Chapter 2

19th August, 2014.

"First day of college!" Laura almost shrieked, jolting awake and sitting up straight in her bed. The sudden action making her blood rush throughout her body.

"I'm going to give myself a heart attack one of these days." Laura muttered to herself, holding her right palm across her chest, taking deep breaths to calm her system.

"But don't give me one!" A female voice complained with alarm in her voice.

Laura's head snapped to her left with a scream erupting from her mouth. Her body like lightening, grabbing the nearest weapon from her bed, standing up in a fighting stance.

"A spatula, really?" The woman asked in pure disbelief her jaw dropping a bit. A bottle of nail polish shattered on the floor right by her feet. Her eyes fell to it and a noise of displeasure passed from her lips.

"That was my second favourite shade!" The woman whined, her eyes switching between her half-done nails and the shattered nail polish bottle now lying in pieces.

Laura's alarmed state now relaxing a bit as she felt bad for scaring the much taller woman and causing chaos.

"Let me help you clean it up!" Laura offered without thinking too much, assuming this unknown woman must obviously be her roommate, (RIGHT?) or else she clearly wouldn't been sitting in some really short jeans shorts and a baby pink t-shirt that said, Betty (?) and applying paint over her nails.

"Oh, no. Don't worry about it. I could easily take care of it by myself, besides I wouldn't want you hurting your feet with possible glass shards on your first day of college." The woman winked as Laura had taken a step to pick the mess up, raising both of her hands to distance Laura from hurting herself. A genuine teasing smile spread across the taller woman's face.

"Isn't it your first day of college too?" Laura asked in fake suspicion, squinting her eyes so the woman could know what was going through Laura's mind.

The woman (Whose name better be Betty) tilted her head in mock shock when she realized what Laura was thinking.

"Yes it is!" Betty exclaimed, a chuckle escaping from her mouth, both the ladies sharing a grin.

"I'm really sorry about that." Laura said sheepishly, pointing the spatula at the broken container on the floor. She looked at the spatula that she still held in confusion and tossed it back on the bed, looking even more embarrassed.

"Yeah, it's okay. I could always get another one. It was just a second favourite anyway." The taller blonde replied, caring no longer about what had happened to one of her favourite shades.

"So, you must be my roommate, uh… Elizabeth Speesh… Uh, … Elizabeth! With the really hard last name." Laura said extending her hand and face palming herself with the other hand.

"I'm Laura Hollis. I'm super awkward and nerdy." A maniacal chuckle fell from her mouth.

"Yes. Elizabeth 'Spielsdorf'." Elizabeth stressed on her last name, spelling it as slowly as possible for Laura to understand whilst trying real hard not to laugh in her face.

"But you can just call me Betty." Betty added with a huge grin on her face, shaking her hand firmly with Laura.

"Apparently…" Laura trailed off, looking at her t-shirt.

"Yep." Betty replied, nodding down at her pink t-shirt.

"That's a good grasp." Laura expressed after dropping Betty's hand. Betty chuckled.

"You're funny Hollis. So, what time is your first class?" Betty enquired, bending towards the floor to start cleaning the mess.

Laura's eyes flew to her digital wrist watch in panic. The previous commotion had caused her to forget the main reason why she woke up in a panic. Her body relaxed when the beaming red numbers informed her that she still had an hour to start with her new life. As dramatic and hilarious that would've sounded to anyone else, it was pretty serious to Laura. For her whole life, Laura had to live under the protection of Papa Hollis, who even if Laura didn't reply to the first call of her name, would come rushing to her room with a can of 'day of the week' bear spray that he would specially make, in one hand and a baseball bat in another. Laura did resent her father for baby monitoring her till the age of eleven or the other times when he would scare away potential friends and lovers, causing Laura to always be some sort of loner, but she always knew her father had the best intentions at hand for his daughter and didn't want her to get hurt. So when Laura stressed on the term of 'a new life', she meant she was going to enjoy the freedom and independence as much as she could and gain any sort of experience she needed to. She knew she had to make the most of it. (Safely, of course)

"I have about an hour." Laura replied with an excited smile on her face. She looked back at the floor and saw the fuchsia colour no longer on the floor. She looked at Betty's side of the room and found that everything was just as organized as Laura's side. She thanked the forces for blessing her with an organized and clean roommate.

"Ah, same. We could walk with each other to classes…. I guess." Betty said with a considerate smile on her face, sitting down on her bed again.

