Chapter: 1

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I'm reclining on an outdoor chaise lounge with my phone playing soft jazz, while I try to keep my mind off of the fact that I have a trigonometry test in less than 12 hours and I still haven't even glanced at the study guide. I keep reminding myself that I need to take trigonometry my junior year, so that next year I can enroll in a performing arts academy, and still convince dad that I should be the one to take over the hotels.

My father, Nolan Hill, owns Hill Hotels. He inherited the family company and all the money that came with it once my grandma passed away. Our hotels are some of the most famous hotels in America because celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Angelina Jolie, and Audrey Hepburn stayed in them, which also means that my dad is filthy rich. Everyone always assumes that my mom married my dad for his money but I know that's not true since she was a model. Plus I've heard their love story almost a million times by now.

My older brother, Jeremy, and I are always arguing about who gets to take over the company. I know it should be me since I've been working my butt off to get good grades and all my extracurricular activities. I do ballet, piano, guitar, and I sing all while maintaining my 4.0 in school. Jeremy just kisses my dad's butt, he hasn't even gone to school half the year.

My thoughts are interrupted when I hear someone yell. I open my eyes to see who's causing the commotion, and to my horror I see 13 guys running towards me. They're shoving each other into the pool, and as a result, get me completely soaked.

I jump up still in shock from the sudden interruption. I spot Jeremy and glare at him, hoping he can sense that I want to kill him. It takes a second for anyone to notice I was even standing at the edge of the pool. Eventually one of Jeremy's friends notices how enraged I am.

"Stop pouting and jump in Aphrodite," he says with a smirk. I move my glare from Jeremy to his friend, which only makes his smirk grow.

"Who the hell are you?" I challenge while putting my hands on my hips. He raises his hand to shield his eyes from the sun and precedes to look me up and down, not once, but twice. He finally forces his emerald green eyes to look back up at my face. While squinting he says, "I'm Liam Pearson."

Why was Pearson so familiar, where have I heard that name before. I rack my brain trying to place him. It takes me a second but I realize his mom is the mayor. "Oh my god, your moms Sarah Pearson!" He flashes me his pearly whites, "Gold star for you."

I roll my eyes and turn on my heel, plopping back down on the chair to admire the rest of Jeremy's friends.

They're all either on the swim team or the football team so you can imagine how good looking they are. Especially Liam. I can't stop myself from staring. I know he's on the swim team since he's super tan, which leads me to believe he's outside a lot. His abs are incredibly defined, they almost look fake. His smile is so bright and genuine, it makes me feel like I'm the most important person at that moment.

I can tell he senses me staring at him because his smile gets wider as he dives under the water. With a huff, I storm into the house, annoyed that I just made his ego bigger. The cool breeze of the air conditioner greets me when I walk through the sliding glass door. I plop down on a chair and my mom hands me a sweating glass of lemonade, which I immediately down.

"Why are Jeremy's friends over," I whine while wiping the sticky sweetness off the top of my lip. "Because he just got ungrounded. Are they bothering you?" She asks while eyeing me with concern "Not purposefully, they just splashed me." I stick my bottom lip out, "Make them come inside." I flutter my eyelashes for added effect.

"You sound so entitled right now Aphy. Instead of complaining why don't we talk about you transferring to a performing arts academy." Now that was something I wanted to talk about!

I'm lying upside down on the couch when my mom comes waltzing down the spiraling stairs, laptop in hand in sweats, and one of my dad's old Nirvana T-shirts that he got at a concert. She has her golden blonde hair pulled up into a messy bun and her thick black-rimmed glasses on.

Even in her 40's, she's still a model. Her tan skin and deep blue eyes really help. She doesn't try but she's gorgeous, even her small wrinkles make her beautiful.

She sits cross on the chair and starts reading from her laptop "They expect you to be able to play a minimum of 3 instruments and either dance or acting." She says furrowing her brow. "Does singing count as an instrument?" I ask, she purses her lips as she searches for an answer in the rules and requirements of the academy.

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is the most prestigious performing arts school. The most famous and accomplished singers and dancers went to this school. Sure you have to practice a lot, but I feel like that makes sense. The saying goes practice makes perfect.

It's been my dream to go there since I started ballet. When I was a little I figured out how many extra classes I had to do in order for me to complete my senior year in the academy. It's a boarding school in London which is already a pro, I mean who doesn't want to live in London.

"Aphy, are you listening to me?" My legs fall to the side as I try to sit up. My mom shakes her head as she continues to talk, "Did you know that there's a curfew?" I shake my head no. "Well, there is. Didn't you read the pamphlet that came in the mail?" I think back to when the acceptance letter arrived, but I don't remember a pamphlet.

"Come on Aphy, you need to be more responsible if you expect us to let you go all the way to London." I just roll my eyes, I'm not in the mood for this argument.

Of course, right at this moment Jeremy and all of his friends shuffle into the house. Jeremy clears his throat so I'll look at him. "Aphy we're watching a movie if you want to come with us." He says with a smile. I look over at Liam laughing with another one of Jeremy's friends who I recognize as Tyler the quarterback.

"I don't know, I really need to shower." "We'll wait if you don't take forever." At that point, all eyes are on me. "Fine, I'll be five minutes."

I ran up the stairs and into my room. I turned the shower on and dug through my pajama drawer to find my most conservative pajamas. These are the times I wish my mom didn't only buy me nightgowns. I grab the longest dress and run to the shower. I fiercely scrub my scalp and rake conditioner through my long hair. I race to towel off while putting my underwear on.

I'm brushing out my waist-long hair when my door opens. I look over expecting my mom but instead, it's Liam, frozen to the spot gawking at me. I look down to see what he's staring at and realize I'm just in my lingerie. "Haven't you ever seen a girl in her underwear?" I hear myself ask with a surprising amount of calm. "I-I was supposed to tell you we're about to start." He replies fighting to tear his gaze from my very exposed breasts. I throw the silky black nightgown on, which only goes to my mid-thigh, and walk over to him.

As I stroll towards him I watch him clench his jaw, it astonishes me how much power I have over him right now. We walk through the halls completely silent. "Now I understand why they named you Aphrodite." My face turns beet red. I was not expecting that to be the first thing he said.

I flounder to remember the story of my name. "Well, um, actually my mom named me that because she had just finished reading the Percy Jackson series and really liked that name, and she was on a bunch of drugs, because she just had two kids, so she named me after her." I ramble, still embarrassed by his comment.

It felt like forever, but we finally arrived at the movie theater. "That took forever, I should've gone myself, but no, you were closer." Jeremy mocks. "It's not my fault your house is gigantic!" Liam laughs, his whole mood changing. "Whatever I'm starting the movie", Jeremy concludes.

"Hold on, what are we watching?" I ask realizing I wasn't part of the movie picking. "Insidious." "Damn, I don't like horror movies." I reply with a frown, "I can keep you safe." I hear one of the boys yell. I look around to find the owner of the voice, only to find it was Charles. I flip him off in response.

I know that Jeremy's friends are totally off-limits, but I was really disappointed it wasn't Liam who had offered. I don't know why I'm so drawn to him, but I can't get him out of my thoughts. Even while I flinched and screamed in terror of the movie, I couldn't stop imagining Liam's strong arms holding and comforting me. Little did I know these feelings would only grow. 

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