Bill was angry. He had waited for her all morning and she hadn't shown up. He had waited for her, that intriguing girl with her big blue eyes that from the moment he had seen them fill with tears he had felt something stir within him. He hated it, he fucking hated how he had gone back to his dorm the other night thinking of what he would plan for them to do the next day when they would go out.
"Fuck. Fuck," he had said as he had went to her dorm room and asked her room mate where Hillary was.
"She went out," the owlish girl had said.
"Out where?" He had practically shouted not caring that he was scaring the girl.
"I don't know, I think she said she was going out to a diner with a friend Scott," she had stammered. He had turned around and left her there not caring that he was getting many confused looks as he had pounded on nearly every door asking for Hillary on his way up here. Now as he went back to his own dorm room he threw away the drawing he had foolishly started working on. It was a replication of the painting Hillary had liked back at the museum, he had intended to give it to her as an apology for the way he had acted yesterday. Now he felt even more confused, but he unfortunately knew exactly what he was feeling. He was jealous, and his fist had clenched at the thought of her with Scott. Why was he jealous, she wasn't anything to him! Yet, last night he had confronted his emotions and found the thought he had been trying to keep locked away. The fact he had forced himself to confront was that he was irrevocably attracted to Hillary, but it was a different attraction than he had ever felt before. It wasn't just physical but he had found that he was attracted to her mind and found himself always wanting to know what she was thinking.
"So fucking stupid," he muttered as he clenched his fist, his nails digging into his skin drawing blood. He had read about this in many books but he never thought he'd be feeling it, he never had before! He hated feeling weak and hopeless! He tried to put her out of his mind. He would let Scott win this bet although the thought of him touching her made him sick and he himself would avoid her. He needed a distraction so he went over to his phone and dialed a number.
"Bambi? It's Bill. Come over."
Hillary laughed as Scott made another joke about dipping his fries in his milkshake. She had been sipping from her own strawberry shake and the drink had almost sputtered out of her nose as she laughed at him.
"I'm glad you came today. You know I felt really bad about your dress getting ruined," Scott said. "I'm glad I came," she responded and it was true. So far Scott had been nothing but nice to her and she was grateful that he didn't have mood swings like Bill did. Bill. She had felt a little guilty about ditching him but she had put the thought out of her mind, he could find another girl to keep him company maybe one that liked to be yelled at.
"Hey there's this great flower garden near here if you want to go," Scott said regaining her attention.
"That would be lovely," she said as she finished the last of her meal and they walked back out to his car. Scott's car was a brown station wagon that was modest and she liked it much better than the flamboyant vehicle she had been in yesterday.
"Got your seatbelt on?" Scott asked her as he buckled his own. She nodded, once again comparing how his behavior differed from Bill's who had sneered at the thought of wearing a seatbelt. He drove a little below the speed limit and turned on classical music.
"So how have you liked New Haven so far?" He asked her. She thought about it, the weather was nice even if the people weren't.
"It's okay, I think I'll like it more within time. How about you have you liked New Haven?" She asked. He laughed.
"It's okay like you said maybe it will grow on me in time. I came here from England, I went to Oxford for college so this has been a bit of a downgrade but I wanted to come back home to America," he said. She was impressed, Oxford was an incredibly prestigious school.
"We're here," he said and she looked out the window to see flowers of every color and gasped at their beauty.
She was enchanted by all the flowers and she loved them. She and Scott had walked up and down the rows looking at them as they had talked about many things. She had learned that he was originally from Wisconsin and had went to study in England after receiving many scholarships. At one point she had almost tripped but he had caught her effortlessly and put his hand on the small of her back. That had made her blush brighter than the tulips she had tripped over. She was enjoying herself with him and as they drove back to the campus she looked at him. He was handsome, but not as handsome as she had noticed Bill was. Scott was more preppy and neatly clothed together. Bill on the other hand was wild and dangerous.
"Do you want to come back to my room?" Scott asked her. She blinked as he interrupted her thoughts.
"I have homework to do," she said. It was partially true even though the work was way ahead than what was actually do.
"Alright. You could bring your work though if you wanted to, I need to get some done too," he said. It seemed like an innocent offer and Scott had given her no reason to worry but she had a gut instinct telling her not to go along with his offer.
"I promised my room mate we'd study together I'm sorry though," she said as she scrambled out of his car. He nodded but for a second he seemed annoyed, she convinced herself she had imagined it as she walked to her room.
