Hey guys! Thank you to all my readers. I am going to revamping the story and (hopefully) adding more depth to it. I am still messing around with where I want the story to go. But again thank you! And hope you guys enjoy the story. I appreciate any comments and feedback!
“Would you stop being so stoic and tell us what your perfect guy would be like already, Sienna! We‘ve all shared our little fantasies. Sienna!”
I had zoned out and was hoping to not get dragged into this conversation with the girls.
“Sienna! Earth to Sienna!” Alicia smacked my arm this time to get my attention.
“Ouch! I don’t know. You guys make one up for me.”
I could see the annoyance on Alicia’s face. Alicia was like the mom of our group. She always looked out for everyone, especially me. She grew up in a working-class family and was working her way through college. She was in and out of school to work, and save money, so she was the oldest of our group. She was raised by a single mom, and she would always say, “We knew how to stretch a loaf of bread.” She had offered to take me when I told her I would have to live out of my car. But I couldn’t do that to her, be a burden to someone again.
Alicia had lost her patience. “No, you have to tell us who your dream guy is.″ She decided to summarize the conversation I had missed while spacing out. “Julie wants her bad-boy motorcycle-driving lawyer. No surprise there. Tanisha wants a tech nerd who loves photography. And I want a doctor slash massage therapist with a sexy dad-bod, one that probably all the women at my kids’ schools will be pinning for, but he will only have eyes for me.”
I started to chuckle a little. “You guys did say dream guy, right?”
“Hey, don’t judge us! Just spit out all the details about the guys already” Julie was getting annoyed as well.
Julie was our resident badass and troublemaker. Julie was most likely involved if you wanted to get into trouble, were already in trouble, or anything of the sort. She grew up well off, or in the group’s opinion, she was rich. Her dad was some high-powered CEO of some “old rich” wealthy family back on the east coast. She grew up with endless rules from what she would tell us. How to dress, when she was allowed to go out, and what she was allowed to eat. She was an only child, and her parents had an eye on her constantly. She hated it and came to the west coast to study. She had offered to share her place as well. Practically dragged me to her apartment and told me her parents were paying for everything and I wouldn’t be a burden. I told her whatever I could to make her back down. I needed to do this on my own, which got her to finally give up.
“Sienna’s guy is probably some indie artist who does yoga and meditates or something. He is always calm and smells like patchouli oil.“, Tanisha said as she stuck her tongue out at me. Alicia and Julie couldn’t help but laugh.
Tanisha always knew how to make everyone laugh. Tanisha was full of sass and could make you laugh even at the most serious of times. She shares an apartment with Alicia. If anyone saw her room, they might think she was disorganized and a mess. But she was one of the most creative people I knew. She grew up with four older brothers and could hold her own in a fight, as she would say.
“Hey! Where is that even coming from? I don’t even do yoga. But I get it, okay. Let me think. It’s not really something I have ever thought about”.
“Are you serious, Sienna? You have never thought about the guy you would want to end up with?” said Julie with a slightly shocked face.
“Now, who’s judging! With my parents, all I cared about was getting out of that house and living my life. You guys know this. I mainly just thought about everything I wanted to do when I was on my own. Go out late at night, travel, try a bunch of new food, and what major I would want to study. Or what job I would have. What my apartment might look like...”
“Okay, forget that stuff. Focus on what guy you want already”, Alicia cut me off.
“Urg…why does it matter? I have goals; a guy would get in the way.”
I got dirty looks from all of them for that one.
“Okay, let me think already, then. You all can hush for a second.”
Why would I want a guy when I can get everything I enjoyed myself. Money didn’t interest me; my parents weren’t loaded, but we had what we needed and more. They had a successful business, which seemed to cause my parents nothing but stress. Our family revolved around it, and I wanted nothing to do with that. I definitely didn’t want someone controlling like my dad. And I honestly didn’t care what job he had, as long as he was motivated, like me, and we supported each other. And yes, I would love to travel and try new things once I have finished my degree. I wanted someone to share those experiences with. I guess it would be nice to have a travel buddy. I pondered a little longer than necessary to annoy the girls.
“I guess I want someone to share my life with. I mean, I’ve never really been in a relationship before. I don’t even know how to have one with a guy. I feel like I would be so awkward and try to get away as much as possible. I want to be supported, not with money and all that crap, but emotionally. I want him to be on my side and listen to me when I’ve had a bad day at work. Support me even when I’m wrong in public, but when we come home, he lays it out so I can see it straight. Someone with strong arms, maybe, who would give the best hugs. I don’t care what job he has, just as long as he is motivated. Dying alone sounds like a bummer. It would be nice to have a companion when you lose mobility and start slowing down. I mean...I just...I want to be loved. I don’t want rules or conditions to it. I know I’m pathetic.” I was spewing out everything that was floating around in my head at that moment. And I felt like I might have said too much.
“You’re not pathetic. It’s sweet. And you’ll find that, Sienna, don’t doubt that.” said Alicia.
“Goodness when you say think. You mean it. Who even thinks about dying and all that stuff.” Tanisha sassed as she gave me a soft nudge on the shoulder.
