Status: Very Active

Study of Life and Love

Concerned Alliances


I nudged Nina when her head fell against my shoulder for the third time since we had arrived in the large lecture hall. She blinked sleepily at me before sighing and focusing back on the teacher talking to us.

“As a student of Willson University you will hold our University in the utmost respect and remember that wherever you go you are representing us.” I tried to refrain from rolling my eyes at the tired statement. “And in turn what you get out of this University can lead to great futures in both your career and future relations. We are offering you the chance to meet your fellow students, make friends become families. Along with this you will attend class and be taught by some of the leading people in each of their own fields. Take advantage of this. Talk to your tutors and your lecturers, make connections, ask questions, be active in your own learning.” Someone coughed within the hall but otherwise it remained creepily silent.

“You will only get out of this University what you put in so please make the next few years count.” The dismissal was clear and surprisingly, people who I had assumed were in fact asleep, were the first out of their seats and, probably, heading towards the nearest coffee cart.

“Whose idea was it to have a welcome party the night before a welcoming lecture.” Nina groaned, standing up from her chair and shrugging her bag over her shoulder. I sighed and joined her out of the hall. My head was still aching dully from drinking last night.

“I’m sure everyone that’s not new thought it would be funny.” I replied flatly, staring around in the blearing sun while people strolled around the campus.

I glanced up at the sign on the far side of the court and could make out the quote of the day “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted. - David Bly”, how appropriately in tune it was with the speech we had heard today.

“Your phone’s beeping.” I looked at Nina before realising that my phone was beeping from my bag, I fished around and pulled it out to see a text from Caydance.

Be at the house in an hour

I frowned down at my phone before pocketing it when three other Grace sisters came up to us.

“Are you both heading back to the house?” The taller, blonder girl, I think her name was Jessica, asked.

“Yeah Caydance wants me back at the house.” I told them all, starting to walk in that direction. I opted to take the long way past the sporting fields to kill some time. Jessica and her group of friends decided to join.

“I can’t believe you got Caydance, I heard she is a real bitch.” I frowned at Jessica before shrugging, I didn’t want to rat on any of the sisters.

“She’s not too bad.” I responded nonchalantly.

“It’s okay, no ones around to tell on you if you whine.” Jessica laughed and I forced one in return. I just wasn’t the type of girl that enjoyed bitching.

“Did you girls have fun at the party last night?” One of the other girls, Alice, jumped in to change the subject. Jessica seemed to approve as she automatically broke into a rant about the guys she happened to be talking to last night. They moved to the subject of the blue skinned prank and seemed to forget that Nina and I were there. I rolled my eyes at Nina who laughed.

“You seemed to be having fun at the start, with a certain boy I might add.” Nina grinned at me, linking our arms together. I stared at the contrast of our dark and light skin for a moment before frowning up at her.

“Yeah until Caydance came up and ruined it all. I think she hates me.” I pouted slightly, adjusting my heavy bag in my spare arm.

“She doesn’t hate you love, she’s just hard to like.” She tried to reason as I laughed at her words.

“Easy for you to say, you’re stuck with Thea who I think maybe the nicest person I’ve ever actually met.” I pointed out to her.

“Look, the boys are playing football.” Jessica called from in front of us. They quickly walked towards the trees near the field where a few people were watching. I followed them down, my eyes turning to the field where a group of boys were indeed playing soccer. Shirts off which definitely helped the view.

“I think I’m in love with University.” Jessica sighed, falling to sit on the ground, eyeing the boys with obvious interest. I laughed at her but stayed standing not wanting to be here long.

You should get me a coffee as well. I think that’s a great idea xx

I sighed down at Caydance’s text, I honestly didn’t mind doing this stuff if it meant I got a place in Grace. I just wish I knew if Caydance actually liked me or not. No point doing this all if she was just going to vote against keeping me.

“Riley.” I looked up at Nina who pointed towards the field where the boys were packing up, much to Jessica’s disappointment. “Isn’t that your boy from last night?”

I followed where she was pointing and noticed that Liam was one of the boys on the team. He was also one of the boys without a shirt on.

“Crap.” I muttered as my eyes instantly trailed down his hard chest towards his stomach where his abs could easily be seen from our vantage point.

“Go talk to him.”

“What are you crazy?” I hissed at Nina who let go of my arm to nudge me forward. She smiled wider at me.

“There is no Caydance to disrupt you now. Go on or I’ll go down there and get him for you.” I frowned at Nina, I didn’t want Liam to think that I was too immature and needed my friend to get him for me. I glared at her for a moment more before nervously heading down the hill towards the boys.