Bill had been walking around the perimeter of the campus, trying to get his mind off what he had done. Why had he called Bambi? Why did he continue to go to her for a quick feel? He had thought it would take his mind off of everything, of Hillary, but it only made him think of her more. In every touch he gave Bambi, he compared it to his very brief contact with Hillary. Bambi's skin wasn't smooth the way Hillary's was and her eyes weren't kind the way that intriguing girl from the library's were either. As he rounded the corner near the girl's dormitory, he crashed into someone.
"Shit watch where you're walking," he said automatically but immediately regretted it as he looked down at the eyes he was just thinking of.
"Maybe you should watch where you're going. You crashed into me as well," she said rebalancing herself. She turned to go the other way but he grabbed her wrist.
"What's wrong with you? let go!" Hillary said getting upset. He would let her go, if he was sure she was going to stand there and listen to him, but he wasn't.
"Why didn't you come see me today?" He asked. Damn it, he hated how possessive that came off but he didn't mean it like that. He wanted to know why she had blown him off and more importantly he wanted her to want to be near him of her own free will. Yes she confused the hell out of him, but at least when they were together his mind didn't have to do flip flops wondering if she was thinking of him. His plan of avoiding her, seemed to be impossible anyway as the universe always seemed to be throwing them together.
"Doesn't matter. I don't owe you anything!" She yelled pulling her arm from him. He let go of his grasp on her as he didn't want anyone to think he was trying to hurt her, that was the last thing he was trying to do. He just wanted answers.
"Damn it!" He yelled and impulsively punched the girl's dormitory. Instant pain shot through his hand and knuckles, no doubt bruising as the dormitory was constructed of bricks.
"Bill you hurt yourself! You have to come with me I have a first aid kit," she said her voice
concerned now. He rolled his eyes, of course she had a first aid kit. But there she was at it again! She had been yelling at him but was now concerned about his wound, what the hell was that about.
"I want to go back to my dorm room, Hillary," he protested. She hadn't mentioned where she wanted him to go with her, but he sure as hell didn't want to go back into the girl's dormitory and have them all see him wounded, he had a reputation to keep up.
"Fine okay. I'll take you to your dorm room, but I'm still going to help you," she surprised him by not arguing. The searing pain of his hand prevented him from arguing with her as well and he leaned on her for support as they walked to his dorm.
Hillary was surprised by how well the boy's dormitory looked now, it didn't appear at all like if a party had ever been thrown here. She walked Bill to his room and opened the door. Again, she was still in awe of the book cases, but remembering how she had been yelled at the last time she had been in here, she quickly looked away from them and instead helped Bill sit down on his bed. "I'll be back I'm going to go down to the main entrance where the kitchen is and see if they have any ice," she said. Bill shook his head and nodded in the direction behind her.
"I have a fridge and microwave here," he said. To her surprise, he did. They were both alongside the front of the room but one would not instantly see them while walking in, especially her since she had been captivated by the books. She went over to the fridge and opened the freezer below to grab an already packaged bag of ice. Bill must punch things a lot, she thought. She went over to him and knelt on her knees as she placed the ice over his left hand. He didn't flinch at the cold, he must be used to it, she suspected.
"Bill why did you hurt yourself like that?" She asked. She didn't know what came over her, at first she had been furious with him for questioning her but the second she saw him double over in pain she had felt concerned. It wasn't just normal bystander concern either that any person might have felt, she had worried about Bill as a person and she couldn't take him being in pain.
"I don't know. I was mad, Hillary," he said. His blue gray eyes seemed to penetrate her but she couldn't bring herself to look away. His eyes were so deep and vast and most of the time very guarded, she wondered what secrets he kept hidden there.
She readjusted the ice and looked away. She couldn't stay here for too long, it would just turn into another yesterday of shouting and befuddlement.
"Keep readjusting the ice every fifteen minutes, it helps a lot," she said as she stood and turned to leave.
"Hillary wait. Please don't go, stay. I have food in the fridge, we can talk and I don't know just get to know each other better," he said in that soft voice he would use when he wasn't mad. She looked over her shoulder at him and saw that he had let the guard down from his eyes.
"I mean if you don't I could always just hurt my other hand to get you to stay," he said teasingly. She thought about it, what could it hurt? Besides, he might forget to readjust the ice on his hand, she said.
