It took McKenna Jacobs a moment to remember where she was when she awoke before recalling that she was staying with her brother's friend Sebastian Frere in Greenville while attending an Intersession course at Green College in an attempt to make up some lost credits.
McKenna originally attended the University of Connecticut with her high school boyfriend Frankie but when that relationship fell apart she decided to transfer to the University of Massachusetts Boston to be closer to her Sommerville home.
Unfortunately, some of her UCONN credits didn't transfer and so here she was sacrificing her winter break to take an Intersession class at Green.
McKenna got her brother Davis to go to bat for her and convince Sebastian to let McKenna stay with him during the intersession.
She took a quick peek at the alarm clock on the bedside table and she saw that it was a bit after 7:00 a.m. Her class wouldn't start for another couple of hours but she was already awake and she figured she might as well begin the day. She tossed the blankets off and sat up on the side of the bed to jumpstart her body.
The room was small but she was grateful to have a place to stay for free. McKenna was a junior hoping to graduate on time if she could make up the denied credits. Sebastian was a senior, having spent all four years at Green, the last two renting this house with now Grad student Derek and his live-in girlfriend Courtney who, like Sebastian, was a senior at Green.
The house was a dump - old and run down, having served for years as a college respite but it fulfilled its purpose for students looking for a cheap place to rent and save money. This particular house wouldn't have been McKenna's first choice but she was only in town for three weeks so she wasn't about to complain.
McKenna stood in the bedroom window brushing her long brown hair while checking the winter weather outside. The house was close enough to campus so that she could walk even in the January winter cold.
She had only been in town a few days but she already knew her way around. Sebastian was kind enough to give her a quick tour on the Sunday afternoon of her arrival and it was easy to figure out what was where.
The Professor for the intersession class was cool and the curriculum was easy enough so McKenna had no complaints knowing she was picking up some credits.
She had only met the other two roommates – Courtney and Derek – a few times thus far. Courtney was pale skinned with long black hair and penetrating blue eyes. She seemed annoyed by McKenna's presence although McKenna really didn't know why. Courtney was sweet and friendly with Sebastian but she was curt with McKenna when he wasn't around.
McKenna wondered if Courtney resented her because she knew Sebastian first and enjoyed a much longer history with him. Or maybe Courtney saw her as an interference to the normal routine of the house.
Derek was handsome but conceited and cocky in an annoying way, obviously considering himself superior to the others and especially the newcomer McKenna. With those two sharing the room next to McKenna's thinned wall room, she heard their lovemaking on her first night in the house and she wondered if Courtney was loud on purpose to make sure McKenna knew she could satisfied any man in bed (better than her).
McKenna hadn't realized that her presence was going to be an issue but she was only there for three weeks so she wasn't going to worry about it.
The damn house was cold and drafty even with the heat turned up. McKenna stood in the window wearing her heavy sweats with a sweater over her top and she was still chilly. She rubbed her arms with her hands to warm herself and then decided to use the bathroom while it was free.
She did her duty and brushed her teeth and then she looked at herself in the mirror wondering how she compared to Courtney with her dark brown eyes and a skin tone made her look like she spent most of her life in a tanning booth.
McKenna thought of her ex-boyfriend Frankie. He had been her longest relationship, her high school boyfriend turned college lover but once they were out of the safety and security of their hometown and on a large college campus with so many people and opportunities they both came to realize that they had grown in difference directions.
McKenna had initially been heartbroken when her sweet Frankie met someone new and exciting and different but eventually she realized that it was a natural part of life – to learn and grow and change. Her brother Davis was in the Marines, she was in college, and the innocent protective days of high school were long gone.
McKenna sat in a chair at the kitchen table still in her sweats and sweater eating a bowl of Rice Krispies.
McKenna glanced up to see Sebastian entering the kitchen. "I'm surprised you're up this early," she remarked. "You don't have class."
"Dominio's isn't open this early," McKenna said, knowing Sebastian made pizzas there most nights, including last night.
"I picked up a temp job on campus during the break," Sebastian revealed. "Painting stairwells in the dorms."
