The Wanderers

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chapter 6

I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to party. I rolled over to check on Josie, but she was already gone and the door was wide open. We are definitely going to have to work on some ground rules.

Rule no. 1 – Don’t leave the door open.

I got up and made my bed and put fresh sheets on Josie’s knowing she wouldn’t do it herself. Then I headed out into the hall to try and find her. I passed an open door at the end of the hall and heard someone call my name. “Ella!”

I stopped and turned around. “Oh, hey Jack Have you seen Josie?”

He pulled open the door to his room and there was Josie, sitting on his bed. “It’s about time you woke up,” she whined, taking a sip from a red plastic cup. “Want some?” she offered, holding the cup out to me.

“No. I just came to see where you were.”

“I ran into Jack in the lobby and invited him to come with us to the party tonight,” Josie said with a sly grin.

“I’m not much for parties, but Josie insisted I go,” Jack said shyly.

I’m sure she did.

“Well I’m going to take a quick shower,” I told Josie.

“Okay hurry up. I wanna get there before all the Jell-O shots are gone,” Josie replied.

I walked back to my room and collected my things for the shower. I still had to share a bathroom but at least here there was more than one shower. Hanging my robe on the outside shower stall, I stepped in and closed the curtain behind me. I let the shower run for a few minutes, allowing the steam to fill up my little area. A hot shower was what I needed right now. And it felt so good.

By the time I returned to my room Josie was back and throwing clothes all over the floor. “Uh! I have nothing to wear!” she groaned.

“I highly doubt that,” I said, dodging a flying blouse.

“Can you help me?” she pleaded.

“Let me get dressed first than I’ll help you find something to wear.” I pulled a pair of jeans out of the dresser and a cute black top my mom had bought me last year for my birthday. Then I helped Josie pick an outfit. She decided on a black mini skirt, her knee high leather boots, and a red top.

Turning back and forth she checked herself out in the full length mirror. “Perfect. I’m ready.”

“I still have to dry my hair,” I said, pointing to the dripping wet mop on top of my head.

“Ugh! That will take forever,” she moaned. “I’m going to go keep Jack company while you finish getting ready.” She winked at me and headed down the hall.

“Don’t forget to close...the door,” I said too late. I sighed and walked over to close it myself. I plugged in my hair dryer and began the process of drying my long, thick, wavy hair. When I was done, I smoothed it over with a flat iron and applied some make-up. Then I met Josie and Jack in his room. “Okay, I’m ready.”

“Finally,” Josie whined, jumping off the bed and linking her arm in mine. Jack closed the door behind us and followed a few steps back.

“Where is this place, again?” I asked.

“Not far, just across the quad,” Jack said. He seemed to know his way around so we let him take the lead. It wasn’t that hard to spot once we got closer. Students were coming from every direction and all seemed to be heading to the same place.

The fraternity house was huge, like a mansion. My stomach did a tiny flip flop and I paused in the middle of the walkway. “What’s wrong?” Josie asked.

I took a breath and smiled. “Nothing, C’mon.”

The inside was even bigger than I expected. It looked large enough to hold the entire freshman class. There were people and kegs everywhere. Guys were walking around in diapers carrying trays of shots. Yes they were actually wearing diapers. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before. I looked around, taking it all in. On one side there were big, burly, football players doing keg stands. On the other side there were prissy girls and overly friendly girls vying for attention. Almost everywhere I looked I saw a different collection of people. The only familiar thing was all the drunken girls spread out amongst the party goers waiting to be hit on. This was nothing like any party I had been to back home. Those parties usually consisted of me watching Kyle and his brother get drunk.

“What do you want to drink?” Josie asked.

“Um...a beer is good,” I said, trying to play it safe.

We found a medium sized bar set up in the back, complete with bartender. The bartender was wearing tight, black spandex shorts and just a bow tie. “I definitely know I’m going to like it here,” Josie whispered in my ear.

