It was a stale morning, and the droning professor was not exactly keeping his interest today. His attention and focus were on the smoking hot lilac-haired hottie next to him. Cid. That’s all he even knew was a first name, not a last. Shit, he barely knew anything about this guy and yet he was pervading all of his thoughts.
Why did some crazy art major who dressed like he was in bad 80’s movie capture his attention?
Billy had knocked the ideas around in his head all night and he had to wonder just what the attraction was beyond physical.
Or was he just a glutton for punishment? A masochist? His last boyfriend was much easier to talk to than this guy ever was. What? Boyfriend? No, Cid was not his at all. They hadn’t even gone on a date yet.
But wow, he wanted to.
He’d mapped out ideas of how to get this handsome fellow to open up and talk to him and realize he wouldn’t bite.
Maybe that was the issue? Someone in Cid’s past did bite him, or much worse and he wasn’t open to anyone.
That, or he was just a jackass who enjoyed drawing out long relationships that never happen.
Fuck. Figures he’d find one like that. He hated that.
He could walk away, couldn’t he? Just part ways as acquaintances, which was really all they were at this point, and just find someone else? A guy who’d talk and laugh with him? Why’d he find Mr. Tight-Lipped artsy dude?
Just lucky he guessed.
But now his feelings were getting involved. He hated that they were, but it was too late. Cid touched something inside of his soul that obviously wanted some attention.
“Dude, you okay?” Cid asked, breaking Billy’s inner monologue.
“Fine.” He blasted back with a scowl.
Cid’s black brow went up. “Whoa. Who pissed in your cheerios today?”
Billy almost laughed out loud at the jibe. But he figured it’d be like giving Cid a dose of his own medicine.
“You did. At least, a little.”
Cid’s purple orbs stared at him. “I did?”
“Duh. You’re about as approachable as a porcupine about to attack.”
His classmate shook his head and rolled his eyes. “I invited you to coffee. We’re friends, Billy. What more do you want from me?”
What the fuck happened to this guy?
“How about more of that supposed friendship? Talking, joking, hanging out. Come to my room, later? Bring coffee. I swear that’s all I want.”
This bordered on begging and though Billy wasn’t above it, he did find it taxing that he had to do it this early on.
A glimmer of hope! Billy felt a smidgen better but it wouldn’t pull his mood up that much. Not yet. Not until he could get inside Cid’s head a little bit and with a ton of luck, and patience…his heart.
* * * *
It was just past 4 and Billy started to pace his room. He’d been right on time for their coffee non-date, where was Cid? Oh like hell he was gonna be stood up!
The seconds became minutes and those were adding up fast.
Finally, at 4:45, Cid showed up. Billy met him in the doorway.
“Did you get lost?” was his response to the harried man.
“What?” Cid shot back, his focus was obviously somewhere else. “Can we just go in?”
Billy took a breath and waved Cid inside. “Come on.” He shut the door behind them.
Cid sat at the desk right away and looked like he’d been running. His hair was pasted to his forehead and he had sweat marks on his shirt.
“What happened?” He gingerly approached the man and sat opposite of him on the bed.
“Sorry I’m late. Shit…I forgot the coffee.” Cid dodged masterfully.
“Fuck the coffee. What happened? Why are you all sweaty and late?”
“I’ll mop off the chair if it bothers you so damn much!” Cid growled and stood. He grabbed a paper towel and wiped down where he’d just been seated.
“Cid, please, talk to me. What happened?”
After he cleaned up, Cid went to the bathroom and shut the door for a long moment. He finally came back out, his beanie was off and his neck had a towel slung around it. He looked Billy in the eyes for a long time; so long that Billy wondered if there were just having a staring contest. Dammit if those eyes weren’t gorgeous.
“Fine. There’s this creepo. This one dude I try to avoid…he keeps trying to talk to me.”
Billy’s worry meter spiked.
“What’s he doing? Is he following you? Is that why you ran?”
“Yeah, he’s definitely hot on me. I’m not interested, I avoid him the best I can, but the fucker found me today. I’d been ducking and dodging…but he’s good.”
“Cid, please…” Billy leaned forward. “Report him to the dean. He’s trouble!”
“Report him for what? He hasn’t touched me or outright stalked me. You know how those cases go. Open and shut. He’s fine, Billy. He’s just lovesick I guess. Kinda like you.”
“Lovesick? That’s what you think?”
Yes, I’m lovesick
“It’s written all over your actions, pal.” Cid pointed out as he sat again. “Look, you’re a nice kid, but you should steer clear of me.”
Billy scowled and pouted. “Why? What’s so damn awful about you that I need to stay away from you? Don’t you deserve love and attention too? The right kind?”
Omigod, I think I’ve got it.
“You don’t want it from me. Do you?” Billy sobered. His eyes misted for a moment as he knew he was being outright rejected. “No friendship, no anything. I’m right, aren’t I?”
Cid rubbed his eyes. “I’m not the right guy for you to be hanging out with.”
Lamest line ever.
“Fuck you! I’m not a child, Cid! I can hang out with anyone I like. For whatever reasons I like you and I want to get to know you. But you don’t want me to, do you?” he stood and hovered over his guest. “You want to push me away like I bet you do everybody else.” He shook his head and turned around.
Billy spun around, his eyes ablaze with anger. “My name isn’t kid! It’s Billy! William James Shultz you jerk. All I know is Cid. Just that. You won’t tell me anything else. Oh wait…your room. Big fucking deal. I could’ve gotten that from your records if I wanted to. Whatever.”
Why bother? Why was he trying so hard to crack this egg? It wasn’t one he could, it was harder than concrete.
Tears pricked at his eyes and he turned around. He wouldn’t let Cid see how much he’d gotten under his skin.
“Get out. Please. Just leave me alone. You want to anyway.”
“I don’t have a choice…”
Billy faced him again. “Oh fuck. That’s lame and you know it. We all have a choice. Everything we do in life is full of them. I chose to come here, I chose to speak to you and I chose to offer you my friendship. What you’ve chosen to do…your own will, Cid…is to be a jerk to me and not open up.”
There was a long, awkward silence between the two as Billy hurried to the bathroom and tried to get his emotions under control. After splashing cold water on his face and drying off, he returned to the room and saw Cid looking out the window.
His posture was ramrod straight and his hands were curled into fists. His beanie was still off; the opened window let in just enough breeze to tousle the lilac locks around his chiseled face. Dammit he was so beautiful! The black goatee, the lilac hair, the build, everything about him appealed to Billy. Except whatever it was about Cid Nolastname that nagged at him.
The art student turned to him and looked him up and down. “Do you still want some coffee?”
Billy leaned against the doorframe. He felt exhausted. “Yes.”
Cid swallowed, and Billy watched his Adam’s apple move with it. Even that was enticing. “I’ll go get us some, if you want.”
Tired of fighting, Billy shrugged. “If you want to.”
“We can go to my room and I’ll make some. I don’t have any money to buy it.”
An olive branch? Billy tried to get excited, but he was in adrenal fatigue with this guy.
“What the hell.” He mumbled and headed towards the door.
Cid leaned over and got very close to Billy and whispered in his ear. “My last name is Walker.”
To say Billy was relieved was an understatement. Surprised was a better one. It was actually progress. He got a sudden burst of energy and felt a smile form on his lips.