Alexa's blond hair was down, parted at the center and in cascading waves met her shoulders. The skirt was too short, and too tight but it really was none of Carmeyn's business or interest. Demetra had said she was coming, which usually meant she'd be there for the last six minutes and whisk Carmeyn off to parts unknown. In comparison to Alexa's low top and high skirt, Carmeyn was wearing black baggy pants, with an excess of fifteen pockets and with about six silver chains. Her top was tight and black covered mainly by a loose black over-shirt. She was Gothic from her red spiked hair to her black Vans. Her typical quarter inch of black eyeliner was in place, as were her twenty-four holes filled with metal: six holes in each ear, two in her lip, two in her left eyebrow, one in her nose, and three in her bellybutton. Piercings were about as much fun as tattoos. The unlikely pair slipped their arms around their roommate and exited the fairly clean dorm room. The party was at Leonard's dorm. The professors and other faculty knew nothing about it. The stooges that reported back to the professors daily had gone to bed not thirty minutes before all people reporting to Leo's left their rooms and up and left. So much for henchmen. Carmeyn had to grin at her own thought, they were pretty useless; even freshmen can get by them if they have a higher IQ then the average carrot. Considering they were at Saint Elizabeth's College, even as freshman, they had to possess something that upped their IQ into the very high range. Walking out of Justin dorm's back exit, Carmeyn noted the sparseness of the 'runaways'. Runaways were what the professor's henchmen called students that were out past the college's set curfew. The thing was, only one henchman possessed a key, yet several students carried copies of the keys for each dorm, so they could get in and out during all hours. Curfew was at 10:30 p.m. Carmeyn guessed, because of the numerous students that didn't follow it and Saint Elizabeth's being a private college, that's why the college got by with such a early curfew. Justin dorm was a coed dorm; the guys were separated by floors from the girls. Carmeyn and Alexa were on the first floor. The fall, night air was slightly chilly as it was almost Halloween. Carmeyn felt herself yanked closer to Alexa, as the walked on the black asphalt; Carmeyn let herself be pulled nearer to Alexa's side. "Something doesn't feel right Carmeyn," Alexa murmured.
"And what about that is a new thing?" A male voice asked softly as he removed his rather lean frame from the tree he'd been leaning against.
"Told you…" "Yah well, could I please be the second to point out being stalked by a male in the dark of night on the way to a party doesn't make me want to do this again sometime." Carmeyn muttered.
So Alexa asked the most intelligent question one could in this type of predicament "Who are you?" "Dirk Dracula," "I guess you spend more time in crypts that I do," Carmeyn muttered.
"What's your friend's deal?" "She has bad experiences with nighttime stalkers." Alexa reasoned. Carmeyn could have smacked her. Every time Carmeyn didn't want to go out in the middle of the night to hang with a bunch of testosterone and minimal estrogen, Alexa always told whoever had invited her that Carmeyn had bad experiences with nighttime stalkers. Tell me, whomever whose had a nighttime stalker, have you had a good experience with a stalker? Someone who invades your personal space and rifles through your things is supposed to now give one warm fuzzies? Damn did I miss out.
Dirk walked on Carmeyn's right, putting Carmeyn in the middle of him and Alexa. Thing was, Carmeyn knew who Dirk Dracula was, she didn't need an introduction, and he wasn't a person she cared to meet twice in her life. "Dirk shouldn't you be, oh, somewhere far from me?" Carmeyn asked as they approached the massive dorm that was well-lit and well filled with party-goers. "Oh are you talking about the restraining order?" "Very possibly." Carmeyn said. One night, when Carmeyn was sixteen Dirk was intoxicated beyond belief. In theory, because of this fact, he came on to her. Carmeyn refused him, not because he was not good-looking or she wasn't interested. But because she knew he was drunk and probably higher than a kite and because she was dating his twin's best friend. Yet in court Dirk said it had been Kevin, Dirk's twin, that had raped her. Yet Carmeyn didn't buy his line of what she was convinced was bullshit. Just hearing his voice was a wash of old feelings that she really didn't want to deal will at this point, or at any point. Dirk had violated her in the most intimate way anyone one could. Then her father had forced her to repeat her account of the rape without emotion an upwards of three times. Each repeat of just the words of the actions that had been done to her was like reliving the whole experience anew. And once was enough for anyone. To her father her pain was just a weakness, not part of her body and soul trying to recover from such brutal desecration. Months later, when she thought with Dirk off in a juvenile facility for the following two years then a correctional facility for the two years following that, she realized that she had wanted too much for his death. Her karma had doubled back all right, in the missing of three menstrual periods and the gaining of ten pounds. Of all things that could happen to a sixteen-year-old girl from a Catholic family had happened: she'd gotten unwillingly knocked up by a total asshole. And now that asshole was back and at the current time trying to insinuate himself back into her life that was very comfortable without him. She tilted her head enough to be able to see him from the corner of her eye as they approached Leonard dormitory. It was a massive structure. Red brick in several varieties made the walls. With the henchmen sleeping, all students where free to roam the world as their hearts desired, if they could outfox the stupid foxes. Dirk still was six foot, four inches, dark-haired, and still very well muscled. Okay let's stop checking him out and remember that he raped me. It's rather hard to forget the feeling of complete and total worthlessness that accompanied such violation. Dammit all together, what on god's green earth does he want from me? Why is Dirk back? The trio entered the dormitory from the front entrance and went up the carpeted stairwell and was sucked into the party. The music was blaring, the lights were low, people were on the center floor and dancing away. Alexa's name was called out by on of her friends and Alexa tossed Carmeyn a questioning look, asking if she could deal with Dirk by herself. Carmeyn shrugged and edged along the wall, away from the dancing people and the noise and Dirk. She found herself on a large, well-crafted balcony. She thought back to her freshman year at high school, in Muncie. Back to her English teacher, Miss Bolts, back to Romeo and Juliet, back to the famous balcony scene, and had to grin. She was never so illusioned as a girl.
