Chapter Seven: Creep

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Wait for me at the square.

Please, Miss Ridley.

Before I completely lose myself in you...

Dean Lachlan's words were stuck on a loop in my head. I closed my eyes and leaned back against the statue at the square, inhaling a calming breath.

He was right to send me away, I knew that. But it did little to ease my disappointment. I wanted him to get lost in me, which made absolutely no sense. We were practically strangers, yet I couldn't ignore the pull I felt toward him, or the way my eyes gravitated to his whenever we were in the same room.

Exhaling loudly, I gazed up at a cloudy sky, only to have a lone raindrop land on my nose.

Great. Rain. I thought flatly, turning my attention to the top of the stairs.

The Dean still hadn't joined me like he said he would, and I was starting to get worried. What could've been taking him so long? Maybe he caught up with Nero and was chewing him out for exposing himself to me?

I sincerely hoped not.

That wasn't Nero's fault. I was the one being a creep, not him.

Flames licked my cheeks at the memory, drawing a pitiful groan out of me. Even though there wasn't anyone around, I still surrendered to the urge to put my face in my palms, my cool hands soothing the sting in my cheeks.

"Hey, are you okay?"

I glanced up, startled, but didn't see who had spoken.

"Behind you," the voice said teasingly.

I looked over my left shoulder, then my right, still failing to find the source of the voice. Then it laughed, sending shivers down my body. It was that laugh, the one Dean Lachlan and I heard the day before. It came from all directions, surrounding me in an invisible cloud of contemptuous laughter. Instinctually, I jumped away from the statue and cautiously peeked around it--nothing.

Hot breath suddenly tickled the back of my ear. I went rigid, heart slamming into my chest, but when I turned around there was nothing. Again.

I scratched my head. What the hell?

More rain began to fall, quickly going from a light drizzle to a straight down pour. Thankfully, someone shoved an umbrella above my head before I got soaked.


I glanced up at the blond campus security member. He held a black umbrella big enough for us both to fit comfortably beneath, and wore a cheeky smirk.

"Aren't you supposed to be with the other freshmen?" He arched a dark-blond eyebrow.

"I am, but..." I trailed, unsure if I should tell him about what happened with Nero and the Dean.

Aiden's smile broadened.

"Why, Miss Ridley, are you playing hooky?"

I put my hands up, shaking my head. "No, not at all. I just--"

"Hey, I'm not judging." Aiden cut me off, shrugging. "Although I am quite surprised. Didn't peg you for the rebellious type."

"Why is that?" I blurted, slightly miffed by his presumptuousness.

"Because," he cooed, leaning in. "You look so delectably innocent."

His bright turquoise eyes burned into mine, suddenly lost. "You're like snow." Aiden whispered, running a finger tip along my jawline. He gazed at me with fascination, his finger pausing at my chin.

I started to ask what he meant, but froze when he slowly ran his finger down my neck. He stopped at my pulse, eyes wild as they landed where his finger now rested.

"Nervous?" His hoarse voice contradicted the wicked smirk he wore. "Or, excited?"

Our gazes met, and my frantic heartbeat resonated throughout my whole body. I searched the turquoise orbs starring back at me, absent of any rational thought, when his head bent down.

"Aiden, what are you--"

"Shh," he softly silenced me, his hot breath tickling my neck. "Your scent is...orgasmic."

My heart hammered painfully against my chest, snapping me back to reality. Instinctively, I took a step back and put up my hands.

"I sh-should go," I stammered. "I have to finish the campus tour, and..."

Aiden closed the gap between us, stealing my voice. He stared down at me, his expression wolfish, when a loud SMACK suddenly jarred his head.

"Hey!" Aiden whipped around to reveal another camp sec member standing behind him. "What the hell, Duke?"

Duke regarded Aiden disapprovingly, caramel eyes narrowed and full lips pressing into a thin line. "Miss Ridley,"

I jumped, startled by the harshness of his tone. "Yes?"

"Please forgive my overzealous colleague," he gave me a small bow, still aiming a deadly glare at Aiden. "He has a hard time understanding the concept of personal space."

Like a scolded child, Aiden folded his arms in front of his chest, his chin pointing up. "I don't know what the big deal is," he mumbled grumpily. "I was just having a little fun."

"The big deal," Duke sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Is that we were supposed to give Miss Ridley a tour of the campus, not try to run her off by acting creepy."

They were sent to give me the tour? But what about the Dean?

As if reading my thoughts, Duke turned to give me a warm smile, and said, "Dean Lachlan had an unavoidably urgent matter that needed his immediate attention. So he asked us to conduct the tour for you."

"Oh," it was hard to hide the disappointment in my voice.

"He deeply regrets being unable to give you the tour himself." Duke added kindly.

I returned his smile, but it quickly vanished when I remembered the heavy rain falling around us.

"Don't you have an umbrella?" I asked Duke, mentally noting his soaked clothes. Thoughtlessly, my eyes traveled down his shirt, now transparent from the rain, and saw firm muscles straining against the clingy fabric.

Heat began spreading over my cheeks, so I forced my eyes back up before anyone could notice.

"I had one," he turned his gaze to Aiden. "But someone ran off with it."

"Hey, you snooze, you lose, pal." Aiden shrugged, seemingly unfazed by Duke's glare.

"There's room under here," I offered. "You're welcome to join us." It probably would've been a tight fit, but I figured we could manage. Plus the poor guy was soaked to the bone; he could've gotten sick if he didn't get out of the rain soon.

Duke looked taken aback at first, then his expression softened, and he smiled sheepishly. "That's very considerate, thank you. But I'll be fine--I just need to change clothes."

Aiden stepped closer to drape his arm over my shoulders. "Good. That'll give us more time to get to know each other better."

I stiffened at the contact and tried to pull away, but his hold was firm.

"Nice try, slick." Duke spoke flatly, reaching out to push Aiden's arm off me. "But I have to keep an eye on you, and Miss Ridley needs to know where the laundry room is located."

"Ugh, fine." Aiden rolled his eyes. "Lead the way, Captain Buzz Kill."

Sorry for the very long wait; the last couple months of school have been absolute hell! Thankfully, I'm finally done with this semester, and can get some more writing done 😊
As always, comments are welcome, and thanks for reading (if anyone is still interested in this, that is).

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