The restrooms of Port Aransis high were open, yet not so open that they left no cover. There were walls, doors, and of course locks, but it still left a feeling of un-easiness in Linda Twist. It was during lunch that she usually found her solace in conversing with her best - only friend, Fiona. But, ever since she admitted her feelings toward Pete, there just did not seem to be time for Linda. Lunch time became Fiona and Pete time.

Linda swiftly made her way past her class mates, when the lunch bell rang. Dodging an open door, weaving her way in and out of bodies, she finally came to the restrooms. On her right were the ones she scanned first, then the ones on the left; the boys restrooms. The smoke coming from within them did not register in her mind, at first. All she cared about was getting inside, and lighting her own cigarette.

As she leaned against the far wall, Linda stared blankly at the few sinks in front of her. Her hands ritualistically sought her pack of cigarettes that she kept in her bag, and the same with her zippo lighter in her front jeans pockets. The nicotine washed over the teenage girl as waves do on a beach; tranquility.

The sound of the door swinging open never came to Linda's ears: all she cared for was the cylinder stick in her hand. Her head was cast down, beholding nothing but a bit of stained white porcelain, and dirty floor. But, the sound of footsteps did come to her, causing Linda to swiftly jerk her head up. Her first thoughts were that it was an administrator, or worse - her Brother Pete.

Linda recognized him completely. Then, she realized the smoke coming from the boys bathroom was from him: a fresh cigarette dangled from his lips. James Gribble, Jr. stood casually, taking in the sight before him. He could remember the first time setting eyes upon her. The way her face never held any make-up at all, or how her hair was nonchalantly brushed. Never had any beauty products come in contact with her skin, or hair - at least none that he knew about. But, at the sight of her

smoking, just as he had been - James became even more enamoured with her.

"Gribble," Linda acknowledged him as she would a rat crossing her path.

"Twist," he used the exact same tone she had.

He strode towards her, and for the first time Linda saw him as something other than an enemy. It was not that she loathed him, because she did not. But, she felt that with the entire rivalry thing going on between him and her Brother, she needed to feel some sort of animosity toward him. The grey day allowed little light for them to see one another's features cleary, yet both girl and boy studied each other.

Linda suddenly felt trapped, as Gribble neared her. He stopped shortly before her, smirking broadly at the fear that had crossed her features. If one had looked at them four years ago, one would have seen thin, scrawny fourteen year olds. Now, though, Linda was seventeen, while Gribble held some months over her at eighteen. Both had grown taller, with Linda having a curvaceous strength about her; after all, she had kept up with her Judo. Gribble, however, was a good seven inches taller than her, with an attractive litheness about him. All in all, they both found each other undeniably attractive.

"My lighter just emptied out on me. Got one?" he asked, glancing at the zippo still in her hands.

Hesitantly, Linda handed it to him. A chill ran up her spine as his fingers brushed against hers. Within seconds, James had the cigarette lit, then leaned against the wall beside her. Momentarily, she forgot that she was suppose to hate the boy next to her. From the corners of her eyes, she stole glances of him. There was so much tension at the moment between them, that Linda felt she would drown. His eyes were blue, Linda noted, but so dark that one would mistake them for brown. And, his hair - his hair . . . she loved his curly hair that seemed untamable.

With a frustrated sigh, Linda propelled herself off the wall. She found a sink worthy of sitting on. Once again, Linda hung her head, paying direct attention to the floor, and her now swinging legs. James watched every movement, feeling very much in power that he could make her so nervous. He could not recall a time that she had not been calm, and collected. It was strange to see a slight blush on her cheeks, and legs that moved to an fro. It was all the more funny to him to see Linda on a sink no less.

A practiced flick of his wrist, and the cigarette hit the wall. He too, pushed himself off the wall. James had no idea what the hell he was doing when he came to rest directly in front of her. He had seen the girl in action, and he knew that if she wanted to, Linda could kick his ass. Yet, he continued to watch her with her entire body slouched.

At long last, did Linda raise her head; brown eyes met blue ones. Neither could bare to turn away from one another. For those few minutes in the restroom, the things that James had done seemed insignificant. It was simple: boy sees girl, boy wants girl; girl sees boy, girl wants boy, but girl cannot have boy, because her older Brother by thirteen minutes is insane.

In one swift movement, James roughly parted Linda's legs, slipping his lean body between them. She gasped at his sudden movements, but her feeble protests were cut short by his lips upon hers. It was her first real kiss . . . well, what she considered a real kiss: lips, teeth, and tongue. James tasted cheap menthol smoke, while Linda could recognize a more expensive tobacco. He slipped a hand up her skirt, coming to rest on her thigh. Linda felt goose flesh devour her skin.

Silently, she damned him for having such an effect on her. All those years of trying to hate him - of taking up for her Brother - of pretending not to stand the boy . . . and, now the simplistic snogging session seemed as natural as breathing. Linda crept her hands along his shoulders, then one found his mess of hair. She slipped her left arm under his shirt, scratching lightly at his abdomen, then moved it to his back. Surprising herself, Linda wrapped her legs around James, pulling him as close as possible.

Then, the door to the restrooms burst open with an extremely boisterous slamming noise. It took a few moments for James and Linda to pull away from one another, but once they realized that they were not the only ones in the room, their lips left one another. Yet, Linda kept her legs wrapped tightly around him, attempting to grasp the remnants of his presence. In all her glory, stood Linda's step-mother, Faye Jameson.

Faye Jameson was beyond shocked to see what she had just walked in on. The smoke billowing from the open restrooms, let her know, that yes, there was a rule being broken. And, it was not as if she had never caught students necking, but the two she did catch . . . Faye near forgot to breathe. Long had Faye known that her step-son, and James Gribble, Jr. hated each other. She never realized that her step-daughter would allow hormones to take her over, and fall for the . . . Then it came to her: Linda liked the sterotypical "bad boy."