Chapter one: It Can't Get Any Worse


There I was, standing in the cafeteria, staring at the hottest guy in school – Zaidie Jones. He was making his way towards me with that mouth-watering smile of his. And then he stopped right in front of me and gave me a wink. My knees were starting to buckle; I could hardly stand up straight. This had to be the best moment in my whole entire seventeen years of living. I gazed into his beautifully shaped hazel eyes and smelt the sweet scent of Lynx deodorant wafting from his muscular body. I had to be in heaven. Then he opened his mouth and I closed my eyes, knowing that I would hear his soothing voice. Any second now and…But the voice didn't come. Instead this weird feeling washed over me, like I was flying through the air. And before I knew it I was looking up into two familiar, electric blue eyes, and then…SPLASH!

Cold, freezing cold water engulfed me and I found myself sinking further and further down. By this time I was fully awake, under water, and struggling to get to the surface. I needed air! I knew exactly where I was - in the pool. Why did we have to have a pool?

I went wild, flapping my arms and kicking my legs, but that made me sink even more, if that were possible. Then, out of nowhere, a hand clasped itself around my wrist, and I felt myself being dragged upwards. When I broke the surface of the water I took huge gulping breaths of air. I had never been so happy to taste air before. One of the things that most people take for granted, but not me, not any more.

"Wow Jesamae, didn't think your reflexes were that slow."

It was then that I opened my eyes fully and observed my surroundings. I was definitely in the pool, with two of the world's biggest dickheads watching me. My older (only by one year)-overprotective-yet-immature brother Braythe was clutching his stomach and laughing hysterically, while Nikkye his best friend was white as a ghost and his hand was still clenched around my wrist. His vibrant green eyes were full of fear as he looked into my pale blue ones. I scowled at him. The jerk!

"What the hell are you trying to do? Drown me?" I screeched as I pulled my wrist free of Nikk's grip, and clung to the side of the pool. "Just because you're guys, and well, have muscles, doesn't mean you have to use that to your own advantage! There is such a thing as self control-which obviously you are both lacking in. You know it's lucky that you guys are-supposedly-good looking, because other than that I don't think you'd have anything going for you." I took a deep breath, "Honestly, you call yourself-"

"You think we're good looking? Why thanks little sis, but really, we already know. You don't have to state the obvious." My egotistical, jerk of a brother cut in.

I hoped to God that he was only half joking about what he had just said. But still, I was mad as hell! He can't just dump me in the pool, when it's like minus 50 degrees (ok, clearly overreacting), and not to mention bright and early in the morning (the sun was just rising, so scratch the bright). And to think he cut me off halfway through a sentence just because he heard the words 'good looking.' How sad was that!

"Up yourself much?" I hissed through clenched teeth, as I tried to get out of the pool (not using the stairs), but failed miserably.

Finally Nikk spoke up, "Um, yeah, well…you see, I didn't think that much ahead-"

I rolled my eyes, "Figures."

He ignored my remark, "I had no idea that you'd be so slow at, well, waking up. I thought you'd wake up before we even got outside, but you didn't. Hell, I even thought you woulda woken up while Braythe was ungracefully lifting you out of bed." He shrugged, "So, really it is kinda your fault as well."

My jaw dropped, "What? What! My fault." I pointed to my chest, "My fault! It's not my fault that you two brainless arses thought it would be funny to throw me in the freaking-"

My brother frowned, "Hey, watch your language."

"-pool. Did you even bother to think that I might have drowned?"

My brother thought about this for a little while. "C'mon Jezza, like that would've happened."

I mentally laughed. He was so slow. Maybe he'd never understand the way of logical thinking.

I sighed, giving up. "Never mind!" I tried for the second time to get out of the pool, and yet failed again. My clothes (pyjamas) were making me twice as heavy as I actually was, which wasn't helping much. Obviously.

I heard a deep sigh and looked up. Nikkye gave me a don't-hate-me smile, and extended his hand towards me. "Here, I'll help you up."

I was just about to grab it and let him help me, when an evil thought crossed my mind. No, he wouldn't help me up, I would help him down-if you get my drift. Although I would rather get my brother back for being the one to drop me in the freezing water, Nikkye was definitely a good substitute.