"Definitely" Laura nodded with a grin.

"I'm going to start getting ready." Laura informed pointing at the bathroom. The taller woman nodded.

An hour was about to pass and Laura and Betty was already striding away from their dorm building up to their classes.

"I actually wanted to go to Princeton." Betty admitted quietly.

"What made you not go?" Laura asked curiously.

"Well, majorly I fucked it up by partying too much and my great grandmother wanted me to join here at Silas because she wanted the women of the family to get their education from here, because yes, she graduated from here and yes, I know, apparently people in my family live too long or maybe they reproduce too young. She died last year though at a ripe age of 90… I will be joining Princeton next year though. Yeah, I'll have to work a little extra hard and I wouldn't even be disappointing my great gran a lot either. I mean, I would be spending a year here. So..." Betty shrugged. Laura chuckled at the way Betty answered all of her questions with just looking at her face.

"Anyway, I guess we have to part ways here. I'll see you after an 18 hour work day." Laura chirped way too happily.

"You're very funny, Hollis." Betty shook her head chuckling at the tiny woman.

"Yeah yeah, Speeshh… Spee.. Speedork!" Laura huffed exasperated. Betty just stared at her for a moment and walked away towards her classes. Laura worried for a moment that she might have offended the taller blonde but then she heard loud muffled laughter coming from the woman and her shoulders shaking uncontrollably while she climbed up the stairs. Laura sighed in relief and then started walking towards her class. The moment she took a turn, she bumped into someone.

An apology slipped from Laura's mouth and she felt something wet on her blouse, she inspected it and realized it was a really thick red substance.

"Oh, dammit! Mattie is gonna kill me." A deep voice exclaimed. Laura looked at the owner of the voice and saw a woman about her own height wearing a black blazer with a white shirt beneath and matching black trousers. Her white shirt was ruined with the same red liquid that she was holding in her hands. She looked closely on the bags and realized they were none other than blood bags. 'I was expecting this day to go better!' Laura thought.

The woman was juggling the innumerable amount of blood bags she was holding, trying not to spill more blood from the bag that was torn. When she was sure no more bags were going to spill their contents out, she looked up at Laura, annoyed.

"Kids these days." She muttered, glaring at Laura and walking out of her path.

"Excuse me!" Laura called out angrily. The woman ignored her and kept walking away from her at a really brisk pace. Laura had to run after the woman to catch up to her, when she did; she turned the woman around harshly by the shoulder.

"What the?!" The woman stumbled; she looked up at her assaulter and flared her nostrils.

"What do you want, Cupcake?" The woman spat angrily.

"Oh, I don't know? AN APOLOGY MAYBE?!" Laura yelled. Her voice echoing in the very empty halls of the building.

"An apolo…. Yeah, right." The woman scoffed, clearly very amused, walking away from Laura.

"Oh, you're gonna apologize!" Laura walked in front of the lady, pointing towards her blood stained blouse.

The woman's eyes fell on her blouse and a smirk grew on her face, her eyebrow raised as she clearly tried to ogle at Laura's chest.

"Hey!" Laura snapped her fingers in front of her face. Her face puffed up in anger and disgust.

"What?" The woman asked, looking bored and disinterested.

"You still have to apologize! But now, you have to apologize for two things! First, for spilling all this blood on me, which is making me look like some kinda vampire who chomped down on freshmen, which is funny because I'm a freshman myself! And second, for staring at me like a goddamn perv!"

"And what are you going to do if I don't oblige?" The woman challenged.

"Then….." Laura looked around clueless.

"Yeah, that's what I thought." She nodded smugly and tried to move past Laura.

"Then I'm going to do this!" Before the woman could move past Laura, she snatched the torn blood bag from her and pointed it at her.

"Oh, you don't have the guts Cupcake." The woman answered with complete confidence.

"Think I won't?" Laura countered with just as much as confidence.

"Be my guest. But I hope you realize I'm holding four more bags. That's four times the destruction." The woman warned.

24th May, 2018

(Present day)

"You asked me out…. Again."

"Oh…."

A bunch of parents and students walked past them, waving and smiling at the older woman. She returned a tight lipped smile, her eyes losing the genuineness they held a couple of seconds ago. Her guard rose back up. Laura noticed.

"Carm…" Laura called out in a small voice, reaching forward to hold her forearm.

The woman flinched at the brush of her fingertips, moving away from Laura.

