I hope you Enjoy this collaboration with a very talented writer Angel LaFlare (check out her blog on Tumblr angeleyes-goldenwings.tumblr.com ) as much as I have learning to write all over again after a LONG pause.(It shows, I know)
Chapter One: Under My Skin (Part One)
It’s a bright, sunny Monday morning when I walk into my classroom. Luckily, only two students are already seated- one young man, with tiny gauges in his ears and the entire emo vibe, is rapidly pecking away at the keys of his Mac Pro laptop, while one blonde girl is busily setting up her things on the table in front of her. Quietly, I make my way to the front desk, setting my bag down and focusing on the task at hand- getting everything ready for the slew of fresh new faces that will be greeting me in a matter of moments.
When he walks into the room, everything suddenly comes to a screeching. He’s fifteen minutes late, and that, more so than anything, is the reason for my sudden irritation.
“See me after class,” I call out to the man who has just stepped into the door, idly sipping away at the large cup he’s holding- the contents of what I assume to be either hot tea or coffee.
His eyes find mine, and he gives me a curt nod before slinking into the last available seat- which just so happens to be on the front row, nearest the door.
Who shows up fifteen minutes late on the first day of class?
Light shines through the bedroom windows; what a wonderful way to start the day. Another Monday, off to work out before I head to first day of University. This day has been delayed so many times, and now finally- no hindrances and no blockades. I’ll probably be the oldest freshman; at least my first instructor today is an older man. This may go easier. It will probably the only class where that will happen; just my luck. Young people are okay, but after so many years in the CORPS, I don’t think I can deal with young folks of today’s generation.
Oh well, that’s a worry for a later day.
Turning on the stereo system in my 2014 navy blue Mustang, I still have a cassette deck; cassettes from my past. Boy, do I feel OLD. I love Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Loggings, Jimmy Messina, Barry White, and Jimmy Buffet. Gosh, I remember the first time the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan show; it was in color on NBC, although we only had a black and white set. We weren’t exactly upper class, but we were loved and nourished with what we needed and raised to know right from wrong.
These kids today are so busy with technology, they forget how to think, discern, and live life to the fullest. Well, it’s not my problem or duty anymore; no wonder many think military guys are nuts. We volunteer to defend people who don’t respect themselves or others.
They look down upon us as killers of the innocent instead of the terrorists we hunted down every day- never knowing if we’d go back to our families. Thankfully, I never married. Family was just me, and home was wherever my duffel bag fell.
Guess I’d better head out; don’t want to be late for the first day of school. I sounds so childish; good thing I already set up my backpack.
Singing in the shower, my thoughts wonder if I’ll see her- the woman of my dreams. Steam rises as I fade away into my mind, daydreaming.
GET GOING Marine, there’ll be enough time for that later. Get your butt in gear, dress in 5, out the door with herbal Tea. You know you need it to keep you calm until you adjust a bit.
Running out the door, I notice my car is leaning on the front passenger side; it’s probably just my view or the tire is a bit low. Hastily, I jog to the side. Dammit, the tire’s not low. It’s FLAT. I REALLY don’t have time for this now, but I can’t run the five miles in time. I pop the trunk, grab the can of emergency flat tire sealer, shake it up and screw it to the tire stem. Damn, can this thing just empty itself already?
I’ll need more than tea. I’m already going to be late. What’s a few minutes? It’s not like it’s life or death.
By the time I reach the front entrance to the University, I look on the class chart plan.
Damn. You’re kidding me. I have to walk all the way to the third floor, and there’s no elevator?
Can this day get any better?
Chill Marine, sip your tea and take those stairs.
I reach the top of stairs, turn right, and my class is the second door on left. Opening the door, I’m hoping the old Professor’s back is turned away from door.
Dammit, that’s not an old man, and she must’ve heard the door open.
I can tell by the look on her face she isn’t happy. Well, there’s no time for excuses or apologies.
So much for a good first impression.
She says curtly, “See me after class.” From the look in her eye, she means business. Dammmmmmmmmmm! She’s young and hot.
This is going to take a lot of control.
Stop daydreaming and grab your seat, Avery.
The day started off well, went downhill quickly, but now…? It may turn out better after all.
Try hard not to screw up again until after class, Marine, I hear a loud warning voice in my head say.
Definitely not what I had imagined for my first day of college being. Not even close.
Well this is going to be harder than I thought. Did you see the way those lips of hers were pouting when she spoke? So authoritative; definitely not the submissive type. That might be interesting, maybe it’s time to let go of some of those macho Marine ideas, hmm.
Eyes so brown you could get lost looking in there, but can I go there? After all, she is my teacher, and that may cause some kind of conflict with the other students. If she is still so mad in 30 minutes, she might just toss me out on the first day. On the flip side, she may not be able to toss me out, but this would make for one long semester, starting out on the wrong foot with her.
