A/N: This is very important! In this story, Bradin is starting grade twelve, but he's been in Playa Linda since the summer before his eleventh year! Okay? Okay. And I realize it's very stupi for me to start yet another story but I've had this idea nagging at me for a week. It might be a very short story, but it's coming. Review if you want. Rated for language, and scenes later on.
Chapter One - The New Girl
It was the first day of school. The house was a chaotic sphere of people running around, last minute searches for items, and loud exclamations of how they were going to be late. Nikki was still on the phone with Amber, fretting about her outfit, despite the fact that she had all of five minutes before she'd have to leave the house. Derek couldn't find his shoe, and he mysteriously lost his backpack too. Ava was frazzled as ever, trying to pack lunches, make breakfast, and yell at Nikki to hurry up in one simultaneous movement. Jay wasn't present; he had to be at the surf shop bright and early, skipping out on the hectic routine much to Ava's disgruntlement. Johnny was searching for Derek's items, and trying to calm down Ava. Susanna, much as she would love to help out, was finding the situation insanely funny and was laughing at the circus that had become her family.
Meanwhile, Bradin had overslept but somehow managed to shower, pack his stuff, eat breakfast, and find (by tripping over and swearing at) Derek's backpack before his other two siblings were even close to finishing.
"Good luck." He chuckled to Ava as he bite into his apple on his way out the door.
"You too." She managed to smile. "Have fun, and come home in time for dinner, because Johnny's cooking tonight."
"Yeah, I will," Bradin nodded. He glanced up at the phone and picked it up. "Nikki, shut up and just pick something, I can see Cameron walking up to our front door already!"
Her shriek shook the house. Bradin laughed and dashed out the door, waving to Cameron on his way out.
Bradin had been living in Playa Linda for over a year now, and it had become pretty home-like. It could never replace Kansas in his mind but it was still a great place to live. His life had been weird the past year, he'd had four serious relationships, all of which had failed and left him single at the moment. First there was Sarah, the blonde bombshell- truer words were never spoken. Then came Callie, who was sweet but ultimately too unsure of herself and of him, not to mention moody, to stay with. There was also that quick fling with Erika, his surf instructor whom he'd crushed on for months before they actually got together. It was just a physical attraction, with her, and soon fizzled out, lasting not even a full month. There was also a rather nice girl named Trish whom he'd been with for a while, but she had broken up with him when her ex came back into the picture.
Looking past his love life, Bradin had also found a new talent- surfing. He'd won a few trophies and competitions, and a love of the waves was awoken in the former farm boy.
He'd gone through a rough year, when he stopped to think about it. His past relationships were all a bust, he had gotten into steroids and –once and only once- he'd overdosed, he had actually flunked a few classes- though he was back on track now-, he got kicked off his high school surf team because he had a fling with his coach, who happened to be over eighteen while he was, uh, not, and then of course were the minor details of his parents' death causing him to become an orphan and the relocation to a whole new state. He'd lived through it, though, and had, to his relief, become popular in his new school just as he had in his old one. He'd made friends quickly. His last year was turbulent, but hey it was interesting and at times a lot of fun. Bradin knew he'd make this year worth it, too.
Arriving at the school, he greeted some of his friends at the entrance, smiling and occasionally saying hello to a few people he passed on the way there. It was nice having everyone in the school know who he was. Homeroom flashed by, with a few new students, the occasional pretty girl, but no one who stood out. The new and old jaw dropping hotties he saw were standard, and though it was flattering being checked out by them, Bradin had gone that route before. He wasn't looking for some bland beauty; he was tired of being constantly flirted with.
Anyways, the morning passed by fairly basically without too much happening. Lunchtime rolled around and as he stood in line for food, someone finally caught his eye. She took up a good chunk of space with her legs widely spaced out; hands on her hips, impatient look on her face. She was the recipient of several interested/amused/surprised/critical looks and a few people were obviously talking about her. Not that the girl seemed to notice or care. She had deep purple hair, coloured with flaming red streaks tossed around randomly. Her lips were a brilliant white, which clashed spectacularly with her hair, but that appeared to be the only form of make up she had on. Across her shirt read the lime green words- 'If you're reading this, stop staring at my chest, you pervert,' and her black jeans looked like they had been through hell and back with their rip marks, natural faded colour, and a few strangely tinted stains.
