Tell us a little about yourself.
There’s not too much to tell. I was born in Jefferson. My brother and his family live here. I teach at the local high school and an evening class at Jefferson College.
News is some unusual happenings at Jefferson College. Care to elaborate?
(She looks startled.) Uhm, I guess it depends on what you consider unusual. They just installed an energy drink machine in the commons. I don’t think that’s what you’re hinting at. There are rumors that Jefferson College is hemorrhaging money, which might explain the exotic stranger who showed up in my writing class.
A stranger sounds interesting. What can you tell me about him?
(Her eyes take on a far off look and she smiles.) He certainly isn’t from around here. Loretta and Orleana, two single teachers at the high school, know every single man within the thirty-mile radius. They’d definitely mention Marcus with his gorgeous skin tone and confident swagger. If only to tell me they had dibs on him. One night, he shows up in my writing class, gives me a fake name, slouches down in a desk and proceeds to watch me. I could feel his eyes on me even when my back was turned.
I can understand why that would upset you. Did you say anything to him about his behavior?
I didn’t say it upset me. I said I could feel his eyes like fingers touching me. After class, I did try to talk to him about his assignment, but it seemed like he was trying to flirt with me. I must be mistaken the effect of too many romance novels. (She laughs covering her mouth with her hand.)
What are you going to do to discourage this type of inappropriate behavior?
Do? (She gestures to her pulled back hair and conservative clothing.) Look at me I’ve already done it. At the advanced age of thirty-six, I do not look like any man’s idea of a hot time.
I would have to disagree. You are a beautiful woman. I happen to know there is a certain man who has his eyes on you.
You know someone. Really? I hope it isn’t that dentist in Frankfort. Who thinks he’s the reincarnation of James Dean. I never gave him my real name so he couldn’t follow up for a second date. Could you tell me who it is? Lately, I think I have better odds of death by stampeding ferrets than meeting an interesting man.
What about the new guy in your evening class?
Now, you’re just being cruel. He has no interest in me. Just a city boy out to fluster the teacher, that’s all. (She pushes her shoulders back and her chin goes up.) He will have no effect on me. None, not at all. I don’t even notice him in my classroom, in the back row, next to the wall with windows.
It sounds like you’re unaware of old what’s his name.
It’s Marcus Anton. There’s a fake name if I ever heard one. I don’t even hear him walk in the room despite the fact he’s wearing motorcycle boots. At first, I thought another one who thinks he’s James Dean, but somehow the boots suit him. Just like his longish curls complement his cheekbones. As I said before I never even notice him.
It sounds like you noticed a great deal for a woman not noticing him. What would you do if he asked you out?
It wouldn’t matter Jefferson College faculty is not allowed to fraternize with students. (She cocks her head and a sly look crosses her face.) Technically, he isn’t a student because he is only auditing the class. (Her look returns to the no nonsense teacher look. She folds her hands primly in her lap.) I don’t have to worry he won’t ask.
Teresa Gallagher did not expect to become an old maid school teacher at the great age of thirty-six, but she does teach and is single. She also didn’t expect a gorgeous stranger to slip into her university writing class. The man claims a historical name as his own and an interest in writing. She has high school students who lie better.
Marcus Aronson specializes in small colleges with problems. His company usually gobbles up the college, lays off people and takes over administration. Jefferson is his latest project. He slips into a classroom to check out if a favorite professor might be the embezzler. What he finds instead is a passionate woman hiding behind a button up exterior. Someone needs to release Teresa from her inhibitions and that someone would be him. There were rules about mixing business and pleasure. Rules he intended to break.
Marcus decided her expression wasn’t overly welcoming. Had he read the kiss wrong or was the problem that he shouldn’t know where she lived? Only a nosy person or someone with access to personnel records would know that. Still, her cutoff shorts were hot. What did that shirt say? He read the words aloud until she covered it with her hands. “Straight men…” Wait, what did she cover up?
He walked closer until they were nose to nose. The coconut-scented suntan oil teased his nostrils. Visions of tropical nights spent under a full moon, rolling around with Teresa’s long legs wrapped around him filled his mind’s eye. Speaking of legs, he glanced down to the limbs in question. Just as long and as magnificent as he imagined them that made it a double shame to cover them up. Still, he knew teen boys needed little to start erotic fantasies about their teachers. Why give them more fodder?
Her lips held onto the circle of surprise, which made him think of other ways he could shock those delectable lips. The slight hush of the pool filter, children playing in the distance, plus a tinny muffled dog barking registered in a corner of his mind. Two feminine hands held tightly under her breasts owned the majority of his attention. Whatever word she might be trying to hide with her hands did not quite cover the arrow pointing downward to an interesting zone.
“My sister-in-law’s a jokester. The shirt is a souvenir from her San Francisco trip.” She said the words breathlessly, while staring up in his eyes.
Placing his larger hands over hers, he deliberately wrapped his fingers around hers with the intention of lifting her hands off the obvious inappropriate word. What he didn’t count on was her determination to keep the word covered or their precarious perch at the edge of the pool.
“C’mon,” he cajoled when she pressed her hands even tighter to her midriff as she might be attempting CPR on herself.
She shook her head. “Nope, I’d rather be shirtless than have you read my humiliating shirt.”
Shirtless? Oh yes, he could go for that. “Sounds good to me.” His hands dove to the bottom of her shirt to help her remove it. A forceful push sent him wind-milling into the pool, clothes, shoes, sunglasses, and damn it, cell phone, and all.
She stood peering into the pool, her body quivering with suppressed laughter. He fished out his cellphone laid it on the edge of the pool. Her expression told him she couldn’t believe her eyes as he pulled out his wallet, his keys, and a waterlogged package of mints. He reached under the water, pulled off one, then another topsider and flung it onto the cement.
“What are you doing?” She stared at the growing pile.
He smiled at her very interested mien. The woman ate him up with her eyes. Good. He unbuttoned the two buttons on his polo and pulled it over his head. He wrung out his wet shirt, twirled it over his head like a stripper, and pitched in her direction, hitting her with a satisfying smack.
“Looks like someone invited me in for a swim.”
Her mouth opened and closed with no words coming out.
“Unfortunately, I forgot my suit so I have to improvise.” He slipped the belt from his khakis and let it float on top of the water like some mythical serpent. Teresa’s eyes followed as if it were Nessie. To think he took time considering what would be the right thing to wear only to end up drenched. Business casual did not serve him well.
Her eyes stayed glued to him as he reached for his waistband. “I’ll be right back,” she announced as she darted to the patio door. “Don’t go anywhere.”
Morgan K Wyatt, raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.
At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.
Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.