Take Me Home, Country Roads, was the tune that Tanner sung in the shower, as he lathered up with the aromatic, almond-scented bath gel; he was preparing for the walk around campus that he’d been putting off for too long. Tonight seemed like a good night to the young human boy since Keith seemed to be on his mind and he couldn’t sleep. The old John Denver song made him think of his own home back in Boonsboro, Maryland, just a stone’s throw from the West Virginia mentioned in the song; there were mountains here too, but they weren’t the Blue Ridge Mountains, not his mountains…there was no South Mountain looming above them like the one back home. Tanner had to admit that what he had seen of New Hampshire, from the helicopter, was beautiful, but it wasn’t home and this teenage boy from Boonsboro was feeling a tad homesick.
Towel drying and brushing his collar-length dark-brown hair, Tanner decided he would use the cell phone that the Dean gave him and call home in the morning. First, he would explore this strange new world. He selected a pair of tan cargo shorts and a white polo with some white docksiders for his adventure; looking into the mirror, he chuckled, thinking he looked like quite a preppy…and reasonably good. He slipped his wallet in his hip pocket and grabbed the campus map he was provided and boldly went where he’d never gone before.
Even being here at Emerald City-slash-Hogwarts, as he thought of it, Tanner still couldn’t believe he was attending classes with vampires, faeries, werewolves, demigods, nymphs and other such mythical beings; he still couldn’t believe that, after his almost affair with Keith, it was Britta, the nymph, who took his virginity. Why was it, then, that he still felt like a virgin? Was it because he’d never dated or even kissed anyone before he’d come here to Alden? Now, he’d almost lost his virginity to a handsome guy, before he got called home and then he did lose his virginity to a beautiful nymph. Both of them had told Tanner that he was beautiful; It made him blush to think it. Luckily, he was outside in the dark. He wasn’t sure how many students would be around at this hour, but he knew some would…he knew the students of this school operated at all hours. Being rather shy, the blue-eyed teen was hoping that, if he looked pleasant, others would speak to him first.
Tanner actually loved the night air and the peacefulness it usually brought with it. Standing by the school’s large fountain, he sighed and listened to the sound of the water, as he looked at the nighttime sky.