I sat on my couch, books looking at me from the table. With my back killing me and cold still going, though it was way better now than it had been when I woke up, I was glad for the physical relaxation for a change.
Damn that Machinas, ruining my day. I wouldn't have found his stupid lab if not for him being so active recently. Putting the tracker on him wasn't all that hard, after so many tries. Might actually have to thank George for the thing later. The detective liked it when his gadgets worked. Still, getting smacked around and nearly frozen was easy to shake off... until the next day. Then, you really felt it.
So, all I wanted to do today was skip the Gravity Girl activities and get some studying done before classes start. Hero work meant missing time to study later, after all. Sadly, a knock on my door made me have to get up and breathe deeply to ignore my own aching body. It better not be another senior recruiting for clubs or parties. Both were equally unneeded and annoying.
"Hold on! I'm coming!" I walked over to the door, making sure I was dressed appropriately this time - last time I nearly walked out in my hero suit. Pants and t-shirt. Works.
Opening the door revealed someone I wasn't sure I'd ever seen before. My first impression was that he embodied the whole 'tall, dark, and handsome' deal. Had to be over six feet tall, with short dark hair and a clean shave. His clothes weren't all bad either. Nice button up, clean pants with no holes. So far he was something I wasn't used to seeing in this section of Sky University.
"Can I... Help you?" I asked, noting the dark stains on his hands that were probably from grease. So, he wasn't all different from the other guys.
He looked me in the eye, no emotion really standing out. "Are you Liz Lumin?"
"Yeah..?" How the hell did know my name? Oh, it was on the door. Right above the blank name plate. Maybe... Nah.
He held up a newspaper that I hadn't paid attention to. On it I saw my ad for a roommate. "I hear you could use a roommate, and, as it so happens, I could use a place to crash. You interested?"
I didn't really know how to react to this. Sure, I needed a roommate desperately due to the rent piling up and my parents checks not covering much more than my half, but a guy? I was hoping for a girl! It's not that I thought guys were all savage drunken idiots - though most of the ones around here were - but that just sounded bad.
The guy looked around the apartment. "Isn't it customary to invite someone in," he said, "when they show up at your door?"
A million little lines popped into my head on how I could retort, but I held back. I REALLY needed that rent money. "Um... Of course." So, though I was watching him as he came in, I let him sit on the couch I had once been on and went to grab drinks. "Soda OK with you?
"Fine," he said in response to my question. "My name is Keiran Jacobs."
"Elizabeth Lumin, though everyone calls me Liz." Why was I introducing myself to someone who already knew my name? "So, any reason you chose my apartment? I'm sure there are others."
"Do you think I'd be here if there were?" Keiran said, leaning back on the couch and putting his arms along the back of it. Relaxing too soon, was he? No, remember the money. "Everywhere's full," he continued, "because the school year's starting in a few days. I'm sure things will clear out by the end of the semester, and I will be able to get out of your hair."
Money, money, money.... Don't get mad at him. But don't let him win so easily, either. I sat the drinks on the table next to my books and sat in the chair that faced the couch and this annoying guy. Well, at least he wasn't trying some move on me.
"Alright,"I said, gaining a look from Keiran," but I'm not just gonna hand you the keys because you need a place." Get him talking and let him reveal any intentions he has. It worked with criminals who thought they could match me as Gravity Girl, why not some guy trying to live with me? That sounded odd... Anyway! "So, what's your major?"
"I'm a chemistry major," he answered, then laughed as he glanced over towards the kitchen. "But, I don't plan on using your kitchen for any experiments."
"Huh. I guess that's good." Was that supposed to be a joke? Chem majors, I swear... "Speaking of which, you cook?"
Keiran laughed once more. "Do you?"
I couldn't help but frown a little. "I didn't realize I was the one being questioned..."
"I find that having roommates requires some... Give and take." He said it in a way... No, that was just that maniac getting into my head. Machinas had to be an old man anyway. "What's your major?"
"Physics," I told him, relaxing a little. "And I guess I can agree with that, but I would rather have someone I can trust not to be a... well, like Jeff."
Keiran stood up in a swift motion, looking angry. It took all my willpower not to attack or grab him into my gravity field. "I am nothing like that idiot!" he all but shouted.
"Ok... Well, that's good to know..." Jeff really had too many people who hated him, it seemed. Somehow, there was a good feeling when knowing that. Jeff was a dick.
The tall boy crossed his arms, his face serious. "I can pay rent up front," he said coldly.
Up front... I gave him a look. What's the worst that could happen? "If you come into my room without permission, you leave." Not that I was going to give permission. "And no smoking! Deal?"
He gave her a disgusted look, which was kind of disheartening for a girl, but also comforting. "Deal. I'll get my stuff." He nodded to the door opposite of my own. "This one mine?"
I stood up and grabbed the set of two keys - one for the apartment and the other for Keiran's room - and handed them over. "Yeah." I watched him start to leave. "Oh, and don't start rumors!"
He stopped and turned, an annoyed look on his face. "Any other last second rules?"
I sat down and stretched out on the couch, taking back my seat. "I'll see if I can think of anymore while you unpack." I gave him a half smile as well, which he ignored and walked out of the door.
Well, this wasn't ideal, but at least the money issue was taken care of for now. She would recover from her injuries in a few days and continue her duties as Gravity Girl afterwards. School would be starting soon as well, so maybe she could avoid Keiran for the most part.