Part 3: A Change of Heart

See disclaimers in part 1.


When they got back to their room still dripping, they were pleased to see the bed made with sheets and everything. Michelle had one problem though. "Aww, they only gave me one pillow! I can’t sleep with only one pillow." Looking over at Alex’s bed, "Hey can you lend me one? You’ve got four. Preferably that big yellow one?" She pleaded.

"No way! That’s snuggles." <Huh, did I just tell her that? > Looking over she saw Michelle’s eyebrows disappear in her bangs. <Guess I did. Gotta watch my loose tongue around this one. >

"Snuggles? Care to explain that?" Michelle said trying not to laugh.

Blushing, "Uh, its just that I like to snuggle up to something at night. I’d grab onto anything that’s next to me while I’m sleeping. But uh…you can have this one." Tossing the red one over to her bed.

<Hmm, I don’t think she wanted to tell me that. Oh how cute! She’s blushing. > "Well that’s gotta be a positive thing. I’m sure Tom loves it when you sleep over huh?"

Alex was just going to let it go at that but something in her made her tell the truth. "Actually I’ve never slept with Tom." At Michelle’s incredulous look Alex clarified "Oh I don’t mean I’ve never SLEPT with him, it’s just that I’ve never slept NEXT to him…you know…after."

"OH, I get it. How come?"

With a shrug, "I just don’t feel comfortable touching other people…or with other people touching me. As long as I’m in control I’m fine but otherwise I get real edgy. Sleep is when my guard is mostly down so I can’t sleep with someone next to me."

Michelle didn’t know what to do with that so she walked over and without thinking placed her hand on Alex’s shoulder. When the taller girl turned Michelle said "Well that’s good to know. Just let me know when I invade your space okay? I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable around me." Realizing where her hand was she tried to pulling it away but Alex’s hand covered hers giving it a little pat before turning away.

"Thanks Michelle."

"Don’t mention it." She smiled and tried out her new bed.

That first night as roommates was spent talking the night away. Well Michelle did most of the talking but Alex didn’t mind. She learned all about how Michelle loved writing since she was a kid and wanted to be a writer for the paper. With that job in mind, she majored in journalism. Also she heard all about where Michelle grew up with her family and only brother Reggie. Alex felt like they were old friends already.

Michelle on the other hand barely knew anything about Alex’s family life. Only that her father was gone and that her mother lived down in Florida. And that was only after some major prodding. Plus she only learned of Alex’s father by accident earlier during the day.

"Hey, maybe we should think about getting a smaller dresser huh? I can’t use it all and you don’t use it at all. Maybe we could get another desk to use the space? What do you think?" Michelle said turning to look at the wide-eyed Alex.

"Um, I guess we could. I kept it cause it was my fathers. I know it uses a lot of space but it just…"

"Say no more Alex. The dresser stays." Alex tried to say something but Michelle’s hand was quicker. Raising it to stave off the protest she knew was coming, "Ahhp, my decision is final Alex. This means something to you and I’m not sacrificing that just for a little extra space."

"Thanks roomie."

"Not a problem."

Alex was surprised how much she had opened up to her newfound friend. It felt good. So she told Michelle about her father and how he died in a car crash when she was six. Michelle just sat back and listened the whole time offering support whenever needed. Alex felt good for telling someone about it finally.

Michelle was up bright and early the next morning even though she stayed up half the night talking Alex’s ear off. She was proud of herself though because she got her recluse of a roommate to open up a little bit. She found out that Alex was majoring in veterinary medicine. Turns out Alex connected to animals a lot better then their human counterparts. She also found out that Alex was on the collegiate bowling team, hence where most of the trophies on her dresser came from. The others were from when she was younger and competed in tournaments. Thinking back to their earlier conversation on them:

"Bowling huh? By the look of all these trophies I’d say you were pretty good!"

"Hmm, not bad. Been bowling since I was 10. Better be pretty good by now don’t you think? You ever been bowling?"

"I guess." Not sure whether she should share this, "I went bowling last year… I bowled a 59" she finished with a bit of embarrassment. She didn’t know a whole lot about bowling but she did know that that’s a really low score.

"That’s not bad Michelle. I remember bowling a 59 before. Don’t worry about it."

Feeling her spirits lift, "Really? When was that?"

With a mischievous smile, "When I was ten."

With that, a perfectly aimed pillow came sailing across the room to hit Alex in the head. Which in turn caused an all out pillow fight.

By the time Alex got up the next morning/afternoon by then, she awoke to the smell of coffee. Pushing away the sleepiness, she sat up to see Michelle holding a coffee cup out to her with a donut to boot. Downing the much-needed caffeine she said "Thank you. Wow what did I do to deserve breakfast in bed huh?"

"It’s a thank you for letting me stay with you," she smiled and then shrugged, "and an apology for keeping you up last night."

"Well you’re welcome and no apology necessary. I had fun. How long have you been up anyways?"

"Um… a little past eight. Usually I get up at seven." At Alex’s dismayed look, "What can I say, I’m an early bird. When you grow up on a farm in Kentucky, you get up when the rooster crows."

"Well then, I should thank you for not waking me up then. My motto in the morning is stay in bed as long as possible."

With a snort, "Yeah I know. Capri told me your little rule. Good thing I remembered too or you’d be looking for another roomie right?"

"Nah, I kinda like the one I have." With that she got up to enjoy the rest of Sunday with her friend.

With classes starting next week, the new roommates were kept very busy trying to get ready for it but still spent all of their free time together. Michelle even convinced her new best friend to go shopping with her. Alex made like she didn’t enjoy it but just getting to spend time with Michelle made it a good day. Alex was getting worried about how close they were getting but just the thought of not being with her was even worse. For the most part she just ignored it.

