Authors: Emily Stone
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
Yielding to the Alpha copyright @ 2013 by Emily Stone. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
“Is the music supposed to be this loud?”
Sharon shouted--or at least she thought she did--at her roommate Katy.
“What? I can’t hear you!” Katy thrust a beer into Sharon’s hand, apparently unconcerned at the deafening volume of the music.
Sharon eyed it apprehensively--she’d already drunk a little back at the dorms, she didn’t want to get too drunk.
“Come on, come and join the party!”Katy insisted
Katy grabbed Sharon’s hand and pulled her away from the corner of the room where she had been loitering without waiting for a response. They threaded their way through the mass of people and Sharon did her best to avoid catching anyone’s eye as they went.
Sharon had been counting down the days until she started college with a mixture of excitement and dread. She could be anyone, reinvent herself as whoever she wanted. That was the theory anyway. Now that it was finally here, she was focused on making it through the first day.
Meeting Katy had been a considerable relief to Sharon. The two of them were taking more or less the same classes and even brought the same movies with them. She was looking forward to her first night away from home and anticipated a quiet night getting to know Katy and talking about their favorite characters, maybe even getting some wine but from where, she didn't know.
But then Katy had gotten all excited about this frat party she’d heard about and, well, Sharon couldn’t exactly have said no could she?
“Hey guys! This is Sharon, my roommate I was telling you about.” Katy introduced Sharon to her friends. They shouted their greetings and told Sharon their names over the music, but she could barely hear what they were saying, let alone make any meaningful conversation.
“She’s a little shy,” Katy added.
Sharon flushed red. Why did she have to say that?
“You just need to get
!” one of the guys shouted, producing a shot from out of nowhere and giving it to her. Suddenly everyone was looking at her and clamoring for her to drink up. Feeling deeply uncomfortable and wishing she could go back to her corner, she did as they were demanding, eliciting a loud and raucous cheer from the group. She gave a little splutter and coughed. It was stronger than she’d expected.
“Thanks, erm…” but the guy who’d given her the drink had already turned his attention away, and was now saying something to Katy, who giggled and touched his arm.
Katy really was beautiful, Sharon reflected sadly, fully appreciating it for the first time. With her long, sleek brown hair, tall, slim figure and--now that she thought about it--rather revealing dress, it was no wonder she was getting so much attention. Not that anyone could call Sharon unattractive at all--at five foot two she was short, but she had quite a figure in general. Her blonde hair was short too, but it framed her heart-shaped face nicely. ‘Cute’ was the word other girls usually used to describe her, though never from the boys, who had always seemed to focus their attentions on the other, not quite so shy girls.
“How awesome is this party?” exclaimed one of the girls next to Sharon.
“Yeah, it’s really… great!” she shouted lamely in reply.
“Have you met Tom yet? He’s one of the brothers here, he’s so
!” Sharon looked over at where the girl was pointing. ‘Tom’ was currently stood on a table trying to down an entire sixpack of beer in one go, with crowds cheering him on and overspill tricking down his neck. “I was making out with him earlier; I think he wanted me to back to his room with him. Or no, was that Simon? Well anyway…”
Sharon zoned out, barely listening to her new friend listing the guys she hooked up with already. She was getting way out of her comfort zone here. She didn’t know why but listening to people talk about anything related to sex always made her feel vaguely uncomfortable and listening to this girl talk so brazenly about her exploits was not something she wanted to stay and listen too. Why couldn’t she have just stayed in with a book?
There was a brief awkward moment before Sharon realized that she’d been asked a question.
“Sorry?” she said loudly.
“I said who are you with tonight?”
“Oh I’m with my roommate Katy--” she replied, cutting off her sentence midway when she caught sight of Katy. She had retreated over to the wall with the guy from earlier, their arms wrapped around each other and their lips pressed together. Katy had her hands in his hair, and he was running his hands over her roommate’s butt unashamedly.
“That’s Rob!” The girl gasped. “You friend has good taste!”
“Should I go and rescue her?” Sharon asked, uncertain. She thought Katy was more sensible than this.
“Ha! I think she’s doing fine by herself--that girl’s gonna get
“She’s not going to have sex with him!” She looked over again. ‘Rob’ was kissing Katy’s neck, something Katy certainly didn’t seem to mind judging from the grin on her face, and the way her hands strayed down to his jeans. “Is she?” But the girl had already walked off, having spotted another of her dorm mates.
