her heart finally told her to stop wasting her time

A New Start-Zig x MC Fanfic

Finally got this bad boy done! I started before the Freshman chapter update and then I read the chapter update and it took me two days to recover LOL. But, anyway, I’m not completely happy with this but I hope it works. This is rated T for some sexually suggestive moments. And this fic is for the #ChoicesCreates Carnival currently being hosted by @hollyashton for the prompt “My heart finally told me to stop wasting my time.” Well…enjoy!



It was a warm, clear day but she wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it. She gazed briefly out the window in disdain before turning back to the computer screen.

She sighed in frustration as she continued typing, finding herself deleting and rewriting the same line over and over. This novel was going to be the death of her. She loved Professor Vasquez dearly and missed him just as much. But part of her still couldn’t believe he’d tasked her with finishing his book.

One more paragraph…just one more was all she needed. Then she would be ready for her next meeting with Professor Atiyah. She would also be free to call up Zig before he had to head to work.

Things had been going well between the two of them since they’d started dating a month ago. He was the most attentive guy she’d ever been with. He always seemed to be able to tell when she was feeling down or frustrated and knew exactly what to do to cheer her up. He regularly brought her coffee and little baked goods from work. He’d learned quickly that the strawberry scones were her favorite and he made sure she stayed stocked up. A sly smile appeared as images of their last late night romp flashed through her mind. He was no slouch in bed either.

As if on cue, the door to Professor Vasquez’ office opened and there stood her boyfriend, looking anxious and worried. She got to her feet, immediately coming toward him, an eyebrow raised in confusion.

“Hey, you. I didn’t expect to see you here. Is everything okay?”

He hesitated before responding. “Yeah. I’ve just been…thinking about something.You got a second?”

She nodded, trying to ignore the knots forming in her stomach. Her heart was pounding mercilessly in her chest. She’d never seen such uncertainty in his expression before. It was unnerving and she braced herself for bad news.

“Of course. What is it?”

He ran a hand through his hair and glanced down at the carpet before finally looking back up at her. “So, I was thinking about that scholarship. The one I helped Chris and Arjun with? I was thinking maybe I might go for it.”

He still looked unsettled and she took both of his hands in hers, fighting the squeal threatening to break free from the back of her throat. “Are you serious?”

“I’m not totally sure but yeah, I’m thinking about it.”

“That’s great, Zig!” Her mouth split open onto a wide grin.

He nodded half-heartedly and her smile faltered. She led him to a couple of chairs across from the desk. Something was obviously bothering him and she intended to find out what it was.

“You don’t seem at all excited about this,” she observed.

He shrugged and blew out a frustrated breath. “I’m just…worried, I guess.”

She squeezed his hands. “About trying?”

Another shrug. “Something like that. I’ve just spent a long time struggling to stay afloat. Every time an opportunity to do something better with my life came along, it was immediately squashed…sometimes because of my own screw ups and sometimes because of things I couldn’t control. It was almost like some cruel joke.”

She nodded sympathetically as he continued.

“Then I moved here and met you and you care about me just as much as my family does. In fact, you’re the only girl I’ve ever dated who liked me for more than just the physical stuff. And on top of that, this scholarship appeared and I started to feel pressure because I don’t want to disappoint you or my sisters or…”

“Yourself?” She finished for him.

He paused before giving one quick nod. She stroked his cheek tenderly with her thumb. “Hey, you know I want this for you. But, I’m not trying to make you do it. I’m happy you helped out Chris and Arjun with the initiative and everything else. You’re a big reason this scholarship even exists now and it’s going to help a lot of people. But you did that because I wanted you to. All I ask is that you do this now because you want to.”

He gazed intently into her eyes before leaning in to kiss her softly. When they parted, he still had apprehension in his expression, but he appeared slightly less nervous. Still, he got to his feet and began pacing.

“I know. I just keep thinking I’ll mess this up too or they’ll just say no to me. I don’t know if I can handle that…”

She stood, drawing him into a hug. She slipped her arms around his waist and snuggled into his chest. He rested his chin on her head, heaving a deep sigh as his arms nestled around her.

“I know this is scary and it’s a big risk. But whatever you decide to do, I’ve got your back. Okay? No matter what, you’re not alone, Zig.”

He nodded again before leaning down and resting his forehead against hers. Momentarily they both looked into each other’s eyes. He spoke first.

“Thanks. I’m grateful for you, you know that?”

She nodded, smirking. “As you should be. I’m a catch.”

He chuckled at her teasing and she smiled. It was just the reaction she was hoping to get. Then he glanced at his phone screen. “My shift’s starting soon. I’ll call you when I’m off, okay?”

“Please do.” She winked and he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before releasing her and disappearing out the door with a wave.

