Chapter One

A Bad Day

Despite my general feelings for Juliet McKay, I had to admit one thing. She did have skills. Not that I could be said to admire said skills, but she most assuredly had them. After all, it wasn't just any girl who could flirt with three guys at once. Somehow she was managing to do just that. The first time that I had seen her do it some three months before with another set of boys I had been sick to my stomach and contemplating the urge of shooting someone. While an order up than had pushed the thought to the back, this time the need to get an order brought the thought back up.

I pulled the notebook out of the white apron that was hooked around my waist and took the pen out of my ear, forcing a bright smile onto my lips as I walked over to Juliet's table. "Hello my name is Emma and I'll be your server this evening. May I take your order?"

My whole body tensed as pretty pink lips parted. I had known Juliet all my life. We had never been friends though. We had never even tried to pretend we were friends. High School had only made things worse. "You know Emma, I really wish you would take my fashion advice. Yellow really isn't your color after all. Maybe you should work at the penitentiary instead. I've heard they have a janitor's position open and those grey uniforms would work perfectlywith your hair."

Smile, I told myself. I couldn't let her see how pissed those words actually made me. She lived for that kind of thing. "Oh but Juliet," I said with something like confusion in my voice. "Didn't you know I left that job open just for you?"

Juliet's laugh was this annoying twinkling bell. God why did she have to be so perfect on the outside? I had always hoped, when I was little that, she would get warts or terrible acne when we grew up. Or maybe that her nose would be too little or big for her face. I had never gotten that lucky. She had grown up to be almost stunning. She could get guys without her father's money and influence. Wasn't there some kind of cosmological rule against girls like her existing?

"We all know that uniforms have never been my style," it was as if she was teasing me. Anyone who didn't know us who was watching might have thought she was. I knew the truth. She hated me, but she couldn't show these three boys what a bitch she really was until she had them completely under her thumb. "And who knows, maybe they'll let you see your father."

I could feel the blood draining from my face. I wasn't sure if I was more furious or upset in that moment. I had to remind myself to breath even as I tried to understand exactly what it was I was feeling. The next words out of my lips were ones of spite. I would have liked to say that I wouldn't have said it under normal circumstances, but I honestly don't know.

"Yeah well maybe I can get your dad to join him."

For a moment in time, I had exactly what I had wanted. A spark of rage lighting pretty Juliet's eyes. No one defied her and got away with it. No one insulted her. And yet I was doing just that. I felt a twisted sort of pride in that fact even as her pink lips parted and I knew she was going to make me the bad guy. "You know, just because my daddy-"

"Can I get three cheeseburgers and the biggest order of fries you have?" I felt my stomach lurch as the male voice intruded. God, I had actually forgotten that there were other people at the table.

I brushed the stray lock of red hair from my ponytail behind my ear and took a deep breath. "Uh, yeah, and would you like anything to drink with that?" I asked. As I waited for his answer, I finally took the time to look at the three guys that Juliet had been flirting with so stubbornly.

They were brothers.

She had been flirting with three brothers.

I remembered very quickly that my hate for Juliet, while it might have started by association to her father, wasn't the only reason that I couldn't stand her now. "Root Beer please," I snapped out of my thoughts again and allowed my eyes to skim over the customer in question even as I jotted down his order. He was probably the biggest of the three guys which was saying something. Tall and broad-shoulder, he looked older than he claimed to be with the beard that claimed his face. Even though he was the one sitting next to Juliet, I had this feeling that he wasn't actually on her list except for probably the sake of saying he had fallen to her charms.

His brothers were another matter entirely.

"Can I get two fish and chips baskets and an order of hot wings with lemonade?" The one who spoke next was lean and black haired. From what I had heard of him, he had a twisted sense of humor that had almost gotten him in several fights. If he wasn't careful, he was going to set a record in that area and considering he and his brothers had only been at the school for two weeks...

I nodded and scribbled down the order before looking at the third brother. He seemed to be the perfect medium between the other two. His hair and eyes were the same dark colors as the smaller brother while his size more matched the giant. I could now see what Juliet really wanted and for once in my life, I couldn't blame her. "I'll have two chicken strip baskets and a Philly Cheese Steak with unsweetened ice tea, no lemon."

That left me with Juliet. I already knew what she would order. It was the same thing she always got. I was still supposed to ask though. I, fortunately, got lucky and was preempted by Juliet herself. "I'll take a salad, no dressing, and water." Nodding, I moved away and forced myself back to the kitchen where I faced owner and cook, Colin.

"I'm gonna kill her," I growled pressing myself against the wall next to the door. The first time that I had confided in Colin, I had made the mistake of leaning against the door, a fact that he still teased me about every now and then when the mood struck him.

Colin sighed and set the spatula he had been wielding down next to the fryer before moving to stand in front of me. "Now Emma, while I'm not against violence, that's generally considered illegal," he pointed out, his hands on my shoulders.

I couldn't help but laugh as I looked up at my boss and friend. "Well yeah there is that."