An Imprinting in Texas
Abby, a Texas-born college student, meets Wiley who can't stop looking at her. Wiley can't leave Abby alone. Not after what happened when he first saw her face...
1. Ch1: Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes
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He couldn’t stay. He knew that much. Over the past few years they all had found love, except him.
He couldn’t stay. It was too much.
He told their leaders. They understood and let him leave.
He was never coming back.
“Blue skies smilin’ at me, nothin’ but blue skies do I see,” the radio sang out, as I got ready for school.
“Hurry up Abby, I’m about to leave!” mom sang out, trying to match the tune of the radio.
I smiled and ran my brush through my hair.
“I’m goin’ as fast as I can! Sheesh!”
Mom knew that I was kidding.
I pulled my long hair into a ponytail and ran to the nursery.
My adopted baby, Kitty, was standing up in her crib.
“Kitty!” I sang out. Her hands opened and closed as she reached for me.
I picked her and her diaper bag up and then headed for the front door.
The hot Texas sun hit us so I shielded Kitty’s head with my hand.
“You’re not going to be late for the first day of school!” mom yelled as I got into the back seat.
I quickly secured Kitty into her car seat and we rolled off.
I went to school at a small college where I studied animal husbandry. My other passion was English, which was also my minor.
Most people thought it was weird to study the “agricultural practice of breeding and raising animals,” but I didn’t live a normal life. Why should my career be any different?
At any rate, I had several breeders of dogs, horses and cattle already fighting over who would get to hire me after I graduated.
Mom’s car stopped in front of the school. I kissed Kitty and got out.
“Get good grades!” mom said while smiling.
I rolled my eyes.
“Grow more grey hairs!” I said back.
She laughed as she drove away.
My first class was English. I silently rejoiced.
There may have been about five people who shared my enthusiasm in the class of twenty. The rest were here to get their pre-requisite classes done with. Most were football players.
My eyes narrowed. I hated athletes.
They always wrote their essays on stupid things like football and cars.
Our teacher walked in. He was the typical English teacher. Back hunched from reading too much. Nice clothes from one of his book deals. And glasses. He carried with him a few novels, which he set down on his desk before addressing us.
“Hello class. I hope that you are all familiar with the books ‘Pygmalion’ and ‘Treasure Island.’”
I smiled. I owned and had read both. I was positive that the rest of the class wasn’t so lucky.
The room groaned. I was right.
The teacher ran over our syllabus and reading list over the next hour before dismissing us.
I followed the stream of students out the door. Everyone took the stairs except me. My inherited arthritis had already settled into my knees.
When I walked to the elevator, I realized that someone was behind me. I decided not to notice as whoever it was boarded the elevator after me.
The passage of only three floors felt like an hour. The small cold space suddenly rose in temperature. I checked my heart rate. It wasn’t my imagination.
The other passenger, a man, didn’t seem to be paying me much attention. I only knew it was a man because of his intoxicating smell. He practically filled the small elevator with his scent. I pressed against the metal wall closest to me and winced at how cold it was.
What was causing the heat?
I concluded that it must be my arthritis related daily fevers and mentally reminded myself to take some Tylenol later.
I rushed out of the elevator before I could see his face, or he could see mine.
My head had cleared of the smell when lunchtime arrived.
I wasn’t very social with the strangers at my school and most of my friends were too young for college.
At any rate, I wasn’t here for friends. I was here to learn.
I set out my sack lunch and pulled out a book to read while I ate. I became oblivious to everything around me while I read.
A strong whiff of the man from the elevator struck me and pulled me out of ‘Beauty’ by Robin McKinley.
I looked up and found the source.
It was a Native American who was about 6’5” with long black hair and big rippling muscles. He looked like he played sports. I grimaced. Like I said, I hate athletes. I could find more brainpower in a flea.
He didn’t see me staring, partly because he hadn’t stopped walking away. I was glad I got a good view of his rear, even if his baggy pants didn’t do it justice. Not that I would know. Stupid baggy pants.
I shook my head and went back to my meal and book. Every so often I looked up at him. He was sitting with his back to me. Dang it. I still hadn’t seen his face.
I wasn’t the kind to ogle at boys, but I loved his long black hair. And his copper skin. Native Americans were my weak point when it came to boys.
I stayed in my seat, even after I was done eating. He was still stuffing his face from his over-loaded tray. I bit back disgust.
