The day was hot. The sky was a clear blue and clouds dotted its expanse like sheep in a pasture.
The USC campus was more or less silent at this time of the day.
Zara dumped her bag that was brimming with books onto the couch as she pulled off her jacket and placed her keys on the counter.
Her roommate and best friend Susan had chosen to ditch her and spend the rest of the day with her longtime boyfriend and oh-so-true-love Matt.
Going into the bedroom, she pulled out the drawer of the dressing table as she rummaged around for something to hold her hair away from her face.
The heat could be sweltering. Especially during August. Taking off her oppressive pair of jeans, she changed into shorts and decided to spend the rest of the day in the company of the current book she was reading, Ptolemy’s Gate.
It was the third book in the Bartimeaus Triology and Jonathan Stroud was quite an excellent and humorous writer.
Taking a diet coke from the refrigerator, she had just settled herself on her bed when her phone rang.
She glared at it.
Susan’s pretty face flashed on the screen. Zara still hadn’t figured out when that dratted girl had linked a photo to her contact.
Grudgingly, she pressed the answer button.
" Now what?“, she almost growled in a very ungirly manner.
" Umm, hi.“, a guy’s voice spoke.
Was it a wrong number?
She looked back at the screen and sure enough Susan’s face was still there.
" Who the hell are you?“, she asked without thinking.
She heard a soft chuckle on the other end.
" Aren’t you a polite one?“, the deep throaty voice answered.
Zara felt something in the pit of her stomach at the sound.
Now here was someone who had actually hit puberty.
" Have you stolen my friend’s phone?“, she asked impatiently.
She was dying to read her novel and the guy wasn’t getting to the point.
She put the call on loudspeaker and leaned back into the pillows, placing the phone in her lap.
" Actually Susan said I could call this number. Matt needs a few things and he asked me to pick them up from your apartment.”
Zara paused, not really listening to what he was saying. She was liking that deep musical voice way too much.
" Hello?“, it spoke again.
She shook her head,” Yeah, I’m here. Did he say what stuff?”
" I think it was his Greenday tshirt and his swimming trunks.”
" And where is Susan?“, Zara asked as she got out of her bed and began searching Susan’s side for the said tshirt.
She didn’t have to search long. Susan had been wearing it last night so it lay on the heap of unwashed clothes on the side of her bed.
Rummaging around some more, she found Matt’s swimming trunks.
This was the only benefit of having a messy roommate. You didn’t have to search too long for stuff.
" She’s with Matt. They’re having an ice cream or something.“, the guy spoke again.
" Okay, you can come over. I have his stuff.“, she said hurriedly and cut the call without waiting for a reply.
Humming to herself she went into the living room and placed the clothes on the couch.
Taking a sip of the diet coke she perched herself on the armrest and began reading her book.
Within the next few minutes she was totally engrossed in the story.
So she was startled when the doorbell rang.
Cursing under her breath, she held the book in her hand and grabbed the clothes.
Unlocking the door she thrust out the clothes.
" Here you go. And please tell Susan-“, she stopped midway when she seen him.
That was the first thing that her mind registered.
He was so fucking tall.
She had to literally tilt her head to make eye contact.
At USC, the guys were usually extremely good-looking and Zara thought she had seen it all.
Clearly, she was wrong.
The boy who stood before her was nothing like any of the guys in her class or on campus.
He had dark brown hair that was messy but still managed to look styled. His eyes were the color of melted chocolate and he had those chiselled cheekbones that she had only read about in all those annoyingly hot romance novels.
His lips looked like they had just been kissed hard and by someone who knew the right way to do it.
He was wearing a light blue tshirt with khaki pants that came to his knees. His hands had been shoved into his pockets and as Zara came to her senses, she realised he was suppressing a smile that was tugging at his attractive lips.
She blushed as she felt anger at herself for staring at him for what she knew was way longer than necessary.
" Here you go.“, she repeated as she held the clothes out for him.
He gave her a crooked grin and Zara felt her insides melt to mush as she stared at him yet again.
Fucking hell. What was wrong with her?
She bit her tongue and gave him a tight smile before she turned around to shut the door.
" Hold on.“, he said and Zara could swear that she felt her heart do a little flip flop.
Fuck. It was so sexy!
She squeezed her eyes shut. Why was she so turned on by just looking at him?
She turned to see him gripping the frame of the door lightly, a look of surprise on his face.
" Aren’t you going to ask me who I am?“, he asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
" You’re the guy who called me a few minutes ago.“, she said, feigning a casual tone.
" How can you be so sure?“, he asked as he leaned against the door frame and Zara had to move further inside the apartment so as to look up at him.
" I, uh, recognised your voice.“, she said, expecting him to laugh at her.
She blinked, surprised.
" But that was after I asked you to hold on.“, he said as he leaned in and looked at her curiously.
Zara froze as she inhaled his scent.
She trembled involuntarily.
" Are you okay?“, he asked looking at her with concern.
" Yeah, just tired.“, she lied as she brushed away the hair that had escaped from her ponytail.
" Oh, I’ll leave you to it then.“, he said as he moved back and then smiled at her.
She managed to return it before she hurriedly shut the door.
Touching her overheated face she cursed loudly.
She did not want to set eyes on him again.