Keeping Secrets

By: Kristol Locks

“I have been telling myself, for a long-time, that I should not open up to you. I know how wrong this is. I know you did not expect me to walk in here and just open up like this.” I looked down and back into his eyes. “Don’t make me beg. If you are honestly saying you do not want me, I am going to walk away, and we can pretend like this conversation never happened.”

Professor Andrews walked around to the front of his desk and sat on it. He was now looking directly at me. “It’s not smart to be attracted to your brightest student or any student. And it’s definitely not a good idea to own up to it. Owning up to it is the stupidest thing I have ever done. The chemistry is real, Charlotte.”

“Thank you for being honest,” I said as I took his hand.

Professor Andrews’ eyes scanned my face. “Charlotte, you need to listen to me. If I was not a married man, I would love to get to know you better. However, I am married. And I don’t need more complications or worries in my life. . .”

“I don’t want complications or worries either. I don’t know how many ways you want me to spell it out for you. Your secret is safe with me.”

Professor Andrews pulled his hand out of mine and walked back to his chair and stood in front of it. For a moment, he acted as if he needed his chair to protect himself from me. “You are wicked smart; your journey toward world dominance, at Timberline and Jennings, will be nothing short of a bloodbath.” He took a deep breath in and continued. “Charlotte, you should concentrate on your future job and finding a loving relationship outside of this university. You will find men of great character when you start working, men that are far better than me.”

“We don’t need to talk about my new job or who is a good match for me.”

Professor Andrews walked back over to me. His brown hair, hazel eyes and the warmth of his voice were enough to melt me. “This is not the beginning of something. It is the ending. No one will ever know what was said here. I don’t want to take this anywhere. You have asked me for my honesty, and I have given it to you.” He stared at me for a moment. “It’s hard to resist you, and I think you know that. However, wanting to be with someone is not the same thing as acting on it. You can want a lot of things in life and never act on any of them. You are a young woman. One day, you will be thankful that we never acted on our feelings. There would be nothing but heartache in it for you. I don’t want that for you.”

“Professor Andrews!”

“I’m sorry, Charlotte.”

“Do not tell me that you are going to walk away for my benefit. Be man enough to say that your marriage is more important than something that will never be more than . . .”

He took my hand into his. “In another life, things would have been different.”

I pulled my hand away from his and walked to his office door. Then I locked it.

“What are you doing, Charlotte?”

I let my jacket and purse drop to the floor.

I was now standing in front of him. “I’m not waiting for another life.”

Chapter 3

“Charlotte, this is not a good idea. . .”

I pulled him into me, and he did not push me away. My tongue felt the warm wetness of his desire as his arms pulled me in tighter.

I reached to take his belt off, but he grabbed my hands. “Are you sure you want this, Charlotte.”

“You know you don’t want me to walk away from you. I don’t want that either.”

He pulled away from me. I watched as he turned off the lights. Then he walked over to the window and closed the blinds. Soft light was filtering in from the bottom and sides.

Against the back wall, an old red sofa held a few books. He placed the books on the floor and extended his hand.

I was now in front of him. He grabbed me and kissed me hard. Then, in what appeared to be an obvious stalling tactic, he pulled away and stood in front of his office window for a few moments. His thoughts were someplace else.

Slowly, he turned back around. “Charlotte, do you have a condom?”

I picked up my purse and took a condom out and gave it to him. He sat it on the arm of the sofa. He seemed to be hoping that I had not come prepared as he looked at the condom and then became silent.

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