CHAPTER 10 – The Performance

Christina says sweetly, “I don’t play any instruments but I guess I can sing ok.” then looks at Joey.

Joey smiles a little, “I play piano.”

The committee leader jumps in excitement, “Wonderful! We will have Georgina and Christina sing a duet with the guys playing musical instruments. Zayden and Joey will both play the piano while Titus, Maximus and Enzo can play their acoustic guitars!”

It is almost 8pm when the freshmen are released, walking out of the multi purpose hall, Joey is surprised to see Titus, Maximus and Enzo waiting for him at the bench table outside.

Why are you guys still around at this hour?” Joey asks.

Waiting for you to go for dinner and we can discuss what song we want to perform.” Maximus replies.

Joey nods, not seeing Zayden around, he asks; “Just us?”

Maximus’s grin turns into a smirk, “Missing Zayden already? He has to send Georgina home but he will join us later.” Joey’s face turns red.

Enjoying the look of embarrassment on Joey’s face, Maximus laughs, “For all we know, Zayden will be the one missing you when you are crowned Mr Campus. I will go with Titus’ car and you will follow Enzo so he can then send you back since both of you are living in the same hall.”

Walking towards Enzo’s car, Joey receives a text on Telegram.

Noticing Joey’s smile while he is reading the message, Enzo asks curiously; “Happy news?”

Sort of. Hank is representing his faculty for Mr Campus so we will be competitors.”Joey says with a grin.

Enzo almost drops his car key sensor when he hears Hank’s name but regains his composure quickly.

When Enzo and Joey reach the restaurant, Titus and Maximus are already flipping through the menu mindlessly.

You drive like a tortoise.” are the first words from Maximus’ mouth when Enzo and Joey sit down.

They are almost done with the dinner when the loud chatting in the restaurant drops a few notches lower and a towering giant walks towards the 4 gorgeous men.

The diners at the entire restaurant are casting obvious lustful looks and not so subtle whispers of the five gorgeous hunks that are oblivious to all the attention.

Looks like I am in time for dessert.” Zayden says in his manly yet gentle voice and chooses to take the empty seat beside Joey.

Joey feels his heart misses a beat and look at Zayden, “Oh you are here.”

Enzo drives Joey back to Earl’s Hall after the dinner.

While walking up the flight of stairs, Enzo suddenly stops and looks at Joey, “Joey, can you ask that idiot friend of yours to stop bringing me breakfasts and he has been visiting our faculty far too frequent the past week, doesn’t he need to attend lectures or classes?”

Joey looks apologetic; “Is he bothering you that much? He is really a nice person.”

Enzo mumbles, “I know.” but then quickly clears his throat and continues, “He is embarrassing me. Max has been teasing me non stop and our classmates are all now talking about his infatuation on me.”

Joey nods, “I will have another talk with him.”

Enzo manages a weak smile and bids Joey goodnight when they reach his floor. Joey continues up the flight of stairs to make his way to his room.

Lukas is at his desk when Joey opens the door, their eyes meet and Lukas nods before asking, “Long day huh? It’s almost midnight.”

Joey is relieved that Lukas is breaking the ice, he replies; “The orientation took longer than expected.”

Ah, discussing the representative for Mr and Miss Campus?” Lukas asks.

Joey smiles, “Yes. I was nominated to be the representative and we were discussing the performance item. Who will be representing your faculty?”

Lukas blushes a little before saying shyly, “Me.”

Joey’s smile breaks into a wide grin and offers, “This is getting very interesting. You, me and Hank will be competitors then.”

The rest of the week is all about classes and more classes, with individual rehearsals that last into late nights after class.

Joey has been practicing the song item on piano with Christina on her vocals alongside but the 4 dapper princes and Georgina have not been joining them.

Hank, on the other hand, continues to bring breakfast to Enzo and Joey every day and then drags Joey to the canteen during lunch with the hope of bumping into Enzo to stick close to him, much to his frustration.

Hank has been spending all his spare time on Enzo and Joey that he has not been thinking of his performance item until he is given the final ultimatum from his committee leader to hastily decides to perform a magic show.

As for Lukas, he has been suppressing his embarrassment over his failed declaration to Joey two weeks ago and pretending to be as chill as he can whenever he is around Joey in the room.

Similar to Hank, Lukas only decides on his performance item after much chasing from his committee leader.