When they came back from shopping, they heard a commotion coming from down the hall. "Man, a fight already? School didn’t even start yet." Alex sent Michelle back to the room to unload her packages while she went to see what was going on. By the time she got there, Alex pretty much figured out what was happening just by the look of things.

<Gotta be Amy> she thought.

Amy was 5’8, one of the taller women on the floor, with unruly brown hair that was always in her face. She was what you would call a bully; she lived to torment others. Plus she’d hit on anything that moved whether they liked it or not. Alex would normally mind her own business but when she got there and saw who Amy’s prey was, there was only one choice.

It was Caprina. Amy had her backed against the wall with all her cronies surrounding them. "You know Caprina, you really hurt my feelings when you didn’t move in with me. I would have treated you real nice." Capri shuddered while Amy ran a finger along her jaw. "But no, you had to shack up with that bitch Susan. I’d thought you’d want a more…experienced woman then her."

She tried to wriggle free but Amy wouldn’t relent. "W-we-we’re just fr- friends A-amy, honest. I’m st-straight. Please, now let me go." Again she tried but Amy’s hold on her wrist was unbreakable.

Pressing herself even closer, "Oh baby, all you need is a real woman to show you what you’re mis…"

"Is there a problem Caprina?" Alex hissed while everyone around her became silent. She easily sidestepped the goon squad for they heard the stories about Alex as well and didn’t want her to prove to them that they were true.

Amy turned around then to see who would dare interfere and was muted by the look she was receiving from Alex. When her captive again tried to get away she snapped out of it. "Ah, no. There’s no problem here Alex. We were just having a little fun, right Caprina?" You could hear the tinge of fear in her voice though she was trying her best to hide it. Alex looked down at the wrist Amy was holding and her eyes turned to blue fire making everyone take a step back.

"Well it doesn’t look like Capri here is having any fun at all. Why don’t you let her go." Alex’s voice was just above a whisper but rang loud and clear to everyone there. Her eyes never left Amy’s face making her cringe away from the heat.

Amy looked down at the wrist she was holding and like she couldn’t believe it was there, dropped it like it was made of fire. "Oh sure, no harm done." Capri took off to where Alex was standing and grabbed on to her arm for dear life. "See? Good as new. I ah… didn’t know she was a friend of yours. If I’d have known…you know I would never had…against her will…" she trailed off looking anywhere but at those ice chips they became.

"Good. See that it doesn’t. And if I ever hear of you bothering anyone again, ESPECIALY Capri here, well then we’ll be seeing each other again." With that she turned to walk back toward her room with a grateful Capri clamped to her.

"Hey, ease up there. I need that arm back you know," Alex said trying to lighten the mood. But she never made it back to the room for she ran smack into a worried Michelle, which Capri practically flew to.

"Its okay Capri, you’re all right now." Michelle said while giving Alex a look she did not recognize. She stood holding her till the crying girl calmed down a bit. Finally, Capri was able to let go and turned to face Alex who was looking a bit flustered.

Capri took a cautious step forward and waited for Alex to look down at her. "Thank you Alexandra. I-I- don’t know how to thank you for helping me back there." Then before she lost her nerve, gave the surprised woman a quick hug.

"Ahh, don’t mention it Caprina. It’s the least I could do after the way I treated you the first day. Oh, and call me Alex." She tried not to blush but there it was plain as day.

"Okay Alex, thanks again." She turned back to Michelle who put her arm back around her shoulders.

"I’ll meet you in the room. I’ll just stay with Capri till Susan comes back." They both turned to walk back to their room.

Just as Alex was about to leave herself when she felt a tap on her arm. Turning around she saw Capri with a smile on her face. "And Alex? You can call me Capri."

"How about I call you Cappie?" Alex asked with a smile of her own.

"Whatever you want." And with that she ran back to where Michelle was waiting for her.

By the time Michelle returned, an hour had passed. Susan was soo distraught with worry over her friend that Michelle doubted she’d ever let Capri out of her sight again. Michelle had to do some fast-talking in order to keep the curly tornado from going after Amy. But she assured her that Amy would never come near Capri again…not even with a ten-foot stick from the expression on her face when Alex threatened her.

"Susan come back?" Alex said while sitting up.

"Yeah. She was really worried about her. Capri and her are like sisters." Michelle said while closing the door.

"That close huh?" <Gotta respect her for that at least>

"Yeah. They grew up together." She went over to sit beside Alex. "I’m very proud of you Alex. What you did for Capri…it was…well, just, thank you." That same look crossed Michelle’s face from earlier.

Alex drew her finger along Michelle’s chin trying to get a look at her face. Michelle shuddered. "What was that look you just gave me?"

She gave a little laugh, "What look?" And then it was gone.

Alex let it go… for now, "Well no need to thank me. Hell, you would have done the same thing." As an after thought, "I would have really liked to see that by the way."

"Ha! Me trying to get through that goon squad of hers? All that would have accomplished would be me falling on my ass."

Alex didn’t buy it. "Oh come on Michelle. Who are you kidding? Remember when we first met? You looked like you were ready to slug me in Susan’s room. Imagine what you would have done to Amy. As for the goon squad…Hell! Look at you. You’re beautiful. All you’d have to do is bat your pretty green eyes at them and they’d be bowing at your feet."

Michelle only heard one sentence, "You think I’m beautiful?"

Blushing once again, "I- bu- did I- Aw hell. You know you are Michelle." She finished with slumped shoulders. <Damn, I’ve never blushed so much in my life! >

Noticing her discomfort, she lifted Alex’s chin, "You’re not so bad yourself Alex."

Part 4

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