"What were you thinking?" Tony Twist practically screamed at his only daughter.

"I don't know," she mumbled, aware that Bronson and Peter were eve's dropping.

"Oh, that's right," he bit off, sarcastically, "you weren't thinking. Smoking? Linda, what about your health: you always preach about how much Judo taught you . . . "

"All right - all right," Linda said, standing up from the kitchen table, "I get it. Smoking bad - drugs bad - alcohol bad; I don't need another lecture!"

With that she ran up the stairs, tears dripping from her eyes. Pushing past the bewildered Pete and Bronson, Linda rushed into her room, slamming the door behind her. Instantly, she locked it, then flung herself face down on her bed. Her tears soon subsided, leaving her with blood shot eyes, and a very wet pillow. She felt as if her Father had just evolved into the biggest hypocrite ever: he smoked until her Mother had died. And, her Mother smoked on occasion, as well.

Linda wished she was more like her Mother more than ever. She was not a beautiful woman, but others followed her because she knew what she was talking about. Even though her Mother smoked, everyone loved her. Linda could remember the way Maeve Twist always smelled of Irish Spring soap, with a hint of menthol cigarettes. So, Linda only used that particular soap; smoked only that particular brand of cigarettes. It was her own small way to pay homage to her - the only way she could think of.

Two hours later, a knock came on the door to the Twist house. Pete was currently eating a bowl of cereal, waiting for his shirt to dry. He ambled to the door, sleepily, a yawn escaping his mouth. Pulling the door open, he gaped at the person that stood before him. Never - ever, did he expect James Gribble, Jr. to be knocking on his door; Pete expected that James would barge in un-announced. That, or never be there in the first place.

"Gribble?" Pete asked, befuddled completely.

"Twist," he answered, shoving past the blonde boy.

It took a moment for Pete to gather his composure. Then, he whipped around, slamming the door. James now sat at the kitchen table, helping himself to the box of cereal on the table. He munched obnoxiously, smirking at Pete. Pete was at loss for words. A while ago, James had helped him try to keep his house, but within days, they were back to being arch-rivals.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Pete finally managed to ask, in an outraged tone.

"Not for you, that's for damn sure,"

"Daddy trying to get you to make us sale? He can't even do his own dirty work, can he? Nothing but, a rich, bastard,"

James' face turned dark. He took a deep breath, attempting not to bash in Pete's head. In truth, James knew that his Father had little to no feelings when it came to business. And, for a fact, James could have really cared less. However his Father got the job done, was insignificant: James had everything he wanted, and much more - save maybe for one thing money could not buy . . .

"Know what they say?" James asked, rhetorically, "Like Father, like Son."

"You're not as dumb as you look," Pete scoffed, "what'd you want anyway?"

"Your Sister,"


Pete studied James' countenance closely, looking for any sign of mischief, or something of that sort. Yet, he found nothing but the most serious of expressions. Frowning, Pete took a seat at the kitchen table. So, commenced a glaring contest between the two young men.

"Didn't you hear me, you dumb wop? I want to see your Sister. Now be a good boy, and fetch," James grinned.

"She's grounded, asshole," a twitch formed under Pete's right eye.

"Don't see dear ole' Dad around, he'd never know,"

"Linda hates you - I hate you - everyone hates you, so knick off, Gribble!"

"Oh," James inquired, raising an eyebrow, "is that so? She didn't tell you about this afternoon then, huh?"

"What the hell are you goin' on about?"

"I got the same death sentence as she did - suspended for the rest of this week,"

"So? What of it?" Pete was growing impatient by the moment.

"We were . . . "

Linda awoke to the sounds of breaking glass, and miscellaneous objects being broken. Tumbling from her bed, Linda trudged out of her room, and down the stairs. Instaneously, Linda beheld her Brother, straddling James - strangling him. She saw James' face more red than she had ever seen it. Her heart flew to her throat, with the thought of him dying.

She flung an arm around Pete's neck, dragging him off of James. Pete protested at first, then shoved himself out of her grip, once he knew who it was. He turned swiftly around, scowling at her with an unknown look of aggravation. Linda crossed her arms across her chest, glancing at James who was now removing himself from the floor.

"I was in the middle of something," Pete growled, looking directly at James.

"Murder," stated Linda.

"Damn right," answered Pete, "if you'd heard what he said he did . . . "

"Every word he said was true, Pete,"

"But - you would never let him touch you!" Pete blanched, "Would you?"

"Knick off!" and, she grabbed James by the arm, dragging him off outside