A/N: I hope this one isn't too far out of left field. Please let me know what you think...she said with trepidation...
All of these characters belong to L. M. Montgomery, I am just having a bit of fun playing with them.
"Gilbert Blythe, stop it! You give that back!"
Anne Shirley looked over to where she heard the flirty girl's voice.
A little ahead, Anne saw a tall boy standing in the middle of the grassed area to the right of the footpath she was walking. He was holding a phone over his head, well out of the reach of Josie Pye, who was giggling and trying to snatch it back.
Anne rolled her eyes. She'd gone to Avonlea High School with Josie and Gertie Pye, and there was no love lost between any of them over the years. Josie and Gertie had been boy crazy in High School, and it looked like that trend was continuing into college, Anne reflected to herself wryly.
"I don't know, Josie," he drawled. "Those photos look very interesting…" He waggled his eyebrows at Josie, pretending to take another look over her head and laughed.
"Gil!" Josie jumped up again, and he held her phone up even higher.
Josie didn't really look too upset about it. In fact, Anne thought that perhaps Josie was using the opportunity to rest her hand on his well-muscled chest for just a little longer than was necessary, and jump a little too close to his body, rubbing up against him in the guise of getting her phone back.
As Anne watched the little scene unfolding in front of her, the tall boy suddenly looked over in her direction and Anne quickly looked away, embarrassed that she'd been caught staring. A second later, she couldn't stop herself from glancing back over again. He was still watching Anne, smiling, with his hazel eyes twinkling merrily as he winked at her.
"Oh!" Anne felt herself blushing and turned back to her best friend, Diana Barry.
"Who is that boy with Josie?" Anne asked in a low voice. She was so glad that Diana had decided to come to Redmond College, too. They'd been at college less than a week, and already Diana seemed to magically know who everybody was.
"Who?" Diana craned her neck, looking across Anne as they walked, then smiled knowingly. "Oh, yeeessss," she drew the word out and nodded approvingly. "That's Gil Blythe," she whispered. "Isn't he gorgeous?"
"Well, I suppose so..." Anne looked back towards where Gil was still holding Josie's phone in the air and laughing in front of her.
Gil was tall and athletic with brown curly hair that was a little too long so it fell over his eyes, and he flicked his head to move a stray curl out of his line of vision. The chiselled planes of his jaw and cheekbones were like something out of a magazine. His long frame was lean with shoulders so broad that any woman would want to run her hands over them, just to know what they felt like. His shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, revealing tanned, well-muscled forearms. Further up, underneath the cotton fabric of his sleeve, she could see the curve of his biceps as he waved his arm in the air. At first, Anne thought his laughing hazel eyes seemed to be his most arresting feature, but then she saw his mouth and wondered why she hadn't noticed it before. Beneath a perfectly formed nose, he had the fullest, most delicious looking lips she'd ever seen.
Yes, Anne had to agree with Di. Gilbert Blythe was totally gorgeous.
But then, he ruined it all by looking over at Anne again, grinning broadly and calling, "Hey, Carrots, do you want to look at Josie's photos, too?"
Anne gasped, and her hand flew up to touch one of her long red braids. Her mouth was shaped into an outraged 'O' shape as her sparkling grey eyes narrowed, and her expression changed in an instant from ogling him to glaring at him.
What did he just call her? How dared he make jokes about her hair like that? In public! She didn't even know him.
"Come on, Di," she grabbed her friend's arm, tilted her pointed little chin up so her lovely nose was high in the air, and started walking away in what she hoped was a dignified manner. "I'm late for class. Let's go.''
"What? Anne, wait," Di was breathless as she hurried to keep up with Anne. "I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. Hey, isn't he in your Literature class?"
Behind Gil, Anne saw Ruby Gillis, gently admonishing him. "Gil, would you please give Josie her phone back?"
Ruby's long, golden hair was tied back in a ponytail which was swinging behind her as she jogged over to them. Ruby was a cheerleader and was wearing her training gear, she wasn't wearing any makeup, and a fine film of sweat was glistening on her face, but she still looked like she'd just stepped off a modelling runway. She was by far the most lusted after girl at Redmond, and her huge blue eyes were sparkling as she tried not to laugh at Gil's antics with Josie.
Josie stepped away, realising she was perhaps a little too close to him, and Gil's face softened as he looked affectionately at Ruby.
