrate. She had money to burn and a body if that backfired, but still. Payment was not the issue here. The issue was envy. Raw, plain, eerily-human and simple.
For some reason, although they were NOT an item, it infuriated Amber to see Graverobber ever getting too close to another customer. Sure, she didn't care how many of them he slept with, but she just didn't like the way some of the newer, younger girls were getting those same pensive stares that she used to. Why was Graverobber suddenly looking at them like they might be different and special and looking at her like she was little more than a common street slut? Though, she technically was. Oh, well! It was confusing! And Amber didn't like it. And what Amber didn't like, Amber would fix very, very fast. But she was petty, and her idea of fixing a relationship problem was not to talk it out. Her idea of fixing the problem was to take an eye for an eye and see if she could somehow make Graverobber jealous in return. Yeah. She was petty. So what?
That was where Alexandros came into play. Amber had known him for years since both of them had always been socialites. And she did, in fact, notice Alexandros at all of her shows and she did notice how he was always she most avid fan. Before recently, however, it only annoyed her. In her ever-changing eyes, he was just some crazed fan who wanted to sleep with her. She wasn't necessarily offended by this, but she found him quite obnoxious and boring. And even now, she still did! He was nothing but a fake! In fact, he claimed his surname was "Barbieri" but Amber would've been willing to bet money that this was a fake. He'd only adopted this Italian surname to impress the Largos. Amber was willing to bet that Alexandros had a very mundane surname, but because it was fashionable to be Italian, thanks Rotti, he had changed it to something Rotti would be impressed by. He was just so full of himself! Though Amber was too, which was why it didn't make sense that she hated him so.
But enough of that! When Amber first set her jealousy plan into motion, she found Alexandros as quick as she could. This was not hard at all as the man always seemed to know exactly where she was. She briefly wondered if she ought to get Daddy on this in case this stalking ever increased in severity. But for now? No. She needed him. She couldn't have Daddy dispose of him just yet, though maybe someday...
Alexandros might've thought he was a close friend of the Largos and although he certainly did have Rotti's interest, Amber would've liked very much to show him how very wrong he was about how deeply that interest ran. Rotti might've liked him, but only because he was such a suck-up. Rotti didn't care how talented Alexandros was. Just that he hero-worshipped the Largo family. But that interest was very superficial. Amber knew it wouldn't take much for her to beg Rotti into killing Alexandros. That foolish man thought he meant way more to the Largos than he actually did. Amber would've liked to remind him that he was just the same as anyone else: an asset for GeneCo. His package was just prettier.
But since Amber had needed him for her plan, she kept him around and actually began to approach him instead of waiting for him to approach her. It was painfully awkward and annoying, but Amber had to do it. Every time she was in a public place where she knew Graverobber would be watching her, she would turn on the charm and pretend to court Alexandros like the captivated little schoolgirl he thought she was. If only eh realized what he was really dealing with. Though Amber was not smart, she was cunning. She was not a sheep or a dog, she was a snake.
"Oh, Alexandros! You got new eyes!" Amber had gushed on the very first day of her plan. They were amber-colored.
"Just for you, my darling Ms. Sweet," Alexandros grinned. He opened his eyes a bit wider so the light could really catch and gleam off of them.
"How sweet!" Amber cooed, inspecting the eyes. They really were a lovely shade, but they meant nothing to her. She thought she saw Graverobber standing in a nearby corner not too far away from the cosmetic tent she was in, but she couldn't exactly check because she was too busy staring into Alexandros' amber eyes. That had been the first flirt attempt and Amber had no idea if Graverobber had even seen it.
"Amber! Dance with me!" Alexandros had pleaded at another function as one of his favorite songs came on. Amber agreed and allowed him to sweep her across the floor. He might've been the leader of the dance, but she was the one pulling the strings, steering him closer to the edge of the crowd. As they spun, Amber thought she saw that familiarly pale, painted face staring in amusement at her from the very edge of the dance, but then she and Alexandros spun away again and by the time Amber returned to that same spot, the pale face was gone. Alexandros' eyes were still amber-colored, but Amber still didn't care and she hardly noticed at all, despite Alexandros' confidence that she did.
"Oh! We should sing a duet together!" Amber suggested at a third GeneCo party. This one wasn't an opera, per se. It was more of a plain concert, pop music being the main genre of tonight. Rotti might've preferred opera, being a classy Italian and all, but he would allow the masses to indulge in pop and punk if it kept them satisfied.
