Word Count: 3,095
What did one wear to lunch with your professor who you spent a good three hours out with the night before? Not to mention part of that time was spent making out with him. In his lap no less.
She was on her fourth outfit when someone came to her door informing her that she had a caller.
Did people really talk like that? She imagined they did when they worked for people like the Petrelli's.
She checked her phone after deciding this most recent outfit was good enough. She sighed at Brent's message.
SORRY I MISSED YOUR CALL. GLAD YOU GOT THERE ALL RIGHT. WAS WORRIED WHEN I DIDN'T HEAR FROM YOU. CALL ME WHEN YOU CAN. MISS YOU!
She'd taken the easy way out this morning, calling when she knew he'd still be sleeping. It was easy to do with a three-hour time difference between New York and California. Her plane being delayed and staying out too late with one of the relatives she was visiting was a logical – and good sounding – excuse for not calling yesterday.
She zipped up the new boots Angela had given her as a present. She wasn't sure how functional they were as far as keeping her feet warm and dry, but they were stylish and very beautiful.
She slid her coat on, grabbing her cap and gloves before heading downstairs.
"There you are. I was beginning to think you were going to stand me up."
"Sorry to disappoint. That would be kind of hard to do with you being here where I'm staying."
"Could still be done. Women can be crafty devils in my experience."
"Hmm," she said, noticing now standing next to him like this that the boots she was wearing added about three inches to her height. Brent wasn't hugely taller than she was, about five foot eight inches or so. Adam, however, was like a foot taller than her she noticed the night before.
"Well, I'm here and ready to go to lunch."
"Do you need to tell anyone you're leaving?"
"No. No one's here. Nathan went out somewhere," she shrugged. She was surprised Nathan had actually made it to breakfast that morning. She thought for sure he'd find some excuse to have a meeting or something to take him away from her early. His boys had eaten and returned to playing their video games, leaving the two of them at the table until they'd both finished.
It was odd sitting with him, but they'd talked. Small talk. It was all they really knew how to do with one another. She wondered if that would ever change, if they'd have a relationship beyond formal awkwardness. Maybe one day when it still wasn't so new to both of them.
She was just grateful he was letting her stay here. Christmas and New Year's in New York had sounded great, but she knew Peter's place was a little too small for her to stay with him.
"Another car?" she asked as he opened the door for her.
"Cheaper than a cab when I knew I'd be waiting for at least a few minutes."
"Very seldom have I encountered a woman who has been ready to walk out the door at the specified time. You made me wait far less than I imagined you might."
"Making me sweat out whether you'd changed your mind."
"I should have."
"Where should I start?"
"Is it your boyfriend or the fact I'm your professor most difficult for you to get around?"
"That you're my professor."
"You're not taking my class next semester?"
"Actually, I am."
"Oh, I see. Well, then I'll have to do my best not to show you any favoritism."
"We wouldn't want that."
"I just started the job, Claire. I'd rather not lose it so soon and so scandalously."
"I suppose that would put a crimp in advancing to larger schools."
"Slightly, yes," he said.
"So why bother then?"
"Bother with what?"
"Spending time with me here?"
"That should be obvious, but I still don't see why there's a question about it."
"If we have to go back to teacher and student."
"Who says we do?"
"You just said."
"Obviously if I'm fearful of getting caught showing you favoritism I'd presume I'm seeing you outside of the classroom."
He leaned toward her then, sliding a hand to her cheek before he kissed her. She'd waited for him to kiss her first unsure if last night was some inebriated fluke. He hadn't seemed drunk, but Claire wasn't too sure about guys yet. Brody's trying to take what he wanted and West's semi-stalking left her wondering a bit.
Well, here she was kissing another guy while purposely avoiding communicating with him. Brent was never supposed to be permanent and long-term, though. She had absolutely no intention of staying in Costa Verda any longer than necessary. Would she visit her parents? Sure. Assuming they stayed there once Claire moved onto a better college. They probably would for Lyle's benefit so he could finish in one school. She wanted nothing holding her back, though. She was brutally honest with Brent about that when he'd initially asked her out. Whether he still remembered, or believed her, was another story but it wasn't on her because she hadn't lied.
She slid onto his lap when they stopped to take a breath. She'd loved being here last night, so much easier to kiss him this way. He hadn't seemed to mind then. He didn't seem to now either.
His hands slid under her coat to her ass, cupping her there. She slid closer to him as she found his mouth again. She knew it was highly inappropriate. Last night she had pants on at least. Today she'd worn a skirt, which he seemed to like the idea of. A lot.
His hands slid a little lower along her thighs and he broke the kiss for a moment.
"Real? Or the new elastic kind young women are so fond of?"
