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Life On The Other Side

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The street is crowded like usual. A steady stream of men and women going about their day. It is the perfection of organized chaos. This is his hunting grounds. Wealthy and ignorant business men and women walked up and down this street constantly, too busy on the phone to notice a small swift hand reaching into their *deep* pockets.
He had come a long way from the begging street boy he used to be. He had wised up fast after that first month on the streets. He learned to fight and defend himself. How to get the bare necessities to survive. Sure he broke several laws in doing so, but who cared, because he didn't. It helped that he never gets caught. By the time the owner of the wallet realizes it is gone, he is long gone as well.

Life had been going smoothly for him these past 7 months. He had been lucky to find an abandoned warehouse. The warehouse was a little ways outside of the city and fortunately he was the only resident. His previous shelter had been a condemned apartment complex that had been empty for years. He hadn’t been the only one who had taken up shelter there though. As much as he despised living in close proximity with others, sometimes it was necessary. The people he had shared his living space with were both old and young. Some were homeless due to unfortunate circumstances, others by choice. There were good and bad people that had lived there. But the world is full of rich good and bad people as well. The only difference was that the poor didn’t have money to hide behind.

The building had been in poor condition and had smelt worse than those who lived in it, but it had been a shelter. It kept the rain out, for the most part. Everything had been going well until he came back one day to find construction trucks and cop cars all along the block. Those who were unfortunate to be in the building upon their arrival were either being told to get lost, taken into custody because they had warrants out for them, or being taken to social services because they were minors. With him belonging to the latter group, he had flipped his hood up and walked back the way he came. Thus, leading to him finding the warehouse. He was brought out of his thoughts upon spotting his next target.

The man was tall, wearing an expensive suit, with blonde neatly styled hair. The man radiated power and oozed money. He was busy talking on his phone. Eyes locked on his next victim, Harry flipped up the hood on his red zip-up and stalked after his prey.

Years of working these streets allowed him to swiftly weave through the crowd and tread lightly behind the man unnoticed. He could hear him making small talk with someone, from the words of endearment being used he assumed the man was talking to his wife. He never noticed the young teenage boy with ragged clothing slip by him with a triumphant smile on his young face.
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That night Harry sat with his back against the wall, using the moon light shining from the window above him to see and sort through his winnings for the day. He would toss the empty wallets and cards away in the morning. He had no use for the wallets and still looked too young to get away with trying to use a credit card. The one time he had tried he got the suspicious stink eye of the old lady working the register.

Opening a wallet of extremely high quality he first peered at the license. A male, blonde, white skinned. The wallet of the guy who walked like he was untouchable. Looking through it he found a couple of credit cards, a piece of paper with a list of numbers on it, and (here Harry's heart practically stopped) $530 in cash. Harry shook his head in disgust. To have that much money on you and to not guard it closely, let alone to not even notice it being removed from your person. He didn’t understand how someone could be careless about their money. Harry hid his money in the sock of his right foot. He had once drawn blood over pennies with another homeless boy.

Slipping off his shoe he added his greatest boon yet to his meager savings in his sock. Flipping his hood up he curled up right there under the window and let his lips quirk up slightly. He was going to take the day off tomorrow and give himself a treat.
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On the other side of the city, a certain mob boss was in his oldest son's office staring intently at a computer. His eyes were hard and cold. They narrowed slightly as he slowed down the footage from a street cam, letting it play frame by frame. He hit pause and leaned forward. Eyes intent on the image on the screen. There on the screen was an image of a young teenager in a red zip-up. And there in his hand was Carlisle's wallet. A wallet that contained very important phone numbers. Leaning back in the chair he pulled out his phone, putting it to his ear he waited for an answer.

"We have a problem" he said, eyes never leaving the image on the screen.

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For Harry, life the past two days had been nice. He had visited a second hand shop where he replaced his thinning shirt with a newer one and had found a dark green backpack that looked like it had never been used. He had looked at the winter coats but decided to save the money, it wouldn’t be his first winter out in the cold. While he had more cash than ever before he knew the consequences of letting it get low this close to winter. Winter may bring the cold but it also brings hunger. The cold kept the rich off the streets and in their comfy warm homes. There would be less opportunities to “work” during the winter.

