“I know I look younger,” she admitted. “But I’ll be thirty in just a few weeks, so I’m not a child. You didn’t do anything immoral or illegal, Galen. You don’t need to worry about that.”
“You were still my student.” She could hear the bitter, self-recrimination in his tone.
“For a matter of hours by then. And even if you’d failed me, I had enough credits to finish without that class.” She wasn’t ready to admit she’d only taken the class as an excuse to see Galen. “So you really had no influence over my future at that point. But I’m sorry. I know how important ethics are to you and I do wish the scene in your office had happened a week later.”
“Yeah.” He rubbed his forehead. “I’ve been telling myself that we’re both only human and that these things happen. But—Christ, Lydia, I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind. For the past three years I’ve been forcing myself to look away and I don’t know if I can anymore.”
“Thank you.” It was nice to know she wasn’t the only one feeling unhinged. “You have no idea how stupid I’ve been feeling, having the hots for my professor all this time. Even if nothing more happens, it makes me feel a whole lot better to know the attraction went both ways. It wasn’t all some fantasy in my head.”
“You could never be stupid.” He frowned. “But you’re so young, so beautiful. What on Earth could you want with an old fuddy-duddy like me? I’ve got a son in college you know. He’d be laughing his ass off at the idea of us together if he knew.”
A son? She hadn’t known that. Which reminded her of another thought, one that tied her stomach into a knot of dread. “Wait a minute. You’re not—married—are you?” He’d said no in his office, but had that just been a lie because of the kiss?
He swallowed hard, almost snorting beer out his nose. A second later he laughed. “Hell no! Not for the last nineteen years. Even then I was too boring for anyone to stick around with very long.”
Whew! She allowed herself a sigh of relief. “Not involved with anyone then?”
Except for you, she wanted him to say. But she knew they were a long way from that particular admission. Instead, he said, “I heard you got the Kroner job. When do you start?”
“Monday. They’re housing the collection in the library, since they have the best facilities for document preservation, though the collection belongs to the English. So though I’m now officially a member of the English faculty, but my office and workspace will be up in the archives area.”
“That’s great,” he told her. “I knew you were the perfect candidate for that position. You were the best student either department has seen in years, maybe ever.”
“Thanks.” He’d been so hard on her in class, she could hardly believe his words.
“Very few students actually give me a challenge,” he went on. “It was fun to see the world from your point of view. You were always able to open my eyes to fresh views, new insights. And you never backed down, no matter how hard I pushed.”
Wow! He hadn’t been putting her down? She had no idea how to respond to that. She simply blinked.
“I don’t know what to do about you, Lydia.” He gulped down the last third of his beer and set the bottle on the scarred coffee table. “I’m forty-five years old, with a twenty-one-year-old son. You were my student, so this is totally inappropriate. I’ve tried so hard to convince myself that my attraction to you is nothing but a mid-life crisis. But tonight—I just couldn’t stay away any longer.”
She set down her glass and reached out, taking both of his hands in hers. “I’m glad. I’ve missed you Galen. And I couldn’t care less about the age difference. We’re both adults and I’m not your student any more. Would you like to see the bedroom?”
“I told myself we were just going to talk.”
“Talking is important,” she agreed.
“But as soon as I get anywhere near you…”
She smiled. “Your body gets other ideas, doesn’t it?”
He nodded back. “You’re not offended?”
She laughed. “Relieved. A little flattered. And very horny.” She reached down and pulled the T-shirt over her head. She knew her erect nipples were clearly outlined by the thin tank top. “Look at what you do to me. I’ve been dripping wet since the moment I saw you standing outside my door.”
He groaned and pulled her across the couch into his lap. She looked up into his eyes and saw the raw primal heat building there, gloried in the fact that it was all for her. Then she quit thinking as his lips crashed down on hers.
The kiss was greedy and raw, no gentleness or restraint this time. She loved it! She gave back as good as she got, tunneling her fingers into his crisp golden hair and sucking his tongue deep into her mouth. She straddled his lap and rubbed her wet panties across the bulge straining against the fly of his jeans.
He wasn’t interested in wasting time either apparently. One hand went up inside her tank top to press her close, the other slid down into her panties to cup her ass. She groaned against his lips at the heat generated by the contact. This time she wanted to feel more than just his hands and mouth on her though. This time she wanted full-body skin on skin. She grabbed the hem of his polo shirt in both hands. He cooperated, lifting his arms and breaking the kiss long enough for her to tug it over his head.
“Oh, yum!” She murmured the words as she got her first look at Galen’s chest. She’d known it was broad and well-muscled but… She felt moisture gush from her pussy as her eyes took in the sharp planes, the light dusting of golden hair and the flat-copper-colored nipples.
“I think that’s my line.” He pulled on her tank top and she raised her arms to let him remove it. “Unbelievable!” He buried his face in the valley of her cleavage, filling his hands with her breasts.
She was so lost in the sensation she barely noticed when he shifted her in his arms and stood. She was no lightweight, so she was as impressed as hell when he lifted her without a grunt.
“Which way’s the bedroom?”