I hung onto my bag strap tighter as I neared them; most were pulling shirts on or throwing their equipment in their bags. Liam, I noted, had to be the one to keep his shirt off. I took a deep breath before walking past a few of the boys, earning curious glances.

My heart started racing when I got closer. What if he doesn’t remember me? Or maybe I was just a bit of fun for last night.

My steps faltered as I realised how stupid I was being for thinking that Liam would want more. I went to turn when my eyes met blue ones, it was the leader of Kings house, Louis I think his name was. His eyes turned curious as I froze under his gaze. Some realization must have dawned because he suddenly smiled and poked Liam.

My eyes widened as Liam looked to where Louis was looking. His eyes focused on me and widened considerably. So he obviously remembered me but that didn’t mean he actually wanted to see me. I knew I should really just turn around right now.

He was walking towards me though and I found myself frozen on the spot, watching a few droplets of sweat slide down his chest and increasingly lower towards his snail trail before disappearing in the elastic of his shorts.

“Riley.” His warm voice made my eyes snap up to his. He looked concerned and I realised I probably looked like a deer caught in headlights. “Are you okay?”

“Uh yeah, of course.” I said quickly before we fell into silence, I stared awkwardly at the ground.

“Did you watch us play?” I glanced up to see a nervous look on Liam’s face. It made me feel better to know he was nervous too.

“Uh not really. We just showed up when you finished.” I told him truthfully, he nodded in acceptance.

“Were you heading back home?” He asked me curiously as I nodded in return. “Great, let me grab my stuff and I could walk you back?”

I nodded quickly, probably too quickly but who would ever deny Liam Payne? His grin spread across his face, wrinkling the sides of his eyes.

“Great, just wait here.” He turned and ran back to where Louis was standing with their bags, watching us amused. He said something quickly, which earned him a grin and a punch in the arm from Louis before Liam ran back to me, pulling his shirt over his body. I tried not to frown at the lack of skin now in my vision.

“Sorry, I probably smell a bit.” Liam frowned glancing down at his sweaty body. I had to swallow before replying.

“It’s fine, I don’t mind.” Liam looked at me incredulous before I continued on. “I have a brother. I’m used to sweaty boys.”

“Oh, well I only have two sisters.” Liam supplied, smiling down at me as we made our way back to the houses. My phone buzzed in my hand alerting me to another message from Caydance. And Nina had said she wouldn’t be able to ruin this.

“Crap, I have to get Caydance a coffee before going back to the house.” I stopped in my tracks and frowned up at Liam.

“It’s fine, come on I’ll take you to her favourite café.” He smiled, grabbing my arm and pulling me in another direction. I could barely enjoy the feel of his hand around my arm before a question clouded my mind.

“You know Caydance pretty well then?” I questioned remembering seeing them last night. She had had her arm around him before pressing a kiss to his cheek. Liam nodded at my question before turning to look at me dropping my arm in the process.

“We’ve shared a lot of early morning hangover runs.” He told me earnestly. I couldn’t understand if that meant they were good friends or possibly something more. The last thing I wanted was to be caught flirting with a guy that my older sister liked, or used to date. I wanted this place at Grace whether I got to flirt with Liam or not.

I ordered Caydance’s drink and we headed back to the houses. Liam took my books out of my arms, insisting on carrying them.

“I’m not going to let you carry them when you don’t have to.” He told me firmly, I was surprised by his words but chose to let him.

“So did you have fun last night?” Liam asked as we walked onto the street where our houses were. We walked past Kings and continued to Grace.

“It was heaps of fun. I met some great people.” I said blushing slightly at my own words. Liam looked towards me and blinked a couple of times before a smile slid across his face.

“Yeah?” He asked softly as I nodded in return. We stopped outside Grace house and I moved to take my books.

“So uh Riley, I was thinking that maybe we could grab lunch tomorrow, if you wanted?” He scratched the back of his neck adorably while his eyes glanced around, refusing to meet mine.

“I’d like that.” I said quickly which earned me a warm smile in return.

“Great! I could uh come and get you at 12?” He offered, taking a few steps backwards. I nodded at him and agreed to the time. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled before he waved and turned heading back.

My body felt electric as I walked into the house. I had to refrain from skipping, barely noticing anyone as I wondered to the left hallway on the bottom floor.

“Riley?” Caydance broke through my hype as I turned to her, her eyebrows raised. “My coffee?”

“Oh! Right.” I couldn’t help the giggle that slipped out as I walked over to hand her the coffee. She frowned at the cup.

