Shelly raised her hands to his face. “Thank you for saving me.” She wondered why he wasn’t reacting. A kiss. It would only be a small kiss, a tiny token to thank him. She leaned
toward him and placed her lips tentatively, gently, on his. Why isn’t he moving, she wondered.
“Please. No more,” Dodd said, wondering if he could change things. Was it too late? If he stopped her before she began, could he at least delay the decision? She isn’t what I expected, he thought, arguing with someone inside him who had warned him of the threat she posed, the voice that had convinced him she had to be stopped no matter what he had to do. “I’m sorry, I have to go,” he said.
She backed away, crushed by his obvious rejection. “I only wanted to thank you for saving me.” Why did he look so strange? Was he afraid of her? Of women? He’s beautiful, fine etched features, tall, thin…is he gay?
Dodd saw an out, but did he want to take it? Nobody is around. Why not let the vision happen? If she’s gone there’s no doubt, no reason for my brain to ache like this trying to make a decision. He felt as if his head was exploding and all because of her. The voices arguing her fate were never going to stop until he did it. He knew he could do it. The bus proved that, but did he really want to? I need more time. “I didn’t save you,” he finally said, knowing it would stop her cold.
Shelly was confused, more than ever. She really believed that Dodd had saved her. But now he had made it clear that it wasn’t him. Why would he lie about that? “You didn’t? I don’t understand.”
Dodd shook his head. “No. I did not save you.”
“Dodd, you were there. What did you see? Who saved me if it wasn’t you?”
She really doesn’t know? “I thought you could tell me,” Dodd replied, again intently staring at her, hoping she would have an explanation different than what he suspected, an explanation that could change everything. “I didn’t see who it was. He vanished before I could get to you…or to him, to thank him properly.” Dodd held his breath, his eyes more intense than ever. Please tell me I’m wrong, he begged silently. Tell me you’re not an Ecto and it will be over. He could almost taste her lips.
Shelly heard someone whistling.
“It wasn’t you?” she asked Dodd again. “Are you sure? Are you positive?”
Dodd shook his head. “That bus driver had you in his sights and suddenly you were lying on the grass. I have no idea how that happened. I wish I did.” Oh God, I really wish I did.
“You know,” Allen said.
Dodd waited, but Shelly remained silent. Okay, he thought as he saw she wasn’t going to answer. He forced a smile, “I wanted to tell you the truth.” Jackass, he heard the voice scold, Why did you tell her that?
Shelly nodded. “I appreciate that.” If he didn’t save me, who did?
Dodd was thinking, trying to regain his advantage, his control of the situation. “Maybe you’ll let me take you for coffee after dinner tonight? If you’re feeling better, after a rest?”
“I told you so,” Allen said in triumph. “Do I know my horny boys or don’t I?”
Shelly almost barked, “Shut up!” but was learning to focus on the real faces in her life and ignore what she still hoped was a figment of her imagination, a troublesome creature she created for some unknown reason, to whom she had given the name Allen. Besides she now suspected Dodd liked her, maybe a lot? That was the best news she’d had in days, best since Jeff had dropped his little bomb. Your loss, Jeffrey, she said silently. “I’d like that,” she said smiling at Dodd and then giving Allen a defiant look.
Dodd didn’t smile back. “I’ll pick you up at seven? I’ll bring my car this time.”
“Hey, you have a date with me tonight. Remember? We’re jogging in the park together,” Allen said, wishing he could make something move so that Dodd, what a name for a boy, would run out of here screaming. “I’d like to scare the crap out of him,” Allen said, eyeing Lisa’s lacy panties and wondering what Dodd would do if they suddenly flew right into his face.
“Seven is fine,” Shelly replied. “Maybe you can take me over to the parapsychology quad tomorrow too? I really would like to sit in on one of Dr. Lasker’s classes, but don’t feel like taking the bus.”
A strange look came over Dodd’s face. She isn’t going to let that go. He sighed. “Sure.
