I groaned when I woke, blinking the sleep from my eyes. Waking up in the late morning was a rare luxury for me, and I was definitely savoring it over the holidays. The only thing keeping me from sitting up in bed was the teenage girl lying on it. Jean and I had slept in the bed together, and thankfully after the orgasm I’d given her, she hadn’t tried anything else when we went to sleep. Now she was in one of my t-shirts and her panties, and she was positioned like a slob next to me with drool caking the corner of her mouth, making me smile. It was weird, I just liked how rough around the edges she was. It made her girly moments all the more delightful.
“Wake up, sleepyhead,” I said softly, moving my arm under her. Immediately, she took a deep breath and pushed herself up on her arms like an upward dog position, her eyes still struggling to open as she stayed propped like that as if she’d fallen asleep again. It was cute and hilarious, but I noticed she hadn’t asked for five more minutes like most people. Perhaps her foster parents had never accepted the line, and she was forced to quickly prove that she was awake. And this was useless speculation that was upsetting me. Instead, I enjoyed the amusing sight in front of me before tapping her lightly on the nose.
“I’m up,” she mumbled, though her eyes shutting fully said otherwise. With my arm now freed, I used it to sweep her hands out from under her, sending her face-first back into her pillow. “Agh, motherfucker!” She rolled over, and I pinned her wrists down on either side of her face before kissing her deeply. She let out a moan worthy of a porno, and was blushing hard when I pulled away.
“You awake now?” I teased, and she squirmed under me.
“Why you gotta be such a shit-face first thing in the morning, prof?” she grumbled shyly.
“How would you rather be woken up then?” I asked playfully.
“I mean… a repeat of last night would be pretty sick,” she muttered quickly, looking off to the side.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” I replied with a wink, and she once more turned an adorable shade of pink.
While I was cooking us lunch, Jean casually asked, “So what are we doing today?”
“You don’t wanna hang out with your friends or something?”
“No friends, remember?”
I sighed. “We really need to change that.”
“Pft. Like we can just *change* that.” She was playing it off, but the glum expression that crossed her face betrayed her.
“Well… now that you’re not fighting for survival anymore, you have some time to work on it,” I reasoned. “We took care of your physiological and security needs, so next is–”
“Oh my God, prof! You’re such a nerd,” she laughed.
I shrugged with a smile, bringing lunch over to the table. “Just try to play nice at first, y’know? Let them slowly get used to you.”
“Are you saying that ‘cause I’m a bitch?” she said with a smirk.
“You’re not a bitch–”
I smiled back at her, feeling a tinge of melancholy. “You just need to let your walls down a little. And eventually they’ll see what I see.”
She distracted herself with poking at her food. Finally, she murmured, “Baby steps.” I nodded, and her face brightened. “Anyway, I was thinking… maybe we could go for a coffee together? I wanted to ask you out for coffee, but we never went.”
“So you did ask me,” I noted with a slow nod. “Jean, we set ground rules–”
“The rules are to protect both of us,” I insisted.
“It’s just one little coffee.”
Damn it, I was useless against this girl. “Fine,” I relented, and she got giddy. “But we need to find somewhere secluded, where we’re less likely to be spotted by people we know.”
“There’s a cafe near the club. Club crowd shouldn’t be there during the day, and folks we know wouldn’t be in the district.” She looked at me with hopeful eyes, cheering when I nodded after some consideration. “Is this our first date?”
“I think it is,” I replied with a smile.
She must have realized how openly happy she was, because her enthusiasm became obviously muted. “Cool,” she said with a nod. “I’ll, uh… go get dressed.”
“At least finish your lunch first!”
“Right. Heh, sorry.”
The cafe was indeed secluded from the mainstream rabble, just like Jean said, yet there were still a few patrons having a cup after lunch. Still, it should be safe enough. We seated ourselves outside, enjoying the fair weather. I ordered a black while Jean asked for permission to order a chai latte.
“Jean, you can order whatever you want,” I assured her.
She looked down at the table. “It’s just… I’m not really liquid right now, y’know?”
“She’ll have a chai latte,” I told the waitress, who nodded with a smile and left. “Jean, don’t stress out about this stuff, alright?”
“Okay,” she said quietly.
I smiled and looked around. At the next table was a slightly buxom woman with dirty blonde hair, sitting alone with what looked like a latte. She was probably in her thirties and appeared to be waiting for somebody. With how sensible she looked, I wouldn’t have pegged her for this area. I supposed all kinds came around here.
Our coffees arrived and I raised my cup. “Cheers,” I said with a smile, and Jean chuckled and clinked my cup with hers.
“Do people toast with coffee?” she thought aloud.
“We do.” We both chuckled and sipped our drinks. “Hey, did you wanna watch a movie tonight?”
She raised a brow at me. “I thought we were trying to avoid being out together.”
“I meant at home. We could pick something out and just… I dunno, cuddle up on the couch?”
Her mouth scrunched up. “Sure. Yeah, that sounds nice.”
“Great. I’m gonna show you all my favorites. Movies older than you.”
We laughed together, and that just made it all the more obvious when I froze. I went bug-eyed, cursing all the powers that be for our rotten luck. Jean saw me staring over her shoulder and looked behind her before whipping her head back to me, shoulders stiff.
“Fuck,” she hissed. “What do we do?”
“She already knows about us,” I sighed. “I’m not sure if there’s any point in doing anything. Let’s just see how this goes.”
A blonde bombshell with stormy grey eyes seated herself at the table next to us, across from the sensible-looking woman.
“Privet, Lexi,” said the woman.
