Damon allowed the man to curl his hands around his elbows and lift him to his feet. The man brushed at his coat, as though Damon had somehow collected dirt in the brief time he was on the ground.
“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
Damon looked up at the handsomest man he’d ever seen. He was struck immediately mute. The man was tall and tan. Even in his gray woolen coat, Damon could tell that he was built. His hair was jet black, on the long side, past his chin. It had a wave to it, but it was gelled back from his face, revealing a high, smooth forehead. His nose was straight, his lips full, but not overly so, and pink.
When the man finished with the fussy brushing, he hunted around on the ground for something. “There it is,” he said.
He reached into a snowbank with an ungloved hand and pulled out Damon’s phone. Damon felt himself start. One look at this guy, and he’d completely forgotten about his phone. He watched with wonderment as the man brushed the snow off the phone.
“I’m sure it’s fine,” Damon said.
The man looked up. Damon caught his eyes—a deep, dark chocolate brown. If Damon hadn’t lost the ability to make a sound, an entirely embarrassing noise might have left his mouth.
The man’s eyes widened at the sight of him. “Oh,” he breathed. He was wearing a ridiculous pink-and-purple sparkly scarf. Damon felt his heart jump into his throat.
“I’ve had it for years.” Damon held out his hand. The man gave him the phone. “It’s pretty durable.”
“That’s—that’s good.” He seemed tongue-tied.
Damon was thoroughly charmed. He checked on the phone, seeing that he’d completed the text but hadn’t sent it. He pressed the send button. It went through immediately.
“See,” he said, showing the phone to the man before putting it in his back pocket. “It’s totally fine, and so am I.”
“Good.” The man blushed. “I really am sorry. I’m sort of lost and I was afraid I might be late, so I was rushing. But I should have been looking where I was going.”
“It’s fine, really. I wasn’t looking where I was going either. What are you trying to find?”
“Traynor Hall. I’m guest speaking in Chemistry 101.”
“Traynor Hall is where I’m going. I can show you.”
“That would be great. Thanks.” The man flashed a huge smile. His teeth were straight and white. Damon’s knees went a little weak.
“No problem,” he replied, voice faint. Feeling strangely winded, he indicated the direction they were going with a gesture of his hand. The man turned, following his lead. They fell into step together.
“I’m Eli, by the way. Eli Emmert.” He reached across with a hand. Damon accepted it. They shook. Eli’s hand was warm and firm.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish