Hedgesville, West Virginia

Caspian Residence

August 11, 2010

8:12 AM


With her eyes opening to an unfamiliar ceiling, Jennie pushed herself up and gazed across the blurry room. Her hair stuck out in different directions as she yawned and began to pull herself from the tangled sheets.

What the hell…? Where…? Oh yeah…

A heavy throbbing in the front portion of her head began almost instantaneously as she stood up, causing her to wobble back and forth on her feet. Reluctantly moving across the carpeted flooring, she grabbed a hold of the room's doorknob and pulled the door open. The hallway outside was clearly vacant.

"Where is everyone?" she wondered out loud as she peered to the right then left.

Not like I was really expecting them to just be hanging out outside the room...

Fully stepping out of her new bedroom, she closed the door behind her, and then stood silently. Her eyes settled on the door straight in front of her.

"Stupid kid," she said, pointing to the door, then looked to the left, "naked guy, and housekeeper."

Gazing to the other side of the hallway, she found a lone door at the very end. "Weirdo? Or bathroom?"

At the mention of bathroom, she felt the tickling strain of wanting to use it. Moving lazily toward the door, she paused when she heard the sound of running water.

"Bathroom," she said clearly.

But someone's using it.

She sighed loudly as she turned on her heels and headed toward the stairwell. Maybe there's one downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs, she paused for a moment and looked to her right into a large room that contained a fireplace built into the wall. She could see a large television sitting to the left of the fireplace, while an equally large stereo system sat to the other. It was clear to her that she was looking at the living room.

Or maybe they call it a family room... Nice furniture...

"Morning."

Jennie's swiftly averted her attention back to the hallway beside the stairs to find Nick shutting a door behind him. He walked toward her before turning at the last moment into the room straight across from the living room, the kitchen.

Looking over his shoulder, he smiled at her. "Breakfast?"

"Bathroom?" Jennie answered as Nick's face went blank.

"Oh!" he shouted abruptly, pointing back the way he came. "There's one back there. Just across from my bedroom."

So he sleeps downstairs. Lazy bastard just doesn't want to walk up stairs.

Nick's eye twitched as Jennie stared at him. "Well," he coughed while trying to keep a friendly smile, "why don't you use the bathroom then come get some breakfast."

"I'll pass on breakfast," Jennie said with a wave of her hand, "but I would like to talk."

"Certainly," Nick replied. "About?"

"I don't know," she admitted as she stared at the ground. "Maybe a little of everything. My parents... You... About me staying here, too."

"If it will make you feel better, but there's not much to tell about myself," he said.

Nothing to tell... Ha, sure...

Making her way to the bathroom, Jennie stepped inside and stared across the room to the mirror that hung above the sink. Her own reflection startled her in the darkness as she quickly flipped on the light switch.

"I don't feel right here," she whispered to herself. Her mirror image looked back at her with a dismal expression.

Returning to the living room after she finished, Jennie paused when she noticed it wasn't empty anymore. From the stereo, she could hear some music being played, but wasn't sure what it was. Rach sat up on the sofa that sat in front of the fireplace, and she peered over at Jennie.

"You're awake!" the older girl announced. She stood up abruptly. "Let me make you something to eat."

"No, I'm okay," Jennie insisted.

"She needs a diet anyway." The voice was definitely Rem's, but Jennie couldn't see him.

Inching her way closer to the couch, she peered down at the ground to see the boy sprawled out on the floor while reading a music magazine. She clenched her fists while Rach waved her hands frantically in front of her body.

"Just ignore him," she urged.

Without warning Rem stood up abruptly and crumpled his magazine, heading for the doorway. Before passing Jennie, he stopped a few inches beside her and glared.

"What the fuck are you looking at?" he asked, walking off swiftly.

What a jackass...

"Rem has problems making friends," Rach said.

"I can see that," Jennie snarled.

"I mean, he's a good guy...but with new people it takes him a while. And Rem…he takes friendship seriously. The friends he does have, they're more like family to him. I'm sure with time he'll see you as his little sister."

"That's just what I need," Jennie said sarcastically, shaking her head. Her eyes drifted over the sliding glass door that lead to the backyard.

"Excuse me."

Waking from her thoughts of wanting to escape outside, Jennie looked over her shoulder to find Riley stepping up behind her. Her eyes were situated on the towel arranged on his head, trying to ignore the fact he was shirtless again.

"Did I miss something?" he questioned, tousling his hair with the towel before draping it around his shoulders. The second the towel left his head, all his hair stuck out in different directions before it fell perfectly into place.

Jennie's mouth opened in speechless awe at Riley's hair. Perfect. It just fell perfectly. Simply perfect.

Turning away abruptly, she felt her stomach go queasy. She was in the presence of a man who was beyond handsome and a girl who defied beauty. So sickening...

"Something wrong?" Riley asked, peering downward at Jennie.

"What?" Jennie asked in alarm as she sat up straight.

"Rem..."

"Oh!" Jennie shouted.

Riley stared at her with a blank expression then looked to Rach. "I saw him bolting upstairs like something stepped on his shadow again."

"He's just nervous having Jennie around," Rachel said.

"I didn't do anything to him," Jennie announced quickly as she tensed up and headed for the hallway without hesitation.

"They suit each other," Riley said as Jennie paused just outside the room.

The older brother's words were like a slap to the face. She stood silently with a look of aggravation on her face.

"It would be nice to see them get together," Rach pondered, "It is fate, after all. Right?"

"Yeah," he whispered in return, "maybe..."