Devin passed him back his iPod. “I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to find someone here into decent music. I thought I was going to spend my first year in halls hearing nothing but Adele and Mumford and Sons.” Devin offered his hand. “I’m Devin.”
“Carny.” The blond guy with better taste in music than his appearance suggested introduced himself.
Weird name, Devin thought. Not that he could talk. His grandparents were Dutch. Growing up in Wolverhampton with the surname Lucassen had attracted a fair bit of ribbing.
“I’m not at the university, though,” Carny added. “I’m just here to check up on some folks.”
Ah, Devin thought. Adele and Mumford and Sons it was then... for a whole damn year.
Carny saw his downcast expression. “There’s a heavy metal music society, RockSoc, which meets up every Wednesday night in the main university bar. A friendly bunch if I remember right. You should have no problem fitting in.”
That wasn’t so bad. Devin would give it a look. It had to be better than here, where he felt like a fish out of water.
“Good talking to you and thanks for the music recommendation,” Carny said.
He drifted off, presumably to find his friends. Devin retreated back to his corner with a pint of Guinness.
Devin spotted the blonde girl again. She was seriously hot. Devin normally wasn’t into the preppy look—raven-haired goth chicks in spikes and leather were more his type—but he could see the benefits of a figure-hugging sweater when she had a figure like that. Totally out of his league.
Or maybe not.
He could swear she’d just given him a coy glance over her shoulder.
Nah. That was the booze coupled with a bit of wishful thinking. Hot blonde girls didn’t look in his direction unless it was to point and laugh.
Fair’s fair. He and his mates back home used to do the same to all the normies when they got drunk and stupid.
The bar started to wind down around eleven. Devin doubted he’d be spending many nights here. It wasn’t his scene at all. Maybe he’d check out the city centre tomorrow night... see what that was about.
His gaze followed the hot blonde girl as she walked out. She gave him another coy glance over her shoulder at the exit, like she wanted him to follow her. That one was harder to put down to shonky eyesight and booze. Maybe she had a thing for bad boys.
Not that Devin was much of a bad boy. Strip off the leathers and clip his long hair and there was a dull straight-A student underneath.
He watched her leave.
She had a boyfriend. Devin didn’t subscribe to the stone-age view of a man ‘owning’ his girlfriend, but he considered it bad form to get involved before the girl had terminated the previous relationship.
And it was probably all wistful imaginings anyway. If looks were rock bands, hers played arenas while his thrashed away in grotty little pubs.
He drained the last of his Guinness and headed outside for a smoke. The September air was chilly and damp. The other students were heading back to their rooms. Devin went to the corner of the building and lit up.
He noticed the blonde girl was standing at the other end of the narrow alley that separated the hall bar and the main admin building. Fuck, she was ridiculously hot, Devin thought. The moonlight picked her out and lent her an ethereal glow of beauty. She reminded Devin of the vampiric temptresses in old Hammer horror films.
Nothing good ever happened to the poor sods lured in by the temptresses of those old films, Devin thought wryly. He took a puff on his cigarette, letting the warm smoke ward off the clammy night air.
Something crashed into his side and shoved him into the alley.
Devin recovered from the shock to find himself looking at the pinched face of the blonde’s boyfriend. Rage burned in close-set piggy eyes.
“What are you doing staring at my bird!” he said. He punctuated his words with a jab of his finger to Devin’s chest.
Fight! Fight! Fight! To be continued...