TEACH ME is a novella set in the world of the the New Tycoons series. The story was published in weekly installment in my newsletter beginning on October 27. New chapters will be added weekly, as they are released in the newsletter. Once the story is finished, revised, and edited it will be made available through Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

Chapter 1 - Alessa

“I can’t believe you got into that class! I’m so jealous. He’s so gorgeous,” Rachel gushes as we walk through the main quad on campus.

I nod, my backpack slung over my shoulder. It’s not the first time I’ve heard her say these things, and I don’t dispute anything she’s saying. I can’t believe I got into Entrepreneurial Ventures, either.

It’s Peninsula University’s most famous class, renown here in the heart of Silicon Valley. Taught by billionaire investor Luke Shaw, Entrepreneurial Ventures is the class that launched Custom, the tech company that recently shattered every previous record for most successful IPO. Of course the three partners who founded Custom as undergrads had a lot to do with the company’s success, but it was their teacher Luke Shaw who had the long-term vision from day one.

“Do you think you’re going to win?” Rachel asks. “I think you’re going to win.”

Rachel makes me laugh. We’ve known each other since freshman year. We’re seniors now, but our roles haven’t changed. Rachel is ever the optimist, flinging herself with arms wide open into the promising future. Me? I’m cautious. Restrained. I like to map everything out, consider all risks, have plans and then contingency plans in case things go wrong. In my experience, things frequently go wrong.

Even to get into the class was a long shot. Rumor has it several thousand students—both undergrad and grad—submitted applications, giving their best elevator pitch on their idea for the next big thing. Only 100 of us got selected to enroll. Now, over the next four months, the fortunate few will be competing to become the one and only winner selected to launch a viable, funded startup.

“You need to relax.” Rachel elbows me, reading anxiety all over my face.

“How about coffee?” I offer what I can, and we head into our favorite spot on campus. There’s a line, of course, because it’s Monday morning.

“I’ve got this on lock down.” A hipster guy wearing a sweatshirt boasting an ironic logo stands in front of us.

“You’re not going to you tell me your idea?” The girl by his side in Ugg boots and black leggings looks up at him with flirtatious, pleading eyes. “I promise I won’t tell anyone.”

“No can do. Those are the rules.”

It appears as if I’ve met one of my 99 competitors. The conversation continues, her trying to tease the answer out of him, him acting like James Bond protecting nuclear codes.

Rachel rolls her eyes. There’s no rule against sharing ideas. She knows mine. It’s a good one, maybe even great. I got it from my mom.

My mother’s always exhausted, a single parent without a built-in family network, desperately trying to work while patching together childcare and afterschool activities for me and my two siblings. On campus, I work 20 hours a week at a daycare and I see it there, too: frantic, stressed-out parents trying to juggle work with childcare. I’ve seen moms with their skirts tucked into their underpants, dads with coffee spilled all down their dress shirts. The pace of everyday life has reached a boiling point. Families need help, fast.

That’s how I thought up Solve It. I want to build an online resource for parents to find quick, reliable, local solutions to childcare problems. I want it to be free and easy to use, giving parents a searchable database of all the options they have nearby for childcare and afterschool activities from age zero to middle school—including costs and drive times—plus connect them to carpools and local babysitters. Solve It can be the support network that modern parents so dearly need.

“I bet your idea’s amazing,” the Ugg boot woman says. Not to me, though.

“It is,” the hipster dude agrees.

“See, this is why you’re going to win,” Rachel whispers to me. “You’re not a dick.”

“I’m not sure that’s what gets you ahead in the business world.”

Coffees in hand, we give each other a fist bump before parting ways to our separate classes.

“Kill it.” Rachel points at me.

“I’ll try.”

“And I want a full report.”

“Of course.” I know I’ll enjoy telling her about everyone who got into the class and the dynamics as we all jostle for position and try to make a positive first impression. Here in Palo Alto, ambition is the oxygen we breathe.

“I mean about him!”

I laugh. She knows me too well and it makes her roll her eyes.

“See, this is why this class is wasted on you. The hottest man on the planet…” She leaves, too disgusted for more words.

I double-strap it, hustling down paths and around buildings so I can arrive a little early. I know the teacher, Luke Shaw, is gorgeous. As a 30-something, wildly successful billionaire investor, he’s been on plenty of talk shows and featured in countless magazines. I have eyes, and anyone with a pair knows he looks like a Greek God. If Greek Gods had a dark, smoldering eyes.

I’m just not the type to get all swoony. I’ve always had a level head.

Serious.

No nonsense.

Growing up with just my mom working two jobs to make ends barely meet, plus helping take care of my younger sister and brother, I haven’t had time for anything else. Even though I’m off in college now, it’s not as if I can kick it and relax. I have to keep my grades up so I maintain my partial scholarship, plus work to cover expenses. I’ll worry about the loans I’m taking after I graduate in June. I won’t have to worry too much if my idea gets chosen in this class.

Ten minutes before eight a.m. on a Monday morning, the lecture hall is already full. This has to be a record. I sit up front, like I always do. I’ve never been too concerned with being one of the cool kids.

Laptop open, Words document already titled and saved in a new folder, I sit up straight in my seat, completely prepared.

I am not prepared for Luke Shaw.

I’ve read about men who exude power. I’d never understood exactly what it meant.

In an instant, I do.

He walks in, striding purposefully yet not hurried to the lectern. No messy pile of papers or old briefcase like most professors, he carries a slim black tablet. Then again, Luke Shaw isn’t a professor. He’s a visiting lecturer, leaving his high-profile Silicon Valley investor life for a few hours each week to pop onto campus and teach one class.

He has to be at least 6’2”, wearing dark jeans on his long legs, a fitted T-shirt and jacket across his broad shoulders, looking effortlessly casual yet professional. His black hair is cut close, his jaw firm and solid, and his deep brown eyes seem to take in everything as his gaze sweeps the classroom.

“Oh, my God,” the girl behind me whispers. No one actually screams or squeals like they’re at a Justin Bieber concert, but the change of energy in the room is palpable. It’s exactly like a celebrity has arrived.

“Mr. Shaw!” An overly-eager girl sitting a few seats over waves her hand in the air like she’s trying to hail a taxi.

“You may choose to call me Mr. Shaw.” His eyes cut into her, sending that hand down before he even has to tell her he’s not taking questions yet. “Or you may call me Luke.” His gaze slides over and rests on me for a heartbeat. I don’t breathe, eyes wide. I don’t think I can call him Luke. I’ve never called teachers by their first names. Looking up at this imposing man, I can’t imagine starting now.

He moves to the center of the room. “Let’s begin.” Wasting no time, he launches into describing the cutthroat competition we have before us. “By next Friday, there will only be 20 of you sitting in these seats. By April 15th, five.”

I take notes, capturing every detail, but it’s only because I’ve had so many years of training. I’m on autopilot, my fingers moving while every wire in my brain short-circuits.

Luke Shaw is hot, insanely hot. He’s more than just an attractive man—and he is that, no doubt. It’s the authority in his voice, his stance, the way he commands our attention.

Maybe this is why I have yet to meet a college guy that’s made me wild. They’re all boys. At the center of the amphitheater, owning the room, stands a man.

When he takes off his jacket the temperature rises about ten degrees. His muscular shoulders and biceps fill out his T-shirt. His back ripples as he turns and gestures. A few audible sighs rise around me, but Mr. Shaw doesn’t miss a beat, informing us about his criteria for excellence. He has high standards and he will maintain strict discipline.

I may need to take a cold shower after this class.

“Will you give us any feedback before next Friday?” a guy behind me asks, a plaintive note in his voice.

“You can send me an email. I may respond. I’ll send a sign-up for office hours next Tuesday afternoon. Keep an eye out for it, because I will not have enough time for all of you.”

Office hours. The words have never sounded dirty before. Now I flush at the thought of being all alone in a room with this man.

“What’s our reading assignment for next class?” another guy asks.

“You have your list of assigned readings, mainly case studies.”

“And this.” I turn to see a girl holding up a hardback copy of Mr. Shaw’s bestselling book, Reason. It’s quickly become a bible for aspiring entrepreneurs, advising them to focus on the basic rules of supply and demand and remain a rational actor in a sea of impulse and emotion. I’ve read his book. I learned a lot from it and actually have a bunch of questions about the material, but I didn’t bring it to class to earn a gold star. Plus Reason was not on the required reading list. I have to admit, I thought it was kind of cool of him to not assign his own book.

“But what do we read for Wednesday?” the guy persists.

The look Mr. Shaw gives him could freeze a fast-flowing river. “If you need me to hold your hand, you should not be here.” The room collectively holds its breath. Is Mr. Shaw about to kick the guy out?

But he looks away, instead addressing us all. “In this seminar, I will give you the tools to succeed. The rest is up to you. Any good entrepreneur has motivation fueling them from within.”

“In addition, trying to suck up to me will not work.” He doesn’t look directly at little Miss ‘I read your book’, but I see her shrink in her seat. “I’m not interested in flattery. And let me make it clear: I will not choose the final winner. In late May, five of you will be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present to some of the most influential venture capitalists in the field. To keep the process objective, I will not be among them.”

He gives us a moment to let this sink in, then asks, “Now tell me, what does it take to launch a successful startup?”

“Hard work!”

“Money!”

“Smart social media marketing!”

This isn’t like any of the strained Q&A sessions I’ve been a part of over my four years. This is a mosh pit with students vying to be heard and gain a moment of attention from their teacher.

“Knowing your customer,” I add into the fray, thinking of my mother and the constant shadows under her eyes.

“It’s said all the time.” Mr. Shaw pivots toward me, seeming to know exactly what I said even in the midst of the chaos. “What do you mean by it?”

My heart beating fast, I keep my voice steady and look him in the eye. “You have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s not to impress investors or turn a profit. It’s to transform people’s lives.”

“That sounds noble.” He takes a step toward me. I swallow. “Are you saying that profit doesn’t matter?” A few people laugh, as if I’ve dug myself into a hole.

“I’m saying a successful startup offers an innovation that people quickly realize they can’t live without. Profit follows.”

He nods, then turns away to continue discussion. I’m shaking and flushed, breathing a bit fast. I want to take off my jacket when only moments ago I was snuggling into it for warmth on the chilly winter morning.

As discussion flows, Mr. Shaw’s gaze rests on me again for a second or two. His eyes are steely, assessing, and honest. I nearly feel stripped naked. It makes me squirm in my seat.

It also makes me wet. What the hell? A Monday morning lecture has never had that effect on me. But I’ve never had a teacher like Mr. Shaw.

Sitting in the lecture hall, I cross my legs, my jeans feeling tight, the seam pressing against me. I bite my lip, wriggling a bit in my seat, my eyes following his every movement.

Just before dismissal, he addresses us one final time. “All but one of you will fail. When you are cut, you will no longer come to class. You will spend the rest of the semester working with a T.A. learning from failure, your own and others’.”

“Cutthroat,” the guy next to me murmurs.

“Yeah.” I have to agree. If we get cut, we don’t even get access to Mr. Shaw anymore, just a teacher’s assistant?

“That’s right.” Mr. Shaw strides before us. He overheard. He’s scowling at me, as if I’ve displeased him. I sit up straight under his stern scrutiny, my pulse racing. “It’s cutthroat. Like life.”

The bell rings. The moment class ends, he’s swamped like a movie star at the Oscars.

I’m caught for a moment in disappointment. The bell got me off the hook, but I almost wanted a confrontation. I almost wanted to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Shaw and find out what happens when I disagree with him. He’s so strict and demanding, what would he do if I defy one of his commandments?

I gather my things with slightly shaking hands. Trying to clear my head, I step outside and drink in long, deep breaths of cool air.

By that evening, I manage to convince myself that there’s nothing different about Luke Shaw. I’m able to answer Rachel’s questions with composure, confirming that he’s gorgeous without betraying any of my personal response.