I shrugged weakly, "Fine." And I reached out a cold, wet, dripping hand towards his. He leant in forwards to grab it, but before he grabbed mine, I lunged for his. This caught Nikk off guard and he, well – toppled – into the water. The look on his face was priceless. It kind of happened in slow motion. His green eyes bulged and he started to lose his footing. His arms started doing windmills and in seconds he had fallen into the water. Milliseconds later he came up spluttering to the surface and glared at me.

"Great, and I'd had a shower too." He grumbled. "Ah, shit – my shoes."

I couldn't help but laugh hysterically at his wet and drabby appearance and neither could my brother. We both cracked up laughing at the same time.

"Man that was hilarious." Braythe smirked, "We should have mornings like this more often."

"Ha ha." Nikk sulked, "Laughing isn't going to get me a pair of new shoes!"

"Ooooh, now look who's grumpy." I teased and ruffled his wet, black hair.

"I'm not grumpy, I'm pissed!" He shot at me.

"Hey, you're the one that offered to help her up Nikk." My brother pointed out, "It was obviously coming to you. Even I'm not that stupid." Braythe stated in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Yeah," I said sarcastically, "only because you've had the same experience, what was that? Twice before? I mean you'd think after the first time, you wouldn't try a sec-"

"Okay we get it Jezza." Braythe's smile had faded.

It was now Nikk and I that were laughing.

Nick's eyebrows rose, "Man, why wasn't I there? That's a sight I sure would have loved to see."

I patted Nikk lightly on the shoulder, "There, there. It's bound to happen again some time soon."

Braythe ran a hand through his unkempt, chestnut brown hair. "Yeah, yeah, funny guys." He then checked his watch, "You guys betta get out of the pool before you both get colds and get ready for school, we're leaving in half an hour."

"We're what?" I asked.

"I said we're leaving in-"

"I know what you-"

"Then why the hell did you say -"

"Well, (rolling my eyes) to put it specifically, what are you doing at school so early in the freak-"

"Don't say that – freaking – word. And Nikk and I have basketball tr-"

"Again!" I exclaimed. Well that would explain why they woke me up so early.

"Ah, yes again." My brother said in a 'well-dah' tone. "Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, remember? And today's Friday, so that means practise. Now get out of the pool already, you're making me cold."

"Whoa," Nick raised both of his eyebrows, he looked awe struck. "You guys are doing that weird almost psychic thing again. You always know what each other are going to say. Hell, if I didn't know better I'd think you were twins or something."

I shook my head, "Poor boy, he's known us all our lives and we still seem to freak him out. And you'd think-"

"You'd think you'd stop talking and get your arses out of the pool – today people!" My brother threw his hands up in frustration.

Just then the back door opened and a head poked around it. That head belonged to my other brother, Kenai (pronounced Keen-eye), who was one year younger than me. Yeah I know, do I need any more boys in my life?

His sapphire blue eyes widened when he saw me in the pool and he made his way towards the poolside. Here comes annoying overprotective brother number two. Hey just because he's younger doesn't mean he's any less protective. He's actually even a little more protective than Braythe if that's even remotely possible.

"What the- Jezza, what are you doing in the pool?" Kenai stood there with his arms folded across his chest. It was funny actually, because he was only sixteen, but he looked older because he was tall. Like already six foot tall. Yeah, what did I say!

Actually, tall genes run in the family- well for the boys anyway. Not so much for the girls, I was a short arse to compared to them. Damn!

"We're just about to hop out." I motioned to Nikk and I and smiled sweetly at Kenai, before gliding to the stairs of the pool and hopping out.

Braythe rolled his eyes and tisked, "Oh, sure. Wait till Kenai comes and listen to him when he tells you to get out of the pool. Huh, typical." And with that, he strode back to the house and disappeared within it.

Kenai gave me the once over glare, "What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed? Do you want to get pneumonia? Is that what you want?"

Yep that was definitely Kenai: the somewhat, more responsible, mature and caring brother. The reason why he didn't have a girlfriend (at this present time) was unknown to me.