“*Privet,* Coco,” Lexi replied. “Sorry I’m late. And I didn’t expect to see familiar faces here!” She turned to us with a wide grin, and the woman looked at us in surprise.
“Hey, Lexi,” I said levelly. “Wasn’t expecting to see you here either.” Jean was watching her carefully, thankfully reining in any vehemence.
“Friends of yours?” the woman asked.
“This is actually my psych professor, Professor Lang,” Lexi explained. “Professor, this is my friend Coco.”
“Oh! A psychology professor,” Coco remarked, extending her hand. I shook it as she continued, “So you teach at the local community college?”
“That’s right,” I replied. “Pleasure to meet you.”
“The pleasure’s all mine. Then that means that my son Drew is in your class.”
“Oh! You’re Drew’s mother?” She nodded. “What a crazy coincidence.”
“I hope he doesn’t give you too much trouble in class.”
“Not at all.”
“Let me guess: he raises some pretty outlandish questions during class,” Coco laughed, to which I chuckled.
“That he does. Really keeps me on my toes.”
“And this here is Jean,” Lexi went on, gesturing to the nervous brunette.
“Ah, so you’re Jean…” Coco said with a nod, sending alarm bells off in my head. Jean’s too, apparently.
“You know me?” she asked, eyes wide.
Coco floundered a bit, unable to answer and at one point seemingly turning to Lexi for help before coming back to us with a slightly shrill giggle. “Lexi brings you up sometimes. She says you two have become friends.”
“Friends–” Jean sputtered, unable to maintain her composure. Lexi looked wicked as she watched Jean compose herself. “I, uh… I guess we have a bit of a rivalry going on, you could say.”
“Oh, that sounds lovely,” Coco said. “Competition breeds excellence, as I always tell Drew. So you’re all in the same class then?”
“Yup,” Lexi answered, looking pleased as punch. Shit, now I had to put Drew on my radar too.
“So…” Coco looked from me to Jean. “Are you having some extracurricular tutoring over the holidays?”
“We…” I looked at Jean, unprepared for the question. I don’t know why I didn’t just say “Yes.” Hesitating that long looked so incriminating.
“Gotta get an edge over Lexi, y’know?” Jean stammered, and Coco nodded in understanding.
“Yeah, you need plenty of help, don’t you Jean,” Lexi noted, and I fixed her with a glare. However, mine didn’t compare to Jean’s, and the change in atmosphere was so obvious that even Coco couldn’t ignore it.
“Prof, maybe you and Mrs. Coco should go inside and get another drink,” Jean suggested.
I leaned in toward her, voice lowered. “You sure?” She nodded and I sighed before turning to Coco. “Um, shall we?”
She glanced at Lexi, who was matching Jean’s stare but turned her head slightly to Coco to nod as well. We stood and headed into the cafe, stopping at the cake display. Neither of us know what to say about the situation, so we remained silent for a while, appraising the cakes and sandwiches on display. Eventually Coco spoke up.
“What’s your opinion of Lexi, professor?” she asked.
“Call me Hank,” I offered. “Well… She’s intelligent, that much is clear. Diligent, seems to have a natural affinity for the subject, and proactive in seeking me out during my office hours–”
“I meant your unprofessional opinion,” she corrected.
“I’m not sure I follow.” She was friends with Lexi, which struck me as a little odd. But at the end of the day, she would naturally be biased in an assessment of any sort regarding the girls. Except where was she going with this?
“I confess, when I first learned of Lexi, my attitude toward her was… hostile,” Coco admitted, catching me off guard. What the hell? “But after coming to understand her, I eventually realized she only had my best interests at heart. And now, she’s shown… interest in you.” She looked meaningfully at me, and I noticed I was breathing heavily.
“Is that… a good thing? I’m her professor, and I can’t say I feel the same way.”
“I was speaking more about you and Jean,” she clarified, and my heart sank. Fucking great. This was getting out of hand. Now there were two people who knew about our relationship, maybe more.
“There’s nothing between us,” I asserted, and Coco looked over her shoulder.
“Don’t let her hear you say that,” she warned. “You’d break her heart, I reckon. Listen, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but whatever Lexi may be saying to you, she doesn’t mean any harm.”
I eyed her skeptically, and she gave me a smile that seemed to imply that she understood how I felt. Except what she’d said didn’t make any sense. Lexi had openly threatened to ruin Jean’s life. And why would Coco *not* be supposed to tell me this? It just made what I’d learned yesterday all the more confusing.
“Having a hard time choosing, prof?” Lexi said at my side, making me jump. She gazed past me to Coco, and a look exchanged between them. Coco bit her lip with worry, and my heart cranked into overdrive. Had Lexi cowed this woman into… doing whatever it was she was doing? It felt like Lexi was silencing her, but what Coco had told me was speaking in favor of Lexi, so…
My head hurt.
And I was now terrified of this gorgeous blonde girl giving me a disarming smile. She jerked her head toward the road outside. “Jean’s outside waiting for you. I’ll see you Monday, professor.”
I whipped around, looking out the French doors of the cafe. Without even saying goodbye to the two women, I ran outside to meet Jean, who was finishing the last of her coffee and stood when she saw me.
“We should probably go,” she said, casting a glance inside at Lexi and Coco.
“What did she say to you?” I asked urgently.
“Nothing, just…” Her expression was inscrutable. I’d expected she would be angry or scared, but it was none of that. She looked conflicted and slightly confused. “Nothing. Let’s get outta here.”
As Jean walked back to the car, I couldn’t help but feel this creeping dread inside. Jean had told me that she wanted to deal with Lexi herself, and yet now her whole attitude toward Lexi had seemed to have changed.
*What the hell had Lexi done?*