That Saturday was the most boring day of my life. Even though Michael Graham had a castle of a house, there was nothing there to do. All day I stayed in my room and stared outside the window. Stepping outside my room was uncomfortable because it felt like I was intruding on someone elses territory.

Were my days gonna be like that, so unproductive? I could never come to terms with that. I needed a distraction, anything that could help me be out of the house for as long as possible.

So the perfect idea hit me. I needed to find a job. Itll not only help me be away from home but also earn some crisp cash.

Back in Newport, mom never let me have a job so I could focus solely on my studies but me being me didn listen and started working at a café without telling her. Eventually, she found out and it exploded on my face but, the point was, mom wasn there so she wouldn know.

On Sunday, I got up early and after breakfast, I began my job hunting.

Only if it couldve gone that smooth.

e going somewhere? ” Megan asked from behind me as I was about to leave the house.

I didn turn around to look at her. ”Yes. ”

”Want me to give you a lift? ”

”Thanks, but I can manage. ” That was my favorite quote in that house.

”Have you told your father that you
e going out? ”

I finally turned. ”Do I have to? ”

She smiled the fakest smile ever. ”Itd be nice if one of us knows you
e out, you know… in case. ”

Was she seriously asking me to report my every move to Michael or her?

I smirked. ”If Im in this house then Ill be in my room, if Im not in my room then Im not here. Tell him too, will ya? ”

She laughed nervously. ”Im sorry, I was just saying. It was by no means a restriction. You can go out wherever and whenever you want. ”

Was I supposed to thank her?

”Understood. Excuse me, then. ”

Soon I realized that when Megan offered to give me a ride, she meant that in my own best interest. I was walking for more than half an hour with little to no sense of direction.

Good thing I had shorts on and not pants because LAs heat was no joke.

I was walking on the pavement when a white Audi stopped by me. I looked at the driver but couldn see anything through the dark glass until it came down.

”Jason? ”

He smiled and waved at me.

”Hi! ” Cooper?

Jason leaned against the car rest to show me his little brother, chilling in the passenger seat. ”Bringing him along wasn my idea. ”

e you guys doing here? ” I asked.

”We were told you might need our assistance, ” Jason said.

”Who told you that? Megan? ”

”Yeah, she was worried so she asked us to help you out, ” Cooper replied.

Did I ever tell her that I needed help? That was her problem. Whenever I started to think that she might not be so bad, shed change my mind with her snooping.

”Get in, ” Jason said patting on his deluxe car.

”Do you even have a license? ”

”Im sixteen. Of course, I do. ”

I thought he was fourteen.

I was dying with heat so I took his generous offer and got in the backseat.

”Where are we going? ” Cooper asked.

”Job hunting, ” I said while securing my seatbelt.

”Job hunting? ” Both boys said in unison, making look at them.

”Yeah, whats wrong? ”

”Why do you need a job? ” Jason asked.

”To make money of course. ”

”But we
e rich, ” Cooper said.

He was so confused. Clearly, these boys were never introduced to the ideology of work and making a living.

”No, Cooper. You guys are rich, Im broke. ”

Both boys shared a look and I rolled my eyes. ”Aren you here to give me a ride? ”

”Oh, yes. Where do you wanna go. ”

”Downtown. ”

Downtown LA was the most crowded place Id ever been to and now that I was looking around, the city was beautiful.

At one point, Jason had to park away his car and we carried on by foot because if you wanted to look around, a car was useless.

My priority was to get a job in a café because that was the only work experience I had. Unfortunately, all the cafés we went to either weren hiring or they wanted to hire for morning hours but that didn fit in my schedule.

I didn give up though and we finally found a small and cozy coffee shop with a beach view. That had to be the perfect place.

When we went inside, Jason and Cooper dropped into chairs. They were walking with me all day and those rich boys weren even used to that kind of labor.

While they rested, I went up to the owner. Amanda was a woman in her mid-forties and was running the business with her husband Rick. Judging from the number of customers, they were doing pretty well.

When I asked her if she was hiring, she scanned me up and down but by her gaze, I couldn tell what she was thinking.

I looked down at myself, denim shorts, a white crop top, sandals, and no stains. There wasn anything wrong with my clothes. Was it because I wasn tanned like those LA people?

When she finally looked up at me, she smiled. ”You
e not from here, are you? ”

I smiled back. ”No, I just moved here from Vermont. ”

”See, I can tell by your accent. ”

I smiled again. She was such a sweet lady.

”So what time you can work? ” She asked.

”Im starting school tomorrow so I can only start by early or mid-afternoon. ”

Amanda smiled again. ”I can fit you in. ”

”Really! Are you sure? ”

She waved her hand. ”It sometimes gets very hectic in here, if you can deal with that. ”

”I can. ”

”How about starting tomorrow? We can discuss payment when you start. ”

”Thats great. Thanks. ”

After ordering coffee, I sank to a seat across from Jason and Cooper.

”So? ” Cooper asked hopefully.

I smiled. ”I got it. ”

Both boys sighed in relief.

”I was so done with it. If this place wasn hiring either, I was gonna dump you both and go home. ” Jason groaned and Cooper and I both chuckled.

I checked the time and it was mid-afternoon already. ”Shall we go have lunch first? ” I asked.

”Why didn you say earlier? ” Cooper squeaked like the little child he was.

