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A Visit from Eve: A College Story

A Visit from Eve: A College Story

Completely by accident, Matt Cassidy became, in his second year of college, more attractive to women than he could have imagined. Unfortunately, Matt himself had no idea. In fact, had he known, the effect would have been broken. His appeal to women only existed because he was unaware of it. The irony was that, always oblivious, he completely missed every signal thrown his way, every opportunity afforded him.

He was in shape, smart, and handsome. Also, he wasn’t an asshole, but even that wasn’t enough to set him apart. There were plenty of good-looking, intelligent, and even kind males at FPU, although the full combination of those attributes was perhaps rarer than it should have been. What made the difference was that Matt Cassidy had mostly given up. His ego had taken a beating during freshman year. Rejection stung. He was tired.

Unlucky circumstances had led to Matt arriving at college with almost no experience with girls. His parents had sent him to an all-boys private school in Boston. That shouldn’t have stunted his social skills, but it did. Shy, he had found social events with girls painful in their artificial focus on flirting and pairing off. Dances and parties had agendas, and so he simply stopped going.

When he started at FPU, he hadn’t found talking to girls difficult in the least. It was understanding them that flummoxed him. Most often, he misinterpreted friendly smiles from female classmates as romantic or sexual interest. He fell in love monthly, in lust more often still, but never knew what to do about it, how to make the first move. Those girls who actually might have welcomed his attentions grew impatient when his nervous lack of confidence became too painful to endure.

Burned more times than he cared to remember, Matt decided to stop trying. Deep down, he was starting to believe that he was fundamentally unwantable.

And just like that, by no longer pursuing girls, he became far more attractive to them than he ever might have guessed. Some of it was that they didn’t feel they needed to be on guard around him. He no longer gave off the air that everything he said to a girl was calculated to make her want to fuck him. He went to the gym and worked off his frustrations by picking up heavy things and then putting them back down. His body responded not with bulk, but by becoming lean and hard. That, along with countless hours of pick-up basketball, melted away the last vestiges of baby-fat with which he had arrived at college. Girls noticed him in the gym and admired what they saw. He admired them back, wistfully and lustfully, but he never noticed them noticing him.

So, at nineteen, almost twenty, Matt Cassidy had made out exactly never. The two chaste kisses he had enjoyed had come at formal events where such quick pecks on the lips were the scripted end to nights that always began with exchanges of boutonnieres and corsages.

Like many straight male students, Matt Cassidy had one girl he put on a pedestal above all others. As for many other FPU students, that girl was Eve Hawkins. Eve was, Matt soon realized, hard to describe. When he had first seen her, in a convenience store just off campus, he hadn’t even been sure she was a student. He wondered instead if she was affiliated with the nearby theater. Her look was different; she could have been thirty as easily as eighteen. It wasn’t that she looked old; rather, she seemed more sophisticated than a typical college woman and dressed accordingly. Her large eyes glowed knowing and luminous.

There were other physical differences that set her apart from the typical, jeans-and-sweatshirt, ponytail-in-a-scrunchie FPU girl. She wore her hair in a pixie cut dyed an aggressively artificial red. But even calling her hairstyle a pixie cut gave the wrong impression, suggesting something elfin or cute. Eve Hawkins was not cute. She was beautiful, with sharp, striking features. Some thought her features too strong and therefore found her actively ugly, an opinion that thoroughly befuddled Matt. She was tall and strong without being heavy, but it was hard to picture her in the gym, compulsively churning the calories away on an elliptical or a spin bike.

Decidedly artsy, Eve played in the orchestra, sang opera, and performed in plays. Nevertheless, she also socialized with the most popular crowds on campus. She dated widely, and was rumored to enjoy the company of women as well as that of men. Anyone else might have risked being called promiscuous or worse, but Eve was too comfortable in her skin for such labels to stick, or for most to even think of trying to apply them. When she appeared somewhere with a date, it always looked like he was on her arm, rather than vice versa, even the month or so that she dated the NBA-bound star of the FPU men’s basketball team.

