//Caroline could not believe they were finally alone. Well, as alone as they could be with nosey servants never too far away. Her heart pounded at the idea that Daniel was going to kiss her. She dropped her gaze flirtatiously and fluttered her lashes coquettishly at the expectation of his kiss. She was an expert at the art of flirtation. Her mother had taught her some but Caroline had an innate ability at wrapping a man around her little finger with very little effort.
Daniel was the one she had set her sights on for the purpose of marriage on her fifteenth birthday almost two years ago. He was a skilled rider, native to the area, and his family owned the plantation that bordered along the south side of Shady Oaks. It helped that he was incredibly handsome. There were times she wondered what was taking him so long to ask for her hand. Their parents were in favor of the two plantations becoming one someday. When he kissed her thoughts of marriage and the responsibilities that would go with it drifted away.
Her hands burrowed in his dark hair, wind blown from the ride to Shady Oaks, arching into him. Something amazing always happened when he kissed her, this time was no different.\\
"Daniel," Buffy said with a start as she came to. To her humiliation she had apparently drifted off in class. Sinking low in her chair as more than a few of the other students as well as Riley and Professor Walsh glanced in her direction. "Great," she whispered under her breath. Just what she needed, Riley was going to think she wanted him to help her cheat to pass this class. This was not the first time she had fallen asleep.
"Who's Daniel?" Willow leaned over and asked.
"That's the name you called out, and it sounded sexy-like."
"I don't know anyone named Daniel, Wil." She could not explain to Willow that Daniel was a man who lived only in her dreams. She could not explain that she had woken up from this little dozing off episode feeling as if she had actually been the one getting kissed instead of the girl in her dream. Her body was humming like crazy right now. If it was nighttime she could go patrolling, but the sun was all bright and shiny out there so there was no possibility of a quick slay to burn off this energy.
She pressed the pads of her fingers to her lips and thought that they actually felt slightly swollen. "What's happening to me," she whispered.
"Nothing," Buffy said. Her eyes met Riley's who was watching her curiously and she smiled wryly at him. He would probably think she was just too bizarre to bother with now. It was sad, because he was kinda cute and he seemed nice. And normal. If only she could explain to him about being the slayer and the dreams that came with it.
"Now I'm thinking in circles," she mumbled again, drawing circles with her blue pen in her notebook. There was no sense taking notes today, she had no idea what Professor Walsh's lecture was about.
As she sat there doodling in her notebook she glanced discreetly in Riley's direction and gasped when for the briefest of moments it was the man from her dreams instead of Riley.
"Buffy," Willow whispered, her concern for Buffy evident even with such a low tone of voice.
"Miss Summers," Professor Walsh said, stopping her lecture to address her.
"Yes, Professor Walsh."
"Is there something the matter?"
"I," Buffy said and glanced around the room. Everyone probably thought she was some kind of freak. Everyone except Willow who was worried for her best friend. "I'm not feeling very well. I think I need to go to the health center."
"Perhaps you should rather than disrupting my class. Again."
"Yes," Buffy said, gathering her things together. "I'm sorry," she whispered as she brushed past Professor Walsh on her way out of the classroom. She spared a glance at Riley who was not looking at her as if she was a freak. There was something to be said for that.
Buffy turned around and saw Riley standing in the hallway, the classroom door held ajar by his foot. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, we'll talk another time."
"Sure, no problem. It's just that if you needed someone to walk you to the health center I will."
"No, I'll be fine, you don't need Professor Walsh mad at you, too."
"I'm not too worried about it," Riley said.
"Well, in that case, if you're sure."
"I'm sure. Be right back," he said and disappeared into the classroom. He joined her a few minutes later, his book bag over his right shoulder. "So, do you have the flu or what?"
"No, nothing like that. I don't know what's going on, Riley." She glanced at him from the corner of her eye and smiled. "I wish I could explain it to you, but just weirdness that is Buffy's life."
"Aww, come on, you can't be that weird. You look pretty normal to me."
"Really. I've checked you out. I mean," he blushed a rather embarrassing shade of red and Buffy could not help but smile. "Well, you know, you seem normal to me. I've watched you."
"Have you now? Should I be worried that I have a stalker?"
"I was teasing, Riley."
"Oh," he said sheepishly. "You're not going to the health center, are you?"
"No, there's nothing wrong that they can help me with anyway. I have to go into town for a while to see a friend."
"A friend or a boyfriend?"
"Just a friend," Buffy said flirtatiously.
"Would you like company?"
"Some other time," she said. She wished she could tell him the truth, but she did not want to put him in danger or make him think she was even crazier than he probably already believed she was.
"I'll hold you to that."
"Good," she said and offered him a smile. They had walked to the point in campus where she had to go her own way if she was going to visit Giles. "Well, this is my stop I think."
"I hope you get to feeling better, Buffy."
"Thanks, Riley." She began walking toward town but stopped when she heard him call her name.
"You wanted to talk to me after class."
"Maybe later, okay?"
"Well, I'll be back at my room in Lowell House. All night," he said. Buffy laughed lightly, getting the hint. He wanted her to come by. She did not see a problem with that.
"Is there a time that's too late?"
Riley seemed to think about this, finally shaking his head. "No, any time is fine. I mean, if it's three in the morning I will be asleep, but you know, any reasonable time."
"Okay," Buffy said, tucking some hair behind her ear. "I'll see you later then."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com