She walked into his office nervously, aware of the fact that they hadn’t spoken in days. She was afraid. Afraid that maybe things had changed. Afraid that now, things would be awkward; that he wouldn’t be the same man she knew and, though she couldn’t admit it, loved.

“Sit down, Laura.” She couldn’t look him in the eye. The messages he had sent her made her blush and she didn’t want him knowing that he had that power over her.

“You asked to see me?” she said, her voice higher than usual, her eyes averted to the floor. He didn’t respond right away. They sat, waiting, as he tried to find the right words. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings. He didn’t want her to love him, even though he knew that the feelings growing inside of him mimicked the ones growing in her. He could see it in her eyes. The playfulness. The twinkle every time she smiled at him. His heart would jump, but he had to hide it. She couldn’t know.

“I did. . .” he began. Her heart rose. He was nervous too, she realized. He clasped his hands in front of him on the desk, and stared straight at her, trying to get her to look up at him. He needed to see her eyes. Those eyes. The ones that made his heart skip.

“I didn’t mean to send you those messages Laura. I know I shouldn’t have. . .” Without warning, her hand flew forward to cover his. She gave it a tight squeeze.

“I know.” She said quietly, finally raising her eyes. But she couldn’t know, he thought. She couldn’t know how much he looked forward to seeing her. How he walked by the place he knew she studied in the selfish hope that he would catch her smile. She let go of his hand and stood up from her seat.

“I know.” She repeated. She lifted her bags from the floor and reached for the door handle before turning around to give him one, last parting glance. He couldn’t look away. He sat frozen, speechless, for everything she wanted to say to him was contained in that one look and he couldn’t make himself respond. He wanted so badly to make her stay, to lock the door and kiss her right then and there. But already she had turned the handle and was walking out of his sight.

“Wait . . .” he said, too quietly for anyone to hear.

Her thoughts were muddled as she wandered aimlessly around the university, trying to find a reason to walk past his office again, but knowing that she couldn’t. That she shouldn’t. He was a married man after all. And a professor. But she had never felt like this before, or at least, not in a very long time. There was something different about him. Something so genuine and kind, she couldn’t describe it. The secret was smothering her. It had been the hardest thing to just walk away. But she knew that it couldn’t happen. It was asking too much.

But she wanted it so bad.

“Laura!” she heard a man’s voice behind her. She turned around so quickly that her old friend Kevin jumped. “Where you expecting someone else?” he smiled. She blushed.

“No,” again, her voice unnaturally high, “You just surprised me is all.” Her classic giggle bounced off the walls, and she blushed even more. He laughed along with her and readjusted his toque before asking, “I was just wondering. One of my favorite professor’s is giving a talk today, and he asked me to help him set up the room for him, but I can’t! My sister needs me to watch her son, so I said I would. Are you doing anything? Would you mind?”

“Oh! Of course, Kevin. I would love to help!” She was actually excited. She needed to get her mind off of him, and this was a perfect distraction.

“Oh, you’re the best. Okay, the auditorium is in the fifth building, first floor. Everything should be in there, here is the key for the door, just set things up and he should be there to meet you in about twenty minutes, sound good?”

“Most definitely!” she said, taking the key from him. “Have fun babysitting!”

“Thanks again! I definitely owe you one.” With a wave and a smile, he left her to it. She rushed to the room he had mentioned and unlocked the door, glad to finally be alone. She locked the door behind her before beginning her task. It was nothing difficult, mostly just uncovering the trays of cheese that sat beside the punch bowl. The punch smelled faintly of vodka. Just what I need, she thought. Alcohol. She poured herself a glass before sitting down in one of the auditorium seats, dreaming of what could have been.

“Oh. . . Eric.” She sighed aloud. She wished he were there. She felt the warmth that comes with the first sip of alcohol and giggled. She let herself think of him. Of his eyes, his mouth . . . his lips. His shoulders. His hands. The warmth that she felt was no longer a result of the alcohol and she found herself blushing. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t hear the door to the room unlock. She didn’t even notice as he entered the room.