It therefore came as a bit of a surprise when Matt’s roommate Derek asked him if he should invite Eve to dinner with them that night, the first Monday of spring break. Short on cash, Matt and Derek had found themselves unable to travel home, or anywhere else. With the dining halls shuttered, they had lived on the cheap for the first few days but had planned to splurge on the third night and go out to a local restaurant, FPU’s non-chain version of Appleby’s.

“Are you shitting me?” Matt asked. “How do you even know Eve?”

“From taekwondo class. We get coffee a lot afterwards.” Derek’s half-hearted attempt to keep the superior smirk off his face was mostly unsuccessful. “She’s really cool.”

“And you didn’t think to tell me… why?” Matt asked. He wasn’t angry, exactly, but it hurt to learn that his roommate went on coffee dates with Eve Hawkins.

“Because I figured you’d freak. Though you’ve been a lot more chill about these things lately. Anyway, should I call her? She’s stuck on campus for orchestra rehearsals.”

Matt considered arguing, stopped, and finally said only, “Ask her.”


Eve brought a friend visiting from home to dinner, a quiet, very thin, somewhat mousy girl named Liz. Derek, however, was clearly interested and maneuvered to sit next to her, leaving Eve next to Matt in the semi-circular booth. A fake Tiffany lamp played soft light down on the foursome. Had the dinner happened even a few months earlier, Matt Cassidy would have made a fool of himself by ineptly trying to impress Eve. But even the cleavage she was showing in her raw silk blouse didn’t cause Matt to stumble, even with her apparent lack of a bra. He did notice the large amethyst pendant that lay in the hollow above her full breasts but looked up quickly. Eve’s emerald eyes danced with suppressed laughter when he realized she’d caught him.

He shrugged in apology without words, Sorry!

No big deal, her eyes replied, forgiving him.

That night, Eve stepped off her pedestal and became a person in Matt’s eyes. She was extraordinarily easy to talk to, and their interests overlapped more than he could have imagined. Still, it didn’t keep her from testing him when he asserted that his favorite opera was, like hers, The Marriage of Figaro.

“Really?” She touched his arm lightly, but he barely noticed; her green eyes held all his attention. “What’s your favorite song by a female part?”

She’s calling bullshit, Matt realized, pleased that he knew the opera well enough to be able to answer. Still, he decided to string things along; it was fun to talk to her, even to mess with her. “Oh, I don’t know, why don’t you tell me your favorite female part first?”

Eve’s eyes narrowed, her angular expression set more tightly. She now suspected he didn’t actually know anything about the opera and had lied to impress her. “Cherubino,” she replied, with something harder in her tone.

Had Matt been trying to impress her into bed, her look would have withered him. But since he was simply joking around with someone so far out of his league that it wouldn’t have occurred to him to actually make a play, he extended the charade longer. “It’s just so hard to choose. There are so many.”

Eve’s expression hardened more. There was a look of near contempt in her aristocratic features, You’re full of shit, aren’t you? But she simply said, “Then pick one.”

“Well, I really like Non so più a lot, but my absolute favorite, maybe of all time, is Voi che sapete.” He looked almost smug.

Eve’s expression softened instantly, telegraphing without words, So you’re not just trying to b.s. me. She smiled, a smile that might have melted ice, and said, “I’ve sung that one a lot in recitals. I could sing it for you sometime, once I’ve brushed up on it.”

“That would be… neat,” Matt replied, wishing he had picked a better word.

“Would anyone like to see the dessert menu?” The waiter had approached without anyone noticing.

Startled, Matt realized that he had long since finished his meal, so engrossed had he been in his conversation with Eve. Derek and Liz had been similarly rapt.

“Nothing for me,” Liz said quietly. There were a hollowness in her face and a darkness under her eyes that suggested she was mostly unfamiliar with dessert.

