Title: Between The Covers
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: It's Liz Parker's first year at university; she's learning new things and meeting new people…or rather, one person in particular – arrogant, annoying Max Evans, who just seems to be there practically every time she turns around.
The cheerful smile slips from my face as two sweaty arms come round my waist and pull me backwards into an equally sweaty male body, urging me to grind against him.
I make a face and not-so-gently extract myself from the groping guy's arms, swivelling round angrily.
"Excuse me? What do you think you're doing?" I cry in annoyance, my voice loud so as to be heard above the deafening music in the club. "Get off me!"
Without waiting for a reply, I stalk off the dance floor, away from Grope Guy, and head for the bar.
I shudder. Yuck.
What a great start to university life: getting drunk in a sweaty, smoky nightclub and being groped by horny boys wanting to get some so they can brag to their new friends about how many girls they pulled in Fresher's Week.
I push through the throng of people at the bar and order a double vodka and coke. Careful not to spill the drink, I manoeuvre my way through the throng of people, back to the edge of the dance floor and scan the mass of bodies for my friends.
Great. They're nowhere to be seen. That's just perfect. So much for sticking together and making sure no one gets lost on our first night out in a new city. I scan the crowd in search of them as I weigh up my options.
One, I could spend the next 30 minutes trying (unsuccessfully) to find them in this crowd. Two, I could be a loser and stay here on my own, fending off unwanted male attention. Three, I could walk home on my own. Or option four, I could try to find a taxi home.
I quickly eliminate options two and three for obvious reasons, and as I try to decide between searching for my friends and calling a taxi, I feel another presence beside me.
"What's a gorgeous girl like you doing standing over here all by yourself?" comes the cocky, almost amused, voice close to my ear. "Want some company?"
I force myself not to scoff at this guy's lame attempt at chatting me up.
"I'm alright, thanks," I reply stiffly, looking straight ahead, slightly uncomfortable with his close proximity to me.
"Aww, come on, I'll buy you a drink?" he tempts, bringing an elbow up to rest on the edge of the bar, brushing the bare skin of my arm as he does so. A strange tingle shoots up my arm at the contact.
"I've already got one–" I start, turning to face him.
My mouth stops working as I find myself looking up into the most gorgeous pair of dark eyes I've ever seen. His smouldering gaze draws me in like a moth to a flame and the intensity in his eyes sends shivers down my spine. I'm staring; I can't help it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see his mouth turn up into a knowing smirk and I quickly snap out of it, averting my eyes to the drink in my hand.
"Well, then," he begins slowly, deliberately, as he runs his free hand through his unruly dark locks. I feel the colour rising in my cheeks under the weight of his gaze. It makes me uncomfortable. "If I can't tempt you with a drink, how about a dance?"
I glance out over the dance floor to see a large mass of hot, sweaty students, moving and grinding against each other in the confined space. Not exactly my idea of a good dancing environment.
"I don't think so," I tell him, a hint of sarcasm in my voice, as I raise my eyes to his once more. "I have to find my friends."
"Aww, come on," he pouts, his handsome face suddenly appearing adorable, as his hand closes around my wrist. "For me?"
"I'm sorry," I emphasise, trying very hard not to give in to his obviously exaggerated boyish charms. "I really should –"
"Fine," he pouts in defeat, straightening up, but not releasing my wrist. "So, I guess asking you back to my place is out of the question, then?"
My eyes widen, as I nod in disbelief, "Um, yeah, you'd guess right on that one."
God, who is this guy?
He may be drop dead gorgeous, but does he really think he can get someone to sleep with him within three minutes of meeting them?
"Sorry, I gotta go," I tell him more forcefully, as I extract my wrist from his hand and move away from him.
As I walk, I can feel the hair on my neck stand to attention and I can't help but to turn and look back at him. What I see makes my breath catch in my throat. He's watching me, his dark eyes glowing with intensity, lips pulled up in a smug smirk, as he raises an eyebrow in my direction. I shake my head and self-consciously tug at the short skirt I'm wearing as I continue to walk around the edge of the dance floor towards the other side of the club, as I keep my eyes peeled for my friends.
Eventually, I spot my new roommate, Maria DeLuca, and our next-door neighbour, Alex Whitman, sitting at a table in the corner, surrounded by several drinks.
"Lizzie!" shouts Maria happily. She nudges Alex, "Alex, it's Lizzie! We found her!"
"Hey guys," I say, taking a seat beside Alex, "I've been looking for you everywhere."
"We've just been sitting here, with our free drinks," states Maria giddily, as she sways on her seat while simultaneously trying to drink her cocktail and catch the attention of a good-looking boy at the bar. "This is what university's all about. Clubbing, alcohol and fit blokes! Isn't that right, Lizzie?"
"Yeah," I agree distractedly, my gaze drawn to the dance floor where I see Cocky Guy apparently dancing with some bleach-blonde, snobby-looking girl wearing a rather revealing outfit. I say 'apparently' because from where I'm sitting, it looks more like mating to me. Cocky Guy has his arms around her from behind, his hands guiding her hips to move with his, moulding her to his body and she looks more than happy to oblige.
