Read A Safe Space (Someone Else's Fairytale Book 4) Online

Authors: E.M. Tippetts

Tags: #romance

A Safe Space (Someone Else's Fairytale Book 4)

BOOK: A Safe Space (Someone Else's Fairytale Book 4)


a novel by

formatted by
E.M. Tippetts Book Designs

“Handsome trainer Devon is tempting and complicated, confounding Lizzie after almost every encounter. After a lifetime of working on the stage, Lizzie learns how tough life can get when a director isn't yelling cut and the cameras aren't fading to black. I loved watching their relationship mature as they did and my heart broke and soared right along with theirs!” - Caisey Quinn, bestselling author of the
Kylie Ryans Series


What others are saying about E.M. Tippetts:


"...readers who enjoy a good old-fashioned fairy tale will find this unusual contemporary spin on true, lasting love deeply satisfying..." Kathryn Livingston,
Indie Reade
r and
USA Today,
review of
Someone Else’s Fairytale


"I'm going to be honest - I didn't expect to like this at all... But for some completely inexplicable reason I found myself at the end of the book with a giant smile on my face saying aloud (to myself since I'm cool like that) 'wow, I REALLY liked that.'" 9/10 rating by
I Love YA Fiction -
review of
Someone Else’s Fairytale


"A fast-paced blend of high-stakes drama and average teenage concerns (sex, appearance, friends), capped with a welcome message of hope." -
Kirkus Reviews -
review of
Castles on the Sand


A Safe Space
is a spinoff of the
Someone Else’s Fairytale Series,
which includes the books:


Someone Else’s Fairytale

Nobody’s Damsel

Break It Up
(a spinoff starring Kyra Armijo)

The Hunt for the Big Bad Wolf
(Coming Fall 2014)


You do not need to have read any of these books before
A Safe Space
. Each book has a standalone story in it, so they can be read in any order.


The Shattered Castles Series


Castles on the Sand

Love in Darkness


Standalone Novels


Time & Eternity

Paint Me True


Science fiction and fantasy short stories, written as Emily Mah


Across the Sea

Coyote Discovers Mars


Polar Shift

(co-written with Ty Franck)


Under the Needle’s Eye
(an anthology edited by Emily Mah; it contains
Coyote Discovers Mars
and works by ten other science fiction and fantasy authors)







for my cousin, Rebecca.


All the pink and glitter in this book is for her.


through the gym, there’s a sweep of female heads turning like the wake behind a boat in water. He ignores them, though, and comes straight towards where I stand, by the exit.

My mind races, desperate to have a witty response ready for whatever obnoxious, arrogant crack he’s about to make. I avert my eyes from his toned body, flawless complexion, and those piercing hazel eyes. (I never thought of hazel as a piercing color before I met this guy.)

Kyra, my roommate, is digging in her purse for her keys, oblivious to his approach. When she looks up, her mouth turns down in a scowl.

“Don’t, Devon,” she says.

“Don’t what?” His eyes are wide with innocence and his mouth is curled into its usual smirk.

I draw myself up to my full height, unsure whether I should look at him defiantly or look away as if he’s beneath my notice.
If this were a scene,
I think,
and he were the male romantic lead…
Wait, do I want to think of him as the romantic lead? Does that give away too much of my hand? Suffice it to say I’m not navigating this situation with the kind of cool, collected air I aspire to. Whenever he looks at me, I feel like a peacock among pigeons with my ridiculous designer jeans, blouse, and boots. Though I suppose a peacock would preen, I just want to go gray and fit in.

“Have a good day, Veronica,” he says to me.

“That,” says Kyra. “Stop calling her that. Lizzie is what we call an
. The stuff you see her do on television isn’t
. Let me know if I’m throwing too many concepts at you too fast.”

He directs his attention to her.

I think.
Here’s my chance.
I should mock him for watching children’s television (that’s where I played the “Veronica” he’s referring to) or double down on Kyra’s insult about not understanding that I’m an actress. Anything to puncture his ego.

I’ve acted on a show watched by millions of people around the world, sang whole concerts to sold-out arena venues, and in front of this one guy, I choke. I cannot string together a coherent insult. My only saving grace is that he isn’t looking at me and doesn’t see my blank, and no doubt embarrassed, expression.

“Hey, so you said you wanted to know a good app for a pedometer,” he says to Kyra, whipping out his phone and showing her the screen.

The moment for trading insults has passed and I just stand, feeling like a third wheel while my roommate talks to her personal trainer, her silky, black ponytail bobbing as he shows her some options.

“All right, bandwrecker?” he jibes.

There—another opportunity. He just insulted Kyra. I should say…something.

“That should be fine, man-whore,” she replies. “Let’s go Lizzie. Hey, you gonna wish Lizzie good luck for her first day on her new show?”

“I’m still not over
All About Veronica
being canceled. This is a painful moment for me,” he says.

“Why do you watch Nickelodeon?” I blurt out.

“It’s quality programming,” he says without missing a beat. “And as your roommate here will tell you, it’s at my intellectual level.” He holds his hand horizontal to the floor, at about waist height. Then, with a wink, he turns away. “Ladies,” he says to a couple of women ogling him on the gym floor. “May I help you with anything?”

They both giggle and it’s clear they have him pegged for the superficial, commitment-averse player that he is. It’s also clear that he doesn’t mind. His confidence doesn’t diminish—not even a little bit. That’s how sure he is that he can have his way with any girl he wants. From what I’ve seen, he’s right. He’s only worked at the gym for a week, and he’s already got a reputation.

And a habit of taunting me, which is the kind of thing I get sometimes, being a former child star, but not usually from grown men who can’t have been any younger than eighteen when I made my debut as Veronica.

Kyra shoots him a withering look behind his back. But that fades as soon as she turns to me. “You ready?”

I shake my head.

“You’ll kill it,” she says, leaning on the door that opens to the parking garage. “You can do this.”

I follow her out and do my best to act confident. A glance over my shoulder reveals that Devon’s paused to watch us leave. I look away fast.
He’s a jerk,
I tell myself.
He’s a user.
It doesn’t matter that he’s gorgeous. I work in Hollywood; Gorgeous is normal.

It’s as if there’s always a spotlight on Devon though. No matter where he is in the room, I can sense him out of the corner of my eye.

Kyra holds out her hand and we fist-bump before we part ways, her to her red Jeep Liberty that she calls “Libby” and me to the car that waits at the curb. I greet the driver as I climb in the backseat.

He turns to hand me the half-caff soy latte I requested he pick up on the way, and then we’re off.

I shut my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. I can do this. I
do this. The set is a safe space. A
space. This is the mantra that has worked for me my whole life. Don’t get me wrong. Acting classes and coaching help a lot too, but this was the secret my mother unlocked for me at the very beginning of it all. People respect the set and the stage. There are social rules that prevent mockery or laughter. The more relaxed and expressive you can be inside that safe space, the more people respect what you do.

“You excited?” my driver asks me. He’s an olive-skinned man who could be anything from Mexican to South Asian to Middle Eastern.

I shrug and nod.

“Sorry. Is it all right if I talk to you?”

“Of course.”

“This is my first day on this job.”

“And you get to drive Lizzie Warner,” I joke.

“My daughters are huge fans.

“Oh, well, then tomorrow I’ll try to remember to bring some signed pictures or something. I don’t have anything on me today.”

“That’s very kind of you. So what is this new show you’re working on?”

“I play someone who’s twenty-six.”

His gaze snaps to the rearview mirror, where I see his brown eyes gaze at me skeptically. “You’re how old?”

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