“I’ll have the chocolate bomb,” Derek piped up cheerfully, “and if I know my bro here, he’s going to have the chocolate chip pie with a scoop of vanilla.”

“Hold on,” Matt protested. “The gym’s been closed, and I haven’t been able to work out for a while...”

“Dude, you sound like a girl. Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips?” Derek teased, not noticing the hard looks both women shot his way.

“It’s not that,” Matt said. “It’s that when I don’t work out, I feel full faster. I’m just stuffed.”

“That’s right, man, keep trying to defend your masculinity,” Derek chirped.

Eve intervened, by resting her hand high on Matt’s arm and pronouncing, “I hardly think Matt has any need to do that,” effectively ending the argument. Turning to Matt, “That sounds perfectly decadent. Split it with me?”


Matt, unsurprisingly, was oblivious to Eve’s action and words, other than to feel happy she had come to his defence. He missed the small smile on Derek’s face, and Eve’s bemused, uncertain expression when she took her hand from his arm. If he had noticed, he would have seen that she seemed softer, more unsure of herself, even younger than she usually did. She hadn’t gotten the reaction she’d expected.

They both laughed when their spoons clinked against each other, fighting for the last melting bit of ice cream. Eve slowly and carefully licked an errant drop from the corner of her mouth. Matt was, of course, unaware of how deliberately she had performed the act. Her lips were full, her dark lipstick slightly smudged. Inevitably, as she had intended, Matt pictured her lips on his erection, her lipstick smearing on him, her tongue lapping up every drop.

Eve had to leave quickly after dinner for rehearsal. Since Liz didn’t know the campus, Eve asked Derek and Matt to see her back to Eve’s room. Along the way, Matt, feeling like a third wheel, peeled off for his room, leaving Derek and Liz alone, to their obvious looks of relief. Two hours later, when Derek had still not come back, Matt went to bed and masturbated.

This in itself was not unusual. He found a way to get off almost every day. What was strange was that this night’s subject of his fantasies, Eve, did not perform pornographically. He did not think of blowjobs or sex or any particular acts and contortions. His mind was filled instead with more diffuse images and impressions. Eve’s knowing green eyes, boring into his. Her temporary anger dissolving into bright appreciation when it turned out he did know his opera after all. The feel of her hand on his shoulder. I’ll sing it for you sometime.

He stroked his urgent erection until he covered his bare stomach and chest with ropes of hot cum. Sleep claimed him only moments after he cleaned off.

The next morning, after Derek finally returned, it was clear that he and Liz were firmly paired off. As the days progressed, Eve, who Matt figured wanted to spend her spring break catching up with her friend, wound up hanging out with Derek, Liz, and Matt in the boys’ dorm suite. At least, that’s why Matt thought she was there. No other possible reason occurred to him.

This did not mean that Matt was not more smitten than ever. Whereas once he had been infatuated with Eve’s general appearance and demeanor, that is to say, the idea of her, he now found that his heart leapt up when she arrived, and set again when she left. Even so, he didn’t treat her any differently; he didn’t try to seduce her or even ask her out. It no more entered his mind that she was attainable than it would have occurred to him that a guard at the Louvre might inquire if monsieur was interested in taking the Mona Lisa home. Matt was just thankful that she was there, and perfectly at ease around her, a reaction Eve was unused to with most males her age or even far older.

The only downside was the sleeping arrangement. The two boys shared a compact, two-room suite with a minuscule bedroom and a small common area. The bedroom was so small that they had stacked their beds into bunkbeds. Eve had a single room in another dorm. For Derek and Liz to enjoy privacy, they would “sexile” Matt to the couch in the common area, as that made more sense than staying at Eve’s room and forcing her out of her room entirely. Matt missed his bed and grew tired of hearing the new lovers’ moans multiple times a night.

After a few nights, with the four of them hanging out together as usual, Matt finally put his foot down when it was about time for Eve to head back to her room. “Sorry guys, but I need my bed tonight.”

