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Kill Me, Heal Me, Dr. Joe Kerr

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Harleen Quinzel stood on the sidewalk outside her ex-boyfriend's apartment, wearing only her black shorts, her long sleeve red t-shirt, no jacket, in the cold rain, in tears, her glasses smeared with raindrops, and shivering against the cold. It was the night before the first Monday of the first week of school, her first year as a junior having just transferred to Gotham University from New York University. Everything was new except the boyfriend. She corrected herself, the asshole she had switched schools for, only to find him cheating on her last night. Classes hadn’t even begun yet and already her new college year at a new school sucked balls.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t glad to be out of the relationship with that prick, not after the way he had been treating her since she arrived in Gotham City a few months ago. Guy Kopski, the guy she thought she was in love with, had been emotionally abusive to her before she arrived, but the abuse had been cranked up to ten from the moment she arrived. And yesterday he had slapped her across the face when she confronted him about fucking Darla at the party last night. He had actually slapped her, yelling at her in front of everyone at the party. Guy had spit in her face, telling her that if she wasn’t going to put out, then he would find someone else who would.

Harleen had left the party stunned and embarrassed; not one person has come to her defense. If Pam had been there, she would have defended her, but Pam hadn’t been there and Harleen had to walk out of the party with all eyes on her. A few people had even snickered at her.

Harleen Quinzel fucking hated Gotham.

Later, when Harleen arrived home to the apartment she shared with Pamela Isly (thankful again that Pamela Isley, who had quickly become her best friend), she was able to slip in without making too much noise, despite the fact that she was dripping water everywhere. They had met during orientation. Pam had been the orientation group’s tour guide when Harleen had transferred to Gotham University. The group had consisted of nearly all freshmen, except Harleen. Pam had been great, taking the time to add information and stops on the tour that would be more relevant to a junior than a freshman. Afterwards Pam had introduced herself more properly and the two women had hit it off. They had been inseparable since, like sisters who had been separated at birth. They had even become roommates in Pam’s downstairs apartment just off campus, but still within walking distance of the university. Pam’s roommate had just moved in with her girlfriend and Pam had been looking for a new roommate. Harleen saw it as kismet.

As Harleen stood in the rain, feeling like her life had hit the lowest pit imaginable, she wanted to curl up in bed, eat ice cream, and cry until Christmas. She couldn’t believe she was going thorugh all of this just because she didn’t want to have sex with Guy, because she had wanted to wait...yet…

Pam, after Harleen had explained about moving here and switching universities to be closer to her boyfriend, had kept telling her that she needed to ask herself why she didn’t want to have sex with Guy, that there must be something holding her back.

Harleen sighed. Maybe Pam had been right. She hadn’t really been holding out for marriage, but rather hoping Guy would become the sort of person she wanted him to be...

But he never had.

After last night’s horrible confrontation, Harleen listened to Pam and decided to show up here to let him have a piece of her mind, maybe threaten him with the law. She had not just wanted to break up with him, but to lay into him about what a creep he was, and to try to get a few of her things out of his apartment. She hadn’t been living with Guy, but she had littered his apartment with a few personal things in the hope that it would…

Fuck, she didn’t know what she had been hoping for. She had left some clothes, a teddy bear, toothbrush, her favorite pair of sneakers, a handful of comic books, some jewelry, and a few other small items--nothing irreplaceable, but they were still her things. True to his form, he had refused to let her get any of her things from his apartment, called her names, and…

Harleen glared at his apartment window one more time with hate filling her blue eyes. She wasn’t really sad about the break up, she realized, but she was furious that he had hurt her, manipulated her, treated her like dirt. She was even angrier that she had allowed him to do it. Now Harleen Quinzel vowed to get her revenge on him. One way or another she was going to find a way to hurt him. Guy Kopski was going to realize the mistake he made hurting her, one way or another.

Harleen shivered as the cold rain soaked through her clothing. She turned and walked over to the bicycle rack where her bike was chained up. She should have gotten a ride from Pam. Pam had offered to come with her, had offered to drive her in her little electric car, but she hadn’t wanted to listen to Pam lecture her on how she had warned Harleen about how bad Guy was for her, what a jerk he was…

She just hadn’t wanted to hear Pam’s “I told you so” over and over again.

