Categories > Original > Romance

Never Convicted

by MGreene 13 reviews

The love story of Evey and Collin. She's a young, humorous, naive, yet intelligent graduate student who's fed up with empty attraction. Collin has a past he's aiming to leave behind. Is Evey right ...

Category: Romance - Rating: R - Genres: Erotica,Romance - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2012-06-22 - Updated: 2012-06-23 - 21631 words - Complete

5Original
This work is of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product o the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locals is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the author.

Unpublished Work © 2012 Myla Greene

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Dear Mr. Right,

Hello, I am a twenty four year old female. I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Literature. While in my sixth year of higher learning I have come to know the average nature of the general male. No offense, but I’m not interested. I am not on this website to meet general males. I am looking for a unique individual who is sincerely interested in knowing me inside then out. I am looking for someone who finds superficiality as empty and as loathsome, as I do. If you have a sense of humor, understand women, and aren’t in it just for the night, please respond.



Thank you,
E.

____________________


It’s been three weeks since I posted a profile on the anonymous dating website ‘Know Me First.’ I’m beginning to lose faith in their system. It seems as though the people who wish to hide themselves behind a computer, probably should. The responses I’ve received so far have been from much older males, primarily males whom are old enough to be my father or older. That or they respond in such poor grammar, that I have no idea what they’re actually saying. An example being: ‘Aye grl, U sound good nuf to know.’ Wow.

Surprisingly, I have yet to abandon all hope. There was one guy who caught my attention for a while. That is, until he admitted that he’s currently serving time for aggravated assault. Maybe in my next post I’ll add NO CONVICTS!

I have been going to the same bookstore for three years. I’ve practically laid claim to my suede cream couch and dark wooden table in the far back left corner. I love sitting in the artistic expression section of the store. I find expressionist art infinitely inspiring.

It’s perfect in here, never too hot, never too cold. The employees don’t bother me. Nobody bothers me really, except for the occasional art student with tattoos and too many ear piercings. I get gauges; those are actually quite sexy in male’s ears, but earrings? Absolutely not...

I’m waiting in line in the small café to the right of the entrance doors. In front of me there are a couple of girls, they’re very clearly undergraduate students. They’re both sporting the school emblem on their baggy bright pink sweatpants. I never followed the whole, I’m a college student, time to dress in only pajamas trend. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe it’s the town I live in. Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful town. Don’t get me wrong. I love living so close to the mountains. I would hate to move. Oh well, maybe I’m just entirely past the whole college student scene. There are other types of people who live in Boulder, other than the clueless undergrad student. If I’m entirely honest, Boulder is actually fairly diverse. It’s packed with a fair mixture of health conscious hippies, art-appreciating snobs, trust fund babies, wealthy retiree’s, and of course, the aforementioned masses of immature college students.

I have met a few normal-ish people here. A few months ago, I went on a few dates with a guy who I thought had potential. This was of course before I knew about the pullover sweater rule. If an attractive male is wearing a fashionable pullover sweater on top of a solid colored shirt, he is without a doubt borderline narcissistic. I’ve tested the theory several times after dating sweater number one. This rule has proven true so far without fail.

My consensus? They can keep their pullover sweaters and hot caramel coffee. Is it so much to ask to find a male in his mid to late twenties who isn’t a hippie, snob, narcissist or immature womanizer? Maybe today I’ll get a decent response to my ad. I must not abandon hope!

I order a large blueberry tea, half tea, and half soymilk, with one packet of cane sugar. Today is a research day. Time to take advantage of the bookstore’s free Wi-Fi and gather information on my thesis topic. I’m writing my dissertation on sex and violence in sensation fiction. I am writing to expose the importance of a woman’s potential sexuality and deviance. I believe this to be a topic shamed by today’s critics. I don’t see how a man’s sexuality and deviance should be accepted when a woman’s is not. I do not necessarily subscribe to the idea of sexual promiscuity, but I do appreciate it, maybe even admire it in a woman.

As I make my way to my favorite chair in the back of my favorite bookstore I notice a man. He’s tall, blonde, with bright green eyes, and day old blonde stubble growing on his perfectly chiseled face. He’s sporting a gray tight pullover sweater, revealing large well-defined muscles underneath. My first base reaction is to be attracted to him.

His gaze finds mine as he smiles at me. It’s a lazy one-sided confident smile. It reveals stunning perfectly formed white teeth. He’s holding a book in one hand while the other remains tucked into the pocket of his khaki pants. He has my attention to far, but then he winks at me. He is now a sweater statistic. Who winks at random girls?! That’s right narcissistic sweater-wearers wink at random girls…

He’s lost me. I glare at him as I pass by now utterly unaffected by his beauty. Who does he think he is?! This is exactly why I need ‘Know Me First.’ I need a relationship based on equal likes and dislikes. A relationship based on chemistry and connections. Maybe today is the day a man under fifty will write to me.

After giving it some thought, I’ve made the decision to change up my advertisement. I’ve re-read the damn thing twenty-or-so times now and it just sounds lifeless and bitter.

I sink down into my comfy chair and switch on my silver laptop. I burn my tongue sipping my blueberry tea. I let out a barely audible curse and quickly set it down on the dark wood table. As I wait for my laptop to boot up, I fish my iPod out of my black messenger bag. I put in my ear buds and scroll through my playlist. I eventually land on OK Go’s ‘End Love.’ I smile at its all too appropriate lyrics for my current romantic situation.


So sugar, so sugar dance with me
This one last time
We got no reason, we got no reason I can see
To hold back tonight
'Cause no one's gonna catch you
If you can't just let go
No one's gonna love you
If you can't let love show
No one's gonna find you
When you're hiding in the dark
No one's gonna find you


I hit ‘Enter’ after entering in the password connecting me to the store’s free Wi-Fi. Within seconds I’m on. First, I check my email desperately hoping for a response to my ad. Nothing. Ok, I’ve had it. I need to create a new posting, something that says more about me. After all, no one’s going to find me in the dark. I need to show enough of me so that I can be found. Inspiration hits me and I decide to show my zany intellectual side. If anything I’ll catch a man with a sense of humor.


___________________


Dear never convicted,

If you have been admitted to a correctional facility, ever, please skip down to the bottom of the posting. If you have a clean criminal record, welcome to my advertisement! I am a twenty four year old graduate student studying at the University of Colorado in Boulder. If you regularly wear pullover sweaters and drink overpriced coffee please read below. If not, please ignore the following indented section.


To all pullover sweater wearers,

GET OVER YOURSELF! Oh and GO AWAY before I unravel your precious sweater. Thank you.

Ok, now that we’ve worked that out. If you are a normal clothes wearing, regular priced coffee drinking, never convicted, NORMAL HUMAN BEING please contact me. I am looking for FRIENDSHIP ONLY! Do not expect me to meet you tomorrow or the next day. I might let you call me on the phone in a MONTH OR TWO, but don’t get your hopes up. Oh and NO ONE OVER FIFTY! I COULD BE YOUR DAUGHTER AND THAT’S DISTURBING!

Now a little about me, if you cannot tell already I am a young witty female sick of superficial empty ‘love.’ I am intelligent, charitable, and an animal lover. So if you hunt just to prove how ‘manly’ you are, then you Sir are delusional in my mind. Unless you use a three-inch blade to take down a bear in hand-to-hand combat, you know put your life on the line as well. If you don’t, YOU ARE A PANSY! Shooting something at a safe distance is WEAK and COWARDLY! Just saying…

If you haven’t gone running for the hills yet, welcome to my humor! Well truthful humor. I mean absolutely everything I say, so please don’t waste my precious waning hope if you know I won’t be interested in knowing you. Once again, that is all I am interested in. KNOWING YOU and NOT IN THE BIBLICAL SENSE!

WE CLEAR? Awesome. More about me, I love dancing with my friends, I enjoy the occasional cocktail, I think football is repetitive and boring, I love amusement parks, I’m a fantastic bowler, and I WILL beat you in any game of putt-putt golf. You’ve been warned.


Thank you for your time,
E.


To all the convicts out there,

GO AWAY! I am not the Bonnie to your Clyde.
P.S. I don’t want to know how jail has changed you. I just don’t care! Thank you. Now seriously, GO AWAY!


_________________________

There! That should do it. I click post and sit back in my chair proud of myself. My posting is a tad bolder than I really am, but I have to stop the weirdo’s from contacting me. I honestly just want to connect with someone and maybe feel something deeper later on. Hopefully that is exactly what I will get.

I’ve sipped my tea and researched for the past few hours. I’ve made an impressive list of sexually promiscuous female’s who have had their professional reputations ruined. It will go nicely with my list of sexually promiscuous males who are still well known and respected in their professions today.

I yawn and stretch my neck trying hard to ignore my eyestrain. I need to get home. I still have laundry and dishes to do before classes start up again tomorrow. I rub my eyes and flip my hair back mentally exhausted. I close out the document I’m working on and fire up my email. I’m shocked to find four responses to my advertisement. Already?

I open the first one to find a literal essay. The first page goes on an on about how I’m superficial for discriminating against someone’s sense of style and age. They obviously don’t get my humor and are looking to prove a point. I delete it and move on to the next. The first line of the email reads: ‘I know you said no fellows over fifty, but…’ Needless to say I hit delete almost instantly. Can’t anybody read?! Maybe this was a mistake. I should just pull my ad and accept loneliness.

I take a deep breath and decide to give the last two emails a chance. If they’re misjudging me or ignoring me, I’ll just delete my ad and move on. Simple. I open the next reply to find something quite curious.

___________________________

Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: Response to ‘Dear Never Convicted’
Date: January 5th 2012 2:18pm


Dear E,

Come on, I know some perfectly decent convicts. You just have to set boundaries and let them know you will not be posting your house for bail. That’s all, they usually understand…

I’m glad you’re not into dating father figures. Girls with daddy issues are just irritating. No offense if you have daddy issues, but if you do, please see the indented section below.


To the girls in need of attention

You are a perfectly capable human being. Grow a pair and learn to love yourself. Who said you need male validation? Trust me, it’s not worth as much as you’re thinking it is.

Now, as far as hunting goes, what’s wrong with a man hunting down a bear in the woods? What if the bear started it? Have you thought of that? By the way, you will NEVER beat me at putt-putt. EVER, so YOU missy should just give up.

A little about me, I’m so sorry to disappoint you, but I do wear sweaters. It get’s chilly here. What’s your beef with a guy keeping warm? I don’t want to die of hypothermia anymore that you do. I also happen to enjoy my over priced coffee. Did you know 20% of the proceeds go to villages in Africa? Yeah, that’s right, my coffee is overpriced so I can contribute to a clean water project for the poverty stricken. Feeling guilty yet? I know of a great high-end snobby coffee joint if you’re interested…

Now, as far as meeting you goes. I don’t really want to meet you either. There. How does it feel? Not good right? Are you always this mean to us poor guys? You must be gorgeous to be so fed up with us single-minded men. Not that I’m interested in how you look, because I too am serious while joking. I don’t want to meet you. I want to talk to you and have a normal relationship with a female for once.

You are actually female right?
Collin

________________________

What the what?! Who is this guy?! He’s funny. I’ve laughed out loud more than once while reading his response. He doesn’t seem like a weirdo or womanizer so far. I guess I could give him a chance.

I delete the email below his; the sender’s address is natureboy@campushikers.com. Nature boy? I do love nature, but not as much as he does. Response ignored. I move on and hit reply to Collin’s response. I finish off my cold blueberry tea. Ah, I feel mentally reset and equipped to tackle his ready-wit.

