Rock hard, p.35
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       Rock Hard, p.35
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         Part #2 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
Page 35

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  “I am telling you what to do. Get in the car. ”

  “I’m not going anywhere with you. ”

  “Get in the car, Jessica. ”

  “Or you’ll do what?”

  He knew exactly what would piss her off most. “I’ll write a check for your tuition and send the receipt to your mother. ”

  Her jaw dropped. “You wouldn’t!”

  “Wouldn’t I?” He lifted an eyebrow at her.

  “I hate you sometimes,” she sputtered.

  “Only sometimes? We’re making progress. ”

  “I know what you’re trying to do. You can’t fix this for me, okay? So just butt out of my business. ”

  “I wasn’t planning on fixing it for you. I was just going to give you a ride to the college and wait outside while you fix it. ”

  She stared at him as if he’d grown a third eye.

  “I can’t fix this,” she said finally. “And I can’t afford another twenty thousand dollars a year for school if I lose my scholarship. ” But her expression had turned thoughtful.

  “If?” he prodded.

  “Maybe if I show the dean my term paper, he’ll recognize that Dr. Ellington graded me unfairly. I didn’t deserve to fail that paper. I know I didn’t. ” She scowled, crossing her arms across her chest. She was entirely adorable when she threw tantrums. He doubted she wanted to hear that at the moment, however.

  “Good. And if that doesn’t work?”

  She sighed loudly. “I’ll take out loans. ”

  “That’s my girl. ” He touched her cheek gently and she glanced up at him.

  “You really are an overbearing prick sometimes, you know that?”

  “Yeah, I know. I have your best interest at heart, so you forgive me. Right?”

  “Heh. Hardly. ”

  “Yo, Sed, what’s taking so long?” Eric called from the end of the hallway. “Is Trey coming over or what?”

  Sed had completely forgotten that he was supposed to call Trey. “Change of plans, dude. I have to go do something with Jessica real quick. ”

  Eric rolled his eyes and made a sound of annoyance. “You know bands break up because of their singers’ girlfriends for a reason. ”

  If Eric had been within range, Sed would have decked him.

  “Just stay here and finish your session with the guys,” Jessica said. “I’ll go by myself. ”

  “I said I’d drive you. ”

  “I can drive, you know. ”

  “I want to be there. In the unlikely event that you need me. ”

  She hesitated, then turned on her heel and stalked out to the car. She even let him drive and didn’t pull away when he reached over to take her hand and pressed her knuckles to his lips.

  Chapter 26

  Jessica sank into the leather-upholstered chair across from the dean. She was glad she’d changed into a neat skirt and sweater set when she’d stopped by her mother’s house to pick up her term paper. She needed the self-confidence boost.

  Dr. Taylor set his elbows on his desk and folded his hands in front of his chin, assessing her with piercing blue eyes beneath arched gray eyebrows. She imagined he’d been a very attractive man in his youth. Still was in that distinguished older gentleman way.

  “How can I help you, Ms. Chase?”

  “I received this letter in the mail while I was… out of town. It says the council of deans decided to revoke my scholarship for the upcoming semester. ”

  “That’s right. Dr. Ellington made it clear that you’re undeserving of such a prodigious award. ”

  Jessica figured it had been something like that. Why did Dr. Ellington have it out for her? “The rest of my grades are exemplary,” Jessica said. “I’d like the chance to prove myself. ”

  “What kind of a chance?”

  “I’ll retake her class. ”

  “Dr. Ellington doesn’t want you in her class. ”

  So she wasn’t just imagining things. “Why not?”

  “Maybe she doesn’t think you’re living up to your potential. ”

  “So she fails me on a final paper worth fifty percent of my grade? That doesn’t make sense. ” She pulled the graded paper out of her folio. The huge red F emblazoned on the coversheet made her wince. “Read it. Tell me if you think it deserves a failing grade. ”

  “I don’t question the grading methods of my professors. If she thought you deserved a failing grade, then you did. ”

  “Can I take the course independent study? Or is there another instructor who teaches it?”

  “No and no,” Dr. Taylor said.

  She was beginning to think coming here was a waste of time. Maybe she could appeal to his sense of justice. He was a law professor first, a dean second. “Other students in my position are given a semester to bring up their grades before their scholarships are revoked. Why doesn’t that provision apply in my case?”

  “Other students attend their probation hearings. ”

  “I didn’t know about it. I would have attended if I’d known. ”

  His gaze moved from her eyes to her neck and settled on her chest. He cocked his head at her. “Did you enjoy your time working in Las Vegas?” His gaze shifted back to her face.

  Her eyes widened. “How did you know…” She reminded herself that she hadn’t been doing anything wrong. “I was there for a summer job. ”

  “An internship at a law firm, I’m assuming. ”

  She lowered her gaze, her cheeks hot. “Well, no. I needed to make money and internships don’t pay. But I’m not working in Vegas anymore. I’m doing research for a psychology professor. ”

  “What kind of research?”