He had allowed himself a small break for the past two days. He had treated himself to a food truck both days and had walked the streets aimlessly. So it was with a resigned sigh that he dragged himself to his feet and slowly trudged down the steps leading from the office to the main part of the warehouse. He had converted the office, which overlooked the bare warehouse floor, as his room. His fairly empty backpack bounced against his back as he descended the steps. Stepping outside he was met with the sharp morning air. He set off walking the familiar path of alleyways to his favorite street to work on. As he walked among the other citizens of the city he marveled at how clueless they were to their surroundings, as he easily stole goodies from their unsuspecting pockets.
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It was nearing sunset and Harry decided it was time to head back to his hideout. He was in a relatively good mood having bought himself a soft pretzel from a vendor for dinner. As he walked he felt the hairs on his neck raise. Not one to ignore his instincts he glanced around discreetly. The street and people around him seemed normal, he couldn’t spot any danger. He continued his walk, taking a few out of the way routes. Eventually the feeling went away. While still feeling wary he pushed the paranoia away. He had been having a streak of luck lately, this was his self-preservation trying to warn him to not let down his guard he figured.

It was twilight when he made it to his warehouse. Slipping through the cracked loading bay door he headed up to the office space. Letting out a loud breath he slipped off his backpack and flopped down on the ground, hugging his bag to his chest. His bright green eyes could be seen through the dark room staring blankly up at the ceiling, lost in thought. It was always around the time right before he fell asleep that he allowed his mind to wonder about what his life could have been. He wished he could say that he didn't long for a family, that when he walked by houses with Christmas lights and snowmen he wasn't jealous. But he knew deep down that he was lying to himself. People say you can't miss what you never had, but he thought never having is worse than anything.

As the hours passed he let his eyelids droop. It was just as he was on the verge of sleep that he heard it. To the average person they would never have heard it. But he grew up on the streets, that even in sleep your ears were tuned to your surroundings, because that could be the difference between life and death. It was the sound of a tire gently rolling through a puddle.

Harry was wide awake, sleepiness long gone. Slowly rising he peeked out the window that overlooked the alleyway below. He was met with the blackness of the night. Focusing on the ground he could make out the outline of a car and two figures emerging and walking towards the entrance of the main warehouse door. His heart sped up as he saw them disappear inside. Moving as quickly and quietly as possible he flung his backpack onto his back and braced himself for a quick getaway. Looking towards the door he suddenly realized how trapped he was, the only way out was down the stairs that were in plain view of the main floor of the warehouse. He would easily be seen. He didn't know who these men were or what they wanted and he didn't want to find out. He slipped his pocket knife from his backpack and slid it into his left sock, keeping his hands free but a weapon within arms reach. Looking around there was nowhere to hide within the office; going down the stairs was out of the option. His gaze swept across the window. It was the only solution he could think of. Swiftly walking over to the office door he looked down to see where the men were. They didn’t have any lights but he could see two gray figures moving around, they appeared to be moving through the isles of empty shelf stands in the far corner of the warehouse. They were definitely looking for something, unfortunately there weren't many places down there to search through, they would be heading for the stairs soon.

Turning to face the window he took a deep breath and hoping the window wouldn't squeak too badly he started to slide it open. Once opened enough for him to be able to fit through it he looked down at the car again. It was still running but he could see from the illuminated dashboard that both front seats were empty. Quickly but carefully he threw one leg over the ledge straddling the window. Looking down he knew what he was about to do was stupid on many levels. It was about a 30 foot drop to the ground but every 10 feet there was a slight 3 inch outcropping of the building, if he slid perfectly straight down against the building he would (hopefully) land part of his feet on the closest ledge . Taking another deep breath he swung his other leg over and turned his body so his belly was against the building. Lowering his body down so he was dangling by his fingertips he pushed his body as close to the building as possible and let go. Sliding down the wall he quickly came to a stop with his fingers trying to grab the wall's surface. His nails dug into the brick and grout. He let out a shaky breath, his chest and cheek were badly scraped but it had worked. Ideally he would just slide down to the next outcropping below and then jump the remaining 10 feet to the ground but there was no way he could bend his body to lower himself down. The balance he did have was shaky at best, his backpack weighing him down and pulling him backwards. Glancing around he spotted a drain pipe about 15 feet away. Carefully as possible he shuffled himself over to the pipe. Letting a smirk grace his face he easily climbed and slid down the pipe. Jumping down the last few feet. He always thought that if he could get himself off the streets and get a job, a stunt double is what he would love to do. Fortunately, he seemed to have bad luck and quick risky escapes tended to be in need, excellent practice he thought.

