Unlearned: Virgin and Professor Romance, page 1
Table of Contents
About the Author
A Virgin and Professor Romance
About the Author
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I shouldn’t want Addison this much. Or at all.
She’s my student, for god’s sake.
But she’s so sweet, so innocent, and so, so, bendable to my every whim.
Her mother wants her to be a doctor, but Addison? She has no idea what she wants.
I’ll help her find out, on one condition: I’m sure as hell going to be a part of it. Because I need her. I need to touch her, to taste her, to invade her soul the way she’s invaded mine.
Shakespeare said it best. I am her slave, with no choice to tend to her desires. Whatever they may be.
Unlearned is a 50,000 word stand-alone romance novel with no cliffhangers, no cheating and a beautiful HEA.
I don’t care what it takes, just get it done.
Those words race through my mind as I jump to attention at four in the morning on the first day of my senior year at Marysville University. I climb from my white frilly fortress of eyelet and lace, listening to owls and crickets making their nocturnal noises, reminding me everyone normal should still be asleep.
But you’re not normal, Addison. You’re a McBride. McBrides are exceptional. Norms don’t apply to us.
My mother’s words of wisdom, again. I’m not even fully awake and she’s already invaded my head twice today.
With my mouth stuck in a never-ending yawn, I scuff into my slippers and cross my bedroom to my desk, where my Mac is already open. I jostle the screen awake and stare at the words in front of me:
AMCAS: American Medical Colleges Application Service, Application for Admission
I take a breath and open section one.
Okay. Time to get this done.
The first questions are background information. Not too tough, even though over my childhood, my address has changed more times than my mother’s hair color, each home growing bigger and more luxurious as the years have gone by. But despite the fact that most of this stuff will likely be a lot easier than what’ll come once – or if—I’m finally accepted, I haven’t been able to get my butt in gear to submit the application. My mother was furious with me when she learned I’d forgotten the early decision date in August. After all, I’ve wanted to become a doctor since I was two. I’m not one to procrastinate, either. I’d been taking extra summer classes in anatomy and physiology to get ahead, and despite my mother’s four-hundred reminders and circling the date in red on the calendar above my desk, I’d just . . . spaced.
That makes me public enemy number one on my mother’s shit-list.
In my mind, there is no scarier place to be. I’d rather face a firing squad—at least that way, the pain is over quickly.
I shiver in the cranked-up AC as my fingers work over the keyboard. By the time the sun starts to slash its first orange rays through the blinds, I’m on section seven: college choice. I scroll through them, the cursor hovering over my one and only choice.
Harvard Medical School. I check the box, wishing I could double outline it, or circle it, or something, just to let them know how much I want it.
I hover my finger over the bright red SUBMIT button.
This is it. Do it, Addison.
I swallow as my eyes scan over the checklist I have pinned to my bulletin board. MCATs? Check, though my mother wasn’t too happy with my scores. “Dismal”, she’d called them, though I’d been in the ninetieth percentile. A balanced undergraduate curriculum resulting in a 4.0 GPA? Check, though my mother always encouraged courses that would “complement my profession,” thus easy-A classes like Basketweaving for Meditation and Theater Appreciation were nixed. Half a dozen glowing recommendations from the science professors I’ve had over the years? I’ve got those too.
I’m ready. This is what I want. What I’ve always wanted.
I press SUBMIT.
I wait to feel some sense of relief.
Instead, I’ve never felt so nervous. What’s wrong with me?
Caffeine. I need caffeine. This is nothing a frappe couldn’t fix. I check my phone. I need to meet Zoe in an hour.
Kicking away from the desk, I rub the sleep out of my eyes as I step into the shower and get ready for the first class of my senior year, Advanced Calculus. It’s nose to the grindstone time. I usually take eighteen credits, but last year, I met with an admissions advisor who noted my courseload was a little math-light, my mom thought I should take twenty-one, including an advanced Statistics class, just to get ahead.
Math is your weak point, she’d said. It’ll make all the difference when you’re in med school.
I throw on my jeans and Marysville baseball shirt, and twist my still-damp dirty blonde hair into a messy bun. When I step into the kitchen, I can see my mother in the courtyard through the wall of windows at the back of the mansion. This is her normal “office” on nice summer days; she’s sitting under an umbrella, at a patio table in front of the Olympic-size swimming pool, typing away on her laptop, her cell phone wedged between her ear and shoulder. It may be only seven in the morning, but she’s been at it for hours—her day always starts with a hundred laps in the pool, which is why she’s lean and muscular while I’ve always been on the soft and doughy side. I grab a handful of Cheerios from the pantry and a carton of OJ and step outside.
