Chapter 7: Count as Stealing
It had been over a year since Cheyenne had come back home. As she stood at the door, she felt a pang of nostalgia.
She turned the doorknob but couldn’t step inside. Her bright face was now filled with shock as she saw her room being used as a storage space for Nora’s belongings.
When did the Lawrence family become so poor that they needed to use her bedroom as a storage room? And why did it have to be Nora’s storage room?
Except for the bed, which still looked like hers, everything else had changed. Her favorite rosewood bookshelf was gone and replaced with rows of picture frames and easels. The floor and windowsill were covered in watercolor paint splatters, making it look messy and chaotic.
“Great! Just great!” Cheyenne’s bright almond eyes sparkled as she rolled up her sleeves without hesitation and threw all of Nora’s paintings onto the hallway outside.
“Bang!” The loud noise echoed throughout the building, startling the three people downstairs who all looked up at once.
“Oh my god! My paintings! Cheyenne, you’re done for! Don’t touch my stuff!” Nora’s high-pitched scream echoed through the hall
“Your stuff?” Cheyenne sneered as she stepped on one of Nora’s paintings with her high heels. Suddenly there was a small footprint on Nora’s painting of sunflowers that took her three nights to finish. It had a bit of Van Gogh style to it.
The best painting she’d ever done, which she wanted to use for a competition, was destroyed by Cheyenne. She was so angry that her face turned red and she reached out to hit Cheyenne. “You shouldn’t have come back, you troublemaker. You always cause problems.”
“This room is mine. Who gave you the right to make changes without my permission?”
The couple who followed Nora upstairs also heard this.
George’s face showed a hint of displeasure. “It’s just a room. Did you have to destroy Nora’s painting? We have other rooms in the house!”
“If there are other rooms in the house, why did you choose my bedroom as her studio? You never even thought about leaving me any space,” Cheyenne said sharply, making all three of them feel guilty.
Malaya quickly stepped in to smooth things over with a smile. “Cheyenne, I just thought that your room is more spacious and bright and would be suitable for a studio. But I’ve already arranged another room for you. How about I take you there?”
“I don’t need it! I want this one back exactly as it was before today!” Cheyenne rejected Malaya’s offer.
Glancing at the things in her own room, she added, “And where are my little trinkets and antiques?”
Those things had been passed down through generations of the Edwards family since centuries ago when they were prominent local merchants with abundant wealth who accumulated many precious items over time.
When her mother got married, her great-grandfather gave half of them as part of his daughter’s wedding gifts which had remained in Cheyenne’s bedroom ever since then.
Each item could be sold for an exorbitant price.
Those antiques were naturally moved by Malaya into her own bedroom!
After Cheyenne got married, Malaya would auction off one of her those items every once in a while. Now, her purse was stuffed to the brim with money from these auctions.
When asked for them, she couldn’t take them out and looked to her husband for help.
“Who knows if those things were broken or thrown by one of our servants? Cheyenne, stop being unreasonable. Malaya has prepared a room for you to stay in,” he scolded.
But Cheyenne remained calm and sarcastically replied, “If they were lost because of servants, then investigate! Whether it’s irresponsibility or theft within the household, the police will surely recover some of it.”
George quickly retorted back at her statement. “Nonsense! The Lawrence family is an influential family. We can’t let the police come in here and make us look bad!”
“Father, those items are antiques that my great-grandfather left for my mother and then passed down to me. If you’re afraid of disgracing our family, I’ll report it myself.”
“No! You can’t report this because we didn’t take your things,” Nora exclaimed nervously, but her words only made Cheyenne more suspicious.
Cheyenne shifted her cold gaze towards Nora and noticed the jade bracelet, which was Selah’s belonging, on Nora’s wrist.
The bracelet was an exquisite piece – rare jade with no flaws – but only one remained after Cheyenne accidentally broke another when she was younger.
She kept it locked away in a safe box but somehow Nora managed to get hold of it.
As Cheyenne stared at Nora’s hand fixatedly, Nora attempted to hide the bracelet under her sleeve but it was too late now.
Cheyenne stepped forward in her high heels and grabbed her wrist firmly. “This jade bracelet is also mine,” she said with conviction.
George glanced at it and then remembered – yes, this was Selah’s thing.
He looked displeased as he turned to Malaya and Nora. “Nora borrowed it to wear for a while. She went to a socialite party last week and happened to need a bracelet, so I…”
“Borrowed? Did you tell me about it?” Cheyenne had no recollection of this.
Malaya bit her lip and forced out a smile. “I’ve been really busy lately, and my memory isn’t great, so I forgot.”
“If your memory is bad, how do you remember the password for my safe where the bracelet was locked up? If someone broke into my safe to take it, that’s theft!”
Theft! This was different now.
The lady of the Lawrence family was actually a thief!
If word got out, Nora would never be able to marry into another wealthy family again.
Malaya’s face changed as she looked at Cheyenne’s unsympathetic expression. She quickly apologized, “Cheyenne, I took the bracelet, but only borrowed it.”
“But I didn’t know about it; even if I did know about it, I wouldn’t have agreed, so that doesn’t count as borrowing but stealing!”
“Enough! Who cares about your broken bracelet? I’ll give it back to you right now!” Nora’s face was hot with embarrassment and anger.
She reached out angrily to take off the bracelet on her wrist, but unfortunately its size was too small for her. When she put it on initially, it took a lot of effort. Now that she had to take it off, it naturally hurt her hand.