CHAPTER 9 – Ryker The Reigning Mr Campus

The awkward silence continues in the room with Joey sitting across Lukas when there is a knock on the door. Both of them are surprised and yet relieved at the same time.

Joey gets up to open the door and there stands Hank, looking dejected.

Before Joey can say anything, Hank says softly, “I have been kicked out, can you walk me to my car? I really need some support now, I have never been shut out like this my whole life.”

Somehow Joey is thankful when Hank asks him that question, he turns to Lukas and says, “You rest well. Hank needs me now.

Both Hank and Joey walk side by side without saying a word, Joey keeps stealing glances at Hank.

He has never seen Hank looking so lost and dejected, his curiosity gets the better of him; “What happened?”

He rejected me and kicked me out of the room. I don’t understand why sexual orientation has to come into the equation? I just want to know him better and be his boyfriend to protect him, love him more each day.” Hank lets out a loud sigh.

Joey wants to say something but stops himself, because of their difference in height; he reaches out awkwardly to place his hands on Hank’s shoulders and squeezes Hank’s broad shoulders tightly.

I will drive you back to the hall.” Hank says to Joey when they reach his car.

It’s al’rite, I will walk back myself. I can use some quiet moments too.” Joey declines.

Hank looks at Joey questionably before asking, “Are you ok?”

Way better than what you are feeling now. Just make sure you drive home safely ok?”Joey reassures.

Joey walks slowly back to Earl’s Hall and steps onto the road from the pavement mindlessly when a mean looking black Ducati 916 screeches to a halt behind him.

Startled, Joey falls onto the pavement. A man in all black ensembles gets off his Ducati 916, takes off his modular helmet and rushes over to Joey.

Joey looks at the man, pleasantly surprised at his handsome face.

The man’s floppy bleached ash-coloured hair covers his forehead but his thick bushy eyebrows accentuated the piercing eyes with brown eyeballs.

His sexy stubbles with long side burns exude a bad boy vibe and seem to be as tall and muscular as Hank.

Hey dude, are you ok? Sorry I startled you but you were walking onto the road and well I was going over the speed limit.” the man says sheepishly with a manly baritone.

It’s my fault, I wasn’t thinking straight and walked onto the road.” Joey says while brushing the dirt off him when getting up.

Come, let me help you up. Where are you heading to, I will send you back.” the man says.

Joey waves his hand and says, “Don’t worry, my hall is just another few minutes away. I can walk back myself. It’s fine.”

Ah, that must be Earl’s Hall. Come!” The man grabs Joey by his arms and directs him to his motorbike.

It’s really fine.” Joey is surprised by the aggressive gesture, something he doesn’t see from other men except Hank.

Joey is about to decline the gesture again when the man already takes out another helmet and put in on for Joey. He says firmly, “Don’t try to argue your way out of this.”

The man then gets on his motorbike, reaches out his hand to Joey, “Come hold my hand and hop on.” Joey follows his instructions like an obedient boy.

Hold on to my waist if you don’t wish to be flung off this monster.” Joey believes this is what he heard from the man with his helmet on.

Slowing his Ducati 916 to a stop in front of Earl’s Hall, Joey has to balance himself by holding onto the man’s shoulders to get off the motorbike.

The man gets off from his motorbike as well, reaches over to help Joey takes off his helmet without waiting for Joey to say anything.

Joey feels a sudden moment of shyness with his gentleman yet manly behavior.

I am Ryker, what is your name handsome?” the man flips up his visor and asks in his deep manly voice.

“Joey.”comes Joey’s somewhat meek voice.

See you around handsome Joey.” Ryker says with a wink and rides off.

Lukas is nowhere to be seen when Joey steps into the room, Joey lets off a relieved sigh before grabbing a towel to head to shower.

Enzo is woken up by the continuous knocks on the door the next morning; he gets up in a fit and walks over.

With his half open eyes to open the door, his first words are, “What the hell are you knocking on my door so early on a Saturday?”

I bought you breakfast!” comes the chirpy voice.

Enzo’s half closed eyes open wide and see a smiling Hank in front of him. “Fuck! Why are you..

