Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
A/N: To view what has been changed, go to my profile, I've posted minor and major changes, along with how far I am with the rest of the chapters.
Love Stoned (And She Knows)
Hell. What had I gotten myself into?
"You'll be reading two book each week. Pop quizzes will be given on a daily basis, so I highly suggest you get the first two books very soon. A friendly warning, do not rely on the Internet. Trust me, it will do you all no good and your grades will suffer greatly, so just read the book. If you will all take a look at your syllabus, you'll notice your first chapter quiz will be this Friday. So I'll repeat myself again, I highly suggest you all get those books."
Once again, what the heck! This class was going to royally screw me over, but I just had to take World Literature instead of American Literature with Jessica. How did vampires and bloodsucking sound like fun back in August? That spark that had made the theme look amazing, had disappeared from sight, that or whatever the heck was I on when I was picking class had completely worn off the second I stepped through the door.
I sighed, quietly as to avoid the judging eyes from my so-called fellow classmates, and followed the teacher with my own barely opened eyes. Although it was early in the morning, and even though my mind was still struggling to function correctly, I couldn't help but check out teacher. A bad habit, but I had the rest of my life to work it out of my system.
The professor looked like he could have been in his mid-thirties, but the way he carried himself and the way he spoke made me want to guess higher. Handsome, for an older man, and I'd hit it, but he was wearing a wedding ring. A shame. Taking a quick glance around the class, I was quick to notice that a majority of my classmates were male, unfortunately, none were the types I'd be seen talking to.
Now, before you go off and start making judgments, I am not one of those stuck up bitches you hated in high school. Hell no. I'm far from that, even if I did happen to hang around the same crowd as said bitches. I just...well, I had some standards when it came to the people I surrounded myself with.
"Now," the professor suddenly said, back turned towards us and paper shuffling filling the void of noise in the classroom. "We're going to start off with what everyone known about the class topic," he continued as he passed out stacks of papers to each person in the front row.
I smiled as the sheet made its way towards me. First assignment, and it was going to be an easy one.
A hand shot up a few rows away, "Does Twilight count?"
Quiet laugher scattered across the room and the professor sighed, "If that's all you know, then this class isn't for you."
My shoulders dropped as I stared at the blank sheet before me. Maybe this wasn't going to be that easy, and if it wasn't... I was seriously screwed.
"Alright," Professor spoke, "I suppose you could all do this alone, however, we're in college and, I'm going out on a limb here, I'm guessing the reason most of you are here is to acquire a well paying career, correct?" He paused for the few nods of heads. "Well, in case some of you weren't aware, a majority of time you will be working in groups, so..." there were a few quiet groans from the back, "...I'm going to assign you numbers and they are yours the rest of the semester. No swapping and no changing."
* * *
It wasn't even thirty minutes into the hour long class and I was already itching to make my escape. I glanced at the large clock on the wall, for what seemed like the hundredth time, and mentally groaned. I could have sworn it was 8:28 ten minutes ago. I forced myself to stop keeping track of the clock and focused on my group, which just so happened to be the generic two boys, two girls group. And at least we all seemed to be getting along, if only for the mean time.
"Kay, so like I was saying, my name's Jasmine."
She paused for drama, or at least I took it that way.
"I adore all this vampire stuff, my boyfriend says I'm overly obsessed. It's, honest to God, the only reason I'm taking this class." Jasmine continued, doodling on her paper and chewing her gum loudly. Shiny hazel eyes stared back at the group and she smiled, "But aside from all that jazz, I love writing and photography. That's actually what I'm majoring in. Photography."
I nodded, not entirely interested but doing a hell of a job faking it. Jasmine looked to her right and grinned. It was the maroon haired male's turn to introduce himself.
He straightened up, fiddled with his jacket, and cleared his throat, "Guess it's my turn, huh."
Jasmine smacked her gum again and laughed softly, "Duh."
"Alright, uh, I'm Dante. Um, what do you guys wanna know?" Dante mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
"Aw, come on, just give us the basics. Hobbies, likes and dislikes, job, whatever?" Jasmine teased.
Dante laughed nervously and rested his elbows against his desk, "Hobbies, none. Likes, sports and music. Dislikes, manual labor. And I do work, at Perri's."
Jasmine's brow rose at the mention of the local coffee house. "Oh, yum! Think we can get a discount since we'll be working together for the next four months, huh?"
Dante just laughed and shrugged his shoulders. Jasmine joined in the laugh before turning towards me for an introduction.
I tensed in my seat before smiling and averting eye contact. "I'm Abigail. I love listening to music. Um, I'm not working? And I'm not entirely sure I'll be staying in this class to be honest."
Jasmine frowned. "What? It's the first day, he's probably just being a hard ass to scare the lazy people out."
