Orcus Beach

by Cheryl White

~ In this story, chance is fate. ~

Chapter 1: Encounters

"Luke! You're not allowed to uproot plants here!" 17-year-old Amethyst Stone scolded her 6-year-old mischievous nephew, putting down his 3-year-old little brother, Theodore. She took out her handkerchief, bent down, and started wiping the dirt off of Luke's face.

She felt a pang of annoyance at her older sister, Annette Jones, for suddenly dropping by early this morning and leaving Amethyst's two lovely but naughty nephews in her care. Even though Annette said she'll be back after lunch, Amethyst was on vacation – with her friends!

Okay, truth be told, the Stones family is [a little] better-off than other average families. Amethyst's daddy owns the Hanalei Beach Resort, and she was allowed to go to Orcus Beach with her friends as "a break". Break from what? Well, it gets stressing whenever Amethyst's grandfather nags her to meet this guy he hopes her to marry. Really, an arranged marriage?! At this day and age? He's really got to be kidding. But sadly, he isn't.

On another down side, Annette left those two little munchkins with Amethyst. On the up side, it's only for today, and Amethyst is at Orcus Beach, with her friends, Heather Hopkins and Scarlett Rose. Speaking of friends, where are they? They were with just a while ago... They were helping her take care of Luke and Theo. Oh well, they'll be back soon enough.

They've all just finished breakfast, and the three who were left behind waited for them in the clubhouse restaurant where they ate. The Coastal Clubhouse was very near their resort (which was right next to the beach), and the food's good. It's no question why they chose to eat there for breakfast.

"Okay, Luke," Amethyst said, trying to sound nice but stern at the same time. "I want you to behave yourself." She turned to pick up Theodore, but – "Theo? Where's Theo?" She turned around, surveying their surroundings. The little toddler was toddling his way up to another table. "Theo!" Amethyst scrambled after him.

Too late. The little boy tripped, but luckily, he fell on someone sitting at the table. Unluckily, that person's grip on his drink was loose, and it spilled on his shorts. Shoot. Amethyst broke into a half-run (it's still a restaurant after all).

He stood up immediately, obviously annoyed, and looked around to see the cause of his slip-up.

"I'm so sorry!" She began, picking up Theodore. She opened her mouth to say more, but the guy interrupted her.

Putting down his glass and gave her a really nasty look, he said, "So this is your kid?" He had an air of cockiness, and for this reason, she changed her tone. She won't tolerate someone like him, especially with the way he was looking at her.

"In a way, yes," she said, returning a glare.

As if on cue, Heather and Scarlett entered the restaurant. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Scarlett running after Luke, and Amethyst was able to catch Heather's eye. She put down Theo and whispered to him to go to Heather.

The guy watched the little boy walk away, and looked at Amethyst. "You're supposed to watch that kid," he snapped.

She straightened up, looked at the guy and put her arms in an akimbo. "Look, he's just a kid, don't give me that look," she said, her face hard. "It's not my fault you had such a wimpy grip on that glass," she added, and the guy's two companions sniggered. She took a deep breath and softened her tone. "I'm really sorry for the inconvenience. The least I can do now is – " She rummaged through her pockets and pulled out a few bills. " – here." She said, taking his hand and thrusting the bills in them. Theo broke into tears at that very second. "Sorry again, and I really – "

He let out an irritated, exasperated sigh, and just accepted the money.

" – have to go." Amethyst was happy to get away from the guy.

Amethyst's nephews were hyper all morning. They've just eaten lunch, but at this early point of the day, the three 17-year-olds were already tired. Two hyperactive little boys were a lot to handle.

They were walking back to the resort from another restaurant, and Theodore was already falling asleep. Heather was carrying him as they walked, and Amethyst held on to Luke's hand as they walked (they don't want another plant-uprooting attempt).

They've entered the resort and were heading to the executive cabin when Heather suddenly stopped and gasped. Scarlett was surprised when Heather threw (almost literally) Theo into her arms and started jogging towards two guys, who looked exactly the same. Twins.

Amethyst and Scarlett looked at each other, shrugged, then followed.

" – nice to see you guys again!" Heather was saying excitedly, hugging each of them. When she noticed her friends caught up, she explained, "These are my friends from my old school."

The two nodded in a "oooohh, so that's it" way. When the taller of the twins (only by an inch or so) looked at Amethyst, he looked at his brother and raised his eyebrows. The girls didn't notice a thing.

"This is Kent Young," Heather said, pointing to the taller of the two. "And this is Keith Young," she continued, pointing to the other one. "Keith is my ex."

Amethyst and Scarlett exchanged looks just as Heather was about to introduce them – ex? Well, it looks like they're still friends. That's good.

"This is Amethyst Stone and Scarlett Rose. And these handsome young men are Luke and Theo."

"So, are these your cousins?" Kent asked Amethyst, bending down to ruffle Luke's hair. "They look like you," he added.

"No, actually they're my nephews," Amethyst replied.

"They're cute," he said smoothly.

She raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying I'm cute?" She laughed.

Kent stood up and put his hands in his pockets. "Hm... I guess I am."

Okay, she couldn't help it – she blushed.

"I want milk!" They heard Theodore whine. Amethyst realized that Heather, Scarlett, Theodore and Keith were having their own conversation while she talked to Kent.

Her aunty responsibilities won over her teenage aspirations. She let out a little sigh and said, "Guys, I think we better get going..."

"Okay..." Heather said, looking embarrassed.

They were saying their goodbyes when Keith asked Heather "You didn't change your number?"

"Still the same," Heather said, as they started walking away. They were silent for a while. Theodore was half-asleep, and Luke was walking like a mummy.

Blushing, Heather asked her friends, "So... what do you guys think?"

Scarlett had a knowing look. "Aside from the fact that you still like your ex?"

"She does?" Amethyst asked, slightly shocked. It's not that she didn't expect something like that from Heather; it's just that she didn't notice.

"Well, you would've seen it if you weren't so into Kent," Scarlett said teasingly.

Amethyst blushed.

"So...?" Heather pressed.

"They seem nice," Scarlett said simply. "It's kind of surprising since you've introduced us to hotness times two."

Amethyst laughed. "Yeah, they look too hot to be nice, but we'll just have to see..."

Heather beamed. They're giving it a chance. She was getting scared that her friends would disapprove, especially since she's already broken it off with Keith once.