___________________________

Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: Never Convicted or Never Caught?
Date: January 5th 2012 4:07pm


Dear Collin,

How many guys do you know named Evey? Which is short for Evelynne, which I believe you should address me as by the way. Seeing as you’re never going to meet me, I think you should address me formally. Also, you say you’re glad I’m not into father figures. Does this mean you’re a father figure and this is the reason you’re not interested in meeting me? If so, please just GO AWAY! I’m not afraid to tell you off, no matter how much I already seem to like you. If you’re not over twice my age, you simply must be some sort of a serial killer. Just because they haven’t caught you yet, doesn’t make you less of a criminal. My ad did say ‘Dear never convicted.’ Maybe I should change it to, ‘Dear never convicted and honestly not-guilty.’ What is your stance on this subject?

I HIGHLY doubt you can beat me at putt-putt, or anything for that matter. I’m pretty amazing at most things; take that as having a strong sense of self-validation. Once again, if you’re over fifty just delete this email now and FIND SOMEONE YOUR OWN AGE!

You’re right by the way, I haven’t thought of the bear being the antagonist. I guess if he stole your car and insulted your mother, you would have a strong case for revenge. Must it result in violence though? I have no idea what you look like, but I doubt you’re strong enough to take on a bear with a three-inch blade. Don’t’ they have four full sets of three inch claws? I think you’d be out-gunned or out-clawed in this instance.

So you say you wear sweaters and drink overpriced coffee. Do you also wear khaki pants and wink at random girls hoping to draw them in? If so, I know who you are and I believe ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ is a bit out of your reach.

Can a girl also get multiple piercing at this coffee shop? I’m wanting as many as I can possibly fit on my face. I’m thinking piercings numbering in the mid-thirties should suffice. I really want to shine! Speaking of shining, just how many piercings do you have? Tattoos? My ears are double pierced and I had a nose-ring once back in high school. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a loop, it was a cute diamond stud and I actually looked pretty adorable with it. So take your pre-judgments about my appearance and shove it! As you’ve said, you’re never going to meet me, so who cares about my appearance. Incidentally, feel free to ignore my tattoo and piercings question. I don’t find hypocrisy becoming.

Tell me more about yourself. I’ve told you my age and what I do. All you’ve admitted so far is having a vested interest in fashionable warmth.

~Evey

______________________

I shut my laptop and pack up my iPod. I’m sure he won’t be emailing me back anytime soon. That was a thrill and a half for me to write him back. I wonder what he’ll say next.

I try my hardest to fight my smile as I exit my favorite bookstore. I’m glad I let my humor show in my post. I’m just so surprised it caught someone’s attention so soon. I hope his is a guy under fifty and is lying about never wanting to meet me. Why would he be on such a site if he had no interest whatsoever in finding a potential mate? He must by lying.

I make my way out into the frosty evening. It’s January here in Boulder valley. The weather team predicted the high today could reach twenty-five degrees. Toasty! I consider moving to warmer climates every time I step outside in the winter here. I guess I too am anti-hypothermia.

I try my best not to be distracted by my thoughts of him as I walk down the slippery icy sidewalks back to my studio apartment. Skate walking as I affectionately call it, requires concentration. I just need to make it back to my perfect little apartment.

Thanks to a small online business I’ve formed, I’ve been able to live on my own here for the past year. I love not living with anyone. I’ve had my fill of drama and drunken girl nights to fill a lifetime. I enjoy being able to come home to a small cozy quiet space. There’s no one around except my beta fish Stick. I thought the name was hilarious in the store. The poor employee helping me didn’t find my fish sticks reference very amusing. Oh well, she was a sourpuss anyway. I hope I’m not coming off as a sourpuss to Collin. I’m sure he wouldn’t be writing to me if he thought that.

I eventually reach my building and open the door to the inside hallway. I really wish management here would take my requests for an exterior building lock seriously. I’ve opened my apartment door to a homeless person or a drunken guy more than once. Oh well, I guess my home is safe enough. I bought one of those safety doorjambs a while ago, just in case, and I feel confident in its abilities.

I unlock and open the door to my apartment. Once inside I head straight for my kitchen. I have a stereo set up on my kitchen counter and it is in dire need of my iPod. I dig through my messenger bag, find it and plug it in. I turn up the volume on the first song that starts playing, Led Zepplin’s ‘Over The Hills And Far Away.’ I love classic rock and this one just so happens to be one of my favorites.

After setting my bag down on my small kitchen table I begin gathering up my laundry. That’s what’s so great about living on my own as well. There’s no one around to tell me turn my music off. I love being able to dance while I clean. It makes the task seem far less mundane.

Before I know it, my apartment is clean, dishes are washing, and the first load of laundry is in the dryer. I’m all caught up on research and have the rest of the evening to read or watch movies. I sit down at my table and pull my laptop out of my bag. I set it up with the intention of charging it up for class tomorrow. Temptation wins out, however, and I open it up to check for an email from Collin. I plug in my Ethernet cable and open up my email. Yes! There is a response from him!

_______________________

Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: Not Guilty! I Swear!
Date: January 5th 2012 7:26pm


Dear Miss Evelynne,

It is Miss right? You’re not a married lonely Mrs. Evelynne are you? I am glad you’re a female by the way. Not that it really matters as I honestly am planning on never setting eyes on you. I’m 29 by the way. I’m not telling you what I do, mostly because it’s none of your business. That and I don’t want you stalking me at my place of work. You’re not a stalker are you? I’m not sure if I’m a serial killer yet. I haven’t had the urge to commit such atrocities, but never say never…

To satisfy your curiosity, I do have tattoos. I have several from my shoulders down to my wrists. I do not have any piercings and I do not plan on getting any. Nose studs can be attractive on a girl, probably not on you though. I’m picturing you as a frumpy sweatshirt wearing NERD with glasses. That’s right I called you a NERD!

I read the synopsis to ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ and you are correct. This piece of literature is far beyond my reach and patience level. Have you read it? If you recommend it, I might try and muddle through. You do read, don’t you NERD? What are your favorite books? What would you recommend for a tattooed, sweater wearing, NON-NERD such as myself?

I think covering your face in piercings would likely be an improvement, but where would your glasses go and your frumpy sweaters might get caught in the studs. I guess it might not be a bad thing to have a sweater permanently covering your face…

By the way, I could take on a bear, several three-inch claws or not. Bears don’t scare me, and neither do you missy! Although I’ll never play you, I can assure you that you are in no way better than I, at putt-putt or anything else. I don’t care how much self-validation you may have. It doesn’t make up for raw ability, which I have in spades.

You say you like to dance with your friends. I’m assuming no guy wants to dance with you in clubs, so you’re stuck with your frumpy friends. I’d dance with you, but you might not be able to tell it’s me with your bad eyesight, FOUR EYES. I’m just kidding, I’m sure you see just fine… with your glasses on. Or maybe you look sexy in glasses, like that hot librarian thing. I doubt it, however.

Write me back now, I’m bored.
Collin


___________________________

Wow! Who the hell does this guy think he is?! He’s picturing me as a frumpy nerd huh? Oh I am going to let him have it! Screw being nice to this guy. He’s begging for it![

___________________________


Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: Wardrobe Malfunctions
Date: January 5th 2012 7:48pm

Dear Jerk Face,

I am not writing you back to entertain you. I personally don’t care at all about your boredom level. FIND SOMETHING TO DO, other than make assumptions about my wardrobe. For your information I do not own a frumpy sweater. I dress well, in form fitting clothes. I have a nice form too! Not that you’ll ever meet my form, so I really don’t see how it’s any of your concern. I am MISS Evey. Why? Would it really matter to you whether or not I was married? You’re the one who joins anonymous dating sites to not date anyone and you think I’m the weirdo…

I am not a NERD by the way. I am intelligent or did you skip past that part on my ad. A person’s reading level is in no way indicative of their love of Star Wars, so cut the NERD comments weirdo! I don’t wear glasses either and trust me I’m sure I could spot you a mile away. Let me guess, you wear loose jeans and gross old shoes. You probably almost never shower and have a beer gut. To make matters worse, you never cut your hair and as a result have grown a pretty sick mullet. You probably have a dreadful acne problem from all the junk food you eat and your mother likely worries daily about your alcohol problem. Yeah! I’ve got you spot on don’t I?!

There is no possible way you could fight a bear by the way, unless you are the size of a bear. There is a Weight Watchers in town; maybe you should give them a try.


~MISS Evelynne

________________________


Take that rude stranger! I feel tempted to send him a picture of myself so he can feel like a total idiot. I know I’m attractive. I have long curly wavy strawberry blonde colored hair with golden highlights. I have light green eyes and a thin frame. I get attention from very attractive males often. That’s one of the reasons I’ve signed up for an anonymous dating site. I am sick and tired of being judged for my looks and now I have a guy doing the exact same thing. At least he thinks I’m frumpy. I’m sure no matter what I say he won’t believe me. In his mind only losers sign up for anonymous dating sites, I’m sure.

I shake my head and get up to make myself a sandwich. Just as I’m taking my first bite I hear my computer ping. He must have sent me a reply already. He really is bored. I sit down and take another bite of my turkey on wheat and open his email.

_________________________

Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: I should send you a photo…
Date: January 5th 2012 8:16pm


Dear MISS Evelynne,

Yep, you’ve got me. I’m a giant fat gross slob with a mullet. Now I know you’re a cynical NERD with awful frizzy hair and warts all over her face.

Give me your number. I want to put a crackling witch voice behind your disgusting exterior.

Collin

______________________


Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: I dare you…
Date: January 5th 2012 8:19pm


(720) 555-5847


_______________________

I reply without thinking. Oh I dare him to call me. I want to give this guy an earful. He thinks I must sound like a witch, huh? I’ve been told I have a sexy voice, so he’ll be eating his words if he actually has the balls to call me. I take another bite of my sandwich and I hear it. My phone is ringing. OH SHIT! I didn’t think he would actually call me. Shit! I drop my sandwich on my plate and panic as I search through my bag. I grab it just as it stops ringing. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I’ve missed his call. I’m completely flustered. I really wasn’t planning on him calling me, especially not immediately. I take the last few bites of my sandwich and get up to put my plate in the sink. I hear a ping from my computer as I’m rinsing my hands off. I practically run over to check my computer. Yes! It’s an email from him.

_______________________


Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: Missing your cackling voice.
Date: January 5th 2012 8:26pm


Dear MISS Evelynne,

It’s not polite to give a guy a fake number… now some poor schmuck has a long embarrassing voicemail to delete.

Collin

__________________________

He left me a voicemail? I dive for my phone and check it. It says I have no new messages. I listen through my voicemails just in case and find nothing from him. What a liar…

_________________________

Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: Fire Extinguisher?
Date: January 5th 2012 8:31pm

Your pants are on fire…

I have no voicemail.

Liar.

~Evey

________________________

Less than a minute later my phone rings again. Shit! I just confirmed my number. What a tricky bastard. At least I know he’s smart. I clear my throat and take a big breath before pressing the answer button.
“Collin?”

“Hmm no. Try again, that wasn’t very crackly,” he says in a smooth sexy teasing voice. He sounds hot! Oh no, what do I do with this information?

“Uh, I can try… hang on,” I say in my best sexy voice to match his. I’m sure he’s sticking his foot in his mouth too. I clear my throat and try to amp myself up for a crackly voice. I try to say something in a witchy tone and end up making myself giggle instead.

“That was terrible, come on Evey. Just talk like you normally do. You know the way that makes children run away screaming?” He teases chuckling. Even his laugh is sexy. Oh no, what if this guy’s attractive? Why would an attractive guy be on an anonymous website? Maybe he’s looking for a connection too.

