Shay Peters and the Frivolous Fashionista: Part Two
Also by chocolateisamust
II. The Icing on the Cake
I didn’t steal anything from the fashionista called Julia James that afternoon.
Of course, I wanted to; it took all the restraint I had in me to keep from grabbing the Glittery Faerie Dust and making a mad dash for the door. But no, I couldn’t do that. This con would have to be precise and careful. I was normally one for quick jobs, but those had a penchant for going horribly wrong. Not to mention, the Glittery Faerie Dust was as hard to sell as an item got. It didn’t matter if the thing was worth twenty-thousand or twenty-million Neopoints if no one was going to buy it.
And I knew Julia had to have better items stashed somewhere - easier to pawn items. If I befriended the imbecile faerie, she’d eventually begin to trust me. It would only be a matter of time before she let the location of her most coveted belongings slip. When it was all through with, Julia would be begging on a street corner, and I’d have a cool twenty or fifty million.
So, after chatting with the fashion designer hopeful for a good hour or two, I politely excused myself from her sickeningly sweet cottage without any stolen items shoved into my trenchcoat (the money I’d conned out of that Kyrii earlier notwithstanding). Fortunately, Julia had seemed to take kindly to me, and as I began down the front path, she told me to come by another day for a cup of coffee or a friendly chat. I was all too happy to agree.
As soon as the sun poured into the window of my small apartment the next morning, I was up and getting ready. I decided to wear something more fashionable today, something that Julia could obsess over for hours. I had a large collection of clothing that I had bought and stolen over the years, and I kept some expensive items in case I ever needed them.
I picked a gaudy yellow dress covered in sequins, and I was on my way out the door by nine. I stopped at a small store on the corner of my street and bought a cheap yellow purse that matched my outfit, and I stuffed it with a few necessary items -- gloves, sunglasses, tissues and, of course, a paper clip.
By ten, I was at Julia’s front door and ready to go out on the town and chum it up with the ditzy blonde. I knocked and waited for an answer.
When none came, I tried again. And once more for good effort. Maybe no one was home, I thought, and I just about reached for the gloves in my pocket.
My instincts had jumped ahead of my mind, though, and I knew I had to check for sure if she wasn’t home. I walked up to the window and peered inside. There was no one there. I was free to go inside and take anything I pleased.
I had a grin as big as a rainbow as I opened my purse and slipped white gloves onto my hands. I then took out the paper clip to unlock the doorknob.
I inserted the paper clip into the keyhole and wiggled it, looking around me to make sure no neighbors were peering in at me. No one was in sight. I heard a click and pushed the door open.
“Oh!” Julia yelled out as I walked inside. She was standing in the living room, eyes as wide as saucers. “How’d you get in?”
The better question is... how did you get in? I thought while trying to come up with a convincing lie. “The door... it was unlocked.”
“Oh, really?” she asked, looking embarrassed. “I thought I locked it but... I guess I might not have.”
I put on a convincing smile. “It’s okay,” I said. “I do that a lot, too.”
Another lie for the pile; I was obsessive about keeping all my doors and windows locked so that I didn’t become a victim of an unsavoury person such as myself. Still, Julia ate it up. With a lengthy sigh, she shook her head and said, “Well, at least it’s just you, Shayna. I was scared to death!”
“So,” I said, changing the subject, “how about we go out for breakfast? It’ll be on me.”
Julia pulled at a thread on her simple blue dress and nodded in agreement. “There’s a new cafe down the street. They’ve got some nice pastries there, and they have a great green tea. Want to try it?”
“Definitely!” I squealed, and as we then exited the happy little cottage, I could already feel my pockets growing.
However, as we arrived at the little cafe, those pockets instantly shrunk. The place was expensive. Back in the day, Rachael had dragged me to some fairly ritzy restaurants, but this one took the cake. Julia and I sat in a quiet corner next to a large window that overlooked a wonderful... alley... and immediately upon examining the menu, I felt sick. Sure, I made a decent share of money with my swindling, but that didn’t mean I wanted to blow it all on food. No, I saved my cash for better things - luxury holidays to Mystery Island, a plush comforter for my king-sized bed, and exquisite art to coat the walls of my otherwise lackluster apartment. So the fact that I was now expected to spend about half the cost of the aforementioned holiday to Mystery Island on one lousy breakfast did not sit well with me.
“The cinnamon biscuits here are to die for,” Julia gushed.
“Sounds good,” I said, my eyes trailing around as I tried to locate the food on the menu. My stomach did another flip as I spotted it, and despite my grandest efforts, sweat began to trickle down my face.
