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The Sun

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Anne was at awe as her professor in Philosophy, it was only the first week of the second semester of her third year, but she could sense that this semester looked really promising. She had been looking forward to this class and took a seat in the front row, as she usually did. She heard great praises for this class and its professor.

Richard York was a known philosophy professor whose class focused on existentialist topics. He had a knack for leaving his students with existential crises. He discussed controversial topics and tears them down as social constructs and meaningless issues. Everyone has heard of him. At the age of 33, he was already an associate professor, with two BA degrees and was well on his way to a Ph.D.

He was also easily the sexiest man she had ever laid eyes on. He had dark black, curls that he pushed back behind his ears and striking green eyes. And his voice was a warm, deep that was as riveting as his gaze.

He was finishing his discussion about religion and free will. There was something deeply captivating in the way he carried himself around the room, with an ease and confidence, without being cocky. 

She noted that his insights and thought process were deeply interesting, however, he seemed pessimistic about literally every single topic he talked about. 

It was an invigorating hour and a half but as the other students started to file out of the room, Anne realized that maybe she was too much of an optimist for Philosophy. After all, everyone seemed to agree with Professor York that there should be a limit when it comes to a person’s freedom. The price of freedom includes toleration and risk.

 


 

It was a week after exams and after she had all her paperwork done, she decided it was time to get a drink and relax. However, that didn’t go as planned. The bartender refused to serve her, saying that she looked too young to be even in a bar.

“Are you serious?” She groaned, annoyed. She was well aware that she looked young for her age of 23 and she used to think that it was a good thing, now, however, the way the bartender ignored her order, it caused an annoyed look on her pretty face.

“Two gin and tonics, please.” A voice said from her right. She turned and was surprised to see her Philosophy professor besides her. “Would that be alright with you?”

Anne nodded, her words a million miles away from her.

The bartender watched the two and seemed to consider for a moment before shrugging, “Coming up!”

“Miss Neville,” Professor York said almost slyly. "Mind if I join you?"

"Uh, not at all," She stammered.

“What brings you here?”

“You could say I’m celebrating,” Anne responded as their drinks arrived.

“What for?” He asked as he took a sip from his glass.

“For surviving exams.” Anne’s smile may have been too wide for it to be considered attractive but with him standing so close to her, she could smell the intoxicating scent of his cologne. Or maybe it was probably just the longed missed sensation of alcohol entering her system.

“You deserve it then,” He said, his eyes filled with intent as he watched her.

“How about you, Professor?” She asked, taking another sip of her drink. Oh, how she missed drinking. She wasn’t like her sister Isabel, who had been the life of the party growing up, she only started drinking after high school, unlike most of her peers and she soon learned why her sister and friends were so fond of it.

“A long day of grading papers.” He answered coolly.

“Oh, well then.” She raised her half empty glass to him, “You deserve another drink.”

Professor York laughed, the husky sound echoing across the bar. Anne joined in, knowing instinctively that laughter wasn’t something that came easily to him.

As the night and their conversation progressed, three more glasses of alcohol, Anne could feel herself grow dizzy. Another thing she learned as she started university: she was a lightweight when it came to alcohol.

“I’m sorry, Professor.” She tried to hide the fact that she was almost tipsy but that just made him smile even more.

“Please, call me Richard.” He said, his voice low. “We are outside of the campus.”

Maybe it was the alcohol in her system but Anne shot him a flirtatious smile. “Okay then, Richard.” She almost purred his name, which caused him to laugh.

 “Maybe that’s enough drinks for you,” He teased, his voice different – lower and Anne bit her bottom lip as she felt his gaze on her.

His eyes were a warning as much as an invitation. And she gladly took it.


 

Anne gasped as Richard pushed her against a wall of his apartment. Her eyes closed as she inhaled roughly when he started tracing a hundred open-mouthed kisses on her neck. Her hand brushed down the bulge in his pants that caused a low moan from him. She can’t remember the last time she wanted someone this much, desire burning in her stomach as he continued his ministrations on her neck.

His hand roamed her body and as he removed her sweater, it both felt liberating as it did constricting. She couldn’t breathe, not when his hand started kneading her breast.

“Fuck,” She gasped, her voice hoarse with desire.

Soon enough both were ripping each other’s clothes off and the sounds that Anne was making were enough for Richard to go overboard.

She looked so delicate in class and yet, in that moment, her mouth opened as his hand moved to her stomach, to her waist, to her hips, to her ass – the vision of her face was deliciously wanton.

They couldn’t reach the bed fast enough. Grabbing at each other’s flesh in pure and utter desperation for each other. He kissed her again, her lips soft and sweet. She dragged her nails down his freckled back as he bit her lower lip, causing another moan from both of them.

“Anne,” He growled her name under his breath as he placed her on the middle of the bed, watching her chest rise and fall.

“Just fuck me,” Her words are vulgar, her voice throaty and dark. This wasn’t the Anne that sat in his class, listening attentively with an angelic face and sweet voice. This was an Anne that pushed him to the brink of insanity with her body.

Anne waited patiently, waiting for him to enter her but it wasn’t his manhood that filled her, it was his fingers.

He inserted a digit inside her, setting off another shattering moan that was music to his ears. He continued hitting her on the spot that turned her moans into one long, high-pitched orgasm. She shuddered against him as she felt her body quivering.

“I hope you can handle more,” His voice is teasing again and she can see his arousal standing at attention.

“Can you?” She quirked an eyebrow at him before pulling him on top of her. She got on top of him, kissing his neck, chest stomach and suddenly Richard’s grunts filled the room as she took him in her mouth.

Her mouth was warm and soft around him – almost like velvet. She was so good at this, he thought and soon enough, all thoughts were out of his mind as he felt his please nearing. When she saw that he was dissolved with pleasure, she stopped, a playful smirk on her lips as he cursed.

“I don’t think that’s fair, Ms. Neville.”

“That’s the plan, Professor,” She winked at him, fucking winked at him! Before straddling his hips and taking his manhood in her hands, guiding it to her entrance.

Anne welcomed the sweet, sweet feeling of pleasure and she knew she wouldn’t last long, as she felt herself over the edge in absolute pleasure. She braced herself on the wall behind the bed as his hands gripped her hips, helping her as she rode him.

Moans and groans echoed through the room, the sound of their bodies moving together was lascivious. He thrust up to her, their movements one with each other – rising and falling in complete harmony.

“Oh god, Richard!” She said his name like a prayer and a curse.

She threw her head back as his mouth played with her breast, her hand tangled in his curls, tugging slightly every time he bit her. Both were nearing their climax, she released first, followed by him shortly after.

Anne collapsed on top of him, her head on his chest as he stroked her hair.

She looked up at him and saw a glint in his eyes. 

Before anything could be said between them, both were already drifting to sleep.

Chapter Text

She has never really done this – the walk of shame. She wasn’t a virgin, but she wasn’t one of those who enjoyed casual nights between the sheets with people she hardly knew. Yet as she walked down the streets with her crumbled clothes and sex hair, she can’t help but remember how awkward it had been to wake next to her Philosophy professor, her very naked Philosophy professor, who had still been asleep when she ran out of his apartment building.  


 

During the next meeting of her class with him the following week, Anne sat at the second to the last row. Something she has never done as she always sat up front. No one seemed to notice or care that Anne wasn’t raising her hand during discussions or that her mind seemed to be floating elsewhere.

Professor York stood in front, already discussing about how the significance of the War of the Roses was exaggerated and the war really meant very little in the grand scheme of it all. Anne didn’t know what it had to do with Philosophy but like always, when he spoke, she listened.

As the class was ending, Richard returned their exam papers, some groaning, aggravated by their grade. It was hard to pass his class with flying colors.

And as Anne looked down at her test paper, she was surprised to see she got a 98, after all, even though she enjoyed this class, there was no denying that she was having a hard time and her essay mirrored that.

As the students filed out of the lecture room, she made her way to his desk, test paper in hand, the suspicion that something wasn’t right with her grade.

“Professor?” Anne said as Richard is organizing his own belongings.

“Yes, Ms. Neville?” He almost seemed amused as she stood in front of him, yet his voice still held a certain authority to it. Who could ever imagine that his stern voice was moaning her name merely a few nights ago?

“I just wanted to talk about my paper.”

“What about it?”

“My grade,” She started, looking at him with a straight face, ignoring how his eyes seemed to undress her. “I don’t think – it’s too high… if this had anything to do about last…”

She doesn’t have the chance to finish her sentence because he placed a hand on the desk, making her jump a little.

“Ms. Neville,” He said, his voice steady as he spoke. He almost seemed offended by her implication. “I graded the exams before that night. Please don’t think that what happened that night has any bearing on your performance in my class.”