Nikkye started to snicker, but quickly stopped when Kenai gave him an unamused look. "You as well Nikk." He said sternly.

Nikk put up his hands in mock defence, "Hey. Okay sorry for laughing…" he paused and coughed, "dad."

Kenai ignored this however and made his way to the clothes line, pulling off two towels and strolling back towards us. He chucked one to Nikk and the other to me.

"There, dry yourselves off. Then get ready for school, 'cause I don't think Braythe's going to wait around all day for you." He said, directing the statement at me.

I nodded my head like a good little girl.

Kenai looked at his watch "You've got twenty minutes…" He then looked at Nikk suspiciously, "and don't try anything Hellings."

The two boys looked at each other, although I couldn't tell what the expressions they exchanged were. Okay, awkward moment. Then Kenai looked at me as if to say 'that goes for you to' and walked back inside the house. Okay then…strange…very strange.

xxxx

Five minutes later found me in my room, looking for some clothes to wear, in nothing but a towel. Well obviously my pyjamas were outside, as they were soaking wet. And I smelt of chlorine, much to my disgust. I really don't like the smell. But anyway, back to my clothes…what to wear…what to wear…

There was a sudden knock on my door. Then a familiar voice, "Jesamae darling, can I come in? Are you decent?"

I smiled at the sound of my Nan's voice; she always asked if I was decent before entering my room. It was something that I had grown fond of.

"Yes Nan, you can come in."

The door opened and Nan stuck her head in. Also another thing she always did, just to make sure you were decent, before fulling entering your room.

"Ah, there you are Jesamae. You look absolutely drenched!" I nearly laughed when I saw the expression of horror on Nan's face. Her dull blue eyes swept over my barely covered body. "Braythe said that you'd been in the pool this morning."

I frowned and opened my mouth to protest about me 'being in the pool', but Nan stopped me. "No, no. I don't need to know what happened." She breathed, putting up a hand, "I don't need to know what teenagers get up to these days." She paused. "Anyway," she continued, "Kenai gave me these to give to you…said they were yours and that you would need them. It seems that all jeans look the same these days." She handed me a pair of jeans. "Skinny legs, I think he called them."

I laughed, "Yes Nan, skinny legged jeans. Thankyou." I took them off her.

"The things they invent these days…" She sighed. "Well, I'm going on my morning stroll, so I will see you when you get home from school, dear." She blew me a kiss as she exited my room.

I loved my Nan. She was the closest thing I had to a mother. My dad ran off with another woman and left my mother broken hearted, or so I heard, as I can't really remember. Anyway, mum had a nervous breakdown and then did a disappearing act on us-me and my brothers-and I haven't seen her since I was five. All I can really remember is Nan always being there. She's the coolest Nan you could ever have.

I looked down at my skinny-legged jeans and smiled at the thought of her thinking they were Kenai's. Heh, silly Nan.

I quickly got changed into my clothes, of course wearing the pair of skinny-legged jeans and a simple T-shirt. I did the once over in the mirror. I can't say I didn't wish I were curvier. I hardly had any hips or boobs. I actually wouldn't mind being more voluptuous, but I suppose you make do with what you have. My auburn hair fell to my shoulders and my fringe was swept to one side. Yeah, I suppose I looked presentable. Just put a lot of body spray on and maybe no one will notice the stench of chlorine. Yeah right!

Then I picked my school bag up off my bedroom floor and headed out the door and down the steps. Jumping down two at a time. Yes, a two story house. And actually a quite big one at that. Nan had what you call 'old money.' She was proud of that. And that also explains the pool and the huge back yard. But we didn't really live in that big a house. It definitely wasn't a mansion- and that's for sure.

"See you have your favourite pair of jeans on, surprise, surprise." Kenai smiled at me as I entered the kitchen and grabbed an apple to eat in the car on the way to school.

I smiled sweetly back at him, "Yes, thank you."

