This novel is a work in progress. I haven’t even written half of it. But hopefully, I will finish this next year.
This is probably the hottest novel I have ever written. It’s NSFWish, and flirting with sensitive subjects (almost). I must admit that this is not for all audiences and am contemplating on releasing this under a different pen name. I haven’t decided on that yet.
But you can check out this snippet and let me know what you think. 🙂
“Mommy, have you been drinking again?” the little girl asked as her mother stood over the counter to pour herself another glass of whiskey. The mother didn’t hear her… or at least, she pretended not to. “Mommy!” she called again. “Mommy!”
The mother drank almost half the glass of the whiskey and then poured herself another glass, oblivious of her daughter, whose persistent cries filled the kitchen.
Thunder bellowed outside, causing the little girl to scream in fear. She ran to her mother’s side in haste, seeking protection and comfort like any little child would in the midst of the storm. Her mother wasn’t expecting her daughter to throw herself at her side, which caused her to lose her own balance, although the liquor could have easily done that. As a result, she dropped the glass on her hand, sending it shattering to a thousand pieces on the floor. The sound of breaking glass, combined with the crashing sound of the thunder and the strike of lightning caused the girl to scream some more in fear.
“Mommy!” she cried.
The woman had enough of the child’s screaming. It was too much for her to handle. She screamed in return, causing the child to stop crying. Instead she stared at her mother in shock and in fear.
“I’ve had enough of you, little brat! All you do is whine and cry! It’s a fucking thunder! Get over it! Or do you want me to tie you up in the tree outside?”
Startled and scared, the girl began to cry again, afraid that her mother would make good of her threats.
“Shut the fuck up! I’ve had it with you! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
The little girl didn’t stop crying. The mother got even more irritated. She screamed in anger. She pushed her daughter, causing her to fall on the floor. The mother took off her belt and started hitting blindly at her fragile daughter.
But the little girl didn’t feel any pain at all. Because right at that moment, a boy’s slender body was lodged between her and her mother. The boy screamed in pain as the mother’s belt hit his back. But he didn’t run. He held his ground. He stayed atop the little girl, shielding her from the lash of leather.
The little girl cried, knowing that the boy was taking in the pain that was meant for her. A third lash caused him to scream in agony. It was loud enough for the mother to recognize his voice.
“Oh my God!” the mother screamed in horror.
Immediately, the mother dropped the belt and grabbed her son. She cupped his face between her palms, feeling remorseful that she had laid a finger on the boy.
“I am so sorry, baby! I’m so sorry!”
Tears were streaming down the boy’s cheeks, but he didn’t whimper. The look he gave her was a combination of pain and anger. In his eyes, she had turned into a monster. He clenched his fingers into a fist. Hearing the little girl cry in fear angered him even more.
The boy stepped away from his mother. Then he ran to the little girl’s side. He gathered her into his arms and gave her comfort.
“It’s okay, baby girl,” he whispered. “I’m here. I got you.” Then he looked at his mother in contempt.
“She was… bothering me. She made me break the glass.”
“She was scared!” his voice was low but thick with emotions. He tightened his arms around the little girl, who was no more than three years younger than him.
The mother opened her mouth to say something but no sound came out. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she saw the look of disgust on her son’s face.
The boy stood up on his feet and pulled the little girl up. “Come, baby girl. I will stay with you until the storm passes. No one can hurt you while I’m here.”
He brought her up to her room and tried stop her tears.
“Why doesn’t Mommy love me?” she asked. He couldn’t answer. “She loves you. She got so s…cared when she saw that she hit you with the belt.” She stared at her wearily. “Does it hurt?”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t hurt a bit.” But they both knew it was lie.
“Let me have a look,” she said.
“I’ll be okay, baby girl,” he insisted. “I’m stronger than you. A few hits don’t hurt me.”
“Thank you. If you weren’t here to always protect me, I don’t know what Mommy would do to me.”
“I will always be here to protect you,” he said.
She found comfort in those promises. But he was gone shortly after that. It was the darkest moment of her life.
“You promised you would always be here to protect me,” she said, crying.
He smiled at her sadly. “I am sorry, baby girl. You know I would never leave you if I had a choice.”
She lunged forward and hugged him… possibly for the last time.
“Be brave, okay? Always take care of yourself. I’ll always be with you. And someday, we’ll see each other again. I will come back for you.”
