So the preview was probably really bad... But if you would just give it a chance and review either way I would greatly appreciate it.

~Chapter 1~


Beep. Beep. Beep.

That is the most annoying sound in the world to wake up to. It feels like I just crawled into bed and already my alarm clock is screaming at me that it's time to get ready for school.

It takes me a few more minutes yet to actually get out of bed. The hardest part of my day is throwing back the covers and allowing the early morning cold to hit me.

Slowly I make my way across the hall to the bathroom. I turn the water on as hot as I can stand it and quickly take a shower, blow dry my long brown hair, and brush my teeth.

On my way back to my room, I knock Ryder's door, signaling it is his turn for the bathroom.

As I'm leaving my room, dressed and ready, Ryder is just exiting the steam filled bathroom. He has a smile on his face as he greets me, "Good morning little sis. Would you mind waking up our darling brother for me?" I smile back at him and nod. He's, what, an hour older than me at most, but he takes pride in technically being the oldest.

On my way to the kitchen to start breakfast, I stop at Cam's door and knock, then crack the door open enough to stick my head in to wake him up, "Cam, it's time to get up." He rolls over but shows no signs of getting up, so I walk completely into his bedroom and say louder, "Camdyn! Get up right now! You're going to make us late!"

When I turn on the light he finally sits up with his crazed hair sticking up in every direction and angrily replies, "Okay, I'm up! Are you happy?"
"Very. Thank you," I say sweetly as I close the door just in time to hear the low thud of the pillow hitting it behind me. Cam's always the hardest to wake up in the morning.

My next stop is Braden's room. I open his door and quietly walk over to his bed and kneel beside it to gently shake our ten-year-old brother awake. "Braden, it's time to get up sweetheart." He immediately sits up, stretches and gets out of bed.

Once back in the hall, I am once again greeted by Ryder as he casually swings his arm over my shoulders and gives me a kiss on the check as we continue down the hall to the kitchen.

It's really amazing how twins can look so different. I mean we have the same brown eyes and brown hair and the same basic features, but besides the obvious difference, he is also almost half a foot taller. I'm barely five-three and he's just above five-eight.

"What's for breakfast," Ryder asks, successfully interrupting my mental comparison.

"I don't know. What would you like?"

"Hmm… How about cereal and toast? I'm not in the mood for anything big this morning."

"Fine with me, I'm so exhausted. It doesn't feel like I slept at all."

"You know you could always just skip today and rest. Cam or I could make sure Braden gets where he needs to be. I could even get your assignments if you'd like."

"Thanks but I'd probably need to skip the whole week to catch up on the sleep I've been missing lately."

"You really don't have to do all the stuff you do around here for us."

"Yeah, but the cleaning fairy costs too much and, besides, I can't just sit back and watch my dear brothers starve. Or worse yet, live off of pizza," I replied in mock horror as I poked him in the ribs.

"Ha! Very funny. But, in all seriousness, when is Mom coming home? You look like shit and could really use a break."

"Ouch. That was a low blow. But to answer your question I'm not sure. Last time she called she didn't give me an exact date. And we all do this together. That's how we make it work. It's not just me." Our mom is a flight attendant and travels a lot lately. She's been gone more than she's home with us.

We were in the kitchen by now. I was getting out bowls and Ryder was starting to make the toast. I was already anticipating their arrival when I heard a knock at the door. I ran to get it, the bowls still in my hands.

"Hey, since when do you guys lock your door," Mason asked as he looked at the lock like it had deliberately kept him out.

"We always do, silly boy. I just didn't get to unlock it for you yet."

"Duh, Mason. It's not safe to just leave your door unlocked over night. You wouldn't want some whack job breaking in and hurting your girlfriend, would you? Good morning Eva," Abby, Mason's younger sister, said as she hugged me and scooted by to get to my brother, her boyfriend.

"Oh, well no," was Mason's brilliant reply as he took the bowls from me and kissed me in our typical greeting.

"Well, good morning to you too," I replied a few moments later as he led me back to the kitchen.

We have known Mason and Abigail Thomas for as long as I can remember. Mason is a few months older than Ryder and I and Abby is a little over a year younger. So she's Cam's age. I've been dating Mason since freshmen year, but we had a thing for each other way before that. He was my first everything. He was my first kiss when we were twelve and he was the one I lost my virginity to a year ago. I loved this boy with all my heart. Our moms had always said we'd end up together, but that was back when we still thought the other had cooties. Abby and my brother haven't been going out quite as long and everybody always thought she would fall for Cam and vice versa. Cam and Abby are good friends, but I'm her best friend. Therefore, I always knew she liked Ryder, but he was just too stubborn to admit that he liked her too. Until one day, I convinced him to take her out with Mason and I and he's been taking her out ever since.

"Hi everybody," Braden called and nearly scared me to death as he entered the kitchen.

After everybody called their own form of hello and I restarted my heart, I asked, "Braden, did you brush your teeth?"

"Yes, I did."

"Okay. Good. Would you mind setting the table? We're just about finished here."

Braden nodded and took what I handed him into the dining room. Mason also took an armload and followed him to the table to help, anything to get food in his system quicker. I just shook my head. What's the saying about the way to a man's heart is through his stomach? Well, it's not a difficult route if you can please him with cereal and toast.

I was just grabbing the milk and orange juice out of the fridge as Abby and Ryder finished the toast and we walked to the table together.

"Cam, if you don't hurry up there isn't going to be any breakfast left," I hollered down the hall.

"Okay, okay. Don't get your panties in such a bunch so early. It can't be healthy," he called as he sprinted down the hall.