The balcony she was on showed the beautiful view of the courtyard at night, the moonlight glimmering just right on the water's surface. Chaos reigned in the party but outside, beyond the jubilant mayhem, nature was still as serene as always. Carmeyn deeply inhaled the tranquil, chilled air. Letting out the now-wasted air, she rested her hands on the iron railing. "What are you doing out here all alone?" Dirk asked walking up beside her. "You always struck me as such a people person," Carmeyn's stomach seemed to be involuntarily clenched and a thick wave of nausea swept her. Carmeyn fought the nausea down and swallowed hard.
"Don't kid yourself, I don't want anyone's company right now, and certainly not yours," "You're still sore over that whole rape-thing? Live and let live girlfriend. Let it go already." Carmeyn suddenly seemed too aware of his nearness, his body, and his scent. Suddenly it was like she was fourteen again, hugging him goodbye before her summer trip to the Caribbean. All she could remember about that hug was how good it felt to be near him and how good he smelled, like a man, the only thing she could put her finger on was bar soap, too much like her father. "You still are the total asshole I know and hate." Carmeyn said. His head jerked her way and he tried to meet her eyes but Carmeyn looked away. "You hate me? Wow, I thought somehow you'd given up that hatred thing. It's been…what, almost six years?" Dirk said.
"Allow me to remind you, I am a pagan-Satanist, not a Christian. So forgiveness isn't my deal. You want that you'll have to talk to God, or Mary, however you wish to be," Carmeyn said, stilling looking away.
"Allow me to remind you, it was my six years that got thrown away in this bargain. And my twin might have hurt you but I got the brunt of it. I'm the one that got bullshitted," "Yah right, as I recall, Kevin had a wasn't in the state and didn't have motive, you however Dirk, did." "Could I please point out that I wasn't in the state and didn't have motive, he was in the state and did have motive." "No you may not point that out because it's not true." "Look Carmeyn, I know you're really not ever going to want to talk to me alone, but we can't keep rehashing events that didn't happen. I didn't do that to you, it was Kevin. I can't say I don't care if you don't believe me on that 'cause I do care. I don't know if you'll ever believe me about that night but I wish you could." Dirk said, getting softer with each word. "Carmeyn, I attend Saint Elizabeth's, you can't avoid me forever." "Believe me, I can try." "Yes, I guess you can." Dirk said simply, his heart stinging from the iron rebuke. He started away as Demetra approached Carmeyn and Dirk. Without turning around Carmeyn spoke.
"Oh and Dirk? Meet my wife, Demetra." Dirk curtly nodded, and walked away. "Well, I see your making friends and influencing people." Demetra calmly stated. "Who was he?" "Nobody that matters," "Then why does he have you so queasy?" "Is it that obvious?" "Umm…only if you have eyes." "Dammit." "Look, tonight is cancelled love, and tomorrow doesn't look so good," "What happened?" "Something came up," Demetra said, she laid a hand on Carmeyn's shoulder and slowly slipped it down, withdrawing it. Demetra turned and left Carmeyn to her thoughts.
Y "Well that party sucked." Carmeyn muttered as she exited Leonard's dorm, an uneventful hour later. Alexa had undoubtedly gotten snagged an eventful night in the sack. Carmeyn headed back to her own dorm. As she unlocked the door she heard heavy whispers. Almost panted breathing, coming from behind the corner. Carmeyn shrugged and entered her room, locking it behind her. Carmeyn stripped down to the skin and crawled under her covers and buried her face in the pillow. Just seeing Dirk again was just as intoxicating as EverClear filling an eight-ounce glass, chugged. It brought back all those feelings she hoped she had left behind: the pain and the dumb yearning. Dirk caused her extreme amounts of both, still. Her body wanted his, but her heart and soul was still torn from his body's invasion of hers. Rolling over on her back and putting her hands under her head, Carmeyn consciously fell asleep but subconsciously she recalled all the details.
