Celebrity superhero, p.1

Celebrity Superhero, page 1

 

Celebrity Superhero
 

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Celebrity Superhero


  Celebrity Superhero

  A K-pop Romance Book

  Celebrity Superhero

  Jennie Bennett

  To my imaginative children, never lose your sense of wonder.

  Celebrity Superhero

  A K-pop Romance Book

  Text © 2017 Jennie Bennett

  Cover Design © 2017 Jennie Bennett

  Cover Photo © Meet Cute Photography

  Font © Sideshow and Cyreal

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.

  ISBN-10: 1548635901

  ISBN-13: 978-1548635909

  Editing by Precy Larkins

  Printed in the United States of America

  Contents

  Damsel in Distress

  Fitting into the Cape

  Finding Kryptonite

  Facing the Villain

  Superheroes Have Feelings, Too

  Oh, How the Mighty Fall

  Becoming a Hero

  The Good Guy Always Wins

  Happily Ever After

  Acknowledgements

  About the Author

  Damsel in Distress

  “Anna, I can see why Sungwook is your favorite,” Erin says, pausing the music video. “He definitely has the best chocolate abs.”

  My teeth sink into my bottom lip as I stare, almost squeezing the life out of Rosie, my Pomeranian-teacup poodle mixed dog. Whoever had the bright idea to chain Sungwook up in a bathtub, wearing an unbuttoned white shirt and jeans was a genius, but I’m dying to watch the rest of the MV. I adjust my glasses and tuck my strand of purple hair behind my ear, eager to keep going.

  The MV released today, and I want to soak it all in once before I watch it again. And again. And again. I’ll probably learn the dance too, since that’s what I do with all their songs.

  I gently whack Erin’s bony brown arm and lunge for the mouse. “Stop! Let’s watch.”

  There is so much beauty I feel like my eyes might pop out of my skull. It’s not just the five members of SUPER, although each one is amazing, but it’s also the incredible videography and artistic storyline. Okay, and it’s also the members of SUPER.

  I’ll never get why there are so many girls in my area who don’t see these boys as attractive. Someone once told me I can see it since I’m Asian myself. I refrained from punching them in the nose, barely.

  Thank goodness I have Erin to back me up, since she’s black, they listen to her more.

  I’ve spent the last three years of my short teenage life totally devoted to SUPER. From the moment their first song Earth Shatter dropped, I was hooked. Not only was the music, singing, and dancing completely on point but their superhero concept was mind blowing. Five tortured boys out to save the world from certain destruction one breathtaking song at a time? Swoon!

  “Oh my gosh, Anna,” Erin screams. “Did he just break the bathtub?”

  I whack her again. “Shut up, I’m watching!”

  Dark Doom, SUPER’s evil nemesis, has them all trapped in various places around the world, and their girlfriend—yes, their, because they all appear to be dating the same person—is being dropped into a vat of boiling green liquid, and they must break free and save her.

  Sungwook, who’s naturally the best of the five, bursts his bathtub confines with his super strength and uses his super speed to navigate through a maze of mirrors, his chains still attached to his wrists.

  Unique, who is sporting the most amazing bright blue hair in this MV, uses his laser vision to cut his ties and start his marathon across an endless desert.

  Parkjae and E are entwined together in thick iron, but with their freezing and heating powers they shatter and melt their bonds, even though they’re still lost in a cave.

  Reign is trapped at the peak of a mountain, but Dark Doom doesn’t know Reign’s recently gained the ability to tunnel straight through to the ground.

  All five boys, whose initials spell SUPER, gather and watch helplessly outside a blue force-field as their lover is dropped to her doom. Scenes splice through each of their faces as they sing, the camera panning out to the boys dancing in a reflective puddle.

  Honestly, even if these boys weren’t portrayed as having superpowers I’d still view them as completely otherworldly. There’s no way that amount of talent came from Earth. Maybe there’s a K-pop planet kinda like Krypton, and these boys come here and get their powers from our yellow sun.

