Chapter 1

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Note: This is NOT edited. I repeat. NOT edited.

That's how I picture Ariel ->

“What do you mean he’s our new neighbour?”

I dropped my giant duffle bag onto the concrete pavement with a hard thunk. My hands were numb and my whole body was frozen with shock. I didn’t care if I looked like a frizzy red headed idiot with her mouth wide open, because currently, my brain was still struggling to process this important piece of information. 

Leonardo Wesley Tanner cannot be our neighbour.

“He’s not exactly our new neighbour. He’s been living there for like a year, but you were in boarding school so you didn’t really know, and we didn’t think you’d be coming back for senior year, so...” Ron stole a few glances at the devil’s house behind his shoulder before trailing off, gently nibbling on the nail of his thumb. Something he does when he’s put in an uncomfortable position.

“So you decided to not tell me this crucial piece of information that is potentially life-threatening!” I finished, the volume of my voice rising frantically by the second.

It took everything in me to resist strangling the life out of my brother (the fact that he was holding onto my luggage helped).

“I’m sorry?” Ron shrugged slowly, uncertainty written all over his wide hazel eyes. “What did you expect me to do? Chase him out of the neighbourhood with a mob of his psychotic fan-girls?”

“That would’ve been a very effective strategy.” I pursed my lips whilst grinding my teeth together.

I squeezed my eyes shut silently praying that West’s house would somehow transport itself to some isolated place in the middle of the Sahara desert.  

“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.” I repeated over and over again under my breath. “This is not happening.”

I was on the verge of having a mega panic attack when something even worse happened.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as a familiar looking beagle scurried out into the yard next to ours, barking boisterously.

It was Ace, West’s dog for 3 years.   

Which meant the owner himself wasn’t far behind.

As if on cue, I heard a door slam, and out walked West, standing on his front porch in all his glory. He had grown a few inches since the last time I saw him, his arms have become toned and he had an overall muscular build. Whereas two years ago, he was still the ‘cute’ scrawny kid with dimples. His chestnut blonde hair was tousled and longer than it used to be, and as much as I hated to admit, his features were more rugged and sharp, thus making him look even more stunning than before.  

I watched as West scanned his surroundings, as if looking for someone.

Sh!t.

I mentally swore as I attempted to duck behind Ron, who seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. Unfortunately, I was too late. West’s gaze hit me before I even managed to crouch down.

He looked genuinely shocked for a moment, but quickly composed himself. My eyes widened at the sight of a smirk tugging onto his lips. He had this mischievous glint in his eyes as he approached me slowly. Ace blinked up at his owner, tongue wagging, begging him to play, but was blatantly ignored.

That was when my instincts kicked in.

My hand reached over to grab my duffel bag that lay silently on the floor. With a grunt of effort, I managed to heave it up onto my shoulders.

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