Alistair woke up with a smile on his face. In his arms and pressed against his body was Piper, the girl he loved. He nuzzled his face against her hair and inhaled deeply, loving how her scent filled his nose. He could feel her stir against him and remembered that they were both still naked. Chuckling to himself, he kissed her shoulder and caressed her arm, not even trying to pretend he hadn't meant for the back of his hand to graze her breast.
"What time is it?" Piper murmured, still half asleep.
"It's early," Alistair answered, not wanting her to leave for class quite yet.
"Why are we awake?"
"Go back to sleep," he whispered to her. "I'll be right back."
Piper muttered something in response, rolling over and drawing the covers over her naked body. Alistair dressed in silence, his eyes on his sleeping girlfriend the entire time. He knew they were still in the honeymoon stage of their relationship, more so now than before, but he really didn't think he would ever get enough of her.
He slipped out of her room quietly, finding the key she hung on the back of her door and walking out of the dorm. The cold morning air cut into his skin but he barely noticed. All he could think about was the gorgeous brunette lying naked in bed and he quickened his step, practically running across campus to his destination.
Barely ten minutes later, and he was fumbling with the key as he juggled breakfast in his other hand. The door opened and Alistair stepped inside, his gaze instantly landing on the two girls standing on the other side of the room. His eyes went wide as he realized they were kissing, a stupid grin coming to his face. This day just kept getting better and better.
"Morning, ladies," he said with obvious flirtation in his voice.
Nikki turned around and smiled at him. "Alistair! I knew I heard some interesting noises coming from Piper's room last night."
"You liked it," he teased her.
Nikki laughed and nodded, not even trying to deny it. "Alistair, I'd like you to meet Brittany. Brittany, this is my roommate's boyfriend, Alistair."
Alistair looked at the petite blonde who had, up until this point, been hiding her face from him. "You?" Alistair's mouth dropped as she slowly raised her head. He recognized her, of course, the girl from Sterling's apartment the other week. She had been the girl who had kissed him at the party.
"What are you doing here?"
"Wait. Do you two know each other?" Nikki sounded and looked confused.
"I can explain," Brittany said quickly.
"Oh my God!" Alistair didn't even let her start. He looked between Nikki and Brittany trying to figure everything out. Hadn't the two girls just been kissing? Shit. It was way too early to process all this information. "Does Sterling know?"
"Does Sterling know what?" Nikki asked.
"No," Brittany answered. "He doesn't but please don't tell him."
Alistair laughed. "And why wouldn't I tell him?"
"Um…Because I should be the one to do it?" Brittany didn't sound too sure of her answer.
"Can someone please tell me what is going on?" Nikki's voice was serious as she looked between Alistair and Brittany.
"Nothing," Brittany answered, giving her a pleading look.
"Nothing?" Alistair asked. "It may be nothing to you but you've been messing with my brother and it certainly doesn't mean nothing to him."
"What have you been doing?" Nikki asked her and suddenly Brittany felt as if she were two feet tall. Nikki was staring at her with questioning eyes and Alistair looked as if he wanted to ring her neck.
"I'll tell him everything, I promise," Brittany said to Alistair.
"You better because if you don't…"
"I said I would tell him."
"You better do it soon. As in right now because he needs to know and I don't know how long I can keep this from him."
"Fine," Brittany said almost under her breath and watched as Alistair walked quickly toward Piper's room.
"This is so fucked up," both girls heard him say as he closed the door behind him.
Brittany looked sheepishly up at Nikki. "Care to tell me what that was all about?"
"Can we go back into your room?"
Nikki shrugged and opened the door. With heavy steps, Brittany walked inside and slumped down onto the unmade bed which only last night had brought her so much joy.
"So, spill it," Nikki said, her arms crossed in front of her chest as she leaned against the wall.
"I kissed Sterling earlier this year…and again last week," Brittany said quickly.
Nikki's eyes went wide, clearly Brittany's answer wasn't good enough for her.
"I knew he had a girlfriend but my brother was threatening all these terrible things and I didn't want him to tell my parents about me and so I kissed him."
Brittany's heart sank in her chest. She knew she would lose Nikki after she confessed. "My brother told me to kiss him because he was interested in his girlfriend. So I kissed him and then I let him believe that I actually wanted him and it has been absolutely killing me."
"Your brother was interested in Laila so you just thought it would be okay if you broke up a relationship?"
"No, I knew it wasn't okay. It's been killing me because I've seen how miserable he is…"
"It's been killing you?" Nikki asked in a disbelieving tone. "I've had to watch what you've done as it has literally almost killed his girlfriend. Did you know that girl didn't eat for almost two weeks? Their breakup was horrible for her and you were only using him."
"Wait," Brittany stopped her. "How do you know her?"
