I ran down the stairs, screaming my twin brother's name. I stomped through the kitchen, scaring my mom and aunt Debbie, and ran into the den, where I was sure Chad would be watching t.v. I saw the devil's spawn lying lazily across the couch watching the oldest rerun of BayWatch.

"CHAD!" I screamed right into his ear.

"What the hell!" Chad twisted around to see me, his eyes wide with confusion and some anger.

"Where is my laptop, you evil half!" I put my hands on my hips and glared daggars at my now shrivelling brother.

"I..um..used it the other day to..to.." He licked his lips and glanced nervously up at me, "uh, download some new music and pictures, but then, uh, my friend Aden wanted to use it for a sec. We, uh, we started to play around and the laptop...it...uh..."

"Just spit it out and pray that you will live after."

"It fell down the school steps."

I screamed in fustration and threw myself over the couch to tackle Chad. I pinned his arms down and snarled in his face.

"That's the FIFTH time this month that YOU borrowed MY stuff without telling ME! And this time YOU BROKE IT!" I brought my hands to his hair and gave a vicious pull. He yelped out in pain and tried to shove me off him.

"Rayne! GET OFF!" He screamed into my face.

"Not until YOU agree to buy me a NEW LAPTOP!" I sat on his stomach and heard a satisfying 'oof'.

"RAYNE! Get off Chad RIGHT NOW!"

I threw a glance over my shoulder and saw my mom standing there, fury fully written on her face. I quickly rolled off my brother and onto the floor. Chad was smiling like a million bucks and I gave him a rude guesture.

"Rayne, come with me." My mom turned on her heel and marched up the stairs. Chad whispered a 'you're so busted' and turned back to the t.v. I sighed and followed my mom up the stairs and into the kitchen.

"Mom, before we begin, can I just say..."

"Save it." At that, I knew I had to shut up.

"Now, Rayne, tell me what that was about and maybe I can lighten your punishment."

I cringed. "Well, I noticed that my laptop was missing from my room and I knew, inexplicably, that it was Chad. He just told me that he and some friend ruined it, and I guess I lost my temper."

"You think?" Mom sighed and went to the den door, "Chad, get up here."

I smiled an evil, little smile. Mistake. Mom saw it and told me not to hold my breath. Crap, I thought, if there was a chance of lightening my punishment, I just blew it.
Chad popped his head out of the doorway and asked mom what she wanted.

"Did you break Rayne's laptop? And if you answer right, you might only have to pay for half of it, but if you answer wrong, your allowance is suspended till its entirely paid for." Whoo hoo, go mom.

"Well, it was an accident, mom, but I did break it."

"Accident or not Chad," I said, glaring, "my laptop, which I need for school, is broken."

"Rayne, can it for a minute ok?" Mom ran a hand through her short, brown hair and sighed.

"Chad, you will pay for three quarters of the laptop and Rayne, you will spend the next few days without t.v. or phone. You two understand?"

We both nodded mutely and silently returned to the den to talk it over with each other. It was a rule in the Braton household to talk over your differences with each other before life went on. I sat down across from Chad and again wondered how in hell we were so different. Oh, yeah, we looked alike with our sandy blonde hair and green eyes, but our personalities were as different as salt and pepper.
Chad was more easy going and fun, while I, ashamedly, was argumentative and very stubborn. Chad would go through girlfriends like a car would guzzle gas, but me on the other hand, I was not interested in a relationship at all. I had a reputation around school for being an ice queen and a shrew. I smiled, thinking about the stupid rumours that had been circling school lately about me.


I snapped back to reality. "Yeah?"


I sighed, knowing that I could never stay mad at Chad long enough to kill him. "Just do not ever borrow my stuff again without telling me. Got it?"

Chad nodded his head and reached for the control. I shook my head and moved off the couch. I was about to ask Chad if I could grab my c.d.s from his room, when suddenly I heard the phone ringing upstairs. I ran up the stairs, two at a time, and slid into the kitchen. I grabbed the phone and seated myself up on the counter.


"Hey Ray."

I smiled. It was my best friend Livia and I knew that she would be able to cheer me up.

