Blurb: Harper Perry was a veteran teacher. For ten years, she had attended Parent/Teacher Conferences with dread in her heart and a smile plastered on her face. The last thing she expected was the instant attraction to none other than her most problematic student’s father.
Nathaniel Pearson had tried to be a good dad, even when circumstances had torn him out of his child’s life. Now he was back and determined to do right by his son. He had the best intentions when he walked determinately into the school gym to meet Scott’s teacher. The last thing in the world he expected was to be Schooled in the ways of love.
can do this. He’s just a man. A man like any other…
Something from the rear of Harper’s mind, where all the naughty things were locked up tight, escaped and whispered in glee, not like any man you’ve met. Mr. Pearson’s furious gaze strayed from the sulky look on his son’s face and returned to hers. Locked onto hers, the fury spilled out of his eyes like water from a damn. His lips cracked into a soft smile—one filled with something bordering on relief. His eyebrows relaxed and his hands, those massive, wide hands, came to rest on his chiseled hips, drawing Harper’s attention down to the waist and inspiring visions of locking her long, cocoa legs tight around them.
“He is not a stupid child,” Mr. Pearson said, voice rolling out of his mouth like an approaching storm. “My son is much smarter than this.” He shoved the clutched report card at her. “And he is much more capable than, than this.”
He shook the report card clutched in his fist at Carlita.
“No, no, he isn’t stupid,” Harper heard herself saying, though until that very moment she hadn’t given it any thought. Scott was the type of student you hoped would make it through each day without causing disasters big enough to warrant in-school suspension. She hadn’t focused at all on the boy’s potential, as he never tried to do anything in the way of academics. “I’m sure once we get the behavior under control, we can focus on his academics, uh, in both content areas.”
From the corner of her eye, she spied Carlita’s face scrunched down in a furious scowl. Her lips quivered at her—not at them. Harper pulled back and glanced at her co-worker. “Right, Ms. Rodriguez?”
Carlita’s angular face relaxed into the delicate make-up on her face and grinned—the faked, artificial one given to parents she disliked. Harper swallowed, but a rise of hot irritation stained the air between them. Already the storm clouds drifted across Mr. Pearson’s face again, and something primal and protective shot up from someplace deep within Harper.
Stop it! You’re not going to keep making him angry, Carlita. He needs to hear good things about his son too, not the gossip glob from other teachers.
Harper blew out a sigh instead of the cross words, and resurrected a grin of her own. Yet when Mr. Pearson swung his eyes back to hers, a shudder so severe ripped through Harper it left her breathless. Each taunt fiber of her bearing longed to erase the displeasure marring his face. Mr. Pearson’s fierce gaze melted the frost of Carlita’s waxy grin.
The man made her legs weak, and she gripped the table once more for stability. Goodness, she needed a long drink of icy cold water. No, something much stronger—wine, white and chilled.
“We should schedule a conference,” Mark said, bursting through the thick thong of tension.
A small grouping of parents had pooled behind the fabulous Mr. Pearson. Murmurs filtered in from the cluster of concerned adults, and Mark gestured to those behind Mr. Pearson.
I bet they’re all staring at his ass and wishing they could palm it. Just like me.
“So, if you could step over here…” Mark was saying to Mr. Pearson. The differences between the two men struck Harper as cosmic parody. Mr. Pearson, all chiseled and stone-hard body, ready to be dissolved beneath her sexual fervor. Mark, on the other hand, was all wiry and lanky, to which her thighs would snap into pieces.
Mr. Pearson’s eyes never left her face as he guided his son over to the side of the clothed table. He seemed caught between his anger at Scott and giving her his attention.
Scott remained silent, not meeting anyone’s eyes. He’d shut himself off. Mr. Pearson didn’t actually touch Scott, and Scott’s folded arms, pout and tight lip of discontent quivering in angst gave non-verbal cues to leave him alone.
“What day and time works best?” Harper asked and instantly flushed.
It sounds like I’m asking him out.
“Uh, for the conference,” she added with a nervous smile. “I’m free Monday.
“That smirk again appeared on his face followed by a quick flush as if he had got himself doing something naughty. “Are you?”
Mark coughed and said dryly, “We are all available Monday, Mr. Pearson. That’s our designated conference day. From 9:30 to 10:50 we’re available to meet.”
Thankful for her caramel-toned skin, Harper straightened her pencil skirt. Seeing Mr. Pearson again in the confines of her classroom—seated snugly behind a student desk—conjured a new round of tightening in her stomach and a gush of wetness in her panties. Yes, this pair of panties is fodder for the trash.
“Yes, we,” she said, a giggle escaping her mouth yet again. She didn’t sound like herself at all and the fluttering nervousness didn’t sit well with her. Steeling herself to steady her shrill tone, and grabbing the last bit of professionalism in her grasp, she added, “Would that work for you?”
Mr. Pearson leaned in close to her, closing the distance between them and invading her personnel space in a way that suggested he knew it unnerved her. To her surprise, she didn’t move away from him, but held her ground. She even dared to inch closer to him, compelled by her attraction to him. This close she saw his lips, and they curved as she stared at them.
How would they taste? Salty? Dusty? Sweet like gum or fresh like peppermint? Would you whimper if I bit that lip? Suck it? Would you whisper my name and demand for more, Mr. Pearson?
“Yes,” he said. “I will be there. Nine-thirty?”
“Uh huh,” she replied, unable to form words as the cornflower of his eyes threatened to drown her in their heat, in their deep puddles of stirring arousal.
“Excellent,” Mark said, louder than necessary, and the intense knot around Harper and Mr. Pearson shattered. Mark returned her flash of annoyance with a wide grin.
Bastard knows what he’s doing. Wait until that mom with the extra, super-sized boobs shows up. I’m going to rattle his cage—turnabout is fair play, Mark!
“See you then,” Harper managed around the thick lump in her throat.” Monday.”
Mr. Pearson glanced at Mark and then said coolly, “I want to have answers about Scott, too. I’m willing to do what’s necessary to help my son.”
Carlita nodded in their direction, but couldn’t reply. A set of parents battled her with questions about the advanced math program. Harper had known her long enough to know Carlita hadn’t missed a thing.
“Ms. Perry,” called that voice which wound every point of her body to tight tips of hardness. Her nipples pressed impatiently against the fabric of her silk bra and no doubt on through the cream blouse.
“Yes?” she asked, breathless as her eyes once more locked onto his. She felt as if Mr. Pearson had pressed that marble-marvelous body against hers—such strained passion. And it was only his damn voice!
“I look forward to Monday,” he said, eyes burning through her professional demeanor.
“As do I,” she breathed, not liking the effect he had on her. He eroded her professionalism as easily as if peeling an orange.
He smiled at her as he turned to go. “Come on, Scott. P.E. is next.”
“Good evening, Mr. Pearson,” she said, drawing her teacher voice out to the fullest.
Mr. Pearson stopped and shot over his shoulder, “Call me, Nathaniel.”
All around her, life skewed to nothing but the annoying humming of words, polite noises and swishes of papers. For Harper had transcended the madness, exalted to cloud nine, courtesy of Nathaniel Pearson.