"Sooo??? What do you think about him?" Kelsey asked after they got back to the dorm.
"He's ... nice," it was the first thing that came to her mind. Too nice, she thought, for Kelsey. But she couldn't bring herself to say it, Nathan was very different than any of the guys Kelsey ever dated, and she knew them all. Nathan was a serious type, he had a calm and cool nature about him that didn't fit Kelsey's type of boyfriends. Kelsey's type was more like ... Preston.
"He seemed to have big plans for the future and he's working for it too," Julie said.
Kelsey nodded, she didn't seem to care much about that. "I just can't wait to get him back in the sack tonight ... we're going clubbing later, you should come too," Kelsey said. Julie hesitated, being the third wheel on Kelsey's dates was not her favorite thing to do. "Don't tell me you want to stay in and study?? It's only the first day of the semester, Jules, come on ... you didn't get the chance to have a proper summer, a nice night out with me and Nathan will do you good," she tried to convince her.
Julie enjoys a night out once in a while, she likes the drinks but not so much the parties. She knew how to have fun just enough to not go overboard. It was a given when she's friends with Kelsey who almost always go overboard. Someone had to be responsible, and Julie was the one who stepped up to the plate.
She may have lost all control once, the night after what happened. She was a mess, but a fun mess nonetheless 'cause she had a great time with Kelsey that night. It was partly the reason why Kelsey couldn't let go of the fact that she ditched her for the summer, Julie was a lot of fun to be with.
"Come on ... it'll be better if you come along, Nathan will have someone to talk to about his business and stuff, you know how much I can tolerate clubbing conversations ... not much, you'd be a perfect talking buddy for him." Kelsey never persuaded her to come along when she had dates, usually her dates would keep her busy at clubs and she never needed a sidekick to smoothen things up.
"Alright ... I guess I could use a couple of drinks, but I'm going back early, I have an early class in the morning," she finally agreed.
Kelsey made a face, "Fine ... I'll be going back to his place anyways, come on let's find you something to wear!" she said and went straight to her closet because Julie didn't own a single outfit that was suitable for a night out.
Kelsey always dresses to kill whenever she goes out clubbing, while Julie was too shy to show parts of her body even though her figure was pretty amazing. Kelsey never understood why she chose to hide all her curves under baggy clothes and oversized sweaters she loved so much.
Every time they go out clubbing, Kelsey always put on sexy clothes on her which Julie always tried to cover with a jacket, a scarf or a cardigan she hid inside her purse and put them on later when Kelsey wasn't looking. Kelsey believed that if Julie was more comfortable with her looks and showed more skin, she would've got more dates or more guys would hit on her at the clubs. Instead, Julie was more comfortable being her wing woman, covered her beautiful shape and drank quietly behind the tables while Kelsey danced the night away on tables and bars.
There were only two clubs in Gastonburry, both of which Kelsey was a regular there. She knew almost everybody, and almost everybody knew her.
Whenever she goes out clubbing with Kelsey, she never had to pay for drinks because they were always pouring into their table and the guys who paid for them came with it. Usually Kelsey would tell her which of the guys she actually liked and asked her to play along whenever she refuses a guy she didn't like.
Most of the time they had to sneak out to go home without telling the guy, other times she had to go home by herself because Kelsey decided to go home with the guy she liked, or some occasions they had to go back to their dorm together with a guy from the club which she always stayed outside until their 'date' was over.
That night was a bit different, because Nathan was there. Julie wondered if the poor guy had any idea that Kelsey was the party girl of Gastonburry. By the look of his annoyed face, she reckoned he was oblivious about it.
He kept sending back the drinks that was sent to their table and gave the guy a look. They gave him an apologetic gesture, not realizing he was there with Kelsey. "Don't be offended, maybe they thought you were here with me," Julie told him. His face was a little less tense. "Kelsey never brought a date here, this is something new," she added. It was actually a compliment to Nathan which he wasn't sure how to respond to.
He looked over his shoulder and saw Kelsey was talking to a girlfriend by the bar with a drink in her hand. She had been gone for at least ten minutes to get drinks for them. "That's a friend from campus," Julie said.
Nathan took a deep breath and took a sip on his beer, "She sure has a lot of friends around here," he commented.
Julie nodded, "She's quite popular."
Nathan raised his eyebrows as if to agree with her. "What about you, Julie? Do you enjoy the nightlife as much as Kelsey does?"
"Not really, this isn't my scene ... but I come here occasionally to let loose, I'd prefer a quieter place, but it's always a fun night when I'm with Kelsey," she said.
Nathan nodded, "It's not my scene either, but if she loves it, I think I can enjoy it too," he smiled. It turned out, they were there for the same reason.
Kelsey came back with their drinks and a wide smile on her face, "Oh I love it here! Everyone's here too, Jules, they're going to The Den later, there's a rooftop party after midnight and it's Zachary Mason's birthday, so free flow for everyone!!" she held out her hand to get a high five.
Julie responded to the high five and shook on it, "I'm going back early, remember? I have an early class," she reminded her.
"Oh, I almost forgot, but we can still go, right?" she looked at Nathan with hopeful eyes.
The way he gazed at her was a look any girl would want to be looked at, he smiled and said, "Of course we can, babe."
Kelsey was jumping up and down, she loved to go bar hopping, or party hopping for that matter. Something that Julie was often felt exhausted to follow, it was a good thing for her whenever Kelsey was dating someone, she didn't have to be the one to chaperone her.