"Yeah, they were in my pile again. Nan really is losing it if she thinks I can fit in to those skinny legged jeans." He laughed to himself, grabbed an apple, tossed it in the air, caught it and took a huge bite. He made it all seem so easy. I'd like to see me try and catch an apple that smoothly, or even a ball for that matter. Maybe that explains why I'm on the girl's soccer team. I've always been uncoordinated with my hands. It's actually pretty funny…and I suppose sad at the same time. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Kenai took another huge bite out of the apple, and with his mouth full, said, "C'mon, Brayf n Nikk arwe in da car alweady."

I raised an eyebrow, "Um, in English please?"

My brother just gave me a you-know-what-I-said look and headed towards the front door with me following behind him. You know some days it feels like I'm the younger sibling, with some of those looks he gives me. But that's Kenai.

I slipped on a pair of black flats before I left the house.

When we got outside Braythe was just pulling out of the garage. He stopped to let us in before he backed out onto the road and drove off.

"You know, I was half expecting you to be running behind us like last time. This has to be a world record for you, two minutes before the clock." He said with a smile in his voice.

I bit into my apple, "I wasn't even late then, you just left early." I protested. What? It was true.

"Meh." My bigheaded brother replied. "Doesn't mean it wasn't funny and that I wouldn't do it again if I wanted."

Nikkye turned around in the passenger's seat and looked at me, "I wonder how far she'd run. I mean say we drive off on purpose, I wonder how long she would pursue the chase. I reckon she wouldn't even last fifty metres down the street before giving up."

"Hmm," Braythe said, concentrating on the road, "That is hard to say. But knowing little sissy-poo she probably wouldn't stop until I had turned out of our street and onto the main road."

Nikkye's eyes averted to Braythe, "Really, you think she'd run that far?"

Braythe nodded.

"Okay then. We'll make a deal, or a bet if you like. I bet ten dollars that she will only make it-hmm- one hundred metres up the street, before she stops."

"Alright," Came Braythe's cool voice, "I can't turn down a bet that I will obviously win, so I bet twenty dollars that little sissy-poo-"

"Don't call me that!"

"will run to the end of our street and no more or no less. So, cash up front. That's thirty dollars to the winner."

Nikkye dug into his jean pocket and drew out a ten-dollar note, placing it in the glove box. "It's a bet!"

Braythe dug into his jean pocket, handed the twenty to Nikk and he put it in the glove box as well.

I rolled my eyes, "I can't believe you guys! You're actually betting on something like this…that is so stupid."

They both ignored me, as per usual.

"What about you Kenai? You wanna put in?" Braythe asked enthusiastically.

"I'm passing." He answered nonchalantly.

Nikk shrugged, "Okay mate, your loss."

Braythe pulled into the student parking lot and we all hopped out of the black Holden Ballina. I noticed that Nikk was wearing one of Braythe's old pairs of running shoes as I took the last bite of my apple and chucked it in the closest bin.

"Right, well we're off to basketball practise. Which means you guys have a whole hour to do whatever." Braythe called over his shoulder as he and Nikk walked towards the stadium. "See you guys later."

After waving goodbye, or more like me waving goodbye and Kenai pretending he didn't know them, we made our way towards the main building. It was there that Kenai and I made our way to the Orange House Locker Quarters. Our whole school had these house things. There was the Orange, Red, Green, Purple, Blue and Yellow houses. It just meant that your lockers and homeroom were in the same area and siblings were all in the same house as well. Yay, lucky me.

Kenai noisily undid his locker, basically threw his bag inside and locked it again. In his hand he held a football that he always kept in his locker.

"I'm gonna go kick some footy on the oval."

"Can I come too?" I asked. There was nothing else to do.

"Sure."

"I'll meet you out there."

Kenai nodded and left.

I lazily slid the last number on my combination lock and it clicked open. I shoved my bag inside and re locked it again. I was making my way outside when someone called my name. I whirled around. It was Krystal Belle.

I mentally cringed, but forced a smile, "Hi Krystal." I chirped.

She giggled sweetly, "Hi Jesamae baby. Oh, look at you and your gorgeous legs. How I would die to have your legs. Skinny jeans really suit you."

I thanked her for the compliment, "Ta. I love your hair this morning."

I know, lame. But she was one of these girls you had to shower with compliments.

THE KRYSTAL RULE: If a compliment is given always return it or she won't leave till you do.

