The dry heat of the plains hit Tyler Jane square in the face as she emerged from the cafeteria, a strange weight being lifted off of her shoulders as she abandoned the questionable situation behind her. The redhead had absolutely no clue what had gotten into Savannah that caused the girl to act with such bravado, but, at least Nicholas had taken the bait to walk with her back to the dorms so she could redeem herself from… whatever that was back there. Tyler turned to him, an unmistakable smug look on her face as she spoke.
“Did you pull an allnighter last night? Or do you often just wear the same thing to avoid the laundry room.” She joked, referencing his previous statement.
Nicholas chuckled, arms casually dangling at his side. “Something like that.” He hadn’t the heart to tell her the exact details about the night he spent with Dwayne or what it exactly entailed. Could he reveal it? Maybe. It’s not like there was anything to say really, but for the time being, Nicholas didn’t feel like admitting that to Tyler Jane, not yet at least. “So, how was your morning? Well--” He let his voice slip into a temporary silence and coughed as he would continue, “--I mean, before what just happened...happened, that is.” Nicholas knew he had to tread carefully when referencing the highly entertaining (for him) display of claw-on-claw actions befitting of two highly spirited girls.
Tyler Jane tried to contain herself, but couldn’t help letting out a stifled laugh at his attempt not to reference what had just occurred. She could care less that Nicholas had picked up on the girls’ not so subtle battle of words, I mean, it was hard not to notice. But, as confident as she was, all she cared about was making sure the boy didn’t lose interest based on her behavior. “My morning was definitely interesting, that’s for sure.” Tyler Jane shook her head, letting another laugh naturally tumble from her lips. Her statement was inclusive of their interaction in the cafeteria and all that occurred before it. “I was up at the crack of dawn as always, so I spent a few hours in the dance studio rehearsing.”
“Oh really?” Nicholas’ interest was piqued. He loved watching her dance. She always moved with an unrivaled grace with no wasted motion. Whenever he was presented with the opportunity, he liked nothing better than to enjoy her routines. Maybe there was a part inside him that felt at peace whenever he managed to catch her in the dance studio. He found she performed her best when it was just the four walls and her. “You’ll have to let me see it before anyone gets the chance to, especially if you were up at the crack of dawn practicing.That alone tells me it must be something truly special.”
“Trust me, it’s nothing too exciting. Just something I put together last week and have been perfecting.” Tyler modestly replied. She wasn’t one to gloat about her skills in the studio, as good of a dancer as she was. There were plenty of other dancers who were better than her, just none of them happened to be on this campus to upstage her. “Unfortunately though, due to an unwelcome visitor in the studio this morning, who mind you I promptly told to leave, someone beat you to it.” The redhead rolled her eyes. “Happens to be a friend of yours.”
He immediately scowled in a very Nicholas Grey way when TJ had mentioned there was another who saw what he wanted to witness first. Her description of the individual did a lot to reveal the identity of this person to him. Nicholas had a lot of friends, but there were only a few people he knew who fit that description. Of those, he knew he just had to deduce who would be up so early and around the arts buildings and only one person came to mind. “So, what did the meathead do this time? He didn’t hurt you, did he?” He took this moment to look TJ up and down and he didn’t detect any visible sign of harm, but then again Leo wasn’t the type to do that unless he really felt like fucking up. “Or was he his usual obnoxious self this morning?” He asked with a curious brow raised at the redhead.
Tyler Jane smirked, slightly enjoying the fact that Nicholas seemed concerned about her. “Oh just the usual, Leo deemed it an ‘open rehearsal’ because I left the door propped and when he decided to invade my personal space I kicked him out. Literally.” Most people on campus knew that the boy had a tendency to stick his nose in situations that didn’t involve him, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Nicholas that his friend was asking for trouble. The redhead scoffed, “You’d think I’d let him hurt me? Pshh, there’s no way in hell he’d get close enough to lay a hand on me.”
Nicholas had known for a while that Leo was, to phrase it respectfully, a bit of an imbecile. He had problems with boundaries. As much as he cherished him and the unique friendship (?) he had with the boy, he also knew that sometimes in order to learn humility, Leo needed a swift kick in the privates to remind him that he wasn’t a god among men. He was just a surprisingly well-built boy. But at the same time, hearing TJ proudly state what she did to him, he couldn’t help but smirk. To stand up to Leo Brooks in such a way proved exactly why she was easily one of the few people at the school who was worthy of his attention (just as he felt worthy of hers as well).
“So does that mean if it were the right person, you wouldn’t mind letting them touch you?” The question lingered for a couple of seconds before he chuckled. “I mean, hypothetically speaking, of course,” he would later half-jokingly correct himself.