Because that attraction that flared up in me? No good can come of that.

He’s my teacher.

I’m his student.

End of story.

That tight, hot ball of lust unfurling in my core during class? It’s not going to happen again.

Chapter 2 - Alessa

Wednesday is worse.

First, I make the mistake of dressing up for class. I tell myself I just want to look my best. Professional. I wear a fitted button-down shirt and a pencil skirt. No killer heels, no make up, but it’s a far cry from my usual uniform of jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt.

Once I’m there, sitting in the front row, it makes me feel like I’m on display. I’m nervous and embarrassed, as if Mr. Shaw might see me and realize I’m dressing to impress.

Before he arrives, my cell phone pings with a message. No phones during class, of course, but I have a second to check.

It’s a link, sent from a number I don’t recognize, but it’s local Palo Alto so I click. It opens to an article: Customer Focus. An interview with the CEO of a successful start up, it explores the answer I’d given during our previous class.

Is it from another classmate? The T.A.? I glance around the room, but no one’s watching me.

Mr. Shaw strides in, instantly commanding attention. I guiltily slide my cell phone into my purse, feeling like I’ve been caught reading a note. But could the note be from him?

Laptop open, I take notes, listening and learning. And looking at Mr. Shaw’s full lips. He has some stubble this morning, making him look even more rugged and masculine. I wonder if he had a late night last night and a rushed morning because of it. I also wonder how it would feel to have that scratchy jaw brushing against my cheek. My neck. The inside of my thighs.

When I cross my legs, I let my skirt slide up. My legs are under my desk. It’s not as if I’m wearing nothing but my undies, but I still feel a little naughty. I don’t usually show so much skin.

Mr. Shaw rolls up his sleeves. His forearms are corded with muscle.

It’s hot in the classroom. I open another button on my blouse. It’s not X-rated, but it does reveal the slightest hint of cleavage. Flushed again with embarrassment, I consider closing it, but I don’t want to call any more attention to myself than I already have.

When I look up, Mr. Shaw is gazing directly at me. The dark heat in his eyes makes me reel. I’m dizzy, weak in the knees, grateful to be sitting down.

He looks away and continues his lecture.

I feel like I need a therapist.

After a lifetime of following the rules, I’ve suddenly become the slutty girl in front trying to get the professor’s attention. What’s next, bringing in a lollipop so I can suck it slowly with moans of enjoyment? This behavior is so unlike me it almost makes me laugh.

I should be focusing. I need to be focusing. But it’s like he’s done something to me, flipped a switch deep inside myself and I can’t make it go back to the way it was.

That afternoon, Rachel finds me, expectant. “Give me the update.”

“He’s so hot,” I admit, a blush flaming my cheeks scarlet red.

She jumps around with excitement. “In all my years…” Hand to her chest, she looks at me with misty eyes like a proud mother. “I never thought I’d see you have a crush.”

“I do not have a crush.”

I so do have a crush. A bad one.

I can’t help it. It’s as if I’ve gone my whole life eating bland, generic vanilla ice cream and now I’ve been introduced to homemade chocolate with rich, thick ribbons of caramel. Of course I’m going to fantasize about licking that delicious, sweet richness, sucking a spoon coated with it in my mouth and rolling it around on my tongue.

I’m 21, so I’m not technically a teenager anymore, but the guys my age don’t seem to know much more than a typical high school kid when it comes to sex. It’s part of why I’ve never done it. I’m busy, sure, but I’d make time if I felt the urge. But why even fool around when it leaves me so bored? With so little chance of reward, why take the risk? Better to keep things simple and stay a virgin. It’s never an issue for me.

Until now.

I know nothing can happen with Mr. Shaw. He’s my teacher. But somehow that makes me even more wet.

I think about him all day.

I think about him at night as I lie in bed unable to sleep.

At midnight, my phone sounds with a message. It’s the same number as this morning, this time with a link to a sign up for Tuesday’s office hours with Luke Shaw.

I set my phone down for a moment, assessing the risks. I’m a cautious and prudent person. If sitting in a lecture hall with this man and 99 other people turns me into a melted, horny mess, I definitely should not go to his office hours.

I grab my phone and sign up for his last slot of the day, 4:40-5:00p.m.

I’ve been a good girl all my life, always taking care of people, working hard. I didn’t go out and drink in high school. I’ve barely gone out and done that in college. No one-night stands, no walks of shame, no dancing on tables until 3a.m. I’ve always done the right thing.

Two classes with Luke Shaw and all that’s changed.

He’s like a fantasy I didn’t even know I had.

He makes me want to be bad.

Chapter 3 - Luke

“No.” I walk briskly through campus, on the phone with my assistant. Usually we’re able to wrap everything up during my morning car ride. Today, she’s going overtime and I don’t like it.

“But I think it might be—”

“The answer is no. I don’t need more publicity.” I am not going to a celebrity golf tournament, even if my partner might be Tom Brady.

“It’s for a great cause.”

“I’ll donate. But I’m not flying out to Florida next week. You have sixty more seconds.”

She flies through her list of requests. I give her a rapid-fire list of “no”s. I do not have time for a pitch. I am not having lunch with a couple of guys at a competitor firm (translation: I am not looking to leave my current company). No, I will not appear at a conference on the global transference of power to Silicon Valley. I don’t need a conference to tell me I’m at the epicenter of the world. I live it every day.

I end the call by pressing a button. Sandra doesn’t require kid glove treatment. Her six-figure salary and annual bonus that doubles it is all the thanks she needs. She’s my kind of person, keeping things simple.

I wrench open the door to the lecture hall just as the bell rings, exactly as planned. I don’t have a second to waste, and that’s what it would be to arrive early. Dead time. Unproductive. The enemy of all that is good.

“Give me the top five reasons startups fail,” I demand of the class. Entrepreneural Ventures has enough clout that every single student is already in his or her seat. They all vied like hell to get in here. Eighty percent of them will be gone a week from today. They’re not going to waste a second of time grabbing a breakfast burrito instead of attending my class.

The hall erupts like the trading floor on Wall Street, everyone trying to yell over everyone else.

Except for Alessandra Kemp.

She sits in the front row, composed, wearing a soft blue sweater the color of her eyes.

That’s not the kind of thing I should notice.

And I definitely shouldn’t notice how the sweater clings to her breasts.

Or picture, vividly, how good she’d look with that sweater on the floor and her tits in my palms as I dive in and fuck her with my tongue until she comes, and then comes again.

“Groups.” I call out, taming them with a word. I’ve separated them into four quadrants. It enables them to have small-group conversations so they don’t all shout themselves to death.

I stand behind the lectern because I have a huge goddamned erection in the middle of the class I’m teaching. Why? Miss Kemp is looking up at me with her big blue eyes as she sucks on the tip of her pen.

This is going to be a problem.

It’s not like me to have this kind of a problem. I’m the author of Reason, the champion of rational thought. Only do what’s in your best interest. All the rest? Scrape it off your plate like useless scraps.

Is it in my best interest to fixate on a student? No, it is not.

This is the ninth year that I’ve taught this class. Every year, an appealing array of young women make it clearly known that they’d be interested in more. I’m a 36-year-old billionaire who has been on the cover of GQ. It’s not hard for me to attract attention.

This is the first time I want it.

I let my students share their answers, then feed them another question. “When should a company change its product?” This time I call on raised hands. Alessandra sits there like a good girl, hand up in the air. I like making her wait. I like how her eyes widen when I finally look her way. She licks her lips, her arm straining up.

“Yes.” I nod to her.

“I don’t think you’ve asked the right question.”

A few nervous giggles rise around her. “Is that so?” I take a step closer, adopting a broad stance anyone who has ever negotiated a successful deal would recognize as dominant. “Enlighten us with the right question.”

“A company has to constantly be changing. It can never stop figuring out its customer, never stop questioning how to improve its products.”

“What about New Coke?” If there’s ever a case against changing a product, that’s it.

“That proves my point.”

“Explain.”

“New Coke was on the market for 77 days until Coca-Cola reintroduced Classic Coke.”

She’s done her reading. But does she understand it? “It’s considered an epic failure.”

“It created a PR frenzy. People went crazy, launching campaigns to bring back Classic Coke. The company never could have inspired that kind of fandom without taking a product away. And they learned quick, reintroducing it in just over two months. Constantly changing. ”

I want to keep talking to her, push her thinking, see how far she takes it. That’s why I don’t.

I walk away, back toward the center of the room, recapping the highlights of her point. “Quick feedback cycles, inspiring customer loyalty—who wants to tell me more about making changes to a product?”

After class, she lingers. I’m surrounded by students, but I see Alessa out of the corner of my eye. She’s taking her time, glancing at the sea around me as if wondering if she should attempt to part it. I want to send them all away.

I won’t, of course. She’s 16 years younger than me. It would violate all kinds of rules of conduct.

Worst of all, it’s irrational.

I’ve built my fortune, my name, my brand on Reason. I stay calm and cool even in the highest-pressure settings. I make wild money by objectively evaluating situations and making the smart move. And then I make even more money giving people advice about how to do it themselves.

Wanting to haul this delicious girl over my shoulder and drag her off into a dark cave where I can fuck her senseless? Not rational.

That night I get a text. It’s a link, without any other words. My phone recognizes it as a number I’ve contacted before, but doesn’t provide a name.

I click and an article opens. “What we can learn from New Coke: the value of brand.”

Alessandra Kemp. Texting me after midnight.

I never should have sent her a text from my personal cell phone. I have all of my students’ numbers. They had to submit them along with a lot of other information when they made their pitch to get into my class.

But I never give out my number. Texting Alessandra from my personal cell phone was an honest mistake.

Except I never make mistakes

I wanted her to have my number. I wanted her to text me late at night. And now I want to text her.

Luke: You’re up late, Alessandra.

Ali: Call me Alessa.

Luke: You should go to bed, Miss Kemp.

Ali: I would but I have a very demanding teacher.

She has no idea how demanding I can be.

This is how trouble starts. I set down my phone, turn it off for the night and take a long, hot shower.

During Monday morning’s class, I keep my attention focused elsewhere. This attraction is not going to progress.

I have a strict policy of never mixing business with pleasure. I learned it from a boss when I was just starting out as a summer intern at an investment bank. I was 18 and hungry. Temptations were everywhere. “Make it simple,” my boss told me. “There’s work and there’s play. Don’t mix the two.”

It’s never been hard for me. It’s like flipping a switch. In the office or lecturing at Penninsula University, that switch is off. Heading to Vegas for the weekend? It’s on. I’ve been labeled a playboy, and it’s true I never get serious with anyone. I date models or socialites, women who keep it lite. I don’t even like kissing on the mouth. It’s too intimate. Kissing everywhere else? Not a problem.

I’m not going to throw that all away based on some fleeting attraction to an undergrad.

On Tuesday, Alessa comes to my office hours. When I saw her name on the sign-up sheet, goddamn it if my cock didn’t stir.

“You have ten minutes.” I greet her, staying firmly seated behind my large desk.

“I thought I had twenty?”

“I have to leave early.” And not spend a full twenty minutes in a small, windowless room with you. What was that drinking game about making out in a closet? Seven minutes in heaven.

Inappropriate thought.

“Well, thanks for meeting with me.” She reaches into her backpack. As she bends down, I can see right down her shirt. It’s tight and white and she has one button undone that she shouldn’t. Her breasts look full and ripe. I shift my weight in my seat, adjusting myself. I will not be standing up.

“Can you take a look at this?” She places a document on my desk.

“What is it?” I don’t move to pick it up.

“It’s a rough draft of my business plan.” They’ve all got them due Friday.

“No.” I push the stapled papers back to her. “I need to read them without bias. If I read this, I’ll know which one is written by you.”

“Would that make you more or less likely to choose it?” Is she flirting with me? Bad girl. I should take her over my knee and show her what naughty girls get.

Bad Luke.

