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She gasped as her body slammed against the wall.

There was no time to react further.

He hitched her upward, pressed his body into hers as his lips assaulted her mouth, her jaw, her neck. She wrapped her legs around him, buried a hand in his hair, encouraged him not to stop.

It was artful, how he managed to unbuckle his belt, unbutton his pants, and push them down without letting her go, without stopping his work along her throat. He didn’t bother with a condom or even fondling her. He knew her body well enough to know she had an IUD and was ready for him. He pushed up her skirt, pulled the lacy panties she was partial to aside, and buried himself in her.

There was nothing sweet about it as he pounded into her, grunting and groaning, driven on by her cries of pleasure, the way she squeezed her thighs around him, how she felt so damn good, better than any other he had been with.

And he had been with many.

Her orgasm ripped through her body. She called his name. It echoed around them. He kept going. A few more thrusts and he let go inside of her, his last pumps slowing down until they stopped. Fully sheathed, her still pressed between him and the wall, he dropped his forehead to her shoulder.

“God, you get better each time, Spellman,” he breathed. “I don’t know how you do it.”

“You keep me on my toes, Scratch,” Sabrina quipped. “Or,” she squeezed her thighs around him to point out their current situation, “maybe not.”

He laughed, nipped her shoulder, slipped out of her, and lowered her to her feet.

“Whether on your toes or not, I never regret it,” he said as he pulled up his jeans and buttoned and buckled himself back up.

“Me either,” she replied as she smoothed down her skirt. He didn’t notice that her smile didn’t quite meet her eyes, too preoccupied with his belt.

“See you at school tomorrow?” he asked.

“Where else would I be?” she countered. “We have young minds to fill with knowledge.”

“Or try to, at least. I’m giving my classes a pop quiz tomorrow, so I believe I’ll have the honor of being the most hated teacher at Baxter High.”

“Hell of a way to start their Monday,” Sabrina quipped.

“They shouldn’t have been pains in the asses on Friday,” he retorted.

“It was the first pep rally of the year. They were excited.”

“You’re too nice. That’s why they all like you.”

“You’ve got your own fan club, Scratch,” she stated. Surely he wasn’t oblivious to the gaggles of teenage girls – and a few teenage boys – that were consistently charmed by his good looks and easy mannerisms.

“Is it safe to assume you’re their president?” he asked with his smug smirk.

“You know what they say about those who assume,” she shot back.

“I do like your ass,” he volleyed back. He swatted at it as thought to emphasize his point. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Spellman.”

“Tomorrow,” she echoed.

She locked her front door behind him and took a moment to lean against it and breathe.

She really hadn’t intended to end the evening with Nicholas Scratch between her legs. The theater in town had ran a Hitchcock double feature of Vertigo and The Birds. She had been hungry afterward, so she stopped at Dr. Cerberus for a burger. Nick showed up for his own meal a few minutes later, one thing led to another, and the next thing she knew, they were rushing out of the diner and barely made it up the stairs and through her front door before he was inside of her, making her feel things that should be illegal.

Every time, she told herself it would be the last time.

And then the next time happened.

With a sigh, she pushed off the door and climbed the dark stairs to her bedroom, taking the headband out of her hair and removing her heels as she went. She was nearly to her bedroom when the hall light flipped on.


Her best friend stood at the end of the hallway, just outside of her own bedroom, wearing a look of disapproval Sabrina knew all too well.

“I thought you were at Harvey’s,” Sabrina stammered. She would have never let Nick bring her to her place, let alone fuck her in the entry way, had she known Roz was home. Location wouldn’t have mattered. Nick would have still found his way into her panties. It just would have been better if Roz didn’t know about it.

“I was,” Roz nodded once. “But Tommy called, said a waterline broke at their dad’s. Harvey left to help fix the leak and I didn’t want to stay at his place alone. I thought I’d come home, get in bed early, read a book until I fell asleep… Instead, I had to hurriedly find my earbuds to drown out the sound of my best friend being screwed by the town’s biggest douchebag.”

“I’m sorry, Roz,” Sabrina said sincerely. “I didn’t know you were here, or I would have never… I know you don’t like him.”

“It’s not that I don’t like him,” Roz reminded her. “He’s likeable enough, if you can get past the fact that he’s an absolute hound dog, searching for whatever is in heat. It’s that you can’t seem to say no. And you know you should.”

Sabrina let her vulnerability show.

“I know I should,” she admitted. “I just… It’s hard, Roz.”

Roz softened minutely towards her friend. Sabrina was one of the most fierce and independent people she knew, but Nicholas Scratch seemed to be her kryptonite, and it broke her heart to watch it unfold.

“I know it is,” she soothed. “But ‘Brina, we both know he’s not going to change. He’s been like this since he moved here freshman year of high school. I know you. I know you think you can change him, save him. But Nicholas Scratch doesn’t want to be saved. I don’t want you to waste your time trying to save him, not when there is someone out there who will love you the way you deserve to be loved.” She fixed Sabrina with a serious expression. “Treat you the way you deserve to be treated.”

