Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

The Autumn Leaves Swirl As The Boys Of Foxbury Make Some Decisions!

Autumn, Year 3
“You’re honestly telling me that you went on a date with Rebecca Linvingston, probably the sexiest actress on the planet and you didn’t enjoy yourself?” Riccardo stared at Rohan in disbelief. “Are you blind, or something?”
Rohan shrugged. “No. I just found her…overwhelming.”
Riccardo glanced at Elliott who also shrugged. Neither of them could understand it but Rohan seemed upset.

Sighing, Rohan left the library and trudged down the hill to the river. He was in a brooding mood and didn’t really feel up to talking. Riccardo’s reaction hadn’t been what he’d hoped and he felt a bit low.
“Rohan? Oh, there you are.” Elliott came puffing down the ramp and stared at Rohan laying on the ground. “What are you doing?”
“Looking at the clouds.”
“Oh.” Elliott bit his lip. “Look, Rohan. Don’t feel bad. Ricky’s all talk anyway, he’d probably wet himself if Rebecca Livingston asked him on a date. Just because she’s popular, doesn’t mean she’s everybody’s cup of tea, okay?”
Rohan nodded tearfully.

The following day, Elliott went over to Larry’s Lagoon with Rohan.
“I just don’t think I want to go ahead with it all,” Rohan explained.
“I think I understand,” Elliott replied thoughtfully. “I mean, she’s famous and anybody she dates usually ends up in the tabloids soon afterwards. When you’ve got coursework to focus on, it’s not really the kind of attention you want or need right now, is it?”
“Exactly!” Rohan looked relieved. “Oh god, thank you Elliott. That’s exactly it. She terrifies the life out of me.”
Elliott laughed. “I can understand that.” He stood up. “Game of darts? I think you owe me one.”
The boys went over to the dartboard and Elliott watched with a critical eye. “Don’t even think about beating my score.”

Meanwhile, Riccardo was enjoying himself back at the dorm with some of the girls. Lucia was watching an action movie and Ashley was standing up, criticising it at every available moment. Riccardo thought both girls were gorgeous and was wondering how would be best to chat them both up without the other one knowing.
Unfortunately they were bickering too loudly over the movie, so he gave up for now.

Elliott was trying his luck with Nicola. He’d liked her the minute he’d met her during their first day and he’d been plucking up the courage to talk to her but to no avail. She wasn’t interested.
“She probably fancies Ricky,” Elliott grumbled as he whacked the table tennis ball back across the net.
“What about that girl, over there?” Rohan nodded towards the computers. “The one with curly hair. She’s been watching you since you came back in.”
“Really?” Elliott glanced over and saw the girl blush. “Hey, thanks. Maybe I’ll chat to her.”
“Good luck.” Rohan grinned and grabbed his bag. “I’d better be off, anyway. I’ve got a paper due.” With a wave, he left the building and headed back across the campus.

“Hi there,” Elliot said as he sauntered over and sat opposite the girl. “I’m Elliott. Elliott Valentine.”
She giggled. “I’m Danielle. Hutchins.”
“You’re new?” He asked.
“Yeah. I just started. I’m normally waitressing over at The Tudor Tavern but I feel like a want to progress a bit more with my life.”
“Hey, I understand that.” He glanced at the clock. “Have you got time for a coffee?”
Danielle blushed. “Um, sure. Why not?”

Elliott took her out to COASTAL in Gibbs Hill. It was late afternoon and the skies were clear and blue and the weak autumn sunshine trickled through the trees.
“It’s beautiful here,” Danielle commented. “I think Britechester’s so pretty.”
“Me too,” Elliott agreed. “I’m from Brindleton Bay so I’m used to the countryside. But this is something else.”

They ended up having a fantastic time and stayed until nearly midnight. Elliott took lots of photos and later put them together in an album. It really was magical and he left the river and drifted back to Foxbury with a dreamy expression on his face.

“Ricky?” Rohan called from the common room. “Ricky, you’re Dad’s here!”
“Papa?” Riccardo came out of his room and hugged his father. “What are you doing here?”
“A father can’t drop in on his son from time to time?” Magnus laughed. “I wanted to see how you were!”
Rohan watched from the table and felt a little stab of envy. He didn’t have parents who could drop in to see him. He hadn’t even heard much from his grandparents.

Elliott was stressed. He’d been talking to Ryan on the phone and the arrangements for him moving in with his brother weren’t going all that smoothly. He was frustrated and grumpy and generally raging when suddenly, Danielle arrived at the dorm. Naturally, he wanted to give her a proper welcome…

“Elliott!” Rohan hissed through the door. “I don’t want to alarm you but your Mum’s here.”
“Shit! Quick, we’d better get dressed,” Elliott said to Danielle, who giggled.
“Elliott? Oh it’s lovely to see you sweetheart…” Maggie faltered when she spotted Danielle smoothing her hair down. “And who’s this?”
“Mum, this is my girlfriend, Danielle. Danni, this is my Mum.” Elliott could feel his cheeks reddening by the minute.
“Lovely to meet you, Mrs Valentine.” Danielle said.
The room fell quiet. Maggie blinked a few times and shook her head. This wasn’t how she’d expected the meeting to go.

“Get me the largest drink possible,” Elliott said later as he joined Rohan at the party outside. “That was hell.”
“Not good then?” Rohan asked.
Elliott shook his head. “God, no. Mum’s very disapproving of me and Danni.”
“Why?” Rohan asked, confused. “Danni’s great. You two are lovely together.”
Elliott smiled. “Thanks, Rohan. I dunno. She’s being a bit unfair. I mean, she’s the one who forgot how to use contraception. That’s why she’s in the bloody condition she’s in.”
Rohan bit his lip. Sometimes, there was something to be said for having a small family.

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