Of course, now she would put up with it just to not have to ride home in the rain, except there was no way she would be able to get her bike in Pam’s car and the thought of leaving it here would just be another stick on the camel’s thoroughly broken back.

Harleen unlocked her bike and got on, took off her glasses (her vision wasn’t that bad, she mostly needed them for reading but she liked to wear them because they made her look smart. Not that she wasn’t smart, but with the blonde hair and her New York accent, people liked to treat her like a dumb blonde. The glasses cut down on that behavior.) She hooked them to the front of her shirt before she took off, thankful that she didn’t really need the glasses to see because as she started to pedal, the rain came down harder, reflecting her mood perfectly.

*

When Harleen returned home, soaked to the skin and shivering, she felt relieved to find Pam asleep on the couch, while a DVD copy of her favorite British gardening show “Love Your Garden” played on the television set. Pam was curled on her side with a pink My Little Pony blanket pulled up to her chin, her red hair pulled back in a ponytail, while her head rested on a fern printed pillow. Harleen smiled at Pam’s sleeping figure. She would have gone over and turned the television off, but she was soaked; she didn’t want to soak the throw rug in the living room and wanted a hot shower and to go to bed.

Harleen smiled at Pam’s sleeping form again. At least transferring to Gotham had gotten her a best friend. She didn’t have a lot of friends back home and Pam had been great, understanding, and caring. She couldn’t have asked for a better friend. She turned and headed down the hall.

She was thankful the floor from the front door down the hall to the bathroom wasn’t carpeted and there were no throw rugs for her to ruin as she dripped all the way to the bathroom. She stripped the moment she entered the room and turned on the hot water, letting the water run until the water was as hot as she could stand it. Once she was under the steaming water, Harleen scrubbed herself clean with goat’s milk soap and her red loofah, not just to clean herself from the rain, but also clean of Guy Kopski, cleaning off every touch, every kiss she had ever exchanged with him. Everything. She growled as she washed her head, using too much shampoo to wash away every part of Guy.

Harleen smirked while she scrubbed thinking about removing the old layer of skin for the new underneath, the new skin having never even been in the same air space as Guy Kopski. The Harleen Quinzel that stepped out of the shower was going to be a new person, a different Harleen Quinzel, one who was starting fresh at Gotham University tomorrow.

Harleen smiled. She had never been happier that she hadn’t slept with that sleazy bag.

After her shower, wrapped in a towel, Harleen did go and turn off the television, giving a sleeping Pam a kiss on the temple before she went to her small bedroom where she left the towel on the floor, found a pair of black panties and a blue shirt, and pulled them on before crawling into bed. She burrowed herself down into the sheets and blankets, telling herself tomorrow was the beginning of a new day for the new Harleen Quinzel.

*

Her new day began at 5:45 a.m. with the annoying sound of her alarm followed by the musical voice of Pam shouting from the apartment kitchen, which also made her aware of the scent of bacon and coffee.

“Hey Harleen--wake up!! I got coffee, eggs, and bacon!!”

Harleen groaned into her pillow. “Coffee...bacon…”

She pushed herself up and wandered into the kitchen in just her panties and t-shirt, her long blonde hair looking as if she had gotten into a fight with a raccoon, but the raccoon won.

Pam stood at the stove in a pair of slouchy blue socks, finishing up scrambling the eggs. As always, Harleen noted with a tiny shake of her head, Pam looked perfectly put together. Her long red hair was French braided down her back and she was dressed in dark green leggings with a lighter green thick sweater. She looked beautiful, as she always did.

Pam turned around to look at her friend and frowned slightly. “How did it go last night? I never heard you come in. If it wasn’t for the wet clothes in the bathroom…”

Harleen sighed and shuffled over to the coffeemaker. She didn’t answer right away, instead grabbing a mug with ferns printed all over it and poured herself some coffee. She filled it with four teaspoons of sugar and then a quick shuffle to the fridge got her the milk. Pam watched her friend with amusement, waiting until Harleen had several sips of coffee.

“I didn’t get my stuff back. He wouldn’t even let me into the apartment.” Harleen leaned against the counter, cupping her coffee mug with both hands as she sipped her hot drink while glancing at the small window over the kitchen sink that looked out onto the sidewalk outside their basement apartment, showing her that it was still raining.

