Dangerous to Know & Love(5) by Jane Harvey-Berrick

They partied on till the club closed at 4 am, and Lisanne felt guilty being out so late on a school night. But damn, it had been fun! Then Roy hustled them into a taxi and ordered Lisanne to get her ass back over there after school on Thursday.

When Kirsty and Lisanne stumbled back to their room, the sky in the east was beginning to lighten. Part of Lisanne was exhausted – mostly the parts connected with her feet – but the romantic part of her, which was by far the greater part, wanted to stay up to watch the dawn. Kirsty vetoed the idea on the grounds that a) she was so tired she’d been sleepwalking for the last hour, and b) she’d never heard such a dumb idea in her entire young life.

At the same time, in another room across campus, Daniel was pulling on his boots and zipping up his jeans.

Terri was fast asleep and snoring softly. Her skin was flushed and her hair spread across the pillow like fire.

It had been a good evening and mutually enjoyable, although he hadn’t been able to notice any appreciable difference from using the ribbed condoms. Terri had looked like she was yelling a lot, so maybe… Daniel wasn’t sure he’d see her again. They hadn’t swapped phone numbers, so she probably felt the same way.

He hesitated briefly, looking down at the sleeping figure, then left, closing her door behind him quietly.

The roar of his engine sounded loud in the still morning air. He lifted his face toward the creeping dawn, then hit the throttle and headed for home.

* * *

Despite the exhaustion with which Lisanne finished her second week at college, it was way better than the first. For one thing, she was beginning to recognize people in her classes and to make some friends, particularly with the other students in the orchestra; her violin professor continued to amaze and inspire her; and best of all – band practices were going really well.

She’d learned almost all of the songs that Roy had given to her, and the other band members had been really pleased with the way the first rehearsal had gone. Roy played a mean bluegrass style on his guitar, JP kept rhythm, Carlos played both bass guitar and double bass, and Mike was the drummer. The sound was something between blues and indie rock, and Lisanne hoped she could get them to try out some covers of the bands she liked.

She’d assumed that Roy had written the songs, but he’d told her that they were by a friend. From the looks the other band members exchanged, Lisanne realized that there was a story there – and one they weren’t going to share with her. But they were pretty friendly overall, teasing her like she was their little sister, and they were the unruly pack of older brothers she’d never had.

The only low point in the week came on Friday morning, in the shape of her business class.

Lisanne knew she was going to struggle with the subject – mostly due to her complete lack of interest and the fact that adding up two plus two gave her a headache – she resented the fact that she was taking it just to please her parents. Trying to read the assigned textbook made her eyes glaze over, and that was just reading the book’s title.

She clapped her hand over her mouth as she yawned loudly. Kirsty looked at her, sympathetically.

“Is it feeling like a long week?”

“You could say that,” Lisanne nodded tiredly. “I haven’t stopped – the wheels are still turning. I’m looking forward to a lot of sleeping this weekend.”

“Light weight,” snorted Kirsty. “Bet I can persuade you to come out tomorrow.”

Lisanne shook her head, but didn’t take the bet.

Suddenly she sat up straighter.

Eyebrow Ring guy slouched into the room, and sat in the same place in the second row. He tossed his messenger bag onto one seat, and his jacket onto the other side of him, a clear message that he didn’t want anyone sitting nearby.

What a jerk! Obviously the guy didn’t have any friends. No surprise there. But then Lisanne remembered how at ease he’d looked with the guys from the band – and very at ease with the slut from the club. It was confusing.

He looked exactly the same as the first time Lisanne had seen him, except today he was wearing a gray t-shirt. She couldn’t help noticing this fact, although it was hardly important.

She’d been disappointed not to see him anywhere on campus during the previous days. She had, however, seen the redhead, giggling with her friends in the cafeteria.

“Still lusting after Daniel Colton?” whispered Kirsty, with a knowing look.

“What? No! I… He’s friends with Roy, that’s all. Seriously, no. I mean he’s cute. Obviously. But… he totally knows it, too. No. Not my type.”

Kirsty smiled. “You’re babbling. You must have it real bad for him.”

Lisanne groaned, but was saved from answering when Professor Walden walked in.

As before, Eyebrow Ring guy – Daniel – didn’t write one solitary word, not a single note. He just sat there, not taking his eyes off the professor for the entire lecture. Odd.

“Now, for your midterms and for the rest of the semester,” announced the professor, peering over the top of his glasses at the end of the lecture, and before everyone could disappear, “instead of an exam, I’m going to be handing out assignments for you to work on in pairs. So those of you who don’t do well in standardized tests will have a chance to show me what else you can do. Pairing is arbitrary: if you’re not happy with your partner – well, that’s just too bad. In business, it’s about making the most of the team you’ve got; finding everybody’s strengths, compensating for weaknesses, your own included.”

As he proceeded to read out names, and students were matched up, the room gradually emptied. Kirsty was paired with Red T-shirt guy, and they both looked pretty happy about that.


“Miss Maclaine and Mr. Colton.”

Kirsty giggled.

“Be careful what you wish for!”

Daniel turned around to find out who his partner was going to be, scanning the rows of students, waiting for someone to catch his eye.

“Go on,” hissed Kirsty, giving Lisanne a little push.

The movement caught Daniel’s attention, and he looked surprised as Lisanne nodded at him, her cheeks already heated.

