Chapter 1

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I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that didn’t care much about what people thought of them, but I just don’t think I am.” - Harry Styles

I felt like throwing my laptop out the window of the little coffee shop. My faithful little Lappie, she’d been so good to me. Now she was giving me nothing.

“You’re dead to me,” I whispered harshly to the machinery, closing it shut fiercely, and then instantly regretting it. I opened it back up again, slowly and carefully, whispering about how sorry I was, quickly making a small stroke over the worn paint of the keys and shutting it again tenderly. It wasn’t Lappie’s fault that everything I wrote was poo, every story line done before and every word oozing with mainstream cheesiness that I swore I would never sell.

I should’ve been happy with myself, five number one New York Time’s bestsellers in four years is a feat unmatched by any writer in history. I couldn’t help myself from being incredibly frustrated because number six just wasn’t coming. I’d written bits and pieces of anything that would come to me, beginnings to endings to random dialog. None of it was good enough or original. I’d gone to every end of the spectrum already. A best friend’s brother, taming a player, spies, werewolf, medieval, dragons, superheroes, death and suicide, even pop stars, all in five books. I had nothing left in me, no creative spark, no new storyline, nothing. And it was slowly killing me.

I’ve never had a problem coming up with story lines, often fitting multiple ones together and weaving my own ‘creative mix of cliché and innovation sure to fly off the shelves’, or so I had been written about. I was more than embarrassed about my writer’s block, ensuring numerous fans that another book was on its way, they needn’t worry. I felt like a filthy liar wallowing in my own self-pity.

“Can I… help you with something?” a apron-clad waiter asked me, tall, lanky, and wearing glasses that could only be described as a photo copy of Harry Potter’s. He wasn’t the character I was looking for in my book, maybe a minor character that is easily forgotten by readers, but not the solid hunk of testosterone that I desperately needed. Every romance needs one, another thing I was lacking. I needed to find that perfect mix of personality that makes my characters attractive to everyone, it’s not easy to come up with a sixth completely unique person. Nothing was easy anymore.

“No, thank you.” I murmured, shying away from his gaze as he walked away. A breath I hadn’t realized I was holding came out, and I covered my faced in my hands. That café I was in was supposed to be home, I’d written so much gold on that very stool I was lounging on. That was the place where Emily and Dylan first met, where the world was saved countless of times by Xander, and an entire kingdom was burned to a crisp, and many, many more. Le Petit Café had always been my go to place, something about the gurgling of the espresso machine or the smell of fresh roasted coffee beans put me at ease. When my apartment was too distracting, I came to the Café down the street.

Being a regular, the waiters and waitresses had started to reach out to me; even a few had recognized me from the paper jackets of my books. But, I’d only become slightly acquainted with one, I never have been a big people person. I’d rather just sit in my little corner and watch over the brim of my glasses as people come through. The only waitress to break through my hard outer covering was Sophie.

She was a sweet music school dropout, black hair wrapped into a bun with a petite frame and a candy-coated smile. Still, we were merely friends. She cheered me up when I was an emotional nut case and I had grown fond of seeing her cheery smile while I worked. I even based one of my characters off of her. She’d thanked me with a few gift cards to the Café. But Sophie wasn’t working a shift that day, and I’m not one to socialize, especially with a massive case of writer’s block. All the while, I could only think about how I’d never had it that badly, causing my inner freak-out to reach a new level.

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