But I have to warn you Dr. Lasker is not…well, he’s not for everyone.” One last chance.
“I hear he’s really interesting,” Shelly said, wishing Dodd would be more open. He really didn’t talk much. Maybe it was better that way? Allen talked too damn much! And Jeff was full
of bullshit, even in the shower. A flashback of his muscular body holding her while he whispered, “You are so beautiful,” sent a warm shiver through her body. What would Dodd be like in the shower….
Dodd sighed. “Oh yeah, he’s interesting alright.” You have no idea. Every damn Ecto is interesting.
Shelly wondered how Dodd meant that, but decided not to question him too much just yet. “See you later. And thank you again for helping me.” She held back from giving him a kiss even though she wanted to.
Dodd looked around the room. She still wanted to see Lasker. He had hoped she would change her mind. There’s still nobody else here, he thought. His eyes landed on the unmade bed, the black lace undies. Damn, she’s so young and dumb and naïve. He had a flashback to his vision, her eyes gazing up at him as she toyed with his belt, his hands slowly lowering. Dodd felt his head pounding, exhausted with wrestling with his thoughts and all the conflicting voices in his brain. One more day won’t hurt, he decided. “You’re welcome,” he said. “I’ll see you
tonight.” He walked quickly through the door before he changed his mind.
Once outside the room, Dodd paused and stared at the notepad taped to the door. He could see the impression on the blank page over which the warning message had been written. He looked up and down the hallway and tore several sheets from the spiral binding. I really wonder who wrote that one, he said as he headed for his car in the parking lot behind the dorm.
Shelly watched the door close, wishing she had asked him again to stay. For once she thought Lisa might be right, a bed mate like Dodd might be just the thing tonight. She wondered why Dodd had almost sounded angry when he had said, “You’re welcome” and had left. Maybe
he was disappointed she hadn’t invited him to stay? She had been tempted, had tried to send signals to him, but he had seemed distracted. She stared at the door wishing she would hear him knock. As tired and confused as she was, she had decided she would not turn him away if he returned. She found herself wondering what Dodd would be like in bed. He seemed to have a nice body, a bit thin, but still promising and sexy. “What the hell am I thinking about?”
A yawn shook her body, and she dropped back onto the bed. It didn’t matter that she was fully dressed. The mattress, a barebones college cot, felt like a cloud tonight. I’m exhausted, but I should have invited him to stay. Oh who the hell knows? She raised her fingers and began to unbutton her blouse. In her mind, she imagined Dodd’s fingers gently unfastening each button with tantalizing slowness. She sat up, reached behind and undid her bra. It would have been nice to have help with that, she suddenly thought, wondering what his hands would feel like cupping her breasts. She let her jeans fall to the floor. They were dirty anyway from the roll in the grass. She didn’t bother picking anything up, but fell back against the pillow.
Dodd’s face was easy to conjure up, his intense blue eyes and that amazing black hair…his features, fine, but strong…those eyes half closed and his lips slightly parted.
She saw him falling gently down over her, his body arched inches from her own. She felt his lips pressing onto her lips, his eyes gazing into her eyes, measuring her responses as he moved lower, and then up again, letting his hair and flesh brush lightly on her skin. But it was his eyes that were holding her eyes, her soul in their magnetizing grasp…eyes that were robbing her of all control, all restraint. Even as he sank lower and then inside her, even as she saw his eyes were haunted, unfeeling eyes, she could not break away.
Shelly’s eyes began to close as her hand wandered below the sheet. It was Dodd’s hand and it felt so gentle, so delicate…he is tall and thin and those eyes….
“Don’t tell me you’re going to sleep?” Allen startled her. “We’ve got to talk right now.”
Shelly sat up as if she’d landed on a trampoline. She’d forgotten about her invisible
intruder. “You’re still here?” She pulled the blanker up to her chin, wondering how much Allen had seen. “Damn it, Allen! How long have you been here?”