I hope I had something to do with that
Wed Nov 29, 2017 13:25

For a second he thought the girl was going to tell him to buzz off. Nolan decided after a moment of thinking that that’d be pretty unfair of her. Like, yeah, she did look a little busy reading her book, but in his defense, why would you come to a beach party where there would definitely be other people wanting to talk and hang out if all you wanted to do was read silently and ignore them? Just stay in your dorm or go to the library if you didn’t want to have fun and talk to people.

But then the curly-haired girl smiled at him, so she must not be too annoyed. She was wearing a pretty bathing suit, but Nolan was pretty sure that was the kind of thing you were definitely not supposed to point out. You could only compliment girls’ outfits when they were, like, fully clothed. Some of the girls at this party, especially the older ones, were wearing bathing suits that made Nolan blush a little just seeing them.

He looked at his conversational partner instead. Alena had some kind of accent, but he couldn’t tell exactly what it was. Something European, he guessed, but not from Great Britain. Nolan’s accent marked him as being from the American South, and specifically as an Oklahoman, although most people who weren’t also Southerners probably couldn’t tell the difference between his accent and a Texas twang or a Louisiana drawl. Nolan had second cousins in Arkansas whose accent were sort of similar to his, although they spoke with a more upper class affect, like there might be some Virginia Tidewater mixed in there. Which could be true on the Cavanaugh side, for all Nolan knew. He’d always found the family history lessons really boring. Outside of his immediate relations, Nolan wasn’t exactly sure who was related to him, how they were related, or where they were from.

Case in point: he felt like he’d heard the name Adler before, but then again, he’d heard a lot of names. Nolan was having trouble keeping all the people at RMI straight in his head. The whole time he’d been in school growing up, there had been about fourteen of them taking lessons from Mr. and Mrs. Bonney, ages five to seventeen. Now there were almost that many fellow students in his year alone.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Adler. Nolan Ramsey,” he said. Of the Oklahoma Ramseys, his brain added, but he didn’t say that. She hadn’t included her lineage, so his probably wouldn’t be welcome either. He’d never had to make decisions about how to introduce himself before RMI; at home, everyone knew everyone, and when they went to formal functions, you obviously had to include your last name. It was a lot harder when there were non-society folks together with purebloods. Not that Nolan was opposed to RMI’s admissions—like the expression said, it took all sorts—but it was confusing when you didn’t know who you were talking to.

Regardless of his or her blood status, you were supposed to shake hands when you met someone new. One of Nolan’s hands was holding the plate with the mango and chicken and the other had just been holding the drumstick so it had chicken grease on it. He’d grabbed a napkin when he got his food because he wasn’t a savage, so Nolan carefully wiped his hands and face free of chicken residue. That done, he held out his hand to shake with Alena, who had put her book down in the sand next to her.

“You probably don’t recognize me because I only transferred here just after Christmas.” And RMI’s class structure kept the different years separated for the most part, so if she wasn't a fourth or fifth year or an Aquila, Alena probably wouldn’t have come across him. At home, everyone had been in class together regardless of age; the older students had just gotten more complicated classwork when the younger kids worked on basic things. Nolan wasn’t sure yet which system he liked better. “So I don’t really know many people here either. Mind if I keep on sitting with you?”

It was a mostly rhetorical question, because getting up at this point would require either putting his food down or some tricky balancing that Nolan would rather not try on the edge of the pool. Hopping over here on one leg had been hard enough, and he wasn’t in a great hurry to repeat that in reverse. Alena could leave if she really wanted to, but Nolan was not going anywhere. “Were you waiting on anyone in particular, or just someone more interesting than your book there?”

  • It's starting to get better - Alena, Tue Nov 28 13:38
    Alena made a point of staring at her book, flipping the page over with a touch of aggression. Didn’t they know it was rude to bother people when they were reading? She thought about telling him ‘I’m... more
    • I hope I had something to do with that - Nolan, Wed Nov 29 13:25
      • Maybe a little - Alena, Tue Jan 2 14:17
        Alena had heard the Ramsey name before, she wasn’t sure where but she knew it was an important one so she was probably not supposed to be rude to Nolan Ramsey. Alena didn’t like being rude to anyone... more
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