Paige entered the class precisely a minute before the first hour. She rushed to the seat next to me.
“What happened?” I asked her.
She smiled back. “Mr. Roberts finally accepted my paper. He had approved the final draft. I have to schedule the project discussion by this month.”
“Good for you, Paige,” I said with a smile.
“You better talk to our department head regarding Mr. Michael. It is already late for your paper submission.”
Our little chat got stopped when we heard someone entering our class. And my breath hitched at the person. He was the same guy who asked the way to the office. But why was he moving towards the professor’s table?
“Good morning. My name is Jack Martinez. Unfortunately, Mr. Michael Hill cannot come back till the next term. So I will be substituting him for this term. I will be covering all the activities Mr. Hill was taking care of.”
He looked around the class at all of us. But he never showed any sign of recognition when he saw me.
“Lucky you. You have to submit the paper to Mr. Hot there.” Paige whispered to me.
“I don’t know that. I have to confirm that. Mr. Michael knows about my paper, and he has only to check my final draft. But Mr. Martinez will have to check my paper from the start, and I am unsure if there is enough time. ” And I shushed her before Mr. Martinez caught us talking.
After the class, I stayed back to talk about my project. Then, after asking Paige to wait for me in the library, I reached out to him. He was still in his chair, looking into a book.
He looked up at my voice.
“Ah! The beautiful lady whom I met in the morning.” His lips curved with a sensual smile.
“Mr. Michael is my project advisor. I want to know since you are substituting him, and will you be taking care of my project thesis too?”
He stood up, rounded the table, and stood next to me. He leaned on the table and looked at me. He was too close to my peace of mind, and something in his eyes stopped me from moving away.
“You haven’t said your name.”
“I am Hanna Johnson.”
He offered his hand and said, “Hi.”
I looked at him with a surprised look but understood his intention. I shook his hand to say hi back.
Once our hands touched, I felt a sharp tingle passed through my arms. I pulled out my hands with a gasp. His eyes widened in surprise, and he looked at me with shock.
“You are a dangerous woman, Miss Johnson.” His husky voice caressed my ears.
I looked at him with a shock. Then, realizing the surroundings, I took a sudden step back.
“I... Well, I...” I stammered since I could not come out of the sudden emotions. But his smirk spiked anger in me. How come he was not affected, but I was shaken. The anger spiked in me gave me some clarity.
“Will you be guiding me for the project?” I asked him with a flat voice.
His smile said that he understood my intention and blushed slightly.
“Yes, Miss Johnson. Michael had already given me all the details regarding your project. And I got an overall idea, but I need to know your project in detail. So how about discussing it over a coffee?”
I felt something strange in his statement but could not pinpoint it.
“Are you free this hour? We can discuss now.” I asked him.
“No, Miss Johnson. I have another lecture now. Since this is my first day, I have to spend some time getting used to my work.”
“Oh…” I stopped.
“Yes. So let’s meet in the university coffee shop at 3:00 pm today.”
“Fine, Mr. Martinez. I will see you back at 3:00 pm.” I said to him and turned. I never noticed the step in a hurry to go from there and stumbled. Two strong hands rounded me from falling.
“As I told you, you are a dangerous woman, Miss Johnson.” He whispered in my ears. I moved away by pushing him and rushed out of the room.
I entered the library to find Paige in her usual seat. She looked up as I sat next to her.
“What happened?” She asked in surprise.
“Nothing. I was checking with Mr. Martinez regarding the project.”
“That’s all?” She queried back.
“Yes. Why?” I asked her.
“If you were only talking about the project, then why do you look so flushed?” She asked with a chuckle.
“No. I am not.” I squeaked back. Paige laughed at my reaction.
The librarian shushed, hearing us.
“We’ll talk later,” Paige said and turned towards her work.
I looked at the book in my hand. But my mind was wholly occupied by Mr. Mysterious. Why did he act in such a way? Moreover, why was I reacting like this? My heart and mind both are not in control near him. What was this feeling?
I informed Paige that I have to meet Mr. Martinez regarding the project discussion and told her that I would come home later. We both walked in separate directions, and I moved towards the Coffee shop.
Once entering the coffee shop, I looked around for him and saw him sitting along with Mrs. Evans, another professor from my department, as I walked to their table.
“Mr. Martinez, Mrs. Evans,” I called them.
He looked up at me with a surprised face.
“Miss Johnson.” He said.
Mrs. Evans looked at me with a smile.
“Hanna, what’s the matter?” She asked me.
“I came here to discuss my project with Mr. Martinez,” I told her.
Mrs. Evans frowned at me.
“But…” And Mr. Martinez stopped her in between.
“It’s okay, Mrs. Evans.” He said to her.
Mrs. Evans stood up and looked at me once and left the table. I turned towards him.
“Why are you surprised to see me?”
He smiled at me. “I was not sure if you turn up.” He said.
“This is my project. Why should I not turn up?” I asked with slight irritation.
He shook his head and signaled me to sit. When I moved to sit on the opposite side, he asked me to sit next to him. That stopped me in my tracks.
“We need to check the system, and I don’t want us to pass the monitor among us. So if you sit here, we can check the programs easily.” He said with a shrug.
I moved the chair a little bit away and sat on it. He smiled at my action but did not comment on it.
I opened the laptop to explain my project.
“Before that, tell me about you, Miss Johnson.” He said in a soft voice.
I looked up to see his mesmerizing eyes.
“About me? Why?” I asked in surprise.
“I want to know about you. I need to know about the person before seeing her work.”
“What... What do you want to know?” I was now becoming skeptical.
“Just about you. You family? Your home town? Why did you opt for this course? Anything.”
Not willing to say any personal details, I spoke. “I love computers, especially programming. When I do the coding, I feel as if I am solving a puzzle. The feel when you find the solution for any problem and implementing it as a code. I cannot explain that feeling in words.”
I realized that I started talking too much and stopped suddenly. He looked at me with a soft smile.
“Is that why you chose this course?” He asked.
“Yes, this course is my dream.” I don’t know why I was saying all this to him.
“Mr. Martinez, can we look into the project,” I asked him.
He looked at his watch.
“Look at the time. I need to leave now, Miss Johnson. Can you give the soft copy of the project to me so that I can check it and we can discuss it tomorrow same time same place?”
“I know you have only two more months to submit the project. So let me help you.” He said.
I sighed and copied the project details in a pen drive and handed it to him.
He took it and left the place without a glance back at me.