Generally, dorm room etiquette demanded that the roommate who wasn’t getting lucky help out the one who was, and to vacate whenever needed. An unspoken corollary of the rule, however, decreed that this applied more to chance encounters and the like. A couple in a relationship couldn’t expect to evict a roommate permanently. This, however, did not stop Derek from trying.

“Bro, maybe you could, I don’t know, walk Eve back to her dorm. And who knows, you two might find something to do,” Derek suggested, a smirk playing on his lips.

Matt froze, mortified and furious. For as much as he wanted Eve, he knew the idea was laughable. He certainly didn’t want her to know of his feelings and pity him. To Matt, Derek’s suggestion seemed nothing but cruel, even if it was supposed to be in the service of getting Derek laid yet again. As one might imagine, Matt Cassidy missed the quiet, grateful look Eve shot Derek, along with his practically imperceptible nod back.

In response, Matt could only sputter an excuse about an early workout session and needing to get to bed. The two girls left for Eve’s dorm, and the two boys went to their beds, Matt in boxers, and Derek in gym shorts and a tee shirt.

“Fuck you,” Matt declared to the mattress above him.

“Good night to you too,” Derek’s mocking voice replied. “You mad, bro?”

“Fuck you,” Matt repeated.

“Why so salty, bro?” Derek teased, with a quality in his tone that Matt could not understand.

“You know why. So fuck you. You know I like her, but you still had to tease me about it, in front of her, just so you could get laid for, what, the tenth time in the last three days?”

“Is that what I was doing? All I was doing?” Derek maintained the irritating “I know something you don’t know” tone in his voice.

“What else?” Matt replied. “And, incidentally, fuck you.”

“Dude. Eve talks to Liz. Liz talks to me. Let’s just say that maybe you should have offered Eve a walk to her dorm. And let’s maybe also assume that I’m not just an asshole.”

“What?” Matt sputtered, incredulous.

“I know, I know, ‘fuck me.’ You don’t need me. I’m just an asshole. Figure it out yourself.”

“No, seriously, tell me,” Matt Cassidy pleaded.

A noise from the outer room startled both boys. “The fuck was that?” Derek asked.

“The door? Some drunk fucker coming back to the wrong room?” Matt asked, just as confused as Derek. They tended to leave their outer door unlocked when they were home, having accidentally locked themselves out on trips to the hallway bathroom.

They didn’t have to wait long before the door to their bedroom opened, revealing Eve, flanked by Liz, who was wringing her pale, birdlike hands just behind her taller friend. “Did one of you forget something?” Derek asked, sitting up in his top bunk while Matt did the same in the bottom.

Advancing towards the bed, Eve announced, “I just couldn’t leave until I’d kissed Matt.”

A dreamlike sense of unreality seized Matt Cassidy. Things like this didn’t happen to him. For a good two seconds, as Eve strode towards his bed and sat on the edge, he considered pinching himself, but refrained. If it was a dream, he didn’t want to wake up.

His superior tone finally gone, Derek asked from above, “Uh, should I leave?”

“Whatever,” Eve replied, her eyes visible only as bright gleams in the dim half light from the moon outside the neo-gothic dorm’s old-fashioned casement window.

Derek!” Liz hissed, with an angry, beckoning gesture. Derek, obediently, dropped lightly to the floor and disappeared into the common room with Liz.

Is this really happening? Matt thought, his heart pounding so hard he thought Eve might be able to hear it in the tiny room. In chiaroscuro shadow, Eve’s features were softer. Somehow, despite the boldness of her actions and announcement, she appeared more vulnerable, uncertain.

What if she can tell I don’t know how to kiss? came his next thought as she leaned forward and pressed her soft lips against his. For a moment, Matt Cassidy couldn’t breathe. His thoughts, such as they were, were a jumble, but deep down something in him shifted. The most desirable girl on campus desired him, unequivocally. Enough so that she had announced it in front of others.

