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The police station buzzed with activity as Jennifer De Le Cruz pushed her way towards the desk. It was a Saturday night in Slinger’s Row, the most dangerous precinct in the entire city of Los Angeles, and the commotion in the station was pretty much standard fare.

‘Hey, why the rush sugarlips?’ some scumbag pimp called as she pushed past him. ‘Damn you know what I could do with an ass like yours on the street?’

Jennifer spun on him and narrowed her eyes. She cocked her head sideways. ‘Chucky Valderrama?’ she asked, looking him up and down, ‘shit, don’t I know your parents?’

In an instant the dirtbag morphed into the misbehaving little boy he’d once been and he lowered his eyes.

‘Yeah,’ Jennifer smiled, ‘Paulo and Christine Valderrama, right? How are they doing? I’ll be seeing them on Monday at the church meeting, should I tell them I met you here?’

‘Damn I was just playing,’ the creep muttered and slinked off towards a phone box, probably to hide out until Jennifer was far, far away. She smiled and stepped up to the counter.

Jennifer De Le Cruz was vice president of the Building Bridges Community organization, a voluntary group that tried to rehabilitate the youths on the street and dissuade them from turning out like that dickhead Chucky Valderrama, currently conspiring in the corner and muttering into the telephone with one ratty eye on Jennifer’s back. Sometimes it could be thankless work, but then sometimes, the rewards were bigger and better than anything else in the world.

But that wasn’t to say it didn’t take up a lot of her time. For Jennifer it was a fulltime job, one with plenty of overtime. Other people would have said it was a good thing she’d been born rich, but for Jennifer it was her way of making up for it. She knew it wasn’t fair she’d had everything growing up and others had so little, so this was her way of returning the favor to the universe.

And her way of proving herself as a person in her own right too. Her father had built a company from the ground up and worked his way out of poverty and Building Bridges was her way of showing that she could build something too. And if she didn’t, by necessity, have to do it for herself then she would do it for others instead.

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