Julia frowned. “Is everything okay, Shayna?” she asked.
“Yep!” I said. “There’s just so much food. I don’t know what to order!”
Just at that moment, a petite Aisha came up to our table with a small black pad in her hand. “What can I get you lovely ladies?” she said in a slow drawl.
“I’ll have the cinnamon biscuits,” I said while imagining Mystery Island slowly sinking into the sea and out from my reach.
“Blueberry waffles, please,” Julia answered, and she closed her menu and handed it to the waitress. “Oh, and an order of green tea for the table!”
The waitress gave a short smile and nodded. “You’ll have your food in a jiffy!” she said as she scurried away.
A few minutes later, a single cinnamon biscuit arrived at our table along with one-fourth of a blueberry waffle and a large teapot full of green tea.
Julia looked delighted as she picked up her fork and knife and started to cut into the food. “There’s so much! I just don’t think I can eat it all!” she said right before she gently placed a small piece of waffle into her mouth.
“Yeah, I could never!” I almost rolled my eyes as I stuffed the biscuit down my throat. Half a trip to Mystery Island for this...
After the ridiculously filling breakfast (note my extreme sarcasm), Julia invited me back to her house to talk some more, since we had started an oh-so-interesting conversation about rumors regarding the latest Usukicon and then had shared a few laughs.
The house was as bright and welcoming as ever when we entered. Julia offered to get me something to drink, and I politely accepted.
“Oh, and can I use your bathroom?” I asked before the faerie headed to the kitchen.
Julia nodded. “Sure, it’s just down the hall. Third door on the right.”
I gave a quick smile and headed down the hallway. Once in the bathroom, I knew I needed to think of a plan. I looked around: there was nothing of value in here besides a few plush towels and an ungodly amount of conditioner.
On the right side of the bathroom was a door. Oh, no, I couldn’t be that lucky. I inched towards the door and pushed it open: it was her bedroom... and tucked in the corner was the biggest pile of plushies I’d ever seen.
I took a deep breath and walked over to the hoard, barely managing to keep myself from grabbing them all right then and there. While most were fairly ordinary, there were some rarer ones tucked in. If I took the right toys, I could easily snag a good two- or three-hundred-thousand Neopoints in all. Still, I hadn’t spent the morning chatting about fashion and dolls with Julia for that little. In a good week, I could rake in nearly a million; I hadn’t sacrificed my sanity for... this.
I turned sharply only to see Julia standing in the doorway, a crumpled white note in her hand. Her brow was furrowed, and she seemed concerned.
“Sorry,” I quickly muttered. “I was just admiring your collection.”
Julia grinned. “Yeah, it’s really nice, isn’t it?” Then she sighed. “I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to have to cut our visit short. I just got a note concerning my... line of work. I’m needed at the um, headquarters.” Her explanation was hurried and broken, and it was in a worried voice I’d never heard her use before.
“Oh, okay,” I said, willing myself away from the plushies. “Do you like... own a fashion company or something?”
“No, no.” Julia shook her head sadly. “Some day I hope to, but for now, I’m just a... uh... supervisor at someone else’s studio.”
I didn’t press any further; the foolish faerie’s job didn’t matter to me. The only thing I cared about was her wealth and how I could take it from her. So, with a fake mournful look that I liked to call my ‘pay dirt’, I said, “Well, that’s too bad. I was really having fun with you. Perhaps we can get together another day?”
Julia bobbed her head up and down energetically. “Yes! Definitely, Shayna. But for now, I’ve got to go. Walk with me to the front door, yeah?”
Julia was careful to lock the front door when we exited the house, and she gave me a friendly smile as she began her flapping her wings on the front walk. “See you later, Shayna!” she called, shooting up into the air.
I waved up. “See you later, Julia!”
At first, I was planning on letting the light faerie disappear off to work without any further scrutiny. But as Julia became a little glint in the sky above, I had a change of heart. I realised then that her office or shop or wherever she worked could be a vital clue as to where she kept her treasures. Maybe she even kept her most expensive items there, and if she didn't, at least finding out where she worked could help me in other ways. If she sewed pretty dresses there, I could bring sewing up in conversation to give myself another link to her; if she cut materials, I could chat about that.
So, right before Julia disappeared into the horizon, I flew after her, keeping just enough distance where she couldn’t see me but I had a perfect view of her.
And I suppose now, in retrospect, it was that stupid decision that put the icing on the cake.
To be continued...