1. Chapter 1 Part 1
Shoving a strand of straggling blond hair aside, Sera balanced her
books in her arms as she searched for her keys. Finally
locating them in her cluttered pocket, she pulled them free and slid them into the lock. Bumping the door open with her hip, she muttered a curse as the force of it knocked her precariously balanced books free.
Kicking them impatiently into the room Sera slammed the door shut. Scooping everything up, she dumped the pile onto her neatly made bed. Her gaze darted to her roommate's side of the room. She had to suppress a groan as she took in the disaster area. They had only been back for two weeks, and already Kathleen had managed to make a complete mess of things. Then again, Kathleen had made a mess on
her first day back. Pillows, sheets, and blankets were cascading off her bed and spilling onto the
hardwood floor. Her desk was overflowing with papers, books, garbage, pens, and markers. Sera had no idea how Kathleen managed to find anything in the cluster, let alone actually accomplish any studying. A poster of a rock band was peeling off
the wall above her desk, and the one over her bed was torn and wrinkled. The garbage can next to her bed was overflowing with papers.
Sera sighed as she gathered her books and moved toward her desk. Unlike Kathleen, her desk was perfectly neat, with everything in its proper place, and her books sorted by alphabetical order. Kathleen said that she was too uptight, while Sera thought that Kathleen was a complete slob.
The door suddenly burst open. Sera jumped in surprise, stifling a frightened cry, as it bounced against the wall with a loud thud. It swung rapidly back, just missing Kathleen as she came bounding into the room. Sera shook her head in disbelief; Kathleen had as much energy, and sometimes was as capable of, as much destruction as a tornado. However, unlike a tornado Kathleen never intended to harm anyone, or anything. Sometimes, it just worked out that way.
Sera, who had always been a bit reserved, had been more than a little wary of Kathleen when they had been thrust together freshman year. Sera's worries about having a horrifying roommate seemed to have come true when she had first met Kathleen. Kathleen had arrived at the college two days before Sera, and had made her stake on their room first. It had been completely trashed by the time Sera arrived. She had been horrified by the mess in the room, and certain that she had gotten the roommate from hell.
However, the short, gregarious blond, standing in the middle of the mess didn't given her time to be appalled for long. Kathleen had rushed over and hugged her tight, squealing with enthusiasm about how much fun they were going to have. Sera had been shocked by the embrace, and more than a little afraid of the energy Kathleen exuded. Then, as she had grown to know Kathleen, and started to become accustomed to her overwhelming ability to make everyone around her happier, Sera had become extremely grateful that the college had thrown them together. Kathleen had helped to ease Sera's fears about being away at school with her excitement about being there. Kathleen also had the ability to make friends with an ease that still astonished Sera.
The thing that amazed Sera most though, was that Kathleen actually liked her too. Kathleen was outgoing, bubbly, full of fun, and adventure. Sera was reserved, scared of new things, and shy. However, for some reason, Kathleen put up with her reluctant, hesitant, and uptight ways. Sera thought it was because Kathleen found her to be a challenge that she planned on mastering. She had been determined to get Sera to be more outgoing, and over the past three years, she had succeeded in many ways.
"Hey sweetie!" Kathleen called, throwing her bag and
on the floor. "I had such a long day! What about you?"
"Long," Sera agreed, slumping onto her bed.
"Ought oh, I know that look! What's wrong?"
Sera looked up at Kathleen's short figure. She was a little plump, but most of her weight rested in her overwhelming chest. She was wearing a tight white tank top that stretched provocatively over her large breasts. Her short blond hair was pulled into a loose
ponytail that was now falling freely around her ears. She had bright, sky blue eyes that always sparkled mischievously. Her nose was small and pert, with a slight slope at the end of it. Her full lips were painted a pristine plum that contrasted prettily with her fair skin.
"Nothing just beat," Sera finally replied. "Glad it's
"Oh yeah! There's a party at Omega house tonight, we have to go!"
"I don't know," she replied, standing up and moving slowly to
"Oh, don't you dare do this to me!" Kathleen cried, dramatically throwing herself on the bed. "I'm not going to spend another semester dragging you out. It's the end of September and you haven't been to any parties yet. We've been back for three weeks already. You're going willingly, and you're going to have a good time! I mean it Sera."