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked.

“I’ll have a...” Josie was ordering her drink when I started to get the strangest sensation of being watched. I looked over to my right to discover a strange young man staring at me. He had a cocky smile on his face, like he was the type of guy girls never said no to. I turned away letting him know I was not interested. I could still feel his eyes on me so I moved closer to Josie starting to feel uncomfortable under his piercing gaze. Refusing to let him intimidate me, I untucked my hair from behind my ear letting it fall to create a dark brown veil to hide my reddened cheeks.

“And what can I get you?” the bartender asked me next, grabbing my attention.

“I’ll have a beer,” I replied.

“The beers are over there,” the bartender gestured behind us.

“And I’m sure pledge Johnson would love to walk over there and get one for you,” interrupted the strange young man who seemed to forget how impolite it was to stare.

“No. It’s okay. I can get it,” I said, wanting to get away from him.

The bartender stood there as if waiting for a command. The creep with the staring problem nodded to the bartender. Bowing his head, he ventured over to the other side to get me a beer. As if that was an invitation to come talk to me he made his way over. “It’s his job,” he said, leaning against the bar and looking me up and down like he was trying to envision me naked. I crossed my arms over my chest feeling a little violated as his dark blue eyes studied me. He smiled satisfied as he ran a hand through his messy black hair. Not sure what he was attempting to accomplish because it looked like he just threw some gel in it giving it that messy, ‘this is what I meant to do’ look.

I shuffled my feet nervously waiting for the bartender to come back with my drink. I was trying to be polite, but I didn’t know how much longer I could keep my composure with the way this guy was staring at me. When the bartender returned with my beer I said thank you and turned to walk away, but the creepy guy jumped in front of me blocking my path. He was about a foot taller than me, forcing me to look up at him. His dark blue eyes were intense as he watched me with curiosity. I blinked, breaking the connection. My eyes instinctively roamed down his body, over the green polo shirt that stretched nicely across his chest and to the dark blue jeans that hung loosely on his slim waist. He cleared his throat and my eyes instantly bounced back to his. His grin widened at catching me checking him out. Narrowing my eyes I pushed my shoulders back preparing for whatever he was going to throw at me. He was in for a sore surprise if he thought he could woo me with his charm the way I was sure he had every other girl. He smiled cockily at me and extended his hand. “I’m Tristan,” he said.

“Ella.” I civilly shook his hand, but when I pulled away he didn’t let go. “Can I have my hand back?” I asked, annoyed.

His lips twitched slightly at the sides as he pulled my hand to his lips. “Stella piu bella.”

“I don’t speak Italian,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him.

“Enjoy the party Ella,” he winked and walked away.

“What a creep,” I said to Josie after he left.

“I think he’s hot,” Josie said.

“You would.”

“And you don’t?” she asked, surprised.

“That doesn’t matter. He’s a player,” I said, watching him work the room and flirt with every girl he passed.

“Ella, not all good looking guys are dicks.” Josie rolled her eyes.

“Josie, let’s not forget I’ve spent the last eighteen years living with the world’s biggest player. I think I can spot a jerk when I see one.”

“Well forget him then, let’s mingle.” She slid her arm through mine as we move through the crowd.

“Wait, where’s Jack?” I asked. We’ve only been here ten minutes and I already lost him.

“Bathroom...I think?” Josie shrugged, not in the least bit concerned. Josie was quick to move on when she lost interest.

Jack showed up about fifteen minutes later confirming he was in the bathroom. “Sorry there was a long line,” he explained.

“That’s okay. You want something to drink?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he smiled. We walked over to a different bar than before and ordered Jack a drink.

I spent the rest of the night watching Josie socialize. I wasn’t too much in the mood anymore. I kept to myself and talked to Jack most of the time. Every now and then I would catch the creep, Tristan, staring at me from across the room. No matter where we moved he was there, still staring. This was bordering on stalking. I was about to put a stop to it by telling him to drop this charade because there was no way in hell I would ever let him touch me, when Josie interrupted. “Ella this is Cadence. She’s one of the sisters of Theta Kappa.”

