Close as Strangers // LH


After some long over due thinking, Nikki decided to transfer to a new university to get a leg up on the competition of teaching. She's slightly socially awkward and is not the typical college type of girl. She mainly keeps to herself most of the time, studying or zoning out to music. And since transferring as a senior, it won't be easy to "fit right in". Cliques have been made, friends have become sisters and enemies may be in a ditch somewhere. Her plan of staying on the down low is quickly interrupted by a tall blue eyed beaut and she's not sure if it's for the good or not!


3. A Different Look.

"What's wrong with the tables inside?"

"Nothing, gatekeeper. I'm just enjoying the nice weather today."

"You clearly need a key to stay out here."

"I'm already here, soooo." Luke laughs, sitting down next to me.

"Kelsey is going to kick your ass...actually no. Mine."

"Nah, she won't."

"Did you so soon forget that she punched me in my eye?!"

"No, I didn't forget."

"Yogurt?" I offer him.

"Thanks," he smiles taking the cup.

"You're welcome."

"But I'd much rather have the wrap."

And without any regrets, he snatches the wrap off my napkin and takes a bite out of it. I look at him. Totally not amused.

"Damn," he says with a mouthful, "this is good."

"Yeah, I wouldn't know!"

He sticks out the wrap toward my face. I wave my hand, shaking my head no.

"I don't have germs," he sasses.

"That's another thing I don't know."

He shrugs, "You're missing out."

I watch as he continues to eat my lunch. Then it dons on me, I haven't checked the time recently and my next two classes are across campus.

"Oh shit!" I exclaim checking my phone.

"What?!" Luke says almost startled.

"I'm going to miss the shuttle!"

I scoop up my books, shoving them in my bag,

"See you around!"

I race walk my way to the shuttle pick up, making just in time. My next two classes fly by and before I know it, I'm shoving fruit snack down my throat, laying down on my bed. Next thing I know a door slams extremely loud and I'm shooting up out of bed.

"Holy god!"

Apparently I didn't make it to the south lawn meeting because I'm still in my class clothes. I rub my face careful not to touch my eye yet and wander out into the hall. I squint trying to focus on the clock.


Clearly in the morning since it's dark out. I go to push my way back into my room and the door is locked.

"No, no, no," I huff.

My keys are sitting on my desk. Wow. I'm a dumbass. Luckily the hall has a lounge so I take up residency on the couch. I sigh heavily looking around at the tactfully placed banners and signs. Enough to read for a freaking day.

"What are you doing?" I hear a chuckle.

"Sitting on this oh so comfortable couch."

I see Luke appear from over the couch. "At 1 in the morning?"

"Um, yeah. All the cool kids do it."

"Really?" he nods before laying down on the couch across from me.

"Now you're a cool kid!"

"Finally!" he huffs.

A moment of silence passes before he speaks again.

"So what's the real reason you're out here?"

"I locked myself out of my room so I needed somewhere to sleep."

He sits up, shaking his head, "Ahh, no. Come on."

"What?" I look at him.

"Come on, I have room at my dorm."

"Ohh, no. That is a disaster waiting to happen."

He glares at me, "If you're worried about Kelsey, she won't be anywhere near my dorm."

"Why?" I ask sitting up.

"It's Greek initiation day tomorrow."

"So?" "She gets weird. Some superstition of hers."

"Oh," I say not quite understanding the point.

"So, come on."

I know this is a huge mistake but I get up, "Alright."

I follow him outside and down the side walk. I study him as we walk. His strong jawline, his lean muscular build, the tussled dirty blond hair and that piercing.

"I'm on the fourth floor."

"Okay," I say starting to feel unsure of myself.

We arrive on the fourth floor and slip down a hallway to his room. 415.

"I have roommates, but don't mind them."

I laugh, nervously pushing a piece of hair behind my ear. Luke unlocks the door and we are greeted by swearing and laughing.

"Hemmooooo, " a dark haired guy shouts.

"That is Calum."

"Oh shit, hey!" He smiles.

"Nikki! What are you doing here?"

"And apparently you've met Ashton.."

"Yes, I have. Hi Ashton."

