His smile grows. “I’ve been thinking about you, Jones.”
“Don’t strain yourself.”
“Such animosity.” A warm puff of air touches my cheek as he leans in, bringing that body of his way too close for my sanity. “I thought we were past that stage.”
I’m in my own personal hell because all I want to do is lick the side of his strong neck and dip my hand into his well-worn jeans and grab hold of what’s mine. I wrench my head back and glare, focusing on his chin because I can’t look at him in the eye. Coward. “You’re right. Let’s move on to the ‘never mentioning it or thinking about it again’ stage.”
Baylor frowns. “I don’t like that option.”
“I don’t care.” I give a pointed look at the door then his big, broad chest. “Do you mind moving out of the way? I want to get to class.”
He simply stands there, arms crossed in a way that does interesting things to his biceps and forearms, and scans my face. I still can’t meet his eyes, which annoys me.
“Are you embarrassed?” he asks in a lowered voice.
“No. Hardly.” Yes. Completely.
“You look embarrassed. You’re all flushed here.” He brushes a finger along my cheek.
I bat his hand away. “I get flushed when I’m annoyed.”
His voice rumbles along my skin. “That isn’t the only time you flush.”
And now my knees are weak. I glance at him, see the heat and teasing light in his eyes, so I focus on his earlobe instead. A nice, innocuous earlobe. That I want to bite. “Is this your post hook up protocol? Bug the girl afterward? Do you need feedback or something to stroke your ego? Are you going to ask if the earth moved for me?”
He lifts up his hand and starts counting off points with his fingers. “I don’t need to ask that, Jones. We both know the earth f**king melted. I don’t have a hook up protocol. I’d make a joke about what needs stroking, but that’s too easy. Frankly, I’m disappointed that you left yourself wide open for that one.” He touches the tip of my nose, and that shit-eating Baylor grin grows. “I expected more of a challenge.”
“Gah!” I shove past him.
“‘Gah?’” He laughs, as I wrench open the classroom door. “Is that even English—?”
“Mr. Baylor,” Professor Lambert says in greeting, her pale eyes sharp with reprimand. “Miss Jones. So glad you two could make it. Would you please take your seats?”
I give her a quick nod and head for mine, utterly aware of every eye on Baylor and me as we walk down an aisle. As for Baylor, he is a presence I cannot shake. And my stupid body is humming as if it’s at its own, personal happy hour.
Class ambles along at an excruciating pace. Lambert is discussing Plato’s utopian ideal, and though I try to focus, my body is too attuned to Baylor to be successful.
“What say you, Miss Jones?”
I jump at the sound of Lambert’s voice. Surely I’m staring up at her like a slack-jawed idiot.
“Could you repeat the question?” I force myself to ask. I will not look at Baylor, who is likely smiling with smug satisfaction.
Lambert’s lips twitch. “Do you believe that Plato’s utopia could work in a modern day society?”
“No, ma’am, I do not.” It’s a short answer, but I’m too aggravated by Baylor’s presence to give a better one.
“And why is that, Miss Jones?”
Right. I suppress a sigh and try to look unfazed. “Because, at its core, it is based on the notion of perfection. That perfection is possible. Which it is not.”
“Hold up,” Baylor cuts in, so fast, I wonder if he wasn’t waiting for an opening that would force me to look at him. “Are you saying we shouldn’t strive toward perfection?” His eyes twinkle, and I know he’s having fun egging me on. “Quite the defeatist attitude, Miss Jones.”
“I’m saying that it isn’t attainable, Mr. Baylor, because perfection is impossible to define.”
“I agree with Baylor,” a guy two rows up says. He’s wearing Baylor’s team jersey so I’m not surprised. Baylor’s defender gives me an accusatory glare. “I mean if Drew didn’t try to achieve perfection, we wouldn’t have won two Championships under his leadership.”
I barely refrain from rolling my eyes.
“This is true,” Baylor puts in helpfully.
“There is a difference between trying to obtain a level of personal perfection verses expecting a society to unilaterally live in perfect harmony,” I say. “One relies on a personal expectation. The other is based on the masses following the opinion of one. And who decides? Who dictates this utopia?”
“Plato, obviously.” Baylor grins at me.
I glare back, but it’s hard to stay annoyed at his playful attitude. “Never mind the fact that we have virtually no examples of a utopian society thriving in a real world situation,” I say.
One of the girls who has been mooning over Baylor since the beginning of the semester raises her hand, as if she needs permission to speak. “What about Atlantis?”
Oh, Jesus Christ in a peach tree.
I glance at Baylor, and he’s biting his lip to keep from laughing. It’s all I can do not laugh too. I look away before I lose it. But I feel him beside me, and know that he’s itching to let loose, which only makes it worse. It’s so bad that I barely hear Lambert’s response, which is good because I know it would make me laugh. A repressed snort to my right has me turning. My gaze clashes with Baylor’s and we share a look of glee, but it’s short-lived. Suddenly I remember the last time I stared into his eyes. When he was deep inside me, his c**k thick and pulsing with his release, and the strangled sound he made as he let go. Heat swamps me.