Sharon was starting to feel a little nauseous. What was she even doing here? She put her drink down on the nearest table, and tried to find somewhere to sit down. Before she’d even made it halfway she found herself walking into someone.
“Hey sweet cheeks, if you wanted a feel so badly you just needed to ask!” It was Tom, the guy who’d been chugging in front of a crowd earlier. He still had beer stains on his shirt.
“S-sorry. I was, I was just…” She was ignored. Tom slid his arms around her and tried to pull her in despite her obvious horror. This wasn’t her! She didn’t
this sort of thing. “Stop it!” She forced him away and ran out of the room. She felt completely stupid, and no doubt her face was flushed red again, but she didn’t see anyone between then and when she made it outside to the cool night air.
What must he have thought of her? She hadn’t been able to help it though. She just wasn’t used to guys being so forward. And when he’d touched her like that…
The truth was, Sharon never really had a boyfriend. Sure she’d had male friends, and they were very close sometimes, but even when it looked like they might want to take things further, she always found herself pulling away. It never felt right. She was either too scared, or too unenthusiastic.
And that’s how she’d found herself here, starting college and still a virgin. She didn’t tell anyone that of course, and certainly not that she’d never even been
at eighteen years old.
It was colder outside than it had been when she’d gone into the frat house, and her purple dress wasn’t really affording her much warmth. She was well-covered up--never a fan of playing the game of ‘how much cleavage can we show off’ that other girls almost seemed to be playing sometimes--but the dress was just a bit thin. She huddled against the wall and stared morosely out onto the campus. She checked her phone, but it was dead. Even that seemed to have failed her.
Maybe she should just go home. What would she do inside? Katy was occupied and she wasn't comfortable hanging around Katy's friends. She could just go and sit in the corner and try and get drunk for once. But what if someone took advantage of her? She gave an involuntary shudder. No. It would be best to head back to her dorm and start afresh tomorrow.
“Excuse me, are you going inside?” Sharon visibly jumped, she had no idea there was anyone else out there. A man stood on the steps to the main entrance and turned to face her. She suddenly felt embarrassed again.
“I was j-just leaving actually,” she replied, shivering.
“You look freezing, are you alright?” He seemed genuinely concerned, she must look more miserable than she’d thought. Of course her body seemed to take that as its cue to start shivering even more. The guy took off his jacket and offered it to her. “Here, put this on.”
“No really, I’m fine!” she laughed a little in spite of herself. How silly. It wasn’t until he was a few feet from her that she got a proper look at him. He was younger than she would've guessed at first. In the shadow he looked tall and quite well-built. But if she had to guess, he might even have been her age. Without a jacket his muscular build was made even more apparent in a way that wasn’t flaunted and yet immediately drew her gaze. He had close-cropped brown hair, and eyes that looked almost gray and full of concern.
She took the jacket and wrapped it around her bare shoulder. “Thank you.”
“Not a great party then huh?”
“Oh no, it’s fine! It’s just." She chewed her lips, looking for the right words. "Well you know, first day of college, I’m a little tired so, you know…”
He raised his eyebrows and smiled somewhat, it didn’t seem he was buying her lame excuses.
“Oh fine." She admitted. "It’s not really my thing at all.” There. He might understand at least, his calm, quiet demeanor didn’t really seem suited to being in a fraternity. “And it’s just full of arrogant jerks and frat boys that think they’re cool just because they’re in this ridiculous fraternity!” She added, getting quite worked up now.
“I’m in this fraternity.”He replied.
“Oh! I didn’t mean, I just thought…” Why did she have to say that? But when she looked up again he had broken into a big grin.
He has such a nice smile
, she thought,
such perfect teeth
“No, I completely agree.” He laughed. “I’ve been a brother for two years now but it’s not
my thing. Still, it’s probably for the best. If I didn’t have to spend so much time with the guys I’d probably go all lone wolf and never speak to anyone.” Sharon couldn’t find any words to say so she just looked up at him and smiled awkwardly. She knew he’d understand.
“Well,” she said after they stared at each other for a few seconds. “I don’t want to keep you. I’d better head back…” She’d made it a good ten steps before he gave a polite cough.
“You’re still wearing my coat.” Of course she was.
Why am I so stupid?
But again, he didn’t look annoyed at her apparent attempt at stealing his jacket. He was still smiling that pleasant serene smile of his, quietly amused at her obvious embarrassment.
