This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Tea Leaves and Red Silk
Match One: Proposal, Tangled, and Murder:
On April fifteenth, 2014, I killed my soul even further. Yao and I lay in bed together in the early morning hours. I didn't even really think when I blurted it out.
"Yao, I think we should get married," I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me.
"What?" Yao asked. This decision didn't come easily for me. I have my motives for this idea.
"I'm not doing this for a romantic notion," I admitted.
"Ju…" he murmured.
"Please hear me out." I pressed my lips together. To be honest, I didn't plan this out beforehand. Even in my head, the idea was awkward. This wasn't how it was supposed to end up. Why couldn't I just kicked out the idea from jump?
"It's for security reasons," I explained. "I want to make sure that my clan survives."
"What are you talking about? We've had three strong years with this clan financially."
"But how long will that long? I don't want to let down my family when they need me most."
Yao raised an eyebrow. "Is this about Szu?"
I shook my head. "It's more than her! There's my uncle, the missing money, and the strange things that been happening to all of us." I didn't think that my heart would be racing so fast as I spoke. My words just spilled out one after another. I swallowed a mouthful of air. Stop. Stop. Stop! I rubbed my forehead and closed my eyes.
"I just want to make sure there a safety for us all to fall back on."
"But why marriage?"
"I don't know." I couldn't answer that question for myself. This decision wasn't even made with my heart. "Please just go with me on this." I grabbed onto his hand. Please stop me. I'm not in control of my slipping sanity.
"You're only nineteen," Yao said.
"Not anymore," I said. "I just became of age four hours ago."
"Thank you." It sounded hollow out of my mouth. I haven't been a child since my mother died. My father trained me as his heir from the age of four. Still, I can't blame him for what I am trying to do.
"We don't have to do this," Yao said in a low voice.
"I feel like I must," I said back. "Don't ask me why." Even the voice of reason in my head fell on deaf ears. "Just think about it at least." Yao grabbed my hands.
"I will help you," he said. He sealed the death of my soul with those four words. Why couldn't you turn me away? I hoped that you would've said no or talked me out of this. I bowed my head, kissing his hand.
"Thank you, Yao," I murmured. Once again, I stabbed my own soul in the heart. I will watch it die again and again on our wedding day.
-Five Months Ago-
I unlocked my front door, sighing. What did I go and do that for? The only thing I thought of now was doing my homework, taking a bath, and going to bed.
"Ju!" I heard someone shout as I opened the door. I turned around and my jaw just dropped. Stefan walked up my driveway with that charming smile he had on his face all those years ago.
"Ello," he greeted me. I didn't have the words I wanted to say to him. Part of me hoped to be dreaming right now.
"Is that really you?" I asked. Stefan walked up to me and took hold of my waist.
"Of course!" he said. I blinked at him as I tried to think of a way to reply.
"What do you want?" I asked. Stefan flashed his famous grin at me.
"What else?" he asked. "I want you back." I opened my mouth to speak, but he was quick to shush me. My heart raced in my chest as he was about to kiss me. We can't be doing this. Stop! Stop!
"Ju! I have found a lead on Huan's boyfriend!" someone shouted at me. Stefan and I looked up to see Yao walking up my driveway with a folder in his hand. My eyes grew big in panic as he slowed to a stop. I looked between both me—my past and my future. How did it turn into this? Yao raised an eyebrow at us.
"What's going on here?" he asked. I stood there with all of the color drained from my face. I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear.
"Yao!" I yelped. Yao's eyes shifted to Stefan.
"Who the hell is this?" he asked.
"Uh…" I started to say. Say something, stupid! Stefan stepped forward, bowing his head.
"I was just seeing myself out," he said. "Goodbye." Yao and I stare blankly as my ex walked out the door. I didn't get time to run away as hell fell from the sky and crashed to the ground.
"Ju, who was that?" Yao asked. I bit on my lower lip.
"Uh… well…" I said. I lowered my head and gave him my answer. "He's my ex-boyfriend."
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
Samantha Speed: There were several punctuation, grammar, and missing word problems but it did not detract from the story. This story was very well done, enjoyable, and had an interesting enough plot. It took a while to finish. This story is not complete. I love it, but I want to see another book or have more cha...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...
Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...