  Her cheeks flamed hotter. She couldn’t bring herself to meet his eyes. “Uh… well, she’s studying promiscuity in band groupies. ” Why did her voice sound so squeaky? “Sir. ”

  “Interesting. Are you a test subject? That guy you did at the top of the Eiffel Tower is in a band, isn’t he? Are you one of his groupies?”

  Bile rose to the back of Jessica’s throat. Dean Taylor knew about the video? Now would be a great time for a black hole to open up beside her and suck her into oblivion.

  “How much do you want this scholarship?”

  She looked up. A second chance? “I’d do anything. ”

  “Anything? Would you, say…” He shrugged nonchalantly. “…suck me off?”

  She must have heard him wrong. “What?”

  “I can overturn this decision with one signature. I just require the proper motivation. ”

  She could not believe this. Jaw set, teeth clenched, she growled, “I’m sure you’re aware that there are laws against sexual harassment. ”

  He sat up straighter in his chair and chuckled uncomfortably. “That was just a hypothetical question, Ms. Chase. I needed to know how serious you are about continuing your studies. ”

  “Not that serious. ” She climbed to her feet and stuffed her failed term paper back into her folio.

  “Leave that paper on my desk and I’ll get back to you with my decision. ”

  She paused. Should she swallow her pride and hand over the paper? Screw that. He’d think he’d won. “I’d rather inform the other deans what you just said to me. And the campus president. And your wife. ”

  “I’ve just given you your one chance, Jessica. Don’t be stubborn. ” He smirked. “They’ve all seen your video. Don’t refuse your one opportunity to change everything. We can pretend your brilliant paper changed my mind. ”

  His hand disappeared beneath his desk and she heard his fly unzip.

  “A twenty thousand dollar scholarship for five minutes, Ms. Chase. ”

  The skin on her back tried to crawl off her body. “I’m going to report you for this. ”

  He chuckled. “It’s your word against mine. Who do you think they’ll believe? A prestigious law professor with a spotless record
or a stripper sex-kitten from the wrong side of town?”

  “Fuck off. ”

  He shrugged nonchalantly again. “If you’d rather fuck than suck, I wouldn’t object. ”

  Her folio flew out of her hand of its own accord. Okay, so maybe she hurled it at him. Unfortunately, he ducked and it hit the back of his chair instead of his smug face. She spun on her heel, flung open his office door and stalked through the outer office, glaring at the startled secretary as she left.

  Jessica found Sed outside at the curb, leaning against the front fender of his Mercedes on the passenger side. Some petite Asian chick with pink highlights in her hair stood before him, giggling like an idiot. When Sed noticed Jessica marching in his direction, he smiled brightly. It faltered when he caught her expression.

  “I assume that didn’t go well. ”

  She climbed into the passenger side of the car, shooting eye-daggers at his giddy young companion, while he walked around the car and slid behind the wheel.

  “You okay?”

  “Drive,” she bellowed, fighting angry tears.


  “Just drive, okay? Drive!”

  He started the car and pulled into traffic. “Where am I driving?”

  “I don’t care. Just not here. ” She hit the dashboard with both fists. “That ass. That unbelievable ass. How dare he? How dare he?”

  Sed squeezed her knee. “What happened?”

  She couldn’t tell him. She just couldn’t. “Nothing. ”

  “Something happened. Do you have any chance of getting your scholarship back?”

  “Not anymore. ” Her head started swimming. She knew she was hyperventilating, but she couldn’t calm down.

  “Why not?”

  “Because I refused to suck the dean’s cock, that’s why not!” She drew in a deep breath, hoping to retrieve the words she’d unthinkingly spewed.

  Sed slammed on the brakes. The seat belt dug into Jessica’s shoulder and then she banged her head on the headrest. Angry horns blared as cars swerved around them.


  Sed did a U-turn into oncoming traffic. More horns blared.

  “Are you trying to kill us?” Jessica screamed, gripping the door handle with both hands, her eyes squeezed shut.

  “I do have murder on my mind at the moment. Yes. ”

  “Sed, don’t do this. ”

  “Do what?”

  He pulled to a halt in front of the building Jessica had recently vacated, illegally parked in the middle of the street with two tires on the center median, and opened his door. Jessica grabbed his arm before he could climb from the car.

  “Don’t make it worse. I took care of it, okay? He won’t bother me again. I told him to fuck off. ” Oh my God, I told the dean to fuck off. I’m so screwed.

  “I just want to make sure your rejection sinks in. I think my fist will do the trick. ” He cracked his knuckles, the muscles in his forearms straining against his skin.

  “Sed, you can’t. ”

  “Why not? The prick has it coming to him. ”

  “Maybe he does—”

  “Thank you. ”

  “—but I don’t want you to fight my battles. When you brought me here and let me go in by myself, I thought you finally understood. But you don’t understand at all. ”

  “What I really don’t understand is why men think they can talk to you like that. ”

  “He knew I was stripping in Vegas,” she said. “And he saw our video, Sed. Oh God. They’ve all seen it. ” She couldn’t catch her breath.

  “That shouldn’t matter. ” He slammed his door and shifted into first gear. The tires squealed as the car shot forward.

  “Why are you driving like a maniac?”
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