When he kissed her back, he forgot to worry about not knowing how. She brought her hand to his cheek, tracing the stubble along his jawline as she kissed him with increasing hunger. Her tongue found his, her urgency making Matt further understand her want. A snatch of conscious thought wafted through his brain -Remember what this feels like!- but inevitably, later, he would not be able to, except that it had been magic. They kissed endlessly, in the moonlight.

“I’ve wanted this for so fucking long,” Eve murmured, breaking the kiss. She was not someone who swore often, so her words gained extra emphasis.

You have? Matt thought but didn’t say. Then, But you’ve only known me a few days. He reached out for her face and hesitantly touched her cheek. Eve closed her eyes, for a moment seeming to purr in enjoyment of the delicate contact. A second later she took Matt’s hand and kissed his fingers.

Matt was very aware of his erection. Will she think it’s weird I got hard just from kissing? As if in answer to his thought, Eve sat up, somewhat abruptly, and yanked the bed sheet down his body, exposing him down to his thighs.When she saw the obvious tent in his boxers, she smiled, which made Matt relax. “So, what happens next? What do you want from me?” she asked, running her fingers up his stomach to his chest. She tweaked one of his nipples gently, eliciting a gasp.

Matt Cassidy didn’t know what to say. How was he supposed to answer? Different options ran through his head, all true. I want to make love to you! Too sappy? I want to fuck you! Too “bro”? How did one ask for a blowjob, anyway? I want you to stay and kiss me all night. I want to watch the sunrise with you. I want you to sing me that aria.

Matt couldn’t say any of those things, for he didn’t know how. The words died in his throat. Instead, he shrugged helplessly. Eve, who was watching his face like a hawk, smiled a small, thoughtful smile, which might have held a hint of sadness. But it was hard to tell in the darkness.

“Matt…?” Eve asked, with an uncharacteristically soft voice. “Do you like me?”

Do I like you? Matt wondered, completely flabbergasted at the question. How was this not completely obvious? It did not enter his brain that earlier he had been concerned that she might learn of his secret infatuation. In his mind, she was so perfect that he felt that she must know that everyone liked her and wanted her, just as he assumed no one wanted him. I’ve liked you since the first time I saw you. I’ve liked you from the first time I heard you play in the orchestra, or saw you perform on stage. I haven’t stopped thinking about you since dinner three days ago.

But of course, Matt said none of this. Part of this was not wanting to scare her off. But even if he had not worried about that, his shyness and inexperience did not allow him to utter such things. “I… yeah,” he answered, his answer sounding insufficient even to him.

Eve nodded minutely and with her eyes shining more than they had a moment before, hid her face in his neck, nuzzling him gently, kissing her way down to his chest. Matt, aware of his cowardice, tried to make up for it by bringing his hand to her hip and pulling her camisole from her skirt. But when he tried to pull it up and his hand made contact with her stomach, she caught his wrist and held it firm. “No… maybe I haven’t gone to the gym enough these days myself.”

Without meeting his eyes again, she continued her trail of kisses down his chest. Her tongue flicked catlike on each nipple, sending unimaginably intense jolts of pleasure through his body each time. When she continued kissing her way down, Matt tensed in anticipation. Is it finally going to happen… Is she really going to…?

Eve paused when she got to the elastic waistband of his boxers. She reached down into the opening and touched his hot cock with her cool hand, pressing it firm against his lower stomach. Matt Cassidy, whose erection had never been touched by anyone but him, winced from the ecstasy of that first contact, so intense that it almost hurt. The glory and freshness of a dream -- Wordsworth’s line would resonate one day, when he tried and failed to remember the perfect firstness of that touch.

Eve held his cock carefully against his stomach as she pulled his boxers down, making sure it didn’t get caught in the elastic. Matt lifted his hips as Eve wrestled his underwear down his legs. Presently, he was completely naked in front of her, his cock pulsing in huge arousal. Eve’s face was so close that he could feel her exhalations on his sensitive head. Does she like what she sees? Matt could only wait.

