Pushing the Limits

By: Brooke Cumberland

Once I found my first babysitting job, I saved up enough money to buy my first pair of designer shoes. A whole summer of babysitting toddlers for one pair of heels.

My parents weren’t pleased with me at all, but for the first time in years, I felt good about myself. I had earned something for myself and they couldn’t take that away from me. They’d already taken so much. It represented my independence, something I had fought so hard for—something I still fight for.

“Well, good news for you then, because I hear our professor is a hot piece of ass,” she says with a giddy smile.

I laugh and shake my head at her blunt words. “What? It’s like the university’s way of apologizing for this god awful class.”

I hear a choke of laughter next to me. The guy overheard everything.

“Jesus, Ellie…” I bite my lower lip to keep from bursting out in laughter.

“Oh, come on…” She rolls her eyes and laughs. “Wouldn’t you agree with me?” She leans forward and directs the question to the guy next to me on the other side. “A little eye candy never hurts, am I right?”

Directing my attention toward him, he responds, “Can’t say it would.” He smiles and shifts his eyes to mine. “However, I’d be more for the female eye candy proximity.” He winks.

“Oh!” Her eyes light up as if that surprises her. “Well, the campus has plenty of that.” She smiles and twirls her blonde hair around a finger, batting her eyelashes like a love-struck schoolgirl, but his eyes are fixed on mine.

“This class isn’t going to be so bad,” I defend. “I mean, I guess if the professor has a nice, squeezable ass, then, yeah, it’s a bonus. But most of us—” I scowl. “—are here to learn.”

She snorts and sits back in her chair. “But it sure as hell doesn’t hurt.” She smirks. “Either way, he’ll be off limits anyway,” she says matter-of-factly. “Which is really a tragedy. Hot guys shouldn’t be teachers. It’s a distraction.”

Now I’m the one that snorts. “A distraction? You sound like a cat in heat.”

I notice the other chairs have filled up by now and my anxiety heightens. Professors are usually early, especially for night classes. But I don’t see anyone in the front of the class yet. If they’re late, students take that as a pass and leave class early.

“Well, whatever gives me something to look at for the next four months. I mean, seriously! Night classes are brutal.”

“Remind me to partner up with you on team projects,” I mock, exaggerating my tone as I smile at her scowl. “Unless you want to rescue me and be my partner?” I turn and ask the guy next to me, my eyes glassy as I take in his deep stare. Now that I’m really looking at him, I notice he has deep dimples in both cheeks when he smiles and the brightest green eyes I’ve ever seen. One of his brows arches as he stares amusingly at me.

“As flattering as that is, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He flashes a knowing grin and stands up, walking straight toward the front of the classroom.

My heart sinks into my stomach as the realization hits me.

“Good evening, everyone,” he begins, and I pray to God that I vanish into thin air or something. “I’m Professor Hampton and this is Advanced Art 3. We’ll be meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from six to eight for the next sixteen weeks. If you cannot commit to coming to every class, you should leave now. This isn’t an easy A, and if that’s your hope, you’re in the wrong class.”

I swallow hard as he gives a side glance to Ellie and me. Oh my God.

“Oh, fuck my titties,” Ellie leans over and whispers.

I sink lower into my seat and whisper back, “What the hell just happened?”

She looks over at me and grins. “Now that he knows we both have a hard on for him, maybe he’ll give us both an A.”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” I mumble back, covering my face with one hand. I can’t believe that just happened. I sink as low as I can into my seat, hoping to make myself invisible, but then he announces we’re going around the room to introduce ourselves.

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