“I’ll choose the 20 best business plans. That’s it.”

She takes the paper back. Her fingernails are unpainted, but filed and polished. Her whole appearance is a bit prissy, her hair up in a neat ponytail, her crisp dress shirt tucked into her skirt. She’s begging to be messed up.

“One paragraph?” She pushes it back toward me, then does the unthinkable. She scoots around to the other side of the desk, right next to where I’m sitting. Turning over the top page, she scans her draft, nibbling on the eraser of her pencil with her plump lips. I can smell her, like clean, sweet lavender.

“Here.” She pushes it toward me, pointing to the paragraph.

Then she drops her pencil on the floor. She turns away and bends over. Her tight little skirt rides up, showing me her creamy thighs.

Is she fucking kidding?

“Sit back down,” I bark, pointing to the chair on the other side of the desk. Her eyes widen and she hurries over to it. I like the sight of her obeying my order almost as much as her round ass.

I skim the paragraph. When I look up, she’s blushing, embarrassed. Had she been trying to turn me on, bending down like that? Is she ashamed about it?

Aw fuck, the things I could do to this girl.

I toss back the paper. “There’s nothing I would change.”

“Does that mean you like it?” So eager for my praise. I don’t give it easily. She’d have to work for it.

“It means there’s nothing I would change.”

She nods and looks down, crestfallen. I could talk with her for the next hour, easy, asking her more about the case studies we’re reading, more about her business idea. I don’t know what it is but I bet it’s a good one.

That’s why I say, “Time’s up.”

“Right. You have to leave early.” She stands, bringing the strap of her backpack over her slim shoulder. She shouldn’t be trying to carry so many books all at once. I fight the urge to take it from her.

She hesitates at the door, then shyly asks, “What did you think of the article I sent?”

“I think you were up too late.”

“It was only a little past midnight.”

“Too late.”

“I’m 21.”

“That’s so young.”

“Only in years.”

“Is there another way of counting age?”

“Experience.”

I arch my eyebrow. I hadn’t intended to get drawn into a match of wits with this young temptress, but here I am and now I want to know. Just what kind of experience is she talking about?

“Not that kind.” Her cheeks turn a bright shade of pink.

“No experience, then?” Why does that make me even harder? I’ve got to stay away from this girl. I look away and bark, “Close the door after you.”

She leaves.

I stay hard for hours.

I can’t say exactly what it is about her. I’ve had gorgeous women flirt with me before.

There’s the fact that she’s smart. She’s quick and not afraid to challenge me. It has a unique appeal.

But I think it’s her awkwardness that gets me the most. It’s like she’s trying to flirt, but she’s never done it before. As if she’s been a good girl all her life, and only now is curious about discovering what happens if she’s not. She’s wondering if she’d like it.

I could show her how much.

Thursday night I make my selections. I only spend a couple of minutes per business plan, sometimes significantly less. I’ve always had strong instincts, and that’s coupled now with almost two decades of experience. I know which ideas have legs and which one’s don’t.

My T.A. connects the student IDs with names, then sends out the emails. Eighty percent of students will no longer be coming to class. That means there’s a good chance whatever this is with Alessa is over. That’s for the best.

Monday morning, she’s sitting up front in the classroom with a smile on her face. She’s in the top 20. Of course she is.

I teach class, my eyes only skimming over her, keeping our interactions curt and to the point.

She needs to keep away from me. If she doesn’t? I might have to teach her a lesson.

Chapter 4 - Alessa

I’ve made it into the top 20. I have two months until I present a storyboard pitch.

I’ve never been more motivated, more focused on a goal.

And I’ve never felt more reckless.

“You are not sleeping.” Rachel chastises me as we go get our morning coffee.

“I know. This is such a huge opportunity. I feel like I can’t blow it.”

“Don’t push yourself too hard. I know you’re kind-of superhuman when it comes to working, but we all have our limits.”

Limits. Boundaries. Why can’t I stop thinking about pushing them?

I haven’t confided in Rachel. It feels wrong. We usually share everything.

But what I’m feeling for Mr. Shaw is so wrong.

He has office hours tomorrow afternoon. The last time I went, he sent me away. It was embarrassing.

I’d tried my best to play the part of seductress. I’d shown a little skin, the neckline of my blouse unbuttoned. I’d even tried the oldest trick in the book, dropping a pencil and bending over to pick it up.

It only made him scowl and tell me to go sit back down like I’d been a bad girl.

His discipline only made me more wet.

Following his order gave me a perverse thrill. I want him to give me more orders, so I can show him how well I can follow them. I want to bring out the strict, harsh disciplinarian in him.

This is so fucked up.

I shouldn’t sign up for his upcoming office hours.

I sign up.

That night, like every night since I’ve started Mr. Shaw’s class, I think about him when I’m in bed. Rachel’s right, I’m not sleeping enough, and part of it is because I’m doing my schoolwork. But most of it is because I can’t stop thinking about Mr. Shaw. It’s like he’s a drug in my system disrupting my equilibrium. I’ve never met a guy before who troubled my sleep. I’ve barely met a guy who I thought much about during the day.

Now, it’s like I’m possessed. Driven. I’m obsessed with thinking about Mr. Shaw and it’s taking over my whole personality, morphing me from a good, rule-following girl to one who wants to take all kinds of chances.

Lying in bed, I picture being back in his office. He’s sitting behind that large, imposing desk. I’ve done something to displease him, something naughty. He has to take me under his hand.

It would feel so wrong. I’d be so mortified.

But late at night, when I can lose myself to fantasy, I know what I want. I want him to bend me over that desk and give me a thorough spanking.

Sometimes I sense that he feels the attraction, too. In his office, even though he sent me away, his nostrils had flared, his teeth clenched. It seemed like I affected him.

But he has a lot of restraint, an iron will. He’s written a book about it, for God’s sake. It’s going to take a lot to break through his walls.

I’m going to have to provoke him. I’m going to have to do more to get a rise out of him. This next time in his office hours, I’m going to have to be very, very naughty.

Tuesday afternoon, Rachel’s not in our dorm room. I’m glad, because the outfit I have planned would definitely make her raise her eyebrows. She knows me and my typical uniform of jeans and T-shirts. But that’s not what I want to wear to go see Mr. Shaw.

Inside Rachel’s closet, she’s got a tiny little pleated plaid skirt. She wore it for Halloween one year when she was a naughty schoolgirl. That seems to fit my mood.

I have a tight white tank top I only wear underneath sweaters. The material is thin and the neckline is low. The bra I choose gives me lots of cleavage, and I make sure the lace teases at the neckline just a little bit. I put a cardigan over it, buttoning the top two buttons. They’ll come undone at the right moment.

I brush my hair until its gleaming and then pull it up into a high, sassy ponytail. I want to feel his hand on that ponytail, yanking me back against him. Or bringing me down between his legs.

Walking over to his office in the crisp afternoon air, I feel a little ashamed. The bare air on my legs reminds me of what I’m trying to do. But it also makes me aroused, my thighs brushing together as the breeze threatens to lift up my tiny skirt.

“How you doing?” Some guy I’ve never seen before gives me a once-over and I scurry away like a mouse. I know this kind of outfit screams for attention, but I don’t want it in general. I only want attention from one man, a man who has shut me down thus far. Is he about to do it again?

I sit on the hard wooden bench outside Mr. Shaw’s office feeling like I’m going straight to hell. I still have time to turn around and head back to my dorm room. He’d never know. He’s been so reserved and restrained around me, I bet he’d never move to cross the teacher/student boundary. I could retreat back into my good girl life.

But I don’t want to.

The door opens and he summons me in. I enter and close the door behind me.

His eyes darken as he takes me in, looking at my short skirt and my bare legs. He grumbles and shifts in his seat behind the desk.

“What do you want?” He sounds gruff.

“Um…” I lick my lips, my confidence faltering in his intimidating presence. I set my backpack on the floor and take a seat. “I started work on my storyboard.”

“You know you can’t show it to me.” He’s stern and unyielding. It only makes me want to seek his approval more.

“I know, Mr. Shaw. I wanted to ask your opinion about a couple of failed start-ups I looked into.”

“Are they from the assigned case studies?”

“No, I’ve read all of those, and they’re interesting. But I’ve been searching for examples of companies more similar to my own idea that have failed so I can learn from their mistakes.”

He nods, and I can see he likes what I’ve done. I flush with pleasure. Launching into the topic I feel about so passionately, I lose some of my self-consciousness. I speak with animation, recalling details from my reading, asking him for his opinion. He fires right back at me, a question for each of my questions, giving me information while also forcing me to come to my own conclusions.

It’s so much fun, such a rush engage with him like this. I’m flushed and heated and unbutton my cardigan without even thinking about it.

He stops talking. His eyes narrow as he takes in my cleavage. I look down, suddenly aware, knowing I should put the cardigan back on. But the urge to see where this takes us is too strong.

“You need to put on more clothing, not take some off.” His voice is strained.

“What’s wrong with wearing a tank top? All girls on campus walk around in them.”

“You shouldn’t dress like that.”

“Like what?” I’ve been innocent my whole life, so now playing innocent comes easy.

“Like some kind of naughty schoolgirl fantasy.”

Our eyes lock.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you’re trying to tease me, Miss Kemp. But a smart girl like you would know better than to do that.”

“Why?” My voice sounds breathy, my breathing coming faster. He’s so close, just a few feet away across the desk. What would he do if I walked around and sat in his lap, wrapped my arms around his neck looked up into his eyes?

I can feel tension rolling off him in waves. “You have no idea what kind of fire you’re playing with.” He stands up, jaw clenched. Is he going to tell me to leave again? I don’t want to push him so far that he sends me away.

“I’m sorry.” I stand and fumble for my cardigan, tucking my arms into the sleeves. “I’m not thinking straight. I haven’t been sleeping much lately.”

“And why is that?” He’s standing next to me now, his chest rising and falling, his hands balled into fists.

“I’ve got a lot on my mind. I’m up thinking about things.”

“What kind of things?”

“It’s nothing.”

“If you’re in some kind of trouble, you need to let me know. I could help.”

I look up at him, startled. Why would he offer that? He’s pushed me away every time I’ve tried to engage with him.

“You can tell me,” he adds in a quieter voice, closing more distance between us.

I’ve dug myself into a hole. He probably thinks I owe someone money or someone’s harassing me. “It’s not a big deal. I shouldn’t talk about it with you.” I try to look away.

His piercing gaze doesn’t let me. “You should tell me what’s on your mind, Alessandra.” I swallow, caught. “You’re clearly very worked up,” he continues. “You’re breathing fast. Your heart is beating a mile a minute.”

He brings two fingers to the side of my neck, right where he can feel my pulse. I catch my breath at his touch. I’m sure my pulse skitters under his assessment.

My nipples are hard and my cardigan’s unbuttoned so he can see everything. I chose this tank top because it’s revealing, but now I feel so exposed. There’s no hiding the way my body responds to him. He looks down and I know he can see my nipples poking through, letting him know in no uncertain terms exactly how much I need him to touch me.

“What’s keeping you up at night?” His fingers move, ever so slightly, giving my neck a slight caress. I want to melt into him, but my embarrassment keeps me stiff. His fingers travel up, behind my ear, teasing at my lobe. He leans down and speaks quietly, as if it’s a secret just between the two of us. “You can tell me.”

I tremble, my eyes flitting to the doorknob. Maybe I should run away? This is all suddenly getting so real. Do I really want this fantasy to turn into reality?

His breath is against my ear. He’s so close, yet he’s dropped his fingers, not touching me at all. I can feel his heat, smell his masculine scent. My eyes flutter closed. I want to melt into him.

“Are you thinking about me at night?” he whispers, so quiet, dark and wicked.

“Yes,” I whisper my confession. It feels so good to tell him.

“What do you think about?”

He’s still not touching me. I want to close the space between us, but my shyness holds me still. “I think about…” I bite my lip, speaking so softly. “Doing things in your office.”

