"Friends keep secrets, Alabama; keep mine." His eyes seemed to dance as I looked at him, my expression probably full of wonder and shock that someone so strong for me could be so weak when it comes to himself.

When Annabeth Travis moves from small town Bluebell, Alabama to New York City, she's in for an adventure. Seventeen years old and on her own, Simon Rodgers takes pity on her. But what happens when they let down all the walls of mystery and shadowy fear?


1. One

I remember walking into my brand new apartment, pulling my suitcases behind me, boxes all around the otherwise vacant home. I remember breaking down and crying, a small town Alabama girl, stressed out in the big city. I had then fixed my make up and walked into the lobby, hugging my purse, and walking to the coffee shop next door. 

The city had been illuminating, the lights shining so bright that the stars seemed to be dull. I'd ordered my coffee and stepped back onto the street. A boy was staring at me. His dark hair was in contrast with his grey eyes and his leather jacket added to his biker boy look.

"A little lost?" He'd asked as I simply stared. 

"Do I look lost?" I'd raised an eyebrow, daring him to think of me as needing pity. I remember the blush that spread across his cheeks and the shyness that had entered his soul, something not seen at first.

"Yes actually," He scratched his head, "You kind of do. Young, seventeen I'm guessing. Jeans and an Alabama hoodie, not the typical New Yorker style. Sneakers, not accustomed to snow. Coffee, and plain black at that. Every New Yorker knows that dark coffee is for mornings when the bitterness is needed to wake you up. It's ten o'clock."

I sipped my coffee and regretted it the next second. Bitter was correct. The boy chuckled and my piercing glare seemed to stop him. "We don't need coffee in Alabama. We're more about sweet tea." I said and he grinned.

"I'm Simon, but I go by Alexander. Name?" He seemed to more demand than ask. 

"Manners?" I asked him, but as he did, I used it as more of a demand.

"Fine, pretty please country girl?" His eyes twinkled and I rolled mine.

"Annabeth. Now if you don't mind, city boy, I've gotta get going. Lots of unpacking to do, and I'd appreciate not getting mugged or jumped my first day here." 

I walked off, and heard him calling after me. Why should I turn around for a stuck up city boy?

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