"No rest for the weary," McKenna quipped.
"Just trying to avoid more student debt," Sebastian replied.
"Don't remind me," McKenna groaned.
"You settling in?" Sebastian asked as he poured himself a cup of coffee. He was already dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt for his day job.
"Yeah," McKenna replied. "Thanks for putting me up, Sebby." She let out a sigh. "I don't think Courtney likes me being here though," she added with annoyance.
"Don't worry about Courtney," Sebastian advised.
Sebastian had been a mentor, advisor, friend and counselor to McKenna growing up. She appreciated his big brother role in the past but now that her own brother was off fighting for Uncle Sam and Frankie was no longer her romantic distraction she was seeing Sebastian in a new light – actually, an old light – back when she had an adolescent crush on the guy and had her first sexual awakening fantasies about him.
McKenna was almost disappointed that Sebastian never put the moves on her or shown any interest in her in that way and now that they were temporarily living together away from home she wished he'd give it a shot. She was lonely and feeling like a third wheel with Courtney in the house.
"I should go get ready for class," McKenna said when she finished her cereal.
She stood from the chair, washed out her bowl in the sink so she wouldn't give Courtney any reason to bitch, and then headed for the stairs. Sebastian followed her with his eyes, amused at how her body got lost in her baggy sweats and sweater, making it look like she didn't even have an ass or breasts underneath her clothing.
Sebastian considered McKenna attractive but he never thought of her as sexy as his best friend's kid sister but maybe now things were a little different.
Sebastian finished his coffee and went upstairs. McKenna's door was half-open so he took a peeked inside to see that she was lying on the bed on her stomach with her phone in her hand. Sebastian knocked on the door and he entered before McKenna had a chance to say anything, although she glanced over her shoulder to see who it was.
"What's up?" she asked.
"Didn't mean to interrupt," Sebastian apologized.
"I still text Frankie sometimes," McKenna admitted with embarrassment as she put the phone down and rolled onto her side to look at Sebastian.
"Why?" Sebastian asked with surprise.
"I don't know," she confessed. There was sadness in her voice.
"Does he respond?" Sebastian asked from the foot of the bed.
"Sometimes," she shrugged. "I like to pretend we're still friends but I think he mostly just feels sorry for me."
"You really need to let go of that guy," Sebastian advised.
"I wish it was that easy," she sighed.
"He dumped you and he's with someone else," Sebastian reminded her without much tact.
McKenna would have been offended if she wasn't so vulnerable. She stared at Sebastian remembering her school girl crush from years ago and she noted to herself that he hadn't really changed all that much in his appearance – still with the light brown hair, green eyes, and lips to die for – even with the beard, Sebastian was still as handsome as ever.
. "So what's up with Courtney?" McKenna asked.
"What do you mean?" Sebastian wondered with confusion.
"Why doesn't she like me?" McKenna pouted. "I've never said anything bad about her so why does she hate me so much?"
"She doesn't hate you," Sebastian said. "Geez, you've only been here a few days."
"Exactly!" McKenna complained. "Did you say something about me before I got here?"
"Of course not, don't be ridiculous."
"She has no reason to be jealous of me," McKenna complained. "It's not as if I'm some sort of threat. She's with Derek for God sakes." Then McKenna squinted at him. "Wait. Is there something going on between you two?"
"Me and Courtney!?" Sebastian laughed. "No!"
But McKenna could tell by the hitch in his voice that he wasn't telling her the exact truth.
"Does she think we've slept together before?" McKenna asked suspiciously.
"I can't image why," Sebastian shrugged.
"Why do I get the feeling there's something stupid going on around here?" McKenna frowned.
"Just focus on your intersession course," Sebastian recommended. "Don't worry about anything else."
McKenna climbed off the bed and stood in front of him. "Are you afraid of anything else?" She teased.
"No," he said with defiance.
She put her hands around his waist. "Are you sure?" McKenna asked, looking him straight in the eyes.
Sebastian stared at her with uncertainty as McKenna grinned. She leaned in closer, slowly, and he felt her breath on his face.