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Seven Deadly Sins

Greed, Part II

© All Rights Reserved

Greed is the excessive pursuit of wealth, status, and power.

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"Should I buy this?" wondered Mary-Kate pensively, staring at herself in the mirror. The green dress hugged her body and made her eyes stand out.

"Yes," responded Pia without even looking at her friend. She was busy combing through a rack of skirts, piling skirt after skirt onto the already large pile on her arm. Pia didn't even bother looking at the colors or styles. As long as they were a size small, she wanted them.

Mary-Kate whirled around to face Pia. "Are you really getting all of those?" she questioned warily.

"Yes," Pia replied.

"It's going to take you forever to try them all on, though," argued Mary-Kate. "We can't stay here all day. I have a Latin test after lunch," she complained.

Yes, it was a school day. But then again we've never taken truancy laws very seriously. Pia and Mary-Kate were out shopping when they should have been in third period.

Not an unusual occurrence, of course.

Pia rolled her eyes, never pausing in her pursuit of more clothing. She had moved onto the rack of blouses and was adding them to her pile at just as manic a pace. "Relax, Mare. You're at a 'doctor's appointment,'" she used air quotes, "remember?"

Mary-Kate shook her head. "No, you're at a doctor's appointment. I'm on a college visit."

"Oh, that's right."

"Liam forged Sean's signature for me," added Mary-Kate. Sean is Liam's father and her stepfather. "He's needed to forge it so many times that it's, like, perfect by now."

Pia nodded and hummed noncommittally. She tended to tune out Mary-Kate's rambling while she was in her shopping mode. When she shopped, everything around her just…disappeared. She had to buy everything she saw, after all. It was like an addiction.

"I'm going to go look at the purses, and then we can go, okay?" Pia told Mary-Kate. She wandered over to the shelves of handbags, admiring them. So many options…how could she possibly choose? She wanted them all!

Pia had managed to grab a few at random and stuff them between her arms when Mary-Kate grabbed Pia by the shoulders and started pushing her over to the cash register. "Come on, P, I really need to get to school so I can look over my Latin textbook for at least a few minutes."

"Fucking hell, Mare, you really are an obnoxious little bitch," complained Pia. Nevertheless, she let herself be dragged over to the counter, where she glared at the worker who was staring at her purchases in wonderment. "Yes, that's all for me. What are you waiting for? Start ringing it up!"

The woman started and began to run all of Pia's items. There were quite a few. Finally, the woman spoke up. "Wow. Um, that'll be –"

"I don't care," Pia interrupted testily. "Just charge it all." She slid her shiny credit card across the counter.

The woman raised her eyebrows. "All right." After a moment, she handed Pia the receipt. "Sign here, please."

Pia scribbled her signature without bothering to glance down. Then she rested her bags on the floor while Mary-Kate bought a couple of things. Pia made Mary-Kate help carry her bags outside.

As they were leaving, a gold glint caught Pia's eye. She looked over and saw that it was coming from the wall of purses. There it was, an especially gorgeous gold purse that she just had to have.

Mary-Kate was rushing toward the exit impatiently, anxious to arrive at St. Sebastian's in time to study for her test. Pia glanced back toward the saleswoman. She had gone to the back of the store, and there was no one else in sight. It was 10:45 in the morning, after all.

Quickly, pointedly, Pia walked over to the display of purses and grabbed the gold one she so wanted. She shoved it in one of her bags and veered back on her original path toward the exit. Mary-Kate turned around. "Hurry it up, P," she instructed.

"Keep your panties on, I'm coming," Pia smirked.

The two girls strode out of the store coolly.

And that was normal for us. We always get away with everything.

They made it to school, of course, having changed into their white blouses, plaid skirts, and red blazers in the car. They had to stop in the main office since they were late.

Mary-Kate handed the secretary her "college visit" note from "Sean." The secretary waved her off to class. Mary-Kate practically ran to her locker.

Pia chuckled and then sauntered up to the desk. Unlike the freakishly overprepared Mary-Kate, she didn't have a forged note or anything. But it was no matter. Pia was an excellent liar.

"Good morning," simpered Pia. "How are you?"

The grouchy old secretary scowled at her. "Do you have a note?"

Pia smiled. "Well, no, but –"

"I need to see a note," interrupted the old lady in a monotone.

Pia clenched her teeth, still smiling fakely. "You see, I'm terribly sick." She coughed for good measure. "My doctor said I'll have to go back for a few tests tomorrow. It might be," she lowered her voice and looked around, "cancer," she whispered dramatically.

The secretary raised her eyebrows, unimpressed. "I'm sorry to hear that. But I need to see a note."

Pia gritted her teeth. "Well, I don't have one. Of course, you can always call my father, though he doesn't really like to be disturbed at work. I'll tell you the number, just call and ask for Sal Gabrieli…"

The secretary's eyes widened. "Oh, oh no, I think it'll be all right," she cut Pia off. "Yes, that's fine, no need for that." She fumbled around with her pen. "You can go to class," she told Pia hurriedly.

Pia raised her eyebrows and smirked at the secretary, before turning on her heel and strolling out of the office. "That's what I thought," she murmured smugly to herself.

