Flawed Love Page 1

Author: Bella Jewel

Series: House of Obsidian #2

Genres: Romance

PROLOGUE

MALI – THEN

“R is for Rainer, handsome as can be, A is for asshole, one he can be, I is for idiot, yeah, you know it’s true, N is for nerdy, you’re a little of that too, E is for energetic, there’s no holding you back, R is for rebel, one day I’ll fight back.”

Rainer rolls his eyes and throws the candy he was sucking at my head. I duck with a laugh and reach down to the dirty wooden floor, picking it up and tossing it back at him. He catches it and throws it back into his mouth, after dusting it off.

“God, you’re sick!” I scrunch up my nose. “I could have done anything with my hands . . .”

I lift my fingers and wriggle them, and Rainer winks at me.

“No worse than I’ve had from you before, Emy.”

“Well, that’s a good point.”

He swings his legs and jumps down from my tree house, glancing back up at me when he’s done. I grin down at him, tossing a piece of candy at his head again. He catches and pockets it, then winks at me.

“Where are you going, Rai Rai?”

He shrugs. “To cause trouble. You coming?”

“Um, hell yes.”

I jump down from the tree house and run after him, bumping my shoulder into his when I reach his side.

Rainer and I have been best friends since we were twelve. I’m seventeen now, and he’s eighteen, but we’re still as close as we were the day we met. It was a typical boy-meets-girl kind of story—only instead of just ‘meeting’ we preformed an epic ass-kicking together. I was defending a young nerdy boy in our class from a pair of bullies who were pushing him around. Rainer saw what was happening and got involved, helping me out.

We became friends and that was that.

We’re polar opposites. He’s handsome and the most popular boy in school. I’m a complete tomboy, and all my friends are, well, boys. Mostly nerdy boys. We’re the most unlikely duo, but it works for us. He’s in his final year of high school, even though he’s already eighteen. Rainer lives just up the road, so our friendship blossomed and grew over the years, especially considering we’re forever getting up to mischief together.

Rainer’s father is a drunk, and his mother left when he was really young, so I think I’m the only thing he’s got. My family is typical of the rich—posh and stuck up. My father owns a massive legal firm and my mother reaps the benefits of the cash he brings in. We live in a huge house, with pretty things, and I want none of it. My sister, Evangeline, however, can’t get enough and is as spoiled as my mother.

“Let’s go and steal ice cream from the crazy old guy at the park again,” Rainer suggests.

“Do you have to be such a rebel?” I scoff. “Besides, I don’t want ice cream.”

“What’s wrong with you? Everyone loves ice cream.”

“Not cool bad-ass chicks like me.”

“You’re about as cool as a pool full of lava.”

I laugh. “That was kind of mean, Rai Rai.”

“Stop calling me that. I’ll lose my reputation.”

I reach up and flick his earlobe. “What reputation?”

“Don’t insult my epic-ness.”

I roll my eyes. “All right, Rainer.” I grin. “Let’s go steal ice cream.”

“I knew there was a reason we’re friends.”

I laugh, and he throws an arm around my shoulder.

An epic friendship indeed.

CHAPTER ONE

NOW – MALI

“Oh my God, Mali, what the fuck are these shoes?”

I roll my eyes at my roommate’s screeching. A moment later she appears in my doorway, holding up a pair of black, strappy pumps that I stole from my sister, Eva, when I visited my parents last night. Of course Eva doesn’t know; that’s the best part about it.

“They’re Eva’s.” I grin. “But as far as she knows, they’re still in her closet...”

“Oh, you’re bad. Can I wear them tonight?”

I shrug. “They’re all yours.”

She holds them against her chest like they’re fine china. “Oh my God, I’m so excited. What dress should I wear?”

She could wear a sack and look awesome. Jemima “Mimi” Watson is a diva, a princess and a bad-ass babe all wrapped in one, tiny bow. She’s petite, even more so than me, with long platinum blond hair—fake, of course—and the prettiest face I’ve seen on a girl since . . . ever. She’s got big, blue eyes, full pink lips and lashes that make men drool.

She has an attitude to match.

“Any of your dresses will work,” I say. “Are you sure you want to come tonight?”

“You just found out the man you used to know, used to adore, who took your virginity and was your best friend, is back in town. Um, hell yes I want to come.”

“Apparently he’s been in town a while, I ran into an old friend of ours from high school and she told me he was back in town. I don’t know how I missed that.”

She shrugs. “You weren’t looking, and it’s been a long time. How long since you last saw him?”

“More than ten years. I don’t even know where he went.”

“Then it should be an epic reunion.”

I turn and stare at myself in the mirror. “Do you think he’ll recognize me?”

“Of course.”

I snort. “You have no idea what I used to look like. Honestly, I was like a mini sassy boy.”

She giggles. “I can’t imagine it, but I believe you.”

I study my face. I’m certainly not the girl Rainer probably remembers. I used to have short-ish blond hair, I wore glasses, and I was such a tomboy I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. It was jeans, baggy tees and chucks. Now . . . God, now I am the complete opposite. My hair is dark chocolate brown and long, flowing down my back in curls. And I wear a lot of dresses.

Plus I don’t have glasses anymore.

Still, my face has to be the same . . . right?

I snort to myself. It’s not the same, not even close. It’s gotten finer, my lips have gotten fuller, and my eyes, I swear, are bigger. They’re still the same shade of green, though.

“You’re panicking. I can see it in your face,” Mimi says, stepping up beside me.

“What if he doesn’t want to see me? The last time we saw each other . . .”

I close my eyes, pushing the memory back. It wasn’t a nice one. It was a hard time, and Rainer had changed so much. He was doing bad things that he refused to tell me about, and things between us deteriorated. Hurt, we kept on fighting but one day he just disappeared. I never saw him again. I never even knew where he went.

It hurt like hell.

“The past is the past. I’m sure he hasn’t held a grudge for that long.”

I nod, feeling nervous all over again.

“Come on, let’s get you dressed to impress.”

Mimi swings me around, and rifles through my closet until she finds the perfect dress for me, or so she states. Then she pulls out a pair of sexy black heels and a curling iron. She gets to work on my hair, brushing it and curling it, then running some oil through it so it shines. The dress she chose is cute, but sexy. It’s tight around the bust, showing good cleavage, but it flares out from the waist. The entire thing is black, with a lace underlay.

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