"Excuse me, but I don't think my girlfriend's panties are a topic for the breakfast table. Let alone for you period." For that, I kissed Mason quickly on the lips for that. Even if it was just my brother, I had no desire to discus my panties, especially this morning.

As everybody began quietly eating I took my time to look around and admire my family. I loved everybody at this table. Our table is an oval with one seat at each end and two on either side. Cam sits at the end seat farthest from me and Braden is directly across from him, with Mason and me on one side and Ryder and Abby across from us; our usual seating.

Ryder, Cam, Braden, and I all look alike. We all have the same brown eyes and wavy red-brown hair like our mother. Mason and Abby could pass for twins. They both have the signature Thomas dark blond curls that are almost brown with natural highlights and the loveliest green eyes I have ever seen. Plus, they are both naturally beautiful and tall. Mason is almost as tall as Ryder. I say almost, because there is a very minute difference but everything is a competition to boys. Abby is five foot six inches. That may not be exactly what most consider "tall" but it is to me. Cam is also as tall as Ryder. I'm surrounded by a whole bunch of tall people. Braden is the only one shorter than me, but he's getting there and will eventually be taller than me someday soon.

Effectively breaking me out of my zoned state, Mason asked, "So Evie, what are you guys doing for your birthday?"

"Well, I don't know. We don't know when Mom will be back, but we'll probably celebrate together the day of regardless. We haven't actually talked about it." I shrugged. Ryder's and my birthday was in three days on October 18th. We'd be turning eighteen.

"One of us could always celebrate the day before and the other could celebrate the day after," Ryder suggested.

"I could watch Braden if you want to celebrate together then go out or whatever," Cam offered.

"I don't care. Whatever is fine. We still have a few days and we don't know if Mom will be back yet or not." I really wished she would be here. Eighteen is a monumental age. She'd already missed sixteen. "Ryder, you can decide. Whatever you choose is fine with me," I stated as I got up to clear some of the dishes off the table.

I had no more than put the rinsed dishes in the dishwasher, when I felt two strong, calloused hands gently massage my neck and shoulders before slowly wrapping around my waist.

Mason put his face next to mine and kissed right where my jaw and my ear meet before whispering in my ear, "I know you'd like your mom to be home for your birthday, but you know she loves you and wants to be home even if she can't."

"Yeah, I know, but it's just so damn frustrating sometimes! I feel like we don't have any real parents, just part-time ones who don't see the benefits of becoming full-time."

Mason turned me around and hugged me to his chest. "You know your mom wants to be here all the time. That she wants to be the one to make you breakfast and see you in the morning with your hair all tangled from sleeping. To be the one who has to dodge the pillow Cam throws at her."

I smiled. Mason always did know how to calm me down and make me smile. "I know. I'm sorry; you shouldn't have to remind me all the time."

"Hey, what else would I have to do? You do everything else. You're amazing, like Wonder Woman," he replied as he rubbed my lower back.

"Thanks. You know you're pretty amazing yourself." I slowly leaned in for a kiss. I had planned on it just being a quick peck, but somehow I ended up sitting on the counter with my tongue exploring his mouth when Ryder cleared his throat from the doorway. I giggled as Mason quickly kissed my forehead and helped me down. We are a modest family and public displays of affection are rare, but we are also close and some very private make-out sessions have been witnessed. I'm a big believer of showing my love for the people most dear to me without a big show. You never know what could happen in the time while you're separated.

"Um, I'd hate to interrupt your fun over there, but we should probably soon be heading out."

"Oh God, your right, I completely forgot we had school. I have to ask… Braden?" Mason and Ryder were openly laughing at me as I rambled on while spinning in a circle with my hand on my forehead. They, along with Cam, found me hilarious in these situations. It often happened when I got flustered and I got flustered quite often. "Braden," I called again, louder this time, as I glared at the boys only succeeding in making them laugh harder.

"I'm here, Evie. No need to yell," Braden said as he showed up beside me as I was just opening my mouth to call for him again.

"Oh, sorry, did you want me to pack you a lunch or do you want money?"

"I think I'll buy today."

"Okay. Here you go." I handed him a five out of the jar in the cupboard where we keep the money Mom leaves for us. "Now you need your backpack and I need my bag and keys."

"Way ahead of you sis, I have his backpack," Cam said walking into the room.

"And your bag is there on the island and your keys are beside it," Abby finished as she joined us in the kitchen.

"Uh, thanks so much," I replied to all of them. Then just to Ryder I said, "See? Still think it's just me that does this? I would loose my mind without all your help."

"Yeah, yeah, I get it. We're amazing right along with Mason over there. Now let's go," Ryder replied with a cocky smile and I blushed. God, how long had he been standing there? That isn't fair. I don't sneak around and spy on him and Abby.

Once outside we had to decide what cars we were going to take. Ryder, Cam, and I all have our own cars and so do Mason and Abby. Since we all go to the same place though, we alternate who drives and limit the number of cars we take. Mason drove today so I would ride with him and Ryder would drive him and Abby in his car. That left Cam and Braden.

"Cam are you driving," I asked.

"Um… no, I'm going to ride with Ryder?"

"Okay, Braden?"

"Can I go with you and Mason?"

"Yeah that's fine, buddy," Mason answered. I loved how he was with Braden. Most guys wouldn't be so understanding of my situation, but Mason isn't most guys. He's my guy and I love him so much.

"Okay, so let's go. We'll see you all at school," I said as we all hugged goodbye and called "I love you."

AN: Please review... I would love to know what you think (even if you hate it, I want to know). Anything would be helpful =)