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Angels and Roses Angels and Roses original

Angels and Roses


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Chapter 1: New Neighbors

Lissa threw herself across Parker’s bed, sobbing. She hugged Parker’s pillow, her tears dripping mascara stains onto the blood-red pillowcase.

“Lissa, what can I do for you?” Parker asked, seating herself next to her best friend. Lissa and Parker had been best friends since kindergarten, and despite the changes of social cliques in high school, Parker knew she was still the one Lissa came to when she was so upset.

“No one understands what I’m going through,” Lissa wailed. Parker swallowed, rubbing Lissa’s back comfortingly.

It was true, Parker Whittier had no idea what it was like to be broken up with. She also had no idea what it was like to have a boyfriend, be kissed, or even be liked by a boy. That’s what it meant to be a sixteen-year-old freak of nature in a small beach town in Maine!

Parker sighed, brushing Lissa’s black, curly hair out of her face. Even though black smudged rings of mascara and watery tears, her blue eyes were stunning! Parker had always been envious of Lissa’s gorgeous looks. Even crying, Lissa looked beautiful!

“I know,” Parker said softly. “Your heart is broken. James is a real piece of crap for breaking up with you the way he did.” Lissa wailed again and buried her face in Parker’s pillow.

While she would always support her friend, Parker found the scene getting to be a little old. When she had a boyfriend, Lissa would be completely wrapped up in him and her popular field hockey friends. Parker was her ‘backup’ friend until Lissa got broken up with, then it was Parker’s room she would ball her eyes out in.

“I’ve never had anyone insult me so much!” Lissa cried. Parker nodded at the back of Lissa’s head. This was not the first, or second, or even the tenth time that Lissa had cried on her bed over a breakup since they’d begun high school two years ago.

Until high school had started, Parker had thought her bond with Lissa was completely unbreakable. With high school came an interest in clothes and makeup, which Lissa embraced fully.

Parker glanced at herself in the mirror on her closet door. No matter what she wore or what makeup she used, she knew she’d never be considered ‘pretty’ by her small-town high school’s standards.

With lavender eyes and whitish-silvery hair, there wasn’t much Parker could do to disguise her unique features. She made do with what she had, keeping her hair cut in a shoulder-length bob, side bangs across her face.

As for clothes and makeup, she was almost the opposite of Lissa, and that had been what caused the greatest rift in their friendship. Because Lissa wanted to make Parker look more ‘normal,’ for her own good.

There was a soft knock on Parker’s bedroom door and Blanche, Parker’s mother, let herself in.

“Girls, I’m sorry to bother you, but the new neighbor is moving in. I think it would be nice to say hello to him,” she said. Parker smiled at her mom. The strange features she had, she’d gotten from her father, because her mother was also beautiful, with soft brown hair and warm curves.

“I’ll be right down,” Parker said.

“Good,” her mother said. “It looks like a single father with two sons about your age.”

“Boys?” Lissa asked, her crying stopping immediately. She sat up quickly and started to adjust her hair. “I can’t meet them looking like this!” She launched herself off Parker’s bed and went to the mirror, grabbing Parker’s brush along the way.

Parker’s mom winked at her and backed out of her bedroom. Parker rolled her eyes.

“Are you sure you want to meet new boys?” Parker asked. Lissa, having forgotten all about her recent heartbreak, was digging through her purse to touch up her makeup.

“Of course!” she said. “What better way to move on than with someone new?” Parker gave a weak smile; she didn’t think that was how it was supposed to work. Then again, Lissa was the one with dating experience.

“I’ll meet you downstairs,” she said.

“No, no, I need to do your makeup and pick out a different outfit for you,” Lissa insisted. Parker shook her head.

“I’m fine,” she said. “It isn’t like they will even notice me. Not with you there.” Lissa beamed at the compliment and quickly finished her makeup. She looped her arm through Parker’s and half dragged her out of the house and across the lawn to the neighbor’s house.

Movers were bringing furniture off a truck and into the house. Parker saw her mother talking to a man about her age.