“No, don’t leave me!”
He pulled away from her and took off his necklace. It was a locket. He had it since he was a baby. He opened the locket and showed her the pictures inside. It was his picture and hers. “Always wear this. When the thunder comes, think about me, okay? So you will never be scared. I will always be with you.”
“So, what shall we do in my last day of freedom?” I asked Jessica and Marie as we took our bags from the overhead compartments. We have twenty-four hours in Charleston. After that, we’ll part ways and probably see each other only once a year. My friends will go back to London. And I will go back to my prison cell. “I want to remember this day! I want to get wasted, fool around, lose my V-card to a hot guy who will always warm my memories when I think of him.”
“Oh my God, who are you and what have you done to our friend?” Jessica asked, wide-eyed.
Marie, on the other hand, laughed. “Shut up, Jess. I like this plan! I have been waiting for Blaire to say something non-so-prudish in the four years I’ve known her.”
Of course, I was kidding. I’m not old enough to drink. I’m not brave enough to fool around. And I’m most certainly am not stupid enough to lose my V-card to some random guy, no matter how hot or how charming he is.
But I do feel like I should make this day count. I had the best life in five years, living away from home. Not seeing my parents also meant I don’t witness them treat me like a ghost or see their disgusted expressions every time they look at me.
Jessica and Marie were my best friends ever since freshman high school. Having them was like having a guardian angel and devil at the same time. They keep me sane, they keep me grounded, but at the same time, I get to have a good time.
Jessica was the prude one. Whether she’s a virgin or not remains a mystery. She didn’t share details like that. She’s smart and old-fashioned. She liked rules and barely broke them.
Marie was the liberated one. She’s not ashamed to announce that she’s lost her virginity at fourteen. She loved breaking the rules, especially if it will piss Jessica off.
We just graduated high school. We spent the summer touring with them. On our last days together, they agreed to come with me to the States to watch the Red Festival Concert in Charleston. I have this last day and then I will come home to my parents’ house. I will be back to the life I left behind five years ago… which is hell… literally!
I don’t understand why I had to go back. I already got accepted in a design school in London. I had a knack with jewelry. My ultimate dream was to put up my own brand of jewelry someday. It may not sound much now, but admit it or not, people splash millions on a piece of trinket. Maybe someday, they’d spend that much money on my creations.
Then one day, I received a call from my father’s secretary. I was ordered to return after the summer to start at the university close to home. I’m going to take up Business Management. Why am I not surprised? After all, my father owns a couple of businesses in Florida. However, as far as I could remember, my father wasn’t interested in me. I wonder what made him ask me to come home now.
I have this nagging feeling that somehow there was a catch to all this. I was afraid that when I come home, I would be giving up my freedom. I wouldn’t be able to decide for myself. My parents could either be to controlling or too oblivious of me. There’s just nothing in between when it came to them.
We checked in to a small inn a few miles from the concert grounds. We didn’t have any luggage, just backpacks containing a couple sets of clothing and some essentials. I decided to take a long bath before dressing up. We’ve been travelling for more than twenty-four hours and I wanted to make sure I get rid of all the airport and train station smell on me. Marie and Jessie always complain that I often get sick because I was too clean, my body just didn’t get a chance to develop immunity. I wish that was my only problem, though. I was insulin-dependent from birth. If I forget one of my diabetic pens, my life will be grave peril. Maybe that’s one of the reasons my parents hated me. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t perfect. I was frail and flawed.
I stared at myself in the mirror. I have ash blonde hair. But right now, it’s impossible to tell that because during the beginning of summer, I dyed it dark brown with pink, purple and blue highlights. It looked cool and perfect for my summer tour.
I tilted my face up and my big amber eyes gave a light gold appearance against the light. In the sunlight, it has an orange hue, like it has a fire red center. My friends always say I had one of the most beautiful eyes they’ve ever seen.
My parents both had dark hair and blue eyes. I looked nothing like them. I can’t blame them for making me feel like I was an outsider. Because maybe I was. My brother looked more like them and he was adopted! I saw videos of my mother giving birth to me, so I was sure I’m biologically their daughter.
My parents didn’t love me the way I know they loved my brother. While they celebrated the day they sent me away to boarding school, they grieved the day my brother was taken away from us. I believe they’re still sad about it until now. Because I still am.