How about my performance in your bed?  

“I’m sorry, Professor.” Her grip on her textbook tightening. She felt embarrassed to ever think that what happened between them was even remotely significant to him that he would ever alter or tamper with her grade.

Richard just looked at her, before picking up his lectures and notes, making his way out of the lecture room without saying anything to her. Anne wanted to die at that very moment. She felt stupid for ever suggesting that his professionalism would be tried by a night of meaningless sex with a student who had too much to drink.


 

“You what?!” Anne could almost imagine the face of her older sister as she told her about what happened between her and her professor over the phone. “Annie, you’re joking, right?”

“Unfortunately, I’m not.” She sighed, making her way through the university grounds to her apartment. She lived off campus ever since, not ever stepping into a dormitory – mostly because her mother deemed them unsanitary and after her first year, she was glad. She wasn’t glad however that her father insisted on paying for her living arrangements. It wasn’t that she was ungrateful, heaven knows she was, however it seemed that her father was still babying her.

Anne came from a well-off family, she could almost say that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

“Annie, you slept with your professor?” Isabel – her sister – asked for confirmation and Anne hummed in response. “I can’t believe you!”

“I was drunk!” She said but noticed that seemed to paint Richard in a poor light. “He was drunk. We were both drunk.”

“Okay then,” Anne could hear the exhausted tone in her sister’s voice. Isabel was a blogger, which meant her time was mostly under her control but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t strenuous. “Then what?”

“Then nothing.” She chewed on her lower lip as she entered her apartment complex.

“What do you mean?”

“He acted like nothing happened.”

“Oh, Annie.”

“It was a mistake. A drunken mistake that isn’t going to happen again.” Anne reassured her sister. Herself. “There’s no reason to make it into a big deal.”

Isabel seemed to contemplate for a moment before speaking again, “If you say so.” She tried to change the subject, “So, are you coming to the family dinner next weekend?”

Anne tried to mentally imagine her planner, remembering if she had anything planned. She didn’t.

“Of course,” She said.

“You said that the last time and called in last minute saying –“

“I’m sorry, Izzy!” Anne apologizes half-heartedly. “I was busy with schoolwork!”

“You’re always busy with schoolwork.” Isabel accused her sister because it was true. Anne was a model student ever since and the pressure and weight of college didn’t hinder her love for knowledge.  “I’m bringing a date,” Isabel added, not ignoring the sound that Anne made.

“He’s nice, Anne.”

“I didn’t say anything!”

“You didn’t have to.”

Anne pursed her lips, Isabel never had the best luck with boyfriends. They always seemed to be intimidated by the fact that their father was a former lieutenant general in the army. Both sisters hadn’t had the best of luck with guys. But for different reasons. Isabel was the life of the party but always held herself with poise and grace. Everyone thought she was so pristine and that they held her up on a pedestal, Anne included. People were intimidated by her, by their father, by their whole family.

Anne on the other hand, well, she grew up awkward and always in Isabel’s shadow. The longest relationship she had was with a boy named Edward, who had serious mommy issues. She couldn’t even recall how their relationship lasted two years.

“I’ll be there, Izzy.” Anne chose to just reassure her sister.


 

Anne arrived at the restaurant fifteen minutes late. Curse, the damn metro system! But even with the fact of her running from the metro station to the restaurant, Anne still looked intact, a few stray hairs here and there but it suited her.

“You’re late,” Was the first words out of her mother’s mouth. Her tone contradicting her warm face.

“The train arrived late.” Anne defended herself as she gave her father a quick kiss on the cheek, who was busy conversing with the man she noticed sitting next to Isabel, presumably her new boyfriend.

“Hello,” He greeted, standing to extend his hand to Anne, which he shook. “You must be Anne, I’m George. Isabel has told me a lot about you.”

Anne only smiled, not mentioning that Isabel has barely talked about him.

Soon enough, everyone was seated, enjoying their dinner and exchanging a few conversations.

“Anne,” George, who she found out was a lawyer that Isabel met during on her blogger events. The details were hazy to Anne, thanks to the two glasses of wine she had. “Isabel told me you took a year from university to travel.”

It was more than a year, really but she wasn’t going to say that. Instead, she just nodded with a smile. After her breakup with Edward, Anne had an emotional breakdown that lead her to go into deep melancholia, but now she thought about it, everything seemed silly. Edward seemed silly.

Anne’s thoughts were interrupted when George sat up with a huge smile, looking at the entrance of the restaurant. “Brother!” He called and Anne turned to see no other than her professor, Richard York. A buxom blonde on his arm. Her red lipstick almost looked like blood.

Richard appeared to be surprised but a grin was on his face as walked over to George – who was apparently his brother. His eyes seemed to widen when he noticed Anne.

Anne pulled at Isabel’s arm and whispered, “What’s George’s last name?”

“York. Why?” Isabel arched an eyebrow and Anne could feel her face going red.

“Ms. Neville.” There were two Ms. Neville’s at the table but Anne knew it was her who the voice was referring to. She straightens herself, looks him in the eye and smiles.

“Good evening, Professor York.”

The blonde, who had her arms in his, raised an eyebrow at her but she dismissed it.

“Professor?” George asked, curiosity in his voice.

“Ah. Yes,” Richard turned to his brother, “Ms. Neville here is taking one of my classes.”

The following conversation between George and Richard escaped Anne and by the way Isabel was looking at her, it seemed that she was putting the pieces of the puzzle on her own.

“Oh, Annie.” It was a whisper, only for Anne to hear.

Richard and his date walked away to their own table, the Nevilles and George returning to their dinner but Anne’s mind was flying away again. Who was that blonde? Was she his wife? He didn’t have a ring. Was she a committed girlfriend or just some date? And if not, did she sleep with someone else’s boyfriend? Oh, God. Anne felt sick.

Anne excused herself from the table and was headed to the comfort room when she bumped into someone and before she could fall off-balance, a hand was already holding her steady.

“Anne.” It was Professor York. Her words seemed to be a million miles from her, she was glad that it was him that spoke first. “Are you alright?”

“Yes,” She nodded, noticing that his hand was still around her waist. “Thank you, Professor.”

“Anne, please.” He said, his voice was deep like it was a few weeks ago. “Like I said, call me Richard.”

“I’m sorry again about what I said before,” Anne can’t meet his eyes, ashamed. “I never meant to… I wasn’t implying anything”

It took a moment for Richard to understand but when he did, his voice grew more serious.

“Please don’t think so poorly of yourself, Anne.” The way he said her name was alluring. His piercing green eyes enthralling. A hint of a smile on his lips. Anne gulped as he said his next words, making her look up at him to meet his eyes. “Because, I don’t.”

Chapter Text

“Who is she?”

Richard looked up from his desk and saw Katherine sauntered in smelling of nutmeg and vanilla. He had been in his office at the university for hours now – his eyes glued to the screen of his laptop, working on his dissertation.  He had been so immersed in his work that he just now realized that it was close to midnight.

“What are you doing here?” He asked, closing his laptop screen and straightening himself up on his chair. It wasn’t uncommon for them to meet at late hours but they had a schedule and she knew he would be busy with his dissertation.

“You didn’t answer my calls.” She said matter-of-factly.

Richard reached for his phone on his desk, which was on silent – he didn’t want any distractions and Katherine, with her long legs, seductive lips and piercing eyes, was certainly a distraction. He noticed that there were several missed calls from her and one from his brother. He would deal with him later but now, he had to deal with the beautiful storm in front of him.

He stood up and walked over to her, placing a hand on her waist. Inhaling the scent of her perfume, it was intoxicating.

“Not tonight, Kate.” He told her in an apologetic manner. He could have guessed why she was here but the laugh that escaped Katherine’s lips seemed to counter his speculation.

“I’m not here for that, Richard.” She said, amused as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “Although, by the looks of it, you could use it. But not tonight.”

Richard’s relationship was Katherine was simple. They had none. Sure, they dated once but it wasn’t something both could handle, their professional endeavors consuming their time and sanity – yet they stayed friends and if that friendship held benefits between the sheets, well neither one was complaining.

“Why are you here then?”

“I had lunch with George earlier.”

That caused Richard to raise an eyebrow, “George? Why?”

 “Legal consultation.” She answered simply, of course, Richard knew better. She wasn’t telling the whole truth but it was better if he didn’t question her. After all, Katherine had a brilliant mind, a Ph.D. candidate like himself, if she didn’t want to share the whole story, he wouldn’t push her. “And we talked about his new girlfriend, the one we met last weekend at dinner.”

