Since I seem to be at a major block right now with all of my other stories, I decided to do what I always do and start a new one! I'm going to desperately try not just abandon this story like I've done for the other three…but I won't make any promises. I do have four chapters of this written, though, so hopefully updates won't take too long. Any reviews for this will be returned! This is my first attempt at a romantic comedy, so I hope you guys enjoy :)

1. Vampires and Death Wishes

"Ouch, Liam! What the hell?!"

"Riley, watch your mouth!"

"Mom, do you know what Liam just did? He just bit me for crying out loud! Someone needs to get this kid a muzzle!"

Actually, that was the third time he'd bitten me that day. Of course, I didn't bother telling her that. I knew my mom well enough to know that she would simply brush it off, just like she always does with anything having to do with Liam inflicting bodily harm on me.

"Oh, Riley, don't be such a sour-puss. He's just playing. Be nice to him."

"Playing? Playing? You call leaving bite marks across my skin playing? Mother, is there something wrong with you?"

She didn't answer me, but I heard her turn on the sink, probably hoping the water would drown out my whining. Since she wasn't going to listen to me anymore, I turned to the object of my frustrations—my younger brother, Liam. I gave him one of the nastiest glares I could manage, but being the "innocent" little six-year-old he is, he simply stared at me cluelessly before giving me a wide smile, revealing a couple of missing teeth in the process. I scowled and grabbed him tightly by both of his arms, looking intensely into his big, blue eyes.

"Look, Li, since our mother is too dumb to discipline you, I'm going to do it. You can't go around biting people, all right? It's not nice."

He just giggled before wiggling out of my grasp and jumping down from the couch. He landed on the floor with a thud, and turned around to look back at me with a devilish glint in his eyes.

"I'm a vampire!"

To illustrate his statement he bared his teeth at me and growled, like I'm sure he thought all vampires did, and then promptly ran away while yelling something about hunting Poof, our cat. The thought scared me; our twenty pound tabby cat was not one to be messed with. In fact, I was almost positive Poof would be the one doing the hunting. I briefly contemplated whether or not I should go and save him, but in the end I decided I liked the idea of being an only child again.

I stretched from my spot on the couch and then shut the book that had been on my lap. I'd been busy brushing up on my knowledge of Shakespearean plays for the past hour or so, having been told from a very…reliable source (aka the guy I paid to hack into our Drama teacher's computer) that there was a good chance the play for this year would be something from Shakespeare.

We still had a couple weeks before school started, but I thought it would be best to learn the plays ahead of time. Since I would be a senior this year, I was pretty anxious to get the lead role. Not only would it be great for my future career as an actress, but it would also crush Sammy Hightower, the girl who managed to get the lead role for the past three years.

Of course I (along with everyone else in drama) had a theory that this was only because the day of auditions, she always managed to wear one of the shortest skirts possible and "accidently" bend-over to give our pervert of a teacher a show. This year, though, we were getting a new Drama teacher (on account of the other one being arrested for molesting a student. Not surprising, really), so I was hoping there would be a little more justice. I knew that when I beat her, Sammy Hightower would be absolutely furious and I would be happy to rub it all in her face.

Anyway, I'd been pretty engrossed in A Midsummer Night's Dream when Liam had so rudely interrupted me. I was really beginning to worry about the sanity of my brother. Ever since he'd watched Dracula (a movie that would have given most six-year olds nightmares) about two weeks ago, he'd been convinced that it was perfectly normal to aspire to be a vampire. So much to my horror and my parent's amusement, he'd been living out that dream. First it had just been him wearing a bed-sheet as a make-shift cape, and hiding in dark corners because the light would "melt him", but recently it had escalated to him biting people. Namely, me.

I'd gone to both my parents with my concern about this, and tried to talk to them about their son's condition, but nothing I said seemed to get through to them. My dad had simply called it a phase, claiming that it was "boy thing" and girls just wouldn't understand. My mom, on the other hand, simply told me that I was wrong and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her little boy. When I brought up the time where he had screamed and ran away because she tried to feed him garlic bread, she had nothing to say.

