The Nicotine Creed
Maria felt as though she was being watched. She stayed put on the bench by the campus pond and looked around for anybody she might know until she spotted the guy lying on the grass a few yards away.
He nodded at her.
She nodded back.
He stood up and came toward her. Maria reached into her purse and fingered her pepper spray. The guy appeared harmless, after all he was smiling, but you never know.
“I’m sorry,” the stranger said. “But I’m desperate. Do you have an extra smoke?” He had a British accent.
Maria took her hand off the spray. “Sure.” Since when have I become the campus supplier?
He didn’t look to be the Clove type, so she handed him the last American Spirit she found at the bottom of her bag. This guy was definitely hotter than the majority of guys on campus, especially those from the eastern part of the state with their harsh accents.
“Thanks so much,” the guy said a minute later, exhaling. “I was suffering withdrawal. I’m low on cash until next week”
“I always carry an emergency pack on me,” Maria said.
“Good idea, the simplest things never occur to me,” he said. He held out his free hand. “I’m Cedrick, and what’s the name of my savior?”
“Maria,” she said.
“Maria,” Cedrick repeated. “Perfect.”
Cedrick grinned. “It just is.”
Don’t I Know You?
Ben was lost, which was something of a relief. If he couldn’t find this
, he couldn’t go to the movie, but he could still tell Dave that he’d at least tried. I can go back to my room, Ben thought, I could just go back to my room and not go and maybe I’ll go to something else later on. I don’t know if I can do this … Diversity Center
Ryan Gibson frowned as he approached the
residential area. What had Sabra been thinking putting the Center office way out here? This was where all the freshman and jocks wanted to live. As a result it was crowded, noisy, chaotic (there was a rumor that a cow had once been forced to the top floor of one of the towers and then thrown off the balcony) and the site of a few homophobic incidents over the years. Just the other night, Tobe had recounted the story about a bottle of cranberry juice being thrown at him from a high-rise window during the short time he lived there. Tobe’s hair had been his fire engine red at the time. He moved out to a new residential area a week later. Dickinson
And here it was, only the first week of school, and one of the big
guys was staring at him as Ryan walked by. Ryan cursed himself for making the trek out here to see a movie that he and just about every other member of the UGLBA had seen ten times. Ryan glared back at the guy and continued walking. Dickinson
Then he heard the footsteps coming up behind him.
Why did I wear my “Gay Power” t-shirt, what was I trying to prove?
“Hey!” the guy called.
Ryan turned around. “Excuse me?”
“You’re going to Crane House, right?” the guy asked.
Ryan realized who it was. This wasn’t a jock out to flatten him; it was the guy who’d come up to the UGLBA table on the concourse.
Son of a gun. Macon Brigham had been right.
“Hi,” the guy said. “I’ve been wandering for ten minutes trying to find the office.”
“This way,” Ryan said, leading him across a small parking lot to a set back alcove where the office was almost hidden except for one unmistakable feature.
The front door was painted lavender.