“What kind of things?”

“Things we shouldn’t.”

Quick, he spins me around so I’m facing the wall. His hand covers one of mine, pressing it over my head. The other one cups mine at my hip. “What do you do when you have these thoughts?” he whispers in my ear.

This is so wrong. He’s so strong and he’s pinning me against the wall, but I know I could break away. He’s not forcing me. I still have time to put an end to this.

He’s a solid wall behind me. Trembling, tentative, I push my ass back against him. I can feel the outline of his huge cock. He’s rock hard. A soft moan escapes my lips.

“I asked you a question, Alessandra.” His voice is stern, demanding, like a strict teacher. I’m so wet and I want to tell him, but I’ve never said things like this before. I don’t know how.

Mr. Shaw hisses in my ear, “I can smell your arousal.” I squirm against him, pressing my thighs together. I bet I’m dripping down my leg.

The hand on my hip starts to slide lower, bringing my hand with it. His fingers are partially entwined with mine as they graze my upper thigh, then down and around, resting on the inside, inches away from where I’m throbbing for him.

“I asked what do you do when you think about me?”

I’m panting, eyes closed, desperate for release. Compelled from deep within, I tell him the truth. “I touch myself.”

“That’s good.” He praises me and I feel giddy from it. “It’s good to get some release when you’re all worked up.” He leaves my hand on my inner thigh, and returns his up to my hip. I feel almost dizzy from his heat, his smell. “Show me,” he coaxes in my ear.

I shouldn’t. I want to and it makes me whimper. All I’m aware of is his body pressing against mine, the domination of his touch. The low demand of his voice, “Show me how you touch that pretty little pussy at night, when no one knows.”

I slip a finger down my panties. I’m so wet I slide right in. My lips part in a sigh it feels so good. I tilt my hips into my fingers and start massaging, circling my clit.

He lifts up my skirt. I keep my eyes closed, but feel the cool air as he arches my hips away from the wall. He’s watching me.

“Pull your panties down more.”

I inch them down, leaving them around my thighs. I look down and see I’ve soaked through the silk.

He sees it, too. “Naughty girl. Do you get wet like that in class?”

I nod. “I can’t help it.”

“Get your fingers back where they belong,” he reprimands like a stern professor. “I didn’t tell you to stop.”

I jump to his command, bringing my fingers back to my soaking wet pussy. “You’re a bad girl, getting wet in class. Fingering yourself in your teacher’s office. Thinking about me at night.” He releases my hand from the wall, grabs my ponytail and pulls me against him, just like I fantasized about him doing. It arches my breasts up, my aroused nipples standing out stiff and erotic. But still he doesn’t touch. It’s just me touching myself, showing how crazy he makes me.

“What do I do to you when you come?”

I can’t suppress a moan at his dirty question, and at my even dirtier answer. I should be too embarrassed to tell the truth, but I’m too far gone, too close to orgasm to hold back. “You discipline me.”

“How?”

My fingers working fast, frantic, my breathing coming quick, I tell him. “You bend me over the desk. You push up my skirt, pull down my panties and spank me.”

“You want to be spanked?” he growls, his fist tight in my hair.

“Oh, yes,” I shiver, on the brink as my fingers work fast.

“You’re so close.” He’s watching my every move, drinking it in. “Slow down,” he instructs, grasping my wrist, forcing me to delay my release. “Good girl,” he whispers as I slow my pace, just like he told me. I moan, eyes closed, mouth open.

He brings a large, rough hand up to my neck and holds me at my throat, tilting my head back against his shoulder. “Show me how wet your fingers are.”

Without hesitation, I take my fingers out and bring them up like I’m presenting an assignment. They’re dripping, covered with my slick arousal.

“They’re soaked,” he growls his approval. “You’re going to come for me now, Alessandra. But you’ll have to keep it quiet. No one can hear you.”

Knowing we can’t get caught makes it feel even more illicit, more hot. My legs are trembling and I need his strength, holding my hip, my throat. I close my eyes and start working myself again, showing him everything.

He whispers in my ear “Naughty girl.” Tightening his grip, he commands, “Now come for me.”

I shudder and come so hard I feel like I’m going to blackout. I can’t stifle the cry from my lips, so he brings his large hand over my mouth, fastening it there to muffle my screams of pleasure.

“That’s it,” he whispers in my ear, coaxing me, as I come for him on my fingers. “That’s my dirty little girl.”

A knock sounds on the door.

“Mr. Shaw?”

His hand jets out to the doorknob, holding it closed. “In a minute.”

I pull up my panties, grab my backpack and race out of his office without a single glance up. I don’t want to meet anyone’s eyes, not Mr. Shaw’s, not the person waiting in the hallway who almost caught me.

I speed campus back to my dorm room, flushed, glowing, ashamed and thrilled all at once.

What the hell did I just do?

Chapter 5 - Luke

“It starts at five?”

“Yup, from five to seven.”

Two of my company’s event planners are bustling around our largest conference room, re-arranging tables and chairs. Tonight we’re hosting a happy hour for the twenty finalists from my Entrepreneurial Ventures class.

“Oh, Mr. Shaw!” One of the planners sees me at the entryway. Her hand flies up to her heart as if it nearly stopped at the sight of me. “I didn’t know you were there!”

“Don’t let me disturb you. Just checking on how things are coming along.”

“Yes, of course.” The other planner stands like a soldier at inspection. I half expect her to salute.

“At ease.” Neither of them get my joke, or if they do they’re too afraid to relax.

I tend to have that effect on people. I’ve always been a leader, the kid on the playground who organized the kickball games, the team captain who called all the shots. Now that I’ve made it big, the cowering and sucking up from those around me has only gotten worse.

Maybe that’s part of why Alessa is so sweet? She matches my wit, challenges me, isn’t afraid to show her intellect and opinion. It’s refreshing and I want more of her in so many ways.

Hand in my pocket, I proceed to my office, nodding to acknowledge to those who dare to meet my eye. I’m not an asshole, at least in my definition, but I realize that might not match up with everyone else’s. I have high expectations and demand nothing less than 100%. Making it in the Silicon Valley culture requires complete and utter obsession with success.

For those who display those traits, my workplace is a good fit. For those who don’t? I consider it a favor to weed them out early. They’ll be happier elsewhere with a more relaxed pace and less competition. This path isn’t for everyone.

I close the door to my office, and close my eyes for a moment.

Alessa. The sound of her breathing when she touched herself. How her pussy glistened, her juices coating her naughty fingers. The way she responded when I wrapped my hand around her throat and tipped her back against my shoulder. She liked being held that way, restrained, possessed.

There’s a lot more where that came from.

It was three days ago, and I’m still reliving it. I’ve never seen anything as sweet as Alessa coming on her hand at my command. I didn’t even touch her, not really, not the way I want to. And yet it was hotter than anything I’ve ever experienced.

Tonight I want to claim her.

Right where the planners were positioning that table, I could bend Alessa over and sink into her sweet, slick pussy. She’d gasp and grab the wood, positioning herself, giving me purchase so I could ram into her again and again.

A knock sounds at my door. “Mr. Shaw?”

I growl in response.

“Your two o’clock has arrived. I’ll show him in in five minutes.”

Enough fantasies. I’ll keep my distance from young Alessa Kemp, because it’s what’s best for her. She’s an innocent. I can read it on her every move, every sigh. I won’t be the one to corrupt her. I’ll restrain myself, hold myself back.

Don’t mix business with pleasure. It’s worked for me up until now, and it will keep on working for me. I have an iron will and I will exercise it.

She’s wearing a little black silk dress.

I don’t arrive at the happy hour until about twenty past five. A call went long, and this is a casual event designed for these young up-and-comers to meet and greet those already working in the field. My colleagues know this isn’t just a handout to them; many of these students will be working in this space in the years to come. It’s a small world. Everyone has come out in droves to suss out who are our next best of the best.

Alessa’s standing by the wall surrounded by a small semi-circle of men. It’s on the other side of the room, but I see her instantly. She’s wearing heels. Her dress drapes against her delicious body, ending above the knee, showing off every curve without explicitly violating any workplace standards.

Nothing about her outfit is inappropriate, but my blood boils with rage. They can’t see her. No one is allowed to look at her but me.

“Mr. Shaw, great place you have here.” One of the more intrepid students approaches me, despite my scowl. I engage, listen, ask questions, basically adopt outward appearances appropriate to a meet and greet.

But inside, I have one goal. I want to pounce on Alessa and bring her back to my lair. I see it on the other partners, too. They’re eyeing her like wolves. I want to fight them off and make them all know she’s mine.

She glances over at me once, twice. She looks delicious, her lips plump and glossy, her hair up in a twist ready to come down all around her loose and wild.

I make it a little over an hour, always near but never touching, close enough to hear the music of her laughter but not so close that I can smell her sweet scent.

It’s when Harvey corners her that I lose all pretense of playing it cool. Harvey’s 42, a billionaire, and getting ready to ditch his second wife. He openly discusses his view that wives have a shelf-life of seven years. After that, it’s time to trade them in for a younger model. The first one got ditched when he turned 35. The next one’s running up close to her expiration date.

The way he’s grinning at Alessa? I know what’s going through that rat bastard’s mind. He’s picturing her lithe, ripe little body on his arm at functions. Underneath him in bed afterwards.

Over my dead body.

I stand between them, my stance open, my arms folded against my broad chest. “How’s it going here?” My eyes shoot daggers. Harvey glances toward Alessa, then toward me. He knows I’m telling him to back off, but he’s used to being a kingpin, like me. Neither one of us likes being told no.

“Alessa here was telling me about her idea. It’s a good one.” He slips a hand around her lower back.

Hell, no.

“I need to speak to you in my office,” I bark at her, turning on my heel. I don’t care what eyebrows I raise. Fuck them. Harvey is not taking Alessa home, tonight or any other night, and that’s final.

I hear her heels behind me, following. My cock surges at the sound as I stride forward, purposeful. I hold the door open to her, close it once we’re both inside.

Her eyes flash with indignation. “What’s your problem?”

“My problem?”

“If you won’t talk to me, why can’t I talk to someone else?”

“Who said I won’t talk to you?” We take steps as we spar, her backing up toward my desk, my pushing forward, closer.

“You didn’t talk to me all night.” Is that a pout I see on those luscious lips? Naughty girl.

“You sound pouty.” My thumb grazes her lower lip. She looks up, eyes wide. I know she, too, can feel the electricity in our touch.

“Why wouldn’t you let me talk to him?” She backs up against the desk, steadying herself with her palms on either side of her hips. There are many things I could do to her on that desk.

She’s protesting, telling me she’s angry, but she’s aroused. I see it in her dilated pupils, her accelerated breathing. The hardness of her nipples through her dress. Is she not wearing a bra?

“Do you want to be back in there talking with Harvey?” I’m so close now, towering over her. I’m much larger, much stronger.

“Well.” She looks to the side, not meeting my eyes. That’s not going to fly. I grasp her face in my large hand, cupping it under her chin and tilt her up to meet my gaze.

“Do you?” I demand.

She looks up into my eyes and I can tell she likes being held that way, being forced to respond. “Maybe,” she taunts me still. “Maybe I want to hear what he has to say about the most recently priced IPOs.”

“He might talk to you about that. But he won’t be thinking about it.”

“What will he be thinking about?” Her voice is a little shaky, the breathiness revealing her arousal.

I move my hand to her throat, cupping it, reminding her with my touch how I’d held her when she same to my office earlier that week. Her eyelids flutter closed, her mouth parting. She remembers.

I move my hands lower, cupping her breasts through her dress. The silk is smooth and fine, hugging every curve.

I was right, no bra.

“He’ll be thinking about this.” I squeeze her breasts, brushing my thumbs along her erect nipples. Her breath hisses between her teeth. Her back arches, pushing into my hands, asking with her body for more. I close my fingers on them and pinch. Her mouth opens into a perfect O, a moan escaping as she clutches the desk.

