Book cover of “Imperfect“ by Essie Neh

Imperfect

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Essie Neh
“Go ahead, little lady, why do you think I should hire you? Tell me, why do you need this job?” He asked, and I sensed that it was the last time he was going to do so. “I... I need this job! If I don’t get it, I’ll have to go back to my town and maybe work in a fast food restaurant making minimum wage. I don’t want that. I don’t want that for my f... 

Chapter 1

Fucking finally. It had taken me about thirty tries, ten sore fingers, and over an hour, but I had finally managed to screw my bed into place.

I stepped away from my handiwork and assessed it proudly. Even though a part of me regretted not calling the movers as my mother had proposed, I was happy to have done it on my own.

I had finally moved away from my hometown, and I was happy about that. I was far away from my mother and far away from the stupid small town and its issues.

I’m probably making it sound like my life was a nightmare before. It wasn’t. But after a while (twenty-one years), the routine gets so fucking monotonous.

I went to the living room and dragged my heavy mattress to the bedroom. The bed was the last thing I had done, and I was happy I was finally done, and for the first time in three nights, I was going to sleep on a real bed.

I decided to curl into my bed with a good book and went straight to the shower. Sweat was not a good deodorant. And I was fucking drenched in it.

After taking a shower and changing into a short silk nightie, I climbed on the bed, ready to take on the world one book at a time.

But as soon as I got comfortable, I heard pounding noises. I stopped reading for a moment, hoping whoever was doing what was going to stop and I was going to be at peace.

I waited for about ten minutes, and the sounds continued, intensified even. Maybe the neighbor was doing some work in their home. I decided to investigate.

Forgetting all I had on was a short nightie and panties underneath, I passed barefoot to the neighbor’s door and knocked, then waited patiently for them to come and open.

On my third knock, the door was opened brusquely, and a shirtless and sweaty man was standing there.

He was tall. I had to crane my neck up to see him, and that was saying something because I was tall as well. His hair was tousled, and his skin was glistening with sweat.

I swallowed to wet my incredibly dry throat. I realized I had been silent until he raised a brow at me, making me blush.

“I… sorry to interrupt, uh, whatever you’re doing, but I was trying to, erm, read. So, please keep it down,” I said, and when he raised his brow higher than I had imagined possible, I rushed to add, “I know DIYs take a lot of time and make a lot of noise. But please just keep it down.”

His brow came back down, and the corner of his lip lifted a little. I frowned. Why was he smiling?

“That’s what you think I was doing?” He asked with a small chuckle.

I frowned even harder. What the hell? “That wasn’t what you were doing?” I asked in confusion.

As he was about to answer the question, a really pretty and fucking sexy woman draped herself behind him. She was scantily dressed, and even to a clueless person like me, it was obvious what had happened.

“She wants to join us?” the woman asked, and my cheeks were so hot I thought they were going to fall off.

I widened my eyes, stuttered out an apology, and ran to my apartment. I put my hand on my chest and slapped myself a little.

I was such a fucking fool. How could I ask him if he was going DIY? Fucking DIYs. I couldn’t think of anything better? Lord, was I a fool?

I carried my book and a blanket to the living room and sat on the couch. Now that I knew what the noises were, it would be even more awkward to stay in the room. Bye-bye comfort.

A few hours later, I was woken up by knocks on the door. I woke up groggily and walked to the door, trailing my blanket along with me. I was too cold to leave it.

I opened the door and was surprised to see the hunky next-door neighbor. He was dressed this time around, and a small part of me regretted it. His body was too yummy not to be exposed.

“Hi,” I squeaked. Magically, the sleepy feeling in me suddenly disappeared.

“Uh, hello,” the man said with a chuckle. I was sure I was a big joke to him. After the incident earlier, it was no surprise.

“I’m sorry for before-” I started, but he interrupted me.

“No. You have nothing to be sorry for. I apologize for inconveniencing you,” he said with an easy smile, and I blushed. Why was I acting as if I had never seen an attractive man before in my life, goddammit?

“I- uh, yes. It’s alright,” I said, stuttering like an idiot.

“I didn’t know you had moved it. I usually do my... activities in a more discreet way,” he continued, and I held in the urge to groan. Could he please stop? This was way too awkward.

“I’m Harry, by the way,” he said, stretching his hand out. I looked at it dubiously. Who knew what he had done with that?

I sent my hand and shook his hesitantly. Could I contact herpes through hand contact? You never know.

“I’m Iris,” I responded awkwardly. I was a mess.

“Welcome, I guess,” he said, looking at me fixedly. I dropped my gaze for a second, then looked back up, and he was smiling. This man.

“Thanks,” I said, then added, “I guess.”

Harry smiled, then said, “I think I’ll like you more than I did the previous neighbor. He was a boring one. And definitely not as pretty as you.”

He turned around and went to his apartment, but not without shooting me a sly wink.

As soon as he was out of sight, I locked the door and made a quick sign of the cross. God help me.

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