She collapsed back down in her chair at the desk, her fingertips at her temples. Everything inside of her wanted him to go for this. He’d been trying to hide it, but she knew just how badly he wanted to go to school. She’d seen him pausing to glance at textbooks in the bookstore whenever they stopped in. She’d noticed him eyeing the course catalog with a highlighter to mark classes he was interested in. It stung her to watch him shove down that desire and he seemed to be doing it to spare himself the disappointment and to avoid his own feelings. But that’s not what she wanted for him. She would almost rather hear him yell or scream if it meant she got to see him express a genuine emotion about his future.

That’s why she hadn’t been fazed by his anger outburst in the cafe back when Chris and Arjun had first proposed this plan. Although she was upset to see him hurting, she was also happy to see the passion behind his anger. To know that he cared about more than just keeping her safe. That he was starting to consider caring about himself.

She returned back to her work, still with the image of his troubled look etched into her brain. She hoped he would decide to put himself first for once and go for this opportunity. She would be right there to help him with whatever he might need. But, as much as she wanted to talk him into it, she knew she would have to let him make this decision on his own.

~o0o~

Somehow, she found herself with a little alone time in the suite on a Saturday afternoon. All of her roommates were off hanging out with friends or each other and she was enjoying having the space to herself. Zig would be coming by any minute which would make her afternoon that much better.

She still couldn’t help thinking back to the day they’d talked about the scholarship. It had been a couple of weeks now and she’d promised herself not bring it up but inside she was a ball of nerves. He’d been so conflicted and tense that day, she was positive he wasn’t going to go for it. She knew the deadline was fast approaching and it took all of her willpower not to pester him about it. Everything would be fine in the end, whether he went to school now or not.

She heard a quick knock at the door and jumped up instantly. When she answered, Zig stood on the other side of the door, his signature smirk on his face. He looked so sexy and she’d been craving him for the past two days. Without a word, she yanked him through the doorway and slammed the door closed, locking it behind him. Then she grabbed the back of his head and pulled him toward her, causing their lips to crash together. She attacked him hungrily, her kisses moving from his top lip to the bottom one and back again. She was just beginning to deepen the kiss while slipping her hands underneath his shirt when he reluctantly pried himself away, flushed and breathless.

“Woah, hold up there, tiger!” He teased, his hands raising in mock defense. She narrowed her eyes at him and folded her arms.

“Seriously, Zig? I tell you we have the whole suite to ourselves and you don’t want to do anything?!” She didn’t even try to hide her frustration and he chuckled.

“Hey, relax. Of course I want to! I always want to. But I have something to show you first.”

He pulled out his phone and opened up his email. He then scrolled to one particular message and held it out for her to see.

Dear Applicant,

 We are writing to inform you that we have received your complete application package for the Second Chances academic scholarship. You will be notified as soon as selections for the upcoming school year have been made.If we should need any additional information from you, we will contact you directly with….

 

There was more in the email but she could no longer concentrate on the words. She couldn’t believe her eyes…he’d actually gone for the scholarship on his own! She shifted her gaze to his and held it for a moment, clearly seeing the excited glint in his eyes. Then she suddenly slammed into him, wrapping him up in a bear hug. He stumbled backward a few steps with the force of her embrace but quickly recovered, chuckling. She felt him stroke her back, giving her a small squeeze back.

“Oof! Hey, babe, could you loosen up a bit? I can’t breathe.”

After a moment, she pulled back, searching his eyes.

“So you did it, huh?”

He nodded sheepishly. “Yeah.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? I could’ve helped.”

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to go through with it. And when I finally decided to, I really wanted to do it on my own. I also thought it might make a nice surprise for you.”

She grinned. “It’s the best surprise ever. But, I have to say…after that conversation we had, you didn’t seem like you were going to apply.”

“Honestly, I really wasn’t sure. It seemed like a long shot. I mean, why would they pick me? I still feel that way now but something in me just told me I need to stop wasting my time. This could be a new start for me. So I went with it.”

She carefully placed her hand against his breast bone and slightly to the left, her fingers splayed out across his chest. “Sounds like you’re finally listening to your heart.”

He nodded, slipping one arm around her waist and pulling her close. He placed his other hand on top of the one she had near his heart and curled his fingers around her smaller ones.

“I already did it with you and that decision is turning out to be my best one yet. So I just hope I’m lucky enough to have it happen again.”

Her face heated up instantly and she smiled. This time he leaned down toward her and gently pressed his lips to hers. He pulled back after a moment, his eyes finding hers again.

“Thanks for being there for me through this.”

“Zig, you’ve been there for me since day one. It’s the least I could do. And I really believe you can get this scholarship. So don’t worry too much, okay?”

He smirked. “I’ll try.”

“How long until you hear back?”