“How did you know Leo’s café was my favourite?” She asked me suddenly. My cheeks flushed slightly as I shrugged at her.

“Lucky guess?” I smiled widely before turning to bounce back to the freshmen rooms.

“Dump your stuff then come right back out here!” I heard her say before I ran out of earshot.

I barreled into the room I shared with Nina and jumped on her bed that she was currently occupying.

“Ow! Book.” She grumbled shoving the books I still had out of my arms. “What is with you?”

“I have a date!” I whispered to her excitedly, I knew the smile on my face made me look psychotic but I didn’t care. My whole body felt tingly.

“A date? But we’re not allowed to.” She shot a look towards our open door.

“Liam asked me!” I squeaked to her, not caring about the rules right now. Her eyes widened and a grin spread across her face, not as large as mine.

“Well if it is Liam Payne that you’re going on a date with, that changes everything. Stuff the rules!” She squealed delighted, squishing me against her.

“I have to go, Caydance needs to talk to me.” I groaned into her shoulder. She let me go and I stood up off her bed.

“Okay but come right back and tell me everything that happened between you and you know who.” She whispered nervously. I snorted at her word choice.

“He’s not Voldemort.” I teased.

“May as well be. Pretty sure Liam is just as untouchable as he was.” She said looking back at her laptop. I shook my head at her comparison.

I headed back downstairs, a lot calmer then when I ran up them. Caydance was sitting in the living room with Thea, drinking her coffee. Thea smiled up at me, Caydance didn’t really show any emotion.

I took the armchair that had been moved in front of them as a few nerves started to settle in. It was a weird formal setting they had created and if it wasn’t for Thea’s smile I would actually be worried.

“So we need to talk to you.” Caydance said formally, putting her coffee on the table next to her and sitting forward. My palms grew clammy at the serious face she pulled. Was I already getting kicked out?

“Stop that.” Thea huffed at Caydance, smiling at me warmly. “Ignore her, she’s just trying to scare you. We just want to talk to you about your work, the course your in and the classes you’re taking.” I noticed the notebook that sat in her hand, pen ready.

“You always ruin the fun.” Caydance grumbled leaning back on the couch and picking her coffee back up.

“Oh, I’m doing Education and planning to major in Art.” I told them, focusing on Thea neatly writing on the piece of paper.

“Art? What type?” Caydance asked instantly, her eyebrows rising.

“Anything really. I’m not too picky, I do mostly prefer painting although if I do draw normally I prefer a charcoal method.”

Thea quickly scrawled something further down the page.

“You had your orientation today right? How did you think it went? Any questions?” Thea asked me, still smiling warmly. I couldn’t help but smile back before shrugging.

“It was fine really. Everything was self-explanatory. Practically everything that Sidney had already talked to us about on our first day. Things like we’re constantly representing you guys and the University, make friends, connections, take part in your own learning.” I informed them. Thea smiled widely and nodded along with what I said before writing more things down on her clipboard. Caydance stuck with staring at me speculatively while drinking her coffee, it was a little unnerving.

They continued through a range of questions, asking how I found the house and the girls here. I told them that so far I had met great people and hadn’t had a problem with anyone. Everyone was so welcoming and the house was better then I expected.

They even asked about my family and what type of dynamic we had with just my father, my brother and me. My Mother’s parents were around a lot and pushed me harder then my own Father to come to this University like my Mother who had lived in the dorms.

By the time we were done Thea’s page was full of notes.

“I think that’s about it.” Thea said, setting her pen down. “We just need all this information to get to know you more. It’s easier for us, especially Sid, to know these things so we can help you. Your education is important to us so knowing what your studying or your interests mean that we can always be an active part in your learning. Also I know we probe a lot about family life but here at Grace we see each other as family while we’re away from home so we do what families do, make each other insane while trying to stay sane and keep everyone together. If you need to talk about home or anything else we know exactly how to respond and help you in anyway possible.” Thea’s spiel was long but sincere and I was curious as to whether she would be mother after Sidney, she would certainly do a good job of it. I was touched by how much the sisters cared about each other.

I moved to leave the couch but stopped the moment Caydance made an annoyed noise at her phone that had been beeping for the last five minutes.

“He’s texting me.” She whined to Thea, shoving her phone in her friends face. Thea moved her head back slightly to read the screen before smiling. “It’s not funny! He is not funny.”

She practically threw her phone to the opposite end of the couch she was sitting on before pouting. She looked like a fiery child.