Landing on his toes with barely a sound, he straightened up; glancing at the warehouse door and seeing it was still closed and that the men hadn't emerged he silently blessed his luck. Turning around to start running to put as much distance between him and then men he froze as he was blinded by light. Shielding his eyes, they widened when he realized that the SUV was not empty as he first assumed. Leaning from the back seat into the drivers, was a man who had to be the one who turned on the headlights. Green eyes met blue. Recognition flashed through both. Harry was quick to realize two things. That the men in the building were definitely looking for him and that this was going to put a dent into his record of never being caught.

Realizing he was being an idiot for just standing there Harry turned and ran like he never ran in his life. Over the pounding of his own feet he could hear shouting behind him. Not taking the time to see what was happening he heard several sets of feet chase after him as a car door opened and slammed. The sound of the engine echoed off the walls as it took off. Breathing heavily, Harry thought quickly. He knew these streets really well. Up a block and two alleyways over there was a fire escape that he could climb up and then run on the roofs. Easily losing the car and hoping to lose the two running on foot. But unfortunately they seemed in good shape. If he wasn’t putting all of his energy into an escape plan he would be wondering who these men were to have the desire and resources to track him down.

Thanking the heavens that he happened to be abnormally fast he quickly moved down the alleyways and made quick turns, following the route of his escape plan. He smiled as he saw the dumpster setting under the ladder that zigzagged up the building. Taking a running jump he easily made the leap onto the dumpster, grabbing the bottom bar he used what muscle he had and pulled himself up. Climbing quickly he heard the car come to a stop and the sounds of someone else also jumping onto the dumpster. Cursing his luck he climbed as fast as his body would allow. Reaching the top he sprinted across the roof easily leaping across the small gap between the buildings, he could hear only one pursuer but didn't dare look back. He leapt across 5 buildings till he came to a problem he never thought about. He had reached the end of the block and the next building was across the alleyway leaving a 15 foot gap between the buildings. He was good but he wasn't that good. Spinning around he saw his pursuer landing onto the same building as him. There was nothing to hide behind and no escape in sight. The only way out was down. A quick glance showed that the car had caught up and was right below the ledge. He couldn't even leap off without them waiting down below, not that he even for a second considered doing so. His purser didn't move any closer. Seeming to realize that his prey was cornered and couldn't go anywhere.

Looking at the guy, green eyes took in chin length wavy blonde hair and brown eyes. On his hip tucked into his waistband of his slacks was a gun. Harry's heartbeat sped up to an impossible speed. The guy radiated calm but he had a weapon Harry couldn’t defend himself from. As the guy took a step forward, he took one back. His calf's hitting the brick edge. The guy stopped, raising his hand slightly in a universal symbol of peace.

"wh-what do you want? '' Harry said, silently reprimanding himself for stuttering. He couldn't act like a scared little boy.

"Easy kid, we don’t want to hurt you. Let’s get off this roof and we can settle this down on the ground.” the man said.

Harry didn’t believe him at all. He was just flushed out of his hideaway and chased down by these men. He took another step back in fear.

“Hey hey take it easy” the man said, taking a slight step forward.

Stumbling another step back Harry felt shock ripple through him as he started falling backwards, he windmill his arms trying to keep his balance but the meager weight of his backpack seemed to work with gravity and before he knew it he had fallen backwards completely over the ledge. Distantly he registered that the man on the roof had lunged at him, and a distant shout could be heard as he tumbled through the air. The fall was short and filled with whistling air. No time for thoughts as he hit something hard and his world went black.