"Okay but I want to talk to this Bill, not the angry screaming punching walls one," she said. He smirked.
"Fine. You can sit down you know, I won't bite," he said.
The fact that she had decided to stay made him happy for some reason and he didn't exactly know why. It could be because he was attracted to her, but he had been attracted to many people and didn't feel joy at their presence. She had been sitting on the bed next to him, and a box of microwaved pizza sat between them, but she now adjusted herself to prop herself up on her elbow looking at him as she laid on her side. So far he had learned that she had been top of her class at Wellesley and was also interested in history and politics.
"You know I met John F Kennedy when I was a part of the legion boys nation program back
when I was sixteen," he said. That had been a great day for him, he had so many fucked up experiences growing up that he was glad he had that good one.
"Really? You're so lucky," Hillary said as she used one hand to pick up another slice of pepperoni pizza. He loved that she could eat around him, unlike many of the girls he had been with who were so concerned with looking good and were self conscious.
She somehow still managed to look so fucking gorgeous while she ate, and he couldn't stop himself from staring. She had worn a plain white tee shirt today and her light blue bra was a little visible underneath. What really was driving him crazy were her legs. She was wearing shorts, still long as they hit right above her knee, but the rest of her smooth skin was visible. He noticed how her skin easily flushed pink whenever she applied pressure to it, or repositioned herself and he found it adorable. Fuck, adorable, what was this, a romantic comedy?
"You know if I could have met anyone it would have been Eleanor Roosevelt," she said interrupting his thoughts. He nodded.
"Really? Why?" He asked. She finished eating her slice of pizza before answering.
"She was very inspiring to me as she wasn't your traditional submissive woman. She was strong and she once said that a woman who wants to be in politics should have skin as thick as a rhinoceros. As I want to be politics I love that quote and her but I'm just babbling now," she digressed shaking her head causing her blonde curls to fall over her face. Fuck, Bill thought, if he didn't know better he would have thought she was doing this on purpose, but she seemed truthfully unaware of how beautiful she was.
"That's nice. Don't worry about babbling, I like hearing you babble," he said. It was true, he had made fun of her intellect at first but now he was starting to admire it, she wasn't an airhead. She readjusted his ice again her fingers lightly grazed the back of his hand in the process. She went back to her position of laying down on her side her eyes fixated on him.
"What are you thinking?" He asked. She had this look on her face that he couldn't read and he swore she was staring at his lips.
"I'm just thinking that you can be kind of good company when you aren't yelling," she said. They laughed and he noticed how she had laughter lines around her eyes that only drove him more wild. It was too much, her smooth exposed skin, her shining eyes, and her full delicate lips. Shit, he felt like he was going crazy. He needed to touch her, it was a burning sensation within him, but he didn't dare risk it. As they stared into each other's eyes for what felt like forever he noticed that she had a bit of leftover pizza sauce lingering at the corner of her lips and saw his chance.
"You have sauce here," he said as his right thumb gently removed it. Then something strange happened. As he was wiping away the sauce, the tip of his thumb had accidentally entered her partially opened mouth, so his finger was in her mouth. The sexual tension in the air around them intensified. He held his breath to see how she would react. Surprising him even more, she had puckered her lips so she gently kissed the flesh of his thumb. Then realizing what she had done, she began to sit up and straighten out her shirt.
"Um, I think I should go," she said appearing flabbergasted. Bill was even more puzzled as she got up to leave, she had reached the door when he found his voice again.
"Hillary, will I see you again?" He asked. She stopped for a second and he could tell she was filled with emotions.
"I don't know," she said and walked out of his room leaving him to decipher what this all fucking meant.
She had reached her dorm and went instantly to the bathroom door slamming it, and locking it just in case May was in the room. She needed to be alone to think, if even only for a few minutes. She felt embarrassed at what she had done. What if Bill didn't feel that way for her and she was reading all the signs wrong? Yet, as his finger had lingered on the edge of the entrance of her lips she had felt an intense longing to pull his finger in closer and suck on it. It was insane, she had never felt that way before or wanted such things. Yet, as they had laid across from each other on his bed, she had begun to notice again how insanely handsome he was. His brunette hair had seemed to have almost reddish hues in the sunlight that had been pouring in from his dorm window. Then there was his hands. As she had been caring for his injured left hand, she had noticed just how beautiful and long his fingers were. It had all been too much for her, the reddish hues of his hair, the elegance of his fingers, and those blue gray eyes. She had wanted desperately for him to touch her again and she had been glad when his thumb grazed her skin to clean her yet again. Did he feel the same way? She didn't know. He was so difficult to read but at times he seemed to look at her almost with admiration. She couldn't take it. Now she had made a fool of herself and he would no doubt go back to being rude again and it was her fault. She felt her eyes sting. This was her mistake and because of it she might have ruined the seeds of a friendship that had just began to bloom.