“Hey! I thought you’re supposed to be calling me Evelynne. We’re never going to meet remember?”

“Oh yeah, sure. Whatever you say Evey,” he says annunciating my name as if it were an insult.

“EVELYNNE!” I scream back into the receiver. He doesn’t respond only laughs. His laugh is amazing. It’s so deep and full. He’s driving me crazy. He’s so arrogant and antagonizing.

“I’m serious about never meeting you! Only a serial killer has a voice like you and looks like an eight hundred pound trucker…”

“Hey, no one said I look like an eight hundred pound trucker, NERD.”
“Ooh! I am not a nerd you hillbilly!”

“Hillbilly?!” He shouts as he moves the phone away from his mouth to laugh at me. I can’t stand this anymore. He’s so high and mighty! I hang up on him and slam my phone down on the table. Who said I have to talk to him? There’s no rule out there saying I have to give him even five minutes of my time. I sit shaking my head.

Two seconds later he calls me back.

“What?!” I shout at him. I am not in the mood to feel confused and made fun of.

“Evey, I’m sorry. I was having too much fun. You are very entertaining,” he chuckles and tries his best to give me a soft crooning voice. It calms my anger and makes me feel warm, even comforted; yet still totally irritated.

“I’m glad I entertain you.” I whisper back. I’m surprised by my own voice it sounds to full and purposed. I feel a flush creeping across my face. Oh my. I’ve never been turned on by a guy’s voice before. Wow. I don’t even know this guy.

“You do. Listen Evey, I didn’t’ mean to make fun of you too badly. I just wanted to hear your voice. We can go back to emailing if you would like,” he whispers back matching my full tone. His voice reminds me of melted caramel over rich vanilla ice cream.

“Uh, well,” I seem incapable of completing a rational sentence. How is he doing this to me? I thought this guy irritated me.

“Look, I know I’ve made you uncomfortable. Let’s just go back to emailing. You can email me in the morning or call me whenever you feel like it. But just so you know, I still think you’re a NERD!” He teases before hanging up on me. My mouth drops wide open. The bastard! I call him back immediately, but he doesn’t answer. He lets it go to his voicemail.

“Hey you bastard! I am not a nerd! Even if I were, it beats being a gross fat hillbilly. P.S. Mullets went out of style a few decades ago. You should make a trip to Cost Cutters.” I snap before I hang up. I giggle and immediately begin reading through our emails like a teenage girl with a crush. I hate the way I feel about him. I don’t know him at all. It makes no sense that I feel connected to him. Maybe this site does work. Maybe he’s the one I’ve been looking for. He might actually be a fat hillbilly covered in tattoos. I have to mentally prepare myself for that reality. Would I still feel the same way if he were unattractive? Wouldn’t that make me a hypocrite if I reject him based on looks? It would. Ok I can do this. I can be attracted to a guy based on personality alone.

I lie my head down on my table and try my best to work through these new feelings. He’s hit me like a freight train. I’ve never had feelings like this for someone I’ve never met. Maybe I should meet him. He might be completely different in person. He’s said several times that he’s not interested in meeting me though. Maybe I can persuade him. One of his emails was titled, ‘I should send you a photo…’ Maybe I should send him one. I wonder if he would treat me differently knowing I’m attractive. I’m sure he would. He might even stop talking to me all together and that is not what I want. I’ve been feeling really lonely lately and I’m mad craving attention right now. I want to write him so badly I almost feel my fingers twitching. I fight the urge and decide to go to bed early.

I wash my face and get in my pajamas. I check my computer one last time and find my inbox empty. I pout on my way into bed. I really must be crazy right now. How am I pouting about a guy I don’t know? It makes no sense. I shake my head and close my eyes. Maybe this will pass in the morning. I have a seminar tomorrow morning. That will likely distract me enough to forget about him for now. Eventually I drift off into a deep hot sleep.

I wake up the next morning sweating. I dreamt of different faces speaking to me in his voice. What I really find disturbing is that I was attracted to every face. It didn’t matter in my dream whether or not he was old, young, ugly, or attractive. The only thing that mattered was that it was him. That must mean something. I must not only be attracted to looks. Deep down I must be attracted to him on the inside. There’s something about him, especially now that he’s been a little sweet to me and apologized. I can hear his voice echoing in my head. I wish he had left a voicemail so I could listen to it again and again.

I shoot out of bed and run to my computer. I check my email to find no response from him in my inbox. There are several more from the dating site, but I don’t care. I only want to hear from him.

I pout and close my laptop. I make my way into my kitchen and prepare myself breakfast. I make myself whole-wheat toast with strawberry jamb and scarf it down before jumping in the shower really quick. I don’t want to be late for my first day of the semester.

I get ready and head off to class. The seminar is uneventful and I find myself on my way back to my favorite bookstore hours later. I wait in line for my blueberry tea and ultimately find my favorite chair. I set everything up and connect to the free Wi-Fi. I open my email and a huge mega smile plays across my lips. I have an email from him.

________________________


Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: I’ll take that fire extinguisher now…
Date: January 6th 2012 11:48am


Dear Miss. Evelynne,

I have a problem to which you may be willing to help. You see, I was fully expecting to hear a crackling, whiney, screechy, voice when I called you. I even expected you to snort and make awful coughing noises. I had a list going in my head of appropriate insults and I never got to use them. Now I’m just hanging on to these things trying to think of what to do with them. This is where you come in.

I propose I buy you an over priced coffee and you let me spout off my list of insults to you. What are your thoughts? They’re primarily focused on your frizzy witch hair.

Like I said in the subject line. I’ll be taking that fire extinguisher now. I do want to meet you, but that’s all. I want a friend Evey. I don’t want you to get all attached to me and annoy me. Clear? You keep your frizzy witch hair in my friend zone and all will be well. I repeat I want you in my FRIEND ZONE. No stalking me or poisoning my drink with eye of newt. I’ll notice and make you fight the next bear that insults my mother. Its not easy and I won’t help you. Bears can be surprisingly slobbery, so I would use protective eyewear.


Your NERDY science lab glasses should work fine,
Collin


________________________

Oh my God, he wants to meet me too… Shit! What if I find him attractive?! He’s said very clearly that he’s not interested in me romantically. Maybe he’s gay. Maybe he’s just looking for a girl to hang out with and play Sex in the City in swanky wine bars with. I could go for that actually. Ok that sounds like complete fun. I guess it would be nice to have a friend, especially one that I have so much fun with just emailing. I’m sure he would be a blast in person. Ok I’ll go for it. I’m so glad I wore my good jeans today. My hair is behaving this morning as well. I guess I feel up to meeting him.

_________________________

Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: One fire extinguisher… coming up!
Date: January 6th 2012 12:56pm

Dear Hillbilly,

I accept your proposal, on one condition. You also allow me to spout off all of my insults to you. Don’t think for a second I’ve run out. I’m just getting warmed up. I’m not afraid of fighting your bears either. See, I being far more intelligent than you, plan on killing them with kindness. Did you know bears are deathly allergic to eye of newt bear snacks? It’s a little known fact…

As far as your FRIEND ZONE goes, trust me, it’s iffy to me. I’m not sure I want any part of any ZONE of yours. Why can’t I stalk you too? Those who I’ve stalked in the past have only ended up missing me in the end. Sure they get creeped out the first few times they find me waiting in their closet wearing their clothes, but they usually learn to love me. I’ve even been recommended for other stalking positions. So your loss…

Do we have to go to your snobby ear piercing coffee shop? I’m not sure I would fit into your ‘scene.’

~Evey

_________________________

Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: You pick the place.
Date: January 6th 2012 1:17pm

Evey,

I really don’t care where we go. I could go meet you at the waste management plant for all I care.

Collin


___________________________


Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: Serial Killer
Date: January 6th 2012 1:19pm

Collin,

Maybe we should meet at the police station. I think I may need an armed escort.

~Evey

_____________________________

Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: Protection.
Date: January 6th 2012 1:22pm


Miss Evelynne,

You should always protect yourself when meeting strangers. Promise me you don’t meet strange guys off the Internet in dark deserted alleyways.

Pick a place and I’ll meet you there. I’ll need to know which police station if that is your plan.

Oh and buy pepper spray,
Collin


____________________________

Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: Are you trying to creep me out?
Date: January 6th 2012 1:26pm


Seriously, telling a girl she should buy pepper spray before meeting you is kind of a mega-huge warning sign. I’m at the large bookstore on Pearl Street. Just go straight to the back. I’m in the art expressions section. I have strawberry blonde hair and I’m wearing a teal sweater. Yes I wear sweaters too. Try not to give me too much crap for it ok? I happen to like this sweater. ]

[/P.S. If you go all serial killer on me, I will haunt you.]
[/~Evey


_________________________


I sit and wait for a few minutes for a response, but don’t receive one. He must be on his way. Oh God, what the hell am I thinking?! I can’t seriously be ready to meet some guy off the Internet. I even told him where my favorite spot is. That was stupid of me. Now if he turns out to be a psycho I will have to find somewhere new. Maybe I should just leave. I can tell him I got nervous and left. I’m sure he’ll understand. What if he takes that as a rejection? I don’t want to reject him, I don’t think. No, I don’t want to reject him. Shit! I need to make sure I look ok.

I dig in my bag and find my makeup mirror. I check my hair and face with the tiny mirror. I’ve never been one to wear a lot of makeup, so my makeup hasn’t changed much since this morning. I love the way my eyes look in this sweater. It really plays off the green and makes them pop. Oh I hope he isn’t a creep. I actually really like him.

I put my makeup mirror away and act busy on my laptop. All I can think about is him. I wonder how far away he is. I find myself glancing up, pretending to be casual, and eyeing every male who happens in my direction. None of them seem to even notice my existence. He must still be on his way.

I wait and wait. It’s been almost half an hour since he emailed. I guess
he isn’t interested in meeting me. Maybe that was a test to see if I’d actually go for it. I guess I failed. I reach forward and close the lid on my laptop feeling a little sick to my stomach. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Just as my faith is seriously waning, I glance up and catch the gaze of a man walking toward me. He’s tall, maybe six foot two or three. He has broad toned shoulders and large muscles. He has brown messy hair and a chiseled jaw line. His eyes are deep blue, his lips full and shaped, and his nose is perfect and straight. He’s absolutely dazzling. Much to my dismay he looks away from me almost instantly and heads for a different section. He takes a minute to pick out a book, then sets it back down and leaves the store. Shit! He was really cute. He was wearing a sweater though. It’s ok. I’ve been rejected before. I guess cute bookstore guy and Collin just aren’t feeling me today. I can’t let this bother me. Rejection only wins if you let it. I can always search through the other responses I’ve received from the website. If none of those pan out, I can always try a different dating site.

I try my hardest to psyche myself into remaining positive when all I want to do is cry. I just want to head home and curl up in my bed. I miss emailing Collin already. He was so much fun.

I decide to pull my laptop back out and check one last time for an email from him. I look through my inbox and find nothing new. I pout knowing now that he really did ditch me. It’s been forty minutes since I emailed him and it doesn’t take that long from anywhere in Boulder to get to Pearl Street.

“So here’s the thing…” I hear a man say quietly as he sits down in the armchair adjacent to mine. I glance over and am floored by what I see. My mouth drops open and my eyes widen. Collin is the cute bookstore guy. Up close I can see he’s far more than cute. He’s down right stunning. He’s rolled up his sleeves exposing some of his tattoos on his forearms. They suit him. I guess I do like tattoos on a guy. I glance down to find he has a dark metal ring on his middle right finger. His hands are large, easily twice as big as mine. His fingers are long and slender.

