Akira Watanabe’s greatest issue isn’t being a lesbian, but rather having a father with the maturity of a teenager. He’s a heavy drinker and hardly works, so she supports them both with a job at a local convenience mart. It’s there she befriends police sergeant Rosey Garatino, who frequents the store and lives in the same complex as the Watanabes.
Akira has the hots for a Goth girl named Jade, but unfortunately, Jade likes guys, and she also drinks and smokes. One night when Jade comes into the store, drunk, and tries to steal some beer, Akira stops her. Jade gets sick, and Akira helps her outside. Sparks fly between them, but nothing happens.
Later Akira hears rumors that Jade is a lesbian. The heat that smoldered between them now sparks into a fire, especially when Jade promises to quit drinking and smoking. Akira’s surprised to learn Jade is Rosey’s daughter.
Growing up can be difficult in the best of situations, but the neighborhood where Akira and Jade live is dangerous, too. As their friendship deepens into love, will they be able to protect each other and find their happy ending?
At school, Jade nervously approached Akira in the hall after she finished talking with someone. "Hey, Akira, can we talk a sec?"
Jade read the caution on Akira's pretty, sexy face. "Sure."
Damn, why didn't Jade have a few lines memorized? Flat-footed, she stared at the floor, the wall, and was able to bring her gaze to Akira. "Uh, I just want to say, well, I mean, uh, thanks, okay. I don't think any convenient store clerk, in the world, would do what you did, go home with a customer. You're awesome." She wanted to touch, maybe hug and kiss the Japanese beauty.
"Oh. I worried you hated me."
"Hated you? You're awesome. Why would I hate you? Everything about you is stupendous especially since I've been such a jerky bitch, being drunk, trying to steal beer and buy cigarettes, acting like a screwed up boy." Their gazes locked. Jade bit her lip until it hurt. "You're like karate queen and could have kicked my ass."
"I studied Jujitsu for a few years, I'm no one special." They stood closer than standard conversations required.
A hand landed on Jade's shoulder and she cranked her head to face Ryan, her former, pretend boyfriend. He looked worried. "Are you two grooving into something or gonna fight? Jade, she'll kick your ass. She's a jujitsu black belt." They both stared at him. "The bell rang. You're late for class."
Akira moaned, "Crap." She spun on her heels and rushed off.
Jade groaned like an echo. "Crap."
Ryan shook his head. "What was that all about?"
"Let's cut class and I'll tell you." She grabbed his shirt and ran down the hall to the exit. He let her.
"Everyone will think we're back together."
"Everyone is in class. Screw them and this isn't high school anymore." Jade cried her heart out to Ryan, telling him everything and commenting on Akira's slender nose and full pink lips and how her eyes were a warm milk chocolate lined with long, dark lashes and framed with perfect eyebrows. It took almost the hour of class they cut.
Ryan was a sweetheart and stayed silent, listening. "You've got it bad for her."
Jade tried to stem her tears and nodded.
"If you do it with her, can I watch?"
The little wiseass side of him made her laugh. "She has to hate me."
"She said she didn't. Just ask her out. All she can do is kick your ass and leave you unconscious on the front lawn."
Jade laughed, stood, and straightened her clothes. She looked around for witnesses. With none in sight she hugged Ryan and kissed his cheek. "You're a good friend. Thanks."
"I was a psychiatrist in a prior life."
Jade opened her notepad and grabbed a pen. Dear Dr. Akira Watanabe -- Jade confessed in the letter her hope for a friendship between them. She again apologized for trying to steal beer from the store. She folded it neatly and hid it in one of the deep pockets of her Goth coat. At lunch, Jade thrust the note into Akira's hand, and she admired Akira's sexy Twenties' style pink dress from the Victorian era. "This came for you." She rushed back to the lunch table with her safe Goth buds.