Uncut: White Flame

The original, unedited, and uncut version of the first English Love Story published in Lady Romantica site is here…

Lady Romantica originally wrote this story in blog style and posted in a social site almost 3 years ago.

It was dedicated for 2 young girls who met and became friends online. One from Malta and the other from the Philippines.

The writer tried to re-write and edit this story but the original plot remained stubborn and it got stuck like a flat tire that refused to budge. lol…

So here’s the story again — Uncut: White Flame.

Audrie was a teenager when her innocent heart fell in love to Sean, the man who belonged to her beautiful eldest sister Anne.

How could she fight the deepening forbidden attraction?

* * *

White Flame is a story of a self-possessed young woman, who is passionate but still unawakened.

Unconsciously, her innocent heart had fallen in love with a man who already belongs to her beautiful sister.

Audrie is the ugly duckling of the family so she knows — and accepts — the fact that Sean will never notice her.

As expected, the man sees her only as a future sister-in-law and seems uninterested to look beneath the thick eyeglasses.

Audrie always tells herself that she’s grateful for the lack of attention from the love of her life but it still hurts whenever she watches him smiling at her sister.

Audrie wished that her love is like a weed that she could kill instantly.

For so long, she had been pulling at its roots but it kept on sprouting back to life.

Just one glance and a casual nod from Sean could make her heart spin and turn her world upside down.

Her feelings had begun as a harmless crush for a fascinating creature that lives next door.

But after several years of seeing him almost every day, her whole being is now a slave to an emotion that is so powerful it scares her.

This unrequited love had continued to grow even when she kept it buried inside her.

Then suddenly, Sean is looking at her with interest… and attraction…?

Audrie is awed but unbelieving. How could a handsome and intelligent man be attracted to a boring and dull girl like her?

But this should not be the million dollar question. Instead, she should be asking ‘how can she save herself from more pain?’

She had been fighting this attraction through sheer determination and willpower.

It will be a losing battle now that Sean had focused his magnetic personality to her direction.

Audrie vows to resist until she can, but she’s not sure if her strength could last any longer.

She knows she’ll get burned once Sean got through the thick shield that she built to protect her vulnerable heart…

White Flame is elusive, innocent, and hot.

Lady Romantica explains: The place where Audrie and Sean live is in the suburbs of Love City. It is the capital city of the State of Romance, Republic of Nowhere. Their love story starts unfolding now…

Discover a Young Girl’s Secret Crush

Long fingers of golden light are slowly tearing the darkness of the night into shreds to herald the start of a new day.

When the hour struck 6:00, the alarm went off. Its shrill rings reverberated inside the room and inside Audrie’s head as well.

Her eyes opened up instantly. She loves mornings so she doesn’t mind getting up from bed even when the sun is not yet completely out.

“Good morning!” Audrie chirped to her reflection while combing her long and curly hair.

She disliked the black waves but couldn’t do anything but let them grow beyond her waist.

The last time she had her hair cut very short was a disaster. She looked like a mushroom!

The short tresses curled up and puffed up like a thick halo around her head. She didn’t repeat that mistake again.

Instead, she just ties her unruly hair into a bun or a French braid when at work. And when at home, she hides her hair beneath a cap or just pony-tailed it.

Audrie ran to the window when she heard sounds of a car passing by.

This has been her morning ritual ever since she transferred to this room as a teenager.

No one wanted to sleep in the bedroom because it is located in the front part of their two-story house and therefore looking out to the streets.

Various noises from passers-by are often heard throughout the night.

Amidst the blares of other vehicles and human voices, Audrie could still tell when a particular car is passing by her window.

It’s not the car that she likes to see though. It’s the owner.

Hiding behind the thin laces of the curtain, her eyes sought the face of her secret crush.

“Hi, Sean,” she whispered to herself while letting her eyes feast on the handsome features of the man who lives next door.

She’s free to look only when no one is around.

Sean Talbot is every girl’s crush and every woman’s dream husband in their town.

Why not? He is a hunk—very tall, well-muscled, and very eligible.

He is topless whenever playing basketball inside his front yard. During these times, most of the female population will suddenly get concentrated in this part of their town.

No red-blooded woman could ignore the masculine allure of wide shoulders and muscular chest.

But these are not the qualities that she liked the most.

Sean is a gentleman. He is well-mannered and intelligent. That’s why he became the youngest mayor in the history of their small town.

He studied law and public governance at the nearby university, located in Love City, which is just about an hour or two away.

The distance largely depends on what kind of vehicle you drive.

She drives a second-hand motorbike so the travel is just around 30 to 45 minutes.

Sean chose to drive there every day as a student so Audrie did not have a respite from seeing him.

Maybe, if he opted to stay in the city then she could have outgrown her teenage crush.

“Have a nice day,” she sighed when Sean’s car turned left after honking several times.

She walked to the bathroom slowly. Seeing Sean always makes adrenaline rush in her bloodstream.

Her heart would beat faster and her head would float like a balloon. The excitement is over and she’s back to her dull self.

“You should forget him, Audrie,” she told herself sternly.