Pam scowled. “What? He wouldn’t give you your stuff back?? That fucking pig! We should call the cops!”

Harleen shook her head. “No, no, I just wanna be done with him Red. I want to move on.”

(Harleen had started calling Pamela ‘Red’ as a joke, but it had quickly turned into a nickname that Pam actually liked.)

Pam frowned. “Harleen, but…”

“Please, can we not talk about this now? I wanna focus on my classes. Nothing I left there is something I can’t replace.” Harleen gave her friend a pleading look.

Pam frowned, then sighed. “Fine, but we are not done talking about this.”

Pamela turned around and filled a plate with eggs and bacon; she handed it to Harleen. “I want you to eat all of that.”

Harleen took the plate with a laugh. “Yes Mom.”

Pamela chuckled. “So what’s your first class this morning?”

Harleen set her plate on the counter and dug in, the first bite telling her that she was hungrier than she had expected to be. She shoved egg into her mouth, speaking with her mouthful. “I have english lit this morning with Dr. Tetch, then history with Dr. Minerva, and psychiatry with Dr. Kerr. Tomorrow it’s chemistry with Dr. Fries and psychology with Dr. Crane. Oh and gymnastics practice after classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Pam grimace. “Five classes? Wow. I’m just taking math, botany and forest management.”

Harleen shrugged as she took a bite of bacon grinning at Pamela. “Okay Captain Planet, but you also have a job. I’m living on my loans.”

Pam laughed. “Hey! You...twisty workaholic!” she made a weird one finger hand gesture at Harleen.

Harleen laughed. “Well, I’m considering dropping history or english, but I need them for my gen eds and just wanted to get them out of the way. I figure since I’m not going to be working this term I should cram it with classes.”

Pam smiled at Harleen while she sipped her coffee. “I love the fact that you got here on a gymnastics scholarship, but you’re smart too. Not like some of the football players I’ve met.”

Harleen grinned, taking a large swallow of her coffee before she answered. “I’m smart, but I’m not a genius. There was no way I was going to be able pay for college without some help so I picked a sport I enjoyed and used it to my advantage.” She tapped the side of her head. “This way, they are paying me to be here.”

Pam laughed. “Harleen Quinzel: evil genius.”

Harleen laughed. “Nope. Harleen Quinzel: poor student.”

Pam narrowed her eyes in thought, sipping at her coffee and nibbling at her bacon. “Did you say Dr. Kerr?”

Harleen nodded. “Yeah, why?”

Pam grinned. “You’re gonna like him. He looks a bit weird, but still…”

“Weird?” Harleen asked around a bite of bacon.

“Oh, I won’t spoil it, just wait and see, but you’ll like him. He’s really handsome, funny, cracks horrible jokes all the time. I took freshman psychology with him. He makes even that boring class--no offense--fun.” Pam smiled. “Yeah, I think you’re gonna like him.”

Harleen grinned. “Handsome, eh?”

Pam nodded. “Handsome, but he also has a very exotic look...There are a few people who take his classes just because he’s the “older man” crush, I’m pretty sure.”

“Is he foreign?” Harleen asked sipping her coffee.

“Oh no, born and raised in Gotham as far as I know...just wait--you’ll see,” Pam said with a smile.

Harleen wrinkled her nose at her in annoyance.

Pam finished off her coffee and bacon. “You wanna walk together?”

Harleen nodded. “Sure, just let me get my stuff together.”

Harleen shoveled the rest of her eggs into her mouth along with the remains of her bacon, washing it all down with her coffee before hurrying to her room to get dressed.

Harleen pulled her hair up into a ponytail with a few wisps of blonde hair hanging to frame her face. She dressed in black leggings, some black combat boots and a red, long sleeved cotton jersey. She threw her expensive books into her backpack along with some notebooks, half a dozen pencils, pens, gum, a bottle of water, and a paperback novel before she met Pam at the door, where the redhead waited with her green umbrella. Harleen grabbed her red and white polka dot umbrella from the stand next to the door and headed out beside her friend for her first day at Gotham U.