"Sup Liv?"

"Nothing, just hanging out at Gwen's new house. It's awesome Rayne! She has like 6 bedrooms, and three full bathrooms, two with jacuzzi tubs. It has an incredible decor..."

Blah, blah, blah.

"...Oh! I haven't told you about the best part! Gwen has this neighbor named Jareyn. Honestly, Ray, he is sooo hot. He has short, black, gelled up hair, the deepest blue eyes I have ever seen, tall, muscular.."



"Shut up."

I heard Liv sigh at the other end. She was always trying to hook me up with other guys, but honestly, none of them were more then morons. I almost laughed at the number of times Liv had set me up for a date, or tried to.
Liv and I spoke a bit more about school and movies before hanging up. I stretched, carefully not bumping my head of the cupboards . I was about to jump off when I heard the pitter patter of little feet.

"RRRAAAYYYNNNEEE!!!" Oh, kill me now, I thought. I jumped off the counter and braced myself for an encounter with my 5 year old cousin, Martin.
Martin ran full speed into the kitchen, nearly knocking over the garbage pail and crashing straight into me. He hit me so hard that I fell back against the counter. Well, they don't call him Martin the Menace for nothing

"Heya Rayne, whatcha doing?!" Martin had wrapped his skinny little arms around my waist and was drooling up at me. I managed a weak smile and said that I was just hanging around.

"Ya know, you gots some neighbors moving in across the street. I was watching them and they gots some pretty cool stuff. There's a daddy, and a mommy, and a big boy. The big boy has a really cool car and a skateboard, and a mountain bike, and a huge big boy bed!"

I untangled myself from Martin's arms and turned around to look out the kitchen window. Sure enough, there was a white moving van and people carrying boxes to the house. I searched for the new neighbors, but all I saw at the moment was the movers. Oh well.


"Yeah, Martin?" I turned back towards Martin and felt a little bad for turning my back him.

"When you gonna come play basketball with me? You said you woulds come play yesterday, but you didn't come out." Martin's face fell, and I began to feel even worse. I sighed. How could I reject him when he did that? I grabbed Martin's tiny, chubby hand and tilted his chin up to look at me.

"How 'bout we go out and play for a few minutes? Until dinner?" I asked.

Martin's face light up and he began pulling me towards the door. I threw one last look out the kitchen window, hoping for a glimpse of the neighbors, but all I got to see was a king sized mattress.

**************************************************************************** **************

"Wow, you look wonderful and fresh!" Liv was smiling on my front doorstep exactly like a perky school girl.

"I generally do not look wonderful and fresh at 7 a.m., thank you." I growled and let her in.

"What are you doing here anyway?" I asked, yawning and rubbing my eyes.

"Don't you remember?" I shook my head and stared at her again.

"Today we were going to the beach with Mark and Jaedon. We are supposed to be there at 8:30 a.m., but apparently you forgot, again." Liv crossed her arms and I groaned. I turned on my heel and rushed upstairs, scowling at Liv's laughter downstairs. I thundered into my bedroom.
I searched around my room for my bathing suit. I pulled open the drawers and searched their contents, throwing out different articles of clothes and person hygiene items. I almost screamed in fustration as I saw that it was no where to be found. I sighed and ran over to my bed and kneeled down, reaching under my bed. I felt a shoebox and grabbed it, pulling it out. I brought it out into the light and opened the box.

"Crap, I hope it will fit." I looked down at the bikini and groaned. I hated bikini's. They always rode up you know where. Crap.

I grabbed my sunblock, a book, my sunglasses, throwing them all into my straw beach bag and rushed out of the room. I nearly tripped on my way down the stairs and landed kind of lopsided at the bottom. I said a quick good bye to my mom, who was in the kitchen, pulling Liv out the door.
I rushed into her car and sat down roughly in the passengers seat. I saw Liv smiling as she got in.

"You know, you could be an elephant with your tendencies." She teased.

"Shut up."

I smiled at Liv and motioned her to drive. She shook her pretty blonde head and started up the engine.

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A/N: Hey everyone! Well, please if you did like it, please please please review?! Please? ;)