"But, how are you going back to the dorm?" Nathan asked.
"Oh I'll just get a taxi, it's fine, I do it all the time."
"I'll take you back, it's okay, what time are you leaving?" Nathan offered.
"Oh no ... please, I can go back on my own, really, you guys go ahead and go to The Den," she refused.
"No, I'll drive you, and then we can go to The Den, right, Kells?" Nathan insisted.
"Awwww ... that's so sweet of you babe, isn't he the sweetest?" Kelsey put her hands on both his cheeks and kissed him.
"I don't wanna be a bother, I'm okay, seriously," Julie felt awkward.
"It's okay, Jules, I sometimes worry when you go by taxi in the middle of the night ... I tell you what, I can go to The Den with Chloe and Justin later, and Nathan can drop you off at the dorm and come meet me at The Den afterwards, how about that?"
"Why can't you come with us and we'll go together after that?" Nathan wasn't keen on the idea.
"Chloe and Justin, they have an invitation, so I kinda have to enter with them, and then I can get you inside later," she explained.
"See ... you should go together, don't mind me, please," Julie felt even more awkward after the tone Nathan gave Kelsey.
"I'll drop you off at the dorm, no worries, I insist ... it's no problem ... alright, then, I guess I'll meet you up at The Den afterwards," he finally agreed.
Kelsey wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a kiss, "Thank you so much, you know she's my best girl, right? It's so hot that you're doing this for me ... it definitely deserves a long hot reward later," she licked his lips all the way up to his nose.
Julie looked away and pretended not to notice. The awkwardness reached its peak when it was finally time for her to go back. Almost the entire time they were there, Kelsey was busy mingling with her club friends as Nathan stood beside her with his drink, looking like he wasn't really enjoying himself. He had a stiff expression on his face even though he tried to get rid of it once in awhile with a forced smile. Julie had to apologize to him for making him strayed away from Kelsey on their date just to drop her off at the dorm.
"Please ... I'm the one who had to apologize, I insisted, I guess it's my upbringing ... my parents would be disappointed at me if I ever let a girl go home by herself in the middle of the night," he said when he opened the passenger seat door for her. "Anyways, it's school night, no student should be out clubbing at this time a day," his irritated expression didn't escape her, but she knew it wasn't her that was causing it.
Once he was behind the wheels, he was back in his friendly mood. Whatever was bothering him, wasn't bothering him anymore. He started a small talk asking her about her background and vice versa. In the short trip they made to the dorm, she found out that he was only 25 years old, even though he seemed much more accomplished for someone that age.
"I guess I've missed your birthday by a couple of months, right?" he asked as the conversation went.
"How do you know?"
"Your name ... Julie ... I figured you were born in July?" he glanced at her from the driving seat.
She smiled, embarrassed for not figuring that out, "Yeah ... of course, no one has ever noticed that before, so ... I kind of forgot about it too."
"Did you girls celebrate at all?"
She shook her head, "Maybe next year, on my 21st birthday, I don't really celebrate birthdays but Kelsey insisted that I should, next year."
Nathan's eyes widened, "You're 20? Wow ... and you're graduating this year?"
"Well ... technically, I have to finish a couple more classes, and then I have to take a three month internship and make a comprehensive report on it, and then there's the presentation of what I've learned from my internship, and then graduate," she explained.
Nathan was not new to the concept, after all, he went through a similar path not so long ago. He too graduated earlier than his classmates and went straight to culinary school and graduated early from there too. "Is Kelsey going to take the internship with you too?" he asked.
She wasn't sure what Kelsey had told him when she paused to figure it out, "Not at the same time, but she will take an internship too, at her dad's company, probably."
"Where are you taking your internship?"
Julie smiled, "I haven't decided yet, I have a few companies in mind, big corporations that my Professors recommended for me ... but I'm actually looking for a small company where I can learn more about everything ... I still have time to decide."
Nathan nodded, "That's true, you'd learn more in a small company for starters than you'll ever learn in a large company."
Before they knew it, they were in front of the dorm building. "Thanks for the ride, Nathan, I really appreciate it," Julie said before getting out of the car.
Nathan looked around the area and saw how quiet it was. He stepped out of the car, "Don't be silly, I'll walk you up to your room," he said.
"You don't have to, really, it's fine ..." she wanted to convince him that it was a safe neighborhood but she wasn't convinced by that herself.
"I might as well go all the way, since I'm already here ... not to scare you or anything, have you heard about the Co-ed killers and the crimes that happened around campus areas?" As if it couldn't get any more awkward than that. Julie wasn't going to debate on that, knowing that he was going to insist this time too.
They walked up the stairs without saying a word. Even though they barely knew each other, he didn't give her a threatening vibe, she felt safe with him. She noticed he was looking around to study the area, the doors, the walls, the signs, he was an observer much like her. When they finally got to her door, he stepped back and waited for her to find her keys and opened the door.
"Thank you so much, I really don't know what else to say ..." she was being truthful.
"My pleasure, please lock your door ... double lock it, Kelsey said she won't be coming back tonight," he said.
"Yes, I will ... have a good time at The Den, I'll see you around," she said as she was stepping into her room.
"I'll try!" he said with a smile as he walked further away.
She closed the door behind her, and double locked it as he suggested. She leaned her back on the door and realized her heart was pounding faster than normal. She took a deep breath, she had a wonderful time that night ... with Nathan Sommers.