"I don't know." I mumbled, feeling my cheeks beginning to heat up. My nerves began to get the better of me and I suddenly blurted out, "I'm more of a werewolf kind of girl."
"Werewolves?" Jasmine scoffed, "Lame."
My face felt like it was on fire. I kept my eyes glued to the pink notepad on my desk, wishing the if I just closed my eyes...
"So am I," I suddenly heard from my left.
My head turned and brown eyes locked with bright blue. The nameless male remained staring and continued. "Werewolves are much more interesting, in my opinion."
I felt a smile tugging at my lips, but I looked away before it managed to make itself known.
"I'm Clayton by the way," he added, more for the entire group that just to me, and I could still feel his eyes on me.
"Alright, can I have everyone attention to the front of the class, please!" the professor announced loudly. "We're going to have to wrap things up early. No please, no need to mourn." There were a few chuckles among the classroom. "Exchange information with your group, cells, e-mails, Facebook pages, whatever form of contact you're willing to give out, do so now. Once that is complete you're all free to go. We'll start with regular classes next meeting, don't forget to get and READ those books. Quiz on chapter one from both books."
Half-heatedly opening the notepad in front of me, I glanced at my group members. Jasmine suggested for cellphones to be exchanged. I ripped out a page and wrote my number and name, as did the other, and we passed the paper around the circle. Once done, Jasmine quickly made her leave. Dante stuffed his book into his backpack and moved towards the back of the emptying class room.
I grabbed my bag and stuffed the pad and paper with numbers into it. The noise of chairs being pushed back into place fill the room. Pushing the desk back, I brushed the hair off my face and finally noticed a presence near me. Looking to my side, I noticed Clayton was lingering at his desk.
Zipping the thin jacket, I pulled the bag over my shoulder and debated whether or not to say something. I bit the inside of my cheek and took a step towards him. He suddenly looked at me. I froze for a moment before quickly mumbling a goodbye. I forced a smile and waved as I made a haste retreat.
* * *
"Home, sweet home."
Everything was so heavy. The bag on my shoulder was filled with books from classes and notepads filled with insignificant notes from classes I barely remembered. My arms were filled with the heavier books, saving myself from a potential dislocated shoulder. Throwing the apartment door open, I dropped the bag to the floor, not really carrying if anything spilled out. I quickly made my way into the kitchen and relieved my arms of the weight by placing the books on the counter. The car keys were the next thing to be dropped from my grasp. I sighed, loudly, and ran a free hand through my hair.
I made a beeline for the fridge and snatched the nearest liquid filled bottle, "What a day!"
"Tell me about it, girl."
I nearly choked on the liquid going down my throat. Turning towards the source of the voice, I watched as Jessica plopped herself down in the sofa. "Jeez, Jess," I half-whispered, half-sighed out, "scared the crap out of me!"
Jessica's answer was to merely shrug and begin flipping through the channels.
Jessica Berhn was the only friend I had managed to keep from high school. One would have thought that those friendship would have lasted forever, but truth was as soon as that diploma was in my hand, everyone I once considered a friend vanished. Like magic, they all seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. Good riddance, to be honest. Most were bad seeds anyways, but it had hurt, just a tiny bit, for the first... month or so. But, thankfully, I still had Jessica. My good hearted, cheery, hyper-active Jessica.
We may have been complete opposites, both in appearance and attitude-wise, her blond to my brunette, the blue ice to my chocolate brown, but oddly enough we seemed to mesh just perfectly. Although, her unique, for a lack of a better word, quirks were still something I hadn't gotten used to.
Said quirks made much more obvious once we decided to become roommates. Like how she loved to keep a conversation going even if she was in the process of using the restroom, which was beyond gross. Or how she never used a glass when she drank something what wasn't already in a bottle. Why get a glass dirty when you can just drink it out of the carton, she once told me when I hinted, not so subtly, about the subject.
I grabbed an apple and sat beside her, "When did you get home?"
My blond roommate held up two fingers, her eyes glued to the screen as a large woman began screaming at a man sitting to her right. I laughed quietly and took a healthy bite from the apple. A commercial appeared and Jessica turned towards me, "How were classes?"
I rolled my eyes, "Horrible. So boring and I've already got homework! Two books to read and an essay due on Friday." I grinned at Jessica's disgusted look. "On the plus side, I get to visit the art museum for extra credit."
"You overachiever. For art?"
"Yeah. I highly doubt I'll need the points, but at least I get to look at pretty pictures." I pushed myself up from the comfortable sofa, "I gotta go. I'm supposed to work for Gina today at the bookstore, do you need anything from there? I'm grabbing my English books and Spanish textbook when my shift ends."
"Oh yes, please." I heard Jessica call out as I slipped into my room.