"And that bum over there is Mikey."

"Hi," I wave.

He gives me a smile and a wave.

"Um," Luke whispers, "you can have my room."

"No, no. I'll sleep on the couch."

"I insist. Follow me."

I follow Luke down a small hallway and into a decent size room.

"Don't mind the mess."

I laugh stepping over a pile of clothes. Posters of random bands clutter the walls as several guitar stand in a corner.

"Okay," Luke says shoveling the pile of clothes in a hamper, "the bed is all yours."

"Thanks again. You didn't have to do this."

"Hey, I'm not such an asshole after all."

"Maybe not, gatekeeper."

He smiles, "Night."

"Goodnight," I say softly as he closes the door.

I slip off my flats and climb into his rather comfy bed. My head hits the pillow and I'm immediately greeted with the scent of his cologne. Sleeping isn't going to be so bad now.

*** Luke's POV.

"Um, Hemmo?"

"She locked herself out her room. I'm just being a nice guy."

"A nice guy who is playing with fire," Mikey laughs.

I roll my eyes grabbing a beer from the fridge.

"Why are you being so nice to this chick?" Calum grumbles, reaching for the play station control.

"I don't know, she's different."

"Or just another bang."

I glare at Calum although the thought has crossed my mind. She's hot as hell in her own intriguing way.

"Kelsey might kill her."

"Kelsey is all bark no bite."

Mikey laughs, "Are you fucking kidding? She punched that chick in the eye."

I rub my face, "You're right. Well she'll be out as soon as she wakes up."

2:30 creeps around and the mates call it a night going to bed. I curl up on the couch, putting a hand behind my head. What am I doing? I'm happy with Kelsey . I shouldn't screw shit up with her. I'm considering on marrying the girl. I close my eyes praying my mind will let me sleep. Eventually it does.

"Fuck," I groan laying face first on the floor. My alarm jars me up, knocking me off the couch.

"Luke, what the hell are you doing?" Calum grunts at me.

"Waking up."

I hear him messing with the coffee pot, banging cabinet doors. I push myself up from the floor and head to my room. Quietly, I open the door but all I see is a clean room and a made bed. I crack a smile leaning up against the door frame. A piece of paper sits in the middle desk. I move into my room, grabbing the paper. Thanks for letting me take refuge here last night. Don't mind my cleaning. I have a weird OCD. See you in class, Hemmo. I fold the paper up, putting in my bottom drawer. That girl.

"Luke! Coffee."

I quickly change into presentable clothing and head out to the kitchen, joining Calum. A steaming cup of coffee sits for me on our kitchen table.

"We're out of creamer."

"Ugh," I groan stopping at the fridge, "milk will have to do."

"We're out of that too."

"What the fuck? Who's turn is it for groceries?"

Calum scratches his head, "Um, you."

"Shit," I curse myself sitting down.

"Straight black is good," Calum shrugs.

I take a sip, cringing at the bitterness, "Yeah, real good."

"Did you kick that chick out yet?"

"Nikki left on her own accord."

"Oh," he nods pursing his lips together.


"She's pretty hot."

I look at him.

"What? You have Kelsey."


"So?!" Calum throws his hands up, "share the goods, mate."

"Whatever. You want her, you can have her."

But those words taste sour coming out of my mouth. She's not just some piece of meat. Wait, again, why do I care?



"You in la la land?" Calum laughs.

"Nah, just thinking."

"You sit there and think, I'm going to take a shower."

"Have fun."

Calum shakes his head, "I plan on it."

I cringe at that thought.

*** Nikki"s POV.

After hunting down a maintenance man, I'm finally back in my room. I check my phone and reply back to all 80 thousand messages before hoping in the shower. The reality of sleeping in Luke's bed semi-dons on me as let the hot water cascade over me. This is such a weird situation. I'm in the shower and thinking of a guy who has a woman. I should just drown myself now. I groan in frustration finishing up my shower. With a towel sitting on top of my head and a towel wrapped around me, I set out into my room to pick out something to wear. With the forever changing weather, I pick out a red plaid flannel, a black v neck t-shirt with my go to skinny jeans. Class starts in about hour so I put myself in high gear and text Bridgette telling her to meet me. I grab my bag and head outside to meet Bridgette.