“Laura!” She turned around, “where is Kevin?” She couldn’t speak for a moment, still thrilling with the images of her daydreams.

“Oh . . . he had to go. He asked for my help . . .” she whispered, afraid that her voice would betray her. She was still thinking of him, and her cheeks glowed. The vodka had made her tipsy. She stood unsteadily, and gestured at the table.

“There’s punch.”

“I know, I mixed it.” He noticed the glass in her hand, smiled, and picked up the ladle, pouring himself a liberal glass. He took a sip, not taking his eyes from her.

“So . . . it’s you doing the presentation today?”

“Yes. I hope you’ll stay for it.”

“I might” she said, finally bringing her eyes to meet his.

It was then that they both knew what neither of them had wanted to ignore. He took another sip, stepping in her direction as he did so. She had already finished her punch and her head was cloudy. She wanted him so badly. She needed him. It wasn’t an option to resist any longer. She felt confident, though she knew in her heart that it was only the alcohol giving her the courage.

“Can I get you another glass?” he asked, a smile playing about his lips. She nodded, not breaking eye contact, and walked over to him. He took her glass and their hands touched briefly, the electricity between them almost unbearable. He poured her some punch and returned her glass before taking another long drink.

“Eric . . .” she said. He loved that she called him that now. She knew he was just a man, a man who was in love with someone much younger than him. He, too, could not understand how it had happened. He thought he had only admired her brains, but then, it was her eyes. Her eyes and her laughter that brought him to school even on the worst of days. It was almost as if she saw something in him that no one had ever bothered to look for. That no one had ever thought to find. But she had found it without trying. Now he was lost, vulnerable, needing her. Wanting to kiss her fingers, her palms, her lips, her neck.

“Laura” he sighed. He couldn’t stop himself. He lifted a hand to her cheek. He left it there for a moment as she looked at him, unsurprised, asking for more without saying a word.

“Laura” he repeated. His hand fell to her throat, and he began massaging her neck, leaning in close and bringing his lips to hers. She did not resist. She pushed into him, arms around his neck, fingers combing his hair. His other hand fell to her waist, pulling her close, as if she couldn’t be close enough no matter where she stood. They felt eachother’s smiles, could feel eachother’s joy intermingled in their kisses.

He pulled back from her for a second, opening his eyes to look at her. She stared back at him, playfully asking him to come back. His gaze made her knees weak, for in it, he was saying ‘I want you, and only you’ and she loved it. He resumed kissing her, but his lips left the confines of her mouth, finding their way down her neck, to her collarbone, and she tilted her head back, sighing with pleasure. His fingers played around the top button of her little floral dress.

“Did you lock the door?” she whispered.

“Yes.” He said, smiling his mischievous smile. She took over and began unbuttoning her dress, then his shirt. He sighed softly in her ear, pushing her back into the wall. He was so eager, his eyes were unfocused and he looked almost lost. He grabbed her thigh and pulled her leg up so she stood, almost straddling him. Pushing into him again, she felt him harden, heard him groan as her hands toyed with his belt buckle, teasing him, tempting him. She laughed and opened her eyes, asking him for permission to go further.

His hand drew up her skirt as a soft ‘yes’ escaped his lips. His belt was undone now and she found he was larger than she had anticipated. She couldn’t stop her grin as she let her hands cradle him, his breath quickening with each soft stroke of her hand.

“Oh, Laura . . .” he sighed impatiently. He needed her. That was it. He needed her. He unzipped his fly, letting the waist fall loosely around his thighs as he guided her hands into his boxers.

“Now, Laura. Right now.” He demanded. He pulled her hand away from him, pinning her to the wall with his weight and pushing her underwear down with one motion. He entered her and she gasped pleasurably.

Finally, she thought. Finally.