I scowled at the pile of completed coursework. One of the downsides of having a mind that worked at a ridiculous speed is you had so much free time on your hands, you get bored easily. I was already months ahead of my classmates and still craved more knowledge.
I swept my hand through my hair; pushing it out of my face - it was a familiar gesture of mine that, for some reason unbeknownst to me, drew the attention of boys.
I needed a task. A distraction. A mission.
I got up and paced, restlessly. In the end I decided to change and go out to a club. Everyone already had misconceptions that I went out partying and drinking, anyway, because I was a student; so it didn't really matter if I encouraged such prejudice.
I wore my favourite, dark skinny jeans with boots and a long sleeved, top that clung to my upper body and stopped at my waist, showing some stomach. My boots gave me a few inches more in height; making me barely five feet tall.
As soon as I entered the club, the bass pulsed all around me. I made my way straight to the bar. Thank God I was old enough to drink 'cause I needed one - badly. The club owner, Bryce, nodded at me and passed me my usual glass of champagne. I smiled ruefully.
"That predictable, huh?"
He laughed, "You had that look."
I raised a brow and leaned in. "Oh? And what look might that be?" I asked, softly, an inviting half-smile playing on my lips.
His eyes zeroed in on my mouth. "Um..."
"Come on," I teased, "I'm most curious now that I realise you've been memorising my expressions."
He managed to drag his gaze to my eyes, "I'm sorry?"
"You were going to tell me what 'look' I had," I prompted.
"Oh, it was your 'Don't-get-in-my-way' look that said you were frustrated and needed alcohol - fast," Bryce recovered, and smiled back.
I laughed, softly, and tossed my hair back over my shoulder. "It would appear you really do know me well."
He winked, "Extremely well, chéri."
Bryce moved away, reluctantly, to attend to his other customers whilst I swivelled in my chair to watch the dancers. After a while I got up to join them, swaying my hips and losing myself to the music.
I quickly lost interest and, after paying for the drink, left the bar. Night had fallen and the cold February air bit at me. Ignoring the chill, I strode through the streets; not quite ready to return to my room.
As I walked I fell into the old habit of analysing everything and everyone I saw. I was endlessly fascinated by how things worked or how people behaved.
Engrossed in my own thoughts, I didn't notice him until we crashed into one another.
I staggered back; struggling to balance in my heels. Aside from rocking back slightly, he didn't react.
I glowered darkly at him. He was averaged-height for a guy (though still nearly foot taller than me - with three inch heels on). He had an athletic build and long, black hair which he'd pulled back into a ponytail. His scowling, olive green eyes matched the irritation in my own.
"Watch it," he growled.
I raised a brow. "I could say the same to you."
We both waited for the other to move first. I crossed my arms. "We're going to be here all night at this rate," I pointed out.
He shrugged, "Maybe you should move then."
Okay, I'll admit it: I walked right into that one.
"Whatever, macho man," I said, adopting a blasé attitude, "I'll move if you tell me your name."
"Why?" He frowned.
"So I can go home and write it on my list of 'People-I-pissed-off-and-should-take-care-to-avoid-in-future'," I answered. Truthfully, it was because it was something I didn't know and I hated blank spots in my knowledge.
I could've sworn his lips twitched.
"Long list is it?" he asked.
"It's growing," I admitted with a half-smile, "I don't know why."
"I can imagine," he replied with a chuckle.
I started to grin in response but then what he'd said penetrated my skull. "Hey!" I exclaimed, "What's that suppose to mean?"
He merely smiled mysteriously. "Jarod," he told me, "Now will you move?"
I rolled my eyes but stepped aside; gesturing dramatically for him to pass. He walked past without another glance in my direction. I frowned. Rude much?
As I lay in bed that night I thought over the confrontation with Jarod. I couldn't force him from my mind. He was a mystery that had triggered an explosion of questions in my mind and if there was one thing I hated: it was an unanswered question.