Chapter One

First Impressions

Ding Dong!

I groaned and rolled over on the bed, my fingers searching through the sheets as I tried to locate my pillow.

I finally opened one of my eyes grudgingly to look for my pillow when my fingers couldn't locate it just as the doorbell rang once more.

I finally spotted the pillow on the floor by my bed and I rolled over to lie on my stomach to grab it and pull it over my head.

Maybe if I ignored it, the person at the door would just go away.

I focused on trying to fall back to sleep even as the doorbell continued ringing throughout the house.

When it finally dawned on me that the person at the door would not leave me and let me go back to sleep unless I answered the door, I flung the pillow back onto the floor and shoved the sheets off of me.

Mumbling in agitation, I clambered off my bed and dragged my feet as I walked towards the door of my room.

I yanked it opened and trudged down the steps to the first floor - my loud footsteps echoing throughout the household as the annoying idiot at the door continued to ring the doorbell relentlessly.

"I'm coming, damn it!" I yelled just as I reached the landing.

I flung the door open and glared at the asshole who had forced me out of bed.

"What?" I snapped.

I instantly reeled backwards and blinked furiously against the bright sunlight that abruptly enveloped me the moment I opened the door.

When my eyes finally adjusted to the brightness, I found myself staring at a teenage boy.

He had unkempt jet black hair and eyes so intensely blue that I found myself unconsciously mesmerized by them. He was so tanned and it was obvious that he was fit even though he was wearing a loose T-shirt.

I stopped myself from checking him out any further just to find him checking me out.

I eyed his face as he appraised me – his eyes slowly making its way down my neck to my waist and all the way to my toes.

Instantly, I felt my annoyance surging back up.

I did not woke up from my precious sleep just to have some guy – albeit him being rather cute – check me out.

"What?" I snapped again, "What do you want?"

His gaze slid back to mine and a smirk formed on his features that stunned me silent for a moment.

Don't get distracted, Otelli!

"Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Barbie?" he asked, his voice a deep rumble that made me shiver slightly.

"What the hell are you-" I stopped mid-sentence and my face burning instantly as everything came flooding back to me.

Oh shit.

My family was forced to relocate here when my dad got transferred over through his job.

He had came over a week earlier while my mum, my sister Elaine and I had just arrived last night since we had to settle some things before we could move.

I had driven all of yesterday since my mother was exhausted from packing and my sister was still far too young to drive at eight years old.

We had only arrived at one in the morning and by then, I could barely open my eyes.

The reason as to why I was wearing my sister's Barbie pajamas was because my luggage had refused to open even when I had kicked it as hard as I could the night before.

I didn't want to sleep in the T-shirt and jeans that I had worn all day and had just grabbed the first thing that I could get my hands on.

Although I just felt like slamming the door in his face and escaping to my room in embarrassment, I looked back up to meet his gaze, narrowing my eyes on him.

Change the topic, Otelli! Get the focus away from what you're wearing and onto something else! Anything else!

"Why the hell did you wake me up so early for?" I accused.

A corner of his mouth lifted even more in response.

"It's noon," he told me as quirked an eyebrow.

Oh damn. That was not the smartest topic change I could've come up with. Next time, think before you speak, Otelli - even if you're cranky and sleepy.

I continued to scowl at him nevertheless, "What do you want?"

He held out a platter to me that I hadn't noticed before.

"I live next door. My mom wanted to welcome you to town," he offered, "It's a casserole."

I scrutinized the platter he was holding while he continued to watch me with amusement.

"She would've sent it a week ago when, uh – your dad? – arrived but he always wasn't in. She saw you arriving last night so she thought today would be a good time," he told me, "Though I think she's got the timing part wrong again."

I looked back up to him to find him grinning and I had to resist the urge to scream in his beautiful face.

I must not yell at him even though he had forced me out of bed just to accept a casserole his mother had made. I must not curse the fact that he had chosen to come over before my mother and sister returned from their trip to the mall to do some grocery shopping.

I must be patient and nice to him since he's trying to be a nice neighbor – though not really – by welcoming my family and I to town.

And above all, I must resist the urge to slam the door in his face.

I forced an overly sweet smile on, "Oh, I see. How thoughtful of you."

He tilted his head to the side slightly as he measured me, a bemused expression weaving through his features, "You're cute."

I opened my mouth and was ready to snap at him for trying to hit on me at a time like this when I suddenly heard whistling.

I shifted to the side slightly to notice two boys walking on the sidewalk looking at me as they grinned like idiots.

This couldn't get any better.

Annoying boy looked over his shoulders at them just as I set my gaze on a glare directed at the two assholes.

"What?" I yelled, "What is your problem?"

They burst out into laughter and shook their heads in disbelief just before they disappeared out of my view.

Annoying boy turned back to me and a look of discomfort flashed across his face. He shifted his weight from one foot to another.

"What?" I hissed at him, "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Uh," he cleared his throat as he averted his gaze from mine, "You're, uh, kind of exposed."


I glanced down once more, confused, and noticed that I was exposed.

The pajama dress was far too small for me and ended on my upper thigh and had a plunging neckline to the point that I was exposing an uncomfortable amount of cleavage.

I felt my faced burn and instinctively reached back into the house to grab the first thing I could get my hands on.

I hurriedly wrapped my father's coat around me and cursed under my breath.

I should've just slept in jeans.

He burst out into guffaws of laughter but stopped immediately when he caught sight of the look on my face.

"Er, sorry. But that's really a better look for you," he coughed as he tried not to laugh.

I dropped my gaze to my father's brown bulky coat and pulled it tighter around me as I looked back up to him, shooting him a dirty look.

He continued to smile as he held out the platter to me, "Here. At least take this as a peace offering for waking you up if not as a welcoming gift."

I ignored the slight twinge of guilt that evaded me and bit my lip as I reached out and took it from him, "Thanks."

"I'll, uh, get going," he said as he slowly backed away, "Nice meeting you. See you around."

I nodded before closing the door.

I slid the platter onto the nearby table and stood frozen on the landing as I tried to absorb everything.

That did not just happen.

Oh goodness. I'm going to have the time of my life in this town. I can just tell.

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