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Out of My League Michele Zurlo 2022/8/3 13:51:31

“Thank you.” His tone didn’t match the meaning of the phrase. Without further exchange of pleasantries, Dr. Brindley left.

Mia gathered the papers she hadn’t yet graded and threw them into her bag. She only had a handful left to read. If she didn’t have to check them so closely for errors, she would have finished by now, but it was better to take the time with them now than have Dr. Brindley notice something and make her redo the entire stack.

And tell the class their papers were late because his TA lacked the ability to pay attention to details. She had been mortified the first time he had done that, and she went out of her way to make sure it would never happen again.

Kaelen came around and leaned against the side of her desk. He had unzipped his jacket when she wasn’t looking. Underneath he wore a blue plaid flannel shirt. The top three buttons were undone. A white cotton shirt crossed the span where she should have been able to see his chest. She’d seen him in a short-sleeved shirt that molded to his frame before. The sight had made her tingle in ways her vibrator couldn’t seem to cure.

She spied the yellow plastic binding of a report cover peeking out from under his arm. Shaking her head, she grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair. “No. Don’t even ask.”

He leaned closer, and the spicy, clean scent of his aftershave tickled from her nose to her pussy. That crooked smile sent pangs to her chest, and she wanted to drown in his dimple. “Mia.”

She loved the way her name rolled from his tongue. The two syllables had never sounded so sexy. His voice made her mind take flight and imagine a hundred sensual possibilities, all of them ending with the two of them naked, sweaty, and exhausted.

She dropped her gaze and focused on her serviceable, comfortable black shoes. That led her to take in the thick tights that sucked in a few of her extra pounds and kept her legs warm. And then she looked at the shapeless gray dress. Gray looked so much better in his eyes than it did on her body.

Drawing attention to herself had never been a high priority for Mia. She was smart, not pretty or artistic. Looking down provided a reality check. A man as handsome as Kaelen Sebastian didn’t flirt with someone as unremarkable as Mia because he was interested in conversation or kissing. Nope, he wanted special treatment that would save his grade. Shoving an arm into her jacket, she shook her head. “No. Dr. Brindley was just here. You should have talked to him.”

He lifted the other half of her jacket to help her put it on. His fingers brushed against her shoulder, sending shock waves crashing through her system. “Office hours are over. He wouldn’t have talked to me.”

She folded the flap to close her bag. Kaelen put his hand over hers. Electricity shot in all directions, but she was sure she was the only one who felt it. She jerked her hand away. “You could have walked out with him.”

“I’d rather walk out with you.” He flashed that dimple again. Damn if it didn’t make her resolve waver a little.

She stiffened and tried not to show how much he affected her.

“Please? I had to work last night. The paper is finished, and it’s damn good too. I think you’d like it.”

Students had used those excuses with Dr. Brindley before. She knew how he would respond. “School is a priority. You should have organized your time better.”

“Paying my rent and eating are priorities too. I got called in. I have to work. You work. You know how it is.”

Mia had never turned in a late paper in her life. She normally finished early, sometimes with a week or two to spare. She bristled at what had been said and what was implied. If she accepted the paper, he would let her pretend she wasn’t a nerd with no social life. If she turned him down, she would only confirm what they both knew to be true.

He flashed that smile again. Her knees grew weak, but fear of losing her job kept her focused. “If you slip it into your bag, he’ll never know. He’ll think I turned it in early and you just didn’t mention it.”

There it was. Professors gave nerdy students preferential treatment, cut them some slack when they messed up because they were better students than everyone else. Mia fit the mold. She knew the score. Professors had overlooked her mistakes a few times, though she had never abused the privilege.

And now Kaelen had maligned her character, and she could only think about what it would feel like to have him hold her down, shove her legs apart, and grind his hardness against her willing body.

WHEN SHE SHOVED her glasses up the bridge of her nose and pressed those lips in that prim line that had him fighting a serious urge to leap across the desk and kiss the vinegar right off her face, Kaelen knew he was fucked. His job as a Sault Ste. Marie firefighter sometimes meant he had trouble making it to class on time or finding time to work on a paper. Fires didn’t care about deadlines.