Trapped With My Teacher

By: Penny Wylder

A few minutes later, he dumps the chicken onto a plate and passes it to me. Our fingertips brush again, and I bite my lip to contain the gasp that wants to escape. Because fucking hell, the electric sparks that set off in my belly every time our skin touches…

I clamp that down. Accept the plate and try a bite.

Holy shit.

“Good?” Tony’s watching me with a knowing smirk, not having tasted any of his own yet.

“You must have a lot of hookups to cook for,” I say when I’ve swallowed.

He laughs aloud, then picks up his own plate. Takes a single bite and grimaces a little. “You must not be treated properly by your hookups, Corina. This is hardly impressive.”

“College boys aren’t exactly known for their culinary skills,” I reply, swallowing another huge bite of the chicken.

“And college boys are still to your taste?” He doesn’t meet my eye, not now. He’s studying his plate, a little too carefully. But I can hear the unasked question in his voice. The thin ice we’re treading on.

Much as I know I ought to back away from it, I don’t want to. I want to skate right out there and fall through, thin ice be damned. “Usually,” I say, my voice lighthearted. Smooth. “Lately, though, I’m starting to think about trying more complex dishes.”

He glances up at that, startled, but I’m already moving away, into the living room. It’s too cold in the kitchen.

Tony follows me, and when I ask him to, kicks shut the kitchen door behind him. Now we can confine what heat we have to the living quarters, at least.

For a few minutes, we eat in silence. I remain standing, refusing to sit by him on the couch. Not when it’s so small I’d practically be in his lap. I just keep eating to distract myself. Flirting aside, both of us are clearly hungry, which causes me my first slight pang of worry about this situation. One glance out the window shows me the storm hasn’t let up. If anything, it’s gotten worse, fat flakes of snow building up along the windowsill. There’s not a lot of light outside, with all the clouds, and with us being so far up here in the mountains. From what I can see, though, the snow has already built up at least a few inches.

“The plows will start clearing the roads in the morning,” Tony says, reading my mind. “No use worrying about it now.”

He’s right. I finish the rest of my meal in a few bites. “I just wish we had some kind of phone signal. Some way to figure out how long we’re going to be holed up here.”

“I think it’s safe to say at least overnight.” He checks his phone again, shows me the screen. Still no service. Then he scoops up our empty plates and disappears into the kitchen a moment. When he returns, he’s got a fresh stack of wood with him.

“If it doesn’t pass tonight, we’ll need to start conserving our supplies,” I say.

“Let’s worry about that after we get through the night,” he replies. He kneels beside the fireplace to stoke it once more. Once he’s finished with that, he stands, hesitates. He grabs the blanket from the back of the couch and takes a seat, spreading it across his knees.

I keep standing.

For a few moments, I pace. Then I crouch beside the fire, rubbing my hands.

Finally, Tony rolls his eyes and slaps the cushion beside him. “Sit down, Corina.”

Still, I hesitate.

“You’re going to pace yourself to death. That or freeze when you pass out in the middle of the floor. Sit down.” His green-gold eyes catch mine. Pin me in place. “Unless you’re scared of what will happen if you do.”

I raise my chin at that. Step over, defiant, and drop onto the cushion next to him. “I’m not scared.”

“Good.” He spreads the blanket across us both, and my breath catches. Our legs are pressed together now, his skin hot against mine, even through both of our jeans. “Because really, I’m the one who ought to be worried here.”

“Oh really?” I catch his eye, lift a single brow. “Why is that, Professor?”

“Some might call this a compromising position.” His gaze drops again to my mouth. On purpose, I slowly lick my lips, and have to resist a grin when I see the way it makes his pupils dilate and his mouth part.

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