"Hillary are you in there? Are you okay?" May said from outside the bathroom door breaking into her thoughts. Hillary quickly wiped at her eyes just in case there were any lingering tears before getting up to open the door.
"No I'm not okay. May can I talk to you about something?" She asked. She would tell her roommate, her only friend thus far about what had been going on between her and Bill.
Bill had remained in his room a while after Hillary left pressing the thumb she had kissed to his lips. That small touch of hers had let him know one thing: she was feeling something for him too. They both had been trying to fight it and he found himself not wanting to fight it anymore. Yet he was still so fucked up inside, there were still things about him she didn't know and if she did she would have never kissed his thumb. He sighed , then there was the matter of this godforsaken bet. He wanted to call it off, he wanted Scott to leave her alone. He wanted to be normal and be able to show his affection for Hillary like anyone else would, but he was far from normal. He looked out his window and saw Scott in the parking lot in his hideous car. Bill stood up, he needed to know how things between Scott and Hillary had gone and whether this whole situation could be reversed. He raced out of the dorm into the parking lot where Scott was.
"Hey Bill," Scott said as Bill approached. He was still sitting in his car and putting down the adult magazine he had been reading.
"Hey, man. What have you been up to?" He asked trying to remain calm and not seem on edge like he was really feeling.
"Oh just making more progress on our bet. I took Hillary out to eat and to see the flower gardens this morning." Scott said off handily as if he didn't care much. Why would he? This was nothing more than a bet to him. He didn't see the beauty in the way her eyes would light up like Bill did. "Wow. Sounds like you've made progress," he said trying to get Scott to talk about what he really wanted to know. Did he touch her? Did he touch the same shoulder skin he had previously touched? He told himself that it shouldn't matter, but after what had happened between Hillary and him back in his dorm room he couldn't return to that line of thinking.
"No. I invited her to my room but she declined. Honestly the girl is a prude. She had even told me that she's never been kissed before," Scott said obviously annoyed at his rejection. Bill felt himself fill with a sense of joy at the thought that she had rejected someone else.
"Is this bet really necessary? I mean what's the point?" He asked.He tried to appear casual but the truth was he was in internal turmoil. When he had found out she blew him off for Scott, he had wanted for Scott to win the bet so he could avoid her but now at hearing about the rejection she gave the other man he almost had a sort of hope that it was due to her feelings for him.
"Well if you want to call it quits that's fine but the thing is there's this fraternity I told about it and now they're making it a part of their initiation," Scott said.
"Wait what?" Bill asked, what the hell was he talking about?
"I told this fraternity about it. You've heard about them they call themselves the Royals. Well they are impressed with the idea of nailing a prudish girl as part of their initiation and I told them about you and me doing this as a competition. They said that whichever one of us nails her first gets to join them," Scott explained. Bill shook his head in disbelief. This had just gotten a lot more complicated. The Royals were the most elite fraternity on campus and had huge influence and connections. A great many of them were the sons of politicians and they were always involved in international politics. He knew that he would have to be a part of this fraternity if he wanted his
future career in politics to have a head start. Yeah he wasn't just an airhead playboy, underneath his fuck everything attitude he very much cared about politics and law. The question was whether he cared about these things more than he did for Hillary and whether he would go along with this. "I see," he said perplexed. Scott on the other hand didn't seem to notice his attitude at all.
"Yeah it kinda sucks but hey may the best man win right," Scott said picking up his magazine again.
"Yeah," Bill said as he began to walk away he envied how nonchalant Scott was about this whole situation while a war seemed to be going on in his own mind. Hillary was attracted to him and he was attracted to her, but with this new stake on the bet and his reputation as a bachelor could he be devoted to her? Did he even want to? He wanted her, but this was all new to him. She had ran from him but why? All these thoughts and more ran through his head as he began wondering if he could really have it all and if he would have the privilege of seeing Hillary again tomorrow.