“He’ll be thinking how your lips would look wrapped around his cock.”

She opens her eyes and looks up at me, her eyes glaze with desire. She swallows. “Is that what you think about when you talk to me?”

“I think about much more than that.”

“Mr. Shaw.” She reaches her hands up to my shoulders, wanting to kiss me. As much as her nearness, her eagerness, hell, even the way she calls me Mr. Shaw, has me hard as a fucking rock, that can’t happen. More boundaries have been crossed already than they ever should have. This stops now.

I push her away, back toward the door. “You need to be more careful. Men are predatory animals. You can’t trust a man like Harvey.”

She looks sad that I pushed her away, her lower lip wobbling again. “Can I trust you?” she asks in a breathy whisper.

“Definitely not,” I assure her as I place a hand on her lower back and escort her to the door. “Not when you look like this.” I graze my hand down the curve of her ass, so perfectly plump, the silk revealing everything, offering it up to me like a present.

“Do you want me in a tent dress?” Her eyes flash again with defiance. I like the way she talks back to me almost as much as I like her obedience.

“You know what I’m talking about,” I reprimand her, the stern schoolmaster. Finger up, I point and scold. “Don’t dress sexy. Don’t wear silk dresses with no bra, or the naughty school girl outfit like you did earlier this week.”

“Why not?” Her back is against the door now, her breasts straining against the silk. I want them in my mouth.

A hand on either side of her, I pin her without touching. Leaning down, I demand, “Don’t test me.”

She looks up, so close. We’re inches away. I bet she’s wet. It would take seconds to check, run my fingers up between her legs and swipe them across whatever lace scrap she’s wearing under this dress. And if she is wet? I’d bend her over my desk and make her admit it, show me how wet she is. Show her how much wetter I can get her.

Instead, I take her arm and lead her out of my office and down to the front entrance. Drivers are waiting. I lead her to a car, help her into it and tell the driver, “Take her to her dorm.”

“You’re sending me home?” She looks up at me, disappointed, with that delectable pout.

“It’s seven o’clock. Happy hour is over. You need to get home where you’ll be safe.”

She looks up at me in frustration, as if I’ve spoiled her evening out. Good. If it’s me she wants, she needs to get used to disappointment.

Chapter 6 - Alessa

No sexy outfits? We’ll see about that.

Saturday, I have no classes. I usually try to get a workout in, then study most of the rest of the day. Sometimes I babysit.

Today? I go shopping. I head right for the high-end Palo Alto boutiques I know cater to career professionals. I’m getting the most tailored, form-fitting, molded to my curves outfit Mr. Shaw has ever seen. It’s going to balance right on that knife’s edge of right and wrong, just like we’ve been doing. Nothing about it will blatantly violate workplace attire. But it’ll make his blood boil.

At least I hope it will. He’s too damn good at resisting. The way he looked at me in his office, I could have sworn he was about to kiss me and more. But then he sent me packing, like I’m a little girl he can dismiss.

I’ve been a good girl all my life. I’m done with that now. When I look at myself in the boutique mirror dressed to kill, I feel powerful. I’m sexy as hell but I’ve never taken it out for a walk. It’s time to cut the leash.

We have another event at his office on Tuesday. In lieu of his typical office hours, we’re invited to sit in on a weekly staff meeting, half of us this week, half of us next.

I’ll sit in, all right, but I’m not going to hide like a wallflower. My invisible days are done.

Monday morning’s class comes and goes uneventfully. True to Mr. Shaw’s famous rational resolve, he barely looks my way. No one observing us would see anything other than classic teacher/student dynamics. No one could tell that I’m wet just from sitting and looking up at him as he strides powerfully around the classroom.

I’m so curious, my need for him growing with each day. If he made me feel so good just by watching me touch myself, what would it be like if it were his hands on me? With the naughty, illicit thrill of it combined with his mastery, I’d probably lose my mind. I need to find out.

Tuesday afternoon finally rolls around. With a black fitted jacket over my outfit, it looks classic and professional. But with the jacket off and one button on my blouse undone, I think I’ve aced the look: sexy secretary. High heels, tight pencil skirt, fitted blouse with my bra peeking out. I can’t wait to suck on the end of my pen and look up at him from my seat.

We file in and I take my place, along the side with the other nine students. No one missed this opportunity. And why would they? A chance to see Luke Shaw in action, running his company? It’s like a golden ticket into Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. Minus the Oompa Loompas.

“Do you have a pen? Mine’s not working.” A girl on my left is in a panic, so afraid to seem unprepared.

I hand her one, then take out my small notepad and pen and wait. Usually I have my laptop, but we’re not at the table and I don’t want to try to balance it. Plus, it would obstruct Mr. Shaw’s view.

Everyone’s seated before he comes into the room. He always makes an entrance, but it doesn’t feel theatrical or planned. It feels like the world waits for Luke Shaw, holding its breath until he deigns to acknowledge it. That’s how much power he holds.

He’s wearing a gray button-down shirt tucked into a belted pair of fitted dark blue jeans. I want to unzip them. Ever since he gave me the image of my lips wrapped around a cock, I’ve wanted it to be his. We could do it at his desk. I’d kneel down between his legs and suck him and no one would know.

He starts the session effortlessly yet with impeccable command. His gaze slides past me, not revealing any particular attachment. It drives me crazy. I crave this man.

Casually, I slide my jacket off and rest it along the back of my chair. There’s nothing inappropriate about it, no call to attention. Lots of other people have jackets around the backs of their chairs. I stretch, then fiddle with my necklace and deftly unbutton the top of my blouse.

No one notices. The girl with my pen is writing down everything he says, verbatim. Everyone else hangs on his every word, too, only asking clarifying questions, rapt by his presence.

Suddenly, I get it. This man must be bored. He’s isolated at top of his kingdom. No one questions him. Everyone worships him and says yes. He needs someone he can get a little playful with, someone who can ruffle his feathers, let him cut loose.

I think I know who that person can be.

Pen in my mouth, I close my lips around the tip and suck, then look up at Mr. Shaw. His eyes are on me. They’re on fire, watching my every move as I leisurely trail a finger down my neckline, sucking on my pen. He can read it in my eyes. I’m not thinking about it being a pen.

He’s in such command, most observers wouldn’t notice a thing. But I do. I see how his jaw tenses and his nostrils flare. I notice his hand by his side ball into a fist, and how when he turns his back to me it’s deliberate, as if he can’t stand to watch me a second longer.

Looking down, I smile like a wicked seductress. I’ve never felt more womanly, more in touch with my own needs. He may not want to see me this way, but it’s who I really am.

When the meeting ends, he’s at the doorway as I exit.

“Come into my office,” he commands quietly into my ear. A thrill runs down my spine.

I take my time. I get a glass of water and use the restroom. Partially it’s because I want to keep this under wraps. Heading directly to his office in view of all of my classmates might draw some unwanted attention. But it’s also because I love making him wait. Mr. Shaw, the man who waits for no one, is pacing in his office waiting for me. It must be driving him wild. Wild enough to break the barrier between us and finally do what we both need.

When I finally get to his office, the door is closed, the shades drawn. I knock, my heart beating wildly in my chest.

“Who is it?” His voice is dark and gruff.

“Alessa.”

“Come in.”

I get wet at even that command. As I enter, he’s standing looking out of his window. He turns and doesn’t say a word as he strides toward me, then past me to the door. He closes and locks it. We’re all alone. I squeeze my thighs together in anticipation.

He strides back to his large desk, then rests against it, arms folded across his chest as he gazes down at me. “What did you think of the meeting today?”

“It was all right,” I respond automatically, placing my jacket and purse down on a chair to my side.

“What did you really think?”

“Everyone kisses your ass all the time,” I tell him honestly, crossing my arms against my chest. Only with me, it gives a different effect, enhancing my cleavage. He notices, his strong jaw shut tight. “I think you miss out on good ideas because everyone’s afraid of you. And I think you’re bored because of it.”

“Me?” He asks, arching an eyebrow, studying me with his dark, assessing eyes. “You think Luke Shaw is bored? I’m the man who has everything. I can do anything I want.”

I step forward, hand on my hip. “Boring.”

“So this theory of yours, is that why you’re behaving like this?” He’s got that tone again, like I’m a poorly behaved child and he’s reprimanding me. It makes me mad. It also makes me wet.

“Behaving like what?”

He looks down and shakes his head as if he disapproves. “I explicitly told you not to dress like that.”

“I wanted to.” My eyes flash with defiance. “Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do?”

“I know more than you.”

“You don’t know me.”

“I know what’s best for you. More than you know.”

“That’s bullshit.”

Swiftly, he stands up, away from the desk, just a foot away from me. He’s so much larger and stronger, every inch of him a display of power. I want to kiss him at the base of his neck, right where his collar is undone. I want to take off his belt and kneel before him. My nipples tingle and my pussy throbs as I look up at him and lick my lips.

“You’re asking to get into something way over your head.” His hands ball into fists on either side of his body.

“So you say,” I can’t resist pushing, naughty and disobedient, just a little bit more.

“So I know,” he warns.

“Prove it.”

“You have disobeyed my orders,” he whispers, brushing my hair behind my shoulder and caressing his fingers down my bare neck. “This is your last chance to walk away. If you stay, you will get punished.”

I shiver at his words, my nipples as hard as pebbles. I want this so much. I stay exactly where I am.

“Unbutton your top.” He steps back, arms crossed, watching me. He makes no move to help. He wants me to do all the work.

As much as I asked for this, I’m shaking and nervous. I love the feel of him having all the power, but it leaves me completely vulnerable. I bring my fingers to the top button and undo it, slowly making my way down, not meeting his eye. My bravado has fled.

I lay my shirt across a chair, then stand there in my lacy bra for him to see everything. It’s a demi-cup, sheer, and my nipples tease at the top. He feasts on me with his eyes, but makes no move to touch.

“Take off your bra.” His command makes me quiver, my pussy clench, slick. With shaking hands, I reach around and unclasp it, then lay it next to my shirt. Standing there in his office half naked is so wrong, it fills me with an illicit thrill. The stiff tips of my breasts advertise my intense arousal, asking for his attentions. He walks around me, inspecting me from every angle.

“Over to the desk.” Gruff, he points. I’m a bit unsteady on my heels as I make my way over, my back to him.

When I feel his broad, warm hand on my back I gasp even though all he does is place it at the center. Then he starts to push me down, so I’m bent over his desk. Submitting under his hand makes me moan, but I bite it back, knowing we can’t get caught. People are right outside. I can’t let them hear.

He pushes me down over his desk until my bare breasts are against the hard, smooth wooden surface. It’s cold on my skin. His hand keeps me there, and I turn my face to the side, resting my cheek against the wood, wondering what’s going to come next.

Whatever it is, I want it.

Chapter 7 - Luke

“Palms at your sides.” She brings her hands up and rests them gently by her shoulders.

She’s a vision, right out of my naughtiest fantasies. Bent down over my desk, her ripe breasts press against the hard wood. Her hands stay at her sides, right where I’ve told her to put them. Her lips are slightly parted, her breath coming fast, all signs of arousal.

She wants this. She needs this. She’s going to get it.

I caress her bottom through her skirt, rounding her curves, letting her know with my touch I can do anything I want. She’s there for the taking, any way I desire. She’s mine now.

“You’ve been naughty, Alessandra.” I speak low and wicked, completely in control. We’re in my office, doing something we shouldn’t, and she needs to follow my orders exactly. “I gave you instructions. You broke the rules. Now you need to take your punishment.”

She quivers underneath my touch. I can practically feel her warm, soft skin under my hand. I’ve never wanted anything more. But there’s something I require first.

“Do you want your punishment, Alessandra?” I caress her ass, teasing with my light, soft touch. She needs much more than that. I do, too, but only after she gives her consent.