Tyler Jane’s cheeks tinged a delicate pink, complementing the many freckles strewn across her face. Nicholas was certainly a smooth talker, and clearly knew exactly what he was doing in order to make her blush. But, regardless, she didn’t miss a beat. “I mean, hypothetically, even if it were the right person, I’m not so sure.” She couldn’t let it be that easy for him, now could she? “After all, trust isn’t just granted.” The redhead explained matter of factly.
She always looked the cutest in those moments he caught her blushing smile, when in those moments, despite holding her own, signs of her vulnerability came through. Nicholas appreciated that. “How right you are. You should never let just anyone get that close to you.” He stopped walking as they reached the door to the dormitory building. He allowed his gaze to linger on her eyes, always finding himself entranced by her beauty. The way he looked at her expressed that as clear as a crystal bowl. He moved a few inches closer to TJ, leaning his shoulder somewhat against the closed door.“Being so close to someone, especially in an intimate way, could sometimes put you at a disadvantage, but if it’s with someone you know won’t hurt you, there’s nothing to fear.” Nicholas flashed his usual smile at her, though this time it was a lot softer than previous times.
The redhead’s breath hitched as Nicholas dared to move closer to her, his choice of words poetic but suggestive at the same time. Tyler Jane could feel her pulse quicken with the intensity with which he looked at her, almost as if he was searching for some kind of answer in her eyes. “Who says I’m afraid?” She asked, dropping the hypotheticals from the equation.
There was a moment even before she spoke where Nicholas saw it: the confirmation that she wasn’t afraid. It was at that very moment he moved closer, his hand touching hers. Only inches separated their chests from touching. To put it another way, they were close enough to where they would be able to hear the other breathe deeply as the heat of the moment went even further with Nicholas bringing his fingers to slowly and sensually trail on her hand, riding up her forearm. This was his move before the magic happened. “Maybe we should put it to a test.” His words oozed out in a breathy tone. Moments felt like they were being slowed down by the immense build up, the slow tension skyrocketing. Nicholas knew she felt it.
As he went forward, suddenly the door to the dormitory opened, causing a gap between them to form. Nicholas, who had been leaning partially against it, fell back and almost collapsed on the ground. A student, someone who he had seen around, apologized and Nicholas caught himself by gripping the side of the door with his hand.
Tyler Jane couldn’t be more certain that they wanted the same thing. Maybe it was because of how close he was, or the way his brow raised after she spoke that caused her to realize what was bound to occur. The redhead let her eyes flicker down to Nicholas’ lips and back to meet his gaze, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up as his fingers grazed the skin on her arm. She was caught up in the moment and his choice words fueled the fire. Nicholas could have said anything to her in that instant and she would have obliged- she was putty in his hands.
But alas, the world had other plans. As the door flew open, the girl jumped slightly, startled by the rude interruption. Tyler Jane snapped out of her daze, dissolving into a gentle laugh as Nicholas recovered from his near fall. Regaining her composure, she smirked at him. “Guess that test will have to wait.”
Nicholas chuckled and gave TJ a smile. “I’m sure there’ll be other chances.” He would boldly proclaim, holding the door open for her since this was their destination, anyway. “Like maybe at the party when we’ll have a lot more privacy.” Nicholas was usually more subtle than he was being right now, but when it was made clear to him that TJ wanted him too, he didn’t feel that he needed to.
The redhead raised an eyebrow at Nicholas as she walked past him and into the lobby of the dorm. The air conditioned room brought her even more so back to reality, the cold sending chills up her spine and goosebumps down her arms. Turning back to look at him, Tyler Jane let the right side of her lips tug up into a smirk. “Oh will there be now?” She sarcastically asked, beginning to wander slowly in the direction of the first floor residences where her room was located.
He proceeded down the hallway by her side but didn’t say anything (at least not yet). Truth be told, Nicholas wasn’t sure he should say anything. The fun was in the mystery of not knowing what might happen, but then again, they were probably past that point now. “The Magic 8-Ball says it is likely,” he joked, laughing at his own comment.
While the two walked down the hall, Tyler Jane shrugged her backpack off her shoulders, fishing in the side pocket for her set of keys. She looked back at Nicholas, chuckling to herself as they approached her door. “If the Magic 8-Ball said it, it must be true then.” She reasoned, stopping short in front of her room. The redhead’s name was written in cursive on a placard affixed to the door, making it somewhat evident that this was her stop. “Well, I better go get ready.” Tyler Jane stated, fidgeting with her lanyard that held her key.
As he watched her door open, the small part of him that didn’t want to wait felt a tug of following her inside and continuing their previous conversation right then and there. But then at the same time, Nicholas was a patient boy. He knew how to play the endgame and something about the party scene made him excited. Oh what fun they were gonna have come Friday. So, he gave her one last smile before turning and taking those first steps down the hall. “Be seeing you, TJ!” He spoke louder so she could hear him as he made his way to his own room, though it was on a higher floor than TJ’s was.