So both experiences taught me one thing: My parents are morons.

I got up from my place on the couch and began to make my way to the kitchen, all the while feeling disgusting and sweaty. Though it was nearing September, there was no denying the fact that the heat had intensified, and it was nearly impossible to find any place to cool off in our house. We did have air conditioning, but for her own ridiculous reasons, my mom deemed it unnecessary to use it and so instead there were numerous fans stationed around our house that did nothing but circulate the hot air through the place.

When I arrived in the kitchen, I saw my mom who was busy cutting celery and didn't seem to notice my arrival. I walked to the table, scrapping the chair across the floor and sitting in it.

"It's too damn hot in this house," I announced, causing her to whirl around and shoot me a disapproving glare.

"Now, Riley, I've already told you once to watch your language."

As she spoke, I kept my eyes on the knife in her hand, trying to make sure she wouldn't make any sudden moves. When I was sure that she was feeling stable today, I responded in as calm of a manner as I could manage. "Mom, we live in the twenty-first century and there's this fabulous invention called air-conditioning. Explain to me again why we don't use it."

My mother's face brightened at my sudden inquiry of her methods, and once I realized what she was going to say, I prepared to zone out for the next couple minutes as opposed to listening to her explain how by not using the air conditioning were saving the environment. I'd heard her going off on this tangent many times before, and at this point I was pretty sure she knew I didn't listen to her anymore. But then again, I was also pretty sure she just liked to hear herself talk.

She'd turned around to go back to cutting the celery, and since I was so caught up in ignoring her, I was barely aware that she finished her lecture until she questioned me.

"So Riley…I'm assuming your father never told you the news?"

I gazed up at her curiously, surprised that something my mother said had actually caught my attention. "What news?"

I had three guesses as to what this news could be. Could it be that they were having another baby? No, that couldn't be it. Liam had been a mistake, but now both of them were much too obsessed with him to even think about another kid.

They were getting a divorce? I didn't think it could be that either. Somehow, my worry-wart of a mother and my slightly sexist father had managed to stay together for eighteen years, and it didn't look like they were splitting anytime soon.

Or maybe…maybe they were finally going to fulfill my lifelong dream of moving to New York City so I could become a famous Broadway actress! I almost had to laugh at that thought. That couldn't be it; they didn't love me that much.

"I knew he would leave me to do the dirty work…" I heard her mumble to herself and I furrowed my brows in confusion.

"Mother, please tell me. The suspense is killing me here." She hesitated before speaking.

"Where to start…well, you remember your Uncle Pete and Aunt Nora? Your family on your dad's side."

"Sure. They moved to Minnesota or Idaho or something, right?"

"Maine, honey. Anyway, your dad got a phone call from his brother the other day. Gosh, it's been so long since they've talked. He was really excited to hear from him, you know. Pete is your dad's favorite sibling. I really don't know why they don't talk more often. Or visit for that matter, Maine really isn't that far from us."

I sighed impatiently, "Could you please get to the point?"

She paused in cutting celery long enough to turn around and give me a glare. "Patience is a virtue. Remember that, Riley. Now where was I...oh right. So it turns out that moving to Maine wasn't such a wise decision. It's hurt the family more than it's helped them and quite frankly, none of them really like it up there."

I was already beginning to see where this story was going, and I didn't like it.

"So… to make a long story short, your father suggested they come down here for a while. You know, to pick themselves back up." She paused, turning to get a dishrag to wipe her hands with and then turning around to watch me, seeming to carefully gauge my expression. I didn't say anything, so she continued.

"So they're coming here, to live in Williamson for a while…" She hesitated again and bit her lip, clearly not wanting to go much further into the story than that.

"Go on..."

She let out a big sigh and then, defeated, finally finished what she was saying. "Well, it was your father's idea in the first place, but, well…we've got enough space with the guest room and that empty boat house and all...So in a week they're all coming to live with us. Pete, Nora," she paused, and then finished very quickly, the words coming out in one big jumble, "andyourcousinsBryanandEthan."

