“I’m just talking to a new friend, Xavier. It’s allowed, you know.”
“Maybe you should think about what is best for your country and not what is best for your bed, dear brother.”
“Xavier!” Sebastian’s voice was outraged, and I felt my heart sink into my stomach. This was it. Xavier was going to tell his brother that he knew me and then Sebastian was going to look at me in distaste.
“Run along, Sebastian. I don’t have all day and I do believe that Lola would like to get this interview out of the way as well.”
“Good luck, Lola. I apologize for my brother. This is his first time as a professor. I think he’s letting it go to his head.”
“That’s okay.” I smiled at him warmly. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“I can’t wait.” He smiled at me one last time before glaring at his brother and walking out of the room.
I stood there watching him and didn’t stop staring at the door, even after he had walked through it. I felt my heart rate increasing rapidly as I stood there waiting for Xavier to say something. But he remained as silent as I did. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer and turned to look at him. He was watching me with hawk eyes and pursed lips.
“What’s your problem?” I couldn’t resist saying the words that were in my mind. “You’re such an asshole. Do you know that?” I glared at him and noticed his lips twitching. “Are you going to answer me or not?”
“What do you want me to say, Lolita?” he finally spoke and raised an eyebrow at me. My stomach did flip-flops as I stared at him, unable to forget and ignore how attracted I was to him.
“My name is Lola, not Lolita.”
“And I suppose you’re going to tell me you’re not a prostitute either?”
“You’re a f**king asshole.” I grabbed my bag. “I’m out of here.”
“Running away again?” His voice was tight as he grabbed my shoulders to stop me.
“Don’t touch me.” I shook him off me, ignoring the tingles that ran through my body.
“Leave my brother alone.”
“He’s young and impressionable, and I won’t let a gold-digger get her hooks into him.”
“A gold-digger?” My mouth fell open in shock. “Are you joking? You’re really going to stand there and start insulting me again?”
“I’m not insulting you. I’m just letting you know that I have your number.”
“You have my number?” I repeated, dumbfounded.
“I know what sort of girl you are, Lola Franklin,” he sneered, and he moved his face closer to mine. “I’ve got your number all right.”
“There is no way in hell I’m staying around to listen to you insult me, Professor Van Romerius.” I quickly turned around again and walked towards the door.
“Wait.” His voice was commanding, and I stopped involuntarily, a part of me hoping that he was about to apologize.
“What?” I watched as he walked up to me casually. He looked like a lion about to attack his prey. I swallowed hard as I realized I was the prey.
“I just wanted to do this.”
He stopped in front of me, and before I knew what was happening, his lips were crushing down on mine and his hands were on my lower back, bringing me into him. My br**sts crushed against his chest and I felt as if my soul were leaving my body as his tongue consumed me roughly, as his hands caressed my back. My hands found their way to his head and I ran my fingers through his silky tresses, allowing myself to forget how much I hated him as my hunger took over.
He tasted so goddamn delicious—even better than I had remembered. His lips were sweeter somehow, plump and sweet like ripe grapes. My brain was screaming at me to pull away, to stop his invasion of my mouth, but I couldn’t. My body didn’t want to run away from his touch, even though my mind did. But Xavier did it for me. He broke off the kiss slowly and pulled away from me. I waited for him to say something scathing, something that would make me hate him again, but instead he lightly touched my lips with his fingers and stared at me consideringly.
“You really shouldn’t let strange men kiss you.”
“I don’t think I let you. You didn’t really ask.”
“No. You are right. I didn’t.” He nodded slightly and a harried expression crossed his face. “I do suppose you are right.”
“You shouldn’t be kissing your students.” I started getting angry, wanting to show him that I had some power as well. “I’m sure it could get you fired.”
“Perhaps.” He nodded and the humor was back in his eyes. “But I’d rather kiss you than have you try to trap my brother.”
“How do you know I wouldn’t be trying to trap you?” I snapped, annoyed again.
“You could never trap me.” He laughed, a slow, long, dry laugh. But there was no humor in his eyes. “I’m older and smarter than Sebastian. That is why I need to protect him.”
“And when you f**ked me the other day, who were you protecting then?” I tried to keep my voice strong as hurt course through me.
“I f**ked you because I wanted to feel myself inside of your sweet body,” he murmurred as he looked me over slowly. “No other reason.”
Our eyes stayed locked for a few minutes as we just stood there staring at each other, and I felt my knees start to tremble. It was almost too much. He was too much.
“I’ll leave your class.” I took a step back.
“And go where?”
“I can join the literature program.” I swallowed. “My friend Anna is in it. She told me they need more people.”
“You didn’t even know who Nabokov is,” he sneered. “I don’t think the literature program will be a good fit for you.”
“I can’t stay in this class if you’re going to insult me.” I shook my head to clear my thoughts. My brain was starting to get cloudy from being so close to him.
“I didn’t know I had insulted you.”
“What?” I looked at him in disbelief. “You’ve basically called me a whore and a gold-digger, and you don’t know that you’ve insulted me?”
“Your skin is too thin.”
“Can I go?” I sighed and waited for his response. I didn’t want to deal with him. I needed time to think.
“I haven’t interviewed you for the position as yet.”
“Forget it.” I shrugged. “I don’t want it anymore.”
“Come, now. Surely that’s not true.”
“I don’t want to work for or with you.”
“I should be hurt.” He laughed, but his eyes were blank. “But I’m not.”
“I’m sure you’re not.”
