High summer in a college library is not my idea of a good time.  It is not, however, an option.  I have one last assignment to finish before we’re banished for the summer break, and I want good marks.  So here I am:  thinnest cotton sundress that I own sticking to my sweat-sheened skin, the oppressive silence broken only by dust motes, and the ticking of the library clock.

The heavy air is suddenly shattered by the harsh sound of a mobile phone.  All around the reading room, heads whip up from their disturbed stupor to glare at the unfortunate young man who somehow failed to see the ubiquitous signs warning him to switch off his ringer.  His mortification is clearly visible in his expression, and the colour of his flushed skin as he checks the screen, evidently decides that he just has to take this call, and quickly takes himself through the glass doors to the grassy courtyard beyond, muttering urgently into the device now clamped to his ear, in amongst a shaggy profusion of sunbleached curls.

How I did not notice him before now is beyond me.

As the disturbed heads of my fellow students return to whatever scintillating subject they are studying, my books lie forgotten.  I lean my chin on my hand and stare unashamedly at his tall, athletic frame.  Not muscled, but defined, like he is used to the outdoors, and has active fun with it.  As he kicks off his sandals to pace slowly through the grassy courtyard, I marvel at his elegant feet,  his tanned limbs sprinkled with fine golden hair which glints in the fierce sunlight.  He is wearing baggy and faded kakhi shorts.  Tattered around the edges, this garment has the look of a favourite, as does the equally faded t-shirt, which clings deliciously to the lines of his upper arms and broad shoulders.  I let out a little sigh as I imagine running light fingertips over those shoulders, digging my nails in, licking, biting…

I blink and come back to my seat, shifting a little uncomfortably, and wondering if I really did just let out an involuntary sound.  Glancing around surreptitiously, I decide that if I did, then a least no-one has noticed.  Hastily gathering my books, I rise, trying to be discreet about unsticking the skirt of my dress from the backs of my legs, and head outside.

Comfortably settled in the shade of a large tree in the courtyard, I sigh with relief.  It is just as hot out here, but at least there is an occasional breeze.  I hold a book up and feign interest in the text, whilst peeping over the top to watch him pace and mutter.  He’s beautiful to watch, despite his face getting steadily more annoyed, I watch him and wonder.  What does he want?  What does he need?  Could I give it to him?  Would he let me?

So caught up in the thoughts whirling around my head, the suddenly insistent throb of my pulse, I barely notice as his conversation ends.  His face a blank mask, his arm drops limply to his side.  I come to as he heaves a huge sigh, letting it out endlessly.

As he straightens his shoulders and turns, I catch his eye.

And I smile.

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