As he scoots forward in his chair I watch as his large muscles squeeze and flex in his sweater. He’s wearing a gray-green pullover with a white shirt underneath. His eyes are so very blue and his features are so very striking. He belongs in a magazine, not here in a bookstore with me.

“You don’t look like a nerd,” he breathes as his gaze catches mine.
“You don’t look like a hillbilly,” I whisper as my breathing becomes shallower. I’m psychotically attracted to this man. Pairing his voice with his physical form is just plain overwhelming.

“I wasn’t expecting this…” He chuckles running a hand through his hair. I feel heat creeping across my face as I grip the cushion below me. I’m trying as hard as I can to not seem so affected by this man.

“Um, do you still want to get coffee?” I ask desperately trying to make normal conversation with him. I’m almost panting as I gaze at him. I’ve never felt such carnal attraction in my life. I watch as a aggrieved expression spreads across his stunning face and he sits back in his seat. I glance down at his hands to find they have a death grip on the arms of the chair. I compare his hands to mine. My white knuckles match his.

“No. Evey. I think we should go back to emailing,” he says sternly and my heart sinks. He must be able to tell I’m attracted to him. I slump in my chair and fold my arms across me. He’s rejecting me. He must not be attracted to me at all. He is absolutely stunning. He belongs with a model and I’m sure he knows that.

I can’t look at him. I’ve never had a guy tell me to my face he’s just not interested. Usually guys have the decency to make something up or just never call again.

I feel him watching me as I stand up and grab my laptop. I can’t look at him. I just need to get away from him. This is horrifying. I’m so embarrassed. I didn’t think my favorite spot would be ruined by rejection. I’d never even considered that.

“Wh… where are you going?” He asks standing up with me. I slide my laptop into my bag and shake my head. I can’t let him see me cry. That would make this whole situation a million times worse. I just need to leave and change my email. I step away from him to make my way around the dark wooden table.

As I take my second step, he reaches out and grabs my wrist. I turn gaping at him shocked. I feel tingling electricity flowing from my wrist down to my thighs. Oh God, his touch. My eyes move from his hand connecting with my wrist up his arm and straight to his eyes. I’m so confused. He looks scared to death.

“Please don’t leave,” he whispers as he releases me. I cross my arm around me. I feel vulnerable and embarrassed. What the hell is his problem? I stare at the floor trying to come up with something to say. I just can’t seem to form words.

“Evey, I don’t really want you to go. That’s not what I’m saying. I just. I joined the site to meet unattractive girls with personality. Not gorgeous women with incredible sense of humor. I just need some time…” He trails off sitting back down in his chair. I’m staring at him as I sit back down in my seat. All I can think about is how he said I was gorgeous.

“I’m sorry I’m not ugly…” I whisper as I pull my bag up onto my lap and hug it. I need some sort of comforting contact. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this insecure in my life.

“You should be,” he chuckles. I glance up to find him staring back at me with soft eyes. My eyes soften in response. His smile is dazzling. I could stare at this man forever.

I’m caught off guard as I see his hand reaching for mine out of the corner of my eye. My mouth drops wide open as he lifts and presses my knuckles against his soft lips. I close my mouth and swallow as he sets my hand back down on my armrest.

“Evey. Please stop looking at me like that. You’re making this too hard for me,” he breathes as he looks away at a nearby bookshelf. I frown and look away too, not understanding what he’s getting at.

“Um I’m sorry. I don’t really understand,” I whisper looking down at my twisting fingers.

“I know you don’t. Look let’s go somewhere more public.”

“This isn’t public enough?” I ask looking around us. There are people everywhere.

“No Evey. There are bathrooms not more than thirty feet from us,”he whispers very seriously. I can’t help put giggle and look up at him.

“You can’t be serious. There are bathrooms everywhere. You’re not planning on raping me are you?” I tease, but he doesn’t seem too amused by my joking. He glares at me as he takes his phone out and begins texting on it. Now he’s ignoring me?! Wow, I’ve never met a guy who can’t even talk to me for five minutes before texting on his phone.

“Hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s rude to text in the middle of a conversation?” I snap at him. He glances at me for a split second then looks back down at his phone and continues typing. I roll my eyes and look away from him. I don’t understand this man. One minute I’m holding myself back I’m getting such intense vibes from him, the next he’s rejecting me, the next he’s mad at me and ignoring me for something? He’s a psycho. That’s what this is.

“Ok, look. It was really fun emailing you, but I need to go. I’ve never had anyone reject me quite like this and I’m crazy confused…” I trail off as his gaze finds mine again. He’s straight staring at me now. He shakes his head and looks at his phone for a second then puts it back in his pocket. I’m scowling at him completely bewildered. I attempt to stand up again and he gently pushes me back down placing a strong hand on my knee.

“Why couldn’t you be hideous?” He whispers as he sits back in his chair and runs his hands through his hair.

“I really don’t understand what’s going on. You clearly don’t want me here, but you won’t let me leave? Why do you want me to be ugly so badly? Isn’t it a good thing to be attracted to someone you connect with?” I ask quietly.

“Shit.” He whispers as he tips his head back against the top of the armchair.

“Evey. Ok, oh shit here goes… I haven’t been with a woman in over two months. I uh joined this site so I could have a normal platonic relationship with a woman. I really do want something long-term and permanent, but I have this habit, I guess is what you could call it, where I get women in bed with me and have my way with them until I get bored. I usually end up annoyed by them within a few weeks and I ditch them,” he whispers looking down at his hands on his knees.

“You’re a douche bag womanizer?” I ask horrified and holding back tears.

“Yes Evey. I left the store earlier to call my therapist. He told me to just talk to you and make sure I don’t go anywhere with you where I would be tempted. I was just texting him asking him for help. Evey, I’ve never had so much fun talking to a woman before in my life. Then I couldn’t help myself and got your number. It was too hard to hear your voice. Now I know why,” he breathes grabbing my hands and holding them in his. I’m heartbroken and in shock. He just wants in my pants. He was worried about the bathrooms because he wants to take me in there and have his way with me.

“I’m not going to have sex with you Collin,” I snap pulling my hands back from his. I’m in full protection mode now. I don’t need this shit, especially from a complete stranger. I watch as he bites his lip and scowls down at the floor. I know I’ve hurt him, but I don’t care. I need to guard myself against him. He’s an admitted womanizer!

“I really should have met you at a police station,” I tease trying my hardest to lighten the mood. I just want to shake hands and leave this man. He’s a complete stranger, but I can’t help this deep need to comfort him. I shouldn’t feel compelled to comfort him at all, yet I am.

“Yeah, you probably should have. Did you buy pepper spray?” He asks seeming genuinely concerned.

“I always carry pepper spray. Let me guess you’ve built up a tolerance to it at this point?” I jab trying my hardest to bring back his witty playful side. I want to get to know him better for some reason. I really should run away and call the cops.

“I’ve never been pepper sprayed Evey. Women usually want what I have to offer,” he explains as he reaches in his pocket for his phone. I don’t give him any crap this time for texting. I don’t want to get in the way of him and his mental wellbeing.

“Usually?” I whisper.

“Usually,” he states seriously. I know he’s understood my joke and is simply refusing to expand upon it. He hasn’t been very witty since our phone call. I wonder what’s happened. I hope I didn’t do anything to turn him off. My God he’s gorgeous. I feel a pull deep down between my thighs as I watch him text. No wonder he’s a womanizer. I’m sure he knows he has me eating out of the palm of his hand already. Maybe I should ignore him too. I don’t want to seem desperate or have him get bored with me already.

I take my laptop out and set it up on the table. He eyes my actions a few times, but continues texting. I open up my email and decide to respond to a few of my other admirers. That should keep my insecure mind at bay.

____________________________

Sent: rosesforu@iwebmail.com
Subject: You seem interesting…
Date: January 6th 2012 12:22pm


Hello there E,

My name is Michael. I am an insurance consultant here in Boulder. Don’t worry, I am not that old, only 34. I know it’s a bit of a gap to your 24, but I’m hoping you’ll just find me mature. I’m a big fan of your humor. I can picture many fun nights joking with you over dinner. I am a great cook, by the way. I’ll cook you whatever you’d like, except veal. I just can’t eat a defenseless baby cow. I too am an animal lover. I’ve gone down to the shelter a few times and looked at a few hopeful pooches. Maybe we can adopt one together some day.

I know you said no calling, but I’d like to give you my number just in case you ever feel that itch to talk to me.

(303) 555-8374

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dan


______________________________

I make a face at his email. How generic. I’m sure he sends out tons of these and changes only a few details to suit the girl he’s responding to. He didn’t play off my wit at all. No, only Collin has done that so far. I glance up at him and he’s put his phone away. I look back down and begin re-reading the email from Dan. I feel a pair of eyes on me and I glance up to find Collin’s straight staring at me again. Before I can react he grabs my laptop and turns it around revealing to him my email from Dan. I’m gaping at him shocked and embarrassed that he caught me reading other emails right in front of him. Damn I can be such an idiot.

“Is this why you made that face? Ewe he’s so boring Evey,” he says as he glares at my screen. I don’t know what to do. I try to grab my laptop from him, but he pulls it onto his lap and crosses his leg blocking me. I watch horrified as he clicks around. Oh God what is he doing?!

“Ooh you starred my emails, I feel so loved. Let’s see who else has responded to you…”

“Hey! Stop it! Those are private!” I snap trying once again to wrestle my laptop away from him. He’s much stronger than I am. He has a death grip on the thing and I know I’ll never win this game. I sit back in my chair and huff loudly. He glances over at me, and chuckles.

“I told you you’d never win. Ok, let’s see what we have here. Dear possibly miss perfect. Oh that’s just disgusting. Ok eh hem. Dear possibly miss perfect. I couldn’t help but take liking to your sarcastic mouth. Sarcastic mouth? How is a mouth sarcastic? You know, we should meet some of these guys. I’m sure they’re hilarious…”

“We?! Give. Me. My. Laptop. I am so serious. I’ll scream so loud you’ll be deaf for a month,” I threaten. He takes one look at me before turning his attention back to my laptop. He’s ignored my threat completely.

“Hmm what’s this one? I Could Be Your Daddy. Oh shit you poor thing. Are these really the type of responses you’ve been getting? Yikes… no wonder mine are starred,” he says quietly handing me back my laptop. I yank it from him and stuff it back into my messenger bag where it’s safe from his prying eyes.

“Are you always this antagonizing?” I snap as I pull my messenger bag back onto my lap.

“I have my moments. Ok, this was good. I’ll meet you here same time tomorrow?” He asks standing up and jetting a hand out to me so I’ll shake it. I tentatively grasp his hand and he squeezes mine firmly as we shake. He lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it again before releasing me. He shoots me a quick wave and walks away putting his hands in his pockets as he goes. I’m gaping at his stunning form walking away from me and out of the bookstore. What the hell was that?! I don’t think I’ve ever been this confused before. I have to email him and tell him he’s a complete weirdo.

I set my laptop up as quickly as I can and begin emailing.


_________________________


Sent: evey.h.4893@custudent.com
Subject: WEIRDO!
Date: January 6th 2012 2:53pm


Ok, you’ve officially freaked me out. What is your deal? You spend most of your time with me texting or making fun of my potential suitors and then just leave? You do remember revealing your womanizing history to me right? Or are you weird and schizophrenic? You shouldn’t make fun of those poor guys either. They’re just trying to meet people. I joined that website to meet someone who appreciates me for me without being interested in my appearance. What’s your reason other than to confuse the shit out of poor unsuspecting girls such as myself? I get that you want a normal relationship, but what just happened was definitely not normal!

