Picture of "Nick" ----------------------------->>>

  I got a full four hours of sleep that night. It was great. I hadn't slept that much in ages. I wasn't even tired when I finally got up to find some breakfast. I walked into the dining room to find Carter and Eliza already sitting at their mahogany table. I'd always found it hard to believe that the two of them were related. They were so different on so many levels, and sometimes it seemed like the only things they had in common were their questionable senses of humor and the fact that they were almost identical, but I was glad for it, anyway. I liked having Eliza around.

  I took the seat across from my best friend, but he didn't so much as even glance up; Carter just kept his head parallel to his plate and shoveled in the golden-brown pancakes that Hank had made for us. Hank always made breakfast on Saturdays. It was one of the reasons he was so awesome. Cooking wasn’t in his contract, but he did it anyway. He was damn good at it, too. His banana pancakes were award-winning. That was, if you count the trophy Carter and I gave him as a legitimate award.

  I caught Eliza's eye, and she nodded back at me. “Look who's finally up.”

  I gave her a nonchalant shrug and grabbed an empty plate from the middle of the table. “Sleeping late means I will never run into morning people.” I speared some sausages with my fork. “What about you?” I asked her. “How did you sleep?”

  “I was having a good dream. So I'll take it,” she answered me.

  My gaze followed her as she poured orange juice into my glass for me “A good dream?” I half smirked. “Do tell.”

 Girls loved that smirk, but she didn't buy into it.

 “You weren't in it,” she said flatly, but my grin grew. I could tell she was lying. I could always tell when she was lying. Honestly, I didn’t even know why she even bothered to not tell me the truth. I always figured it out anyway.

 “That's too bad.” I leaned back in Carter’s chair so that the front two legs lifted off the floor. “You were in mine.”

 She opened her mouth, and I knew she was going to ask me to elaborate, but her almost question was interrupted by Carter choking on his scrambled eggs. Eliza clapped her brother on the back until he was okay again.

 “You really shouldn't say things like that.” Carter chugged a glass of juice and looked at me. “It's too early in the morning for me to tell if you're kidding.”

 I laughed. “Take it easy, man. It's cool.” I winked at Eliza when Carter had resumed devouring his breakfast.

  Eliza smiled and looked away. That had been really smooth. I could tell she was impressed. At that moment, the doorbell rang and a few seconds later, Austin Banks casually sauntered into the room.The three of us usually hung out on Saturdays. It was kind of a tradition. We just rolled around town and tried to see what trouble we could stir up.

 “S'up, boys?” Austin sat next to me. He didn't say anything to Eliza, which struck me as a little bit odd. Austin wasn't really the rude type, but I let it go.

 I elbowed him. “Hey, man, did you hear from Jamal?”

 “Yeah, I did!” Austin grinned. “He confirmed it. The party of the century is gonna happen.”

 “Word.” I licked my lips in satisfactory anticipation. It was going to be awesome.

 “Oh, is that thing tonight?” Carter nodded in understanding. “Yeah... about that...”

 “You're not bailing on us, are you, O'Connor?” Austin asked him like Carter was the only O'Connor in the room. “It's his eighteenth b-day. Everyone's gonna be there.”

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