Wait for You, Page 2Jennifer L. Armentrout
History was in the social sciences building, at the bottom of the hill I had just raced up. I cut through the parking lot behind the Byrd building and crossed the congested street. All around me students walked in groups of two or larger, many obviously knew each other. Instead of feeling left out, there was a precious sense of freedom in walking to class without being recognized.
Pushing my epic fail of a morning out of the way, I entered Whitehall and took the first set of steps to the right. The hallway upstairs was crowded with students waiting for the rooms to empty. I threaded through the laughing groups, dodging some who still looked half asleep. Finding an empty spot across from my classroom, I sat down against the wall and crossed my legs. I ran my hands over my jeans, excited to be starting history. Most people would be bored to tears in History 101, but it was my first class in my major.
And if I got lucky, five years from now, I’d be working in a silent and cool museum or library, cataloguing ancient texts or artifacts. Not the most glamorous of professions, but it would be perfect for me.
Better than what I used to want to be, which was a professional dancer in New York.
Yet another thing Mom had to be disappointed over. All that money thrown at ballet lessons since I was old enough to walk was wasted after I turned fourteen.
I did miss it though, the calming effect dancing had brought on. I just couldn’t bring myself to ever do it again.
“Girl, what are you doing sitting on the floor?”
My head jerked up and a smile broke out across my face when I saw the wide, bright smile stretching across the caramel tone of Jacob Massey’s boyishly, handsome face. We’d buddied up during freshman orientation last week and he was in my next class, plus art on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. I’d immediately warmed to his outgoing personality.
I glanced at the expensive looking jeans he wore, recognizing the tailored cut. “It’s comfortable down here. You should join me. ”
“Hell no. I don’t want my fine ass to be tainted by sitting on that floor. ” He propped a hip against the wall beside me and grinned. “Wait. What are you doing here already? I thought you had a class at nine. ”
“You remember that?” We’d exchanged schedules for like a half a second last week.
He winked. “I have a frightening memory for things that are virtually useless to me. ”
I laughed. “Good to know. ”
“So did you skip already? You bad, bad girl. ”
Wincing, I shook my head. “Yes, but I was running late, and I hate going into a classroom after class starts, so I guess my first day will be Wednesday if I don’t drop it before then. ”
“Drop it? Girl, don’t be stupid. Astronomy is a cake class. I would’ve taken it if it hadn’t filled up in two seconds flat when all the damn upperclassman took the class. ”
“Well, you didn’t nearly kill a guy in a hallway racing to class—a guy who happens to also be in said cake class. ”
“What?” His dark eyes widened with interest and he started to kneel down. Someone caught his attention. “Hold on a sec, Avery. ” Then he started waving his arm and jumping. “Yo! Brittany. Get your ass over here!”
A short blonde girl jerked to a stop in the middle of the hall and turned toward us, her cheeks flushing, but she smiled as she saw Jacob hopping around. She cut her way over, stopping in front of us.
“Brittany, this is Avery. ” Jacob beamed. “Avery, this is Brittany. Say hi. ”
“Hi,” Brittany said, giving me a little wave.
I waved back. “Hey. ”
“Avery is about to tell us how she almost killed a guy in a hallway. Thought you’d like to hear the story too. ”
I winced, but the spark of interest in Brittany’s brown eyes was kind of funny as she looked at me. “Do tell,” she said, smiling.
“Well, I really didn’t almost kill someone,” I said, sighing. “But it was close and it was so, so embarrassing. ”
“Embarrassing stories are the best,” Jacob threw out, kneeling down.
Brittany laughed. “That is true. ”
“Spill it, sister. ”
I tucked my hair back and lowered my voice so the whole hall didn’t revel in my humiliation. “I was running late to astronomy and I sort of ran through the double doors on the second floor. I wasn’t watching where I was going and I plowed into this poor guy in the hallway. ”
“Yikes. ” A sympathetic looked crossed Brittany’s face.
“Yeah, and I mean, I almost knocked him over. I dropped my stuff. Books and pens flew everywhere. It was pretty epic. ”
Jacob’s eyes gleamed with humor. “Was he hot?”
“Was he hot?” he repeated as he smoothed a hand through his cropped hair. “‘Cuz if he was hot, you should’ve used it to your benefit. That could’ve become the best ice breaker in history. Like you two could fall madly in love and you get to tell everyone how you plowed him before he actually plowed you. ”
“Oh, my God. ” I felt a familiar heat cross my cheeks. “Yeah, he was really good-looking. ”
“Oh no,” said Brittany, who seemed to be the only other person to recognize how a hot guy made the situation all the more embarrassing. I guess you needed a vagina to understand that, because Jacob looked even more thrilled by the news.
“So tell me what this good-looking man candy looked like? This is a need to know kind of detail. ”
Part of me didn’t want to say, because thinking about Cam made me about a thousand different levels of uncomfortable. “Uh… well, he was really tall and nicely built, I guess. ”
“How do you know he was nicely built? Did you feel him up, too?”