*

The campus of Gotham University was huge, with numerous old buildings surrounded by old houses, but the part about the campus that Harleen loved the most was the fact that there were so many trees! Her old university had been mostly large buildings, concrete sidewalks, glass windows, and asphalt, with few actual trees. The Gotham U campus looked like it was right out of a movie. Gotham University was everything Harleen had always thought a university should be. Not only were most of the buildings large, beautiful structures that looked to have been built in the last century, with some having peaked roofs, or covered in decades of green vines, but there were forested walkways with benches and hidden surprises like sculptures in secret groves and out of the way alcoves.

The campus had a large center area that everyone called the square (which Harleen found hilarious since it was actually round) where students could gather to sit on the lawn under trees or statues and eat or study, but it was also the place where students gave speeches, held protests, or, as with today and despite the rain, held events and recruiting for clubs. There were tables under makeshift canopies offering membership in student government, sororities, fraternities, glee club, a poetry society, academic clubs, political clubs, all of them out braving the rain to gather precious freshmen to their causes.

Pam and Harleen walked past them all until they reached a split in the path. They stopped, sheltered under their umbrellas.

Pam turned to Harleen. “Well, I better go. See you tonight?”

Harleen nodded. “Yep. Wanna order pizza? I think the first day of classes should end with pizza.”

Pam grinned. “Pepperoni?”

“Well, duh, of course.” Harleen giggled. “I would also say beer, but I hate beer and we shouldn’t be drinking on a school night.”

Pam laughed. “True, plus I hate beer too. What about some cola with shots of vanilla syrup?”

Harleen grinned. “Sounds decadent--I’m in. Oh, I’ll stop at the cafe down from us and grab some lava cake too.”

Pam laughed. “Sounds perfect. See you tonight Harleen, hope you have a good day.”

Harleen gave Pam a one-armed hug. “You too, go save the earth.”

Pam laughed and gave Harleen a kiss on the cheek before she headed off. Harleen watched her go before turning around and heading to her first class of the day.

*

Harleen sat in the back of the classroom as Dr. Tetch, a surprising short man with messy brown hair, light grey eyes and a slight overbite gestured dramatically as he introduced himself to the class.

“Class, we are going to spend this term on two of my favorite books.” Dr. Tetch grinned at the assembled students. The older man’s smile was a little dorky, but kind of adorable Harleen thought as he walked in front of the dry erase board where he had written his name in colorful markers across the board, curving his name like a rainbow.

Tetch wore a black suit with a red and yellow polka dot tie making him look eccentric and actually quite funny Harleen thought. He continued to talk as he walked up and down the aisles of desks handing out the class syllabus. “We, my dear friends, my fellow voyagers on this journey of wonder…” Tetch chuckled. “We are going to be studying the two most famous works of Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.” Tetch returned to the front of the class and hopped up onto his desk where he sat, his legs dangling over the side. His slacks had lifted enough that Harleen could see that he was wearing blue and orange striped socks.

“Now...picture yourselves in a boat...listening to a story...you are children now...lazily enjoying a late summer afternoon...Now...what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations asked Alice? Well...let us talk…”

By the time the hour was up, Harleen had decided Dr. Tetch’s class was not one she was going to drop.

*

Harleen’s second class was history, African and Middle Eastern studies, which was in the building right next to her literature class on the second floor with Dr. Barbara Minerva.

Dr. Minerva was a tall, slender, a black woman from Great Britain with hair cut so short that she looked almost bald. The professor wore a tightly tailored grey suit that accentuated her slender, trim figure. She stood at her desk near the board and watched each student walk into the room, her eyes not missing any of them. Harleen felt as if she were being measured for weakness and found wanting.

Harleen quickly found a seat in the back. For some reason, she hoped that Professor Minerva didn’t see her. She wasn’t sure what it was about the woman she found so intimidating, but Harleen felt that she understood how a rabbit must feel when a fox or a hawk had them in their sights.

Once everyone was seated Dr. Minerva, her voice stern, but somehow sensual at the same time, said in a soft yet clear voice.

“This class is not for the weak. You will read, you will study, you will write, and you will present. I do not accept late work except in the case of severe illness or death and I do not suffer fools. You will come to class prepared or you will not come at all. Are we clear?”

Everyone murmured agreement.

Dr. Minerva smiled, a smile that Harleen would characterize as bordering on feral. “Then, we will begin. Open your books--if you do not have your book, get out.”

With that, the professor turned to the board and began to write as she lectured.