Daddy was out, like his normal and so was mother. Carmeyn sat on a bar stool at the kitchen nook, thinking about Dirk and his damned cheerleader girlfriend. His bad-boy good looks, but his touching sensitivity. He was only sensitive when he was serious, which wasn't often. Someone knocked at the door. It was Dirk. Even his exaggerated swagger couldn't tell her he was drunk. She happily opened the door, her sixteen-year-old heart pounding in anticipation. She focused on him for too long and completely forgot about shutting the door. He uncharacteristically leaned onto her. Only then did she realize, the level of alcohol in his system. By just one breath, Carmeyn could tell exactly what he'd been drinking and about how much of it. His breath was like opening a new bottle of whiskey. Pure, hot alcohol. Then his lips where on hers, he wasn't gentle, as she'd dreamed, her back was against the kitchen nook. He kissed her harder, letting her know he was playing for deeper odds then she wanted to deal with in his current condition. She broke the connection, told him no, they shouldn't. A light flashed in his eyes that signaled his anger and dislike of her rebuke. She tried to push him off her. She couldn't, drunk he was six years of bodybuilding and resistance. He stepped back and she almost fell. He scooped her up and carried her into the nearest room, it happened to be her bedroom. Her familiar surroundings turned into a familiar nightmare as clothes were ripped off, her body was touched and violated, then entered against her will. Her will to cry out vanished without so much as a trace when she saw the look in his eyes. Like he hated her more then imaginable. Over and over his invading body tore at her resisting flesh. When he came he jerked up from her, clothed himself and left. Carmeyn just lay there, waiting to die, knowing that a death would be a salve for her wounds. Her father came home, two hours later, drunk himself. Her father found her like that. Her legs forced apart, her torn flesh bleeding a bit, bruised limbs, bloody fingertips, and a death-come-quickly expression on her face and in her wide eyes. His eyes filled with tears as he took her, as is, into his arms. Carmeyn jerked up, gasping, panting, drenched with sweat. Tears slowly filled her eyes as she got out of bed. The room was still pitch black and Carmeyn couldn't hear Alexa's steady breath. But then she felt the familiar arms of her friend and pained companion. "You all right?" Carmeyn wiped her eyes with the backs of her hands.
"Not particularly. Whatever gave you the hint something was amiss?" "Well, that Dirk-guy's too-sweet disposition tipped me off, how do you really know him?" "I'm just saying he's not my shrink," "Good, 'cause I don't think he has a Ph.D." "Considering he's been in a correctional facility for the past five years, neither do I." "Night school," "Whilst getting butt-fucked by his butt-buddies? Even laptops are hard to type on in the midst of semi-rape." "Don't joke, Carmeyn. You only joke when you're remembering and hurting more than normal. Want to share Prince Valium?" "Nah, I'm a big, tough girl, I'm gonna go smack Dirk and feel much better." "Only if you're smacking him in the face and instead of a hand an ax," Alexa murmured and kissed my forehead. "Come to bed and we'll fight off our boogeymen with large sticks." "And fire." "No my little pyro, they told you no fire." Alexa whispered.
"But that's how the cavewomen did it. Fended off nature with fire." "I'm not worried about nature baby, I'm worried about true cavemen," the pair of close friends stood and moved to Alexa's bed. Sinking into the silk sheets beside her wounded sister. Alexa's arms weren't interchangeable with any arms, not even Demetra's. Alexa's obnoxiousness was just a cover for her gentleness and frailty that Carmeyn shared. Lying in Alexa's arms soothed her nightmare from her and Dirk's lasting impression from that night was washed from her senses by the downpour of Alexa's quietness and tenderness. Alexa's body and Carmeyn's body melted into one. Sleep overtook them as one. Falling asleep in Alexa's arms was a wonderful thing, however Alexa's intense gentleness had to be masked by lack of sight and lack of witnesses. Carmeyn awoke, naked and cold. She wrapped herself in Alexa's blood-red silk sheet and went over to open window. In the process Carmeyn found her only two other weaknesses in life: caffeine and sugar. Carmeyn quickly shut the window and moved to the steaming cup of coffee and the chocolate-chip muffin. Biting into the muffin, the door opened and Alexa slipped in. "Hey you. I see you still haven't dressed. By the way, that sheet is not styling nor is your English professor going to postpone his class for you to shower and dress, love." Alexa said with a contented grin as Carmeyn wolfed down the large muffin and reached in their closet. She pulled out a black shirt and a pair of blue jeans. She rummaged in the drawer set on the closet floor and grabbed underwear and a bra. She dropped the sheet and jumped into her clothes. Her English professor was harsh, tough, and favoring her. She couldn't afford to lose the favor. She grabbed her bag and cell phone, she slipped into her Vans and scurried to class. Devlin Wolfsbane was not a patient man, but he had affection for Carmeyn. Carmeyn hurried into James Hall and arrived first in Wolfsbane's classroom. Professor Wolfsbane looked up from his laptop at her. A grin spreading across his angular features, Carmeyn glanced at the clock and could have spit.