"I would love to!" Alexandros replied eagerly. The song they sang was simple and old, no show-stopper, but Amber didn't care how good or bad she sounded tonight. She was using her eyes more than her voice as she tried to spot that familiar painted face in the crowd. It was far too hard to tell thanks to all the other viewers of the concert. Amber sighed in frustration, hardly caring how many notes she missed. Alexandros, beside her, was in ecstasy. Getting to sing with her was his ultimate dream, right behind marrying her. His voice wasn't half bad, and it kept the masses appeased because of how terrible Amber's vocals were, not that she cared.
"Dearest Amber, perhaps you would like to go out to dinner some time with me?" Alexandros had asked. Amber wanted badly to say no, but then she remembered one little restaurant around an area Graverobber liked to frequent. Hopeful, or at least sadistic, Amber then accepted Alexandros' proposal and allowed him to take her out to dinner. She couldn't even remember what she ate at that little dump, nor could she recall a single word Alexandros said to her in the entire two hours they were out. All she remembered was glancing out a nearby window and hoping that Graverobber would finally see this and be jealous. It annoyed her how quiet he was being, and in the rare moment Amber did get to meet with the drug dealer face to face, neither of them ever broached upon the topic of Alexandros, so Amber was very much in the dark in regards to how her plan was doing. If she had to guess, however, she would say that it wasn't doing very well.
"Let us take a stroll in the moonlight," Amber had suggested later, trying to bring the game a bit closer to Graverobber's door again.
"Are you sure?" for once, Alexandros seemed a little afraid. Amber decided that seeing him jump or shriek would be a reward enough even if she didn't see Graverobber that night and she nodded.
"I have my guards," she added, jerking a thumb behind her to the statue-like musclemen ever at her side.
"Ok," Alexandros still seemed unsure, but knowing that there were two guards made him feel a bit safer. Amber intentionally stopped Alexandros near the place where she knew Graverobber's favorite dumpster was and pretended to be overcome with the beauty of the full moon and she kissed him right there. Alexandros fell even deeper in love in that kiss while Amber angrily cursed Graverobber. Are you watching, you dirty, rotten man-whore? You'd better be here to see this! she thought angrily as she continued to kiss Alexandros. But she couldn't check to see if Graverobber was even in his dumpster right now to be sure that she wasn't just making out with Alexandros by an empty dump.
It had taken longer than expected, however, for her plan to actually start working. Amber had been forced to flirt openly with Alexandros at no fewer than 13 events and endure no less that 7 articles about the nature of her relationship with him before Graverobber gave any sort of indication that he noticed at all. This was a tad concerning to the young heiress, her worry that his interest in her was fading faster than anticipated, but then he did finally start to acknowledge the issue.
"Well, well, well, Princess," Graverobber's familiar, snarky tone filled the space just behind Amber and she whipped around, hoping that no positive emotion was showing in her purple (yes, purple) eyes. "Playing the old Envy Game, eh? I must say that even I thought you'd never stoop to such a childish, petty and demeaning role. But I suppose that even a goddess like yourself is not without her mortal vices?"
"Oh, shut up, Graverobber," Amber's hope quickly turned to anger, which she had no issue in letting shine through her eyes. "It is not an envy game. I actually really like this Alexandros fellow!" she tried not to gag as she said this. "I'm genuinely wanting to get to know him at these functions. I want to be his friend because our fathers are friends. He is a good man. Is that so wrong for me to flirt with him a little?"
"It is not wrong at all," Graverobber promised charmingly. "But it is clear that you don't really mean it. I see the way you really look at him. I see the way you don't really listen to his answers. You hear them, sure, but they don't mean anything to you. And you always turn your nose up at him and whenever you do go to kiss him, your eyes are open and your lips barely move. You touch him suggestively, yes, but you seem bored with it. I can see your disinterest. I can feel your lack of chemistry. I can hear that all the questions you ask deflect from yourself and to him. I saw your face change to relief the moment he went off to get another drink."
"Did not!" Amber growled defensively, alarmed at how much she really had revealed. It was in that moment that Amber was mildly relieved that Alexandros was so very unobservant about anything other than himself, or else he might've seen these signs as clearly as Graverobber did. "Besides, of course I deflected the questions! I wanted to hear about him! I find him to be most charming, impressive and handsome. Can the same be said for you?" the young woman snapped impatiently, arms crossed and foot tapping. It was almost funny and Graverobber did even grace her with a disdainful chuckle that she usually used on others. It infuriated her now to have it used against her, especially by Graverobber.