I pulled out an ugly forest green t-shirt and white jeans and quickly changing into them as I waited for Jessica's list of books. She appeared in front of my door with several packets in hand. "Could you get me my literature book, two packets of the long scantrons, and batteries, double A."
"Sure" I mumbled, slipping my jacket off and opting for a thicker sweatshirt. I glanced behind Jessica and noticed the door to our other two roommates room was wide open. "Hey, they back already?"
She gave me a confused look, so I pointed towards the end of the hall. "Oh. No. I don't think they even made it back last night. Seriously, sometimes I wonder why they even bother enrolling, they end up dropping half their classes by the middle of the semester."
I scoffed, finally managing to fit my head through the sweater. "If I had the kind of cash they have, trust me, I would not be hanging around this place. I'd be in Harvard, Yale or Princeton."
"Please!" Jessica sneered. "You actually believe that crap they feed us. The only thing those two are full of is hot air, which might I add, may not be limited to just their heads, if you get my drift."
"Gross, Jess." I answered back, but couldn't stop the smile from making itself known.
She smiled darkly and laughed as she handed me a piece of paper. "Here, I've written the stuff down and here," she handed me a crisp 50 dollar bill, "is some cash. I owe you the rest of the money, I'll probably get it this weekend."
I shrugged, "It's fine. I'll see you later."
Again, I shrugged and pulled my hair into a messy bun, "I dunno? Ten? Ten-thirty? You don't have to wait up."
"Yeah, right. Like I'm going to sleep well knowing you're out roaming the streets, alone, when it's pitch dark outside and the only people out and about might be freaks in disguise ready to dig their perverted little finger into my little Abby. Yeah, some sleep that'll get me." Jessica wagged her index finger at me, "If you're not home by ten-forty, I'm calling the cops."
I cringed and pulled out my cellphone. "Before you start going psycho mom on me, how about calling me first, then you can call the cops all you want. Promise." Honest to God, this woman was worse than my own mother sometimes.
I manged to slip out of the apartment, but not before hearing, "Make sure to eat something, and no those stupid candy bars don't count!"
* * *
God, Gina owed me, big time, for taking up her shift.
It was a non stop nightmare from five to nine, and I was about another whiny question away from going insane! All evening, being asked the same damn questions and repeating the same frigging answers. It was enough to drive even the more peaceful of people to their breaking point. But at last, my shift was winding down and all I had to do now was throw out the stragglers, restock the math department books, and get what was left from my shopping list.
I sighed and wiped away the beads of sweat from my brow. A soft ting echoed in the quiet bookstore and I groaned. Stuffing the book in my hand into place, I poked my head out from the isle and heard Lidia's high pitched voice from behind the registers. "Sorry guys! We are closed. Come back tomorrow."
There was a gruff grunt as her response, followed by "Where's Mason?"
Lidia huffed and I could already imagine her arms crossed or that haughty expression plastered on her face. "I don't know, and honestly I don't care. Now. Get out."
A bit rude, I expecting nothing less from Lidia.
I unraveled my hair from its confinement and knocked on the back room door. There was a muffled 'what' and I opened the door slightly. The room was dark, but with a flick of my wrist the lights were on and I caught sight of a moving figure in front of a computer screen.
Mason groaned and whined, something about almost achieving a new level, but eventually turned towards me. He looked like a mess. His scraggly brown hair was sticking up in various places and the dark circles underneath his eyes made him look like someone suffering from insomnia, contrasting immensely with his pale skin. I would had bet good money that he could have probably passed for one of those vampires in the book I had to read (I started ready one during my break), except with a bit of a nerdy twist and not so regal, nor elegant, or the epitome of sexuality, as one author wrote. Mason was clumsy, awkward in every possible way, but still a sweetheart... when he was in a good mood at least.
"What?" he snapped.
I pointed behind me, "Someones looking for you up in front."
Pausing briefly, I shrugged. "I don't know. Lidia's out there barking at them to get lost, but they asked specifically for you. A guy by the sound of the voice."
He looked like he was thinking, long and hard about something very important. "… what he look like?"
I gave Mason a bewildered look. What the hell, last I checked, my job description didn't include checking out the customers before reporting to my 'boss'.
One las time, I shrugged. "I don't know, I was stocking up some books. I couldn't exactly take a snapshot from my position." Mason glared at me. He was never one for sarcasm. Gina once told me it made him feel belittled, but that was honestly not my intention. My gaze dropped and I ran a free hand through my loose hair, "Anyways, you should probably get out there before Lidia decides to cause a scene."
Mason grunted and stood from his seat. I opened the door once again and stepped out, holding it open behind me, being polite and hopefully putting myself into his good graces again.