"It's Professor Karnstein for you, Hollis." She replied coldly.

"I graduated today 'Professor Karnstein', I think I get privileges from this day forward. Privileges, that especially give me the right to call you by your name and maybe even ask you out on a date." Laura beamed.

"As long as we're on these grounds Cupcake, it's Professor Karnstein for you. No bargains. You should've really read your student handbook thoroughly." The Professor shrugged.

"Yes, the student handbook which I totally read and did not use as a doorstop." Laura admitted meekly, wrinkling her nose.

A smile broke out on the older woman's face, her guard slipping away from her controlled grasp. Laura made situations easier for the woman. Things always seemed to turn out for the better whenever the short blonde was involved, even when most of the times Laura was the reason for all the chaos that occurred. But then, the professor couldn't really blame the younger woman for all the colourful events that took place whenever she was around. Specifically the time when she threw half a bag of blood on her just because the professor thought that she didn't have it in her.

Someone just as stubborn and fearless as her had stepped up to her cocky nature.

She did burst the rest of the bags on Laura's head though.

That was a magical day…

But then of course, she judged her too soon, just like everyone else. She did move past the point when she realized that perhaps they were not as different as she had thought her to be. She obviously couldn't blame the inquisitive nature of the possibly really successful future young journalist that was standing in front of her, making her feel the happiness that she felt when she, herself, was younger and thought she had everything figured out. Laura made her feel that probably everything in her life had finally made sense, that she had gone through everything just so she could reach this point in her life where she could stare at the younger, nerdy and caring woman and then finally rest in peace, not wanting any other material or physical necessities that life could offer to her.

The older woman took Laura's hand in hers and started pulling her away from the grounds. Laura looked at her in confusion, a small smile still playing on her lips but continued to follow the woman. She wondered what was going through her head. Maybe the older woman was dragging her into some dark abandoned corner so they could have some sexy times. The only problem was, Carmilla had obviously never done a thing like that to Laura. She really needed to stop masturbating so much whilst imagining such crass things. Carmilla is a woman who never lost control over such petty issues and she was way too old fashioned to put sex on the forefront when she is obviously very much into the younger woman.

She has to be…

Maybe Laura was overthinking too much. Maybe Carmilla was just dragging her around so they could measure the ground! Her brain was probably still not functional… How could it be anyway? She was with Carmilla. People would call her crazy if she used logic around this woman.

Carmilla on the other hand, just dragged the woman by her palm and tried to avoid other people from looking at where they were going. She was still not sure if she wanted to do this or not, her mind rushing back to times when she used to look at Laura and the only thought that would come up in her mind was enveloping the smaller woman in a tight embrace, tracing her nails over her back, smelling her vanilla perfume and never letting her go.

She had always been old fashioned.

'Would she ever deserve something good?' Carmilla wondered. 'Would she want herself to be happy?'

It was never that Carmilla was lovesick. Love was something that came by and left in the brunette's life. It always left. Love stayed for years, months and most of the times, only nights. But not until…

Carmilla blinked the thought away. 6 years had gone away. She didn't have to dwell on past mistakes. She knew better than to spit in the eye of something old enough to think it's a god. Her eyes welled up anyway. Her grasp on Laura's hand grew tighter. Laura moved closer to her, sensing the change in her and held onto her arm.

Why was she thinking about love in the first place? It was pointless and hopeless. Love always left. Love made empty promises and kept her waiting. Love stayed in her sheets and left in the shadows, not leaving even a single trace when the light shone through her curtains. Love even said it loved her, but snatched her modesty and bled her till it was satisfied. Even when love stayed, some evil unknown entity or maybe just her fucked up fate managed to snatch it away from her. Kill everything that ever really mattered to her. Even if this time, it was her fault, she knew. Love. Always. Left.

Laura didn't.

Tears spilled out of her eyes like the first rain shower of the year. She wasn't doing this for love. She wasn't going to name this love. She wasn't going to fuck this up. This was pretty much all that she had anymore. She was going to make this work.

They walked until they were out of their campus. The bustling of the outside world made Carmilla's shoulders feel ten times lighter. They walked to a relatively quieter place. The brunette let the blonde's arm go. She turned towards her, tears still flowing from her eyes. Carmilla sniffled, trying to blink back tears but they kept falling out, she tried to strengthen her voice.

"Ask me now." She croaked lowly.

"What?" Laura's voice quivered.