"Since when do you ever care to hear about anyone other than yourself?!" he began with another cackle. Amber bristled, but she had to admit that he had a point. "And besides, I actually do like to consider myself very charming, impressive and handsome!" the rogue added, smoothing his filthy, smelly leather coat with a smug smile. He genuinely seemed to believe this claim and, for a moment, Amber was reminded startlingly of Alexandros, but for some reason, when Graverobber acted so high and mighty, she found it almost amusing.
"You really think you're that great, huh?" Amber wasn't sure if she was asking sincerely, or if she was just snarking him.
"Of course I do! Not every man can sprint through a cop-infested graveyard while carrying a corpse over his shoulder and not break a single little glass vial! Besides, I've slept with half this city, including you, so surely you must find me charming and handsome to some degree!" he finished, still smug. Amber hated him instantly for that entirely correct assessment and he seemed to sense this because his painted smile became all the wider and it took all of Amber's willpower not to sock him in the jaw. But then, Alexandros came back, two drinks in hand.
"Ah! Amber! And who is this?" Alexandros asked with an over-the-top politeness that both Amber and Graverobber saw right through.
"Nothing but a common and petty street rat who wished to say hello," Amber quickly matched her tone to Alexandros, switching back from vitriolic and hissy to utterly posh, cultured, adorable, sappy and, well, sweet. Graverobber looked constipated by the sound and Amber wasn't sure if this amused or irritated her more. Though, for this moment, she relished in causing him a slight amount of pain and she grinned in her head, quickly finding and excuse to keep speaking to Alexandros just to get under Graverobber's skin.
"You see, while I was waiting for you here, he came up to me to speak and I could not deny him the opportunity!" Amber raised her chin and puffed out her chest the way her father would whenever he would make it seem like getting a chance just to look upon his face in public was the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. And all the while, Amber continued with her fake, pretentious voice.
"Ah! How very kind and selfless!" Alexandros' tone matched Amber's. "You truly are a wonderful and thoughtful person. Anyone would be lucky to get to know you," he handed Amber a glass and she sipped it daintily, batting her eyes at him. Graverobber continued to watch, as silent and still as Amber's bodyguards. They were, and had been, right behind Amber for the entire fair, but were easily forgotten by Amber and the other two men in attendance with her. As of this moment, though, Graverobber looked just as stoic and unreadable as they.
"Anyway, good sir, what is your name?" Alexandros asked Graverobber. "And forgive me if I do not shake hands," he added. For the first time since that GeneCo fair had started, just a hint of real cruelty had entered Alexandros' voice and it put both Amber and Graverobber slightly at unease despite both of them not exactly being the kindest or gentlest of people either.
"I am Graverobber, and your unwillingness to shake hands with me is no trouble at all," Graverobber responded calmly, looking Alexandros evenly in the eye with an unfaltering, unblinking stare. Let this foolish sop think he was the top dog. Graverobber knew all about power and hierarchy and social dominance. He would crush this posh little pansy into the dirt of a graveyard. He continued to stare into Alexandros' eyes.
Graverobber did not even acknowledge Amber as he continued to stare Alexandros down and introduce himself using the precise type of language that Alexandros or another socialite would use, yet all with the same flat and dark tone of someone fresh off the streets. It was such a sharp and uneasy contrast that it threw Alexandros for a loop, to hear this ratty man speak with such eloquent vernacular, but Amber knew exactly where it had come from. She must've spoken more professionally to him than she realized. How else would he have picked up on this social tact?
"I am Graverobber. My profession is as such, though I assure you that I only take what no one else wants. I am a gentleman. I am patient. And I make a comfortable living off of entrepreneurship. Perhaps I never studied business at any institution, but I have since learned the proper etiquette when dealing with customers!" what a load of hooey. Amber almost started sniggering.
"Well, Mr. Graverobber, it was a pleasure to meet you, but if you will allow my date and I to return to our conversation?" Alexandros pointed back to the streets, clearly unnerved by Graverobber's surprisingly smart reply to his question. Graverobber only smiled pleasantly.
"As you wish, my good man," he responded and he even bowed a little as he backed away. The moment he was gone, Amber felt her shoulders slump a little and hoped that Alexandros hadn't noticed. It didn't seem so, but he did look a little affronted.