He receives a look of utter disappointment when he informs his committee leader that he will be performing a football trick.

With the performance show two weeks away, Joey and Christina are finally going to have their first combined rehearsal with the 4 dapper princes and Georgina.

Joey can feels his heart racing and his body all hot and warm when he sees Zayden taking his seat in front of the piano, he himself walks towards the same piano and when realizes his folly; he quickly makes a detour to walk towards his piano.

Joey also sees Enzo with his glasses on for the first time, not realizing that Enzo is short sighted and has been wearing lenses since they first met.

Hank stands at the far end of the multi purpose hall, shield by a few other students of the faculty.

He too notices Enzo is wearing glasses and feels his throat getting too dry at the sight; has to make a conscious effort to close his agape mouth.

Back on stage, Joey is feeling flustered and avoids having eye contact with Zayden.

Joey already makes mistakes with the first few notes being played on the piano keys.

Joey tries to calm himself down after a few false starts; even Hank is surprised at Joey’s subpar performance, as he knows Joey plays the piano very well.

Zayden gets up from his piano seat and walks over to Joey, giving a gentle pat on Joey’s shoulders, he says; “Relax, it’s just a practice. I am sure you plays piano very well.

Maximus, who is quite near to Joey, also chips in; “Chill. You can do it.”

The encouragement works and when Zayden walks back to his piano and the group play again, it is a perfect performance and the audience claps thunderously with loud cheers.

While they are clearing out the stage, Hank sprints to the stage and run up to Enzo, he swoons; “You played the guitar very well, and you look really cute with your glasses!”

Enzo rolls his eyes.

Zayden is about to walk towards to Joey when he is stopped by Georgina, who holds on to his thick arms and asks him to send her home. “It has been a long night and my legs are aching.”

Zayden casts another glance at Joey before he is being led away by Georgina.

The multi purpose hall is packed with students from all faculties at the performance night. Tonight is the first time the contestants and performers are in formal wears.

Even though all the guys are deck out in three-piece suits, it is not at all difficult to spot the hunky Hank and handsome Joey from the crowd who are neck to neck in the pre-performance online voting for the top 2 contenders for Mr Campus.

Sitting together with the performers and Miss Campus representative from his faculty of design, Lukas is unable to take his eyes off Joey who looks simply beyond handsome in his smart Gucci suit.

Standing beside Joey, Hank is decked out in Ermenegildo Zegna.

Hank has been giving his committee leader headaches since he reaches the backstage as he makes a beeline towards Joey and Enzo immediately and has to be dragged back to join the performers and representative from his faculty at the other side.

Hank will always sneak back to Joey and fuss over Enzo whenever his committee leader is not looking.

Zayden easily stands out as well with his giant size and great looks, is decked out in Tom Ford while both Maximus and Joey are in Gucci with Titus in Giorgio Armani.

Georgina oozes sex appeal in her pink Dolce and Gabbana gown showing off her ample cleavage.

The excitement backstage reach fervent high when Ryker walks in with Estrid, the reigning Mr and Miss Campus, representing the faculty of Engineering and Business respectively.

Opting out of the traditional three-piece suit, Ryker wears only Givenchy blazer, buttoning only one button that shows off his bulging chest, and chest hair with glimpses of the sexy trail of hair running from his navel down.

Estrid, in her Balenciaga dress steals a glance at Georgina from the corner of her eye to size her up to which Georgina ignores her.

Ryker scans around the backstage and quickly rests his eyes on Joey some distance away.

Leaving Estrid with the emcees, Ryker walks over to Joey with many females adjusting their dresses to show more cleavage when he walks past them.

Standing in front of Joey, Ryker speaks in his sexy manly baritone, “Remember me, handsome? Looks like you are a hot favourite tonight so you may be receiving the accolade from me.”

Joey eyes lit up and smiles happily, “Oh hi Ryker! So you are last year Mr Campus? Whoa.”

The 4 dapper princes and Hank all look at Ryker.

Seeing Ryker for the first time, Hank sizes him up and thinks to himself, “Damn he has that killer bad boy handsome look and that hot body. I better block him from Enzo’s view.”

Enzo bit his lips a bit when he sees Hank sizing Ryker up.