"Did Miss Knight have something to do with this?" "Just a lot." "I thought so…but still I wished to talk to you at some point about your paper." A sense of dread filled her stomach.
"About my paper? What part, exactly, professor?" Wolfsbane shot his nervous pupil a minorly displeased look at the title professor. Wolfsbane rose and removed a paper from his desk, then removed a copy of the New York Times and gestured for her to come forward. Carmeyn's nervousness increased with each step toward Wolfsbane's desk. He met her gaze.
"Well, I did my homework and found that you either copied this essay or you should drop your major in education. I think it's the latter, correct me if I'm wrong." Wolfsbane said softly, watching Carmeyn's face.
"You caught me, Devlin. I copied it." Carmeyn said, adverting her eyes. Her English professor arched an eyebrow and chuckled softly. "Didn't think so," Devlin said watching her. Carmeyn watched her professor and friend's face turn from amused back to serious. Something was bugging him. Carmeyn had learned to read people's moods easily since her mother beat on her at age four. "But, there's something other than my paper you wished to discuss…" "Damn, I hate it when you know what I'm thinking and feeling." "What now?" Carmeyn asked, fully aware of the two students entering the classroom. "I'll let you know at a later date, Miss Ryans." Devlin said, once more professor Wolfsbane.
"Fine." Carmeyn murmured and took her seat. Devlin still stood at his desk with her paper in hand. His picked up his pen from his desk and wrote something on it. He walked up the steps and to her seat; he dropped the paper on her desk.
"I expect the real final draft today at the end of the day Miss Ryans." Wolfsbane said briskly and walked back to his desk as students filed in. Carmeyn looked at the curved writing on her title page. Caffeine. Me. You. Carmeyn suppressed a laugh and flipped through the essay she took four nights to write and perfect. His comments and her grade were written on the last page of the six-page essay. Caffeine. Me. You. Was an example their shortened language they only used when they had to. What this specific message referred to was, skipping lunch in the cafeteria and probably her class after lunch while going to his office and talking. Y Carmeyn hurried to her nest class, hoping she was on time this time. She was and was on time for the rest of her classes. She hit lunch and walked into Wolfsbane office. Wolfsbane was a terrible neat-nick. His papers were all in chronological order and alphabetized. Often a time Carmeyn had made fun of him for it. Yet Wolfsbane wasn't in his office. Carmeyn sat in his office chair and watched Wolfsbane enter his tidy office, carrying something straight from Starbucks. "I see you found your way here." "Yep you didn't even have to send the hounds after me." "Weren't you the one that found the body?" "Wow Wolfsbane, blunt me to death…what no lead up? Yah I found the body, you know who he is…was?" "He didn't go to Saint Elizabeth's if that's what your asking but I knew him." Wolfsbane said softy, he handing a coffee to Carmeyn. "Well why would someone kill him? I mean, I know I didn't even know him but, can't one just pick up a gun and put it to his temple and bang he's dead, no surgery," "Do you know how he died? I mean the papers only say that the autopsy will tell them." "Well, all I can say is the mortician won't have to make the incision." Carmeyn said, sipping the coffee. "Is this what you wanted me to skip out on lunch for?" "Something tells me your not missing much. Carmeyn, so you know who Trevino Holiday is?" "Rings a bell, why?" "Well…" Devin moved behind his desk and opened a drawer and handed her a video camera tape. "I got this in the mail, with this attached." Devin handed her a piece of notebook paper with scrawled handwriting on it. "It's was to you," "A) How'd you get it if it was to me B) why'd you want it C) you opened my mail? Isn't that a felony?" Carmeyn asked.
"Coinciding events and I had a hunch and yes I did." "What, you were jealous that you thought someone was sending me home porn videos?" "No…but that's the way some kidnappers contact the family." "If they've got Sam, I'm not the one that'll even think about caring." "There is no they, nor is it a porn flick, it could be the latter though. It's some guy raping a young girl, it doesn't look like anything fake." "And you watched it? Damn, my English professor is stalking me and screening my mail." Carmeyn said with a smirk.
Y