“Isabel.” Richard offered and Katherine nodded with a slight smile. “The Nevilles seem like a decent family. It’ll be good for George.” The comment made Richard laugh. George wasn’t one to stay in a monogamous relationship for long. “And he had also mentioned a certain Anne Neville.”

Richard was expecting this. Ever since he noticed the way Katherine looked at Anne during their encounter at the restaurant, he was preparing for this conversation.

“Who is she?” Katherine repeated her earlier question. Letting go of him and walking towards the sofa in the room. She crossed her legs, which caused her skirt to hike up a few inches and she didn’t dismiss the way Richard was looking at her. “Who is Anne Neville?”

“She’s one of my students.” He answered simply.

 “Oh, I know.” She said, her voice teasing as a smirk crept across her lips. “But she’s not just a student, is she?”

“I don’t know what you –“

“Have you had her?” Katherine’s blunt words were not a surprise but it still took a moment for him to register her question and when he didn’t answer immediately, Katherine was already walking towards him again. “I’m guessing that you have.”

“Does it bother you?”

Katherine thought for a moment before answering, “Of course not, but I can’t believe how careless you are! She’s your student and the sister of George’s girlfriend. If word got out that you’ve been banging your student, you’ll lose your job and can’t finish your Ph.D.”

“I only slept with her once!” He said as if that made any difference.

“It doesn’t matter!” Katherine cried. “And if she goes to the university administration? What would happen then? You’ll lose everything that you spent years working hard on.” 

“She won’t!” He said, his voice getting louder.

“Are you certain?” She asked, looking him in the eyes and Richard could see the genuine concern she held for him. He realized over time that Katherine’s truly cared for him and vice versa. This was just her being a good friend and colleague.

“Yes.” He said because a drunken one-night stand with a student wasn’t going to ruin his future. He would make certain of it.

 


 

Anne looked at the paper on her desk and her insides started to turn. The red mark was a stark contrast to the white material of the paper. For the first time in her life, she got a failing grade on an assignment and she doesn’t know how to react.

“Grades aren’t everything in college, Annie.” Isabel’s voice echoed in her mind.

She looked around the lecture room and noticed that a few indifferent expressions. It was little comfort to know that she wasn’t the only one.

“It’s not the end of the world, Neville.” Anne looked up to see Jane Shore in front of her desk with a sympathetic look on her face.

Jane Shore was an interesting character. With her bright red hair, heart-shaped face, crystal blue eyes and ample curves that made anyone turn to look at her twice, Jane was definitely a head turner.

Anne didn’t consider them as friends but they were civil towards each other. And maybe this was Jane comforting her.

“I know.” Anne stood up as she gathered her things.

“Want to have dinner tonight?” Jane asked as she followed Anne as they made their way to the aisle and headed towards the door.

“Sorry,” Anne said, sounding a little bit sorry because she could see herself being friends with Jane. “I have to study for Argumentation and Debate.”

Jane seemed like she was going to protest but they heard Professor York’s voice.

“Ms. Neville.” Both young women turned to look at Professor York, his expression undistinguishable. “A word please?” He turned to look at Jane, expectantly and she said a goodbye to Anne before exiting the lecture room – her stare at Richard longer than what could be considered appropriate.

“Yes, Professor?” Her voice was unsteady, and she once again looked around the room and finally noticed that most of the students were gone, except for a few on the other side of the room.

“I want to talk about your recent work.” Anne could almost recognize a hint of concern in his voice. “I would like to see you in my office during my consultation hours.”

She met his eyes once again and simply nodded.


 

Anne took the small liberty of looking around his office and she caught a glimpse of a photo on one of the walls. It was of him and the blonde from the restaurant before. He had her arm around her waist and hers around his shoulders as they faced the camera with bright smiles.

“Your wife is beautiful.” She commented and Richard looked surprised by her words.

“I don’t have a wife.” He said simply, leaning against the leather chair of his office.

“But –“

“Oh, you mean Katherine.” He laughed, the mention of her seemed to brighten up his face. “She’s just a colleague and fellow Ph.D., candidate.”

“Do you often take your colleagues to dinner?” Her words were bold and she regretted them instantly.

It was a relief to hear that he wasn’t married. But that didn’t make things less complicated. Anne knew better than that.

“I wanted to talk about your latest work.” He said, ignoring her comment. His voice was serious and commanding and Anne knew this was a professional appointment. “Ms. Neville, I know you can do better. Your previous works prove it, yet…”

“I’ll do better next time,” Anne replied, the pace of her words fast as she hastily stood up from the chair, her satchel in hand, fully ready to leave his office.

“Ms. Neville.” Professor York called out as she headed for the door. “Anne!”

 She turned as he stood up from his chair and made his way to her, “Richard.”

It was the first time since that night at the bar that she called him by his first name.

Maybe it was the way his eyes looked at her, or maybe it was how that night at the bar left a deep impression on her and how she had developed an ache to feel his warm touch again. To have the feel of his arms around her body. To have his lips on hers. She didn’t know what got into her, her legs moving on their own accord as she walked over to him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him down for a kiss.

Richard was shocked by Anne's actions – but his arms wrapped her around her as they kissed. This was the first time since that night that he held her this close, and he had to admit that he missed the warmth and feel of her body. He pushed her body until her back hit the closed door, pinning her against it with his body as they kissed.

Anne let out a soft groan as he lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his hips. Kissing her more deeply, both knew where this was leading to.  

Richard was thankful that he had closed the curtains of the window as he started walking towards the small sofa in the corner of the office. Anne watched him as he set her down on the sofa gently, the way he was looking at her made her breath stop in her throat.

Richard let his finger start to move up her skirt, tracing lines against her leg and when he reached her upper thigh, Anne seemed to spread her legs instinctively. It seemed as if it had been forever since he’d last touched her and there was an ache in his stomach that only she could satisfy.

His fingers moved higher until it reached its destination. He could feel how aroused she was. How ready she was for him and in truth, so was him.

They couldn’t be bothered by removing their clothing, he pulled up her skirt and pulled down her panties as she unbuckled his belt. Pushing down his slacks and underwear, his breathing started to get heavy.

He pinned her down on the sofa before entering her, taking her completely. She leaned her head back and cried out his name as his thrust grow more rapid and erratic. Leaving her gasping for breath, gasping for more of him.

Anne groaned softly, tangling her fingers in his hair as his lips move to her neck, leaving hot open-mouthed kisses as his hand massaged her breast through the fabric of her clothing.

Richard slammed himself into her hard, groaning lowly, long strings of profanity escaping his lips as he does. Anne’s moans are muffled by his hand on her mouth.

“Shh...” He tried his best to quiet her down. After all, they were still in his office and anyone could hear them, anyone could enter the room, yet the idea just made everything more intense.

It didn’t take long for both of them to reach their climax, and both were panting with an effort. Richard collapsed on top of her, letting the aftermath of their recent escapade consume them.

“You can do better.” Richard finally said as Anne turned to look at him, sweat running down his face, his clothes clinging to his body and if Anne didn’t just get fuck into the next century, she would be up for a second round. “I won’t have you failing my class.”

“Richard…”

“There’s an exam next week and I want you to get a perfect score.” His voice was low and commanding and Anne had to admit she liked it.

“Or what?” Anne knew that was a brave retort and Richard looked at her pointedly before moving closer to her again. She thought he was going to kiss him but instead, he sunk his teeth into the soft flesh of her neck. Hard.

Anne groaned in both pleasure and pain. This was the first time someone did that to her and she welcomed his teeth into her skin with open arms.

“Or that.”

Chapter Text

She consumed his every thought. In the days that passed since they'd made love in his office in the university, Richard could not get Anne Neville out of his head.

He kept envisioning her naked body, how her skin felt under his hands, and how his cock felt inside her. It was especially hard when he had to stand in front of a lecture room, trying his best to ignore how her eyes watched him. Of course, she watched him -- he was her professor -- but he knew better. Those glances of hers caused his cock to jerk in his black slacks. It seemed that he had to punish her later when they were alone.

They were careful when they met. It was always on the other side of the city, random motels, late-night messages, hole-in-the-wall diners at two in the morning and far away from anyone who could possibly know who they were. Of course, there was an exemption in his office. Because, even though they didn't want to get caught, the knowledge that someone might come in while he had Anne bent over his desk or have her legs wrapped around his waist as he thrust into her, made everything more exciting.

Anne knew what she was getting herself into, she never imagined herself to be someone's secret but she never pictured herself to have a relationship with her professor.

She didn't even know if she could call what they had a relationship. She wouldn't dare call it a relationship. Their times together were mostly spent in bed but she couldn't help but relish the feel of his warm body against her when he wrapped his arms around her after sex. There was something gentle and loving about it.