I liked you better thinking you were a gross fat hillbilly. Bring him back please. I’m itching to go bear hunting.

~Evey

____________________________


I hit send and quickly pack my bag back up. I have to get out of here before he comes back and weirds all over me again. I’m still completely bewildered by what just happened. I need to get home and process this.


I practically run back to my apartment. I slip a few times on the ice, but am able to make my way inside quickly and safely. As soon as I’ve locked my door and set my extra security doorjamb, I relax. At least I know I’m safe from Collin in here. Maybe I should set a password on my computer. That should keep him from snooping again. I set my bag up on my table and open my fridge. I don’t really have much to eat. I need make a trip to the grocery store. I decide on a banana and lean against my kitchen counter as I eat. Wow Collin is a handful. I know he’s smart, possibly smarter than me, he’s very funny, dangerously attractive, and completely off his rocker. What do I do with this? I should just let him go, but I’ve never had so much fun just emailing a person. He can be so playful and OH MY GOD is he attractive…

I finish my banana and decide to check for an email from him. After I’ve gotten everything set up I log in and check my inbox. There’s a reply from him.

___________________________


Sent: collinv0416@yourmail.com
Subject: Who me?
Date: January 6th 2012 3:16pm

Dear not-so-nice witch,]

[/I think you have me confused with one of your other ‘suitors.’ Gross choice of words by the way. Please don’t tell me you’re sleeping with any of them, especially the bland one. At least the other two are creative…


I’ve already told you why I joined the site. Are you sure you’re not the schizophrenic one? I was hoping to find a nice homely chick to exchange emails with. Why did you have to go ruining that for me? My therapist says you sound perfect. I think he’s finally lost it. You just told me you want to go bear hunting with me. Who says that? You’re attracted to gross fat hillbillies too?

Maybe I should give you my therapist’s number…

Collin

________________________


Ooh! What a condescending bastard! I grab my phone and hit dial once I find his number. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind…

“What?” He answers as feigning annoyance.

“I am not the crazy one here…” I trail off completely and utterly not feigning annoyance.

“Hmm is this your way of telling me off? I’ll warn you I can be very hard to stay angry at,” he says using his smooth soft voice on me. He’s doing this on purpose. Then I think of something ingenious to torture him with. Something far more mean that his crooning sexy voice.

“Oh yeah? I can be pretty persuasive too. So what are you up to tonight?” I ask in my best sexy voice.

“Amazing,” he chuckles without answering me. I think he’s on to my game. I’m going to torture him with sex and he knows it.

“You know what I find really irritating?” I ask in a low breathy tone.

“What’s that?” He breathes back.

“These silly hooks on the back of my bra. I can never get them no matter how much I arch my back and stretch trying…” I say in my best half whimpering breathy voice.

“Evey. What’s your last name?” He asks completely calm and collected. He doesn’t seem affected by my attempts to torture him at all.

“What? Why?” I ask in my normal voice. What an odd non sequitur.

“Just tell me what it is.”

“Uh Mitchell. Why?”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome?”

“Evey, please promise me you don’t give your last name to every guy who asks. That’s not very smart of you.”

“What? I don’t give my last name out. I actually have no idea why I gave it to you. You’re a complete weirdo…” I snap wishing I hadn’t answered him. For some reason he keeps lecturing me about my dating habits. I’m really not that experienced, maybe I should listen to his advice.

“Ok, just don’t do it ok? You know what. Just stop dating guys.” He says distracted. I can tell he’s at his computer, I hear typing in the background.

“What? Who are you to tell me to stop dating?!” I yell in too high-pitched a tone. I sound like I’m yelling at my dad or something.

“Just stop. You’re only going to worry me if you do….” He trails off sounding even more distracted.

“You are a nutcase.”

“You’re naïve.”

“Hey screw you!”

“I’m just trying to help Evey. Do you want to date Mr. Right or not?”

“Well, how am I supposed to do that when a guy I just met yesterday is telling me to stop dating all together!” I shout trying my hardest not to laugh, but just can’t quite hold it in. I hold the phone away from my mouth and laugh cathartically. I need a good laugh. This guys is completely nuts, I love it.

“I didn’t say stop dating… I said stop dating other guys.” He growls seriously through my laughter. I stop immediately befuddled by the sudden turn in the conversation.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean only date me, crazy woman,” he croons in his best sexy voice. Oh my, what his voice can do to me. This guy is completely dangerous. I don’t know him at all. He’s only proven to be a little insane and now he wants to be exclusive with me? Shit! Why am I so attracted to him?!

“Wait a second. You want me to be your girlfriend?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“Evey, I hate the idea of you going out with other guys. I don’t trust them with you. Be my girlfriend. Only date me so I can sleep at night. Please?” He asks sweetly in the softest sexist voice I’ve ever heard. My body is screaming for him. I can’t get his image out of my mind. I let my thoughts wander and imagine his strong muscles holding me tight as he brings me down on my bed. Fuck… I need to stop that right now!

“Ok, you want me to be your girlfriend to keep me from dating other guys? I’m not sure that’s a good enough reason for me…” I tease in my most playful sexy voice. I feel heat spreading through me. Mm listening to him breathing… How is he turning me on this badly?!

“Please? I need sleep Evey. It’s for your benefit too.”

“How is that?”

“I’ll keep you from getting kidnapped and you’ll get me.”

“Who says I want you?”

“Oh Evey. You have no idea do you?” He asks chuckling into the phone.

“What is that supposed to mean?!” I ask defensive.

“You’ve been screaming for me since we talked on the phone. I read women Evey. You’re basically an open book to me.” He says confidently without any trace of humor in his voice.

“Well I can’t read you at all…” I whisper feeling embarrassed and caught red handed. He does know I want him. He knows it for a stone cold fact actually.

“It’s probably for the best that you can’t,” he chuckles and I hear him typing on his computer again. I make a groaning sound as if I’m annoyed, but I’m not. All I want is for him to come over so we can hang out together. I really enjoy his company and I don’t have anything better to do tonight. I can’t ask him to come over though. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of winning again.


“What are you doing right now?” I ask trying to get off the subject of my attraction to him. I’m also curious.

“Nothing you want to know about.”

“What? Why are you so cryptic all the time? Just tell me. I really don’t care that you’re looking at porno…” I tease.

“Porno?! What am I fifteen?!” He jokes as he laughs heartily away from the phone. I can’t help but giggle as well. I’ve really made him laugh. I love that I can do that to him.

“So you don’t look at porno?”

“No. Evey, I have sex with real women.”

“Have?” I press, wanting to know if his offer will be monogamous. I really don’t do the whole cheating guy thing.

“Had. Seriously? I told you I haven’t been with a woman in over two months. Oh gross, you’re not thinking guys are you? I don’t swing that way baby.”

“Baby?!”

“Baby. Yes. I like it. I’ll use that later. It’s permanent, sorry,” he chuckles and I hear him typing again.

“What are you doing?! It’s rude to be typing and talking at the same time, computer or phone.”

“Well I’m typing about you, so is that really all that rude? I’m focusing on you either way you look at it…” he trails off sounding distracted once again.

“Ok, baby. What are you typing about me? Why are you typing about me? You’re talking to me right now.”

“No. You’re baby. I’m Collin. That’s just weird…”

“Collin!! Answer me!!”

“That’s better. I’ll tell you later. Stop being so impatient. I thought women were supposed to love all of this drawn out romantic crap,” he whispers as if he’s afraid someone might have heard him.

“What is romantic a curse word to you?” I tease as I get up and pour myself a glass of milk. I’m starving…

“It’s not anymore…” he trails off.

“I’m really hungry. Is it ok if I let you go? I need to run to the store real fast and grab something to eat.”

“No can do. It’ll be dark soon.”

“What?! So now I can’t eat food too? Has your therapist brought up these uber controlling tendencies of yours?”

“Uber? That’s hilarious and no he hasn’t. I’m not normally so demanding.”

“So what’s the big occasion?”

“You. Obviously.”

“Look, I’m sorry, but I’m going to get some food. I’m starving,” I say holding my ground. I cannot believe this guy. He wants to be my boyfriend, he wants to call me baby, and he doesn’t want me going out past dark. What is with him?

I grab my keys and they make a small amount of noise. I think he hears them and I notice him grumble loudly through the phone.

“Fine. I’ll be there in about ten minutes. Don’t leave Evey! You’re not getting kidnapped tonight on my watch.”

“I’m not giving you my address. And you were worried about ME stalking YOU?!” I giggle as I slip my snow boots back on.

“Ok, well at least wait just a minute. I’m going to send you something.”

“Ugh, I guess I’ll wait. Try to hurry ok? I get really grumpy when I’m hungry.”

“This is you grumpy? Oh Evey, you’re an angel…” he chuckles and I think I hear his keys in the background.

“Hey! Are those your keys?! I thought you were sending me something?!” I shout at him standing up from my computer. I cannot believe I’m waiting around for him to email me something like a chump.

“I am sending you something,” he says all too seriously.

“What? No, please I don’t want to wait. What is it anyway?” I whine as I check my email for something from him. There’s nothing new. He hasn’t answered my question. I’m not even sure he’s still on the line.

“Collin?”

“Yes?”

“Oh sorry, I thought you might have hung up on me. Seriously what are you sending me?”

“I would never hang up on you.”

“COLLIN!!! WHAT ARE YOU SENDING ME?! You know what? I don’t care anymore. I’ll check my email when I get back,” I snap as I wrap my coat around me.

“Me Evey. I’m sending you me. Shit, you make all this romantic crap hard on a man.”

“What? Please don’t tell me you’re sending me a creepy picture of your penis, because oh my God what am I going to do with a picture of that. Why do guys send those? Do they actually think that’s what a girl wants to see?” I ramble through his laughter. He’s sighing and coughing he’s laughing so hard.

“Sorry, I always cough when I laugh like that in the cold. Ah, oh shit that’s funny. I don’t usually take pictures of myself, so you’re safe for now,” he laughs and coughs.

“Oh thank God. Hey why are you out in the cold? I’m seriously not telling you where I live stalker…”

“You told me where you live a long time ago. Anyway it’s too late now. Come answer your door I’m freezing,” he chuckles and coughs and I hear it on the other side of my door. Oh shit! He’s actually at my apartment.

I run over to my door and open it as fast as I can.

“When did I tell you where I live?!” I shout at him as he walks past me into my apartment. He’s rubbing his hand together and blowing on them. His hands are so sexy. They look so strong. He’s so cute when he’s cold. His nose is red and he’s shivering. It’s adorable on such a beautiful person.

“You gave me your last name, remember? It’s called the Internet sweetheart.”

“Now I’m sweetheart?” I ask amused.

“Oh who’s been sending you pictures of their dicks?! Was it Dan? I’ll fucking kill him…”

“No, calm down sailor. As far as I know he hasn’t sent me any dirty photos.”

“Have you sent anyone dirty photos?” He asks looking through my fridge.

“What?! No, I’m really not that uh promiscuous…” I whisper as if I had just said a bad word.

“Thank the fucking lord. You really are all out of food here. Where do you normally shop?” He asks as he turns toward me and zips my coat up for me. He’s acting like we’ve known each other for ages. He’s completely disarming. No wonder he captivates women so easily. They’re caught off guard by his actions.

“There’s a natural market right down the street,” I whisper trying my hardest not to give him a clue as to what I’m feeling. Having him this close to me is torture. He smells amazing like clean cologne and fresh laundry. I can’t believe a man of his physical stature is in my apartment. He looks completely out of place here.