“Hi Ella, it’s nice to meet you. Would you like to meet some of the other sisters?” Cadence asked.

I wanted to say no, but from the look on Josie’s face I knew she wanted me to do this for her. I smiled courteously and said, “Sure.”

We followed Cadence over to the other side of the house. “Ella, Josie, this is Cassidy, Bailey, and Skylar.” Of course they were all blond and dressed like they were entering a fashion show. I put my best face forward and politely greeted each one of them. That was one of the first things my mom taught me. To always show respect and be considerate even if the person you’re entertaining is an ass.

“Don’t you think they would make a perfect addition to our sorority?” Cadence said addressing the girls. Bailey smiled wide agreeing; Skylar gave me a look of distaste, not approving of Cadence’s decision while Cassidy seemed to care less. I wasn’t sure I so much liked the idea of being ‘sisters’ with these girls.

“Ella? Hello Ella?” Josie snapped her fingers in front of my face.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, getting a humorless laugh from Skylar. I fought the urge to glare at her.

“Cadence would like us to pledge their sorority.” Josie raised her brows, dipping her chin down and mouthing the word yes.

“Oh, um, thank you but I don’t think I’ll be pledging this year.” I generously declined. Josie’s eyes narrowed slightly as her lips pulled into a thin, tight line. “I just want to concentrate on my school work first before I get involved in anything else,” I explained.

“I completely understand,” Bailey chimed in. “I felt the same way you did until I met the sisters.” And here came the sales pitch. “We always put our studies first and have a handful of sisters who are always willing to help out.”

“Let us tell you some more of what we’re about before you say no,” Cadence interjected, putting her arm around me and pushing Jack aside. She led me to a couch by the wall where we had a seat and she proceeded to go into more detail about the sorority. She explained that, yes, while they were known for their parties, they also did a lot of charity work around the community. Sisterhood was the most important thing to them and all the sisters looked after each other. She went on and on. I spaced out somewhere around the different levels of sisterhood.

After several looks of disapproval from Josie, I made a solid attempt to make it seem like I was paying attention, but was having a hard time. I kept getting this weird feeling in my stomach. It was a strange kind of fluttering. Almost like a magnetic pull to something or someone. I looked up and noticed Tristan was making his rounds. I watched as he greeted each person he passed. A different smile for each of them. He had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand. I could see how easy it was for the naive to fall for his charm. He knew how to work the crowd. It seemed all it took was the flash of his pearly whites or a wink from those intense dark blue eyes.

He glanced over his shoulder, brows furrowed as if he could feel someone watching him. I kept staring forgetting that someone was me. He looked directly at me and smiled, satisfied. I quickly averted my eyes as he returned his attention to his friends. I forced myself to focus on something else. I spotted Josie hanging out with the other sisters having a good time and Jack, well, he looked miserable. He was just standing in the corner all by himself fidgeting uncomfortably. I guess he’s not the socializing type.

“So what do you think?” Cadence asked, bringing my attention back to her.

“Well, you definitely gave me some things to think about. Can I get back to you on my decision?”

“Absolutely, just don’t wait too long. We’re filling up quick with new pledges.”

I smiled kindly ending the conversation. Josie came running over to me. “You said yes?” she asked, hopeful.

“I said I’d think about it.”

“Come on Ella. What’s there to think about? They throw the coolest parties with the hottest guys. They are respected around campus, plus they do charity work...” Josie pleaded with her eyes.

“And you know all of this how?”

“It doesn’t matter where I got the information. Just say yes.”

“I’ll think about it,” I repeated. Josie took my hand and pulled me back over to the girls. “Wait, Jack’s all by himself.”

“Let him go. It’s not our fault he doesn’t know how to socialize.”