“There’s my daughter,” Blanche said, waving Parker and Lissa over. “Parker, this is Malakai Miklos, our new neighbor. That is Lissa Maxwell, a family friend.”

“It is lovely to mee you, Parker,” Malakai said, smiling widely. Parker shook his hand. “You as well, Lissa.” Malakai’s eyes lingered on Parker, a reaction she was used to, only Malakai seemed more curious than judgmental.

“Careful with that!” a surly voice called from the back of the moving truck. “If you break that, I will break you!”

“Lucien!” Malakai scolded. Out of the truck hopped a boy in a black leather coat. He had long blond hair pinned back in a ponytail that fell midway down his back. He was tall and lean but athletically built with bright blue eyes and pale skin. His eyes were scrunched up angrily, but Parker could tell he was gorgeous under his surly exterior.

“Oh wow,” Lissa muttered. “He is hot!” Her voice was a whisper, but Lucien looked over at her, giving a cocky smirk. There was no way he had heard her! Parker shook her head as Lissa disengaged from her to flirt.

“Lucien, this is our neighbor Blanche and her daughter Parker and their friend Lissa,” Malakai said. “Say ‘hello’ and be nice,” Parker noted his words seemed more like a threat.

“Dad, where is the cooler?” another boy asked, stepping out on the porch. Parker assumed this was the other son. She gave him a quick once over. He was wearing a black tank top, broad chest bulging at the fabric and his arms rippling with muscle as he walked. He was tall, his skin a golden tan. He had coal-black eyes and shoulder-length, wavy black hair.

“It should be in the kitchen,” Malakai said. “Damien, come out and say hello to our new neighbors.” Unlike his brother, Parker noticed the instant smile on Damien’s face as he grabbed the porch rail and jumped down the small flight of stairs.

Parker’s mouth fell open a little as she watched him! He landed almost right in front of her, holding his hand out.

“I’m Damien Miklos,” he said, tilting his head to the side as he took in her unique features. Parker couldn’t help her smile; his voice was so warm and friendly.

“Parker Whittier,” she said, shaking his hand.

“It is nice to meet you,” Damien said.

“You too,” Parker said with a nod. Lissa appeared at Parker’s side. “This is my friend Lissa.” Lissa practically pulled Damien’s hand from Parker’s to shake it.

“Welcome to Ocean View, Maine,” Lissa said. “I will be your personal tour guide.” Parker backed away as Lissa commandeered the situation. Normally, when Lissa introduced herself, Parker became part of the background scenery.

This time, she kept catching Damien stealing glances at her. It made her blush, and she tried to look anywhere but at him. He was just so handsome, though!

Parker heard the sound of something breaking in the moving truck. The surly brother, Lucien, was spitting curses at the movers. Parker winced and inched over to her mother and Malakai.

“If you need anything, just let me know,” Blanche was saying to Malakai. “I grew up here, I’m well informed.”

“I’m sure you are,” Malakai said warmly. “And Parker, you’re going into your junior year of high school next year?” Parker looked at him when she heard her name.

“I am,” she said with a nod.

“Great, so are Damien and Lucien,” he said. “I’m sure my boys would like to have a friend on campus.” Parker bit her lower lip nervously. She glanced over at Damien who, if it was possible, seemed a little bored with talking to Lissa.

Lissa was pulling out all the stops, batting her eyelashes, leaning in at the right times, brushing her fingers down his bare arms, laughing at all the right intervals. Parker had seen her work many times. But Damien seemed immune to her charms, which Parker had never seen before.

In fact, he continued to glance her way now and then.

Parker didn’t realize she and Damien had locked eyes until Lucien walked between them carrying a crumpled box marked ‘fragile.’ His presence broke her eye contact. Lucien’s sharp lips curved up in a mocking smile.

“Nice hair,” he teased before walking on. Parker blushed and turned away from him. How was it that Lucien, who looked so light and warm, could be so cold and mocking, while Damien, who looked dark and intimidating, could be so warm and friendly?

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