My Rejected King - Book cover

My Rejected King


Chapter 1


“Come on, E, you’re twenty-one now… It’s time to get yourself out there. It’s time to mingle with the fish,” whines my best friend, Claire.

“I know, I guess I’m just not ready yet. Besides, fish can give you diseases,” I mumble.

“You’ve been saying that for how many years now?” Claire raises an eyebrow in disapproval, clearly not brushing off my last comment. “And you’re still single. Elli, I’m worried about you here.”

“But there’s nothing to be worried about, Claire. I’m only twenty-one, not ninety. I still have a lot of time.” I try to reassure her with a smile—notice the key word try.

“Mm-hmm.” Claire doesn’t even try to hide the boredom on her flawless features—or her disbelieving tone.

“Okay,” she says. “How about this. Try out the new dating app. I mean, there’s nothing to lose, right? Besides, I’ve heard that it’s been successful for lots of people out there. Even my colleague got herself a hunk of a man.”

“I don’t know,” I nervously admit.

I’ve never been much of a fan of dating apps, or dating in general, actually. I don’t know where I’d even start if I wanted to date.

“Come on, E, pretty please? I mean, the app’s a hit. It’s only been on the web for what, two months? And it’s already famous—it’s through the roof.

“The ratings and reviews are insane. I’ll be honest, I entered it today too. I just couldn’t resist,” Claire gushes, words flowing from her tongue like water from how fast she’s speaking.

I sigh in defeat. “Let me think about it, okay?”

“Great!” She happily squeals in victory, ignoring the fact that I said I’d think about it, not that I’d do it. “You won’t regret it, Boo. I promise,” she says in a singsong voice, her excitement obvious and a bit overwhelming.

I catch a quick glimpse of my low battery. “Airy, I have to go. We’ll talk later or tomorrow, okay?”

“You’re not trying to run away from me, are you?” she asks, playfully narrowing her eyes at me.

I roll my eyes and stick my tongue out at her. “As if I could. You’d manage to find me in minutes.”

“True. I’m that good,” she says, smirking at me with a wink to emphasize her point.

I can’t help but roll my eyes again at her antics before I catch another glimpse of my phone’s battery life—it’s flashing an angry red. Three percent.

“Well, I’m gonna jet. Later.” I wave at the camera.

Claire smiles at me before her waving hand appears on my phone’s screen. She blows me a Bluetooth kiss and ends the call, and I’m back to our WhatsApp chatting page.

With a sigh, I plunk my phone back into the charger where it resided before Claire’s unexpected call.

Claire and I have been friends since tenth grade, but how we became friends is beyond me.

I was always in the classroom for my lunch breaks until she entered my school and was enrolled in my class. I was asked to help her catch up because it was already second term.

She was, and still is, the cheerful and talkative type, whereas I’m quiet and shy. That is, until Claire came into the picture. She talked my ear off during breaks until we finally hit it off and became best friends.

She started dating in tenth grade but respected my decision of not wanting to date until I turned eighteen. I’d just finished with school and applied for an internship, so Claire insisted that I start dating. But I didn’t.

She became more persistent from then on, and it only got worse after my twenty-first birthday last week.

I know that I’m old enough to date…so I don’t really understand what’s holding me back.

I grab my phone from the charger and unlock it. What greets me makes me gasp—and almost has me dialing Claire’s phone number to tell her off.

The girl has already downloaded the dating app into my phone. Without my permission. I need to change my password because she’s really starting to make me regret giving it to her.

Having this app on my phone is unsettling, to say the least. Last I checked, the app was not approved, which is a bit strange because it’s already hit a hundred thousand downloads in the last two months.

But I guess that’s just how people are. They don’t mind taking risks, while I do. I don’t want to find myself with troubles that I could have easily avoided, and this app might lead to some of those troubles.

I groan in conflict with myself and fall back into my comfy, fluffy mountain of pillows. When my back meets the soft surface, I sigh with contentment before turning to face my cappuccino-colored stuffed teddy bear that I named Nova.

“Nova, what should I do?” I quietly murmur to my stuffed toy, who just stares at me with lifeless, chocolate-brown orbs.

I sigh as I grab him and stuff my face into his soft, fluffy coat.

It never fails to comfort me, the scent of flowers—and home—that immediately invades my senses, and I find myself greedily and gratefully sniffing.

I washed Nova yesterday, so the scent is still fairly strong—which I’m very grateful for at the moment. I find myself feeling drowsy as my nerves calm and my brain turns into mush.

An hour-long nap never hurt anybody, right?


A soft voice cuts through my sleep-clouded mind as hands gently grasp my arms and shake my sleepy lump of a body. I weakly raise my hand and swat whoever it is, hoping they’ll go away and leave me to my sweet sleep.

Instead, a light chuckle of amusement echoes throughout my room and into my foggy brain.

“Go away,” I mumble sleepily, trying to get rid of the pest who insists on breaking me out of my sleep. Unlike Sleeping Beauty, I’m actually enjoying my sleep, and I most certainly don’t want to end it anytime soon.

“Elli, hon, it’s time for dinner.” My mom’s soft voice enters my stubborn brain, but unfortunately, rather than waking me, it only coaxes me into sleeping more.

“I no wanna,” I sleepily complain, taking my European pillow and pulling it over my head.

“Elli!” My mom’s stern voice penetrates the fog between my ears, leaving no room for arguments. “You already missed lunch, and you can’t miss dinner too. So up, up with you.”

“But, Mom…,” I sleepily whine as she pulls away the pillow, making the bright light stab through my closed eyelids, then peels off my covers, introducing cold air to my once warm, now exposed, body.

I moan in protest but open my eyes, only to slam them shut again when greeted by the piercing, orange light. I open them again, slowly this time, to try and get them accustomed to the foreign brightness.

“Good,” my mom says. “Be down in ten, will you?” She grins and gently taps my bare thigh before getting up and walking out the bedroom door.

I close my eyes and throw my arm over them to try and get rid of the stubborn sleepiness, knowing this method is futile. I groan and sit up until my bare feet meet the rough, dark-gray carpet.

Locating my sandals by feel, I slip my feet into them before standing up and trudging my way to my adjoining bathroom.

I quickly rinse my mouth and throw some cold water onto my face as a last-ditch effort to get rid of my sleepiness.

I grab a towel and wipe away the lingering drops on my face before relieving my bladder and washing my hands, thankfully a little more awake now.

Feeling more refreshed, I make my way to join my parents in the kitchen and am greeted by the slightly spicy smell of dinner. My stomach immediately rumbles, announcing its craving and need for food.

My mouth is already threatening to water as the smell mercilessly invades my nose when my eyes land on the already-cut lasagna on the counter.

“And there you are,” my dad says, chuckling. “Your mom almost marched up there to try and wake you up again.” His eyes twinkle with happiness and undeniable amusement.

I giggle, knowing the truth in his statement.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” I admit, turning toward my mom who smiles and shrugs.

“Now, shall we dig in? I’m famished,” Dad says, licking his lips.

“Let’s eat.” Mom smiles, giving us the permission and the encouragement we need to dig into the delicious-looking food. And boy, do I agree with Dad—I need food in my stomach, and fast.

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