Amore's favourite smell.
Families holding hands as they headed into stores with a wad of cash and exited with a handful of bags.
Everything that Amore lacked.
Huffing loudly, a ten year old Amore looked around the mall and tucked her hands into her winter coat. She could feel the cold air against her pinky that was peeking thorough the holes in her jacket pockets. She had the same jacket for years after picking it up from a thrift shop and running with it. It wasn't the best when for cold weather, but it did half of the job.
"I see him. Coming in from the left." She whispered into the mini talkie.
"I see him too. So... who's gonna do it?" Her best friend, Keegan whispered. "Y'all know I'm heavy handed."
"Amore's closer. Let her do it." Jenna looked over from the jewelry store.
They were all in different corridors on the first floor of the mall, but were still able to keep an eye on one another.
They all watched as Amore leaned against one of the seats in the food court with a smirk. Despite the fact that she looked pretty cocky, she was terrified. She was about to go to one of the most richest men in the city and take his wallet.
But she had to do it.
Quickly, she took off her hood, making sure that her dollar store wig was in tact and headed over. Plenty of people were trudging down the halls looking for gifts to give their family for Christmas.
Fuck family. Amore thought.
Her heart began to beat out of her chest as she stared down at the man in the trench coat. Her ripped up shoes continuously made contact with the polished tiles floor as she headed over to the rich man.
Placing her fingers firmly together, she stood behind him and hung her hand into his pocket stiffly. She decreased her movements and slowly grabbed the wallet. Once she held it with all two of her fingers, she pulled her hand out and kept walking.
"She did it!" Her friends yelled through the talkie making her smile with victory.
As she continued to walk down the hall to meet the rest of the kids on entrance C, her heart stopped.
"Hey! Come back here."
"Security! Get that little girl."
Amore looked back with horror. The men in yellow began chasing her, so she ran. She knew that nothing wasn't going to happen because she was way too young to go to jail and they didn't have anyone to call for her, because she was an orphan. The most they would do is have her held for a couple of hours. And who would do that a week before Christmas?
"Make a right, Amore! Make a right!" Keegan yelled through the talkie.
Amore looked around with confusion as she pushed past people. School was never something that she went to, so most things weren't understood for her. She barely knew anything, but she was street smart.
"She doesn't know her damn left from right, Keegan!"
Amore held out her left hand and made the letter L. It was something that her best friend Keegan taught her since he went to school before and could teach both of the girls a few things. Especially Amore.
But before she could make a left, her arm was grabbed and she was yanked into something solid.
"Where do you think you're going sweetie?"
One of the men part of the security team grabbed her shoulders so that she was facing them.
"Well, I was shopping..." Amore ran her hands down her black, stale wig. "And now I'm done shopping. Do you mind lettin' me go?"
"Where are your shopping bags?"
"My mama has them. Who I should be meeting up with right now?" She lied. "Please stop man handling me..."
The security glared down at her and crossed his arms. "Are you sure you didn't steal this mans wallet?"
Rapidly blinking to bring down the tears, Amore looked at the rich man and frowned. "I didn't. I'm just tryna look for my mama."
"No, I'm not." She snapped. "Whoever told you that jacket was something to wear outside was lyin'."
"Alright, alright. I'm gonna let you go." The security stepped between them. "Go find your mama and get out of here, Alright?"
"Thank you, sir." Her eyes zeroed in on the rich man as he headed back to the store he was shopping in with the security. He looked back at Amore and watched as she flashed the wallet in her hand teasingly and ran off.
"That was amazing." Jenna yelled happily. She wrapped her ripped sweater around her tightly as they walked over the cold icy floor. Because no one provided for them, they didn't have the winter attire that was needed. But they had clothes and that was all they asked for.
"It was. Proud of you." Keegan smiled.
Amore rolled her eyes and looked up at the sky. She watched as the snowflakes fell from the sky to the floor and melted, like a beautiful scene wasn't just taken. Slowly, she stuck her tongue out and watched a beautiful snowflake land on her tongue before it was gone.
Everything goes until you're left with nothing.
"Whatever." She pulled out the wallet and searched in it to see that he only had a stack of cash and a piece of ID. "Rich man doesn't carry a lot in his pocket cause most of it is in the gold card. Should've took that." She mumbled.
"How much does he have?" Jenna looked over. Running her hands over her dry curls, she threw her hoodie on as they looked over at the abandoned place they were staying in.
It used to be a centre but in a house where people could stay in to do different activities, but it was closed down. That's where both Keegan and Jenna found Amore. Just at different times.
Keegan had met Amore first. His mother kicked him out of the house and tried to send him to his father who lived overseas. But instead of going to his father —who barely knew him— he decided to go to the abandoned centre that he always walked past with his friends. He knew no one went in there, so he knew it would be a good idea to stay there for awhile. Not knowing that he would see a little girl with the most doe innocent eyes he had ever seen, sitting in the middle of the floor staring at nothing in particular.
They lived in the place alone for two years until they stumbled upon Jenna. Jenna was a runaway girl. She wasn't happy with her family and the life that she was living. The concussions and bruises they gave her, so she left. And it was fucked up that they didn't come searching for her for a whole entire year.
Amore on the other hand didn't know who her parents were and she didn't necessarily care about them. They were probably dead, she believed. All she knew was that she was found on the street, adopted and then ran away. She was a proud orphan. A proud pick pocket scammer.
"Get the blankets over the windows. It's gonna be really cold tonight." Keegan held the automatic heater onto the dusty dresser and watched as Jenna placed the thick blankets over the windows. The blankets in front of the curtains would block the cold air from getting into the house just a bit.
Sitting in front of the fire that was ignited, Amore crossed her legs and pulled all the money out the wallet. Her eyes zoomed in on the money as she successfully counted them. That was one thing she was good at... money.
"It's enough for the week and then to get things that we need. Like shoes and clothes for the cold weather." Jenna shrugged.
"Are you sure?"
Amore threw her head back and ran her hands over her hair that was shedding badly. She didn't have the time to do much to her hair, because she was so busy stealing and buying things for them to survive. She didn't care much about her hair.
She looked around the abandoned house that looked as though it was going to fall apart any minute. The couches were covered with white blankets, the carpet was hand cleaned by Keegan, but still had a weird smell to it and the kitchen was completely empty, but held cartons and bowls of fast food. The rooms upstairs were filled with old things since they would mostly sleep together in the living room. It brought unity and security when they were all together instead of being disbursed in the house.
"We're not gonna have much for next week. But I have an idea..."
Jenna threw her head back and groaned loudly. "I hate when her voice gets like that. She sounds so evil."
Amore ignored her surroundings and stared at the fire before her. She just hoped that her idea would work out.