The room was very quiet. In the distance, faint laughter from outside. An owl hooted in the pine grove beyond the window. Matt realized he’d been holding his breath. When he inhaled, he noticed Eve’s light perfume, Lily of the Valley, the scent somehow stronger now in the dark quiet. And as he breathed in, her own delayed intake of breath matched his.

Although he had never been naked with a woman, let alone one who was completely clothed, Matt was not nervous. Bizarrely, something about the whole situation felt familiar, although that was impossible. Eve didn’t give Matt any longer to wonder, licking in one swipe from the base of his cock to the head, swirling her tongue at the top. Only the idea that Derek and Liz might be in the room outside kept him from crying out. The pleasure was indescribable.

Immediately after, she engulfed his cock in her mouth. Matt had endlessly imagined what a blowjob might be like, but he had never considered how warm it actually felt. Her tongue fluttered against his head and shaft as she bobbed her head up and down, urgently. Good thing I took care of business earlier, Matt thought. Otherwise this would already be over. Pleasure like none he had ever known lanced through him like lightning. This time, he could not keep from groaning, then crying out. “Oh God! Eve!”

For a few seconds, Matt was also saved because he felt outside of his own body. He was distracted by the novelty of the event. The fact that he was getting a blowjob was almost more powerful than the feelings shooting through him. Almost.

He turned his head to the side and saw their reflection in the mirror that all FPU dorms had, which campus legend said had been provided by the university when it had gone co-ed, at the insistence of the new female students. In the mirror, Eve’s body looked smaller compared to Matt’s than he had imagined. One hand grasped the base of his cock as she sucked; the other stroked in concert with the up-and-down action of her head.

Matt watched in the mirror for a while, entranced, before turning his attention back to the real Eve, not her reflection. He brought one hand gently to her head, and then, emboldened when she smiled up at him, the other. Her hair was not quite long enough for him to really entwine his fingers in it, but he enjoyed the feeling of running his fingers through the silk of her hair.

She was stroking and sucking him harder now, and his hips were rising involuntarily, meeting her mouth in an urgent rhythm. Only a few minutes had passed, but even despite his earlier masturbation session, Matt could feel the orgasm welling up in him. Will she think that’s too fast? Will she know I’ve never done this before? Do I need to tell her before I come? Somehow, it was important for her not to know he was so inexperienced.

It didn’t matter. Lifting her mouth from his erection, which gleamed with her abundant saliva, she murmured, “Come for me, Matt. I want to taste your cum.” And she lowered her mouth back onto his cock.

Again, something deep inside Matt changed. She wanted him. As obvious as it should have been to him, it took her words to truly drive the idea into his subconscious. Someone wanted him. Eve wanted him. His sense of self shifted. And knowing she wanted him to come in her mouth touched him deeply. He was not so ignorant as to think that every woman welcomed that.

His balls tightened as he felt the beginning of his orgasm welling up in him. With permission granted, even encouraged, he felt no worries about holding back. Liquid pleasure spurted through and then out of him as Eve milked his cock with her hands and mouth, her head rising and falling with the urgency of her effort. As he came, the sensation was only comparable in wonderful newness to his first orgasm, which had come as a surprise after an early experiment with masturbation. But this one far outdistanced the first.

He came harder and longer than he could remember, closing his eyes at first, then looking down at Eve, whose eyes widened as she gulped and swallowed repeatedly, apparently surprised by the volume of his ejaculation. When he was done, she gave his cockhead one last flick of the tongue, then surprised him by nuzzling her face against his shrinking member. A moment later she slid up his body and rested her head on his chest, looking up at him. His arm went around her shoulder comfortably. His flaccid nudity did not bother him in the slightest.

“You’re very sweet,” she told him, quietly. Matt wasn’t sure if he meant him or his cum, but he didn’t want to ask.

