For the next three months you work. It’s all you do. You go to classes, study in your dorm, and work on your grant. You get up in the morning, force breakfast into yourself, and go to uni. After lectures you go straight home. You attempt to stuff more food into yourself, and then you go to the lab where you work on the Yamataki project.
You don’t go out, you don’t talk to people. You’re working through your process, and soon people stop inviting you anywhere. You go shopping with Thea couple times, but you’re so distracted that at some point she smacks you to the head with a folded sweater.
“Wren, get your head out of your arse!” You really try and take a few things to a fitting room. But nothing fits. You lost so much weight that they simply don’t make sizes that small. Thea suggests kids department.
Dr. Maya Claufield comes often. You have meetings, and sometimes she observes your research. She invites you to a lunch, you politely decline, explaining that you have loads of homework. She smiles and says she understands. She asks you one more time, but after you refuse again she never comes back to this topic. You really can’t see in her this crazy shit predator that John described, but you follow his advice.
Sometimes you think that he was just taking the piss. She is confident, gorgeous, wavy blond hair going down below her shoulder blades, her manners are resolved but warm. She’s professional and ethical to the extreme. Are we even talking about the same woman, John?
Twice you run into Phil in the coffee shop on campus. Your heart is beating so much that you are considering giving up coffee completely. And consequently the need to go to the coffee shop. He gives you a long inquisitive stare and then leaves without saying anything. He’s calm and confident, an unpleasant smirk on his lips. Which is a different side of him that you encountered for the first time that fucking morning in the mansion. You really don’t want to see it ever again.
You’re pushing your Choco Snaps around the bowl, drawing chocolate swirls in the milk with a spoon, when with a loud thud Thea drops a box on the table in front of you. You jump up. It’s a vibrator. You’re bloody scared to ask.
“This is for you, Wren.”
“Pardon?” It is pink and very, very large. You are cautiously staring at the “XXXL” pink letters on the box.
“When did you do it last time?” She’s pinning you to the chair with a strict glare.
“What?” You’re reduced to one word mumbling.
“Masturbated, Wren. And more importantly, when did you have an orgasm the last time?”
Three months ago. With Phil.
“Last night.” There’s no use telling her it’s none of her business. She’s like a fucking bulldozer.
“That’s poppycock, Wren, and we both know it.”
“I just don’t feel like it that often.” You snap and shove a spoonful of nauseatingly sweet cereal in your mouth.
“Are you giving up on men, Wren, is that what it is? Your body has needs, my dear, and you have to stop punishing it. You are jittery and disgustingly skinny. You are a passionate woman, Wren, with Dicky you were at it all night long, the walls here are not that thick.” You feel like throwing up. “Damn it, Wren, when you are all fired up, even I want to shag you into a wall. And I’m strict into cock. These days you look like my Aunt Martha. She literally had more cats that you had men in your life.” That’s a hell lot of cats. “So take my generous gift, and if I don’t hear buzzing tonight, we are going to have a long conversation.” She turns on her heels and regally leaves the kitchenette.
You consider turning it on for a bit at night, just so that she wouldn’t bug you with that again. You have no desire to stick it in yourself. To be honest, you have no desire for anything at all. John was right, you’d been traumatized. You have an irrational fear that if you ever want to use Thea’s present, your mind would push Phil’s image on you, and you are terrified.
Even worse so, you don’t want the image a pair of large hands with long fingers on your shoulders, and a curtain of black and silver hair, a heavy hot body pressing into you.
You stuff the pink monstrosity in the bottom drawer of your desk.
You ace your tests, and the project is advancing with flying colours. Two more months go by, you gain your weight back. You still don’t go out, mostly out of pathetic fear of running into Phil, or Killian. You saw both of them numerous times on campus, but neither talked to you. Not that you were really trying. Killian always nods or waves, but not more than that. He has his puppy eyes mode on and scrams. You feel relieved.
Thea seems to get a bit easy on the whole abstinence thing, until one day she ambushes you at the breakfast again. This time it’s not a box, but a gift card to a lingerie store. She flops on chair across the table from you and pushes the plastic rectangular towards you.
“I’m taking you shopping.” You consider immigration to Australia.
“Thank you, but I don’t need anything new. I’m all covered.”
“Exactly my point, Wren.” She is tapping the card on the table with her index finger. “We are going shopping tonight, Wren. And you’re buying the hottest set we encounter. Your inner goddess needs stimulation”.
Your inner goddess needs fucking resuscitation.
“I actually do need to go shopping. We have this charity dinner in the Yamataki lab. I need a dress.”
“Ace!” She jumps up. “And we’re buying you a new perky set to go underneath it. Maybe, you’ll find someone to go home with after it, and you need to be ready.”
Never in your fucking life again. Wait, did you just renounce one night stands in your head? Or sex in general?
Maybe after the party you should meet Mr. Big and Pink, Thea’s words, not yours. You are turning into a hag. But seriously, no, you are not going along that road ever again. You would rather poke your eye out with a pencil than get tangled in another emotionally draining, full of constant wondering and insecurity relationship with anything male. And no one-off things either. Remember how it jumped out of actual swamp shrubbery and bit your arse later, Wren?
At least not for the nearest five years. You’re getting your degree, then couple more, you ace the Yamataki project, get another grant, and discover the cure for all possibles diseases in the world. That sounds more like a twenty year plan, but you are really not in a hurry to go back into the bloody game.