"Do you have a moment, Professor Swift?"
Briony Swift glanced up from the Algebra papers she was grading, then stifled a sigh at the sight of the two men filling the doorway of her office. Oh Lord, not Nic Potter and Leo Phelps. She beckoned them inside, not really having much choice since it was technically her office hours for five more minutes.
Taking a deep breath and summoning a smile, she tried to tamp down the instant attraction that hit whenever she saw these men, two of her students.
"How can I help you, gentlemen?" she asked. She'd like to help them in ways that would get her in trouble with the administration of Culver Rapids College. How could she not have scandalous thoughts when the two-for-one-special-of-hot stood before her clad in cotton button-down shirts and well-worn jeans? The soft fabric clung lovingly to their hard twenty-something bodies. She figured the pair for twenty-seven or twenty-eight--older than her regular students but still off-limits. With their floppy, black hair and light-blue eyes, they could have been twins. In fact, their body structures were similar, as well, but she knew they weren't related.
They glanced at each other then stepped inside. Leo meandered to the old couch she'd placed on one side of her office and sat, sprawling his legs in front of him. Nic closed the door and leaned against it. The intent look he gave her sent panic through her.
She folded her hands on her desk and summoned her professor persona as a tremble of awareness clawed up her spine.
"Boys?" she questioned.
Nic frowned. "We're not boys ... Briony. We're adults and not that much younger than you."
She raised an eyebrow at both his tone and the implied challenge in his words.
"Can I help you?" she asked, adding an edge to her voice. Forcing composure, she leaned back in her chair, resting her arms on the rests, and crossed her legs. As she smoothed her long skirt, she wondered if perhaps she should reach for the phone and call security.
You're being silly, she told herself. The two were seniors, good students, and didn't have a record for causing trouble. She didn't need to worry. Midterms approached and it wasn't abnormal for students to visit for help.
Nic reached in his back pocket and pulled out a folded slip of paper. "I'd like you to sign this," he said as he walk toward her, then placed the form on the desk.
"It's a drop class request..." Well, duh, Briony. Surely he knows that. Pushing a strand of her light brown hair behind her ear, she scanned the form and found it blank. "It's late in the term to drop a class."
"Yes, but it seems the best thing to do."
"Are you leaving school? You have a solid A in the course."
He lifted a shoulder. "I don't need the class and it's ... a problem." Turning, he beckoned to Leo and his friend produced a similar form. "Leo's dropping, too."
She blinked at the second paper, also blank. "I guess I don't understand. Since you're both A students, what kind of problem is it? A time conflict? Difficulty with another student? My teaching style?"
Nic shook his head dismissively as she spoke.
"My limp?" she added. Some students were distracted by her jolting gait and the cane she used for support. It was hard to disguise since she spent a great deal of time standing at the white-board demonstrating equations.
"Yes," Nic answered. "But not in the way you think."
"Smooth, Nic," Leo muttered behind him. He looked at her. "Haven't you noticed us watching you? Ever?"
Well, yeah, she had. It always made her tingle right down to her toes. She had to tell herself repeatedly that they were students and intent on her lessons. The reminder served as a splash of ice water on her arousal. Two hot guys like Leo and Nic wouldn't be remotely interested in their gimpy, older math teacher. Their attention had nothing to do with her as a woman.
"Yes," she replied cautiously. "But I'm your teacher. You're supposed to pay attention to me."
"Briony, we'd pay attention to you even if you weren't our teacher. I haven't learned a thing in your class because I'm too busy watching you and thinking of--" He broke off with a sigh. "Just sign the form, okay."
She wanted to know what he was thinking.
It was probably better not to know. It would only get her in trouble.