“Hey.” I force a smile. I know I’ve never met Mr. Grant before, but I recognize him. I’ve seen him around campus quite a lot actually, and this campus isn’t exactly small.
“Come in.” He motions for me to enter.
I slip my phone into the back pocket of my shorts before I drop down into one of the chairs in front of his desk and he shuts the door. An uneasy sensation runs up my spine. I glance back at the door, and I swear his finger lingers over the lock button, but he drops his hand away as I stare.
“Did you get my transfer?” I ask to get to the point. I sent over all the money I’d gotten from SD. I’d racked up a nice chunk.
“We did.” He doesn't take a seat in the chair that’s behind his desk. Instead he takes the one next to mine, turning it first to face me. “It doesn’t cover all of it.”
“I know, but I’ve got more.” I open my bag to pull out the envelope of cash I’ve been collecting from Asher. Mr. Grant’s hand comes out, stopping me, laying his over mine.
“You do know here at Dowling Park University we have strict rules of conduct. It’s something each student agrees to when they attend.”
“Okay.” My heart starts to beat faster. Where is this going? There’s no way the school could know anything.
“I’ve seen you stream online,” he says.
“What?” I shake my head, knowing that it doesn't violate anything. “I hide what college I attend, and I asked about it, actually.” I didn’t have to hide it. I’d only done that for myself. Plus, I’d checked it over with the university. A lot of students stream and have all kinds of channels and podcasts for all kinds of things.
“You’ve come up with a lot of money rather quickly after your scholarship fell through.” Mr. Grant keeps going. This conversation is a bit all over the place, but I think I know where it’s going. “You know that your school email address is owned by the university.”
My stomach drops as I start to search my brain. SD and I never emailed. Besides, I never sold sex or anything.
“You’ve been getting emails from the Cash App Trader with rather large amounts.”
“And?” I ask again. That doesn’t prove shit, but still I’m freaking out inside.
“A comment you made earlier this week on your stream followed by those emails makes it rather easy to put things together, Lexi.” I swallow, trying to stay outwardly calm. I know the comment he’s talking about.
“You watch my stream?” One offhanded comment days ago. Then this man is checking my school email? I don’t think that’s close to normal. At all.
“I have been for a while.” A creepy smile pulls at his thin lips. “I was shocked when I saw you on campus one afternoon months ago.”
I need to get out of here.
“I have the money. I just need a bit more time for the rest.” I try to move my hand out from his to pull the envelope back, but he wraps his hand around my wrist.
“I think you and I could work out how you cover the rest.” He runs his tongue back and forth across his teeth.
“Mr. Grant, I think—”
“Daddy, that was on the memo lines of one of the deposit emails. I think I’d like to be called that too.”
I’m going to throw up.
He starts to guide my wrist, but I try to pull back. “What are you doing?”
“Showing you what this daddy wants.” He yanks on my wrist hard, trying to move it over his crotch. I scream out as I try to fight to free my hand. “Oh, you like to play hard to get. I suppose you need a firm hand.”
He raises his other hand, and I turn my shoulder, trying to hide my face before he can smack me.
I scream Asher's name so loud that it echoes in my soul.
“I would ask how’s your honeymoon, but I really don’t want the details.” I glance out the window of Lexi’s door and see her walking across the grass towards one of the big buildings on the other side of the quad.
I send her a quick text telling her I miss her, and she responds right away.
“Like I’d tell you anything about it.” Sam makes a sound that’s like a dreamy sigh, and for some reason it’s not annoying anymore. Maybe because I understand it now more than I did before. Now that I’ve got Lexi.
“You’re the one that called me,” I tease.
Just then I get an alert on my private messaging app from Lexi. I was worried about her seeing the texts on my phone, so I used an app that could send them for me. I read through what she’s sent and my heart nearly doubles in size. She loves me!