"I say, dear, what an odd chap! Was that makeup all over his face? Or is he that naturally pale? He looked like a corpse!" Alexandros asked Amber. He subconsciously began to touch his own face as though to reassure himself it was still there and still as handsome and peachy as ever.
"Paint," Amber sighed as Alexandros not-so-subtly checked his full color. He looked alive, Amber thought, but he didn't look lively. She couldn't describe it, but she had to admit that even though Graverobber had the color of the corpse, he didn't seem like one. He seemed a bit more real.
"How unnatural!" Alexandros muttered again. Amber forgot to remind him that both he and her were even more strange than he. How many cosmetics had they had? If anything, they were less natural than Graverobber. As far as Amber knew, that man had never had a surgery a day in his life. That made him more natural than anyone else in Sanitarium, especially Alexandros and Amber.
That had been the first interaction between Alexandros and Graverobber, but it was not the last. Several more would follow at other GeneCo events and every single one of them would leave Amber feeling deeply unsatisfied. She wasn't exactly sure what she expected either of the men to do, nor was she sure what she even wanted them to do, but these little chats of false politeness were very unsatisfying. They were so pretentious and vague. Why couldn't people just be open and say what they wanted to say? What was the point of all this fakeness and silver-tongued doublespeak? Amber, herself, never had any issue speaking her mind, so why did everyone else? What game was Graverobber playing at? Was he trying to make her jealous in return by not reacting in the way he should have? Well, as much as it got under her skin to admit it, it was working. She hated this lack of response! She was Amber Sweet! She was a girl of action! All the waiting around was sickening! She hoped that something would happen soon, or she thought she might explode with impatience.
At last, however, something enormous happened. Alexandros proposed.
"Amber Sweet. You are the love of my life and my other half. No one gets me as well as you do, and I'd wager to say that no one gets you as well as I do. We complete one another. And now I ask for us to make that completion even more complete, and do me the honor of being my bride and wife!" his speech was dramatic, and intentionally set at a more private event. Alexandros may have been very full of self-worth and pride, but even he was left a tad uneasy by that strange Graverobber fellow. Maybe Alexandros wasn't very observant on things that weren't him, but even he could see that Amber seemed to at least be a little interested, if not outright attracted. Well. Alexandros couldn't have that! Imagine! A dirty hoodlum stealing away his perfect bride! He would never live the shame down! So now was the time to act! To sweep Amber off her feet as soon as he could so that the Grave Guy would be down and done forever.
The handsome young man, with his perfectly colored and proportioned face, knelt down dramatically and looked up at Amber with wide and longing, almost hungry, eyes. He held out a hand as he proposed, offering a massive diamond ring. Amber fought hard to keep from letting her jaw drop. Although she should've seen something like this coming, she didn't realize it would've been so soon. They had only known one another this well for a few months! It was far too soon to propose, even if she had been interested. But no, here Alexandros was, down on one knee in front of the other Largos and proposing to Amber over the fancy dinner. Luigi was rolling his eyes in disgust, Pavi was not-so-subtly rubbing his crotch and Rotti was observing with an expressionless face. He really wasn't sure what to think about Alexandros. On the one hand, the boy would be a valuable asset to GeneCo. On the other, though, Rotti wasn't necessarily sure if he wanted the boy to wed Amber. He was too much like her. He needed someone better to turn GeneCo over to when he passed away. Besides, Alexandros was already pretty much a worshipper of Rotti, so why would Rotti want to marry him to Amber when he could use Amber as a pawn for a much trickier opponent? Alexandros was already like a lapdog to Rotti, so he didn't see why Alexandros needed to marry Amber.
But while the Largo boys watched the proposal from afar, another man watched from very close by. Graverobber. Maybe this party did have more security than any of the others, but Graverobber always seemed to know how to get into places he shouldn't have been in. He knew his way around Sanitarium. Now, as he stood in the shadows and watched Alexandros propose to Amber, the very first genuine flash of envy filled his cold, dead heart. Graverobber was, by no means, a loving man. Quite the opposite. He was very apathetic and unattached. He did not care for his customers nor his corpses. They were all the same to him. Heck, the only reason he even cared for his Zydrate was because it brought him money! But in the end, it was all meaningless to him. Amber was amongst those meaningless pieces of rubbish that might've glittered in the light, but was totally worthless when its true side was revealed in the cover of the darkness. But for some reason, now, watching Alexandros try and marry Amber made Graverobber somewhat angry, a tiny bit sad, and oddly... betrayed.
