"Are you studying?" Annie's arrival took Jeff by surprise. He looked up from the Ethics coursebook he'd been reading in a booth in the cafeteria and took a good look at her - her hair was still slightly damp from the shower she'd taken to get the oil out and she was wearing a sweatshirt several sizes too large for her. Probably borrowed from Troy, he thought.
"No, I was having a coffee and –" he waved his cup in support of what he was saying but found himself unable to finish the sentence when he saw the expression on her face, a heartbreaking mixture of fear and rejection.
"What can I do for you, Annie?" He said instead, gesturing to the seat opposite him.
"Did you mean what you said?" She asked him as she slid into the seat.
Jeff honestly had no clue what she was referring to. "It's been a busy day Annie…"
"You said you couldn't believe you made out with me," she blurted out.
Oh crap, Jeff thought. That's why she's looking like someone shot her puppy?
"I said I couldn't believe I made out with both of you," he corrected her. She replied with her best this isn't helping, Jeff frown.
Jeff sighed and condescended to explain further. "Do you remember what was going on at the time?" He said. "The two of you were engaged in some sort of passive aggressive competition to decide who was the dullest and most uninteresting, grunting out one word answers and failing to make eye contact," Jeff looked straight into her eyes as though driving home his own point. "Dull and uninteresting women are not my scene, hence…" he smiled apologetically as he finished.
Her expression had relaxed, but she still looked puzzled. "Does that mean…?" she asked hesitantly.
"Annie," Jeff said firmly. "There are a lot of words I'd use to describe you when you're not trying to fit in with somebody else's view of how you're supposed to behave," he grinned in a way that made her blush slightly. "But 'dull and uninteresting' are not amongst them."
Annie's expression relaxed into a full beam. "So," she said. "Were you studying?"
"Oh crap," Jeff said half-heartedly. "Well, if you're going to stay you might as well make yourself useful." He passed the textbook he'd been reading across the table. "Test me," he finished grandly.
Annie took one look at the title - An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, by Professor Chidi Anagonye, PhD - and turned happily to the sample questions at the end of the first chapter.