“Thanks,” he answered. Then, after a brief hesitation, “So are you.”

She laughed, breaking the quiet. She said, with odd formality, “Matthew, I am many things, but I am most certainly not sweet.”

Not knowing how to respond, Matt pulled her up to kiss her. As he did, he had a brief flash of my cock was just in her mouth, followed by my cum was just in her mouth -- in fact, there’s a drop still on her chin. But he found he didn’t care. It was Eve who hesitated for a heartbeat, perhaps unused to college boys being eager to kiss right after a blowjob. But she kissed him. The kiss was slow, tender, and thorough. Matt had initiated it, but Eve controlled it.

She lifted her lips from his and looked at him. In the dark he could not see the color of her eyes; he just felt the power of her gaze. He felt more exposed at that moment than he had when she’d examined his naked body. A small smile curled the corner of her mouth. Her eyes glistened. She sat up and leaned forward again, planting a small, quick kiss on his lips. “I have to go, Matt.”

“But…” he was confused as she got up.


He was braver now. “I was hoping you’d stay.”

In front of the window, she was silhouetted by the dim light behind her. Her face was in darkness, and Matt could only see her pause on her way to the bedroom door. Still, she reached for the door and was soon gone, leaving only a soft “Good-bye, Matt,” and the smell of her perfume in her wake.

Stunned, Matt pulled on his boxers and covered himself with his sheet. A moment later, there was a knock at the door, and Derek’s voice asked, “Dude, you decent?”

Liz had left with Eve, and Derek wanted to know what had happened. “None of your fucking business” was Matt’s terse reply. Derek laughed and was soon snoring. Matt lay awake longer, his head spinning, until he finally fell asleep shortly before dawn.


The next morning, Liz returned, but Eve did not. Liz treated Matt the way she always had, though she looked at him curiously when he wasn’t looking. Matt, his heart pounding, tried calling, then texting Eve, who did not respond. As the hours went by with no answer, Matt grew increasingly worried and hurt. He felt an awful pit in his chest, which his earlier armor had once protected. He would have asked Liz for her insight, but by then she and Derek had gone out.

The next day, still with no response from Eve, Matt did ask Liz, right before she was scheduled to go back home, but she just shook her head. “She wouldn’t say. It’s hard to tell with her sometimes.”

Matt Cassidy had no other direct contact with Eve Hawkins until shortly before graduation. He saw her, out and about on campus, or at parties, and even exchanged the very occasional pleasantry with her in larger groups when contact was inescapable. But there was nothing more.

Two years later, shortly before graduation, he found an invitation to a graduation recital slipped under his door. “An Evening of Rossini, Verdi, and Mozart, by Eve Hawkins.” He considered not going, but ultimately he could not stay away. She had written, “I’m sorry,” at the bottom of the invitation.

Still, he arrived late, changing his mind perhaps a dozen times before finally entering the small auditorium. If she noticed his discreet entry, she didn’t show it. She stood tall and regal next to her accompanist’s piano, in a long, black evening dress that set off her fiery hair. But when she sang the last aria, Mozart’s Voi che sapete, a haunting, aching song about not understanding love, about not knowing how to hold or even recognize it, she looked directly at Matt, fixing him with emerald eyes.

I’ll sing it for you sometime, she had said, and she had not broken her promise.

When the last note died away in the small hall, Matt slipped away during the applause, not noticing the flash of… something in her eyes as he did. But he returned during the cheese-and-cracker reception with a simple bouquet.

“Thank you,” she told him, smelling the lilies.

“Thank you,” he told her. There was a difference in the way he carried himself, a confidence that had been absent two years prior.

“For what?” she asked, surprised.

“I couldn’t explain, so let’s just leave it at that. But thank you.”

And with a kiss on the cheek, they went their separate ways.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright "Oceanrunner" 2013-2017. All rights reserved. No reproduction without author's permission. If seen anywhere besides, the story has been ripped off.

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