She was staring at me even more intently now, most likely trying to think of some lame statement that would calm me down once I started freaking out, which I knew she was expecting me to do.

There was silence and I blinked a couple times, still absorbing all the information I'd just been told. I didn't start to freak out, not at all. Instead, I snorted. And then I burst out laughing.

Her eyes widened in shock at first, and her mouth fell open, giving her the look of a fish (which only made me laugh harder). This went on for a couple seconds and then extended to the point where I knew I was just being obnoxious and my mom was beginning to question my sanity.

Eventually her eyes narrowed to a glare and she turned her back on me to start cutting the celery again (though a bit more viciously now). A few minutes passed before I was finally able to contain myself, and by the time I did stop laughing, tears had sprung to my eyes and I was convinced that my abs had just gotten an awesome work-out. Cool.

"Are you done yet, Riley?" My mom said sharply, not bothering to hide her annoyance.

I leaned far back in my seat and wiped away some of the tears from my eyes, an odd grin on my face despite the feeling of impending doom beginning to settle within me.

"When are they coming and how long are they staying?" I decided it would be best to get the most important questions out the way.

My mom looked away from me, her gaze settling on the floor. Avoiding eye contact. Never a good sign.

"Well, your cousins are going to be going to school with you… so they'll need to be here before that starts…"

"Mom, you're avoiding the question."

"Oh, right. Well, um, I'm pretty sure your dad said that they would be here on Friday. And as for how long they're staying…we're not exactly sure yet…"

I simply stared at her, creating a deep silence between us. My mom shifted a bit before finally turning around to the food. My mother was the type of person who hated silences, though, so I knew it wouldn't take long for her to say something to fill it.

"Look Riley, I hope you can understand why we're doing this…" Right on cue.

"Oh, Mom, I completely understand."

This caused her to turn around to face me again. A skeptical look fell over her face as she eyed me. "You…do?" I couldn't help but notice the hint of desperation that crept into her voice at her words.

I smirked, "Of course I do, Mommy dear." I took a pause before finishing my statement, "You and Daddy are trying to kill me."

And just as I'd expected, her entire face fell when I said this and she placed a hand on her hip, her eyes narrowing to tiny slits.

"Care to explain, Riley?"

I scowled. "How could I not think that? Don't you remember what Bryan and Ethan did to me?!" I stood up suddenly, the chair scrapping roughly across the tile floor, and threw my hands over my head for dramatic effect, "Two hours of therapy everyday for two months can really mess with the head of a ten year old!"

She flinched as if she'd been hit when I said this, the memories seeming to flash through her mind. At first a look of guilt passed through her eyes, but it disappeared as quick as it came and finally she decided to give me her death glare.

"Would you stop being so dramatic all the time? Your father and I are not trying to kill you!"

"Well then you must be trying your hardest to send me to the mental institute." I mumbled under my breath, not meaning for her to hear.

But based on the way she growled, I was pretty sure she had. Not only was the look on her face really beginning to frighten me, but the fact that she had a large knife held firmly in her hand wasn't helping either.


When she hissed my name and took a step closer to me without bothering to put the knife down, I decided that it would be best I make as quick of a get-a-way as possible. I turned around and quickly sprinted out the kitchen and down the hall, determined to get out the house despite the heat. Before leaving, though, I paused in the doorway and shouted back to her.

"And just so you know, there's no way in hell I'm letting either of them live in my house or even come to Williamson!"

And with that said, I slammed the door shut and raced down the drive-way, trying hard to ignore the feeling that said my mother was going to run out the house and come after me with the knife any minute now.

Well, that concludes chapter one. I hope you enjoyed it. I'd appreciate it if you guys let me know what you think of Riley so far. You'll definitely get a better understanding of why she reacted in the way she did in the next chapter, and also a new character will be introduced.

On another note, I decided I do want a beta for this story. I would prefer someone who is a pretty experienced writer and who will be honest with me, but not completely destroy my self-esteem. If you're interested let me know!

The next chapter will be out as soon as I force myself to edit it. Please review!