It was one thing to eat a lot. It was quite another to eat a lot and do it with no dignity.
I took a quiet comfort when he used his napkin for its original purpose. Then he tucked in again.
I sipped my tea. He was making me thirsty because he never stopped to drink anything.
His friends were all gone by the time he finished.
I decided to stay until he left, in case he noticed me.
He got up, still not seeing me.
I took my hair out of my ponytail and let it fall around my shoulders.
He still didn’t see me.
I was about to get up and leave when I looked up.
He was right in front of my table, staring at me. His deep brown eyes looked like they had just seen a ghost.
His tray hit the ground as he continued staring. I couldn’t look away. His gaze was so intense.
The minutes ticked by.
His gaze was now border lining on creepy.
I could imagine him being star struck for five seconds, but not five minutes. Okay, I couldn’t even imagine anyone getting star struck by me. I was too ordinary for that.
I managed to tear my gaze away, but he kept looking at me.
What was his problem? Was there something on my face?
I ran my fingers over my chin. No pimples.
I checked my teeth. Fine.
I thought of a million things to ask him about why he was staring, but forgot them when I looked back up at him.
When I started to consider calling the police, I realized that I didn’t like him now. He had a very handsome face, more handsome that I would’ve thought. But this was just weird.
I gathered my courage and got up to leave. Before I turned away, I peeked at his face.
I made my escape and he didn’t follow.
God must really love me.
I didn’t say anything to mom when she picked me up.
Kitty noticed my mood and grabbed at my cheek.
I gave her a peck and pulled my hair away before she got any ideas.
Mom was busy going over the bills during dinner and didn’t notice my mental distance.
I was still thinking about how that man had stared at me. It was very unnerving to think about.
I read Kitty the story ‘The Puppy who wanted a Boy’ at bedtime.
She giggled at all the pictures of the puppy and tried to grab at him. I caught her baby talk attempt at “puppy” and smiled.
“No puppies for you, little missy.” I put her in her crib and flicked the light off.
I had grown up with cats mainly and preferred them to dogs. At least they never made messes on the carpet.
I went to my room and started on my homework.
I had to write an essay on good breeding characteristics in male dogs.
I typed in my outline, trying hard to not think about good breeding characteristics in men. Especially one particular man.
‘Get a hold of yourself,’ I thought to myself. ‘He was rude and strange. And he’s not a dog for crying out loud!’
I decided to stop writing when I got to muscle structure.
‘He had a very niiiice muscle structure.’ I growled at myself.
‘Shut up already!’ I answered back in my mind. ‘If I ever see him again, he’ll just stare at me like a rude idiot!’
I went to bed and forced myself to only think bad things about him.
By the time I woke up the next morning, I only held contempt for him. I had a bad habit of beating the crap out of my emotions for men. This man didn’t escape the mental beating.
I brought my laptop to school to flash up an even bigger sign of ‘Don’t talk to me’ above my head.
It worked on everyone.
He was staring at me again at lunch.
I half expected him to be standing in the same place that I left him, but he wasn’t. His face looked the same though.
I typed on my paper, making spelling mistakes for once and soon got frustrated with myself.
I looked up at the staring brown eyes and flashed a ‘What are you lookin’ at?’ glare.
He smiled. SMILED!
I gritted my teeth together and went back down to my computer.
I jumped at the voice right in front of me.
It was him.
I pretended not to notice and went back to typing.
He didn’t give up.
“Is anyone sitting here?” He waved his hand over my empty table.
I cleared my throat. “Yes, as a matter of fact.”
I had a quick mind. “My imaginary friends.”
He smiled. “Aren’t you a little old for that?”
I didn’t look up. “Aren’t you a little old to stare at people like they’re a TV screen?”
“Point taken.” He pulled out a chair. “Who’s sitting in this one?”
“That’s my monkey.” He stared at me for a while. “You’re doing it again.”
He sat down. “Sorry, I’m a little distracted.”
I looked up finally. “You’re sitting on my monkey.”
“I think he’ll live.” He was teasing me.
I glared again. “You’re not the one being smothered.”
He looked at me funny. “Is this why you have no friends?”
My mouth flew open and I did the first thing that came to mind.
I grabbed my biggest book and hit him over the head with it before gathering up my stuff and leaving.