"Let's stay here longer," Richard whispered in her ear when she tried to get out of bed. It was almost dawn and she had an early class, but his voice was so inviting that she allowed herself to be pulled back into bed. Starting another long activity of lust.


It was late, past midnight and Anne just missed the last bus ride to the other side of town. She silently cursed herself for allowing this to happen. Richard offered to give her a ride back to her apartment but she refused -- no, after two hours of sex with her professor, she would have some little pride left and get herself home alone. Plus, she wouldn't dare chance that someone might see them together.

But now, she either had to take a cab home or call him. Meeting on the other side of town had its downsides and that included the high meter rate.

She chooses the latter. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

"This wouldn't have happened if you just let me give you a ride in the first place," Richard commented, his eyes on the road, the reprimanding tone in his voice was not unfamiliar to Anne.

"I know." Her tone was small, but in truth, she had to restrain herself from rolling her eyes at his tone. She turned to watch him, noting the small wrinkle on his forehead, probably from annoyance.

One thing she learned about Richard was that he didn't like it when things didn't  go as planned and he liked everything to be precise and perfect.

Anne wasn't precise and perfect.

She kept staring at him and when he finally turned to look at her, he looked like he regretted his words.

"I'm sorry." He said, he placed his hand on her thigh but she didn’t say a word.

"Just drive." She looked away, gluing her eyes to the road.

She often wondered if she and Richard had anything in common besides their love of fucking each other.



Law of Attraction

Richard scribbled on the whiteboard before turning to face his students, there were a few raised eyebrows in them but he had been teaching long enough to know that students tend to respond positively to challenges. Or at least he knew one student would.

His eyes met Anne's and immediately he knew that she figured out his little game.

"I don't think that's in the syllabus," Jane whispered to Anne but Anne's eyes were glued to Richard, who gave her a small smirk. To the rest of the class it just seemed like their uptight professor was playing with them, making things harder for them, but to Anne, it was a game. It was a challenge.

Challenge accepted.

A challenge and an apology.

Anne had mentioned about how she read a book about the Law of Attraction and how it intrigued her. Of course, Richard ended up almost laughing before contradicting it. Anne felt offended, but Richard gave her a soft kiss and explained that one can't just expect to get what ones want just by thinking of it.

"The law of the Universe is more complex than just that, Anne." He had said before wrapping his arms around her and nuzzling his face in the crook of her neck. "But I do agree that it is rather intriguing."

"In New Thought philosophy, the law of attraction is the belief that the universe creates and provides for you that which your thoughts are focused on," Richard explained. " The results of positive thoughts are always positive consequences. Same goes for negative thoughts."

He went on with his discussion and of course, by the end of the lecture, Richard ended up contradicting and invalidating every aspect of the law of attraction. Before he dismissed the class, he assigned them to write a 10-page essay on the Law of Attraction.



Later that day Anne was in Richard's office. It was no secret that she had difficulty in his class, so it wasn't such a big surprise to find her in his office. Or her bent over his desk with him gripping her hips hard and plunging his cock into her with that her skirt was thrown up over her ass. He kept fucking her, thrusting hard inside her, causing the table to shake and making her moan his name before she was seeing stars.

 

He gripped her hips hard and held himself inside her as he came, his body jerking.

 

"Am I forgiven?" He asked once they composed themselves again, making sure they didn't look like they just fucked on his desk.

"Perhaps." Anne turned to smirk at him as she smoothed down her skirt, pretending that his semen wasn't running down the inside of her thighs.

Richard made a sound at the back of his throat as he wrapped his arm around her waist, "You have no idea what your glances do to me."

"My glances?" Anne raised an eyebrow, her voice filled with mischief. "Do tell, professor."

"Oh, I think you know." He murmured against her neck, leaving hot kisses on her throat. "You look like such a sweet innocent angel in class but we know better."

"Do we?"  She threw him a challenge of a lazy grin.

"We do." He continued to kiss down her throat before trailing kisses along her jaw.

"I think the others would disagree." Anne was able to say as her hand went down to palm his growing bulge against his pants.

"Others?" He breathed against her jaw, feeling the stirrings of desire building up again.

"Yes, others." She nodded.

"You're mistaken, Ms. Neville." His voice was sharp as he looked her in the eyes.

"Am I?" She asked softly, he stilled the ministrations of her hand, gripping her wrist tightly.

"Yes," He said, his voice growing deeper and it just made Anne want him even more. "Because you are mine."


She got so used to him being around -- so quickly -- like the familiar sound of rain, her first sip of coffee in the morning, the cool breeze of Christmas morning.  She found herself aching to have the feel of his body on hers. That it didn't surprise her to feel the familiar sting in her heart when she saw him opening his car door for a familiar looking blond. Katherine.

At first, logical thoughts flooded into Anne's thoughts. They were academic colleagues, known each other for years and good friends. Maybe he was just giving her a ride but that was pushed away when Katherine gave him a light kiss on the cheek before getting inside his car. The smile on Richard's face didn't help either.

Richard had said that she was his, but he never mentioned that he belonged to her.

And now, Anne's mind is back to thoughts of Katherine and Richard.

Chapter Text

Anne sat down on the nearest bar stool, already waving down the bartender for a drink. She's expecting for the bartender to ask for her I.D., like the way the bouncer of the club did before entering, yet with one look at the person next to her, the bartender gave her a quick smile, eyes dropping only momentarily to the low-cut neckline of her blouse. An outfit choice that was thanks to Jane Shore. She watched as he fetched their order, there were muscles under his shirt. His face was above average with light eyes and tanned skin, and Anne supposed he was attractive but not her type. She preferred dark green eyes and pale skin. And curly dark hair.


The moment she called Jane Shore, asking if she wanted to go out for drinks, Anne quickly realized they had two different definitions of a "night out". For Anne, it means a quiet night in a pub with light background music, but for Jane, it meant clubbing, thus the reason she was wearing a short halter-style dress - the dress mimicking the color of her fire-kissed hair.


Jane leaned on the bar, her black hair lying over one shoulder of her dress, Anne saw her lolled her head to one side, pushing out her red lips just a little when the bartender came back with their orders.


"He's hot," Jane whispered into Anne's ear, voice straining against the loud bass of the club's raging music. "He keeps eying you."


Anne looked back and when she met his eyes, she could see the blatant and inviting look he gave her, it was clear that he could offer her a different look after closing time if Anne wanted.


"Not my type." She replied, taking a swig of her drink. She closed her eyes, dwelling only on the flavor. God, it was good. The last time she went out for drinks was the unfaithful night at the pub where she and --


No!


That was the reason she was out in the first place. She wanted to forget him.


After she saw Richard in the car-park of the university with Katherine, the vision of her lips kissing his cheek replayed in her mind and the smile on his face as he entered the car was far worse. The scene was on endless loop in her mind.


Maybe if she had enough alcohol in her system, the images would fade into a blur and haze.


Thus why she ordered another drink immediately after finishing the first one.


"Planning on playing tonight?" Jane commented with a laugh, Anne gave her a smile before taking Jane's drink and drinking it all. This caused for Jane to laugh even more. Anne would be offended but the alcohol was starting to enter her system and all cautions were thrown out the window.


"Let's dance!" Anne took Jane's hand and they made their way to the dance floor of the club.


The music moves Anne like a puppet on strings, it's like a drug that brings her higher, higher until her mind buzzes with pure joy. And finally, she forgets.


Jane's hands are on her waist and she moves against her body - the way she moved her hips gathered a few looks and whistles - Jane's red hair flowing around her with every move as Anne's body moved like an uncoiling rope, her eyes on fire.


The music changes and Jane hugged her, earning them a few cat whistles but Anne couldn't find a care in the world.


 

"I can take you home or you can stay over," Jane said as she walked with Anne down the streets of the city. Jane's apartment was not far from the club, easily reachable by foot, if you weren't drunk as a skunk. It was almost two in the morning and both were exhausted and drunk from the dancing and the alcohol. A few guys approached them in hopes of taking one or both of them home with them, but they instantly protected each other. It was almost like instinct to both of them, which surprised Anne.

"No," Anne refused, her following words slurred. "I can take a cab back to my apartment."

"Okay..." Jane's words are light and it's clear that her thoughts weren't all put together. Jane walked to the direction of her apartment while Anne got her phone out of her pocket and was supposed to open her Uber app, yet somehow ended up in her contact list and in her drunken state, dialed Richard's number.

Richard answered on the fourth ring.

"Hello?" He said over the phone, his voice clearly laced with sleepiness.

"Good evening, Professor York." A voice that sounded just a little too drunk to be Anne drawled.

