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The hot summer sun burned steadily all afternoon, and by the time it was creeping slowly towards its setting, the humidity had become oppressive. The air was thick and heavy and seemed to cling to everything it touched. Janie stood in the shower as long as she could stand it, rinsing all traces of Dr. Gilbert’s DNA down her shower drain and with it any sense of confusion. She blamed her muddled thoughts on the weather, but in the cold, stinging spray of the shower, with her skin being washed clean, her doubts faded as quickly as her skin cooled. But when she shut the water off and attempted to dry her skin, only to grow even sweatier in the process of toweling off, she had finally given up, resigning herself to the feel of her clothes sticking to her body. She wrapped herself in a towel and padded wetly out of the bathroom, flopping down on her bed with a sigh.

She contemplated walking to the library, or the student union, or any one of a number of buildings on campus that had air-conditioning, but the thought of making the walk depressed and exhausted her, so she lay still, annoyed at the feel of her rumpled comforter beneath her sweaty legs, and stared at the sky that was darkening off in the distance. She watched the beech trees outside her window dance in the breeze, and she breathed deep, smelling rain on the air. She prayed silently that it would bring relief and not push out to sea.

She closed her eyes and thought of Zack, looking forward to spending the weekend with him. Dr. Gilbert was gone, away for the weekend and not around to cloud her thoughts, and as the thunder rumbled in the distance and the breeze picked up, stirring the window curtains with a whispered promise, she concentrated on making him fade from her mind completely. She wanted to let herself fall for Zack and let the feelings she had for him grow, but deep in her heart she knew that it couldn’t and wouldn’t happen while she was still involved with Dr. Gilbert.

Fat drops of water splashed on the window screen as the fast-moving storm moved in, and she lay still in the gloom of the suddenly sunless day, knowing that she should make the preemptive move and end her deal with her teacher. The look on his face when she left his office lingered in her thoughts and she suspected that it had become too complicated for even him. He hadn’t called or sent her a text, and indeed had seemed to leave for a weekend with someone else without a second thought.

That bothered her more than she cared to admit, and only strengthened her resolve.

The rain beat down outside, soaking the green lawns and making the pavement shine like polished onyx. She got up quickly and dressed, throwing on her old shoes and shoving her phone in her pocket. She walked slowly up the street, letting the rain pelt against her face as her sneakers slapped against the wet ground. The roads were empty and the leaves whipped about in the wind. A quick left turn at the end of campus and she was following the curve of the gray ocean, the breakers slamming against the darker gray rocks and erupting in plumes of white, occasionally soaking the narrow paved walking path.

She stopped and watched the waves crash, feeling the fine mist coat her skin. She loved to be close to the ocean during a storm, feeling tiny next to its awesome strength, yet able to stay just out of its reach. With one step too close, the sea could erase her completely. She was close enough to taste the salty spray, yet she would not get close enough for it to harm her.

Her phone rang, and she answered it, turning her back on the waves and pressing it to her ear, letting the hood of her sweatshirt muffle the sounds of the storm as she resumed walking.

“Jane.”

She stopped short for a second, then remembered to breathe, and began walking again.

“I didn’t expect to hear from you.” When he didn’t answer, she added, “I thought you’d be on your way out of town.”

“I’m leaving shortly. I want to see you before I go. Can you meet me at my office?”

Janie considered it briefly. “No.” The line was silent so long she thought she’d lost the call. “Not at your office.”

“Where are you?”

She looked around. “I’m about a quarter mile past Seaview, on the walking path. I’ll wait for you here.”

“It’s raining.”

“You won’t melt.”

She heard him sigh softly. “Okay. I’ll be there in ten minutes,” he agreed and without saying goodbye, he ended the call.

She was not surprised to see him walk towards her almost exactly ten minutes later. His head was down against the rain that had begun falling more heavily again since she’d left her room, and he was quickly becoming as wet as she already was. His shirt clung to him and she could see the definition of his muscles beneath the light summer fabric, and his usually neat hair was disheveled where he brushed it back off his wet forehead.

“Are you not familiar with the expression ‘having sense enough to come in out of the rain?’” His scowl was affected, and Janie smiled a little despite herself.

“I have sense enough to know that in your office, you have all the power.”

He shook his head. “That’s not true…”

“Yes, it is, and I don’t want to argue about it with you.”

“Fine,” he capitulated, looking up at the sky. “But can’t we go somewhere less wet?”

She shrugged. “I can’t get any wetter.”

He stepped closer to her. “Want to bet?”

She felt her pulse quicken at his words, and knew he was right. She looked around and led him into the shelter of a rocky overhang. The wind blew right past them, and in the relative stillness of the outcropping, she pushed her hair out of her face and turned her attention from the breaking waves to him.

“I have a couple of questions,” she said.

“I thought you might.

“You’re seeing someone.”

“That’s not a question. And you’re seeing someone.”

She frowned at him. “What am I to you?”

“We already went over this.”

She sighed angrily. “Are you going to make me say the words?”

His smile was not a warm one. “Yes. I am.”

“Something changed between us. In your office. I said…what I said, and you changed.”