Ruby held out her hand to him expectantly, and Gil meekly handed Josie's phone over to her, leaning down to kiss Ruby softly on the lips.
"Oh, come on, Rubes, I was just having fun," he muttered, still smirking.
Ruby passed the phone back to Josie.
"Gil's very sorry, Josie," Ruby said, like she was talking about a child. "He gets a bit crazy about being back at school." She turned back to face Gil, and slapped his chest playfully with the back of her hand. "You're such an idiot," she smiled indulgently at him.
Just before Anne and Diana turned the corner of the path, Anne heard a voice behind her chuckling, "See you later, Carrots."
Ooooohhh, he was so rude! Anne could practically hear the smirk in his voice as she stalked off.
So, that was Gilbert Blythe.
Anne had heard all the girls on the campus whispering and giggling over him all week. Even her roommates, Stella and Priss were giggling and whispering about Gil last night. Until then, Anne hadn't thought them the whispering and giggling types. They were both in their second year at Redmond, and Anne liked the peace and quiet of living off campus, so she answered their advertisement for a roommate and moved in with them two weeks ago. They'd all been fast friends ever since.
Gil was the lead singer in the band Stella and Priss played in, AVIS. Apparently, he'd had his heart broken last year by some girl called Christine when she moved away with her family and didn't come back to college.
"Well, I don't know how badly his heart can have been broken," Anne said, "because Di told me that he's been dating Ruby Gillis pretty much ever since."
"I guess he has, but she's absolutely adorable. Why wouldn't he?" Stella said.
"He seems a little shallow, that's all," Anne muttered.
"Oh, Anne, you don't even know him. He's perfectly sweet," Priss assured her.
That was Anne Shirley's first week at Redmond College, and Gil Blythe had been the bane of her life in the ensuing weeks. It seemed he was everywhere on the Redmond campus, and as much as she tried to avoid him, Anne couldn't seem to get away from him.
Di was right; Anne discovered to her consternation that, for some reason, Gil was in her English Literature class and her Classics class, even though he was supposedly studying for a degree in biology prior to his medical degree. Not only that, he was nauseatingly clever. Gil was top of all his classes, except the two he was in with Anne. At least he wasn't always the top of those classes, Anne thought to herself loftily. He was also captain of the football team he played in with his best friend, Fred Wright.
Was there anything he wasn't good at? Anne wondered.
Then, How does he find time for it all?
Most annoyingly of all, Gil was constantly followed around by a crowd of female admirers, who were practically swooning over his football skills, his singing voice, his butt, his chest, his arms, his hair, and that gorgeous face. They didn't even seem to stop when he was with Ruby, his arm always slung casually around her shoulders whenever they were together.
"You should hear him sing, Anne," Diana whispered breathlessly to her one day as they walked past him.
Anne rolled her eyes, huffing as Josie and Gertie Pye both tried to get his attention, but he seemed to be more interested in grinning at Anne. She had noticed that those hazel eyes were often watching her, and it made her extremely uncomfortable.
"I have no interest in hearing him sing," Anne said, loudly enough for him to hear. His grin grew wider at that.
"I dropped Stella off at band practice the other evening and she invited me in to listen for a while," Diana went on. "He's really good. And you should see the guitar player. He is freaking huge!"
"Do you and Di want to come and listen to the band Friday night?" Stella asked Anne about midway through the semester. "We're playing at this little bar, Patty's Place, in Kingsport."
"Yes! I'll definitely be there," Diana practically squealed with delight.
Priss and Stella had been at band practice almost every night for a month, and they were both studying music, so Anne knew this gig really meant a lot to them. Although Anne wanted to support her friends, she most definitely did not want to support Gilbert Blythe. Or his ego.
"Ah, sorry, Stella, I've got that paper to finish for Monday and…"
"Oh, please come," Priss flopped down onto the couch next to Anne. "I'll be so nervous, it'll be great to know there's some friendly faces in the crowd. If there's a crowd…"
Stella snorted. "You know there's gonna be a crowd, Prissy. But they won't be looking at us." She rolled her eyes. "They'll all be looking at Gil."
"I don't know," Anne was wavering between loyalty to her friends and her unwillingness to be forced to watch a million girls in a crowded, sweaty bar throwing themselves at Gil Blythe.
"Yes, you really should hear Gil sing, Anne," Diana was nearly drooling. "He's amaaaazing!"
"Please, Anne," Stella was giving Anne her most appealing look to convince her to come.