“I can’t believe Louis gave him my number! It’s like he wants a death wish.” She continued to grumble while Thea just rolled her eyes and placed her notebook down next to Caydance’s now finished coffee. I made a move to leave again but Caydance’s eyes suddenly focused in on me.

“Do you know him?” She asked me suddenly as I stared at her perplexed; I had no idea what she was talking about. “Harry Styles do you know him?”

I paused for a moment debating the name but nothing familiar came up so I quickly shook my head earning myself a frown.

“Are you sure? He’s a freshmen too; you should know him.” She demanded of me.

“Leave Riley alone Caydee.” Thea said gently as I shot her a grateful look. “I don’t see what’s so wrong with him being a freshman.”

“Because he’s a freshmen. People our age do not date freshmen Thea.” Caydance waved her hand around before seeming to notice me again. “No offence.” She said without any sincerity and I wanted to tell her that she was wrong, that I had a date with Liam tomorrow and I was very much a freshman but I held my tongue.

“You can go Riley.” Thea told me before grabbing her book and leaving the room. I eyed Caydance for a moment before quickly standing up and leaving the room as her phone beeped again. She reached to grab it and let out a large moan. I glanced back to see her lay down on the couch a tiny smile on her face. I think Caydance liked this Harry Styles more than she acted.

“Well come on, don’t dawdle. Tell me what happened.” I grinned at Nina the moment I entered the room and quickly shut the door behind me. I was practically bursting with the news and I was glad I could talk to someone about it.

“So we were walking home and he offered to carry my books.” I began explaining to Nina, taking a seat on her bed and telling her every detail of my short walk home with Liam, what we spoke about, what he looked like, how many times he smiled in my direction. I was giddy with excitement and anticipation for spending more time with Liam. He seemed like such a sweet and amazing guy and I never thought I would be lucky enough to find a guy like him in my first week at Uni.

A knock at the door broke through our conversation and Olivia, an older sister, poked her head through the door letting us know that soccer practice was starting in five minutes. I groaned at Nina before climbing off her bed and changing.

“Have fun.” She yelled after me as I left the room, pulling my hair into a messy bun on my head and heading out back where other sisters had gathered.

The team was mostly going to be made up of the older sisters but one girl, Leah, a ginger haired girl who was a freshmen like me. Not many of the freshmen had tried out, not liking soccer or being any good at it so I was glad to have Leah with me.

She smiled when she spotted me and patted the empty spot next to her on the porch floor, feet dangling through the rails to hover over the grass.

The backyard of the house was nothing too impressive. It was mostly just a large grassed area with two large trees in one back corner where a couple of chairs and tables had been set up. The porch that spanned out across the back of the house was wide enough to fit most of the house on with a barbecue in one corner. It was a dark red, earthy colour that sat nice against the white walled house.

“We’re going to do some basic drills today guys before going for a run around campus.” Sidney announced, the moment she walked out of the back door earning mixed reactions from everyone, some groans, others burst of energy.

Leah and I paired up and ran some basic ball drills with each other, warming up and kicking it to each other before taking it in turns around the cones, continuously moving the ball to each other.

There wasn’t as much talking as everyone concentrated on what they were doing, occasionally I could hear Caydance mumble something to Thea that would either earn her an eye roll or a short high laugh from Thea. The silence and concentration was actually nice, in the way that it made me feel like a bigger part of everything. I wasn’t left out: missing jokes and confused about who they were talking about which often happened when any of the freshmen were surrounded by senior members of the house. Instead this felt more open and easy and just based solely on soccer that I could easily handle.

After, Sidney insisted on getting Talia, a tall lanky girl that was a year older then Leah and I, practice in the goals. She was good, better then us all combined. We had already been tried for the goals and I did manage to save most of them, Talia still saved the most out of everyone. Caydance had been the worst, I wasn’t sure if she had even been able to save one, not that she had cared and instead turned it into a joke while Sidney glared on.

After we all spent time kicking the ball at Talia Caydance stepped forward when Sidney instructed us all to follow behind Caydance for our run. Leah grumbled from next to me when we grabbed our water bottles. We were both already sweaty messes.

“I hate running, I don’t mind playing a game full of running but I hate just constantly running.” Leah informed me when we followed Caydance out the side gate of the house and down the road.

“Right now I would kill for a burger.” I admitted to Leah as we passed by the Emmanuel house. I moved further into the group of girls with Leah as the other girls subconsciously ran tighter together when a few of the Emmanuel boys looked up and called out a few things. Caydance flipped them off from up a head and I let out a surprised laugh winning a smile from Sidney who had ended up running next to me.