The pretty girl laughed and smoothed down her platinum blond locks. "Why, Jess, you really are sweet." She blinked, showing off her beautiful, naturally long eyelashes. "You're so adorable." She took a dramatic pause in which she studied her manicured nails, "You know, I was wondering if your brother Braythe was here, doing that basketball practise."

I knew this question was coming. "Sure, he's in the stadium now."

Krystal raised her perfectly plucked eyebrows at me, "And you're not watching?"

I frowned and shook my head, "No."

Krystal shrugged and gave me a bright smile that didn't quite reach her eyes, "Well thanks Jess. I really should get going. It was so good talking t-"

"Hey Jezza, what's keeping you so-" I heard Kenai's voice come to an abrupt stop.

Krystal was looking over my shoulder and then back at me. I think she did it like, I don't know, ten times before her emerald eyes widened. "Oh. My. God. Don't tell me who this handsome young man is, let me guess now."

Kenai was now standing beside me and gave me a look that said 'and who the hell is this looney?'

"Aha. I have the answer. He's your brother right? He just has to be, you two look so much alike." She squeaked in delight. "And when I think about it…yes, he almost looks like a younger version of Braythe. Only…Braythe has brighter eyes."

Great, now she was comparing my brothers.

"Yes, he's my brother. His name is Kenai."

"Hmm, Kenai." She seemed to be deep in thought. "I love the name, very individual." Then she flashed him one of her flirtatious smiles. Let me tell you, her smiles were what every girl in this school envied. It was 'the' perfect smile. She was the most wanted popular girl. Braythe was the most wanted popular boy (although I don't know why). And she thought that they'd make the most popular 'it' couple. Makes you want to gag really.

This was way too much. Isn't it enough flirting with one of my brothers? Kenai didn't seem to mind though. He just stood there, looking bored.

Krystal bit her lip and twirled her hair around her index finger. She was starting to look more and more like those porn stars every second. She was already dressed like one, with those short shorts that were riding up her arse and that boob tube that could barely hold her boobs in place.

"Well Kenai," She breathed seductively, "I guess I'll see you 'round."

Kenai smiled, although somewhat strained, "Guess so."

As she walked passed him she placed a hand on his chest and my mouth fell open. She was totally coming on to my brother. She gave me a sickly sweet smile before heading for the exit. Okay, now I really need to pewk.

I raised an eyebrow at Kenai and he just shrugged. "So, you wanna come kick some footy or not?"

xxxx

So here I was, at lunchtime, sitting in the cafeteria with Nikk, Braythe, Kenai and the rest of their jock posse. I was zoning in and out of their conversations. Do I look like the kind of person who cares about Isaac Trent, the school's football captain, and Arlena Peddle, the head cheerleader, having sex in the toilets last period? I don't think so.

"Yeah and Miller said he went into the toilets and just thought some guys were looking at porn on their phones…"

The entire table cracked up laughing, causing glances from surrounding 'groups.' Trust males to be so immature.

Just then a familiar voice joined the conversation. "Hey guys, what you laughing at?"

That voice belonged to none other than my best friend, Zane Chance. Or as I called him – Channa. We'd been best friends since grade school. He was the new kid, I was the tomboy-outcast and well, I guess we kind of clicked and have been friends ever since. Funny how those things happen.

His golden eyes met mine and a huge smile spread across his face.

I smiled back, however it didn't last long, as a girl came up to him and clung to his arm like there was no tomorrow. Her name was Emmalynn Langshaw and she was his girlfriend of two months. Yes, that's right, two months. Even I was shocked that they lasted that long. And to my disapproval they are still going strong. Okay, so I am jealous of my best friend's girlfriend. So sue me. I wouldn't have to hate her so much if she wasn't such a bitch. Don't get me wrong though, I do want to be happy for Channa, but I just can't. It's hard to explain.

The girl gave me a sickly sweet smile as she flicked her blonde locks over her shoulder. Damn her for being so disgustingly pretty!

Both her and the love sick Channa came and scooted into the seat next to me. Needless to say, Emmalynn made sure she was between the both of us.

