Celestiel University AU

Celeste is a lit student on scholarship at Oxford University – and one of many girls pining for Nate Prescott, the rich boy in her classes who’s very obviously out of her league – until one of their mutual friends convinces Nate to ask Celeste on a date.
Based on my characters Nathaniel and Celeste from my current vampire NA grimdark fantasy WIP “Escape the Night”.

โ€œHey, Cel!โ€
Celeste spun around and smiled slightly when she saw Keva running towards her. โ€œI didnโ€™t see you all morning! You okay?โ€
Celeste adjusted the scarf around her neck and buried her hands in the pockets of her coat. Shuffling her feet, she listened to the rustling of leaves on the cobblestones. โ€œYah,โ€ she said, evasive, glancing to the side. โ€œJolly good.โ€
On the other side of the yard, Nate stood surrounded by his group of equally handsome and rich friends.
Watching him made Celeste envious. She wanted to be close to him, but of course, she wasnโ€™t the only girl pining for him.
Unfortunately, Celeste was out of his league. She gave a sigh and turned her attention back to Keva.
โ€œDay 55 of wishing he would notice you, huh?โ€
โ€œA girl can dream.โ€ Demonstratively, she turned her back to him. โ€œHow was your class?โ€
โ€œOh, same old, same old. Yours?โ€
Celeste thought about that for a moment.
Technically, she was living the dream, studying literature at Oxford and in the fall too – like in those dark academia aesthetics that she kept stumbling upon on Pinterest. โ€œIt was all right.โ€
Truth was, Nate had been sitting two rows in front of her, and instead of listening to the lecture, she had been too focused watching him move.
โ€œGirl,โ€ Keva objected, nudging her arm. โ€œMaybe you should just go talk to him. Say hi, you know, like a normal person.โ€
Celeste rapidly shook her head. โ€œNo thanks.โ€
โ€œSuit yourself.โ€ Keva pulled her phone out of her pocket. Anyway, Iโ€™ll see you later, I have classes to attend.
Across the yard, Nate had taken to steering Benedict through the crowd of students that were trying to get back into the building.
They were laughing about something, Benedictโ€™s hands drumming on his violin case.
Soon enough, she lost sight of them both when she got pushed into the building by more students that were in a hurry to get to places.
Celeste pursed her lips, asking herself what Benedict had that she didnโ€™t have – but the answer was clear: Confidence.
She envied him for that, even though she couldnโ€™t help but think that Nateโ€™s friendship with Ben, who was confined to a wheelchair, was based on pity.
It wasnโ€™t that obvious that Celeste was there on a scholarship, she did her best to hide it, but she was scared of getting mocked for it regardless.
Especially because the other rich kids Nate ran with were all snobs with a stick up their ass.
She sat down in a random seat in the lecture hall for Shakespeare 101, considerably her most boring class of them all, dropped her bag on the table, and buried her head in it to mope.
โ€œIs this seat taken?โ€ย 
โ€œNo,โ€ she grumbled into her bag, not even lifting her head to see what stranger she was talking to.
โ€œCool,โ€ the stranger breathed out. โ€œThanks.โ€
โ€œYouโ€™re Celeste, right?
This time she did look up – right into Nateโ€™s face.
โ€œIโ€™m Nate,โ€ he added, a huge and dazzling smile on his face. โ€œNice to meet you.โ€
โ€œHah,โ€ Celeste exhaled, squeezing her eyes shut. โ€œMy pleasure.โ€
His grin didnโ€™t falter, even as he turned to unpack his bag. โ€œSo, Shakespeare, huh?โ€
โ€œUhuh,โ€ Celeste mumbled. โ€œI could do without it.โ€
โ€œValid.โ€ He placed his phone on the table. โ€œBut the manโ€™s an institution.โ€
โ€œMany things and people are institutions, and yet they donโ€™t let you study them at school,โ€ she returned, her eyes widening when Nateโ€™s phone lit up with a message from a certain Jonathan.
Just ask her, it read. The worst anyone could do is say no. Youโ€™re not bailing on us, brother dearest.
She looked away before Nate could notice she had seen.
Jonathan, as far as Celeste knew and was concerned, wasnโ€™t like the other spoiled rich kids in Nateโ€™s circle of friends – in fact, she never saw them together at school.
Next to her, Nate raked a hand through his hair.
โ€œSo,โ€ he said, โ€œI was wondering if youโ€™d like to come to a concert with me tonight. My brother and Benedict are playing a couple of pieces and-โ€ he trailed off, looking at her as if he desperately wanted her to say yes. It had quite something of a puppy.
โ€œDid Benedict tell you to ask me?โ€
Nate gasped. โ€œHow did you know that?!โ€
Celeste shrugged. โ€œHeโ€™s a bit of a nuisance, isnโ€™t he? But yeah, Iโ€™ll come – sounds like fun.โ€
If Keva could see Celeste right now, it would all be over – but Celeste was a little surprised at herself.ย โ€œ
Itโ€™s a date, then.โ€ Nateโ€™s smile reappeared, and Celeste smiled back.
Itโ€™s a date.
Thanks, Benedict.

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