  I sit on the edge of my vintage refurbished white chair as the scene switches back to the girl. The hair-bow Parkjae gave her at the beginning of the MV falls from her silky hair and disintegrates into black ash the moment it meets the death liquid.

  Erin has grabbed my hand at some point, and I’ve been squeezing it so tight my knuckles ache. Even Rosie sits forward to watch more.

  An army of ninja-dancing soldiers descend upon the K-pop group, and they must dance-fight to capture Dark Doom and shut down the machine, but that’s when the video stops.

  It’s not over, just paused.

  I start to hyperventilate as the infuriating circle of dots rolls around on my video. My eyes flit to the lower right-hand side of my screen and notice the wifi is showing zero bars. I bump Erin’s hip, letting Rosie down to the floor. Erin lets me sit in the wheelie chair in front of my desk.

  “This isn’t happening,” Erin says. “We have to find out if they save the girl.”

  “I know, I’m trying,” I answer through gritted teeth.

  I click on the wifi settings, my neck tense. Code red, major emergency, there is no wifi signal for our house at all.

  “I have to go check the router,” I say, standing so abruptly the wheelie chair crashes into my bookshelves.

  “You mean this?” My mom has entered the room, and she’s holding the router hostage in her hand.

  “What are you doing?” I cry, my nerves so amped up I feel like I might burst. “There’s thirty seconds left of this music video and—”

  “And,” Mom breaks in, talking louder than me. “Our guests are going to be here in half an hour. You promised you would clean the toilets before then.”

  “Mom, seriously, thirty seconds!” I hate that I sound like a whining kid, but this is life or death.

  “Great,” Mom says. “Then you’ll have time to finish watching it after you’re done with the toilets.” She looks at my friend. “Sorry, Erin, I’m afraid you’ll need to go home.”

  Erin glances at me and motions with her finger like she’s going to text me later. She’d better.

  I watch helplessly as she leaves the room, heartsick that the new music video will have to wait. Usually, I single-handedly give them thousands of views in the first twenty-four hours simply by having two videos on a playlist that loops. As long as I’m not logged into an account, YouTube counts each one as a watch. Yes, I’ve researched it. Yes, I’m obsessed.

  The bathroom connects my room and the guest room. There’s a sink and mirror for each side, with the toilet and shower in the room behind it. Apparently, it’s called a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, because my mom says so. Opening the cabinet under my sink, I pull out the toilet brush and cleaner.

  Mom is an interior designer, so everything in our house is either a tone of white or gray with reclaimed wood accents and clapboard. Even the blue paint in the living room has a gray base tone to it. It’s pretty, but it’s also muted.

  Sometimes I think about painting my room neon purple just to get so
me color into my life. In fact, that’s probably why I dyed the single strand of purple in my hair, because then I could take my favorite color with me everywhere I go. Mom hates it, which makes it that much better.

  She’s the type who likes everything neat and orderly. Even the bowl of fancy soaps on the bathroom counter are positioned as if to look thrown in there, but I’m sure Mom spent half an hour making them look that way. Even though this is technically my bathroom, I’m not allowed to touch them. Instead, there’s a liquid soap dispenser for me to use. I try not to roll my eyes every time I think about it.

  I finish all the toilets upstairs in less than ten minutes like I knew I would. I try the wifi again, but Mom hasn’t hooked it back up. She’s in the kitchen making sure all her food looks like it came from a magazine spread, and cleaning the counters until they sparkle.

  I could ask her to turn it back on, but I can tell she’s gone full beast mode with the cleaning since people are coming over, and it’s better to wait it out than to awaken the monster.

  The brightest spot in my room is the bookshelf that houses rows of colorful manga. When I’m not watching SUPER, I spend my spare time reading about other Asians with supernatural gifts. Mom thinks I’m crazy, but I told her it’s healthier to be invested in my fantasy world than drugs, and that shut her down pretty quickly.

