\ 12:41 "The Wolf Awakens" | unlimitedi.net
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NYU Campus Cafeteria - 12:41


Meredith ran a frustrated hand through her hair as she scribbled another line out of her notebook - barely resisting the urge to tear the page out and toss it across the cafeteria. She had a paper due on Friday for her Critical Analysis class - usually the words flowed, spilling out of her head and filling up page after page. But lately… it was like her mind couldn’t focus.

It didn’t help that she was sat in the middle of the crowded cafeteria at lunch time. Students streamed through the packed room, crammed into overflowing tables. The chatter alone was enough to drive Meredith insane, but every time someone dropped a fork, or scraped their knife against a plate, it made her grind her teeth in irritation.

What the hell was wrong with her?

Reaching into her bag, she grabbed her Walkman and slid the headphones in place. That was better, nothing like a bit of Whitesnake to soothe the savage beast. Her fingertips tapped against the table in time to the music. Retrieving her notepad, Meredith reread what she’d written so far, her free hand snagging a fresh lollipop from her stash. Strawberry - her favourite. She’d rather it were a pack of Marlboro Lights… maybe that was what was wrong with her, nicotine deprivation. That and she was waiting, she hated waiting around. *Where the hell are you, Gail?*


Meredith rolled her eyes, feeling her jaw tighten at the mere sound of the voice piercing the din of the cafeteria. Pulling the hood of her sweater over her head, she turned the volume up on her Walkman. Maybe if she just ignored him…


No such luck. A rough hand yanked back her hood with a cruel chuckle as several chairs scraped against the hard tile floor. Meredith looked up, her dark eyes glaring with irritation. Jason Templeton, King of Delta-Kappa-Epsilon and general fuck-wit. He was also her ex. Sort of.

Jason grinned. He was a typical frat boy, built like a brick wall with classic all-American good looks from his perfectly gelled hair to his pressed slacks. Today he was flanked by two other frat-clones - Ben and Jerry or whatever the hell their names were - Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum for all she gave a rats ass. They were his groupies, his bitch-boys, just like the rest of Delta-Kappa-Epsilon, sucking Templeton’s dick for him like he didn’t have a flock of brainless sorority girls lined up and more than willing to oblige.

They had dated. Briefly. Back when Meredith was a doe-eyed little freshman grateful for the attention and Jason was still at least pretending to be a decent human being. On their third date they’d gone ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre, he’d bought her hot chocolate and warmed her freezing hands in his pockets. Then he’d driven her home in his Hummer. It might have been one of those movie perfect dates, if only he’d not pulled into a lay-by and torn her shirt and slapped her around the face when she wouldn’t let him cop-a-feel.

Meredith sighed, setting down her lollipop and sliding her headphones back. She pressed the clunky ‘STOP’ button on her Walkman with an audible ‘CLICK’. She could try ignoring him, but past experience had taught her that had little effect. Best to just indulge his super ego and hope he had some place better to be by the time Gail showed up.

“What the fuck is that piece of crap?” he was pointing at her Walkman, Meredith shrugged before sliding it into her book bag. “Fuck, Bell, if you were short on cash all you had to do was say…” he pulled out his wallet, counting out a wad of notes. He set the money down on the table and pushed it towards her. “Consider it a loan, you could chuck out that hunk of shit and get yourself an Ipod like mine,” his gaze turned leery, centring on her chest, “or some decent clothes.”

Meredith felt her temper flare but she held it in, it was too crowded and though they pretended not to be, everyone was listening. She inhaled deeply, her glare burning a hole through his smug forehead. “Go away, Jason.”

“Oh come on,” he insisted, looking to his buddies for encouragement - like he needed it. “If you’re worried about paying me back, I’m sure we can work out some kind of arrangement. Me, I got all the pussy I need, but my boys here could always find a use even for a frosty little prick tease like you.” Picking up her discarded lollipop, his lips quirked slightly. “Maybe give you something else to suck on.”

Neanderthal number one grinned, punching fists with Jason. “We could get bonus points for thawing the ice queen out of her panties.”

“You gotta watch out though,” Jason laughed cruelly, “Bell’s so frigid she nearly gave my cock frostbite.”