Richard pulled the phone away from his ear to double check if it was truly Anne's number that called him.

"Anne?" He asked when he placed the phone near his ear again, "Are you alright?" The thought and concern that something wrong might have happened to her instantly shook him and all tiredness vanished. "What happened?"

"Four margaritas." Was Anne's drunken reply.

"Where are you?" He was already moving to find some pants as he heard a deep sigh on the other end of the line. He quickly put his pants on and grabbed a shirt his closet.

Anne looked around and saw the street sign, "Corner of Hamton - Hamilon, wait, no!"

"Hamilton?" Richard corrected, it was obvious that her words were slurred and that she was very very drunk. What was she thinking? To be out alone while drunk. Anything could happen to her.

He immediately grabbed his car keys and headed out the door.

"Yeah! And Madison!" She laughed, somewhat proud of herself for the simpleness of saying the words without slurring them.

"Stay right there." he commanded, "I'll be there in five minutes."

In truth, the ride was normally ten, but it was the middle of the night and he was willing to run every red light just to make sure she was safe.


 

Richard arrived four minutes after hanging up the phone call. He found Anne leaning against a wall of a convenience store, Anne gave him a long stare, blinked, and then started giggling.

"What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to take you home."

"But I don't want to go home!" Anne protested, stomping her feet like a child.

"Come on, Anne." He grabbed her hand but she brushed away his touch.

"I don't want to go home," She repeated before stepping closer to him, "I want to be with you."

Richard blinked and looked at her for a moment, "Then will go back to my flat."

Anne gave him the silliest grin he has ever since as a response. It was cute. Anne, in general, was cute. It almost made Richard forget that it was past two in the morning and she was rather drunk.


He helped her jump into the passenger's seat and closed the door.

Anne had dozed off by the time they got to Richard's apartment. He sighed as he watched her, she looked peaceful asleep, he had no will to wake her up, so he decided to carry her inside instead. He has never been so thankful for the apartment building's elevator than in that moment.

So Richard picked her up easily, giving the car door with a small kick to close it before heading the building's door.

He unlocked his flat with some difficulty, trying his best not to disturb Anne, but from experience, he knew Anne was a heavy sleeper.

He placed her on his bed after he had removed her shoes. She instantly snuggled into the mattress and hugged on his pillows. He couldn't help but smile at the sight. He debated if he should sleep on the couch or sleep next to her on his bed, and after a quick deliberation, he chose the latter. He removed his pants and shirt before laying next to her on the bed. Anne instinctively snuggled against him, and Richard held her close.

Richard quickly realized that this would be the first time they slept together without having sex first.

Chapter Text

The light streaming from the window, directly hitting Anne's face was what woke her up. She grunted to herself as she sat up and her eyes that were leaden with sleep snapped open, she looked around and was instantly confused. She wasn't in her apartment. It took her a disgruntled moment to realized that she was at Richard's apartment. In her hungover state, she couldn't recall how she got there but she was there; still in her outfit from last night and she was positive that if she looked into a mirror, her makeup would have been horrible.

She groaned to herself in annoyance, reprimanding herself for allowing herself to get that drunk that she couldn't even remember how she got here, but then suddenly a thought came to her mind. Where was Richard?

She found the will to get up and out of the bed, making her way to the connecting bathroom inside the bedroom and when she finally saw herself in the mirror, she looked like a mess. Her mascara was smudged, she had panda eyes because her eyeliner had smeared and the lipstick the shade of pomegranate seeds she had on last night was completely gone.

"Oh God," Anne murmured to her reflection as it stared back at her. "What were you thinking?"

You wanted to have a good time. A voice inside her head said. To forget. 

She shook her head, dismissing the annoying thought and made her way out of the bathroom and into the living room. She had expected to find Richard there but he wasn't there and neither was he in the kitchen, although she noticed a plate of waffles with bacon and a still hot mug of coffee. She smiled to herself at the thoughtful action then scolded herself immediately. This wasn't the time for affection. She needed to talk to him.

She found him in his work office, hunched over the desk, a stack of papers in front of him and a pen in hand. It's a small space of four bookcases filled with different books about different topics, mainly philosophy, especially existentialism and a little bit of history. This was only the second time she was in here, the first time she was here she had gently touched the spines of the books, skimming through the titles before being bent over on the desk in the middle of the room. It was during their reckless nights when they just couldn't be bothered with driving to the next city over and finding a dingy motel. There was something purely unadulteratedly about their fervency to have each other that night.

She doesn't know if she should disturb him while he was working, but she doesn't know what else to do so she cleared her throat.

He looked up at her for a moment before going back to the papers he's reading and the frown on his face grew deeper as he circled a few words on the paper using the pen.

"Morning," She said lightly, watching him.

"I made you breakfast." He said without looking up as Anne stood there, cursing herself, once again, for letting herself to get into a situation like this. She was never careless about her drinking. The only time she let herself be so careless was when --No! Why did she always go back to that memory? "Waffles and bacon, as I recall you like waffles. There's also coffee. I usually like mine black but I know you don't so I added some cream and sugar."

"Thank you." She managed to say, she could feel her face red with embarrassment. "And about last night." She added softly.

That made him look up at her, "How much do you remember?"

Nothing. "I'm sorry for being a total wreck." She answered because although she couldn't remember much, she knew how she got when drunk. He gave a small nod. He stared at her for a moment and she thought that maybe he would say something, but then he just went back to work. "I thought you said you didn't bring work home with you?"

"I usually don't but I've been so preoccupied I had no choice."

"Preoccupied with..." She trailed off, already knowing that she was the reason why he was distracted and was behind his work.

He looked up at her again, this time his face softens. "Why don't you have breakfast first and take a shower. You can borrow some of my clothes. And then we'll talk."

She nodded before walking out of the study and into the kitchen, leaving him to finish his work.

Anne slid into the chair, picked up the fork on the table and started to eat the food on her plate. She took small sips of coffee from the mug, she was surprised Richard knew how she liked her coffee. She never knew he paid that much attention to what she liked. Especially the little things like how she liked her coffee and how she liked waffles.

She ate everything on the plate, not realizing how hungry she was and finished her coffee. She picked up the now empty plate and cup to the sink and decided that she would wash them later. She needed a shower first.

Anne thought of the shower as a safe haven as she stripped her clothes, which still smelled like last night's margaritas and regrets. She stepped into the shower, toes slightly flinching as they touched the cool tiled floor. She turned on the dial, letting the stream of lukewarm water wet her mess of hair and trickling down her bare body. Her eyes fell closed as the water poured down her face and her sides as her mind faded into dullness. The warm water calmed her mind, allowing herself to relax. But it wouldn't last, she knew that.

She used his soap and shampoo, there's an oddly satisfying and comforting feeling of knowing that Richard's scent would linger on her.

After the shower, she made her way to the living room, already dressed in one of his old college shirts and a pair of boxers. This time he's sitting on the sofa working on his laptop.

He looked up and gave her a warm smile.

"Feeling better?"

"Richard, about last night." She inhaled, racking her brain to formulate an apology or a 'goodbye forever' speech but that wouldn't really possible because he was still her professor until the end of the semester and even after that they would still see each other around campus.

"You worried me last night, Anne." He said softly and Anne is taken aback by the gentleness in his voice and how his face seemed to be torn between two emotions that she couldn't place.

"I--what?" She looked at him and he placed his laptop down on the sofa before making his way to her, wrapping his arms around her body. She felt soft and warm in his arms that Richard just wanted to hold her. Forever.

"Never do that again please." He whispered into the top of her still damped hair.

Anne doesn't know how to respond but wrapped her arms around his body like an instinct because even if she was still confused, one thing was certain, they fit together perfectly. She burrowed her head into his chest before giving him a nodded.

She looked up and their eyes meet, for a moment they just stare at each other, wrapped in each other's arms before he leaned down and she met him halfway in a soft, gentle, almost chaste kiss.

When they pull back, Anne noticed how his there was a glimmer in his green eyes as he looked at her and she felt her heart swell. Richard cradled Anne's head in both of his hands and pulled her into a deeper and more passionate kiss, yet it wasn't fierce, there wasn't an urgency in the kiss. It was slow, soft and comforting. She moved her arm from his torso to around his neck, their foreheads touching as they kiss and warmth spread throughout Anne's entire body. Dear god, she couldn’t fight against the fluttering of her heart inside her chest.

Richard's lips were warm and tasted of coffee from this morning. When they broke apart for air, she rested her head against his chest and sinking into his hold.

"Anne, I--" His words are interrupted by the apartment door opening and a familiar voice spoke.

"Well, this isn't surprising."