He thought for a moment. “I think the email said they’ll start notifying us in about a month or two.”

“Alright. So we need to figure out a way to keep you occupied until then.”

An intensity entered his gaze as he leaned down to gently kiss her neck. “I think you were on the right track earlier.”

“Yeah?”

“Definitely.”

He continued to work his way around with his kisses until he reached the other side of her neck, settling on an area between her jawline and earlobe. She felt her entire body shudder and a needy moan escaped her lips. Dammit, he knew exactly where her spots were.

“How much time do we have?” He murmured.

“A couple hours.”

He nodded. “Perfect.” Then, in one swift motion, he lifted her up easily, one arm at her back and the other behind her knees. He made a beeline for her room and she giggled as he attacked her neck with more playful kisses.

As much as she was ready for some one-on-one time with him, she couldn’t help but think about how proud of him she was. He’d stepped far outside of his comfort zone to apply for this scholarship and she could only hope that his efforts would be rewarded.

But more importantly, he was finally going after his dream. She couldn’t wait to be there by his side when he finally achieved it.

1034

“My heart finally told me to stop wasting my time”

Word Count: 666 lmao

Book: Rules of Engagement

A/N: Implication of sex. Alternate turn of events which is presumably between Chapter 18 and 19 of Book 1. I’m using the default name of the bookish sister, Nicole, for this.


Tossing. Turning. Tumbling.

So much had transpired over the past few weeks. From the Blaire Hall wanting her to join Mansingh Transglobal, to Audrey reciprocating her romantic feelings, Nicole didn’t know whether to feel agony for all that had been added to her plate or glee from being in the best place she had been for years.

She couldn’t sleep. But she couldn’t get out of bed either.

Closing her eyes. Opening them. Closing them once more.

What could she do? Wake up Audrey, who was laying nude next to her? Not a chance. Plus, she looked adorable while asleep.

Count the number of squares on her bed sheet? Been there, done that. That was not something she liked doing.

Nicole decided that she might as well look at her schedule now that the internship would take up most of her time.

Whilst attempting to avoid stepping on a pile of underwear, she clutched her smartphone and looked around.

Her thumb pressed “Photos”.

Nicole was about to exit the application until she saw her only two albums.

“Internship”

“Audrey”

Now at her desk, she scrolled through the first album, looking at the pictures.

The picture of her binder when she first organized it.

A (Photoshopped) selfie of her with Blaire Hall.

A page of notes.

The Mansingh HQ’s photo.

All of this was important to her—from the photo of where she aspired to work from the first chunk of notes she took for her internship.

Then she looked at the other album.

The picture of Audrey wearing the Captain hat.

A photo of the mountain they planned on hiking

The dress Audrey wore to the ball.

This too was significant to her; before Nicole met Audrey, her life was monotonous. She was just going through the motions. But when she met Audrey, every day was something new. Nicole didn’t know what would happen next—and she liked it that way.

Exiting Audrey’s album, Nicole was ruminating faster than she had ever for the internship. Both Mansingh and Audrey were huge parts of her life; without one, she’d wish to have the other.

Mansingh or Audrey. Mansingh or Audrey. Mansingh or Audrey.

Nicole knew she had to decide what to pick at some point, but she kept delaying it. It always seemed to early to decide. The worst part was that she couldn’t choose both. Only one could be hers in the end..

Maybe looking at the number of photos in the album would help her decide. Whichever had more photos would win!

“Internship (1034)”

“Audrey (1034)”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHH!” she screeched, banging her head against the wall. Audrey moved a little, but she obviously wasn’t awake. If only she were awake though. Maybe they could discuss the dilemma.

After wasting the notepad the cruise provided with a list of pros and cons, both added up to the same amount. It was as if the world wanted Nicole to delay the decision.

Defeated, she sauntered back to her bed, peacefully clearing her mind of her thoughts.

Just as Nicole was about to delve into sleep…

“Nicole… whether you go for the internship or not… know that I’ll always remember you”.

Lacing her fingers with those of Nicole, she smiled.

“Do whatever pleases you.”

There were so many interns that Mansingh wanted. But there was only one person that Audrey wanted.

Somehow, all the thoughts she had about Mansingh had been destroyed. There was only one thing, no person, Nicole needed—and her name was Audrey.

My heart finally told me to stop wasting my time. I need you.” Nicole boldly proclaimed.

“Would you mind if we took a picture?” she said, before Audrey could say anything.

“We’re both naked, silly!”

“What happened to the old, risk-taking Audrey? Are you too chicken?”

“You got me there, Nicole!”

Grabbing Nicole’s smartphone, they took a selfie, while laughing and reminiscing all that got them to that very moment.

Just before going back to sleep, Nicole looked at her smart phone.

“Internship (1034)”

“Audrey (1035)”