I am pathetic.
I am a twenty-five-year-old man, sitting in my car, thinking about a student—my student—as if she’s my girlfriend and not a career liability. I don’t remember girls having Lizzie Brandt’s fire when I was her age. Don’t remember them having legs like hers, either. I certainly don’t remember any of them kissing like—
“Stop.” My self-scolding reverberates in the interior of my car. This is not an acceptable way to think—not for a TA, not for an adult.
She’s a thousand times the adult you are, my brain nags. You could never do what she’s doing. You’d break down after three days of taking care of Sarah, and she’s older than you. You’re—
A sob rends the night, cutting into my thoughts. I freeze, wondering if I’m hallucinating the source or if that’s actually…
I hadn’t even realized I was going to approach her until I was out of the car, gravitating to her side as if I have a place there, after all the shit I’ve put her through. She doesn’t meet my gaze immediately, and I can’t blame her. Only when she’s wiped the tears from her face does she look up and say, “What are you doing here, Connor?”
Cris, I love the way she says my name. I let all the students call me by my first name, even though Professor Ozgur keeps trying to drill “Mr. Lawson” into them, but still, when she says it, it sounds so…intimate.
Which is, unquestionably, a problem.
Dark strands of hair stick to her damp face, and she looks so young and sad that I can’t possibly leave her now, even though every smarter instinct in me dictates I should. Instead, I drop to the grass next to her and brush her hair out of her eyes. There’s a travel pack of tissues in my pocket, something I know she’d tease me for under other circumstances, and I reach for one. “I never went anywhere.”
“You’ve just been sitting in your fucking car?”
As if I needed confirmation of how pathetic that is. But I shrug as if I don’t feel phenomenally creepy for lurking, because there’s no normal way to admit I didn’t want to leave. That I didn’t want to put an official end to the night of our last kiss. “It’s a nice night.”
“It was,” she says, and it drips with hurt and anger, both of which I richly deserve. “Go home, Mr. Lawson.”
As if it’s so easy. As if my brain hasn’t been screaming at me to do just that all fucking night. I rip into the grass under my fingers in frustration, furious with myself for not being man enough to make the obvious right choice. “Don’t you think if I could have, I would have?” slips out of my mouth before I can stop it.
Her eyelids flutter shut, weighted down with a thousand years of exhaustion. “I told you. I can’t play this game with you. What do you want from me?”
To age five years. To switch to another class. To say “fuck you” and climb into my lap and ride me senseless. “I don’t know.”
“Well then I definitely can’t help you.”
I huff out a sigh, and she opens her eyes, shining and brown and beautiful. “What do you want from me, Lizzie? Because I’m pretty sure what you need is more than I can give.”
Her expression relaxes into a flirty smile, and I know I’m about to be done for. Some guys are into girls who don’t realize how hot they are; I can’t resist that Elizabeth Brandt knows exactly how hot she is. “Pretty sure, huh?”
Oh, tabarnak, those three words go straight to my dick. “You are so…you.”
Gentle fingers find my hand, trace it, take it. “Who else would I be?”
In that moment, I know it: this girl completely fucking owns me. I lock eyes with her. “You’re incredible, you know that?”
She ducks behind her hair, hiding a shier smile than I ever could’ve imagined her possessing. Just when I think I’ve fallen as hard as I could. “I’m an asshole, Connor. You just came to check on me because I was crying over my dead parents, and I’m sorta hitting on you.”
I squeeze her fingers. “There’s no right way to grieve, Lizzie. You are who you are, and you feel how you feel. As long as you’re getting through the day, that’s all that matters.”
“What if I’m not?”
“You are. You’re here. Your brothers are fed. They’re in your apartment. They’re safe. Your parents couldn’t have asked for better care.”
“I’m not talking about my brothers right now.”
“I know,” I admit, “but if I talk about you I am going to say some things I really shouldn’t say.”
“I can’t tell if that’s promising or threatening,” she teases. “Like?”
There is no end to this girl’s brazenness, and it is brutal how sexy I find it. I laugh despite myself. “Sacrament. You’re going to be the end of me, Elizabeth Brandt.”
“That sounds closer to promising.” There’s a warmth against my arm as she moves closer, and I know if I turn my head I’ll find her lips there, lush and inviting. One brush of them against mine and I will absolutely crack. I know my limits and Elizabeth Brandt pushes every fucking one. Don’t turn, I order myself. Don’t—
My restraint doesn’t matter; I should’ve known she wouldn’t need to wait for me to make the first move. She kisses me and all other thoughts fly out of my brain. I cradle her tear-sticky face and kiss her back like the fucking helpless idiot I am, and in no time at all it’s gone from sweet and gentle to fast and fierce and tabarnak she tastes so good.
I don’t even pause when she climbs into my lap, straddles my hips and rubs right against my cock, which is halfway to hard and rapidly reaching final destination. She shifts and rolls against me again and this time I pull back, hiss in a breath. Even through my khakis and whatever she’s wearing under that dress, I can feel that she’s wet. “Criss, Lizzie.”
But she doesn’t let up. Of course she doesn’t. She rolls her hips again and again, and I can’t stop rising to meet her, and we are three layers of cotton away from fucking like animals against the trees. I’m hard as a rock and if she keeps doing that I’m gonna explode; it’s hard enough to keep silent as it is. I rip her jacket down her arm and bite into her golden-brown shoulder to keep myself from crying out.
