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He lifts the quizzes out of his satchel and gives them to each person in the front. Gives them the detail of passing them out. He moves about the room commandingly, lithe and graceful. Like a gazelle approaching its prey. Eyes razor sharp, and then they fall on me. And I cannot look away. He's grabbed my attention, commands almost for me to watch him. Or maybe that is my assumption and excuse to keep looking at him. His clothes once again tailor-made and fit him ever so fine. No vest today, which is sad since he wears them so well. But his gray slacks and white button down are an easy second. The way his black as night hair marries the white of his shirt is sexy. My eyes venture down lower to the leather belt at his waist. I'm lost in my venture of his magnificent body. Until I hear, "Miss Michaels, did you get enough sleep? Are you ready for this quiz?" "We'll see, sir." For a fleeting second, I see the corner of his mouth twitch as he found my response funny. Does he have a sense of humor? "At least you're honest." He finally looks away and leans back in his chair with his hands folded behind his head.

J. L. Cooper
4.6 14 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter One

Mr. Nix is every girl’s wet dream, everyone’s worst nightmare, and everyone’s worst enemy if provoked. He dislikes everyone around him. But there is something dangerous yet exciting about him, something I’ve learned while taking his communications class.

I feel his eyes on me, but when I look up, they’re anywhere but in my direction. Mr. Fletcher Nix is the epitome of dangerous, sexy, and pure asshole rolled into one man.

His teaching style is something I’ve never experienced before. Some say there are no stupid questions, but Mr. Nix is not some people, and he will tell you as such, especially if he’s already said it or taught it. He does not like to repeat himself.

There is something about him, though. Honestly? He intrigues me and scares me at the same time. Also, honestly? I’m completely turned on by the man.

“Layla Michaels, am I boring you?”

I sit up straight in my stadium seat, watch him straighten his back rod straight with his hands behind him. His yellow-cream brown eyes are piercing me even from his spot down in front. I can feel their power against me. Although I’m five rows in this stadium style classroom, I know he can get to me quick if he wanted. I can see my lack of response is not what he expected, but what do I say? He knows I haven’t been paying any attention to his lesson. “No, sir.”

He stands still like a statue… waiting… but for what? Does he need more than that as an answer? I don’t know what else I can provide for him. My face heats. I’m sure that my mind is blank. And I’m positive my face is flushed crimson red from the unwanted attention I’ve gained from my communications teacher. I cross my legs, hoping to get this moving along. If he’s going to reprimand me, I wish he would do it and go on with his lesson.

“Now I have your attention, make sure I keep it. Yes?”

“Yes, sir.” I nearly piss myself from the pointed absurd and frightening way he looks at me before turning and continuing.

My neighbor and best friend, Jenna, flicks my thigh, but I’m too afraid to look anywhere but at the back of Mr. Nix’s head. I can see, though, at the corner of my eye, she’s about to lose her shit. With her hand over her mouth covering what I’m sure to be a stifled laugh.

When he turns again, thankfully his burning gaze is not on me but my ever so bright friend.

“Miss Givens, do you have a problem? Or do you get your kicks off watching me reprimand unresponsive students?”

Well, that sobered her quickly.

“No, sir, I’m sorry.”

I feel like we’re back in grade school, where the more we know we can’t laugh, the harder it is to not. But I do because I see the fire in those eyes from here and I want no part of it. So, I look down at my hands, wringing together out of pure fear of being called out again.

Thankfully, he lets it go and continues his lesson. I’m sure he thinks of us as immature brats, and while that would be further from the truth. I’m sure my actions in his class warrant his image of me and Jenna.

With his lesson ending, I can’t help when he turns to face the class, to notice his lips. Pillowy soft, thick, and sensual. His vest sits nicely over his chest. Not too broad but muscled no less. His dark jeans wrap nicely across his thin waist.

“Miss Michaels, see me after class. That is all.” He ends the class as abrupt as his personality.

I watch as Jenna gives me a nod and says she will wait just outside the door for me.

He gathers his things and places everything in his leather satchel. After a few minutes of watching him, I finally get the balls to ask, “is there something you needed, Mr. Nix, or am I free to leave?”

“Have I dismissed you?”

“No sir.”

He gets a kick out of making us squirm. His long legs breach each step until he’s one chair away from me. He sits, crossing his ankles after stretching his long legs out in front of him. The woodsy and vanilla coming from him is distracting, enough to warrant me to look away and stop breathing.

“I’ve noticed you’re never present in my class. Is there something I need to know? Do you need anything more from me?”

I can’t help but roll his words around in my head and look into a pair of creamy yellow-brown eyes.

“Do you need something more from me, as your teacher I should say?”

“No sir, I just have an issue with staying focused. It’s nothing to impugn your style of teaching.” I lie, of course, because there is no way I can tell him how incredibly intimidating he is and how I cannot focus on anything. Damn, his cologne is invading my space quickly. I need him to move. To say he’s done making me squirm. I want him to leave so I can gather my wits.