Maximus interrupts the moment, “You are living out your bad boy rep to the max. Everybody is in three-piece suit; you have to buck the trend and shows off so much flesh. Didn’t get the memo eh?”

Maximus’ sly dig doesn’t really bother Ryker who laughs; “Have it. Flaunt it. Georgina is doing a perfect job unlike Zayden, a tad too safe and boring.”

Zayden looks at Ryker coldly, ignores him and turns to Joey; “Try to mix around with the right crowd and not be so easily impressionable.”

Joey is taken aback with Zayden’s remarks and smiles awkwardly.

After introducing the faculties’ representatives on stage, the performances kick off one by one.

It is a no-brainer that the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences earn the loudest cheers and wolf whistles with their performance.

Hank’s magic show performance also receives many screams from the female audience and one of them even throw a red panty towards Hank on stage.

When it is time to announce the winners, all representatives are once again ushered up the stage.

Lukas is standing at one corner of the stage while Hank and Joey are pushed to the center.

Loud cheers and screams engulf the multi-purpose hall when the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is announced as the winner for the performance category; Joey and Christina accept the award on behalf.

Both Maximus and Enzo shout in ecstasy backstage with the win, but Titus and Zayden remain cool though there is a faint smile flashing across Zayden’s handsome face.

The emcee announces Christina is crowned Miss Campus, sending the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences into another frenzy.

Estrid passes her crown to Christina with a faint smile with Georgina looking triumphant backstage.

When the moment comes to announcing Mr Campus, the emcee drums up the excitement by revealing there are three clear front-runners with the top two in a deadlock and then invite Joey, Hank and Lukas to the front.

The three of them congratulate each other and Hank proceeds to embrace Joey very closely to him, leaving Lukas standing alone.

To everyone’s excitement, the emcee announces Hank and Joey as co-winners for Mr Campus.

Ryker reaches out and hug Joey, whispers in his ear; “Let me spend some time with you later tonight after you celebrates with your faculty.” before turning to give Hank his congratulatory hug.

Joey looks a little dazed when he is asked by the emcee on his thank you speech.

After stealing a glance at the cool as cucumber Ryker, Joey regains his composure to thank his faculty committee and his seniors for the performance.

When it’s Hank’s turn, he shouts loud and clear into the microphone, “This is for Enzo!”

Enzo almost falls off from his chair when he hears that backstage while Maximus chokes on his coca-cola.

The winners are then whisked backstage which is another chaotic scene, the various committee team and leaders are high-fiving each other and hug the winners with many stealing kisses on the sly.

Lukas is being pulled to one corner by his faculty to congratulate him on his 2nd placed win, it is the first time representative from the faculty of design is placed among top three in the campus history.

But Lukas’ attention is not with his classmates, he keeps looking around for Joey but never has the opportunity to break away from his classmates.

Hank is surrounded by his classmates and committee members, with Estrid among them but unlike Lukas, Hank quickly breaks away from his adoring fans and run towards Enzo who is at another side of the backstage.

Seeing Hank running towards him, Enzo tries to sneak his way out from the crowd but is stopped by Maximus and Titus.

He is coming your way, I can’t wait to see how he is playing his game.” Maximus sniggers and Titus can’t help but to laugh.

Together with them, Georgina slings her slender arms around Zayden’s muscular veiny arms; congratulates Joey and Christina, “You and Christina did us proud, and are now in the history books as the only faculty with two winners twice.”

By now, Hank is right in front of Enzo. He waves his trophy in Enzo’s face and unable to hide his excitement, “I promise myself to win this for you even though I have to go against my dearest darling.”

Enzo brushes Hank’s hand aside, looking both angry and yet embarrassed at the same time; “Why do you say that on stage? Are you crazy?!”

Because I like you and I want everyone to know that!” Hank says without missing a beat.

You are so going to be the talk of the town on Monday!” Maximus teases.

Hank reaches out to hug Enzo but Enzo ducks away, saying “Don’t you dare!”

Hank withdraws his hands, showing his brightest smile, says; “I can wait. You will fall for me ultimately.”

Come everyone for a group backstage photo before you go off for your celebrations!” the committee leader shouts into her loudspeaker to get everyone’s attention.

Both Hank and Lukas have to be dragged away by their classmates for their respective celebrations while Joey and Christina celebrate their wins with theirs, including the four dapper princes and Georgina.