Tugging at her frizzy strawberry curls in annoyance, Nicky Ames slammed the phone booth receiver down violently as she let out a frustrated growl. Threatening luminous looking clouds rumbled overhead and every phone booth she had encountered so far were either out of order or just cackling static. Glancing around her surroundings, Nicky ran across the road into a quant little bookshop, just in time too, as the first thick pellet of heavy rain cannoned down from the grey heavens above.

There were only a handful of people lounging around the store. Spotting a telephone extension on the cashier counter, she moved to ask an assistant for permission to make a call only to see the shop owner and his assistant start making out heavily. All the customers filed out of the shop quickly after the beginning of that carnal display, all but one.

Benjamin Mercadi, the eldest son of a multi-billion fortune, the only son of a powerful, ruthless business tycoon, the most sought after under 21 bachelors in the entire modern world, and his cocky demeanour was not unusual for individuals with his wealth, status, looks and popularity. Only recently transferred into her Law class, she was less than pleased that he often took it upon himself to ridicule her performances in class, in front of her celebrated professor and her classmates. She liked to think of him as another egotistic jerk with over pumped self-esteem.

Nicky ignored Benjamin and quietly tiptoed over to the cashier front, reaching for the phone cradle.

"What are you doing?"

A rich husky masculine voice interrupted her concentration, making her jerk sharply out of reflex and slam her elbow onto the counter. Nicky winced as sharp pains shot up and down her numb arm then scowled at him with hostility. Damn him, nosy parker!

"I'm making a phone call, what business is that of yours?" She hissed highly irritated, nursing her arm gently and trying to use the phone again with the other arm.

"That's unauthorized possession you know, and illegal in fifty or more states. You could be prosecuted." Amusement laced his cool words, as she felt her anger rise.

"Look, just leave me alone, you go and continue checking out your reflection in the window or something and let me get on with my business, got it?" The antagonism in her voice was lost on the man as he carelessly brushed off her spiteful words. A brief minute of silence followed. Then Benjamin raised one sardonic eyebrow, smirking at her lazily as he uttered coolly,

"The phone's hotwired."

Nicky dropped the receiver immediately, a loud clunking sound echoing throughout the silent shop.

"What? How would you know?" She glared accusingly at the unperturbed man, envious of the way he leaned lazily against a shelf of new arrival books. He appeared to be still smirking for no apparent reason.

"Oh, I just know,' He informed her in a haughty sing-song voice, somehow managing to sound like an asshole and superior telephone sex service operator simultaneously,

"If I let you borrow my cellphone to make a call, would you grace me with your presence and get some coffee with me afterwards?"

The words leapt out of her mouth automatically before she even considered the real intent of his offer behind his seductive and misleading but luring words.

"Hell no." Arms immediately positioned themselves to fold across her chest defensively as she scowled, and troubled hazel eyes darkened a few shades.

Nicky's entire aura cackling with terseness and Benjamin abso-fucking-lutely loved it.

"Just who are you trying to call anyway?" He asked her curiously, a thread of amusement still tingling through the richness of his melodic pitch,

"According to campus rumours, you're highly antisocial, or rather misanthropic as you prefer to delude yourself, and your only friend is the gay bastard son of the head Linguistics professor, which I fail to see why you need to contact him as urgently in the middle of a thunderstorm."

Indignation and fury swelled up in her, remarkably illuminating her features until she glowed.

"How dare you, you homophobic son of a –"

He cut her off brusquely.

"– I merely called him by his correct sexual orientation, would you prefer me to list him as a fag instead, dearest?" His calm words fanned the simmering heat in her veins.

"Fuck you," She spat breezily, blushing hotly from the term of endearment he bestowed on her and he chuckled knowingly. Scrutinizing him softly at close proximity, even she could she how girls were attracted to him blindly.

The whole dominant and intimidating male possessiveness in his character and pure charismatic cunning manipulation and power along with an unnerving personality resting on top of that pretty head of thick wavy hair was mostly irresistible, but even if she wasn't blind, she scoffed, jerks were jerks after all. It may be old but it was classic and classics never failed to arouse females, her included, damn it!

"So… The nerd swears," Benjamin drawled, very well aware of her analysis. Nicky bristled like a cat rubbed the wrong way immediately. He knew just how to push her buttons, that jerk.

"Oh, I'm a nerd? What about you? You're in all my classes this semester and you're always one or two marks in front of me. Who's the bigger nerd, geek?" To her surprise, he didn't retaliate and continued to chuckle, as she nibbled the inner cheek of her mouth, nervous, wondering how she was going to get home in the downpour.

He appeared to have read her mind.

"How are you getting back to the dorms?" He asked innocently. Knowing his reputation, he was probably anything but innocent.

Nicky narrowed her eyes, jerking her head toward the phone on the counter," I was going to make a call for my boyfriend to pick me up but I don't want my head being blown off as soon as I press a dial key so I'm going to walk."

"Walk? In this weather? Are you crazy?" He fixed her with a disbelieving stare and she sighed, wondering why everyone always underestimated her. Just because she was, a puny little girl didn't mean she couldn't brave a few rain clouds, humans were that pitiful in the animal kingdom.

"I find it hard to believe you have a boyfriend," He continued as she mentally listed all the reasons her Law lectures homicide was against the statute. Just when she opened her mouth to defend herself, she found herself being hurled out by him forcefully.

"Come on," He said while reaching into his pocket to retrieve evidently, what seemed like car keys as her quickened footsteps clattered chaotically along the sidewalk to match his pace.

Rape!

She panicked at first but then realized that the chances of him, the male equivalent of Paris Hilton, needing to abduct and rape an innocent girl was quite stupid, he could get laid just by a simple beckoning of his finger in a dance club anytime and could easily get his charges dropped against him.

'Life sucks,' Nicky griped towards herself as he opened the door of his Porsche for her.

"I'm broke so you're paying, freak," She sneered at him and he got his revenge by kissing her on the cheek and closed the door, listening to her shrieks of outrage muffled in the car cheerfully.

'Please God, don't let Jordan find out about this,' Nicky crossed her numb fingers, praying. Not was her life cliché since the day her boyfriend (rich, hot playboy) started dating her (loser, nerd, etc etc), her boyfriend was well known by the majority of the student population to be a bit too possessive and the nemesis of Benjamin Mercadi…


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