“You’re twenty-two now so stop acting like a teenager. Stop hankering over a man, who already belongs to another woman—your own sister!”

She stared at her reflection for several moments then shook her head hastily when she started feeling self-pity.

“I think you must go out more often. Yes, I will accept Nicky’s dinner invitation for next Friday.”

Audrie ran into the shower cubicle before she could change her mind.

The decision is already made.

The Moment Her Heart Died

“Hello, Mom!” Audrie greeted cheerfully as kissed her mother’s cheek before sitting on her dining chair.

“Where’s Dad?”

She didn’t ask for her two sisters because Anne and Aimee are both late risers.

They usually get out of bed at around eleven o’clock on weekdays.

During weekends, they sometimes show up at three or five in the afternoon.

Both girls work as models so their waking hours are different from Audrie’s.

“He’s on the phone talking to Sean.”

She thanked all her lucky stars because her mother was not looking at her when she dropped the slice of loaf bread.

‘Stop trembling!’ Audrie whispered inside her mind.

She gathered her insanity hastily but did not dare ask why her father and Sean were talking on the phone.

“Sean wants to marry your sister Anne,” her mother continued excitedly.

“Oh…” Audrie gasped shakily.

To hide her shocked expression, she opened the door of the refrigerator and pretended to look for something inside.

“The butter and the fresh milk is already here, Audrie. What else do you need?”

“Uh, m-marmalade?” Audrie bit her lower lip to stop its trembling.

“We ran out of marmalade yesterday, child. Thank you for reminding me. I’d better include it to my grocery list now.”

Her mother bustled out of the kitchen to get the small notebook and pen that is exclusively used for listing down all household needs and important family appointments.

Audrie thanked her lucky stars again. Someone up there must be looking kindly at her just now.

No one had witnessed the devastation that she’s feeling because her heart is dying.

Golden rays of hot sunlight were spread on the shiny surface of the wooden dining table and against Audrie’s back because her chair is located near the window.

She should be feeling warm but her insides remained frozen.

So this is how it feels when the heart is dead…

“Hello, Audrie,” her father smiled as he sits down on his chair. “Where’s Mommy?”

At 58, Ron Jacobs managed to stay slim.

Audrie got her slender almost shapeless form from him—plus her tall height. Her sisters are also tall, but she’s the tallest.

Her mother, Marie Jacobs, is a petite woman who also looks younger than her 55 years of age despite the ample hips that developed after three pregnancies.

“Hi, Dad.” Audrie forced her knees to stand up so that she could greet her father with the customary kiss on the cheek. “Mom is—”

“Oh, there you are now, Dad,” her mother cut in as she bustled back into the kitchen. “Your coffee’s still hot.”

“Thanks, Mommy.” Daddy beamed.

Audrie pretended to sip her orange juice so she could continue recovering her lost equilibrium.

“So, when’s the wedding, Daddy?” Mommy asked eagerly.

“It will depend on our Anne’s work schedule, of course,” Daddy replied slowly, as though something was troubling him.

“Sean knows about the 2-year modeling contract that Anne recently accepted.” He shrugged before sipping his coffee.

“They have to find a date where they can squeeze the wedding day.”

“Oh, that’s too bad!” Mommy exclaimed. “I told Anne to reject that offer but she won’t listen.”

“Mommy, our children are all grown-up now,” Daddy reasoned out softly. “We have to respect their decisions.”

“Yeah, I know, I know.” Mommy shook her head as she agreed. “Will there be an engagement party?”

“I don’t know. But I invited Sean and his family to have dinner with us. He accepted.” Ron Jacobs smiled smugly.

“What?! Here!?”

Audrie secretly echoed her mother’s scandalized reaction.

Visions of small children running around the house flashed in front of her eyes as though she’s watching an old film but it’s the future that she’s seeing.

‘I really must kill this crazy love for Sean!’ she screamed inside her head.

“Don’t worry, Mommy. I already made a reservation in our favorite restaurant.”

“When?” Mommy refused to relax.

“Tomorrow night.”

‘Sunday night,’ Audrie gulped her juice in silence.

She didn’t dare talk because her parents would start noticing her.

Their distraction to Anne’s future engagement with Sean is manna from heaven for her.

“But—but—” Mommy opened the small notebook.

“Anne will be flying to New York tomorrow morning! She has a fashion show on Monday evening.”

“Oh, my!” Ron Jacobs stood up and fished out the phone from his pant’s pocket. “I’ll call Sean.”

“Call the restaurant, too,” Marie reminded as she followed her husband.

“Yup. I don’t want to pay a fine.”

“You should’ve asked me.”

“Yes, of course. Sorry about that.”

Like a wilting flower, Audrie slowly slumped on her chair when her parents were out of sight.

What should she do? she sighed miserably.

Can she skip the dinner party? Maybe, but she should have a very good and very valid reason.

Getting bedridden with illness is the only thing she could think of.

Why not? Audrie perked up a bit because the wild idea sounds good.

But how…?

How to Kill an Unrequited Love

The plan for the dinner party got worse.

The first biggest event in the Jacobs Family, Anne’s engagement to Love City’s bachelor mayor, will be celebrated on this coming Saturday.

