The Renegade Christmas Gift
Ashley's grandmama would die. Just. Die if she'd reneged to wear her generously parted ruby Holly brooch to the Holiday social hosted at her West Side penthouse every year.
Which was exactly what her dastardly and jealous little sister had been planning when she'd stolen the precious item from right her very nose. Pilfering it from her expansive jewelry collection.
Surely she'd do away with the item after that, wishing nothing at all to do with the crime.
And so her search had first led her to the holdings dear Felicity owned. Meager scraps that didn't require all that much savvy or prowess. Given, her sister was quite the washy sort that wanted to be a homemaker of all things. Besides, she'd been diagnosed with some disability or another. Perhaps afflicting her reading.
Grandmother and Mom, everyone really, spoiled her too much.
She pressed the employees, a bit rough but the end results well justified such heinous behavior. She would apologize later.
A girl had finally confessed. And as was due Ashley was no longer the fuming, powerful heiress with powers akin to a wrathful God.
She had softened, generously thanked her and made sure to put in a good word with the feeble, terror struck manager.
Now, she forayed into the pawn shops of lower Los Angeles.
Esme had barely moved to the city.
Her Father was still just a bit heartbroken, quite a rare sight. And one she never hesitated to poke a bit of good natured fun at.
It was just hilarious! How beneath such smarm and finesse was a sentimental, washy pile of goo with a lot of money.
It had been a lot to get used to but she managed.
However, she wanted to take adulthood by her own terms and her own two feet.
She lived with two men and another woman in an apartment. No the guys were not gay! Nor were they brothers.
Her job paid well, though when she had first seen such a beautiful jewel on the display window, very accidentally, on her commute route she just knew.
Catalina. She did most of the chores in their apartment, was the youngest, but never asked for a single thing. Money was tight on her end since she was paying for college, estranged from most-- she'd had to start fresh.
That Christmas night, due early for their first holiday season together she snatched it up from the pawn shop.
On her way was some ridiculous spat between two women. Something or another about breeding and marriage.
There was this ridiculous hierarchy about old and new money.
Her position in a solidly middle class lifestyle kept her and her friends well out of it.
A woman careened into her from the street, coming at a blazing pace and hands clasped firm around the Holly jewel.
A genuine ruby, which likely even the shop hadn't known, was just robbed from her!
The fleece coat individual clacked hurriedly before entering a personal car.