My hand went to my chest where I know my brother’s locket would be but I only touched my wet skin. I remembered taking it off in the bedside table before I took a bath.
I wrapped a towel around my body and went out of the bathroom. I have worn that locket for a years and only took it off during bath times. I always feel uneasy when I wasn’t wearing it, like a huge part of me was missing. It was the only thing that I have left of him—the only person in the world who ever made me feel safe and loved… the only one in my family who made me feel that I had a family at all. And even though he’d been gone from my life for more than eight years, with that locket I would always make me feel like I wasn’t alone. He was just there beside me, and someday… we’ll see each other again… maybe.
When I came back to the bedroom, I didn’t see the necklace from the bedside table.
“What the fuck?”
I checked under the bed, but found nothing.
“Have you seen my locket?” I asked Jessie and Marie.
Silence. Jessie couldn’t look at me straight. Then she patted Marie’s back telling her, “Your funeral.”
My eyes widened and I could feel myself heating up. Nobody, fucking, touches my brother’s locket!
“Easy, girl!” Marie said. “I’m holding it ransom and it’s safe.”
“Give it back.” I said in a grave tone.
“I will,” she said. “But you have to do something for me, first.”
“Come on, Bee. You’re always tense, cold and guarded.”
“You mean, I’m always sane.” I raised an irritated brow at her.
“Yes and you are driving me insane!” she said. “Why don’t you let yourself go tonight? Let loose. Have fun.”
“By have fun, you meant have meaningless sex with a stranger, right?” I shook my head. “No, thanks.”
Jessie stared at me and smiled ruefully. I have a feeling that she was agreeing with Marie on this. My two best friends teaming up for this? Wow! Am I seriously boring?
“Bee, we’re not asking you to be a slut… like Marie.” Jessica said.
“Thanks!” Marie rolled her eyes.
“All we’re saying is… you should open yourself up to possibilities that are out there. Look, there’s no perfect guy. Sometimes, it’s their imperfections that make them more interesting. We know you have major trust issues because of your parents… and the one person who ever made you feel loved also went away. I know it’s not easy. But you know what… you got to start somewhere. Otherwise… you won’t get anywhere.”
I hate to admit it, but they do have a point. I didn’t have many friends. I date casually, but I never try to keep relationships. I didn’t believe they will last. I never had a real connection with a guy. Either I was always looking for certain qualities or I try not to attach myself from the beginning. And I do this by always finding a flaw in the guy. Little flaws. Any flaw at all.
He’s too arrogant.
He talks too much.
Doesn’t talk at all.
He didn’t open the door for me.
Not tall enough.
Too skinny, he can’t hold my weight.
Too muscular, his veins will pop out of any time.
“Can’t you just enjoy the company of a guy and not believe it will be disastrous for once?” Jessie asked.
“Meet a guy. Flirt. Enjoy the next twelve hours together. Don’t expect him to call you. What happens in Charleston stays in Charleston. Don’t expect anything beyond. Maybe there’s no tomorrow and it’s okay too. Because you weren’t expecting that there is one. Who knows? It just might take you by surprise.” Marie said.
“You don’t have to have to sex with the guy. Just… experiment. Expect nothing. Enjoy everything.”
“Why are you doing this to me?” I asked.
“Because it’s your last night of freedom. Tomorrow… who knows what will happen? You’ll be back to the house you hate, live with the parents who don’t give a shit about you. You need all the memories of good times you can get, eh?” Marie said smiling at me widely.
“What does my brother’s locket have to do with anything?” I asked.
“Well, it’s an insurance that you will hold up your end of the bargain.” Marie said.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she’ll give it back to you tomorrow morning. Whether you did try to hold up your end of the bargain or not,” Jessie said to me reassuringly.
I sighed. They knew I will do anything to get that locket. It was the only memory I have left of my brother. True, we weren’t related by blood, but he loved me more than my biological parents ever did. He was my hero, my knight in shining armor. When I lost him, I don’t think I was able to fully recover. Having that locket made me feel that I still have a part of him with me.
I turned on my heel and went back to the bathroom, without giving them an answer. But needless to say, this is going to be a long and interesting evening.
I stood in front of the mirror looking at myself. The Red Festival was not just known as being one the best yearly rock concerts, it was also known for wild parties. People like to dress up here, pretend to be somebody else. Perhaps my friends chose the perfect occasion to dare me to let myself loose.