Smirking a bit at her shirt, Bradin took a few steps up so that he was beside her. She realized he was looking at her and looked up from her book (yes the line was seriously that long) and gave the blonde a 'what the fuck do you want' look.
"Hey." Bradin smiled. "New here?"
"No, I'm that girl you dated last year, then screwed with, then dumped." She giggled. "Like, oh my God, I've been waiting here for, like, ever for you to come over here and talk to me. I was standing here just waiting to be rescued by your handsome hotness!" She finished with a would-be sugary smile and added in, "So, do you want my number? Shall I scrawl it on your probably huge dick?"
"I can honestly say I've never talked to anyone who's managed to be that sarcastic in such a short time." Bradin raised his eyebrows.
"What do you want?" she asked, her expression clearly saying that she thought she already knew and couldn't be less thrilled.
"I like your hair," Bradin commented, choosing not to answer.
"That line just took my breath away." She deadpanned. "Look, surfer dude, what would possess you to strike up a conversation with me? Do I look like I'd be receptive? 'Cause I'm not, if you haven't noticed. And no, I don't want to get a coffee, no I don't want to see a movie, go to the beach, see you flex, or study together. So, what, really, is there left for you to ask me?"
"Uh, could you pass me that soda over there?" Bradin gestured. Any other girl would have been embarrassed about going into a tangent about something when the person whom they were talking to simply wanted them to pass them something, but obviously this was not the case here.
She handed him the soda without missing a beat and turned back to her book. "Nice alibi. You handle rejection and humiliation with denial, be proud."
"It's not rejection when I didn't ask you out in any way shape or form." Bradin pointed out.
"No, you just wanted to be gal pals with me by saying you liked my hair and asking if I was new." She smiled.
"You are really-" Bradin started.
"Bitchy? Moody? High maintenance? Frigid? Sarcastic? I've heard it all, yes I am, what's it to you?" she finished for him. "I don't make any fronts about who I am and if you have any issues with who I am, then by all means, do me a favour and piss off."
"I was going to say defensive-" Bradin interjected before she could go off again.
"Look, I hate this school, I've been in this bloody city for less than twenty four hours and I already don't like it, and I really am in no mood for this." She shook her head and dismissed him. Carting her tray, she started to walk off.
"What's 'this'?" Bradin frowned after her.
"Get bent." She called over her shoulder without so much as a pause.
Bradin was torn between being angry, annoyed, confused, amused, and bewildered. Oh well, he'd been right about something; she was definitely different than the other girls here. Somehow, with all her go away vibes that radiated from her by the truckload, he was a bit captivated. She was interesting. Completely unapproachable, somewhat of a bitch, and totally not interested, but interesting. Not to mention full-forced with her defensiveness, and Bradin couldn't help but think that no one could be that snarky, that cynical with everything, if they didn't have a back story.
It turned out that Bradin shared a class with the girl he met at lunch. He had just sat down in AP physics when he saw her stride through the door and plop into a seat close to him. It was purely coincidental; as she was still reading from that book she had carried earlier and hadn't even glanced up at whom she was sitting beside.
The teacher smiled at the class and decided that the two new students should introduce themselves. Both the violet haired girl Bradin had met and a second, petite brunette girl had to stand up. The brunette went first.
"I'm from Nashville, and I can't wait to hit some of the beaches here." She smiled, eyeing a few of the guys with a glint in her eyes.
"I can't surf, don't paraglide, water ski, or sun tan. I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do around this massive beach." The violet haired girl said, smile twitching at her lips. "And that's all the info you'll really get." Bradin chuckled at her words, wondering if the distinction between her use of 'can't' and 'don't' was intentional.