Richard pulled away from his hold from Anne and straightened himself as Katherine walked towards them in her meticulously prim and proper pencil skirt that hugged her hips and persimmon blouse. Anne was suddenly conscious of her current state of clothing -- just in Richard's old shirt and boxers.

"Katherine, what are you doing here?" Richard asked, cold and hard.

Katherine kept her perfectly practiced smile on her lips. "I have a meeting after lunch with the board about a grant I applied to." She explained, Anne could tell she was proud of herself as she spoke. "And I was just looking for my lucky necklace and I thought I left it here."

She doesn't wait for Richard to reply and directly went into Richard's bedroom like it's nothing and Anne heard a "found it!" before Katherine reemerges from the bedroom holding a golden chain with a pearl pendant on it, "It was in my drawer as expected."

"Kate," Richard warned the blonde who just smiled. The familiar scent of nutmeg and vanilla in the air when she came inside.

"Whatever is the matter, Richard ?" She asked, seemingly unfazed by the situation they were in. She was yet to acknowledge Anne.

"Katherine, please."

"Oh, Richard, I do love it when you beg." She laughed before turning to look at Anne from head to toe, who stood small next to Richard.

"Are you finish?" Richard hissed, his voice stern and he looked annoyed at Katherine. "We have some business we need to discuss."

"I bet you do," Katherine said suggestively with a smirk but seemed to sober up quickly. Her face and voice turning serious, "Richard, remember what we discussed before."

Richard just nodded and when she left the apartment, Anne felt a pang in her chest but there was also anger inside her.

"I thought you said she wasn't your --"

"Wife?" He cut her off, turning to look at her. "No, she's not."

"She's certainly not just a colleague." Anne crossed her arms over her chest and suddenly is aware that is had no bra on. "Obviously." She added as an afterthought. "She has a key to your apartment?"

"For emergencies." He answered but the way Anne was looking at him, it was clear she was done believing him.

"She has a drawer of her things in your bedroom?" She stared at him, daring him to lie to her.

"Anne--"

"And you were worried about me." She said, frustrated as she looks up to the heaven, pleading internally to wake up in her own bed, in her own apart and far away from Richard York. "God, this is the reason why I went to that stupid club in the first place."

"What?" Richard looked surprised and raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean? You're jealous?"

Anne looked back at him, just staring because jealous was an ugly word and hated using it and to think that she was jealous made bile in her stomach rise.

"No!"

"Anne!"

"I don't want to talk about it!" She turned, ready to go straight to the bedroom and find her discarded clothes and leave. "I'm going home!"

Richard grabbed her hand, "Anne, talk to me! Please!"

"Talk to you?" She repeated, her anger seeping into her voice. "And why the hell should I? You don't talk to me! And when you do, you lie!"

"Lie? Anne, don't be --"

"What, Richard?" She challenged, standing her ground. "What shouldn't I be? Jealous? Insolent? Immature?"

"Ridiculous!" Richard yelled so loud that Anne was taken back. "I -- I didn't lie."

"You didn't, huh?" Anne nodded, still angry. She took a deep breath and finally got to ask the question she had been dreading to hear the answer to since that day in the car park. "Are you sleeping with her?"

"Anne--" He sounded exhausted as he tried to reach for her but she backed away from his attempt.

"Answer the question, Richard!" Anne was determined to hear the honest answer even though she could feel the tears building up in her eyes.

"No, I-- not anymore at least."

"So you were?" Anne felt the swelling in her chest move up to her throat. "While we were...?"

"What? No!" He answered quickly and finally used a little force to hold Anne, placing his hands on the sides of her arms. "Anne, that first night of us, it was amazing. I don't know how else to describe it and in the morning when I woke up you were gonna and it was strange. I felt a pang in my chest I've never felt before. Then you approached me in class about your grade, accusing me of giving you a high grade just because we slept together, it hurt, Anne. For you to think that low of me, so I just left. I know this is wrong, this could get complicated and get us in so much trouble but I can't control myself around you. My feelings for you scare me."

By the end of his confession, his voice was small but determined and there was no doubt in Anne's mind that Richard was telling the truth.

Something in Anne's mind screamed for her to push him away, grab her things and just leave. Leave his life forever but she couldn't. She couldn't dare erase him from her life, especially when he looked at her like that, so much affection and sincerity and l--

She wouldn't dare use that word but she could feel it and that's when she made the decision that whatever the consequences they might face, at least they would be facing them together.

She shrugged his hold from her arms and he looked dejected for a moment before she wrapped her arms around his neck and pull him down for a kiss. It's not like the one before, soft and gentle, this kiss is fiery and passionate and demanding. She knew where these types of kisses headed and she did not mind.

When they pull apart for oxygen, he continued to trail kisses down her neck and she exhaled deeply in anticipation, "My feelings for you scare me too."

He looked into her eyes, relishing the familiarity of the warmth that spread through his body whenever he kissed her, whenever he held her, whenever she was around. They continued to kiss before stumbling to the bedroom and the world fell away. It was just them.

Chapter Text

He couldn't decide if he wanted to take her slowly and make love to her magnificent body or just fuck the shit out of it like it belonged to him. However, when he saw those big bright blue eyes looking up at him, he knew he should savor the feeling of her warm hands, soft kisses and the way her eyes fluttered when he continued to thrust into her.

 

They haven't really done this -- it’s slower, more tender and loving. Every slow and precise roll of Richard's hips were too overwhelming for Anne and her hands grabbed his thick black hair so hard that it had to hurt, but Richard just groaned in pleasure as he buried his face in the space where her neck met her shoulder.

 

He could feel his heart pounding and it was impossible to ignore the sound of his pulse echoing in his ears. Slowly, he pulled back and met her eyes once again, which were so warm and deep he felt like he was drowning.

 

And for a moment, they just stared at each other.

 

This was different, they weren't just fucking. They were making love.

 

She pulled him down to kiss him kissed him before she dug her nails into his shoulder blades and wounded her legs tightly around his hips, allowing him to go deeper into her depths.

 

Anne wasn't particularly accustomed to heartfelt outbursts of affection from Richard so when he uttered the words, "I love you" against her neck, it took her a moment to realize that she hadn't just imagined it because Richard had stopped his delicious movements and she could feel he was holding his breath.

 

She opened her eyes and she could feel her heart beating faster than it ever had before. She moved her hands from her shoulders to cup his face, forcing him to look her in the eyes, the expression in Richard's face told her that he hadn't meant to say those words but there was no doubt that he meant them. His cheeks were flushed with his own eyes wide and he was breathing as fast as she had been.

 

She smiled at him before giving him a sweet kiss on the lips, "I love you, too."

 

There was nothing between them now but the silence and one long kiss. Fingers tangled together and two bodies pressed against each other, and both found themselves in euphoria that took them to the edge of pleasure.

 


"Come back to bed," Anne groaned, watching Richard from under the covers of his bed as he made his way around the room, buttoning up his shirt before gathering his satchel, making sure he had everything he needed for the day. It was almost seven in the morning and he was pretty sure that they only had two hours of sleep after a long night of love-making, but he was needed at the university at eight for a faculty meeting.

 

"I can't." He turned to look at Anne who snuggled deeper into his sheets. He couldn't help but smile at the sight. "There's an early faculty meeting with the department chairman."

 

When he first received the email, he was nervous that maybe, somehow the department chairman found out about his relationship with Anne, but he doubted that the department chairman would confront him with all the other faculty members around. At least he hoped he wouldn't.

 

"And here I thought dating my professor meant hot sex and staying in bed all day." Anne joked as she sat up and used the sheet to cover her very naked body.

 

"I think it's a bit too late for that." He commented and Anne just rolled her eyes but she was smiling too. "And besides, don't you have a lecture with your very handsome philosophy professor later? Shouldn't you be looking forward to that?"

 

"I'll update you when I get a very handsome philosophy professor." Anne couldn't help but laugh at the mock glare Richard shot her before falling back against the bed.

 

Richard slung his satchel over his shoulder and made his way to the bed to give Anne a kiss on the lips. "Get up and I'll see you in class."

 

"Yes, professor." She replied but before Richard could pull away, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into another kiss, letting the sheet expose her body to him.

 

"You little tease."  His eyes closed briefly like he was trying to steady himself.

 

Anne laughed at the expression on his face before pushing at his chest, "Go now or you'll be late."


 

The faculty meeting had been interesting.

 

Or rather infuriating. Yes, that was the right word.

 

The number of contingent faculty members who only had one-year term appointments was slowly starting to outnumber those who actually were reappointed year after year. Fortunately, this was Richard's fourth year of reappointment in the university and with his Ph.D. almost in his grasps, he was sure he was on his way to permanent staff appointment.

