The necklace wasn’t expensive, but it was beautiful. Sapphires ran the length of the necklace with the biggest being in the center. Diamonds wrapped around each of the sapphires with rare delicacy. How did I know it wasn’t expensive? A trained eye could see that the stones were manufactured. Still, anything was more than I could afford. Because it belonged to her I knew that it was okay to borrow. Right now she just didn’t know that I didn’t plan on returning it.
I heard something to my right and flipped around to see who it was. I ducked a little just in case it was her. Someone was definitely in the dark room with me. Slinking around the dresser I tried to see who it was. I tried to slow my breath and make it inaudible. The moonlight cast a small white light across the wood floor and a large boot stepped into it.
“Clara?” A voice whispered through the silence. I exhaled finally. It was only Brian.
“Could you consider being a little more quiet?” I whispered back as I came out of my hiding spot.
“Sorry, it’s really dark in here.” I could see the silhouette of his shrug and rolled my eyes.
Instead of arguing with him I crept back to the jewelry case and lifted the necklace. I stared at it for a second watching it as it caught the moonlight. It was cold as I slid it down the front of my shirt. I could feel Brian looking around nervously. Why couldn’t he just calm down. Nerves don’t help in situations like these. Emotion only leaves room for error.
“Alright, let’s get out of here,” I whispered as I turned and focused my gaze directly at the window. I looked out and saw the road below was clear. The window flew open without a sound. Sitting on the sill I laced the claw around the lip, held the rope and jumped. When I reached the bottom I stayed in my crouch and saw that no one was there to see. I unlatched the claw and motioned for Brian to come down.
We reached the restaurant in good time. The hostess eyed us suspiciously in our black attire. “Grayson?” she asked.
I eyed her coldly before she decided to lead us up the stairs. The room was dim and the walls were covered in expensive rugs. The air was thick with smoke. I cut into it after the hostess motioned to the man in the tailored gray suit. Without fear of this powerful man before me, I sat down and crossed my legs slinging my arm over the back of the chair.
“This is a new look for you,” he said in his raspy baritone. He motioned to my ensemble with his cigar.
“Hi, Daddy.” I said it with a smirk.
“What’s he doing here?” He waved his cigar and frowned at Brian who was now sitting in a chair behind me trying to avoid the conversation.
“I thought I might need some help,” I said looking down at my fingers tapping the table.
Daddy laughed before his stare fixed back on me. “Did you get it?”
A confident smile crept across my face. I pulled it out of my shirt and placed it on the table to display it for him. He stared at it before reaching out to touch it. I turned back to Brian when Daddy’s approval didn’t come right away. Brian sat there, arms folded, slouching and gaze fixed on one of the rugs.
With his eyes still focused on the necklace he said, “Does your mother know?” His cold gray eyes were all that moved when he looked at me. I had the feeling his question meant more than I wanted it to.
I stared back for a second before answering. “N --,”
“Yes.” Brian cut me off.
My body went rigid.
“Mom found out yesterday and planted a fake, but Clara can tell you all about that. Can’t you Sis?” Brian was standing next to me now with the same cold gaze as my father.
“Clara,” Daddy’s said calmly, “you knowingly brought me a fake?”
There was nothing I could say that would fix this so I sat there, rigid and silent.
My father sat back in his chair and tapped his cigar letting the ash fall on the floor. “Miranda, baby, can you come out here?”
“No!” I flew up out of my chair. Just as quickly Brian seized my arms and pulled them behind my back. I struggled but knew it was pointless.
Mama was shoved from behind a curtain on the opposite side of the room wearing the real necklace. A metallic sound scraped across the table. I didn’t have to look to know that it was a gun. Brian let go of my arms. I couldn’t move anyway.
Daddy blew out a puff of gray smoke. “Get the necklace Sweetheart.”