You laugh. What else can you do? He smiles too. Who knew he can be so gorgeous, with merry sparkles in his eyes and these white teeth biting his bottom lip? As you said, a bloody criminal habit.
“I think this stalemate of ours can be solved very easily.”
You look at him from under the lashes. “How?”
“You give me a chance. After all, I’m certain you’ve never been a doxy before. You might enjoy it.” He presses his lips together not to smile. And fuck me, the black cocked up brow! It’s thick and smooth, and you just want to slide the tips of your fingers along it.
You also want to respect yourself afterwards. And sadly enough, you already know your answer.
“No. Sorry, but no.”
You slide on the floor and walk around him. He’s frowning.
“You can not possibly expect to maneuver me into different sort of relationships.”
“God forbid, of course no.” You look at him sadly. It’s all you feel now – sad. “Unlike you I wouldn’t want to twist someone’s arm into something they don’t want.” His jaw tenses.
“Let me finish, please. I understand that you are offering all you can. And it’s… nice.” You really should have taken those Rhetoric Speech classes they offered last year. “But it’s just not me. You know how I feel about you. Well, at least some of my feelings…” You screw your eyes on the desk. He gives a joyless chuckle. “But really, it’s just not me. I’m young, irrational, prone to childish tantrums… You were right after all.” You give him another somber smile. “I’m just not a doxy material. So no, thanks.”
And before you can change your mind you make a few steps and unlock the door.
He nods. The conversation’s over. You are exiting and then you hear. “Wren…”
You turn around to look at him. His face is cold and unreadable once again. “Are you having a dinner with Philip tonight?”
“We were going to pub tonight…” And then you understand. “Oh. I don’t know… Maybe?..”
He nods again and adjusts a cufflink. That is such a childish attempt to hide his face, that your heart clenches. Poor thing. Are you out of your mind, Wren?! ‘Poor thing’ about Dr. John Crispin Thorington?!
“Have a good evening, Wren.” His voice is flat.
“Bye.” And with that you leave.
You talk your way out of the three labs after. The rumours of your grant are spreading, so it’s easy. Before another person congratulates you, enviously and completely insincerely, you rush back to the dorm. You wisely knock and come in. Thea is demurely watching telly in the kitchenette.
“You are early.” You throw yourself on her neck, and she yelps, “Oh bugger! Don’t tell me you guys had a fight!”
“What? No, no fight, I just had a very long day.”
“It’s three.” She looks at you sceptically.
“I know. Listen, I’m going to tell you everything later, but now I just need to get out of here.” You agree on talking before you go to pub to meet Phil, and you go shopping.
You wander through the shops, try on clothes, and let the day settle in your mind. The grant is a big deal, but you don’t seem quite able to wrap your mind around it yet. It will take some time indeed.
John… When did he become John in your mind? Bollocks, there hardly anything to say here.
That’s the dilemma that confuses you most. What are you going to do? He is Phil, delicious and sunny. You’ve shared drinks and now shared a bed too, but you just feel like something’s missing. And also you feel like you are bloody lying to him. Fuck, you feel like you are using him, and that’s an unfamiliar feeling. Though it’s Phil, shag and discard type of guy… Is it what it is now? Or did he mean it when he said he fancied you? Oh sod it, you don’t really know what it is for him. What’s he even thinking?
And what is this rubbish about lying to him? If you hook up, you won’t cheat, and you will have fun, and you will see his mum a lot. It’s slightly disturbing that you want to date him for his mum, but again, people have worse reasons for getting into relationships. And you want him, and you fancy him, and not just a bit. He is talented, ambitious, funny… Are you trying to fucking convince yourself, Wren?
You are staring at yourself in a mirror in a fitting room, and then notice your boring white bra. You make a decision. With a much more dedication you go through more shops, buying a new pair of denim, a new sweater and a set of blue lacy lingerie. It’s six, and you won’t have much time later. You change into new clothes and buy a tube of mascara. You put it on in a shop and dial Phil.
“Are you calling to disappoint me again, love?” His tone is flirty.
“No, I was actually thinking we should skip pub tonight and meet up at my place.” You are twirling a tube of lip gloss in your fingers. Would he like ‘Cherry Pop’ or ‘Blushing Peach’? Bloody hell, concentrate, Wren.
“Oh?” His voice drops lower and into more of a purring diapason.
“I think we should talk and pub is too noisy for that.”
“And just when this conversation started sounding so promising…” You laugh.
“We do need to talk, Phil.”
“Uh-huh…” He is clearly distracted. “Sorry, love, I’m in the middle of a seminar.”
“Why do you pick up your phone during a seminar, you prat?” That feels good, good old bickering.
“Because you are calling me, love. How can I say no?”
You hear professor Johnson’s irritated voice at the background, “Are we bothering you, Mr. Durinson?”
“Not in the slightest, Professor.” Plonker! “I’ll be at your place at seven, love.”
You call Thea, but she doesn’t pick up. Bugger! On the other hand, if you ask her to leave to give you and Phil some space, she’ll be out of the door in a sec. She would probably rise from her deathbed to give you some privacy. And her best box of condoms. It’s six thirty, and you are rushing back. You burst through the door and are met with a faceful of confetti and a yell, “Surprise!” Everyone’s already holding a drink and a giant banner ‘Congrats on the Yamataki grant’ is decorating your kitchenette. Fuck.