Authors: J. Sterling
“You’re going to make me crazy. How about if I see him, I’ll let you know? And really, hotness on a stick? Who are you?” Katherine cracked up.
“We could put an ad up on the school’s website? Or in the paper? We can totally do this.” Taylor’s eyes twinkled in excitement.
“How about we just go to class first? For all we know, he could be dead. He did die in my dream after all.” The back of Katherine’s mind nagged at her. The thought of him being dead wasn’t something she wanted to accept, so she forced those thoughts aside.
They walked into the large classroom and Taylor motioned toward the last row. “Can we sit in the back? I hate having people sit behind me. It’s like I can feel them staring down the back of my neck,” Taylor shivered.
“Wherever’s fine. I don’t care.” Katherine followed Taylor’s lead.
Katherine sat down and noticed Taylor scanning the room. She watched as Taylor quickly jotted things down in her notepad. The sight made her laugh out loud.
The guy in front of her turned around when he heard her laugh. Katherine struggled to breathe as she fixated on the green eyes in front of her. They continued to stare at each another and Katherine felt herself flush. She knew one of them had to turn away, but he was the one turned backward, not her. He finally faced the front of the classroom and Taylor kicked Katherine under the table.
“What…was...that?” Taylor whispered toward her.
“I don’t know, but he’s really cute isn’t he? Did you see his eyes? Good Lord.” Katherine’s cheeks burned.
“Blue?” Taylor asked with a big smile.
“No, green. But still…hello! Is it hot in here?” Kat laughed and fanned her face.
“It’s just you. And apparently him,” Taylor joked back.
“Ladies, is there a problem?” The professor stopped his lecture and looked at the girls in the back of the room.
“No, Professor. Sorry!” they responded in unison.
Katherine punched Taylor under the table. The green-eyed boy looked back for one more glance, a quick smile and then turned back around. Katherine’s breath hitched.
When class ended, Katherine gathered up her things and scanned the room. “Well that’s weird. I mean, where’d he go?”
“Clearly, you scared him so he had to run away,” Taylor joked.
She shrugged her shoulders and pulled Taylor toward the door. “Come on, let’s go.”
They walked outside and into the blinding sunlight. Katherine squinted and quickly reached for her sunglasses. She looked around at the huge green trees and walked toward an unoccupied stone bench.
“Let’s sit for a minute,” Katherine suggested.
“Ok. I want to ask you some more questions anyway,” Taylor added.
Katherine laughed, “What more can you possibly want to know?”
Taylor pulled out her notepad. “Why were you crying?”
“I can’t explain it. It’s the very thought of him. That moment when I heard the gunshot…” Katherine paused and pressed her hand against her heart. “It physically brought me pain. It’s like I went to bed with a whole heart, but I woke up with it in pieces.”
“Kat, that’s really intense. We’re way too young and way too hot to be this crazy over some guy we’ve never met before.” Taylor informed her with a serious look on her face.
“Yeah, we. I mean, I’m totally involved in this now too, so…
.” Taylor folder her arms across her chest.
Katherine stood up from the bench and smiled, “You’re crazy. I’ve got to go to my next class. Chemistry. Awesome.”
“I’ll see you at home. Did I tell you that Kylie is stopping by to see our place and say hi and stuff?” Taylor reminded her.
“Who is she again?” Katherine asked.
“One of my best friends from high school. Don’t worry, you’ll love her. I think,” Taylor laughed.
“What???” Katherine’s eyes widened with worry.
“I’ll make sure she’s on her best behavior,” Taylor reassured her confidently.
“Oh my gosh, seriously? Why? What’s her deal?” Katherine pressed.
“She just…I don’t know. She can be a real bitch sometimes. She’s competitive.”
“And she’s your best friend? How did that happen?” Katherine sincerely wondered.
“Eh, it’s a long story,” Taylor hesitated before quickly saying, “I hated her at first, something bad happened that brought us together, and here we are.”
Confused, Katherine shook her head and threw up her arms, “Okay. Whatever. See you at home.”
“You’re not mad, right?”
“No, you’re just weird,” Katherine smiled and turned to head toward her class.
“You’re the weird one. See ya later weirdo!” Taylor shouted as she headed in the opposite direction.
Taylor walked into her dorm room and tossed everything onto the floor except her notebook. She read over her scribbles from Katherine’s dream and added new thoughts and questions. When the house phone finally rang, she jumped.
