They were both right. I hadn’t had time to see them with the stupid screenplays and the new novel. When did I have the time? But both had men troubles and needed the night to let off some steam.
“I’ll have a dark mint chocolate chunk please.” I pointed to the gelato I wanted.
“Two scoops or one?” the teenage girl with a tight, blonde braid asked.
“I so shouldn’t have two… but I will.” I caved and she laughed as she reached in and began scooping it into a small plastic cup.
“That will be $5.55.” She handed me the cup and waited. I reached into my bag and took out my wallet. Damn these female wallets which are huge, but still we can’t seem to live without them. I rummaged through it until I found a ten.
“OH, MY GOD!” she cried out. I looked up to see her hand over her mouth, as she began to jump up and down.
“You’re…you’re Kassia Preston, the one who wrote Vampire High!” She pointed at me. “I love the books and the show. Oh, my God! The show is awesome!” she spoke excitedly.
“Thank you,” I said quietly, handing her the ten.
“No, it’s all good.” She waved her hand at the money. “Is it true that they’re making your book into a movie? ‘Cause I love Drake; he’s my favorite.” I didn’t answer, but instead, I still held out the money.
“Can I get an autograph?” she asked, as she was getting her pen and paper ready.
The customers in the store began whispering and I couldn’t help but get nervous. I was alone, and being mobbed now wasn’t a good idea.
“Take the money, please,” I said a little more forcefully. “I’d like to pay.” But she pushed my hand away.
“It’s on me.” She smiled brightly, as she pushed the pen and paper at me and waited.
“Your name is?” I asked.
“Tia,” she squealed. I signed it, thanking her for the gelato.
I tried to leave, but some of the other customers stopped me, telling me how much they loved my books and wanted autographs too. I groaned inwardly, regretting my decision of stepping foot into this place. I tried to say I was in a hurry, but I failed miserable at it. I signed a few, but one person was truly persistent and I couldn’t get away. I closed my eyes praying for a miracle.
Little did I know the tiny store bell would bring me that relief.
I felt a hand grab onto me and pull me towards a huge male body. It was Jason. He used his other hand to push those around me aside and ushered me outside. He held onto my hand and dragged me through the streets. He was walking so quickly that I nearly fell a few times. He finally stopped and yanked me to him.
“What in the hell were you thinking about going in there?” he seethed. I jerked my hand away.
“Excuse you?” I stared at him. “I don’t recall having to ask you for permission on where I go and what I do?” He glared at me, his eyes burrowing into me, but I pushed through and continued. “The last time I checked, you were a stranger who I had just met.”
He stepped in closer. “Have you any idea what people would do if they knew who you were?” he asked, his voice almost trembling with anger.
“I'm not a celebrity. I'm just a writer,” I bit back.
“Yeah, a writer who everyone knows. The more popular you get, the more dangerous it will be for you. All they see is the money you make and ways to get it from you,” he fired back.
I stepped away from him and started to head home. He grabbed my hand and yanked me back to him. “Don’t you see? You couldn’t even handle a few people in a stupid ice cream shop!” he accused. I lowered my head, I knew what he was saying was right, but still.
“It was a gelato shop,” I corrected.
“What?” he snapped.
“I didn’t even get my gelato,” I pouted.
I pulled my arm from his grasp and walked away. He followed close behind me, mimicking my steps. Whenever I stopped, he stopped. He watched me closely until I finally reached home. I started up the steps, but stopped and turned around.
“Why did you help me?” I asked, looking down at him. That’s when I realized he was younger than me. The sun shined onto his face and I could see his youthful complexion.
“Because you needed me,” he said simply. I blinked a few times, taken aback by how easily he responded.
“Thank you,” I said meekly. Damn it, he was a boy. Well, not really, but he was younger than me that’s for sure. I continued up my steps.
“Can you do me a favor?” he asked, as he leaned onto my railing. I turned around to see his muscles bulging out of his shirt as he stood holding onto the metal.