My Brother's Best Friend

By: Becky Andrews

 Chapter One


“God, I hate you!” I screamed at my laptop. “When do you ever work? I could throw you across the room, you piece of junk!”

A soft chuckle sounded from the doorway of my room, and I looked up. “Oh, it’s you,” I said contemptuously.

“Don’t sound so annoyed,” Devin Malone chided. “You know you love me.”

“You’re talking to the wrong sister,” I told him, referring to my younger sister, Emily, who had a huge crush on him. “I don’t worship the ground you walk on, nor do I idolize you.” I smirked.

Devin Malone was like a family of fruit flies. I could never get rid of him, no matter how hard I tried. He was my brother’s best friend, so he was always hanging out around our house. I’d long ago decided I hated the arrogant bastard. He could be the sweetest, most caring guy one moment and a self-important asshole, full of himself and proud of it, the next.

“Shouldn’t you be bothering my brother?” I asked.

“He’s not here yet,” Devin said, walking into my room and taking a seat at my desk. “Is there a reason you don’t sit at your desk?”

I sighed. “You know I don’t like it when you’re in here.”

“I like to think that’s because you can’t control yourself when we’re alone.” He raised his eyebrows suggestively.

I stared at him for a moment, trying not to notice how handsome he was. His light brown hair was charmingly mussed, and his hazel eyes twinkled as he teased me.

“Can you try not being an ass for once?” I narrowed my eyes at him.

“All right, you got me.” He shrugged his broad shoulders.

“Why do you always pretend to be something you’re not anyway?” I asked. I never understood why Devin went out of his way to treat girls rudely.

“If I didn’t, the girls would be all over me.” He smiled when I shook my head. “Okay fine, the real reason?”

“Yes.”

He paused as if he were trying to think of something plausible. Something that I would believe. Instead he said, “Because if I wasn’t always such an ass, you might actually like me.”

I crumpled up the piece of paper I had torn from my notebook and threw it at him. He only chuckled and threw it back at me.

“Your reputation is that important, huh?”

“No.”

I gave him a quizzical look. “I’m confused.”

“The right girl just hasn’t realized how great a catch I am.”

“You are full of yourself, Dev.”

He smirked. “That’s just what you choose to see. You just haven’t seen the true meaning behind my words. Think that one over, Sherlock.”

I narrowed my eyes but shook my head. He was impossible sometimes. He was always so cryptic.

“Christy, have you seen my hairbrush?” My baby sister stumbled into my room. I was sure she was just looking for an excuse to see Devin.

“It was in the bathroom the last time I saw it, Em,” I said, slightly perturbed at her obvious ploy.

She was a senior in high school, four years younger than me. She had almost every guy at school fighting for her attention, yet she still only had eyes for Devin. It made me sick, not because I liked him, of course not, but because Emily was not suited to Devin. Or maybe she was. She seemed like just his type. Blonde, heavy makeup, perfect tan skin, designer clothing—paid for by her brother and sister, I might add—and the shallowest personality imaginable. I’m not saying I don’t love my sister—don’t get me wrong. I would die if something happened to her. I’m just saying she could have done with a few more years of maturing. Maybe if she had concentrated more on school and actually learned something, rather than focusing so much on fashion magazines and cheerleading, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed with her.

She was my complete opposite. It would be safe to say we were like day and night. I had straight, long dark hair and brown eyes, not the Barbie type at all. I was more concerned with my grades and how we would pay the bills on time, while she was more worried about her nails and what to wear to school.

“Oh, hi, Devin. I didn’t realize you were here,” she said innocently.

I almost burst out in peals of laughter. I mean, really? Could she hear herself?

“Hey, Emily,” he said nonchalantly. He had learned over the years not to give her too much attention and that included calling her Em, as my brother and I so often did.

“What are you guys doing?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I replied. “Devin was just leaving. Maybe you two could go downstairs and watch some television or something? I’m working on an essay.”

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