“You start tomorrow at eight.”
“What?” I frowned, wondering if I had heard correctly. “What do you mean?”
“Was I not clear? You should come to my office tomorrow at eight a.m.”
“You haven’t even interviewed me yet.”
“You were the only applicant, so you win.”
“I didn’t win anything. I told you, I don’t want the position.”
“Are you scared, little Lolita?”
“Scared of what?” I took another step back as he took a step forward. I couldn’t allow him to touch me again. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from responding if he touched me again.
“Scared because I know who you are.”
“I don’t know what you think you know.” I looked him in the eye. “And I’d never be scared of an as**ole like you. I accept the position.”
“Good.” He smiled and walked back to his desk as if nothing had just happened. He picked up his briefcase and pulled out his cell phone. “What’s your phone number?”
“Why do you want my number?”
“So I can text you my address.”
“Why do I need your address?”
“Because that is where my office is.”
“What? It’s not here?”
“No.” He shook his head. “It’s in Knightsbridge.”
“Can’t I just meet you here?”
I frowned. “But why were you in a hotel the other night—”
“What is your number, Lola?” He cut me off and handed me his phone. “Input it here, I’ll text you my address, and I’ll expect you in the morning. Don’t be late.”
“I don’t even know what to say,” I mumbled as I put my number into his phone.
“No need to say anything.” He took the phone back from me and put it in his pocket.
“What am I going to be doing for you?”
“We’ll discuss it tomorrow.”
“Oh God, you don’t expect me to be your assistant-slash-lover, do you?” I blurted out. “I’ve read books about this, you know. Man in power hires poor, innocent girl to be his assistant, but really she’s his sex toy to have sex at his whim. Just because I slept with you once doesn’t mean you can bend me over a desk at your will. Contrary to what you may think, I’m not a slut and I can’t be bought.” I took a deep breath and continued, ignoring the sudden light shining in his eyes. “You’re my professor. You can’t do this. I can get you fired. This is sexual harassment.”
“See, Lola,” he spoke quietly, “this is why you shouldn’t study literature.”
“What?” I frowned at him. That was his response to my entire diatribe?
“What kind of books are you reading?” He laughed. “I’ve never heard of any great literature with the premise of ‘easy girl becomes sex slave to powerful man.’ Put down the Harlequins and learn about real life, Lola. I neither want nor need you to do any sexual favors for me.”
“I ...” I mumbled, flabbergasted at his words. “I don’t read Harlequins.”
“Good. I wouldn’t want you to go getting any dreams in your head about this situation. I know how you girls are. You will never have a relationship with me or my brother.” His eyes flashed at me. “And while I admit you were good for a night, I’ve no need to repeat it.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“I’ll see you in the morning, Lolita.”
And with that, he sauntered out of the room, leaving me standing there, wondering what the hell was going on.
I was excited for the first day of class. I wanted to see her face when she realized I was going to be her professor. Would her face go red? Would she run out of the room? Maybe she’d pull me out of the classroom and argue with me. Maybe I’d push her against the wall and lift her up and press myself into her, so she could feel how much I’d missed her.
“Don’t be crazy, Xavier,” I lectured myself. I knew I was treading in murky waters. Lola was going to be my student. I was her professor. It was already pretty scandalous that we’d slept together. I’d be crazy to sleep with her again as her professor—but then, I liked crazy. I had only taken this job as a favor to the president of the university. And it was a study abroad program. I was sure that the rules weren’t as strict about professors and students dating. And it wasn’t like I was in it for the dating part anyways.
I walked into the classroom and called out my name. I saw Lola right away. I felt my c**k hardening as soon as I saw her. She looked at me in shock and I tried not to grin. Then I saw my brother, Sebastian whispering in my ear and I felt a jolt of jealousy. Had she already moved on? I frowned as I watched them together. Their body language indicated that they already had some sort of friendship. I was furious inside. I couldn’t believe that she had already found my brother. I had been sitting at home all weekend, excited about the possibility of seeing her again, but she had already moved on.
“Prostitutes,” I shouted out to the class. “Yes, let’s start with prostitutes.” I looked directly at Lola and watched as she squirmed in her seat. Her face was bright red and her eyes were furious as she looked at me. My heart thudded as we made eye contact. There was beauty in her anger. There was satisfaction in her anger. I wanted to make her feel it. I wanted to make her worry. I was pissed that she was so cozy with Sebastian. He was my brother and I loved him, but he was not going to take my Lola.
Class seemed to drag on and it was all I could do to not end it early. I wanted to pull her into my arms and ask her if she missed me. Instead, I told her I needed to talk to her about being my assistant. I needed a reason to talk to her that didn’t show her how eager I was to spend more one-on-one time with her. I was Xavier, Prince of Romerius. I could have any girl I wanted. I wasn’t sprung on her. Hell, no!
The fire was in Lola’s eyes as soon as she started talking to me. She was still angry at me and she was embarrassed. I saw her staring at my chest furtively and I knew that she was remembering that night. I couldn’t resist the slight tremble of her lips as they beckoned me and I grabbed her and kissed her hard. Her lips felt supple beneath mine and I knew that the beginning of our sexual journey together was about to start when I felt her fingers running through my hair. Her br**sts were crushed up against my chest and I wanted to turn her around and bend her over. I was about to grab her ass, when I stopped. This wasn’t the way I wanted this to go down, so I pulled back from her and stopped the kiss. She looked bewildered and lost, and I smiled. This was going to be like taking candy from a baby.