She gave a soft laugh and kissed his lower lip before moving to his ear. She kissed him there.
"You'll have to find out," she whispered.
"I like that idea very much."
"Me, too," she said softly before kissing his neck. She had no idea what it was about him that had her behaving so oddly. Completely out of character for her. She'd heard in high school more than once whispered rumors regarding her being a tease. Or frigid.
She and West had never gotten past making out. Some touching over clothes. She and Brent hadn't even done that. Contrary to what his jock friends undoubtedly thought.
So what was it about this man that had her behaving so utterly unlike her? Even from the beginning and her dreams about him. Her reaction to not just the sound of his voice but the mere sight of him.
She'd tried last night to concentrate on Peter after not seeing him for so long. It had been hard to do. It – her attraction to him – was even worse listening to and talking with him conversationally. He was a good listener, contributed to the conversation yet didn't interrupt what was clearly to be a reunion between Peter and her.
She took one of his hands and put it on her abdomen under her shirt. She had to know if her dreams were even close to reality. She gasped at the jolt that shot through her at the contact. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine someone could make her feel like this.
The car came to a stop and only then did she realize the divider hadn't been put up.
"He couldn't see anything," Adam said. "Your skirt and coat stayed in place as best as I could ensure it."
"I do know how to be discreet."
"Could've fooled me."
"I'm not the one who seated you upon my lap."
"No, but you didn't stop me."
"Naturally, I have no fear of being caught here. A beautiful woman positions herself in such a fashion, I'm not going to push her away. Least of all you."
He got out once she'd slid beside him. He offered her his hand, which she took. He didn't let go when she'd gotten out of the car either. He laced his fingers through hers and she found she didn't mind at all.
"So," he said, sounding almost uncertain.
"Well, this is where I'm staying. There are plenty of places to eat around here as well as a restaurant in the hotel."
"Of course," he said.
"Let's do that then."
She followed his lead to the elevators. She was surprised – and in a way not – that his was a penthouse suite.
"Pretty good for a small college professor."
"It's not my only source of income."
"Right. Your books."
"Among other things. I'm a man of many talents and means."
"Want something to drink?"
He was watching her she knew as she walked to the windows to check out the view. She liked that he was watching her. She'd never been in a penthouse suite before. She could remember vaguely seeing one in a Julia Roberts movie years ago, but that was as close as she ever thought she'd come.
The room out here was neat, but obviously lived in. He had a laptop on the desk and she wondered if he was working on another book.
She walked back to him, amused a little that he hadn't moved. Did he think she was going to change her mind?
She slid her coat off, realizing as long as it was on their driver probably hadn't seen anything he shouldn't have. She draped it over a nearby chair, setting her cap and gloves on the seat.
"What are you drinking?"
"Well, you can have whatever you want. Wine. Soda. Beer. Harder."
"Harder?" she asked, smiling a little at that.
"Well, there's not a huge selection. The bar is stocked with the basics: whiskey, vodka, rum, Scotch."
"She ran a fingertip along his shirt front before reaching for his neck. She drew him to her so she could kiss him. The boots definitely helped make it not quite so awkward.
She helped him out of his coat. If helping involved practically tearing it off of him and leaving it in a heap on the floor anyway.
He reached under her sweater, cupping a breast. She pressed against the palm of his hand, groaning softly into their kiss.
His other hand slid lower, reaching for and pulling up the hem of her skirt. She reached for the front of his pants, squeezing him there. Her heart was beating a mile a minute as she took the step to work his belt.
He helped her with it, wordlessly reaching for it. He didn't brush her hand out of the way, though. Instead he showed her how to work it as if he understood this was new for her.
Somehow they started walking, slowly. Her backwards and him forward. She knew where they were headed. Her mind was screaming at her to stop. Once she'd gotten into his room and his bed she knew she wouldn't go back.
She didn't stop, meeting his urgent kisses with ones of her own until he finally broke the kiss entirely so they could get to the bedroom faster.
"Wow," she said, catching sight of the absolutely incredible bed.
"It's not my bed you're supposed to be having that reaction to."
She laughed softly as she sat on the bed. He stopped her from taking off her boots, kneeling in front of her to do it for her.
He skimmed her calves with his hands, higher up over her knees to her thighs as he stood. She reached for his pants then, wanting to remove the belt altogether but he stopped her.
"Lay down," he whispered and she did as he asked.
He was amazing. From head to toe there wasn't a spot on here he didn't touch or kiss (sometimes both) as he removed her clothes.
That's where logical thought left her for quite some time.
His fingers, his mouth, or his tongue. It didn't seem to matter what he did or which he used she responded to his ministrations easily. And intensely. Several times.