I consciously try to keep my mouth from dropping open as he grabs my hand and pulls me out of my apartment. I stop to lock the door behind us and drop my keys in my pocket. We walk through the hallway hand in hand. It feels so natural and domestic. It’s weird. The last time I had this was with my old boyfriend. He was my high school love. We dated for over eight years before I finally found out he was cheating on me. He swore up and down that it only happened once. He still tries to get back with me every now and then. I really loved him. I thought he was my one. I hate that he ruined what we had. I can never forgive a cheater though. I want Collin to know that. If he’s serious about me being his girlfriend he has to know it will only be me and I’m not interested in being ‘ditched’ as he so eloquently put it.

“You all right? You’re being really quiet,” he asks with a concerned voice. He holds the door for me and I walk through in front of him. I don’t want to tell him I was just thinking about the only real relationship I’ve ever had. Oh God what will he think when I tell him he’s the only man I’ve ever slept with? He’ll probably think I’m a psycho… He’s slept with what a million women now. Oh I wonder if he’s gotten himself tested. I should ask him that before I get any more attached to him.

“How many women have you slept with?” I ask openly as we walk to the market. He picks up my hands and rubs them together blowing on them. It’s such a sweet gesture. I’m not used to being treated like this. Even Zach never really did things like this and he claimed to love me.

“I honestly do not know. How many men have you been with?” He asks openly as well. Shit! I didn’t expect him to turn this back around on me.

“I don’t want to tell you…” I whisper embarrassed.

“Whoa, that many huh? Yikes Evey…” He teases.

“You’re going to think I’m stupid.” I admit as I try not to focus on his proximity. He’s right next to me and it’s intoxicating.

“I would never think you’re stupid, especially when it comes to that,” he says sincerely. He makes me feel so safe to be honest. I guess it’s not that big of a deal. The worst that can happen is he makes fun of me for a week or two. That’s if he’s even still interested in me then. I have to make a point to not sleep with him, no matter how tempting the prospect may be.

“Two years ago I got out of a very long-term relationship. He’s the only guy I’ve ever slept with,” I spew out just trying to get it out and move on. He doesn’t say a thing in response. Not a joke, a jab, or a chuckle. Nothing. I glance up at him and he looks confused and surprised.

“What happened with him?” He asks quietly.

“He cheated on me. He swears it only happened once, but I don’t care. He lost me forever when he did that.”

“Does he still contact you?”

“Yeah, sometimes. Mostly when he’s in between girls and wants to make things right with me again.”

“What’s his name?”

“Zach, why?”

“What’s he look like?”

“Why are you so interested in him?” I ask confused by his sudden curiosity in my past boyfriend.

“Evey. A cheater will always be a cheater. Please don’t take him back.”

“What?! Is that what you’re worried about? Trust me that ship has sailed a long time ago…” I trail off. I find it comforting to know he’s worried about Zach and I getting back together. He must care about me.

“Are you really worried I’ll get back with my ex? I’m sure you’ve cheated before, so why should I trust what you say anyway?” I tease as I try to get some information from him. I want to know if he’s a philanderer or just a womanizer, just a womanizer… funny.

“Hey now, I’ve never cheated. I at least have the decency to explain that I’m no longer interested before I move on.”

“How sweet of you,” I tease smiling up at him.

“So you’ve really only been with one guy?” He asks as he rubs my hands again and blows heated sweet air on them.

“Yes. Why is that so weird?”

“What do you do everyday? I’m sure you have guys approach you all the time. What’s your game plan? How do you reject them?” He asks as he kisses my hands before releasing them. He’s so gentle with me.

“Uh well I usually just glare at them, followed by extreme lack of interest, followed by completely ignoring them. They go away eventually,” I explain giggling to myself. A memory comes back to me and I just have to tell him about it.

“There was this one guy who actually started yelling at me. Like I was insulting all of mankind by rejecting him. It was crazy. He even waited for me outside the bookstore to continue his rant as I walked home…” I giggle and look over at him. He’s not at all amused by my story. He looks angry actually.

“Did I say something?” I ask concerned as I tuck my hands in my pockets.

“Don’t tell me shit like that. Now I have to keep an eye out for that fucker. What did he look like?” He asks without any humor in his voice whatsoever.

“What? It was like almost a year ago. I’m sure he’s moved on by now,” I explain as he holds the door to the grocery store for me. He grabs me a basket and holds it as he ushers me into the store. We approach the fresh fruits and vegetable section. He helps me pick out the best grapes available from a small stand in the center of an aisle. Apparently he’s a grape expert.

As he’s bagging the grapes and tying off the bag, I notice a girl staring at him from the vegetable section. He doesn’t seem to notice her. Maybe this is a good opportunity to see how serious he actually is about me.

[“You see that girl over by the broccoli? She’s completely checking you out…” /]I whisper temptingly in his ear. I’m enticing him to check her out big time. I want him to show me what he might do with this information. He glances over at her then turns his attention back to me. To my complete surprise, he tips my chin up with his free hand and kisses me. His lips connect with mine and I feel a shock spark and spread through me from head to toe. All the hair on my body stands up and I have to fight the urge to get closer to him. My body heats as I squirm wrapped up in his kiss. His hand moves from my chin to the upper part of my neck. It lingers momentarily then glides to the back of my neck underneath my hair. He squeezes the back of my neck massaging my skin as his lips suck and pull against mine. He’s amazing.

He takes a step closer, demanding more of me. I’m a whimpering melting mess.

Without any warning he pulls away from me. He abruptly drops his hand from my neck and swallows hard as he physically turns away from me facing the other direction. I’m left trembling and confused. I’ve never felt anything as powerful as his kiss. I bite my lip as a means to ease the feeling of his lips no longer connected to mine.

“I’ve never been kissed like that…” I whisper mostly to myself. He turns to face me then looks back away.

“What do you mean?” He asks in a somewhat harsh tone. I think for some reason I’ve made him angry with me.

“Uh never mind. Look I just need more bread and maybe some cereal. I shouldn’t be long. You can go home now if you want to,” I say calmly as I walk away from him and away from the fruits and vegetables section. He’s too confusing. I don’t want to be anywhere near him right now. He’ll just end up making me feel embarrassed again. I was going to tell him it felt like electricity flowing from him to me, but screw it. I shouldn’t feed his ego anyway.

“What? Evey, you still need to walk home,” he explains walking quickly behind me.

“I’ll call a cab.” I shrug.

“To go three blocks? No, I’ll walk you,” he says as he grabs my hand. I jerk it away from him and shoot him my best glare. He freezes and I roll my eyes at him before walking away. What a weirdo! He jogs up in front of me and blocks me in the aisle.

“Wait a second… what did I do?” He asks holding his hand out toward me in an effort to soothe me.

“You really don’t get it? I thought you were smart Collin…” I trail off trying to get around him. He just continues in front of me and stops me again.

“Evey, I felt it too ok? I’m trying my fucking hardest to avoid you here. You’re making it really hard on me.”

“Well you’re making it impossible for me to avoid you too!” I shout quietly as I make a gesture toward him physically standing in my way.

“I don’t want to avoid you Evey,” he snaps at me emphasizing the word want.

“What? Ok I’ve had enough. Either tell me what you’re talking about or just go away,” I whisper crossing my arms and taking a step back from him.

He’s scowling at me and I watch as he takes a few deep breaths. I tilt my head to the side indicating annoyance. Out with it already!

“Ok, here’s the thing. I want a relationship with you Evey, a normal one. I want to get to know you and do things like go to movies or bowling,” he says as his free hand finds his pocket.

“Now I’m even more confused. You were angry at ME, after you kissed ME, because you want to go bowling?” I ask glaring at him entirely bewildered.

“What? No. I wasn’t angry with you, all I want to do right now is kiss you Evey.”

“Really? Come on, how many women have you kissed? It’s ok, it didn’t mean much to me either. Don’t feel like you have to stay with me.” I whisper looking down at the bright white tile on the floor.

“I think you need the fire extinguisher now. I can read you like a book remember?” He asks as he very obviously examines me. I freeze nervously as I try my hardest not to give anything away. I don’t’ like him reading me, it makes me feel helpless and insecure.

“You’re afraid I’m going to reject you or something right? Is that why you’re mad at me?” He asks as he sets my basket of fruit down.

“Well, you did reject me,” I explain as I try to grab my basket, he grabs my hand and brings it to his lips thwarting my efforts. He kisses my hand softly then sandwiches it between his hands. His hands completely cover mine and I can’t help but wonder if what they say about a man’s hands is true.

“Evey, I told you I felt it too. It was like electricity. I felt it in my toes for fuck’s sake. My problem is…” He pauses taking a few deep breathes looking down at the white tile.

“Well, if kissing you felt that good, I can’t even…” He grumbles as he picks up my basket and walks away down the aisle. He stops after a few feet when he notices I’m not following him. I can’t move. This man has me entirely hypnotized. He was referring to sex! Oh my…]

He reaches back grabbing my hand and pulling me with him. I’m stunned silent as he walk down aisles. He grabs whole wheat bread off the end of a shelf without giving it any thought. He must have remembered what I said I needed. He drags me over to the breakfast section and grabs me cereal tossing it into the basket. I don’t care at all that he’s picking out random brands for me. All I can think about are his lips and the way he takes my hand in his as soon as he’s done tossing items in the basket. He doesn’t want to miss a second of contact with me. He felt the surge from our kiss as well. Wow, getting him to show his true colors with that flirting woman has seriously backfired on me…

We stand in line for what seems like three seconds. I don’t want my time with him to end. He glances down at me every now and then to make sure I’m doing ok, but for the most part stares straight ahead. I think he may be trying to figure me out. I’m sure what he’s thinking is wrong. I haven’t given him any indication that I’m happy or unhappy, although I know I’m happy. Poor guy. Maybe I should ease his mind a little bit. As he stares forward I lean up on my tippy toes and give him a lingering soft kiss on his neck just underneath his ear. I plant my feet back down and look up at him for his reaction. He barely moves. The only difference is I can see a slight smile on his lips. He lifts my hand up and kisses it again. He knows now. Wow, I can’t believe how easy that was for me to communicate with him. With Zach I had to practically scream what I was feeling and do it several times before he even began to get a clue. This is nice; ok maybe I don’t mind that he can read me.

The cashier finishes ringing up my purchases and I fish my credit card out of my pocket. I go to hand it to the lady and Collin stops me. He holds my hand down and fishes out his wallet.

[/“Oh no, you are not paying for my groceries.”
I whisper in the angriest tone I can muster through my bliss. He simply raises an eyebrow at me and hands the lady a black thick high-end credit card. The lady weighs it in her fingers as if it were heavy, smiling at it. I shoot him back a quizzical glare and he simply smiles in return. He looks away from me leaving me to speculate.

He finishes paying for my groceries and takes my hand again as we leave the store. He holds the door open for me and I walk through still glaring at him. He breaks down and chuckles at my expression. His laugh makes me laugh as we begin our walk back to my apartment.

“So, should I call you the Monopoly Man or Richie Rich?” I tease as he brings my hands up to warm them next to his perfect amazing mouth.

“Uh, you can call me Collin?” He teases back not getting my reference.

“Did I tell you I loathe and despise trust fund babies?” I ask teasing him again. Maybe he’ll catch on now.

“Oh, well I guess we shouldn’t have children then.” He teases back with a smile. He’s avoiding me again. Wait, children?

“Children?!” I cough looking away from him and taking my hands back from his. He laughs hysterically at my reaction. He even has to stop walking for a moment just to laugh. He was just trying to shock me.

“Oh my God you’re funny,” he sighs before taking in a deep breath and laughing some more.