Several other female students threw her angry looks, but Lisanne didn’t even notice. Much.

Hesitantly, she walked down the steps toward him.

“Hi,” she said shyly, feeling lightheaded.

He held out his hand toward her and she shook it quickly. His skin felt warm and dry, the palm slightly rough.

“You’re Lisanne,” he said. “Roy’s friend. I’m Daniel.”

“Um, yeah,” was her genius reply.

They stood staring at each other. Lisanne couldn’t help noticing that he had incredibly long eyelashes, and his irises were a light hazel, flecked with green and gold.

“So,” he said quietly, looking her in the eye, “can I have my hand back? I might be needing it.”

“Oh, sorry!” she gasped, dropping his hand as if she’d been electrocuted.

She could tell he was trying to hold back a smile, but she didn’t think it was possible she could blush any redder. He raised an eyebrow and she waited for him to make a smart comment, but he didn’t.

“How do you want to do this?”

“What?” she stuttered.

“The assignment. Do you want to work at the library?”

“Um, yeah, sure. Whatever.”

“Okay, what’s good for you? Sunday evenings?”

She looked up to meet his eyes, and this time she saw a definite smirk.

“So you did see me there,” she shot back.

He shrugged.

“But you didn’t see fit to stop and help me up when I was sprawled all over the library steps!”

He frowned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I saw you studying – that’s all.”

“Oh sure! I was only a few feet behind you when I fell over. You must have heard me yell.”

A look of sheer rage washed over him and Lisanne instinctively took an anxious step backward.

“Well, I didn’t,” he snapped.

There was no answer to that. Lisanne simply added ‘liar’ to his list of failings. She had the feeling it was going to be quite a long list.

“Anyway, I’m busy on Sunday evening,” she said, trying to sound disdainful. Just because he was beautiful didn’t mean he could get away with being an ass**le. Not with her.

He continued to stare at her, his face tight with anger.

“What?” she said, irritated.

“So when do you want to work? I don’t want to start dropping grades because of you.”

Lisanne’s jaw snapped shut with a loud click.

“I’m free Sunday afternoon,” she spit out.

“Two o’clock,” he said. “Don’t be late.”

Then he picked up his leather jacket and messenger bag, and walked away.

“What a jerk!” she muttered, mostly to herself.

She glanced over to see that Kirsty was still enjoying the attentions of Red T-shirt guy.

Lisanne sighed and rubbed her forehead tiredly.

* * *

At 1:55 pm on Sunday afternoon, Lisanne was hurrying across the campus toward the library, determined not to be late. She didn’t want to give Daniel any excuse to be even more of a jerk.

She’d just got to the library’s large revolving door, when she saw him jogging across the quad. He took the steps to the library two at a time, a serious look on his face.

“Afraid you were going to be late?” she said waspishly, when she caught up with him.


His tone was brusque.

Lisanne blinked. Perhaps she’d deserved that.

“Look, I’m sorry,” she said. “We need to work on this together, so… let’s just try and get along, okay?”

He shrugged. “Whatever.”

Lisanne snatched back the olive branch, and marched into the library, steam coming out of her ears at his rudeness.

She picked a table toward the back of the room and flung herself into a chair. Daniel was still standing, shifting from foot to foot.

“Um, do you mind if I sit there,” he said, pointing toward Lisanne’s seat.

“Excuse me?” she snorted.

“I…um, I like to sit with my back to the wall, so I can… see everything…”

“Suit yourself,” she said in a clipped tone, “but I’m not moving.”

He scowled at her and finally pulled out a chair opposite Lisanne, which left him with his back to the rest of the room.

From the way he twitched, jerked his legs up and down, and kept tugging on his eyebrow ring, Lisanne didn’t need to guess that he was feeling uncomfortable. She smiled smugly to herself – she liked having him on the back foot; it made her feel like she might have a chance of holding her own.

He scratched at the fine stubble covering his cheeks and chin, and slumped back in his chair.

“Where do you want to start?” he challenged her.

Lisanne had one good idea, which she proudly lay before him.

“That’s a bit basic,” he scoffed.

She blushed, mortified that her idea was so obviously lame.

He let out a long breath and Lisanne risked a glance at him. Even when he was pissed and irritated, she still couldn’t help wanting to look at him.

To her surprise, his expression was sympathetic.

“You’re not really into this, are you?”

She shook her head, her cheeks still flushed.

“Roy said you’re majoring in music?”

“Um, yeah.”

She was surprised to hear that he’d spoken about her to Roy.

“So you’re taking Introduction to Business because…”

“My parents. They thought… I should have something to fall back on.”

Daniel nodded slowly.

“They’re right. Your parents. Nothing’s guaranteed. It’s good to have a back up plan.”

Those weren’t the sentiments she’d expected to hear from someone like him – he had such a devil-may-care, couldn’t give a shit attitude.

“Look, it’s quite straightforward if you think about it like this,” he said, pointing toward the second chapter in the textbook.

To her surprise, he’d come prepared and had some really good ideas. Even more surprisingly, he’d been able to explain some of the concepts she’d been struggling with – industrial inertia, production flow – in clear, unpatronizing language.

It seemed so simple! Lisanne couldn’t help laughing out loud, and Daniel grinned back at her.

“Yeah, I’m a funny guy.”

“Actually I thought you were an ass.”

“Fuck you very much,” he said solemnly.

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