“Oh my God I’m so sorry! Here…” She hurried back over to the wall where he was lounging, but he shook his head and chuckled.
“No, look you’re freezing. Wear it on the walk home, I’ll walk with you, and I can take it back with me. It’s fine. Really.”
“But what about your party?”
“I think I can probably put off the prospect of watching freshman throw up after three beers for another forty minutes or so. Come on, I insist!” Oh why not, she thought. He wasn’t like the others; she’d be alright with him. Besides, he was pretty cute.
“I’m Jerome by the way.” He said.
“Sharon.” She smiled.
They set off through the campus, soon leaving the noise of the frat house well behind them until the only sound puncturing the cold September night was the faint
of her modest heels, and the barely audible padding of Jerome’s quiet footfalls.
“So, Sharon, what brought you to my brothers’ sophisticated party tonight?”
“My new roommate, Katy. She’s still there actually but, well, I think she’s doing just fine without me…” she trailed off. The image of Katy wrapping her arms around the guy in that corner flashed through her head again. The way their mouths had been pressed so tightly together it was like they were eating each other. The way Katy grinned as he kissed her neck... Sharon's own neck tingled at the thought. Is that what was expected of her now that she was at college? Did she have to let guys have their way with her? Would people not like her otherwise?
Would it even be so bad
? A quiet voice asked in from the back of her mind.
, she thought.
I won’t be one of those women. Only sluts and cheap girls sleep around like that. I need to wait for the right person…
For the second time that night, she realized she’d zoned out while someone was talking to her.
“S-sorry Jerome, what did you say?”
He chuckled. “I said you’re probably better off. If you’re worried about missing out on horny guys staggering around trying to attach themselves to anything with a pulse, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to witness it later on.”
“Aren’t they your ‘brothers?’” she asked. He didn’t seem to have a particularly high opinion of his friends in the fraternity.
“I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored to be in the frat and I like spending time with the guys, but we’re not so close. They do their thing and I do mine most of the time. I like to make an appearance at stuff like tonight, but most of the time I’m, well, like a wolf without a pack I guess.”
Sharon smiled at that. She was glad he understood. She’d been afraid everyone she would meet here would be just like the guys at the party, but Jerome gave her some cause for hope at least. She wrapped his coat around herself tighter.
They’d only been walking for five minutes when Jerome stopped and looked around. They were walking through a square of some kind, with the statue from earlier that night in it.
“Are you sure this is the right way?” he asked. He sniffled in the cold night air and looked around, puzzled.
“I think so… why?” She had passed this statue on her way to the frat house, she was sure of it. But then again, hadn’t there been a fountain right next to it? And hadn’t it been a bit further away than this? Oh it was so hard to work out in the dark! “Erm, actually…”
“It’s just I didn’t think there were any girls’ dorms out this way at all, none that I knew of anyway.” He stared into the pitch black distance. “And away over there are the Davenport playing fields, there aren’t any buildings.”
She had no idea how he could see so far away when it was so dark, but she didn’t care. She’d made a fool of herself in front of him
. “Oh I’m such an idiot!” she moaned. “I was sure it was down here.”
“Where are you staying?”
“The Crawford block.”
“I don’t know where that is, but there’s a map of the whole campus online. My room isn’t so far from here. We can stop by there and find out how to get you home."
“Sure!” She replied without thinking. Uncertainty gripped her as Jerome smiled and turned to lead the way. She was going to go back to his room? She’d only met him fifteen minutes ago. What was he expecting? Was the computer thing just an excuse? Did he think she was that sort of girl?
Don’t be silly, Jerome isn’t like that. He’s different.
She suddenly felt very silly.
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” she asked, hurrying to catch up to him.
“Can’t have you wandering around campus on your own in the dark.” He smiled.
“I wasn’t going to wander into the woods or something,” she protested, laughing for what must have been the first time that night. It was all so absurd, but Jerome seemed to find it just as funny.
“Oh you say that now! Maybe you’d have wandered into the dark following the moon or something.”
Sharon tutted in mock outrage at Jerome’s obvious amusement. “Why would I follow the moon? It’s a big round circular thing in the sky, it’s not like it looks like my dorm room or anything.”
“The full moon isn’t for another eight days,” he replied, oddly serious sounding. He turned to her and grinned again, his big toothy grin. “Besides, it doesn’t matter--another month and you’ll know this place like you’d been born here.”
“I hope so…” she sighed, and moved a little closer to him.