This is bad. It is so bad.
“We need to stop,” I whisper, and at this point I’m not even sure if I’m talking to Lizzie or to my dick.
“You asked what I want from you,” she says in a low voice that doesn’t help matters at all, especially when I feel her fingers starting to work my belt buckle. “This is what I want.”
What a coincidence, I think hazily. Me too. And for the briefest of moments I contemplate letting this happen, both of us finally getting some desperate relief from this unbearable thing between us. I picture one of her soft hands wrapping around my cock and guiding me inside her, and—sacrament. I grab her hand, more roughly than I meant to. “No, Lizzie, we actually need to stop. I don’t have…” For some reason, saying “a condom” sounds so presumptuous. “Protection.”
Just like that, the dizzying tension between us breaks, and she falls off my lap and onto the grass. “Of course you don’t,” she says, dissolving into laughter that chills me. “Fuck, of course you don’t.”
She’s still laughing, but it’s the kind of laughter that could shift into tears at any moment, and the thought of that happening destroys me. For a few minutes there, she actually seemed to be getting something she needed. And even while the wiser part of me knows even that was a mistake, a far bigger part knows I’m not done here, that I can’t walk away right now.
She may have started us down this dangerous path tonight, but I’m gonna finish it. “Lizzie?”
She stops. “Yeah?”
I cover her in the grass, straddling her. “Shut up.” I press my mouth to hers before she can utter a word, and slide my hand up her dress until I can feel her soaking panties firsthand.
Her fingers grip my hair, firmly holding me in place as our tongues tangle, and her hips buck into my hand. I respond by slowly slipping a finger into tight, wet heat, but judging by her growl against my lips, it isn’t enough. I add a second one, and am rewarded with a purr that goes straight to my dick.
I can’t remember the last thing I’ve done that feels this good. Considering the way Lizzie’s body is tensing in my hands, the tongue that’s usually dripping acid stroking mine, for once, I’m thinking we’re on the same page.
But I want more. For both of us. As much as I love the feel of her, it isn’t enough.
I miss her kiss the instant I pull away from her, but there’s no time to dwell on that as I drag her underwear down her legs and replace my fingers with my mouth.
“Another time.” I enjoy her in long, slow licks, savoring the taste of her on my tongue. “Just relax.”
I don’t expect her to give in immediately, but she does, breathy gasps and stifled moans taking the place of any argument. It’s almost unsettling to have Elizabeth Brandt be this agreeable, and I can’t resist watching her lose herself to this, to me.
And then she opens her eyes and watches me watching her.
She moans, then promptly stuffs her hand in her mouth to silence herself, and if possible, it makes me even hungrier. My determination to make her come makes my body tense up with single-minded focus, and I thrust my fingers back inside her while continuing to tease and taste her. She swears under her breath, writhing against my mouth, and sacrament I can’t help feeling a sense of triumph at making her lose this much control. I know with one hard suck and a curl of my fingers that I have her, but I don’t stop until I’ve wrung every last drop from her and she goes slack against the trees. Finally, she whimpers just enough to let me know she can’t take anymore, and I gently release her
We watch each other in silence until our gasping breaths give way to more normal heartbeats, and she tugs her dress back down. It feels so final, and I dry my hand on the grass. She grabs her underwear from where I tossed it next to her, balls it up, and extends her hand to me. “Want ’em?”
I snort. “I’m horny, not depraved.” Though given I just went down on my student in a public place, I’m not sure that not being a panty fiend actually absolves me of the latter.
She grins and shoves them in her pocket. “Did you mean it?”
“Mean what?” I ask, wiping my mouth on my sleeve, then wondering if that was crass.
“When you said we’d fuck another time.” Her mouth twists into a smirk. “Because I’d like to make an appointment.”
Such an incredibly Lizzie statement; I should’ve seen it coming. “You’re incorrigible,” I say.
“Use words like that and I might not return the favor.” She nods toward my groin, which unfortunately makes very clear that I do not find said incorrigibility to be a turn-off in the slightest.
I roll my eyes and yank my shirt free of my waistband to cover myself up, feeling ridiculous and out of control, now that she’s back in command. “You’re not returning any ‘favors’ tonight, Elizabeth. I should go, and so should you.”
She sighs. “We’re back to ‘Elizabeth’ now?”
“I like the name Elizabeth. Multiple queens. Elizabeth Bennet. It’s a good name.”
“I hate Jane Austen.”
“Of course you do.” I kiss her then, because I can’t not, and it’s as delicious as the very first time. “We’ll talk about this later, okay?” I say because I know I should, and not because I have any desire in hell to ever do so.
“You’re really going to leave now?”
To be honest, it’s the last thing I want to do, but I’ve been more than irresponsible enough tonight already, and so has she. “Don’t you have to get back to your brothers?”
She looks at the slim leather watch on her wrist. “Holy shit. Yes, I definitely do.” She scrambles to her feet, flashing me for a moment as she does, and I rush to get up too. I need to get the hell out of here. “And what are you in a rush for?” she asks as if reading my mind.
I should probably lie, but after what just happened here, that’s the last thing I wanna do. I nod down at the same groin she’d just been commenting on. “I’ve got business to take care of.” I kiss her one last time, then walk to my car without looking back, knowing I have a long night of shame and regret ahead.