“Hey mom,” I say, noticing that her severe dark bob is dripping all over her laptop. I set a towel down next to her, which she ignores.
She holds up a finger and barks into the cell, “That’s not acceptable! That’s twice now. If they can’t supply pumps that work then we’ll have to find a supplier that can!” She looks at me and shakes her head, then says, “Fine. Call me back when you’ve got better news.”
My mother, the powerhouse. She’s the owner of the She Pampering Products empire. Hard to believe when she was my age, she was a pregnant college dropout, wondering what she was going to do with her life.
My mother doesn’t wonder anything anymore. She knows.
She throws down the phone and her eyes scan me from head to toe. I cringe whenever I submit myself to her inspection, because I know she’s not seeing what’s right about me. Just what’s wrong. “You all ready?” Before I can answer, she says, “Don’t you want to do your hair nice for the first day?”
I press a hand against the wet side of my head. “Uh, well, I—“
“You should. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And you don’t want your professors to think you’re a slacker who doesn’t respect herself.”
Her severe expression brightens, and it transforms her whole face, making her look like the pretty woman in the pictures, holding me when I was a newborn. “Good. Finally. It’s just a formality, of course, because Bill says you’re in, but what kind of signal is it sending if you slack off on submitting your application? It’s saying, ‘I don’t want to be here. I take my education for granted.’”
She’s told me this so much that I could practically recite it right along with her. Bill is one of her old flings, I think, and he’s on the admission board, owes her a favor, and probably still wants to get into her pants, but I’m a little unclear on my mom’s love life. The point is, my mother has connections everywhere. “Right. I’m sorry I forgot. It didn’t even take that long.”
“Well, ‘Responsible’ never was your middle name,” she says, coming up so close to me I can smell the chlorine on her skin. Even without make-up, she’s as striking as they come, with her slim figure, chestnut hair with tinges of red, and perfectly manicured eyebrows. She looks more like a young thirties than nearly fifty. “Eat more than Cheerios. I think you put on weight this summer because you ate too little for breakfast before your classes. When you do that, you make irresponsible lunch decisions. Those food court frappes you’re so fond of are not going to do you any favors in five years, I’ll tell you that.”
“I know. I’ll eat better. And I’ll be home before dinner,” I tell her, giving her a kiss. I grab a cereal bar from the pantry and eat it while I’m blow-drying and straightening my hair upstairs. Then I quickly get my backpack together, and when I’m done, Hobson is standing in the foyer, waiting for me. He’s impossibly old, with no body hair whatsoever and a frame only slightly thicker than a skeleton’s.
“Ready, miss?” He asks me.
Despite the fact that I spend more time with Hobson than anyone else, that’s probably the most he’s ever said to me in one day. I follow him out to one of three of our black Cadillac limousines, and he opens the door for me. When I’m inside, we wind down the hill on a long, cobblestone driveway, and out the iron front gates. Not a minute later, we pass the sign for Marysville University. I peer out the window at two students on bikes, careening toward the campus, and remember how I’d tried to get my mother to let me bike to college three years ago. That didn’t go well.
She only lets me drive my brand new Jeep Wrangler once in a blue moon. After all, Responsible isn’t my middle name, so she probably thinks I’ll run head on into an 18-wheeler. Besides, my mom thinks our wealth is something to flaunt, and doesn’t get that I’d much rather just fit in. It wasn’t enough that she not only bought the sprawling President’s mansion located right outside the school gates the day I’d been accepted, but she’d also donated the funds for the McBride Applied Sciences Building when she learned that the Marysville facilities weren’t as up to date as she’d hoped. So yeah, for the past year I’ve been showing up to a building bearing my last name in a stretch limo.
Not exactly blending in.
As usual, my chauffer lets me off in front of the enormous, arched building that still smells brand new. I thank him and the second I step onto the curb, hear someone scream, “Addison!”
A girl in a dark pixie cut with blue highlights is running toward me. She envelopes me in a hug before I can take a step toward her.
“Zoe!” I scream.
We shriek and jump in unison, like kindergarteners who’ve just learned they’re in the same class. Hobson shakes his head at me – I don’t think he was ever my age—and pulls away in the limo. She waves after him and says, “So you still got the old warden with you?”
I shrug. “You know my mom. I think she’s going to marry me off to him. How was France?”
“Oui oui, it was French.” She sticks out her tongue, then hooks her arm through mine and drags me toward the student center. “French men were gross. They don’t even wash half the time.”
“You poor thing,” I say with a laugh. “But you had amazing cuisine, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre—“
She rolls her eyes and pushes a lock of blue hair out of her eyes. “Please. I have priorities. What good is being in the most romantic city in the world if you don’t have a hot guy to share it with? Pure torture. I couldn’t wait to get back in the states.”