Sabrina said nothing. There was nothing she could say. Roz wasn’t wrong.

“I’m going to take a shower,” she finally said, feeling dirty all of a sudden. “I’ll see you in the morning?”

“In the morning,” Roz promised. “I’ll have the coffee waiting.”

Sabrina disappeared into her room and shut her door behind her. She flipped on her bedside lamp to reveal Salem, her cat, lying on her pillow. His green eyes pierced right through her.

“Don’t you judge me too,” she snapped. Salem meowed in response.

She went to her adjoining bathroom and turned the shower on to let the water heat up. It took the old house’s water tank a while to get going, but when it did, the stream of water stayed hot for ages. That’s what she needed tonight – a very long, very hot, shower.

She shimmed out of her skirt, then dropped her panties. She winced a bit, feeling where Nick had been. He wasn’t always so rough, but she didn’t exactly protest when he was, even if she would feel him tomorrow, be reminded of their triste as she stood before her English classes the next day. Sometimes she thought that was what he wanted, to remind her that she had been in his bed – his truck, her bed, the storage closet at school…

His cologne lingered on her shirt and it filled her nose when she pulled it over her head. She made an annoyed sort of face and threw the shirt in the direction of her hamper, damning him to hell, not for the first time, for how he messed with her head. She surveyed herself in her mirror as she unfastened her bra. Her lips were still plump, her hair messy, from their romp. A bright red spot stood out against her alabaster skin, right at the curve where her neck met her shoulder. There was something akin to teeth marks on her shoulder.

“Damn you, Scratch,” she muttered. “There goes the sleeveless shirt I was going to wear tomorrow.”

Under the hot stream of water, she began to wash, scrubbing a little harder than was necessary.

It was a damned shame water couldn’t wash feelings away, too.

She made it until lunch before her path crossed with his.

“It’s a bit warm out to be wearing a turtleneck, Spellman,” Nick commented as he unwrapped a frozen burrito. She glared at him, grateful they were the only two in the teacher’s lounge for the moment. He laughed. He knew exactly why she was wearing the short sleeved mockneck. He had to remind himself it was the middle of the school day as he recalled just how it felt to be deep inside her the night before. But he could have something to look forward to. “Come over to my place after school.”

“I can’t,” she said tersely. “I have cheerleading practice.”

“Now there’s an image to think about it.” He had to banish the thought of Sabrina in a cheerleading uniform from his mind or he would whisk her off to a storage closet. They had only done that once, during a teacher workday, and while the thrill of it had been worthwhile, he didn’t think they would get away with it while the school was packed to the gills with teenagers. “Come over after. I’m not doing anything.”


She left it at that. He quirked an eyebrow at her.

“You mad at me, Spellman?” he said it as a joke, but she couldn’t help but think maybe, just maybe, she heard a bit of genuine worry underneath his tone.

“No,” she sighed. She wondered thought if maybe, deep down, she was mad at him for being – him. She glanced over her shoulder to make sure they were still alone. “We can’t keep doing this…”

“You say that nearly every time.” The microwave dinged. She took her bowl of leftovers out, careful of the hot ceramic. He bumped her hip with his. “You never mean it.”

“Maybe I do this time.” She forced herself to look at him. His eyes met hers and he studied her closely. He knew her better than she thought he did. She was trying to make a stand, but she wasn’t firm in per position.

“You don’t,” he said with confidence. “Come over. I’ll make it worth your while.”

Sabrina’s answer was to roll her eyes and walk away, leaving Nick to microwave his sorry excuse of a lunch. Other teachers filtered in, busied themselves with their own hurried lunches. He had the entire table open to him but of course, he dropped into the seat beside her. She observed his processed burrito and bag of corn chips.

“You eat like crap,” she informed him.

“Not all of us learned to be gourmet cooks from our aunts, Coach Spellman,” he said, taking in the bowl of grains and vegetables she was picking at. It did look a lot better than what he was eating. “What is that, anyway?”

“Quinoa, tofu, and roasted vegetables. And don’t give me that crap. Your mother is an excellent cook and I’ve had your father’s smoked pork more than once.”

“Neither of them are my aunt,” he pointed out. “Besides, why learn to cook when I had them feeding me?”

Sabrina rolled her eyes again. She did that a lot around Nicholas Scratch. He was twenty-five years old, but still acted like the teenage boys he taught, the frat boys she had known in college. It was a wonder he could command a classroom the way he did when his personal life still resembled what she heard he was like in college, what she knew he was like in high school.

“You could learn to cook,” she told him. “YouTube it. Spaghetti isn’t hard.”

“This is easier.” He took a gooey bite out of the burrito to prove his point. She resisted the urge to reach out and brush the cheese sauce from the corner of his lip. He leaned in closer. “Seriously. Couch your squad, then come over.”

Sabrina said nothing, but stabbed a piece of tofu with annoyance.

He sat back in his chair, satisfied.

She couldn’t say no to him.

He damn sure didn’t want her to. She was easily the best sex he had ever had, despite his lengthy resume. It was the perfect set up – good sex, no commitment.

Why say no to a good thing?