“Hi. This is the front desk. Your guest has arrived.”
“Can you send her up?”
“You need to come down and sign her in first.”
“Okay, I’ll be right there.”
Taylor hopped up and ran out the door. She rounded the corner and saw Kylie waiting impatiently for her.
“So this is what you’ve ditched me for, huh?” Kylie asked snidely.
Taylor signed the guest sheet and gave Kylie a tight squeeze. “Don’t be a brat. Come on. I’m so excited you’re here!”
“So, tell me about your roommate? Do we hate her?” Kylie asked with a smile.
Taylor laughed, “No, we don’t hate her. We love her.”
Kylie scrunched her nose and Taylor snapped, “Oh, I know that look. Don’t be a bitch, Kylie. She’s from California and she’s really great. I promise.”
“Whatever. I’ll try to be nice,” Kylie sassed.
“How lucky for us all,” Taylor teased.
Katherine walked through the door and the conversation abruptly stopped. Her eyes quickly met Kylie’s and she watched as the stunning blonde sized her up with a scowl. Kat smiled in return.
Taylor jumped up, “Hey, Kat! This is my best friend from home, Kylie. Kylie, this is my roommate Katherine.” Taylor held her breath.
Kylie stood up and reached for Katherine’s hand. “So you’re the famous roommate my best friend loves so much.”
Katherine shot Taylor a look, “Uh…I guess so? It’s nice to meet you, Kylie. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
Chills sped down Katherine’s spine as the tension between her and Kylie filled the room. Katherine sensed something undeniably off between the two of them and she wondered if Kylie did as well.
“How long are you staying? Do you want to come out with us tonight?” Katherine asked in an overly friendly tone. The last thing she wanted was an enemy.
“I hadn’t though about it, but what are you guys doing? I mean, if it’s some sort of party with really hot guys, you’ll need me there,” Kylie said as she ran her fingers through her short blonde hair.
“Oh yes, Princess Kylie, for we humble servants cannot meet any guys without your presence. Please accompany us to the party we’re crashing later,” Taylor quipped back, rolling her eyes.
Kylie eyeballed Katherine before looking back at Taylor, “I’m just saying you probably
me is all. You know that no guy can resist this.”
“Can I talk to you…in private?” Taylor barked and quickly grabbed Kylie by the arm.
Katherine watched as Taylor pulled Kylie roughly into the bathroom. She cringed slightly as Taylor slammed the door shut.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Taylor whispered harshly.
“Nothing. What’s wrong with you?” Kylie snapped back in response.
“Why are you being a bitch?”
Kylie narrowed her eyes and glared, “I don’t trust her.”
Taylor laughed, “What do you mean you don’t trust her?”
Kylie shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know. Call it woman’s intuition or whatever. There’s just something about her I don’t like.”
“Seriously, Kylie? If this is how you’re going to be then you should just leave.”
Kylie’s face dropped, “I’m sorry. I’ll try to behave. I promise.”
Taylor huffed out a long sigh, “Do better than try.”
The bathroom door opened slowly and Taylor walked out first. She mouthed
in Katherine’s direction and Katherine simply smiled.
Kylie emerged and said unemotionally, “I’m sorry for being mean.”
“It’s okay,” Katherine longed for peace. “So, are you going to come with us tonight or what?
Kylie pondered the offer, “Yeah. I’ll go.”
“And you’ll stay the night?” Taylor pushed.
“Well I’m not driving home at like 3 in the morning.”
“Good,” Taylor smiled.
“But one of you better let me borrow some clothes because I didn’t bring anything to wear.”
“You can look through my stuff if you want,” Katherine offered.
“Thanks,” Kylie responded and headed toward the closet.
Taylor breathed a sigh of relief, “Plus, Kylie, you can help us look for Kat’s dream guy.”
“Seriously, Taylor? I forgot all about him,” Katherine answered calmly.
Katherine shot Taylor a look. “It’s totally normal that I can’t stop thinking about him, right? I’m sure I’m perfectly sane,” Katherine rolled her eyes.
guy?” Kylie inquired, half excited, half annoyed.
“Can I tell her?” Taylor looked at Katherine for approval.
Katherine nodded and pretended not to listen as Taylor filled Kylie in.
