Johnny Deeper: A Sports Romance (3 page)

“Thank you. Now, will you
please
explain to me what the hell is happening in this barbaric caveman sport we’re watching here?”

“Says the girl that likes the game that’s
literally
played with sticks.”

“Fuck you.”

I smile and look at the television. “They’re second and seven
.”

“They’re
what
? What color are we again? Blue or green?”

“Blue,” I answer, laughing hard. I do the same to her during baseball season.
What’s with that guy’s mask? Why nine innings? Why not seven? That helmet looks stupid.

As I explain the very simple mathematics behind yardage and downs again, my eyes fall to the class list.

John Kirby is in my class. I’ve been following him since first he joined the team. Most girls gravitate towards Junior Morgan because he’s the QB but I’ll admit that John Kirby has caught my eye more than any of them. He’s
fast
; one of the most impressive sprinters I’ve ever seen. He’s not bad on the eyes either, from what I’ve seen of him.

But my admiration for him halts at his athletic talent. Sure, he’s hot. And yes, the thought is a bit tempting, but it can’t happen.

I am the teacher. He is the student.

Let’s keep it that way.

 

Chapter 3

John

 

General chemistry.
What a joke.

I just need one more science credit to finish out my general education requirement so I saved the easiest for last. I aced this class in my sleep in high school. Covalent bonds this, moles that. Periodic Table, blah blah.
Who gives a shit?

I stare straight ahead at the professor, Dr. Payton Zach. He seems like a decent enough guy but if his lectures are anything like his syllabus overview, this will probably turn out to be the most boring class this semester. A quick glance around the room tells me that the female students disagree. You’d think he was a fucking movie star or something.

“Now, before I let you all go today—” Dr. Zach pauses and flashes a grin. “Yes, I’m dismissing you early but don’t get used to that. It’ll never happen again.” The ladies chuckle. “I’d like to introduce you all your TA, Rose Hawthorne.”

He points to a girl in the front row and I pause, struck down by a bolt of brilliant lightning.

A teaching assistant.

Zach gestures at her. “Rose, how about you stand up and say something?”

Please be hot. Please be hot. Please be hot.

She stands and I bite my lip with anticipation as she turns around.

Jackpot.

Rose Hawthorne is every bit as elegant as her name suggests she should be. Her blonde hair is held back with a loose ponytail. Her face shines with perfect skin and just enough make-up to make you wonder if she’s actually wearing any at all, complete with a pair of brown-framed glasses over her bright eyes. Red cardigan. Tight pencil skirt. Petite and perfect.

I want her.

“Hey, guys,” she says, throwing a little wave towards the lecture hall. “I’m Rose and you guys can call me that or Ms. Hawthorne, whichever you prefer. I don’t really care.”

She lets out the slightest nervous giggle and my groin twitches.

Holy shit. She’s fucking
adorable
.

“Rose is going to be conducting the first few lectures for you guys,” Dr. Zach says. “So feel free to approach her with any questions you may have about the syllabus in general.”

“Also,” she adds, “I do have office hours, so if you need me to re-explain something from lecture, just pop on in or you can schedule a one-on-one with me. I’m on campus five days a week, so send me a message and we’ll work something out. You can find my email on the syllabus.”

I smirk.
Perfect.

“All right, guys,” Zach continues. “That’s it. We’ll see you all back here on Wednesday. Make sure you read chapter one before then.”

Everyone rises at once, probably eager to get out of here and take an early lunch but I stay seated. Rose lingers by the front desk, patiently waiting for the rest of the students to move out of the way before retrieving her things from her chair. A few of the more ass-kissing students stop to say hello and introduce themselves to her and she flashes the sweetest smile at each one of them.

I want that smile.

I stand up and slowly move to the front of the lecture hall as she finally gets a chance to gather her things. She bends over and her skirt wraps just right around her ass, showing off her curves and my briefs tighten a bit more.

Finally, it’s just me and her.

“Hey there,” I say.

She snaps up and flashes that sweet smile of greeting at me. “Hey,” she says.

“I’m John.” I extend a hand to her and she shakes it without hesitation, giving it the lightest squeeze as if she’s scared she’ll break my fingers.

“I know,” she nods. “John
Kirby.

“Yes, ma’am.”

She winces. “Oh, please. None of the ma’am stuff.
Ma’am
is my mother.”

I laugh way too hard and Rose blinks with confusion like I’m a damn idiot. It takes all of my concentration to stop.

Keep it together, Johnny.

“So—” My voice breaks and I clear my throat to cover it up. “You don’t look old enough to be a teacher.”

“Thanks,” she says, throwing her bag’s strap over her shoulder.

I study her face, expecting to see a blush of color but I get nothing. “Are you a graduate student?”

“Yeah,” she nods.

“In chemistry?”

“Yep.”

“Wow…” I look her up and down. “If I had known scientists looked like you, I would have changed majors a long time ago.”

“What is your major?” she asks.