Hank places his giant hand onto Enzo’s mouth before Enzo can continue his sentence and says, “Don’t curse and swear in the morning.”

Hank then forces his way into the room.

Enzo is fully awake by now, he growls, “Haven’t I made myself clear last night. Get out now!”

Hank ignores him, and places the breakfast on the table. He then turns around and look at Enzo lovingly, “Ok, I am leaving. Eat the breakfast while it’s still warm.”

Hank walks towards Enzo, Enzo takes a few steps back and demands; “What are you trying to do? Don’t come so close to me.”

Hank smiles and continue approaching the door, walking past Enzo to open the door; turns back and says, “Letting myself out.”

Hank runs up the flight of stairs to Joey’s room two floors up, and knocks on his door continuously.

Opening the door with sleepy eyes, seeing Hank at the door, Joey complains; “You need to stop this irritating habit of knocking non-stop. And why are you here so early?”

Hank pushes Joey aside gently and let himself into the room, in his chirpy voice, he says; “I bought breakfast, come let’s eat. Don’t sleep so much.”

Joey looks at Hank speechless.

When the two of them sit down at the table, Joey questions, “Please don’t tell me you bought breakfast for Enzo too?”

Hank gives Joey a broad grin, “You are definitely my soulmate, dear!”

No. You didn’t do that.” Joey opines.

Hank shrugs and nods, “Well I did.”

Did he chase you out then? Didn’t he already reject your advances last night and you were like a sad puppy, why are you so hyper now?” Joey asks.

Hank ponders for a while before standing up and holds Joey’s by his shoulders, “Dear, I never gives up. The more he pushes me away, the higher my fighting spirit. I thought it through last night, I am going all out to woo him!

Joey shakes his head.

Ignoring Joey’s expression, Hank looks around the room and asks, “Where’s your roomie, that soccer guy?”

”He is Lukas, please don’t be rude.” Joey rolls his eyes when answering.

Pausing for a while, Joey proceeds to share to Hank his talk with Lukas last night.

Hank doesn’t seem surprised, he points out; “Not surprising. You are a dude magnet and we saw how his eyes were devouring you that time.”

Okay, shut up. Let’s finish the breakfast fast so you can drive me home. I don’t want to stay here for the weekends.” Joey gives up.

The second school week kicks into high gear with back-to-back classes follows by orientation programme that lasts till night for the freshmen.

Addressing the freshmen who are all seated in the multi purpose hall, the committee leader says to the group, “Girls and Boys, today’s most important agenda is for all of you to nominate and decide who among you will represent our faculty for Mr and Miss Campus.”

The freshmen excitedly make their nominations and the nominated freshmen are then called up to the stage, Joey is one of them.

There are audible shrieks of excitement when the committee leader introduces the nominees, with the loudest for Joey.

It is no surprise then that Joey wins the nomination with a landslide victory and will represent the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in the upcoming Mr Campus.

Christina from English Language and Literature is the faculty representative for Miss Campus, winning the nomination by a whisker.

The committee leader emphasizes the expectation for Joey and Christina to walk away with the accolades this year.

Looking at Joey directly, the committee leader exclaims, “We are very sure we have the strongest contenders this year. We miss out the fiercely fought competition last year but the committee have absolute confidence this year that we will relive the glory your seniors brought us two years ago!”

Right on cue, the 4 dapper princes and Georgina walk into the hall and the committee leader lets out a sharp scream; “Oh my god! Zayden! Georgina! Freshmen, on your feet! Let’s give our loudest cheers to our glory!”

The claps and screams continue even when Zayden and Georgina make their way to the stage, despite the committee leader’s fruitless efforts to quiet the loud crowd which eventually platters out after a good five minutes.

So these two lovelies are our representatives this year? Great!” Georgina says in her trademark saccharin voice.

Zayden looks at Joey and gives a nod of approval. Joey feels his face turning red when their eyes meet.

We must win this year so the committee has asked the 4 dapper princes and Georgina to support our nominees in the performance round. Can either of you play any musical instrument or have a singing voice?” the committee leader asks.