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WE SIT back and take a short break, Amber and I beside each other. I glance around the room, zoning in and out on each conversation that's taking place. Jace and Bray are lying on their stomachs, busy talking about tactics with the dust on the ground.

"And that's when you make a run for it," Jace draws a line from 3B to home plate.

"Wait, hold on though," Bray frowns, pinching his chin. "The pitcher is aiming right at us so why would we-"

"Because," Jace puts up a finger and Bray pauses. "You see, this is where the blind-spot is," he taps.

"Ohhhh," a light bulb very slowly lights up in Bray's head. "That is gold!"

"Yeah buddy," Jace grins, punching his shoulder. "I know right."

I find it funny how an apocalyptic crisis had to take place for them to get closer. It's about time they do. Them always having those tensed one-liners with me stuck in the middle was beyond awkward. Their beef was due to that one game last summer on the hilltop. Bray held a grudge because he thought Jace's team cheated.

A fight broke out. It was wild.

Ella and Carmen, on the other hand, are giggling by the window. I've never been in love. I mean, I've seen it from time to time with my parents but I've never really 'felt' it like them. Perhaps I'm scared. I want to protect myself from what comes after. 'And what comes after' I've seen it happen many times - with Bray's parents, Jace and Carmen... Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it all? If love's even worth fighting for?

Then I look at Elody's face and I'm ready for war.

"You and Jace," I pick at my fingernails, "care to explain?"

"'Explain' what?" Amber looks at me.

"Amber," I face her, "Jace isn't the type of guy you should... He's only gonna break your heart, I've seen it. I mean, take a look at Carmen for instance."

"You can't tell me who I can and cannot be with. Besides, I'm not stupid, there's nothing there anyway. It's...we're not together, okay?"

"There's definitely something there, Bray and I know so. Look, I'm only trying to look out for you."

"I don't need you to 'look out' for me," she remarks. "You're my brother, not my mother."

"Exactly, I'm your brother."

Amber scoffs. "And what - you and Bray are spying on us now?"

"No, we were only-"

"Plus if we're gonna talk about 'definites', what's up with you and Ella then, huh?"

"We're nothing," I lie just the same.

"Oh yeah, you're 'nothing' too?" she chuckles. "There's definitely something there," she mocks.

"Pfft, shut up..."

"Mum will like her," Amber smiles.

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