Although we find the room, but unfortunately a bed is already occupied by a snoring guy. "Well, at least the second is still free!", Zed laughs. "I'm going to walk home now if you want to come along, you can sleep on the couch with me," he offers. I try hard to think clearly through the fog in my head. Like Zed, Zed probably messes around with a lot of different women. If I agree, he might expect me to kiss him ... Hmm, as good as Zed looks, he probably will not have any trouble getting more than a kiss from the women. "I think I'll stay here if Steph comes back," I say. He looks a bit disappointed, but smiles understandably.
I should take care of myself, he says; before he hugs me goodbye. For safety reasons, I close behind him, because who knows who else could come in. The comatose snorer on the other bed does not look like he'll wake up in the foreseeable future. The tiredness that I still felt was kind of gone. Instead, my thoughts go back to Hardin and his remark that Noah has not slept with me yet.
Hardin, who is with each other every weekend, may find that strange, but Noah is a gentleman. We do not need sex, we also have fun with each other when we do other things, like ... well ... we go to the movies and go for a walk. I stare at the ceiling and count the cracks in the plaster to finally fall asleep. From time to time the guy rustles on the other bed, but eventually I close my eyes and doze off. "I've never seen you here ..." a deep voice suddenly mumbled close to my ear.
When I start up, his head bangs against my chin, biting my tongue. His hand is only a few inches away from my thigh on the bed. His irregular breath smells of vomit and schnapps. "What's your name, sweetheart," he whispers, and I gag. When I try in vain to push him away from me, he just laughs. "I will not hurt you ... we just want to have a little fun." He licks his lips with a saliva thread running down his chin. My stomach turns, and the only thing that comes to my mind is to kick him in the balls, and violently.
He holds himself in the crotch and staggers back, which gives me an opportunity to get away. When my trembling fingers have finally unlocked the door, I rush out into the hall, where some people look at me weirdly. "Come on, come back in!", I hear the disgusting voice close behind me. Strangely enough, nobody seems to care that a woman is being followed across the hall. He is only a few feet behind me, but fortunately he is so full that he stumbles against the wall again and again. My feet carry me by myself to the only place I know in this damned building.
"Hardin, Hardin, please open it," I yell, hammering the door with one hand and pushing down the latch with the other, but it's locked. "Hardin!" I yell again. Since the door is torn open from the inside. I have no idea why I came to him, of course, but I prefer Hardin's biased behaviour to a drunken guy trying to assault me. "Tess?" Hardin rubs his eyes in confusion. He only wears tight black boxer shorts, and his hair sticks out in all directions. Oddly enough, the fact that he looks good surprises me more than the fact that he called me 'Tess' instead of 'Theresa' for once.
"Hardin, may I please come in. That guy there ..." I look over my shoulder. Hardin pushes past me and looks directly at my stalker. Immediately, the disgusting guy looks pretty intimidated. He looks at one last time before turning and walking away. "Do you know that?" My voice is shaking. "Yes, come in." Hardin pulls my arm into his room. I notice how the muscles under his tattooed skin move as he goes back to the bed. He has no tattoos on his back at all, which is surprising where his chest, arms and stomach are covered. Again he rubs his eyes. "Alright?" His voice sounds rougher than ever, presumably because I woke him up. "Hm ... yeah, I'm really sorry that I'm bothering you again, I just did not know what I-"
"Do not worry about it." He drives his way through the chaotic hair and sighs. "Did he touch you?" He asks, neither sarcastic nor late. "No, but he tried ... I was so stupid to lock myself in a room with a drunken stranger, so it's probably my fault." At the thought that this creep touched me, I would like to cry again. "That's definitely not your fault, you're just not used to that sort of ... thing." He sounds so friendly and completely different than usual.
I hesitantly go to his bed and silently ask for permission. As he knocks on the mattress beside me, I sit down, my hands in my lap. "It's not the last time I've come here or even went to a party, I do not know why I even tried, and this guy ... that was easy so ... " "Tess, please, do not cry," whispers Hardin. Strange, I did not notice it at all. When Hardin reaches out, I almost jump back, but he cautiously catches a tear from my cheek with his thumb. His touch is so gentle that I gasp a little in surprise.
'Who is this man, and where is the rough, sarcastic Hardin?' When I look into his green eyes, his pupils are dilated. "I have not noticed how gray your eyes are," he says so quietly that I have to lean forward to understand him. His hand is still on my cheek, and my thoughts are driving carousels. He plays with his teeth on the silver ring in his lower lip. When our eyes meet again, I look away quickly, I am so confused by what is happening here.
But when he takes his hand away, I look back at his lips as I feel my conscience fight with my hormone. My conscience loses. I press my lips on his and catch him completely unprepared.