I felt bad that Josie dragged him to this party when he clearly wasn’t having fun. I kept my eye on him while Josie flitted about with the sisters. I was just about to go talk to him when suddenly I started to feel that weird pull in my stomach again, but then it was gone as quick as it came. “Ladies...looking to add some new additions?” I sighed and turned around to see Tristan standing in front of me with his arms around Cassidy and Skylar.

“Tristan, this is Ella,” Cadence said, introducing us.

“We’ve already had the pleasure,” he said, smiling at me. I smiled tightly at him, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of knowing he bothered me.

“And this is Josie.” He took her hand as he did mine earlier and kissed it causing Josie to blush. “Tristan is one of the brothers of Theta Pi, our brother fraternity.” Cadence continued. “One of his ancestors is a founding father, which makes him quite the legacy here.”

“We all know why I’m a legacy here and it has nothing to do with my ancestry,” Tristan winked, squeezing the girls tighter, making them giggle. I had to fight the urge to vomit.

I crossed my arms tightly over my chest and tried my best not to glare at him. I knew Josie would be pissed at me if my attitude towards Tristan ended up ruining her chances with becoming friends with these girls. I had no idea why she would want to be, though. The small flutter in my stomach returned. I pressed my hand to my stomach and looked up to see Tristan watching me curiously. I bit the inside of my cheek as he kept his eyes trained on me. Even though his hands were busy on someone else that didn’t stop him from checking other girls out, proving my earlier theory of him being a player. I dropped my hand, furrowing my brows. The fluttering in my stomach now felt like a hundred butterflies trying to break loose. I decided to get some air. “Josie, I’ll be right back. I’m just going to step outside for a bit.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I just need some air. It’s getting a little crowded in here,” I said directly to Tristan hoping he’d get the hint and be gone when I returned.

Maneuvering my way through the sea of people, I broke through the opening to the outside, inhaling deeply. I took in a breath of fresh, cool air. It burned my lungs a little. They weren’t used to this cool of a climate, but I didn’t care. It felt refreshing. “Hey,” Jack said, coming up behind me.

“Hey, you having fun?”

“It’s alright, like I said, parties aren’t really my thing,” he shrugged.

“Then why did you come?”

“I guess...well,” he fidgeted with his pants.

“Ella!” Tristan called, jogging over to us.

“God, I can’t get rid of this guy,” I groaned.

“You want me to tell him to beat it?” Jack asked.

“No. I can handle him, but thank you. Why don’t you head back? I’m going to wait for Josie.”

“I can wait with you. I don’t mind.”

“Go back. I know Josie’s not going to want to leave anytime soon. We’ll be fine, I promise.”

Jack reluctantly waved goodbye, sticking his hands in his pockets as he walked off. Taking another deep breath, I turned around to face Tristan who had now closed the distance between us. I stood there with my arms crossed and eyes glaring waiting for him to tell me what he wanted.

“Wow, I haven’t seen a look of such distaste since Bailey caught me in bed with her sister.” I let out a sarcastic laugh and turned to walk away. Tristan put his hand on my arm stopping me. “I was just kidding.”

“Why do I find that hard to believe?” I said, hoping my cold tone would give him the hint that I was not interested.

“You’ve got a bit of an attitude. I like that,” he grinned, letting me know I needed a new tactic.

“Is there something you want?” I said, annoyed. He smiled that cocky smile and took a step closer. I put my hand on his chest stopping him and keeping him at arm’s length.

“I heard you were joining Theta Kappa and I wanted to officially welcome you.”

“I haven’t said yes, yet, and now that I know it would mean seeing more of you, I will be declining the offer.” I dropped my hand.

“Don’t say no on account of me. Theta Kappa is one of the most prestigious sororities on campus and can do great things for your future.”

“Trust me. I don’t need some dumb sorority to help me with my future.”