This is par for the course with Zoe, and the point on which we’ll never see eye to eye. Men have always been number one on her priority list. “Well, at least you got to work on your technique?”
“I did,” she admits. I met Zoe at the library on my very first semester at school, when I found her crying over her required Math Liberal Arts class and helped her with some algebra. She’s is the most amazing artist I’ve ever seen. I don’t know much, because I’m strictly a stick figure kind of gal and my mother thinks anything art is worthless, but Zoe can draw, paint, sculpt—everything she attempts, she excels at. But she mostly works with watercolors, and spent the entire summer semester abroad, interning in the Louvre and perfecting her technique.
I have to say, I’m jealous. Where art comes easy to her, I’ve always had to work hard to get good grades. I haven’t even had a vacation since a junior high trip to Disney World because my mother always thinks the time is better spent learning things that will help me become a better doctor. Even during the Disney World trip, I spent the entire time in Epcot, learning about the human body. “But what’s technique without inspiration? I need a muse.”
I grin at her, glad I don’t have that problem. I don’t need a muse to inspire me to be an MD. Love would be a distraction. “When’s your next class?”
“Nine-fifty. Impressionism. I hate impressionism,” she groans. “What about you?”
“I have three today. Statistics first, then Calc right after that.” She’s making a face like suddenly impressionism isn’t all that bad. I say, “What?”
“You’re taking twenty-one credits again, aren’t you?” She sighs when I nod. “Your mother?”
“Not just my mother. Me,” I explain, even though, yes, my mother does have a lot to do with it. But Zoe already thinks I let my mother push me around too much. She’s always yelling at me to get a backbone and tell her off. She doesn’t understand that for the most part, I appreciate my mother’s keeping me on the right track. If it wasn’t for her, I’d never be where I am now. “I want this. I need to be prepared for next year.”
She gives me a doubtful look.
“Besides, I did convince her to let me take the writing class I wanted. That’s my last class today.”
She looks surprised. “Really? How did you manage that one?”
“It wasn’t that hard.” I try to sound breezy, but it was anything but easy. Of all the classes I could possibly take, Creative Writing is the one my mom had fought hardest against. I explained to her that I needed to satisfy an English requirement and that was the only class that fit my schedule, but that wasn’t enough. After a call into the dean and three other members of the board, she couldn’t wiggle me out of said requirement, so she reluctantly agreed.
“So,” she says as we walk out of the late-summer humidity and into the chilly student center. “Two caramel frappes?”
“My treat, this time,” I say, licking my lips. I think about what my mother said and squeeze my side. I haven’t put on that much weight this summer. As we approach the counter, I tell myself I’ll just run an extra mile on the treadmill tonight while studying.
I place the order and the girl at the counter tells me, “Eight dollars.”
I pick through my wallet for my student debit card. For some reason, I can’t find it.
“Oh my fucking god,” Zoe breathes, nudging me as I start pulling out all my cards, my library card, my student ID, my Ulta card, my driver’s license. Where the hell is my damn college-issued debit card? “That must be the new professor. Have you ever seen a more perfect male specimen?”
I don’t even bother to look. I mean, I can appreciate the male form
Plus, I need some caffeine. Where the hell is my card? I never carry cash.
Zoe clucks her tongue at me. Then shoves me. “Look, girl. You have to look!” She’s practically panting.
“Yep,” I agree with her absently, starting to worry. I know I had that card in here last night. I saw it. Now, I’m going to have to subject myself to my mother’s “grow up and be more responsible” speech for the thousandth time. “I’d love to lick him up and down like a popsicle. Be his slave. Make sweet love with him all night long.”
I expect her to laugh, but she doesn’t. Surprised by Zoe’s sudden muteness, I look at her. She’s biting her tongue and her pale cheeks are as red as I’ve ever seen them. She’s staring past me, right over my shoulder.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice says. It’s so close that I can feel the puff of warm breath on my ear.
I whirl and find myself face-to-face, no . .. that’s not right. Face-to-extremely broad chest with a man. I tilt my chin up and behold a chiseled jaw crusted with a sea of cinnamon stubble, and beyond that, two cool blue eyes, fastened right on me. He has this stone-faced expression, disinterest bordering on disgust.
Oh, lord. Zoe has a knack for exaggerating, but right now all I can think is that she’s hit the nail on the head. Standing in front of me is, hands-down, the most perfect specimen of maleness I’ve ever seen.
I open my mouth and “Uh” comes out. As I do, I inhale the scent of a spicy citrus aftershave that makes me weak in the knees.
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