Betrayed? But why? He and Amber had no prior commitment. They were not a couple and both of them slept around all the time. So why did watching this handsome prince charming kneel before Amber make Graverobber feel as though something were being stolen from him? Well, Graverobber knew for a fact that some of life's mysteries would never ever be solved, and his strange feelings for Amber seemed to be one of those mysteries. He hated that whiny brat! But he hated the thought of losing her to some pompous brown-noser even more. He despised everything Amber said and did to him. But he despised Alexandros even more. He couldn't care less if the heiress would just drop dead. But the thought of seeing her marry anyone, especially Alexandros, was unbearable. He had no interest in marrying anyone, including Amber, but the thought of her being married made him ill and angry.
As the rogue continued to watch the proposal from his shadowy hiding spot, he grit his teeth. Ok. So maybe he shouldn't have been sleeping around with other women quite as heartily as he did. Maybe Amber had the tiniest of tiny reasons to be mad. Graverobber wasn't too proud to admit that. But did she really have to take such a low route to get the point across? Sure, neither of them were good at communication, but was Amber honestly petty enough to marry another man just because she was a bit ticked off at Graverobber for sleeping with other chicks? It wasn't like Amber was a pure and loyal partner either. If one looked up "chastity" in the dictionary, Amber's face would be the antonym. But no, Amber really did seem insane enough to marry a man she clearly hated just to spite Graverobber. And Graverobber hated her all the more for being so stupid and stubborn that she'd sacrifice her freedom and happiness for one petty shot at revenge. But what Graverobber hated even more was that it was finally, actually working.
Watching Alexandros flirt with Amber had been funny, at first, but as it increased in frequency and intensity, it became less and less funny until Graverobber found it bothersome, disturbing & downright envy-inducing. Now, watching him honestly try and think that he would ever carry on a successful marriage made Graverobber not want to laugh, but to go up there, grab that pompous moron by his scruffy collar, and shake him until he either got the hint and backed off, or ended up snapping his neck because of how hard Graverobber was going to be shaking him. Then, once he was finished disposing of useless Alexandros, what would Graverobber do with Amber? Propose in Alexandros' place? Never. Kidnap her and tie her up so she could never leave him again? Maybe. Hope things would go back the way they used to be? They probably wouldn't. Actually talk to her and try to set a new record straight this time around? Absolutely... not!
But then Amber actually said yes to the proposal, and Graverobber decided to go through with his plan to kill Alexandros. Graverobber didn't see himself as a murderer, preferring to live and let live because murder was too much work when the person he wanted dead would probably die soon anyway, but there was an exception to every rule. Alexandros was the exception to this one. And Amber was an exception to another. It seemed that she was the exception to his rule about not caring about anyone or anything. Now, that was not to say he actually did care for Amber, because he didn't, but he did spend more time with her than anyone else and she seemed smarter (in some sense) than anyone else he knew and she certainly knew more about him than anybody else did. In addition, he was sure he was the only one who really knew her. He was no Amber expert, but it was clear neither Alexandros nor any of the Largos actually knew just how deeply Amber hated them. They were blind to the cunning snake that lay under wide eyes and a plastic mask. Graverobber, however, knew exactly what true hatred looked like. And Amber got that look whenever she was reminded of the life she was being forced to live.
Amber was not happy. Graverobber knew it. That already made him smarter than 99% of the people who knew Amber. He was going to do something about it. Not because it was nice. But because a happy Amber was beneficial to him in the end. Besides, Amber was his partner in crime. Not Alexandros'. Alexandros was just some stupid child who didn't even know the real Amber he was trying to marry. All he saw was the plastic face she hid behind. He didn't know Amber the way Graverobber did. And if all went well, he never would. Amber belonged to Graverobber because both of them had ordained it. Alexandros was not going to get in the way of it.
Alexandros' death rattled the nation, but because it was so cleanly done, it was assumed that it had been a political assassination performed by one of Rotti's more cunning and dangerous enemies. This set the old man on edge, both with fear and rage. The public was in dismay, hailing Alexandros as a fallen hero. The Largo children, however, couldn't care less. Luigi was mad that he hadn't gotten to see the blood, Pavi was disappointed that he hadn't been able to entertain some kind of orgy with Alexandros because Alexandros really was sexy, and Amber was glad that she wouldn't have to see his dumb, ugly face grinning too widely down at her. She knew exactly who to thank for finishing Alexandros off, too. Maybe it hadn't been Daddy, but she had never cared how Alexandros would die. Only that he would someday, and now he had, and even if the rest of the world had no clue, for once, Amber was more in the know than any of them were. She grinned darkly at Alexandros' closed casket, hiding the smile behind her hand as she pretended to weep. Then she took to the streets under the lie that she needed to be alone. She wasn't going to be alone. Not even close. She was going to go be with Graverobber. They still weren't going to talk things through because they were too proud to do so, but they were definitely going to exchange words.