“I’m glad you find me amusing. So that’s why you won’t tell me what you do. Let me guess you sit around in your parent’s mansion all day drinking beer and watching football. I’m right aren’t I?” I tease as I stroll away from him. He catches up to me in a nanosecond still laughing.

“That sounds great actually. Too bad I don’t have parents. So take that Miss Evelynne. A sad orphan story just for you!” He teases and begins coughing again. Oh yeah, the cold air always makes him cough when he laughs. That’s so cute, but oh no he’s an orphan?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know…” I whisper not at all teasing anymore.

“Evey, I didn’t tell you so you’d feel sorry for me. They ditched me when I was a baby, so I don’t really know what I’m missing,” he explains as he wraps his arm around my shoulders. He pulls me closer and rubs my arm. He’s trying to make me feel better, but I feel like a dirt bag.

“Hey, stop it. I’m serious. I’m just fine. Sure the men and women who raised me may not have been the most outstanding citizens, but they taught me everything I know. They helped me start my business. I owe them everything. So stop it. I hate pity,” he snaps as he pulls me in even closer.

“I’m sorry I called you a trust fund baby,” I whisper and he chuckles in response.

“Evey, for fuck’s sake I’m really not that sensitive. I thought you would know that by now. You were calling me a disgusting fat hillbilly not that long ago. I’m pretty sure that’s worse than a trust fund baby.”

“No it’s not. At least hillbillies don’t leech off their parents. At least hillbillies have to work for something in their lives. At least they don’t just think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. Hillbillies work for what they have. Even in spite of their oh-so-fashionable mullets,” I joke, but I can tell he’s read the meaning behind what I’ve said loud and clear.

“Let me guess, Zach the trust fund baby is a lazy worthless human being in your eyes?” He asks as he leans in and kisses the top of my head as we walk. It completely takes me off guard. He can read me and he’s acting like we’ve been together for ages; I just met him in person today. I have to make sure he knows he’s not getting anywhere with me anytime soon.

“Yes, he’s a trust fund baby. I hate it. I love that I’ve worked for everything I have. Anyway, you know I’m not letting you get in my pants tonight right?” I ask very seriously. I glance up at him and he looks like he’s seen a ghost. Oh no, either I’ve ruined his plans or ruined our time together.

“Wow, Evey. I just wanted to help you put your groceries away and kiss you goodnight,” he says as he moves his arm away from me. I miss it instantly. It was really helping to keep me warm.

“Um I’m sorry, I’m just not used to guys taking so many liberties with me. I really like you and I don’t want you to disappear,” I whisper as I create some distance between us. Distance is exactly what we need right now.

“I’m not going anywhere. Am I taking too many liberties with you? I’m sorry; you have to stop me ok? I’m not really used to a girl pushing me away,” he laughs nervously as he fits his hand into his pants pocket.
“I’m not pushing you away…”

“Yeah you are,” he laughs nervously again removing his hand from his warm pocket to gesture at the physical space I’ve created between us. He chuckles again and puts his hand back in his pocket. Jeeze, I’m really messing with him.

“Ok, maybe I am, but that’s a good thing. I’m really not ready for you to grand slam on me ok?” I say seriously looking down at the ground. He’s started laughing hysterically again and is now a few feet behind me with his hands and my grocery bags on his knees. Great. What did I say now?

“Grand slam?! Oh owe it’s too funny. You’re referring to a home run. You know first, second, third base, then home run? Not grand slam Evey… Oh my God owe,” he laughs coughing in between taking breaths. He’s making fun of me big time! So what I got a stupid baseball reference wrong.

“So I’m not a baseball NERD! Leave me alone, jeeze,” I snap stomping away from him. He catches up to me so quickly he might as well have been next to me the entire time. He wraps his arm around me again and I can’t help but smile. I love him touching me. It doesn’t bother me at all, which is pretty bothersome. It should bother me. He’s a stranger who suggested I buy pepper spray. I was lying to him earlier. I really don’t carry the stuff. Maybe I should. Yeah I’ll go buy some tomorrow.

“It has nothing to do with baseball Evey. Not unless bats are involved and somehow I don’t think you’d be ok with that?” He asks as his twisted face mimics mine. I must look horrified right now. I am horrified.

“Bats?! Oh my God what are you in to?!” I shout at him as I run the rest of the way to my apartment. It’s only maybe twenty feet from us and I easily beat him to my building’s interior hallway.

“They should really put a lock on this door,” he says as he examines the handle closing it behind us.

“I know right?! I’ve opened my door to homeless guys or drunk guys more than once now. The management here doesn’t seem to understand my concern…” I whisper before taking in a deep breath to calm myself from running. He looks like he’s either going to burn my apartment down or kill my manager.

“You can’t live here anymore Evey. Please pick out a different apartment, I’ll help you pay your rent,” he says as he gestures for me to keep walking down the hallway. I give him my best confused-expression as we make our way back to my apartment.

“You are crazy. I’m sorry, but I’m not moving. I just started earning enough money to live on my own and I like apartment. I just met you, it’s bad enough you bought me groceries.”

“Evey…”

“No! No, no, no, no, no! No buying me things! I don’t want it and I’m not moving!” I scream in way too high of a pitch as I open the door to my apartment gesture for him to walk past me. He scowls at me and walks in with my groceries. He sets them on the counter and begins putting them away as I lock my door. I know I don’t live in the safest apartment ever. There have been a few instances of people tapping on my window or door at night. I get it, but it’s mine. I’ve earned it. I’ve sold enough puppy stories to pay my bills for the next few months. As long as I keep churning out adorable tales of puppies getting into trouble I should be fine. Oh God what I do for a living is embarrassing. I hope I never have to tell him how I make my money. I can always lie to him he’ll never know.

I walk over to help him put my things away. Without a word he points to my kitchen table and widens his eyes expectantly. He wants me to take a seat.

“You’re ordering me around now? Wow that didn’t take long…” I snap as I take a seat at my table.

“Are you always this stubborn?” He asks as he rinses off the grapes he helped me pick out. I have no idea why he’s doing all of this. Oh he must be stalling. That’s why he didn’t want me to help him. I don’t know how to answer his question. Is anyone ever stubborn always? Surely even the most stubborn person gives way sometimes.

“Ok, here’s the thing. I can’t leave you alone in here Evey. Either you let me get you another place to live, live with me, or I’m staying here with you,” he explains seriously as he brings a bowl and the grapes over to the table with him. He sets them on the table so I can easily reach them and begins popping them into his mouth.

“I’m fine here. Jeeze you’re acting like my father…”

“Does he live around here?”

“No. Why are you going to stalk him too?”

“Evey, I’m not stalking you. You don’t seem to understand how different you are. I have to make sure you’re ok. I was going to suggest you move in with your father. Does he live within reasonable distance of the school?” He asks as he picks a few grapes and tosses them into his mouth. Even the way he eats is sexy. It’s alarming.

“All my family lives in another state. I’m alone here, please don’t use that information to go all serial killer on me…” I whisper as I take a few grapes and pop them into my mouth. I’m so hungry.

“What about friends?”

“Oh no, I am not living with a girl again. My best friend moved back to Canada, so that’s a no go as well. I’m completely fine in here. Look I even have one of those doorjamb things from TV.” I say pointing over to the long white stick looking contraption in my doorway. He raises his eyebrow and literally appears to be biting his tongue.

“Try it, I’ll bet you can’t get in. They did tests on TV with giant football players…” I admonish as I pop a few more grapes in my mouth with a smug look on my face. He’ll see. I am pretty safe in here.

“It’s not just your front door I’m worried about, but if you insist,” he says standing up from my table and heading out of my apartment. He closes the door behind him and I follow setting up the doorjamb underneath the handle. I make sure it’s jammed in there as tight as I can get it.

“Ok, give it a try hillbilly!” I shout through my door as I take a few steps back. I hear him chuckle and I know he’ll be admitting defeat soon, but what happens next completely shocks me.

He lifts my door slightly causing the doorjamb to slip and within seconds he’s in my apartment again. He’s giving me his best smug ‘I told you so’ look. My mouth is practically hitting the floor.

“You cheated! The door would have been locked anyway.”

“Fine, lock it this time,” he says as he shuts the door behind him again. Oh no, he seems pretty confident. I had no idea it was so easy to get past these things. I should write to them and demand a refund! I lock the door, set the deadbolt, and replace the doorjamb. Now he’s not going to get past this. There’s no way.

I watch with a smile on my face as nothing happens to my front door. I knew I was right.

“Are you ready in there?” He asks through the door. Crap he hasn’t started yet. I feel like an idiot.

“Yeah, go for it!” I call out as I bring my palm up to my forehead. I watch in shocked horror as my deadbolt lock turns. The smaller lock on the doorknob turns as well so they’re both unlocked. He’s doing this almost silently. Someone could break in here in my sleep and I’d never know! He lifts the door again and is standing in front of me again within seconds. He lets out a deep breath and closes the door behind him. Funny enough he locks it behind him.

“Why bother?” I ask referring to my locked door.

“I don’t want to freak you out, but you really need to live somewhere with exterior security. Definitely somewhere where you’re window isn’t facing the street. Evey, do you have any idea how quickly someone could get in through your window? What if someone sees you in here? You’re a gorgeous female living alone. It’s not ok Evey!” He growls as he makes his way over to my curtains and makes sure they’re completely closed. I always keep them shut; I hate the idea of random people looking into my apartment.

“I’m sorry ok, this is the only place I can afford around here. It’s really not that bad. I’ve only woken up a few times to people tapping on my window and there usually isn’t anyone in the hallway at all,” I explain. I happen to glance up at him across my apartment. He’s gaping at me.

“Don’t you think you’re being a tad over-protective of the random girl you just met today? Why do you care so much?”

“Come on, I know you’re not that dense Evey. I know you feel the same way about me. I want to get to know you better, but I can’t if you’ve been kidnapped or stabbed to death in your bed,” he snaps as he makes his way back over to my table. He sits down and picks more grapes.

“Well, you can’t stay here. I don’t know you. This could all be some giant ploy to rob me or something.”

“Evey! Did you not just see how easily I got in here? Why the fuck would I need some elaborate plan to rob you?!”

“Well I’m not going to just let you rob me. I’m assuming you would wait until I fell asleep…” I trail off as I sit down at the table and grab a few more grapes.

“Oye. Evey, I am six foot three. I work out everyday. You’re what five foot six? No offense, but I’m a lot stronger than you, obviously. You couldn’t fight me off if you tried.”

“Is that what you say to all the girls before you rape and murder them?” I tease not at all feeling threatened by him. I haven’t felt the creep vibe from him at all actually. Even with all the crazy things he’s done so far. If he were any other guy I probably would have called the cops on him in the bookstore. I wonder how he’s done this. How has he made me feel so at ease with him? He just broke into my apartment for Christ’s sake.

“I’m not joking Evey. You’ve never experienced the depravity I have. People can be really fucked up. I know Boulder isn’t exactly the most dangerous city in the world, but it sure as hell isn’t the safest,” he explains as he takes both my hands and kisses them tenderly. He’s trying to disarm me. As if he even needs to.

“No one is going to kidnap me. You’re being a worrywart,” I whisper as his lips send tingling heat through my body. Being this close to him this close to my bed is torturing me. This man turns me on like crazy. I feel so safe with him. Maybe that’s his appeal. I have no idea, all I know is I want it. I have to get him out of here before I ruin everything.

“Evey, stop looking at me like that. Fuck! This is too hard. Ok, here are your options. You sleep on your bed dressed in as many layers of clothing as you can handle and I sleep in your kitchen or you stay at my place locked in a separate bedroom. Make your choice,” he snaps getting up and putting the leftover grapes in the fridge.

