Max walked into the study room, ready to get down to business. They only had 30 minutes to go over the case study and write down their ideas so they needed to get to it. Especially since he had taken the liberty of grabbing a leisurely coffee after the professor had given them an assignment to work on. Lord knew he had to clear his head after a sleepless night.
His socks almost fell off when he saw Emma seated in the middle of the room being the center of attention and looking mighty fine. Oh, hell no. They were in the same group for the semester? How had he not seen her in class before? Probably because he had been too distracted all morning thinking about her instead.
Emma stopped talking as soon as he walked in, and didn’t seem to be pleased by his presence either. “Max. So glad you could join us. Please take a seat,” she said politely, but her expression was anything but polite.
“Why, thank you Emma. You are much too kind,” he said looking at her menacingly.
“You two know each other?” a blonde girl asked with a Spanish accent.
“You could say that,” Emma responded. “Max, I would introduce you to the rest of the team, but your reputation precedes you as the MVP from yesterday’s game. Maybe we should just call you LeBron from now on,” she said bitterly.
Geez, way to hold a grudge, he thought. She was still upset over that?
Emma stood up and began writing some notes on the whiteboard and outlining the case. All he could do was stare at her from behind. From her long chocolate brown hair, her tiny waist, to those incredibly fitted jeans that did amazing things to her ass.
He was pleased to see it really was quite lovely, and not just a product of his wild imagination from when he had taken a peek at it the day before. It was all too easy to imagine cupping that exquisite flesh and pulling her up tightly against him. Especially after it had permeated throughout his dreams all night long. He suddenly felt uncomfortable in his seat and had to readjust his position before the physical reaction he was having towards her became too obvious.
God, she was sexy as hell. He pictured her emerald green eyes delving into him from the day before, heating up as she first turned to look at him. Yes, he had definitely seen a spark of attraction from her in those eyes, even if it had only lasted for a minute before he had to go and open his big mouth. She clearly hated his guts from that moment on. And he clearly had to do something to change that.
“Max, do you have anything to contribute or are you just going to sit there?”
Man, this American beauty was a feisty one. “I think you’ve pretty much covered it, Emma. Clearly you’re in charge.”
“Fine by me. So who wants to present?” she asked the group.
The entire room grumbled as no one wanted to be stuck doing the first presentation of grad school on the fly.
“You don’t wanna present, Emma?” a nerdy looking Asian guy asked with a thick accent.
“Well if no one else wants to, I guess I’ll just do it,” she said.
As soon as the words were out, everyone just filed out of the room. Except Max, of course. He still had some business to attend to with this little firecracker.
“Look, I think we started off on the wrong foot,” he told her.
“You think?” she bit out.
“I’m going to let the little stunt you pulled on me yesterday with the girls slip. I guess I deserved that. But just so you know, it wasn’t my intention to steal your precious intel. I was standing there the whole time. You were just too busy in your little world to even notice me. Alright?”
She seemed to relax her stance and looked at him curiously, as if deciding whether or not he was telling the truth. “You’re not lying, are you?”
“No, Emma. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
“So why didn’t you just say that yesterday?”
“I was going to, but then you got all competitive on me. It ended up being more fun that way.”
“Well, I’m glad I was able to entertain you,” she huffed.
“C’mon, Emma. Don’t be like that. I know you enjoyed it, too. Don’t think I didn’t notice.”
She sighed and crossed her arms. “Maybe just a little bit,” she mumbled.
“So can we call it a truce? Start over?” he asked hesitantly.
She stood up and made her way towards him. “Truce,” she said offering her hand.
As he went to grab and shake it, she surprised him by looking at him threateningly and changing her entire demeanor. “If you ever screw with me though, I guarantee your sorry ass will regret it. Do we understand each other?” she asked.
“Likewise, sweetheart. But I’m pretty sure if there’s any screwing involved, it’s going to be you screwing me.”
“Guess we’ll just have to wait to find out. Won’t we?” she asked with a sweet smile before turning on her heels and exiting the room.
God, he really hoped that was true. If even one percent of her feistiness transferred over to the bedroom, he would be in for a real treat. He had it pictured clearly in his mind. She had already given him enough material to work with and readily imagined her long sexy legs wrapped around his waist. If there was one thing for certain, this girl was going to bring him to his knees.
He felt like a lap dog following after her towards the classroom. He ended up taking a seat on the opposite side, as far away from her as he possibly could get. She held an inexplicable power over him and he didn’t like it one bit. He was definitely not used to feeling this out of control and not having the upper hand.
He ran his fingers repeatedly through his hair over the next hour, silently listening to one nervously spoken presentation after the other. He felt bad for the people that had to put themselves out there like that, they looked completely terrified and out of place. At one point he had even stopped looking at them as it seemed having 45 pairs of eyeballs staring directly at them only made them more uncomfortable.
When Emma walked up to present, it was an entirely different story. She was completely comfortable from the beginning, and he found himself hanging onto every word she spoke. She was clearly a natural, even charming, throwing out witty comments from time to time as she went through the main points she wanted to make. She was just absolutely … perfect.
He looked around the room when she was done and caught a few other guys eyeing her in a non-intellectual way. He almost growled at them. He decided right then and there he would have to make his move, and do it quickly. Just pull the trigger and weed out the competition from the beginning.
Class was dismissed for the day and he began contemplating his options. He could ask her out to lunch right now … or would that be too subtle? Maybe asking her to dinner would be better. Too obvious? He didn’t want to seem desperate either.
He caught a glance of her just outside of the classroom. At the end he decided he would feel her out first and then go for the kill. He was a few feet away when some guy approached her and snuck his arm around her waist and pulled her towards him. She leaned into him but didn’t seem entirely comfortable at his approach. The filthy bastard. Time to set him straight.
“Is this guy bothering you?” he asked Emma once he stood in front of her. It wasn’t lost on him that it had been the second day in a row he was asking her the same question. Only today it was a totally different guy. This one was built in muscle and stood his ground … and looked like he was about to rip his balls off.
“Who the hell is this?” he asked Emma in a strong American accent, but kept his eyes narrowed on him.
“Oh, this is Max. We’re in the same group in class,” Emma said nervously. “Max, this is Roy,” she added blushing.
“Her fucking boyfriend,” Roy added. “So stay the hell away, asshole. You can tell the rest of your little friends the same thing.” His nostrils flared up so much he could have lit the first Olympics in Athens.
“Roy!” she yelled at him. “He was just being nice.”
“Yeah, I’m sure he was being a real charmer,” Roy responded.
“Hey, take it easy mate,” Max finally managed to say after the word boyfriend finally sunk in. He felt like he had just been hit over the head with a baseball bat. Why the fuck hadn’t she mentioned anything?
“I don’t have time for this nonsense. Let’s go Emma,” he said quickly pulling her towards the building exit.
She turned around to look at him before turning the corner, a mix between an apologetic and embarrassed expression on her face. And then, just like that, she was gone. He felt like a dignified idiot. It had officially taken her less than an hour to royally fuck him over.
Max hunched over, and did what any rational guy would do in that situation. He punched the glass on the nearest fire extinguisher and walked away. If only he could put out the burn he felt building inside, too.