College. A time for learning. A time for growth. A time to dream big and take chances. Also the last time you will ever get to sleep late so take full advantage.
Hope Avery has always dreamed of a happy marriage and a house full of kids but she never wanted to find that perfect man until after college. After all, her father had married his college sweetheart and that had turned out disastrous. Her plan was simple. Study hard. Graduate with honors. Begin her career. Then find true love. At least that was the plan until Mazer came into her life.
Mazer Fox didn't know that Hope wasn't looking for love right now. He didn't know that she had vowed not to get involved with anyone until after college. What he did know was that every since he met her he couldn't stop thinking about her. He had recently completed his sophomore year. After carefully thinking things through, he had come to the conclusion that focusing on knowledge was the right thing for him. Not love or lust but books and telescopes. Then he met Hope. How is a man suppose to study with a girl like that walking around campus?
Keith Tellerman had a problem. He was in love with a woman whom he fears is in love with someone else. He had always feared this. Right from the beginning. That's why he never made a move on her in high school. When they finally got together he had hoped that it meant that Cassia Avery had gotten over her old boyfriend Leo. They started going steady. They seemed very happy. Then they started college. Every since arriving at La Fiesta Tech, Cassia has done everything but beg him to sleep with her. It's not that Keith doesn't want to sleep with Cassia. He does. But Keith isn't sure that they should. Keith never knew his father. His mother got pregnant at seventeen. She had him at eighteen, abandoned him at nineteen and hasn't been seen since. His grandmother raised him until her death. She didn't know who his father was so neither does Keith. Keith wants kids. What he doesn't want is kids that will never know who he is. What he doesn't want is for Cassia to have to drop out of school because she is carrying his child. He has tried repeatedly to explain this to Cassia. She just doesn't want to hear him. Keith is afraid that he knows the reason why. After all these years together could she still be in love with Leo Wilsonoff?
Cassia can't understand what the problem is. Yes, maybe it's true that the only reason she wants to sleep with Keith is to push Leo out of her head. Maybe in the long run it would be better to wait. But they have been together for years. She is not going to get pregnant and if she does so what. She really didn't come here for an education anyway. She came to college to keep from losing Keith. She does love him. She doesn't want to lose him. But every time she sees Leo...
After a semester of getting to know Hope Avery, Mazer has come to the conclusion that many knowledge minded people reach, love is a lesson he needs to learn. He can't learn it from a book but perhaps he can get Hope to teach him. He broaches the subject. Hope finds herself falling hard and fast. Maybe she hadn't planned on falling in love in college. Maybe it's just to late to worry about that now.
Love must be in the air. Chance Avery has fallen head over heals in love...with his mothers best friend. He has had a thing for Lisa since he was a teen. He knows she's older. He KNOWS his mother won't approve. He just can't help himself. He took a chance and told Lisa how he felt. He expected complete rejection. What he got was her confession that she had feelings for him too. They both know that people won't understand their relationship but how do you deny feelings this strong. For now they are keeping things quiet. Honestly Chance isn't brave enough to tell his parents anyway. His own mother was years younger than his father. Somehow though he doesn't really think that will matter when it comes to her own baby boy.
Across campus at the greek house, Aric and Connor Avery have both moved in. Aric got straight down to business (after a little make over). He is studying hard. He plans on entering the accelerated learning program. College is great an all but he can't wait to get back to the real world.
Ayla Avery has been working out and getting in shape. She is happy and in love. What more could a girl want?
Well she could want to get her friends to join the greek house. Ayla fears that Afton and Oron are simply withdrawing into their own little world. They wanted to come here. They need to embrace their new life. After a little coaxing, she manages to get them both to pledge. Then of course the boys put them to work doing their term papers.
Oron and Afton have both completed their second year of school. Oron has decided to keep knowledge as his focus. Afton has decided that perhaps fortune would be a better goal. Both men are getting to know people though not nearly as fast as Mazer and Ayla. Just because they aren't in a hurry to graduate and fall in love doesn't mean they aren't adapting to their new lives. Slow and steady wins the race, or so they read in a book somewhere.
Ayla isn't the only one who is recruiting new members for the greek house. Clay has some siblings and cousins that he wants to join up. He starts out with Cassia. She quickly agrees to pledge.
Connor is trying to work on his love life. Ok, start having a love life. He was sure that Vicki was the girl for him. The problem is all she does is talk about William. What is William up to? Where is William working these days? Is William dating anyone? How do you make a move on a girl that seems to have the hots for your uncle?
