Beauty and the Geek

Emily has everything she has ever wanted; popularity, a handsome, all-star athlete boyfriend and a top spot on the cheerleading squad. So why does it feel like she has nothing at all?
When her grades slip and she is forced to find a tutor, Emily finds comfort in shy, bookworm Will and discovers that the things you need most in life often come in the most unlikely of packages...
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Beauty and the Geek - Episode 517:00 min.
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Beauty and the Geek - Episode 723:00 min.

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3. Chapter 3.

“You’re early,” Will smiled coyly, pulling off his satchel and sitting at the library table next to me.
“And you’re late,” I replied. “We’re losing valuable study hours here.”
“I like your enthusiasm for learning,” He laughed. “I’m captain of the photography club. We’re trying to reach the yearbook deadline – anyway, it’s all boring and you don’t want to hear about it…”
“It sounds interesting to me. Is there anything in this school that you’re not involved in?”
“I look great in a skirt if a spot in the cheer team ever comes up.”

I giggled loudly and the librarian turned in our direction, hissing at me and motioning me to keep quiet. She pointed at a sign which listed all of the things you weren’t allowed to do in the library – breathing too loudly was probably on there.

“Why don’t we find somewhere else to study?” Will suggested, avoiding the librarian’s fiery eyes. “It’s pretty nice outside.”
“Are you trying to procrastinate?” I raised an eyebrow, amusingly.
“Isn’t that your job?”

For the second time, he pulled out my seat for me and picked up my books; carrying them all the way out of the library. I felt awkward; I wasn’t used to anybody being so nice to me and my arms felt empty and useless as they hung down by my sides.

“Em!” Lauren called across the parking lot. “Do you need a ride?”
“Uhh, no…that’s okay,” I waved her away. “I have a tutoring session…”

Lauren looked horrified as she noticed Will and his Batman t-shirt peaking out from under his plaid shirt. The funny thing about Will was that I got the impression maybe he wasn’t as big of a geek as he made himself out to be; I had noticed his impressively muscular body peeking out from underneath his boy-next-door disguise. More than once, I had noticed a tattoo hiding under his long sleeves. Clearly, there was more to this guy than anyone seemed to notice.

“Aren’t you coming to Brett’s party?” Lauren asked, dumbfounded.
“I’ll be there later!” I said hurriedly, dragging Will across the parking lot. “See ya!”
“Wow,” Will stalled, forcing me to do the same. “Someone’s in a rush – are you really that embarrassed to be seen with me?”
“No! I swear, that’s not it at all,” I exclaimed, even though it was a tiny white lie.

I wasn’t embarrassed to be seen with Will; I was embarrassed about the bad things that Lauren would think about him when they were completely undeserved. Just because he didn’t dress the way my friends and I did didn’t mean that he wasn’t a worth getting to know.

“I don’t want her to be mean,” I sighed. “You’ve been really nice to me and you don't deserve it.”
“Aww. Well, thanks for the concern,” Will blushed. "But I can take care of myself. I’ve been listening to people like Lauren make fun of me for years and I’m totally fine with it. I’m happy doing my own thing. So, don’t worry about me – I’ll be out of here soon for college anyway."

I gave a tight smile in reply, surprisingly feeling my heart sink when he mentioned he would be leaving for college. It had been nice getting to know Will over the past few weeks. He genuinely seemed to listen to me and care about things that I had to say; he had been very enthusiastic about helping me submit college applications.

“Hey,” I suggested. “Why don’t you come to Brett’s party later too? It would be cool to hang out outside of school.”
“Really?” Will was surprised at my offer. “I don’t know - it’s not really my scene.”
“Well, you never know until you try.”
“Thanks,” He smiled. “Maybe, one day you can come hang out with me and my friends and play World of Warcraft.”
“I’d love to do that!”
“You’re a puzzle. I don’t know why you hang around with all of those idiots, Emily. You really are wasted on them."

I felt myself turn white hot under Will’s gaze; he towered above me, smouldering away. After a few seconds of awkward eye contact, he looked away equally as embarrassed. The whole moment screamed inappropriate; I had a boyfriend and Will was my tutor and breaching those boundaries could be messy. But surprisingly, for once, I craved a certain kind of messiness in my life and his name was Will.

---

The music was loud, blaring in my eardrums and making me wince; I could smell beer and vomit and all of the things that were the opposite of appealing party mode.

“Lighten up,” Brett draped himself over me, planting a sloppy kiss on my mouth. “You’ve been weird all night.”
“I’m fine,” I shrugged him off. “I’m just tired.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot you had a totally hot tutoring session earlier,” He winked. “C’mon, stop being weird.”

Brett’s nostrils flared as he reached out for my wrist roughly. As I twisted away uncomfortably, he continued to stare at me with a terrifying expression. It wasn’t the first time he had become aggressive with me when I had rejected his advances but alcohol certainly seemed to accelerate it.

“Let go,” I tried to pry his massive hand from my wrist. “You’re really hurting me!”
“Let her go,” Brett’s hand dropped as Will appeared at my side, trying to muster up a threatening tone. “You heard her.”
“Oh, come on,” Brett laughed, beer breath in every direction. “Like I’m gonna take advice from you. Who invited you anyway?”
I did,” I replied, rubbing the sore spot Brett had created on my arm.
“Well, in that case, you can show him out too,” Brett turned away.

His condescending tone was enough to break me, once and for all. I had taken too many knocks from Brett over our time together, and I was beginning to see the ugliness that lay underneath his handsome face.

“Okay,” I balled my fists by my side. “I better show myself out too.”

 

Brett was mortified and Will turned a horrible shade of red under the flashing party lights. The rest of the party erupted in “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” aimed in Brett's direction. Emily Masson, head cheerleader and serial Vogue reader, ditching her own boyfriend at his party for the school geek – it would be the high-school story of the century.

“Sorry about that,” I avoided Will's gaze, a tear rolling down my cheek.
“Am I doing something wrong?” Will said, half jokingly, half insecure. “You always cry around me.”
“Of course not! Thanks for coming anyway – even if you only got inside for a nanosecond.”
“A nanosecond was enough for me. I was always curious what these parties were like and it seems they’re everything I thought they would be. Awful.”
”Sorry for wasting your time…”
“Doyouwanttogooutwithmetonight?” Will’s words came out in one big long stream. “Strictly as friends, of course. My friend’s band are playing a show near here – it might not be your ‘scene’ but you’ll never know unless you try."

He smiled with a self-satisfied glint in his eye; he had successfully used my own line against me. I only noticed then how different Will looked; his glasses were missing and his beautiful, puppy dog eyes were on full view. Not to mention the fact that his shirt sleeves were rolled up to reveal the tattoo I knew had been hiding under there and his hair was less styled than usual, in a bed-head way that made me blush inwardly.

Will stared at me, waiting for my answer with bated breath. It occurred to me I had been his student for weeks now and still didn’t know the ‘real’ Will. It would be wrong to resist the opportunity to find out more…right?

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