“Ah...I see,” he said, scratching his chin like he just figured me out. I narrowed my eyes even deeper. Noticing he was losing me he laid on the charm. “Still they could use someone like you. They don’t know it yet, but they’ll be lucky to have you.”

“Did they send you out here to try and convince me? Let’s send Tristan, he can convince anybody. All he has to do is bat his long eyelashes and look with those dark blue eyes.” I tossed my hair mocking the sisters.

He cracked a smile and took another step closer to me, leaving our faces only inches apart. “You think I have beautiful eyes?” he asked, his breath getting heavy.

My heart started to quicken as I stared into his intoxicating dark blue irises. The wind blew my hair across my face bringing me back to reality. I put some distance between us. “I never said that.” My arms crossed into a hasty barrier again and I struggled to stay composed.

He chuckled. “Why Ella, I do believe you’re blushing.” His cocky smile returned. I glared at him, shoving past as I walked back into the house. “Oh c’mon,” he chuckled.

“Hey Josie, you ready?”

“It’s like only twelve.” I looked back to see Tristan was reentering the house and heading in my direction.

“Don’t mind Tristan. He’s harmless,” Cadence said. “He was actually the one who suggested I extend the invite for you to join.”

“Of course,” I said under my breath.

“Please don’t let him discourage you from your decision. You really don’t have to worry about him. The most you’ll see of him is at the parties. That’s it. He doesn’t do anything else.” I peeked at him over my shoulder. One of the sisters had walked by taking his hand and pulling him to the dance floor. His eyes met my own and for a second I thought I saw something different, something deeper, but then he threw me his cocky smile again and grabbed Skylar’s ass, making all that fade away.

Determined not to let him ruin my night, I decided it was time for me to have some fun. “Hey you!” I shouted at the guy with the shots and signaled for him to come over. “Shots?” I asked the girls. We each had two and I pick up a third before he left. I caught a glimpse of Tristan watching me and smiling.

Swiping Josie’s drink I chugged it. “Whoa, what happened to you?” Josie asked.

“Let’s get another drink.” I yanked on her arm and dragged her through the mass of bodies.

“Okay,” she said, dragging out the word. I ordered a drink, something strong, and had another shot. “Ella, maybe you should slow down.”

“I’m just trying to have fun. This is a party isn’t it?”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” she said knowing this could end badly considering I wasn’t a big drinker.

We strolled through the house meeting and greeting new people. We passed a group of guys doing keg stands and I stopped. “Can I try?” I asked one of the guys.

They all looked at each other. “Yeah!” the one guy shouted.

“Ella, do you know what you’re doing?” Josie asked, giving me a look that said this was a bad idea.

“No,” I admitted. “Here,” I handed her my cup.

“You might want to tuck your shirt in,” warned one of the guys. I took his advice not wanting to flash the entire party. “Ready?”

“Uh-huh.” I put my hands on the edge of the keg and two guys lifted my legs into the air. When I couldn’t do anymore they let me down. I stumbled slightly from the head rush. They all watched silently until I threw my hands in the air and cheered, the crowd following suit. Josie decided to give it a whirl and handed me the cups as I cheered her on.

I was pretty hammered by the end of the night and that little gnat Tristan was but a distant memory. My lack of intelligent speech made Josie declare I had enough for one night and decided it was time we headed back to the dorms.

On the way out Josie stopped. “Shit! I think I dropped my phone. Ella wait here, I’m gonna run in and check real quick. Don’t go anywhere!”

“Where am I going to go?” I said between hiccups. I slipped my phone out of my back pocket to check and see if I had any messages and noticed I had no signal. I held it up walking in different directions trying to get a signal when I bumped into someone. “Oh, I’m so...oh, it’s you,” I frowned.

“Had a good time tonight I see,” Tristan said.

