I came stumbling out of my room and fell straight into a pillow of yellow fluff wrapped in a loose fitting jersey. It's hard to explain how I felt at that moment... good I guess... hmm that wasn't really all that hard to explain. The warm torso under the cloth was somewhat comforting; however, I ran into him so hard that his fur did little to cushion me against his chest.
Embarrassed I looked up only to accidently bump noses with the retriever. We stood there for a moment, his tail flying from side to side so quickly it seemed liable to fly off. Before thinking I blurted "You can probably step back a bit." Almost immediately the poor pup let out a whimper, threw his hands in his pockets, and took one giant step back. "I-I'm sorry." He stammered, his tail crawling between his knees.
I must have looked just as pathetic, finding it hard to look at him in that sorry state. That was just great, me and my horribly timed comments. I turned my head down and away digging the tip of my shoe into the maroon carpeted floor.
"Your nose is wet." I said trying to change the mood and get him to laugh.
He smiled a bit and his tail went back to swishing, and I felt a little bit better. "So are you ready?" He pointed over his shoulder with his thumb and his arm flexing a little.
I gave a short nod, trying not to stare too fondly at his toned bicep, and we made our way to the elevator. It wasn't too full, but there were two students in it. Tom and I crowded in between a huge bovine that was sporting a pocket protector and wide rimmed glasses and a cheetah chick with a leather jacket and popsicle blue hair.
We all fit fine into the small confine... that is until a hyena came flying around the corner and nudged his way between Tom and I. As the elevator doors closed I felt a new pair of eyes on me. I looked up to see a somewhat threatening pair of hungry yellow eyes upon me staring from some dark spotted fur.
"Hey there kiddo," he said extending his paw, "my name's Devlin."
I didn't have to extend my arm all that far, considering our tight fit, but when I did I heard a low growl come from Tom. Apparently Devlin heard it too because when Tom growled, Devlin looked over his shoulder at Tom and let off a grin that screamed, "Oh I'm sorry... am I cutting in?" Immediately he stepped back and slid Tom and I so our arms were pressed together.
"Sorry, didn't mean to piss off your pup." He whispered to me with a light cackle in his voice. Tom's growl rumbled even louder, almost to a bark, and I could feel it reverberating from his chest into my arm.
At that moment the doors opened and out we were shoved... not by Devlin, but by the hulking bovine who, in the same moment, cracked his knuckles and smiled. The feline in the same instant grabbed Devlin by the collar and yanked him back into the elevator.
"We've got this wanker," she said with a smile and a waved fast as the doors closed, "You guys have fun!"
As we walked out of the lobby and into, the now crowded, court yard I felt the need to ask.
"So... you know those guys?"
"I took a psychology class with them last year. We got together at Yvonne's twice a week and had group therapy assignments. Brutus and Kitty are pretty cool." He said sort of shrugging like it was no big deal.
"So... how long have you been going to this college?" I asked a little more curious. I mean hell, if I'm going to be going here I might as well get a taste of the local cuisine.
"I've been here since just last year, but I actually grew up in town." Tom answered
We kept walking back on the same trail I had walked before. We passed by all the warn buildings and the trees that were either just hitting their orange shades or fully orange. There were herds of students everywhere, and I began to realize how much more diverse the student population at college was compared to high school. Nothing was segregated by genre. There were Goths with the jocks, cheerleaders with the band geeks, and even the star trek nerds were hanging out with the star wars geeks. That last one was probably the hardest to believe.
It didn't take too long to get to the parking lot, but I sort of slinked behind a step or two because I wasn't sure which one was Tom's car. Much to my surprise, he went up to the most beat to shit truck I had seen in years. There were dents in the side so big I could only assume that it had been sideswiped by the entire football team in some sort of prank. The sides were rusted, but they weren't quite eaten through. His side mirror was cracked, his bumper was strapped on with rope, and there were scratches all over the hood.
It was such a sorry site that I just had to bust up laughing, and in turn he smacked the hood and laughed as well.
"Yup this is the old beauty! She's my old faithful." He smiled back at me over his shoulder with that smile... that smile. He just gave me that smile that stopped me mid laugh and made me return mine back to him. His sharp toothed smile is so damn contagious.
"So how does she run?" Admittedly I was a little terrified. This hunk of junk looked like it would hardly stand on the pavement another three seconds, let alone move.
That smile. "Hop in." He said.
It sounded great! I was more than a little surprised because it boomed to life better than any truck I had ever heard. As soon as he pressed the gas, off we went.
It was a beautiful drive. The college had been built only a short distance out of the city to help students avoid traffic while being close enough that they wouldn't spend a fortune going out to grab a bite to eat. It was quiet too. Besides the fact that the road just ran through farm land that was lined with groves of apple trees, Tom was very quiet. He would occasionally turn and open his mouth to speak, but all he could manage to let out was a small whimper then quickly look away.
Aw that poor pup... I felt sorry for making him stress so much, but it was truly adorable. Along with that it felt great to get out with someone that wasn't expecting something afterword. Honestly I was getting consumed in my work lately. Maybe I would look for a job in town... I mean I really needed a fresh start. Working as an escort did have its perks; the money was amazing, the hours were almost non-existent, and I didn't even need to do my job well to make my clients happy. However, there was one big problem. Who could be with someone that sells themselves?
SHIT! I had let my guard down!
"Yeah! I'm great." I smiled at him.
Smooth Ian... just smooth.
The drive was a quick one. We arrived at the coffee shop within about fifteen minutes.