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The things I knew about her, the way I watched. It was all to protect her, all to know her.
She liked her tea with milk and sugar, extra sweet just like I knew her lips would be if I were to kiss her.
I was desperate for her.
She chewed on her pencil when she was concentrating, her little tongue coming out and moving along her bottom lip.
I was hungry for her.
She played with the ends of her hair when she was nervous, her fingers delicate, long, like she played piano, her nails painted pink.
The things I thought about her doing with those tiny hands.
And she bit her bottom lip when she was worried, those straight white teeth sinking into the red flesh, like an apple being broken into, the crack of it consuming.
I didn’t deny I wanted her. I didn’t even try and hide it.
Innocent. That’s what she was.
I stalked her, knew her every like and dislike … obsessed over her.
I wanted her like I’d never wanted anything in my life. And I told myself that watching her, following her, was to keep her safe. To keep her mine.
I was her professor. She was my student. It was wrong to need her the way I did. But she consumed me, like I was gasping to breathe and she was oxygen.
I was a selfish bastard, and when it came to Grace, I wanted her all to myself.
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It’s said that an obsession is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.
But I say it’s more than that, more than a definition, a string of words thrown together. Nothing can accurately describe how I feel, what I feel, the lengths I’d go to, to get what I wanted, who I wanted.
They’d say I was obsessed.
I called it love.
I remember the first day I saw her, how she looked, how I instantly felt. It had been hot outside, slightly humid, unusual for the time of the year. She’d had a sheen of perspiration on her temple, and I’d wanted to run my tongue along it, gather it up so I’d take a part of her into me.
I remember the first time I saw her like it was yesterday.
The first day she’d put her spell on me.
The first day I’d fallen in love with her.
The first day I’d become obsessed.
I’d known from that moment on, no other would have her. She was mine, and I’d make her see that.
She’d walked into the classroom in this white sundress, these little black flowers splattered across it like spilled ink. Her dark hair had been piled high on her head almost haphazardly, like she’d been running late and hadn’t known what to do with it.
Strands had fallen down as if she’d been running, the tie in her hair unable to keep the locks in place. Her cheeks had been pink, and I’d wondered if they’d be that color when she felt pleasure.
Her breathing had been rapid, her chest rising and falling, her breasts pressed against the bodice of her dress, her nipples hard as they’d poked against the thin material.
She’d apologized to everyone she’d walked by as she made her way to her seat, and I followed her the entire time, tracked her with my gaze, unable to pull my focus off her.
She screamed innocence and vulnerability, with her delicate beauty that had made the very male part of me rise up. Never had I felt such an instant attraction, such a bone-deep arousal.
And it was in that very moment that I knew without a shadow of a doubt I had to have her.
She was my student.
I was her professor.
It was against the rules.
But that made no difference to me. I was born to break the rules for her. I’d realized that as soon as I saw her, as soon as she’d sat in my class. Even now I thought about the way she’d crossed her legs, her dress rising up, exposing even more of her alabaster skin, as if she rarely went out in the sun.
Everything from her pink painted toenails to her little pearl earrings screamed she had no knowledge of the world, of its dangers.
She had no knowledge of the filthy things that men wanted to do to women … that I wanted to do to her.
But she’d find out soon enough. Gracie would understand how deep my need for her went, how much I’d already claimed her as mine.
And when she did, that would be the greatest pleasure of all.
Focusing was damn near impossible when Grace was in my class. Fuck, it was impossible every fucking minute of every fucking day.
She was all I thought about anymore. She was all I wanted. And my need for her had grown into this consuming obsession. It controlled me, made me feel unstable, and I knew the only way to sate this craving, to end this hunger, was to make her mine.
I found myself looking over at her constantly, unable to stop myself even though I knew it wasn’t right. I should keep my distance. It was best for my sanity and would be professional.
“Can you repeat that last part, Professor Goode?”
I cleared my throat and looked at the student who’d asked the question.
I tried to clear my head and focus on my lecture. “So we are able to trace that the CCR5 delta 32 mutation, which hampers the infection rate of HIV, evolved in European populations.” I glanced at Grace as I spoke, seeing a male student seated beside her lean in close and whisper something to her. “Most specifically Northern Europeans.” I felt my eyes narrow, curled my hands into fists at my sides.
Grace looked less than pleased with his close proximity, which pleased me, but the jealousy in me grew exponentially.
“How did the mutation occur?”
I heard the student ask the question, but my attention was on the little asshole who was still leaning in far too close to Grace. He moved his arm next to hers, nearly touching hers. He started to whisper something to her again, and I could see the frustration in her face.
“Mr. Baldwin, if this class is monotonous to you, you’re more than welcome to leave and give up your seat to a student on the wait list.” My words came out clipped, angry. I didn’t even give a shit that he was speaking during my lecture. I was pissed that he was too close to Grace.