Maybe this won’t be a good idea at all.
Calm down, Avery, she hasn’t even looked your way since you sat down. She may already have you figured out and decided you’re not worth her time, much less anything else.
Twenty five more minutes of the silent treatment, and I start nodding off- transfixed by the slow sway of her hips.
Pay attention Marine, she might ask you a question. After all, this is a beginner’s writing class, Intro to Writing 101, and you are definitely a beginner. How long’s it been since you wrote anything of a non-military nature? Twenty plus years?
Personal letters to family doesn’t count as writing and your spelling sucks.
She has a hot, athletic body; a smile that could melt ice (not that I’m going see that one like she just flashed at the young girl who just answered her question, seated in the 3rd row) and a soldier’s heart indeed.
Look at those heels! They’re at least 5 inches! Now imagine those going up and down my back. Who needs acupuncture?
Now she’s talking about how by the end of the semester, we’ll be writing prose and poetry. She makes me want to write my name on her lips with a magic marker, no-not literally, but I definitely don’t want to forget her name. Ever.
Elena, I think, but she’ll never let me use her first name.
it’ll be Ms…?
Maybe she’s married, but just doesn’t wear a ring and kept her maiden name . Who knows.
Will this 15 minutes ever speed up so I can tell her my side of the story… before she simply convicts and condemns me?
That would just be the proper finish to this whole day.
After class, I have to run the tire by the shop. Maybe I can ask her recommendation for a good tire repair shop. That might ease her anger at my being late, and what the heck? It can’t hurt.
Well, here goes nothing. Chill, Marine, she doesn’t have a weapon.
“Excuse me, Professor. You wanted to see me.”
Instantly, I look up from my laptop, and my eyes land on the most dazzling, captivating, bright blue eyes I have ever seen. I swallow, nodding while glancing from his eyes to his lips and on down. I give the man standing before me a quick glance over.
Don’t you dare, El. He’s a student. He’s your student. But, gracious, he’s sexy. That red hair…
I shut my eyes, while wishing he would say my title just once more. “Yes… I’m sorry. What did you need?”
He smirks slowly, reposting his back over his broad shoulders. That bag must weigh a ton.
“You told me to see you after class.”
“Oh, yes. I don’t tolerate lateness in my class.”
“I understand that. My car had a flat-”
I raise my eyebrow, while glancing up at him. “I don’t care what your issue was… Don’t be late again, or else there will be consequences, and I don’t care if you do have some years on me. This is my classroom, and I will be respected.”
“Pardon me, but you don’t have to be a bitch about it. Next time I won’t be late. Don’t worry your pretty little face over it, alright, Professor?”
“Jamieson. Elena Jamieson.”
He doesn’t hear me. He’s already out of the door. I didn’t even catch his name, but after that little stunt I just pulled, I doubt I’ll ever know his name.
I really do hate Mondays, and that just put the icing on top of this cake.
By the time I get home, all I want to do is sleep. Today is officially the worst day I’ve had in years, and I’m starting to feel my age catching up with me. Throwing my backpack against the back of my couch, I peel off my white shirt. My body is screaming for a shower, and I’m seconds away from rushing up the stairs and stripping off the rest of my clothes while the hot water pounds against my flesh.
That’s just how done with today I am.
What the fuck is wrong with people? That damn Professor Jamieson treats me like I’m a child, and she actually expects me to stick around for her to say her peace? I’m sure I’m not the first man to walk away from her, and with her attitude, I don’t blame the men who have.
Finally, my feet reach the door to my shower, and I step inside- the steam a welcome sensation to my aching body.
I spend the next fifteen minutes washing away thoughts of today- including thoughts of the rich, light honey-colored eyes and the deep, black-coffee colored skin of Professor Jamieson.
Maybe it was just the pressure of the first day in class and my sudden interruption of her monologue. Remember how you used to react when someone showed up late for an already hurried mission brief. Geez, you were the ultimate Drill Sergeant- instilling fear into all those guys?
Yes, they had to learn to prepare themselves before getting on the battle field. They had to know how to survive, but they were also humans.
I know. I was selfish, but I didn’t worry so much about them dying- which required having to write THAT letter to the next of kin.
Hell, no one wants to write, much less receive that letter.
My Parents gone; no wife and no family to carry on my name either? Goodness, I get goose bumps just remembering.
Damn. I’ll have to apologize for my walking out without saying a proper goodbye. Yeah, I should have just looked down into those hypnotic, dark pools she calls eyes, taken her face between my hands and just kissed her really good. Then she would’ve had a damn good reason to be pissed off. Yeah, that’s what I should’ve done and just thrown my entire college career along with my money right out the window. Really smart idea, Marine, thank goodness all you did was get hot, bothered, and left with some dignity intact.
I just can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow. Look, don’t touch, will probably be my future speech. How do I spell ignorant, old oaf again??????????