  I grab my favorite and most worn story off the shelf, Rosie standing at my heels. I love that Rosie follows me everywhere. Mom was the one who adopted her from the shelter, but as soon as she came home we connected and now she’s my dog. She gets snippy when anyone else tries to hog me for too long.

  A soft knock at the door makes me turn, my dad standing in the frame.

  “You might want to take your book downstairs,” he says, pointing to the volume in my hand. “Mom expects us all to be waiting for them to show up.”

  Dad understands how crazy Mom can get, and I’m happy to have the solidarity. I take his advice and follow him down the stairs to the living room where at least there’s a cozy reading corner chair, even though I can’t mess up the throw blanket that accents the white fabric. I tend to sneak messy snacks into that corner, anyway. What’s a good book without food?

  I tuck my feet under my body, and Rosie assumes her usual position next me, her floofy white hair tickling my arm. I try to allow myself to get lost in the tales of people with supernatural powers, so I can forget about the friends visiting from our motherland, Korea, to stay for a whole week. I haven’t seen them since they left the good ol’ U.S. of A. when I was six.

  Beyond the fact that real life people are going to kill my time with fictional characters, I know I'm going to be pushed together with their son that’s my age—a kid I only remember as a bully.

  The last time I saw him, he stole my extra-precious Disney Princess locket. Did I mention I was six? That necklace meant the world to me.

  Also, my parents are determined I marry this guy. Which, ew.

  Seriously, from what I remember, he was super ugly. He had weird hair, and he smelled funny.

  “Anna, put the book away, and send Rosie in the backyard. They're going to be here any second,” Mom says from the kitchen.

  Riiigght, like they were going to be here twenty minutes ago? I know I’ve been reading for way longer than the appointed time they were supposed to be here. I pretend to not hear her. Again.

  “Anna,” Mom calls, this time coming into the living room and waving a frantic hand. “I see their car in the driveway. Get the vase!”

  I roll my eyes and slide out of the chair, but I don't put the book on the shelf. I do kick Rosie out, but I still intend to come back to my chair and keep reading before they’ve finished their awkward hellos.

  These are not my friends but people my parents used to hang out with. Did I mention it was a decade ago?

  Mom’s already informed me that I will be polite no matter how boring it gets, and I have informed her that’s impossible.

  She can yell at me all she wants, but I plan on retreating to my room directly after dinner. I’m only sticking around that long because I’ve been told that my prized manga collection will be taken from me if I don’t.

  I pick up the white porcelain vase and hold it gingerly in my hands. What Asian buys a ceramic vase for other Asians? It's totally stupid. Like, they couldn't pick up this exact thing in Korea?

  No. They have to come to Portland, Oregon to get something Mom found in a, quote-unquote, thrift store where the items cost three times their actual value. But I saw the made in China sticker. It would be faster for them to go to China, honestly.

  Maybe I’m being harsh, but I already know how much this week is going to drag.

  “You're here!” Mom says in Korean, opening the door then pulling her friend into a hug.

  Dad is there as well, giving his pal a bro-hug followed by a fist bump and some other weird handshake I can’t bear to watch. It’s gross when old people try to act young.

  I try not to sigh too loud as I look anywhere but at the front door.

  “Come in, come in,” Mom says.

  My foot taps on the hardwood as I wait. Can I hand over this vase now and get back to my book?

  “Anna, you remember Mrs. Choi?”

  “It's a pleasure to meet you,” I rattle off in Korean, studying the ceiling.

  Good thing I was raised speaking Korean, or else this would be ten times worse than it already is.

  “And you remember Caleb, right Anna?”

  Since I’m obligated, I lower my gaze and fix my eyes on the Choi’s only child. My jaw drops as the vase slips from my hands. I've lost all muscle control. Time turns to slow motion, leaving me frozen in place as my thoughts start spinning.

  Caleb is not who I remember.

