Twenty Three

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As Damien and I walked to the library, with myself walking a couple steps ahead of him, we made small talk. It was a short walk, 3-4 minutes, if you took the campus grounds, which we did.

We walked into the library building, and instead of heading to the top floor, where the 'quiet sector' was, we remained downstairs. I spotted a group of people walking away from two couches, and quickly made my way over to it. Damien followed steadily behind me.

I plopped down on the couch, taking off my bag and placing it on the table between the two couches. Damien sat down too, parallel to me.

As he started pulling out his laptop from his bag, I took time to analyze his face. I could place him in my memory, just not an exact event.

Having noticed my stare he questioned, "What?"

Releasing an exasperated sigh I complained, "I swear I've seen you before, I just can't place where, and its weird bec—"

He laughed, "You still haven't recognized me? Oh man."

I stared at him, dumbfounded and confused.

He grinned crookedly, "Does 'The Striker' ring a bell? BC championships?"

I had a bucket of water dumped on my head moment.

"Oh my god. Seriously? You too?" I laughed nervously.  I remember clearly wiping him out, having won the match within minutes of start time.

He noticed the wince on my face, "Hey, I think its sick that a chick like you is so strong. Its rare seeing females in this competitive field. You're pretty fucking deadly—and well, pretty."

I blushed, "Oh awh I... usually my male competitors who have lost badly—hell lost at all—are pretty pissed that a girl beat them."

He chuckled. "Nah, I have a sister, so the fact that theres strong women like you, thats great you know? Its reassuring when I think of her and her safety—and then the lack of role models for her—you're great, trust me."

I warmed some more, smiling, "I would love to meet your sister, how old is she?"

He paused, "Actually she's not in Ontario, she lives with my dad in Saskatchewan, but she's... uh 17." He paused, laughing, "I can't ever recall her age, she thinks I don't care about her—but truth is, I don't like acknowledging that she's growing up."

I cooed in my head—not out loud though, that would've been embarrassing— he was a softie. I was relieved that he wasn't angry over my win. There's very few guys like that.

Bane was an exception because we tied, he wouldn't have felt the same humiliation that other guys felt, being beaten at the hands of a girl.

"Oh wow, she's just on that cusp of maturity then— I sympathize though, I lived with my dad through my teen years, and it was not pleasant. Hopefully she'll have more luck than I did." I replied, laughing.

He nodded, slightly smiling, before changing the topic to work.

It was two and a half hours later that we finally decided on a case that appealed to both of us.

It was a criminal case of a female stalker and a male victim. I was interested immediately, the thought of going inside a female stalkers mind sounded interesting.

Damien was on board too, wanting to take a try at playing victim, he'd said. As we wrapped things up, I glanced at my phone.

3:02pm.

Shit, Professor Curmudgeon's class was in 30 minutes. I noticed several message notifications and swiped to unlock my phone.

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