All the girls, myself included, started laughing. I stopped when I made eye contact with a guy staring at me from an outside sitting area of the restaurant close to us. It looked like he was on a date with a gorgeous woman, but he kept staring at me. If Bruce Wayne was real, this is what he would have looked like. Jet black hair, piercing warm hazel eyes, chiseled jawline, and he was wearing a nice black tailored blazer and pants with a crisp white shirt. The top three buttons of his shirt were undone, and you could see a few tattoos peeking through. The way he kept looking at me, never breaking eye contact. It sent shivers down my spine. I tried my best to keep my focus on the conversation with the girls, but I couldn’t help my eyes from wandering back to Mr. Wayne to see if he was still staring at me.
“Hey, Sienna, you can crash on my couch tonight. But let’s get some ice cream first before we head out.” Alicia, again, tried to get me to stay at her place.
“I am good on the ice cream tonight, thanks. And Alicia, please stop worrying. I’m fine sleeping in my car. I have to head to the library early tomorrow to work on a paper.”
“Always the studious one. We are still getting ice cream.” Julie added as we all started getting up off the benches we were sitting on in the plaza.
I felt my spine tingle again, and when I looked around Mr. Wayne was staring at me again. The poor girl he was with looked like she was talking away, not even realizing that his attention was elsewhere. I didn’t want to tell the girls about him creeping me out because I knew they would tease me. And Julie would have probably wanted to go talk to the guy. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
It had been about a week since I hung out with all the girls. I finally had time to catch up with them during lunch on campus. Alicia was complaining about the mess Tanisha had created in their apartment after making dinner the other night. Tanisha was arguing that Alicia had highly enjoyed the meal and shouldn’t be complaining. Julie was interested in something over on the quad. I was enjoying Alicia and Tanisha going at it when Julie nudged me. “What?”, I asked, annoyed. She had pushed me so hard that I spilled water all over my shirt.
“Don’t be too obvious, but see the guy in the black leather jacket at three o’clock,” Julie said as she guested to her right.
“Let me guess, a cute guy?” I said in a mocking tone. Julie would go through a lot of guys. She had terrible taste in that she would fall for any guy that gave off the “bad boy” vibe. She was good at finding them, too, I’m not sure how she did it. The last guy she dated had dropped out of college on three different occasions, and his parents finally decided to kick him out. When he asked to crash at Julie’s place, the spark had fizzled out for her, and she dumped him immediately. But I loved her because she knew exactly what she wanted, and it wasn’t commitment. Julie knew she eventually wanted to settle down and have kids. But right now, she was in it for the fun. About fifty percent of the time, the guy would fall in love with her, and that was usually when she would make her exit. It was hard not to fall in love with her. She’s spontaneous, charming, and kind.
I tried to nonchalantly check the guy out. He had a small scar on his left eyebrow, messing with the hair growth. He had blonde hair and was clearly built. Tall, must have been at least six feet. He was very much the type of guy that Julie normally gravities toward. But his eyes gave me the chills in the worst way possible. They were cold, ice-blue eyes, lifeless, with no emotion. He seemed to be speaking to someone, and his hands did most of the talking. His eyes remained emotionless. I shook my whole body a little because I was getting shivers from being creeped out.
“What was that?” Julie asked about me shivering.
“I don’t know about that one, Julie. He gives me the creeps.”
“What do you mean he is such a hottie. And he is fucking huge! I’m hoping in more ways than one.” She said with a sinister smile on her face.
“Don’t even think about it, Julie,” Alicia said with a stern face.
“Why not?” said Julie.
We all knew Julie’s habits with boys, but Alicia had never interfered or told her to stay away from a guy before. Julie would never listen to us either way.
“Because that isn’t your typical womanizer or wanna-a-be bad boy that you normally flock to. He is a bad guy.”
“See, now I just want him more, Alicia,” said Julie with a big grin.
“No, you don’t, Julie. I heard his dad is a real mob boss or gangster or something of the sort. His family is involved in drugs or weapons dealing. Something of the sort, where people around them disappear when they have disagreements. Gideon is next in line to take over for his dad, fully entwined in his dad’s business.” Alicia said, almost stuttering from the intensity and seriousness she emitted.
Now I was curious too. “So then, why is he in school? And how do you know all this, Alicia?”
Alicia was definitely the most popular one among us. She had way more friends, and sometimes I wondered if she knew everyone on campus. I felt like she hung out with me out of pity sometimes. I wasn’t a social butterfly; most of the time, I read or spaced out while the girls talked. But Alicia never made me feel different, and she was the one who introduced me to the other girls. I was always grateful for how they accepted me into their group; they were the only reason I had some semblance of social life.
“Remember Danny? My friend, the one who would hook me up with some Kush every once in a while. Don’t give me that look, Sienna. You live in California. Live a little.” I had faked a look of shock, which made the other girls giggle.
“Hey, let’s keep the focus on Julie now. And not why I don’t party, okay. I have...”
“We know. You have goals to accomplish.” interrupted all three girls at once.