Sera turned and looked at Kathleen. Her jaw was clenched in aggravation as her eyes narrowed in determination. Sera knew that it was pointless to argue with her, Kathleen almost always got her way. She sighed wearily, she was tired and didn't feel like going to a party, but it would do her good to get out of the room, and see people that she hadn't seen since before summer break. Besides, she wasn't in the mood to clean Kathleen's mess tonight, and she knew that she would if she stayed here.
"You're right," she relented.
Kathleen grinned broadly as she bounced eagerly on the balls of her feet. "Honey, I'm always right! You should know that by now."
Sera laughed, some of the tension of the week finally eased out of her. Kathleen always made her feel better. "Omega huh?"
"They're always good for a few laughs," Kathleen replied with a giggle. "Now, come on. It starts at seven so that means I only have three hours to get ready. You have to help me. Then, of course, I'm going to help you."
Sera walked over to Kathleen's overflowing closet. Clothes were falling off the hangers, laying on the floor, and spilling out the door. She didn't know why Kathleen even bothered to unpack, she couldn't find anything in this mess, and her stuff was neater when it was in boxes and suitcases.
"What are we going to wear?" Kathleen pondered her finger on her lip as she perused the mess before her.
Sera sighed in resignation, but Kathleen chose to ignore it as she pawed her way through the mess. Kathleen was always trying to dress her up. Sometimes she permitted it, other times she put her foot down. She was not the type to wear an abundance of makeup and skimpy clothes. She preferred to dress down, and fade into the background.
"You're going to look spectacular!" Kathleen cried as she pulled clothes from the closet and tossed them across the floor. Sera pulled self consciously at her clothes as she followed Kathleen toward the frat house. She felt awkward in the
midnight blue, midriff shirt that clung to her. The short black skirt covered her to mid thigh, but the slit in the right side came up another two inches. Kathleen had bought the outfit without trying it on, and to her dismay she had discovered that it didn't fit her. At least, that's what Kathleen told Sera, but Sera didn't believe her for a minute. It was a little too coincidental that it had fit Sera perfectly.
"Stop that," Kathleen said, slapping her hand away. "You look wonderful!"
"I feel uncomfortable."
"Get used to it. I've been trying for three years to get you to be more sociable and outgoing. This is our final year together, and come hell or high water, I'm going to succeed."
Sera shot her a scowl as she followed Kathleen up the stairs of the frat house. They passed by a group of men
sitting on the stairs, leering at them. One let out a low, appreciative whistle, to the enjoyment of his friends. Sera fretted with her hair, anxiously shoving it behind her ear as she tried to ignore them.
They made their way past another group of guys in the doorway, smiling at them. Sera averted her gaze; her skin was already beginning to crawl with discomfort and fear. Alcohol was being passed around, and a cup of draft was shoved into her hand. She sipped at it before placing it on one of the speakers blaring music. Kathleen led the way through the crowded foyer and toward a side room. The decrepit, ugly furniture had been shoved against the dirty white walls to create dance space. The room was already packed with dancing couples, and groups of friends. People were laughing, and shouting to be heard over the pounding music. It was enough to give her a headache.
Sera looked up as Michelle appeared at her side. "Hey," she replied brightly, happy to find another friendly face in the crowd.
Michelle flashed a dazzling grin as she turned to survey the cluttered room. Her short black dress clung to every one of her slender curves. Her auburn hair had been pulled into an elegant French twist that accentuated her long neck, and the delicate sweep of her high cheekbones. She wore little makeup, but she didn't need much to illuminate her refined features, and startling beauty. Her deep, mahogany eyes were slanted at a provocative, almost feline, angle.
Where Kathleen exuded energy, Michelle radiated a cool, poised elegance. During Sera's second semester of school she had been assigned Michelle as a lab partner in biology. It had taken them awhile to get to know one another, but once they had, they had hit it off. They had more in common than Sera had with Kathleen, and she found Michelle's friendship a nice break from Kathleen's tremendous excitement. It was nice to be able to slow down and talk to someone a little more like her.