As the class progressed, Bradin got a shock to discover that this girl was smart. That sounds bad, really bad, but Bradin seriously didn't think she looked like the type who would care about school. She had volunteered information and her hand shot up so many times during the class, and her answers were so thoughtful, that that theory was quickly gone. The thing was, she was extremely polite to their teacher. She had been all fuck off-y before, and didn't seem to care about anything around her, and yet now she was enthusiastically contributing to the class. She had serious chances of becoming a favourite of the teacher. Geez, Bradin seriously had her pegged as a slacker.
Bradin was active in the class discussion as he normally was, physics was one of his best and favourite subjects so the sentences flowed freely and quickly. The first time he did this, he caught the girl give him a shocked look.
When class ended, Bradin again got a surprise when he gathered up his books and looked up to find the girl standing by his desk, waiting for him.
"Look, so I might have come off a bit testy before." She said flatly. "And I sort of thought you were another brain dead surfer slash jock slash whatever, and I see that I was wrong, and I guess I owe you an apology."
"Way to give in to prejudice." Bradin raised his eyebrows. "What, do I look brain dead?"
"I know, it was bad, judging by appearances. But I realize that I didn't really even let you get in a word when we were talking earlier, and the few things you said weren't exactly reason for me to get my hackles up." She shrugged.
"It's okay, but why did you get so worked up?" he asked. She just shrugged. "And by the way, how'd you know I was a surfer?"
"Please. Tan, Californian, built, and confident. How could you not be? And plus, something like three quarters of the population here surfs." She answered with a wry smile.
"Yeah, well, only a quarter surfs well." Bradin stated.
"And I'm assuming you think you're in that?" she raised an eyebrow.
"I'm just saying, if you ever want someone to teach you how to, I wouldn't mind." He offered. "It'd give you something to do around here."
"I can't swim very well, I don't know if that'd be a good idea." She told him. "Anyways, yeah, I didn't mean to bite your head off. I just was sick of all the comments people kept saying to me. Right. Well, I'm going to go now."
"So, you don't actually have a problem with me?" Bradin clarified, grasping her arm to stop her from taking off.
"You're hot and smart, and not as sick as some other people I've talked to. Sure." She smirked. "If I had to choose, I'd probably do you."
Bradin was taken back by her frankness. "Uh…thanks?"
"Don't look so surprised. From what I've seen and heard, most of the girls' here think like that. I guess you're the alpha here, every guy wants to be you and every girl wants to do you." She said thoughtfully.
"I wouldn't say that…" Bradin corrected. "I'm popular, but not the most."
"Oh really, who would you say is the most?" she curiously asked.
"I don't know… Ryan? Maybe James?" he shrugged.
"I've heard a brief mention of those two." She nodded in assent. "And they're pretty good looking too, but most of the focus is on you, Westerly. Must've been in this town for years to get that much fan fare."
"Actually I just came here in grade eleven." He shook his head.
"Hmm. Must have a smashing personality, then." She cocked her head. "Or maybe you're just exceptionally good."
"Could you please stop trying to analyze me? It's creepy." Bradin muttered, turning a shade of red.
"Shy? Wouldn't have thought of it." She smiled.
"I'm not. I just normally don't talk about this to people. Especially not to a girl I've barely met." Bradin protested.
"How many girls have you gone out with?" she asked.
"Why?" Bradin retorted.
"I'm curious." She answered.
"I've dated a fair few…" he shrugged.
"Wow, lost count." She whistled.
"You're making me sound like such a…" Bradin laughed.
"Slut?" she finished for him.
"…Not the word I would've chosen." He grinned.
"Though, it can't be that many girls or they would've labelled you as heartbreaker by now. You must be somewhat decent." Stated she.
"Um, I am." He told her.
"Right." She smiled. "I've got to go." And then in a sudden movement, she stepped closer to him and cupped his face, frenching him as if it was perfectly normal. His automatic reaction was to kiss her back, and his tongue was still lingering in her mouth when she just as suddenly pulled back and smirked, "Mmm. Not bad. I can start to see what some of the fuss is about."
Before he could even answer to that, she grinned and stepped back. "By the way, I'm Kris. Tina, if you want to be a tight wad." And without waiting for his shock to wear off, she whirled around and strode off, leaving Bradin completely confused and with a very nice taste in his mouth.