"Hey girl, hey!" she says waving.

I skip down the steps falling into stride with her.

"Ready to be bored to death?" I laugh.

"Oh yeah, definitely," she playfully rolls her eyes.

We walk across campus to get to class running into Calum as we pass though the building doors.

"Hey Nikki," he smiles.

"Hi Calum, how are you?"

"Pretty good now."

"That's good," I nod.

"Hey Calum, have you seen Beck?" Bridgette asks alleviating the awkwardness.

"Just did. I think he's in class already," he thumbs over his shoulder.

"Thanks," she smiles grabbing my hand and yanking me towards class.

"Um, Nikki, can I talk to you real fast?"

"I'll be in," I nod at Bridgette. She eyes up the situation and slowly walks in.

"What's up, Calum?"

He leans up against the wall, tossing his cigarette to the ground. "I was hoping maybe you and I could catch lunch or dinner sometime."

I totally wasn't expecting that. I prepared myself for him to badger me about sleeping in Luke's room.

"Uhh, sure? Why not!"

"Great," he smirks, "so um, maybe I could get your number?"

"Yes, that can happen."

"Here," he says handing me his phone. I create a new contact adding my name and number.

"Alright, my digits have been saved."

"Awesome. I'll text you later. Better get in class. Don't want to be late."

"Right, see ya!" I sneak into the class and slide down next to Bridgette.

"What was that all about?" Bridgette elbows me.

"He asked me out."

"What?!" she says almost a little too loud.

"I had the same reaction, except I didn't say it out loud," I laugh.

"We will discuss this at lunch. Until then, let's take a nap."

I smack my hand over my mouth, trying my best to hold back my laughter. The professor of this class is extra attentive to his students. So reading a text or laughing with a friend will be called out, promptly. Luckily for us, professor long wind keeps it short today.

"Okay," Bridgette says as we walk out, "start talking."

"What do you want me to say? I'm just as shocked as you are!"

"It's just so random. I hope he's being sincere."

"I'm staying guarded, believe me."

Our next class breezes by as Bridgette and I walk down to the dining hall. We wait our way through the line and pick out a table towards the back again. Our chat is about notes and boring classes before we are interrupted by an Australian accent.

"Hey ladies," Calum smirks sitting down with a plate.

"Hi Calum," Bridgette says unsure of herself.

"Hey," I smile.

"How were your classes this morning?"

"Boring as shit," I groan.

"Ladies and gentleman," Beck says sitting down at the table.

"Beck! Mate, how the hell are ya?"

"I'm pretty good. Not used to seeing you here."

"I'm here all the time," Calum laughs.

"I mean at this table. Are you lost?"

"No. I needed a chance of scenery," he replies looking at me.

I can feel the blood rush to my cheeks as I drop my eyes to my plate.

"There's no real change of scenery in the dining hall, Calum," Beck retorts sounding less than pleased to have Calum at the table.

"For me there is," he smirks.

"How, I just-" Bridgette cuts Beck off, "So Beck, I have those notes you asked for." He glares at Calum before starting his conversation with her.

"So, Nic, can I call you that?"

"You can."

Calum smiles, "I was thinking we could hit up this little joint right off campus tonight."

"Okay," I nod.

"You don't have an early class tomorrow, do you?"

"What do you consider early?" I laugh.

"Like a 7:30 class?"

"No, I have a 9." With Luke I think to myself.

"Okay, he nods, "I should have you back by 2 then."

"You might have to carry me back."

"Light weight?"

"No, I just enjoy sleep."

He laughs, "Okay, okay. Midnight then."

"I think I can survive that."

"Awesome. I'll meet you outside your building around 7?"

"Sounds good to me."

"Okay!" He smiles jumping up, "see you later, babe."

"Bye," I wave watching him walk back to his original table of choice.

"7 o'clock, huh?" Bridgette nags me.

"Yeah, yeah. We'll see how this goes."

Hope You Guys Like It. I Know It Long. But Its My First Book. Tell Me What You Guys Think?. ~Karen 
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