“See that you get that looked after, Miss Michaels.” He stands quickly, his legs eat the ground like Pac-man. Is it because he’s tall… a beautiful six feet or more? He’s out of the room, but I can still smell his cologne all around me and his presence is still so thick.

“You still alive?”

I jerk my head towards the door where Jenna stands waiting for me. “Yeah.”

His cologne is even thicker in the hallway where he just ate the earth in his footsteps.

“Hey, let’s go out this weekend.” Jenna suggests as we walk out into the growing evening outside.

“I can’t. I have tests I need to study for and if I want to get the hell out of asshole’s class soon, I need to study for the exam next week.” Jenna is always ready for the next party, unlike me, who can spend hours upon days reading and being by myself. “Ask Rosie.”

“I want to go with you.” She whines and I hate it when she does that because if anything makes me want to kick her in the shin, not change my mind like she thinks it will.

“I’m not feeling it and like I said, I want to get out of that class, away from him.”

“Fine, Layla Michaels, you are becoming an old lady right before my eyes. These are supposed to your best years and you’re wasting them.” She stalks away toward her building while I cut left towards the coffee house I frequent.

I order and sit in the booth in the corner where I usually sit and pull out my favorite book of all time. Little Women. I know I’m predictable to a fault.

As I read, the eyes I feel on me since starting this year are back. I don’t know enough to fear it, but I know I don’t like it. I continue to read, not bothering to look around. I already know nothing will stand out as it never does.

I sip the hot, offensively strong coffee carefully as a powerful scent of vanilla and pine enters the café. Afraid to see the person I know who the scent belongs to, I keep my head down and in the pages of my book.

“So, you can focus long enough to read a book but not enough to learn anything in my class, Miss Michaels?”

Mr. Nix.

What can I say? He’s got me.

I can’t feel my tongue, let alone my throat, to open and speak.

His only response to my lack of one is to chuckle as he shakes his head disapprovingly and moves to the booth in front of me. Where I have to look at the back of his head… full of black, curly hair. I watch him move about, positioning his body, relaxing, and sipping his coffee. He’s my distraction. I can no longer focus on the words on the pages of my book. Even though I can recite it all.

I rock slightly back and forth, close my eyes to the male perfection in front of me. Mr. Nix differs from any man I’ve known. His looks are something ethereal but cuts sharp with his sense of style and cutthroat personality. I want to join him at his table and ask him questions to keep him talking because, despite my inability to focus around him; I love to hear him speak. Is it his commanding aura? Or is it the way he demands to be seen and heard when he walks into a room? Either of those scenarios keeps me all tied up on the inside. It’s why I can’t form a coherent thought or sound around him. His class is the only one I do not do well, and I know it’s him. Not his style of teaching, but his strong-willed nature. It makes me also wonder just how commanding he can be in other aspects of his personal life.

I slam my book down to stop the raging thoughts in my head, throw my bag over my shoulder and make my legs carry me away from the café. Maybe I need to go out with Jenna. Get my mind off a man I can’t have or fear having for that matter.

The eyes follow me as I hurry my footsteps towards my building. I may look deranged to others, running from someone or something that isn’t chasing me. But I know it’s there close. We all have that sixth sense, or maybe it’s specialized for women only. I know I can’t be the only one who can sense stuff like that.

The door at my back gives me a sense of protection. I slide the lock in place and look around my room. Everything in place, nothing disturbed.

The phone in bag blares the ringtone of my father but the sound cuts through the silence and my irrational thoughts like a thief ready to slice me up in a thousand pieces. Or that is where my imagination takes me in the split second of it’s ring. I hurry to get it because I know he will worry if I don’t answer quickly.


“Layla, how are you? Everything okay?”

I can hear the emotional fear of me taking too long to answer worries him. “Dad, I’m fine.”

I hear a refreshing breath hit the receiver of the phone and sit down. “Good. How is school going?”

“Well, I guess it could be better. I have A’s and B’s in all classes but one.”

“And what would that be, baby?”

“Communications, I can’t focus in there. The teacher is a tyrant.”

I hear his chuckle before heading into a full belly laugh. “You’ll figure it out, you always do.”

“I will.”

“So, how is everything else? Friends? Boys?”

“Do you really want me to confide in you about boys?”

“Yeah, I guess not.”

“Jenna is all I need anyway, she’s a handful.”

“Yes, I get that.” He says, laughing.

“Is everything okay with you and mom?”

“Yeah… everything is fine.” Although he tells me he’s fine, his tone tells me anything but.

“Are you sure?”

“Why wouldn’t it be, Layla?”

“Okay, dad. Listen, I need to get some sleep. I have an early class tomorrow.”

“Okay, darling. Call me if you need anything.”

“Love you.”

“Love you.”

Our conversation plays in my head long after I’ve gone to bed. Dissecting every word and everything not said. It’s what I think when I close my eyes.

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