”I know Ive been pulling you guys along for hours, so my treat. ” It was only reasonable.

”I thought you were broke, ” Jason smirked.

”Why don you focus on the benevolent part. ”

”I don even know what that means. ”

After lunch, Jason helped me buy some of the school stuff. Apparently, He was in the same high school as me.

”Aren you seventeen? ” Cooper asked when I was looking for some cute notebooks.

”I am. ”

”Then why are you starting your senior year? Did you skip a grade or something? ”

”I was wondering about the same thing. ” Jason stopped whatever he was doing to look at me.

”Actually I skipped three grades but since I started school two years late, I evened up like this. ”

”Because you were sick? ” Cooper asked.

”Logan told you? ”

”He did. ” Jason gave me an evil smile. ”That snitchers the last person you wanna share stuff with. ”

”Ill keep that in mind. ” I chuckled.

It was night by the time we came back home. Jason and Cooper weren bad company, I enjoyed myself. They better think the same about me.

Jason helped me carry the bags although, there were just two. Id noticed that those brothers liked to carry my stuff for me and at that point, Id stopped asking them not to. My resentment wasn towards them even though at first I tried to direct it toward everyone related to Michael.

We were in the entrance hall when Michael and Megan ran into us and my smile instantly slipped away.

Gosh, seriously.

He smiled and I had to refrain from rolling my eyes. ”You kids went out? ”

Judging from their clothing, they were going out too.

”Yeah. It was fun. ” Cooper said.

”Thats great. What did you do? ”

”Job hunting! ” Copper and Jason both rolled their eyes, making me smile.

It was now Michaels turn to lose his smile. ”Job hunting? Harper? ” He looked at me.

”Im going to my room. ”

”Wait. ” Michael stepped in front of me. ”We haven talked about it yet. ”

”Theres nothing to talk about. ”

”You don need a job. If you want anything you can ask. ”

I couldn believe the nerve of that man. ”Ill decide that for myself. ”

”You don need a job, Harper. ”

I gave him my best glare. ”Ill decide that. ”

”You need to focus on your studies. ”

Was he being serious right now? Ordering me around like he had a tight. Turning around I started walking towards the front door.

”Does your mother knows about this? ”

I held the door handle in a death grip, my knuckles turned white and my jaw clenched. Slowly I turned around. ”Are you blackmailing me now? ”

”Your mother wants you to focus on your studies. She specifically asked me to make sure you do. ”

I laughed incredulously. ”Since when do you care what I or my mom wants? ”

Everyone around us was frozen at the spot while Michael and I looked dead in each others eyes.

He was speechless now.

Megan took a few steps toward him but didn touch him. ”Lets rest this argument for now. You can talk about this later. ”

”Megan tell my father that starting tomorrow I won be home before eight. I have a job to take care of. ” I said looking at Michael then looked at Megan. ”You asked me to report you two about my activities. ”

I couldn believe it was just day two.

I was massaging my temples when Jason sank on the swing beside. ”We didn mean to snitch. ”

I shook my head. ”Its fine. ”

There was a long silence before I asked. ”Are they gone? I didn mess up their date, did I? ”

e staying in. ”

I nodded slowly.

Neither of us spoke after that for a long time.

I knew what I felt towards Michael and I knew Id keep feeling that way towards him but what he said before wasn at all new. Mom had said the same things before. The difference was that when Michael said those words, I blew like a volcano and acted like such a child. I shouldve behaved more maturely.

If I came to think about it, since I came to LA, Im been acting that way all along, in one way or another. What was happening to me?

”Are you gonna sit here all night? ” Jason asked.

”I don wanna go inside his house. ” It was suffocating.

”You can come to my house. We can lend you a room. ”

I smiled. ”Im not sure. ”

”Cmon. ” He held my hand and pulled me up. ”Don you know how tiring it is to stare at nothing? ”

Jason and Coopers house was magnificent too, although the design was much different.

”Don tell your parents Im here, ” I told him when he showed me to a guest room.

”Okay. ”

For a long time, I twisted and turned in my bed. Nothing particularly important was on my mind but I still couldn sleep. Even talking to mom didn help much.

Would tomorrow be better? I wouldn be home almost all day so it had to be better.

I kept staring at the ceiling and at some point, I drifted off to sleep.

The next day my alarm went off way earlier than I liked. The sunlight stung my eyes and even though I didn want to I eventually got up.

I texted mom good morning and went straight to the bathroom. How could Monday mornings ever be good? Good thing I had Jason bring my stuff there last night or Id have to go back to my own room looking like a zombie and potentially have another encounter with either Michael or his fiancé.

After brushing my teeth, I took a long cold shower. In LA youd have to keep the water coming cause it got sweaty in there real quick. After drying my hair I wrapped myself in a towel and stepped out of the bathroom.

Now I just needed to put on the uniform and I was ready for whatever rich kids school Michael got me into.

”AHH! ” I screamed as soon as I stepped out of the bathroom.

What the hell! An almost naked guy was sprawled out on my bed casually strolling on his phone. Like hes not in someones room and he wasn only in his boxers.

When he saw me he jumped off the bed, pinned himself on the furthest corner, and covered his chest with his shirt.

”Who are you? ” He asked in bewilderment.

Who am I? ”Who are you? ”

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