I curled the half part of my hair to give it a flirty effect. Then I put on solid black contact lenses to cover up my very distinctive eyes. I put on smoky eye makeup and dark red kiss-proof lipstick.
I wore a white sleeveless crop top and a white fitted pants and high-heeled boots. I smiled at my reflection in the mirror. My flat belly was exposed, showing off my crystal butterfly navel ring. I think I looked cute and flirty. Not slutty.
When I came out of the bathroom, Marie and Jessie were wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
“Okay, I call dibs on her,” Marie breathed.
I wrinkled my nose at her.
“You are such a slut,” Jessie said to her. Then she turned to me. “You look… out of this world gorgeous! Looks like you’re all dolled up for the adventure of your life.”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course, it could be the last adventure of my life.”
“You look like a real life doll. I bet guys are going to kill their way over to you.”
“Well, I’m here to enjoy the biggest concert in the planet. Not to hook up with guys.”
“What happened to our bet?”
I shrugged. “Well, if somebody interesting comes along… let’s see if you have a bet at all. But I better get that locket first thing in the morning or I’m murdering you with my bare hands Marie Turner! You know how important that is to me.”
“We know.” Marie said. “But your brother couldn’t be the greatest guy in your life.”
“You don’t know the things my brother did for me,” I said in a serious tone. I touched the scar in my right forearm. It reminded me of a time I ran away once, desperate to catch my parents’ attention. I hid in an old shed a mile away from home. Nobody came. Not even for hours. Only my brother, who knew exactly what I was thinking. He convinced me to come home. On our way out, a metal bar fell from the ceiling, slicing my arm and getting his back. We both bled. We were both rushed to the emergency room and got stitches afterwards. But my parents never left his room. I had nannies looking out for me in mine. My brother told my parents that he wanted to play in the shed. I was only there because I was stopping him. He told them that a metal bar fell off from the ceiling and if I wasn’t in the way, it would have hit him big time. He told them I saved his life, but it was really the other way around. My brother saved me, got hurt because of me and lied to our parents so they wouldn’t ground me. From that moment on, I knew my brother would do anything for me—blood-related or not. “He will always be the greatest man in my life.”
“Many of us base our ideal guys on our fathers. I guess you based yours on your big brother.”
I laughed humorlessly. “Yes, that’s right. Because I think all other guys are better than my father.”
It was true. Ever since I could remember, my father didn’t want anything to do with me. He barely looks at me. When he does, he looks me at me dismissively, like I was the most unimportant person in the world.
“That’s really harsh,” Jessie said.
“That’s really true,” I sighed. “Come on, I don’t want to ruin my last day of freedom thinking about a man who didn’t give a shit about me, or a guy who’s been gone for years. I’m going to play your little game. Maybe there is a guy out there who’s not meant to cause me grief.”
“Amen!” The girls cheered.
We arrived at the concert grounds fifteen minutes later. It was packed. Loud music was blaring in every speaker in the eight corners of the ground. Some people were camping out and already drinking beer.
“Now, let’s get some booze.” Marie said excitedly.
“We’re nineteen, genius.” Jessie reminded her.
“Okay, I see the situation at hand. So girls, let’s hook up with guys who are at least twenty-one.”
I shook my head. If I weren’t sane or smart enough, being friends with a girl like Marie could get me into serious trouble.
We checked out the stores on the sides of the concert ground. There were temporary tattoo stations, souvenir shops and food stands. Marie convinced all of us to get temporary neon tattoos.
“That thing’s not going to wear off for days! My parents are not gonna approve,” I argued.
“And you care because?” Marie raised a brow at me.
She was right! Besides, when did my parents care about what I do? When did they care about me ever? An it’s not like it’s permanent.
So I decided to get a butterfly tattoo with the letter Z on the center in neon pink and green. I had it drawn over the scar in my arm. When the artist was done, I was actually glad I did it.
“Why Z?” Marie asked.
I laughed. “Maybe that’s my prerequisite for your little game. I’ll play your game and hook up with a guy… only if his name starts with a Z.”
Marie glared at me. “Are you freaking kidding me? You had to choose the most difficult letter in the alphabet?”
“Well, there’s always the X and Q.” I said, laughing.
She rolled her eyes and strode away angrily.
I paid for our bill and then I went out of the tent to follow her.
“Marie, wait u…” I shrieked as my foot got caught on a rope barrier at the entrance of the tent. “Fuck!” I cursed.