*

Harleen shuddered when she left Dr. Minerva’s class. She would have to wait until she had been to all her classes, just in case one of the other professors somehow managed to be worse, but she was fairly confident that this was the class she would be dropping. Dr. Minerva scared her! Though as she started walking away, she groaned inwardly. She really needed that class; maybe she should wait. Sometimes professors acted stern and horrible on the first day to weed out the students who were not really there because they wanted to be, and the students who were left were the ones the teacher knew wanted to learn the topic…

Harleen bit the side of her lip in thought as she walked down the hall along with several dozen other students all on their way to other classes or trying to find someplace to spend time between classes.

Harleen had an hour between Minera’s class and her last class of the day. She decided to go to one of the school’s many cafes and get herself some coffee and maybe a scone or muffin.

She made her way outside to find that the rain had stopped, though the day was still cloudy and overcast, with a noticeable chill in the air. Maybe fall would come early. Harleen loved fall. It was the best time of the year as far as she was concerned.

She saw many students milling around, wandering here and there. She walked through the square toward the social science building where she knew from the campus tour that a cafe was located in the basement called the Social Bean.

The scent of delicious coffee hit her the moment Harleen opened the door to the building. She followed the scent downstairs to the basement and toward the cafe with a smile. The place was cozy, the walls painted coffee bean brown, the floors the color of light mocha, and there were posters all through the place of famous psychologists and psychiatrists with famous quotes underneath their images.

Harleen smiled as she went to stand in line. Becoming a psychiatrist had become her goal after her favorite aunt, Aunt Alyce, committed suicide last year. Until that point, Harleen had been drifting in school, not sure what she wanted to do. Her aunt had always shown signs of depression--at least that was what her mom had said even though her father had said that Aunt Alyce was cracked in the head and just wanted attention all the time. No one helped Aunt Alyce. Instead, Harleen knew that her aunt drank, and in the last several years Harleen’s mother had said her aunt had started to do drugs until the pain had become more than she could bear and Aunt Alyce had hung herself.

Harleen knew the truth now. Her aunt was bi-polar and maybe had histrionic personality disorder.

From there Harleen had learned from her mother that her maternal grandmother, a woman she had never known, was schizophrenic. Harleen felt certain her father had something too, probably bi-polar as well with his mood swings, and maybe something else since he had been in and out of prison her entire life, and continued to be a career criminal, usually petty stuff, but still... Harleen was also aware that her mother showed those same signs of bi-polar disorder. All of that family history was why Harleen was here in school. She couldn’t bring back the dead, but maybe she could be there for her mother, better equipped to help her if things went bad.

But the other part of her was doing this for herself, and her siblings. Harleen had just recently become an aunt; her older sister Lucy had just had a baby and her older brother Barry looked to be heading down the same path as their father. Deep down, Harleen worried that she or one of them was next on the wheel of family crazy. She didn’t know if becoming a psychiatrist would prepare her for something happening, but she wanted to opportunity to be able to help, to save herself and her family. It wasn’t noblity that had her pursuing this career choice--it was survival. Harleen placed her order, an orange scone and a mocha latte before she found a seat where she could put her back in a corner. She thought about starting on homework, but decided to simply pull out her book and enjoy her free hour.

It wasn’t long before Harleen was completely absorbed by her book, coffee, and scones, so much so she didn’t notice when someone sat down at her table until she heard someone clear their throat. Harleen frowned, looking up at over top of her book and glasses to see a young man around her age sitting at the table with her. He grinned at her, one of those cocksure grins Harleen was accustomed to seeing on boys in high school who thought they were the best thing on two legs with a dick dangling between them.

He was handsome in a dull sort of “seen everywhere” sort of way. His hair was cut short, dark brown, and he had that stylish unshaven look. He wore a brown dress shirt, no tie, with a darker brown blazer over the top, and jeans. He wore a pair of gold framed rectangle glasses and an easy smile. Harleen hated him immediately.

He had set his messenger bag on the table and leaned an elbow next to it as he smiled at her. “You’re new here aren’t you?”

Harleen frowned. “It’s the first day; there are a lot of new people here.”

