This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
When Valeriana Kerrigan woke up that morning to a sunny window, she was not expecting an important arrangement. It was a Saturday morning after all—and a summer one at that! She was determined to relish the comforts of her bed with no classes to mind. After graduating from high school and passing the qualifications to enter her dream university, she at least deserved an undisturbed sleep.
However, that particular morning made her feel unsettled. She stood from her bed and blindly made her way to the bathroom to wash her mouth, grasping the corners of the sink as she reached for her brush and opened the faucet.
She washed her face with the cool water and groggily brushed her teeth. It wasn’t until she started gurgling that she noticed that sticky-note she had slapped onto the mirror the night before.
‘Xandra’s flight 10am.’
Her eyes shot wide and she spat out the water. Wiping off her chin with the sleeve of her pajamas, she rushed to her closet to throw in whatever she could find. As she put on a white shirt, she fumbled with her phone. It displayed the alarm being shut off around seven thirty, followed by the next alarm she set five minutes later, and the next two five minutes after that.
It was three minutes past nine, barely any time to do any real preparation.
She had principles to uphold and being late was none of that. She snatched her favorite pair of sneakers from the shoe rack and slung her duffel bag over her shoulder. She then rushed downstairs and burst into the dining room.
“Coffee,” she muttered. “I need my coffee.”
Her mother and thirteen-year-old younger brother were already at the table. Jareth was squeezing out the bottle of maple syrup over his pancakes while Lily was preoccupied with the newspaper. Her sights were on the coffee, even so. There was already a cup on her end, so she spent the next few moments brewing—instant mix and all.
“What took you so long?” asked her mother, brown eyes peeking past the frame of her reading glasses.
“It’s the alarm.” She stirred the steaming beverage as she moved to take her seat, setting down her cup on the table. Gathering her honey-golden locks in a high ponytail, she pulled on the scrunchie around her wrist and snapped it in place.
“What time is Xandra’s flight?”
“I don’t know. I heard it was twelve something in the afternoon,” she said. “I’m supposed to meet her at ten.”
Jareth was still not done with the maple syrup.
“You’re not aiming for diabetes, are you?” she told him, hitting his arm as she wrenched the bottle from his grip and safely placed it out of his reach. “Enough of that.”
Jareth made a noise of irritation. “What’s it to you? It’s not your body.” He rubbed his arm and mussed his ginger-brown hair. He then resumed nibbling on his food while hiding his grass-green eyes behind squinted lids.
Valeriana snubbed him and tossed a pancake to her plate while sipping her coffee. She then took a lump of butter and dumped it over her share, sparing the syrup a glance before ignoring it completely. Jareth was eyeing her with contempt the entire time.
“If I’m too much in sugar, you’re too much in butter.” He huffed. “That’s why you’re fat, pig.”
Valeriana bit her lip and leaned over to smack his arm one more time. “I dare you to say that again. You do not call a girl fat. I am definitely not fat!”
She watched her brother wince. Considering he had fish-belly white skin, it was sure to leave a mark.
She had just the right build and the right weight. She might have some extra deposits on some parts that made her feel insecure, but she definitely wasn’t fat. Just a healthy teenager her age too lazy to go to the gym.
“Keep telling that to yourself,” Jareth told her.
“Language,” their mother cut in. “Just focus on eating, you two. Stop fighting.”
He stuck his tongue out at her, shoving the dripping slice of pancake into his mouth.
“Immature,” she said, cutting off a small piece and chewing on it. She suddenly lost her appetite.
“And you think you aren’t?” he mumbled through a full mouth.
“Valeriana, the longer you argue with your brother, the longer you’ll stay,” their mother said, a hint of smile on her lips.
“Mm-hmm,” she hummed, stuffing her mouth and swallowing unceasingly. She reached for her coffee and drank, washing down the food she almost had stuck in her throat. With a clean plate and an empty mug before her, she stood from her seat and began heading out.
She waved. “I’m off! Bye, people!”
Valeriana kissed the tip of her fingers and brushed them against the portrait of a man on the wall just beside the door frame, flipping back her hair and admiring his image for a moment with her azure blue eyes. “Bye, dad.”
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spec4huff: Thank you for creating this world. I am a 6'3" veteran that thinks himself tough. But the piece of literature you have created made me misty eyed on a number of occasions. I want a love like this. Thank you again, I would totally buy this book and hopefully the sequels to this ever enchanting lov...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
Sarah Luongo: My friend recommended this to me and I was hooked immediately. The images and voices of these characters come so clearly in my head, which I love. I love seeing from all of these characters points of view, and still the book has a continuous flow. There are some punctuation and grammar mistakes, ...
serginemuzac: This book had me dieing😂😂😂 It was super lit and I was reading it for the whole day. Its really interesting and I couldnt put my phone down until I finished all 22 chapters! Even though the grammer was a bit off (I actually enjoyed it, it made everything funnier) I really liked it.
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Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
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...