"She's my roommate, Brit. How do you think Alistair and Piper met?"
Nausea rose in Brittany's stomach. She hadn't even stopped to consider what Sterling's brother was doing in Nikki's dorm, so much had just happened. But Laila was Nikki's roommate and the knowledge that she was still probably asleep just in the other room was almost terrifying to Brittany. "I know what I did was horrible. I was being completely selfish but you have to understand that I only did what I did because I was so scared. I'll go confess everything to both of them, explain everything that happened…"
"Do you think that's going to help now? You've let this go on for way too long."
"I know," Brittany said. She could feel her heart breaking. "But the time I spent with him didn't mean anything to me. It doesn't change the way I feel about you."
Nikki's face was contorted with disgust. "Well this changes the way I feel about you. And this isn't about us right now. This is about Laila and Sterling and how much you fucked them over. Jesus, Brit, how could you do something like that?"
"I'm not sure. It wasn't me, I was just playing a part."
"Give it a rest," Nikki said, shaking her head. "That's not an excuse."
"It's not, I know that. But I don't have an excuse for what I did. It's done and I regret it and I'm willing to do everything I can to make amends."
Nikki shook her head again. "Do you actually understand what you've done? You broke them up and you didn't even want him. She's been miserable, thinking that he's moved on while you are here in my bed. Alistair was right, this is so fucked up!"
Tears had started pouring from Brittany's eyes. "I don't know what else to say."
"I think you should leave," Nikki said quickly.
"Nik, please don't…"
"No, you don't. You don't get to ask me for anything. Laila means more to me than you ever could be. Please leave."
Brittany nodded and stood up, her cheeks wet with tears. "I'm sorry," she whispered before walking out the door.
But Nikki didn't answer and Brittany rushed out into the winter morning. The snow was thick now, nearly a foot covered the ground and before she had walked half a block her pants were already soaked up to the knee. Part of her wanted to go home and fall asleep, part of her wanted to run to the train station and flee the country. But she had been running from herself for too long. Quick, like a band-aid, she thought. So, determined to set things right, she hurried her steps to Sterling's apartment and knocked on the door.
She had to knock three times before a shirtless and tired Sterling answered.
"Brittany," he said with a yawn. "What are you doing here?"
"I need to tell you something." Even her voice sounded frantic and she could only guess how she looked at the moment.
Sterling rubbed his eyes. "Do you want to come in?"
"No. This won't take long."
"Okay," he said, crossing his arms in front of his chest to keep the cold out.
"You know the other day when I asked if you were still in love with your girlfriend?"
"I could tell you were because I feel the same way about someone."
Sterling's face fell and he started to open his mouth to speak.
"It's not you. Don't worry," Brittany said quickly when she realized what he must be thinking. "I'm in love with someone and I've been using you because I've been too scared to admit it."
"Brittany, it's really early for this…"
"Please, just listen to me. I'm in love with a girl and I've been using you to try and pretend that I'm not feeling what I'm feeling and so my brother wouldn't tell my parents and I'm so sorry!" She took a deep breath, relief filling her lungs and her veins. "I'm in love with a girl," she repeated, a smile on her face.
"Wow. Okay." Sterling ran a hand through his hair and blinked in confusion. "Thanks for telling me, I guess."
"Look, I know that you still love your girlfriend and I know I am to blame for your break up because I kissed you even though I knew you were taken. But from what I could see last night, she still loves you as well. So, I know you probably hate me right now, but if there is anything I can do to help, just ask. I'll do anything. I…"
But Sterling raised his hand for her to stop talking and laughed. "I think you've done enough for now."
"You aren't mad at me?"
"I don't know yet. Ask me when I'm fully awake."
Brittany laughed as well. "I am sorry."
"Don't be too hard on yourself. I'm glad you told me."
"If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure the girl I'm in love with never wants to speak to me again."
Sterling shook his head. He knew he should be furious with her but at this point it didn't even matter. He was going to see Laila tonight and things were going to be better. He was tired of being angry, tired of thinking about the past. "No, you should be happy, Brittany. You've clearly been through a lot this morning."
"You have no idea!"
Sterling laughed and smiled at her. "I'm going to go back to bed now."
"Right," Brittany said, still clearly frazzled. "Sleep well and I'll see you later."
Sterling nodded. "Good luck."
"Thanks," Brittany said with a smile. "Bye."
Sterling nodded again and then closed the door leaving Brittany to ponder what had just happened. Nikki, who had absolutely nothing to do with Brittany's deception, was angry beyond belief and Sterling, the guy whose life she had almost ruined, wasn't pissed at all. Brittany shook her head to try to rid her mind of the confusion but it didn't work.
"This is so fucked up," she said to herself as she walked slowly back to her dorm room.