He smiled, his eyes going from her face to her chest quickly, where his gaze lingered too long. Shit! He wasn’t even trying to hide that he was staring at her chest! Harleen frowned, pressing her lips together into a thin line. She knew she was busty, it was an aspect of her personal appearance that had always been bothersome, especially when she was doing gymnastics. She was not one of those young women for whom doing sports gave her the trim, sleek body that so many of them had. She was cursed with curves and big boobs, yeah. Overall, she didn’t really mind, but there was a tendency for a lot of men to look from her eyes right to her boobs...or just her boobs. At least most of them tried not to be obvious about it or took a quick look then were back to her face, but this guy was acting like he was doing her a favor by staring at her chest with his cocky smile. Jerk.

“Well I meant you’re new here…” He motioned at the cafe, but Harleen figured he meant the social sciences building.

He gave her what she assumed he thought of as a charmingly crooked smile. “I’m Jeremiah Arkham. I’m a PhD student here in this department. I teach a lot of classes here actually and I’ve been the assistant for several of the professors who prefer to give me my own classes.” He grinned. “I’m sure you’ve heard the name Arkham--my father runs the world famous Arkham Asylum right here in Gotham, so I’m something of a minor celebrity here on campus.”

Harleen sighed before she answered. “Good for you. I just moved here from New York and I’ve never heard of Arkham.” (Which was a complete lie, she had--everyone had! She just didn’t want to give this dick the satisfaction of having his ego pumped up any more than it already was.)

Jeremiah looked taken aback. “You’ve never heard of Arkham Asylum, really?”

Harleen shook her head with a dismissive shrug. “Nope.”

Jeremiah frowned, but he continued. “So, what’s your name and major?”

Harleen kept herself from rolling her eyes. She was very proud of herself for her self-control. She supposed she had to tell him her major because he would find out anyway if she would be working toward her degree in psychiatry. “Harleen Quinzel--I’m majoring in psychiatry.”

Jeremiah grinned and leaned closer. “Really? How wonderful! That means we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.”

Harleen sighed. “Oh goodie.”

Arkham either didn’t pick up on the sarcasm or he didn’t care. “So, Harleen--that’s a pretty name--how about I take you out to dinner tonight?” Jeremiah winked at her and Harleen felt like she might actually vomit.

She put her book up, hiding her face. “Thanks, but I have plans.”

“I’m sure you could change them,” Jeremiah said as he reached over and brush her arm with his fingers. “We could have a really good time. I could give you private tutoring lessons, help you with studying.” He continued to stroke her arm even after Harleen pulled her arm away; he just moved closer.

Behind her book Harleen squeezed her eyes shut. She really didn’t need this, not after just breaking up with Guy, but she wasn’t sure what to do. If this guy really was a PhD student who taught classes and was a student aide, he could make her life miserable! God, if he graded her paper…

Harleen wasn’t sure what to do to get rid of Arkham when someone called out. “Hey Jeremiah!”

Harleen looked over the top of her book to see a tall, slender woman with honey blonde hair that hung to her shoulders with heavy, dark eyebrows and plain features, but with a light brown eyed gaze that made Harleen think of looking at a snake--soulless, lifeless, and dangerous. She wore stylish black slacks with a tight black turtleneck, all it somehow communicating expensive and bitchy. Maybe not completely bitchy, Harleen thought, but bitchy was definitely the vibe Harleen was picking up off the woman.

The woman glared at Harleen, actually curled her lip at the younger woman, which Harleen might have found impressive. She had never seen someone actually curl their lip except maybe Billy Idol. It looked like lip curling hurt.

Jeremiah stood. “Jane! I was wondering…”

“Stop, don’t try and sweet talk me. I know more about you than you do. Who’s the bimbo with the enormous boobs? How much did those cost?” Jane hissed.

Harleen was so shocked by Jane’s hostility that she didn’t reply while Arkham acted as if Jane hadn’t said anything rude at all. “Jane Prince, this is Harleen Quinzel, a fellow student of the mind.”

Jane glared. “I don’t fucking care, Jeremiah. Are you ready? The meeting starts in ten minutes.”

Jeremiah grabbed up his bag. “Of course I’m ready.” He turned to Harleen. “It was nice to meet you Harleen, see you again soon.” He left with Jane, who shot Harleen a venomous look over her shoulder.

Harleen made a face. “Ugh.” She shook her head, going back to her book.

Jerks were everywhere.