 

But the administration was urging some of the faculty to teach additional courses next semester and the department chair thought that with the shrinking resources, there should be more teaching and less research. That meant one thing, the research grant extension Richard needed in order to finish his dissertation would be put on hold.

 

Richard slumped against his office chair and closed his eyes, trying to recompose himself before his lecture in thirty minutes. He was so close but with this news, it looked like he was going to drown in the deep end of the academic pool.

 

He looked up when he heard the door to his office open and close, he was torn between smiling at seeing a familiar face or scowl at the memory what this familiar face did.

 

"Must you always barge into my office unannounced?" He watched Katherine as she walked to the front of his table, observing her for a moment, taking in her appearance. She was wearing the necklace that she retrieved from his apartment the other day.  The golden chain with a pearl pendant hung above her chest and something inside Richard wanted to smile. He was the one who gave her the necklace. It was a gift from their first anniversary during college and it was also the one she wore when she passed a course that she had trouble with, even though it was impossible to imagine Katherine having a hard time with any subject. But she did -- after all, she was still human. Ever since then, she considered it as her lucky necklace. Always wearing it during important meetings and conferences.

 

"You should try answering my calls if you didn't want me to barge in here." She said, managing to sound indifferent but this was the calm before the storm that was Katherine Haute.

 

"I was in a meeting." He answered, "Besides, I have nothing to say to you," Richard pointed out, the memory of her previous actions toward Anne fresh in his mind. How could she do something so, so, so... immature!

 

"Good," Katherine said as she walked up to his desk, placing her hands flat on the table. "Because I'll be the one doing the talking." Richard motioned for her to continue, "Richard, I don't understand your infatuation with that Neville girl."

 

"Infatuation?" He repeated but Katherine cut him off with a look. He'd known Katherine long enough to know you shouldn't interrupt her when talking.

 

"What are your plans? You can't keep seeing her, Richard. She's your student."  She narrowed her eyes at him.

 

"Next year is her last year and I'll doubt I'll be her professor anymore." They haven't talked about the plans after this semester -- they've only admitted their feelings for each other last night -- but with Anne starting her final year at university, she only had a handful of classes accompanied by her thesis research, so he doubted that he would handle a subject with Anne in it.

 

"And then what?" She arched an eyebrow at him and she could see Richard visibly stiffen at her words. Seemed like he hadn't thought about her concerns. She so badly wanted to trust him to make good decisions but after what happened at his apartment, she couldn't help but be worried about him. She wanted to accept it and try to be there for him as much as she could but how could she when she knew that this was just going to end horribly? "You start dating her? Going out in public? Do you think people will be stupid enough to believe that you started dating your student just after this semester? People will never buy it and what if the administration finds out? Are you willing to give up the career you've been wanting and building since you were a boy? Are you actually willing to throw that all away for some girl?"

 

Katherine knew that Richard was brilliant, with a mind and wits that matched her own and she also knew that he was never one to be controlled by his emotions but now, with this girl -- everything felt so strong and so deep for him that she had an uneasy feeling that he would be reckless and stupid.

 

A scowl appeared on his face at her words, "She's not just a girl!" He took a deep breath, trying to compose himself again and then looked her straight in the eye. For a moment, Katherine was taken aback by his words that weren't just mere words. He said with such ferocity and gusto that it sounded like a declaration. An affirmation.

 

"Oh my god," Katherine looked him straight in the eyes, her own eyes wide with the realization. Something that, if she were to be honest, she had an inkling about but hoped that she was wrong but now, facing him about it she knew she was right. "You've fallen in love with her, haven't you?"

 

"Kate --"

 

"I never could've imagined it." A small bitter smile on her lips. "When was the last time you were in love, Richard?" He turned his face and when he didn't answer, she continued, this time her voice soft and lower. "Was it with me? When we were together? When you proposed to me all those years ago?"

 

"Kate, that was such a long time ago," He said, looking up at the mention of their past. "We were young and straight out of college."

 

"And I said no." Katherine nodded, they never talked about this part of their past together. They met during their first year of college and their mutual desire for a bright and big future chained them together until they started dating and eventually fallen in love with each other. However, the passion they had for their careers was also what ruined them. They just graduated from college and were already planning about their Master's Degrees when Richard proposed. Katherine said no immediately, without even giving it a second thought. She didn't want anything slowing her down and the love she had for Richard would certainly do so.

 

There was a tiny part of Katherine that resented herself for it for she could easily imagine a life with Richard, a family, a house, happiness but that wasn't what she wanted at the time. She wanted to focus on herself and career, but now, standing in front of him, knowing that the look of love that was in Richard's eyes all those years ago didn't belong to her anymore.

 

"So, you're gonna give up everything for her?"

 

"No!" He said suddenly but then paused, taking a deep breath. "I don't know..."

 

"Oh, my love." The endearment tasted bitter-sweet on her lips, she reached a hand to his cheek and she was surprised when he didn't push her away or turn away. "What have you gotten yourself into?"


 

"Anne!" Jane's voice made Anne turn to look back at the redhead as she walked up to her on campus, Anne was on her way to Richard's lecture when Jane caught her attention. "Walk to class together?"

 

Jane smiled but Anne just kept a straight face. Although Anne couldn't remember every single detail from that night, she could remember how Jane just left her alone in the streets at night, drunk last weekend. And when Anne told Richard about it, the anger that flashed in his eyes made her even more wary about Jane's character. After all, she hardly knew the person.

 

At Anne's coldness towards her, Jane grabbed her hand, making Anne look at her, "What's your problem?" She asked the question with a smile like she completely forgotten what she did.

 

"My problem?" Anne repeated as she faced Jane, her voice getting louder as she pulled her hand back from her. "You left me alone in the streets! I was drunk!"

 

"And?" Jane asked and Anne was shell-shocked at how nonchalant Jane was. "So was I."

 

"Anything could have happened to me!" She was echoing Richard's words but it didn't mean she didn't feel the same way.

 

"But nothing did!"

 

"Whatever," Anne rolled her eyes and turned to walk away but Jane caught her wrist, rather forcefully and when she faced her again, this time there was a hard scowl on Jane's pretty face.

 

"Listen here, Anne," Jane said with a pointed look and sharp voice. "I offered my apartment, to walk you home even though I was drunk too but you said no and now you're angry at me? I'm not sure how you treated your friends before or if you even had any friends but you can't talk to me like that. You and your privileged and spoiled self-have got a lot of nerve, you know that? I thought we could be friends but apparently, you're one-hundred percent stuck in your own little world that you put the blame on others for your own doing."

 

Anne was gobsmacked by her words. Privileged? Spoiled? Who does this woman think she is?

 

"Excuse you?" Anne looked up at her, matching her pointed look and sharp voice. "Privileged and spoiled? Who are you to assume those things about me?"

 

Jane gave a bitter laugh before rolling her eyes and crossing her arms in front of her chest, "As if you need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out. I know your type, Little Miss Anne Neville, the poor little rich girl who never had to work a single day in her life thanks to mommy and daddy's money!"

 

"Hey!" Anne cut her off, her voice getting louder. People around them were starting to notice the scene between the two but Anne didn't care and neither did Jane. "Don't make comments and assumptions about my personal life because I don't give a damn about yours."

 

And with that, Anne walked away.

 

She could feel the stares of people as she walked away and has never been gladder to see the building and enter the lecture hall. At least she was going to see Richard and his smiling eyes.

 

Before she could take her seat, Jane had already followed her in and was beside her.

 

"What? Not finished yelling at me?" Anne asked as she set her things down on the table --glad that the room wasn't full yet or that Richard wasn't in yet, fewer people would be witnesses to their argument. An argument that didn't come. Because Jane's facial expression wasn't stern or hard or even glowering. All of which Anne had expected. Instead, Jane's head is tilted forward and looked almost hesitant.

 

"I'm sorry, Anne. But you need to understand that you can't speak to people like that, especially those who are trying to be your friend."

 

Anne softened at her words because Jane was right. All Jane had done was try to be a friend. Anne suddenly felt awful for her words.

 

"Oh, and I think you need to practice more on using actual words to express yourself," Jane added.

 

"Maybe next time you don't psychoanalyze me," Anne replied, but it was clear that the tension between them was clear.

 

Jane laughed softly as the other students started filing into the lecture hall, "Coffee after class?"

 

Before Anne could say anything, Richard entered the room, followed by a Student Assistant to prepare the projector and Richard's class presentation as the students scrambled to get to their seats.