Outside, we heard Lidia arguing with what sounded like a male. Taking quicker steps towards the front of the bookstore, we saw what the commotion was about. Lidia, face red with anger, was face-to-face with a, dare I say it, tall, dark, and handsome individual. I stopped about a foot away from the arguing pair and watched, unable to think of anything else but how... attractive that guy was.
"Hey!" Mason called out, arm crossed and an annoyed look written all over his face.
The squabbling pair suddenly stop and I heard a chuckle from behind the dark haired male. Cocking my head to the side, I finally noticed two other males leaning against the bookstore entrance pillars. A blond and another dark haired male. The blond was cute, but blonds were never really my type, and the second dark haired... he looked kind of familiar.
"Enough. Lidia, finish up stocking." Mason ordered and I could help but snicker at the shocked expression on her face. Scowling, she did as she was told, intentionally pushing against me rudely, mumbling about kiss ass and blah, blah, blah. Like what she said mattered anyway. "What do you guys want? I told you guys to come thirty minutes before we closed, not ten after."
Blondie shrugged. "Sorry, Mas, we lost track of time."
"Besides, it's not like you'd be doing anything special." Dark haired number one said, mimicking Mason's posture with his arms crossed and eyes narrowed in annoyance.
Mason glared and hunched his shoulders, "How would you know?"
Darkie one laughed, "Please."
"So, you got our books?" Blondie asked, pushing himself off the pillar and taking long strides towards Mason and myself.
"Yeah, yeah." Mason mumbled, turning his head towards me. "Ab, get some orders for me from the back. K. Masters, V. Wells, and C. Hardwick."
I nodded and headed off to the back of the store, mentally repeating the names the back of my head. As I crossed the empty store, towards the back where all the orders were being kept, I noticed Lidia, a cellphone glued to her ear, sloppily throwing books onto empty shelves. Not really in the mood to have my head ripped off, I kept on walking, trying my best to ignore the squeaky high pitched voice.
In the pick up department, I looked for the orders and nearly screamed out in frustration. All three orders were huge, each with at least four books in them in addition to a few other things. This job is not nearly important enough for me to break my back over.
Glancing around, I smiled and pulled out a chair, a rolling chair, and threw all three large orders onto it. The chair groaned in protest from the weight and I rolled it back to the front. I passed by Lidia once again, phone still at her ear, and she waved at me, mouthing 'I'm leaving'. I nodded and watched for a brief second as she disappeared out the back.
Up at the entrance, all four males were still waiting. Mason and the tall dark haired one seemed to be having a tense moment, so I rolled over towards the blond. His attention was instantly focused on me and I smiled. "Last name?"
"Wells." He answered back. I nodded and noted the exotic accent, a watered down French accent. His order was the lesser of the three evils and I happily picked the package up, handing it over with ease. He suddenly pointed at the occupied dark haired male. "I'll take his too, he seems to be a little busy at the moment. Masters is his."
With another nod, I let him pick up the order, seeing as it looked a lot heavier. The blond, Mr. Wells, moved away from me and allowed the third male to pick up his own order. He wore a small smirk and I smiled back, a bit perplexed by the smirk. "Guess you're Mr. Hardwick?"
I noted a glint of some emotion I couldn't quite name, but he nodded and took the last stack of books from the chair. His blue eyes stayed on me, and once again I had the nagging feeling that I knew him from somewhere. "Yeah..."
The sound of his voice clicked something internally and I suddenly had a name floating in my head. "Aren't you..." I paused, trying to correctly form the name in my mind before pinning one of the multiple names I had learned that morning and afternoon. "...Clay...right?"
His eyes seemed to glow, but I was sure it was just my imagination.
He laughed, low, and nodded. "Yeah, Clayton, but Clay's fine as well."
I mentally slapped myself and gave him an apologetic look, "I'm sorry! I tend to remember faces much better than names."
He grinned at me, "It's fine, really... I thought you said you didn't work?"
"Looks like I'm caught." I mumbled, noticing the teasing tone, and threw my hands up in surrender. Smiling, I drop both hands and shrugged. "Honestly, didn't really wanna spill my guts out on the first day."
"I see, then I'll be sure to keep this little discovery to myself."
I couldn't help but let the smile on my face continue to grow. Was that flirting? "You do that," I answered back and began pulling the chair away from the group of males. "Mason?" I waited until I had his attention, "I'm going home. Lidia's already gone, too. So, see you on Wednesday?"
Mason nodded stiffly, and I noticed he looked like he was angry, and waved me off. "Yeah, sure. Drive safe... and be careful."
"Sure." My eyes darted back to Clayton and another smile tugged at my lips as I waved goodbye.
He smiled back, but made no effort to return the gesture. Turning my back towards them, I rolled my eyes and headed to the back, eager to pick my things up and go home. Sleep sounded so good right about now.