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I spend the rest of the weekend sleeping off the party and lazing around with Taylor, but come Monday morning, I have no choice but to haul myself out of bed bright and early for my first day on the job. I get shown around for all of five minutes before I'm told there are boxes of files I need to alphabetize under the desk, and I get to work on it immediately, glad that it's an easy enough menial task.

I'm not sure how long I've been at it when I hear, "Camila?"

I pop up from under the desk and promptly hit my head. "Oh, fuck!" I clap my hand over the injury and look up, just as Lauren gasps.

"Oh no! I'm sorry!"

Something about the sight of a beautiful raven in a jean miniskirt makes my head throb a whole lot less. I wave a hand dismissively and climb up into the chair, ignoring the pain in my skull. "Hey, Lauren. Catching me at my finest."

She laughs, then covers her mouth like she feels sorry about it, which makes me grin. "I'm so sorry—I didn't mean to sneak up on you."

"No worries. What brings you to the building?"

"Behavioral Psych. It was already full by the time I transferred last semester, so now it's basically me and a billion freshmen, Mondays and Wednesdays at nine. I didn't realize this is where you got a job."

"Yep, brand spanking new," I say with a smile, glad to see it has at least one perk. "Apparently it comes with some unforeseen occupational hazards."

She opens her mouth to respond, but I hold up a hand before she can apologize again. "I'm just kidding. I'm fine, I swear. Just not used to the early hour. Slow reflexes."

Her lips twitch. "Let me guess—nothing before noon on your academic schedule?"

"Not where I can help it. But you look like a morning person." She really does. Her beige skin glows, there's not a single strand of hair out of place in her ponytail, and even her manicure's pristine. She's exactly the kind of put-together that screams high-maintenance. It isn't my type, but it's certainly nice to look at. "Are you?"

"Something like that." She pauses to sip from the cup in her hand, and I watch with envy, for both the coffee I was running too late to grab and the cup itself for touching that perfect pink mouth. "Maybe you can make it an early night, especially after that party."

"That party was just the beginning," I say with a wink, sinking into my new desk chair. "It's Rainbow House Welcome Night, and a bunch of us usually go to XO after."

Lauren blinks like I've just spoken in Chinese, which, sadly, I can't do beyond whatever swears my friend Lili's taught me. Huh. Maybe she really is straight. "Rainbow House is the LGBTQIA group on campus. Seems to make new kids happy to see out-and-proud old-timers there, so Troye and I always make sure to go. Anyone's welcome."

Lauren nods slowly, still looking at a bit of a loss, and I have to remind myself she's from the south; who knows if she's ever met another openly queer person in her life? "And XO?"

"Gay club. It's fun." I smile slowly as an idea forms in my brain. "You should come tonight."

"Me? Come to, um, to...that?" God, she can't even say it. She doesn't look horrified, or offended; I'm not really sure what she's feeling. Finally, she says, "I don't think that's really my thing, but thank you." I guess she feels bad for shutting it down, though, because then she says, "but the art show y'all were talking about sounds like a lot of fun. That's open to everyone, right?"

"Yup," I confirm, wishing I could get more of a read on her turning down the Rainbow House invite. "Next Friday night at the Swaine Gallery."

"Cool," she says with that agonizingly pretty smile. "That's in town, right? Hopefully I can manage that without getting lost."

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