Michelle's gaze returned to Sera, her eyes swept disdainfully over her. Her thin lips, her only flaw to perfection, were pursed tightly. Her long, slender nose was scrunched distastefully. "You look nice," she finally stated.
"Thank you," Sera replied, feeling even more uncomfortable under Michelle's scrutinizing stare.
"She looks wonderful!" Kathleen butted in, her voice tinged with aggravation.
Michelle turned her cool eyes to Kathleen; her gaze became even more disapproving. "I suppose you dressed her," she drawled.
Kathleen's eyes narrowed. Sera shook her head as she was once again reminded of the hostility that existed between her two best friends. Sometimes it was stressful on Sera but usually, when one was around, the other wasn't. However, when they were together, it took all she had to stop them from bickering.
"Of course," Kathleen said. "Someone has to teach her how to live life."
"And that's going to be you?" Michelle retorted.
Sera sighed as Kathleen's eyes narrowed and her shoulders straightened as she prepared herself for battle. Sera looped her arm through Kathleen's, knowing that it was time to separate the two. "I'll see you in a little bit Michelle," she said softly as she pulled Kathleen toward the dance floor.
"I don't know why you put with that bitch," Kathleen muttered.
"Michelle's not that bad; you just never gave her a chance."
"Oh I gave her a chance and then I realized that the stick shoved permanently up her ass is never going to come out."
"Kathleen," she groaned.
"It's true; you need better taste in friends. But oh well, let's dance."
Sera didn't have time to protest as Kathleen pulled her onto the floor. Sera found herself instantly swept up in the music, and the mood. Another drink was thrust into her hand and she decided to keep this one.
She danced for almost an hour before making her way slowly out of the packed room. She grabbed another drink to wet her parched throat as she wound through the crowd toward the front door. Michelle was standing by the door, talking and laughing with two guys who were openly leering at her. Sera paused, not wanting to go near the guys, but the idea of fresh air was too tempting for her to refuse. With a soft sigh she made her way slowly toward them.
"Hey," she said, stopping beside her. "Having fun yet?"
Michelle turned to her, a cool smile on her face as she nodded briskly. "Oh yeah," she drawled, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "You?"
Disapproval flashed through Michelle's eyes as she turned back to the two guys. Sera glanced at them, unable to stop her sneer of disgust as they openly ogled her. Michelle looked at them disdainfully as she took a sip of beer. "Who's your friend?" the taller of the two asked, his eyes rapidly scanning Sera.
"This is Serendipity," Michelle replied, the anger apparent in her taut voice.
"Huh?" he asked stupidly.
"Serendipity, but everyone calls me Sera," Sera replied quickly.
"Pretty," he drawled. "Suits you."
Sera's face scrunched in distaste. He continued to leer at her, refusing to acknowledge her obvious distaste. Unwillingly, she began to fiddle nervously with her shirt again. A flash of satisfaction flitted across Michelle's face as she noted Sera's discomfort. A wave of anger washed over her as she purposely made her hands still. No matter how close they were Sera would never be able to get used to Michelle's attitude of superiority.
"Well, I'll see you later," Sera said coldly.
"Where are you going?" Michelle asked.
"Outside for some air."
The house had suddenly become overwhelmingly hot, and noisy. If she didn't get out soon, she feared that she would either melt, or her head would explode. Fresh air was just what she needed to soothe the growing tension in her.
She moved quickly past the small group, making sure not to touch the guys as she headed out the door. Rapidly descending the steps Sera strolled onto the front lawn. People were scattered across the grass, drinks in hand, laughing and dancing as they stumbled drunkenly around. Some had gathered beneath the trees to talk quietly, while others were making out under them, and on the lawn. One indiscreet couple was having sex next to the small rock wall.
Sera sat on the edge of the lawn, stretching her long legs. Tilting her head back, she admired the bright stars in the clear night sky. It had grown cooler, but summer was trying hard to hang on for a little longer. She smiled softly, the alcohol seeping further into her bloodstream, and warming her from the inside out. The sky blurred for a second, then snapped back into place. Laughing softly from the effects of the few drinks she'd had, she propped her head on arms and relished in the cool air against her warm skin.