one. Meet Alexei Romanov

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Alexei Romanov wasn't the kind of guy you'd single out as the Robin Hood type.

In fact, he was the exact opposite. He was always clad in designer clothes from head to toe, his blond hair tousled to perfection and his feline eyes (as I heard some pretentious French girl describe them at a party I later attended) were as freezing as Siberian weather. Considering my predisposition toward guys like him, my initial reaction upon catching a glance of the walking, breathing phenomenon that was Alexei, was a very quiet derisive snort –after all, I was crashing a Harvard class and I did not particularly want to attract anyone's attention.

My opinion on the matter of Alexei Romanov did not improve when I learned that he was taking the 20th century literature class "just for fun", while he was majoring in politics.  It was pretty much the only thing we had in common –we were both somewhere we didn't really belong. Only I wasn't wearing Alexander Wang and I attended a community college, not Harvard.

The first time I crashed Harvard's literature class, I'd snuck in five minutes before it started. I picked a spot in the very back of the amphitheatre-like room and sank deep into my seat, before I opened my sketchbook and absent-mindedly began tracing the outline of the view before me –the modern arches of the ceiling, the rows and rows of seats, the professor's desk... I was in the middle of erasing my rendering of the blackboard when two girls clad in Abercrombie & Fitch and Ugg boots slipped into the seats right in front of me. Instantly, the smell of Starbucks coffee and nauseatingly sweet vanilla body spray engulfed me and I almost gagged. I tuned their lively chatter out, instead looking over their flat-ironed hair to get a glimpse of the professor, who was setting up his laptop, but my gaze drifted to a guy who had just walked into the room. An almost perceptible hush fell over the classroom as he leisurely strolled in. I've always been skeptical about people who commanded the attention of a room just by walking in –I've never met anyone who'd been able to simultaneously distract every single person in their vicinity at once –but all my doubts about their existence vanished when I saw Alexei Romanov for the first time.

And thus, I hated him instantly.

Well, hated might've been too strong a word — I didn't really hate him. It was more like a strong negative predisposition, just waiting to turn into outright hate.

The aforementioned snort escaped me as some guy bellowed "Romanov" from a seat in the second row. Even from where I was holed up I could see the brilliance of the smile that the newcomer flashed his loud friend.

"And that's Alexei Romanov," one of the girls sitting in front of me announced, tying her long auburn hair into a messy bun at the top of her head.

"Jesus," was her friend's only reply. They seemed to be completely absorbed in their contemplation of the blonde demi-god who was currently in the process of taking off his hoodie, which made the shirt he had underneath ride up and reveal a patch of his pale skin. The girls in front of me kind of gasped, and one of them fanned herself with a book. I snorted again, and went back to my sketching.

It might seem strange to immediately dislike someone without even giving them a proper chance to redeem themselves –but I have been preprogrammed to hate anyone and everyone who smelled like money –and as soon as Alexei Romanov walked into the room, one thing had been evident –he was stinking rich.

"What do we know about him?" the blonde girl in front of me asked, and against my will, I kind of leaned a bit closer to hear what her friend would reply.

"One, he's gorgeous."

"Well, duuh."

"Two, his parents are loaded. But like, next level loaded."

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