“....As I was saying”, Alicia continued, “Danny told me about Gideon one day when he showed up at a party in the city. Danny immediately headed for the door. He didn’t even want to be spotted by Gideon on accident. When I asked him where he was going, he said that Gideon was not a guy he would want to get involved with and told me that I should leave as well.”
“This coming from a guy who grows and sells weed?” added Tanisha.
“Exactly my point Tanisha. Danny told me Gideon has access to the ‘harder stuff’ through his dad’s businesses his dad. He is a scary guy, and you, Julie, can find another guy to have fun with. Plus, something makes me think he doesn’t take rejection well.”
“I think you’ve been watching too many mob movies, Alicia.” Laughed Julie.
“I’m not kidding. He gives me the creeps. Julie, I love you. Just leave this one alone, okay? I’ll set you up with Danny if you want. He’s hot and has a motorcycle. A matte black Indian scout bobber. I know you would love that.”
“An Indian scout bobber, you say? How cute is Danny? Got any pictures?” Her head popped up with excitement. She was probably picturing herself on that motorcycle.
“But why is he going to school? I didn’t think mob boss’s kids needed leadership skills or English lessons. I thought it was more of a learning on the job and fear-driven field.” Tanisha asked with a godfather-like voice.
“From what I heard, he is getting a degree in business management for their more ‘legal’ businesses,” Alicia added with air quotes. “Come on, let’s get out of here before he sees us. I’ve never seen him on campus before. I heard he barely attends classes and is just paying his way through.”
We got up, and I said my goodbyes to the girls as I headed toward my class on the other side of campus. I am a software engineering major, so most of my classes were in the computer science building perched on top of a steep hill. It was a gorgeous spot on campus because there was a significant section of woods nearby and great views. I found an old pathway covered by fallen trees and branches. The path led to an old bench tucked behind a tree and dead-end close to the parking lot. The tree line grew so you could see a good view of the campus and the city from the bench. It was a stunning view. In the mornings, you could see the fog rolling in the distance. In the front, you can see the rest of the campus building along with the large lake close to campus. I called it my secret spot. I didn’t tell the girls because I loved coming here for peace and zen time. I had a lot of time to myself, but this was different. I didn’t worry about homework, money, or my future here. I could zone out; sometimes, when you get a bird’s eye view of the world, you realize your problems aren’t really that complex. I guess that’s why I love scenic views so much. It’s a good reminder.
I had made good time climbing up the “hill,” as the students would call it, so I thought I would go to my secret spot a bit before class. As I turned the tree corner that hid the bench, I was startled to see someone was sitting there. Was it not my secret? Did other people know about it? And maybe this was my first time running into them?
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to...I’m sorry...I just thought I was the only one who knew about this place.” I was annoyed at how much I was fumbling my words.
Then I realized I had seen this guy before. It was Mr. Wayne I had seen a week back. The one who kept watching me while he was on a date with another girl. Today he was in a tight white T-shirt and ripped blue jeans. I could see his arms were covered in tattoos. I was surprised by how many he had along his arms. I noticed one of the tattoos was a battle scene between a knight and a skeleton, but they seemed to be surrounded by demons from both sides. The rest of his tattoos were these modern nature-inspired tribal tattoos. And I saw one that looked like an angel statue. The guy still made my spine tingle from how intense he would watch me.
“Hey...” He waved his hand slightly to get my attention. I had zoned out a little too long, staring at his tattoos, and he had noticed. “I don’t mind if you would like to join me. I was going to chill here for a bit.” He said with a smile.
This whole situation seemed odd to me. I didn’t see a backpack, laptop, or study material on him. I wasn’t getting a student vibe from him. But all I could focus on was his smile. His whole face seemed to light up when he smiled. It warmed up his whole demeanor. He was handsome, I had to admit. His charm made it hard to look away from. My original instinct was the leave, but I had my tea in hand and wanted to enjoy my zen time.
I was hoping I would get my moment of clarity and escape from my day-to-day, but I could feel his eyes on me. I could feel goosebumps forming all down my arms. I finally just thought fuck it and looked over.
“My name is Lucian, by the way.” He said as he stuck out his hand to shake.
I shook his hand out of habit and good manners, “Ehh..hi...Sienna. Lucian, you say? That’s an interesting name, not very common.” I was mentally beating myself up because even I thought what I had just said was strange. Couldn’t I have just said my name and kept quiet?
“Thanks, yeah, it means light. My mom picked it, suiting now that I think about it.” He said again with a small laugh.
“Just an ongoing theme in my life, of light and dark. Kind of like my tattoo you were staring at.”
“Oh...sorry about that,” I said, thoroughly embarrassed and scratching behind my ear because I was unsure what to do with myself. “I zone out sometimes. Get easily distracted.”
He laughed louder this time. “I don’t mind you staring. You can look at me all day long. I might enjoy that.”
“Sorry, I’m late for class.” That last statement took me out of my comfort zone. I thought for a second he might have been flirting with me, but he probably was messing with me. I got up and started to walk away.
“Bye, Sienna,” he called out.
A small part of me wanted to yell back bye. But I just turned around to sneak a peek of that smile again.