By the time Pia made it to her locker, classes were switching. She saw Mary-Kate thumbing through Latin flashcards, muttering declensions to herself. "Oh, God, just put those away already," Pia rolled her eyes exasperatedly. She grabbed Mary-Kate's flashcards away from her and shoved them in her own bag.

"Hey!" protested Mary-Kate.

"Uh-uh-uh," scolded Pia, laughing. She looped her arm through Mary-Kate's elbow and began to walk down the hall. "Come on, let's get to class."

As they strolled, the two girls basked in the stares of the girls who'd kill to be them and the boys who'd do anything to get in their pants. Pia reveled in the attention. Every boy in school wanted her and every girl wanted to be her. She was untouchable.

Mary-Kate and Pia spotted Rex and Gemma chatting near a water fountain, his arm looped around her protectively. Pia waved hello. "Hey, Rex, hey, Gem!"

Gemma glanced up at her, and Rex nodded in their direction. "Pia," he acknowledged. "Mary-Kate."

"Hi, Rex!" Mary-Kate smiled from beside Pia.

The two girls walked on. As they made their way down the hall, they overheard a group of girls gossiping near their lockers, clearly trying to surreptitiously watch Rex and Gemma. "Wow, Rex Delair is so attractive," sighed one of the girls. "I just want to eat him up."

"I know, God, I wish I were Gemma Tremont. It's just not fair. That girl is perfect. She's gorgeous, she's mysterious, she's the hottest and coolest girl in school…it's no wonder Rex wants to date her," replied another girl.

Pia and Mary-Kate froze in their path upon overhearing this conversation. Pia scowled at the girls. She could hardly see straight, she was so angry. Gemma this, Gemma that. It wasn't fair! Every other boy in school wanted Pia. Every other girl in school envied Pia. And yet Gemma was the queen. It didn't make sense! Pia deserved to rule St. Sebastian's.

Pia wanted everyone to bow down to her.

Next to her, she felt Mary-Kate tense up. "You don't know what you're talking about," hissed Mary-Kate at the unfortunate girls who had been going on about Rex and Gemma.

Pia whirled around to look at her best friend, surprised.

"Come on, P," snapped Mary-Kate angrily. "Let's get out of here." She tugged on Pia's arm and the two girls breezed down the hallway. Pia smiled. Good old Mary-Kate.

Luckily, Mary-Kate survived her Latin test, and probably aced it. Not that that was ever in doubt. Mary-Kate always gets straight A's.

The rest of the day passed by monotonously, as days at St. Sebastian's tend to do. After nearly four years there, we're ready for bigger and better things. Still, though, we rule the damn place.

Pia, at least, certainly does.

At the end of the school day, she was wandering through the East Wing corridor, after having skipped out of her last class early (theology can be such a drag). Pia was aimlessly checking a text on her phone when she happened to glance up and spot a figure in black at the other end of the hall. Is that…? She squinted her brown eyes to get a better look. Yes, it definitely was.

"Sister Margaret Mary!" called Pia, a smirk curving over her lips.

As soon as the nun glanced up and heard Pia's voice, she started violently and turned hurriedly in the opposite direction.

Pia scurried to catch up with her. "Sister, where are you going?" She met the fleeing nun and reached out for her arm.

Sr. Margaret Mary turned around in fear when Pia easily caught up to her. "Pia," she spoke nervously. "What do you want?"

Pia smirked. "I think you know."

Sr. Margaret Mary gulped nervously. "But – isn't there some way – "

Pia clicked her tongue in impatience. "Now, Sister, we've been through this before. This is for your own good. We came to the best arrangement that's helping both of us," she finished with a smile. She held out her perfectly manicured hand. "Now, hand over the money."

The nun bit her lip. "Are you sure we can't just drop this now? I've already given you enough, and I don't –"

Pia glared sharply. "Sister, don't make this ugly. All you have to do is hand over the money," and here her pleasant tone faded. Pia's voice dropped to a clipped, threatening register, "Or I will tell everyone what you and Father Dominic were doing in the chapel that day, when I saw you two –"

"No!" exclaimed Sr. Margaret Mary. "Please, no, I beg you, you must not!"

Pia raised her eyebrows coolly. "Well. Then. You know what has to be done." She held out her hand again.

This time, Sr. Margaret Mary didn't protest. After glancing up and down the hallway to ensure its emptiness, she reached behind her scapular and pulled out a few crisp, folded bills. Shakily, she folded them into Pia's waiting palm.

Pia grinned triumphantly and quickly pocketed the money. "Pleasure doing business with you."

Just then, Pia glanced over the nun's shoulders and narrowed her eyes. She had just glimpsed what looked like someone else down the hall. A flash of red…wide eyes…auburn hair…and then nothing. I thought I just saw…never mind.

Pia smiled down at Sr. Margaret Mary once again, brushing off her fear. The nun, however, looked very troubled, as usual.

She shook her head. "May God save us, child." She walked past Pia, crossing herself as she went.

Pia just rolled her eyes and continued her slow saunter down the corridor. Who needs salvation when you can have whatever you want?

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A/N: Thanks for the support! Please take a moment to leave a review and let me know what you think so far.