Connor called his dad just to check in. Ben was quick to point out that Ivy wasn't seeing anyone. In an attempt to humor his father, Connor calls up Ivy and invites her over to tonight's party. He tried making small talk with her. Things just didn't go over very well. Is it him? Do women just not find him attractive at all? Could the Avery charm have died out in generation three? After a very long conversation with Ivy, which did get somewhat better by the end, Connor heads inside. He walks past Clay and Ayla in yet another hot embrace. Just rub it in my face why don't ya. We are happily blissful and poor Connor can't even get kissed. Where do we keep the hard liquor?
Cassia was in the hot tub talking to her aunt Faith when she was joined by Leo and some girl she didn't know. Leo started telling everyone about all the new members of the greek house and their plans for the future. At least that's what she thinks he was saying. She wasn't listening to the words so much as his voice. He was so close to her. If she was smart she'd get up and walk away.
But Cassia didn't leave and neither did Leo. As the party wound down, they found themselves all alone. Leo knew he shouldn't touch her. He knew it was a mistake but he had spent years dreaming about getting Cassia Avery in a hot tub. He found himself scooting closer to her. She didn't move away. He put his arm around her. He could see the desire in her eyes.
So he kissed her. It felt so good to have her in his arms again. He had been with a few girls since coming to college but none of them make him feel the way Cassia does. Things were getting very hot very quickly when Leo heard Clay's voice drifting up the stairs. He slammed the brakes on hard. He didn't want Cassia's brother to catch them like this. She is with someone else. Keith can give her everything that Leo can't. It took every ounce of self control he had but somehow Leo managed to get out of the hot tub and walk away. He headed for a cold shower. That was just the way it had to be.
For a moment, Cassia sat their stunned and confused. She had just been given the one thing that she wanted most in the world only to have it snatched away from her. A few minutes later Clay walked into the room. He and Ayla were on their way to bed. He thanked her for pledging and told her to come by anytime. Cassia went into the bathroom to change. She then changed her mind. She needed Leo. She knew that he would never marry her. She knew that they wouldn't have forever. Maybe they could just have tonight.
Cassia slipped into Leo's room. The moment he walked into the room, she pulled him into her arms. She wanted Leo. That was all that mattered.
Leo had walked away once but he couldn't do it twice. Her kiss reignited a fire that had been burning inside him for to long. That night Leo finally had Cassia Avery. It was the best night of his life.
Which made the next morning all the harder. He couldn't lie to himself anymore. He loves her. He has always loved her. Love is the one thing he swore he would never do. His parents love each other. They got married because of his impending birth. They both cheated on each other. He would like to say that only Kaleb was effected by their affairs but it wouldn't be the truth. He was shaped by what they did. Even if he didn't see them doing it he always knew. Kids shouldn't have to live through that. He never wanted his kids have to deal with that. Not that he was ever going to have any kids. No wife. No kids. No love. But no Cassia? Why does that seem so impossible to him?
Leo got up and fixed breakfast. He tried not to think about the future. He had just finished putting the omelets on the table when Cassia walked into the room. He suddenly found himself down on his knees singing of her beauty. He had never planned it. It just happened. Suddenly he felt like he was turning into his father.
Cassia didn't know what to expect when she woke up alone that morning. She headed downstairs to find Leo without even getting dressed. When he began singing to her it just melted all the fears away. She can finally admit, at least to herself, that she still loves Leo. She always has. But what does she do about Keith?
Clay walked downstairs like he does every day but this wasn't just any day. This was the day he walks in on his sister in her underwear and Leo in his underwear and a song about beauty and lust. What the hell is Leo doing singing about his sister like that? Please let this be a bad dream. They can't have possibly spent the night together. She is with Keith. She has been with Keith for as long as he can remember. Leo is a player. He's been with a half dozen different girls that he knows of. This just can't be happening.
When Cassia finally noticed her brother standing there, looking shocked, she headed upstairs to get dressed. The moment she left the room Clay walked over to Leo. They needed to talk.
Leo felt like a little kid being told off by a parent. He even managed to look sheepish when Clay asked him if he had slept with his sister. What was he suppose to say? Yes and I would have just thrown her down on the kitchen table if you hadn't walked in. Instead Leo just looked at Clay and told him the truth. I love her. It was the last thing Clay expected to hear.
Clay stood there in silence. Could someone like Leo really love anyone? Maybe. He was a friend. She was his sister. He didn't want to see her get hurt. In the end that was all he said. Don't hurt her. You hurt her and you'll answer to me. With those words he left the room.