Close as Strangers // LH

Summary

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!

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6. Second Guessing.

Luke's POV

Calum returns from checking on Nikki.

"How is she?" I ask a little too concerned.

"Okay, I guess. Eating soup."

"Good," I nod.

Calum gives me a funny look and grabs a beer out of the fridge
.
"I kissed her."

"What?" Calum says slowly.

"She got sick in class today. I brought her back to the dorm to help her out. We were on the couch and I just kissed her."

"What the fuck, Luke?"

"I know. I'm sorry, mate," I say throwing myself on the couch.

"So you're going to mess with her head too?"

"What?"

"What's wrong with Kelsey? Why can't you happy with one chick?"

"I am. That's the thing."

"Then why the fuck would you mess with Nic?"

"I don't have an answer for you."

"Nice, Luke. Real fucking nice. I'm heading to bed. Goodnight."

"Calum.."

I hear his door slam.

"I'm going to Kelsey's!" I shout and escape out of the room and to the stairs. I shove my hands in my pockets and head for Spring Valley. The entire time I debate on stopping at Nic's.  Probably a bad decision. I push through the double doors and force myself past her floor.

"Kels?" I knock opening the door.

Her room is dark but I can hear voices. Maybe her roommates.

"Luke, hey!" Lindsey appears from around the corner. She looks nervous.

"Is Kels around?"

"Oh, she's sleeping already."

"Kelsey is sleeping? Wow. It's early for her."

"Yeah, we had a tough day of studying."

"Oh, well tell her I stopped by, huh?"

"Yeah, sure," she smiles.

I give her a nod and see myself out. I push through the exit door and start down the steps. My conscience is screaming at me not to stop on her floor, but I do anyways and walk to her door. I take a deep breath and knock. After a few minutes of hearing no movement at all, I turn back for the lounge.

"Yes, gatekeeper?"

I smirk, turning around to see a slightly better looking Nic.

"I just wanted to stop by and see how you were doing. Also apologize in person."

She nods her head slowly, "Want to come in or?"

"I guess I could stay for a few."

I walk over, about to step into her room when she stops me.

"What's the password?"

I laugh, tilting my head back, "I don't need a password," I smirk looking at her, "I'm the gatekeeper."

She laughs, letting me in.

"Look, I'm really sorry what happened earlier."

"Don't sweat it. I'm just sorry it wasn't under different circumstances," she shrugs

"Different circumstances?"

"Yeah, two single people. Ya know?"

"I guess."

"You guess?" she raises her eyebrows.

"I'm sorry, it's just," I stop myself, "never mind."

"What?"

"I, uh," I rub the back of my head, "it's just.."

"Spit it out gatekeeper, sheesh!"

"I should get going," I point to the door.

"Okay?"

"See you tomorrow, Nic."

I don't give her a chance to say anything as I shut the door behind me. Once again, pulling an asshole move. I don't know how to deal with this. I'm in love with Kelsey. She completes me. But Nic makes me second guess that. She makes me think I'm settling for the mold. The cookie cutter couple. Darkness envelopes me as I walk out of her building.


The next morning, I'm nervous sitting in class. I know she brushed things off but it still bugs me. My knee bounces furiously as I await to see her sweet self.

"Like, Oh. My. God. It's Luke Hemmings," Nic says in a mocking tone.

I watch as she slides down in the desk next to me.

"Can I have your autograph?"

"Wow, aren't we feeling better," I laugh.

"Yeah! It's nice not to want to puke up everything you eat or drink."

"I'll agree with that."

She scrunched her nose at me, "What up with you today? You're not your usually gatekeeper self."

I pull my lip ring into my mouth, grabbing a hold of it with my teeth. My brain starts firing off so many things to say.

"Didn't get a lot of sleep."

"Oh," she says quietly, "sorry."

"Not your fault," I shrug, "still coming to the gig on Friday?"

"I'd like to."

"That didn't sound convincing."

"I don't know. Calum hasn't messaged me back at all. I don't want things to be awkward."

I swallow hard, knowing why Calum is more than likely acting that way.

"Calum is weird like that," I lie, "I'll talk to him."

Nic smiles, "Thank you."

"Do you like Calum?" I blurt.  Jealousy is a bitch.

"I mean I had fun with him the other night and he seems like a genuine guy but I've only been out with him once."

"Are you planning on going out with him again?"

She laughs, "What is this Hemmo? 20 questions?"

"You're right. I'm sorry."

I slouch down in my desk, picking at the corner of my notebook.

"Should I not go out with him?"

"No, no. I'm not saying that. It's just I didn't figure Calum to be your type."

I look at her. Her beautiful blue eyes stare back at me, that sweet smile perfectly placed across her face. I love the way her freckles dance across her nose.

"Oh," she pauses, "I'm not even sure I have a type."

I nod my head catching the professor walk in out of the corner of my eye.

"Although, tall, dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, facial hair and a lip ring really gets me going."

I quickly glare at her as she wears the biggest smirk. I go to say something to her, but the professor begins his throat clearing to start lecture. I can't help but to steal a few looks at Nic during note taking. The weather calls for it to be unusually warm today so she thought ahead by wearing shorts. God, it's distracting. I've lost count of how many times I've scaled up her tan legs with my eyes. Her foot bounces as she writes her notes. I quickly rip a small piece of paper, jotting her a note.  Your bouncing foot is distracting me from note taking. I fold the paper in half and toss it on her notebook. Keeping my gaze ahead, I await her response. A few seconds later and the folded piece of paper is flying into my desk.  Too bad. You're always distracting so this is payback.

I bite down on my lip ring, thinking of a snarky come back.  How am I distracting? I'm just sitting here. Minding my own. Writing notes.

I flip the paper to her desk again. Remaining attentive to class. A minute later and the paper is flying past my face and under the desk next to me. Nic fights back a laugh, hiding her face. I stretch under the desk grabbing the paper.  Your face. It's so pretty.

"Pretty?!" I mouth scrunching up my face.

She nods her head with a smile. I flip the paper over, scribbling down my complaint.
Pretty? What about dashing? Or handsome or breathtaking?

I notice the professor writing on the board again so I grab Nic's hand placing the note in it. She quickly unfolds it flipping it over. I watch her bite down on her lip, twirling her pen. She starts to write but is interrupted by the end of class.

"Make sure those papers are done by tomorrow," professor frog throat sterns.
I shove my notebook and books in my backpack and zip it up. Nic is gathering her things as well, placing them neatly in her bag.

"So?"

She smirks, "What?"

"My answer?"

"All of the above."

"Laaaaaame, Nic," I tease her as we walk out of class, "so lame."

"Okay, okay. Um," she stops, looking at me, "if I had to describe you in three words.."

"Yeah.."

"I'd say you are a gorgeous human being who has a personality to die for."

I'm sure how to take her compliment. I love hearing I from her but I don't know how to handle it.

"That's more than three words, babe."

She shrugs, "I tried."

I laugh, "Yes, you did."

We walk quietly down the sidewalk towards the dining hall.

"And," I start.

"And?" She repeats me.

"Fuck," I mumble seeing Kelsey steaming towards me.

"What?" Nic zeros in on what has me swearing, "oh no."

"Luke?!" Kelsey groans, "what's your excuse now? Huh?"

"I was literally just asking him a question about our papers due tomorrow," Nic shrugs.

"Oh, please. You've been drooling over my man since the first day you got here. Listen, here. You messing with the wrong bitch."

"I'm sorry," Nic says widening his eyes before stepping around Kelsey.

"And you," she turns to me, "what the fuck? That girl is shit."

"Chill out, Kels. She was just asking a question."

"And to top this off you're lying to me. How nice."

"I'm not lying! And what the fuck was last night?"

She looks at me, "I went to bed early. So what?"

"You never do."

"I was tired, Luke. Sue me."

Kelsey huffs as she starts to walk away from me.

"That's it?"

"I have class," she waves.

I roll my eyes and continue to my walk to the dining hall.

***Nic's POV

Well that quickly went to shit. I push my way past some people as I walk into the dining hall. I quickly spot Bridgette and the gang holding down "our" table.

"Nikki!"

"Hey Garrett!" I wave

"Girl, I haven't seen you in.."

"18 hours," I laugh.

"Whoa, whoa. What's wrong?" Bridgette grabs my arm.

"That dumb broad Kelsey. She always thinks I'm trying to steal her man," I mock.

"I heard you have your own man now," Beck voices sitting down.

"What?"

"Calum," he points to the dark haired boy stalking toward our table.

I take a deep breath.

"Nikki, can we chat?" he smiles
.
"Sure!" Even though I really don't want to. I excuse myself from the table and follow Calum outside.

"What's up?"

"I just wanted to see if we are on the same page?" He looks at me.

"I think so?"

"Kissing Luke doesn't mean we are."

I can feel my cheeks heat up.

"I-"

"Look, I don't want to put forth time and effort in someone who is interested in someone else."

"I'm sorry," I say softly trying to figure out what to say to him.

"I have to get going. Text me later, yeah?"

"Okay."

I watch him walk away, raking a hand through his hair. I like Calum but apparently not the way he likes me.

"Just great," I groan trucking back into the dining hall.  
Hope You Lovelys Like It. Tell me What You Think. ~Angie
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