  Instead of the little brat that made me cry, I see a demigod. Hours of YouTube videos flash before my eyes, K-pop ringing in my ears.

  Caleb is not Caleb. Caleb is Sungwook from SUPER. How did my parents not know that Caleb is the boy that hangs on the corkboard in my bedroom? For crying out loud, it was the only K-pop picture Mom allowed me to put up!

  I mean, I guess I knew that Caleb was this guy’s English name and not what he was given at birth, but no one could warn me? If I had known, I would've put on something nice and done my hair. I’m out of contacts, but maybe I could find some old ones or figure out how to go blind. Instead, I wonder if I still have Dorito dust on the corner of my mouth.

  He's going to hate me without knowing me, run away, and forever remember me as the dork he met once at a family gathering.

  Except...

  My parents want me to marry him, don't they? Done. I take back every bad thing I ever said about my parents. They chose my future husband just right.

  I unfreeze as some sort of scream/gasp/strangled-cry escapes my throat. One end of the vase is about to touch the floor, ready to shatter across the entryway. Next thing I know, I'm falling backwards. Waving my arms through the air as if I can right my balance.

  I'm not sure what happened since I was standing just fine, but time goes from slow-motion to normal speed the second I land on my rear. My hand is scraped from catching my fall, but other than that, I'm unhurt.

  It takes me a full minute to understand what took place, but I'm pretty sure it went something like this:

  1. See Caleb—uber hot Asian pop star whom I've loved ever since SUPER debuted.

  2. Have a freak-out panic attack and drop an expensive vase.

  3. Get pushed away by said Caleb. Uber hot Asian pop star touched me, and I missed it.

  4. Watch as Caleb catches expensive vase and saves my life.

  It makes zero sense. In less than ten seconds, Caleb assessed the situation, pushed me out of the way, and kept the vase from breaking. It's not possible when one considers human reflexes. That was a superman-like, lighting fast reaction. Kind of like his character in the music videos.

  Caleb stands over me with the vase tucked under his arm. One of his eyebrows is raised, and fo
r a second, I think he’s going to reach out his hand to help me up. But he doesn’t. Instead, he says, “You always were clumsy.”

  I blink, trying to process his words. After seeing him for the first time in a decade, he’s called me clumsy. What the crap is that supposed to mean? I was six the last time he saw me. SIX!!!

  Granted, he was the same age so it's not like he made the wisest judgments either. This is the chance to start over and we have a whole week together. Oh my goodness, I have a whole week with my favorite celebrity in the entire universe. This is going to be amazing! I guess I can forgive him for one rude comment, considering we're going to be husband and wife.

  I stand with no help from anyone in the room since they’re all busy congratulating Caleb on his amazing catch. I’m tempted to congratulate him, too.

  “Anna,” Mom says, her voice all sugar. “Would you give Caleb a tour while we chat with his parents?”

  Um, yes please! Time alone with Caleb? She doesn't even know how incredible a proposition that is. I'm just wondering how my parents never realized that my childhood friend is a huge star. I guess they're too preoccupied with whatever it is they spend their time on. I don't really know because I’m busy doing what I want.

  Okay, Anna, play it cool. Keep the feelings down. This is a guy you like, but don’t know. And he might hate you before you’ve had a chance. No need to get all worked up.

  “Yeah, sure.” I look at Caleb. “Do you wanna see your room?”

  He crosses his arms, brooding. I guess that's a no.

  Mrs. Choi nudges him. “Go on.”

  He lets out an exasperated sigh and stumbles after me. We walk to the kitchen and I point up the stairs. “You're up here so—”

  “Let's get one thing straight,” Caleb says, cutting me off.

  I stop. His tone is not good. “Okaaay...?”

  “We're not hanging out this week.”

  Ouch. Stake right to the heart.

  He points back at the living room. “I'm only here because this is the time I have to spend with my family. Whatever you think you’re doing, un-think it.”

  And a successful slaying of all my pride.

 
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