I stood in front of her and ran my fingers along her collarbone. “Just so you know, this is one night and one night only. You will not see me again after tonight.” My words sounded harsh, even to myself, and I waited for her to run out of the room in tears. However, all she did was nod lightly. Her eyes darkened, but she remained there staring back at me, accepting my words. I grew angry. I wanted a response from her.
“Answer me.” I stared into her eyes and leaned into her. “Do you understand?”
“I understand.” Her voice sounded annoyed and I tried not to smile when I heard her mumble something about asshole. If she only knew how correct she was.
The sex was hotter than I thought it was going to be. Lola had given herself with abandon and she had really let go as I f**ked her. My c**k was still hard thinking about how wet her pu**y had been as I entered her. I could still hear her whimpers in my ear, and I could still feel her fingernails as they scratched down my back. I closed my eyes as I thought back to her touching me when she was sleeping. She had cried out my name and woken me up as her fingers squeezed and teased me. My body had reacted in one way and my brain had panicked. I’d been rude on purpose. I’d known she wouldn’t appreciate me insinuating she was a prostitute, but I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t want her to become attached to me, and I knew that women became attached after sex. I wanted her to know that I was off-limits. I wasn’t the good guy. I was just a virile man who wanted her. I had needed to convince her of that as badly as I’d needed to remind myself.
“Lola, are you sure you’re okay?” Anna looked at me in concern as we made our way down Oxford Street. “We don’t have to go today, you know.”
“We have to go.” I gave her a reassuring smile. “I’m fine. I’m not in a unique position, you know. Many people have had disastrous one-night stands. It’s almost a rite of passage for women these days.”
“But he just sounds like a real jerk.”
“A jerk I’ll never see again.” A brief ripple of disappointment ran through me as I pictured Xavier’s face. I told you that I was stupid. Only a stupid idiot would regret the fact that they wouldn’t be seeing the guy who’d called her a prostitute again. “There’s no need for us to miss the pre-class meet-up with all our new classmates. Especially since I already missed the opening exhibit for my first class.” I bit my lip. “I’ve got a bad feeling that the professor is going to ask us about his talk and call on me and I’m going to have to come up with some lame excuse as to why I don’t know the answer.”
“Just tell him the truth.” Anna shrugged, and I gave her a crazy look.
“Really, Anna?” I rolled my eyes. “Excuse me, Professor, but I missed your talk on Impressionist art in Europe because my best friend drank too much alcohol and saw a hot guy and decided to have a one-night stand. And I was worried about her so I decided to go with her. Only it didn’t go as planned, and the next night, I ended up sleeping with that guy’s even hotter friend. Oh, and the sex was great, but he called me a prostitute, and oh, we didn’t use protection, so I might be pregnant as well.”
“Well, maybe not.” Anna giggled. “Not when you put it like that.”
“Yeah. I don’t quite think he’s going to be impressed with that excuse.” I giggled as well. “Not unless he’s got a perverted sense of humor.”
“Well, maybe tell him you got sick or something.” Anna shrugged and looked at me. “Like morning sickness or something.” Her hand immediately flew to her mouth as she realized what she had said. “Oh, sorry.”
“It’s fine,” I groaned. “I’m not pregnant. I’m pretty sure I’m fine. I looked online and I wasn’t in a fertile period.” I groaned. “I can’t believe I just said fertile period.”
I groaned at myself. “I can’t believe I didn’t ask him about a condom,” I sighed.
“I think your mind was on other things.”
“Yeah.” I shook my head. “I can’t deny it. He was so hot. And he had a way with his hands.”
“Oh, Lola, you’re so bad.”
“I know.” I laughed and fluffed my hair as we came to the restaurant we were meeting our new classmates at. “But that was the temporary new me. I’m back to being regular boring Lola now.”
“But we’ve only been in London for one week now,” Anna groaned. “You were only bad Lola for one night, and that was just last night.”
“Well, bad Lola’s already gotten into too much trouble.” I shivered as we walked into the restaurant. “I’d rather just enjoy our time here and the classes and have some innocent fun.”
“I’m totally going to get laid by some hot English guy.” Anna laughed and shook her shoulder-length blond hair. “That was the reason I came.”
“Oh, Anna,” I giggled, and we looked around to find our group.
Anna and I had talked about coming to Europe for years. But neither of us had ever thought it would happen. We just weren’t the sort of girls who got to travel to places like Europe. Tampa, yes. Miami, yes. Even New York City once. But international travel had never seemed like a real possibility. We’d both grown up in Palm Bay, Florida, and gone through elementary school and high school there, and then we’d both gone off to college at the University of Central Florida, which was less than two hours away in Orlando. The closest we’d gotten to international travel was when we went to Epcot at Disney World.
“There they are.” Anna’s voice was excited as we worked our way across the room to the large table of other excited students from across the world.
There was a huge poster on a stand next to the table that read “Welcome to London, students of the world!” I trembled with excitement as I surveyed the group. It wasn’t as large as I had thought it would be, but perhaps that was good. There were fifteen students there—ten girls and five boys.
“Oh my God, I’m in love,” Anna whispered to me. “That blond guy is to die for.”
I checked out the guys to see which one she was talking about and my eyes connected with another guy’s—a guy with a piercing gaze and smiling green eyes. He gave me a wide smile and I smiled back. He was very cute with his black hair, tan skin, and green eyes, and I wondered to myself if I had been too hasty in changing my rules back.
I quickly looked away from him to survey the other guys and to see who Anna was talking about. I didn’t want to give Green Eyes the wrong impression, and I felt a bit creeped out that he had a similar physical description to Xavier, even though they looked nothing alike.