“No thanks to you,” I said, poking him in the chest with my finger. “And why you keep following me?” I asked in a drunken slur. “Do you really think you have a chance? Because you don’t? And just ’cause you’re hot doesn’t mean anything.” He smiled, crossing his arm over his chest and resting his chin on his hand fueling my irritation. “I’m not interested. Take the hint. I’ve only spent ten minutes with you and that was enough to know I don’t like you.”

He stared at me, contemplating his next move, like this was some kind of game to him. “You’re an interesting character Ella,” he tucked his arm under his elbow, one corner of his mouth sliding up. “But I like a challenge.”

I was ready to open my mouth when I heard Josie yell, “I got it!” as she ran out of the house.

I spun around so fast, I got dizzy and tripped. Tristan caught me before I hit the ground. “Whoa, be careful there.”

I pushed him away from me. “I don’t need your help,” I said, stumbling.

“Clearly,” he said, mocking me. I shoved him out of my way and started to walk back to the dorms. “Ella, wait.”

Josie and Tristan chased after me. “You guys shouldn’t walk back by yourselves, it’s not safe.”

“Please, we can take care of ourselves,” I said, tripping and falling on my butt, not helping my case.

“That’s it.” Tristan bent down, picked me up, and threw me over his shoulder.

“Put me down!” I yelled, hating feeling helpless.

“I’m just trying to help you. It’s for your own good.”

“I don’t need your help. Now put me down!”

“Fine.” He lowered me to the ground.

I felt better now that my feet were firmly planted on the concrete. “Thank you,” I said, straightening my shirt.

I turned around and collided with a lamp post, knocking myself unconscious.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying face down on my bed. I lifted my head and the room started spinning. “Oooh,” I groaned, gripping my head, sitting up very slowly.

“How are you feeling this morning?” My head jerked to the side. Tristan was in my room sitting on Josie’s bed, with his one legged crossed and sipping a coffee. Making this officially the worst morning ever.

“What are you doing here?” I grumbled.

“Just checking to make sure you’re alive.”

“You can see that I’m fine. So you can leave now.” When he didn’t make a move to leave I asked, “How did you even get in here?”

“Josie let me in.”

Figures, I should have known. I sat there, with my hand on my head, watching him studying me. I got a strange fluttering feeling and I subconsciously touched my stomach. I looked back up at Tristan. He smiled cockily at me taking another sip of his coffee. Then he stood up and moved in closer to me, so close I could barely breathe. “You know that feeling you’re getting in the pit of your stomach? You know what that is?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s called nausea,” I countered with a smirk.

He chuckled lightly. “When you’re ready to admit it, just let me know.”

“Admit what?” I asked, clenching my stomach.

“That you want me.”

“Don’t hold your breath.” He moved back and took a seat on Josie’s bed. I glared at him not in the mood for his company. “What do I have to do to get you to leave?”

He flashed me one of his killer smiles and stood up. “I bid farewell, la mia bella stella,” he said, doing a bow and walking out.

“What does that even mean?” I shouted, annoyed. He ignored me and kept walking. “Ugh!” I screamed lying back on my bed and clutching my pounding head.

“Well good morning. I see sleeping beauty is finally awake,” Josie said, coming in.

“Why did you let Tristan in here?”

“He wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“He was probably hoping he’d catch me naked.”

“If it wasn’t for him, your ass would still be lying in the grass unconscious.”

“Did I really run into a lamp post?” I asked, touching my forehead and feeling a small lump.

“Yep,” Josie said, trying to hide her smile. “You really know how to make an impression.”

“Whatever...don’t let Tristan in here anymore.”

“I thought you liked him?”

“No I don’t. Why would you even think that?”

“Because I never knew my best friend to get so worked up over a guy that she had to down shots and beers all night.”

“Yeah, remind me of today the next time I decide to do that,” I said, throwing my arms over my head. “And I wasn’t drinking because of that jerk, just so we’re clear.”

“Okay, whatever you say,” Josie sang. I rolled my eyes and put my pillow over my head not ready to get up yet. “I’m going to let you get some rest. I’ll come back and check on you later.”

