Raynd is the last of his friends to tell his first time tale with an older man—one of his college professors.
Half the campus is in love with Professor Luke Geist, but only one of them has ever turned his eye. Professor Geist does everything in his power to put distance between him and Raynd, to Raynd’s confusion. When the professor is assigned as Raynd’s advisor, the truth of his attraction comes out—but the man still fights the need.
Months pass before the professor and his student can’t hold back any longer. A cold day during winter break is spent warm in Luke’s bed.
When a secret tears them apart, Raynd is left heartbroken.
Can a friend’s intervention bring them back together a decade or so later?
Raynd paused, floored by the statement. “Seriously? You’re actually telling me to pick other classes instead of yours after saying you have no issue with me as a student? I wonder what the dean would think about that?”
Geist’s jaw tensed. “I think it is you who doesn’t like my teaching style. I suggested options so you wouldn’t have to endure me.”
Raynd stared at the man, confused as hell. “One of the reasons I chose this university was the diversity of classes. Once on campus, I’d heard great things about you as a professor and looked forward to learning from you. I would truly love to attend your classes and be treated fairly—just like all your other students.”
“I graded you fairly,” Geist answered, staring at his computer screen instead of Raynd. “You did well in my class. A high B, if I recall. You were fine.”
“But you never included me in discussions. You couldn’t even look me in the eye when I approached for a question. It was as if you didn’t want me there.”
Geist’s jaw tightened and released… tightened and released. Finally he turned to Raynd and caught his eye. “I didn’t want you in my class. I don’t want you in any of my future classes. I’d prefer you kept your distance and I’ll keep mine.”
Raynd frowned. “If you’ll simply tell me why.”
“Because…” Geist looked away and flexed his hands, tightening them into two fists before releasing and stretching his fingers. “Because you don’t belong in my class.”
Was Professor Geist trying to say he didn’t belong in the world of psychology? Raynd stared at the man, stricken. “I’ve wanted to work in this field for years.”
Geist shook his head. “That’s not what I mean.”
“What do you mean, then?”
“Jesus.” The professor shook his head before lifting his stare. “I can’t be near you.”
“Because I can’t,” Geist said. “Just go. Please. Before I make a bigger mess of this conversation.”
Raynd felt the air sucked from his lungs as realization struck. “You don’t want me in your class… because… you…” He trailed off, unable to finish the thought. Raynd suddenly knew it as well as he was standing there.
Geist looked up and met Raynd’s stare again. The man said nothing, neither admitting nor denying Raynd’s unfinished comment. The truth hung heavily in the air between them. Heat burned in the man’s stare, a heat Raynd suddenly wanted to reach out and stoke.
Something ignited within him. He’d thought the man handsome… he’d had wishful fantasies he’d never thought possible. He’d stared at Geist, imagining being in the man’s arms, knowing it could never be…
Now—to know those wild imaginings might be reciprocated…
Raynd wanted to say something, but he had no idea what.
Geist released a breath. “I can’t be your advisor or your instructor.”
Raynd took a step closer.
“No. Just go.”
Raynd met the man’s stare and saw the heat in the depths. He saw lust in its purest form, and it made it impossible to breathe. Lungs burning, he swallowed down the desire he felt, trying to make sense of what was happening. To go from dislike to lust in a split second was mind boggling.
“Go,” Professor Geist said, softer this time. “Dean Samuels will email you with a new appointment.”