"So, what was all that about?" Amber started it.
"What do you mean?" Graverobber didn't seem to have changed at all, speaking calmly as Amber approached.
"Killing Alexandros for me," Amber replied, totally certain in her answer.
"I have no idea what you mean," Graverobber replied, still calm, but both of them knew he didn't actually believe what he said.
"Why did you kill Alexandros after he asked me to marry him?" Amber enunciated each word.
"Because I didn't like him," Graverobber shrugged, nonchalant.
"Why not?" Amber asked.
"Because he made both of us uncomfortable," Graverobber answered.
"How so?" Amber asked. Neither of them were put off by these startlingly plain and simple questions.
"He made you displeased and he made me angry," Graverobber shrugged again. "You had no love for him and wished him dead for a long time. I disliked seeing him dangle you in front of me when I have known you longer and better. I was just reclaiming what was mine."
"You mean me, or the bond we shared?" Amber asked, now just a bit miffed. She was mildly annoyed at the fact that he would dare call her childlike, yet have no issue with killing a man just because that man had stolen one of his toys.
"Same thing," Graverobber shrugged. "I have no love for you, and vice versa, but we understand one another far better than anyone else does. I couldn't exactly just let such a rare commodity go. Especially not with someone as ignorant as that," the thief cackled a little, cold and cruel.
"Perhaps so. Are you saying we were meant to be together instead?" Amber couldn't help but smile just a little as she tried to imagine Graverobber being romantic. It was like imaging Rotti giving his wealth to charity with a sincere generosity, not one faked for the cameras.
"Yes," Graverobber replied. "We were meant to be together because we are so similar despite our differences. Therefor, I will not allow anyone to take you away from me since we were meant to be together."
"Good," Amber replied. "Now what do you say we go and find ourselves a nice little alleyway?"
It was amazing how quickly Amber and Graverobber got over their differences, but then again, Amber had always shared more in common with Graverobber than with Alexandros. At least internally. Externally, Alexandros was a far better match for Amber, but that was only skin-deep. True beauty quite literally came from within, in a place even the best of GenTerns and sharpest of scalpels could not cut or change. That integral part which could not be modified, no matter how much the outside was modified, was exactly why Amber and Graverobber fit so well despite all of their other differences. Alexandros' similarities were shallow. They did not last and were easy to remove. But Graverobber's were far more innate and mysterious.
Amber supposed that maybe this was why she had hated Alexandros so. He was too easily changed. He and Amber might've had the same number of surgeries, but Amber's interior never really changed. This made her far more similar to the unchanging man standing before her now. Besides, Amber saw Alexandroses every day. On every corner of every block, she saw handsome men with genetically perfect body parts every day. It was a rarity when she saw someone untouched by a scalpel and living in their natural-born skin. She wasn't going to let a rare commodity go any easier than Graverobber would. She certainly would never marry him, disliking him and the institution of marriage itself far too much to ever desire for a husband, but she certainly preferred him over Alexandros or any dime-a-dozen other rich boy. They were too common, fake and changing. What Amber longed for was the thrill of someone managing to stand still in a shifting world and that only came from Graverobber, so she had no issue lying with him again after all of this time and Alexandros didn't even cross her mind once as she and Graverobber spent a very busy night in that dumpster. All of the envy was gone again.
AN: I'm going to say right now that I don't think this was a very good story, but I really don't know how to make it better. Sure, the ending seemed oddly and overly-philosophical and I feel like I didn't show as much Graverobber as I should have, but I didn't want the story getting too long. Now, you may wonder why I'm posting work I'm not satisfied with. It's partly because I promised to have it out by now, and partly because I'm hoping a reader can possibly help me fix it. Unless they honestly think it's fine as is. I just don't think it's nearly as good as my last Gramber story. That was gold. This is far cheaper, like pyrite. It feels too quick and disjointed. IDK, let me know what you think. Am I being too harsh? Or do you agree that this story could use some work? If so, what are your suggestions? Because I honestly don't know how to make this thing better.