"Channa." Braythe greeted, "You hear about Trent and Peddle getting it on in the toilets lasts period?"

The boy cocked an eyebrow, obviously amused. "You never cease to amaze me Braythe Davidson."

My idiot of a brother had a huge smirk on his face. "So you have heard?"

Channa nodded his head, "Yeah, I heard."

Braythe shrugged and turned his attention back to the others and started up another conversation. Talk about short attention spans.

"So," Channa said, averting his gorgeous eyes back to mine, "I've been looking for you."

"Oh?" I asked sceptically, "Why?"

He ran a hand through his honey coloured hair, "I was wondering if you could help me with French… If you're not busy tomorrow."

I was surprised. He needed me to help him with French? I though he was really good at that subject.

I shrugged, "I don't see why that would be a-" I started saying. But then his bitch of a girlfriend rudely cut in.

"Oh, but we're going to the movies tomorrow, and I'm taking you shopping, remember?" Emmalynn pouted.

"Yeah, but I got a SAC on Monday…" Channa started.

"So, you can study for it on Sunday." Emmalynn huffed.

I rolled my eyes. This is a perfect example of her being clingy and unbearable. She didn't like Channa and I spending time together, let alone with out her. It's not like anything would happen between us. We were just friends. JUST FRIENDS!

"But I have to baby sit Sunday, and I want to be able to focus on preparing for my SAC, babe. It won't take all day. We can still see a movie."

Emmalynn folded her arms across her chest, "But that's still not the same. We were going to spend the whole day together. Without company." She gave me a dirty look.

I decided I would but in there, "Well, what I was going to say, before I was rudely interrupted, was - I don't see why helping you (looking at Channa) would be a problem. In fact I would be happy to help."

Emmalynn snorted, "I can help you Zane. Why didn't you ask me? I know French."

Channa had a very pained look on his face. "Um," He spluttered, "I didn't know you took French, Em."

She shrugged, "Well I did it in primary school."

Was this girl for real? She thought she could help him with a year 11 French SAC, with grade school French knowledge? Puh-lease.

My best friend gave me a pleading look, as if to say, 'help me out of this awkward situation.' So I did.

"Well then Channa, we'll make it a date. I'll be over at your house bright and early in the morn-"

"But I'm helping Zane, there's no need for two of us to help-"

"All the more reason you won't be needed." I snapped.

It wasn't until then that I noticed how much noise we were making and that everyone in the cafeteria was looking at us. Great, we really needed an audience.

Emmalynn looked at Channa and then back at me. Her brown eyes were starting to glisten, "You." She stood up abruptly from the table and pointed a finger at me. Her voice was shaky; "You always have to get your own way with everything. Can't I just have one day with Zane, without you being around? You're always trying to steal him off me!" Tears started to trickle down her cheeks, "I won't let you take him from me…because…because…I love him."

My eyes were wide with shock. Did she just say what I think she said? Wow…that was…unexpected.

Just then, Channa got out of his seat and made his way towards his girlfriend, embracing her. She wept weakly in his arms.

"I love you too." He whispered and placed a kiss on her forehead.

My mouth dropped open right then and there. I was gob smacked. This was not happening. It couldn't be…they loved each other? No. I shook my head; he wasn't in love with her. This wasn't happening. This was all too much. Not to mention just a little corny.

There was a wolf whistle and Braythe shouted, "Kiss her."

And they did. Channa and Emmalynn kissed, rather passionately.

Someone yelled, "Get a room." And everyone started talking again, all at once.

I should have been happy. My best friend had just said he was in love. He was in love with Emmalynn Langshaw. In love for the first time in his life.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. NO! This was horrible. This was unbelievable. This was…real. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was losing my best friend.

And I may have imagined it…but what was with the smile Emmalynn gave me?


A/N

Hey there, this is a new story and the only one I have posted under the name Circles in the Water, so far. I have posted other stories, but they were under the name Kazz and I found that quite boring. Thus came – Circles in the Water. Anyway, hope you like and please Review. I would love to know what you think.

Oh, and just so you know, this story is set in Australia. That's why a majority of my character's have weird nicknames. But cheers :)

- - - - - - Thanks - - - - - -