I watch with a raised eyebrow as the girl lifts her hand to cup the side of his face and then tilts her head to mutter something in his ear. A smirk appears on his lips and he kisses her greedily, before manoeuvring them both off the dance floor and towards the exit.
I roll my eyes in disgust and turn back to face the table as they disappear out of the club, suddenly very glad that I didn't let myself get taken in by the good looks and charm he was presenting earlier. Obviously he was just looking for a good time – with whoever agreed to accompany him home.
"Hey, there you guys are," chirps Isabel Stevenson, as she slides onto the empty stool beside me, a bottle of orange Reef in her hand. "You would not believe the guy I just pulled! Tall, blond and a great kisser; God I love university – there's so many boys to choose from!"
Opposite me, Alex shuffles in his seat and looks around uncomfortably. The four of us have only known each other since we moved into halls two days ago, but I think Alex already has a bit of a crush on Isabel.
"Yeah, baby!" agrees Maria enthusiastically, as she waves and winks suggestively at a cute passer-by.
"What about you, Liz?" Isabel nudges me. "Seen anyone you like yet?"
"Me?" I shake thoughts of Cocky Guy and his bleach-blonde from my head. He's so not worth it, Liz, I scold myself. "Um, no, not yet."
"Come on, Liz, it's Fresher's Week! This is your chance to let your hair down before lectures start next week," scolds Isabel.
"I know, I know," I return, taking a gulp of my drink. "But I'm still getting used to this university stuff and besides, it's only Monday; I have the whole week to pull," I grin.
"Speaking of pulling," pipes up Maria suddenly, "I think we should get out there on the dance floor and start looking." She stands up, swaying slightly from the alcohol, and grabs my arm, pulling me towards the mass of bodies in the middle of the club, "Come on, Lizzie."
Unable either to protest or extract my arm from her grip, I follow helplessly as she manoeuvres us through the crowd and into a tiny dance space between two groups of (very tall) guys. Despite the fact that the atmosphere is more than slightly claustrophobic, I actually begin to have fun, as the DJ turns to playing classic 80's cheese music and Alex and Isabel join us on the dance floor, for some fun.
By the end of the night, I've all but forgotten about Cocky Guy, as we drunkenly stumble back to our hall, singing songs happily and stopping for sustenance of late-night burgers and kebabs on the way. As I climb into bed in my new room, the room I share with Maria, I can't help but think that the next three years are going to be the best of my life.
"Okay, right," starts Maria, standing in the middle of our room as she scans the Fresher's Week Programme booklet. "Activities on the menu for today are: Bouncy Castle session in the Union Beer Garden at eleven a.m., ooh… free cream teas at four… aerobics taster session at five, the RAG Blind Date in the hall bar tonight at seven… what does everyone fancy?"
"Well," I say from my bed, where I'm sitting next to Alex, "I don't know about you guys, but I'm up for the bouncy castle and there's a free ballet class for the Dance Soc at two that I want to go to."
"I'm interested in watching the Martial Arts tournament in the Student Union at one," pipes up Alex. "Maybe we could go to the bouncy castle thing first, then me and Liz can go do our things and we can meet up again for the cream teas?"
"Sounds good," adds Isabel from her position in my desk chair. "I was hoping to check out that Arts and Crafts thing this afternoon anyway. Oh, and we need to buy tickets for the Fresher's Ball in week three as well – maybe we could do that when we meet up?"
"Okay, sounds great," grins Maria. "That was easy enough to figure out." She looks at her watch, "It's ten-fifteen now and the bouncy castle thing starts at eleven, so let's leave here in about half an hour?"
"Sure," Alex and I reply simultaneously, while Isabel nods.
"Hey guys," comes a sleepy voice from the door. It's James from down the corridor, wearing nothing but boxers and sport socks. He rubs his eyes and yawns as he looks in on us. "Anyone know what's going on with the shower rota? No one's crossed off their names - can I go in now, or is anyone else still waiting?"
"No, go ahead," Isabel tells him with a smile, as she not-so-discreetly rakes her eyes over his half-naked body.
I have to conceal a smile at her obviousness; although, James does have a great body. In fact, the first thing I saw when my parents and I arrived on Saturday and were shown to my room was him parading down the corridor fresh from the shower in nothing but a towel.
"Great, thanks," he grins, turning to leave and I can't help but let my eyes follow his boxer-clad arse as he heads towards the shower.
"Uh-hum," coughs Alex, from his position on my bed. "Excuse me, ladies, um… male present in the room."
I blush and avert my eyes from the doorway, only to find Maria and Isabel doing the same thing.
"Sorry, Alex," I apologise quickly.
"Yeah, sorry," chime in Isabel and Maria, both trying to look remorseful but failing terribly.
They glance at each other, then at me and finally back at Alex's woeful expression, before dissolving into giggles. Their laughter is infectious and I can't help but join in, and within a few seconds all three of us are gasping for breath. Alex just rolls his eyes and manoeuvres himself off of the bed.
"Okay, that's it ladies, I'm outta here," he announces, looking at us as if we're crazy as he heads for the door. "I'll leave you to it. See you in half an hour for bouncy castle fun."