When Lea Amelia landed her feet in San Francisco for her overseas study, her idea of freedom was simple, like eating junk food ten times a day, sitting in front of the TV in her PJs, or going out late with her friends without the need to check in with her mother constantly.
Then she met Andrew Jaya, her brothers’ best friend. A twenty-two-year-old guy whose physical appearance looked like he was crafted straight from God’s heavenly hands, but possessed a past as bleak as if it was drawn by Evil himself. A conflicted guy who wore sadness like nobody’s business beneath his mask, a perfect-looking mask she slowly peeled away.
He was also the guy who hurt her.
Suddenly, everything about her was no longer simple.
Andrew Jaya had convinced himself that not feeling was good for him. He’d been doing it splendidly for almost his entire life. But that was before his best friend’s sister stepped into his life and ruined it. After weeks of knowing Lea, all of those warm and wonderful feelings he’d long ago denied to himself started to reappear. Problem was, the brighter the light, the bigger the shadows that came with it.
His traumatic past refused to let him go.
When the unthinkable happened, the easiest thing to do was to run. But life often proves that the easiest way is usually the hardest.
ONE LOOK AT her and his groin revolted. Just then Andrew realized that he’d never seen Lea in anything other than jeans and loose sweaters, hoodies, or blouses. Tonight was the first time he saw a glimpse of her long, toned, smooth-like-silk legs.
He’d never wanted to scream so badly like he did now. Ne-ver!
All of her legs were on display. All! Did the designer run out of material? Was that the reason why it looked more like a shirt than a dress? Where was the bottom half of the fucking dress? And of course it had to be sleeveless. With her lean arms on display as well. She was a fucking model on display. Everything on her was on fucking display. Too much skin—flawless skin…
She was so not going out like that. Not with Kris. Over his dead body. If Jo couldn’t act like a good brother and order his sister to change, he would step in with pleasure.
He stole a quick peek at her. The inside of his chest tingled, and it sent a lightning jolt to every part of his body.
He was so screwed.
Her caramel-brown eyes sparkled within the frame of her heart-shaped face. Her European strong posture perfectly supported her smooth Asian skin. She looked like an angel. A gorgeous, hot-like-hell angel of—
Goddamn it! Her face.
What happened to her face? To her eyes? Was it the lipstick that made her lips oh-so-deliciously-shiny?
He couldn’t tear his eyes off of her unless someone poked and blinded them. She wore her sleek hair down, and her side bang swung sexily around the left corner of her face every time she moved. Andrew couldn’t decide which action he preferred—get a pair of scissors and cut off her bang from the root, or smooth that very same sexy fringe with his gentle hand.
Yep. Probably, most definitely scissors.
Andrew’s heart hammered hard within the cage of his ribs, he was certain his body jerked along with its beat. He wouldn’t be surprised if he got a heart attack by just looking at her. In a way, he was grateful that she didn’t show up like this every day, or he would soon end up in a hospital for an unputdownable hard-on. And this was flat-out embarrassing for someone who was used to be surrounded by gorgeous girls, including the ones from showbiz.
Let’s see if I can convince her to change.
“—fat in that dress.”
He pointed to her midsection, which was perfectly flat by the way. Then, he gestured wildly in the general direction of her behind, which was perfectly rounded in his honest opinion, and said, “It makes your ass look huge. Like the bottom of a frying pan.”
The murderous look she gave him could wipe out the entire US continent. This was the first time he lost an eye-contact battle with someone. He wanted to worship her with his eyes, but at the same time felt shy for looking at her so blatantly. His strange expression was best associated with the expression of a twelve-year-old boy who read Playboy magazine for the first time. Guilty pleasure.
Jo laughed harder for some reason Andrew didn’t understand. Theo stood next to him and looked at Lea with amusement while the girl in question shot icy daggers in his direction. “You look great, babe. What shoes?”
And since when did Theo talk to her like that? Babe? Gee, yuck! And she was smiling! He was so fucking tempted to call her babe and see how well it would go.
Lea opened her mouth to answer Theo’s question, but then decided against it. She held up a finger, telling him to wait.
Was there any chance that she would put on her flip-flops?
Please let it be her flip-flops…
She walked to the corner of the room near the hallway and picked up a box. Andrew almost slapped a hand to his forehead reading the brand name that was printed there. She walked past him and Theo, and sat herself on the futon next to the excited looking Diana. Andrew was very curious about the choice of her shoes—
Oh. Fuck. Me.
Strappy heels? On those legs?
Andrew’s mouth dropped to the floor and continued to drop till it reached the building’s ground floor. He hadn’t even gotten the chance to put his bulging eyes back into their sockets when they heard knocks on the door. As if she deliberately wanted to taunt him, she rose from her seat and walked to the door. With those heels on those legs on that body.
Walking in those heels should be illegal. Someone could get hurt. He was already hurt.
Lea, Toto — My Lea’s theme song.
Tong Hua (also known as Fairy Tale), Guang Liang — This song is the heart and soul of the entire series. It’s a beautiful but rather sad song. I often listened to it on repeat, still do, just to get me in the mood. What does a broken fairy tale feel like? The lyrics not only speak to me about despair, bitterness, and disappointment, but also love and happiness.
Live While We’re Young, One Direction
Whataya Want From Me, Adam Lambert
Fly Me to the Moon, Jason Mraz
Just A Dream, Nelly
Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore, Reo Speedwagon
Welcome to My Life, Simple Plan
You Don’t See Me, Josie and the Pussycats
Autumn in My Heart — This is the original soundtrack of a Korean’s drama I watched years ago. I have no idea who the singer is. I have no idea what the lyrics mean. I just know that it’s a sad, melancholy song that pierces through my heart.
Moments, One Direction
Belle of the Boulevard, Dashboard Confessional
Never Alone, Lady Antebellum & Jim Brickman
The Climb, Hollie Cavanagh
You’re All I Need, White Lion
When You Say You Love Me, Josh Groban
Love Me, Yiruma
All of Me, John Legend
Fix You, Coldplay
Kiss Me, Ed Sheeran
Angel, Robbie Williams
Arms, Christina Perri
Fade Into Me, David Cook
Melly has been writing children’s books since 2011 under the name mellyberry. She loves reading all kinds of books in her spare time, mostly MG, YA, NA, contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. She avoids horror and sci-fi as much as she can.
Melly was born in Indonesia and grew up in a multi-language environment. When she talks to people, she could accidentally string words from different languages into one sentence. When she does that, simply reminds her to speak properly.
Her ideal vacation always involves a beach; usually it’s the Nusa Dua beach, Bali. She spent a few years in USA to complete her Master degree. It was during that time that she’d fallen madly in love with San Francisco and the Bay Area. According to her, San Francisco is no doubt the most romantic city in the world.
She loves hearing from her readers and book-lovers everywhere.