*

Harleen happily enjoyed the rest of her break--uninterrupted by anyone else--before heading up to the fifth floor for her class, which wasn’t just a class about psychiatry; the class was called, ‘Psychiatry and Chemistry, the Mysteries of the Mind,’ taught by Professor Joe Kerr.

Harleen made her way up the stairs, heading toward the classroom. There were a lot of students in the room, but she still found a free seat in the back of the room near one corner. She took her seat, pulled out her notebook, and waited. There were two girls sitting in front of her talking loud enough that Harleen couldn’t help but overhear them. Harleen was sure everyone in the next four buildings could hear them.

“Oh my god, he is so hot!” Girl one who had dyed pink hair groaned.

Girl two, who had her hair pulled up into a messy bun, laughed. “I know, that’s the only reason I’m taking his class, just so I can stare at his ass. I figure every time I fail, it's just another chance to stare at his ass.”

The two girls giggled.

The pink haired girl hissed under her breath (Harleen supposed she was trying to be quiet but she was louder than before.) “He can eat me out anytime he wants.”

Her friend snorted a laugh. “You are so bad…” She bit her bottom lip. “He looks like he might be hung...like...really…” She emphasized what she was talking about by holding her hand down from her crotch which sent both young women into a fit of giggles as the pink-haired girl laughed. “You know he is, you can see it!”

Harleen frowned, wondering just how good looking Dr. Kerr was because those two seemed really in love with him. Pamela had said he was exotic looking...She absently tapped her pencil against her notebook, waiting and thinking this guy couldn’t be that good looking when the door opened and Dr. Kerr walked in, the room going silent to watch him walk to his desk.

Harleen swallowed, her eyes widening.

He was tall, at least six feet one, and slender, though not skinny. He moved with an easy grace, like a trained dancer or a martial artist. He was clad in a tailored dark grey suit with a dark blue dress shirt, black and white polkadot tie with a vest, black gloves, and sharp toed, shiny black and white oxfords. Harleen was struck by his sharp-featured looks (he wasn’t your typical good looking either. Not the type of guy you would see in a magazine with chiseled features and muscles, but he didn’t need them.) Dr. Kerr had a long pointed nose, thin but expressive lips and piercing, startling blue eyes with a burst of gold around the pupil that was vivid enough that Harleen could see from her seat in the back. She wondered if what she saw was a trick of the light in his eyes and found herself hoping it wasn’t some sort of optical illusion.

But the most startling feature about the man was that his skin was pale, not pale as in he needed some sun, but white, like fine whipped cream or untouched, freshly fallen snow, and his hair was cut short on the sides. She could see the top was thick, slightly curling, which Dr. Kerr had struggled to force back from his face. One lone curl had escaped his efforts to curl on his forehead....one green curl that made Harleen’s eyes widen.

Dr. Kerr’s hair was the most startling shade of dark green.

As Harleen stared at him, she realized his lips were painted. He had lipstick on--not a lot--just enough to make his lips--his sensually shaped lips she thought--stand out against his pale skin. He turned to the class, at the same time sliding off his jacket and hanging it on the back of his chair behind the desk at the front of the room. Then he proceeded to take his gloves off. Harleen swallowed hard, watching him as he pulled one glove off, exposing long, elegant fingers (like a musician or a surgeon, she thought) then pulled the second glove off, though he began by pulling at the glove with his teeth, which Harleen was sure was the single most sexy thing she had ever seen in her life. Once he had dropped the gloves onto the desk in front of him, Dr. Kerr unbuttoned and rolled his sleeves up enough to expose his pale, lean forearms.

He smiled--the single most stunning smile Harleen Quinzel had ever seen in her life--before he clapped his hands. Harleen’s heart was beating loud enough that she was surprised no one turned to stare at her. Her hands felt sweaty and her breathing was rapid. She had never seen anyone as sexy as Dr. Kerr, no one, she thought. Ever.

“Now, who’s ready to learn about the most exciting part of our bodies, the mind?” Dr. Kerr grinned as his eyes moved over the assembled students before his gaze landed on Harleen.

They stared at one another and Dr. Kerr seemed to blink several times as if startled before he tore his eyes away from Harleen.

“But, before we learn about that, how about we learn who we all are--unless you would all just like me to make up names for each of you, which I am perfectly happy to do.” Dr. Kerr laughed and Harleen realized she wasn’t just smitten. She was lost...she was in love.