Grace spent the next three hours of their trip of the university with Alexander. There was something about being in his company which put her at ease. Whether it was his light-hearted jokes or that he never tried to talk about the past unless she asked - she didn't know.
Despite the fact they had become open with each other over the few hours the spent together, Grace couldn't help but notice he was only being talkative with her. When anyone else tried to make conversation with him, or crack a joke; he just stared at them incredulously. She knew there was something odd about this, even with her severe lack of people skills.
'What?' Alexander said self-consciously after he caught Grace staring at him.
'Nothing.' Replied Grace too quickly, ducking her head down. Alexander eyed her up suspiciously for a few seconds, and opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it.
Grace felt her mobile vibrate in her jean pocket, tugging it out of the denim pouch she slid the lock bar to reveal her brother's text: We're leaving, meet us @ car.
She glanced up at Alexander who was looking at her expectantly, and said, 'I have to no now. My family are leaving.'
He smiled at her, nodded and they changed their direction so they were walking towards the car park. Alexander pulled out his phone and held it up in front of her.
She looked at him, confused, 'why did you put your phone in front of my face?'
'It's my number. If you want it, that is?'
'Yes, I'll have it,' Grace shrugged indifferently, typing the digits into her contact book.
The pair reached the car, where their families were stood in conversation about the facilities of the ICT department. Alexander and Grace stood there, looking bored as they waited for some recognition that they had returned.
'Hey you two, did you have fun?' Her father asked, looking up from the map he was holding.
'Yes. We visited the art department and the music rooms.' Said Grace, distinctly uninterested.
'That's lovely, pudding,' he said fondly, 'well!' Grace's father turned to the other family, 'we best be off!'
'Oh, yes, of course,' Ellie beamed, 'it was wonderful seeing you again, we'll have to do it again sometime.'
After another round of awkward hugs, the two families parted ways.
Grace's phone buzzed as she sat down on the back seat, she opened the messaged and struggled to stifle her snort, failing, it ended up sounding like a peculiar sneeze.
I think I saw Sam squeeze David's arse, was what the message read.
Nothing wrong with that. I just wish he had told me earlier, she replied, smiling to herself.
Even if his family didn't settle too well with her, there was something about Alexander Cain which made Grace's chest feel less tight.