“Wow. That’s pretty crazy. And you have no idea who he is?” Kylie looked at Katherine with disbelief.
Katherine shook her head, “Never seen him before in my life.”
“So what frat is this again?” Katherine asked sweetly.
“Kat, I’ve told you a hundred times how much calling a fraternity a frat makes them cry like little girls. Try not to do that to any of them tonight, will ya? It’s embarrassing…you know, for them.”
“I’ll try my best, but no promises,” Katherine smiled.
“And in all honesty, I’m not sure what fraternity this is. Does it really matter when there are hockey players involved?” Taylor asked with excitement.
“Oh no,” sighed Kylie. “You’re joking right? Are we going to a hockey party or a fraternity party? I really need to know how much of my A-game I need to bring, Tay. You have to give a girl like me some warning!”
“What? Why am I so confused right now?” laughed Kat.
“Don’t listen to Kylie. She’s all hot and bothered about the hockey players. She knows that fraternity guys are easy but the hockey players require a bit more is all,” Taylor informed her.
“What? You guys are making me crazy right now. What are you talking about? A bit more what?”
“A bit more EVERYTHING
Kat! Jeez, don’t you know anything about hockey players?” Kylie growled.
“Not really. I don’t think I even know anyone who plays hockey. But if you want to talk baseball players, I’m your girl.”
“Baseball? Ugh. Could a sport be more boring?” Kylie grumbled and then looked toward Taylor for approval.
“Yeah, it could be golf.” Taylor piped back and shot her a look to behave. “I’m a hockey girl. Always have been. Don’t know what it is about those boys that get me all hot and bothered.”
“I do,” Kylie laughed and then gave her a shove. “Taylor’s only dated hockey players.”
“Only? Every one of them?” Katherine asked through a laugh.
Taylor shrugged, “What can I say? I like hockey.”
“I don’t know anything about it. Like, at all,” Katherine admitted.
“Don’t worry, I’ll teach you.”
They rounded the corner and Katherine smiled to herself when she heard the chaos of music and voices mixed together. She noticed a crowd of people drinking out of red plastic cups in the front yard and a long line at the front door.
“I do not wait in lines,” Kylie announced and headed straight for the door.
“What is she doing?” Katherine asked nervously.
“Getting us in. Watch,” Taylor laughed.
After whispering something seductively into the guy at the door’s ear, Kylie waved them over. Katherine put her hand out for a stamp and rushed inside the house. Taylor pulled Katherine through the crowds.
“Come on, Kat. Keep up,” Taylor yelled over the music to her.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“We’re going to get a beer and then we’re going outside where we can scope out the situation and make our move,” Kylie responded.
Katherine cracked up at the words “
make our move
” and suddenly found herself locked onto a very familiar pair of green eyes. His eyes alone stopped her in her tracks. Without even a thought, her lips formed a smile.
He smiled back and she felt herself blush. She tried to force her eyes away from his, but it was useless. They wouldn’t cooperate with her brain.
She felt a rough tug at her arm. “What are you doing, Kat? Come on!” Taylor yelled. But then she saw where Kat looked, “Oh, the green-eyed hottie from class. Go get him!” Taylor tried to quickly walk away.
“No, Taylor! Don’t leave me.” She refused to let go of Taylor’s hand.
“What’s your problem? He’s gorgeous! Go talk to him!” Taylor gave Kat a little shove in the guy’s direction.
Kat shot Taylor a look that said she’d kill her later, but it was too late. He was right in front of her now. She hadn’t realized in class how good looking he was. He was built like someone chiseled him out of stone. His body screamed athlete. His arms were incredible. She wanted to reach out and squeeze them just to feel his muscles, but she resisted the urge. Plus, she thought it would be weird to grope a stranger.
She could tell he was well over six feet tall because even in her three-inch wedges, he towered over her. He wore a baseball cap that covered his short, dark brown hair, low across his forehead. In Kat’s opinion the hat was way too low, but for whatever reason, it looked good on him.
“I’m Cooper Donovan,” he said, stretching out his hand.
“Cooper? Cool name. I’m Kat...or Katherine,” she fumbled and tried to hide her nerves.
“Katherine. Nice to meet you. Sorry about the thing in class,” he mentioned.
“Class?” She struggled to remember and then shook her head, “Oh. It’s okay. I mean you didn’t do anything except turn around and stare at me and my friend.”