“Yes,” she whispers, softly.

“Good girl.” I caress her cheeks and she sighs in complete surrender.

“Now I need to prepare you.” I speak with authority, unzipping her skirt, the one that tortured me as she sat in the meeting, fitted along her shapely legs, riding up as she crossed her legs. It pools at the floor by her heels. She’s definitely keeping on the heels.

“Spread your feet apart.” She complies, lifting her foot and placing it away from the other.

Her panties are lacy and high-cut, exposing a lot of ass cheek. But not enough. I slip my thumbs under the sides and yank them down. Some of the lace rips. She gasps and looks up at me, flushed. I meet her eyes with challenge. I catch a gleam in her eyes and a slight smile of enjoyment before she turns down to face the desk again.

That smile tells me all I need. She loves this. And I love that she’s owning it as much as me.

I pull her panties down until they’re tight around her thighs. I leave them there, making her feel exposed, binding her legs as she offers herself up to me.

She wriggles, some nervousness mingled with her enjoyment.

“Stay down,” I command, hand to the center of her back, pushing her down against the desk. She moans at my dominance, easing back against the wood, positioning her palms right where I told her. “That’s good.” I run a finger down her cheek and she sighs.

I take a step away, surveying what she has to offer: her perfect ass, upturned and bare, her pale skin quivering as it waits for my hand. It’s a perfect picture, but I need to see more. I clasp each of her cheeks in my large palms and pull them up and away. She gasps at the inspection, but doesn’t stop me.

Now I can see everything I want, from her puckered asshole, dark and waiting for me, to her dripping wet pussy.

“What do we have here?” I lean down and blow lightly on her soaking wet sex. She whimpers, sensitive and embarrassed at my discovery. “You’re soaking wet.” I trail two fingers up and down her inner thigh, where her juices are running down her skin. She moans softly.

I bring them to my mouth and suck. Nothing has ever tasted so good. I want to dive in right then, plunge my tongue into her and feast. But not yet.

“Did you get wet teasing me in the meeting?” I demand in a low voice.

She whimpers again, caught.

“You need to answer when I ask you a question, Alessa,” I growl. “Did teasing me in the meeting make you wet?”

“Yes,” she confesses in a whisper.

“That’s good, telling me the truth,” I praise her as I stand to my full height, positioning myself to her side, right next to her upturned, bare ass. “But you need to know, only naughty girls get wet from teasing their professor.”

Spank, my large palm rains down on her ass. She moans loudly and I stop, leaning over her, placing a hand over her mouth. I whisper in her hear, “This office is private, Alessa. No one will hear me spanking you. But they will hear if you’re too loud. You need to stay still and keep quiet.”

She nods, shaking, and I return my attention to her discipline. First one cheek, then the next, I spank her hard, soundly, turning her alabaster ass a bright, hot shade of pink. She’s perfect, the way she keeps herself still for me, her back slightly arched up, her thighs parted. She pants and makes little grunts of strained desire.

I spank her across both buttocks and it’s so intense she closes her eyes, biting her lip to stop herself from screaming.

“That’s it,” I whisper, “Take it. Take your spanking.” Her pussy is gushing, her juices literally dripping down her inner thighs, and it drives me nearly insane as I smack her, spanking her like she needs.

“You’re so wet,” I hiss, drifting my hand down between her legs. “You like your spanking.”

She barely stifles a sob, her fingers clenching against the desk. I can sense the many emotions fighting through her, confusion and maybe shame over something so wrong feeling so right. But I can also sense need coursing through her veins, building with every spank as her craving for release grows. And arousal, intense, illicit arousal, heightened by knowing everything about this is wrong.

“You shouldn’t.” I spank her and she moans. “I’m your teacher.” Spank. “This is my office.” Spank. “This is discipline, to teach you why you shouldn’t be so naughty.” She bites her lip and her legs quiver with the effort of supporting her weight. She’s right on the brink.

“But you love it, Alessa. Don’t you? Tell me the truth.” I spank her again, ruthless, demanding.

“Yes,” she sobs, almost too loud, losing control. “Yes, I love it Mr. Shaw. Please, I love it when you spank me.”

“Yes, you do,” I spank her again, triumphant. “Who does this ass belong to?”

“You,” she cries, panting.

“That’s right.” Smack, I brand it, taking what’s mine. “Mine.” I growl, bringing my hand down again hard. “And this?” I slip my hand down and cup her swollen, slick pussy. Moving around behind her, I kneel down so my mouth is right next to what I want. “Who does this pussy belong to?”

“You,” she whimpers again. I clasp her ass in my hands, pulling her apart, angling her pussy further toward my mouth. The sight of it, swollen, a flushed pink and glistening with arousal, nearly drives me crazy.

“Mine,” I growl, diving in to lick her sweet, salty cream. I groan as I lap and lick, finding her clit and sucking it into my mouth.

“Oh!” she cries as I grab her thighs and pull, spreading her, bringing her right where I want her. She quivers as I suck, her breath coming in little hiccups, her pants and moans barely restrained. I could make her come right now in my mouth.

But I want to torture her a little more first.

I stop, moving up to lean over her. Cupping her pussy, I ask her a question I’ve had burning inside me for weeks now.

“Has anyone had this pussy, Alessa?” She swallows, not answering. “How many men have you slept with?” I demand.

“No one,” she whispers. “I’m a virgin.”

I want to roar with pleasure and pride, a lion claiming his mate. My fingers start to move, sliding slick along her sex, stroking her clit. “This is my virgin pussy,” I growl.

“Yes,” she sighs, giving herself to me.

I take my hand out and move it up. As I circle her asshole, she tenses underneath me. Her eyes widen. She turns her head to ask “What—?”

“This ass?” I cut her off, using her slick arousal to lube her entrance, pressing against it, rhythmically making her open. “Has anyone taken your ass?”

“No!” she cries out in protest, as if even the idea is dirty and wrong. She’s got that right, but if she thinks that she’s not going to like it, she’s got another thing coming.

“My ass,” I claim as I push my thumb in, sliding past her tight ring and using her lube to massage her forbidden hole.

“Uh! Mr. Shaw!” She presses her face into the wood, her buttocks clenching around me.

“Relax and take it,” I whisper, stroking her, fucking her with just the tip of my thumb as she shudders under the assault.

Back kneeling behind her, I keep my thumb up her ass. Then I bring my other hand to her pussy and start pulsing in rhythm with my thumb in her ass. She might think it’s wrong, but I’ll teach her body how right it is.

She starts to relax, letting my thumb fuck her ass further. I scoop more of her slick arousal and bring it up to her ass, making her completely lubed. As I return to her clit, circling it, stroking, she moans, relaxing even more.

“That’s it,” I hiss. “Let me teach you what you need.”

“Yes,” she whispers, pushing her ass back on my thumb. Such an eager student. Such a quick learner.

I can feel her orgasm building, threatening to crash to the surface. “From now on,” I warn her, working both holes in rhythm. “You come for me. Only for me. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” she cries, panting, grunting as I shove my thumb further into her ass.

“You can touch yourself. But you can’t come. You only come for me, when I tell you.”

“Yes, Mr. Shaw. Yes,” she groans. She needs this so badly.

“Do you need to come?” I ask, knowing full well she does. I cup her pussy, slick and swollen, her juices dripping between my fingers.

“Yes,” she whines, pushing her clit into my fingers.

“Who makes you come?” I demand.

“You, only you!” she pants.

“Good girl. Here’s your reward.” I bury my face in her pussy, sucking hard on her clit as I bite down on it. At the same time I fuck her ass deep with my thumb. She comes apart, shuddering, bucking, giving me such sweet ambrosia I drink down. She muffles her cries with her hand. As much as I like her following orders, I want to make it as hard for her as possible. I suck and lick, massaging her asshole, coaxing out shudder after shudder, until she’s no longer able to stand.

When she collapses, I catch her in my arms, bringing her onto my lap as I sit back into a chair.

She’s like a gift from heaven, naked save her ripped panties around her thighs, her breasts perfect and quivering, her pussy glistening with all of her arousal

I want more. I want all of her. My cock strains at my zipper. I could have her ride me in this chair, right now, then take her again over the desk. I could fuck her pussy, then her ass, rutting into her relentless, making her come again and again.

She looks up at me, dazed and ready for more. “Oh wow,” she whispers, a sweet smile on her flushed face. “I never…” She licks her lips, struggling for words. “That was so—”

“Get out of here,” I growl, picking her up and setting her down on her heels.

“What?” She’s shaken, looking at me with disbelief.

“You need to go.” I hand her her bra and shirt, then grab her skirt and shove it toward her, too. She takes them from me and turns away, starting to dress. I walk away, turning my back to her as I stride over to the window. I almost manage to not notice that her eyes filled with tears. She’s hurt and confused.

It’s nothing compared to how I feel.

She leaves without a word.

I pour myself a drink and down it, looking out the window but not seeing a thing, trying to compose myself. I’ve brokered multi-million dollar deals without breaking a sweat. I’ve stayed cool during the most heavily scrutinized IPOs.

Little 21-year-old Alessandra Kemp got me closer to losing control than anything else ever has in my life.

Her juices dripping down her thighs, down my chin. So fucking wet. I’ve never felt anyone so wet, so tight.

I spanked, finger-fucked her ass and ate her pussy all with my colleagues and her classmates mere feet away. I’ve never done anything that reckless, that irrational.

And I almost didn’t stop there. Making her come didn’t release any of my tension. It ratcheted me up even more. I nearly tore into her, fucking that virgin senseless.

My cock is pounding against my jeans like it’s made of wood.

None of that should have happened.

None of it will happen ever again.

Chapter 8 - Alessa

He sent me away. He made me come harder than I ever have before in my life, and then he sent me away.

I wish I felt rejected. That would make it easier.

Instead, I can sense his struggle. He wants me. He’s as affected by me as I am by him. I can see it in him, feel it in his touch. I’m the virgin, but this is rocking his world, too.

He sent me away because he thinks it’s for my own good. What I have to do is prove him wrong. Because what happened in his office? That was like every naughty fantasy of mine come to life, only it was even better in reality than anything I’d ever imagined.

With guys in the past, I never would have thought I’d enjoy a spanking. And in the abstract, it still seems wrong to me. A spanking isn’t what an independent, strong woman should like.

But that sounds arbitrary to me now. Who made up that rule? When it feels so good, why not? What’s the harm?

I want more and I’m going to get it. I just need to get Mr. Shaw in on the plan, too.

The next couple weeks I get mired in work, staying up late, waking early. I have a business plan to finish. Soon there’ll only be five of us left. I’m determined that I’ll be one of those five.

It’s within my grasp. I can feel it. It’s almost as if I was sleepwalking all my life, but now I’m awake and I’ve got a fire burning inside me. Nothing’s going to stop me from doing what I want, both professionally and personally.

As I work, I don’t hear from Mr. Shaw. No texts, no calls. In class, he keeps his gaze general and simply nods in response when I make a comment.

I know what he’s doing. He’s putting distance between us, but not because he wants it. It’s because he thinks he needs to do it. But he’s wrong.

We both need this, whatever this is between us. In two months I’ll be a graduate. I’ll wait as long as it takes, though hopefully not that long.

Every night I twist in my sheets, panting and raw with need, but I’m never satisfied. He gave me strict orders. He told me not to come without him. It’s turning me on even more to touch myself but still obey his command.

I haven’t had an orgasm since his office.

One night, after long hours in the library, I finally head back to my dorm room. I take a long, hot shower, wrap myself in a fluffy towel and then, like every night I think of Mr. Shaw. I lie back in my bed and let my fingers drift down where he touched me, remembering with a sigh. A tremble travels down my spine as I part my thighs and feel how wet I am. Mr. Shaw always makes me wet.

