Nathaniel waved at Matt as he made his way to the table in the middle of the cafeteria.
Reaching him, he pulled out a chair and took a seat, grabbing a french fry from the plate as Matt gave him a mock glare.
" How’s it going?“, Matt questioned, his eyes searching through the crowd.
Nathaniel ran a hand over his face, feeling the strain from the lack of sleep last night. ” It’s fairly okay. Mr. Carson agreed and now I’m officially a student, thanks to my father.“, he spat the last word.
Matt stared across at him and shook his head.
" Nathaniel.“, he said, pointedly stressing his name.
Nathaniel suppressed the urge to roll his eyes and picked another french fry. Though he would never admit it, this was one of the things he liked about his best friend.
He didn’t hover. Or prod.
" About time she got here.“, he heard Matt mutter as he shifted in his seat, looking over his shoulder.
Nathaniel frowned for a second before turning around. He caught sight of Susan, Matt’s girlfriend making her way through the throng of students, a bright smile on her face.
But that was not what made his breath hitch.
He stared at the girl behind her. The one he had met two days ago. His hand unconsciously gripped the table as Susan moved out of the way and he could look at her thoroughly.
She was beautiful!
He had noticed her the day he first laid eyes on her in her dorm room. But here, out in the open, she felt like a sight to behold.
He watched her in fascination as she approached the table, her eyes focused on the slip of paper in her fingers. She had dark black hair that was tied up in a ponytail. Her worn out jeans and lime green shirt did nothing to hide the curves of her lush body.
And then she lifted her eyes up and looked straight at him.
If he had trouble breathing before, he felt his lungs stop functioning altogether now.
Her eyes were a shade of grey that complimented her dark hair and as he watched, he felt himself swell when a flash of recognition sparked in her gaze.
What the fuck was wrong with him!?
He needed to get bloody laid. And soon.
Desperately, he tried to get his body under control and grinned at her, watching in amazement as a flush of red crept into her cheeks.
Susan waved at him as she went over to the other side plopping down next to Matt and pecking his lips. That left the seat next to him vacant and he leaned back in his chair as he saw the other girl hesitate as she glanced back and forth between Susan and him.
Almost reluctantly, she placed her bag on the table and sat down.
Nathaniel caught a whiff of her perfume as she leaned forward and placed the slip of paper inside the back pocket of her jeans.
She smelled flowery and like powdered sugar.
" Zara, this is Nathaniel. Nathaniel, Zara.“, Matt spoke as he looped an arm around Susan’s shoulder.
At the sound of her name, she turned to him, a look of slight perplexion on her features.
Nathaniel had to remind himself to breathe as his gaze dropped to her mouth, that was partially open.
" Hi, Zara. Good to finally know your name. “, he grinned down at her and offered his hand.
She looked frozen for a second before her lips curves into a small smile as she took his hand. A zing of awareness bolted through him at the touch of her fingers. He grasped her palm firmly, resisting the urge to rub the pad of his thumb against her knuckles.
" Nice to meet you too, Nathaniel.“, she said, her voice almost breathy, her eyes slightly wide.
Almost immediately, she retracted her hand and focused her attention back on Susan.
Nathaniel frowned at her sudden dismissal.
She didn’t find him attractive enough to look at him a second longer?
" When is your next class?“, Susan questioned as she flipped out her cellphone and began typing something.
" In ten minutes.“, Zara replied as she struggled to keep her calm demeanor.
She was acting like a horny teenager for fuck’s sake. He was just another cute guy who-
He was sexy and hot and had an amazing body and a musical husky voice that was currently making her insides melt.
She couldn’t help the blush that coated her cheeks when she first laid eyes on him. And to find that he was actually looking straight at her.
She started when Susan’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
" So, Nathaniel, what do you do?“, she asked as she leaned in toward Matt, chewing on the edge of a ketchup-marred french fry.
Zara turned her head and watched him flash Susan a rakish grin before leaning back in his chair and flicked his eyes at her.
She felt her face heat up instantly and turned away so that he didn’t see her reaction to him.
She needed to get out of there.
" I went to military school for a few years in South Carolina.“, she turned back to him at the sound of his voice.
He continued, “I took a break for a year before working in my dad’s company for like a year and a half. Now here I am, studying social work and trying like hell to get a decent grades so I can escape the hell that being an accountant is.“, he winked at the end, his gaze coming back to rest on hers.
Zara managed to keep her face straight and respond lightly, ” Sounds good.“, she smiled before reaching out and helping herself to a grape from the tray.
" Why did you take a break?“, Susan asked again as she wound her fingers through Matt’s, her head slightly turned to the side.
" I’m bad at commitments, I guess. And I wanted to see the world a bit before settling down.“, he answered.
" Do you have a girlfriend?”
Zara almost choked as she stared at Susan.
Nathaniel chuckled before shaking his head.
" I appreciate beautiful women.“, he looked almost pointedly at Zara and she could swear she felt her pulse quicken just by the look in his chocolate brown eyes.
Then he looked away and she was stumped wondering if she had just imagined it.
" But I don’t have the time for a steady girlfriend. “, he grinned back at Susan.
Zara froze when he turned in his seat to look at her.
" What about you, Zara? What are you studying?“, he asked as he settled his unwavering gaze on her.
She found herself fumbling for words.
What was wrong with her!? It was just a simple question!
" I, uh- I’m studying Social Work too. It’s my first year.“, she gave a mental sigh of relief when her voice didn’t crack and her eyes didn’t stray from his handsome face to his deliciously lean body.
" That’s great. We’ll be seeing each other more often then.“, he winked at her causing her to blush scarlet.
Not knowing what to answer, she turned away, picked her bag and excused herself before leaning down and pecking Susan on the cheek.
" I’ll see you later, Suz.“, she called over her shoulder before making her way out of the cafeteria.
Nathaniel watched the gentle sway of her hips till Zara disappeared from his view. Luckily for him, the couple was busy discussing something and didn’t notice the way he had been staring at her.
Get a grip on yourself, Nathaniel, he scolded himself.
You’re a manwhore and she’s not your type.
He could live with that, couldn’t he?