Authors: Olivia Luck
Tags: #Pressure Point
Copyright © 2015 by Olivia Luck
All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, bands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Editing by Jenny Sims
Cover design © Arijana Kar
Cover It! Designs
To my readers – I am forever thankful for you.
Some people trip over a crack in the sidewalk and meet the love of their life. Some people are walking down the street, lost in a text message, when they literally stumble onto their destiny. Others don’t have romance on their radar when they fall off the diving board and into the relationship that makes them whole. In other words, love finds them and not the other way around.
I’d never been one of
people. Romantic. Dreamer. Idealist. I’d been called them all. Those nicknames never bothered me because I knew, knew it down to the marrow of my bones that the love of my own life was not too far away.
In my mind, the scenario was complete.
Our eyes would meet across a crowded room.
No, that was not right.
Let’s take it from the top.
He’d become aware of me first, unable to wrench his eyes away from my glossy midnight-colored waves (thank you Italian heritage and superb genetics). They would tumble around my shoulders elegantly and I’d be wearing an outfit that elongated my short legs (stubs, as my cousins call them.
). The world’s strongest man couldn’t pull him away from his mission to approach me. When my man caught sight of me, his world would stop until we spoke.
In my mind, the moment that I met him was flawless.
Except, reality had a different idea.
Because when I found the man destined to be mine, he hardly took a second look. Every time we met after, he saw me as nothing more than a friend to his sister. In fact, most of the moments when we interacted, he scarcely paid attention to me. Many nights before I fell asleep, I wondered if he knew that I existed at all.
Despite all that, my gut kept telling me that I was meant to be with him. I was not giving up. No matter what.
Moving day for new students and those heading back to Illinois University, a school smack dab in the middle of the state, for another year away from home is full of possibilities and excitement.
For new students: What will your roommate be like? How big will your room be? Who will be your new friends? What major should you choose?
For returning students: How long ‘til you ditch the parents and can start partying? Who will your date be for winter formal? Will your fake ID still work at the bars?
That’s all well and good for them. But not me. I’m a Resident Advisor, also known as an RA. I’ve already been on campus for two weeks and had the time to agonize over date parties, bars, and my major in business management. Today, for me, to put it plainly, sucks.
For RAs, there are edgy parents fretting about leaving their kids behind to do heck knows what at college. Once the parents are finally gone, it’s time to help the petrified freshmen connect their televisions to the cable boxes and tell them how to find the dining hall.
Luckily for me, I don’t have to deal with roommate issues as an RA. Because I’m a junior, I’ve scored a coveted spot in the singles dorm. As in, each one of the residents on my floor has a private bedroom. No fights over late night partying in the room and sex while the other roommate is sleeping lay in my future. For that, I am wildly grateful. Unluckily for me, as an RA, I can’t escape the duties of helping new students settle into their life at Stanley Hall.
I knew all this when I signed up for the position, but the free room and board was too tempting to turn away. There will already be a neat pile of student loans waiting for me when I graduate next year, but my scholarships and the meager salary my RA job provides will help to lessen the balance. Once move-in is over, the job is cake. It’s the first week with students that’s tiresome and, frankly, annoying.
Reaching up, I tighten my ponytail holder, giving my long hair some volume. It does little good. Many strands frame my face instead of being pulled back. But it’s my job to be a perky one-woman welcoming committee to ease the nerve of the parents, not a beauty queen. To that effect, I’m wearing a pair of jean shorts, a university t-shirt, and white Chucks.
I wander down the boring, eggshell-colored hallway. Aside from the nametags I painstakingly cut out of construction paper and affixed to each doorway, there’s not much personality to Stanley Hall’s corridors. Give the freshmen one week and they’ll turn this place into a sty. As I stroll by open doors, I offer a welcoming smile at the residents. I’ve introduced myself to all but one so far, and I don’t dare interrupt the final moments of family bonding.
At the end of the hall, I find the last resident has finally arrived. Zoe Baker, according to the roster I have, is from Chicago and will major in library sciences. Her door’s wide open when I peek in and I hear a muffled yelp from inside.