I laughed as Brittany shook her head. “I seriously ran into him, Jacob. And he caught me. I wasn’t feeling him up on purpose, but he seemed like he had a good body. ” I shrugged. “Anyway, he had dark, wavy hair. Longer than yours, kind of messy but in a—”
“Damn, girl, if you say messy in a I-don’t-care-I’m-a-sexy-beast kind of way, I want to run into this guy. ”
Brittany giggled. “Love hair like that. ”
I wondered if my face looked as hot as it felt. “Yeah, it was like that. He was really gorgeous and his eyes were so blue they looked—”
“Wait,” Brittany gasped, her own eyes widening. “Were his eyes like so blue they almost look fake? And did he smell like really good? I know that sounds creepy and weird, but just answer the question. ”
That was kind of creepy and weird and really funny. “Yes to both. ”
“Holy shit on a shoe. ” Brittany let out a loud laugh. “Did you get his name?”
I was starting to get worried, because Jacob also had this dawning expression on his face. “Yeah, why?”
Brittany elbowed Jacob and then she lowered her voice. “Was it Cameron Hamilton?”
My jaw hit my lap.
“It was!” Brittany’s shoulders shook. “You ran into Cameron Hamilton?”
Jacob wasn’t smiling. He was just staring at me in… awe? “I am so incredibly envious of you right now. I would give my left testicle to run into Cameron Hamilton. ”
I half laughed, half choked. “Wow. That’s pretty serious. ”
“Cameron Hamilton is serious, Avery. You wouldn’t know. You’re not from around here,” Jacob said.
“You’re a freshman, too. How do you know about him?” I asked, because Cam looked too old to be a freshman. He had to at least be a junior or senior.
“Everyone on campus knows him,” he replied.
“You’ve been on campus for less than a week!”
Jacob grinned. “I get around. ”
I laughed, shaking my head. “I don’t get it. Yeah, he’s… hot, but so what?”
“I went to school with Cameron,” Brittany explained, glancing over her shoulder. “I mean, he was two years older than me, but he was like the shit in high school. Everyone wanted to be around him or with him
. It’s pretty much the same here. ”
Curiosity rose in spite of how what Brittany had said reminded me of someone else. “So you guys are from around here?”
“No. We’re from outside of Morgantown—Fort Hill area. I don’t know why he chose this school instead of WVU, but I did because I wanted to get out of town versus being stuck with the same old people. ”
I could understand that.
“Anyway, Cameron is known around campus. ” Jacob smacked his hands together. “He lives off campus and supposedly throws the best parties ever and—”
“He had a reputation in high school," Brittany cut in. "A reputation that was well earned. Dont get me wrong. Cameron has always been a really cool guy. Very nice and funny, but he put the or in man-whore back then. Seems to have settled down a bit, but a leopard and their spots…”
“Okay. ” I fiddled with my bracelet. “Good to know, but it doesn’t really matter. I mean, I ran into him in a hallway. That’s the extent of my knowledge of Cam. ”
“Cam?” Brittany blinked.
“Yeah?” I shoved to my feet and grabbed my bag. Doors would open soon.
Brittany’s brows knitted. “People who he doesn’t know call him Cameron. Only his friends call him Cam. ”
“Oh. ” I frowned. “He told me people called him Cam, so I assumed that’s what people called him. ”
Brittany didn’t say anything, and I honestly didn’t see what the big deal was. Cam/Cameron/Whatever was just being polite after I ran him over. The fact that he was a reformed party playboy meant nothing to me other than to stay far, far away from him.
Doors swung open and students spilled into the hallway. Our little group waited until it cleared before we headed inside, picking three seats in the back, with Jacob in-between us. As I pulled out my massive, could knock someone out if hit with, five subject notebook, Jacob grabbed my arm.
Mischief and total mayhem filled his gaze. “You cannot drop astronomy. To get through this semester, I must live vicariously through you and hear about Cam at least three days a week. ”
I laughed softly. “I’m not going to drop the class—” Even though I sort of wanted to. “—But I doubt I’m going to have anything to tell you. It’s not like we’re even going to talk again. ”
Jacob let go of my arm and sat back, eyeing me. “Famous last words, Avery. ”
The rest of the day wasn’t nearly as eventful as my morning had been, much to my pleasure. No more innocent hot boys almost knocked over or other humiliating incidents. Although I had to relive the experience all over again at lunch for Jacob’s entertainment, I was happy that he and Brittany had a break around the same time I did. I’d really been planning on spending most of my day being a loner, so it was nice to actually talk to people… my own age.
Being social was like riding a bike, I guessed.
And besides Jacob’s unneeded advice, which entailed me purposely running into Cam the next time I saw him, there hadn’t been any awkward moments. By the end of the day, I honestly had pretty much forgotten about Cam.