She worked the buttons on his shirt, but that was as far as she got with him. Not that being able to touch his bare chest was a bad thing.
Eventually, he stopped. Hands at her hips as he rested his head against a thigh.
"Are you hungry?" he asked after several minutes.
"What?" she asked confused. That was it? Not that she'd had a bad time, but what about him?
"I invited you to lunch. It occurs to me I haven't delivered."
"I'm not complaining."
He chuckled softly, sliding up along the bed so he was even with her now.
"That is very good to know. However."
"Did I do something wrong?"
"Wrong? What could you possibly have done wrong?"
"Well, you didn't. I didn't."
"Oh, you did. Many times."
"It wasn't about me."
"Isn't it supposed to be?"
"Not if it's done right, now. We'll have plenty of time to worry about to and with me."
He nodded, running a finger along her collarbone.
"But we're here."
"I'm not going to have sex with you while you're still conflicted about your love life."
"Does it seem like I'm conflicted."
"No, not at the moment, but that could change when you are back in familiar surroundings and see him again. The surprise of seeing me here having worn off. He's not going to let you go easily."
"We're not that serious, Adam. I've only been dating him a few months. He knows I'm leaving in the fall."
"It doesn't matter. I wouldn't let you go that easily."
"Because you're amazing."
She was quiet as she let his words wash over and through her. Amazing? She'd never thought of herself as that. It was nice to hear though, and oddly, especially nice to hear coming from him.
"I haven't talked to him since I left California."
"Fact remains, you may get back and rethink things. I won't have sex between us causing an issue either way. And, well, I don't want to feel as though I took advantage either."
"Why do you care? I'm willing to have sex with you."
"I've come too far, Claire, to have you look at me with regret. Or worse to know what you feel like and know I can't have you again."
"We have all week."
"Not nearly long enough to satisfy me."
"What if I want to?"
"We'll know when it's right. Don't worry. Cheating is not the way to begin a relationship."
"What was this then?"
"You are tempting even out of a bed."
"And yet you continue cavorting around with that insipid young man."
"Insipid? Cavorting? Are you a history professor or an English professor?"
"He's nice enough."
"I'm not there for the long term. He knows that. He knows I'm boosting up my grades so I can go somewhere else."
"Maybe he will follow you."
"I don't want him to follow me!"
"Does he know that?"
She shrugged. "I haven't hidden the fact when I leave I plan on leaving everything behind me."
"Bigger and better things?"
"Yes! There's so much to see and do. I'm not going to stay stagnant any longer than I have to be. I need these grades this year to show my high school transcript was a fluke."
"I had some … drama happen the last couple of years. It could have been worse I suppose, but not much."
"Well, you'll get it. You may need some help with Western Civ., though."
She turned onto her side, running a fingertip along his lips.
"A tutor, you mean?"
"Mm hmm," he said as he kissed her fingertip.
"One who writes books under a pseudonym?"
"Is that what you have the laptop here for?"
"I noticed it in the other room. Are you writing another book?"
"I'm always writing things. I keep a pretty detailed journal as well."
"Yes. My mind. Well, I don't always remember things as well as I should, so the journal helps me remember things. Good and bad."
"That's a good idea," she said.
"Indeed. I can't remember when I haven't done it. Much easier with a computer now."
"Oh, I bet. I had a diary when I was little, but I never wrote much in it. I was always worried my mom would find it and read it."
"So, no lunch?"
"Not right now, no."
"All right. I don't want to be accused of being a cheap suitor."
She giggled softly. "You say the oddest things sometimes."
"I do not."
"Not the things you say, I guess, but how you say them. You should teach English."
"I wouldn't be very good at it."
"Does your mother talk like you do?"
"No, not particularly."
"Where'd you learn it then?"
"I don't know. How does anyone come up with the dialect they chose to adhere to?"
"So, no lunch. Do you want your clothes back?"
"If I say no does that mean you'll touch me some more?"
"You have no idea how difficult it is for me to keep my hands off of you, Claire. I cannot. I shouldn't have taken it as far today as I did. Not when you're involved with someone else."
"Involved is such a touchy word. I'm not physical with him."
"No! I'm not attracted to him that way."
"I already told you. He's nice and he seems all right with the fact that I have no plans or sights set on being his wife."
"Just his wife?"
"Oh, I'd like to be one someday. You know. Just after I've seen the world a bit."
"It's not fair you know."
"You've seen me. All of me. I haven't seen you."
"In time you will and when you do, trust me, this discussion will never be had again."
"You'll stay naked as much as I want you to?"
"Within the laws the State of California has handed down, yes."
"I'll hold you to that."
"I suspect I will enjoy every minute of it."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com
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