Chapter 1: New Neighbors
I’m walking on the pavement, tapping my feet against the ground so that it will make a splash. It’s raining, and being my usual self, I forgot my umbrella at home. I’m returning home from the gym, and the rain is cooling off my body perfectly. I enjoy the rain. I take a deep breath and look at the sky. Raindrops gently hit my face, making me relax. After some minutes, I start walking back home because I notice that the rain is about to stop, and I am drenched. I don’t want to get sick, so I quicken my pace until my house is in view. I run to my door then turn my head slightly to the left to see some boxes on my neighbours’ porch. They just moved in, and I haven’t even seen them once except a little girl who I saw playing in the garden. They arrived yesterday, so maybe I will meet them some other time.
The house is empty. Yeah, I live alone.
Wait, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘Who’s that chick?’ Yeah, I just quoted Rihanna. Well, I’m Angel Harper, and I turned eighteen two weeks ago. I used to live with my grandmother, but as soon as I could, I decided to move out. My parents and my ten-year-old little brother died in a car crash when I was thirteen.
I put my bag on the table, then make my way to my bedroom. I love going to the gym because I see it as the best way to get rid of stress, anger, and frustration. Also, in the end, you are awarded little abs.
I take a denim short and a crop top, grab a towel and my underwear, then make my way to the bathroom. I open the shower before stepping under the warm water which soothes me as soon as it touches my skin. I look at my various body lotions, hair shampoos, and soaps in disbelief. My grandmother made sure that I have everything I need. She is really protective as I am the only family that she has after my aunt and my cousin. At first, she disagreed when I told her about staying on my own, but then after several arguments, she changed her mind. She bought a car for me so that it would be easier for me to travel to school.
After the shower, I walk into the kitchen with my towel wrapped around my hair as it is still wet. I’m alone, but it feels good to live here again. After five years, I’m staying in my old house again, except that this time, I’m alone: no parents, no sibling. I don’t even know how I manage to wake up every morning knowing that I’m practically an orphan. I miss them every single day. As I walk to the kitchen, I stop in the living room, face a wall on which several photos are hanging. I sigh as I trace my mom’s features. I’m exactly like her: long black hair, hazel eyes, pink lips, and a dimple on the left cheek. I see my reflection in the photograph and notice my watery eyes. I shake my head then take a deep breath: Something that I need to do every five minutes is to pull myself together and not break down.
I walk to the kitchen and open the refrigerator. My stomach growls loudly. It’s seven in the evening, and I’m already really tired. I grab my bag of muffins then pull out a chocolate one. I lick my lips; the muffin looks so delicious with so many tiny chocolate sprinkles. My mouth waters, and I quickly bring it to my lips, but just as I’m about to bite, I hear the doorbell.
“Are you fucking serious?” I mumble under my breath and groan as I walk to the door lazily with my muffin in my hand. I prefer it in my mouth. I open the door, and as soon as I notice the children, my scowl disappears. Try to be polite! my mind yells at me. Well, I tend to be grumpy when I’m hungry. I smile and notice that it’s the little girl I saw playing the other day.
“Hello, we’re your new neighbours,” the little girl says and offers her little hand in front of me. She looks so cute with her two ponytails and her blue baby eyes.
“Hello,” I greet as I pinch her cheek softly.
“I’m Alex,” the boy introduces himself and shakes my hand, “and she’s Lily.” I smile warmly at them. Alex seems quite young.
“Well, I’m Angel,” I say and see that Lily is eyeing my muffin. I bend and take her in my arms. She is really light. She wraps her arms around my neck and giggles. “Want to eat a muffin?” I ask with a smile, and she nods. I hand her the muffin and watch as she eats it happily. “What’s your age?” I ask Alex as I stare at the little girl.
“I’m fourteen,” he says.
“And her?” I ask as I nod towards his sister.
“Six. And you?” he asks.
“Eighteen,” I tell him. “Want to come in?” Alex looks around reluctantly then finally nods. What is he thinking? Oh yes. The stranger-danger thing. “I’m not going to kidnap you,” I joke.
“Don’t I get one?” Alex asks playfully as he motions to the muffin, completely ignoring the kidnapping part.
I smirk and shrug. “Only cute guys get muffins,” I say then watch as he touches his heart as if he had just been stabbed.
“Ouch! You’ve hurt my feelings,” he says and laughs. He has brown hair and grey eyes. He is definitely cute. I shake my head in amusement and open the door to let him in. As I carry Lily, he closes the door and follows me to the kitchen. I put Lily on the counter then walk to where I keep my delicious muffins and watch as Lily swings her legs while concentrating on her muffin, forgetting us completely. I hand over a muffin to Alex who is now sitting on a chair facing me. “You live alone?” he asks as he looks around the kitchen.
“Yes,” I answer and observe as he eats the muffin. I take one myself and eat it before my stomach growls again. I moan when I taste the chocolate in my mouth.
“You know, you shouldn’t moan like that in front of a guy,” Alex says with a smirk, making me stop chewing to look at him.
“You’re fourteen,” I say when I finish swallowing the food.
“So what? Madonna has twice the age of her boyfriend.”
I chuckle. “I’m not Madonna.”
“No, you’re not,” he agreed. “You’re hotter.
I burst out laughing. “Are you flirting with me?” I ask in disbelief.
“It depends,” Alex says while chuckling. “Is it working?” He wiggles his eyebrows weirdly.
“No, it’s not.”
He pouts. “Then no, I’m not.” This boy is simply incredible.
“Try it with someone of your age,” I say, and he nods while laughing. The doorbell rings again. I look at it confusingly. Since when did I have so many visitors?
“Must be my parents or my brother,” Alex mumbles, then stands up along with me.
“How can you be so sure?” I ask as I pick up Lily from the counter.
“Because they told me to come home quickly,” he tells me and walks to the door. I nod while following him with Lily in my arms. Alex opens the door, but I don’t see who it is as Lily is busy poking my nose.
“Alex, did you see the fucking time?” I hear a deep masculine voice ask. I feel shivers down my spine. Lily kisses my cheek as I put her on the floor to look at the newcomer. My eyes meet grey ones. In front of me stands a sexy god. He has messy brown hair and a sexy face. He is wearing a tight shirt which shows the contour of his abs. His eyes meet mine, and they raked my body shamelessly. His usual smirk is plastered on his face. The usual smirk he shows any girl to make them drool. I blink several times to keep myself from checking him out again. In front of me stands Ace Carter.
I mean the Ace Carter!
The bad boy of Evelyn High!
And he’s my new neighbour!