“Don’t forget to shut the door,” I reminded her.

“I won’t,” she replied and actually listened.

I ended up staying in bed all day and sleeping off my hangover. When I finally got up, I headed straight to the bathroom and took a shower. That was when I noticed the giant black and blue mark on my forehead. Great, I thought, just what I needed to start the new school year. Hopefully no one would notice.

“Ella, what happened to your head?” Jack asked as I made my way back to my room from the bathroom.

So much for no one noticing. “I had a fight with a lamp post last night, the lamp post won,” I joked.

“You alright? Maybe you should go to the clinic and get that checked out,” Jack said, worried lines creasing his forehead.

“It’s just a little bump, it’s fine. Sorry about last night,” I said, feeling a little guilty.

“Sorry about what?”

“Dragging you to that party. If I would have known it wasn’t your thing...”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I could have said no.”

I wanted to ask ‘why didn’t you then?’ but decided against it. Instead I opted for what I originally came here for. To start over, make new friends, and to get past the nightmares. And I thought I would start with Jack. He seemed harmless. “How about I make it up to you, a movie, tonight?”

“No parties?”

“No. I think I’m good for the semester,” I laughed. “Just let me get dressed and we can check out what’s in.”

I texted Josie to tell her Jack and I were going to see a movie and asked if she wanted to join. She declined, saying she ran into one of the boys from the party last night and was going to hang with him tonight. After I disconnected the call I noticed I had a voicemail. I typed in my password to listen to the message.

“Hey Ella, it’s mom. The courier tried to drop the keys off with you, but no one was there, so I told him to leave them with the resident advisor. You can pick them up from him. Love you honey, talk to you soon.”

I had totally forgotten about the car being delivered today. I quickly changed and half dried my hair. I had no idea where the resident advisor’s room was, but I’m sure Jack did. When I got to Jack’s room his door was closed. I knocked and waited.

Nothing.

I knocked again, harder this time. “Jack?” The door swung open and he quickly stepped out closing the door behind him.

“Sorry,” he said. “You ready?”

“Yeah, I just have to pick something up first. Do you know where the RA’s room is?”

“The last one at the end of the hall,” he pointed.

“Great, I’ll be right back.”

I walked down to the end of the hall and knocked on the door that read resident advisor. When the door opened, I took a step back in surprise. “Ella, I knew you’d come around,” Tristan said with a cocky smile.

“You’re the RA?” I asked, shocked.

“The one and only. Now, what can I do you for?”

I fought the urge to punch him. “You’re holding something that belongs to me.”

His head tilted to the side as his eyes roamed up and down my body. “Not yet, but if you come in I’ll gladly hold some of your belongings.”

“Tristan, I don’t have time for your bullshit. There was a package delivered to me but I wasn’t there to sign for it. I was told it was left with you.”

“A package…hmm...” he rubbed his chin. “let me see,” he said, closing the door on me. I was about to barge in when he came back with an envelope addressed to me. “This isn’t anything illegal? ’Cause as your RA, I am obligated to report...”

“Give me that,” I said, ripping it out of his hands. He just smiled at me and casually leaned up against the door. I wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but I surely had nothing to offer him besides more blatant dislike.

“Tristan, what are you doing?” a girl’s voice called from inside the room.

“Ah...if you excuse me, I have some business to attend to,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. I looked at him disgusted. “You’re more than welcome to join us.” I didn’t even respond. I just walked away trying to keep my temper intact. “Goodbye, Ella.”

“What’s wrong?” Jack asked, clearly noticing a shift in my mood.

“Nothing,” I said, letting out a breath so I wouldn’t take my anger out on Jack.

“Well we better get a move on. The closest theatre is about five miles and it will take a cab at least a half an hour to get here.”

“No worries,” I said opening the envelope and dumping out a set of keys. “I have a car,” I smiled, jingling the keys.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.