“Still not a question,” he replied.

“I’m sick of this game,” she said, her voice rising over the sound of the breakers. “What am I to you?”

“Asked and answered. Nothing has changed.”

Janie found herself growing increasingly angry. “It has. You lost control. I saw it and felt it. You know you did.”

He ran his hand through his dripping hair and took a deep breath. “Listen, I don’t care if you have a boyfriend. You’re not my girlfriend. What do you want to hear? That I was jealous? That you said his name when I was inside you and it hurt my feelings?” He opened his mouth to continue, then stopped.

Janie felt the pause more than she heard the silence. “Is that what it was?” she asked. “That’s it, isn’t it? I hurt your feelings?”

He sighed. “Let me ask you this: what am I to you? Am I still just the means to an end for you? Do you keep coming to me because you’re buying your grades?”

“No.”

“Then why? I’ll tell you why. Because it’s fun.” He took a step closer and she could feel his warmth even against the cool rain that was still falling. He ran his hand down her wet arm and she shivered. “It’s fun for me, too. That’s all. Dirty fun.”

“Then why…?”

“I don’t know,” he said, exasperated. “Hell, it was probably just a reflex. You caught me by surprise.”

“Surprise.”

He didn’t speak at first, and Janie could see him pull himself into control, almost as if it were something he usually kept contained and had to gather piece by small piece and stow away before he could continue. When he pushed a wet tendril of hair off her neck and let his fingers brush against the sensitive skin, she felt with regret that she had finally seen bits and pieces of the real him, but that they had been carefully retrieved and put away and all she would see is what he allowed.

His voice was low and he leaned his head in to whisper in her ear, his warm breath causing her to shudder again as his lips brushed her ear lobe. “What man wouldn’t be surprised to hear his son’s name at a time like that? I apologize for letting my reaction run away with me. Forgive me?” He kissed her neck and pulled her close. She fought to keep her distance, not sure if he was serious or merely toying with her, but his body so close to hers was making her lose all sense of reason. She pressed her palms against his strong chest and pushed him away with some difficulty, needing distance, but wanting him in a way that made her weak in the knees.

“He’s my boyfriend,” she stammered, trying to protest.

“I’m glad,” he said, smiling at her. “He’s a lucky boy. I should know.” He wound his fingers in her hair and pulled her head back, tipping her face up to his. His voice was barely above a whisper, his lips touching hers as he spoke. “He doesn’t need to know about us.” His mouth was soft on hers, and she gave in to him, parting her lips and letting him kiss her deeply. She could feel his desire, but there was more, a hesitation that made her pull away.

“There is no ‘us’” she reminded him.

He smiled slightly. “Does that suit you?” When she didn’t answer right away, he added, “We can enjoy each other’s company—very discreetly—without there being an ‘us’.” His hand slid down her back and under the soaked waistband of her shorts. His hand was warm on her ass as he exposed her bare skin to the elements. “No demands. No promises. No complications. Just the kind of dirty fun we both like.”

He spun her around and pressed against her. She could feel him working his zipper and gasped as his cock slipped easily between her wet cheeks. His arms went around her waist and his skilled fingers found her nipples, already rock hard. “Oh, God,” she said, looking around, “we can’t. Not here. Not now.”

“Why not?” he asked, his words a low and seductive purr in her ear. “You afraid your boyfriend’s going to find out?” She could hear the amusement in his voice. “I understand he has quite a special weekend planned for you, though I’m not supposed to know anything about it.”

Janie felt herself blush and pulled away from him. He chuckled and tucked his erection back into his pants. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” he said, still smirking, and reaching for his zipper. “Don’t put it back? You change your mind?”

“No. Don’t talk about…” Janie’s voice trailed off as she searched for the right words. “I can’t do this if he’s here with us. Between us.”

Dr. Gilbert laughed again. “It’s not a problem for me. But then I’m not the one saying his name while we’re–”

“Enough!” Janie said, her cheeks red.

Dr. Gilbert slipped his hand around her neck and kissed her again. His hand slipped easily down the front of her shorts, through her wet nest of curls and found her clit. She tried to push his hand away, but only managed to hold his wrist while he stroked her, her body swaying with his skillful manipulations. “If you’re able to think about someone else while you’re with me, I can see I’m going to have to ramp up my game.” He slid his fingers inside her, curving them upwards and finding pleasurable spots inside her she never knew existed.

She closed her eyes and rocked her hips against his hand, gripping his wrist so tightly that she could feel her nails pressed hard into his skin. Her breathing was coming in short, ragged gasps, and as he stroked her deeply, she could feel herself break apart. The pleasure radiated out from her clit in rhythmic throbs and pulses and she wanted to tell him to stop, that it felt too good, but then the pleasure rippled inside, racing deep within her and causing her to cry out as a second deeper, harder storm broke. She felt her legs give way, but he held her easily, supporting her as he used his fingers to coax out a rush of warm, musky fluid from her pussy.

She was still shaking, his fingers still deep inside her, when he said with a satisfied smile, “Just remember when you’re in my house this weekend, that his name is Zack, not Ben.”

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