King of Campus(5)

By: Jennifer Sucevic


I hate to say it, but it already feels like I’m off to a crappy start. Here it is the first day of classes and I'm practically running clear cross campus because I’m late. Why exactly did I think packing up my entire life in France and traveling home the day before fall semester started was such a brilliant idea?

Oh... that’s right... I had wanted to squeeze every single moment I possibly could out of Paris. Which, come on… you really can’t blame me for. Because of that, I'd spent all of yesterday unpacking and organizing. Basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off before collapsing onto my lovely double sized bed at midnight. And then I’d slept for eight solid hours.

Yeah. Eight blissful, dead-to-the-world hours.

And I'm still dragging like I haven't slept a single wink.

Hauling my ass out of bed this morning had been a monumental accomplishment on my part. I'd wanted to pick up my books at the campus bookstore before they ran out which actually happened to me freshman year. Unfortunately the line at the bookstore had been way longer than I’d anticipated which has now made me late for my ten o’clock business ethics class.

I can't believe what a bunch of freaking procrastinators go to this school!

I, on the other hand, have a completely legitimate reason for waiting until the last minute to get my books... Okay... fine... yes, I could have technically ordered them online... But I hadn't wanted to think about Barnett until absolutely forced to. Because thinking about Barnett meant I had to accept that the life I’d created for myself in Paris would be coming to a screeching halt.

So now here I am, trying to hustle my way across campus.

In dire need of something to pull me out of this mental fog, I hoist the Frappuccino to my lips. Instead of giving me a much needed jolt of energy, it just makes me feel even more jittery than I already am. My sunglasses are sitting on the bridge of my nose, shielding my eyes from the overly harsh sunshine I would be all but basking in on any other given day. My super-sized iced coffee drink is in one hand while my phone is in the other because it keeps pinging with incoming messages. My bag is slung across my nonexistent chest. As I move along the wide sidewalk towards Adler Hall, it feels as if I'm fighting exhaustion with every step I take.

I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it through an entire day like this without falling into some kind of narcoleptic state. My eyelids are just on the verge of drooping when I crash into a hard body. Instinctively I clutch my phone in one hand as my half-filled coffee drink gets dumped all over the person who has the sad misfortune to end up colliding with me.

I may not have been fully awake before this unexpected collision, but I certainly am now. My mouth falls open in shock and a fair amount of horror as I watch icy brown droplets course their way down a male t-shirt covered chest.

"Oh my god," I finally squeak. I'm all but dying of mortification as hot licks of embarrassment set fire to my normally pale cheeks. "I’m so sorry." Now would be a perfect time for the sidewalk to crack open and swallow me whole.

Yep... right now.

Right now, damn it.

What makes matters even worse is that he has yet to utter a single word. The last thing I want to do is force my gaze up and actually make eye contact. At this very moment, I’m desperately racking my brain for an exit strategy. Like sprinting away from the humiliating mess I've just caused in the middle of campus. I can hear people laughing in the background. It's like the dull roar of an ocean filling my ears.

Just when I think I might die of total shame, a deep voice finally rumbles, "I generally enjoy when a girl soaks me... but not like this."

I have to shake my head as his words slowly filter their way through my brain.

Wait a minute...

Did he... did he seriously just say that to me?

I have to be imagining the innuendo... right?

Embarrassed or not, my head whips up as my widened eyes snap to his.

Inhaling a sharp breath, it gets stuck in my throat before I pretty much swallow my tongue. If I hadn't already been stunned into silence by the whole god awful predicament now playing out, that face would have totally done me in because the guy standing before me is absolutely gorgeous.

He makes Lexie's boyfriend, Dylan, look like some hideous troll in need of a bridge to hide under.

Tousled inky black hair paired with the most brilliantly vibrant turquoise colored eyes I've ever seen. Frozen in place, I’m unfortunately powerless to look away. As I continue studying the unique hue of his eyes, I realize they hold a knowing smirk.

As if the coal black hair and bright blue-green eyes weren't enough of a showstopper, I can't help but notice that his lashes are long and thick enough to make any woman gnash her teeth in jealousy. High cheek bones and beautiful full lips complete the picture.