Amalias POV

The first week spent in L.A. was an odd one, at least for me. I spent quite a lot of time with both my and Rileys families, together and separately, and every moment was enjoyable, though most of the free time I had was taken up by Riley herself. She wasted absolutely no time beginning her search for Taemin, and dragged me along on almost every one of her escapades; restaurants on Melrose Avenue, stores on Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica Pier, and Venice Beach, we visited them all. We even stopped by Abstract Studios where he records his music, but unsurprisingly, we couldn get any further than the security gates. On the bright side, we weren the only people whod tried that day which helped to lessen the embarrassment.

By the time Friday rolled around, Id become a little fed up with it all and was honestly just looking forward to taking some time for myself, especially since we were still yet to visit a place Id wanted to go. I hate to say it since I love Riley like a sister, but I don know why I expected any different. Being friends for so many years, I know shes one of those people who once she sets her mind on something, its difficult to talk her out of it.

Feeling tired from staying up to watch a movie the night before — something Riley had roped Yuna and me into doing since she really wanted to watch a new horror that had recently been released — I woke up around midday and hurriedly got dressed before taking a moment to plan the day over a small breakfast. Few ideas came to mind at that point, so I decided to just head out for a walk around the neighbourhood, wake myself up with some fresh air and see where I went from there.

I slipped some sneakers on, filled a bag with my essentials, then slung it over my shoulder and stepped out the door onto the street. Immediately, I felt the warmth in the air, and the sound of the breeze gently blowing through the trees and birds chirping soon pulled me out of my sluggish daze. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to make the most of it.

Roughly a few streets into my walk, I stopped on the corner as my eyes became drawn to the nearby park which seemed to be housing some sort of event; there were a variety of white fabric tents lined up on either side of the grass, groups of people were mulling about, and the smell of cooked food wafted through the air and beckoned me to investigate further. I was glad I decided to wander over, as I discovered a food festival and was able to try a range of snacks and foods from different countries, many of which I didn even know existed. Enjoying all of the delicious treats on offer was only improved by mingling with the friendly locals.

Around mid-afternoon, Id had my fill of both food and social interaction and so decided to make my way home, popping my earbuds in and opening up my Spotify playlist to enjoy some music. There were quite a few people out and about also going about their daily business, none of whom really caught my attention, at least until I spotted someone that looked familiar on the other side of the street. As I got closer, it became more apparent who the person was; Felix, a guy around my age whod lived opposite Rose and Jeremy for many years. Hed certainly grown up since the last time I saw him, but there was no mistaking his friendly face or the animal he was walking with. A young Doberman with a shiny coat, floppy ears and the sweetest-looking face, who I remembered was named Castiel because of his angelic smile. Felix and I had met many years ago the very first time I visited Rileys grandparents for summer vacation, and hed become a solid part of our friendship group. Wed drifted apart as wed gotten older, though, and of course, us living in different states and the fact that I hadn been to L.A. in a few years didn help, either.

I considered crossing the street to go talk to him, but I barely even had the chance to step off of the pavement before Felix actually turned and came over to me himself, being pulled by a very excited pooch. ”Lia? Is that you? ” He sounded just as surprised as I was, and I couldn blame him. ”Hows it going? Long time no see, huh? ”

”Hey, Felix. ” I smiled, nodding in response. He immediately pulled me into a close hug using his free arm, the hand holding the lead simply resting on my waist. It was sudden, but so many memories came flooding back as he gave me a gentle squeeze; I was happy he was still around, and that he still remembered me. We were both soon pulled out of the moment, however, when Castiel began barking and pawing at my leg, causing me to chuckle and reach down to pet him. ”Hey, buddy. Missed you. ” He leaned into my touch and licked my arm, something he used to do back when he was a puppy. It was nice to see he still recognised me, as well.

”I take it you
e visiting Rose and Jeremy for summer vacation? ” I nodded again, to which he gave a small smile in response. ”Riley, too? Im glad. ” The more he spoke, the more his Aussie accent poured through; Id almost forgotten he was born in Gold Coast. ”Well hey, we should all hang out sometime, when you
e free. If you want to, of course. ”

The offer caught me a little off guard, mostly because hed asked before I even had the chance to consider asking myself, but it would be nice to reconnect with an old friend and I hoped it might be enough of a distraction for Riley to forget about Taemin so we could properly enjoy our vacation. ”Sure, thatd be great — Id love to catch up! Ill mention it to Riley when I next see her and let you know. ”

”Sounds good, ” Felix replied, reaffirming his grip on Castiels lead. His smile grew as he spoke and it made my cheeks heat up slightly; there was something about it that was so warm, like a ray of sunshine, and the deep, mellow tone of his voice only amplified that. ”Do you need my number? ”

I paused for thought, then let out a nervous chuckle. ”Yes, actually. Thatd probably help. ”

Almost instantly, I slid my phone out of my pocket, opened my contacts and passed it to him so he could type in his number. He saved it with a sweet little smiley emoji, which I felt was a very cute and accurate representation of him. Hed always been known for his cheerful and carefree personality, regardless of how he was feeling or what he was dealing with. It was something I truly admired.

”Well… there you go, ” he said as he handed my phone back to me. His fingers grazed the back of my hand as our eyes met, the only noise permeating the silence being that of Castiel panting. I couldn stop my lips from twitching up into a smile that matched his. ”It was good seeing you again, Lia. ”

”You too, Felix. ” I bent down to give Castiel some pets which he happily accepted, then placed my attention back on the guy opposite me. ”Ill text you soon. ”

With a little wave, Felix and I said our goodbyes before he and Castiel left to continue on their walk. My gaze followed them for a moment until a passing car brought me out of my thoughts and set me back on the path to Rose and Jeremys house. I had to admit, I had somewhat forgotten about Felix along with most of the other people Id met whilst in L.A. which is why I was so surprised to see him, but ultimately I was glad wed bumped into each other. Despite only seeing each other over summer vacation, me, him and Riley always got along so well, and he was even good friends with Yuna. I could only hope that hadn changed with all of us growing up… only time would tell.

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