Walk With Me
I tapped my foot lightly and crossed my arms over my chest. This line was long and I had a study group that was going to be mad if I was late. I looked at my phone for the hundredth time hoping it would slow down. I would just leave, but if I don't have my coffee fix, I'd crash.
"Ms. Brinkman, is that you?"
I whipped around to see Professor Stanson, looking as handsome as ever. "Hi, Professor Stanson. How have you been?"
He stuck both hands in his pockets and gave me a soft smile. He was so yummy, but he was my former professor. I could never overstep that boundary, but damn did I miss staring at him in class. "Good. It's really good to see you. So how are classes going so far?"
I was next to order my food and coffee. After giving my order, I turned back to the professor and answered, "Kicking my ass. I'm on my way to my study group now."
"Yes! He's a hardass." I rolled my eyes then remembered with whom I was talking. My eyes got wide at the thought of them having a run in and he mentions this to Professor Keating. "No offense to him or you."
I turn to retrieve my food. "No offense taken. He is a hard ass." I chuckled, looking everywhere except his face. He places his hand on my shoulder. "If you ever need help, let me know. I don't mind."
We stared at each other, him not caring about holding up the line or the rising agitation of the people behind us. It felt weird when his hand rubbed up and down my arm. It became a little uncomfortable, but maybe I was overthinking it.
"Eli." I looked over to see Ryan, looking as sexy as ever.
"Well, I better get going. See you around." I said, pulling away, breaking the contact.
I heard him call after me, "Email me if you need tutoring."
I waved goodbye and approached a rigid looking Ryan. He was eyeing something behind me intently. I followed his line of sight, but when I turned around, all I saw was the Professor.
"Hey, what's up? I'm kind of in a hurry-"
"Who's he?" He asked, nodding his head in the direction behind me.
"He's just my old professor."
"Hmph." He focused his attention back on me. He looked upset.
"Are you ok?"
He cleared his throat. "Uh, yeah. I just wanted to see if you heard from Em. She's hasn't been answering my phone calls."
"Mine either, but that's normal. Conventions and lectures are all the same: boring and long. She's probably asleep so she can get an early start." He looked relieved at my words. I knew he worried about her a lot. She was like a sister to him. Shit, I worried about her all the time, too. "Walk with me?"
He nodded to the door, holding it open for me. I sipped my coffee while we walked in silence. Surprisingly, it was comfortable.
"What are your plans?"
"What? Sick of me already?"
"Of course not!" I realized I spoke a little too loud when people started to look concerned. Ryan chuckled at my outburst and I followed suit. "I mean, no. I was just curious."
"I found a building not far from here. It used to be a restaurant. It has an apartment on top of it so I will be able to live there and I plan on turning the restaurant into a tattoo shop."
"Cool. How long will it take for everything to be a done deal?"
"I'm moving out next weekend. I like to keep busy and all this sitting around is making me antsy."
"Oh." The library was coming into view and I was a little disappointed that this was coming to an end.
"You know, I will miss your snoring."
I smacked his chest, making him laugh. He had a beautiful smile that was contagious. At first glance, you wouldn't get that vibe from him. "Hey! I don't snore. I lightly wheeze." We made it to the door and I hesitated to leave him. "This is my stop. I guess I will see you later."
"Yeah. See you later."
"Bye." I gave a small wave before slowly walking away, but then I realized, this could be it. This could be my only chance. I turned around, luckily Ryan was still standing there, watching me. I walked to him as fast as my legs would take me and when I was in arm's length of him, I threw my arms around him and pressed my lips to his. His reaction was immediate as his arms circled my waist. His lips were soft and warm. I pulled away before he could deepen the kiss and rushed away without another look back.
I only thought of Ryan throughout the study session. I didn't retain any of the study material and had to be pulled, several times, from my constant daydreaming. Ryan may seem a little intimidating and dark, but he was the only guy that caught my attention since I've been here. There was just something about him. He looked like a bad guy, but he wasn't. He was pretty laid back and mature. I'm guessing that because he's a little older than us.
I don't want to ruin my relationship with Emery because I can't keep it in my pants. I know she introduced us, but what if it doesn't work out? What if it ends terribly and it causes more of a riff in the house than it already is. I haven't had sex in two years and I want to make sure I'm actually in a relationship before taking that chance again.
"So we will meet up again on Monday." I started to gather my things. "Eli? Maybe pitch in a little more next time, huh?"
"Travis, shut up. I always lead the group. You guys did fine without me chiming in." He grunted and then walked off after the rest of the group expressed their disapproval of him almost ruining it for them. Let's just say I never shoot for anything under an A.
I lingered behind. I sighed heavily, wiping my hair from my face. I was so nervous to face Ryan after that kiss.
Time to put on my big girl panties and face the music.
The library was quiet with very few students still studying. I can see through the windows that it was getting dark out. I hated walking through campus when it's dark. The light breeze brushed through my hair, the night air smelling of fresh-cut grass.
"We need to talk."
Parked on the curb was none other than Ryan. He had no clue when we'd be done so he must have stayed this whole time. Embarrassment painted my face remembering the kiss we shared, that I initiated it. More like tackled this man's face.
"Ryan, what are-"
"Get in the car." He held the door open for me. He had a look that said he wasn't taking no for an answer. "We're going for a ride."