But before I could fall flat on my face, I felt strong arms wrap around me, catching me and saving me from… pain and severe embarrassment.
“Easy, doll,” I heard a guy say. He settled me on my feet. I looked up and found a pair of gorgeous blue eyes staring down at me.
I swallowed hard. Shit! He is beautiful!
He was tall, with combed back dark blond bangs and side undercut. He has a strong jaw and deep set blue eyes framed by long, dark lashes. He was wearing a black leather jacket over a white fitted shirt that subtly hints of toned abdominal muscles underneath. Shit! Why did I notice that?
“Th-thanks,” I managed to say and I seriously hope I didn’t squeak.
“Be careful, okay?” he said, his expression looked sincere.
“Yeah… I’ll remember that.”
We stood there for a couple of seconds. I could feel the uncomfortable silence thickening.
“I’m…” he started saying.
At the same time, I said, “I’m in a hurry.” Then I started backing away.
Shit! What am I supposed to say? Ask him, ‘You were saying?’ because I think he was about to introduce himself.
Unable to come back, I gave him a small wave and ran off towards where Marie went to. She still looked pissed at me when I found her.
“I’m frustrated with you,” she said. “If you’re unhappy, it’s because you refuse to believe that you deserve to be happy! I think you are the problem! Not the guys you dated! You!”
I’ve never seen Marie mad before. She was always positive, always sees the good in people. She’s the type who would go home with guys and actually believe they will call her when they promised they would… they almost always never did. But she didn’t lose hope. When she fails, she’ll just try again. Marie’s not really a slut, just a hopeless romantic.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was only messing with you. I am open to possibilities. In fact, I tripped on the way here and a really beautiful guy caught me in his arms.”
Her eyes widened. “You’re kidding me!”
I shook my head. “But I didn’t get his name. I was running after you.”
“What? You chose me over a cute guy who could possibly make you see rainbows and stars?”
“Of course! You’re my friend. Lasses before asses. Chicks before dicks? Ever heard those popular phrases before?”
“Well, as your friend, I’m ordering you to get back there!”
She pulled me towards the direction of the tattoo tent. In a way, I was hoping to see that guy again. I am not easy to impress and I don’t usually get attracted at first sight, but somehow, there was just something about that guy. Strange and yet oddly familiar. Dangerous and yet trustworthy.
“Is that him?” Marie pointed towards a blonde guy standing in front of the tent. He was cute but not cuter than the guy I bumped into.
I shook my head.
“Is that him?” she pointed at another guy.
I shook my head again.
“Come on, Marie, let’s go find Jess,” I said. “He’s not here anymore.”
“Oh, that’s sad. The first guy you ever showed interest in could be gone because of me.”
“Never mind, Marie. I believe in destiny. When it’s meant to be, I’ll see him again.”
Marie groaned as we walked to a different direction to find Jessie, who was getting braids the last time we saw her. We found her laughing animatedly with a cute black-haired guy. The correct term was actually flirting. When Jess flirts, she really likes the guy.
She introduced him as Kenzo. He’s in college and when Marie saw the can of beer in his hand, she practically beamed.
“These are my friends, Marie and Bee,” Jessie said.
Another guy approached us. He was holding four cans of beer in his hand. “And this is Michael,” Kenzo introduced his friend. He was also cute and I could see Marie was already eyeing him with interest.
Michael opened the can of beer for Marie. It must have been shaken while he was transporting it. When he pulled the ring, it made a loud fizzing sound. The trajectory of the liquid was directly towards me. I was hopeless to dodge it but then suddenly, I felt somebody pull me out of the way.
“Easy, doll,” a familiar voice said. I looked up and found the same guy who caught me at the tent. He was looking down at me with an amused expression on his face.
I smiled back at him shyly. “Thanks… again,”
I gently pulled away from him and then I took a step back. Michael came over to me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there.”
I smiled at him. “It’s okay. I was saved anyway.”
“Yeah, real smooth, Z,” Kenzo said to the guy who caught me.
My head went to up to him. So did Marie’s.
“Excuse me? What did he say your name was?” Marie asked.
“Z,” the guy replied. Then he looked at me. “Hi, my name is Zach.”
I stared back at Marie who was beaming happily at me.
Okay, how was that? I will continue a few more chaps here… maybe. Xoxo