This night is different, though. On impulse, I grab my phone and take a selfie. It’s modest enough, just showing me from my chest up, a towel still covering my breasts, but the picture clearly reveals that I’m basically naked and just out of the shower. My skin is rosy and glowing, and I’m biting my lip and giving a sultry smile. Not giving myself a moment to chicken out, I type in “Luke Shaw” and send it, along with a message.

Alessa: Thinking of you.

I wait, slowly playing with myself, closing my eyes and imagining him getting my text. Where is he? Is he working late in his office, the same room where he spanked me? Is he at home, up like me, maybe even thinking about me in the same way? My phone sounds.

Mr. Shaw: You’re playing with fire.

My pussy clenches at his words. I’ve missed him so much. No one knows how to tempt me like Mr. Shaw. It’s time to play.

Alessa: You’ve taught me how much I like getting burned.

Mr. Shaw: Careful now.

Alessa: I won’t burn. I’m too wet.

I grin as I press send. I’ve never been so naughty, so flirty and dirty. It feels wild and fun. My phone doesn’t sound with a reply. No three dots to show he’s typing. I wonder if he’s ended it—for now. But then:

Mr. Shaw: Touch yourself. Right now.

My pussy clenches at his command. Sinking back onto my pillow, I part my legs and do exactly as he said. He knows just what I need. My phone sounds again.

Mr. Shaw: Are you doing what I told you?

Alessa: yes.

I type with one hand, not wanting to stop.

Mr. Shaw: Good girl. Think about what I did to you over my desk. Remember how much you liked it?

Alessa: yes.

I close my eyes and remember, the feel of his rough hand, the way he fucked my ass with his thumb, making me want even more. I moan into my bedroom, my fingers working faster, more urgent.

Mr. Shaw: Are you getting close, Alessandra?

Alessa: yes.

Mr. Shaw: Good. Now stop. You only get to come for me. Is that clear?

His command makes me groan. Reluctant, I remove my fingers. They’re sticky and gleaming with my arousal.

I can’t resist. I bring them to my lips and suck the tips, then take another selfie. It’s perfect. He can see how slick they are, can tell exactly how wet I got.

I click send.

Alessa: It’s going to be hard to sleep tonight.

I hear back right away.

Mr. Shaw: You get a good night’s sleep. You’re going to need your rest if you’re going to continue to be such a good student.

He’s the best teacher ever.

Chapter 9 - Luke

The news these days is filled with stories of lecherous men using their power to take advantage of the younger and weaker. I don’t want to be one of them.

I have no qualms over being ruthless in business. In my experience, successful entrepreneurs have to be driven, focused, and relentlessly committed to their goal. I have no problem running roughshod over anyone who stands in my way in my professional life.

But in my personal relationships, I’ve always kept things simple and drama-free. It’s in keeping with my philosophy of never mixing business with pleasure. I don’t want anything to get messy, which is why I’ve always engaged in clearly-defined, mutually-agreed upon arrangements with highly-experienced women. I’ve never taken anyone’s virginity. I’ve never even wanted to; too much emotional attachment, too much responsibility.

I’ve much preferred women who know what they like and see me as an indulgence just like I see them. I like to play, and I like my play nasty, but it’s always been between me and women who completely understand the games we’re playing.

Alessa is breaking all my rules.

She’s young. She’s a virgin. She’s my student.

And she’s driving me crazy.

Thankfully, my life hasn’t slowed down for the crazy train in my head. In the weeks that follow what happened in my office, I have some previously-scheduled business trips I need to make that take me away from Palo Alto. Even when I’m in town, adding a class to my weekly schedule only makes me more busy. I work. I workout.

The only thing I’m not doing that I usually do is burn off some steam with a woman. The only woman I want to be with is Alessa. No one else appeals or compares.

I keep seeing Alessa’s skin, hearing her moans, remembering how sweet she tasted on my tongue.

She’s a virgin and I spanked her over my desk. She should have freaked out. Instead, she liked her spanking so much that I had to clamp my hand over her mouth to keep her quiet. She came so hard that she shuddered and quaked. Afterwards she looked up at me like I’m her savior.

She’s my kryptonite.

Finally, the day arrives for the final five Entrepreneurial Ventures students to be chosen. In the interim, I’ve managed to avoid Alessa nearly completely. I see her in class, of course, but I don’t make eye contact, and rarely call on her.

There was the text exchange, of course. How could I resist that? The photo of her rosy and glistening, telling me exactly what she was doing? That image makes me hard every time I look at it, and I’ve looked at it more than once.

But I keep telling myself—there’s only a one in four chance she’ll make it to the final round. Odds are, she’s about to get cut from my class. Then, there will be two options before us: the safer route of never seeing each other again, or the much more pleasurable route of seeing, plus touching, kissing, coming and fucking. I have a whole long list of action items. Either way, we’ll have dodged the worst bullet since she won’t technically be my student any longer.

The only problem is, I think she’s going to be chosen for the final five. She’s that smart and talented. I’m not involved in the selection process, so I have no idea who’s selected until I receive a phone call from a friend on the panel.

He reads off the names. Alessa’s made it into the final five.

I’m proud of her, happy for her, and I want to swear and curse, kick and punch with frustration. I’m being tested, and I’m at the edge of my restraint.

I’ve been living like a monk, but I’m no monk. Sooner or later, I’m going to go after what I want, especially when she’s made it so very clear that she wants the exact same thing. I’d hoped I could wait.

I’m not waiting any longer.

Chapter 10 - Alessa

On the morning of my presentation, I wake early. Twenty of us will make our pitches. Only five of us will be selected to move forward into the final round.

As I shower, excitement and nerves swirl around me along with the steam and water. I’m impatient and anxious, but I make myself take the time to blow-dry my hair and put on some make up. What really matters are the power of my ideas and how compellingly I present them, but looking and feeling my best can’t hurt! I select a slim-cut blouse and a fitted skirt with some killer heels.

In front of the mirror, I strike a pose and give myself the look of victory. I’m ready.

Driving over in Rachel’s borrowed car, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll see Luke at all today. He’s not on the panel, but the presentations are taking place at his investment firm in Palo Alto. As much as I hope I do see him, I have to admit I admire how he keeps himself far removed of the selection process. He’s so careful about maintaining integrity and preserving an unbiased final decision. He’s broken all kinds of rules with me personally, but not because he’s an unprincipled man.

It must be because I’m so irresistibly hot. I crack myself up as I park at the office building. Laughing has to be a good sign. If I’m relaxed enough to laugh, maybe I’ll kill it in my presentation.

The foyer of the building is marble. The top floor, home to both the boardroom and Luke’s office, is high-ceilinged with lots of glass. The whole feel is intimidating, sleek and powerful, much like the man running the show. I have to remind myself to breathe.

It feels like so long since I’ve seen him. All last week Luke was out of town on business. All of the students in Entrepreneurial Ventures, myself included, have been in lockdown mode preparing our presentations.

With all the time that’s passed, is it even possible that I’m on his mind as much as he’s on mine? It’s starting to feel like it was all a fantasy. It was the hottest fantasy of my life, but maybe not exactly reality.

My actual presentation flies by so quickly I can barely even remember it when it’s over. It’s as if I flash directly from shaking hands in greeting the panelists, to shaking hands in thanking them for their time after it’s all over. I know the investment professionals asked me a bunch of questions that I think I answered them well, but it’s really hard to recall clearly.

Adrenaline pumps through me fast and hot. I’m flying high, still flushed and excited by the rush. Not ready to head back to my dorm room just yet, I follow a naughty impulse and steal down the hallway. I walk with purpose, as if I’m about to attend a meeting instead of sneak into Mr. Shaw’s office.

I knock. There’s no answer. And there’s also no assistant sitting in the cube outside his door.

I twist open the door handle and enter. I don’t know what I’m looking for, maybe something else to help me unlock the riddle that is Mr. Shaw. He attracts me like no other man ever has. I want to know more about him, everything about him.

I head over to a bookshelf where he has some books, a framed diploma from Stanford, and some photos. One is a picture of a breathtakingly gorgeous sunset over a tropical beach.

“Looking for something?”

I’d recognize that voice anywhere. About to reach out to touch the framed photo, my hand freezes.

“I’m sorry.” I start to turn around, caught.

“No need to apologize.” Luke is standing there, looking more gorgeous than ever in crisp dark jeans and a button-down shirt. “You’re right where I’d hoped I’d find you. Right where I’ve pictured you many, many times over the past week.”

That makes me smile as I look up into his handsome face, his eyes so expressive. I’ve seen them stern. I’ve seen them professionally detached. That’s not how they look now.

“I’ve missed you, Alessa.” His eyes shine with warmth as he reaches out and caresses my hair.

“I’ve missed you, too.” The words are so simple, but it feels overwhelmingly good to admit it. I’ve been keeping the feelings locked deep inside me, not even mentioning them to Rachel. It’s time to let them out. “Where have you been?”

“Business in Asia and Europe.” He rattles off the continents casually, like it’s no big deal.

“I’ve never been to either one.”

“We’ll have to change that.” His palm glides down along my shoulder, caressing me through my shirt. I can feel the heat of his body. My eyes flutter shut and I sway toward his touch. He’s so close I can smell him, that unique masculine scent that drives me wild.

Then he pulls away and asks in a much more stern voice, “Now what are you doing snooping around my office without anyone knowing?”

My eyes fly open. “I was just—”

“Snooping.” He finishes my sentence. Then he picks up the framed photograph I was looking at and holds it for me to see. “What do you think of it?”

“The beach? It’s incredible.”

“It’s the view from my house in Maui. I’d like to take you there some time.”

I would not complain about that.

“But first we have some business to take care of.” He sets the photo down again on the bookshelf and brings a hand to his hip.

“What?” My voice sounds breathy, full of expectation and anticipation.

“You need to find out what happens to trespassers.”

Chapter 11 - Luke

Of course Alessa has been on my mind today. I knew she was presenting to the panel, and from what the panelists told me afterwards she knocked the ball out of the park. I knew she would.

But Alessa’s been on my mind every day and every night. At first I fought it, but lately the strangest thing is happening: I’m starting to accept it. Maybe there’s a reason I can’t stop thinking about her. Maybe there’s something to the fact that she’s melted my famously iron will. When the universe hands you something so good, maybe you should snap it up?

Starting now.

“Hands up.” I stand before her, taking all of her in. I missed seeing her last week when I was traveling. Usually I immerse myself in my work and nothing else gains traction on my mental or emotional landscape. Not so with Alessa.

This close to her, I feel intoxicated.

She looks up at me and bites that perfect bottom lip of hers, stretching her hands up over her head. Her blouse pulls tight against her breasts, and I can see that her nipples have hardened. There are many things I love about this woman. Her responsiveness is near the top.

“Hold on to the sides of the bookshelf,” I command. She gets a good grip. She looks so delicious, stretched there before me. I’ll tie her up someday soon, but the fact that she has to restrain herself is hot, too. It adds an element of naughty that she and I both like.

“Now you know you need to be perfectly quiet,” I caution her, walking over toward the door and locking it. The whole panel listening to presentations is two rooms over. “We can’t have anyone hearing you scream my name when I give you an orgasm.”

“Mr. Shaw.” She exhales my name, her head twisting to the side, her fingers gripping onto the bookcase. She knows I’m about to take her for a wild ride.

“You can’t make a sound.” I approach her again, standing close as I reach down and start to unfasten the buttons of her blouse. One by one, I slowly undo them, exposing her perfect breasts for me to feast on. I sink down, not wasting any time, taking one of her nipples full in my mouth. Sucking on it through the lace, I circle it with my tongue. She has to bite back a moan.

“Quiet, now.” I remind her with a wicked smile, watching her pant as she nods in agreement. Such a good student. I kneel down before her. This student of mine has become the altar at which I worship. No other woman has affected me like this before. I’m starting to think no one else ever will.

I caress her thighs, slowly pushing up her skirt until I reveal her lacy panties. There’s not much to them. I hiss with satisfaction when I see she’s already wet. Her panties come right off, and I revel in how she’s already glistening for me.