Not even a dilated pupil behind those glasses. I’m throwing perfectly good lines at her and it’s like she doesn’t even notice.

“Business,” I answer.

“That’s actually really popular with athletes,” she notes. “That and sociology.”

“How do you know I’m an athlete?” Her eyes jut down at my shirt and I pause, quickly realizing that I’m wearing my fucking jersey. “Right…”

“It was nice to meet you, John Kirby,” she says, stepping back towards the door. “I’ll see you in class on Wednesday.”

“Same to you, Ms. Hawthorne.”

She disappears into the hallway without even a quick glance back to get just
one more look
at me.

What the hell?

Do I have something in my teeth? Did I grow a third eye without noticing? Did I forget to put on deodorant this morning? I’m John
fucking
Kirby. When I flirt, women pay attention, but Rose didn’t even bat an eyelash at me or softly bite her lip in embarrassment.

I open my notebook and yank out the syllabus. Rose’s name is listed at the top, directly beneath Dr. Zach’s contact information, along with her email address and office hours.

Maybe she’s just one of those girls that needs to wooed more than once. One of those nerdy chicks that doesn’t realize how beautiful she could be if she just let her hair down and took her glasses off once and a while. All she needs is a handsome man to let her know how truly fuckable she really is.

And I volunteer.

 

Chapter 4

Rose

 

Holy shit. John Kirby just talked to me.

Scratch that. John Kirby just
flirted
with me.

I didn’t hallucinate that part, right? Admittedly, I’m not that great at deciphering normal conversation from blatant sexual advances but there’s only one way to interpret that whole
if I had known scientists looked like you
comment. I mean, it wasn’t even
clever
. It was almost
cliché.

Not that it matters anyway. I’m the teacher. He’s the student.

I walk out of Prism Hall and through the quad on autopilot, dodging the large groups of people lounging around on my way towards the library. I have a class in an hour and I want to get a head start on some reading before then. There should be a private study room free. I doubt many people are cooped up in there right now. It’s the first day of classes.

“Whoa, baby!”

I pause and the entire contents of my stomach shift as I look up at him. Fiercely tall. Ripped muscles just begging to tear his t-shirt in half. I frown at his long hair; strands of it have fallen loose from his sloppy bun and frame his chiseled face.

“Hey, Douglas,” I mutter.

He grins. “So, you remember me?”

I nod, shaking the queasiness away. “Yeah, vaguely.”

“I thought you graduated already.”

“I did,” I say, glancing around him. “I’m a graduate student now.”

“Sweet…” He looks me up and down, his eyes locking on the textbook in my arms. “You take general chem in grad school?”

“No, I teach it.”

His brow perks.
“Really?”

“Yeah. Douglas, I’m sorry, but I really have to get going…”

He takes a step back. “Yeah, sure. No problem, sweetheart. Maybe we can get together sometime soon? Catch up?”

“Maybe.” I dodge around him.

“Until then, Rose.”

I crane my neck and offer a lazy wave at him.

Ugh.
Douglas Floyd.
Yeah, sure. I remember you.

You bastard.

Not sure why I’m suddenly back on his radar and I really don’t want to know, either. I shake the memory of him away and continue on to the library.

The second I step inside, I fill my lungs with that sweet, fresh scent of new books and technology. The place is nearly deserted, as expected. Just a few people clacking away in the computer lab, printing off study notes for their classes or checking email.

I reach the second floor and throw open the first study room I find and, as expected, it’s completely empty. One small table, two chairs. More than enough space for me to lay out and get some reading done.

I pull out my laptop and connect to the library’s free wi-fi to do a quick check of my email before getting started. Three new emails await me — one from Dr. Zach, another from Daisy, and a third from—

John Kirby?

I pause and glance around the empty room, feeling pretty foolish at the thought of getting pranked. There are no hidden cameras in here. No audio taps to capture my reaction.

Subject:
;)

Why is John Kirby sending me an email with a winky face on it?

I hesitate for several moments before my curiosity finally forces me to open it.

 

Hey, Ms. Hawthorne. It was nice meeting you today.

I’m looking forward to learning from you.

Maybe you can learn a thing or two from me.

 

John

But you can call me Johnny ;)

 

I stare at it, reading it over and over again until the words turn to slush in my brain. There’s no way this means what I think it means. There’s no way a guy like John Kirby is taking time out of his day to send me emails like this.

I forward the email to my sister’s address, hitting backspace at least nine times before I finally get it right and I add a quick message before sending it.

 

EXPLAIN.

 

I hit send and wait. Suddenly, I have no desire to read or prepare for my class. Instead, I stare at my inbox, waiting for another bold-printed email to whoosh into the received column.

Finally, she replies.

 

He wants to learn you a thing or two with his cock.

 

I sit back, wondering if there’s a more realistic interpretation, and my inbox refreshes with another message from Daisy.

 

Okay, I just looked him up on the internet and you better be on your back

and spread eagle right the fuck now.

I’m not even joking.

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