"You'll love it. I've heard you playing guitar in your room," Priss said cajolingly.
"I just do that for stress relief when I'm freaking out about study or something," Anne equivocated. "It helps me to think."
"Come on, Anne, we'll get your name on the door. It's free."
"Well, I guess I can come," Anne said slowly. "But just for a little while."
"Yaay!" Stella and Priss clapped their hands in unison.
That Friday night Anne found herself standing at the back of Patty's Place with Diana, who was almost jumping up and down in excitement next to her. The bar was much too crowded and much too loud for Anne's tastes.
"Excuse me," Anne heard a low, mellifluous voice next to her. Anne was suddenly jostled forward and she gasped as she felt freezing cold beer spilling down the front of her blouse.
"Oh! I'm so sorry," the honeyed voice crooned in Anne's ear.
Anne looked up and saw a pair of inscrutable, dark, velvety eyes to match that voice.
"Please, let me buy you a drink." Those eyes were looking so apologetically into Anne's.
"Oh, that's okay," Anne was flustered and picking her wet blouse away from her chest.
Anne was completely embarrassed, blushing when she looked down and realised her blouse was virtually transparent. So, without another word to the handsome stranger with the voice and the eyes, she turned and rushed to the bathroom to dry off.
A few minutes later, Anne emerged from the bathroom. Diana was just outside, ready to pounce the moment she came out, staring at her with eyes like saucers, and brimming with excitement.
"How humiliating was that?" Anne asked Diana, still brushing at her blouse with her hands. "You could see right through my blouse!"
"Oh. My. God. Anne, do you know who that was?" Diana practically screeched at Anne, grabbing her forearm and shaking it.
"Who?" Anne looked around, confused.
"That guy who spilled the drink on you!" Diana was having trouble keeping her voice at normal levels.
Anne shook her head. "I don't know. Some guy. He had nice eyes." Very nice eyes, she thought.
"That was ROY GARDNER!"
"What? Who?" Anne blinked at Diana stupidly.
"Only the richest, most eligible guy on campus." Diana was looking at Anne as though she really were a little stupid. "His father's some property tycoon and they're worth squillions."
"Diana, you should take some breaths and calm down. That was definitely not Roy Gardner. It was just some guy. Why would Roy Gardner come to a little college bar like this?"
But Anne had no time to further contemplate that maybe Roy Gardner had just spilled his drink on her, because the band was starting. Anne and Diana turned towards the stage, as the opening notes of the first song rang out.
Stella and Priss were the backup singers, so they were squashed over to the left hand side of the stage, closest to where Anne and Diana were standing. They were both behind microphone stands, swaying to the music and smiling. Anne and Diana waved to them from where they stood, and the girls gave them a little wave back.
Behind Priss and Stella, there was a guy playing bass guitar with goggling eyes that stuck out so far, Anne was concerned they might not stay in their sockets. To the bass player's left was the guitarist, and Anne recognised him from the football team. Fred Wright. He had the biggest arms Anne had ever seen, and Diana couldn't seem to take her eyes off them. Behind him was a tiny, pretty girl playing the drums. She had a crooked mouth, with glossy brown hair peeking out from under a quirky pink straw hat adorned with poppies.
"Who's the drummer?" Anne yelled to Diana over the music.
"That's Phil Gordon. She's studying Applied Mathematics and a total genius. Her boyfriend is a Theology major. Can you believe it?" Diana looked impressed.
But then, Gil Blythe stepped onto the stage and it was as if the whole bar erupted. The girls at the front were all hooting and clapping, cheering as he walked towards them. Anne could see them surge forward, trying to get closer to him. The boys from the football team were further back near the bar, all whooping and shouting, too.
He was wearing a loose, long sleeved white shirt which was completely unbuttoned, revealing his bare chest and abs underneath. Anne could make out the light dusting of dark hair across his pectorals from where she stood, and her mouth went dry as she imagined running her fingers across that muscled chest, and then down... Her eyes were suddenly fixed on the tightest pair of shiny black pants she'd seen any boy wear. Ever.
Wait, are they leather pants? Anne found herself wondering irrelevantly.
Gil walked out from the left hand side of the stage, his hips swaying in time to the music. As he swaggered in front of Stella and Priss, he winked and nodded at them.
Then he turned around to face the audience with a flick of those brown curls, grabbed the microphone on its stand with one hand and he started to sing.