I knew who Anna was talking about as soon as I saw him. He was tall, probably about six foot four, and he had a shocking amount of wavy white-blond hair. His eyes were bright and blue, and he had a golden tan that was definitely not from his hours in London.
“Isn’t he hot?” Anna pinched me. “I have to have him.”
“Anna, let’s say hello to everyone before you take him to the back alley,” I teased, and she blushed at my words. For all of her talk, Anna was as shy as I was when she was sober and not much of a femme fatale.
“Hey, girls. Are you part of the Study in London program?” A tall blonde smiled widely at us as we nodded. “Great, I’m Henrietta. I work at the university and I’ll be your liaison. What courses are you both taking?”
“I’m doing art history.” I smiled back at her. “And Anna’s doing British literature.”
“Welcome, welcome. You’re going to love the art history course. Did you catch the museum exhibit and talk on Friday? Wasn’t it fabulous? I’ve already got my Bachelor’s, but I’m signing up for the course again just for fun because Professor Van Romerius really knows his stuff. I mean, imagine learning about art from a man who owns most of the pieces he talks about. And he’s so gorgeous. I will not have trouble getting up in the morning to look at that face.” Henrietta rambled on and I bit my lip, worried she was going to ask me if I had attended. I tried to think about what I was going to say, but then she turned towards Anna. “And don’t feel bad, dear girl. The lit program’s good as well. I think you guys are going to get to spend a week in Stratford-upon-Avon, so that will be good fun.”
“Thanks.” Anna nodded and gave me a look. We both stifled a giggle as Henrietta took a large gulp from a pint glass she had in her hand.
“Well, here are some welcome packets. Tonight, we’re just going to have dinner, let everyone get to know each other. As you know, as part of the program, we’ll have about six different meet-ups this term.” She giggled. “Oops, I mean semester. I forget you Yanks don’t have terms.”
We both took the packets and were about to go and introduce ourselves to the other students when Henrietta grabbed us both by the shoulders.
“Oh, I almost forgot to remind you. Classes start tomorrow, bright and early. Please know that attendance is monitored and you will fail if you don’t attend eighty percent of your classes.” She looked at us sternly, but it was hard to take her seriously as she was hiccupping. “Oh, yeah. There will be a ball at the end of the year, so start thinking about dresses and dates. You’re both pretty girls, so I don’t think you’ll have problems snagging a date.” She paused for a moment and looked at us thoughtfully. “Oh, and one more thing. I almost forgot. There are two professors overseeing the program this year. They will have two special get-togethers at their houses at some point during the term. Make sure you show up. It looks really bad if you don’t.”
“Okay, thanks.” I nodded and nudged Anna so that she would walk away. I was starting to feel overwhelmed with all the information Henrietta was giving us.
“See you later, girls.” She grinned at us and took another large gulp of the beer in her hands.
“Bye.” I waved at her and was about to whisper something to Anna when I looked up and realized that the green-eyed boy was standing in front of me and grinning.
“Hello.” He reached his hand out towards me. “I’m Sebastian.”
“Lola.” I shook his hand and was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t squeeze it too hard or too limply like most of the guys I knew back home did.
“A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.” He gave me a dazzling smile and I blushed and tried not to remember how Xavier had responded to my name. Lolita, indeed.
“Are you American?”
“Is it that obvious?” I laughed. “I’m starting to feel like the redheaded stepchild.”
“No.” He shook his head and his dark hair fell in his face. “I was just curious.”
“Are you English?” I looked at him in surprise. He definitely had an English accent, but I wasn’t sure why he would be in this program if he were from the country.
“No.” He made a face. “God, no.” He laughed again. “I’m from a small country near Belgium. But I was educated in English boarding schools.”
“Oh.” I still looked at him curiously.
“I suppose you wonder why I’m in this program?” He made a face. “My brother convinced my mother it would be good for me because I sort of played around a bit too much last year.”
“Oh, that sucks.”
“Not really.” His eyes sparkled at me. “I’m quite glad he played the overbearing bully this time.”
“Oh?” I laughed nervously as he leaned in towards me.
“Lola, you coming?” Anna called back to me, and I nodded.
“Sorry, I have to go.” I smiled at Sebastian, and he looked at me in disappointment.
“What are you studying, Lola?”
“Really?” His eyes gleamed and he shook his head. “I heard the professor’s an asshole.”
“Oh no,” I groaned. “Just my luck.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be in the class as well.”
“Yeah. This way my brother really gets to watch my every step.”
“Huh?” I looked at him in confusion, but then Anna grabbed my arm.
“Come on, Lola.” She nodded towards the tall, blond surfer-looking dude, and I gave Sebastian a quick smile.
“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, if not later again tonight,” I muttered quickly.
“I look forward to it.” He grabbed my hand and gave it a quick kiss before I was pulled away by Anna.
I glared at her. “I was just talking to that guy, you know.”
“Sorry, but I need to speak to the blond god before another girl gets her claws in him.” Anna gave me a frantic stare and nodded towards her new crush. He was standing there, eating what looked like a breadstick, and as far as I could tell, he was all alone.
“There’s no one there,” I sighed as we casually walked over to him.
“Shh!” She gave me a look. “Play it cool,” she whispered.
“I didn’t think I was playing it warm or hot,” I said, slightly irritated.
I had enjoyed talking to Sebastian. There was something about him that seemed fun as well as friendly. I wouldn’t mind making him my first male BFF. And it didn’t hurt that he was hot, either.
“Laugh,” Anna commanded me, and I gave her a look.