Hands to her thighs, keeping her open to me, I lean down to taste perfection. She whimpers in pleasure, but follows my orders and stays hushed. I take my time, licking, sucking, and slowing down when I can tell she’s close to make it last.

When she does come, her whole body shakes even as she stays quiet like I’ve told her. I have to support her weight, my mouth making every last second count. Looking up at her, flushed and breathless, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.

A knock sounds at the door.

“Just a minute,” I respond automatically.

“The advisory board would like to speak with you,” my assistant informs me.

“I’ll be there shortly.”

I pull Alessa’s panties back up, bring her skirt back down and straighten up myself. “I hope you’ve learned your lesson about trespassing,” I can’t resist teasing.

“I’ve learned that I’m going to trespass all the time,” she says breathlessly, that perfect blend of sassy and sweet I’ve come to love.

“Alessa.” I run my hand through my hair, at a loss for words, which isn’t typical for me. There’s so much to say and no time at the moment to say any of it. “I have to go.”

“I’ll wait a few minutes before I leave.”

I nod, not liking our subterfuge, but knowing it’s necessary, at least a little longer. I just went down on my student in my office. Not in the handbook of appropriate conduct.

But as a successful entrepreneur, I excel in rewriting the rules of the game.

Chapter 12 - Alessa

I’m in the dorm room with Rachel when I get the call.

“May I please speak with Alessandra Kemp?” asks a professional-sounding woman.

“This is she.”

“I’m calling to inform you that you’ve been selected as one of the final five entrepreneurs.”

I erupt into squealing, as does Rachel. She knows I’ve been waiting for this call.

The woman runs through what comes next—three more weeks to hone and refine my pitch, then my final presentation. I barely listen, the news resounding loudly in my head.

I’m one of the final five! I have a twenty percent chance of getting my idea funded and launched! The kinds of resources that would be at my disposal are unheard of for a nobody like me.

As soon as I end the call, Rachel gives me a huge hug. “I knew you’d make it.”

“I can’t believe I’ve even gotten this far.”

“You’re going to win, I know it.”

I throw myself straight into proving her right.

For three weeks, I put everything else in my life on hold. Even Luke. I know if what’s happening between us is real, it’ll still be there in three weeks. Right now, I’ve got to focus on this massive opportunity in front of me.

Luke congratulates me—along with the other four finalists—the next time class meets. I don’t ask for more. Strangely, I don’t even feel tempted to. What we have between us feels more and more real with each passing day. I’m going to trust that it will be there waiting for me when this is all over.

By the time the big day of my final presentation finally arrives, I’m feeling ready. I sleep well the night before, eat a good breakfast and go off to the front lines to do my best.

Just like before, when it’s all over I can’t say much about it. The rush of adrenaline is like a tidal wave washing over me, propelling me forward. I truly believe in my concept and I think it shines through. But I won’t know until the end of tomorrow.

Waiting is hard. I work out. I take a bath. I take a sleeping pill. Nothing helps. It feels like my whole life is on hold and I can’t take a full breath until I know.

By Friday night, I still haven’t heard. I’m a wreck. Thank God for Rachel. Like the great friend she is, she cancels her plans and hangs with me.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go out?” She looks at me with concern, offering me a beer from the fridge, which I refuse.

“I’m sure. I can’t enjoy myself until I know. Then I can either drown my sorrow or celebrate my success.”

“Well, then, let’s watch some trashy TV!” She settles in on the couch next to me and we switch on some Real Housewives.

When there’s a knock at the door, at first I think it’s part of the show. But then it sounds again and Rachel looks at me.

“Do they come to tell you in person?”

“I don’t know!” We both jump up and answer it at once.

Luke Shaw is standing there in a tailored suit. He’s devastatingly handsome and suave. I’m in teddy bear pajamas.

“Oh my God!” My hand goes to my mouth.

“I’m not that impressive.” He gives me a crooked smile. “May I?” He takes a step inside our tiny little dorm suite.

“That’s not who I think it is, is it?” Rachel murmurs to me.

“Hello, I’m Luke Shaw.” He extends his hand to Rachel.

“Oh my God!” Apparently he has the same effect on her.

“These are for you.” He hands me a dozen red roses.

“Why are you here?” I ask, completely ungraciously as I woodenly accept the flowers.

“May I take you out tonight? There are some things I’d like to discuss with you.”

“Um…” My brain won’t catch up with what’s happening.

“She means ‘yes.’” Rachel answers for me. “Just give her a second.”

“Take all the time you need. I don’t mind waiting. I’ll be outside in the car.” After he exits, Rachel takes my hand and leads me back to my bedroom. “Ohmygod! Luke Shaw! Ohmygod!” She tears open my closet and starts rifling through. “Sexy, but not crazy.” She pulls out a simple black dress, clingy in the right places but not overly revealing.

“What’s happening?” I feel stunned, but excitement is starting to creep in around the edges.

“I have no idea but you’re going to go find out. And you’re going to look fabulous doing it.”

Fifteen minutes later, I’m in a dress and heels, make-up on, hair fluffed and brushed, and feeling ready to take on the world. Rachel gives me a big hug. “I have a feeling you’ve got a lot to tell me about what’s been going on over the past couple months.”

“I do. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you more.”

“I bet it’s been complicated.”

“It has.”

“Well, look out for yourself. Be careful, but don’t be scared. I have a feeling some amazing opportunities are heading your way.”

I give her one last hug, so grateful for her friendship as I head out to see what lies ahead.

Outside sits a black, shiny limo. As I approach, a driver hops out and opens the door. Luke is inside talking on the phone. When he sees me, he ends the call.

“You look amazing.” He takes me into his arms in the back seat as the driver pulls away.

“So do you.” I’m lost in his kisses as we’re whisked away off campus. “Where are we headed?”

“I want to show you my home.”

“Luke, it’s so good to see you and I can’t wait to see your home, but…” I give him a nervous smile. He’s got to know the question I have on my mind.

“You’re wondering about who won the contest?”

“Yes I am.” Total understatement.

“I have the answer.” His eyes twinkle with excitement as he tells me. “Congratulations. You’ve won the contest. Your idea got chosen as the winner.”

“Are you kidding me?” I clasp my hands over my mouth, squealing with glee.

“You deserve it, all of it. You’re smart and bold. You’re hard working and committed. You’re an amazing entrepreneur and you’re going to make whatever you want of this idea.”

I throw my arms around his neck, words failing me in the exuberance of emotion.

“I don’t have anything to do with it. The panel chose you. I wasn’t involved at all.”

“I’m just so grateful and excited.”

“You’ve worked hard for and earned everything you’ve gained.”

The car stops in front of a well-lit home built into the California hillside. It overlooks a canyon below.

Luke leads me inside and I can tell the house is much larger than it looked from the outside. It must be built into the hill, with one or two stories down. The rooms are open and flow together; the kitchen is state of the art. It’s the nicest home I’ve ever been in in my life. This whole evening makes me feel like I need to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

“This is amazing.”

“You’re amazing.” His hands come around my waist. He kisses my neck, then takes my hand and leads me onto his patio. A table is laid with candles lit, a bottle of champagne chilled to the side, and a rose at the center.

“I took the liberty of having dinner prepared for us tonight. I want you to relax and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work.”

“This all feels so unreal. Am I making all of this up?”

“If you are, then I am, too.” He takes me in his arms and sweeps me into a kiss. He feels so good against me, everything I’ve been waiting and hoping for all coming true at once.

I break away, smiling at him. “Why don’t you show me your bedroom?”

“Really?” He looks thrilled at the idea, but pauses. “Are you sure? You don’t have to, you know. We could just have dinner, celebrate, see where things progress.”

“Oh, I know where I want things to progress.” I smile, more sure than I ever have felt in my life.

“Your wish is my command.” He picks me up and carries me as I laugh down the hallway to his master suite. The windows overlook the world below, like a king in his castle way up high.

“I’ve wanted this so much,” I tell him, talking about both things that are happening today.

“You have no idea how much I’ve been longing for you.” He looks at me with such intensity it makes me shiver. I waste no time and start undressing; he joins in and then we meld together, kissing, touching, exploring. In the past, I’ve never enjoyed being fully naked with a man. I always felt self-conscious or awkward. With Luke, I don’t have a second of feeling uncomfortable. He can’t keep his hands off of me, caressing every curve, kissing me until I’m breathless, and I’ve never felt more cherished and gorgeous.

“I don’t want to hurt you. Are you sure you’re ready?” he asks as we lie on the bed.

“I’m so sure. I’ve been ready since the day I met you.”

“That would have been abrupt.”

“I wouldn’t have minded.”

He slides his hand up my thigh and finds me soaking wet and ready for him. I’m so glad I never had sex with anyone before now. No one ever seemed right and now I know why. None of them were Luke.

He puts on a condom, parts my thighs and positions himself over me. Looking down into my eyes, he stills his movement. “This is going to sound crazy, but I think I’ve fallen in love with you, Alessandra.”

Tears spring to my eyes. “I have too, Luke. I love you.”

He kisses me gently starts to push in. It hurts, for a moment. I squint my eyes shut, but then he murmurs in my ear, “You feel so good.”

I breathe and let myself feel the warmth of his skin on mine, the press of his body, and the feel of him starting to move in rhythm.

“Ooh,” I moan softly, the pleasure starting to take hold and build. “Luke,” I cry out his name as he starts moving faster. I bring my hands to his powerful shoulders, gripping them, bucking my hips up to meet his thrusts so I can feel all of him.

“Alessa, you’re amazing.” He’s so powerful, moving over me, his muscles corded, his jaw strong. The pleasure across his face as he looks down at me moves me almost to tears again. “Are you hurting?” He pauses for a moment, caressing my face.

“No, it feels so good.”

He plunges into me again, then again as I feel my orgasm mounting. He takes his fingers and works me higher, playing with my clit, taking me up and over the edge as he thrusts into me. When he comes, it spirals me up even higher, crying out his name over and over until we collapse into each other’s arms.

Tangled in each other’s embrace, we lie on his giant bed, silk sheets all around us. He goes to the bathroom and brings back a washcloth and a towel to make sure I’m clean and comfortable. Then he draws me against him and we lie together, my head against his chest, listening to his heartbeat.

“Are you sure I’m not dreaming?” I ask, feeling more content than I ever have in my life.

“If you are, I’m in the same dream.”

“So, what next?” I have to ask, tracing my finger along his perfectly chiseled chest.

“I can go again if you want. And I’ll probably last longer this time around. I want to show you some of my technique.”

I chuckle. “That sounds good, but I meant in general. Between us.” I guess it might have been smarter to play it cool, but I feel so bold and fearless I don’t want to wait. I want to know what he’s thinking.

“I think we make our own playbook. If people think we’re not playing by the rules, we just tell them the game has changed.”

I smile. “I like that answer.”

“We met in an unorthodox fashion, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.”

“So you want to try to make this work?”

“I don’t seem to have any other choice.” I prop my head up and look at him, wondering what he means. “Not because you’ve pressured me.” He kisses me on the head. “It’s my heart that won’t let me stay away from you.”

“I like your heart.”

“It likes you, too. Very much.”

“I want to be with you, Luke. I want to see where this goes,” I tell him, unafraid.

“That sounds far too open-ended.” He captures me in his arms. “I want you to move in with me.” He kisses my nipples, toying with them with his tongue. “I want to introduce you to everyone who means anything to me.” He kisses a trail between one breast and the other. “I want to support you and help you and cheer you on as you launch your new business.” He kisses his way up to my lips again, looking deep into my eyes. “And I want to marry you and have children with you, and grow old together. How does that sound?”

Tears blurring my sight, my voice caught in my throat, I’m so happy I almost can’t speak. But somehow I manage, wrapping my arms around him and kissing him back. “Perfect.”