 

"Good day, everyone." He greeted them as he placed his things on the table, including a stack of papers. "I've finished grading your last essay assignment and good news, at least half of you didn't fail." He shot them all a sardonic smile as half the room groaned. "Now, don't worry, there's still finals next month and you can still pass this class if you wanted to. So, shall we begin?" Richard turned on his presentation and began the class, as usual, stealing glances every now and then to Anne.

 

He couldn't help the smile on his face whenever he saw her. And looking into his eyes, Anne chewed on her lower lips knowing for certain that he is completely enraptured and enamored by her.


"So, how did you get home last Friday?" Jane asked as she stirred her cup of coffee.  The air is thick with the scent of coffee and sweets inside the coffee shop and even Anne had to admit that the lattes were over-priced here but caffeine was caffeine -- Anne's drug of choice.

 

Anne glanced sideways and her hands started to fidget before she took a deep breath, hoping that she wasn't too obvious. "Oh, you know -- I took a cab."

 

Jane arched an eyebrow at her as she took a sip of her coffee. Anne could sense the doubt radiating from her. "I thought you took an Uber."

 

"Oh, I mean, well, Uber? Cabs? What's the difference, right?" Anne let out a nervous laugh as she barely stuttered her words properly.

 

"Are you okay, Anne?" Jane gave a small skeptic smile. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you went home with a guy." The way Anne looked was enough to confirm Jane's joke. Anne looked like she was a deer caught in headlights. "Oh my gosh, you did!"

 

"Hush!" Anne said, lowering her face to her coffee mug.

 

"Oh, now this is interesting." Jane gave a mischievous smile. "So, tell me about him. Who was he? How was he?"

 

"No one!" Anne answered, her posture shifting. A clear indication of her discomfort with the situation but it didn't seem to bother Jane. "He was no one."

 

"Tell me more!"

 

"No! I can't!"

 

"Why not?"

 

"Because it's personal!"

 

"I didn't think you were such a prude, Neville." Jane laughed.

 

"I am not!" Anne rebutted but that just cause Jane to laugh again. "It's just personal. I don't share that kind of information."

 

Jane seemed to give up, or at least Anne had hopped. "Fine, you don't have to tell me who it was but can you tell me how he was?"

 

Anne stared at her for a moment, debating if she should. She never really had a person to discuss such matters, she had her sister -- Isabel -- but Isabel was always busy with her own little world and now that included George, Richard's brother. There was little time spent between sisters but now Jane was here. Offering herself to be her friend.

 

"Okay fine," Anne giggled, "Amazing. Like, mind-blowing, like I had trouble walking!"

 

Jane's eyes widened and giggled along with Anne, "That good?"

 

"Fantastic!"

 

Jane took another sip from her coffee, "You know who I think would be fantastic in bed?"

 

"Who?" Anne asked, suddenly curious. Her pool of suitors had never been full and now with her relationship with Richard, it wasn't really a thought anymore but surely it wouldn't be harmful if she fished for information, right?

 

"Professor York."

 

"What?" Anne deadpanned.

 

"Yeah, Professor York is sexy."

 

She's not wrong.

 

"But he's our professor." Sure, Anne. Use that excuse.

 

"And so?" Jane shrugged. "Majority of the female population on campus wants to jump him. He's hot. You can't deny that."

 

"I guess," Anne replied, trying her best to seem disinterested and not seem obvious that she had first-hand experience on the topic.

 

Jane seemed to watch her for a moment, looked like she was having an internal debate with herself before leaning closer to Anne across the small table.

 

"What?" Anne asked.

 

"I heard this rumor that his wife and he have sex in his office," Jane whispered to her.

 

"What?!" Anne yelled in shock and  bug-eyed as she sat up straight "He doesn't have a wife!"

 

"How would you know?" She arched an eyebrow at her. The sudden outburst causing a few eyes to look their way.

 

"I -- he told me." She said boldly, clenching her fist because why did she say that? Why did she have to say that?

 

"He told you?" Jane asked but Anne's mind was already choosing between fight or flee mode.

 

"Yes, he did." She stood up, already gathering her book bag.  "I'll be late for class. I need to go. Bye, Jane. See you later!"

 

She said the words so fast that all Jane understood was 'late' and 'bye' before Anne was out the door.

 

Her brain chose flee.

Chapter Text

The rest of the day flew by in a blur with Anne thankful that she was back at the safety of her apartment. Her conversation with Jane was still playing in her mind. That rumor had to be an old one, right? Unless, she was the one the rumor was referring to. Fuck, why were they so careless?  They did their best to keep their encounters stealthy. But it turned out that their best was still pretty sloppy.

 

As she settled her books on top of the coffee table, her phone rang and she glanced at her screen to see it was Richard.

 

"Hello." She answered as she dropped herself on the small sofa in the middle of the room.

 

"Hungry?" Was the first response she got. She could hear him on the other end and by the sound of a door closing, she guessed he was just leaving his office. "I know this place on the other side of the city. It's a bit far but it's worth it."

 

Anne paused for a moment, this was their relationship: having to hide from other people, out-of-the-way diners, fun clandestine nights over, early breakfasts at cafés with barely anyone around them and then it finally struck Anne -- would it always be like this?

 

"I'll meet you at the gas station in twenty," Anne replied, after a pause because, with every single negative thought that played in her head, with every statistic going against them, he was worth it.

 

Ever since the first day in class, she had greatly admired Richard. His skill, his brain, his viewpoint in life and how hard he worked for everything he had and wanted. He was determined and beautiful and he made her feel inspired.

 

 

"See you there." She could hear the smile in his voice.


They met him at the gas station near her apartment, dressed in jeans and casual clothing. She spotted his car parked just behind the gas station and she noticed from the windshield that he was on his phone, with a frown on his face that instantly vanished when he saw her. Their eyes met and Anne couldn't help but mirror the smile. Albeit, a bit reluctantly.

 

Something was still itching at the back of her mind.

 

Images of Richard with Katherine together flooded into her. Richard on top of Katherine in bed, him bending her over on his desk and even them having sex in his car. All those thoughts made vile rise up in Anne's stomach.

 

She watched him from a distance at first, not because she was hesitant to move forward or anything, but because there’s so much serenity in the scene before her. He just sat there, waiting for her to approach and when she doesn't, he frowned. Anne took this as her queue to walk the car.

 

 

"How was your day?" Richard asked as Anne closed the car door after she got in. He was smiling at her and he looked almost bashful at the sight of her and Anne stared at him. Richard, the man who aroused such fervent feelings in her.

 

They both could cause damage to each other's lives that it was evident that they should stop now. But would they? She was scared to hold on and to let go of what the two of them had and she wondered if there could be a balance between the two.

 

 

Anne settled in the car and in the front passenger seat next to Richard. She chewed on her inner lip for just a half second before finally saying the words that have been bugging her since her conversation with Jane.

 

"Have you and Katherine ever had sex in your office?"

 

It was evident that Richard was not expecting such a question. He visibly stiffened and Anne braced herself for the answer she was going to receive.

 

"Yes, we have." He admitted, carefully watching Anne's reaction.

 

"Oh."

 

"But that was months ago, before we..." He trailed off, not really knowing how to finish his sentence. How could he admit to such things knowing that it would hurt her?

 

"Jane Shore told me that there was a rumor that you and your wife have sex in your office all the time."

 

Richard blinked at her as she finished speaking, "Well..." He cleared his throat, "That's certainly news to me."

 

"And I know it's silly because you've told me before that you've stopped sleeping with her and I'm... I'm sorry but just the thought of you two together." She finally inhaled before slumming against the leather chair of his care, actively avoiding his eyes. "It bothered me and I don't know were this -- us -- is going because we never actually talked about it."

 

"Are you done?" He took a deep breath, as one hand grabbed her wrist gently, as she looked up at his dark green eyes. “Anne,” He said her name softly like one would hold something so it wouldn’t break. "It's true that we don't really know where our destination is but I truly believe that as long as we're together, we don't really need a map. All I need to know is that you're in for the ride."

 

She couldn't fight the smile that quirked at her lips at his words.

 

"It's you." He continued as his other hand went to cup her face as he spoke, his tone gentle. "Only you. I love you."

 

Anne took a moment to look at him -- really look at him because this was only the second time he said those words to her. This time they weren't in the throws of passion on his bed. She thought that maybe she only said the words back because she was so caught in the moment but looking at him now, she realized, yes, she loved Richard York without a doubt.

 

"I know," She managed to say under her breath as the air inside the car changed into something more light. Anne felt the explosion within her, a burst of love. "And I love you too."

 

They lock eyes, her smile a mirror of his and Richard leaned to kiss her but Anne saw something from the corner of her eye, and when she turned, she saw Jane Shore standing a few feet from the car, watching them with wide eyes and a look of shock on her face.

 

Speak of the devil.