BOOK 2 in The Forbidden Men Series
Contemporary New Adult Romance
Orginally published April 2014
113,100 words, 396 pages
4-Flame Sensuality Rating
Junior in college. Star athlete. Constant attention from the opposite sex.
On this campus, I'm worshiped. While seven hundred miles away, back in my hometown, I'm still trailer park trash, child of the town tramp, and older sibling to three kids who are counting on me to keep my shit together so I can take them away from the same crappy life I grew up in.
These two opposing sides of myself never mix until one person gets a glimpse of the true me. I never expected to connect with anyone like this or want more beyond one night. This may be the real deal.
Problem is, Dr. Kavanagh's my literature professor.
If I start anything with a teacher and we're caught together, I might as well kiss my entire future goodbye, as well as my family's, and especially Dr. Kavanagh's. Except sometimes love is worth risking everything. Or at least, it damn well better be because I can only resist so much.
A sick nausea swirled through me as I stared at the paper in my suddenly clammy hand.
She'd given me another D. I'd actually tried, too. I had planted my ass in a chair, focused all my attention on the assignment, and typed out the complete required five pages of crap. There hadn't been a single plagiarized line in the entire essay either.
And it had all been for another fucking D?
"Unbelievable," I gritted out under my breath.
"Did you say something, Mr. Gamble?"
I lifted my face from the big red D on my paper to find dark eyebrows arched in smug supremacy. A shrewd green gaze penetrated me, daring me to question my score.
Jaw locked, I shook my head, my neck so stiff from the lie I barely got it to move. "Nope," I said, my voice low enough it was barely audible. "Didn't say a thing." Not one damn thing.
Dr. Kavanagh eyed me a second longer, her expression gloating. I knew my narrow-eyed glare and clenched teeth only fed her ego, but I couldn't help it. I also couldn't help the way my stupid, betraying man-whore eyes sought her ass when she turned and continued up the row between desks to hand out the rest of her graded papers. Fortunately, the hem of her frumpy suit jacket dipped down to cover the back of her skirt, hiding any feminine curves she might have, because I'm not sure I could've fully appreciated a nice ass at the moment.
But being rejected from the view only pissed me off more. It figured she would give a guy a sucky grade and then deny him the pleasure of ogling some tight, rounded goodness. Didn't matter how ridiculous she looked in that getup either—kind of like a little girl invading her grandparents' closet to play dress up—an ass was an ass, and I wanted a glimpse. Blame my Y chromosome.
Eyeing her huge shoulder pads and her sleeves rolled up to her elbows, I was tempted to tell her the eighties had called, wanting their blazer back. It'd probably coax a derisive laugh from the class. I'd maybe even get her to blush or some shit, which would sure as hell make me feel better for the way she'd just humiliated me. Tit for tat and all that. But my jaw refused to unclench enough to form actual words.
Seriously, how dare she give me another D after all the work I'd put into her stupid assignment? Did she realize how hard I'd tried, how much I needed a decent score?
"Psst. Hey, Gam." Oren Tenning, my favorite first-string receiver and roommate, leaned across the aisle to get my attention. "How'd you do?"
I rolled my eyes in the irritated universal symbol for don't ask. "You?"
"Another C. I swear Kavanagh is afraid of handing out an A."
"I got an A." Sidney Chin, the ultimate teacher's pet, twisted in her seat to wave her paper merrily in our faces.
As the scarlet letter at the top of her essay flashed by, I noticed there was also a plus sign attached to it. There had been no such positive mark beside my D.
Tenning snorted. "That's because you have tits, honey. I swear to God, Kavanagh must be a dyke. She doesn't give an A to anyone with a dick, especially if he's on the football team."
I winced at his offensive retort, wondering how long it'd take before one of his stupid-ass comments got him into trouble, even as I silently agreed about the football part of what he'd said. Kavanagh had treated me like a dumb jock from the moment she'd discovered I was the university's starting quarterback. It was completely beside the point that I was a jock and not at all academically inclined. But I tried, damn it. Wasn't like I blew off the work for better things; I'd actually put a lot of fucking effort into making a good grade.
Did she have to so gleefully rub my shortcomings in my face?
"If anyone has questions about your grade, feel free to see me after class." Her voice rose above the hushed conversations echoing around the room, making me roll my eyes.
Yeah, right. I bet I could go see her about my score. She'd probably turn my D into an F if I questioned her hallowed opinion.
But Jesus Christ, what the hell was I supposed to do now?
Rubbing the center of my forehead as a headache started, I tried to calm myself because this wasn't the end of the world just yet. It was barely March. I still had time to repair my grade, but holy freaking hell. With each paper I'd written in this class, I'd put in twice the effort, only to get half the score. I was going to lose my scholarship if I didn't pull at least a C in Modern American Literature. And I needed this scholarship. More than I needed anything.