“The card is the key.”

What the hell was that supposed to mean?

Lydia had been able to think about little else all day.

Once again she was working late in her office. No big surprise. The campus library was still pretty active, even at six o’clock on a Monday evening. Plenty of people took summer classes or used the summer to work on research projects.

“All I see is red.”

She’d gone home and done a reading for herself but all she’d been able to see was the Hierophant. Yeah, like it took the cards to tell her Galen was a major complicating factor in her life right now. The weird thing was she’d gotten what looked like three conflicting outcomes. And she didn’t know which was scarier—Death, the lonely sorrowful Queen of Swords, or the visibly pregnant Empress. That one made her shudder and reminded her to make a doctor’s appointment. She’d come to the conclusion that her own internal turmoil was messing with her reading and that she wouldn’t get a straight answer from the cards until she calmed down some.

She forced herself to spend the workday on other things, worried that she was letting herself get too obsessed with what she was now calling the Alcineath scroll. But now that five o’clock had come and gone, she allowed herself to take out the copy and study it. She pulled out the bottom file drawer on her old steel desk and propped her feet up on the sturdy side of the drawer while she read and reread the copy. The position put her back to the door and she had ear buds in with a web radio broadcast playing on her computer, so she didn’t see or hear anyone at her door until a pair of hands settled on her shoulders.

“You planning to stay here all night?”

Lydia shrieked and spun in her chair. The movement yanked the ear buds out of her ears. She heard Galen’s soft laughter at almost the same time she registered his sandalwood scent.

“You’re back!”

“I am. Can I take this to mean you missed me?”

A quick glance to her right told her that her door was shut. She’d covered the window in it with a poster the first day here so that when she closed it no one could see in. Originally that had been for security purposes since she worked with valuable materials but now she could think of another advantage.

“You can.” Her arms wrapped around his waist and she squeezed, pressing her face into his stomach. “How was the conference?”

“The usual.” He slipped his hands under her arms and pulled her to her feet for a long satisfying kiss. She wound her arms around his throat and opened for him, pressing her body full-length along his. She could feel his erection prodding into her stomach and she shimmied against it. She could already feel her panties getting wet beneath her broomstick-style skirt and her nipples ached where they rubbed against his solid chest.

“Usual what?” She gasped for air and smiled at him when their lips finally drew apart. He sat on the desk and drew her down into his lap.

“Usual bad food, boring talks and annoying networking, all for ten minutes worth of really useful information.” He nibbled on the point where her neck met her shoulder while his hands toyed with the sides of her breasts through her summer-weight sweater and satin bra.

“Which is why we all go to the stupid things.” She sighed and tipped her head to give him greater access while her own hand slid up under his golf shirt.

“Umm-hmm.” His tongue swirled around her ear. “And remind me next time to make sure I sign up for one my department chair isn’t going to.”

“Oh, that had to be fun.” She shifted a little to bring his palm to her swollen nipple, then whimpered when he found it and pressed down.

“Loads.” He nipped her ear lobe then turned his attention to getting his hand beneath her bra. “Lord, I missed this!” His voice dropped so no one could hear them beyond the thin office walls. He squeezed her breasts gently and chuckled. “Missed these too.”

“Yeah they missed you too,” she whispered back. He shoved her bra up out of the way and massaged both tips, making her arch into his hands. “Did you lock the damn door when you came in?”

“Do I look stupid?” One hand left her breast to go questing down past the elastic waistband of her skirt. “Of course I locked the door. Your period over?”

“Oh yeah! Nothing in the way.” She loved that he could discuss such personal issues so matter-of-factly. His long talented fingers had delved into her wet folds, testing her readiness. She stood so he could strip the panties off down her legs. “I knew there was a reason I wore a full skirt today.”

Galen stood up and turned her so she was facing her desk. “Bend over. Brace yourself on the desk.”

She creamed even more just from his voice in her ear, let alone the idea of him taking her from behind while she bent over her desk. She widened her stance to give him plenty of room between her legs, then did as she was told and leaned over her desk, resting her elbows on the leather blotter. She moaned as she heard his belt and zipper open, could only imagine his penis with its fat purple head jutting free, hard and hungry for her. Her pussy clenched and wept in anticipation.

Then his hands slid up the outside of her thighs and shaped her hips and ass cheeks before one slid around to palm her mound, then slide up and down her thighs with tantalizing slowness.

“I thought about this every day while I was gone.” His fingers pushed inside. “All the things I want to do with you.”

“Anything you want, Galen.” Anything, as long as he didn’t make her wait any longer. “

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