It was near Cromwell house when the smile from Sidney’s face dropped. Caydance suddenly turned to run across the road so we were on the opposite footpath to the Cromwell house and coming up past the King’s house front door where Louis appeared, jogging down the steps and over to us. Sidney called out to Caydance who slowed down and they both stepped forward to greet Louis. I took a chance to drink some more water and Leah sat down on the ground with Olivia. I grinned at her and noticed Thea hovering slightly behind me, her eyes travelling from Louis, Sidney and Caydance to the guys outside of Cromwell house. There were about four of them and they were all watching us, expectantly.

“What’s going on?” I asked Thea, her eyes snapped to mine and seemed to search my face for a moment before she sighed.

“I’m not sure yet, but I have a bad feeling.” She mumbled, her eyes narrowing in on the Cromwell house again. One guy that seemed to be almost a leader to the others, waved over half-heartedly before heading back inside the house with the other three boys.

“Thea.” Sidney called and Thea grimaced but walked up to where the three were chatting.

“What’s going on?” I spun around at the voice behind us to see Liam and Zayn walking up the footpath, eyes on us curiously. I flushed when I noticed Liam and tried no to look too obvious by taking a sudden seat next to Leah and focusing my attention on the ground. Olivia however stood up to chat with the boys.

“Not sure, Louis came out and they fell into a conversation, Cromwell boys seemed to set them off.” She explained and Zayn made an understanding noise making both Leah and I glance up to focus better on them both.

“Probs because Cromwell announced an hour ago that they’re aligning themselves with Emmanuel and Mary’s this year.” Zayn stated and Olivia seemed to stiffen at his words. I didn’t notice much after that as my eyes turned to Liam. His hair was wet and by the towel slung over his shoulder and the board shorts that he was sporting I assumed that he must have been swimming. I almost sighed in frustration that he was wearing a shirt. There weren’t a lot of things I wouldn’t do to get another glance at his stomach.

Like he could feel my eyes on him, his stance shifted and his eyes casually turned to me. I flushed at his gaze and smiled weakly. His mouth up ticked in the smallest smile before the others pulled his attention; Caydance gesturing for Leah and I to stand up.

“We’re going back home.” Thea said to Leah and I, gently resting her hand on our shoulder and beginning to head back.

“What’s going on?” I asked her, straining over my shoulder and past her to get another glimpse of Liam. I could just see his back as he Zayn and Louis headed back up the stairs and into King’s house. I pouted and faced front as we crossed the road.

“Cromwell has aligned themselves with Emmanuel and Mary’s.” Thea repeated what Zayn had already said and I shared an annoyed look with Leah. We knew that, but no one was explaining what it meant, I said so much to Thea.

“It means,” Sidney was the one to break into the conversation as we walked up the pathway to the Grace house, “that we seriously need to get Francis sorority on our side otherwise we will be severely outnumbered this year.”

“Will that be hard?” Leah questioned unsure as we walked into the house, a few other girls were wandering from room to room and up the stairs.

“Probably, come on we will explain everything in the emergency house meeting.” Sidney clapped our shoulders and pushed us to the large living room that we used for meetings while the other girls raced off presumably to get everyone.

Soon enough everyone that had been within the house at the time, which was the majority of the girls, were sitting in the living room while Sidney explained what Louis and Zayn had already told us.

“Why is it going to be hard for Francis to side with us? You said there neutral right? I mean what makes them more likely to side with the others then us and Kings?” a voice piped up from the crowd and I strained my neck to see who said it.

“It’s going to be hard because Louis Tomlinson recently broke up with his long term girlfriend that is from the Francis house.” A collective groan ran through the group of people in the room.

“Let me guess, she’s house mum this year?” Someone else called out and Sidney shook her head.

“No but she’s the house mum’s cousin.” Caydance piped up from her seat across from me, another groan filled the room.

“We haven’t talked to Eleanor yet but I will be setting up a meeting tomorrow, in the meantime if you see or meet any Francis girls please try to suck up to them, we need all the help we can get. If Eleanor convinces the Francis leader to join with Cromwell then we’re all screwed.” Sidney voiced to us all seriously. I shared a confused look with Riley. This whole meeting was overdramatic and unexplained. Everyone was acting like something terrible could actually happen if the houses aligning outnumbered us. I didn’t understand why the houses had to have alliances in the first place.

“I think there’s more to the fraternity and sorority systems then we thought we knew.” Nina commented next to me and Leah nodded quickly, joining in with our confused expressions.