Her chair fell to the ground, the sound echoing in the now quiet cafeteria. Meredith had leapt to her feet but she couldn’t move. Her fingers clenched themselves into tight fists at her sides, itching to take a swing at the arrogant bastard, to vent that burning, consuming rage. She wanted to tell him to take his money and shove it up his ass, if he had room up there with all the sycophantic jerk-offs, she wanted to punch that smug grin off his face. She wanted-

“Oh, lookie what we have here! The Captain of the Mensa Society!” Gail’s breezy voice cut the tension like a knife. In half a minute she was at Meredith’s side, one arm wrapped casually around her shoulders in a silent sign of solidarity. “And who are your friends today, Jason? Professor Hawking and Cornel West? Oh no wait, it’s just Beavis and Butthead.”

“Says the Queen of the Dykes,” Jason glared, screwing up his money and shoving it back into his pocket. “Well, at least we know who wears the pants in the relationship now, and why Bell is such a stuck up frigid little shrew.”

Gail’s temper flared but unlike Meredith she didn’t even attempt to rein it in. “Go fuck yourself, Templeton!” she spat, planting her hands firmly on her hips. “Just because she dumped your sorry ass last year. What? Did it bruise you poor baby ego? Did Mommy have to kiss it better for her little Jacey-Wacey? Ha!”

She laughed, even as she grabbed the rest of Meredith’s belongings and slid them into her backpack, linking their arms as she straightened. “Anyway, from what I hear, a girl would need a fucking magnifying glass to find your dick,” she held up her little finger mockingly, “I hear it’s like a pencil.”

Jason kicked back his chair as he stood, leaning across the table. “Shut your mouth, bitch. Or I’ll shut it for-”

He never finished his sentence. It was like, Meredith just saw red, saw Jason threatening Gail, remembering how he’d hit her on their date. A mist of fury seemed to descend upon her and the next thing she knew, she’d vaulted over the table and had Jason by the throat. His entourage toppled back in surprise, stunned into inaction. Meredith could smell their fear - she didn’t even know what fear smelled like, but it was there, and it was making her heart pound with delight. Jason choked out a sound and she squeezed a little harder, her pulse jolting as he emitted a frightened gurgling noise.

“You lay one finger on her and I’ll rip out your goddamned throat,” she spat, her voice shockingly calm and devoid of emotion. It made the threat sound even better, it sounded like she meant it. And perhaps she did.

Grasping his hand, Meredith twisted his finger until he let go of her lollipop. She gave it a last lick then jammed it up his left nostril. A couple of girls in the cafeteria giggled.

“Just because a girl doesn’t fall on her back with her legs spread apart as soon as you walk in the room, doesn’t mean she’s frigid, or that she’s a lesbian. It means she has standards, that don’t include screwing disease spreading fuckers like you.”

She let him go. Jason stumbled, staggering backwards so fast he fell on his ass. His eyes were wide and he still had that lollipop shoved up his nose. Meredith didn’t move, just kept staring at him, daring him to retaliate. What if he did? He was bigger, stronger, he’d probably kill her. A strange part of her actually relished the challenge.

“You… psycho, BITCH!” he spat, trying to sound tough but the tiny tremor in his voice betrayed his very real fear.

Meredith smiled and even though she couldn‘t see for herself, she knew it was all teeth - feral, like an animal. “Damn straight.”

She might never have moved if Gail hadn’t slid her arm through hers and hurried them both out of the cafeteria into the fresh, open air. Meredith inhaled deeply and her legs suddenly felt like jelly. What the hell had she just done?

“Now that was so… fuckin’ awesome!!” Gail was beaming, barely able to contain her joy. “Way to go Meredith!” she punched the air, “I thought I was supposed to be your dyke in shining armour, then you go and…” she punched the air again, “pow! Bastard didn’t know what hit him! What on earth’s gotten into you? You getting your rag or something?”

“I don’t know, maybe?” Meredith laughed hollowly, letting Gail lead the way. “I just… I thought he was gonna hit you and-”

“Woah girl, no way do you need to justify it, he had it coming, he’s had it coming a long time. You were just… wow! Did I say, wow?” Gail grinned, quirking an eyebrow suggestively, “and hot, it was very hot too.”

Meredith rolled her eyes, nudging her best friend with her hip. “Yeah, yeah…”

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