This time, the Talbot Family will be the host and the venue will be in Sean’s solid but elegant home.

Everybody was ecstatic, except Audrie. She kept all her misgivings a secret.

She also wished to get ill so that she could escape the Saturday ordeal.

But Audrie did not get sick until weekend came.

She’s so disgusted because her slim body is so goddamned healthy.

It rained almost every day and she deliberately got herself wet while driving her motorbike along the highways of Love City.

Did she get cold?

No. Nothing, not even a tiny sneeze!

“Hey, little sis. Why the dark scowl? No dress to wear?”

Aimee asked teasingly, her beautiful heart-shaped face sandwiched between the door and the jamb.

Audrie shrugged.

“I still have Anne’s purple dress in my closet.”

“What? But that’s so old! I’ll bring some new stuff here.”

“No — wait!” Audrie tried to stop her elder sister but she’s gone.

A few minutes later, Aimee returned with a big luggage.

“Here is the latest fashion in Paris, Audee,” she announced smugly, using Audrie’s childhood nickname affectionately while pulling out a shiny scrap of fabric.

It was heavily perfumed.

Audrie sighed and tried to look expectant.

She has never been interested in anything that smells or looks fashionable.

Her clothes are all comfortable and, well, somewhat rebellious.

Her jeans have scruffy hems and her shirts are loose-fitting.

Foot wears are flip-flops or sneakers.

“Wear this one, my dear. You’ll look sexy.” Aimee held both straps and waved the slinky dress in front of Audrie.

“No. I won’t look anything but ridiculous in that dress.” Audrie shook her head.

“Anne’s purple dress is perfect for me,” she added firmly.

“You’d look old and dowdy!” Aimee squealed.

“I will look myself,” Audrie insisted.

“You’re so old-fashioned,” Aimee complained. “OK, I’ll do your hair and make-up.”

“No again. I can manage, Aimee.”

“Do you have lipsticks?”

“Yes, and some facial powder.” Audrie pulled the luggage bag off her bed and put it just outside her bedroom’s door.

“Don’t worry about me.”

“What about high-heeled shoes?” Aimee refused to get defeated.

“I prefer my black flat shoes.”

“Black shoes with purple dress?” Aimee squealed again. She looked so scandalized with the thought.

“No one will notice my feet. The purple dress has a very long skirt, remember?”

“Oh, OK.”

“Now, get back to your room and get dressed. Mom and Dad will be annoyed if anyone’s late.”

“Oh, OK.” Aimee still looked reluctant to leave.

Audrie sighed after closing the door.

If she could just go out of their house and ride her motorbike to get away from here…

But she knew she’d hate herself more if she caused pain and embarrassment to her family.

“Martyr Audrie,” she whispered a sneer to her reflection in the mirror.

“Audrie? Are you dressed?” Marie Jacobs spoke loudly while knocking rapidly.

“Not yet, Mom,” Audrie replied as she opened the door. “Why?”

“Can you help me with the salad? I haven’t taken a bath yet.”

“Sure. I’ll take over, Mom. Relax and get dressed.”

“Oh, thank you. You’re such a dear!” Her mom kissed her on one cheek.

“Hmm, you smell clean. Just got out of the bath?” The older woman glanced at the still wet hair.

“Just a shower.” Audrie smiled.

A kiss from her mom and a pat on the head from her dad always make her smile.

No wonder she’s got no heart to hurt her parents.

The only way she could live with Sean as her brother-in-law is to get rid of her old infatuation with him.

Audrie went down to the kitchen and finished the elaborate salad preparation.

She looked like a scruffy tomboy but she could cook like an angel.

However, no one outside her family knows this secret talent of hers because she prefers to hide it.

And since she’s always in the background, her family conveniently forget to mention about this to anyone.

‘Kill your love, kill your love, kill your love…’

Audrie chanted to herself as she tossed the crispy lettuce scraps with olive oil.

“Still undressed, kiddo?” Anne, looking like a queen in her elegant evening dress, walked gracefully towards the kitchen table.

“That salad looks delightful. Leave it, I’ll take over from here. Go to your room and get dressed.”

“No. Don’t touch anything here. You might get dirty.”

“Anne?” Ron Jacobs called out from the living room.

“I’m in the kitchen, Dad.” Anne replied quickly.

“Come here. I have something to show you.”

“I’ll be there.” Anne threw Audrie a stern look.

“Cover that salad bowl and run upstairs, kiddo. I have to catch a midnight flight so we can’t be late tonight.”

“You’re going back to New York right after the party? But — ”

“My work is also important to me, Audrie,” Anne cut in.

“I have to go to Dad. Be ready at exactly 6:30. And tell that to Aimee.”

“Yes, Anne.” Audrie moved fast and did not dare think about the new information.

Everyone expected Anne to stop working and just stay at home while waiting for the wedding day.

‘You have to kill your love soon, Audrie! Very soon!’

It should be easy killing the love in her heart because it is unrequited.

To Sean, Audrie is invisible.

But she’s still feeling panicky.

Sean with Anne would be painful to her but Sean without Anne could be very, very dangerous…

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