“I wasn’t done with those. I’m still starving,” I say quietly as I mull over my options in my head. I get it, I’m not safe in here, but do I really have to leave or have him stay with me? I still think he’s being a bit overdramatic. If I go with him it would give me the chance to see where he lives, but then again he could really kidnap me that way. He’s right though; if he really wanted to, he could pretty much do anything he wanted to. I couldn’t even keep him out of my apartment. I’ve either gotten myself in a mess or he’s possibly going to save me from a future kidnapper. Wow, this is all so much to think about.

“I’ll make you something at my place. Come on get up. You need to pack some of your things,” he says as he heads straight for my closet. I jump up and follow him over there.

“What are you going to dictate what I wear now?” I snap at him as I grab one of my shirts out of his hand. He raises his eyebrows and holds his hands up as if he’s not guilty of something. He takes a seat on my bed and watches me. I roll my eyes at him and stick my tongue out as I reach for my gym bag. He chuckles and lies down on my bed covering his eyes with his arm. It’s funny that I even have a gym bag. I haven’t been to the gym in years. I am definitely out of shape. I’m too skinny.

I look over at him on my bed and I can see his chest muscles through his sweater as he breathes. Yeah he could take me easily in a fight. It would be so effortless for him. I feel myself getting wet at the thought. Oh my what is wrong with me?! I think it’s because I feel so safe with him, the idea of him overpowering me is just plain mega-appealing. I know he wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want. Or would he? I must be completely off my rocker! I don’t know this man. At lease I’ll know where he lives soon. Wait, I don’t even know his last name. He knows mine. That isn’t fair.

“This is ridiculous. I don’t even know your last name,” I admit as I pack a few of my shirts into my gym bag.

“It’s Wright,” he says without hesitation.

“Hmm Wright. I like it,” I say without giving it much thought.

“I asked earlier if you wanted to date Mr. Right or not,” he says with a smile. OH I get it. He’s so clever. I giggle and make my way into my bathroom. Within a few seconds I’ve packed up all my essentials.

“Ok whisk me away to your safe house,” I tease setting my bag on the carpet next to me. He stands up immediately and picks up my bag in a flash. He holds his arm out for me to take. I loop my arm though his without giving even blinking. We head into my kitchen and I stop for my laptop and messenger bag. I need it for class.

“Wait what about the groceries you just bought me?” I ask as I turn to open my fridge.

“I’ll buy you more groceries Evey,” he says as he gently tugs me back toward him. I guess it wasn’t that expensive. If he wants to waste his money that’s his prerogative I suppose. I don’t argue with him and we’re soon leaving my building. I can’t believe what I’m doing. It’s strangely thrilling to be leaving with him.

We walk a little ways down the street and stop at a parallel-parked black SUV. It’s large and very luxurious. Upon closer inspection I see it’s an Infinity QX56. It’s the fanciest SUV I’ve ever seen. He must be the Monopoly Man.

I hear a click and the doors unlock. He opens the passenger door for me and I can’t help but glance down at the illuminated blue letters spelling ‘Infinity’ on the stainless steel kick plates. I gape at him and he smiles ushering me in. My car is a beat up old Toyota Corolla. He’s completely out of my league. Oh what am I doing?!

“Evey, it’s just a car. Please get in. I’m freezing over here,” he begs as he helps me in. The plush leather seats immediately catch my attention. They’re all black and very soft. My eyes wander to the dark wood accents on the dash. There’s a navigation screen and a whole slew of buttons. I’m completely distracted as he puts my bag in the seat behind me. I’m hypnotized by the lavishness of his vehicle. I barely noticed him getting in next to me in the driver’s seat.

“This is the nicest SUV I’ve ever seen…” I whisper as if afraid someone might see me in here and arrest me. He chuckles and shakes his head as all the lights on the dash illuminate. He turns on the engine and within seconds we’re on our way down the street. I can’t stop myself from rubbing the soft leather seats. They’re so nice.

“I feel like I’m going to get arrested in here!” I admit with enthusiasm.
“We can take your car if you’re too uncomfortable,” he suggests as he slows down to let me think.

“Uh no way. I am never letting you see my car. Oh God I’m so embarrassed! You must think I’m such a loser for living where I do.”

“Did. You’re not living there anymore. Why in the hell would I think you’re a loser by the way?” He snaps at me as we turn down another road. We’re heading into the nearby foothills. Of course he lives in the foothills. I’m sure we’ll be pulling up to a mansion soon and I’ll have to control my giddy nerves.

“I have to go back there sometime Collin. I get it; you’re concerned about me now while your interested in me. As soon as you’re bored, you’ll ‘ditch’ me as you so eloquently put it and I’ll be back in my apartment. I’m not an idiot.” I blurt out as I look out the window. It’s much darker up here. There aren’t nearly as many lights here as there are in the city.

“Oh my fucking God Evey! Is that honestly what you think? Seriously? Let me explain something to you. I don’t bring women back to my house, I don’t buy them groceries, and I don’t offer to have them live with me. I have no plans whatsoever to ditch you and you are NEVER staying the night in that apartment EVER AGAIN!” He shouts at me, as we turn right onto a winding completely dark road.

“I. I just… um” I ramble twisting my fingers in my lap. What do I even say to that?

“Look I’m sorry, but you’re really not getting this. I know you don’t know me. I know I don’t know you. I get that you don’t trust me, but we’ll get over all that.”

“Why are you doing this? I don’t understand. I could be a kleptomaniac or a complete psycho. You don’t know me either,” I snap back crossing my arms realizing that he could be a complete psychopath and I’m in his car. I haven’t even told anyone I’m here. Oh God, he could just kill me and no one would know. I scramble in my seat and unbuckle my seatbelt. I lean over onto the back seat and search through my black messenger bag for my cell phone. I apologize as I accidently brush up against his arm with my hip. I grab it and turn around sitting back in my seat. I click my seatbelt and begin texting Ashley. Even though she’s in Canada she could still tell everyone where I am. She has my dad and aunt’s phone numbers.

I glance up at Colin before I begin my text. He’s biting his lower lip and he looks like he’s in pain. He shifts in his seat and I lower my eyes down to his lap. I dart them back to my phone immediately. He has a considerable erection very noticeably showing through the leg of his pants. He must have gotten turned on as I brushed up against him. Oh my God I was basically waving myself at him. Wow, he really wants me. Really, really, wants me. Holy shit, it’s gigantic. It’s easily twice as big as Zach’s. Oh that will never work. Even Zach would hurt me sometimes. Oh God how do I tell him he’s just too big. I guess I’ll tackle that obstacle when I get to it. He’s not getting in my pants anytime soon.

I focus back on my phone and send a quick text to Ash.


Hey! So no worries, but I met a guy.
I’m staying at his place. His name is Collin Wright.
Just so you know in case he kidnaps me.
I’ll tell you about him later, he’s crazy amazing Ash!
Love ya!


There! At least someone knows I’m here. I toy with my cell phone too nervous to put it back in my bag. I don’t want to tease him again. A second later my phone chimes. Ashley must have written me back already. I look down and find her message.


What?! No way. You are such a liar Evey!
You’re on this man-hating thing right now.
Remember? Ok I found him on Google.
I didn’t think you were into rich guys you hooker!


I make a face and text her back immediately. I want to know what she’s found out about him.


What does Google say?!


“Didn’t you tell me it’s rude to text in front of people once?” Collin asks he leans over trying to see what I’m typing. I lean back against the door protectively guarding my phone from his prying eyes. He chuckles and grabs at my legs and waist tickling me. I’m screaming at him and trying my best to fight him off. He’s right; he is way stronger than I am. I’m laughing so hard it hurts. The bastard is totally winning.

He makes me laugh and giggle as I loosen my grip on my phone. He snatches it from me in a second and holds it up in the hand that’s steering the car with. His other hand continues to tickle me keeping me at bay.

“Hey! That’s private! You do know what the word private means don’t you?!” I scream trying my best to fight him off.

“Good! You told someone where you are. That’s good Evey,” he says as my phone chimes again.

“NO! Give me that!” I scream trying my damndest to grab my phone before he reads what Ashley sent me. I watch his face as it lights up and he tips his head back laughing. He stops tickling me and I yank my phone away from him instantly. I scroll down and hastily look for her most recent text.


Nothing really. He’s the owner of a safe company
and a lumber company. He was born in New York.
He’s seriously hunky too Evey! Wowzers!
His address is unlisted though. Can you send me the street
and numbers when you see them?
Be safe too! Don’t let him in your pajama pants!


“Don’t let me in your pajama pants huh? Inside joke I’m assuming?” He chuckles as we approach a small driveway leading to a large silver gate. He stops the car for a second and a moment later the gate is opening. He must have a sensor somewhere that opens the gate. How cool.

“Yes, it’s a very inside joke. You are so nosey you know that!” I shout as I take off my seatbelt and lean onto the back seat again. I make sure to leave myself resting on his arm as I put my phone away. Oh revenge is so sweet…

“Evey, please sit down,” he whispers calmly. I know I’m torturing him. Good! He deserves it, the bastard.

“Nope! You tortured me and read my texts. Revenge time hillbilly!” I shout as I lean even further pretending to get something out of my bag, but actually just unzipping and re-zipping the same pocket. I can’t help but giggle. I know for a fact this is driving him completely crazy.

“Evey seriously. I’m about to bring you into my house. Stop this,” he begs in his sweetest sexiest voice. He’s totally stealing my thunder. I pout and slump down before returning to my seat. I fold my hands in my lap feeling like a total bitch. Revenge doesn’t feel good at all. Note to self, I am not good at being vengeful.

“I’m sorry. That wasn’t very nice of me.” I whisper embarrassed.

“No, but I’ll forgive you one day, I promise,” he says with a smile and I know we’re ok again. I give him a small giggle and soon we’re pulling up to his house. It’s absolutely huge! It’s a very modern looking steel and dark gray house with light reflective windows. I can tell they’re those windows that you can see out of but not back in. They’re so cool. His house is absolutely amazing and manly. There are flowers and plants everywhere, but they don’t detract from the manly feel of the house.

I look around desperately for a house number. I can’t find one. Oh I’m an idiot it was probably on the gate on the way in. Shit! I’m not very good at his whole keeping myself safe thing.

“Can I have your address?” I ask quietly not sure how he’ll react.

“Are you wanting to text it to your friend?”

“Yes.” I whisper.

“I’ll do it,” he says quickly putting the car in park and leaning back fishing my phone out of my bag. I can’t help but smile. He didn’t want my behind rubbing on him again. He really is trying to avoid me. I watch him amused as he texts something to Ashley.

He puts my phone back in my bag before putting the SUV back in drive. He presses a button on the roof and one of the three two-car garage doors opens. There’s a space available next to what looks like a very luxurious truck. As we pull in I’m able to get a good look at the different vehicles he owns. It’s insane. He has an all black vintage Dodge Challenger, an all-white Lamborghini, a silver high-end BMW sedan, and another smaller all black Lexus SUV.

“How on earth do you drive all of these?” I ask in amazement.

“Very carefully,” he teases as he presses the same button on the roof of the car and jumps out of the SUV. He makes his way around to me and opens the door. He holds his hand out for me and I take it. He helps me down and keeps hold of my hand as he reaches for my bag in the backseat. Before I know it we’re passing his fleet of vehicles and heading inside his house.



If you are interested in reading more about Collin and Evey’s story, please let me know. I am currently working on another Romance-Suspense-Erotica book, which will be published to my website shortly. I however, will continue their story if I get enough interest.


Thank you so much,
MGreene
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